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Random questions concerning image quality on LCD's.

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by Morris Schæffer, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. Morris Schæffer

    Morris Schæffer
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    I'm still pretty much a newbie when it comes to LCD's so be gentle. :rotfl:

    Got into an argument with friend. I told him the Sony V series was high on my list. He said that living in Belgium wasn't gonna guarantee me the best quality and proceeded to talk about maximum lines and all that and how it's dependent on the country itself. I told him that this would only be an issue when watching TV and not while playing games on Xbox 360 or watching a DVD. He also believed that watching a DVD movie on the Xbox 360 would produce an PQ very similar, if not entirely so, to standard CRT. He then told me that he was over at a friend once who showed him his beamer playing Soul Calibur 2 on the Xbox. He noticed two things. 720p was a huge letdown and produced an image similar to CRT, but 1080i looked incredibly amazing and felt like being there on the battlegrounds themselves. So now I've got some questions if that's Ok:

    1) Can I expect a noticeable bump in image quality when playing a standard DVD film on the V series via my Xbox 360? And this obviously won't be 720p then, but what? 480p?

    2) Is there a way, an absolutely horrendous way, of hooking up an Xbox 360 to an LCD that's gonna make a 720p signal look pretty much like regular CRT?

    3) Will 1080i produce better results on beamers than 720p?

    4) Connections-wise, and knowing I want to hook up next-gen consoles (Xbox360, PS3) as well as PC to my LCD, should I opt for Sony's V series or Phillips upcoming PF9830 range?

    Can't think of any more right now. :smashin:
     
  2. David Mackenzie

    David Mackenzie
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    True in a way. All countries in Europe (save for France) use PAL for the analog TV system. This gives about 625 lines if I recall correctly. For digital TV, the current system is still referred to as PAL but being digital, this isn't quite the case - the system is based on PAL however and gives 576 lines. This is the same as a PAL DVD.

    What does he mean by "similar to CRT"? I can't imagine how a projector could ever give an image that looked anything like looking at a glass tube.

    It depends on the DVD Playback facilities of the 360.
    NTSC DVDs should be 480p (NTSC Progressive Scan) at least.
    PAL DVDs should be 576p (PAL Progressive Scan).

    However the 360 hopefully will feature an upscaler and present both NTSC and PAL DVDs at 720p. Of course, this will be "faking" a 720p image.

    The biggest differences in quality come from the video signal types, not the type of device you're using it on. It depends what you like the look of more, many people prefer the look of a High Definition CRT. Of course, those aren't available here in Europe. If you used Composite video (Yellow video connection cable), then yes, the results wouldn't be very good. Use a Component or VGA cable and you'll get good quality.

    It depends on what the native resolution of the device was. For the current generation of LCDs that use 768 line panels, you should use 720p. This has the benefit of being Progressive as well as the fact that 720 lines is very close to the screen's 768 and not much scaling will be required. Scaling decreases image quality.

    Can't answer that one... do Philips even provide native Component inputs or do they need you to use some sort of adapter?
     
  3. Morris Schæffer

    Morris Schæffer
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    This sounds really troublesome for some reason. You're European yourself so what does this mean in practical terms? Worse PQ than in the USA?


    He was probably rambling.


    So pal DVD's will look better than NTSC's? But how much does that little "P" add for normal DVD's in terms of picture quality? Have you seen a DVD displayed on a good quality LCD?

    I'll bear that in mind. :smashin:

    I was gonna say "well duh, it's their latest model!" but something tells me it ain't that simple. :)
     
  4. David Mackenzie

    David Mackenzie
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    PAL DVDs should look better than NTSC ones (unless something strange has happened during mastering that is). I watch PAL and NTSC DVDs on my Sony KLV-26HG2 at 480p and 576p and it's a very good quality LCD.

    Hard question to answer. Worse than HDTV? Yes, but better than American digital TV which is 480 lines (same as DVD again). The thing is, resolution is not the only thing that deterines how nice an image is to look at. I've heard that in the US, the picture quality of digital TV broadcasts, although having less lines, looks a lot better because there's less compression.
     
  5. matt_p

    matt_p
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    There was an interview a couple of months back with the guy in charge of 360 project, and he said that it will not upscale. It will only output at the standard res for DVDs.

    They probably don't want to step on the toes of xbox 360 mk2 that will have a HD-DVD player.
     
  6. daxie

    daxie
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    I'll think we'll have to wait once the xbox 360 gets out, and then test it on the lcd's before we can really tell how it would be...

    Imo it would be strange not to upscale to 720p, since the console was designed for that resolution...


    Plus the fact that the current xbox already upscales to 720p (with some assistance by xbmc that is).

    daxie
     
  7. ianh64

    ianh64
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    Hopefully a few things to clarify some of the issues raised...

    Correct me if I am wrong, but XBOX 360 does not have HDCP encrypted digital outputs of any form. This being the case, if is forbidden by the DVD forum to output upscaled copy protected material unless it is digitally encrypted - ie HDCP over DVI or HDMI. I don't believe that MS will want to go against the DVD forum here so will oblige. As for games being upscaled - do you mean upscaled (ie output at 480/576 and then converted to 720p/1080i?) or do you mean games that output at true 720p/1080i? I personally cannot see how the output from a game can be viewed as copyright material since it is being generated in real time by your input. The manufacturers may have a different take on this, but I believe that HD games will be output without any form of copy protection being required - so component should be fine.


    Lyris is not quite correct in what he says. PAL is 625 lines whether it originates from an analogue or digital source. More accurately it actually two cycles of 312.5 lines (called a field) 50 times a second joined together (called interlacing) on alternate lines to form a single frame that occurs 25 frames per second. Movement can occur between fields, so, if you look at one field, the picture will be crisp but only 312.5 lines of resolution but of you look at the whole frame, you will see 625 lines of resolution but there will be two images there that will likly show flicker. Out of this 625 lines, not all contain visible picture information. Infact, only 576 lines of the frame contain visible picture information. The blank lines are normally hidden from view by the TV zooming into the picture (called overscan) so that only the visible picture fills the screen. Normally visible lines are used when describing resolution so you are more likely to see 576 used more often than 625. Whilst PAL is an analogue system with analogue timings, digitally you can think of it as a visible picture typically 720x576 pixels in size although I have used broadcast equipment that did not have 'square pixels' and the horizontal resolution was different to this.

    In America, for NTSC SD broadcasts, it is very similar, except they have 480 visible lines (I am afraid I do not know what there non visible lines and horizontal resolution is), but instead of having 312.5 line fields 50 times a second, they have 240 line fields ~60 times a second making a visible picture frame of 480 lines 30 times a second.

    So, PAL has a higher number of visible lines, but these occur slightly less frequently. I believe that if you do the sums, PAL and NTSC contain almost exactly the same amount of information per second. So PAL has a higher visible resolution but NTSC has a higher spacial resolution.

    In addition to the interlaced resolutions above, you also have progressive scan. In this case a field actually contains all the picture information which effectively doubles the frame rate or doubles the field resolution depending on how you want to view it. So PAL 576p is 576 lines 50 time a second and NTSC 480p is 480 lines 60 times a second.

    LCD TV panels are inherinently progressive scan in nature. So an LCD TV must deinterlace any interlaced signal recieved. There are a variery of ways of doing this and is a complex subject. But I will leave it that some methods are much better than others but more complex and costly. The deinterlacer can have a major impact on the quality of the image that you view.

    For HD, it is theoritically more simple. The 2 standard resolutions are 720p and 1080i. 720p is normally 50 times a second for European and 60 times a second for US broadcast. 720p is actually 1280x720 visible pixels - do the maths and you will see that is over 4.4 times the resolution of an PAL SD picture per second. 1080i is 1920x1080 normally (there will be exceptions when HD gets going) at 50 or 60 fields, 25 or 30 frames per second. Again, do the maths, you will see that this is 5 times the resolution per second over normal PAL SD. However, the difference between 720p and 1080i is not much, 1920x1080 full frames every 25 seconds compared to 1280x720 full frames 50 times a second. So, like NTSC vs PAL, 720p has a higher spacial resolution but 1080i has a higher visible resolution. However, since there are very few 1080line LCD displays, the 1920x1080 line signal has to be downscaled to fit a typical LCD screen of 1366x768 so most of the extra visible resolution is lost.

    Like converting interlaced to progressive signals (deinterlacing) it is also possible to convert SD resolutions to HD resolutions (upscaling). Like deinterlacing, there are many ways that this can be achieved and some are much better than others. My DVD has a very high quality scaler on board - for DVD and external sources. Scaled images when done right are far far better than SD images. People talk of faking information which may be true of still images, but for moving images there are clues and information in adjacent fields that can be used to regenerate information lost in the interlacing process.

    Ramble over...

    -Ian
     
  8. Scott_Mac

    Scott_Mac
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    Not a ramble at all Ian... very interesting reading, may be better when i don't have the hangover from hell though!
     
  9. Morris Schæffer

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    Thanks for the effort Ian. Complex reading though. In layman terms, I don't really have to worry about the Picture quality being a letdown here in PAL territory do I? :)
     
  10. Scott_Mac

    Scott_Mac
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    Aren't nutshells great :D
     
  11. pjskel

    pjskel
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    Nicely detailed Ian. I (we) know you have a Loewe TV, but which DVD player do you use, and how did you assess it's scaler as being of "very high quality"? Did you compare a range of makes and models?
     
  12. ianh64

    ianh64
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    My DVD player is a Meridian G98 and every software revision brings out a bit more quality. Apart from expecting it to be a very good scaler for the price, industry reputation bears this out. In addition, I have done a couple of installs of DVD players using the same/similar scaler chips (Denon 1910 and Denon 3910) and the difference in quality is night and day even with the 3910. I am not saying that it is as good as a dedicated external scaler, but it certainly shows that things may look the same on paper but in reality it is very different story.
     
  13. Morris Schæffer

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    Eh he hasn't replied yet. :rotfl:
     

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