Blu-Ray Image Concerns / Setup enclosed - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 05-08-2011, 07:03 PM
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Default Blu-Ray Image Concerns / Setup enclosed

Hi All,

I am new to the forums but have been reading threads here semi-regularly and have been impressed with the knowledgable minds here.

To the point:
I just purchased a new PS3 for the Blu-Ray capabilities. Not too long ago I purchased a Vizio 42" TV and I now have the PS3 connected via HDMI. Here is a concise list of my full setup:

Vizio 42" TV
Sony PS3 (HDMI)
Logitech Z5500 (Connected to PS3 via Toslink)

I understand this setup is far from anything considered reference, but it has served me well in the time I've had it. Inquiry: I purchased Apollo 13 on Blu-Ray and noticed a difference over the SD DVD but not to the degree that I had imagined. I wouldn't call the difference unnoticeable, but it is not 'earth-shattering' as I had hoped (and read). Is it possible this is due to the fact that this film is older? Will I notice a greater degree of improvement over DVD on newer feature films?

Thanks for reading and for any help you can offer!
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:46 AM
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When you connect by HDMI, the PS3 should auto-detect the resolution of your TV and set itself accordingly. Just to be sure, it couldn't hurt to go into the PS3's setup menus and verify that the output resolution matches your TV (either 720p or 1080p, depending on which Vizio model you bought).

In the TV, turn off any "enhancements" (MotionFlow, SmoothMotion, AutoMotion, SuperDuperMotionSmoothorama, Detail Enhancer, etc.). Those are universally garbage and destroy picture quality.

Apollo 13 is a kind of problematic transfer and probably not the best test case. Put in anything by Pixar. If you still think those don't look much better than DVD, you have a hardware problem.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
When you connect by HDMI, the PS3 should auto-detect the resolution of your TV and set itself accordingly. Just to be sure, it couldn't hurt to go into the PS3's setup menus and verify that the output resolution matches your TV (either 720p or 1080p, depending on which Vizio model you bought).

In the TV, turn off any "enhancements" (MotionFlow, SmoothMotion, AutoMotion, SuperDuperMotionSmoothorama, Detail Enhancer, etc.). Those are universally garbage and destroy picture quality.

Apollo 13 is a kind of problematic transfer and probably not the best test case. Put in anything by Pixar. If you still think those don't look much better than DVD, you have a hardware problem.
Thanks for the reply Josh. My Vizio is 1080P and all indicators show that my PS3 is set to output at this resolution. I tinkered with the video settings on my Vizio (which are surprisingly quite extensive) and that helped a bit. After my post, I went back and watched the SD DVD Apollo 13 then went back to the Blu-Ray and that really opened my eyes (and ears) up to more improvement. But I have also read great things about Pixar's Blu-Ray movies so perhaps one of those will be my next purchase. I am curious however, why is Apollo 13 a problematic transfer as you say?
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:43 PM
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I am curious however, why is Apollo 13 a problematic transfer as you say?
Well, for one thing, it's a very grainy and soft-ish movie by nature. The Blu-ray transfer is also plagued with Edge Enhancement and a lot of contrast boosting. It's just a mediocre disc all around.

If you don't already have one, I strongly recommend that you pick up a calibration disc such as Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics and follow the directions for how to calibrate your Brightness, Contrast, and other basic picture settings. That will help enormously.
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:09 PM
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Well, for one thing, it's a very grainy and soft-ish movie by nature. The Blu-ray transfer is also plagued with Edge Enhancement and a lot of contrast boosting. It's just a mediocre disc all around.
I definitely noticed some inconsistency with the detail in various scenes as well as a slight blur effect on the skin, as if someone had applied digital makeup. One other phenomenon that annoyed me was seeing a trail of an actor if they moved quickly. E.g. Moving a pencil quickly infront of you to the point that it blurs. In any case I love the movie, but this sites review influenced my decision to buy it as my first. The review was quite positive - is it possible differing equipment made the difference?
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:35 AM
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I have often wondered the same thing - not particularly on any one title, but I have a similar set up Sony PS3 with a 50 inch Panasonic Plasma TV, I output everything through the most expensive HDMI cables (80 a pop) and am happy on the whole, but I wonder if the top of the range stand alone Blu-ray players would provide a more superior picture quality.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Exy View Post
I have often wondered the same thing - not particularly on any one title, but I have a similar set up Sony PS3 with a 50 inch Panasonic Plasma TV, I output everything through the most expensive HDMI cables (80 a pop) and am happy on the whole, but I wonder if the top of the range stand alone Blu-ray players would provide a more superior picture quality.
I've owned and used a lot of different Blu-ray players. In my experience, aside from the first-gen Samsung BD-P1000 (which had non-defeatable Noise Reduction engaged at all times), the quality of Blu-ray playback has been a level playing field across all brands and models. DVD upconversion is the area you're most likely to see improvement with a higher-end player.
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:00 PM
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One other phenomenon that annoyed me was seeing a trail of an actor if they moved quickly. E.g. Moving a pencil quickly infront of you to the point that it blurs.
The trailing smear could be something your TV is causing (or exaggerating). All LCD displays have motion lag, where one pixel hasn't quite faded completely off the screen before the next frame comes in. This creates a smeary appearance during motion. To reduce this, many newer TVs have increased the frame refresh rates to 120 Hz or 240 Hz. Any idea what your TV's advertised frame rate is?

Also be sure to turn off any Noise Reduction or Motion Interpolation features in thet setup menus.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:30 PM
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The trailing smear could be something your TV is causing (or exaggerating). All LCD displays have motion lag, where one pixel hasn't quite faded completely off the screen before the next frame comes in. This creates a smeary appearance during motion. To reduce this, many newer TVs have increased the frame refresh rates to 120 Hz or 240 Hz. Any idea what your TV's advertised frame rate is?

Also be sure to turn off any Noise Reduction or Motion Interpolation features in thet setup menus.
I will definitely check into those settings. Also, my Vizio is 60 Hz.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:10 AM
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I entered the Blu Ray arena with high expectations based on the hype and I too have not been overly impressed, but then again, HD video in general was supposed to be so much better, which it doesn't seem to be (I think that's because content providers set their compression rates too high.) Noticeable difference? You really have to look at small things. Example - Flight of The Phoenix (2004), the dvd version, early in the movie you see the plane pulling up to a building, ok, no big deal. Dvd version, it's a plane, Blu Ray version you can actually count the rivets in the body panels as it pulls up. I've heard someone say that on "Casino" during the 'Blueberry Muffin' scene on the Blu version you actually do count the blueberries in the muffin.
The opening scene of Transporter 2 looked like a viewing window (scene of the car/fight scene in the parking garage)

You might want to visit tweaktv.com and see if they have optimized settings for your tv.
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