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Black Crush --- Not always the PJ!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've had my Sony VPL-HW30 for about a week and the picture has been amazing straight out of the box.

There have been a couple of situations, while watching broadcast TV, that I thought the PJ may be crushing blacks. Since the content on a DVR, I spent a couple of minutes checking it out again last night.

(Quick note: the PJ has had a basic calibration. This means I set the brightness/contrast per AVS709 test patterns.)

I've seen this black crush problem on both Fringe and Alcatraz. I focused on Fringe last night. Working only with the HW30, I found that no adjustment to the brightness or gamma would show any detail in the crushed black area. The blacks would simply get more gray.

I then removed the PJ from the picture altogether and viewed the same content on a PC (the content was DVRed using a Windows Media Center machine). It looked exactly the same as when displayed on the Sony VPL-HW30 --- well, technically I liked it better on the HW30 but it did have the same black crush.

For reference, here is a picture I captured from the PC viewing.



Look at Astrid's hair (the woman) as well as her jacket. There is just no detail in those areas.

Bottom line: I'm convinced this black crush is inherent in the content and the Sony is just showing what it has been given.

Have people run into other broadcast TV content with poor black? I believe I never noticed it prior to my new projector because the difference between black and white wasn't so obvious.

... Altan
post #2 of 8
When you increase the brightness setting a click or two do you see more detail ?

Art
post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMyers View Post

Have people run into other broadcast TV content with poor black?

Broadcast has always had much lower contrast and detail in the extremes (near black and near white) than film. This used to be due to limitations in video cameras.

Broadcast scenes are still lit and shot at ~100:1 dynamic range, while film (including the new digital cameras) are setup in the 200:1 to 300:1 range. Unfortunately a lot of the production assets (people, software, hardware, and transmission pipes) still operate like they are in the old video domain even when they capture with the newer HD cameras with greater range.
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMyers View Post

Have people run into other broadcast TV content with poor black? I believe I never noticed it prior to my new projector because the difference between black and white wasn't so obvious.

How do you receive you content? This could be the result of overzealous compression by the cable or satellite provider.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn View Post

When you increase the brightness setting a click or two do you see more detail ?

Changing brightness or gamma a little or a lot made no difference. Just more gray areas. Contrast made no difference either, FWIW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

How do you receive you content? This could be the result of overzealous compression by the cable or satellite provider.

This is OTA content.
post #6 of 8
I've found PCs to be notorious for being all over the map when it comes to levels (black/white point) for video. Often different apps, sometimes different content/sources within the same app are different (ATI's drivers used to default to PC levels for non HD and Video levels for HD for example).

And yeah, there's always the content being the problem too.
post #7 of 8
[quote=MadMyers;21620904]Changing brightness or gamma a little or a lot made no difference. Just more gray areas. Contrast made no difference either, FWIW.

Quick question. What about under your gamma setting adjusting Black Level some? Bringing it up should solve this then after you are done watching just change it back.
post #8 of 8
Not if it was crushed before it gets to the projector, like in the source or the player.
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