What next to improve picture quality

Kithran

Standard Member
OK so I now have a really good screen (Pioneer PDP-5000EX) but I'm aware the video sources driving the screen aren't necessarily as good as they could be.

Current setup is:

Pioneer PDP-5000EX

Sky +160 (being replaced at the weekend by Sky HD)
Teac DV-20D
Panasonic DMR-E95H
Teac AG-15D

Currently I have Sky+ connected directly to the screen via an S-Video cable and the Teac DVD player & Panasonic DVD recorder are both connected to the amp with Composite with a single composite connection from the amp to the screen.

I plan to connect Sky HD with HDMI (I konw about the problems with pioneers & sky HD however they've also now posted it should be ok with the 5000).

The question is what would be people's suggestions as to how to improve the overall picture quality.

I've already decided that it would be worthwhile getting ISF calibration carried out however this would have to be done after I've finished running in the screen and decided what other changes I'm making to the setup.

As I see it the possible upgrades are:

Better DVD player - DV-20D doesn't have any sort of upscaling, I'm not certain if its progressive or not. It is multi-regional and I have a large number of Region 1 discs so multi-region capability would be a requirement

Video Scaler/Processor of some sort.

Anything else needed to ensure upgrades can work - for example I don't think the AG-15D can provide any general audio delay which I understand may be an issue.

Finally does anyone know if ISF calibration would including setting up a video scaler? (I guess the answer would depend on whether or not the scaler was purchased from the person doing the calibration's company or not but no harm in checking at this stage).

Cheers

Kithran
 

Neil Davidson

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hi Kithran,

The 5000 is a nice display but like every other display it can be improved through the addition of an external video processor.

With an external processor in place the last thing you would want to do is use any sort of upscaling or deinterlacing in the source components. There will be benefits from upgrading the player but the key is to find as good a transport as possible without worrying about on board processing.

The three of us ISF techs that advertise on this forum can supply processors but will also happily calibrate a system that comes from another supplier. Prices vary so I guess a visit to the websites or an email would be the best way to find out the implications of each approach.

HTH

Neil
 

StooMonster

Well-known Member
I have a PDP-5000EX too.

I drive it with Lumagen VisionPro HDP, and have likes of Sky HD as source and an SDI modded DVD player.

ProHDP can properly deinterlace 1080i into 1080p and looks amazing on the PDP-5000EX, SDI DVD looks brilliant for movies ('film-sourced' content).

Only downpoint is that it's not as strong on the SD 'video-sourced' content front; but I have DVDO iScan VP30 too. This VP has best-in-class SD deinterlacing but as we stand today it cannot force Sky HD to output SD interlaced signal (which is what it needs to deinterlace) and has rudamentary HD processing. DVDO could imminently fix the interlaced SD issue though. :)

It may be worth waiting a month of two though, the next gen of VPs is almost upon us. Especially as CEDIA is coming up, where there are expectations for Lumagen Radiance range (HQV powered), DVDO's rumoured iScan VP50 (powered by the big-brother of ABT102), Pixel Magic's Crystalio 2 (VXP powered) is already here, Vantage HD, plus several others. All of which work great on PDP-5000EX as it has dot-to-dot mode for 1920x1080 signals at 50Hz and 60Hz.

StooMonster
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello Kithran

I guess you have to set out a long term plan (inc budget) and work from there; your system already looks very 'video' biased and your heading towards even more expenditure on the video side to make it look good with your non HD sources.

Pretty much any of the Video Processors from around £1.5K upwards is going to make a big difference to one, some or all of your sources - the more you pay out the wider the range of your source signals your going to be able to optimise.

Calibration and Configuration is the only way to ensure you optimise your set-up.

Keeping Audio and Video in-sync is going to be an issue so you need to work out how best to handle that issue in your planning - if its only a couple of sources you have to deal with and your AV Receiver doesn't include it you can add the Felston DD540 Digital delay for sub 160.00 GBP.

Best regards

Joe
 

StooMonster

Well-known Member
Kithran said:
Better DVD player - DV-20D doesn't have any sort of upscaling, I'm not certain if its progressive or not. It is multi-regional and I have a large number of Region 1 discs so multi-region capability would be a requirement
Don't worry about upscaling DVD player, or progressive scan, but consider SDI or HDMI (if it can do 'interlace' over HDMI) player. You want to be feeding either a Video Processor or your display (which has very good deinterlacing/scaling built in) with the rawest signal possible.

Upscaling DVD player will deinterlace and upscale SD, which your VP or display will then scale again. For optimal picture quality you need to scale as few times as possible, ideally once.

StooMonster
 

cj

Active Member
Crystalio II has been shipping for a few months now and includes digital audio delay.

ISF calibration is done for all your sources, including any VP in the chain.

Have you thought about a Toshiba HD DVD player - will upscale all your R1 DVDs (no R2 playback though).

I'd also suggest for an immediate (and cheap) improvement you do something about the composite connection to your screen ;)
 

Kithran

Standard Member
OK so I had a brain melt and put composite when I meant component :rotfl:

Who are the other ISF techs on the forum and where are they located? I'm in Southampton if it makes any difference.

Kithran
 

Gordon @ Convergent AV

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
there's me....who I think you already contacted....

Piers at Home Cinema Engineering in Telford, Midlands,

Neil at AV DOCTOR in Bathgate in Scotland

Joe at The Media Factory in Edinburgh, who is ISF certified but who I do alot of work for.

There is also a chap in Liverpool who doesn't post that much anymore and who is not a forum sponsor I think.

Neil and Piers will travel as well.

Gordon
 

lunken

Standard Member
StooMonster said:
I have a PDP-5000EX too.

I drive it with Lumagen VisionPro HDP, and have likes of Sky HD as source and an SDI modded DVD player.

ProHDP can properly deinterlace 1080i into 1080p and looks amazing on the PDP-5000EX, SDI DVD looks brilliant for movies ('film-sourced' content).
StooMonster
Is this feature not suported by the Vision HDP? (I'm in the buyinglane for one)
With "this feature" I meant: Properly deinterlace 1080i into 1080p.
Or is this the feature that break them apart, the HDP vs. ProHDP?

I don't want to make an misstake buying the less featured one :suicide:
 

StooMonster

Well-known Member
I am not sure that the 1080i deinterlacing of Lumagen is as good as the 1080i deinterlacing built into the PDP-5000EX. :eek:

StooMonster
 

Welwynnick

Well-known Member
StooMonster said:
I am not sure that the 1080i deinterlacing of Lumagen is as good as the 1080i deinterlacing built into the PDP-5000EX. :eek:

StooMonster
Really!?!?!

Do you mean film or video DI?

Nick
 

keith symonds

Standard Member
Hi All, I have just had the PDP 5000EX delivered this morning, bank holiday as well, have spent most of the day modding an existing wall mount for it, quite supprised that it has 8mm bolts, anyway got it all connected up, Sky +160 scart to js component, just watched the Abyss off Sky.and am well chuffed,
Have got all the settings turned down for run in, to the settings suggested in a previous thread on the forum, Also plan on having the ISF'ing done when everything is sorted out, got Sky HD install on the 9th sept, so looking forward to the htmi connection, hope it will be better than the JS Converter, am hoping to get a Lumagen Radiance when they come out, re the radiance does it have inproved SD ? as I realy want whichever VP I eventurely decide on to do both HD & SD preferably, maybe get the dvd player when the battle of the two options shows more of a direction,
Stoomonster, How long did you run in your 5000 ? & settings ? Please
 

StooMonster

Well-known Member
Kithran said:
Who are the other ISF techs on the forum and where are they located? I'm in Southampton if it makes any difference.
My local AV specialist 'Soundcraft HiFi' of Ashford, Kent also offer ISF calibration services, and the audio ones too.

Gordon's visited me twice though -- and may have to sort out PDP-5000EX once it's got a few more hours on it.

StooMonster
 

StooMonster

Well-known Member
keith symonds said:
Stoomonster, How long did you run in your 5000 ? & settings ? Please
I plugged in Lumagen, turned 5000EX on, set dot-to-dot, set 'user' for settings (which has temperature on 'Mid'), increased the brightness for the black level on my Lumagen, and ... errr... that's it. Then used as normal, throwing 4:3 with pillarboxes and 1.85:1 with letterbox (black bars all over the place) at the screen and kids telly with DOGs and it's fine. :)

A friend with his 5000EX has it set to 'cinema' (or is it 'film') setting because he likes a darker picture, I think you're okay so long as you don't have it set to 'Dynamic'.

StooMonster
 

StooMonster

Well-known Member
welwynnick said:
Really!?!?!

Do you mean film or video DI?
Sorry Gordon and Lumagen!

Getting a lot of false 2:2 false positives on 1080i/50 video material, and therefore a lot of combing. Have flags on and can see 'AUTO' sees V, F, G and X rather than simply V.

Also in 1080i/50 video the ProHDP judders when panning.

Forcing video deinterlacing fixes the problem, because it's obviously a cadence detection issue; but that means manually changing between auto and video modes for different programmes, and who wants to do that?

Discovery HD and National Geograph HD have a lot of 1080i/50 video material and they comb frequently, check out 'American Chopper' as that always combs all over the place; likewise British originated video material on Sky One HD (like 'Brainiacs') also combs all the time, just check the title sequence.

This is not the case for PDP-5000EX's internal processing, it seems to work quite well with 1080i/50 video material ... as does another VP I'm playing with.

I am sure the Lumagen boys can fix this, but it is going to be a challenge for them as it's difficult to obtain 1080i/50 video material. HD DVD and BluRay discs are all going to be film, BBC HD has almost exclusively film, so the source is going to be a stream from a subscription Sky HD channel (Discovery HD or National Geograph HD or maybe a sports channel). May require renting 1080i/50 camera and shooting some material to get a stream for them to test with.

I am sure Gordon and Lumagen would be interested in any kind of help to source some material they can run through Lumagen range and get a fix out to us.

StooMonster
 

keith symonds

Standard Member
StooMonster said:
I plugged in Lumagen, turned 5000EX on, set dot-to-dot, set 'user' for settings (which has temperature on 'Mid'), increased the brightness for the black level on my Lumagen, and ... errr... that's it. Then used as normal, throwing 4:3 with pillarboxes and 1.85:1 with letterbox (black bars all over the place) at the screen and kids telly with DOGs and it's fine. :)

A friend with his 5000EX has it set to 'cinema' (or is it 'film') setting because he likes a darker picture, I think you're okay so long as you don't have it set to 'Dynamic'.

StooMonster
Oh OK, thanks, I just decided to turn all the settings down to start with, as I had an old NEC Plasmasync 42mp3 off ebay and that had screen burn from advertising in a bank, So as the 5000ex is my first New plasma I suppose I am being extra carefull, think I am going to stay with the reduced settings for a week or so, even turned down it looks good anyway.
 

Gordon @ Convergent AV

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
No need to apologise Stoo. So far every video processor I have come across requires to be "forced" in to some mode along the way in order to get correct playback of certain material. Of course AUTO modes that are more robust and that don't fall down too often are what we all want...in fact we want auto modes that are perfect...but that's not going to happen for a long long time I htink.

I have now had an idea for Lumagen and will email them to see what they think...

Gordon
 

Tarbat

Well-known Member
StooMonster said:
Discovery HD and National Geograph HD have a lot of 1080i/50 video material and they comb frequently, check out 'American Chopper' as that always combs all over the place; likewise British originated video material on Sky One HD (like 'Brainiacs') also combs all the time, just check the title sequence.
Im going to record American Chopper tonight (at midnight) to see this combing effect for myself. Can't say I've noticed it myself, so how often do you see this on American Chopper - is it all the time, or how many times in a typical 1 hour episode? I'll also try Brainiacs on Sky1 HD on Saturday.
 

StooMonster

Well-known Member
'American Chopper' is usually a prime example, some episodes it's all the time and others it's a few times per hour, but the 'Brainiacs' HD title sequence combs every time. I'll see if I can find a section in tonight's 'American Chopper' to tell you about.

When it combs it's every alternate line, and I can see this resolved on my 1080p display; if the picture is being downscaled the artefact may appear different.

Try turning flags on too so you can see what Lumagen thinks it's deinterlacing: MENU-0-9-1-8 is the code.

StooMonster
 

Tarbat

Well-known Member
Okay, just viewed the 2pm episode of American Chopper on DiscoveryHD (part 1 of the I Robot bike build). I had a solid "V" on the flag throughout the entire programme except at 3 times:

1. At +18 mins, showing a still image of the shop sign with a "1 Hour Later" overlay, lasted about a second, and reverted back to "V" immediately.

2. During a fade to/from black, less than a second.

3. At +44 mins, just after the ball game, again showing a still image of a different shop sign, but this time it stayed in "F" mode for about 5 seconds and did comb and judder badly. Only fault really was the the Lumagen didn't react quickly enough to switch back to "V" mode. Rewinded to just after the still image of the shop sign, and the following footage correctly displayed as "V".

So, based on this testing, I don't see a problem with the way the Lumagen handles 1080i/50 material. There must be some other variable here - some suggestions:

1. Perhaps the Lumagen handles cadence detection better when converting 1080i to 720p rather than to 1080p. More processing overhead when outputing 1080p?

2. Maybe the SkyHD box is causing the problem. I think we've already established that my SkyHD box handles 576 material differently to Stoomonster's, since mine outputs 576i whereas Stoomonster's outputs 576p. Maybe it handles 1080i material differently as well.

3. Perhaps a difference in connection - I'm using HDMI/DVI for all connections.

4. Or maybe a difference in Lumagen configuration. Stoomonster, I note that you see V, F, G and X flags, so I'm guessing you've got Service Mode turned on. As a matter of standard practice I turn off service mode except when making changes that need it turned on. Any chance that having it turned on could cause this problem?

5. Or maybe this particular episode of American Chopper was "cleaner", allowing the Lumagen to better detect cadence changes.

I did lose sound a couple of times though :(
 

NonPayingMember

Previously Liam @ Prog AV
Tarbat what deinterlacing mode do you have your Lumagen set to for the Sky HD input?

Regarding your post, it looks as though this material is a video 1080i broadcast and one those three brief occasions the Lumagen has thought it might be film but has quickly corrected itself again. A fade to black, or a video shot that doesn't move for a couple of frames is easily mistaken for film, and could be processed as film without artefact if there is no movement between fields of the frame. Your third point seems to be another false film detection - but one that hasn't gone. When film is falsely detected and not removed again this is where combing occurs. I think it is the VIDNC (no comb) setting for HD which helps this. What you are coming up against is the film/video bias, of which the Lumagen is very film biased (which is why I like it!). However the VIDNC and VIDPP settings are different ways for the processor to check itself for false detection (i.e. for it to bias a little less toward film). I hope you recorded this episode, because with this very useful notes you have made you could then run through the three main points again (or even the whole thing!) but with different video processing settings turned on and see how it reacts.

FYI regarding the last five points:

1. I very much doubt it. Deinterlacing is one thing (1080i is always theoretically deinterlaced to 1080p) and then scaling is another (taking the theoretical 1080p and downscaling it). Other artefacts could be introduced within the downscaling process, but I don't think any of these could be attributed to it

2. Possibly but Stoos is also running 576i. Bit of a long shot this one

3. So is Stoo

4. service mode wouldn't effect processing ability

5. maybe, but since it was a video broadcast it wasn't detecting cadence changes. It was falsely picking up three cadences.

You missed an important one - firmware version.
 

Tarbat

Well-known Member
Liam @ Prog AV said:
Tarbat what deinterlacing mode do you have your Lumagen set to for the Sky HD input?
Lumagen is set to AUTO for both SD and HD on the Sky DVI input. I haven't experimented with VIDPP and VIDNC, since I like the results I get with AUTO, and hate the idea of having to change deinterlacing methods dependant on material type.

Liam @ Prog AV said:
You missed an important one - firmware version.
Running 072906 version, so I may be behind whatever version Stoo is running, so that could be a factor. Stoo, what firmware are you on?

The results I saw on the American Chopper programme were what I'd have expected, with black fades, still images, bad edits, etc. triggering FILM mode, but switching back to VIDEO mode very quickly. The example I saw at +44 minutes was the only "failure" in my opinion, since it took several seconds to switch back to VIDEO mode, but I'm guessing this was caused by the source material.

In fact I see more of this on other Discovery HD programmes, but always during edits, fades, overlays, etc. and it always switches back to VIDEO mode very quickly, so no noticable combing or juddering. Like you, I prefer the Lumagen's bias towards FILM mode, since generally the high quality material I want to watch is film. Maybe Lumagen could tweak the firmware to allow the end-user to adjust this bias to tune in to their own preference.

EDIT. Quick test, and both VIDPP and VIDNC remove the false film detection at +44 minutes.
 

binbag

Active Member
Kithran said:
The question is what would be people's suggestions as to how to improve the overall picture quality.
Darken your walls and put up blackout blinds. Biggest difference I ever made - and one of the cheapest too!
 

NonPayingMember

Previously Liam @ Prog AV
As I understand it (I may not be 100%) VIDNC and VIDPP are still AUTO mode i.e. they are still trying to detect film, but with a slightly lesser bias. So VIDNC is usually the one to have (I use VIDNC for Humax HDTV).

P.S. all video material throws up the odd false detected film frame all the time so you can't be gauranteed 100% video detection - especially with 1080i where it's still relatively new to the mass market. So I would try sticking with VIDNC for a while and seeing what you think
 

Tarbat

Well-known Member
Liam @ Prog AV said:
As I understand it (I may not be 100%) VIDNC and VIDPP are still AUTO mode i.e. they are still trying to detect film, but with a slightly lesser bias.
I don't think they do try to detect film. If I set to VIDPP or VIDNC, then all material, including film on BBCHD for example, show a "V" flag. The manual states that "For HD there is an AUTO mode and two video modes", suggesting that using VIDNC or VIDPP will not detect FILM, and so lose all the benefit of FILM mode for film material. I may be wrong, but that's how it looks to me, so I'm sticking with AUTO.
 

StooMonster

Well-known Member
Tarbat said:
5. Or maybe this particular episode of American Chopper was "cleaner", allowing the Lumagen to better detect cadence changes.
The two "I, Robot Bike" episodes didn't have much combing at all ... typical! Other episodes have been almost constant throughout.

The "Davies Love Bike" episode (one following "I, Robot Bike") had two sequences that combed quite significantly: one where Senior gave Mikey a car (it stays locked in F mode for about three minutes) and another towards the end when they rode bikes together.

In addition, when it combs the picture has the "classic" slo-mo effect as well as pinpoint combing lines (on my 1080p display) on edges of motion. Interestingly if one pauses and then continues in one of these comb sequences, it drops straight back into V mode; it's as if it acquires a F lock and then cannot drop it.

Bear in mind I've seen this on other channels too, e.g the channel promo of 'National Geographic HD' where the chap wakes up in bed and goes downstairs to make a cup of coffee; also I will record 'Brainiacs' on Sky One HD tonight, because last week the title sequence combed like mad.

Note: I am running latest firmware (Production Release 080406); I am not stupid and running 576i output and complaining that it's combing (thanks!); and as mentioned before running VIDPP and VIDNC fixes the problem, but like Tarbat I hate the idea of having to change deinterlacing methods dependant on material type.

Liam @ Prog AV said:
all video material throws up the odd false detected film frame all the time so you can't be gauranteed 100% video detection - especially with 1080i where it's still relatively new to the mass market
The other two 1080i deinterlacers I am comparing to Lumagen (one of which is the new Pioneer HD chipset in the PDP-5000EX plasma) do not fail on video material that Lumagen does. BTW it's material recorded on Sky HD so I can run it through all three of them, via HDMI and component too. :)

All I am doing here is highlighting that Lumagen is not perfect :eek: but feedback will enable them to improve 1080i cadence detection. If we can find specific examples that constantly cause the Lumagen deinterlacer problems then all the better, as it will give them something to work with. :smashin:

Tarbat said:
2. Maybe the SkyHD box is causing the problem. I think we've already established that my SkyHD box handles 576 material differently to Stoomonster's, since mine outputs 576i whereas Stoomonster's outputs 576p. Maybe it handles 1080i material differently as well.
Yes, EDID data makes Sky HD handle 576 different. I have a number of different VPs and displays, and Sky HD outputs 576 differently depending on EDID settings: e.g. Sky HD outputs RGB to Lumagen and YPbPr to iScan VPx0. Also, if yours is not outputting 576p to Lumagen by default then it's different to all the other posts I've read on AVforums and DigitalSpy where everyone seems to have same 576 configuration as me. My Sky HD model is Thomson 607120 btw.

StooMonster
 

Tarbat

Well-known Member
StooMonster said:
The "Davies Love Bike" episode (one following "I, Robot Bike") had two sequences that combed quite significantly: one where Senior gave Mikey a car (it stays locked in F mode for about three minutes)
Okay, I've seen this, and yes, it stayed locked on F (wrongly), but only for 28 seconds. I wonder if Lumagen can do anything to tweak the HiDef film cadence detection routines? At the moment it appears that once F mode is detected it stays in that mode for too long, without checking the cadence, which I guess is good for watching film material.
 

NonPayingMember

Previously Liam @ Prog AV
StooMonster said:
The other two 1080i deinterlacers I am comparing to Lumagen (one of which is the new Pioneer HD chipset in the PDP-5000EX plasma) do not fail on video material that Lumagen does. BTW it's material recorded on Sky HD so I can run it through all three of them, via HDMI and component too. :)
Except for in the worst case where the processor stays in F too long and suffers combs, you wouldn't actually know if your plasma had flicked into F and back to V again if the material was solid for those few frames since the finished image would be exactly the same (I'm talking in the case of two fields of an interlaced image, that just happen to be indentical through a lack of any motion)....

This was what I meant. I did not mean to suggest that all other processors have combing errors as they don't. My point was aimed at people who have briefly flicked through this thread and will now go home, turn on Live Flags, then panic that the V and F is changing every now and then but not understand that this is normal!!
 

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