Putting the Digital VS. CRT debate to an end for GOOD. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 292 Old 03-13-2005, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow. It's so nice to be able to sit down with the famdamily in bed and all quiet in my computer room. Makes a big difference.....

So tonight I fired up my JVC DILA G15U digital to compare to my G70 with nice fresh under 100 hour replacement CRT's.

As I have always learned from day one in front projection, there are drawbacks to BOTH CRT and Digital.

Here are the specs for the JVC:

http://www.projectorcentral.com/JVC-DLA-G15U.htm

As you can see, this is one bad ass digital with very high rez. The Sony Qualia is built upon the same technology (LCOS).

One thing I absolutely love about this PJ is the SHARPNESS. Crank the rez up to 1280X1024 on my PC (Geforce 6800GT) and WOW. The sharpness of the image is absolutely stunning....

ADD IN THE FACT that from 4 feet back from the screen, you SEE NO PIXELS. Unbelievable to say the least from a digital. LCOS really has a lot of promise big time.

I fired up a few movies like Spiderman 2, Finding Nemo, and Gladiator, as well as some WMHD demo's and was blown away by the clarity of the picture I was looking at. Colors were spot on (I calibrated with Nokia), and the SHARPNESS was like WOW.

Well, after getting over these GREAT qualities of this very nice digital, I woke up when looking at my el cheapo Da-Lite 120" screen in the dark with the PJ on. IT WAS GREY. The bulb was leaking through like a sid although not nearly as bad as my Dell 3200MP. Needless to say, the BLACK was GREY just like the 3 chip 40K Runco I saw at the local HT shop by me.

I have come to the conclusion that no matter what Digital you own, black levels are sacrificed big time. You just can't stop light flow from a nice bright bulb although, I will admit, with the JVC anyway, that is it's only drawback. Black Levels.

Otherwise, man damn this is really one nice PJ. NO PIXELS FROM 4 FEET! WOW! Add to the fact that I don't need to converge and focus and set geometry for hours when I set it up. 15 minutes and a bit of color calibration and I was done. Pretty awesome.

Now, to the G70.

Let's start off with the drawbacks:

Now matter how hard you try to tweak focus, you WILL NOT GET IT AS SHARP AS A DIGITAL. Believe me when I tell you, after all of the CRT PJ's I've owned, a BIG DRAWBACK is focus. Compared to a digital, it just ain't gonna happen no matter how hard you try.

I will add to the fact though that I have never owned a 9" CRT and CANNOT compare focus to a digtal, but I cannot imagine that it is that much better when certain resolutions are set in play.

That's just how it is folks and always will be when it comes to CRT. I'm beginning to think that this is a drawback of lens design/convergence, etc. vs. actual CRT focus as my 21" Twin Sony Trinitrons literally focus just as good as any LCD flat panel I have come across thus far since LCD came into existance.

PAIN IN THE ARS to set up. No matter which CRT you own, it's not an easy task to set it up to handle all of your daily use. No matter which CRT you own, every time you switch rez you need to tweak the image EVEN WITH memory management to be able to get the best picture. This really doesn't bother me personally but will bother most as most just like the "Plug and Play" aspect.

Now to the good part. BLACK LEVELS.

When I can take my hand and put it in front of the lense of the JVC and THEN FINALLY SEE BLACK behind my shadow that is a serious problem. Not a problem with the G70 as well as any other CRT. Black is Black is Black is Black. BIG TIME difference when using a PJ for home theatre. The Contrast ratio is through the roof as well when compared to the G15 big time. When you have black levels like this, COLOR saturation makes a BIG difference as well as over all picture quality. It really is true. Looking at GREY vs. BLACK when watching a movie makes ALL the difference in the world and can make or break a movie or any other program you may be watching whether is is high def or just XBOX.

Now, while focus does DEFINITELY lack when it comes to the G70 (or any other CRT I have owned) vs. the JVC, the formentioned positive's speak for themselves and literally blow the JVC out of the water.

I haven't seen the Qualia yet but have witnessed the $40K Runco calibrated at my local HT shop and it doesn't hold a candle to my G70. I can't imagine that the Qualia is really THAT MUCH better.

That said, I will be sticking with my G70 AND AS WELL the JVC (the latter for video games), but for Home Theatre hands down, a high end EM focus machine like the G70 is the way to go.

Thanks for reading........

Cliff
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post #2 of 292 Old 03-13-2005, 09:42 PM
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Thanks, Cliff. Now, I'm going to have buy another piece of equipment for the HT. Wait - kid on the way - that's not gonna happen.

Seriously, though - I saw a Dukane (based on the same JVC DILA you have) a month or so ago set up in a nicely designed private HT. It was pretty impressive, although he didn't have good light control so there was a bit of daylight hitting the screen - enough that I didn't notice the lack of blacks were from the projector - although I knew it was there.

The bottom line for me is that, some day in the next couple of years, I'll probably want a digital. He had the thing hidden in a normal-sized wet-bar type cabinet - nice. No giant box hanging from the ceiling that takes two strong guys to put there. I can totally understand why some people make the trade-off.

It's not for me right now - as my primary projector - but I can see the day coming. For now, I'll probably find a cheap digital just for internet stuff and Xbox. You're totally right about them both having their pros and cons.

SC

PS - Isn't the native res on that DILA a weird 1366 x 1024 or something?

I've got GAS: Gadget Acquisition Syndrome.
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post #3 of 292 Old 03-13-2005, 09:55 PM
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Some of the sharpness that you see coming from the digital is not coming from the image you are displaying. It's kinda like using a program like FFD show to artificialy sharpen up the image. The true image is not displayed, just little cut up pieces. Of course this is true with CRT, but the edges of the pixels are not there.

I have seen digital images that were super sharp, but for some reason the image looked fake. I do not know if it was just the PJ or me not being used to seeing such a sharp image. I grew up watching film and regular old broadcast TV, maybe it is just a acquired taste, something you have to get used to or imprinted over a lifetime.

Ask the vinyl guys what they think:)

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post #4 of 292 Old 03-13-2005, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by overclkr
Here are the specs for the JVC:

http://www.projectorcentral.com/JVC-DLA-G15U.htm
Here are a couple of specs people might notice:

First Ship: Aug 2000
Last Ship: May 2003

I'm not saying the G15 is a bad machine, but this is a little bit like comparing to a Pentium 3 when it comes to digitals. It does seem to be true that LCOS hasn't advanced as fast as DLP or LCD since the G15 was introduced though. Four and a half years is quite a while in digital technology improvements. And yes I do know that the CRT is older, but CRT advancement slowed down long ago. Digital advancement hasn't. If anything it seems to be picking up speed to me.

You may also notice the on/off spec of 350:1. It was possible to get higher than that with Dilard software and possibly an adjustment to the 1/4 wave plates, but I don't know if your G15 has had all that done. In any case, it would pale in comparison to the 4k:1+ possible with some single chip DLPs.

--Darin

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post #5 of 292 Old 03-13-2005, 09:59 PM
 
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I don't see what debate this ended, but I appreciate the lengthy writeup.

I tend to agree, having spent quite a bit of time with the 1080LCOS units, that they are by far the best to compete with CRT for video material. As always there will be tradeoffs with any technology, and black is something that you will miss if you are a CRTer, but I think the LCOS blacks are equal to an average to good film presentation.

If there is one thing that I do feel they do better strongly that I lack on my non-LC pj, is the ANSI, even with the relatively lower ANSI of the LCOS compared with what the DLP units have the potential to provide.
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post #6 of 292 Old 03-13-2005, 10:10 PM
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darinp2,
He purchased the pj from gov liq, so I doubt it has been calibrated with Dilard. I agree on your remarks about the advancement of digital, but these two projectors are roughly in the same used price range.

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post #7 of 292 Old 03-13-2005, 10:12 PM
 
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Hey it's like I said before, I'm collecting B&W TVs for the day all those qualia users realize they can't get black. I'll be riiiiiiiiiich!
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post #8 of 292 Old 03-13-2005, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ericglo
darinp2,
He purchased the pj from gov liq, so I doubt it has been calibrated with Dilard. I agree on your remarks about the advancement of digital, but these two projectors are roughly in the same used price range.
How much does a used G70 with 100 hour replacement CRTs go for? I have an idea (maybe $4k) and I wouldn't pay even close to that for a used G15. And if they are the same price then the CRT better kick the digital to at least some people as we've discussed before. Otherwise the market is one screwed up place.

--Darin

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post #9 of 292 Old 03-13-2005, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ChrisWiggles
Hey it's like I said before, I'm collecting B&W TVs for the day all those qualia users realize they can't get black. I'll be riiiiiiiiiich!
I've just found out I can't see color at all, and apparently like the Emperor's new clothes, I've managed to fool a number of customers along the way as well.

SIGN ME UP!

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post #10 of 292 Old 03-13-2005, 11:34 PM
 
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It's easy, just send me your sony Qualia, and I will send you a fully-functioning 19-inch display that has the full capability for black that you've been missing!

Not to mention, the Qualia will actually limit the color display that it shows at any one moment by restricting the spectra of light output to less than full white, which is the FULL RANGE of colors that we can see! This television ALWAYS shows all the colors in the rainbow, for full color effect, at ALL times(except when displaying black of course!). No other modern home-theater display boasts this capability, yet I will accept your display in an even-handed trade!

I will also include a pair of high-quality needle-nosed adjustment devices for changing the input frequency (i.e. the channel) on VHF frequencies. This allows for more accurate and precise channel selection than was previously available with the stock OEM knob.

Please call me at: 305-206-5883 for any questions, and ask for Paris. Thank you!
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post #11 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 01:28 AM
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BTW Darin, I absolutely hate you for pointing out the CR problems with CRTs all that time ago.
I really notice my blacks disappear up into grey in mixed scenes now and the shadow detail disappear with it - never noticed it in the 'old days'. I've got nowhere to go with room setup either, it's as black as it gets in here.
*sigh*
Oh well, I guess I'll just wait for some hybrid PJ that can do blacks and have great Ansi CR and do 1080P...

DON'T feed the troll.
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post #12 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 01:29 AM
 
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dokworm, call me I have the perfect solution! Just ask for Paris I fix you right up with nightvision too! woot woot!
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post #13 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 05:07 AM
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Deron's comments are right on. I was going to say the same thing.

Artificial sharpness due to the fixed pixel structure is NOT a desirable thing,
and a good CRT projector that has what it takes to fully resolve the same
resolution (or greater) than the digital projector can generate an image that
is very sharp and very well resolved without false sharpness artifacts which
are part and parcel of every digital projector available to date.

I'm still playing with my first 9500LC, getting a feel for its limits and
capabilities, but I can assure you, at 1600x1200, when hooked to a PC,
what's on the screen is as sharp and clear as the image on this 2000 dollar
20" professional graphics monitor (Sony) in front of me. I'll be pushing the
9500LC up into still higher resolutions and tweaking the setup to see how
far it'll go, but it's already kicking arse at resolutions beyond the capabilites
of most new digital projectors.

Don't mistake fixed pixels for real sharpness.

CJ
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post #14 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dokworm
BTW Darin, I absolutely hate you for pointing out the CR problems with CRTs all that time ago.
I really notice my blacks disappear up into grey in mixed scenes now and the shadow detail disappear with it - never noticed it in the 'old days'. I've got nowhere to go with room setup either, it's as black as it gets in here.
*sigh*
Oh well, I guess I'll just wait for some hybrid PJ that can do blacks and have great Ansi CR and do 1080P...
Yeah, but somehow I doubt the G15 is all that much better at ANSI CR when compared to an LC CRT. I think DLP has the market on ANSI CR and CRT on full on/off CR. LCoS just has the market on digital-smoothness.

Still, I like what I have.

When will D* stop pushing HD-Lite while charging us for full HD? Digital input on a CRT is a reality, not a possibility.
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post #15 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ChrisWiggles
I don't see what debate this ended, but I appreciate the lengthy writeup.
This debate was ended back in December...
Coming for Christmas - the Definitive CRT versus Digital Shootout
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post #16 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 05:54 AM
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That was disqualified by the OP being a nut.

When will D* stop pushing HD-Lite while charging us for full HD? Digital input on a CRT is a reality, not a possibility.
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post #17 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 06:00 AM
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Nut or not, he identified EVERY single d!%!#@l projector that was better than CRT.

Well, "single" is an exagerration.
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post #18 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 06:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Clarence
This debate was ended back in December...
Coming for Christmas - the Definitive CRT versus Digital Shootout
SSShhhh... not again, your stirring up a hornets nest:D :D .


John
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post #19 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 06:08 AM
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That is what gasoline is for.

When will D* stop pushing HD-Lite while charging us for full HD? Digital input on a CRT is a reality, not a possibility.
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post #20 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by overclkr


I have come to the conclusion that no matter what Digital you own, black levels are sacrificed big time. You just can't stop light flow from a nice bright bulb although, I will admit, with the JVC anyway, that is it's only drawback. Black Levels.
........
Cliff
The same can be said for 35mm projectors, except they have even brighter bulbs than most digitals!

I think that CRT vs Digital comparisons are only interesting with digitals at or above 35mm projector level CR of ~ 1,500:1. At 350:1 the JVC's on/off Cr is just too low!

The reason a lot of film people are excited by the Qualia and the JVC HD2K is that you have film level resolution and at ~ 2,000:1, film level CR!
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post #21 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 09:55 AM
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Being as i just finished looking at digitals and bought an older CRT instead.. lemme put it this way.. the *ONLY* thing that comes close is LCoS (or D-ILA). I was just about ready to plunk down $5K on a Canon SX50.. but after viewing it for a length time, the blacks just weren't there.. watching news, if the news caster had a black suit on, he'd just disappear into a big black suit shaped hole, complete with a talking head.

The colours were VERY vibrant and alive however, and if it wasn't for the blacks being either off or on.. well.. i'd be $5K poorer..

LCoS blows LCD and DLP out of the water as far as image quality goes, with the exception of blacks. CRT is still king as far as i'm concerned however.. isn't as quite as plug/play as LCoS, but the blacks make it all worth it.
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post #22 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 10:10 AM
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Guys!

Us analog creatures have been betrayed by digital promises not kept. They promised us 1's and zeros and delivered 1's and 0.1's :D

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post #23 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheFerret
Yeah, but somehow I doubt the G15 is all that much better at ANSI CR when compared to an LC CRT. I think DLP has the market on ANSI CR and CRT on full on/off CR. LCoS just has the market on digital-smoothness.
The G15 probably has poor ANSI CR, but the on/off CR is so low that it isn't like the ANSI CR matters that much on this one. In other words, the absolute "black" floor is high enough on the G15 that it will dominate the levels for the blacks in most images. To retain high instantaneous CR in medium dark images takes both high ANSI CR and high on/off CR and the G15 doesn't qualify in the second case.
Quote:
Originally posted by WheatKing
I was just about ready to plunk down $5K on a Canon SX50.. but after viewing it for a length time, the blacks just weren't there.. watching news, if the news caster had a black suit on, he'd just disappear into a big black suit shaped hole, complete with a talking head.
Unless Canon really screwed up the design of the SX50 it sounds like this was miscalibrated. LCOS should not have poor shadow detail besides the relatively low on/off CR of the SX50.

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post #24 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dokworm
BTW Darin, I absolutely hate you for pointing out the CR problems with CRTs all that time ago.
I really notice my blacks disappear up into grey in mixed scenes now and the shadow detail disappear with it - never noticed it in the 'old days'. I've got nowhere to go with room setup either, it's as black as it gets in here.
*sigh*
Oh well, I guess I'll just wait for some hybrid PJ that can do blacks and have great Ansi CR and do 1080P...
Sorry about that. There are certain advantages to not knowing some of these things. I used to go to the theater and not even notice any problems. I might be partially responsible for LCD owners seeing as much VB as they do also, but at least in that case it seems that manufacturers are taking this issue more seriously and trying to address it.

Maybe it will make you feel better to know that with a lot of DVDs you wouldn't want to see that detail anyway, since the mastering left a lot to be desired.
Quote:
Originally posted by tim
Us analog creatures have been betrayed by digital promises not kept. They promised us 1's and zeros and delivered 1's and 0.1's :D
It's not quite as funny if you say "delivered 1's and 0.0005's" although that one is more accurate. :)

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post #25 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 10:54 AM
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Watching either digital or film is like listening to speakers with weak base. It doesn't matter how good the mid and high end sounds - you squirm at the lack of low end, especially when the material calls for it and nothing happens! Once you get used to the "blacks" of CRT (the bottom end or foundation) then it becomes very difficult to accept less. The opening scene in Equilibrium or the coffin scene in Kill Bill Vol. 2 expose even the better digials as lacking in black level. Play these scenes on a digital and then immediately on a good CRT in a fully light controlled room and the difference is very, very apparent! The apparent sharpness of digital is nice, but it doesn't make up for the lack of "bottom end".

Cheers,

Grant
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post #26 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Clarence
This debate was ended back in December...
Coming for Christmas - the Definitive CRT versus Digital Shootout
For some reason that thread seems to stick out in my mind;) .Some poor sap took a beating for pointing out that it would never happen and no one believed him.:rolleyes:

Chip

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post #27 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 11:29 AM
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yup, digitals still suck but is that news?:)

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post #28 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Deja Vu
Watching either digital or film is like listening to speakers with weak base. It doesn't matter how good the mid and high end sounds - you squirm at the lack of low end, especially when the material calls for it and nothing happens! Once you get used to the "blacks" of CRT (the bottom end or foundation) then it becomes very difficult to accept less. The opening scene in Equilibrium or the coffin scene in Kill Bill Vol. 2 expose even the better digials as lacking in black level. Play these scenes on a digital and then immediately on a good CRT in a fully light controlled room and the difference is very, very apparent! The apparent sharpness of digital is nice, but it doesn't make up for the lack of "bottom end".

Cheers,

Grant
And what would those scenes look like on the 35mm film projector? Ideally, that is the "correct" or "accurate' look of the scene! :)

A more accurate audio analogy would be 35mm projected film is the live orchestra, the digital overclkr described is a speaker with weak bass, and a CRT is a speaker with boomy or overbearing bass!
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post #29 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Deja Vu
The opening scene in Equilibrium or the coffin scene in Kill Bill Vol. 2 expose even the better digials as lacking in black level. Play these scenes on a digital and then immediately on a good CRT in a fully light controlled room and the difference is very, very apparent!
Interesting that you mention the "Equilibrium" scene as I was just looking at that one last night. Does your CRT blackout for that scene? If it does, it is wrong. The DVD is encoded higher than 16. Three brightness steps on the digital I was testing on, although not that this means anything specific. I can't look at the actual encoded values, but they aren't 16s and look to be a reasonable amount above. With Rec. 709 an encoding of 17s should be about 1/4000th the level of 235s (100 IRE). Interestingly, that 4k:1 is about the level of the on/off CR of Sharp 12k and Yamaha 1200. So, they can't do 16s just right, but can do 17s (or come close after calibration to give them some separation from 16s).

If you don't believe me, just pause the scene, turn the brightness up and notice that the black bars are darker than this scene. Also, I had been using the D-Theater version of "Cast Away", but don't have that one anymore. I tried the DVD of this one last night and also found that during the crash scene it isn't encoded as a total blackout either. Especially the short dark segments. They are dark, but higher than 16. And even the long segment at the end has some pixels higher. They do look like they are darker than that "Equilibrium" scene though.

My testing equipment is AVIA Pro with windows encoded to 16 with bars just above and a DLP that has some dithering just above "black" and so makes it easy to see when pixels are encoded higher than 16s by going up to the screen and looking closely.

--Darin

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post #30 of 292 Old 03-14-2005, 01:31 PM
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I have always noted that few movies are encoded with a "true blackout" despite what many people here and other places will post. I can only guess they calibrate to crush blacks. I calibrate to slighly the other side. With my Barco, when the test pattern is truly o-ire black you cannot see anything in the room. With many of these so called blackout scenes you still have the screen glowing at you very slightly. This may be one of the reasons that the full fade to black of the Sony HS51 does not bother me at all.

Brian

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