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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone noticed if it seems that black level on HDNet has been raised? The reason I ask is because my monitor was calibrated (Brightness) towards DVD playback, therefore the blacks during HD programming always seemed a bit crushed. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think I remember reading that setup for HD is 0 IRE? Lately it seems that black on HDNet is less crushed. I notices this particularly during Hogan's Heros a few nights ago and then again last night during a few seconds of Barry Manilow. A few seconds of Barry Manilow was really all I could take. Has anyone else noticed this? For my setup, these current levels work great. I am getting more of a window effect and filmed images appear more filmlike.
 

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Steve,


In DTV systems, Blacks are at Zero, rather than at 7.5 (%) IRE used in analog NTSC.

I'll have to dial up HD net to check the levels one of these days.

GT
 

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I noticed this too. Last week's Hogan's Heros had the black level way too high. I want to say they were adding 7.5 setup, but it actually seemed higher. The Barry Manilow thing looked like the black level was at 20% or more. Today's Equal Justice had high set-up, and then the HD-Net promos would switch in normal--so the difference is striking. Is anyone at HD-Net paying attention?
 

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I'm glad someone else mentioned this. I recall when Barry Manilow was first broadcast, the black levels were very rich and the contrast definitely seemed higher than it does now.
 

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Guys - Equal Justice and Hogan's Heroes are film converts. HDnet was 99% HD video for a long time but now they are showing some film converts.


I suspect that the black levels from the telecine machines (and inherent in the film) are not as great as from video.
 

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Yes, something is definitely strange with HD Net. I'm watching HARD EIGHT (which, by the way, is an excellent film directed by PT Anderson).


It is letterboxed, and the (normally) black areas on the top and bottom of the screen are a dingy grey.


At the same time, HBO-HD and Showtime-HD have nice rich black areas.


Mark Cuban -- are you listening? Help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
PVR,


I understand that those shows are films, but levels on the master should be set properly. The Manilow show is definitely video and as mentioned before, the contrast was much higher in the past. Hard Eight is on now and again Setup is pretty high. For my monitor, the higher black level helps. The presentation seems more film like. I am just wondering if the engineers are trying to compensate somehow for the average consumer who may not have a calibrated set.
 

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There is definitely something wrong. Hard Eight looks horrible. It's got to be a switch in the wrong place on a tape machine, server, or router, but not on the final output as the promos look fine. The blacks should be 0 ire.
 

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Drop a note to the enginerring guys at HDnet from the "Contact Us" menu on HDNet's website. They're generally pretty responsive to viewer perceptions.


Bob
 

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Seeing raised black levels in these filmed based programs is a nice change if that is really what has recently happened. I have recently noticed that these film based TV shows on HDNet I can now at least see more than a tiny bit of some of the faces. That movie Hard 8 looked fine to me with rich colors nice blacks etc.


I was not sure if the black level changed or maybe it was the programming that was different, though I can now see more detail in the dark areas. Then again, I have noticed at least on one show where the blacks seemed to be grey...not good.


Some of the network shows are so dark, it's just hard to watch so I just watch something else in HD.


I like black levels to be black. I don't even mind that an ISF set may seem to be usually a little on the dim side, however when I can hardly see anything that's going on or it's hard to see faces, I tend to turn it to something else. Movies and Sports have good black levels and some of that programming seems to be very bright.
 

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Perhaps the complains are not simply due to black levels, but rather contrast levels. I don't mind (so much) if the blacks are a tad gray, but if the whites are very dull as well (and the whole show just looks gray) then things stop being fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Is it possible that HDNet may be setting things correctly on their end, and what we are seeing are masters that were recorded with a higher Setup level? A notification on the master or type of color bars laid at the beginning of the tape would set things straight. For my end, things don't look bad. In fact film based material on HDNet (now) does not have that high contrasty video look I associate with HBO and Showtime.
 

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I saw a bit of "Big Apple" last night and the whole picture looked grayish and washed-out. Anyone else notice this?


Todd/Indy
 

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Same here Todd. I actually used a different picture mode and turned the brightness down to about 20%. It solved the problem, but I hate to used 2 different settings.
 

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I think the more telling aspect of this would be a perceived change on the SAME movie or video originally broadcast at an earlier date. Barry Manilow fits that description since on the first date of the telecast the black levels seemed lower than the more recent ones. Newer material has no reference point.
 

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I have also noticed that the black levels on HDNet are higher than other D* channels or a DVD source. My set has been calibrated so that 50% brightness is dead-on for a DVD source. For HDNet, I usually turn the brightness down to about 40% to get better blacks.
 
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