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Old December 21st, 2007, 08:52 PM   #1
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PMW-EX1 Component out vs SDI

As most would imagine SDI should offer the better image when using a field monitor, or just playing back your footage from the camera.

Well, today I hooked up my component to my 50" Pioneer plasma and viewed the footage. Since my normal process is to offload the footage to my computer and view it using my 1920x1080 monitor, this was my first to try the component to the 50" plasma. Granted I do use a 7" Mashall field monitor during shoots. As I watched the footage it seemed a bit soft amd lacked some contrast, kind of washed out.

At first, I thought maybe it was just me, or possibly the component connections. Well, after deciding it did not look as good as I would expect using the component inputs, and also knowing how good the captured video looks, I decided to go get my HDLINK SDI to HDMI converter.

I hooked up the HDLINK and at the same time left my component output hooked up so I could switch inputs on the plasma to compare.

It was day a night difference, not subtle at all! The SDI>HDLINK>HDMI had more detail, better image contrast, and the colors seems more vibrant.
Even the wife went "wow" when she saw the difference.

Hmm... I have a feeling the component out should be avoided as much as possible. It make me wonder if you could trust it during a shoot with a field monitor, well at least for color. It would work fine for composition.
Well, the more I think about it, I guess you would be OK once you adjusted it to Color Bars. Especially paying attention to the pluge bars for levels and contrast. I guess the image being a tad soft compared to the SDI would still be OK for the field.

It makes me wonder about the D/A quality from the component output.
The JVC HD100 using component looks dang good. Which is a good thing since it does not have SDI ! ;)
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Old December 21st, 2007, 09:35 PM   #2
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Actually not all component INs on HDTVs are the same. As I'm researching HDTVs and reading reviews and spec sheets, Many component INs are only 1080i even on 1080p sets. There are other issues that many reviews note regarding quality and component in. In short, it may well be the TVs component in at issue.

I'm looking at this closely because for studio shoots the HD-SDI may be feeding a video card while component might be going to the client monitor.
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Old December 21st, 2007, 09:46 PM   #3
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Definately not on this set. Like I mentioned above, the JVC HD100 looks great using component. Yes, the plasma is only 720P or 1080i,
but again the JVC looks dang good.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 12:43 AM   #4
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I have not looked, but the HD-SDi port on the EX1 is a 4:2:2 colorspace and most likely outputs at a much higher bitrate. But I'm not suppriesd by this at all.... Probably the way it should be anyways.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 09:49 AM   #5
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True Kit, the SDI technically should be better, and it is.

But, the component out for some reason looked like the black level was incorrect. The blacks looked a tad gray.

Again, I'm not seeing this with other cameras, so I know it's not the set.
Also, again I realize I can adjust the levels when using an external monitor during a shoot. I just find this interesting.

Having said that, the SDI out is excellent!
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 10:01 AM   #6
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Could be the Component Out of the camera is adding "set up" 7.5IRE equivalent black? Maybe someone can check this on a scope?

If you look on Page 103, there's a Setup On/Off for the A/V output (When camera is set to NTSC) but that apparently has no impact on Component Out.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 10:04 AM   #7
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Craig, I was wondering this too.
I believe "7.5% setup" should only be added to the composite output.
We'll have to look into this.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 10:43 AM   #8
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Could well be a firmware bug. If setup defaults to on (NTSC) one might turn it off and see if it impacts component out. If component out black still looks a tad gray it may be another firmware or hardware issue.

The camera generates bars so one might be able to test this easily with a scope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Thomas View Post
Craig, I was wondering this too.
I believe "7.5% setup" should only be added to the composite output.
We'll have to look into this.
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