1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Z2: Experiences with Component and DVI

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by KraGorn, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    When I'm researching pjs and players I always find reports of first-hand experiences useful so I thought I'd offer my own small attempt. This is not extensive, and is highly subjective .. being mostly qualitative rather than quantitative ;) .. but hopefully it may be helpful to someone.

    I used a Sanyo Z2 with a Draper Onyx 92" 16:9 fixed-frame screen, gain 1.2, in Eco mode. The projector was left uncalibrated for all tests. My main interest was experimenting with various DVI inputs, but as a base-line I chose to use one analog which I expected to prove of lesser quality than the digital variations.

    I used only one DVD, Fellowship of the Ring EE Region 1. I did compare the region 1 and region 2 versions in one test but there was barely any difference, and since the DVD players I have are both primarily NTSC players the region 1 was what I used throughout.

    Component:

    To sample this I used a Sony 730, progressive into component input. The first thing to say about the 730 is that it's dark, very dark. Others have commented that something seems wrong with the gamma of this machine and it needs the pj cranking up to bring it in line with my other DVD players and also the HCPC.

    Once that's done the picture proved satisfactory and certainly hugely better than non-progressive. Colours are good, and only a little judder was present on the large pans over Hobbiton. Without any other reference point I did think there was a little graininess .. indeed, after looking at the DVI sequences I can definitely say the main difference is this aspect.

    If this was the only source I had I'd probably be perfectly happy with it and not know what improvements may be possible.

    DVI:

    My first test was with a newly-acquired Momitsu driving at 720P. The picture was stunning. Gamma was fine without fiddling, colours full and rich and the picture smooth, pans were no better so clearly the juddering is due to pulldown or other mechanisms about which I understand little.

    Next I used my HCPC which has been my main player throught the Z2's short life. First I used PowerDVD and abandoned it early into the test. It was grainier than the 730's component feed and was very poor compared to the Momitsu.

    I then used TheaterTek and of course this is a great improvment. However, it has to be said IMHO it was no better than the Momitsu, in fact in a couple of places the Momitsu seemed to produce a clearer picture .. in the long shot of Sauron's demise in the Prolog in particular, the Momitsu revealed more long-distance detail than TheaterTek, not by much definitely more texture was present on the far rock faces etc.

    Now, it could be gamma again, I don't believe it to be Black level though clearly only an Avia-based calibration will sort that out, I have problems calibrating gamma, but whatever it is there was a difference. I fiddled with TheaterTek's Gamma setting and could resolve the difference with that alone.

    Finally I tried my newly-installed X-Card into D-Scaler. My battles with this are well documented in the Sweetspot thread, suffice to say here that the picture quality lags both TheaterTek and the Momitsu .. strange because the Momitsu has a REALMagic chip in it like the X-Card. It's still better than the analog, it'd be interesting to feed analog into it and then display that perhaps, but that's not what I got the card for.


    So, what's my conclusion? The obvious thing is that DVI r00lz. :D Second, a cheap player like the Momitsu, and probably the Bravo too, is clearly a match for the best HCPC-based DVD player. Clearly I'd need to do a lot more testing, calibrating and fiddling to 'prove' the point, but I'm convinced that I lose nothing in PQ and gain a LOT in convenience in using a DVI-based DVD player compared to an HCPC.


    Don't know if this ramble is useful, hopefully it will be to someone. :)
     
  2. Smurfin

    Smurfin
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Messages:
    20,385
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +3,736
    I know you've said your testing was subjective (isn't it all?:)), but I fail to understand why you didn't calibrate the projector.

    Calibration has a MAJOR impact on how any source looks, and left uncalibrated results are, imho pretty meaningless.

    Just my two penn-o-worth
     
  3. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    Reason being that I was looking to compare basic picture quality, such as grain, artifacts, whatever, that aren't affected by pj settings.

    Moreover, since I was using different sources, it'd take a long time calibrating each one .. the Z2 only has 4 memories and I had more variants than that, to re-calibrate each time would me a long delay between each viewing, I thus wouldn't have a clear memory of what the scene looked like before.

    What I was trying to do was see how component compares to DVI .. as I said the 730's gamma is so low that a 'fair' comparison wasn't possible so for that I did twiddle so I got an approximately equivalent quality.

    I did previosuly calibrate TheaterTek and the 730 and did select those later on .. as expected, the quality improved in each case but the relative 'graininess' or 'smoothness' weren't altered. The "extra detail" comment again was largely unaffected by Brightness/Contrast/Gamma values .. in this case the pj's CR just isn't up to subtle changes making a great deal of difference.
     
  4. Smurfin

    Smurfin
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Messages:
    20,385
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +3,736
    Ok, I can see your point there:)
     
  5. Quatermass

    Quatermass
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Interesting comparisons. Only thing – you used a reference standard dvd and people tend to object to DVI player pq when it comes from a poor dvd. Be interesting if you could repeat the test with poorly mastered/transferred material to see which “wins” out then.

    Hopefully tosh/denon/sony etc. will bring out decks soon that don’t cost an arm and a leg but that can do both good dvi and prog. component so you could easily switch modes to suit the material.
     
  6. Chipster

    Chipster
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Messages:
    203
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +2
    Well done KraGorn

    Very imformative review. Your findings have put me off building a new HCPC (For the time being anyway) But I would be interested in just how much better you thought the cheap Momitsu DVI was vs your progressive player.

    I run a HK DVD25 player / component progresive into my Z2 and am very very happy, but allways interested in possible alternatives, especially if the quality improvement is significant without spending £££££££££'s.

    Thanks, Chipster.
     
  7. pacemaker

    pacemaker
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    546
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +17
    interesting
    what about any sound issues with these various setups
    ie dvi player good picture but whats audio like...analogue/spdif?
     
  8. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    Quatermass:

    Good point, I'll try to dig out something less than wonderful.

    Chipster:

    Relative quality is difficult to quantify :) .. the clarity of the DVI was noticeable, I didn't have to hunt for it. It's a real pity I don't have a digital camera because that's the only way I can think of demonstrating the difference. 'Graininess' is the only way I can describe it.

    Take the scene for example where Gandalf is riding in the cart before he meets Frodo. On the 730 the area of grass is nowhere nearly as clear as with the DVI, looking closely at the screen I can see more shades of green in the latter. Whether this is the fault of the 730 or the Z2 of course is indeterminate

    Bear in mid that this is comparing analog component with digital DVI AND using the Z2's scaler compared to a pre-scaled input. Since my intention was to discover the best way to feed the Z2 I didn't bother to experiment with non-720P DVI input

    Pacemaker:

    I only used SPD/IF throughout, I have no doubt the on-board DACs on the Momitsu wouldn't hold a candle to my 3803 .. and if they did I REALLY don't want to know ;). I couldn't here any difference, though I intend to do a bit more playing with audio later today with any luck.
     

Share This Page

Loading...