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What is "Macroblocking"?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Fluffy-Bunny, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. Fluffy-Bunny

    Fluffy-Bunny
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    Can someone please explain what Macroblocking is, and when it occurs?

    The reason why I ask is that im thinking of buying a Denon 1920 to pair with either a AE700 or AE900 (when released), and have heard macroblocking mentioned when reading about the Denon players.
     
  2. Cable Monkey

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    From a review of another player that mentions this problem...

    The problems shows as small blocks of pixels and from a distance looks like flickering of flat or gently graduating colours.
     
  3. Fluffy-Bunny

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    I have heard this only occurs when using a DVD player to upscale an image which is not the display's native resolution ie displaying 720P on a 768 screen, is this true, or can it occur even when there is a 1:1 pixel match?
     
  4. newbiebie

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    I thought that it occurs mostly with Denon or other players with Faroudja chips but I have it with an Arcam and a scaler with different chips and doing exactly this: 720p onto 768 panel. I am interested to know why in this case?
     
  5. stanleyntl

    stanleyntl
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    I've heard its display dependant - anyone know if Hitachi plasmas are affected?

    I thought I saw really bad MB on a recent Pierce Brosnan film my parents were watching, although it looked very extreme - white pebble-dash over dark areas, and only during one part of the movie - not what others have described.
    You couldn't fail to miss it.

    This was using a Panny S97 HDMI-HDMI into a Hitachi 42pd7500. Other films I've watched seemed fine. This was std output 576p, no upscaling.

    Is Faroudja chip part of the HDMI output chain on S97? (I thought the Faroudja was only for analogue deinterlacing.)
     
  6. Cable Monkey

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    Hitachi have a blocking issue in their own right, especially the pd5200's via DVI. Macroblocking literally means small blocking so if you are seeing big blocks, you are seeing another problem. My setup does not benefit from upscaling, and my Hitachi certainly does component better than DVI, so that's how I use it. It all but eliminates any issues and I am very happy with it.
     
  7. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    With no technical reference whatsoever. :) Once your awareness to it is established it is (imo) almost impossible to remain impartial or indifferent to it.
    I liken it to my obssession with "inadaquate pin cushions" on "old" crt sets. I rue the day i ever decided to read about pin-cushions. Once aware it was a curse.
    MB is not that different to me, as said elsewhere it is just so dismal and not high performance.
     
  8. sandstheman

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    Macroblocking is an aftereffect of the compression of DVD's and is usually most noticeable on colours in the background, especially when there are big areas of a similar colour - it's the equivalent of lookin at a JPG thats been compressed too many times.

    Faroudja based dvd players have a reputation of amplifying the problem, due to they way they process the image, other players do suffer from it as well, some more so than other, and some seem not to have the problem at all. The problem is also display dependent as well, since all flat panel displays have in internal scaler as well, so the problem is the same as the dvd players, some panels will have a tendency to amplify the problem whereas others seem to deal with it quite well.

    A good test of Macroblocking is to watch Attack of the Clones, and the scene near the beginning in Palpatines office, the red walls of the office are notorious for showing macroblocking - but it is a case of once you know it's there you start looking for it everywhere :(
     
  9. stanleyntl

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    What blocking issue do you refer to? Does this affect 7200/7500 panels?

    (And they were big blocks that I saw!)
     
  10. gandley

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    as has been mentioned you will see macroblocking to one extent or another with any dvd player because MB is part of a poor disc encoding error. So in truth there is no such thing as a MB free DVD player.

    This is where the term MBE or macroblock enhanced comes in.
    The macro blocks might already be there the faroudja chip will then make then look ten times worse. But also the faroudja 23xx chips will also add MBE even when its not on the disc.
    This i found when doing a side bt side with the pio 868i and Denon 3910.

    the pioneers picture was very clean and no sign of disc MB, but the same scene showed bad MBE with the 3910.

    Some have said that the issue happens A, because the faroudja chips have NosieReduction built into the chip which cant be turned on or off, and B, that the faroudja chips have a bandwidth issues and this is when the blocks form.
    Probaly a bit off both.
    This is why panasonic plasmas are probaly the worst effected with MBE.
    If the chip has NR artifacts in the first place and the panas have NR built in as well then the MBE gets exaggerated even further.
     
  11. rdt123

    rdt123
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    Gandley is right, there is a difference between players. Denons IMO have always shown it at its worsed, even on an A11 i'd go far as say that some films have been literally unwatchable!!!

    Didn't notice it on my arcam but i would say that some discs are worse than others and that scene from AOTC has been often mentioned.
     

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