View Full Version : Poor playback quality on new LCD TV using xl1's
Mark S. Brown
September 14th, 2010, 03:44 AM
I'm fairly new to uploading and replaying footage back, my problem is that when I replay the footage through my LCD TV the quality looks poor, I have changed the setting on my canon xl1's to 'FRAME' but its still not much better??
Am I doing something wrong or have I pressed the wrong settings?, i shoot most of the time in 'A' mode, the footage itself is fine and ok when I download to my mac, just replay from tape seems poor, any help would be great.
September 14th, 2010, 10:40 AM
Can you describe the image that makes you say it's poor? Are using composite video connector (RCA plug) or S-Video to hook up to your TV?
Mark S. Brown
September 14th, 2010, 03:02 PM
something I have just found out is that when I replay back through my old style tv the footage is spot on, and even when I play a mainstream dvd through my LCD tv it is poor also, the picture is a kind of out of focused grainy picture. maybe its just me not being used to LCD tv's, but are all dvd's poor played on a LCD tv?
Cable wise i just used the normal 3 leads, red, yellow and white, but I will try S Video next.
September 14th, 2010, 05:34 PM
OK, it looks like there are at least two different problems here.
Let's take the second one first: DVD to LCD
What O/P connectors are there on the DVD player?
What I/P connectors are available on the LCD TV?
What is the LCD TV's screen size & quoted resolution?
Do be aware that Composite (the Yellow lead of the yellow, white, red trio) is the worst possible video connection type.
S - video is better, Component is much better, HDMI is infinately better.
First problem: Playing from the XL1s to the LCD TV
The XL1s O/P's SD video on Composite and S - video, and pretty sad SD video at that. It would (and does) look pretty soft on a normal 4:3 analogue CRT at the best of times, tho' the S - video is a minor improvement over the Composite O/P.
Plug that feed into a digital wide screen LCD (and possibly a big one at that) and it's going to look pretty grim "up close and personal".
Because of the larger screen size, you will need to be much further away from the screen for it to look anything like it does on a smaller CRT.
If you pull the video from the XL1s into an NLE using the Firewire port, you can tweak it to get some improvement, but miracles can't be done with it.
The information just isn't there.
Mark S. Brown
September 15th, 2010, 01:29 AM
thankyou for the breakdown of answers.
It would seem that the DVD to LCD problem I am using the most basic of connection leads, so that can be sorted no problem.
As for the playback from the XL1's again basic leads, and you are correct if I move further back from the screen it gets a bit better.
My concern was that if I download the footage to my Mac and then burn it to a DVD, would the quality still be poor, but I suppose if it is downloaded using the best quality, and then replayed back via a decent DVD and lead setup, then it should be a whole lot better than in the raw playback state using cheap connecters?
sorry if this messgae seems a little all over the place, but I think I understand.
September 15th, 2010, 03:12 AM
It depends on what is expected...........
The XL1s is yesterdays technology (I know, I have one in the cupboard) and is a beast to try to get decent SD video off for that very reason.
As I said, pull it into an NLE and tweak to your hearts desire, burn it and play it on a DVD player with some sort of decent connection system and it's tollerable, but don't expect BBC clarity, 'cos it just can't be.
Better than that you just ain't going to get.
Sort of reminds me of (UK) Freeview, watching the "Sherlock Holmes" mysteries, looks like it's shot in coloured B&W and as grainy as all get out.
Bandwidth is all, and the XL1s just doesn't have it.
Mark S. Brown
September 15th, 2010, 04:51 AM
Points taken Chris, so what is the way forward then, HD? of any camera manufacturer?
September 15th, 2010, 06:07 AM
The XL1s is capable of taking decent SD footage. Shooting in Green Box mode isn't necessarily going to give you the best looking footage, especially if the auto gain kicks in. You can learn how to use a camera and maybe take better footage with what you have. You've confirmed that displaying the footage on an SD tube TV using the standard (composite/yellow) cable looks OK. Your "issue", technically speaking, is that it looks different when displayed on a hi-res LCD. If you want to eek out the best possible quality, then capture the footage via FIrewire, and put it on DVD using the highest quality DVD encoding possible (this is another weak link in the chain). Then hook your DVD player up to yout LCD via HDMI or component video cables.
Now a new HD camera will of course take better stuff that, when displayed on the hi res LCD, will look a little better than an SD XL1s. If you are always comparing SD to HD, well...you know the answer.
One of the biggest things you can do with what you have is learn basic photography exposure skills and stop shooting Green box. The XL1s is great that way as it gives you access to the adjustments with nice knobs. Setup the camera like this:
Custom White Balance using a white sheet of paper or grey card
Record mode 30f
Shutter speed 60
AE Shift 0
Make a preset as follows:
Color gain 0
Color Phase +1
Shoot in M mode and adjust the exposure wheel manually or for automatic iris adjustment, use TV mode. This will keep the auto gain from kicking in. Add a little light if you need to...it will work wonders. It'll never look like HD footage but it can be made to look acceptable. Here's some screen shots off of some stuff I did with an XL1s.