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Old August 27th, 2007, 07:41 AM   #1
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Milky blacks on DVD

I've noticed that when I play my DVD's in Windows Media Player the blacks look more milky/gray and there is more compression noise than when I play them in VLC Media Player. I've also noticed this difference on various standalone DVD players. Does anyone have an explenation on why this happens?
Morten Gjerstad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 27th, 2007, 10:42 AM   #2
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Perhaps it has to do with pedestal/black level settings? DVD players and software often have menu settings where you can select to add or reduce pedestal to the video signal. I know that Windows Media Player has a Black Level adjustment.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 04:32 PM   #3
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It does in fact have to do with the 7.5 IRE set-up (pedestal). The "standard" for digital video is blacks are at 0 IRE. But the "standard" for analog video is black at 7.5 IRE. So by default, according to the "standard" DVD players ADD 7.5 set-up to the video on the analog outputs. When you edit digital video, you need to make sure your blacks are all at 0, not 7.5, so when the DVD player adds the "standard" 7.5 set-up, your blacks only get slightly milky, rather than really milky. Some DVD players will allow you to change this setting, most do not. This is all a hold-over from ancient times when analog TV sets had trouble telling the difference between 0 and negative synchronization signals so the engineers decided to make black 7.5 rather than 0 for broadcast. How nice. There goes solid blacks. Not a problem in the era of CRT screens (grey surface to start with), but on LCD monitors, plasma displays, and projectors, the 7.5 is visible as non-black.
David Tames { blog: twitter: @cinemakinoeye }
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