Serious problem with upconverting DVD players and some CRT RPTVs Expert advice needed - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 06-15-2007, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Wasn't sure which forum to post this in, but since RPTV owners are the ones most likely to be affected, I thought I'd post here -

There is a problem with upconverting DVD players and certain model TVs (especially CRT RPTV sets). I have found very little about it in all my net research and hope that someone may be able to offer some insight.

Basically, the 1080i component output of certain DVD players is the only way that those of us with non- DVI / HDMI sets can watch upconverted DVDs. Problem is, when there is a bright scene, flash of light (like an explosion) or sometimes simply high contrast, the picture becomes unstable. Some people describe it as flashing, some say it looks like v-hold instability, or jittering etc..
Some have reported their TV loses signal entirely, but I haven't determined yet whether or not this is the same, a related, or separate issue.

This only seems to happen with upconverting DVD players, other 1080i component sources such as DVRs and DVHS players don't cause the problem. Don't know if it occurs in 720p since my set doesn't have that option.

Obviously, we can solve it by switching our DVD players down to 480p, but who wants to do that?

Here is the information I have gathered on the problem so far:
The Avel Linkplayer 2 by IO-DATA has this problem, as does the OPPO model DV-970HD. Maybe so do all upconverting DVD players, but those are the two I've tested personally.

The TVs that exhibit this problem seem to be:
Mitsubishi WS65819 (the one I have)
Mitsubishi 55907
Hitachi 57XWX20B
Phillips 32" 720 panel
Sony XBR (non-RPTV)
Possibly many more, but these have all been mentioned specifically.

Examples of DVDs that caused the problem (regular store bought DVDs, not copies or streaming files) -
Gladiator - Balls of fire crashing into trees in the opening battle scenes.
Pirates of the Caribbean - Cannon fire when the Black Pearl arrives in Port Royal at night
O Brother Where Art Thou? - much of the movie, possibly due to high contrast?
Chronicles of Riddick - opening net gun chase.
Any scene from any movie that cuts to a bright shot of mostly sky, snow or sand. Black text one white background.

Here is some input so far that others have given:

-------------------------------------------------------
"My problem only occurs on the Linkplayer whether or not it is connected directly to the TV or not. The other HD components do not do this no matter how they are connected. I believe the player is exceeding the 1080i timing specifications and my Mitsubishi is old enough that it must have tighly conforming signals at 1080i. I'm still requesting that IOData allow the user to adjust the video timings like many of the other netwroking players do. I should be able to adjust the image so that the overscan is reduced and adjust it to the left, right, up, or down to best match my TV. All this capability is within their chipset, other similarly based network players are doing it now and don't have this problem."

"bigDvette wrote: (2/1/2006)
Well, I can tell you my experience with this and I have just fixed it in the last week. I saw this ever so slightly on my Sony XBR (non RPTV) on bright scenes. I was also seeing this with my HD Tivos. It only shows up in 1080i and if you go to 480p it goes away.
I purchased this box before Christmas
http://www.video-storm.com/proddetail.asp?prod=CRM84
and it made the issue worse. Luckily this was a new product for video storm and I was working with the guy because there was a few firmware issues. Luckily it made the issue so bad I made it my mission to fix. Now on my Samsung 5078w (brand new 1080i set) I did not have this issue. I had 3 source components that made my Sony TV do this (both Tivos and the AVEL). This did not happend with the XBOX or the OPPO DVD player.
In working with the video-storm tech (very nice guy) we realized this was happening with all the AC Coupled sources. Most CE products are DC Coupled so they sync on a DC signal. AC Coupled devices are prone to ground loops, but they also don't suffer from distribution as much because they don't require DC Restorization to keep the signal strong.
Anyway, he modified the firmware on the switcher a few times to try and adjust the clamping speed (the speed that the signal syncs) The Switcher was operating even faster than the TIVO or AVEL so it was making the problem worse. We slowed it down and it made it a little better but any bright transtion on CSI or Las Vegas or movies where there is fast movement with bright transitions like on CSI where the go white during scene transitions made the TV flash bright to black.
We couldn't get this to go away and I got fed up a few nights ago and decided to go in to the service menu on the Sony. I ignored all the color settings and adjusted everything else 1 at a time. I came across a setting on the Sony called HSEP. I changed the value from 0 to 1 and that clipping as I called it went away completely. I was using the AVEL to test and kept FF and REW over a scene that was predictible.
I then found this document
https://www.vancebaldwin.com/shop/re.../KF42WE610.pdf
and it had a diagram of the TV board and what HSEP controlls. I sent it to the video-storm tech and when he looked at the diagram his comment was:
Great find on the HSEP control! It looks like it is controlling the sync seperator, probably changing the clamping currents to the bi-level setting (which is faster). That should be a good way to correct this.
Anyway, that fixed my problems. no more TIVO problems or AVEL problems on the Sony in 1080i.
I hope this helps in some way. I had to change it for each input while the TV was viewing a 1080i source. Maybe these other TVs have a similar setting. In reality it is both a TV and source issue because they use incompatible sync seperator value.
I'm hoping someone at AVEL can comment on what kind of setting the AVEL uses as that might help some people talk to a tech for their TV and see if there is a like setting on their TV."

-------------------------------------------------------

As far as input from the player manufacturers -
IOData stated that they were working to fix it in a future firmware update, but that never happened (that was a couple years ago).
Oppo just told me on the phone the other day that they are aware of the problem but that it relates to inadequate power supply in certain sets and there's nothing they can do about it.

So, that's where I'm at. I don't remember anything in the service menu of my MITS relating to HSEP so trying that is not an option (maybe there's a similar control called something else?). Would love to hear from a calibrator as to whether or not this problem can even be fixed. This is a major issue for me and if it can't be solved it might mean that I can no longer properly enjoy my lovingly calibrated RPTV.
I can live with no DVI/HDMI for a while, and my set has many good years left on it, but now that I've seen how good upconverted DVDs look in 1080i, my choices might be down to going back to 480p (yuck) or buying a new set (ouch).

- Jared
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post #2 of 18 Old 06-15-2007, 01:40 PM
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If you have a CRT RPTV that can scan at either 480i or 1080i you will most likely get the best PQ of your DVDs which are recorded in 480i but not up scaling or converting them to Progressive scan output in your DVD player.
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post #3 of 18 Old 06-15-2007, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I disagree. The PQ of a DVD upconverted to 1080i looks far better on my 65inch set than 480p, and miles better than 480i. Sure, I understand that what I'm seeing is in a sense 'artificial' given the way the original material is encoded, but it still looks better to most viewers. (multi-thousand dollar video scalers and processors are created for just that purpose).
But all of that is beside the point. While I appreciate your input, this thread was really started to find the solution to a problem, not debate the merits of upconversion itself.
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post #4 of 18 Old 06-15-2007, 05:11 PM
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It's probably cheap output circuits on the dvd player hardware. I've seen this same thing with some component switchers. It is in fact the inability to pass/output the high bandwidth of a 1080i scan rate, which causes the Tv to loose sync and even momentarily try to switch to a lower resolution. There is no solution except try another brand of dvd player that might possibly have better circuits. Or even better, I suggest a HTPC with a vga-component box and use ffdshow.

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post #5 of 18 Old 06-15-2007, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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You may be right about the cheap output circuits... but I've heard nothing but glowing reviews of the Oppo player, even the DVD Benchmark review and those guys seem like the type that would know if a player wasn't passing full bandwith (then again, maybe they don't test for that - http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/cgi-b...h&articles=all )
And I'm not totally convinced that what I'm seeing is the TV losing synch, then again, I'm no expert.

Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of options out there for playing DVDs at 1080i with a component only RPTV. Even the linkplayer and Oppo can't officially do it, but I can use them with hacked firmware.
HTPC might work great, but it's not something I want to use, for a lot of reasons...
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post #6 of 18 Old 06-15-2007, 09:01 PM
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I had a Zenith DVB-318 and a Samsung (don't remember the model number) both of which could pass 1080i via component. Both were used with an '01 model Sony KP57HW40 crt based HD-ready rptv, no problems whatsoever. That particular set was capable of displaying 480p and 1080i natively and a good 480p progressive scan player (Panasonic or Sony) looked just as good as if not better than the upconverted image from the Zenith and Sammy except that up close to the set there were some visible scanlines.

I know that starting in 01 or so a lot of mfgs crt based sets were no longer capable of native 480p display, using only 540p or 1080i to save mfg. costs. This resulted in a bastardization of incoming 480p and inferior pq compared to a set with a true 480p display capability. For one of these a good upconverting player might indeed look better than a good 480p model.

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post #7 of 18 Old 06-16-2007, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaredB View Post

I disagree. The PQ of a DVD upconverted to 1080i looks far better on my 65inch set than 480p, and miles better than 480i. Sure, I understand that what I'm seeing is in a sense 'artificial' given the way the original material is encoded, but it still looks better to most viewers. (multi-thousand dollar video scalers and processors are created for just that purpose).
But all of that is beside the point. While I appreciate your input, his thread was really started to find the solution to a problem, not debate the merits of upconversion itself.

Sorry about that I did not read all of your post in detail. I was just trying to point out that with a CRT capable of scaning at either 480i or 1080i that you may get better PQ by not upscaling a 480i DVD with either an upscaling DVD player or in the TV itself at all.
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post #8 of 18 Old 06-17-2007, 08:13 AM
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I agree with what Steve S said.

If your set does native 480p, there probably isn't reason to upscale - unless you hate seeing horizontal scanlines. At 1080i they should much thinner and/or invisible. 480p always give me a slightly sharper image with DVD, but since I don't like seeing scanlines, I do upscale to 1080i (HDMI-HDMI).

Regarding the issue - your display wouldn't know the difference between 1080i upscaled DVD or 1080i HD material. It's just accepting or not accepting whichever 1080i signal you send it. The player would be doing the bulk of the processing in this case.

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post #9 of 18 Old 06-18-2007, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaredB View Post

Problem is, when there is a bright scene, flash of light (like an explosion) or sometimes simply high contrast, the picture becomes unstable. Some people describe it as flashing, some say it looks like v-hold instability, or jittering etc..
Some have reported their TV loses signal entirely, but I haven't determined yet whether or not this is the same, a related, or separate issue.

Ran into something akin to this when I added a component switcher to my year-2000 CRT RPTV (Philips 64PH9905). Turned out the total length of the connecting cables (~12') was too long, so that total impedance caused high-brightness artifacts from DVDs or cable STB hookups. The fix was using only 2' YPbPr cable from components to the 4-in-1-out Zektor switcher (versus ~6' input cables) and a 6' cable from the Zektor to the RPTV's YPbPr HD input.

Watch most 480i cable TV with my 8300HD STB set for upconversion to 1080i. But my early-model Toshiba DVD player doesn't upconvert to 1080i so I use the player's 480p output, which also looks okay, although I rarely view DVDs. While my RPTV has inputs for 480i from DVDs for deinterlacing to 480p, discovered it better to pipe in 480p from the DVD player to the RPTV's HD YPbPr input. The RPTV has a 480p mode. 'Tough' scenes from DVDs with lots of fine detail deinterlaced much better using the player's Genesis chip than using the same chip in the TV ( "Dueling Genesis..." ). --John
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post #10 of 18 Old 06-18-2007, 06:32 AM
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This is was the cause of the lawsuit between the MPAA and LG.

The movie companies do not want 1080i/p over component because it isn't protected. Even though it would give a good picture and cause less of a headache then HDMI.

A few DVD players ways to bypass this like some of the older LG/Zenith models. However, if the DVD player follows standard industry specifications it will not ouput a upscaled 1080i/p signal over component.

So you, myself and anyone who doesn't own a newer High def set with HDMI or DVI (with HDCP) will not be watching too much high def stuff.

What the others have to say about resolution. Pretty much any resolution signal coming in will be scaled to display on the TV. Most TVs have crappy scalers so a low quality low resolution signal will not be scaled properly.
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post #11 of 18 Old 06-18-2007, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Re: John Mason's post - Interesting about your total cable length, I'll check into that on mine. But it sounds like you were using a 480 source that your TV was upconverting so it may be irrelevant. (I'm comparing only 1080i sources, my TV is not doing any upconversion)

Re: L_T's post - As I mentioned at the start of this thread, I use the Oppo 970 player. It is cheap, has a great picture, is still available and does 1080i over component, just not with copy protected material, (but even this is solved with a simple hack that is well known and widely available). There's no reason that any of us RPTV owners shouldn't be able to have the option of upconverted DVDs - except for the problem that this thread was started to solve...

Re: David Hir's post - Yes, like you, I don't like seeing scan lines, which is why upscaled DVDs look far better to me. As far as my TV "not knowing the difference" between an HD source (such as my HD tivo) and an upconverted DVD, it sounds like you're blaming the output on the Oppo player for not putting out a signal that the TV likes.
This may be true, but given the huge popularity of this player, wouldn't more people have encountered this problem (rather than the few posts I was able to scrounge off the net)? I feel like it's more likely that it's a combination of the players output and a certain quality of a minority of sets. The investigation continues...
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post #12 of 18 Old 06-18-2007, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaredB View Post

Re: John Mason's post - Interesting about your total cable length, I'll check into that on mine. But it sounds like you were using a 480 source that your TV was upconverting so it may be irrelevant. (I'm comparing only 1080i sources, my TV is not doing any upconversion)

It has been a few years now, but as I recall I noticed the artifacts with 480p DVD inputs (no upconversion) and 1080i from a cable STB. Recall the artifacts were distinct with a PBS B&W program in areas of fine detail and high contrast. My TV doesn't do upconversion with the HD component inputs used. Artifacts were confined to high-contrast areas, but could easily imagine how worse cases could disrupt all or most of the image area. -- John
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post #13 of 18 Old 06-18-2007, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
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UPDATE:
I had a phone consultation with Mr. Bob tonight (which I recommend) - It was for some other TV issues, but I brought up this problem with the Oppo. He recommended I check to see if there was a contrast adjustment in the Oppo setup menu. Sure enough, there was. It was set to zero, but turning it down to -14 (it goes as low as -16) eliminated most of the problem. (it would still do it on VERY bright scenes, like when the screen goes completely white, but was better on most other material).
Maybe that means that something is set too high on the Oppo's output in 1080i. Again, it has always been fine in 480.
I'm going to call Oppo tomorrow armed with this new knowledge.
I'll post any info if I get it.
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post #14 of 18 Old 06-18-2007, 10:00 PM
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I have the Panny RP 82, using it with my Hitachi UltraVision 52 incher. Upscaling to 1080i always gives me the best picture. Like to add that I tried the Oppo DVD player. On my particular TV, the Oppo thru the HDMI input couldn`t touch the RP 82 for pic quality. I was pretty let down by this. Was wondering if there is some kind of problem with the Hitachis HDMI input etc.
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post #15 of 18 Old 06-18-2007, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
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When you say upscaling to 1080i you mean your Hitachi is doing it right? The RP82 doesn't upconvert does it?
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post #16 of 18 Old 06-19-2007, 07:47 AM
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Yes, the TV is doing the upscaling.
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post #17 of 18 Old 09-07-2007, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been meaning to post an update on avsforum about this for a while but haven't gotten around to it.
Two things happened and now my problem is fixed, but I don't actually know which solved it (although maybe it was both together). One thing is that the firmware I was using on the Oppo was beta. Switching back to the last official firmware was recommended by oppo, and I did it.
The other issue was more embarrassing. The contrast/brightness on my tv was set all the way up. Now, as an owner of an RPTV set (that was ISF calibrated) I know never to do this. However, I had someone housesitting for me several months back and they must have done it. Since I never adjust my TVs levels I didn't catch it until recently. This, combined with possible a higher than normal level coming off the player, could have been enough to put the TV over the edge.

So, at any rate, this solved my problem. Sorry I don't know which thing it was since I did both fixes at the same time, and maybe it was both in tandem.
I can say that my Zektor switcher was definitely not the culprit, and neither was my Denon amp (since I didn't pass the video through it).
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post #18 of 18 Old 03-31-2008, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thought I should revisit this old thread with an update. I've posted this in a couple of other relevant places so I apologize if you're reading this more than once.

As a person who often searches forums such as these, I always appreciate when as much information is in one place as possible.

Here is what happened.
My problem came back. Don't know how, don't exactly know when, but it did. I tried re-installing the firmware on my Oppo and it didn't do any good.
The contrast on my mits is set to the correct ISF calibrated levels. I had thought about checking the overall length of my component cables (both pre and post zektor switcher) but I didn't have much hope for that and I didn't get around to it since I fixed it in the manner outlined below:

Previously, I had had a bit of success in taming the problem by fiddling with the setup menu for the Oppo DVD player - specifically the contrast - so I thought I'd try that again.

Here is what I discovered - It's not the contrast, but the brightness.

By taking the brightness back to -4 or -5 the problem went away (this is in the Oppo setup menu, I've left the video settings on the Mitsubishi TV alone).
Interestingly enough, I put in my Avia disc and checked their brightness level test, and I found that putting the Oppo at -6 was more correct per Avia. So it's possible that the Oppo (as well as other devices mentioned) have their brightness a little too high and some Mits models can't handle it.
I had suspected it was a contrast issue all this time, but it does in fact seem to be the brightness. At least, that's how I was able to fix it. Hopefully for good this time.

Oh, and in answer to something mentioned earlier, I believe my WS-65819 DOES do native 480p (at least I thought I read that somewhere), but even so, I find the lack of scanlines on upconverted 1080i more pleasing to my eyes.
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