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Old December 1st, 2004, 10:32 AM   #1
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Albany, NY 12210
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What's up with s-video?

When I connect my GL-1 to my Sony monitor at home via S-video it looks great, but for some reason it looks terrible on every other TV I've tried it on. The colors look really over saturated and reddish. I had assumed the problem was because I was connecting to an RF modulator or VCR (I haven't had access to a TV with an S-video input), but I tried it on a widescreen rear projection TV that has its own S-video input last night and the problem was even worse! The image was really noisy, with random dropped out pixels flickering all over the screen. Using the yellow RCA input, the image looked fine, so I know it's not the tape. As I mentioned, the S-video connection works great with my Sony monitor, so I don't think it's the cord either. Anybody have an idea what's going on here? We plan to use this television for our movie premiere on Friday and I want the best image possible.

Also, what is S-video anyway? Is it an actual digital connection?
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Old December 1st, 2004, 10:54 AM   #2
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S-Video is analog, and only slightly better than RCA. It also does not contain audio...(just a side note for anyone thinking it does).

Sounds like you might have a bad cable? Also, what are the sizes of the televisions? If it's a 60" television it's going to look like crap, but if it's a 13" television it's going to look very good.

Christopher C. Murphy
Director, Producer, Writer
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Old December 1st, 2004, 11:23 AM   #3
Inner Circle
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I don't know if it's a 60 inch, but it's sure big. It could be that wide. So is that the kind of performance you can expect out of S-video with a TV that wide? As I mentioned, with the RCA connection, the picture looks pretty good. A little grainy, but I suppose that's to be expected. The studio monitor at home is a 13 inch, I believe.
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Old December 1st, 2004, 01:00 PM   #4
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I don't have any experience with the GL-1, but have seen something similar with my Sony cameras. The first thing to check are the menu settings on the TV you're using. The default settings on most consumer TV's are pretty much what you describe - oversaturated, overcontrasted and oversharpened. The sharpness setting can really emphasize noise in an image. To make a reasonable judgement you'd want to do a minimal eyeball calibration of the set. Use your NLE to send some NTSC color bars to your camera via firewire and record it on a tape. Now playback that tape while connected via s-video to your TV and use its menus to match as closely as possible to your production monitor. Specifically you need to look at the "color" setting (saturation), brightness, contrast and sharpness.

If you take a few minutes to do this you'll probably be surprised at how much of a difference it makes.
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Old December 2nd, 2004, 09:50 AM   #5
Major Player
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Location: Albany NY
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Marco - S-Video (also called Y/C) differentiates itself from composite video (your yellow jack) by separating luminance, or brightness in B&W (the Y) from chrominance (the C) or color into 2 seperate signals sent along different wires in your cable. When there is a conductivity problem, the 2 signals reach the destination at slightly different times, causing weird things to happen to the color. The longer the cable, or more serious the conductivity problem, the worse the picture quality.

Just a guess here, but the color shift may indicate a problem with either the Y/C (s-video) cord you are using, or the input jack on the TV.

I have a number of good S cables of different lengths if you want to try them. I'd recommend trying things out with the deck (or camera) you are going to use with the TV or projector you are going to use for your gig tomorrow night. Shoot me an e-mail at my work address (you have it) or call my cell 378-5744 - I'll see if I can help.

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