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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted the thread below on a cnet forum and was advised to repost here to get better help. The basic problem is that on certain dark scenes, my set loses its rich look and looks like it's getting bad analog antenna reception, although I'm watching blu-ray over HDMI. The problem is repeatable for the scenes that I have found it in. However, most of the time it looks great. I was watching Blade Runner yesterday and it was spectacular - and that is a movie with a lot of dark scenes, or with dark and light together in the same image. So far I've found scenes in Planet Earth and one scene in The Fountain (blu-ray), and several scenes in upconverted DVDs (which I thought might just be part of the upconversion but now I think is the same problem that I see on blu-ray). I list some specific blu-ray scenes below.


I've been looking all over the net for anyone who is experiencing what I am, and I can't find anyone else who has mentioned it yet. Therefore I decided to post.


I'm playing blu-ray discs on the 42PZ700U, using the BMP-BD30 (yes I bought the Best Buy special). They are connected with a Monster 800HD HDMI cable. I probably overpaid for the cable but I don't know any better. Anyway, most of the time blu-ray looks fantastic. The TV reports that it is receiving a 1080p signal. I have the player set to output "normal" picture mode and the tv set to "cinema" picture mode, although I turned down the contrast a little for the "break-in" period. In trying to get rid of this issue I have tried many of the settings that other people have posted as their "calibrated" settings but none of them have fixed it.


My problem is that occasionally, I get what looks like "snow" on the picture. This snow appears consistently in the same place and, although I haven't paused and compared pixel by pixel, appears to look the exact same every time.


For instance: on the Planet Earth series, DVD 1, in the Mountain section, Chapter 2, there is a scene where some mountain lions or pumas are hunting at night. This whole night scene is "snowy", and one scene in particular has a kind of pulsating snow. Now when I'm saying "snow" it doesn't look like just white static - it looks like some kind of interference. It's like static that matches the colors it's inside of, but still obviously looks as if it shouldn't be there. It's hard to describe but if anyone has experienced it they will know exactly what I'm talking about. Thing is, I don't have anything else turned on near the TV/player, so unless the power in the wall is causing interference then I don't know what else it could be.


The only success I have had in getting rid of the effect is using the CATS setting on my TV, which dims the picture to the point that almost all detail is lost in the dark scene and so is useless. Also, setting the blu-ray player's video output to "soft" also lessens the effect to a less damaging degree, but as I understand it this means that it is "fixing" artifacts which shouldn't really be necessary. It doesn't completely get rid of the snow either, and I don't like the feeling that it might be altering my image at other unnecessary points. Currently I don't have any of the "image altering" options turned on, on either the blu-ray player or the TV (as far as I know).


Other places in the Planet Earth series I've noticed this effect are in the water as the seals jump in and out of it (just before the great white attacks them), and in shots of the caves on Disc 2, particular the scene where the narrator is talking about the 100 mile long cave. There is a long pan across what should be almost total darkness and it looked like a static dark mess.


Also on the blu-ray of The Fountain, in a scene right near the beginning, where Hugh Jackman is floating in front of a field of stars - during most of that scene he is floating in front of a pitch black field with tiny white pinpricks, and then in one shot he is floating in front of a fuzzy black mess, then back to the black with white pinpricks.


Someone please tell me you have an idea what's going on. Ideally this has happened to you and you can tell me what you did to fix it! If there is more information I should post that will help anyone get to the root of my problem, I would love to do so.
 

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"My problem is that occasionally, I get what looks like "snow" on the picture. This snow appears consistently in the same place and, although I haven't paused and compared pixel by pixel, appears to look the exact same every time."



I'm not sure that I've heard of perfectly static "snow" in a picture, but it sounds similar to the noise one gets when their TV's sharpness is too high. I have a 32" LCD, and when I first got my set (before it was heavily tweaked) I watched a low-light Planet Earth (Blu-ray; might be the very scene you described) scene that had excessive noise/snow/sparkles. At first I thought it was inherent in the night-shot capture, but after being bothered by several other scenes I turned my sharpness to "0". This GREATLY improved the picture. Things were slightly softer, but I quickly developed an appreciation for the clean, natural image. What the sharpness level was doing, in addition to sharpening the subject's lines, was highlighting/magnifying every last fleck of noise or compression artifact.


Hopefully this helps, though I see you've already tried some of the calibration suggestions, which likely entailed a diminution in sharpness. Otherwise I'm stumped, a new DVD transfer like Planet Earth should not have the anomalies you describe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnbuck /forum/post/12985836


Otherwise I'm stumped, a new DVD transfer like Planet Earth should not have the anomalies you describe.

Thanks for responding! My post on cnet actually got more traffic after I posted here, and after doing some research I found this thread on blu-ray's forums:

http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=8245


explaining that some of the problem stems from times the BBC used standard def cameras, and other times it probably results from poor transfer to mpeg2 or whatever. Kind of disappointing but overall the footage is stunning.
 
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