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Playback Quality

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by User0, Dec 26, 2003.

  1. User0

    User0
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    I just purchased a Pioneer DVR-3100 and although generally happy with it I have a question maybe regarding DVD recorders in general or even DVD playback in general (this is my first DVD machine of any kind). In most situations playback is breathtaking however in some extreme low-light/strong light combinations you can actually see separate "bands" of shading on curved surfaces (like in peoples faces). E.g. in The Others where in many instances there was a light straight on peoples faces and everything else around it was dark the "problem" was obvious unless the actor was perfectly still - even a slight movement will make it possible to count the succesive degrees of shading! A similar thing can be seen when someone turns on a flashlight in the dark. The flashlight's light is clearly "graded". Is it my machine? Is it the connection? (it's a simple SCART connection). Is this how DVD playback is supposed to be in general? Or just some bad film to dvd transfers? I'd be happy if anyone can shed some light in this!
     
  2. kenfowler3966

    kenfowler3966
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    It relates to the quality of the recording which is proportional to the time availble on the media. If you record at best quality you will not notice this but will only get 1 hour on the dvd. As this is most impractical for most users this is why the dvd/hdd recorders are the best bet as you have a sufficient capacity to record at best quality and can archive at reasonable bitrates. Record over about 3 hours to the dvd and you are getting to vhs quality or worse.
    I try to restrict dvd archive discs to 2 hours or less for acceptable quality although sometimes I will go slightly over for a film. Using panasonic machines the recording can be exactly matched to the media size for best possible quality, can't something similar be done on yours
     
  3. User0

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    But I was talking about playback quality of a commercial disc like "The Others" movie.... Would you say that these "bands" of shading is something normal for such an expesive machine? And I noticed it on other commercial discs as well.
     
  4. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt
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    Have you got it set to RGB on the scart and on a RGB scart socket on the TV? That normally gives the best picture quality.
     
  5. User0

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    ...so i set the recorder output SCART to RGB and now I can see the three little squares in the AV channel logo which confirm my TV is getting an RGB signal. It makes no difference though... Are you sure it is a connection issue? Would an S-Video cable make any difference? Or is it just a limitation of my recorder's playback abilities?
     
  6. Xyberbat

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    User0, I watched 'The Others' (R2 PAL) on my Sony RDR-GX7 via S-video to a Sony VW10HT projector on a 108" screen and via RGB-Scart to a Philips 32" TV. I never saw any of the issues you described. Good luck with resolving your problem.
     
  7. User0

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    It is very worrying for me that you watched it with no problems via SCART RGB as I did. Before your comment I thought that SCART was the problem and I should try a "proper" 5 cable RGB connection. Now I am not sure that would make any difference. Is it possible that it was just a bad authored disc (it wasn't strictly the same as your version as it was authored here by a greek company unlike others which are imports)? Yesterday I watched a really bad version of The Eye again authored by a local authoring company with frequent freezes and pixelation. Can these bands be caused by bad authoring/compression etc?
     
  8. User0

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    if it's of any relevance my TV is a Sony plasma 32''
    should I start making adjustments or it has nothing to do with my problem?
     
  9. PhilipL

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    It could just be a bad authored disc, or all the discs are the same, and your particular settings on your monitor and DVD Player make it more noticable. What are other DVDs like?

    I have seen similar things on various DVDs however. There are options in the Video Playback settings of the Pioneer, with some presets for various types of monitors, have you tried changing these?

    If you see the problem often it normally means your TV/Monitor isn't calibrated very well (colour, brightness or contrast to high for example). DVD MPEG compression works on the basis that a lot of nasties from the compression process are hidden by the TV systems weaknesses (notice how bad DVD often looks on a computer monitor that has fewer of these weaknesses?), however as we move to plasma monitors and LCD panels these weaknesses in the MPEG compression are becoming more and more noticable, you might just have to live with it.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  10. User0

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    I have set dvd playback on the Pioneer to "PDP" which is supposed to work better with plasma/LCD screens. Contrast and colour are set to exactly middle and so are most other TV adjustments. On second thoughts I don't think it's the discs fault. There were others which were imports and had this problem (like the original Ocean's 11). Don't get me wrong, picture is otherwise very good and crisp with great contrast. But depending on the specific type of lighting conditions and movement on specific scenes you can definitely spot some "bands" without really searching... I don't won't to believe it when you say that a plasma screen is too advanced for its own good! It would be interesting if a DVR-3100 (or maybe even a Pioneer dvd-player) user has anything to say on this....
     
  11. JH4

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    The January edition of What Video Widescreen TV mentions "ghosting around objects" .. "most noticeable where the contrast is high between foreground and background ...." in their reviews of the 3100 & 5100.
    Haven't noticed it yet on the 5100 which is a fine machine once you get to grips with all it can do (which is a lot ) !
    My advice - keep as a recorder and use a top notch player for playback - if you can afford !
    Regards
     
  12. User0

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    That is quite encouraging! I don't know about "ghosting" either, but it's a good sign they didn't notice the "banding" I'm talking about. From the info I've been collecting it seems there are no such obvious defects with Pioneer machines (player OR recorder) and actually picture quality is a strong point. There must be something wrong with my connections. Would a 5 cable RGB connection or a gold plated SCART correct this?
     
  13. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    Cabling on the analogue side will not stop this banding. The banding is you seeing a limitation in the DVD Encoding, this is in the digital domain.

    Try to see if these bandings are visible on a computer and monitor, and if they are visible on a normal TV.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  14. User0

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    PhilipL and everyone thanks for all the help.... I finally moved the Pioneer to the room where a 14 year old Philips CRT resides and connected through RGB (to my surprise a small "RGB" sign lit up for the first time in it's life!). So all being equal and using the exact same software all the artifacts dissapeared! As i'm not planning to keep these two together (the CRT screen is about to die) there must be another solution. Meanwhile in the plasma I turned down what could be turned down like brightness and sharpness and turned off all the "special features" like dynamic pic/colour correction/etc etc and things improved but only just. In a scene in "A.I." the plasma display managed to produce a perfect scar on a man's face because it couldn't handle the sudden change from pitch black to strong light on him. It's the scene in the balloon where the bad guy chases the robots through the woods... if anyone has that movie check it out. No matter what I tried with that (in both dvd and tv menus) it had no effect. Should I take this matter to the plasma forum or there's still something that I can do with the recorder you think?
     

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