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Picture soft on Z3

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by benjiP, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. benjiP

    benjiP
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    Hi All.

    Firstly, thanks to all who responded and advised as I sought the right machine - had my Z3 just over a week now and very happy so far.

    Here's where I'm up to:
    Set-up with R0ne dynamic settings and filters, fed by interlaced signal from Sony DVPF250 through IXOS component cable. Projecting onto magnolia wall.

    The component cable has improved things a little, but despite a generally big, bright, colourful picture, detail looks really lacking and the whole thing just doesn't look sharp. I'm sure the Z3 must be capable of more, but what's the weak link? What do I change?

    Is it the wall? The DVD player? Some setting?

    Grateful for any ideas. Thanks so much in advance.
     
  2. dmjohnson123

    dmjohnson123
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    Try setting the component out to progressive rather than interlaced, this should be better.

    Also try some different DVD's incase its the films/DVD's your trying which are at fault. Monsters Inc or the Incredibles do tend to show off the Z3 to the max.

    Are you watching in darkness or with a lot of ambient light around ? Hope this question doesn't offend its just my Z3 looks ok during the day with the curtains closed but really comes alive at night in essentially "cinema like" conditions.

    I guess if all else fails it may be worth considering a new DVD Player with top component out or HDMI out which the Z3 will obviously take.
     
  3. Mark_a

    Mark_a
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    And a decent screen will make a helluva difference too. A magnolia wall is always going to be a major weak link for any projector, not just the Z3.

    Regards

    Mark
     
  4. cybrey

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    I would also looking at changing your 'screen', your wall will not be the best surface for reflecting light at even levels.
     
  5. benjiP

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    thanks very much people.

    my dvd player doesn't do progressive scan, so that's one thing.

    the wall - i know this isn't the best, but can't see that this would account for such blurryness.

    Are there any changes to settings I can consider?

    Thanks again.
     
  6. Mark_a

    Mark_a
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    If you want to spend the money (about £800 by the time you've finished) then hook your DVD up to a Lumagen video processor and then feed the Z3 with a 720p HDMI feed. The picture will be as sharp as you could want.

    Though I still think a screen should be your first 'upgrade'.

    Regards

    Mark
     
  7. ROne

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    I'm not being funny but the component stage of the Z3 is not great, neither are many progressive DVD players full stop for projector work at least.

    Get yourself a HDMI player or HTPC - the leap is then noticable, I think you can pick up one of the sammys for a couple of hundred quid or less, and then you can run a pixel mapped 720p display.

    I had my progressvie pioneer about 10 mins (and this was the much lauded 575 progressive model) before I binned it and went back to a HTPC.

    The Z3 is capable of wickedly sharp detail from a digital source, though there are some focus consistency problems if your projector is not 100% parallel to your screen (the biggest culprit of focusing problems.)
     
  8. neil c

    neil c
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    You're right, the Z3 is capable of significantly more impressive pictures than with an Xbox outputting a non-progressive PAL image. If this is the best source you have seen, then you're in for a shock when you see a digital HD signal.

    For starters you will probably want to try the soft-mod for the Xbox. It reduces the standard image resolution slightly from PAL to NTSC, but then most of your games will be running in progressive scan (480p) which enhances the sharpness. Some games will even play in 720p, 1080i.

    A screen will make a huge/massive/dinosaur size difference. I painted a screen using Dulux Icestorm 6 and 3, light grey screen and dark grey border. This gives the Z3 a proper colour base to work with. The blues actually look blue now, and the blacks and whites look loads better. Only cost a few quid and its made by far the biggest difference to my picture on a '£ : image improvement' ratio.
     
  9. benjiP

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    thanks all.

    like i say, spent up right now - and don't have an Xbox, just a Sony DVD player.

    Was wondering about the Oppo DVD player as a future upgrade path though, as I'm in rented accommodation, so can't paint a screen...

    I have to admit to one embarrassing discovery I made last night though - the DVD player had been set to output 4:3 format, so the Z3 was doing a lot of scaling. Now it's set to 16:9 things have improved a lot already.

    What picture format setting is best on the Z3 - is the 'Full' setting the one to go for when feeding it a 16:9 input?

    Thanks again.
     
  10. neil c

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    Sorry BenjiP- I had a mad moment and completely misread the post. But you can still apply the Xbox progressive scan and resolution comments to your DVD player. An upscaled image progressive image will be alot nearer the results you were expecting.
     
  11. cyberheater

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    LOL. At least you found your mistake.

    I haven't got a Z3 but I will say that if you used to seeing DVD's on a decent TV/DVD combo and expect that same resolution scaled up 80inches then you might be dissapointed.

    Native DVD resolution is only 720 x 576 (PAL) and your PJ is 1280 x 720 (native) so whatever your doing your forced to scale the picture to fit the native projector panel.

    If you think that DVD's look soft. What till you see the pixalated mess that Sky/cable push out. Yuck!

    If you ever get the chance. Hook a PC to your PJ and play some MS hi def content at 720p. You'll be amazed at the difference.

     
  12. benjiP

    benjiP
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    thanks again guys

    i'd be interested to know what screen setting you have your Z3s on to show 16:9 content and what you think of the Oppo (since I can't see me wanting to invest a. the cash in an HTPC or b. the building / tweaking time - I just want to watch the occassional movie with my wonderful wife...

    thanks
     
  13. dmjohnson123

    dmjohnson123
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    I have my Z3 set to "Full" - with a widescreen signal from my DVD Player.

    My player is a new Samsung HD850 with HDMI output.

    The picture is sublime from the Samsung over HDMI (set to output 720p) but I find the Samsung a pain to use. Although multi-region you have to manually set the output from Pal to NTSC depending on the region of disc to get smooth playback and I get a "hdmi audio not supported" message popping up on the screen which can be switched off but has to be done each session.

    For these reasons my conclusions on the Sammy HD850 are looks great, picture quality extremely good using HDMI to my Z3 but a bit of a pain to live with.

    Hope some of this rambling rant is of use.
     
  14. jriihi

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    Have you really tried adjust focus to focus image perfectly? I have not used component input in Z3 so dont know if this could cause soft image or not. I have oppo with Z3 and it works great (dvi-hdmi cable).
     
  15. benjiP

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    To report back - having correctly set the DVD player to output a 16:9 signal via an IXOS component cable to my Z3 with filters and R0ne/dynamic settings, I watched a couple of films last night - 8 mile and Iris.

    PQ was much improved and really enjoyed watching, apart from Iris which was weird and depressing rubbish. Thanks all.
     

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