Pioneer DVR-545 - Soft HDMI image

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by richjthorpe, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. richjthorpe

    richjthorpe
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    Hi all,

    My parents in law have a Pioneer 545 connected to a 50" Pioneer Plasma via a Chord HDMI connector.

    The TV has Digital built in and when viewing the EPG on the TV, the image is sharp and clear. View the EPG on the 545 and it is very soft, even increasing the sharpness up to full still doesn't get it to the level of what the TV produces.

    TV images are the same but it is much more noticable when looking at the EPG.

    Anyone have this problem ?

    Thanks, Richie.
     
  2. Andy98765

    Andy98765
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    Assume the DVD is set to 16:9 and outputting at least 1080i?
     
  3. richjthorpe

    richjthorpe
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    Hi,

    Image is set to Full on the TV and 16:9 on the DVR. It's outputting at 720p.

    Richie.
     
  4. swoz

    swoz
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    Have also experienced this with the DVR-940HX-S outputting 1080i over a mid range 1.5m HDMI cable to my 427XD. AV settings on 'MOVIE' (albeit with reduced settings for running in. Of interest running 100Hz drive mode..not sure if switching to 75Hz (recommended for DVD connections over HDMI), will cure this as DVD output is stunning. Again comparison of this unit's freeview & EPG with that of the 427XD is very noticeable, observing a distinct 'softness' when viewing through the HDMI input.

    Switching between 720p & 1080i doesn't seem to fix the problem. Not sure if this is a simple calibration issue or not.

    Anyone else?
     
  5. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    First of all try ruling out double scaling issues. Set the recorder to output 420i and see how that looks. Upscaling in DVD recorders/players is a marketing gimmick more than anything else and using it can cause worse results as the TV will still be scaling the image, and two lots of processing can make it look worse. As a rule your best results may well be to output 420i for anything you have recorded (i.e. interlaced video) and then use 420p for film DVDs that are progressive video.

    Is it just the EPG that is soft or all on screen graphics?

    Couple of things that cause this, 1) The actual Freeview EPG on the internal tuner isn't as sharp as the one on our TV, we've noticed that. This is because it isn't very high resolution graphics.

    Secondly and if the problem is all the graphic menus, the Pioneer recorders have an on screen graphics filter with 4 settings, this blurs the graphics for better appearance on older CRT TV's where otherwise the sharp lines would cause major flicker, but on modern sets look less sharp.

    For some reason the filter setting isn't user changable unless you have a service remote or a Pronto remote control you can load the service codes onto, see the thread here: http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=287176

    Regards

    Phil
     
  6. V5-APS

    V5-APS
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    Is playing DVD clear and sharp thru' HDMI ??
     
  7. swoz

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    Hi,

    The 'softness' appears to be noticeable on all 'on-screen' graphics when viewing through the HDMI input (Input 4 on my 427XD). Pressing 'Enter' on the remote to bring up the channel listing, or 'info' button results in the same tolerable, but somewhat annoying effect (again - all in comparison to the 427XD on-screen displays).

    Another thing I forgot to mention is that actual comparison of a freeview channel on the recorder with that on the TV (i.e switching between inputs showing the same channel), shows the DVD tuner to show a softer picture too..some tonal balance appears to be lost (noticeable with reds). Again this is not major, but noticeable.

    With DVD output, the image quality is simply stunning with no noted issues.

    I'll try playing with some of the other ouput settings as per your recommendations and try looking at the link you sent..although I must admit, playing with service menus and hidden settings worries me a bit...I've already managed to 'black screen' the output by setting to 1080p...helps if one reads the warning messages and more importantly the remedy :rolleyes:

    Thanks for your replies guys.
     
  8. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    The graphics that are blur are quite likely due to the OSD filter, however this filter setting will not affect the graphics generated by the tuner itself (EPG and Info banners) so you will just have to live with those.

    As for the Freeview picture looking not so good, on the Pioneer ensure that you are using a manual Video setting that has all the processing turned off, by that I mean the NR reduction settings etc on zero, or maybe try the "professional" setting that has these items off. Also try with progressive off and not outputting an upscaled image. While DVD's will look good (especially as they may be progressive anyway i.e. film DVDs), the interlaced more compressed image of Freeview may be better being upscaled and de-interlaced by the TV.

    Let us know how you get on.

    Regards

    Phil
     
  9. swoz

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    Hi Phil,

    Apologies for the ignorance in advance.

    I assume you mean turn off all NR etc. on the Pioneer DVD recorder? Or is that a custom AV setting for the HDMI input on the Pio 427XD plasma?

    From the 'Home Menu' the DVR-940 'Initial Setup' > 'HDMI' allows me to change the resolution outputs to as low as 576p or 576i but I can't find anywhere that allows me to switch NR and such off? In fact the only menu referencing 'progressive or interlaced' appears under 'Video in/out' for the component video output, and that's greyed out...since I guess I'm using HDMI? Not sure if the 940 differs in this respect?

    I quite like the idea of being able to switch the DVR-940 scaler off entirely and just letting the Plasma deal with it..don't mind if it's 1080i, 720p and so on..just as long as the cleanest/best approach is used. To be honest I can live with the current settings but like everyone else I'm probably looking for perfection :rolleyes:

    I'll continue to play..learn...and hopefully not break.

    Thanks again for your help..appreciated.

    Mark
     
  10. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    You need to change the picture creation settings. These are via the home menu called Video Adjust.

    You need to make the adjustment while watching the recorders internal Freeview tuner rather than playing something.

    You get several options, some are presets, it may be on "Tuner" by default, you can't change individual settings as these are preset for you. If you use the cursor button on the remote an move left you can select some other preset settings, i.e. VCR and DTV/LDP. If you move again you will get Memory 1 then 2 then 3. The memory options allow you to change all the individual settings to create your own. You will probably see the picture change as you scroll through the presets and from memory the DTV/LDP has all the noise reduction and sharpness/detail turned off. You can press 'OK' on these presets to see the individual settings applied.

    The idea is to get rid of all the stuff that normally causes trouble, this is the YNR and CNR (turn right down so off), the rest is normally okay.

    The other thing is to set the HDMI to 576i, this removes the processing that de-interlaces the picture (when watching commerical film DVD's you will want to change to 576p). Your plasma TV can optimise the de-interlacing during the upscaling and can use tricks based on the panels refresh rate and actual resolution to de-interlace more cleanly and better handle motion, the Pioneer recorder doesn't know about these things so may not make as good a job of de-interlacing.

    See if that gives any improvement. These settings effect the recording.

    When you playback a recording or DVD, check these settings again, they are now different settings and only effect the playback. Again with digital sources there is no need for noise reduction etc so take all these right down. When you stop the playback the settings revert back to the first ones that effect the recording.

    If that has improved matters than play around with setting 576p or upscaling to see if that does a better job than the TV, if the picture degrades again you know what is causing it. Best of luck.

    Regards

    Phil
     
  11. swoz

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    Hi Phil,

    Thanks for taking the time to explain this! - really appreciated, especially as I'm new to all this. I think I understand what needs to happen now and will try out some of the custom settings to evaluate the the PQ and 'scaling' of the DVR.

    I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again!!

    Mark
     
  12. Hkan

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    On your PDP-427XD you should turn PureCinema Off if you havent already done so.
     
  13. swoz

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    Hi Phil,

    Been playing around with the various custom video settings on the DVR and although not entirely sure that discrete changes have been observed, I am convinced of the reasoning behind your recommendations.

    I've set 576i for normal D.TV record using DTV/LDP setting and playback using PDP setting, which incidentally are the defaults - but atleast I can confirm that all NR settings sre switched off! For all commercial DVD source I'll use 576p as recommended.

    Thanks for that link on the DVR service menu..looks like you've covered this in detail already. Incidentally, which Pronto remote would you recommend? I'd like to switch the OSG Filter off with minimum fuss. Looked briefly at the remotes which range anywhere from £200 to £500ish..sounds like alot of money just to switch the filter off, but perhaps it can be used as my main remote from now on?

    I can see that at the request of others, you've provided the Service remote GGF1381.zip. Can you advise on a remote to which these codes/files can be easily uploaded to?

    Thanks again,

    Mark
     
  14. swoz

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    Hi Phil,

    Been playing around with the various custom video settings on the DVR and although not entirely sure that discrete changes have been observed, I am convinced of the reasoning behind your recommendations.

    I've set 576i for normal D.TV record using DTV/LDP setting and playback using PDP setting, which incidentally are the defaults - but atleast I can confirm that all NR settings sre switched off! For all commercial DVD source I'll use 576p as recommended.

    Thanks for that link on the DVR service menu..looks like you've covered this in detail already. Incidentally, which Pronto remote would you recommend? I'd like to switch the OSG Filter off with minimum fuss. Looked briefly at the remotes which range anywhere from £200 to £500ish..sounds like alot of money just to switch the filter off, but perhaps it can be used as my main remote from now on?

    I can see that at the request of others, you've provided the Service remote GGF1381.zip. Can you advise on a remote to which these codes/files can be easily uploaded to?

    Thanks again,

    Mark
     
  15. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi Mark

    Yes the remotes are pretty expensive just to be able adjust the OSD filter, but you are quite right you can then use it as your main remote, it seems daft that Pioneer haven't put this setting in the user interface really.

    The file for the service remote is for use with a Philips Pronto and rebranded versions as shown here , also at that link you will be able to download ready made files to control your equipment by downloading them to the remote.

    You will not see any difference in the Freeview EPG or Freeview related graphics as these are generated by the Freeview chip itself that has no OSD settings.

    Regards

    Phil
     
  16. richjthorpe

    richjthorpe
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    Completely forgot about this thread !

    Hi swoz, I'm getting exactly what you are describing. I think I'll have to put up with it as it's not my TV anyway.

    Can't wait to get back to my LCD even though it is only 32" !!

    Cheers,

    Richie.
     

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