Watching poor quality videos using HDMI Input.

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Big Silent Fan

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Watching poor quality videos using HDMI Input.

PostFri Jan 19, 2018 6:43 am

I've always used my wifi, Blu-ray player to watch YouTube, newer wide screen films and older films released in Blu-ray. I never thought about watching my older, fuzzy B&W recordings, but watched them on the flatscreen using component cables (R,B,G)...which are an analog input.
Last week, I was frustrated by the picture quality of a video I was sent because what's available to see on YouTube was better. I decided to put the inferior copy into the Blu-ray player rather than in the DVD player and was surprised by the result.
There was a huge improvement in picture quality, allowing me to see more detail than before. The difficult to read titles were more clear too.
Even DVD recordings of mine (made in the 1990s) that were once VHS take on an almost HD quality when watched using the HDMI cable. I tried the HDMI output from a standard DVD player and got the same result.
The downside? When using digital HDMI inputs, I cannot adjust the image back to Academy (4:3) size; it must be viewed as a widescreen image. At least that's how it is with my equipment.
Perhaps you already know about this, but it was a surprise to me. I'll likely be watching all my older films again this way.

Today, I'm watching my old recording of Maldone using the HDMI input. The image quality is amazing.
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Jim Reid

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Re: Watching poor quality videos using HDMI Input.

PostFri Jan 19, 2018 6:58 am

Most newer DVD players and all blu-ray players have that up convert technology. Makes nearly all DVDs look better. As far as the screen ratio, is there not a button on your tv to change it? It might be called "picture size".
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Big Silent Fan

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Re: Watching poor quality videos using HDMI Input.

PostFri Jan 19, 2018 7:20 am

Jim Reid wrote:Most newer DVD players and all blu-ray players have that up convert technology. Makes nearly all DVDs look better. As far as the screen ratio, is there not a button on your tv to change it? It might be called "picture size".


Yes there is, and I need to use the 'size control when using the television with composite or component outputs on my Magnavox DVD player. Doing that, I can get a normal 4:3 Academy image, zoom or wide.
When I connect that player, or the Blu-ray player to the TV using HDMI, it only allows for "Wide Mode." It gives me three options, "Wide Screen" Full, Zoom and Full Pixel, but they are all a 16 X 9 image.
As I wrote, I never thought to watch my older recordings, many DVD-r recordings of VHS. With the newer DVDs I've watched on Blu-ray, the picture quality was already pretty good, but not so with these old fuzzy recordings from long ago.
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Paul Penna

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Re: Watching poor quality videos using HDMI Input.

PostFri Jan 19, 2018 9:59 am

Big Silent Fan wrote:
Jim Reid wrote:Most newer DVD players and all blu-ray players have that up convert technology. Makes nearly all DVDs look better. As far as the screen ratio, is there not a button on your tv to change it? It might be called "picture size".


Yes there is, and I need to use the 'size control when using the television with composite or component outputs on my Magnavox DVD player. Doing that, I can get a normal 4:3 Academy image, zoom or wide.
When I connect that player, or the Blu-ray player to the TV using HDMI, it only allows for "Wide Mode." It gives me three options, "Wide Screen" Full, Zoom and Full Pixel, but they are all a 16 X 9 image.
As I wrote, I never thought to watch my older recordings, many DVD-r recordings of VHS. With the newer DVDs I've watched on Blu-ray, the picture quality was already pretty good, but not so with these old fuzzy recordings from long ago.


There are settings on both your Blu-Ray player and your flat screen that affect the aspect ratio that gets displayed; the settings on both need to be correct for you to get the correct ratio.

But first of all, tell me this: when you play a commercial DVD (not a Blu-Ray disc) of a 4:3 film on your Blu-Ray player, does it display in the correct ratio - in other words, a 4:3 image centered in your 16:9 screen - or is it stretched out to fill the entire screen? If the ratio is correct, your 4:3 DVD-r recordings should be as well. If both the commercial and your own DVD-r discs are distorted, getting the settings between player and TV in sync should solve the problem.

Basically, your Blu-Ray player needs to know that your TV is 16:9; there should be a setting somewhere in its menus for that. Having this set wrong is often the cause of not being able to get a 4:3 image displayed properly.

Depending on the equipment, there may be other settings. Remember, it's not the connection method (composite/component vs. HDMI) per se that makes a difference, it's what your Blu-Ray player should be doing to standard-definition video such as both your commercial and home-brew DVDs. It's turning them into something that, to your TV, is electronically the same thing as a high-definition Blu-Ray. So there may be settings on the player relating to this conversion process. If your TV's resolution is 1080p and your player has settings relating to that, they should be set to upconvert standard video to 1080p. Similarly, if your TV has settings asking what kind of resolution is coming into its HDMI input from the Blu-Ray player, that should also be set to 1080p. Note that not all players and TVs have all of these options, but the idea is to get both your TV and player on the same wavelength, so to speak. As I said, a mismatch is usually the cause of aspect ratio problems.

Once that's done, you need to experiment with what those unhelpfully-named settings like “wide” and “full” actually do. I have yet to encounter a situation in which a commercial 4:3 disc, either standard DVD or Blu-Ray, can't be made to display properly on a 16:9 display.

Hop this helps!
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boblipton

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Re: Watching poor quality videos using HDMI Input.

PostFri Jan 19, 2018 10:16 am

This would seem to contradict what All Darc keeps saying. Apparently better equipment does permit at least marginally better viewing.

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MoviecollectorOH

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Re: Watching poor quality videos using HDMI Input.

PostFri Jan 19, 2018 10:28 am

There shouldn't really be any big differences in signal quality between the HDMI and the Component (Y, Pb, Pr) inputs [where properly implemented of course]. They are both HD connections. I have newer HD devices which offer these different ways of connectivity, my Directv DVR satellite box and a Hauppauge HD-PVR2 video recording encoder, and I cannot immediately see the difference between using HDMI and Component inputs with Directv HD signals.

About the only reasonable difference between analog (Component) and digital (HDMI) could be signal noise from the outside getting in to the analog circuitry, but even that doesn't really seem to happen.

There is good liklihood that the manufacturer may have cheaped out on the analog Component circuitry on one of your pieces of gear - digital is always going to be cheaper to implement - but on the downside doesn't always work correctly, for varied reasons.

I am thinking the problem is with your older DVD player. That is probably the culprit. The Blu-Ray player has to be able to support HD video, whether or not you actually use it for that. That and the consumer market really lowered the bar on what was acceptable to bring to the consumer market for DVD players in the mid to late 2000s. So the big benefit of Blu-Ray players, whether or not you actually use Blu-Ray discs, was that it really helped to bring consumer equipment back on par with the quality standards the consumers had already become accustomed to everywhere else. :lol:
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Big Silent Fan

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Re: Watching poor quality videos using HDMI Input.

PostFri Jan 19, 2018 11:57 am

Paul Penna wrote:
But first of all, tell me this: when you play a commercial DVD (not a Blu-Ray disc) of a 4:3 film on your Blu-Ray player, does it display in the correct ratio - in other words, a 4:3 image centered in your 16:9 screen - or is it stretched out to fill the entire screen? If the ratio is correct, your 4:3 DVD-r recordings should be as well. If both the commercial and your own DVD-r discs are distorted, getting the settings between player and TV in sync should solve the problem.


[My original comment concerned seeing a much improved image, when using the HDMI cable . I normally watch analog films on my Magnavox DVD player using an analog composite or component connection. Doing this, I have no problems with proper aspect.]

Answering your question.
I loaded my DVD copy of Flicker Alley's "Sherlock Holmes" and it plays the correct aspect automatically on the Blu-ray player. I tried a Julia Roberts' film and it plays the correct aspect automatically.
It's just my own DVD-r recordings, which are all analog recordings, that cannot be viewed in the proper 4:3 format. In addition, my analog recordings of "Mad Men" cannot be seen properly on the Blu-ray player. When watched with my DVD player, I simply zoom to fill the screen. Cannot do the same using the Blu-ray because the image is already stretched and zooming it makes a too large image.
I once had a HDMI-Composite converter so I could record to DVD from YouTube. Since I could not record directly from HDMI, the resulting image is both smaller and squeezed. I can then take these squeezed recordings and watch them with either a DVD player, using the stretched aspect, or using the Blu-ray player which automatically produces a stretched image.

Reading the manual for my Sony Blu-ray player, the only adjustment I can find is picture quality; not picture aspect. I can only do that with the TV control.
I've never thought before to play my non-commercial DVD-r recordings on anything other than my standard definition DVD player. Everything changed when I discovered a better quality image could be seen, even on older recordings of old VHS home recordings.
When I saw the image improvement using the Blu-ray, I tried connecting the HDMI output from my DVD player to the TV and saw the same image improvement. In both cases, I cannot adjust the aspect to 4:3.
I would normally never want to stretch any of my older programs, but now I see it results in an improved picture quality covering my entire flat screen.
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Re: Watching poor quality videos using HDMI Input.

PostFri Jan 19, 2018 12:20 pm

I think that this is a problem with certain older Sony TVs. I've got a 48" and a 25". Both play BluRays and DVDs and broadcast TV in the correct ratio. However, if I DVR a film on TCM, and then play it back on the 25", the Sony stretches it to 16:9 and there is nothing I can do to fix it. (I've tried different settings in the manual.) My 48" always plays back DVR recordings in the correct aspect ratio.
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Re: Watching poor quality videos using HDMI Input.

PostFri Jan 19, 2018 12:44 pm

silentfilm wrote:I think that this is a problem with certain older Sony TVs. I've got a 48" and a 25". Both play BluRays and DVDs and broadcast TV in the correct ratio. However, if I DVR a film on TCM, and then play it back on the 25", the Sony stretches it to 16:9 and there is nothing I can do to fix it. (I've tried different settings in the manual.) My 48" always plays back DVR recordings in the correct aspect ratio.


I'm assuming were are not talking about Cable DVR recordings (which are HD) and that your recording equipment is not HD.

The purpose of my post was not to talk about a problem I was having since I don't normally watch DVDs with a Blu-ray or HDMI connection to my televisions. In fact, I normally prefer watching older recordings on my old fashioned 32" Zenith which is a picture tube set in a swivel base consul.
I was simply trying to say the (albeit) stretched image's quality is improved when connecting to the flat screen television with an HDMI cable.
Yesterday, I watched my poor quality DVD-r copy of "The Four Feathers" (1929) and the full 16 X 9 screen came alive with a much clearer image than I've ever seen. Certainly not HD quality, but a big improvement (picture quality wise).
I do not see the same quality image connecting with component cables as with the HDMI. I hardly noticed it was stretched, but I sure noticed the improved image I was seeing, covering the entire screen. Before that, I watched my DVD of the 1926 Barrymore film, "The Beast," another old fuzzy film (copied from VHS) and it was positively thrilling to watch this way.
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Re: Watching poor quality videos using HDMI Input.

PostFri Jan 19, 2018 2:14 pm

As the last couple of days here in Oz have seen temperatures up in the 40's (C), I have had to retreat to my boudoir - where the air-conditioner resides, and watch DVD's there. Ordinarily I have had no problems with the equipment but yesterday it all went peculiar. I have an HDMI connection between the television set and the DVD player. I put on a DVD and got no sound. This resulted in me fiddling around with two remote control devices for at least an hour, trying all the settings to see whether I had accidentally dropped one and caused a button to press in error.

I had to give up on this mission and put the problem down to a faulty HDMI cable. Luckily I had a cable lying around which had RCA plugs on it, so I made a "component" connection. I then altered the device on the TV to reflect this. I had sound from the DVD now but the picture was in widescreen rather than academy. I remembered that the aspect control for the TV was in in an obscure part of the remote control. (One has to flip up a cover). So I altered as needed and lay back prepared to enjoy a picture.

Imagine my surprise, that at points in the picture, for some unknown reason, it suddenly reverted to widescreen and I had to press the aspect button again, and again.

Because the aspect button on the remote was very near to other buttons and I have adult sized fingers, I managed a few times to hit the wrong button. This luckily only caused the picture to go off - I say luckily, because I have a 'resume play' facility. However when the picture went off and I then pressed the resume play, I was switched back to the HDMI connection with no sound and then had to reset the TV to component, and then to the correct aspect all over again. (I had to do this about four or five times during the picture - so you can imagine my level of frustration and annoyance was rising).

I managed to get through the first DVD and as the night was still young and there was bu**er all being broadcast, I decided to watch another DVD.

You can therefore imagine my sheer amazement, when I put it on that the setting went back to HDMI and the sound came through loud and clear! Me tink it 'mazing!

With the complications of today's gadgets and equipment you can see why I sometimes sit wistfully remembering the days of listening to the wireless - the set only had two knobs - or just winding up the gramophone in order to play it! :D
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s.w.a.c.

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Re: Watching poor quality videos using HDMI Input.

PostSun Jan 21, 2018 1:32 pm

silentfilm wrote:I think that this is a problem with certain older Sony TVs.

Maybe Sony blu-ray players as well. I just bought a new-to-me Sony blu-ray player that had component outputs (all the new machines I've seen seem to be HDMI only) for the old but still sharp-looking Panasonic CRT in my bedroom. But when watching newer discs of 4:3 programming (which I guess have been formatted to play on newer widescreen sets), no amount of fiddling with the settings can get me a picture without some sort of aspect distortion (my new blu-ray set of The Monkees comes to mind).

It should be a no-brainer that 4:3 programming should just play that way on an older 4:3 TV, but Sony machines don't seem to think that way. Interestingly, my old Seiki blu-ray player, which just bit the dust, played the Monkees discs at the proper ratio, but the image was slightly windowboxed, with a black frame on all sides of the image, and I couldn't get rid of that either, so there's something with the mastering of the BDs as well as the way my players interpret it. I've noticed this with BDs of other square-formatted programming as well.
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Re: Watching poor quality videos using HDMI Input.

PostSun Jan 21, 2018 8:26 pm

Someone may have mentioned this-- I haven't read the whole thread-- but the reason why 4x3 movies play correctly on Blu-ray is that the video file is 16x9 with black vertical bars (pillar boxing) on the left and right. On DVD the files for 4x3 are actually 4x3 and therefore the TV needs to be set correctly to not stretch it.

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