Londo's Toshiba RD-XS32 dissection thread.. - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 647 Old 04-30-2004, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Up
Judging by Londo's screen shots, it's the black level bug I've seen. It looks the same as it did on the DR-1.

Contrast is actually changed by the Picture Recording Mode, not black level. This Picture Recording Mode has been labeled a black level adjustment though. I've done several tests on that when I had the DR-1.

The Picture Recording Mode reduces the contrast, which in fact darkens the picture, but not the blacks.
Maybe, but this is NOWHERE near the problem on the E20/E30 (ie. input = lighter). Those were VERY PAINFULLY washed out.... Remeber Mike, I did the gamma boosts to show were the splits were and the actual extent of the difference. THE VIEW ON MY TV WAS ABOUT WHAT THE Gamma 1.30 was... a SMALL difference, but nothing like the washout in the early Panasonics (that difference was more like difference in the Gamma 3.00 boost... very, VERY obvious...

You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.
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post #92 of 647 Old 04-30-2004, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by zenith2525
Londo: Have you actually made a disc on the Tosh yet and played it back on your Panasonic (output of Panasonic set to normal or lighter ) ?
zenith2525: yes, my E80 is set to darker/lighter and there is only the very slight difference between the two (indicative of the Gamma 1.3 split screens).

You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.
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post #93 of 647 Old 04-30-2004, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by jmscott42
Another question-- what happens when you change the recording mode on the Toshiba using that "mode 1" setting or whatever it was?
that's next on the agenda..

You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.
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post #94 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 03:54 AM
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Londo, a suggestion:

I think what we really need to do is compare the Panasonic and Toshiba recordings not just with each other, but also with the original recording. Could you take screencaps from your original test source DVD?

If we look at screencaps from the original recording, we can examine them side-by-side with the screencaps from the Panasonic and Toshiba recordings, and determine which recording is closer to the original.
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post #95 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 07:03 AM
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Londo,

Thanks for this thread. It seems everyone is hanging on to your every word and picture trying to decide whether to pull the trigger. Me too! I have one question which I don't think was addressed.

Since you have the E80, I'd like to know how the two units compare (in everyother way than black level) when an HD or ED picture is recorded and played back on the same machine. In other words, the overall quality: sharpness, edge artifacts, color rendition, etc.

I take it that your playback is in S-Video. am I right? Mine would be in progressive. Wold that make a difference in assessing this sort of quality?

Thanks,

Mel
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post #96 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jason One
Londo, a suggestion:

I think what we really need to do is compare the Panasonic and Toshiba recordings not just with each other, but also with the original recording. Could you take screencaps from your original test source DVD?

If we look at screencaps from the original recording, we can examine them side-by-side with the screencaps from the Panasonic and Toshiba recordings, and determine which recording is closer to the original.
The problem with this, is that the variable of the Philips player is introduced. As long as you compare the Toshiba to the Panasonic, variables in playback caused by the Philips will be in both recordings. But when comparing the Panasonic or Toshiba to the source DVD, the source DVD will not contain any playback variables from the Philips that would be found in the Toshiba or Panasonic recordings.

So in comparing the source DVD to the one produced on the Toshiba or Panasonic, the question would arise as to whether any differences observed from the source DVD were caused by the Philips player used to make the recording on the Panasonic or Toshiba.
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post #97 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 09:35 AM
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The above was premised on Londo's method of taking screen captures from the mpeg2 digital stream on his PC.

If instead, he hooked the S-Vid output of the Philips to his TV set, and then photographed the TV screen displaying the source DVD and the copied DVD, that would work.
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post #98 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 10:29 AM
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One thing I like about the Toshiba is that is supports both DVD-RAM and DVD-RW. However, reading about this on Toshiba's website it seems that DVD-RW is not supported as fully as RAM, that there are limitations. Could someone please explain what Toshiba can't do with DVD-RW while it can do it with DVD-RAM, and why does it matter? What is the functionality one would give up by using DVD-RW on this unit?
Thanks.
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post #99 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 10:37 AM
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It basically only supports DVD-RW as an erasable form of DVD-R -- it doesn't support things like chase play, editing on the disc, etc, on DVD-RWs. I'm not sure why they "crippled" it since it appears it was a purposeful decision (maybe the perceived lack of stability of DVD-RW media vs. DVD-RAM?) Of course, when you figure the Panasonic units can't do anything with DVD-RW it's not as big of a limitation (and one of the reasons I keep the Toshiba, since I use DVD-RW to copy things to my computer)...
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post #100 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tom Roper
The above was premised on Londo's method of taking screen captures from the mpeg2 digital stream on his PC.

If instead, he hooked the S-Vid output of the Philips to his TV set, and then photographed the TV screen displaying the source DVD and the copied DVD, that would work.

I agree completely. I just returned the Tosh because of the black level problem. I have a pioneer 510 and an E80 recorder. I also have a Sony DVP-NS425P, a Toshiba 3109, a Sony Playstation and a PC that are used in my household for viewing. Whenever I record on the 510 and the E80 the discs play as expected across the board. The Tosh played back bright and washed out on every player we have with the exception of the PC. The output was very close in comparison when watching from the PC. I feel that using the PC as a tool for comparing the output does not accurately reflect the severity of the problem. The playback on the PlayStation was painful to watch. These were of course just my results, you mileage may vary. I for one hope this issue gets resolved as I hated returning the Tosh. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one again if anyone comes up with an answer.

Late, Dan
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post #101 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jmscott42
It basically only supports DVD-RW as an erasable form of DVD-R -- it doesn't support things like chase play, editing on the disc, etc, on DVD-RWs. I'm not sure why they "crippled" it since it appears it was a purposeful decision (maybe the perceived lack of stability of DVD-RW media vs. DVD-RAM?) Of course, when you figure the Panasonic units can't do anything with DVD-RW it's not as big of a limitation (and one of the reasons I keep the Toshiba, since I use DVD-RW to copy things to my computer)...
Thanks, it seems you at least get the choice with Toshiba of a 'transport' medium to your computer (RAM or RW). Since I don't have a DVD-RAM drive on my PC I would do the same, which is fine. I expect to do most all edits on the HD and some on the PC. But since I want to primarily share DVD-Rs with family I am still awaiting the final word from Londo on the black-level problem since that kind of problem would basically make this recorder unusable for me.
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post #102 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I'm headed out the door to return the XS32 for an E85, but not necessarly because of the black level problem. In the long run, I decided that the interchangeability between recorders (my E80 and 'whatever') needed to be my primary decision point.

NOW, let me say this about the testing I was doing, since people said that a) introducing the Philips was a wild card to the proceedings and b) taking a picture of the TV screen was a better method of making screen captures..

Those are both very, very wrong.. and I'll explain why...

Using a PHILIPS player as a 'source'. Pray tell what else should I use as a source to feed BOTH the E80 and the XS32??? What if I had used a recorded program from my DirecTivo? Then it could be said that 'that is introducing a different factor into the equation'. How about a VHS tape? and OTA broadcast?

NO MATTER WHAT I USED AS A SOURCE, the point is that it was THE SAME SOURCE FOR BOTH RECORDINGS. COMMON GROUND, COMMON INPUTS. Also I deliberately for the 'big' test DID NOT USE a disc recorded on EITHER of the UNITS (AFAIK, I can honestly say I don't know what recorded them, but that means I have no preset ideas about them). I knew WHAT WENT IN. Some said I should have included a 'raw' picture of the source. That's true and I will go back and add them to the beginning of the thread where possible (obviously the Philips 'standby' screen I can't do that..).

PICTURES OF THE TV SCREEN INSTEAD OF SCREEN CAPS. Again, wrong idea. How I have MY TV ADJUSTED IS TO MY VISUAL PREFERENCE, and is most likely different from yours, also the ambient lighting conditions, screen glare, etc.. etc... ALL would/could skew the visual reference.

This is the same reasons that THESE WERE NOT 'SCREEN GRABS' from a media player/dvd player on the PC. I said this a multitude of times, but no one seems to have noticed...

I recorded the samples on to DVD-RAM, pulled the MPEG2 streams to the PC and loaded them in Womble MPEG Video Wizard and has it do a FRAME DUMP to a BMP file. THIS WAS THE RAW MPEG2 DATA OF A FRAME SAVED TO DISC. Not a 'screen grab' where the visual settings of the video card would effect it, not the color/brightness/contrast/ect of the player. RAW DATA. In other words AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE TO WHAT THE PLAYER RECORDED.

The Gamma adjustments were added ONLY to give some idea a) what the actual picture looked like on my TV and b) to ENHANCE THE DIFFERENCES...

let's go back to that un gamma corrected split screen of the Las Vegas strip..

http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/..._TPSPLIT03.jpg

if you look VERY VERY carefully you may see the split.. even when I boosted the gamma to 1.3

http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/...PSPLIT03G3.jpg

it was still hard to really pick out the division.. this is as close as I could represent what I was seeing on the TV.

Only when you hit the Gamma up to 3.0..

http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/...SPLIT03G30.jpg

is it painfully obvious where the split is.. but this is so far out of the realm of where people would watch TV that it was only for the purpose of showing where the dividing line was..

A more realistic image was the menu screen, again at the 1.3 Gamma enhancement...

http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/...PSPLIT02G3.jpg

is the best example, with the Toshiba on the top, you can see that there is a higher contrast of the picutre, some may say washed out, but compared to the E80 record, it seems to show better detail... On the Gamma 3.0 you can clearly see the division,

http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/...SPLIT02G30.jpg

and the 'washed out' effect, but that is HARDLY the way that people would watch a program.

As I say, in the end, I didn't find that that much to complain about on PQ, and would hardly call it washed out. For those that are seeing the Gamma 3.0 style pictures on you should honestly check those players, you may well have them over set and over enhanced or your television may need to be calibrated... then again, this was my eyes, my equipment... I could be wrong. I returned the XS32 for a different reason, you may well be perfectly happy with it... sorry if people didn't think the testing method was accuract, I was trying to REMOVE as many variables as possible...

talk among yourselves, light'em if you got'em...

You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.
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post #103 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
NOW, let me say this about the testing I was doing, since people said that a) introducing the Philips was a wild card to the proceedings and b) taking a picture of the TV screen was a better method of making screen captures..
Hold on to your horses cowboy. Now it is you that needs to put on the reading glasses. I said no such thing that Philips was a wildcard or that taking a picture of the TV screen was a better method. I agree with all of your points above.
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post #104 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 12:46 PM
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And remember...I'm a Womble user too. I know exactly what your method is with a frame dump to BMP. Take a muscle relaxant ;), get some rest...and report back on the E85H at 02:00 GMT :)
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post #105 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Londo
I returned the XS32 for a different reason, you may well be perfectly happy with it...
Londo, what was the reason you decided to return the recorder? You obviously must feel that the Panasonic has something that Toshiba lacks. What is it?
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post #106 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 02:00 PM
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jtoras - if you look back to the first page or two of this thread, Londo noticed that there is a compatability problem between RAM discs made on his old Panny E80H recorder, and the new Toshiba. Specifically, he can't interchangeably dump content onto the new Toshiba that was originally created on the old Panny, at least, not without having to take extra time and extra steps and with perhaps, a recode in the process.

I think that's the gist of it.. but like I said, go back and reread the thread as Londo spells it out more eloquently than I.


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post #107 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 02:03 PM
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I'm left terribly confused about how to think about our friend, Mr. Blacklevel...

Can it be said that playback on PC, as was done for these screenshots, is more or less equivalent to playback on a television and/or DVD player whose calibration for black level is set to 0 IRE, and thus, somewhat masking the flaw?

Wouldn't that explain why some people think the black level difference, as represented on these particular screen tests, is minimized in this example?

As I think has often been stated (and seemingly agreed upon), it's only when you couple the Toshiba recorded DVD with a DVD player (and/or TV?) calibrated at 7.5 IRE for black level that this really becomes a very noticeable problem. Yes? No?


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post #108 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CruelInventions
...Londo noticed that there is a compatability problem between RAM discs made on his old Panny E80H recorder, and the new Toshiba. Specifically, he can't interchangeably dump content onto the new Toshiba that was originally created on the old Panny...
Oh yes, thanks, I forgot about that one. But still, it seems that the compatibility problems are caused by Panasonic, not by Toshiba, since it is the Panasonic that is using 704x480 versus 720x480 as most of the other recorders, including Toshiba, do. So if you want to be able to work with your MPEG in the future, your best bet would be the most standard format, ie Toshiba? Otherwise you will be forewer locked into Panasonic.
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post #109 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 02:58 PM
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Yes, that is the implication, even though I don't think anybody quite spelled it out to that extent..

Unless, Pioneer or some other brand uses that same 704X480 resolution?


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post #110 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 03:41 PM
 
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When I had the D-R1 the black level problem was "HUGE"! I didn't look at menus, I looked at the actual picture. However as I stated, if a scene has a lot of high contrast whites, they will darken the blacks to look acceptable. When you watch a scene that's dark in nature, you will definitely see blacks as dark grays, and an overall washed out look.

If you want to experiment on your own equipment to see how a black level bug will look, it's easy. You simply adjust your television to 0 IRE (enhanced black), instead of 7.5 IRE. Then after your TV is adjusted to playback the pluge black tests(or just blacks correctly) correctly on the 0 IRE calibration, then switch to 7.5 IRE and magically see blacks turn to gray.:p It's not something that can be missed, unless you are not all that concerned with PQ.

Londo's first picture looks like what I seen.
http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/...oshpanny01.jpg http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/..._TPSPLIT01.jpg

Even these pictures don't show how a real scene that's dark in nature, can be degraded with the washed out look. This picture is just part of the tale.

Have a good one.
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post #111 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 03:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by jtoras
Oh yes, thanks, I forgot about that one. But still, it seems that the compatibility problems are caused by Panasonic, not by Toshiba, since it is the Panasonic that is using 704x480 versus 720x480 as most of the other recorders, including Toshiba, do. So if you want to be able to work with your MPEG in the future, your best bet would be the most standard format, ie Toshiba? Otherwise you will be forewer locked into Panasonic.
VR format uses 5 resolutions compared to Video formats 3. So 704 X 480 could be the resolution that's one step below the 2 hour recording mode resolution.

Have a good one.
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post #112 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Up
...If you want to experiment on your own equipment to see how a black level bug will look, it's easy. You simply adjust your television to 0 IRE (enhanced black), instead of 7.5 IRE. Then after your TV is adjusted to playback the pluge black tests(or just blacks correctly) correctly on the 0 IRE calibration, then switch to 7.5 IRE and magically see blacks turn to gray...
Mike, my TV doesn't have this kind of adjustment, or at least I can't find it. How would it be labeled? Would it be a hardware switch or a configuration setting somewhere?

A related question: Is it possible that this kind of IRE setting is also available on a VCR? I have a relatively new JVC HRS5902 s-video VCR and I definitely see what looks very much like the description of the black-level problem. When I use the TV/VCR button on my remote to either bypass the VCR or run the cable signal through the VCR the picture changes. When it is run through the VCR, the picture gets brighter and to my eyes it looks MUCH worse. It almost looks like the number of "shades" available for colors got smaller.
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post #113 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 05:02 PM
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Perhaps this has already been answered, but I really didn't feel like reading through 100+ posts to find the answer. How does the picture quality of the RD-XS32 compare to the E80 (and for that matter, all of the other DVD recorders)? Picture quality, IMHO, is by far the most important parameter in comparing these recorders.
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post #114 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CruelInventions
As I think has often been stated (and seemingly agreed upon), it's only when you couple the Toshiba recorded DVD with a DVD player (and/or TV?) calibrated at 7.5 IRE for black level that this really becomes a very noticeable problem. Yes? No?
YES indeed. And in doing so, I personally found all of the recorded content made on the Tosh to appear much lighter/too-bright/and for lack of a better term, washed-out looking. (The recordings looked great on the Tosh and the JVC though)

And let me reiterate, if the Toshiba didn't have this one problem, it would be the finest dvd recorder out there in my opinion. It's really an amazing, albeit complicated, unit. The picture quality in terms of comparison to all others is as good or better than Panasonic, Pioneer, Sony, etc .. However, a key component to pic quality for me at least is proper contrast. When using a DVD player/TV callibrated at 7.5 IRE, the picture appears too bright. Otherwise, it looks close to perfect.

The bottom-line again comes down to whether you plan on using players that can playback at 0 IRE (either this Toshiba, a JVC, or another player that has an adustment for black levels) or have a component hook-up .. see Tom Roper's comments about that earlier in this thread.
If any of the above are the case, by all means I would highly recommend the Toshiba.
However, if you have any plans on sharing discs with other people you recorded on the Tosh, you'll probably want to let them know how they should adjust their player (if at all possible given their setup) accordingly.
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post #115 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 06:13 PM
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Note to Londo:

Thanks very much for doing the testing you did, posting all the results, and trying to answer all the inevitable questions .. inquiring minds want to know damnit :)
Appreciate and glad I was able to provide an assist. Too bad the Tosh didn't work out for your needs but your opinions on it helped out some people I'm sure.
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post #116 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 07:18 PM
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superb review thanks very very much,this review has just saved me £500 so thanks again.

always out numbered,never out gunned.
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post #117 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tom Roper
Hold on to your horses cowboy. Now it is you that needs to put on the reading glasses. I said no such thing that Philips was a wildcard or that taking a picture of the TV screen was a better method. I agree with all of your points above.
Nay I say! :D .. or did I misread...

Quote:
The problem with this, is that the variable of the Philips player is introduced. As long as you compare the Toshiba to the Panasonic, variables in playback caused by the Philips will be in both recordings. But when comparing the Panasonic or Toshiba to the source DVD, the source DVD will not contain any playback variables from the Philips that would be found in the Toshiba or Panasonic recordings.

So in comparing the source DVD to the one produced on the Toshiba or Panasonic, the question would arise as to whether any differences observed from the source DVD were caused by the Philips player used to make the recording on the Panasonic or Toshiba.
Mind you I was up till 4am testing this puppy....

I'm going off the play (read as sleep) now.. but here's a "interesting" datapoint...

I had to go to THREE Best Buy's to find an E85... and all of them had at least one (the last one had three) 'open box' SX32's... (and aftertalking to the (amazingly knowledgable) guy at the last store, they couldn't give away Philips, Pioneer or Sony recorders [price and lack of HD they say...])

Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmmm..... maybe a lot of maladjusted TV's out there... or people head's exploded trying to digest the manual....

Onward and sideways...

You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.
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post #118 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Up
VR format uses 5 resolutions compared to Video formats 3. So 704 X 480 could be the resolution that's one step below the 2 hour recording mode resolution.
Oh please..

the Panasonic uses 3 video resoutions...

704x480 - Broadcast D1

352x480 - 1/2 D1

352x240 DF- VCD (I forget the proper term)

there are 5 ACCEPTED, STANDARD resolutions

720x480 - D1

704x480 - Broadcast D1

480x480 - SVCD

352x480 - 1/2 D1

352x420 DF - VCD

D1 and Broadcast D1 are interchangable.

704x480 is used for both 1h and 2h mode.....

I know you don't like the E80/Panny's but PLEASE ....

You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.
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post #119 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CruelInventions
As I think has often been stated (and seemingly agreed upon), it's only when yo u couple the Toshiba recorded DVD with a DVD player (and/or TV?) calibrated at 7.5 IRE for black level that this really becomes a very noticeable problem. Yes? No?
No.

Say that your TV is calibrated for 0 IRE, and your (non-XS32) DVD player is set to output 0 IRE. In this setup, discs recorded on the Toshiba will still appear washed out. To "correct" the problem, you would have to turn your DVD player's output to -7.5 IRE, which is certainly not an option available on any DVD player I've ever seen.

Quote:
Originally posted by zenith2525
And let me reiterate, if the Toshiba didn't have this one problem, it would be the finest dvd recorder out there in my opinion. It's really an amazing, albeit complicated, unit. The picture quality in terms of comparison to all others is as good or better than Panasonic, Pioneer, Sony, etc .. However, a key component to pic quality for me at least is proper contrast. When using a DVD player/TV callibrated at 7.5 IRE, the picture appears too bright. Otherwise, it looks close to perfect.
This is such a big problem, though. Important enough that it outweighs all the other positive aspects, in my opinion.

Quote:
The bottom-line again comes down to whether you plan on using players that can playback at 0 IRE (either this Toshiba, a JVC, or another player that has an adustment for black levels) or have a component hook-up .. see Tom Roper's comments about that earlier in this thread.
This isn't really isn't a solution, just a work-around, and it doesn't even apply if your setup is calibrated for 0 IRE. The problem will still remain that the discs, as recorded, will have a washed out picture.

Quote:
If any of the above are the case, by all means I would highly recommend the Toshiba.
However, if you have any plans on sharing discs with other people you recorded on the Tosh, you'll probably want to let them know how they should adjust their player (if at all possible given their setup) accordingly.
I disagree. I think any player which can't properly record a 7.5 IRE input should be completely avoided.
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post #120 of 647 Old 05-01-2004, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Londo
Nay I say! :D .. or did I misread...
sigh...
Quote:
The problem with this, is that the variable of the Philips player is introduced.
The problem was in reply to, and in the context of what the other poster was suggesting as a possible experiment, not in how YOU were using the Philips player in your method.

get some rest, so you can evaluate the E85H for us ...

...and thanks
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