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Old 01-11-2008, 11:28   #1
Raigmore
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Psycho (R1 - Universal Legacy)

My Psycho DVD is the R1 Universal Legacy series 2-disc SE released only last month and comes with an impressive array of extras. But the transfer itself was slightly disappointing with moments of excessive grain where lighter surfaces (walls, car surfaces, the sky etc) predominate the frame. I did not notice the graining as much on the 42" plasma Panasonic TV as on the 37" LCD Toshiba even though both were viewed via a 720p HDMI setting. I have had similar experiences with other contrasty black & white films like Twelve Angry Men & Dr Strangelove, but there was much less graining with those DVDs.

This makes me wonder whether the picture quality of DVDs of high contrast b/w films like those mentioned above, most film noirs etc are at best with non-HDMI setups or should I alter the HDMI setting for them?
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Old 02-11-2008, 08:36   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raigmore View Post
This makes me wonder whether the picture quality of DVDs of high contrast b/w films like those mentioned above, most film noirs etc are at best with non-HDMI setups or should I alter the HDMI setting for them?
It is most unlikely that using an HDMI connection is the problem. Far more likely is the quality of the DVD.

I use an HDMI connection from my DVD player into my projector. The results are very good and only poorly encoded DVDs look bad through this set-up. Last week for example I watched both The Woman In The Window and Dark Passage. The Woman In The Window has poor picture quality with faces seemingly slightly out of focus. Dark Passage by contrast looks superb, almost too good. In her close-ups, Lauren Bacall's skin blemishes are clearly visible!

The only advisable trick with HDMI is to set your DVD player's output to the native resolution of your display device; e.g. if your tv's native resolution is 720p, set your DVD player's output to 720p as opposed to 1080.
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Old 02-11-2008, 18:16   #3
Raigmore
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Originally Posted by JoelCairo View Post
It is most unlikely that using an HDMI connection is the problem. Far more likely is the quality of the DVD.
Could be in this case, but I definitely have a few DVDs - mostly R1 and of films made in the late 50s to mid-60s, although this may be just coincidence - where an HDMI link gives a worse picture quality. A classic example is John Wayne's Hatari! that looks awful (not grainy but ghosted) on a HDMI link but is much better on the conventional DVD player with the same TV using a component cable.

Update: I just re-saw the same new Psycho DVD on my 33" analog Toshiba TV with a scart link to a 6 year old Sony DVD player. The grain effect was far less in the scenes mentioned. In case some of you others have the same DVD, just double-check the final scene at the Police Station with the close-ups of the psychiatrist with the blank wall in the background. The graining is at its worst in some shots in that sequence.

Last edited by Raigmore; 02-11-2008 at 21:12.
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Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Perkins, Frank Albertson, Janet Leigh, John Gavin, John McIntire, Martin Balsam, Patricia Hitchcock, Psycho, Simon Oakland, Ted Knight, Vera Miles

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