Micca EP950! - Page 14 - AVS Forum
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack@Micca View Post

HokeySmoke,

I am referring to the 2D test files in the test file pack that was linked to earlier in this thread.

Eagle_2,

It would appear that we are seeing something different from what you are seeing. Have you tried viewing with the moving bars test files? Having a common set of files is really helpful. The judder that we are seeing are not consistent in terms of severity or frequency, falling into a range, rather than a specific repeating phenomenon. Some of it is slight - seems as if the frame count is correct, just the spacing between the frames gets out of sync for a fraction of a second. Some of it is more severe, looking as if an extra frame is added, giving the impression that the bar is moving backwards for a frame. The slight judder does happen more often than the severe type.

While viewing normal movie material, even an attentive observer might not notice the "slight" type of judder, even though this happens more frequent than once every 41/42 seconds based on our observation. The more noticeable kind of judder could be more easily seen by an attentive observer.

What's curious is that 23.976 and 24fps both playback with the slight judder ever few seconds when the player switches to 24p output. This does not match the observations of other sin this thread.

However, if the player remains in 60p mode, the 24fps plays back smoothly when the player remains in 60p, but the 23.976 still suffers from the judder. This matches better with what others have observed. So it would be helpful if we receive some additional clarification on what mode the player is in when judder is noticed.

Jack, there is no way to have different spacings between frames. The frame rate must be constant coming from the source or your display will need to re-sync causing loss of picture. If you are seeing it change every few seconds, then somewhere frames are being lost or added. This could be in the display or the source. Make sure you are using the right file when you do the test (the ones with "23.976" in their name are the appropriate ones for this issue). Also, when I tested these I used a defragmented NTFS formatted hard drive connected directly to a HD900A. Doing so, I see no issue other than the 42 second frame drop.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:28 AM
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After a lot of consideration, and after reading further comments on past threads about the stuttering issue with Realtek chips, dating back to 2009, and maybe earlier, I have decided that this player is not worth the stress and aggravation. I am sorry to say that this player will be going back to Amazon. I have more important things in my life to do besides going to this forum every day to keep updated about a quirky player like this, and it is apparent to me that even though Micca may be trying to resolve some issues, the stuttering issue is a problem with Realtek, and is likely to not get resolved by Micca or HiMedia.

Jack, thank you for offering your assistance in these forums. I hope there is some success in solving some of these issues we have been having. Unfortunately it's all too much for me, and what I really need is a solid media player that I don't have to worry about. Read post #1259 on the HiMedia thread if you're interested in reading any further comments I have about these Realtek chips.

I do believe that Micca is trying to make things right. Unfortunate for them, and us also, the Realtek chips appear to come with flaws that are beyond the abilities of Micca/HiMedia to fix. It's too bad because I think this player had amazing potential. I loved the style, and the feature set was fantastic. Ultimately though, if it doesn't perform, then it isn't much good to me. Thanks again to Jack for offering his assistance, and good luck to those who are sticking with it in the hopes of some fixes.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:29 AM
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Eagle_2:

I see you cross-flashed the HiMedia on Micca. Are you able to notice the same fuzziness in 3D with that firmware as well? Just trying to see if this is same across the board with Realtek 1186, just like the 23.976 issue.

btw, when watching 3D, my projector reports input stream as 1080p, 23.99 Hz.

Manoj
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I am still confused how a company can come out with a product not knowing it was defective. I would believe Micca would run tests on their players with every video file available, which is supposed to support to make sure it works. If it doesn't work why release it? Or may be they knew it wasn't working right, and they released the product hoping to have a solution in a few days. A few days turned into weeks, months....years may be.

A lot of Micca owners have great patience. I would of returned it on the first week of ownership. I kept the PCH-A300 for two weeks because I got it during the holidays in Dec. So, I had no option but to keep it lol. As soon as they came back from holiday break, I got the RMA# and returned it.

I am hoping Micca fixes all these issues sooner rather than later. I had high hopes for this player, but I am glad I didn't jump the gun and bough one. Like I've said before, if Micca fixes the issues, I will buy one. For now, my Dune and AIOS will do.

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Old 03-02-2012, 09:43 AM
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I just received the EP950 a couple days ago and I really like the capabilities. After reading in this forum I was inclined to look for the stuttering problem. I do notice it and if this gets fixed via firmware I will be 100% happy with my purchase. I will note I did not have a power issue, thankfully, considering I knew about the problem before I ordered it. As far as the stuttering goes, this NEEDS to be fixed! Its not the most obvious, depending on what you are watching but sometimes it is really noticeable. Its like a hiccup that will not go away and now that I notice it, I seem to look for it, which is very annoying. I have the latest firmware installed by the way.
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

I am still confused how a company can come out with a product not knowing it was defective. I would believe Micca would run tests on their players with every video file available, which is supposed to support to make sure it works. If it doesn't work why release it? Or may be they knew it wasn't working right, and they released the product hoping to have a solution in a few days. A few days turned into weeks, months....years may be.

Digital media players are fairly complex products, and there is a wide variety of media file types that it is designed to handle. We try to cover everything in our testing, but a judder problem that happens with specific files under certain conditions, and manifests it self only periodically is more difficult to catch. I am not saying this makes it okay for a product to be released with defects, but just explaining how it can happen without any sinister underlying reason.

After pages of discussion focused in on the two main issues of power-on and 23.976 judder, I would invite the readers to take a step back and look at the bigger picture - which is that the EP950 is overall a good player receiving support and updates. Our goal is to resolve the power-on and judder issues, and hopefully that will make it a great player. We understand that not everyone who buy a EP950 will decide to keep it - this is why we work with Amazon.com to sell this product, because they offer an easy no-cost return process.

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Old 03-02-2012, 02:20 PM
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Jack,
The "scan and fix" problem is a huge problem with potential for disaster. It must be fixed as soon as possible on both the EP950 and EP600. I've reported this problem back in October of last year and here we are in March with the problem still not fixed. On two occasions I lost quite a few files after letting my PC perform "scan and fix." Luckily, I had everything backed up beforehand because I never trusted the two players to begin with. The lesson I learned is NEVER do "scan and fix." Just ignore it. Everything is fine ever since.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack@Micca View Post

Digital media players are fairly complex products, and there is a wide variety of media file types that it is designed to handle. We try to cover everything in our testing, but a judder problem that happens with specific files under certain conditions, and manifests it self only periodically is more difficult to catch. I am not saying this makes it okay for a product to be released with defects, but just explaining how it can happen without any sinister underlying reason.

After pages of discussion focused in on the two main issues of power-on and 23.976 judder, I would invite the readers to take a step back and look at the bigger picture - which is that the EP950 is overall a good player receiving support and updates. Our goal is to resolve the power-on and judder issues, and hopefully that will make it a great player. We understand that not everyone who buy a EP950 will decide to keep it - this is why we work with Amazon.com to sell this product, because they offer an easy no-cost return process.

Quite a bit of the content people want to play is 23.976fps. There is no way to play this at the exactly correct frame rate on the ep950 at this time.

The EP950 FAILS to play the correct frame rate.

In talking with more than one specialist on digital video, they state it is ill-conceived to play back video at a different rate than indicated by the content, unless there is substantial additional and usually unnecessary processing.

The descriptions offered in Jack@Micca's post above, that EP950 is "complex," and a "good player" are entirely subjective.

Let's leave out the self serving subjectivity for a moment and focus on the problem that the lack of correct playback at 23.976 is a long standing issue for Realtek chip based players, causing non-smooth playback.

This is a failure to inter-operate properly with content.

The content file at 23.976fps complies with the standard for conveying the playback frame rate to the player. Realtek 1186 based players ignore this information and play the files at an arbitrary selected rate of 24fps.

The output frame rate of player should be time locked, in sync with the source material. The EP950 does something else.

EP950 is Complex? Yes! - but lots of players do it correctly.

EP950 is Compliant? - No! - it playes video at arbitrary frame rates causing incorrectly repeated frames and / or dropped frames. The content doesn't have these repeated frames. It is the failure to play at the correct frame rate by the EP950 that causes the issue.

EP950 is Good? - Irrelevant and subjective. Please refer to the the issue at hand. The EP950 plays at non-compliant frame rates.

Questions:

Will vendors of players using Realtec 1186 chips start telling the facts in their literature, that these players do not play content at the correct frame rate?

Has Realtec ever admitted to this issue?

Has Realtec promised to support their vendors and customers with either improved firmware or a new player chip that will play back files correctly?

Is there any chance they will support AVCHD 2.0 3D playback for my Sony 3D TD10 camcorder files, for which I provided test files several months ago?

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Old 03-02-2012, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack@Micca View Post


Replacement players sent as exchange to affected customers will be guaranteed to be free of the power on issue.


I do not see this taking more than 60 days to get an exchange unit into the hands of affected customers. Note that the 30-day refund period is still in effect. If you do not believe we will be able to fix this issue, or if you do not want to wait for 60 days to have the issue fixed, the most prudent thing to do would be to return it for a refund within the 30-day refund period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack@Micca View Post

We would request that all exchanges be done through us. However, someone who is still within their 30 day return period can choose to return through Amazon and receive a refund, then obtain a replacement - Amazon does not process exchanges, only return/refunds.

(about whether newly shipped units are free from the "power on issue")

We currently cannot guarantee this, unfortunately.

Putting the pieces of these posts to together, If I buy a new EP950 and the unit I get has the "power on issue," only an exchange done with Micca would be guaranteed to be free of the "power on issue."

To remedy a unit the with "power on issue," Micca offers that I could either

A) return it to Amazon within 30 days, and also order a replacement that again may or may not have the problem

Or

B) Return the unit to Micca for an exchange that may take up to 60 days?

Is that correct?

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Old 03-02-2012, 03:46 PM
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Richard,

As usual, your comments are noted and appreciated. I only wished to address the implication that Micca released a knowingly defective product on purpose.

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Old 03-02-2012, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Adams View Post

Putting the pieces of these posts to together, If I buy a new EP950 and the unit I get has the "power on issue," only an exchange done with Micca would be guaranteed to be free of the "power on issue."

To remedy a unit the with "power on issue," Micca offers that I could either

A) return it to Amazon within 30 days, and also order a replacement that again may or may not have the problem

Or

B) Return the unit to Micca for an exchange that may take up to 60 days?

Is that correct?

Sorry if I wasn't entirely clear. Hopefully I can make it clear: If you buy a EP950 today and it has the power-on issue, you can decide to return it to Amazon within 30 days, at no cost to you. Or you can hold on to it and wait for Micca to provide a replacement that does not have the power-on issue. It may take up to 60 days for the replacement to become available, but the exchange process itself will take perhaps 7-10 business days. If you would rather not wait for the 60+ days for the exchange, you should return it to Amazon within 30 days.

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Old 03-02-2012, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack@Micca View Post

Richard,
As usual, your comments are noted and appreciated. I only wished to address the implication that Micca released a knowingly defective product on purpose.

From the perception of the users, Realtek should have known they were releasing the 1186 product with the same stutter problem that the 1185 based players have.

Since Micca sells both 1185 and 1186 based players, I believe Micca should have already known about the stutter problem that is common to both players. Or was this corrected in Micca's 1185 based player?

Hard to prove what someone knew. This is why the USA courts can apply a standard of what someone reasonably "should have known."

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Old 03-02-2012, 06:09 PM
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It would be nice to know in what percentage of applications does the stutter problem exists and also is a non issue such as mine. If I were going to see it, surely by now it would have rendered it's ugly head. I'm even applying these players at 60 hz on my 2D projectors. have had nothing but enjoyment to date in viewing iso's and sbs material. No device lends itself to universal application. There will always be interface issues associated with a particular application. I have had my fair share of them. I lucked out for a change here.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mkoss View Post

It would be nice to know in what percentage of applications does the stutter problem exists and also is a non issue such as mine. If I were going to see it, surely by now it would have rendered it's ugly head. I'm even applying these players at 60 hz on my 2D projectors. have had nothing but enjoyment to date in viewing iso's and sbs material. No device lends itself to universal application. There will always be interface issues associated with a particular application. I have had my fair share of them. I lucked out for a change here.

100% of the time these players produce a stutter when playing 23.976 content.

Can't tell for what percentage it is a issue, as there isn't good data for that. A guess without actual data is not reliable. This percentage could change.

For the users that see this as an issue, they simply want to know if the vendor can correct this problem by a user installable firmware update, and if so, when.


All other answers by the vendor are appreciated, though not helpful for the end game.

Jack@Micca says 60 days, but that seems to be a rough estimate (as with his 10% guess on the power on issue). The actual could be sooner, later, or never. It's up to the vendors. Ball is in their court.

Can you fix it with a firmware upgrade? When?

Cut the nonsense about the "root cause." The cause is that the units don't currently play the media in a compliant manner, see the post above.

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Old 03-02-2012, 09:30 PM
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IMHO this product is just not quite ready for prime time...

The price is right, and if it was reliable, this would be a great value, and a great product.

But this product is so buggy, it is just not for me regardless of price. The product is only a good value if it works, and this is just too unrelaible.

So long Micca EP950 folks, I'll probably show up in a different forum as soon as I am confident an alternative will be more reliable.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Adams View Post

Quite a bit of the content people want to play is 23.976fps.....

Hi Richard,

I apologize in advance for my lack of knowledge...can you share which file types, from what source are likely to use this frame rate?

Thanks
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:08 PM
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Well I processed the return at Amazon tonight, and it will be shipping back tomorrow. It's really too bad but in the end, this player, and the 1186 chip in general, is too unreliable and unstable to justify the expense. It would have been a great value if it was stable, but for what I spent on this player, it could go towards a more reliable alternative.

It will be a couple weeks at least before I come up with enough extra funds to purchase another player, so during that time, I will continue to follow this and the Himedia thread. If any groundbreaking announcement is made involving a fix for the stuttering issue, then I may, perhaps, reconsider my options again before purchasing another player. However, that seems highly unlikely, so I think this will likely be the last realtek-based player I purchase for a long, long time, if ever, unless things change drastically for the better.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Pitman View Post

Hi Richard,

I apologize in advance for my lack of knowledge...can you share which file types, from what source are likely to use this frame rate?

Thanks

If you want 1080p 3D (it's biggest selling point), that's pretty much everything.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Adams View Post

Quite a bit of the content people want to play is 23.976fps. There is no way to play this at the exactly correct frame rate on the ep950 at this time.

The EP950 FAILS to play the correct frame rate.

In talking with more than one specialist on digital video, they state it is ill-conceived to play back video at a different rate than indicated by the content, unless there is substantial additional and usually unnecessary processing.

The descriptions offered in Jack@Micca's post above, that EP950 is "complex," and a "good player" are entirely subjective.

Let's leave out the self serving subjectivity for a moment and focus on the problem that the lack of correct playback at 23.976 is a long standing issue for Realtek chip based players, causing non-smooth playback.

This is a failure to inter-operate properly with content.

The content file at 23.976fps complies with the standard for conveying the playback frame rate to the player. Realtek 1186 based players ignore this information and play the files at an arbitrary selected rate of 24fps.

The output frame rate of player should be time locked, in sync with the source material. The EP950 does something else.

EP950 is Complex? Yes! - but lots of players do it correctly.

EP950 is Compliant? - No! - it playes video at arbitrary frame rates causing incorrectly repeated frames and / or dropped frames. The content doesn't have these repeated frames. It is the failure to play at the correct frame rate by the EP950 that causes the issue.

EP950 is Good? - Irrelevant and subjective. Please refer to the the issue at hand. The EP950 plays at non-compliant frame rates.

Questions:

Will vendors of players using Realtec 1186 chips start telling the facts in their literature, that these players do not play content at the correct frame rate?

Has Realtec ever admitted to this issue?

Has Realtec promised to support their vendors and customers with either improved firmware or a new player chip that will play back files correctly?

Is there any chance they will support AVCHD 2.0 3D playback for my Sony 3D TD10 camcorder files, for which I provided test files several months ago?

I couldnt agree more.
The problem has been there in previous realtek chip and now the new--the chances of a fix is buckleys.
I had bad stutter and turned off 24p and helped.
You cant get a answer from what they know which is bleeding obvious.

The question simplified is.

Do Realtek know of the problem--answer yes
Most importantly
What is being done--bet the answer is zilch.

I bet its a flaw in the design of the chip and cant be fixed

I thought I was wrong once but I was mistaken
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:37 AM
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The difference now is that 3D 1080p is 23.976Hz and nothing else. So more users, with their fancy 3D TVs that all accept 1080p 24Hz, will be exposed to this failing and will probably complain. In prior years nearly every TV would be happy to sync at 60Hz where the issue is masked.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:38 AM
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2 things:

What processor does the oppo 93 use that allows the correct frame rate in/out?

How is the 1080P 24hz frame packed handled by the tv's that the judder is obvious?

I my instance if I understand the processing with my equipment is that the vip accepts the 1080P 24 Hz frame packed and processes it to output either 720P 120 hz or 720P 60 Hz sequential to be handled by my projectors depending whether they are 2D or 3D enabled. Based on this processing I fail to see any judder in the video.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denass View Post

I couldnt agree more.
The problem has been there in previous realtek chip and now the new--the chances of a fix is buckleys.
I had bad stutter and turned off 24p and helped.
You cant get a answer from what they know which is bleeding obvious.

The question simplified is.

Do Realtek know of the problem--answer yes
Most importantly
What is being done--bet the answer is zilch.

I bet its a flaw in the design of the chip and cant be fixed

According to the post Iinked next, one vendor was able to fix the "playback rate stutter design flaw" on a 1185 chip based player by using a firmware upgrade, so perhaps the same applies to the 1186 based players including the Micca EP950.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...5#post21715855

A flaw in the chip design can also be fixed, though not for units already shipped and existing inventory. Clarifying - there is no data that says there is a chip design flaw. What matters most is if it can be fixed with a user installed firmware upgrade, or not, and if yes, when will the upgrade be available.

The proof is if any vendor of the 1186 based player ships firmware that can fix it, they all could apply that technique.

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Old 03-03-2012, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoss View Post

2 things:

What processor does the oppo 93 use that allows the correct frame rate in/out?

How is the 1080P 24hz frame packed handled by the tv's that the judder is obvious?

I my instance if I understand the processing with my equipment is that the vip accepts the 1080P 24 Hz frame packed and processes it to output either 720P 120 hz or 720P 60 Hz sequential to be handled by my projectors depending whether they are 2D or 3D enabled. Based on this processing I fail to see any judder in the video.

Oppo uses Marvell's Kyoto-G2 video processor. Here is the link for Oppo.
http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-93/

Answering the question about how TVs process the video, and why some may show the stutter more than others, starts with the point that TV video processing methods vary quite a bit from one model to another, and contain proprietary information that manufacturers do not reveal.

Generally, a TV that is closest to showing the signal exactly how it appears digitally on the HDMI could show the problem. It is also possible that certain video processing and certain display types (i.e. LCD, projector, plasma) might result in showing the stutter more than others.

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Old 03-03-2012, 12:07 PM
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is the xtreamer prodigy plagued by the 24Hz issue? does it use the 1186 processor?
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:08 PM
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How is the 1080P 24hz frame packed handled by the tv's that the judder is obvious?

The TVs either play back at 24Hz (they would need to be passive 3D in this case) or they play back at even multiples of 24hz per eye without frame interpolation (ie motion flow etc). My TV plays back at 24Hz.

120Hz 3DTVs play back at 60Hz per eye so they have 3:2 pulldown judder
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:37 PM
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The TVs either play back at 24Hz (they would need to be passive 3D in this case) or they play back at even multiples of 24hz per eye without frame interpolation (ie motion flow etc). My TV plays back at 24Hz.

120Hz 3DTVs play back at 60Hz per eye so they have 3:2 pulldown judder

So it's TV's like yours that exhibit the problem?
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:49 PM
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So it's TV's like yours that exhibit the problem?

The symptoms are clearest with this kind of TV, but the problem exists in the source.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:56 PM
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The symptoms are clearest with this kind of TV, but the problem exists in the source.

I'm wondering if the problem were resolved for you then in my case would it now be a problem for me since all processing is done at 24 hz?
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:05 PM
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I'm wondering if the problem were resolved for you then in my case would it now be a problem for me since all processing is done at 24 hz?

It would be solved for everyone. All 3D displays and processors are frame locked to the source (if they were not, you would get drift). That is, if the source were running at 23.976Hz, the displays and processors would also lock at that frame rate.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:43 PM
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It would be solved for everyone. All 3D displays and processors are frame locked to the source (if they were not, you would get drift). That is, if the source were running at 23.976Hz, the displays and processors would also lock at that frame rate.

this is not totally true,my 2D projectors exhibited drift because they were not frame locked to the source via my scaler. There are other examples of the same problem people had with their 60 Hz projectors. without the scaler in the loop the pj would not recognize the source. enter the hdfury2 that saved the day by allowing me to use component input
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