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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Via the component outputs, do these players

a) pass PLUGE and b) allow for a 0 IRE setting (instead of 7.5 IRE)?


I am not interested in the composite and S-video outputs, just the component outputs.
 

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Yes to both questions. You can under the setup menu black level setting select either brighter (7.5IRE) or darker (0IRE) and save it.
 

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The RP82 does not pass pluge. In DVE title 12 ch 2 it only shows the inner two bars whether it is set to lighter or darker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, buddy! That's what I like -- unanimous agreement.
Not.


The Secrets site lists the RP82/XP30 as passing the blacker-than-black aka PLUGE test. But if you can't see all the the bars in DVE or VE, what's up with that? And since the test was in a progressive shootout, shouldn't that reference be for the component outputs?


Setting black at 0 IRE or 7.5 IRE shouldn't affect PLUGE: I have a Toshiba that displays blacker-than-black, regardless of the setting. Component video should default to 0 IRE anyway, since that's how it was recorded.


The reason I ask about PLUGE is because someone on the Plasma/LCD forum had trouble seeing the pattern on their new plasma. I thought I had read somewhere that the component outputs of the players in question did not pass PLUGE, but I forgot where I read this. Hence, my question.


Any further comments or corrections will be most welcome.
 

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FWIW, I have a 45A and 1600.


The 45A only passes below black in interlaced, not progressive. There is no menu setting for this. Secrets says it does pass below black, but on mine, it only passes it in interlaced.


The 1600 appears to pass below black in progressive, but not interlaced. Not sure what the lighter/darker setting in the 1600 really does. The manual says use "darker" for component, and "lighter" for s-vid and composite.


I have not tried all combinations yet, but it surely passes below black in progressive via component.


Not sure if that correlates with RP82, but there is supposedly some commonality between the two players.


BGL
 

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With DVE, my XP30 passes Pluge just fine into my Fujitsu P50 plasma.

I can see all three bars with progressive out.


larry
 

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The THX Optimizer brightness setup in Monsters, Inc., Ice Age and Lilo and Stitch all have two boxes in the lower left corner which are blacker than black. On my RP82 they appear as single slightly green box.


I wondered why the 1080i DVE did not have blacker than black as it only showed two bars. Then reading Joe Kane's hard to find comments I learned that if I used the Samsung to output it, the third bar would appear. I just tested it and that is true.


The problem has been that it is hard to know what you are missing when you can't see it.


My complaint with my Samsung HD931 DVI is not that it doesn't show blacker than black. It is that it is missing shadow detail which both the RP82 and the Samsung HD931 analog show.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
>>>My complaint with my Samsung HD931 DVI is not that it doesn't show blacker than black. It is that it is missing shadow detail which both the RP82 and the Samsung HD931 analog show.
 

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The RP82/XP30/XP50 all pass below-black in progressive mode. They do not pass below-black in interlaced mode. They also get locked into 0 IRE black in progressive mode (correctly). The lighter/darker switch does nothing to the 480p signal. I have an XP50, and I just checked it a second ago. Stacey, of course, checked multiple samples of the RP82 with a high-resolution oscilloscope. I'm not saying it's impossible for the shootout to be wrong, but on this aspect of the RP82 we're sure.


FWIW, PLUGE refers to a test pattern that contains below-black content. It stands for Picture Line-Up GEneration. So players that pass below-black (or "blacker-than-black") can properly display a PLUGE pattern. But the below-black data itself is not called "PLUGE."


Alan, if you're not seeing the blacker-than-black sections of the THX optimizer test pattern, perhaps it's your display. Some displays clip everything below 0 IRE, so below-black content would be at around -4 to 0 IRE and would be clipped. Or perhaps you were looking at interlaced output?


Also, I can't say this enough - DO NOT use the THX Optimizer tests. They are incorrect, and thus worthless. Joe Kane has measured them on several different discs, and they were all different, and all wrong. It really would not surprise me if they had clipped off the below-black information on one of them. Spring for Sound & Vision Home Theater Set-up, or Digital Video Essentials, or Avia, and use correct patterns.


Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks, Don. I hadn't considered that the display might be a potential problem area. I appreciate you pointing this out and answering my question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Now, on the THX Optimizer test patterns. I would think that the error and the potential consequences have been pointed out to THX. Why would they continue to use this flawed system?


Someone, possibly you or Stacey, said that the THX Optimizer program was not completely finished/implemented. There was a Part 2 that integrates with THX DVD players that hasn't found its way into the system. Any idea if THX plans on continuing with this process?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dmunsil


Alan, if you're not seeing the blacker-than-black sections of the THX optimizer test pattern, perhaps it's your display. Some displays clip everything below 0 IRE, so below-black content would be at around -4 to 0 IRE and would be clipped. Or perhaps you were looking at interlaced output?



Don
I am using two displays, a Sony PFM-32C1 plasma and a Sony direct-view XBR910, which are being fed simultaneous component input.


In the setup menu under video is Progessive Out (Enable or Disable). I have tried both several times and have powered on with Enable already on.


As my primary test I am using the DVE DVD title 12 chapter 2 and the ramps at title 12 chapter 14.


Whenever I see only two bars I turn the brightness to maximum to make sure the brightness setting is not the problem.


The RP-82 only shows the two inner bars and fails the THX tests on both displays.


As a crosscheck I use the Sony 360 and the HD931 component output. Using these two DVD players, I see three bars on the DVE pattern and the below black boxes are clearly visible on the THX test on both displays.


I will be happy to try any other test.
 

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Hello,


dmunsil is correct. I have an XP50 as well and "blacker than black" is passed in progressive and is not passed in interlaced. If the display is a poorly calibrated digital-type it may be that the "blacker than black" will not be shown or is very difficult to show -- not only "crushed whites" but "snuffed out blacks" as well. Some sets have gains and cutoffs set ridiculously resulting in a terrible yet "vivid" picture and are almost impossible via the external menus to set controls properly.


The manufacturers have the means to construct proper decoders and track/calibrate a gray scale.

It's a real shame most of their efforts goes into making a bad picture.


I've no doubt that the manufacturer could have jigs and computer programs that would calibrate a TV spot on and without "human" intervention.


Best regards,


Paul Bigelow
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Joe Murphy Jr
>>>

The reason that shadow detail is missing is because, via DVI, the Samsung doesn't pass PLUGE aka blacker-than-black. Greg Rogers, from WidescreenReview, gave this (paraphrased) explanation:


Via DVI, Samsung uses the 16 - 235 (video) standard, then expands it to 0 - 255 (computer) standard for the output.


I have since run a test of D-Theater movies which satifies me that D-Theater output that does not pass below black has the same amount of shadow detail as as output that does.


As I indicated earlier I verified that the JVC component output does not pass below black using 1080i DVE and that the Samsung T165 output does.


I watched about the first ten minutes of Snow Falling on Cedars, From Hell and Spy Game since they all have very dark opening sequences. I stopped whenever I got to a particularly dark sequence and A/B the output for both the plasma and XBR910. I saw no loss of detail.


Particularly puzzling was why I did not have to adjust brightness. The HD931 DVI requires a huge adjustment to brightness and chroma and still comes up short. The Color Facts 6000 on direct contact measures about a .375 inch in diameter area. On the 30% pattern the mystery deepened. The JVC output measured 15.12 nits while the Samsung measured 18.88. This was resolved when I measured the inner bar. There it was .34 nits vs .33 nits. The shape of the curves is different so that deep shadow levels it is identical. This also means that the D-Theater movies have little or no below black data.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I believe D-Theater correctly passes PLUGE on the i.link/1394 digital output, but not on the component outputs. See Joe Kane's article in WidescreenReview (September pg94). Two pages before that he lets circuit designers have it for their lack of understanding regarding video specs.


Maybe this will shed some light on the output problem:
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...vsda-2003.html
 

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Joe,


No, I don't think that THX is ever going to go forward with its "auto-calibrate" idea, nor do I think they should. It's a monumentally wrong-headed idea, IMO, and I say this as someone who owns THX-certified equipment and supported their work strongly up until a few years ago.


There is a standard for what the black level should be. You should be able to set your TV to the standard and watch every film without ever changing it because the films are mastered to the standard. THX noticed (correctly) that sometimes films deviate from the standard somewhere in the long chain of processes that lead to a DVD or tape. Instead of working out a quality-control process that would make sure these deviations didn't occur, their brilliant idea was to record test patterns and send them through the same chain as the rest of the film, supposedly ensuring that they had the same deviations as the film. Then the user just recalibrates their display to the test patterns on the disc, and then their display is set perfectly for that film, and that film only.


This is, not to put to fine a point on it, stupid.


1. Users will not (and should not be expected to) recalibrate their display for every movie.


2. If users did, in fact, recalibrate their TV to adapt to some poorly-mastered movie, they would be taking their TV out of calibration for all the well-mastered non-THX movies out there.


3. Aren't THX movies supposed to represent the state-of-the-art in mastering? What does it say that they just punted the basics - getting the black, white, and color levels correct?


4. There's no real guarantee that calibrating the TV to the patterns will in fact produce a better viewing experience. Many mastering errors are not global to the whole tape. Only systemic errors that affect the entire master tape will apply equally to both the film and the test patterns. And those systemic errors are in fact the easiest to stamp out using better QC processes.


The Optimode fiasco is not the primary thing that makes me mad about THX, but it certainly doesn't help.


Alan,


It's a two-step process to put the RP82 into progressive mode. First you have to enable progressive in the menu, and then you have to hit a button on the remote to actually put it in progressive mode. Could that be it? Do you have any way to check whether the TV is receiving a 480p signal?


As to your DVHS test and why you didn't miss any shadow detail in those particular films, probably because those scenes do not have significant amounts of below-black content. Below-black content tends to be in bright scenes with black objects in them. Dark scenes often have no below-black content. The reason for this is that the telecine operator doesn't lock down the black level for the whole movie - they adjust it shot by shot. In a bright shot, the CRT they're watching will raise the brightness of the dark areas, because no CRT has perfect black level retention. This will make the black areas look dark gray, and the telecine operator will often adjust the black level down to compensate, trying to get the shadow detail to be just barely visible. That puts it in the below-black region.


You can see on the Secrets site (in the "Guide to the Shootout") a scene from Talented Mr. Ripley where the black suit and black hat that Jude Law has no shadow detail on a player that doesn't pass below-black, but looks great on a player that does pass below-black.


So you might want to retry your test, looking for scenes that are brightly lit, but with black objects or areas with shadow details. You may be quite surprised.


As to why you didn't have to adjust the brightness, it's because the overall range is not changing between the two outputs, it's just that all the data at levels 1-16 is being forced to 16. On the Samsung HD931, 16 is being mapped to 0, thus changing the black level (and clipping the blacks as a side effect).


Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Once again, Don, thanks for your comments.


It's sad that many believe THX is the be all end all of quality assurance. That logo is like some seal of approval that many look for to calm their nerves. I too realized several years ago that their certification program took a turn for the worse. I only own one audio product (an amp) that has a THX stamp on it -- but it was not because of the logo that I bought it.
 

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Don,


"In a bright shot, the CRT they're watching will raise the brightness of the dark areas, because no CRT has perfect black level retention."


I agree that "perfect" is a pretty all-inclusive word and hard to refute. However, CRT displays with beefy enough black-level clamping supplies can come doggone close - IF, and only IF - you set brightness (contrast) intentionally so as to NOT drag up the blackness levels on patterns, say in AVIA, as you calibrate. This is why I never set brightness higher than one tick DOWN from just where brightness just begins to lighten the deepest black portion on any given black level calibration pattern. I ignore the instructions on "how to set brightness" IF this leads to setting brightnees (contrast) such that the deepest blacks in any way get impacted. On my particulare CRT RPTV I may be lucky, however, in that this method for setting brightness also yields very pleasant brightness levels (i.e. ....not too dim).


Using this method, as far as I can tell after a year of watching various DVD's, my blacks are staying black no matter what the brightest brights in the image are simultaneously doing. This was not the case until I employed the above method for setting contrast during calibration so as to make it impossible for the brightest level to impact the darkest black for a particular displayer/player combination.
 

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Phil, the point is that you don't want perfect black-level retention. We've been over this before. You want the same amount as the telecine operator. And no matter how much you've tweaked your Pioneer (and believe me, I realize you've tweaked it a ton), you do not have (and do not want) perfect black level retention.


Keep in mind that the CRTs that telecine operators use cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000, are calibrated at least daily, and are run very dim. If they don't have perfect black level retention, your consumer model RPTV doesn't either. No offense to you or your TV intended. :)


A TV with perfect black level retention, that was properly calibrated, would clip off the shadow details in Talented Mr. Ripley. In fact, a properly calibrated CRT TV does not clip the shadow details in Talented Mr. Ripley. This is good, not bad. A plasma or other digital display, though, may clip off the shadow details even if it's "properly calibrated" according to the normal test patterns. This is bad, not good.


Don
 
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