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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All--


This is a cross-disciplinary question, so I thought I would post it here.


Quite simply, why would an SDI-outfitted DVD player through a scaler or HTPC have better PQ than an HTPC software decoder on properly-flagged film source? I'm looking for possible explanations or somebody to tell me that I'm suffering from a placebo effect (akin to the volume difference of DD5.1 versus DTS).


On comparisons of the two on properly-flagged film source, I think I'm seeing better colors on both my Denon DVD3300 modded player and Electrograph SDI2000. The resolution looks about the same on the software decoders, although the image is slightly "snappier" with moving video on SDI. To me, the golds in Gladiator really show the difference. It really looks gold on SDI!


Some others have said similar things about their impressions (Alan Gouger, for one) on doing an A/Bs of the two.


This is killing me. Is it just a matter of better deinterlacing on video processors? The skeptic in my psyche demands answers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmmm... I suppose I don't. I'm assuming. My main point of reference is Gladiator. That has lots of gold buckles and candle flames, etc.
 

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Have you adjusted the color (and other controls) so that they are matched between internal DVD and SDI? Level difference coudl throw you off.


Two different MPEG decoders are being used and the results could be caused by that. iDCT in Software DVD players may not be as good as standalone hardware. (CPU issue.)


You might want to try a couple of different software decoders to see if you see the same difference. (be sure to adjust color again.) Or you may want to try two different external DVD playes with SDI out. (make sure both players have different MPEG decoders.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I should be more careful about calibrating the software player. I'll do some more testing on the TT player--Cliff's values were scoped to the Radeon.


As an aside, re the MPEG-2 decoders... I've found that, much to my surprise, both players auto-calibrate to the same values on DScaler's calibration algorithm, using the Avia test patterns. You would have thought there would have been at least slight variation, but there isn't. I even shipped off the tiff screenshots to Laurent Garnier for analysis, just in case there was a problem with his algorithm.


I fear to open the Electrograph SDI2000 because it costs so much. I can't confirm the type of MPEG chip that it has, but I suppose there's even chance that it is different than the Denon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Deniz: thanks for the confirmation. Considering this, I did expect some variation on the calibrated levels. But there weren't any.
 
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