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Thanks to Kelson and wajo for suggestions re: the 3575 and 3576 dark tuner syndrome. I'll try those ideas and see what happens. My TV is a 1080 rez, and I have the 3576 setup to match. But, keep in mind that DVD's all play with correct contrast that matches broadcast black level (I'm an antenna guy--free TV is my signal source), it's only reception through the 3576's tuner that has dark, crushed black levels, whether viewed on HDMI or component connection. So, then that low level gets passed along to the HDD where playback looks just as bad. Presumably, any DVD's burned from that will also have the same ailment. But again, commercial DVD's present a perfect video level, whether played through HDMI or component. I don't see how trying a composite connection could fix the low-level tuner, but I'll certainly try it and see what happens. Thanks again to those who offered their input. I'll keep looking for a tuner software fix, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #802
Brightening a "Dark Picture" on Large-Screen TVs with the HDMI Format Setting


I just saw a great TV source for testing my 3575 tuner for "dark pic" via HDMI to my Vizio 47" 1080p LCD... except, it was a REVERSE situation to the "dark pic" a few others are reporting, primarily those using 768p TVs. My dark pic was in a live pic on my TV... no 3575 involved!


I'm an analog cable subscriber but one of my local analog channels (NBC 13) switched to HD broadcasting for their news... essentially, a "dense" HD-produced program on an analog channel. All other std analog channels show NO evidence of darkness on the TV itself, but on one occasion I noticed my local HD news looked noticeably dark overall ON THE TV ITSELF, i.e., in the signal being fed on the coax, not thru my 3575's normal line connection to the TV. Today, it was dark on the TV again... the weather lady was in a dark brown suit with 2 buttons on front, and it was hard to see the jacket split and the two buttons.


I recorded a segment on my 3575 where she was mostly facing the camera. I then played the rec and PAUSED to check PQ on the still frame, pressed STOP and changed the HDMI Format setting, pressed PLAY and got to the same pic and PAUSED to make a direct comparison.


I was set for YCbCr for HDMI (where RGB Range doesn't apply), with output set for 480p cuz my 1080p TV does a better job upscaling to its native res. When I switched from YCbCr to RGB Format, her suit (and the whole pic) brightened up and I could now see the split jacket and buttons. Setting my RGB Range to Enhanced added contrast, and the tuner pic became a little sharper, but it also became a little darker again.


However, after many tests and going back-and-forth, I finally settled on YCbCr, which gives me a noticeably sharper pic (and RGB Range has no effect). If I see any dark scenes that lose some detail, I'll just have to live with it! If I happened to play an entire movie shot in darkness, and it bothered me, I might switch to RGB/Normal just for that movie?


Anyway, it appears that programs produced and broadcast in HD, with its higher density pic, MAY present some "darkness" problems in the raw signal from the station, esp. on 768p TVs (usually 40" or smaller). Setting the 3575/76 for RGB/Normal might brighten that pic, altho some people get a brighter pic using YCbCr. It prob. depends on several factors, incl. channel, program and TV. In my case, it happens on an analog channel, with a digital HD production, viewed on my 47" 1080p LCD.


It appears people with "dark pic" should at least test the RGB/YCbCr settings to see their relative effect on the darkness of their pic. Based on my experience in my system, YCbCr MIGHT produce the best pic for the vast majority of things most people watch today?


I had a PM conversation with a 3576 user who has a 52" Samsung and got a dark pic in one particular scene of a commercial DVD. He set his 3576 to HDMI Format = YCbCr cuz it brightened his pic up for both TV watching and for recording! He also mentioned that there was a YCbCr setting in his TV, and setting that ON made things worse! Obviously, he just left his TV setting OFF.

Another user "just gave it time to correct itself" while watching thru Component RGB connection to his Samsung HDTV!


These may or may not have any effect on the 40" or smaller 1366x768 (720p) TVs some others have reported a "dark pic" on? Those people should really look for a TV setting that might be "DVD" or "DTV" usage cuz the 768p resolution is a COMPUTER resolution, which is what the design of many of these "smaller" TVs was based on. Finding a TV/DVD/DTV type setting might put the TV in video mode and more compatible with DVD/video scaler resolutions of 480i/p, 720p, and 1080i/p.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCW /forum/post/13849286


My TV is a 1080 rez, and I have the 3576 setup to match. But, keep in mind that DVD's all play with correct contrast that matches broadcast black level (I'm an antenna guy--free TV is my signal source), it's only reception through the 3576's tuner that has dark, crushed black levels, whether viewed on HDMI or component connection.

Well, I'm not happy to read that. It's been known that the QAM tuner has more than it's share of problems, but there has been very little reported on the ATSC tuner so we've assumed no news is good news. So now the ATSC tuner is showing the black-level problem.


Please try the composite connection and even the S-video connection if you have a cable. Just to take it down to the most basic connection and see if the black-level problem persists.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson /forum/post/13850099


Please try the composite connection and even the S-video connection if you have a cable. Just to take it down to the most basic connection and see if the black-level problem persists.

I still had it with that (with the 3575), but it did seem to lessen some. It didn't really bother me as much as it seems to bother a lot of other people, though. I'd rather have it a little too rich than washed out. I hate washed out.
 

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On the 3575 I also tried composite and S-video to no avail. I didn't like how something like a dark suit jacket would just look all black, instead of actually being able to see pinstripes/definition within the black.

Same with the whites, all white and no definition. If it weren't for that I'd still probably have the 3575. I think it has as much to do with a TV/DVDR mismatch than anything else. Some people report it, others say it's fine. I also tried the normal enhanced setting which did nothing in my case.

Ramm, I also dislike the washed out effect, both are undesirable.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff /forum/post/13851696


Ramm, I also dislike the washed out effect, both are undesirable.

Yes - like my SD Dish. Going from that to the 3575 on my 32" analog (without separate input settings) was shocking, to say the least.
 

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Discussion Starter #809

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski /forum/post/13851731


Yes - like my SD Dish. Going from that to the 3575 on my 32" analog (without separate input settings) was shocking, to say the least.

Is that the "pretty bad" Dish SD signal you mentioned in other posts?
 

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Yeah. It has it's days where it looks better than usual, but it's mostly crap (don't believe it when they say digital is all or nothing - cold/hot/damp/dry/sunny/cloudy weather does affect it). Maybe when/if the Echostar TR-50 comes out I'll see what's available online for it. If it's decent and it's worth it, I'll finally dump the satellite service.
 

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Thanks for the info Wajo. I agree that for the price difference, getting the 3576 is the best bet. I do have Directv but I can also receive some OTA channels, which I may have to do, should I lose the satellite system.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski /forum/post/13852323


Maybe when/if the Echostar TR-50 comes out I'll see what's available online for it.

I wonder if they are going to change the name of the TR-50 soon, like they did the TR-40.
 

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Discussion Starter #815
According to the manual and other user reports, it can only play pic and audio files thru its USB. DIvX and Xvid have to be on disc. Virtually all other North American DVDRs are the same... models for most anywhere else usually have many more features and capabilities than N.A. units do.
 

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I'm trying to make a final decision on whether or not to keep the Philips 3576 because of the "letterbox" problem I've noted in my previous posts.


In reading through some other posts I've come across some method(s) of converting a component video to S-video signal maintaining the full screen image (no letterboxing.)


1.One is something called an "Apple TV Converter" which sells for more than $100 - talked about on this link:

http://www.svideo.com/dvdrecorder.html


2. Another approach was using a second recorder that had the ability to use component video as input and then use the S-video out to the 3576 unit without letterboxing. So a second recorder was used for the sole purpose of "converting" the component video to S-video. When this was done one or more of the units mentioned was selling on e-bay for very little and most were "as is" or damaged. But as long as the conversion part worked that was all that mattered.


A couple of "second" recorders mentioned were the Magnavox MRV700 and the Polaroid DRM 2001G (I think they both had hard drives also.) These are realtively old models and I don't know if there are any recorders with HDs sold today with component video in - because if there were that would be a lot simpler.


I was wondering if anyone had looked into the Apple converter or what people think about the second option.


Thanks,


Robert
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo /forum/post/13872877


According to the manual and other user reports, it can only play pic and audio files thru its USB. DIvX and Xvid have to be on disc. Virtually all other North American DVDRs are the same... models for most anywhere else usually have many more features and capabilities than N.A. units do.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #818

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmelone /forum/post/13874189


I'm trying to make a final decision on whether or not to keep the Philips 3576 because of the "letterbox" problem I've noted in my previous posts.


In reading through some other posts I've come across some method(s) of converting a component video to S-video signal maintaining the full screen image (no letterboxing.)


1.One is something called an "Apple TV Converter" which sells for more than $100 - talked about on this link:

http://www.svideo.com/dvdrecorder.html

Robert, I think the Apple TV Converter is most appealing cuz it not only converts Component to S-Video well, BUT ALSO defeats CP, according to Nextoo in this thread... he's tested it thoroughly on some usually "highly" CP-protected stuff.


So, in essence, using the Apple TV Converter, does double-duty as a converter AND as a "filter" device that, by itself could cost more than $100. The "svideo" code might still get 10% off the current price of $139 (gets applied on last page with CC # or PayPal Acct info)?
 

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rmelone

I too was vexed by the lettebox problem. STB is SA 4240HDC, TV Panasonic TC-32LX60 DVR is 3575.


My original configuration was cable in to DVR, to STB, to TV. Component out from STB to TV. HDMI from DVR to TV. No matter what I tried I couldn't get WS pic through DVR. Finally reconfigured to HDMI from STB to TV and Component to TV and voila--she seems to be working. I don't think I have a bad HDMI cable because it's working from STB to TV. I conclude (???) that there's a problem in the HDMI socket/circuitry of the DVR. In any case it seems to have resolved MY problem.


Hope this helps,

OTC
 

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Quote:
rmelone

I too was vexed by the lettebox problem. STB is SA 4240HDC, TV Panasonic TC-32LX60 DVR is 3575.


My original configuration was cable in to DVR, to STB, to TV. Component out from STB to TV. HDMI from DVR to TV. No matter what I tried I couldn't get WS pic through DVR. Finally reconfigured to HDMI from STB to TV and Component to TV and voila--she seems to be working. I don't think I have a bad HDMI cable because it's working from STB to TV. I conclude (???) that there's a problem in the HDMI socket/circuitry of the DVR. In any case it seems to have resolved MY problem.


Hope this helps,

OTC

I tried (hopefully accurately) what OTC suggessted but still had the same problem. In fact, I found out there's a problem with my HDMI output from my STB in that there is no sound - but that's a different problem.


I had: Cable in -->3576 / Cable out --> STB(Scientific Atlanta DVR) / S-video in (from SA DVR w/audio) / Component Video Out --> TV. HDMI out from STB to TV.


OTC - if you can verify that's the way you had your connections in order to resolve the letterbox effect I would appreciate it or, if not, tell me what I might have done differently from what you did.


Thanks,


Robert
 
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