AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
not all movies are mastered equally.

yes, its a bit of sarcasm,

but after reading of some peoples unsatisfying experiences with their 150's, i watched some clips tonight with an even more critical eye, looking for banding, scaling artifacts etc.

now even stepping up from s-video to the prog scan player i began to notice some less than stellar results.

a few days earlier the last thing i watched before taking off for a few days was the 1st appearence of bruce when brody is chumming.

the sequence looked incredible and i left on my trip with my head in the clouds.

i get back, read some negative posts, and all of a sudden i'm seeing problems creep into the picture.

after cycling thru some new MGM titles, and some other recent purchases, i put in First Knight and it hit me like a bolt of lightning.

some discs just don't look all that great blown up this big.

i realized this because FK looked incredible!

wow, what a concept.

not even titles that were released today have really fine transfers or are mastered to the state of the art.

i then cycled thru some of the more highly regarded (as in transfers) titles and had the same feeling i did when i watched the scene from Jaws...simply stunning, spectacular images were being splashed across my 8 foot wide screen.

unfortunately some of my favorite titles are early 97-98 issues , as well as some recent MGM titles (curse them!) and they don't always look so hot, but i hardly think i can blame the projector...or even the dvd player.

i noticed another slighter drop off in quality when i stepped up from a 32" to a 53" digital, so i'm not toally surprised, and i know this will come as no big news to everyone here,

but i just thought it bears repeating that there are several links in the chain to getting a good image on your screen.

unfortunately i now realize one of the weakest links is my movie collection ?!


BTW: i've burned about 36 hours on the projector so far and all but about 1 of them have been without having any sound hooked up.

i think the fact that i've sat there, utterley entranced, for 35 hours just looking at the picture(s) speaks volumes about the quality of this pj.

at least for this newbie.



[This message has been edited by ckolchak (edited 08-29-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
855 Posts
Noticed the same thing myself. Take a look at the Toy Story's, Super Speedway, MI2, Unbreakable or any other recent flicks and it's almost 3D.


Older movies tend to look flatter and more like video. My belief is that this is where the power of a CRT comes into play. CRT probably handles a wider range of movie material with the same results. Can any CRT owners confirm this?


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

Every man is my superior, in that I may learn from him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
733 Posts
I agree - I have blamed this projector for several things - Matrix effect (feathering), blotchiness etc. only to discover that some DVDs simply don't show these problems. Toy Story 2 (Toy Story is a problem), U571, Small Soldiers etc. - no Matrix effect. How can this be if the projector or DVD player is at fault? I have now seen some of these problems on other monitors and can only conclude that the software is largely to blame! Digital projectors most likely exacerbate the problem with their ultra revealling image, while CRTs are more forgiving, however, when you get a good DVD lookout!!


What are we doing here - watching movies or watching the equipment? http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Cheers,


Grant
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,389 Posts
ckolchak, you're observations are right on the money; all DVDs are not created equal. A case in point is the new release of Planet of the Apes. I was exasperated when I realized this title was not anamorphic, but once I began watching the movie, I came to realize that a good portion of my anamorphic DVDs should only look this wonderful.


A lot has to do with the transfer and the quality of the print. With some prints you can be startled when a scene suddenly turns very grainy and exhibits a decline in color quality. Actually that section of the film was probably damaged some where along the line.


This is why companies such as Criterion go out of their way to find the best quality materials, even if it means cannibalizing several prints to make one good one.



A friend thought I was foolish for spending 30.00 on a Criterion edition of an old 50's b&w horror film (Fiend Without a Face) until he viewed it on my system. He had to admit that it brought him back to the old days when we used to go to the Saturday Matinee. After watching the entire movie, he finally sighed at the screen and said, "Now if only I could find Pamela Carbone again."

Luckily for him his wife wasn't around.


So, all we can do is hope the movie companies take a little pride in the quality of their DVD releases--and not muck up the market as MGM is now doing with their "Sell-through" titles. Rollerball is a good example: This is a fun movie, but the DVD quality is so horrible that one wouldn't want to view it on anything larger than a 19" monitor.


Here's hoping for the best!


Peter M
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yeah, POTA looks great. it would be nice to see it get the anamorphic treatment someday, but for what it is, it's leagues over what some of the recently streeted MGM titles i've bought look like.

and those ARE anamorphic (like that means anything when the mastering is so slipshod anyway)

MGM has become the bane of my movie watching. its a shame they have so many great titles (including some excellant Orion releases) and they just grind them out, with little concern for quality.

aaaarrrrgghhhhhh.


i really doubt investing in a scaler or HTPC, at this point, is going to bring about a quantum improvement in some of these titles, and since the good stuff looks excellant with just the p-scan anyway, i don't think i'll be putting any more money into the video end.

the same goes for the sound system. i will probably plunk down about $800 soon to upgrade the speakers and while i could easily spend over a grand to get some refernece system-what's the point? a lot of my favorite films are mono, and even some of the 5.1 tracks are very lacking.


when everything is finished in a month or two, i should have a very enjoyable little movie nook, for under $4K. that includes all the a/v equipment, screen, seats, and misc furnishings.

i think the bang-for-the-buck value of all this will mitigate any anal improvements i could get sinking several grand more into just the display.


i just have to remember, when i sit down to spin a movie, that they just all won't look/sound state of the art.

thankfully , i realize now, most of the problems will lie with the $20 disc, and not my equipment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
950 Posts
Well ckolchack, I have to agree. I have a CI scaler hooked up to this puppy, and guess what?!!!

It seems that the quality of the DVDs I'm watching varies so much, that no matter which menu I go into, (CI or 150) the picture I see has some issues with PQ.

The posts by you, and Li On's in the other thread, are correct.

I found your notice of blowing up the picture on such a large screen, ( mine is a Da-Lite High Gain 60x80) increases the acuity of the problems you mentioned.

I've gone through all the menus each unit provides, and still I notice pixelization, motion artifacts, color bleeding etc..

Maybe I read too much info on this forum about what issues to look for.

It seems that now that the initial hype is over, and many more people have had a chance to see for themselves, the reality of the limitations of this little wonder is now coming to light.

I have to say though, that even with its faults, for the money I spent vs an equally priced (smaller) RPTV, I can live with its limitations.

Just an afterthought. I'm wondering if the MPAA might now be limiting the quality of the DVDs now being produced??

Thanks for listening.

Cheers, VB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
873 Posts
The quality of video transfers varies almost as much as do the quality of audio recordings. Even within a lablel you really cannot predict the results.


I have several Criterion DVD's, and the transfer on some is tremendous, while on others very mediocre. We also have to accept the fact that some movies intentionally look the way they do, and digital projection does not flatter these styles.


Yesterday I watched 'Vertical Limit' (what a waste of time) and 'Das Boot' directors cut. 'Das Boot' is 20 years older than 'Vertical Limit,' and besides being a much more interesting film, I thought the picture quality was much better. On the new movies you have the integration of digital effects with soundstage sets and mediocre actors (a good example is 'Perfect Storm', even better is 'U571') and in the older films you have things like scale models 'Das Boot' and actual artist paintings 'The Thing' (1982).


I have a very fond memory of projecting a virgin 16mm print of 'Its a Wonderful Life' onto a 14' screen, and a near virgin print of 'The World of Apu' after Merchant/Ivory's recent restoration. The incredible depth and resolution of these prints was stunning.


I'm still waiting to better set up my projector before watching 'The Big Sleep' and 'The Passion of Joan of Arc'. It will be a blast even if the picture isn't superb. Nostalgia, as noted above, is a powerful force!


Kelly
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,078 Posts
ckolchak,


Since the processing power required for an HTPC is so minimal by today's standards, I'm surprised you haven't investigated the improvement to be had for DVD watching.


While nothing can make a bad transfer look good, moving a PC you probably already have (or want to replace/upgrade anyway) into your movie nook, can make decent transfers look good and good transfers look great.


My HTPC is a 550 Athlon, 128MB Ram, Sound Blaster Live, Hoontech Digital Sound, 8X DVD-Rom drive, GeForce video and 30GB drive. Built from scratch today that would be under $500, and as an upgrade to any system built in the last year probably $200. Plus you get the benefit of being able to do PC work, gaming, websurfing, etc. on your big screen.


I'm not a believer in the dedicated HTPC -- for me, it is my only PC at home and so it is a small incremental cost to use it as an HTPC.


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

*********************

Kirk Ellis

G1000 D-ILA, HTPC, Panamorph (soon I hope),

Dish 6000 (HBOHD,SHOHD,CBS,NBC,ABC,WB,FOX,UPN, KCET -- does it get any better ?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dreamer,

i'm not against HTPC's per se.

everyone who has them seems to swear by ( and sometimes at) them. my sticking point is i'm strictly a Mac user right now and have zero windows experience. to use a HTPC, i would need a dedicated 'turn-key' system as i'm just not up to-or interested in- tweaking and updating drivers everytime something new and better seems to appear.

i would also have a severly low tolerence for any kind of OS/player/card conflicts.

so the turn key approach would cost considerably more than building one from scratch.

if Steve Jobs ever realizes that there is a burgeoning market of HT enthusiasts & gets people motivated to produce scaling software, etc. then i would probably jump in, as i have some familiarity with the os quirks w/ macs.

at around $2000 now for a turn-key pc, i just can't justify it, since like i said, some discs already look spectacular and i doubt all the compression artifacts and poor mastering of the other discs would be radically changed.

thankfully i'm not exposed to these sytems anyway, so i'll never know just what i'm missing http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif .

right now, i'd be surprised if it were all that much, after all is said and done.

and that money can be better served in my instance, elevating the experience of the theater as a whole rather than concentrating all my resources into just one ( albeit a large one) element of it.

jmo, and of course ymmv http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


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

ckolchakins @hotmail.com

www.realitycrash.com/dvdcovers.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Just Curious?


Does this problem only happens on DLP projectors only?

Or also LCD projectors?


If also on LCD, then I don't see it. I have my DVD(Sony non progressive)player hook up directly to my LT154(LCD) with SVIDEO cable 25ft. Projected to a 60" screen and I saw none of these problems. Or is it the theory of screen size that was described by ckolchak?


If so or not which DVD will show me these problems the most?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Tim,

two of my favorite movies

Who'll Stop The Rain

and

Manon Of The Spring

are non-anamorphic widescreen titles released by Mgm within the last 8 months.

they looked horrendous-mediocre on my 53" rp.

i've only played WSTR on the LT150, and to my surprise (thru s-video, no less) it didn't look totally unwatchable.

Manon, i can't say since i turned around and e-bayed as fast as was humanley possible.

i seriously doubt the processing power of a good HTPC could have done much to rectify the horrible shimmering, smearing and blotchy compression riddled pic i saw.

another title i recently picked up was Force 10 From Navarone, an early MGM non-anamorphic release. this one looks REALLY poor blown up. if you didn't understand the concept of compression artifacts before, you would watching this.

Blow Out, which just streeted yesterday, is another sub-par MGM disc, but this time its anamorphic( not that that helps the soft, fuzzy picture or desatured colors or low level of detail in the darker scenes).



you just can't squeeze orange juice from a turnip.


[This message has been edited by ckolchak (edited 08-29-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,735 Posts
The problem is that us home theater enthusiasts with a good bit of money invested in our hardware are sometimes so anal-retentive that we are unable to enjoy the movie.


I went into this to enjoy movies, and sometimes I spend more time playing with the toys.



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

STOP HDCP on DVI

Don O


[This message has been edited by Don O'Brien (edited 08-29-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Don,

that's exactly it! right now i have a meager (by most standards here) little set up that just rocks my world and would have been inconcievable to me just 9 months ago.

i am very skittish about throwing more money into what i think is, for the most part, a fine, fine picture.

and whats more, if i did start dumping hundreds or thousands of dollars to squeezing the best picture out of it, i would just end up being disgruntled, because perfection just isn't attainable. for another 1 or 2 thousand dollars i would expect perfection and would never find it.

w/ my limited budget, it's much more important for me to simmer down, cultivate a relaxed attitude and just enjoy what i have...warts and all.

i want all these things to remain my vehicles, not my destination.

i'd rather be able to have a positive, upbeat attitude and a little bumpier ride, than be driving a lexus w/ a stressed out, fretful mindset.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,389 Posts
You've got the right idea, ckolchak--sit back and start enjoying the movies. This is one hobby that can easily turn into a bottomless pit. I remember my old audiophile days when I would listen for the flaws instead of enjoying the music. This can easily become the case with video unless you regulate the brain-housing group.


I finally have a FP (Seleco 200DM) that I truly enjoy, and the pleasure I derive from watching good quality DVDs makes up for the few bad apples that come along. Just keep saying to yourself: "At least it's not the projector, at least it's not the projector..."


happy viewing,

Peter M
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,078 Posts
Wow, talk about tunnel-vision http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif I can't believe I automatically assumed you were posting from a PC and ignored the Mac possibility !


My apologies ... and you are correct, starting from scratch in both hardware and operating system, the cost and frustration factor would probably not be worth the improvement you'd get.


On the other hand, you are correct about the Mac as a DVD vehicle. When the cube came out, a lot of us thought it would be a great HTPC because of the lack of fan noise and small size. Looks like a cube with the power and Radeon graphics to do DVD well is still $2K.


PS. The American President is my personal worst-artifacts DVD. And, no, my HTPC can't make it watchable. What a horrible thing to do to a good film !


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

*********************

Kirk Ellis

G1000 D-ILA, HTPC, Panamorph (soon I hope),

Dish 6000 (HBOHD,SHOHD,CBS,NBC,ABC,WB,FOX,UPN, KCET -- does it get any better ?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
728 Posts
"On the other hand, you are correct about the Mac as a DVD vehicle. When the cube came out, a lot of us thought it

would be a great HTPC because of the lack of fan noise and small size. Looks like a cube with the power and

Radeon graphics to do DVD well is still $2K."


As a Cube owner, I have a couple of comments to make...

The Cube is (currently) out of production. First and second quarter sales after introduction were low (~42,000). Apple dropped the price to clear out inventory, and Cube sales exploded (240,000). It is now very difficult to find a new Cube in box, and when they do pop up, they go for above list. Even on eBay, many owners, especially from the educational discount side, are selling used Cubes for more than they paid. Apple is not unaware of this unique phenomenon...

The Cube is virtually silent, and DVD playback is very good. Not perfect; there is still no 5.1 or DTS support, but with ColorSync, the image can be excellent with good source material. Also, Apple G4 series all support DV from FireWire, although DV is still a hobbiest/ Professional game, rather than consumer product. (DV is capable of _much_ higher resolution than DVD or even HDTV.) (5.1 over FireWire is the way to go anyway, and such products are just now appearing...)

The Radeon card is unnecessary, except for high refresh games. You don't gain any better video support or drivers compared to the stock card.

To reiterate, the Cube is a good, out-of-the-box, minimal tweak HTMac. Ultra tweaked, fussy, HTPCs can and do outperform it in certain areas, under certain conditions. The Cube is relatively portable, (I carry it around in an old, padded, 512K Mac bag), has relatively low power consumption, and unless you're a masochist, doesn't run Windows. (BTW- it can with software called VPC. The horror, the horror, the horror...)

There are a number of shareware software tweeks and viewers, but nearly everybody uses the stock viewer for DVDs.

If you want to burn your own DVDs, iMovie or Final Cut Pro are superb software packages, and a Cube with FCP gives Avid video workstations a run for thei money, at about a fifth of the cost. The are now several series being produced strictly on Macs- The Discovery Channel, for instance, is quite a convert.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top