Welcome to Doom9's Forum, THE in-place to be for everyone interested in DVD conversion.

Before you start posting please read the forum rules. By posting to this forum you agree to abide by the rules.

 

Go Back   Doom9's Forum > Hardware & Software > Hardware players

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 7th January 2012, 13:54   #1  |  Link
gaelsano
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Korea
Posts: 7
Upscaling and proper SD DVDs (704x480/576i)

I would do trial in a store but given my location and the nature of showrooms here, I can't. Whatever I order will be through the internet. I appreciate any help here.

I can't stand improper ratios and scaling. I can notice it very easily. I know that non-Hollywood DVDs in standard definition (usually analog or DV sourced) will use 704 horizontal pixels with 8 pixels of padding left and right (704+8+8=720). BBC DVDs follow the protocol well. Goldeneye (American release) was one of the few correct film DVDs. Both had their 16 pixels of padding cut off on DVD players via component for me years ago. Stretched properly and all that. (10:11 or 40:33)

I'm looking to get a universal hardware player region wise and dvd/blu-ray compatible.

If I use the 1080p upscaler via component or hdmi, what are the results (respectively)? Do DVD component upscalers, DVD HDMI upscalers, Blu-ray component upscalers and Blu-ray HDMI upscalers behave differently?

Software video players always show all 720 horizontal pixels with limited cropping options so that DVDs like Goldeneye are not stretched enough and get the thin pillars at the sides on a 16:9 TV. Worse yet, you get garbage pixels showing! Analog sources had a gradual cutoff to black. These "wobbly" edges are bothersome and not meant to be seen; they are just smoothing out the analog output signals so you don't get ringing from a sharp transition to blacker than black (Y=0).

What's the deal? Do upscaling players do the non-standard thing of showing all 720x480 pixels on Standard Definition content. Do they copy the Hollywood DVDs and software video players that are often ignorant of protocol? I'm not going to use HDMI for DVDs if I have to deal with wrong aspect ratios and possibly non-black padding pixels.

Help me spend the money carefully.

PS: Don't recommend "overscan" modes. That ends up cutting off the top and bottom and zooms in. That causes rescaling distortion, loss of vertical picture, and does not fix the aspect ratio problem (not sufficiently widened on playback).

Last edited by gaelsano; 7th January 2012 at 14:52.
gaelsano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th January 2012, 14:16   #2  |  Link
hello_hello
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 4,101
Quote:
Originally Posted by gaelsano View Post
I'm looking to get a universal hardware player region wise and dvd/blu-ray compatible.
If you're buying a Bluray player and you want one which will play MKVs (most do these days) and you want it to be able to play anamorphic MKVs correctly (there's still players which assume all video has square pixels) you might want to check on anamorphic MKV support before you buy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaelsano View Post
If I use the 1080p upscaler via component or hdmi, what are the results (respectively)? Do DVD component upscalers, DVD HDMI upscalers, Blu-ray component upscalers and Blu-ray HDMI upscalers behave differently?
I believe Bluray/DVD players output DVDs using the ITU aspect ratios when connected via component, but they probably use exact 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios when connected via HDMI as that's the HDMI specification. It mightn't be a hard and fast rule though so it'd pay to check the player if you really want ITU. I can't say it's something I've looked into.
Personally I think a PC does a better job of upscaling than hardware players do, but once again most software players use exact 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios. Which is actually okay given these days, so do most DVDs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaelsano View Post
Software video players always show all 720 horizontal pixels with limited cropping options so that DVDs like Goldeneye are not stretched enough and get the thin pillars at the sides on a 16:9 TV. Worse yet, you get garbage pixels showing! Analog sources had a gradual cutoff to black. These "wobbly" edges are bothersome and not meant to be seen; they are just smoothing out the analog output signals so you don't get ringing from a sharp transition to blacker than black (Y=0).
Which I guess is one reason why a lot of people re-encode their DVDs using AVI or MKV etc because that way you can crop off the crud. Mind you depending on the software player it's probably very easy to employ "psuedo overscanning". MPC-HC, for example, zooms in using small steps by hitting the "9" key on the numeric keypad. "5" resets it. I use it all the time and it works fine for zooming in just enough to fill the entire screen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaelsano View Post
What's the deal? Do upscaling players do the non-standard thing of showing all 720x480 pixels on Standard Definition content. Do they copy the Hollywood DVDs and software video players that are often ignorant of protocol? I'm not going to use HDMI for DVDs if I have to deal with wrong aspect ratios and possibly non-black padding pixels.
As far as I know, it's the TV which decides whether to overscan or not. In the case of my TV I don't think overscanning can be disabled when using analog inputs (although I may not be remembering correctly) however it can be enabled/disabled when using either the HDMI or PC input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaelsano View Post
PS: Don't recommend "overscan" modes. That ends up cutting off the top and bottom and zooms in. That causes rescaling distortion, loss of vertical picture, and does not fix the aspect ratio problem (not sufficiently widened on playback).
Isn't overscanning what your needing to ensure the TV doesn't display the "garbage"? Although if you've been using a PC for playing the DVDs that'd explain why overscanning probably isn't enabled, but now you know how to zoom in manually.
I'd be willing to assume overscanning doesn't cause rescaling distortion, especially if it's the player which is doing the rescaling and it's the TV which is overscanning.

Overscanning mightn't fix the aspect ratio problem but it's not really supposed to. This is a whole other topic and I don't want to start an ITU vs "straight" resizing debate, but I'm fairly confident by far the majority of DVDs these days don't use ITU resizing, so the fact that the HDMI spec or most software players don't either is probably a good thing. If you've been watching fairly recent DVDs the chances are if they're displaying using the ITU aspect ratio then they're probably being distorted a little.
Mind you there's quite a few older DVDs which use ITU but these days, not so much....
hello_hello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th January 2012, 15:05   #3  |  Link
gaelsano
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Korea
Posts: 7
Thank you much for the feedback. I don't have many encoded movies. Some films I'd like to get, but I can only get access to them if I buy them (as opposed to rent/streaming/etc) and if I have to buy the discs, I would like to be able to use them. I know the players probably handle digital (non-disc) files separately anyway.

I'm aware of MPC-HC's zoom feature. Doesn't fix the aspect ratio, it usually just ends up cropping from the top. Alright, but still applies forced stretching.

I've jerry-rigged VLC to crop the 16 side pixels and force the result to be stretched to 854x480 (simply adding crop will get you 720x480->854x480->836x480), but it causes glitches and it spontaneously goes back to its original settings.

In any case, I'm interested in a hardware player that does ITU Rec.601 on HDMI so I can use a computer monitor (sans the overscan) because that's cheaper.
gaelsano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th January 2012, 15:15   #4  |  Link
gaelsano
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Korea
Posts: 7
All standard definition sourced DVDs I've found had ITU pixels. They were originally captured from ITU equipment or were shot on DV. Doctor Who revived series (before the HDTV series) uses ITU pixels. It was shot on DV and then processed to get a fake film look, but the master source at BBC Wales is 704x576 active out of 720x576.
gaelsano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th January 2012, 15:21   #5  |  Link
Richard1485
AviSynth monkey
 
Richard1485's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 271
Quote:
Originally Posted by gaelsano View Post
In any case, I'm interested in a hardware player that does ITU Rec.601 on HDMI so I can use a computer monitor (sans the overscan) because that's cheaper.
Good luck finding one. I sometimes solve the problem by re-encoding with x264, cropping and resizing to square pixels manually, to take the resizing out of the player's hands.
Richard1485 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th January 2012, 15:59   #6  |  Link
hello_hello
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 4,101
Quote:
Originally Posted by gaelsano View Post
I'm aware of MPC-HC's zoom feature. Doesn't fix the aspect ratio, it usually just ends up cropping from the top. Alright, but still applies forced stretching.
Don't some of the other numeric keys stretch the video in different directions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaelsano View Post
In any case, I'm interested in a hardware player that does ITU Rec.601 on HDMI so I can use a computer monitor (sans the overscan) because that's cheaper.
Ah..... if you mentioned computer monitor in your original post I must have missed it. I assumed you were using a TV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaelsano View Post
All standard definition sourced DVDs I've found had ITU pixels. They were originally captured from ITU equipment or were shot on DV. Doctor Who revived series (before the HDTV series) uses ITU pixels. It was shot on DV and then processed to get a fake film look, but the master source at BBC Wales is 704x576 active out of 720x576.
Don't take the active picture area to be an indication of which pixel aspect ratio was used. If only it were that easy.....
As I said I don't want to turn this into an ITU debate, but I live in PAL-land and over the last few years I've replaced many of my old DVD/AVI encodes with encodes taken from Bluray (I encode using x264 these days but if I already have an AVI version I replace it as well). All of my DVD encodes use non-ITU resizing. Pretty much all of them have displayed using the same "picture" aspect ratio as the Bluray version. I think I've found maybe three or four old DVD encodes (at the most) which when compared to the Bluray version obviously should have used ITU resizing. I don't know how many I've actually compared but it'd be dozens (at least). ITU DVD resizing seems to be fairly rare now (well I think it has been for quite a while).
hello_hello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th January 2012, 04:44   #7  |  Link
hello_hello
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 4,101
If you're really keen to know for sure, if possible find a face on shot of something round (a clock or a car wheel etc) in your Doctor Who DVDs and save a screen shot. If the video's anamorphic I think MPC-HC uses square pixels when saving the image, but then I use Irfanview to resize that to ITU and non-ITU resolutions (Irfanview lets you specify an exact resolution in pixels when resizing). Most of the time you can tell simply by looking at the two images which one is right, but if I'm not sure I use the edit plugin to draw a circle over the object in the screen shot to see which resizing method produces an image of the object which is closest to be round. Generally it's the non-ITU method although I suspect even then the DVD resizing isn't always exact, but non-ITU is usually a lot closer to being correct than ITU. If you do try to work it out I'd be interested to know what the result is. The Doctor Who DVDs may very well use ITU resizing, there's still the odd DVD which does.
hello_hello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th January 2012, 17:15   #8  |  Link
gaelsano
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Korea
Posts: 7
I did some tests on BBC DVDs and yes, Not only do they use 16 out of 720 pixels for padding, they also use ITU ratios. The grandfather clock in Fawlty Towers is a prime example. I made some fresh pics. I sdin't much about sequence display extension other than it exists though I don't know how to see it.

In any case, I haven't the time right now to find a host for the images (I don't have any flikr accounts or whatever). Anyone who's interested can PM me and I can send an e-mail with pics from, for example, Fawlty Towers with original 720x576 a straight resize to 768 and a cropped resize to 768.

Cropped to 704 then stretched to 768 is the winner. The 8 blank pixels at each side are not red herrings.
gaelsano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th January 2012, 20:06   #9  |  Link
Richard1485
AviSynth monkey
 
Richard1485's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 271
Technically, it should be nine pixels on either side because the active image area is 702x576 for PAL. There's no need for pictures though: I've enough experience with DVDs to be aware of the vagaries of DVD authoring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hello_hello View Post
although I suspect even then the DVD resizing isn't always exact
I agree.
Richard1485 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th January 2012, 04:26   #10  |  Link
gaelsano
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Korea
Posts: 7
Thanks for the remarks and info. I'm getting more and more curious about sequence display extension. The most recent version of GSpot is not reporting any sequence_display_extension and in fact is showing a DAR of 5:4, but I do see MPC-HC and VLC respecting some sort of non 4:3 DAR or some sort of sequence_display_extension. To my surprise, one file on VLC is actually playing at 720x528 and NOT 720x540 (NTSC 720x480 stretched vertically as VLC doesn't like to compress pixels, only extrapolate them), which would mean a DAR of 1.363636 which uses 704x480 as the base for the picture.

I'll look about the authoring sections to see what kinds of files have sequence_display_extension (DVDs? MPEG-2? MP4? IFO? Blu-ray? MPEG-TS?)

I also think that using component video cables for hook up when playing DVDs will solve the cropping headache and resolve the color space differences between 601 and 709 in addition
gaelsano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th January 2012, 05:42   #11  |  Link
hello_hello
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 4,101
Quote:
Originally Posted by gaelsano View Post
I did some tests on BBC DVDs and yes, Not only do they use 16 out of 720 pixels for padding, they also use ITU ratios. The grandfather clock in Fawlty Towers is a prime example. I made some fresh pics.
I have no doubt what you're saying is true. There are ITU DVDs out there and the older the DVD, probably the greater the chances are it'll be ITU. For all I know every BBC DVD ever produced may be ITU, but I wouldn't take it for granted that just because one is, they all must be.
If ever you get around to seeing if you can work out the correct aspect ratios for newer DVDs such as Doctor Who, I'd be interested to know what results you come up with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaelsano View Post
Thanks for the remarks and info. I'm getting more and more curious about sequence display extension. The most recent version of GSpot is not reporting any sequence_display_extension and in fact is showing a DAR of 5:4, but I do see MPC-HC and VLC respecting some sort of non 4:3 DAR or some sort of sequence_display_extension.
As far as I'm aware the sequence_display_extension is optional so if GSpot isn't reporting it maybe the video doesn't contain it? Or are you saying an older version of GSpot will report one when for the same file the latest version won't?

As far as I know the sequence_display_extension defines a "windowed area" for display. For instance when displaying a 16:9 image on a 4:3 screen the sequence_display_extension can be used to specify which part of encoded frame to use, but I'm not really knowledgeable on what the various headers specify so I could be completely wrong.
I didn't think software players paid any attention to that sort of thing but from your observations I guess they might, however I still don't think any headers contain information which define the resize method used to obtain a particular aspect ratio, even if an aspect ratio is specified. If you discover anything interesting though, please enlighten us.

Maybe we'll get lucky and someone who understand the various types of headers will come along and explain them.
hello_hello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th January 2012, 11:02   #12  |  Link
gaelsano
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Korea
Posts: 7
I'm waiting to receive my discs from my folks back in the states. I downloaded some files someone else made to grab some screenshots.

It appears one of the files was ripped from a DVD without scaling and applied something to make it show at 785.4545. GSpot shows no s_d_extension and a completely erroneous PAR and thus an incorrect DAR. I can't make heads or tails of it. I didn't do the encode, so maybe there was some error that confused some header or meta-data (I don't know the true definitions of either word).

An NTSC file shows

SAR 1.500 (3:2) PAR 0.833 (5:6) DAR 1.250 (5:4)

MPC-HC is 654.54x480 and VLC is 720x528

I'm trying to get a better understanding of it all, but I'm sure GSpot must be wrong here or is unable to correctly read the file.
gaelsano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th January 2012, 21:02   #13  |  Link
Richard1485
AviSynth monkey
 
Richard1485's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 271
I use Restream to show the sequence_display_extension. If the sequence_display_extension is set, the active picture area is contained in the inner 704 (or 702 for PAL) portion of a 720 frame. If the sequence_display_extension is not set, the entire 720 frame represents the active picture area.
Richard1485 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th January 2012, 22:06   #14  |  Link
Ghitulescu
Registered User
 
Ghitulescu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Germany
Posts: 5,635
Quote:
Originally Posted by gaelsano View Post
I did some tests on BBC DVDs and yes, Not only do they use 16 out of 720 pixels for padding, they also use ITU ratios. The grandfather clock in Fawlty Towers is a prime example. I made some fresh pics. I sdin't much about sequence display extension other than it exists though I don't know how to see it.

In any case, I haven't the time right now to find a host for the images (I don't have any flikr accounts or whatever). Anyone who's interested can PM me and I can send an e-mail with pics from, for example, Fawlty Towers with original 720x576 a straight resize to 768 and a cropped resize to 768.

Cropped to 704 then stretched to 768 is the winner. The 8 blank pixels at each side are not red herrings.
If you have the BBC DVDs, you'd noticed that those pixels are equally distributed, ie they account for overscan more than for ITU.
The BBC good practice instructions do consider the analog blanking interval. On the other hand, the Scenarist guidelines do not consider the ITU recommendation, it simply asks for 768x576 (PAR = 1) signals to be converted to 720x576i signals.

PS: it is not absolutely irrelevant to mention that most BBC videos are actually analog recorded, thus the good practice manual.
__________________
Born in the USB (not USA)
Ghitulescu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th January 2012, 16:53   #15  |  Link
gaelsano
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Korea
Posts: 7
UPDATE:

I was able to test a LG Blu-ray player in Korea. On my DVDs it displayed using ITU pixels. The junk pixels were not cut off. The image was slightly wider than 16:9 which meant if you did a zoom to force 16:9 the discs showed exactly as intended.

I would have bought the unit and possibly a TV since there was a Lunar New Year mega-sale, but the worker said they had no remote for the unit and that I should go to a center for "After Service" (I'll never understand why they speak in crappy English loan words instead of in Korean). So basically, go to a repair place and hope they have a universal remote. I tried to explain that the player was great but didn't auto-detect 4:3 or 16:9 accurately every time.

He refused to let me examine any units not already hooked up even though they're sitting on the shelves out of their boxes. They have functioning models taken out of the box and sit them on a shelf. I can view the physical dimensions, the connections, the voltage tolerance (220v or 200-240v or 100-240v; 60 Hz or 50/60Hz). But he refused to allow me to hook one up to the TV. I could only test the ONE model that was already hooked up. (Every other place had only one model hooked up, the one they bought five years ago.)

He DID keep trying to show me Casino Royale on Blu-Ray Disc and insisted that Blu-Ray players do not play DVDs. I should buy a DVD player for that.

Best Buy salesmen from the States are nearly as ignorant, but they are not aggressively bad at customer relations. All salespeople in Korea are extremely pushy. When you specify you are looking for something in the store they don't know about off the top of their heads, they just tell you they have nothing in stock. If you say you'll have to go elsewhere, they'll insist it doesn't exist in Korea (um, two-prong laptop AC power cords don't exist in Korea? yeah, sure, buddy.) and try to steer you to buy something like motor oil instead.

It seems like I'm obsessive compulsive, but it's like the simplest thing is impossible to do here. This would've been done in 5 minutes in any other country. That's why I wanted advice, because I'm so fed up I'll have to order online from America or Japan. I have to test the players to see if they can play 50 Hz discs. I also want to make sure I can watch everything right. It's not too much to ask. To be able to test a TV or Blu-ray and check out its features. Or try on a shirt in a store. How weird I am for not knowing whether this brand's L or XL is going to be fit me. I love Korea, but I HATE shopping here. The only reason Japanese come here to shop instead of the other way around is exchange rates. Keep that in mind next time you read about Japanese flocking to South Korea for shopping or medical tourism.
gaelsano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th January 2012, 18:44   #16  |  Link
hello_hello
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 4,101
I think salesmen are the same the world over, although at least where I am (Australia) it's usually possible to test something if need be before you buy it. Or if it doesn't do what the salesman said it'd do, at least there's usually no argument when you return it. Which is what I did when I returned one of the Samsung Bluray players I bought (the other one was for someone else and they didn't care) because it wouldn't display anamorphic MKVs correctly. Before I returned it I emailed Samsung to see if they intended to release new firmware to fix it, and received a nice reply saying the player had to either display at 4:3 or expand the image to fit the entire screen because that's how they work. I replied thanking the person for their time while pointing out the player doesn't feel obligated to expand a wide aspect ratio, square pixel AVI to fill the screen and they were therefore talking bullocks, so they said they'd pass my comments onto the technical department and thanked me for helping them improve their products.

Out of curiosity, was the player you tested connected via HDMI? I've never heard of a Bluray player which won't play DVDs. I actually thought playing DVDs was mandatory for a Bluray player.
hello_hello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th March 2012, 03:41   #17  |  Link
IanD
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 190
It may be best to take the player out of the equation and add a Video Processor.

Something like the DVDO Edge has IIRC flexible zoom, crop and presets that hopefully would allow you to scale each DVD as you see fit, but they aren't cheap.

Alternatively, if using a PC, ffdshow has configurable cropping and scaling and may even be smart enough to detect side bars.
IanD is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 13:17.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.