All 1080p is not created equal - a Blu-ray Player Benchmark - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 120 Old 05-25-2011, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
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All 1080p is not created equal - a Blu-ray Player Benchmark

Hi Everyone -
I wanted to make you all aware of a new series of articles that Senior Editor Chris Heinonen will be working on at Secrets. We have designated a new benchmark standard for blu-ray players, updating our DVD Benchmark that was started at Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity over 10 years ago. Using very sophisticated measuring equipment and consulting with some of the most respected names in video engineering, Chris has taken a very technical approach to analyzing the signals coming off of the HDMI outputs of our Blu-ray players, and the results are very surprising. I encourage you to check out the primer article - more to come as we evaluate more and more players. Needless to say, we've discovered that the well accepted idea that 1080p video performance of all blu-ray players is equal is not correct...enjoy:

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/techn...roduction.html
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post #2 of 120 Old 05-25-2011, 10:13 AM
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Thanks for the heads-up! I look forward to reading the article!

Peace...
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post #3 of 120 Old 05-25-2011, 10:53 AM
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Thanks for the link. I found one discrepancy: They show the chart for the Oppo BDP-83SE and there's no errors. However, their text below the charts says "Looking at the Oppo BDP-83SE, the data are spot-on. The dE in the output stays near 0, with an average dE of 0.1 for RGB."

The -95 has average dE of 0.1 for RGB.

I left a comment, we'll see what they say.

The Sony didn't fare as well as the Oppos...

larry

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -- Thomas Alva Edison
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post #4 of 120 Old 05-25-2011, 11:15 AM
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I posted a comment about the numbers not matching up on the chart and why that is somewhere else, so here we go:

Numbers that don't match in the chart. This is the harder one. For example, if we are looking at the Red chart for RGB, while the Red value is what we are focused on, there are still G and B components to that, we are just less concerned with them. However, you can have a value where you are looking for Red 0 and get Red 0, but Green should be 15 and you get 14, or Blue should be 8 and you get 9. In this case the Red value is correct, which is our primary focus, but something else is a little off so you can get the reference value, but still have a very small dE 1994 introduced.

I'm also working on a better way to present some of this data in the future. As each colorspace we test produces 768 data points, and some players can offer 8 sets of data (2 HDMI outputs, 3 colorspaces and Source Direct) to test, I'm writing some software to better present all the data than trying to manipulate it in Excel.

Chris Heinonen
Senior Editor, Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity, www.hometheaterhifi.com
Displays Editor, AnandTech.com
Contributor, HDGuru.com and Wirecutter.com
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post #5 of 120 Old 05-25-2011, 12:34 PM
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Ok. I understand, so it's just a data representation deficiency you're working on resolving. Thanks! It's nice to see you guys getting down to the nitty gritty again with the players.

larry

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -- Thomas Alva Edison
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post #6 of 120 Old 05-25-2011, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PooperScooper View Post

Thanks! It's nice to see you guys getting down to the nitty gritty again with the players.

larry

Let me second that. People don't realize the vast labor required to do honest testing and reporting. Here's hoping for a big database of test reports.

-Bill
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post #7 of 120 Old 05-26-2011, 08:32 PM
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I guess this proves the whole Oppo has better PQ AND is worth the extra money debate.

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post #8 of 120 Old 05-26-2011, 08:58 PM
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I hope this technique gets adopted everywhere.

Have you guys reviewed the PS3 before? Will you be testing it using this new formula? Would love to know how it really performs.

home theater addict
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post #9 of 120 Old 05-26-2011, 10:27 PM
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We did not test the PS3, but next batch of players we have in for test we will test it as we have both an original model and an updated slim model available to test.

Chris Heinonen
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post #10 of 120 Old 05-27-2011, 07:18 AM
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Great work by secrets. That said, I do get a kick out of how the differences between the Oppo and Sony were not perceived until very minute, synthetic processing tests were conducted.
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post #11 of 120 Old 05-27-2011, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winston9332 View Post

Great work by secrets. That said, I do get a kick out of how the differences between the Oppo and Sony were not perceived until very minute, synthetic processing tests were conducted.

I was thinking the same thing. Measurable doesn't always mean noticeable.

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post #12 of 120 Old 05-27-2011, 08:13 AM
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Have any of the Pioneer models been tested?
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post #13 of 120 Old 05-27-2011, 08:27 AM
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I'm also hoping to see results from Pioneer designed players. Preferably the BDP-320/23FD if they are avaliable to you.

Thanks for you effort!
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post #14 of 120 Old 05-27-2011, 08:47 AM
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A couple new models from Pioneer were tested and are in the queue.

As far as noticeable, it didn't just off the screen with the Sony, but the WTW test result is just really bad when we know that the data is bad. It looks like the Sony is properly passing WTW data, but since all the WTW data has been squished below the WTW level, it's not actually passing it correctly. If you tried to set your contrast using this player, you'd run into two issues:

- You'd have to really, really push the contrast level up to get the WTW boxes on a test disc to disappear, since they're so far below the normal level.
- All other sources would look completely blown out because of it. Your Blu-ray data would be passable, but all highlights would probably not exist from your HDTV source and others.

The reality is that testing would be much easier if we had fancy displays that would let us do a split screen between two different players that were synced on content, but I don't know of a way to make that happen.

Chris Heinonen
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post #15 of 120 Old 05-27-2011, 11:31 AM
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Would be nice if the new Sony S780 is tested since it has Super bit mapping. I'm curious to know if that would make a difference since the player has a 16 bit video processor.
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post #16 of 120 Old 05-27-2011, 01:10 PM
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+1000 on the PS3 request. Hurry!

Stuck up, half witted, scruffy looking, nerf herder.
Double True!
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post #17 of 120 Old 05-27-2011, 01:22 PM
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Great work Chris!

Looking forward for the upcoming reviews by your new standards then!

Regards, Chuck
Hold on tight to your dreams - ELO
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post #18 of 120 Old 05-27-2011, 01:36 PM
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Any plans to test the Panasonic BDT-310 (or -210 or -110)? Even some preliminary results could guide my imminent purchasing decision. If the results are anywhere near as bad as the Sony, I'd be Oppo all the way.

By the way, I'm currently using an old Samsung BD to calibrate my new VT30, and I had just such a problem with the WTW levels. Your testing could explain it! Even at 100 contrast, I could not pump contrast up to cause levels over 235 to blend. Could be they are all mapped too low.

Thanks,

-Jim
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post #19 of 120 Old 05-27-2011, 07:03 PM
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If we get access to a Panasonic player, we will certainly test it. We won't be running any old Samsung players through the benchmark, but we have a more recent one that we should be running through it soon.

Chris Heinonen
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post #20 of 120 Old 05-28-2011, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cortiz View Post

Would be nice if the new Sony S780 is tested since it has Super bit mapping. I'm curious to know if that would make a difference since the player has a 16 bit video processor.

+1 on that. I'm curious on how the Sony Sx80 series handles 4:2:2 in conjunction with its "Original Resolution" setting.
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post #21 of 120 Old 05-28-2011, 12:11 PM
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In one of Chris's posts at article's end he said this;
Quote:


As far as hard data versus personal viewing, both have a purpose in the world. Visual errors are harder to pick up on Blu-ray compared to DVD, and to most people they will look almost identical among players. However, once you start moving up to larger and larger screen sizes, you can start to notice them more than before, or you can have other items in your chain that can cause issues that you couldn't see before.

I'm just curious as to what size he's referring to here.

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post #22 of 120 Old 05-28-2011, 12:18 PM
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probably 50 and above.

Jacob
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post #23 of 120 Old 05-28-2011, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torqdog View Post

In one of Chris's posts at article's end he said this;

"As far as hard data versus personal viewing, both have a purpose in the world. Visual errors are harder to pick up on Blu-ray compared to DVD, and to most people they will look almost identical among players. However, once you start moving up to larger and larger screen sizes, you can start to notice them more than before, or you can have other items in your chain that can cause issues that you couldn't see before."

I'm just curious as to what size he's referring to here.

Screen size is irrelevant. What matters is the viewing angle (size vs. your viewing distance).

42" from 6 feet = 50" from 7 feet = 58" from 8 feet = 106" from 15 feet (rough approximations).

I hate when people say screen sizes above X as that's a terrible measure when viewing distance is not taken into account. My 13" MacBook's screen looks plenty big when it's in my lap - not so much from across the room! That said, it's easier to say "larger screen sizes" than to explain viewing angles in an article.
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post #24 of 120 Old 05-28-2011, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkozlow3 View Post

Screen size is irrelevant. What matters is the viewing angle (size vs. your viewing distance).

42" from 6 feet = 50" from 7 feet = 58" from 8 feet = 106" from 15 feet (rough approximations).

I hate when people say screen sizes above X as that's a terrible measure when viewing distance is not taken into account. My 13" MacBook's screen looks plenty big when it's in my lap - not so much from across the room! That said, it's easier to say "larger screen sizes" than to explain viewing angles in an article.

Good point and point well taken. However, your 13" Macbook screen isn't capable of presenting as much information (pixels) as say a 60" screen. So when that is taken into consideration, wouldn't it only figure that screen size does make a difference?

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post #25 of 120 Old 05-28-2011, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torqdog View Post

Good point and point well taken. However, your 13" Macbook screen isn't capable of presenting as much information (pixels) as say a 60" screen. So when that is taken into consideration, wouldn't it only figure that screen size does make a difference?

My point was that when looking at a smaller screen up close (laptop, monitor, small TV, etc), that you can notice flaws just as easily as when looking at a big screen (i.e. 60") from your couch. Don't read too much into it.

There is no such thing as feature X being more important for screen sizes of X and larger when viewing distance is not taken into account. A 65" display viewed from 20 feet across the room looks pretty darn small and would be a lot more difficult to tell (or care) about artifacts in the image than if you were sitting much closer. That's all I was trying to communicate and is why the author of the article simply said "larger screen sizes" and didn't try to name an irrelevant number.
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post #26 of 120 Old 05-28-2011, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkozlow3 View Post

My point was that when looking at a smaller screen up close (laptop, monitor, small TV, etc), that you can notice flaws just as easily as when looking at a big screen (i.e. 60") from your couch. Don't read too much into it.

There is no such thing as feature X being more important for screen sizes of X and larger when viewing distance is not taken into account. A 65" display viewed from 20 feet across the room looks pretty darn small and would be a lot more difficult to tell (or care) about artifacts in the image than if you were sitting much closer. That's all I was trying to communicate and is why the author of the article simply said "larger screen sizes" and didn't try to name an irrelevant number.

All true, as far as it goes. But usually the assumption is made that the average viewer will be more or less the same distance from whatever size monitor they have. And this is the correct assumption. People, (AVS members excluded), don't usually re-design their viewing space based on the size of the display, they usually have other considerations being more important. So for the average viewer in the average room, size does matter. And when they replace that 42" with a 52" in the same room, it matters a lot. My reading of the reviewer's quote was taken in that light.
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post #27 of 120 Old 05-28-2011, 10:30 PM
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I haven't looked at these on my 32" display as it lacks proper calibration controls (it's for the bedroom) and I really don't care as much how things look on it. On my 50" plasma, I can tell the difference when I switch back and forth between the two, but when I move up to an 80" projection image, it's much easier to tell. I imagine if I was looking on a 120" display than things like the gradient banding would certainly jump out at me more than they do on the 50", where the gradient is a fraction of the size. However, until I can make the jump to a projector, almost all of my viewing will be done on a 50" plasma (from around 9' for watching a movie, 2' for evaluating players).

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post #28 of 120 Old 06-18-2011, 06:58 AM
 
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Very very interesting. Ive been looking hard at an Oppo, but as someone who only watched Blu and 3D Blu, its been a tough sell mentally.
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post #29 of 120 Old 06-19-2011, 09:30 PM
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great job, guys. it's good to have some hard data that backs up the differences seen between players after a video monitor has been calibrated. Just curious to know if these measurements are done at the player's default mode. eg. a Sony player comes out of the box in "Standard" preset with clipped images on a S&M disc...putting the picture preset into "MOVIE" fixes the problem, but with a loss of dynamic range. if a player measures incorrectly, could it theoretically become closer to correct when moving the player's contrast/brightness, etc controls? we can make an image work well when using these controls, but do they bring the player closer to target measurably?
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post #30 of 120 Old 07-19-2011, 09:34 PM
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So when will the PS3 slim be tested?

I check the website everyday, and am starting to lose the faith.
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