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Londo's Toshiba RD-XS32 dissection thread.. - Page 3  

post #61 of 647
Jason, that's particularly surprising considering the strong family relationship between my Panasonic RP-82 and your XP30.

I just tried this again, to be sure I'm not telling lies...

If I turn progressive scan off, I can clearly see the level change as I toggle from darker to lighter. With progressive scan on, it stays on darker even if set it to lighter.

Are you sure you're actually toggling progressive scan on/off? The reason I ask, on the RP82 if you select Progressive Out = Enable from the setup menu, that doesn't put the player into progressive scan output yet. You have to follow that up by either pushing the progressive scan button on the front of the unit until it lights, or use the display button on the remote to access the picture menu, and select 480p there.

Just to reiterate, when I was a newbie with my RP82 (not saying you are), I thought I had progressive scan turned on because I had enabled it from the setup menu, but it wasn't until I followed up with the front panel button or the picture menu from the display button on the remote.

Hope that's not confusing...
post #62 of 647
Quote:
Originally posted by Londo
INITIAL BLACK LEVEL TEST....

same recording source (previously recorded E80 disc played back into both units)...

one side of the diagonal the E80, the other the XS32 - can you tell which???

THIS IS NOT A FINAL TEST, just an initial crack... need to do much more..

http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/...napshot005.jpg
Londo, perhaps I'm reading this wrong. It looks as if you made a recording on the E80H and then are playing it back on both recorders. If this is so, it wouldn't show the black level bug, because that bug is only in the Toshiba's actual recording.

You would need to make a recording on the Toshiba, and then show the original source next to the Toshiba recording "PLAYED BACK" on the E80H or another DVD player.

If I mis-understood you, sorry.;)

As Zenith said, a good black screen would really show the flaw better as any picture with a high contrasting white usually darkens the blacks from a distorting type of behavior. This is common even on higher end TVs, though to a lesser extent.

Have a good one.
post #63 of 647
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Up
You would need to make a recording on the Toshiba, and then show the original source next to the Toshiba recording "PLAYED BACK" on the E80H or another DVD player..
read closer, that's what I did

one more time...

- take a recording made on E80 and play it back on a Philips 727
- record it on the E80
- record it on the XS32
- take recordings from each to PC (on RAM) and grab (close to) the same
frame..
- split/compare
post #64 of 647
Quote:
Originally posted by Tom Roper
Jason, that's particularly surprising considering the strong family relationship between my Panasonic RP-82 and your XP30.

I just tried this again, to be sure I'm not telling lies...

If I turn progressive scan off, I can clearly see the level change as I toggle from darker to lighter. With progressive scan on, it stays on darker even if set it to lighter.
It's true. Setting the XP30 to Lighter produces a noticeably brighter black level, even in 480p mode.

I don't know why they allowed the black level setting to affect the 480p output, but they did. They shouldn't have, since 480p with 7.5 IRE doesn't conform to the 480p standard.

Quote:
Are you sure you're actually toggling progressive scan on/off? The reason I ask, on the RP82 if you select Progressive Out = Enable from the setup menu, that doesn't put the player into progressive scan output yet. You have to follow that up by either pushing the progressive scan button on the front of the unit until it lights, or use the display button on the remote to access the picture menu, and select 480p there.
Yep, the XP30 works the same way, only it doesn't have a toggle button on the front of the unit. You have to press display three times, and then up to get to the Picture Menu, which is where you find the 480i/480p toggle.
post #65 of 647
Quote:
one more time...

- take a recording made on E80 and play it back on a Philips 727
- record it on the E80
- record it on the XS32
- take recordings from each to PC (on RAM) and grab (close to) the same
frame..
- split/compare
That method sounds fine. Now just fill in the details as requested by JMScott42, i.e. the input types (i.e. S-Vid) and recording levels for the XS32 and E80.

As long as you weren't recording to the E80 with input level=lighter, I think you can rule out the black level bug in the XS32.

I agree with Mike Up though, a dark screen would be more obvious.

Then you can hurry and return it... ;)
post #66 of 647
Thread Starter 
I'm a working on it.. I'm still torn on what to do on the resolution issue. Even pulling stuff over to the PC (which is what I do 99% of the time) it still concerns me since merging recording from the two different units in the same program stream WILL be an issue...

I actually have 30 days, but if I return it tomorrow, the E85 will only be $90. After that it's $160 more....

.. unless it goes on sale again in the next 30 days (hmmmmmmm...)

(and I did say that the E80 was set on 'darker' and the XS32 was on the 'out of the box' settings... and it was SVid in..)
post #67 of 647
Quote:
Originally posted by Jason One
It's true. Setting the XP30 to Lighter produces a noticeably brighter black level, even in 480p mode.

I don't know why they allowed the black level setting to affect the 480p output, but they did. They shouldn't have, since 480p with 7.5 IRE doesn't conform to the 480p standard.
Interesting find, Jason. The good news I think, is that Londo's method of capturing a frame from each recorded DVD disk, from the XS32 and E80 with the PC, eliminated any playback variables from lighter/darker settings on DVD players.
post #68 of 647
Thread Starter 
Tom..

I'll post another comparision in about 2 hours... must have dinner first...
post #69 of 647
Quote:
Originally posted by Londo
I actually have 30 days, but if I return it tomorrow, the E85 will only be $90. After that it's $160 more....

.. unless it goes on sale again in the next 30 days (hmmmmmmm...)

Why can't you just go ahead and buy the E85 on credit card, leave it boxed for a week or so, just until you're sure about your opinion of the Toshiba. If you find the Toshiba is to your liking afterall, you can then take back the Panasonic without creating an open box return. No harm done and you've ensured yourself of having the best Panasonic pricing should you decide to keep the Panasonic instead.

Unless, of course, you don't use charge cards, or you're already near your limit...
post #70 of 647
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by CruelInventions
Unless, of course, you don't use charge cards..
bingo
post #71 of 647
Perhaps a bit off topic, but starting with what model # did Panasonic finally correct their black "bug" ? I did just read this info from someone recently but can't seem to find it now
post #72 of 647
Quote:
Originally posted by zenith2525
Perhaps a bit off topic, but starting with what model # did Panasonic finally correct their black "bug" ? I did just read this info from someone recently but can't seem to find it now
The E80H was the first HDD model with the fix. A non-HDD recorder came out with the fix earlier.
post #73 of 647
Thanks .. Any idea/guess to what the non-HDD model# was?
post #74 of 647
Thread Starter 
(in multiple parts since it won't let me put all the images in one post)

There is an old adage that says "a difference that makes no difference is no difference" I'm going to defer to the masses on this, but kids... I think there IS a black level bug...

.. and it may be in the Panasonic...

Ok, our players...

Panasonic E80, set to 'input darker' (just what everyone finally decided it should be).
Toshiba RD-XS32, set to the 'out of the box' defaults

the input device, a Philips 727, factory settings (neutral third party).

The test source is a homemade disc someone made for me, source material unknown, recording device unknown, but it's is a VERY high quallty picture on my TV. S-Video fed to each recorder.

the TV uses for visual reference was a 36" Toshiba

The recordings were made on DVD-RAM and taken to the PC, extracted the MPEG2 streams and frame snaps from Womble MPEG2 Video Wizard.

In these examples the Panasonic is on the left, the Toshiba on the right...

First example is the Philips 'standby' screen....

http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/...oshpanny01.jpg

the same in split screen (P=left, T=right)

http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/..._TPSPLIT01.jpg

the Panasonic is very dark compared to the Toshiba, altho it is JUST SLIGHTLY noticible when viewed on the TV..

the same split with a Gamma correction of 1.3 applied..

http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/...PSPLIT01G3.jpg
post #75 of 647
Thread Starter 
part 2

next up, a shot of the main menu of the disc, again P=left, T=right

http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/...oshpanny02.jpg
an irregular split screen, Panny on the bottom, Toshiba on top

http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/..._TPSPLIT02.jpg
very hard to see any difference, boost the gamma 1.3

http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/...PSPLIT02G3.jpg
you should begin to see some difference...

boost the gamma 2.0

http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/...SPLIT02G20.jpg
and to really make it stand out, gamma boost 3.0
http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/...SPLIT02G30.jpg

one last example, a nighttime shot of the Vegas strip...

side by side
http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/...oshpanny03.jpg

diagonal split
http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/..._TPSPLIT03.jpg

gamma 1.3
http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/...PSPLIT03G3.jpg

gamma 2.0
http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/...SPLIT03G20.jpg

gamma 3.0
http://images.andale.com/f2/106/115/...SPLIT03G30.jpg

so.. based on the eyes of several people here that have watched this on the TV instead of the monitor, everyone PREFERS the Toshiba recording. I think what we have here is not a BLACK level difference, but a CONTRAST level.. putting them side by side make it look like the Pansonic is recording the picture almost TOO dark.... only when the gamma adjust gets above 2.0 does the black even (seem) to be affected...

I'll see if any adjustments make any difference, but you'll note that the BLACK (seems) stay constant, only the contrast seems to change...

also note that the letterbox bars, which WERE recorded on the units, the black (seems) to stay constant also, even with the gamma boosts.

what say you gentlemen???
post #76 of 647
Quote:
Originally posted by zenith2525
Thanks .. Any idea/guess to what the non-HDD model# was?
Probably the DMR-E55. I think it was first mentioned in the mega black-bug thread in the old forum.
post #77 of 647
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by xortam
Probably the DMR-E55. I think it was first mentioned in the mega black-bug thread in the old forum.
DMR-E50/E60
post #78 of 647
Londo throws a Curveball ... swing .. and a miss! Now I am completely baffled
post #79 of 647
Awesome job... I have some thoughts but I need to kind of think them through a bit... my ONLY real question now is-- would the IRE output level of the Philips even matter with the test set up this way?

That would be bizarre if what I (and others) thought was the black level bug was just a high default contrast setting. [sheepish grin]

--biggest thought is ignoring the picture and looking at the widescreen bars, I am a bit confused why sometimes boosting the gamma keeps the bars at black on the Tosh and sometimes they do start "greying" up....
post #80 of 647
Where are the screen shots I'm looking at coming from? Are these the digital photos taken of the 36 inch Toshiba Screen? Or are the screen shots from the PC?
post #81 of 647
Another question-- what happens when you change the recording mode on the Toshiba using that "mode 1" setting or whatever it was?

[must...stop...head....spinning :)]
post #82 of 647
Hey Londo,

I am new to all of this but I got lost somewhere here.

Are these images recorded on each unit and then played back on a completely different unit to compare?

My RD-XS32 plays everything beautifully!
The bug as I see it, is when I record with the RD-XS32 and play it back on another unit such as a Sony.

The difference I see when I do this is like night and day..... a whole bunch worse than what you display here.

Although when I loan out a recording to family members for evaluation, they never acknowledge that the video is washed out.

Maybe they don't have an eye for it, or maybe they are just grateful.... or maybe they don't want to hurt my feelings.....but I KNOW it is there.

The question is, can I make it better!
post #83 of 647
crappie- I have to agree, the difference is much more noticeable than the screen shots indicate. I was just looking again at a few discs recorded on the Tosh played back on my Pioneer (7.5 IRE) and they are much more washed out looking in general.
Londo: Have you actually made a disc on the Tosh yet and played it back on your Panasonic (output of Panasonic set to normal or lighter ) ?
post #84 of 647
Quote:
Originally posted by Londo
DMR-E50/E60
Okay ... obviously it was a WAG.
post #85 of 647
For the comparisons on the TV, what DVD player was used to play the disc back?

I have a nasty feeling that the Philips DVD player is hard-coded to 0 IRE since a few searches I did showed it as being PAL/NTSC, and since the 7.5IRE level is very US specific it seems like there's a chance that it doesn't comply to US standards (since it's "universal").

I have to agree that when played back at 7.5IRE the Toshiba's discs look washed out on my own TVs. So I am very confused by what this thread is showing...
post #86 of 647
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Tom Roper
Where are the screen shots I'm looking at coming from? Are these the digital photos taken of the 36 inch Toshiba Screen? Or are the screen shots from the PC?
My bad, I'll go back and correct, but the recordings were made on DVD-RAM and took them to the PC, extracted the MPEG2 streams and frame snaps made from Womble MPEG2 Video Wizard.
post #87 of 647
Judging by Londo's screen shots, it's the black level bug I've seen. It looks the same as it did on the DR-1.

Contrast is actually changed by the Picture Recording Mode, not black level. This Picture Recording Mode has been labeled a black level adjustment though. I've done several tests on that when I had the DR-1.

The Picture Recording Mode reduces the contrast, which in fact darkens the picture, but not the blacks.

Regardless, the Toshiba's picture is washed out. When I had the E80H, the tonality, black level, and contrast level were very close, if not spot on, to the recorded source. I have a DirecTivo so it makes it very easy to do these comparisons.

So it seems this format has quite a way to grow before all the bugs are worked out. So far there seems to be major problems with most recorders, at least IMO.

Panasonics-hard drive problems and reliability problems(other makers are yet to be seen).

Toshiba- Black level bug.

Pioneer- black screen problems during VHS recording.

Philips- White screen problem (auto black level problem), reliability problems and complaints on disc compatibility.

Sony- Dark picture and dirty disc error.

If I don't get my VHS black screen problem straightened out with the Pioneer, I am in no rush to try another recorder until this format matures.

Have a good one.
post #88 of 647
Londo, what program do you use on the PC to find out the bitrate, resolution and such from the MPEG header?

Also, I think both 704x480 and 720x480 are 'legal' for DVD. But I am curious which one is the most common for other recorders. What I am trying to find out is if it is Toshiba or Panny that is being 'different'.
post #89 of 647
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by jmscott42
For the comparisons on the TV, what DVD player was used to play the disc back?
Playback on the Philips 727.

For what it's worth, VISUAL quality was the same (ie, not washed out) on a JVC XB500, Panasonic S35 *and* the E80 itself.
post #90 of 647
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by jtoras
Londo, what program do you use on the PC to find out the bitrate, resolution and such from the MPEG header?
'

Womble MPEG Video Wizard, while the clip is on the timeline I just right click on it and it gives the properties.

Quote:
Also, I think both 704x480 and 720x480 are 'legal' for DVD. But I am curious which one is the most common for other recorders. What I am trying to find out is if it is Toshiba or Panny that is being 'different'.
BOTH are legal for NTSC (720x480 is Full D1, 704x480 is 'broadcast' D1). 99% of the time a commercial DVD is 720x480. The Panny I think is the 'odd man out'.
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