"The Descent" - The ultimate LCD stress test.

ROne

Active Member
I don't want to review the film (though I did think it was superb), but this disc makes a great LCD stress test disc.

Real deep pools of black against harsh primary colours.

The Z4 never showed any weaknessess as such, though it did highlight a chroma error on the red which I believe is coming from the MPEG decoders.

So if you want a film that will make you wince at the content and your projectors ability to do black - this is it.

I beleive the Z4 passed with flying colours mainly due to the good ansi contrast.

Let me know your thoughts (DLP of course welcome!)
 

Grubert

Active Member
A good torture test for ANSI contrast and shadow/highlight detail is Schindler's List in chapter 20 tc 95'12" (PAL), when Schindler goes down to the basement to fetch a bottle of wine and speaks with Helen:

Image here

Look especially at Liam Neeson's left eye and the bulb behind him. If your projector is unable to show detail simultaneously in both of those areas, you've got a problem.
 

PJTX100

Well-known Member
Grubert said:
A good torture test for ANSI contrast and shadow/highlight detail is Schindler's List in chapter 20 tc 95'12" (PAL), when Schindler goes down to the basement to fetch a bottle of wine and speaks with Helen:

Look especially at Liam Neeson's left eye and the bulb behind him. If your projector is unable to show detail simultaneously in both of those areas, you've got a problem.
Is is me or are we allowing the deep and meaningful content of many films to be boiled down to a series of "vision bites" designed to show the contrast capabilities of PJs?

Perhaps it's time we all started to get engrossed in the films and not how our PJs are displaying them!...PJ
 

PJTX100

Well-known Member
ROne said:
I believe a lot of the time it's because the films are pap that we do this.
I don't think Spielberg would appreciate Schindler's List being described as that! :devil:
 

Grubert

Active Member
PJTX100 said:
Is is me or are we allowing the deep and meaningful content of many films to be boiled down to a series of "vision bites" designed to show the contrast capabilities of PJs?
It is you. :thumbsdow

Schindler's List won an Oscar for Best Cinematography. Part of the enjoyment of this film is precisely its brilliant black-and-white photography. If the DP and director decided what would be visible and what not, then our display device should be 'faithful to the source.'

Let's imagine your chosen gamma/contrast crush detail in the highlights. You'd get this:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v139/mayorgrubert/schind01.jpg

The bulb is no longer distinguishable, and the composition of the frame (where the bulb acted as a counterpoint to the eyeline) is different. The use of practical lighting (ie lights that belong to the action) is always a very deliberate choice, so if it is on the source it should be onscreen.

Perhaps it's time we all started to get engrossed in the films and not how our PJs are displaying them!...PJ
Of course, a good movie would still be good if shoddily displayed (I had my fill of scratched-to-death Kurosawas when I was a boy). But that's beside the point. The subject is LCD stress tests, that is scenes which LCD might reasonably have difficulty with.

I am a cinephile first and a videophile second. I want my gear not to get in the way of my enjoyment.
 

Lucas

Active Member
I am with PJ on this one. I don't think that many(OK a couple may do) of us gave our neighbourhood cinema owner an earful because the film projector black level was a dark grey or that at the size they project, the film grain is visible!

I compained once to tell them that the surround speakers were turned off and I got a strange blank stare back!
 

PJTX100

Well-known Member
Grubert said:
It is you. :thumbsdow
I re-read my post whilst replying and thought "someone's going to reply *it is you!*. Glad I wasn't disappointed! :)

I do realise this is a stress test thread so if you can't discuss such things here, where else?

But talking about a bulb next to Liam Neilson's left eye just seemed such a bizarre juxtaposition vs the subject matter of this particular film that I do wonder sometimes whether we get our priorities right. And I'm sure Spielbergs criteria for making it was to get as many people to see it as possible, not to limit the audience only to people who can do justice to the source...PJ
 

Supersonic

Active Member
I agree with you both!

Great film - but actually I do now want to play that scene and see how my Z3 shows it!!

[I guess being into all this does mean that you start to see the defects more easily. Was at a friend's house and his contrast level was terrible - blooming whites everwhere - but I know that if I'd said something I'd have (quite rightly!) been afforded geek status so didn't bother. He's happy with the picture so that's that.]
 

squibbly

Active Member
ROne said:
I beleive the Z4 passed with flying colours mainly due to the good ansi contrast.
ROne

Is it me, or do I detect a small amount of love blossoming for your Z4 after your initial disappointment vs your Z3.5?

I have to say, I do think it is the ANSI contrast that is causing people to like the image of the Z4 so much - something that Moulin Rouge showed to great effect for me the other night. This does seem to be a greater factor in appealing image than On/Off contrast. Something often missed when we examine the numbers on this forum.

Squibbly.
 

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
Some of us are also interested in image quality and the ability of our displays to show the content as well as it can. I think it's pretty much a given that we all watch movies to enjoy the film as the entertainment it is, and didn't realise it had to be pointed out when discussing other aspects of image reproduction.

ANSI is an important aspect of image reproduction that is often overlooked IMHO, and that's a good example Grubert, so thanks for posting it.

If we were just interested in watching movies on a big screen and had no interest in image quality, people wouldn't upgrade and the manufacturers would still be making data grade pjs with 300:1 CR. :)

Gary.
 

PJTX100

Well-known Member
Gary Lightfoot said:
Some of us are also interested in image quality and the ability of our displays to show the content as well as it can.
Well I never said I wasn't interested in image quality. Despite my occasional (OK frequent :D ) flippancy I'm quite a fussy bugger at heart.

However on reflection and in the context of this thread my comments do seem out of place and add no value. Having recently used the opening scene of "The Day After Tomorrow" to judge image quality, I suppose I would have found it equally bizarre had someone waded into that thread and started to spout about the importance of global warming!

I do apologise for leading this thread OT hence... back to Liam Neilson's Left Eye! :D
 
T

TheDarktrooper

Guest
Hi, i've read a few comparisons of the Ae900 and Z4 which say that whilst the 900 has better absolute blacks, the Z4 has the better contrast just wondering if people here would say that the difference is actually quite noticable (i imagine a film like this would show up any differences between the 2 in this area quite well)..
 

foghorn

Active Member
If we were just interested in watching movies on a big screen and had no interest in image quality, people wouldn't upgrade and the manufacturers would still be making data grade pjs with 300:1 CR.
I wonder if i am being a little rash in considering changing my 5 year old data dlp. :rolleyes:

Foghorn
 

Grubert

Active Member
Gary Lightfoot said:
ANSI is an important aspect of image reproduction that is often overlooked IMHO, and that's a good example Grubert, so thanks for posting it.
Thank you Gary. Come to think of it, I haven't seen any mention of measured ANSI contrast on the new LCDs (Z4, AE900 etc). Previous generation was around 300:1, whereas DLPs such as the Infocus 4805 had in excess of 600:1 IIRC.
 

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
Fog,

No - buy today! My first DLP was a single speed RGBW model and there's a huge difference in modern home theater specific projectors. :)

Darktrooper,

It can depend on the set-up and the room (should be dark including the decor) as to whether the difference is noticable sometimes. If the white level is the same on the two pjs being compared, the one with the highest CR will have the better black level. If it was much brighter than the other, then the highest CR may not give a subjectively better black. Higher CR does give a better ability of showing more detail, but having seen CRTs with exceptional CR and black level I've found that there isn't any more detail to be had from having much more than maybe 2500:1. Apparently the cameras that record the scenes onto film/HD media can only manage 1000:1 and if the film is processed in a specific manner so that the black level is better (the recent War of the Worlds is an example), then maybe 4000:1 is achievable. I don't know for certain if that is true, but I feel that my observations tends to bear that out.

Hi Grubert,

I haven't seen any recent measurements myself, but I think the Qualia has a good ANSI but the Ruby has less. Some have said that is notices too, with less depth of field despite the much higher on/off CR of the Ruby. I'll be interested to see if they've improved much with the D5.

DLPs are capable of the highest ANSI figures, provided the room allows it - no light coloured walls or reflective surfaces for instance. Black felt on the walls and ceiling is ideal of course but not always practical.

Gary.
 

johnnyhaynes

Standard Member
PJTX100 said:
Is is me or are we allowing the deep and meaningful content of many films to be boiled down to a series of "vision bites" designed to show the contrast capabilities of PJs?

Perhaps it's time we all started to get engrossed in the films and not how our PJs are displaying them!...PJ
I totally concur.
I am really getting p*ssed of with constant references to specific scenes in STAR WARS , LORD OF THE RINGS. 5TH ELEMENT etc etc
They are awful movies - and dont even think about HARRY F****** Potter!
These projectors are for bringing a cinema experience to ones home - lets stop all the rhetoric and get back to watching movies !!!!!!!
 

ROne

Active Member
squibbly said:
ROne

Is it me, or do I detect a small amount of love blossoming for your Z4 after your initial disappointment vs your Z3.5?

I have to say, I do think it is the ANSI contrast that is causing people to like the image of the Z4 so much - something that Moulin Rouge showed to great effect for me the other night. This does seem to be a greater factor in appealing image than On/Off contrast. Something often missed when we examine the numbers on this forum.

Squibbly.
I will never admit it ;)

Yes, embarrassingly I go to carried away with this projector should be nth x better than the Z3.

Bottom line is, it is better in most departments - though I am still frustrated I have had to go a long way around to make it better - combinations of iris's, presets, lamp modes - all because in its pure and simple guise the Z4 really isn't that much better than the Z3 with the jiggery pokery turned off.

That much should be acknowledged, though it's becoming the clear that the AE900 can turn heads out of the box whereas the 4 needs a bit of fiddling.
 

ROne

Active Member
Gary Lightfoot said:
I haven't seen any recent measurements myself, but I think the Qualia has a good ANSI but the Ruby has less. Some have said that is notices too, with less depth of field despite the much higher on/off CR of the Ruby. I'll be interested to see if they've improved much with the D5.

Gary.
Gary is there an accurate way to measure ANSI CONTRAST with common tools of light meter and AVIA?
 

ROne

Active Member
johnnyhaynes said:
I totally concur.
I am really getting p*ssed of with constant references to specific scenes in STAR WARS , LORD OF THE RINGS. 5TH ELEMENT etc etc
They are awful movies - and dont even think about HARRY F****** Potter!
These projectors are for bringing a cinema experience to ones home - lets stop all the rhetoric and get back to watching movies !!!!!!!
That's simply not fair and also not reflective of what the AV community here mostly describes.

This thread is about the how the Descent is a good stress test for your projectors.

If you want to read about the movie "the Descent" - then there is a review of it in the DVD review area.

I really don't see the problem - it's like me bursting into the review thread and shouting "What you watching films for! . PUT IT ON PAUSE AND LET ME LOOK AT THE ANSI."

So please with respect no more debates about the acceptability of this thread and its subject matter, if you want to do that - please start a separate thread philosophizing how we should all spend our time.

Also why even partake in a discussion which actively promotes the very thing you resent?
 

Grubert

Active Member
ROne, sorry for getting your thread off-title (but not really off-topic ;) )

I enjoyed Dog Soldiers, so I'll try to rent The Descent.

ROne said:
Gary is there an accurate way to measure ANSI CONTRAST with common tools of light meter and AVIA?
You need a checkerboard test image (Avia includes one). You divide the average brightness of the white squares by the average brightness of the black squares.

The room must be black (celing, walls etc.). Some testers with non-black rooms have tried to compensate for this by only measuring the central squares or the two central columns of the card and covered the rest of the screen with black cloth.
 
M

Menace

Guest
Question.....This is going to sound silly.
When was the last time any of you went to the cinema? I would put good money down that your images are better than the "BIG SCREEN" lmao.
I know when I go, I get more distaracted by the image quality than the film....How sad :blush:
 

PJTX100

Well-known Member
Menace said:
Question.....This is going to sound silly.
When was the last time any of you went to the cinema? I would put good money down that your images are better than the "BIG SCREEN" lmao.
I know when I go, I get more distaracted by the image quality than the film....How sad :blush:
On average I go about once a month, and yes the quality on my PJ is better then the cinema though in relative terms people do sit closer to a cinema screen hence more artefacts are visible...PJ
 

gingercat

Active Member
ROne said:
it's becoming the clear that the AE900 can turn heads out of the box
That'll be the vertical banding turning people away in fear :devil:
 

Roohster

Distinguished Member

PJTX100

Well-known Member
roohster2 said:
You're right PJ, it's my Ae700 - that pic is a particularly bad example of VB, and I don't notice it most of the time. (Too busy enjoying the film!)
Hi, yes I'm sure you are right. Hence why it's so difficult to capture a clear shot of VB, I don't think you realise what a rare pic that is. I've seen lots of people ask for pics of VB and I've never seen anyone come up with anything as exemplary as that.
roohster2 said:
PS, for five points, anyone name the film in my pic?
Is it Hero?
 

gingercat

Active Member
If you want to see really, and I mean REALLY bad VB, I should take a pic of my AE100 playing a DVD being driven on the component inputs by my modded XBOX... The result is horrendous VB with the PJ that I don't get with interlaced input from the Tosh220 or when driven by my PC.
 

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