So there ARE differences in picture between different BDPs in 1080p after all.... - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:31 AM
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Default So there ARE differences in picture between different BDPs in 1080p after all....

The general consensus would appear to be that differences in 1080p picture between different players is negligible. Any differences tend to be confined to areas such as DVD upconversion.

However, I have owned a variety of BDPs and have noticed differences in PQ quality over 1080p and I believe that my current main player - an Oppo BDP-95 has the best and most natural looking picture to date in 1080p. And yes I have particularly noticed these differences between players since moving up to a display of 60". Many others too have stated their belief that there is in fact a difference in PQ in 1080p when comparing different players.

Now it looks as though some science is emerging which is underscoring that these differences do indeed exist:

Quote:
Stacey Spears Involvement: Stacey Spears and Don Munsil created a new series of test patterns that display the full range of RGB and YCbCr data in 1 step increments. These patterns aren't generally released yet, but I believe they will be coming later this year from them. We have a set of them on a burned BD-R, and actually we couldn't test one player since it couldn't read a BD-R disc.

The testing was done at Stacey Spears house, with him assisting us as he knows the QD machine much better than we did at that point. For data that seemed very strange (like the Sony player), we ran the tests multiple times and had the same data output every single time, so we could be certain that what we were seeing was correct. Stacey didn't do the data analysis, but after we found what the best and worse performing players were, we did use his theater (Joe Kane certified Samsung Projector and Screen, totally light controlled) to compare them more, and see what differences we could spot.

Source Direct mode: The reason for wanting source direct mode with 4:2:2 output is simple: It's the least processing you can do to the 4:2:0 data, and then you can use an external scaler from Lumagen or DVDO to scale all content to your desired resolution and colorspace. If you don't have source direct, you run the risk of introducing more errors before the scaler, and defeating the purpose of the scaler as well.

Numbers that don't match in the chart. This is the harder one. For example, if we are looking at the Red chart for RGB, while the Red value is what we are focused on, there are still G and B components to that, we are just less concerned with them. However, you can have a value where you are looking for Red 0 and get Red 0, but Green should be 15 and you get 14, or Blue should be 8 and you get 9. In this case the Red value is correct, which is our primary focus, but something else is a little off so you can get the reference value, but still have a very small dE 1994 introduced.

As far as hard data versus personal viewing, both have a purpose in the world. Visual errors are harder to pick up on Blu-ray compared to DVD, and to most people they will look almost identical among players. However, once you start moving up to larger and larger screen sizes, you can start to notice them more than before, or you can have other items in your chain that can cause issues that you couldn't see before. If I have two players and one is outputting the correct numbers and one is outputting the incorrect data, whether I think one looks better or not is unimportant at that point I feel. I can adjust my display to make things look how I want, but if my source is incorrect then I'm at the mercy of that component for how everything downstream from it looks. I can't recommend something that works incorrectly to people and feel good about it.

The reason we had a Sony S570 available for testing is that I bought myself one for my bedroom last year. It's only been used with a 32" TV and so I never compared it to my Oppo, but I can't recommend that player to people anymore, and some of our reviewers that own it can't use it for testing the video processing of a receiver or display anymore, since the output from it is so far off that you can't tell if the receiver is clipping WTW.

I will try to check in a few times over the next few days and answer other questions that come up about this. I'm also working on a better way to present some of this data in the future. As each colorspace we test produces 768 data points, and some players can offer 8 sets of data (2 HDMI outputs, 3 colorspaces and Source Direct) to test, I'm writing some software to better present all the data than trying to manipulate it in Excel. Also, we can't really go back to old reviews to update them as vendors no longer have those models available for us to use, but our plan is to use it on reviews going forward. Thanks!
http://www.avforums.com/forums/blu-r...r-players.html

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/techn...roduction.html

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/techn...follow-up.html

All in all fascinating stuff and I certainly look forward to seeing more information on this method of being able to benchmark BDPs.

Last edited by The Limey; 11-19-2011 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:33 PM
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You could also start to ask if there are any differences between HDMI cables. There we have the same problem, some will say the signal is digital so there can't be any difference, other will notice PQ differences between cheap cables and expensive cables (monster, oehlbach etc.). I prefer monster

I have a PS3 and a Denon 2500BT, compared thevPQ several times with the same discs and the result is: Denon 2500BT

Even my wife noticed the better PQ and that means a lot

BTW, the best BDP ever have been made is also from Denon:

http://www.areadvd.com/hardware/2009...vda1ud_1.shtml

Sorry, the review is only in German language.
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:42 AM
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Thumbs up Best Blu-ray player.

^ Yup, that Denon DVD-A1UDCI Universal Blu-ray player is the very best of them all!
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:28 AM
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I think since players have settings to manipulate color space, white levels, black levels, output resolution, etc. it is clear that a player does have the chance to mess the image up. Similar to building two PCs, it is the small stuff which can make a difference.

Most people won't notice that difference, but it would be great to have those differences out there on paper.

Similarly, it would be nice to know about manufacturers which don't do a good job keeping up with firmware updates, or consistently have issues with disc playback, player reliability issues, and speed and noise information.

Most reviews touch on speed and noise, but gloss over the other stuff.

Image quality is generally ignored these days since a typical 'bad' BD player is still likely to look better than the best DVD player.

Not sure if Oppo is in my budget, but Panasonic is often one of the companies I consider to regularly deliver on quality in their products, so it will be nice to see if we start seeing benchmark testing on players with these levels of details included.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:02 PM
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Lightbulb Time is Everything!

Samsung left many of their customers in the cold for stopping support of firmware updates on some of their players.

Panasonic has a reliability issue regarding their Blu-ray lens readability in several of their Blu-ray player models.

Sony is all over the map, going up and down each year.

Oppo is very good, in particular the BDP-95 ($999) if you are using it for its Audio Analog outputs.
But the 93 and 95 aren't the fastest loading players around.

The Denon DVD-A1UDCI is the preferred Universal Blu-ray player by the professional Video calibrators.
But several Denon Blu-ray players are bad performers on loading discs, and short on features, and overpriced compared to the competition.

* I agree with you AV_Integrated regarding Blu-ray players' reviewers.
They don't know dick about longer time reliability and long-time firmware updates support from the manufacturers.
And it's normal as they review products real quick as they come and go.
They also don't have the time to thoroughly compare picture quality between all BD players.
-> Best place used to be Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity, for DVD players, but they now fall very short on Blu-ray players. They just cannot keep up.

Also, reviewers are paid people, and they are also avertisers for product mamufacturers (the vast majority of them).

Hey, it's up to us, the real consumers who use those products for a much longer time than those pro reviewers, and take the time to read the best audio/video forums from other owners, to make the final and best assessment.

What I just said regarding Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, Oppo, and Denon Blu-ray players is real true. I own them all (most), and I read all there is to read about it (or at least enough to be 99 percent accurate).

You simply cannot read few reviews on Blu-ray players from some mags out there and make a fair assessment based on them, just no way!
Those guys don't have the time to go through reliability matters, and firmware updates support.
Me, I do! ...So as all the other real owners. A pro reviewer is not an owner (very rarely).

AV_Integrated, you seem to like Panasonic; but believe me about their reliability issues, in both their Blu-ray players and also their HDTV plasma sets.
{Remember their Black level rising from their 2009-10 models?}
...And it goes much further than that.

All the other manufacturers have their own issues as well; all the ones that I already mentioned here, plus several more (LG, Sharp, etc.).

What we have to do, and all we can really do, is to make a balance (value/performance/features/ergonomics ratio) and pick the Blu-ray player that suits us best. ...Individually.

Last edited by LordoftheRingsEE; 11-20-2011 at 07:22 PM. Reason: Because...
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:19 PM
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I thought it would be obvious that there are differences in 1080p (optimal) output among players. There were among DVD players, why should Blu-ray be different? Maybe the differences are less noticeable because of the law of diminishing returns, but they would be there, just the same.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:11 PM
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^ Very true.
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruceames View Post
I thought it would be obvious that there are differences in 1080p (optimal) output among players. There were among DVD players, why should Blu-ray be different?
Because Blu-ray is an entirely different format created with easy, optimal 1080p output in mind. As has been mentioned, there are MANY ways to fuck up the output from a 1080p BD, and there are players out there that do this in default settings no doubt, but that does not change the fact that 1080p output from a 1080p Blu-ray Disc can be done just as well on a cheap player as on an expensive player, and usually is.

DVD players had to de-interlace interlaced material, which was not done well on cheaper players, since the chipsets that de-interlace well cost a bit and only came with more expensive players. We'll forget analogue video output for now.

Obviously, there will be differences if you have a 1080i Blu-ray Disc, since that material has to be de-interlaced at some point. This is, along with DVD playback, the reason to buy a more expensive BD player, such as an Oppo. Obviously, an Oppo also has other advantages to your $100 Panasonic.
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naiera View Post
Because Blu-ray is an entirely different format created with easy, optimal 1080p output in mind. As has been mentioned, there are MANY ways to fuck up the output from a 1080p BD, and there are players out there that do this in default settings no doubt, but that does not change the fact that 1080p output from a 1080p Blu-ray Disc can be done just as well on a cheap player as on an expensive player, and usually is.

DVD players had to de-interlace interlaced material, which was not done well on cheaper players, since the chipsets that de-interlace well cost a bit and only came with more expensive players. We'll forget analogue video output for now.

Obviously, there will be differences if you have a 1080i Blu-ray Disc, since that material has to be de-interlaced at some point. This is, along with DVD playback, the reason to buy a more expensive BD player, such as an Oppo. Obviously, an Oppo also has other advantages to your $100 Panasonic.
So you're assuming that all video processors and the quality of their transport are the same among all players? That's a pretty big assumption and I would have to disagree.

I have noticed a difference myself in HD DVD players, regarding the XA2 vs. other HD DVD players. Their is just more detail in the picture.
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruceames View Post
So you're assuming that all video processors and the quality of their transport are the same among all players? That's a pretty big assumption and I would have to disagree.
If you're watching a 1080p Blu-ray disc and have set the player for 1080p resolution output with no DNR, Edge Enhancement or other extraneous settings engaged, the video processor does not come into play. The video processor is used to upconvert DVDs or scale the image to a resolution other than what it's encoded as on the disc.

The article quoted in the first post in this thread is talking about color space conversion. Blu-ray video is encoded on disc in YCbCr 4:2:0 format, but no player can output this natively. The color space has to be converted to YCbCr 4:2:2, YCbCr 4:4:4, or RGB. (Some players don't offer you a choice of which to use.) YCbCr 4:2:2 is the closest to a "native" output.

It appears that the site has measured some players converting this color space incorrectly. The reality of the situation is that these differences are going to be extremely small, and even if your player does it incorrectly, you're unlikely to recognize the output as "wrong" without a direct side-by-side comparison to another player that does it differently.
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