Black Levels - DMR-ES18 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-13-2014, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Black Levels - DMR-ES18

First post, been a lurker for a while, I decided to join.

A quick introduction - I have been in the video transfer business for the last 11 years or so, (10+ years at a local business, I started my own business this year).

In addition to my many (used) Panasonic, Sony, and Toshiba DVD recorders, I recently purchased a DMR-ES18 international model from World Import. (Because I absolutely love Panasonic recorders, and wanted a brand new one).

I was aware of the lack of a black level adjustment when I bought it, but thought that it might not be noticeable. Although my customers would probably never notice the difference, I want to see if I have options for being able to use it properly, or if I should just return it.

I attempted a couple of makeshift proc amp setups - one with a quad color processor, adjusting the brightness, contrast, and saturation, and although I could get very close to matching the correct levels, it added a bit more digital-ness to the picture.

I also tried using a DMR-E55 as a passthrough unit, and adjusting the black levels on it, but that, too, added more artifacts.

I had a thought last night - the DMR-ES18 would work properly for doing DV to DVD transfers, correct? If the analog outputs of DV camcorders is 0 IRE, not 7.5, the DVD's created by the DMR-ES18 would look correct when viewed on a standard US NTSC DVD player... I think?

Thanks
Marc
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-14-2014, 07:40 AM
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DV input sounds like it should work to me. As you seem to know the trick to getting a proper black level DVD is to feed the international Panasonic a 0 IRE black level. A few things like DVD players(even ones meant for N. America) regularly have a 0 IRE(sometimes called DARKER) output setting but I've never seen things like a N. American VCR or tuner/STB/DVR have such a DARKER setting
I hadn't really thought of using a older N. American Panasonic DVDR for a black level corrector, set input level to DARKER(normal N. American setting) and output level(composite/SVideo) to DARKER(normal N. American setting is LIGHTER) and feeding that darker output to a international Panasonic, I'll have to play with it. Just make sure the Panasonic is post '02 model as older ones had what was referred to as a "black level bug" which makes them act similar to a international Panasonic and would not help at all as they lack such DARKER/LIGHTER settings in their setup. I have quite a few older Panasonics I don't use as they aren't full D1 LP(pre '05) or they have a bad DVD drive which wouldn't matter for such a use. It's kind of a bulky solution but I don't see why it wouldn't work and just using it as a passthru device I don't see why it would degrade the picture other than to darken it, which is what we want.

Last edited by jjeff; 06-14-2014 at 08:01 AM.
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-14-2014, 02:10 PM
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So let me run this through you guys, I have one of those component to S video converters that allows me to keep all of my widescreen content with widescreen which helps out in the final recording.

However I know that it changes the IRE value one way or the other and appears that my recordings are slightly darker than normal

What I am looking to find out is that in the menu the set up menu I have the choice under the video set up of black level control I have input levels that can be darker or lighter I can have the output level composite and s video and output level component set one way or the other

do I want the input level to be darker or do I want that one to be later as well any help that you guys can assist me I was greatly appreciated
This is for panny eh55
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-14-2014, 08:04 PM
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Try setting the input level to LIGHTER(normal N. American operation should be DARKER) and leave S-video/composite output set to LIGHTER(normal N. American is lighter). You never really want to change output setting to correct black level on your TV as you want the DVDs to be recorded in the correct black level to begin with and with a properly recorded DVD(0 IRE) they will look correct on your TV with output black level(S-video/composite) set to LIGHTER.

The whole problem is our N. American TVs are calibrated for a S-video/composite IRE black level of +7.5 while DVDs are recorded in the international standard of 0 IRE. Therefor to record a proper IRE DVD from a N. American source one first needs to subtract -7.5 IRE from our +7.5 IRE sources(which ends up 0 IRE) and when playing the DVD one needs to add +7.5 IRE to the 0 IRE DVD output to match our +7.5 IRE black level displays.
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-14-2014, 09:08 PM
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What about the component output setting?
Is there a setting for hdmi?
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post #6 of 9 Old 06-14-2014, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post
I don't see why it wouldn't work and just using it as a passthru device I don't see why it would degrade the picture other than to darken it, which is what we want.
I thought it would be a workable solution, too, but there was a very subtle difference. I don't know how to describe it, other than that it was kind of like there was more "moving graininess" in the image, most noticeable in reds. Again, my customers would probable be none the wiser, but I am a bit of a perfectionist with this stuff, so it bothers me.

Anyway, I did some A/B test records - I recorded some footage onto DVD in the international ES18 from a MiniDV tape, via composite/analog outputs. Then, I recorded the same section of tape onto the EZ48 via Firewire.

I took the two discs, and played them simultaneously out of two separate players, going to the same monitor via A/B switch. There appeared to be no difference in black levels, as I was toggling back and forth. (There was, however, a slight difference in sharpness. The ES18 was slightly sharper than the image recorded on the EZ48)

So, it looks like the ES18 is a keeper. I will dedicate it to MiniDV/Digital 8 transfers.

Thanks everybody.

Marc
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-14-2014, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billmich View Post
What about the component output setting?
Is there a setting for hdmi?
I would think not for HDMI; IRE resides strictly in the analog world, correct?
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post #8 of 9 Old 06-15-2014, 06:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FFVT View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by billmich View Post
What about the component output setting?
Is there a setting for hdmi?
I would think not for HDMI; IRE resides strictly in the analog world, correct?
Correct. For some details, see Article here.
.
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-15-2014, 08:01 AM
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Thank u

I don't use the component outputs from my EH 55, only hdmi
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