Originally Posted by renglade
Since that time, he has been silent. Does anyone have a clue what he was talking about?
Sorry to have been absent from ths forum for so long. There is that need to shoot the engineer and publish the results, no?
What I have been doing is watching tons of movies from my newish Panasonic S97 DVD player, which is nearly perfect over its component outputs at 480i, letting the TV perform 3:2 pulldown when I care about it (not always). As a result I have been revising my settings for image processing and shaping that is, the equalization and/or enhancement of real-world video so it looks like a million dollars. Then Ive been adapting what I have learned there to the other video inputs and sources.
In particular, I have been trying to track down *every* source of edge enhancement and ringing in the entire signal chain, starting with the DVD disk. Fortunately there are some DVDs that simply have no significant edge enhancement or artifacts of their own. How does one know? By playing them on a computer screen digitally and displaying the picture pixel-for-pixel. A good example is The Incredibles, an example of great computer-to-DVD perfection, followed closely by Monsters, Inc. This test can be done with the open-source software VLC from videolan.com, with the display-ratio settings at 720:480 (Mac or PC).
Without getting into many gory details quite yet, I will say the following:
(1) I mentioned sharpness/EQ settings hiding in a couple of places. Right. Here they are:
(a) First, in plain sight: 2170P-3. I have decided that #9-F1LV introduces too much after-edge outlining for me, and I have generally set it to zero. Further, after having lived with SYSM=3 for some time, I now realize that the least harmful equalization can be found in SYSM=2. Set properly, it acts like true unsharp-masking (a term digital-camera fans will understand).
(b) Also, I use the MID5 enhancements *very* conservatively. POP=63 is always set to all-zeroes for nos. 1-18, which pretty much makes MID5 pass-through if I set MIDE=63 in 2170P-3. Then small amounts of very-fine-detail enhancement can be added in other columns by setting MHYL=3 and varying MHYE from 0 (no effect) to 7 (max effect). Were talking skin and cloth texture, here, not big edge-sharpness. Settings of MHYE=2 or 3 are helpful for all fine sources, such as DVDs and HDTV. A heavier setting for SD sources can be had by setting MHYO to 1 (makes it coarser), MHYL=3, and then MHYE to 1 to 3.
(c) The hidden enhancements are real troublemakers! The worst is in 2103-1, nos. 6-8, SHAP-SHF0-PREO. SHAP is yet another sharpness enhancer, but this one is in mid-detail, and it rings, adding coarseness and a video look to fine sources. 2103-1 does NOT affect certain digital inputs (e.g. HDMI, HDTV from tuner) and always affects V5/V6 component 480i, S-video 480i, and RF-tuner and digital-tuner 480i. Recommended: set SHAP to zero, SHF0 to 3, and PREO (less critical) to 0 or 3 (havent decided yet).
(d) For all S-video, composite-video, and RF-tuner 480i sources, the 3D comb filter separate color from luminance, and the 3D-COMB section has significant sharpness tweaks, nos. 14 and 15: VAPG and VAPI for vertical anhancement (generally not used, which means zeros); and nos. 17 and 18: YPFT and YPFG. In this case, YPFG can act as either a detail-reducer or enhancer, with no effect at YPFG=8. (Possibly 7; still experimenting.) Note that the 3D-COMB settings have no effect on all high-quality sources, such as HDTV, HDMI, and component inputs. Recommended: Set VAPG and VAPI to zero, YPFT to 3 and YPFG to 8.
SO . . . Imagine a chart so we can track this stuff. (Attached is a PDF of a useful chart for keeping track of these settings. Print on legal-size paper.)
The settings can be grouped in a table. Reading down the far-left column . . .
3D-COMB: 14-15-17-18 (4 rows) X 4 columns, 1 for each picture mode (Pro, Standard, Movie, Vivid).
2103-1: 6-7-8 (3 rows), only one column for all picture modes.
2170P-3: 0 thru 16, SYSM-VMLV-VMCR- ... - MIDE (17 rows grouped 1-1-4-4-3-3-1, according to function) X 4 columns, 1 for each picture mode.
MID5: 0 thru 18, POP-MHLY-MHLC- ... -MVCE (19 rows grouped 1-4-4-4-3-3, according to finction) and sample columns showing the POP values for possible MIDE values in 2170P-3, above.
The row-orders are the same as in the parameter charts from the Sony service manuals that have been published.
Example: My latest thinking for DVD-480i thru component inputs in Pro mode is:
3D-COMB: 14-15-17-18 = not applicable.
2103-1: 6-7-8 = 0-3-3
2170P-3: 0 thru 16 = 2 n 0-3-2-8 0-1-3-0 0-1-0 5-0-0 60, where n depends on the velocity-modulation setting. UBOF = 5 balances the black level against my other inputs. There, YMMV.
MIDE: 0 thru 18 = 60 0-0-0-0 0-3-3-0 0-0-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0
This requires the user Sharpness slider to be set at 25-35, depending on taste. Mine is usually near 30.
Cryptic and confusing? I guess those were some of the gory details, indeed! I have been through these numbers so many times that I think of them as a series. When I am writing down what I am doing, for example, in the 2170P-3 settings, I just scribble the 17 numbers in a column with lines between the groups. That way I can see patterns developing or changing as I experiment. If the chart is used as a template, then one can publish settings as a number-series, as I have done above. Note that a chart as described above may cover all picture modes, but there has to be a separate chart for each video-input class and scan type.
Final thoughts for now:
(1) I believe that very conservative velocity modulation settings (ClearEdge) are a benefit for non-HD sources, maybe even for HD. I have set it according to what I have previously written: For all picture modes, 2170P-3-VM, VMH, VMM, VML are set to 0-9-6-3, respectively. I typicaly have the user VM control set to Medium, maybe Low or Off for HDTV. Set conservatively, it does NOT suppress fine detail as rumors would have it. (But some of the ringy enhancement filters can do that, as implied earlier.)
I have been experimenting extensively with the settings in 2170P-3, nos. 2-5, the codes that entirely determine the "look" of VM. The current settings of 0-3-2-8 replace earlier settings of 0-3-1-0 and seem to cause less distortion of high-contrast vertical edges while reducing the mush from the scanning spot. The differences are subtle and matter only if there is any VM turned on at all.
(2) I cant fathom Sonys claim of minimum enhancements for the Pro mode, as it clearly invokes certain digital filters that significantly modiofy the image, in some cases to its detriment. Ive tried to ferret out these effects and control them. I am making judgements based on a near-photographic reproduction of DVD material from source to screen, and some enhancement and sharpening *is* necessary but it doesnt have to be ugly! The same settings applied to HDTV prove the result almost shocking photo-like detail, when the broadcast is good.
(3) Summary: The most valuable lesson I have learned here is setting 2170P-3/SYSM to 2, reserving all fine-detail adjustments for the MID5 group of codes, and turning OFF all other sharpening filters for fine sources. The the Sharpness slider is used to adjust overall sharpness to taste. (Exception: for SD cable-broadcast, I turn 2170P-3: F1LV up to 3. Ordinary broadcast can be pretty awful, but even that benefitted from getting the nasty sharpness eliminated from 2103-1. It also made my VHS tapes look gawd-awful and grainy; much better now.)UPDATE: Attached chart is now revised to include SSMD and PPHA parameters. See post #1040 here
IPChart05tall.pdf 80.22265625k . file