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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old December 13th, 2004, 08:48 PM   #1
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dv looks awful on plasma tv

Just set up a new Pioneer HD1120 plasma display and played back some video from my PD170. It was plugged into the front panel firewire port on a Panasonic hard disk/dvd recorder. The sound was superb but the picture was horrible. First, even though I set the display to 4:3, the picture would only play back as wide screen. So everything was stretched. Second, the picture looked cartoonish, everything was blocked up with tremendous loss of detail. What am I doing wrong? DVDs look fabulous on the display, and I assumed dv would also. I am sure I must be missing something obvious here. The picture from the PD170 looked great when I played it back on a Sony XBR crt tv set. Thanks for any help!
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Old December 13th, 2004, 09:09 PM   #2
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Poor scaling is the main reason. DV looks bad on my HD LCD TV too. Much better if you plug in S-Video or even composite.
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Old December 13th, 2004, 11:20 PM   #3
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Thanks Mike. Why would scaling be different if you connect via s video rather than firewire? I figured that a straight digital connection would give the best picture, not the worst.
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Old December 13th, 2004, 11:35 PM   #4
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I can only guess that either the line doubler works differently, the input lines to display ratio is different or the softer image caused by the analog input sort of makes it look better.

I have seen really good line doublers on front projectors. They make the footage look great.
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Old December 14th, 2004, 09:01 AM   #5
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That is odd. I use a similar setup for editing: computer feeds a Sony DVD recorder via firewire and the recorder is connected to a 22" Samsung 1280x720 widescreen LCD via component video. The quality is really great. I wonder if something is going on with the DVD recorder? On my Sony it appears that firewire is transcoded to component without any MPEG compression. Perhaps the Pioneer is heavily compressing? Did you try setting for highest quality?

The problem with stretching should be fixable through your plasma screen's menus. Most widescreen TV's have a variety of options for that. Is the plasma screen really HD (1280x720) or ED (852x480)? Not sure if that would make a difference.

Did you try Mike's suggestion and plug the camera directly into the monitor via s-video? Does that look any better? If so then I'd guess the problem is in the DVD recorder.
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Old December 14th, 2004, 07:18 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. I will try the s video connection and see how it looks.
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 01:43 AM   #7
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Well I fed the signal straight from the PD170 via S-video cable into the media receiver for my plasma set, and it made no difference. The picture looks like a water color painting. I am at a loss here. Any other ideas? Thanks for your help, and Happy New Year!
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 10:54 AM   #8
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You either need a very good line doubler or move the screen further away. I don't like the image off my HD LCD screen very much no matter what way I feed it.

I'd originally purchased it so I could show video to clients using a portable DVD player but having a larger image. The picture quality on the 7" DVD player screen is better than that shown on the HD LCD panel. Unless I show it in the PIP window on the HD screen where it is displayed at 'normal' video resolution instead of a bad ratio like 1024/480 or something that is not evenly divisible.

Re-reading my original post I can see where I made it seem like S-Video would be acceptable. On my setup, it is just marginally acceptable to non-professionals. Sorry for the mis-direction.

Now when I make a DVD up for one of my industrial clients who has a Extended resolution Plasma panel, it looks very good. But I suspect the panel electronics are merely performing a 2X conversion for every video pixel. Maybe the conversion is more complex than that; I don't know.
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 08:53 PM   #9
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Thanks Mike, but this can't be right. The picture fed straight from the PD170 looks significantly worse than standard definition TV (NTSC) on my plasma screen, so I don't think a line doubler will do the trick. Commercially recorded DVDs, however, look stunning! I will have to try playing a DVD that I created and see how that looks. There must be an answer to this mystery.
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 09:00 PM   #10
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Well, you could always ask the manufacturer of your screen.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 06:07 AM   #11
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I too was a bit disappointed with the "look" of my DV footage (burned to DVD) displayed on my plasma...a low-end Gateway...allot has to do with the poor contrast ratio of my unit. I have found though with carefull tweaking of the settings, I can get a reasonable looking picture...actually nice looking. I back off the contrast setting and lower the color. Brightness setting will depend on your unit....finally you will need to tweak your sharpness setting...try going to the absolute low setting and start working from there.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 08:25 PM   #12
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> DVDs look fabulous on the display, and I assumed dv would also.

How is the DVD connected to the HD1120? Component?
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Old January 4th, 2005, 10:25 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Len Rosenberg : Thanks Mike, but this can't be right. The picture fed straight from the PD170 looks significantly worse than standard definition TV (NTSC) on my plasma screen, so I don't think a line doubler will do the trick. Commercially recorded DVDs, however, look stunning! I will have to try playing a DVD that I created and see how that looks. There must be an answer to this mystery. -->>>

How is your dvd player hooked to the display?
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Old January 7th, 2005, 12:43 AM   #14
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The DVD player is connected to the display via an HDMI cable.
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Old January 7th, 2005, 01:36 AM   #15
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It is very likely that the DVD player has a sophisticated line-doubler that is making the image look great.

If you can find a great line-doubler, your 170 footage will look even better than the DVD.

What happens when you burn a DVD with 170 footage and then play the DVD on the display?
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