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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A local shop has the Sony 10HT on demo playing Toy Story 2 and I know this DVD is not the best to show black level on this projector. What are the best DVD's to test the black level and contrast on this projector? What should I look for to determine if this LCD shortcoming will bother me? Thanks.


Gary
 

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Pitch black, U571, Aliens, Lost in Space (any space movie with lots of black space scenes), Gliadiator beginning battle scene, etc.


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Huey ;-]
 

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I agree that Pitch Black is a good one. Another one to consider is Dark City, good test material right from the beginning of the movie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Smallcombe:
Pitch black is great for these purposes. I also find First Contact has some low contrast nighttime scenes on earth, as well a space scenes that can look washed out with the stock 10HT. Space Cowboys has some unbelievable in-space footage that looks great with a tweaked 10HT, but will probably look less so with a stock version. In any case, you should be aware that it is possible to significantly improve the black level and contrast ratio of the 10HT via various tweaks described on my web-site at http://home.pacbell.net/steve367/


The improvements are not subtle.


Steve

Steve,


I demoed Gladiator today and did notice the dark grey "blacks". It was most apparent on the top and bottom black bars. The picture didn't seem to jump out at me. I think it was probably because the colors seemed a little washed out. I'm sure this was due to the projector not being properly calibrated.


After you "tweaking" do the top and bottom bars appear black? How does it affect the overall color depth?

 

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The top and bottom bars do look a lot more like black, and about the same as regions of the screen with no projector-based light, but not inky black. The tweaks improve the black level by essentially a factor of 2 so, as I say, the difference is fairly dramatic. Overall color saturation is improved by the same amount.


Steve



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Steve Smallcombe
 

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What is most useful for viewing a display's ability to render black and deep shadow detail are scenes which have a dark overall picture content. All too often one sees demos only with scenes which have a lot of bright objects or high overall light level. Under those conditions even a display with poor ability to reproduce black can look good. It's when a scene is overall dark and lacks bright objects that the true transparency vs fogginess due to poor black reproduction is most visible. If black reproduction is too light, darkly lit scenes look washed out, drop in color saturation, and look flat.


Autumn in New York is an excellent disk for checking black reproduction capability. It has a imagery with both low APL (average picture level) and color content.


Begin with Chapter 5. The overall APL of the opening street scene is moderately low and contains the colors of fall leaves. There should be a dimensionality and depth to the image down the street as the taxi approaches. The immediately following shots though a glass window into the cab roughly demonstrate what poor black renditon looks like. The following park scene after the cab has very dark greens behind the falling leaves. Coloration should be vivid autumnal and image depth tremendous and Ryder and Gere walk in the park.


Chapter 7 begins with a view of the Statue of Liberty. Very shortly thereafter one sees a Richard Gere reading a letter. The shots of him switch through a window and direct. You should clearly have a sense that the layer of fog caused by the window is lifted when the camera switches to a direct close up.


Chapter 8 is extremely difficult for a projector to display well. Almost the entire chapter is a tough challeng. The scenes are quite dark, but has shadow detail in the background and clothing. Watch and note if the image is like looking directly at something at night through clear air vs through a smokey veil. It should look like a view through clear air. At the end of Ch 8 one sees a night riverside view then Richard Gere walking up stairs next to the river. Pay particular attention to how vivid the colors of the dimming sunset appears. The sky should have a very definite blue blended to orange appearance as one might see two hours or so after sunset. That sunset should look even more saturate than skin. Look at the blueness of the water behind Gere and his facial color as he ascends the steps. The water should be definitely blue and his face fleshtoned even before he is lit by the street light.


Chapter 10 opens with a park scene with average APL but lots of vivid fall color. One is then taken to a dusk outdoor building shot. Transparency in the park scene should be staggering. The plane of your display should practically disappear if blacks is rendered well.


I think Autumn in New York is a more useful subjective test material than Sci Fi or animated films because it showcases material from real life rather than imagined. After all, when was the last time you looked out the viewport of a starship or saw talking bugs? The former doesn't have a real life referrant, and the latter is great for hiding display deficiencies behind bright images with exaggerated colors.


It's incredibly sad that cueing up this film has been made to remind us of unbearable losses so recent and yet to come.


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Guy Kuo
www.ovationsw.com
Ovation Software, the Home of AVIA DVD





[This message has been edited by Guy Kuo (edited 09-16-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by William:
If you plan on using a HTPC for the best possible picture be aware that the 10ht will not do 1 to 1 pixel mapping at 1360x768.

I read on another forum that you can use a specific resolution (don't remember which it was) to "trick" the projector into thinking it was getting a 720p signal. Would the 1:1 pixel mapping still be an issue?

 

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Pitch black is great for these purposes. I also find First Contact has some low contrast nighttime scenes on earth, as well a space scenes that can look washed out with the stock 10HT. Space Cowboys has some unbelievable in-space footage that looks great with a tweaked 10HT, but will probably look less so with a stock version. In any case, you should be aware that it is possible to significantly improve the black level and contrast ratio of the 10HT via various tweaks described on my web-site at http://home.pacbell.net/steve367/


The improvements are not subtle.


Steve



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Steve Smallcombe


[This message has been edited by Steve Smallcombe (edited 09-16-2001).]


[This message has been edited by Steve Smallcombe (edited 09-16-2001).]
 

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Batman and Robin is a good one. Lots of dark scenes. I have a post in the 'screens' section of this form that has some screen shots of my Sony 10HT on a DIY screen. There is one picture of Mr. Freeze from this movie.


Take a look if you get a chance.

Steve
 

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Another dark scene with a lot of shadow detail comes from Ben Hur. Chapter 37 ("A vow in the darkness") was what we used at work to test GreyHawk material. An LCD with poor contrast will project a lifeless grey mush. In fact entire objects disappeared in our worst case testing. The Greyhawk made a tremendous difference in punch and shadow detail in this scene. Swapping projectors also made a considerable difference.
 

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Another point when thinking about black level with regards to dark scenes is to figure out just how much ambient light will be present when viewing. I have the 10HT and during the afternoon it wouldn't matter what projector you would be using because there is enough light in the room that the screen does not go black. Another thing to keep in mind is that in some movie scenes there really isn't much shadow detail whether you are watching a projector that is throwing gray or a direct view TV that can do black very well. What I mean by this is that on my 31' direct view superflat panasonic, I achieve better blacks than the 10HT but in many cases the image detail is not different. With the 10HT it leans to the gray side with no detail and with the panasonic it leans to the black with no detail. Some dark scenes are not always intended for you to see alot of detail no matter what.
 

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In addition to the excellent suggestions listed in the posts above try Disney's dinosaur at I think Chapter 21. The Chapter where they find the nesting grounds. Watch the portion at the beginning of the chapter where they are trying to break out of the cave. It is flat light and mostly different shades of grey. It will really test a projectors contrast ratio and its ability to distinguish between different levels of grey. You will be amazed at the detail you will see on one projector that will be completely absent on another.
 

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2001=white and black all over. check out black monolith in space. very hard to see.


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Nick Ozanich
 
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