Z1/FX1 viewing on HDTV: soft at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old August 24th, 2007, 04:47 PM   #1
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Z1/FX1 viewing on HDTV: soft

I've been using my FX1 to view my footage on a large Sony 40 " CRT (Sony FD Trinitron WEGA XBRKV-40XBR800 40" TV ). I just bought a stellar Sony Bravia 52" 1920x1080p LCD set (Sony KDL-52XBR2). Blu-ray discs (HDMI) look fantastic if the source is good, and even Comcast cable HD (HDMI) look great, although DISH (HDMI) barely looks HD. So, imagine my disappointment when I plugged the component out of my FX1 to view my footage. Boy, was it mushy. This is the same footage that looks great on my older 40" Sony CRT TV with 1080i inputs. On the 1080i CRT TV, the footage is obviously HD, rich in color, though the diagonal is only 35". On the 1080p LCD TV, the footage looked mushy and uninspiring on a 52" diagonal.

I haven't tried putting the footage into HD format on a DVD-R, but that might help solve some problems. I haven't tried snagging a V1 and using the HDMI output to check my footage.

Would the problem be the 1080i feed into the LCD TV? Should I expect to purchase a video scaler/deinterlacer to make up for my TVs deintelacing quality deficit? Have you had the same disappointment on 1080p LCD sets when viewing 1080i footage?

Last edited by Gints Klimanis; August 25th, 2007 at 03:03 AM.
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Old August 24th, 2007, 05:33 PM   #2
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I have a cheap Magnovox LCD, and the video from my FX1 shown through components just doesn't look that good either. But when I take that same footage, and capture it via NeoHDV, and play it on that same monitor through HDMI in Windows Media player, it looks much better. Seems to me that is digital to digital. So I think the conversion process from the component in to the LCD screen is just not that great....

We've been taught that component in is great, but perhaps the new LCD are not being provided with great software/hardware convertors to do a decent job... of converting inside the set to the digital output needed for the LCD screen--- could that be the issue ?
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Old August 24th, 2007, 06:13 PM   #3
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Component out from DVD players don't perform any uprezing of the data but HDMI output does (at least on LG and all that I had researched). Maybe that is the reason? Component out on my HC1 looks great on my 42" Sony LCD HD projection TV.

That's about all I can contribute to this discussion :)

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Old August 25th, 2007, 03:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
We've been taught that component in is great, but perhaps the new LCD are not being provided with great software/hardware convertors to do a decent job... of converting inside the set to the digital output needed for the LCD screen--- could that be the issue ?
Yeah, perhaps there is just more of a push for the high definition inputs via HDMI. Sad, though. The Sony Bravia should look great for everything. It gets panned for its internal upscaling of SD material, but Sony's premiere LCD TV line should be able to show off Sony's HDV cameras with 1080i component or Firewire. The walk-by HDV camera to large TV demonstration is in just about every Sony Style store. Although I'm working from memory years, I remember being relatively unimpressed with the HDV I saw at that demonstration and just figured I'd wait until something came along that impressed me. Eventually, in fall of 2006 I bought a Z1 and FX1. I had no idea HDV looked that great until I plugged it into the 1080i inputs on my Sony 40" WEGA CRT TV.
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Old August 25th, 2007, 08:20 AM   #5
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Sorry if this is too obvious, but thought I mention it just in case.... Are you sure you didn't inadvertently set the camera to downconvert the component output (MENU > OTHERS > COMPONENT) ?
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Old August 25th, 2007, 12:47 PM   #6
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Sorry if this is too obvious, but thought I mention it just in case.... Are you sure you didn't inadvertently set the camera to downconvert the component output (MENU > OTHERS > COMPONENT) ?
WHOAH. I just checked and it was set to 480i instead of the usual 480i/1080i. I had been playing around with a small CRT monitor (cheap TV) a couple of months ago and totally forgot. Wow, I didn't even notice that the video was 480i on the large 40" 4:3 CRT a couple days ago because it still looked fantastic.

On this 52" LCD screen I see a lot of ghosting and motion artifacts that I don't notice on the CRT. I guess that's why that stellar Sony Bravia demo disk uses a lot of slow motion on detail and beautiful Italian women on outdoor scenes to distract you from seeing artifacts.

Thank you, Boyd.
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Old August 25th, 2007, 02:04 PM   #7
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You're welcome.... just a lucky guess for me :-)
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Old August 25th, 2007, 05:48 PM   #8
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Gints,

I have the exact same TV that you have and also a Z1, A1 and a Canon HV20. All look absolutley fantastic on the Bravia 52X - but I have gone to great lengths to optimise the picture through the internal picture display controls. I use a custom profile, and have set the picture calibration to settings a lot different from out of the box. Just out of interest - the output from the Canon HV20 (which is HDMI) is absolutely stunning - and when I play back footage from the Z1 through the Canon it is also stunning.

I use the following custom profile:
Backlight 3, contrast 80, brightness 54, colour 50, sharpness 48, colour temp =warm 2, colour space = wide, and switch off all the special filters.

Hope that this helps,
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Old August 27th, 2007, 03:47 AM   #9
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Thanks for the Custom profile tip, Graham. Switching off the noise reduction filter eliminated those cross-hatch artifacts that were littering the video, as well as improving image quality on most other viewing. I'll have to play with the settings some more, and it's great to know someone out there with both the Sony Z1 and the Sony Bravia 52" XBR2 LCD TV.

As an aside, do you watch HD cable or HD satellite ? I currently have both so that I can compare the video quality. Right now, the DISH HD rarely looks HD, though cable HD looks pretty good. The latest was switching between the National Geographic Taboo HD series with both programs playing simultaneously. Incidentally, I'm in the Taboo episode named "Proving Ground", which aired last week and one more time next Wednesday at 3pm PST.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 06:38 AM   #10
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Gints,

Sorry don't have cable or satellite - these are not really worth it at the moment as they are only in low definition in Australia. I mostly watch my own stuff, plus a lot of DVD;s upscaled by my home theatre PC, which does a very fine job. The only broadcast TV that I watch is free to air HD, which ranges from very good to average depending on the channel - but that is the fault of the signal - not the Bravia!

I have found that adjusting the settings makes an enormous difference to the quality of my Bravia - so it is worth playing around to get it right.

Glad to have been of some help,

All the best,
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Old August 27th, 2007, 11:09 AM   #11
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Maybe you should have a look at what you're asking of the FX1's chips, too.
Press your right hand and left hand together thumb to thumb, and index finger to index finger. You should be left with a little rectangular piece of daylight about 3.5 mm wide between the four touching fingertips.

This is the size of your 1"/3 chip.

Now go and stand next to your 52" TV screen and hold this tiny rectangle of light up against one corner of the screen. Get the picture? You're asking a 5 mm diagonal to fill a 1320 mm screen.

It's a wonder it works at all, let alone looks sharp.

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Old August 27th, 2007, 02:24 PM   #12
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Thanks for the dose of realism, Tom. Yes, the feature scaling from 1/3" sq. to 52" diagonal is really quite amazing. The Sony Bravia demo BluRay disk is made with 2/3" chips and is almost unbelievably sharp.

A number of reviews for this Sony Bravia 52" LCD TV state that its upscaling of SD sources is weak, and I'm just trying to learn if this TV is also weak with deinterlacing 1080i sources and converting to square pixels. I'm trying to learn my HD footage is best viewed via the 1080i outputs of the FX1/Z1 (immediate) or by burning HDV to a disc, then using the Sony Blu-Ray DVD player to convert to 1080p. Graeme's suggestions improved the images a bit, and I'll continue to tweak until a satisfactory custom display settings preset is found.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 02:28 AM   #13
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wouldn't that ratio between the camera chip and the 52" screen be sort of similar to the ratio of a frame of film projected on a theater screen....

Lots of possible factors in the "chain"... and I think LCD panels tend to have a bit more of a problem with ghosting and artifacts if one is a critical viewer... I know I notice it on mine, just learned to live with them... sigh, life on the bleeding edge...
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Old August 28th, 2007, 02:56 AM   #14
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Quite right Dave, a 'half frame' of film (as the film travels vertically through the projector, excepting IMAX) fills the whole screen, and some are pretty big. It shows we've been happy watching big blow-ups for a long time.

8 mm film posed the blow-up problem and more - how to get light through that tiny gate. But whereas chemical film has light sensitive grains embedded in the emulsion, our tiny chips have to have machine-made infintissimally small receptors all working perfectly all the time. Each frame of film on the other hand is a 'new chip' for every frame.

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Old August 28th, 2007, 03:44 AM   #15
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Well LCD's look horrible compared to good CRT's so it's not a wonder it does. My HC1 looks way better in my old very good quality 19" crt than it does in my new expensive 24" lcd. First of all, real blacks. And second of all CRT's just do color way better. Yes, they do lose in resolution though.
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