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Progressive sometimes not better?

605 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Cliff Olson
I have an older, but very good Hitachi non-progressive player. I hooked it up via component cabels and the picture is very good. I have a Mits 55413. I was ecstatic because I figured the picture from a progressive player would be even better. I ran out and bought an entry level progressive scan Sony. Much to my dismay the picture was grainy. Not bad mind you but not as good as the Hitachi. Can a very good non-progressive scan player outperform a cheap one with progressive scan?
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Are you unhooking your component cable from the Hitachi and hooking it up to the Sony with the same cables? Have you checked you connections to make sure that they are tight? If so, then a cheap scaler may be the culprit in the Sony, that would be my guess. I have a $1600 Sony DVP-E9000ES DVD/SACD player and coupled with my Fujitus P50XHA10US plasma the picture quality is almost high def looking. My wife even commented how great the picture looked and asked if it was high def. I'm sure that you have the Sony switched to progressive output and not interlaced. Have you looked at the picture quality with interlace output from the Sony? Sometimes if you have progressive going out and then you scale it again it can look grainey whereas if it went out interlaced and the display device scaled it then it might look better because it was only scaled once.
Maniac that's not a bad guess. The guy who sold me the TV said the Mits is doing a better job of upconverting the 480i signal from the player to 480p for display. He claimed the Sony did a poor job of 480p and that would be my problem. I'll take the next step up and see what happens. The Sony had a button you could press to go from regular to progressive so it was pretty idiot proof. Yes I am using the same cables.
Set the Sony to interlaced to see what the picture looks like. I had to send back a $2400 CenterStage CS-2 scaler because when it scaled 480I material and then the Fujitsu P50 scaled it again it looked like the actors had pancake makeup on. I then unhooked the scaler and ran it straight and it looked better. It all depends of which scaler does a better job of scaler which normally means which is the more expensive or better scaler. Scaling anything twice is like making a fax from a fax, it gets worst each time.

The actors probably DID have pancake makeup on and you may have been seeing this for the first time. This is commonly reported as the "clay face" effect, but it may not be. The clay face effect is a loss of detail on the face. However, if your equipment is up to it you truly can see the makeup on the actors. Sometimes when watching LOTR TTT I swear Gimli and Legolas look like they've got a quarter inch lathered on. The difference is I can also see every detail of the face.

I'm a bit confused about your comment that your P50 scaled it "again". That shouldn't happen. If the source component is handling the deinterlacing of the 480i material to 480p, then the P50 should be displaying the source without modification. If the P50 is fed 480i then it will perform the deinterlacing of the signal and convert it to 480p. Some units, like my NEC 42VP4D, have deinterlacer circuitry that is superior to that of most DVD players. My non-progressive Sony looks almost as good as my Panasonic xp30 with its Faroudja chip on the NEC. Almost.
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I'm not sure which Sony DVD player was used but I once owned a Sony DVP-NS715P and had it connected to my Toshiba 57HX81 and noticed the picture wa a bit more grainy than I liked. I compared it's video performance to my Panasonic DVD-XP30 and the XP30 wasn't as grainy at all. My Pioneer DV-656a performs much closer to the XP30 than the Sony did and all three were connected to the same TV.

You made a mistake getting a cheap Sony progressive player, it has a poor de-interlacer so indeed it won't be any better and could be worse. Progressive is only better if you get a model with a top-rated de-interlacer like Faroudja or Silicon Image. The cheapest models with Faroudja are the MItsubishi DD-8040 for
Thumper you answered my question thanks. Thanks to all others too. I will go with the Mits since I have a Mits TV.
Well Thumper I would agree with you that just about any unit with a Faroudja or Silicon Image chip is going to be top notch but that doesn't mean anything less is garbage. I have a JVC (progressive), a Bravo (DVI), a Sony (non-progressive) and the xp30. They are all good, but the xp30 is bit better.

Also, you can get brand new sealed box xp30's and Denon 1600's on Ebay right now.
What I meant was that if you come out of the DVD player with 480i then the Fujitsu would deinterlace to 480P then scale to 720P or 768P which which is the native resolution of the P50. Or you could have the DVD player deinterlace to 480P and then the Fujitsu would scale to 768P.
Mitsubishi puts a very good line doubler in their TVs. As I recently had my Mitsubishi Diamond ISF Calibrated, my tech confirmed that the Mitusbishi Line Doubler was superior to my $1200 Sony DVD Player's.
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