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post #61 of 84 Old 06-05-2014, 03:59 PM
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What was the name of that little "video enhancer" box that was all the rage a few years ago?

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post #62 of 84 Old 06-05-2014, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by EscapeVelocity View Post

What was the name of that little "video enhancer" box that was all the rage a few years ago?
The Darbee Darblet. It still has its fans. The people who think they're magically restoring detail somehow got lost along the way. Who knew... wink.gif

By the way, we can tell you're posting without reading the thread. tongue.gif
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post #63 of 84 Old 06-05-2014, 04:12 PM
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post #64 of 84 Old 06-05-2014, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post

The Darbee Darblet. It still has its fans. The people who think they're magically restoring detail somehow got lost along the way. Who knew... wink.gif

By the way, we can tell you're posting without reading the thread. tongue.gif

Well I dont think anyone is arguing that it's magic. It certainly isn't. But I follow what my eyes see, and am certainly not even close to alone and still agree when it comes to just about any other enhancement setting that they're bogus. It's very subtle it's not some extreme thing. It works as intended though....I have very good eyesight, am very picky, and no severe psychological problems so I'm not sure I'd say it's a hallucination.

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post #65 of 84 Old 06-05-2014, 04:34 PM
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I'm not saying it doesn't change the image. I'm saying it's not restoring detail that got lost in the video compression process. Almost no detail is lost in the Blu-Ray compression process. The codecs are that good and the bitrates are that high.
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post #66 of 84 Old 06-05-2014, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post

I'm not saying it doesn't change the image. I'm saying it's not restoring detail that got lost in the video compression process.

Where does it get the detail which I can't see without it from?

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post #67 of 84 Old 06-05-2014, 04:37 PM
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Where does it get the detail which I can't see without it from?
It enhances what's in the image.
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post #68 of 84 Old 06-05-2014, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post

It enhances what's in the image.

....but is in in the image, so there's no magic going on. Which I've never seen effectively achieved without noticeable artifacts before.

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post #69 of 84 Old 06-05-2014, 04:45 PM
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Don't get me wrong the thing looks horrible when set too high, on any setting besides the basic "hi def" mode, and when expecting much beyond subtlety.

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post #70 of 84 Old 06-05-2014, 05:35 PM
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Wrong. It changes precisely nothing about the contrast. Blacks are exactly the same, whites are exactly the same, and colors are exactly the same (unless you move to gaming or full pop mode which are garbage). Settings, including sharpness, in no way change under the darbee's effects. If it's against what the director intended then allowing me to customize any setting on my tv is against his intentions. It adds nothing of its own to the image; the information must already be there for the darbee to have an effect. Thats why effects are so much less significant on standard def, or after adding DNR. If anything it makes my 55" tv look more like my old 40" in terms of clarity. Nothing really beyond that.

It adds obvious artifacts? Um, no. If it added obvious artifacts I would obviously see them. Just because they are different than typical artifacts does not change that. I scan images with a fine tooth mental comb anytime I change anything. If they are there then they are completely unnoticeable to the naked eye, unless the setting is too high.
All sharpness enhancement is contrast enhancement - but maybe not in the way you are thinking.
Local Contrast Enhancement is a specific technique that people came up with using high radius unsharp masking.
Adobe have a more sophisticated implementation that reduces the controls to a single "clarity" control.

This is absolutely what the Darbee boxes are doing, and there appears to be an additional sharpening pass on top of that as well.
And yes, there are very obvious artifacts that result from too much local contrast enhancement, which can appear with even very small amounts applied if the source is intended to have a hazy or dreamlike low contrast look.

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Get an Apple TV or a Roku Box. Trust me on this. Simple to connect. And several years down the road easy peasy to upgrade. Roku Streaming Sticks and Cell Phone Integration.
This is all better handled off board in set top boxes and what have you.
There is always a BluRay Player.
Integrating this into the TV is a mistake. Youll have aging useless hardware in a few years.
I disagree completely. A "no box" solution is preferable to having an external box you have to find a place for.
This 32" Panasonic sits in a corner and the only thing connected to it is a power cable. It streams media via the built-in WiFi and apps.

We actually bought one of the low-end Rokus with the TV because I was not convinced the built-in apps would be any good, but the Roku is horrible. It's been extremely slow and unreliable compared to the built-in apps (other than the awful YouTube one) and was an ugly little box with nowhere to really put it, so we got rid of it.
Blu-ray players are huge, we have no desire to hook up a Blu-ray player to this set.

Even if, some point down the line, the services stop working (my 2010 Sony TV is still receiving updates) then it's not like the television stops working.
You're just as likely to have the same thing happen for a Blu-ray player or one of those small streaming boxes.

If the services in the TV stop working, maybe then I'd consider buying another one of those boxes.
And being outside the US, the televisions actually seem to have the best app selection. The Apple TV is missing some huge services over here, as was the Roku box.
Blu-ray players seem to have a similar selection to the TVs, but who wants an external box when it can be built in?


And having a DLNA renderer built into the television is great. I can stream media directly to any TV in the house via my JRiver server.
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post #71 of 84 Old 06-05-2014, 05:41 PM
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What you want is a Computer Monitior ....not a TV.

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post #72 of 84 Old 06-05-2014, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by EscapeVelocity View Post

What you want is a Computer Monitior ....not a TV.
You have that backwards.

Monitors are as bare-bones as it gets.
Televisions have built-in speakers, WiFi, streaming apps, DLNA renderers and the ability to be controlled by a remote.

With the exception of high-end graphics monitors - which cost about 2x what this Panasonic did - most monitors are built to be as cheap as possible and don't offer anything close to the calibration options this Panasonic has. (full 10-pt grayscale & gamma, and 3D RGBCMY CMS)
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post #73 of 84 Old 06-05-2014, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

All sharpness enhancement is contrast enhancement - but maybe not in the way you are thinking.
Local Contrast Enhancement is a specific technique that people came up with using high radius unsharp masking.
Adobe have a more sophisticated implementation that reduces the controls to a single "clarity" control.

This is absolutely what the Darbee boxes are doing, and there appears to be an additional sharpening pass on top of that as well.
And yes, there are very obvious artifacts that result from too much local contrast enhancement, which can appear with even very small amounts applied if the source is intended to have a hazy or dreamlike low contrast look.

You're absolutely right, the artifacts pop up if applied "too much". That's why I keep mine low. If the source is meant to have a "hazy, dreamlike" look then I assure you it still will. Like I said, the only thing it appears to do for me is make a larger size tv take on the clearer aspects I've always noticed in smaller tv's.

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post #74 of 84 Old 06-06-2014, 05:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Chron, did you run the Darbee through the calibration patterns?  The reviewer I read said that it didn't produce any of the "usual" distortions from sharpening/contrast controls.  I found that interesting.


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post #75 of 84 Old 06-06-2014, 03:40 PM
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Chron, did you run the Darbee through the calibration patterns?  The reviewer I read said that it didn't produce any of the "usual" distortions from sharpening/contrast controls.  I found that interesting.
And that's exactly the problem. The traditional sharpness patterns are ineffective at showing artifacts with more sophisticated versions of sharpening.
Not that I am saying it is comparable to the Darbee processing (it's a different thing entirely) but I can turn up the "Detail Enhancer" option on my TV to the highest setting and see no difference whatsoever on some test patterns, yet there are obvious consequences of doing so with actual video content.
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post #76 of 84 Old 06-06-2014, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post

The Darbee Darblet. It still has its fans. The people who think they're magically restoring detail somehow got lost along the way. Who knew... wink.gif

By the way, we can tell you're posting without reading the thread. tongue.gif

I have read a great many posts about the Darbee and I don't recall any, let alone a significant number, claiming the Darbee was restoring detail that was lost in the source, as your post
seems to imply. I think most users understand it enhances the perception of existing detail.

The Darbee can't bring back what isn't in the source, but it can in theory (and I think in practice) bring back detail and clarity in certain systems that is "lost to the perception of the viewer" - e.g. projector systems with optical engines/lenses that result in lower than desirable MTF and hence the sense of detail and clarity one would have seen in a higher quality, higher MTF system can be "restored" in a perceptual sense by the Darbee.

Used judiciously, the Darbee can give a very similar effect to having replaced a projector's lens with a better lens - like a little "veil" has been lifted off the image, a bit more resolved.
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post #77 of 84 Old 06-06-2014, 04:35 PM
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I understand why the TV manufacturers don't do this, but I *wish* they would do a panel that catered to the custom-install and enthusiast market - a reference monitor with no built-in speakers and no apps. Just a good ATSC tuner and a few inputs and outputs. I'm going to be using an external sound system, and if I want to use Netflix Streaming/Amazon/Hulu/Vudu/etc. I'm going to be using dedicated external boxes for those.
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post #78 of 84 Old 06-06-2014, 04:36 PM
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This is absolutely what the Darbee boxes are doing, and there appears to be an additional sharpening pass on top of that as well.
And yes, there are very obvious artifacts that result from too much local contrast enhancement, which can appear with even very small amounts applied if the source is intended to have a hazy or dreamlike low contrast look.

Certainly any image enhancement that can be pushed far enough will alter the image into "artifacty-looking" territory. But do you not think the Darbee, used judiciously, can not bring a subtle addition of clarity to the image
without the cost of obvious artifacts to subtract from it's benefit? What type of artifacts are you talking about that would be introduced for those movies.

I've watched all sorts of movies that are hazily shot, but I'm not sure I noted any additional artifacts for those images over any other movie images.

What artifacts do you think the Darbee adds?

(BTW, I'm not a Darbee fanatic. I have my own views on what it tends to do with the images in my home theater, and I actually use it sparingly. But I'm wondering specifically about your experience).
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post #79 of 84 Old 06-08-2014, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by dschulz View Post

I understand why the TV manufacturers don't do this, but I *wish* they would do a panel that catered to the custom-install and enthusiast market - a reference monitor with no built-in speakers and no apps. Just a good ATSC tuner and a few inputs and outputs. I'm going to be using an external sound system, and if I want to use Netflix Streaming/Amazon/Hulu/Vudu/etc. I'm going to be using dedicated external boxes for those.
There are a lot of professional displays available which are just that - though televisions are generally much cheaper.
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Certainly any image enhancement that can be pushed far enough will alter the image into "artifacty-looking" territory. But do you not think the Darbee, used judiciously, can not bring a subtle addition of clarity to the image
without the cost of obvious artifacts to subtract from it's benefit? What type of artifacts are you talking about that would be introduced for those movies.

I've watched all sorts of movies that are hazily shot, but I'm not sure I noted any additional artifacts for those images over any other movie images.
What artifacts do you think the Darbee adds?
(BTW, I'm not a Darbee fanatic. I have my own views on what it tends to do with the images in my home theater, and I actually use it sparingly. But I'm wondering specifically about your experience).
This type of enhancement typically desaturates the image in the areas which are most strongly affected.
While you don't get the obvious black/white ringing artifacts that normal edge-enhancement style sharpening adds, it effectively adds ugly large radius shadows to the image. It does awful things to skintones.

Here's a quick example from a Google Image search:
Zg7jajJs.jpg
Yes, it's clearly set too high there, and Adobe's "clarity" tool is not 100% identical to the Darbee box, but it's the same family of image processing and any amount as an "enhancement" is too much.

Used judiciously, local contrast enhancement can indeed improve the image. However, this is a mastering tool, not something which should blindly be applied to any source going into your display.
As a photographer, I occasionally use this tool to sharpen up images which are a little soft due to a poor lens - but I avoid it where possible, and only use it very sparingly.

I do agree with you that it's an excellent tool for low MTF projectors though. The benefits to those displays outweigh any problems it introduces.
Flat panels have extremely high ANSI contrast/MTF compared to a projector though, so it is not required there.


And I suppose good images are subjective - some people like "HDR" images which are just awful in my opinion.
Local contrast enhancement, when set too high, can start to make the image look like those. (with things like clouds in particular)
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post #80 of 84 Old 06-08-2014, 02:58 AM
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That example has the darbee set ridiculously high. Maybe it's from darbee's website, where they put the thing on 100% in order to exaggerate its actually quite subtle effects. If it truly did that to anyone's skin tones I'd barf. Maybe you've never seen one used properly?

Darbee absolutely can be applied to an image while still allowing it to retain every quality a videophile looks for. It is the only method of "enhancing" (though I'm hesitant to use that word) that both videophiles and professional calibrators alike have recommended. That said, it's not for everyone and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that either. It's subjective like anything else, but it isn't objectively wrong or contradictory to a directors intentions when used properly. If that's the case then any HD transfer is against directors intent. The blu Ray for citizen Kane has loads of detail, strikingly so, and is clearer than ever previously conceived. Did the director have anything to do with its transfer? Absolutely not. Does the director have anything to do with delegating what amounts of detail he wants shown in any transfer? Almost never, especially with old films. And still we eat them up with glee as long as they show no obvious artifacts or degradation of the source; which is what we all seek when calibrating our sets.

Anyways I believe I've said enough about the matter on all threads where it's currently under scrutiny by those unfamiliar with it.

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post #81 of 84 Old 06-08-2014, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

Yes, it's clearly set too high there, and Adobe's "clarity" tool is not 100% identical to the Darbee box, but it's the same family of image processing and any amount as an "enhancement" is too much.

 

I'm curious how you know this.  I think it was a Darbee patent that I read that discussed their technique as an integer only modification that was based around this weird kind of 3D information.  There was no algorithm present, but it didn't sound like anything I've read before in spec or in actual code.


Using Artificial Life algorithms, I created a bunch of creatures and let them evolve on my system. Over the years they gained intelligence, a society, and quite a few interesting abilities. However, using the rules from their world, they concluded that I did not exist. So I created a special creature meant to spread the Word about Me with amazing magical abilities that only He had. Went well, until they decided to nail the poor Guy to a tree.
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post #82 of 84 Old 06-08-2014, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
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I'm curious how you know this.  I think it was a Darbee patent that I read that discussed their technique as an integer only modification that was based around this weird kind of 3D information.  There was no algorithm present, but it didn't sound like anything I've read before in spec or in actual code.
I'm not saying it's exactly the same, but the results look very similar to the old Local Contrast Enhancement technique using large radius Unsharp Masking, or Adobe's Clarity tool, or any other implementation of LCE that I've seen.
There looks to be an additional sharpening pass and some kind of tone curve adjustment, but it's generally the same and starts making images look like those awful "HDR" style photos.

And yes, of course it doesn't have to be cranked up to 100% and can be used sparingly, but a good display shouldn't need it.
But I don't really care to have this argument again, no-one on either side of the fence is going to change their opinion on it.
I do see the merit of using it with projectors that have MTF issues.
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post #83 of 84 Old 06-08-2014, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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^^^Trust me, I'm not on any "side".


Using Artificial Life algorithms, I created a bunch of creatures and let them evolve on my system. Over the years they gained intelligence, a society, and quite a few interesting abilities. However, using the rules from their world, they concluded that I did not exist. So I created a special creature meant to spread the Word about Me with amazing magical abilities that only He had. Went well, until they decided to nail the poor Guy to a tree.
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post #84 of 84 Old 06-08-2014, 12:24 PM
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Purists vs Bestists

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