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Thread: Blu-ray Picture Quality. Please Help.

  1. #1
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    Blu-ray Picture Quality. Please Help.

    Hey folks, first of all, I'd like to thank anyone for their help in advance.

    I've had some strange issue with my Blu-ray picture ever since I bought my new TV (51 Class Plasma 5300 Series TV. Model No. PN51F5300AFXZA)
    I have been using a PS4/PS3 for Blu-ray video playback in 1080p
    and my previous TV, a 37" Toshiba only capable of 720p, never had this issue.

    For one, the blacks in certain movies are terrible. There is what I can only explain as grainy white fuzz in some, if not most black tones. At times it almost looks as if the grainy white fuzz creates a grid in the background of the dark tones.

    Anyways, this happens to a range of movies, from old to brand new. Some movies, for example, 'The Life of Pi' looks completely flawless. (I'm aware that some movies are shot differently.) I'll give some examples of movies just to illustrate the varying dates of the movies in question.

    Gangs of New York - "fuzzy" dark tones
    Adaptation -"fuzzy" darks/gridlike white distortion
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Live Action) - Terrible dark tones, white spots popping up everywhere, gridlike distortion over black tones
    The Hobbit - Mostly flawless
    Man of Steel - Terrible muddy blacks with same white distortion. Very disappointed in picture quality (a friend of mine said his looked great)

    I understand that TMNT was old and isn't the best example but something like Man of Steel should look pretty damn good.

    Netflix runs and looks beautiful in 1080p on both Playstations.
    My HD Comcast cable looks very good as well, excellent on some channels.
    Videogames, of course, look great as well.

    Does anybody have any suggestions for me? If not, can anyone explain why it looks like this even if it can't be helped?

    Again, thanks to all in advance.
    (If it's a **** TV, just say so)

  2. #2
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNeumann1517 View Post
    Hey folks, first of all, I'd like to thank anyone for their help in advance.

    I've had some strange issue with my Blu-ray picture ever since I bought my new TV (51 Class Plasma 5300 Series TV. Model No. PN51F5300AFXZA)
    I have been using a PS4/PS3 for Blu-ray video playback in 1080p
    and my previous TV, a 37" Toshiba only capable of 720p, never had this issue.

    For one, the blacks in certain movies are terrible. There is what I can only explain as grainy white fuzz in some, if not most black tones. At times it almost looks as if the grainy white fuzz creates a grid in the background of the dark tones.

    Anyways, this happens to a range of movies, from old to brand new. Some movies, for example, 'The Life of Pi' looks completely flawless. (I'm aware that some movies are shot differently.) I'll give some examples of movies just to illustrate the varying dates of the movies in question.

    Gangs of New York - "fuzzy" dark tones
    Adaptation -"fuzzy" darks/gridlike white distortion
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Live Action) - Terrible dark tones, white spots popping up everywhere, gridlike distortion over black tones
    The Hobbit - Mostly flawless
    Man of Steel - Terrible muddy blacks with same white distortion. Very disappointed in picture quality (a friend of mine said his looked great)

    I understand that TMNT was old and isn't the best example but something like Man of Steel should look pretty damn good.

    Netflix runs and looks beautiful in 1080p on both Playstations.
    My HD Comcast cable looks very good as well, excellent on some channels.
    Videogames, of course, look great as well.

    Does anybody have any suggestions for me? If not, can anyone explain why it looks like this even if it can't be helped?

    Again, thanks to all in advance.
    (If it's a **** TV, just say so)
    Have you had this new set properly calibrated? ALL televisions should be properly calibrated, and let the software quality fall where it may. At least you have an accurate reference to judge the picture quality of the software.
    Sir Terrence

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible View Post
    Have you had this new set properly calibrated? ALL televisions should be properly calibrated, and let the software quality fall where it may. At least you have an accurate reference to judge the picture quality of the software.
    I have not. How would I go about doing this?

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    You can have it done professionally. Look for someone who is ISF certified. It could cost as much as $135 or more per input, but you get quite a bit of value for the money.

    They will check the white level to verify the color temperature is correct for the setting. They will adjust all five of the user picture controls, then calibrate them using the service menus so the calibrated settings are default, so it's easy to return to the correct calibration if they get changed. They may also recommend environment changes such as back-lighting, viewing angle, or distance for best viewing.

    You could also one of the many calibration discs available. They're pretty easy to use and many are tutorial-driven. Most explain the control, what is does and how to calibrate it. They use plain talk so it's pretty easy to follow. I like this method for calibrating a DVD/BD player because it takes into account the player itself and the cabling. With so many DVD players having their own picture adjustments calibrating the TV input for the DVD/BD doesn't always guarantee a calibrated playback since the player's controls may be out of spec. These are pretty reasonable costing between $25-$50, are re-usable, and easy to use.

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    Will the TV not being calibrated account for the varying picture qualities he experiences on different discs? It seems if the TV needed to be calibrated the bad picture quality would be consistent no matter the disc.

    I haven't read reviews of the PS4 but the PS3 was the benchmark for Blu-ray for a long time. My son-in-law uses a PS3 for movies and Avatar looked like a video game because he keeps his TV set to 240 or one of those not really appropriate for BD.

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    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    Will the TV not being calibrated account for the varying picture qualities he experiences on different discs? It seems if the TV needed to be calibrated the bad picture quality would be consistent no matter the disc.
    I think the problem is that not all discs are consistent. The OP said that:

    "For one, the blacks in certain movies are terrible. There is what I can only explain as grainy white fuzz in some, if not most black tones. At times it almost looks as if the grainy white fuzz creates a grid in the background of the dark tones."

    What he is describing I seen many times on up scaled dvds. To get rid of it, have to turn down TV's brightness. That problem is more apparent if TV can't produce deep Blacks.
    Mr Peabody likes this.

  7. #7
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    I think the problem is that not all discs are consistent. The OP said that: ...
    Of course, the same must be said of CDs and music recordings in general.

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    Thanks everyone for the feedback. I will try changing the brightness although it was only at 55/100. I'm hesitant to spend the money on a calibration disc due to the fact that the quality differs from movie to movie.

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    A calibration disc sets your TV to a standard, so although discs may vary you know the TV is set properly, this should make overall viewing better as well as with more discs.

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    Ok cool. I will for sure look into it then.

  11. #11
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    From what I am reading, it may be best to strip the system down to a direct connection from the BDP to the TV and be able to check out the settings on both the BDP and TV along with the cabling in use. when something is inconsistent is comes back as a cabling issues in most cases.
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    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recoveryone View Post
    From what I am reading, it may be best to strip the system down to a direct connection from the BDP to the TV and be able to check out the settings on both the BDP and TV along with the cabling in use.
    That is good advice

    I would also check bluray scaling output. On my Sony bluray player, the "Native" resolution output give best picture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by recoveryone View Post
    From what I am reading, it may be best to strip the system down to a direct connection from the BDP to the TV and be able to check out the settings on both the BDP and TV along with the cabling in use. when something is inconsistent is comes back as a cabling issues in most cases.
    He's believe talking about inconsistencies between different titles. I doubt this would be a cabling issue.

    Authoring houses calibrate their playback equipment and generally use the same standards. White is set to 6500K (for normal TV temp) by adjusting to the appropriate levels of red/blu/grn. Brightness (black level) is set to it's lowest value without losing detail. Contrast set to it's highest level without blooming and losing white detail. Sharpness to it's lowest level without causing line detail to "ring". Color and Tint are adjusted using a blue filter to attain the best color/tint balance. A calibration disc has the appropriate test signals to set these, so you see close to what the engineer sees. Calibration allows you to get in the sweet spot where most movies will look their best.

    There's always going to be bad quality movies, from either poor authoring, poor replication, poor manufacturing. Calibration will get you close enough to the standard so only minor user adjustments are needed. An ISF certified calibrator will setup your TV so "calibrated" is the default setting making it easy to return to it after making adjustment to the user controls. A disc will allow you to include the player and cable in the calibration, otherwise the calibrator would use a signal generator and calibrate the inputs to the TV.

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    It's just the playstation connected into the TV via HDMI cable. Admittedly, it's not the most expensive HDMI cable available but I was told that different cables only really effect audio performance.

    Also, I will make sure the resolution output is native but I believe it already is.

  15. #15
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfalls View Post
    He's believe talking about inconsistencies between different titles. I doubt this would be a cabling issue.

    Authoring houses calibrate their playback equipment and generally use the same standards. White is set to 6500K (for normal TV temp) by adjusting to the appropriate levels of red/blu/grn. Brightness (black level) is set to it's lowest value without losing detail. Contrast set to it's highest level without blooming and losing white detail. Sharpness to it's lowest level without causing line detail to "ring". Color and Tint are adjusted using a blue filter to attain the best color/tint balance. A calibration disc has the appropriate test signals to set these, so you see close to what the engineer sees. Calibration allows you to get in the sweet spot where most movies will look their best.

    There's always going to be bad quality movies, from either poor authoring, poor replication, poor manufacturing. Calibration will get you close enough to the standard so only minor user adjustments are needed. An ISF certified calibrator will setup your TV so "calibrated" is the default setting making it easy to return to it after making adjustment to the user controls. A disc will allow you to include the player and cable in the calibration, otherwise the calibrator would use a signal generator and calibrate the inputs to the TV.
    Damn good advice and information!!!
    Sir Terrence

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  16. #16
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNeumann1517 View Post
    It's just the playstation connected into the TV via HDMI cable. Admittedly, it's not the most expensive HDMI cable available but I was told that different cables only really effect audio performance.
    This information is not correct. With HDMI, cables play a small role in both audio and video performance, as long as the cable has the necessary bandwidth to pass the signal. It is either a pass or fail situation, not a good or better situation. What happens with the video and audio processing technology on either side of the cable is far more important than the cable itself.

    Also, I will make sure the resolution output is native but I believe it already is.
    While you are at it, look at the panel's black levels, contrast levels, color levels, sharpness levels, and color temperature. Looking at the resolution output in and of itself is like acknowledging there is the letter "A", but no "B"
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
    200" SI Black Diamond II screen
    Oppo BDP-103D
    Datastat RS20I audio/video processor 12.4 audio setup
    9 Onkyo M-5099 power amp
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    9 Onkyo M-508 power amp
    6 custom CAL amps for subs
    3 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid monitors
    18 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid surround/ceiling speakers
    2 custom 15" sealed FFEC servo subs
    4 custom 15" H-PAS FFEC servo subs
    THX Style Baffle wall

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    If you would like to try something "on the cheap", (aka: FREE), google: "CNET calibration settings". You enter your television make and model, and CNET's recommended settings will magically appear! When I brought my 60" Vizio M Series home, I was initially underwhelmed by the picture...flat, lifeless and way too bright. It looked like a VHS tape of an old soap opera being illuminated by a flood light. After applying CNET's settings, the difference was amazing! I'm sure that an ISF calibration would be even better, but $300 is a lot of money in our household...and did I mention that this was FREE? It may not solve your problem, but it can't hurt...and it's FREE! Oh, and there's another website called Tweak TV that does the same thing. It might be interesting to compare the two and see which settings you like the best...and did I mention that this one is also...well, you know...
    Last edited by RoyY51; 02-09-2014 at 06:04 PM.

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