AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I spent a couple of hours today shopping for a new HD-capable direct-view TV. I've been very disappointed with all of the 36" 4:3 and 38" 16:9 sets that I've seen.


Even though the picture seems to be worse than the 34" Sony 16:9 set, I'm leaning toward the 36" XBR450. It seems OK with an HD picture, but I'm unhappy with standard 480i material -- especially DirecTV. There are lots of image artifacts, including what looks like macroblocks even in relatively low-motion scenes. I'm sure these aren't present in the source signal to nearly the same extent. I tried the various DRC settings, and none of them seemed to make much of a difference.


So my question is whether there is a video processor that will help solve this problem. Will converting to 480p by itself be enough (as with an iScan Pro)? Or are there other solutions that could provide even better quality?


Thanks for your help.


(I originally posted this in the Video Processor forum, with no luck so far, so I thought I would try again here)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,019 Posts
Get yourself either the Avia or Video Essentials DVD's and use them to adjust your TV. My bet is that the sharpness on your TV is WAY too high (as most sets are as they come from the factory).


If that doesn't take care of the problem, think about working back towards S-Video or maybe even using composite. You may even have to go all the way to RF input.


These large screen, HD capable displays always show this stuff more than smaller screens.


------------------


You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...

http://www.fcc.gov/csb/facts/otard.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm sure the problem isn't sharpness or color balance or cables or anything like that.


What I'm seeing looks like digital artifacts. The most bothersome problem inolves frame-to-frame motion, where the moving part of the picture appears out-of-sync with the rest of the frame.


I've had DirecTV for years, so I'm very familiar with the kinds of artifacts on the source signal -- what I'm seeing on the XBR450 isn't that, either.


Although I don't know how this TV works, it looks like it may be encoding the analog signal, then decoding it for display, and there's a problem with either the encode or decode logic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
From my experience - these digital artifacts are always present in the DirecTV stream - basically DTV over-compresses most channels esp. the per-city locals and stuff. But if your display isn't calibrated (esp. the black level and sharpness) these artifacts that are normally tolerable become much more bothersome. With an improper black level I've even seen these sort of artifacts on high-quality DVDs. With some tuning and cranking down the sharpness these tend to disappear into the background noise pretty much, but if you are looking for them up-close they are always there. A weaker display might hide them just by poor focus or resolution...


Frankly DTV compression has gotten bad enough lately I'm tempted to dump them. Unfortunately they care a lot more about quantity than quality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32,172 Posts
Frankly, Sony's direct-view sets with DRC are unwatchable with DirecTV. DRC may be a wonderful "line-doubling" technology, I dunno.


But with DirecTV's compressed signals, DRC-based sets look like crap. This rules out the Sony sets for many of us, who actually watch NTSC TV and not just DVDs or HD.


Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree that the DRC-based Sonys look like crap with DirecTV, even with a properly calibrated set.


What I'm wondering is whether the problem can fixed using an outboard video processor. DRC is disabled when the input signal is 480p instead of 480i, right?


Has anyone tried this? If so, I'd love to hear the details, good or bad. How do the doublers and scalers perform on DirecTV signals? How does it look on the Sony direct-view sets?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
292 Posts
Let me just say this Sharky - when our XBR450 was first hooked up and turned on I wanted to CRY the cable images and especially D* were awful - just AWFUL - the motion artifacts were almost everywhere - UNTIL - I calibrated the set first with my LaserDisc of Video Essentials (yes I know LaserDisc, I was very comfortable using this disc to set my monitors). I liked the results much better so I put in the Avia DVD and tweaked (all channels are viewed and calibration was done on "Movie" setting - we use no other setting - like it was suggested to me - after calibration give it a week to get used to the new (not overly bright) settings). With few exceptions the XBR450 is now breathtaking for channels that don't use too much compression (PPV - Starz, etc.). Yes, the sharpness was cut way back and that stopped the "skin movement" artifacts considerably. The set is not perfect - a lot of text on the screen looks like crap and still pictures horizontal lines look like stairs (jaggies) but otherwise there are days I just marvel at the beauty. This is being written only about DirecTV (no HDTV receiver yet) - cable is signal strength specific - some strong channels look OK but weak ones look worse than ever on this set. DVDs, of course, are jaw dropping!!! Seriously, I cannot stress it strongly enough - calibrate - it changed my whole impression.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
750 Posts
Sharky,


I have the XBR450 and DirecTV. I had a beautiful non-HDTV before and now that I've adjusted the XBR450, this is by far the best DirecTV picture I've seen anywhere. Out of the box, almost everyone agrees that the XBR's reveal or exaggerate DirecTV's bad picture quality.


Search for "iScan" or "iScan Pro". I've read that some others have used this with success with their XBR's. But, I am so happy now that my XBR has been adjusted that I can't imaging the picture quality being worth the extra $500 to me. I strongly suggest you double check your settings. Either way, I hope you get it looking to your satisfaction.


Here are some tips. Others have suggested some of these, but I repeat them because of importance and to have this in one spot.
  • Turn off the SVM (Scan Velocity Modulation) -- this is the most important one, as it is usually the culprit in adding what look like digital artifacts.
  • Drop the Sharpness back to zero (or near zero).
  • Leave the DRC on "Cinemotion." In experimenting for 4 months, I have not found that any DRC mode is noticeably better than another, except that "Cinemotion" really gets rid of jaggies on film-based material and is no worse on video sources.
  • Adjust the brightness and contrast usin Avia or Video Essentials. Cutting down the contrast a bit from the factory helped.
  • Turn Color temp to Warm. You can do this on all Picture settings, but it is Warm on "Movie" by default, I think.


------------------

-Jason



[This message has been edited by JasonATL (edited 10-02-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Jason, curious where you got your XBR450, did you get the 32 or the 36, did you shop around? I live in the Buford/Cumming area, was all set to get a MITS RPTV but have been disillusioned by all the negative stuff I have heard about bad pictures on DirecTV with RPTVs. I mainly watch sports and network shows, thought your post was quite informative. Looked at CC last night, they had 36xbr450 for $2499, is that a good deal?


------------------

Terry

GXCEBOT
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by tsbrady1:
Jason, curious where you got your XBR450, did you get the 32 or the 36, did you shop around? I live in the Buford/Cumming area, was all set to get a MITS RPTV but have been disillusioned by all the negative stuff I have heard about bad pictures on DirecTV with RPTVs. I mainly watch sports and network shows, thought your post was quite informative. Looked at CC last night, they had 36xbr450 for $2499, is that a good deal?
Not a very good deal. Costco is selling them at $1999+tax. You may find better deal online, but be prepared for return/exchange nightmare if you ever have to.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Sharky,


I have a Sony KV-36HS20, which is similar to the XBR. And right away I noticed what you are talking about. I have DISH network with a 6000 receiver/tuner. First off, I have to say that HD and DVD content are truly breathtaking! Including over-the-air HD content from the networks. These problems only happen on what I presume to be highly compressed channels (on Dish Network in my case). I know what you are referring to about moving objects, such as when a news announcer moves slightly. It looks like a fuzzy slow-motion effect that's been speeded up to be imperceptible. But you see it anyway on the big tube.


I have done what some of the folks here suggest-- lower sharpness, turn off VSM, set picture to warm, etc. All of these do help. But it doesn't go away completely. I never noticed these things on my old 31" Mitsubishi. But the hi-scan monitor has revealed all the flaws on DISH I never saw before.


For now, I'm convinced it's mostly due to compression. I'm more than thrilled with the high quality content I'm seeing. By the way, DISH has their HD Demo channel and so I set my receiver to 480i and the picture still looked awesome, even with DRC off. Everyone thought the 480i was the HD! So I know I've got a great set.


If I find a good solution I'll be sure to pass it along. In the meantime, hang in there!


MPEG = My_Picture_is_Especially_Gross http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


------------------

Joey


Sony KV-36HS20

Dish 6000 w/OTA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I think what the original poster is seeing is the effect of scan doubling and bumping NTSC video up to 60fps progressive without deinterlacing.


The *only* HD set that I saw do this without making my stomach turn was a 16:9 38" RCA. NTSC never deserved to look as good as it did on that set.


I was sort of jazzed on the idea of getting an HD set to go with my new DirecTV but after seeing these HD sets absolutely butcher NTSC video I think I'll wait a few years. (Until either NTSC goes away or they fix the problem.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by tivohaydon:
I think what the original poster is seeing is the effect of scan doubling and bumping NTSC video up to 60fps progressive without deinterlacing.
This makes sense to me. Isn't DRC known for doing a poor job of deinterlacing? If this is it, then you would expect a good deinterlacer like the Faroudja might fix the problem. Has anyone tried this?


I realize that this might seem like overkill. However, in my case, I have too much ambient light for a projector (along with location-related issues), so direct view is my only option. But if I can't make DirecTV / NTSC look reasonable on an HD set, then I'd rather stick with 32" analog and wait another year or whatever until the technology improves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
As I said before, I'm sure that the artifacts that I'm seeing don't have anything to do with the settings for sharpness, etc. I'm very familiar with how those settings can affect a picture, and the difference that proper calibration can make. I'm also intimately familiar with the artifacts introduced from DirecTV's over-compression. Please believe me when I say that the artifacts that I'm seeing are something completely different.


What I'm seeing reminds me of those horrible "Videophone" images that they've been using on CNN -- what looks like macroblocks that actually have a time/motion lag from one frame to the next, even in simple low-motion, "talking head" scenes. And yes, I've seen macroblocks on some DirecTV images, but they have a different character to them, and they're not as severe.


I did search here for info about the iScan Pro. I didn't see anything specifically addressing this question, though. If I missed it, please let me know. What about other video processors, like Faroudja? Has anyone tried one of those with an XBR450 and DirecTV?


Please tell me more about Scan Velocity Modulation (SVM). The name, at least, sounds promising. Does anyone know how it works, or what kinds of artifacts it can introduce?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
I've never owned a Sony set with DRC prior to getting a new KD34-XBR2, so I can't compare the two directly, but the de-interlacing of the signal coming off a Sony DTivo is great. This might be a different generation of DRC or something, but its clearly better than the de-interlacing that my other set, a Mits Diamond series RPTV, does.


I actually run the DirecTV feed at "Low" VM and sharpness about 3 clicks above minimum. I know technically VM OFF and 0 Sharpness are recommended, but I found tweaking it up just a tad helps define some of the small details that DirecTVs excessive compression can lose.


Maybe the 450 has different hardware, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this set with DTV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've seen the XD34XBR2 right next to the XBR450, and without comparing the details of their specs, I believe that they must use different electronics. The HD picture on the 34" was much better than on the XBR450, and the differences were more substantial than you would expect from just having a smaller screen size.


I've also seen the new 40" XBR, and it's even worse than the 36" -- although in that case, the images look similar enough that they might use the same electronics -- but that's just an educated guess on my part.


Unfortunately, a 34" 16:9 is too small for me, so I didn't spend a lot of time looking at its NTSC / DirecTV picture quality. In 4:3 mode, the picture is larger on a 32" 4:3 set than on the 34" 16:9 (bad WAF). If I go with a 16:9, I'll need at least a 38".


If I can't come up with a solution for the Sony, my most promising option at the moment is to wait for the new 38" 16:9 Loewe, which is supposed to be available in another week or two. It has a curved tube, though, which I'm not thrilled about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by RetinalBurnOut:
Why would anyone buy a 4:3 TV today?
This is an example of a post that adds absolutely nothing to the thread. The man asked a question about whether he should try a video processor with his XBR. Nobody asked for your opinion about buying 4:3 TVs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
I'm reading this thread with great interest as I am very close to deciding about my next TV purchase. I really like what I've seen (at several stores) and read about the 36XBR450, but I have to say that 90% of my viewing is via my DirecTivo and only 10% is DVD. These types of threads really scare me off, since I have been to just about every retailer in my area and not one of them has the capability to show me this set running DirecTV (I've seen it running DVD -- Outstanding! and Cable -- Really very good).


I want to make sure I can buy a 36" set that will enable me to watch HD (both OTA and via DirecTV) when I'm ready (soon!). What should I make of this thread? Is the XBR450 bad match or good match with DirecTV? Should I consider another comparable set (like the Panny HX41) or would their line doubling technology lead to the same problems? I'm not at all interested in a RPTV since the room it's going into is pretty small (10x12). Help!


Steve
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top