Originally Posted by Glimmie
Levels are not matched which is skewing the result however, HBO still wins!
The upconversion has higher contrast but it also has a "cartoon" flatness that is typical of upconversion. The reason is lack of very low level deatil or HF information.
Look at the nose on the upconversion. You can see a stripe pattern that is not in the HBO shot. This is ringing in the horizontal filter in the DVD upconverter.
Look at the forehead. The HBO version is soft but also clean. The upconversion not only shows the same stripe pattern as the second shot, but also much more evidence of color sub-sampling errors. Also visible in the cheeks. This is probably due to the REC656 to 709 color space conversion in the DVD player being done with consumer grade filtering. Just not enough nodes in the LUT.
The 720P is irrelevant in this test. HBO broadcasts in 1080i. The 720P was converted in your receiver and again done with consumer grade hardware and software.
Do this shootout on a 120in or larger screen and the differences will really stand out.
You're being bias, looking for the flaws only on the DVD side, not the factors that beat the HBO version. everyone I showed this to said DVD won by a landslide.
Shot 1. You can not see the hair on the right side of of his face, its washed out by harsh lighting on the HBO version. LOOK AT HIS EYE LASHES ON THE DVD VERSION.... Can you even see them on the HBO VERSION? On the DVD the spot under his right nostril is more detailed, and the lip detail on the DVD blows the HBO version away.
Shot 2. The boy has his left eye completely washed out or faded, you can not see the top of the boys eyelid on the HBO version, you can see it in the DVD version are you serious? Look at the big freckle to his lower right side of his face, it way more detailed on the DVD, WAY MORE. The harsh lighting hides the freckles on the right side of his face on the HBO version. Look at the pours on the under the right side of his mouth, how they are not as detailed on the HBO version. Look at the detail of his lips and the overall texture.
Shot 3 LOOK AT THE EYEBROWS.... That's it right there.... Look at the eyelashes on the right eye... You can't see them on the HBO version. Look at the longer eyelash hair on the right eyebrow...clear on the DVD version, almost looks like a scar on the HBO version. Next look at his eyes. No contest. Next, look at the big hair to the left side of his mustache, almost faded on the HBO version, clear as day on the DVD version.
The HBO details ARE CLEARLY WASHED OUT in comparison to the DVD version, harsh lighting killed most of it. I can clearly point out little details that appear on the DVD version like freckles that can not be seen on the HBO version.
I know you asked me to do this test, and I know you didn't like results, it appears that you're looking at the bad of the DVD and not the bad of HBO.
No way my man, face reality, DVD BEAT IT, now you want me to try it on a bigger set.