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Sky contrast setting for recording to DVD

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Marcus Wood, Jul 18, 2003.

  1. Marcus Wood

    Marcus Wood
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    Does anyone know which contrast setting on Sky Digital gives the best result for recording material onto DVD?

    (In the Sky picture settings menu you can set it to output the picture with high, medium or low contrast.)

    I have the old Sky+ box and I'm recording to a Panny HS2 (if that makes any difference).

    Also, for the best sound quality, is it best to have the Sky volume level set to maximum?
     
  2. malcom

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    Well I never even gave that a thought! I record fromSky to an E20 & E30 and have just looked at my Sky box settings. I have the contrast set on "LOW".

    At the end of the day contrast settings are a personal choice and depend on your room lighting and equipment conditions.

    I would say this though. Sky digital being Sky digital in the main means picture quality is usually crap anyhow. So the higher the contrast the worse the crap will look. On the other hand "Films" tend to be low in contrast so a higher contrast setting for films may be better. As I said it's really down to personal taste me thinks.
     
  3. gringottsdirect

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    LOW contrast.
    MAX volume or optical output from Skyplus+ ?
     
  4. Marcus Wood

    Marcus Wood
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    I think perhaps the best contast setting is going to be HIGH.

    I mean, how can you have too much contrast? Has an LCD projector ever been unpopular because it had too much contrast?

    I recorded Downhill Racer the other night on HIGH and it looks fine when played back on my PC, with similar brightness to pre-recorded DVDs.
     
  5. malcom

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    I don't agree with that at all. Too much contrast can bleach out fine detail or worse. It will also highlight any digital imperfections on Sky digital transmissions.

    As I said earlier though it is very much a personal taste thing. If you can tolorate the amplification of digital imperfections when using high contrast then that's fine. Veiwing high contrast in a darkened room don't be surprised if you get "migrain":D
     
  6. calscot

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    Most contrast controls are actually white level gains. As with any gain, if you turn it up too much you get clipping. In this case it results in crushed whites where you will see little detail in smoke or sky or white clothes etc. This is because the brightness will be the same (fixed) for all signals above the clipping level.

    One thing to do would be to experiment by recording at different contrast levels something that has a lot of sky in it - like golf - and then check the detail of the clouds.

    Cheers,
    Cal.
     
  7. NicolasB

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    I find that when recording from Sky+ to my DVHS tape machine I need to set the contrast and volume to maximum, but this may be an eccentricity of the tape machine. It's probably also something to do with using S-Video rather than RGB. (I have to turn up the contrast on my TV a lot if I want to use the S-Video output from my DVD player).
     
  8. phelings

    phelings
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    I record from SKY+ to my DVD+R recorder using the same settings that I use for normal viewing-is this too obvious?
    I view in RGB,and record from s-video and both seem fine
     
  9. Marcus Wood

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    I guess the correct contrast setting to use is the one that doesn't alter the contrast of the signal that comes out of the MPEG decoder.

    Only snag is, I don't think we know which setting does that.

    Maybe I should phone Sky and ask them;)

    Otherwise the only option is to experiment. The difference in the three settings is fairly subtle though, which makes me wonder why Sky bothered to include this feature.
     
  10. fozzybear

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    I've found that where there are subtle graduations of colour I get the stepped colour grads rather than a smooth blending, which makes smoke and plain walls look pretty ropey! The default setting for contrast on my skybox (Amstrad 4000) is high so I've changed it to normal and I'm waiting for the problem to reappear - I've not noticed it so far but I've not really watched much on the skybox since changing it.

    The effect is horrible - looks like a dodgy windows .avi video played at too low a colour depth. :thumbsdow
     
  11. phelings

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    I would be interested to know if this contrast problem is restricted to 100hz tv's,which are notoriously difficult to set up perfectly for SKY.
     

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