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  1. Member
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    Thanks
    Mike
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  2. I was looking at the darkness pictures and article and kept saying, "YES!" "YES!" "YES!"

    I got a Panasonic for Christmas -- my first one -- and when I played back the video on other machines the back just JUMPED out. The other two burners didn't do that. The black level was SO strong on my Panasonic I didn't know what was wrong. People's eyelashes, blond girls black roots, clothes, etc. Anything that was black came out like a 10 on a 10 scale and all other colors where some number behind it. I tried to record on the lighter setting but it washed everything out. So, when I saw some of those tests and how the level was so black that you couldn't even read the THX sign or some of the bars I was like, YES! my levels are soooo dark or something that the black in anything I record and playback on other machines just JUMP right out compared to the other colors. Like instead of all the blacks/whites/colors blending into one level the blacks just took over. Even when I try to dub something over. The unit drops from light/normal to dark and then transfers over the darker picture. I don't know about anyone else's but after seeing that I'm thinking it might prove that what I see is no lie. That my Panasonic records things at a darker level than my other burners and that the blacks jump out instead of blending in with all the other colors.

    Now here's a question: I read a lot of good picture quality things about the single disk JVC recorder but I haven't seen a lot of good things mentioned about their hard drive version on other websites or other "pro" magazine reviews. Is the hard drive version as good as the single disk version picture quality wise or are they doing something better in the single disk recorder that they are not doing in the hard drive version?
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  3. gshelley

    Thanks a lot for showing us those pics. This is what we need. Everyone talked a lot about what is better but it was just hard to know who is right.

    Well I'd like to ask you, if you still can, to make some pics of recording from ordinary vhs, I mean no svhs player. I hope it's not only me who wants to convert my vhs tapes here, so those pics would be great to see... Thanks in advance if you can do that.

    JVC model is not available for buying in my country, but I can get it from BHPhoto. I was just wondering how hard is it going to be for returning to them if it gets the "loading" error. Any of you from abroad has ever needed to return something to BHPhoto?
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  4. The DVD recorder section of the JVC hard drive model is probably identical to the disc only model. Recording to either the hard drive or to disc should yield the same results... they are just two different methods of storing digital files. Note that the new JVC units will be on the market in a few months, and should have the "loading" issue corrected since JVC is aware of the problem in the current line.

    Another idea is to buy a JVC factory refurb for way less money than a new one... these are units that have been returned, inspected and probably repaired (to fix the "loading" problem). They come with a 90 day factory warranty, so if it doesn't work properly you can get it repaired or replaced.
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  5. Originally Posted by celso_java
    gshelley

    Well I'd like to ask you, if you still can, to make some pics of recording from ordinary vhs, I mean no svhs player. I hope it's not only me who wants to convert my vhs tapes here, so those pics would be great to see... Thanks in advance if you can do that.
    Actually, I don't know if I have a standard VHS player around anymore... I'll have to check my garage. I can tell you the better the signal is that you send the JVC, the better the DVD recording will be. That's why using the highest quality VCR you can afford to convert VHS to DVD is so important.
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  6. "Panny E55 DVD recorders have been going for cheap lately on eBay"

    Not really, they are more than retail price from Walmart & on ebay they charge a lot for shipping to add to dealer profit.
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  7. I got mine for less than $125, including tax and shipping. Open box return in flawless condition.
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  8. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    gshelley61, I'm still testing out my iLO R04 model, though I've ben pretty busy
    w/ other projects and chores.., but.

    * Have you any experience with the Emerson and/or Sony and/or Sanyo brand and
    their Black Level output ??

    I dont' know if you've ben to this thread, but it was much an enlightening
    experience for me and these units. The images from NightWing were very
    imformative with respect to my DVDR04 model:

    --> Lite-On DVD Recorder Model: 5101 at Sams for $139 any good?

    I which I new what movie that was from so I could compare (exactly) mine too.
    (though he's already done it) but for other units. The reason is because the
    image gives me a better perception of the differences in night vs. day.

    I still want to perform that same test as you did, but now, I want to try out
    other units within price range, before I finaly settle with a unit permanantly.
    Still though, I like the iLO R04 unit

    Thanks,
    -vhelp 3137
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  9. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    one more thing, I saw an E65 (i think sp ps or something)
    at walmart. Any experience with "black level" ??

    thanks again,
    -vhelp 3138
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  10. I'd guess what you might be seeing there is the difference in black level input settings between the ILO and the Pioneer units. The Pioneer 220 likely has an adjustable black level input, and it may be defaulted to compensate for 7.5 IRE sources (the Panasonic is). This is due to the fact that the vast majority of consumers will use the analog video input of a DVD recorder to convert NTSC VHS, 8mm, Hi8 tapes or broadcast/cable signals to DVD... all of which are 7.5 IRE sources. DVD's should be encoded at 0 IRE or they will appear to be too light on playback.

    The ILO may not have this type of black level input adjustment and simply records whatever it is sent (just like the JVC does).

    When the poster of those frame comparisons sent the s-video signal from his DVD player to the ILO and Pioneer DVD recorders, it is very likely that it was a 7.5 IRE black level signal. That has been the standard for NTSC composite and s-video for a very long time. Some DVD players have a black level output adjustment that allows you to send a 0 IRE signal from the composite or s-video output, but that would never be the default setting. Component Y Pb Pr outputs are always 0 IRE.

    Anyway, if that was the case, and the ILO does not compensate for 7.5 IRE with a black level input adjustment, then the resulting DVD would definitely be lighter than the original DVD (all commercial DVD's are 0 IRE black level). It's not really a flaw in the ILO in that case... it is simply recording exactly what it was sent.
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  11. Originally Posted by vhelp
    one more thing, I saw an E65 (i think sp ps or something)
    at walmart. Any experience with "black level" ??

    thanks again,
    -vhelp 3138
    E65 is a E55 with a IEEE 1394 firewire DV input

    lordsmurf has experience with LiteOn DVD recorders...

    I haven't personally tried an Emerson, RCA, or other low cost brand. Many say they are happy with the ILO.
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  12. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    Thank you

    -vhelp 3139
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  13. Member
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    Actually, I don't know if I have a standard VHS player around anymore... I'll have to check my garage. I can tell you the better the signal is that you send the JVC, the better the DVD recording will be. That's why using the highest quality VCR you can afford to convert VHS to DVD is so important.[/quote]

    I don't think this is necessary. The above sample, is a good indacator. You have a before and after screen shot. You can get an idea of how the mechine is preforming. The picture loss (percentage) should be dam near the same, what ever the input source.
    Thanks Mike
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  14. In order to clear up some misunderstandings about the problems we have with the DVD recordings, let’s explain in simple and plain English, without using heavy technical terminology, something about the root of this problem.

    The analog inputs of North America NTSC TV's, VCR's and other equipment are designed for a black level (pedestal or setup) of 7.5 IRE. For the rest of the world, including Japan, the black level is 0 IRE.

    The problem with the DVD recordings arises when we (in North America) are using equipment made with pedestal set on 0 IRE. The best example would be the so-called “black level bug” with first generations of Panasonic DVD recorders (the same was reported for the Toshiba models).

    Panasonic acknowledged the mistake of selling “American DVD recorders with Japanese black level setting” and had corrected the improper black level for the new DVD recorders to 7,5 IRE. Some other manufacturers, like JVC, are still shipping their products with the incorrect setting of 0 IRE and that is why people are complaining about bleached recorded pictures. In order to make proper recordings, the users of the JVC DVD recorders have to change the pedestal from 7,5 IRE (that comes from VCR’s, DVD players and other video machines designed accordingly to the NTSC standard) to 0 IRE. That can be successfully done with the proc amps.

    Since the new Panasonic DVD recorders sold in North America have already proper NTSC black level, adjusting the players signal prior to recording to 0 IRE setting is completely wrong and contra productive. The results are a darker picture than the original, as gshelley61 stated in his report. Misusing the proc amp this way will give the same results with any other brand of DVD recorders that follow the North American broadcast standard.

    This can be easily verified by employing broadcast video equipment. I always use a Sony BetacamSP UVW1800 recorder as a player during the DVD recording tests and I can positively verify that the recordings from the Panasonic DVD recorders are undistinguished from the original Betacam SP tapes regarding the black level.

    I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but the test and pictures presented on this thread are not interpreted correctly. They are only proving the members’ reports that the JVC black levels are not set to the legal NTSC standard.

    Does it make any difference to you? It depends.

    If you are willing to spend extra money for a proc amp unit in order to correct something that should be corrected originally from the manufacturer, then everything is OK and you can enjoy the quality of the JVC DVD recorders in their full capacity. If you don’t want to spend extra cash or if you simply don’t want to bother with that, then you should look for some other brand.

    P.S.

    Some DVD players sold in North America have additional black level setup (in addition of the legal 7.5 IRE black levels) of 0 IRE, often called "enhanced black". If you use these machines as players, the choice of 0 IRE setting will actually do the job of the proc amp correction that I mentioned before. That is what gshelley61 did with his Panasonic recordings. He was feeding the Panasonic DVD recorder with the incorrect black level setting of 0 IRE using the optional setting from his DVD player.
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  15. Member
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    I know its tough on you experianced guys, to deal with the same questions over and over, but I still don't know what to do. It appers to me that zorankarapancev and lordsmurf are saying opisite things.

    Basicaly I want to know if I buy a e-anything with a HD. For vhs to disk transfers. How is my picture going to look? Which one of the above frames. I'm in the US and all the tapes are from US TV. I wanted to put them on a ram disk, and us my computer to add menus and burn to DVDr.
    Thanks Mike
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  16. @ zorankarapancev -

    0 IRE is not incorrect for DVD compliant MPEG2. That is the standard black level of DVD's (and all other DV formats, as far as I know). If you encode a DVD at 7.5 IRE, it will appear to be too light because standard DVD players expect 0 IRE black level from DVD's.

    NTSC DVD players normally do send a 7.5 IRE signal from their composite and s-video outputs by adjusting DVD-Video black level up from 0 IRE to 7.5 IRE. This is done by design because there are still NTSC TV's out there that cannot handle a 0 IRE black level very well (they were not designed to). However, if you use the component outputs of any DVD player they will, in fact, be at 0 IRE. TV's and displays with component Y Pb Pr inputs are designed to accept 0 IRE black levels, which generally results in better looking blacks.

    OK - so how does this all relate? Well, if you transfer your MiniDV or Digital8 tapes to DVD with the JVC DVD recorder (whether through firewire DV stream or analog video input - unless the camcorder steps up the 0 IRE black level that is on the tape to 7.5 IRE for analog out) the black level of the DVD recording will be correct... 0 IRE. That's because MiniDV and Digital8 are DV formats... that's right, 0 IRE black level. When you play back that recorded DVD of your DV camcorder footage, it will look fine... not "washed out" or any other such nonsense. The JVC simply records the image that it is sent... whatever black level the source is, that's what the recorded DVD will be at.

    The problem comes when recording from NTSC 7.5 black level sources (VHS, S-VHS, 8mm, Hi8, BetaSP, laserdisc, analog broadcast and cable signals, etc.) If the black level is not adjusted to 0 IRE either externally with a proc amp, or by a built-in input black level adjustment (like the Panasonic has), then the recorded DVD will be at 7.5 IRE... which is incorrect for DVD playback on a standard machine because it will appear to be too light... the blacks will not really be black. And if the disc is played on a NTSC DVD player through the composite or s-video outputs (which in many models are fixed to boost black level up from 0 IRE to 7.5 IRE), it will look even way lighter because the disc encoded at 7.5 IRE will be adjusted up even higher than that!

    My tests of the both the JVC and the Panasonic are fair. I sent them both an identical 0 IRE black level s-video signal from my DVD player (which has that capability). That is what the black level is on the source DVD-Video disc. The Panasonic recordings were made using both the "darker" and "lighter" input black level settings. Of course, I know the "darker" input setting is intended for 7.5 IRE level sources, and would produce a recording that is too dark for a 0 IRE black level source. However, I wanted to demonstrate to the forum members what that adjustment is for and what affect it has, which I did. The "lighter" setting is the correct choice for 0 IRE black level sources, and those test frames were also posted, along with a full explanation of the process.

    The fact that the JVC does not have an adjustment built-in to compensate for 7.5 IRE black level sources does not make it flawed. As you can see from this technical discussion surrounding the current transition from traditional NTSC 7.5 black levels to the newer (at least in North America) 0 IRE black level standard for ATSC broadcast, DVD-Video and all the other various digital video formats, it can get really confusing pretty fast. Some DVD recorder makers have probably decided that a simple machine that accurately duplicates whatever it is sent might be easier for most consumers to use. The machines with black level input adustments certainly make dealing with 7.5 IRE black level sources less of a problem, but how many consumers (or even the tech savvy readers of this forum) know what to do with it, and will remember to adjust it when switching from MiniDV to VHS sources, for example?

    The Panasonic DMR-E55 DVD recorder did not do as well as the JVC DR-M10 in image clarity, accuracy and detail, even if you ignore the whole black level issue. I'll bet there is (or soon will be) a DVD recorder that will outperform the JVC. That's just how it is.
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  17. If you don't own the Ice Age DVD, there are many others that have exactly the same THX Optimizer video test patterns and audio setup tones on them.
    I was curious about the quote below from the THX site. It seems to suggest that the test patterns could be different from one DVD movie to another since it sounds like they are tuned to the settings used by the director when mastering that particular movie and are provided so that you can tune your TV set to match the luma/chroma/hue etc. settings that the director would optimally like to see his movie viewed at. Maybe I misunderstand what's being said below.

    From the THX site:

    "Use THX Optimizer to calibrate the performance of your home theater system so that it produces picture and sound quality equal to the original movie – as the director intended. THX Optimizer software allows the user to optimize the presentation of THX Certified DVD titles on home theater systems. Available only from THX Digital Works, THX Optimizer is a carefully designed set of audio and video test signals embedded on all THX Certified DVD titles released since summer of 2000. The Optimizer test signals are identical to the final reference tests used by filmmakers during the mastering of each release. These signals allow the user to perform a series of audio and video tests and adjust the home system's performance to guarantee the best possible presentation of each movie – and experience each one as the director intended."
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  18. No, the test patterns are the same regardless of the movie they're included with. The films are mastered to DVD to adhere to the so-called THX standards. The test patterns allow you to adjust your TV and and audio system settings for a "cinema" type playback experience. There's nothing that special about the test patterns... they are similar to standard grey scale, color bar, cross hatch, and resolution patterns that have been around for decades.
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  19. Thanks. Btw, I've recently found that I get the best end DVD results (by far) from certain miniDV sources (client tapes shot on pro Sony's) if I go analog out from the camera to a proc amp (SignVideo) and then into an analog to DV converter to the PC. If I go DV direct to the PC, the result is always washed out, even when adding 601 correction.

    I know this is not on this exact topic but you mentioned above using analog so you can use proc amps and this is a way to do so with DV and in my recent experience it can on occasion be well worth doing so.
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  20. Member TomJones's Avatar
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    Pioneer(DVR-420H/520H) seems to recommend 7.5 IRE over 0 IRE.

    There are six available presets for inputs. Three are factory set - Tuner, VCR and LDP. Three are user set. All of the factory set presets use 7.5 IRE for black setup. User presets can be set at 0 IRE or 7.5 IRE.

    There are six available presets for disc playback. Three are factory set -
    TV(CRT), PDP(for plasma displays) and Professional. Three are user set.
    All of the factory set presets use 7.5 IRE for black setup. User presets can be set at 0 IRE or 7.5 IRE.

    I'm not convinced that any of my input or playback presets should be set at 0 IRE when Pioneer chooses 7.5 IRE in all of their factory set presets.

    But I'm willing to listen if someone thinks otherwise.
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  21. Member Leoslocks's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by celso_java
    I was just wondering how hard is it going to be for returning to them if it gets the "loading" error. Any of you from abroad has ever needed to return something to BHPhoto?
    Their return policy is 10 days for refund, in origional condition and packaging. I recently purchased a JVC sVhs DVDR @$700 plus shipping from B&H. I returned it for a refund and will go with seperate components. B&H stands by their product and policy although the round trip shipping ended up at $44.

    JVC will fix the recorder if it has the loading error.
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  22. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Well, this post may not be 100% perfect scientific way to explain all this, but given the alternate, images really would help. Lots of jibber-jabber and jargon only goes so far. I'm simply amazed at how confounding video information has to be. What should be basic principles of video (think "atoms have protons, electrons and neutrons") seemingly require advanced degrees in video theory. Uggh. Anyway, here goes an attempt to convey knowledge to the layman....

    - DVD MPEG is IRE 0.0
    - IRE is the name of the group that set the standard
    - 0.0 is the "total black" side of the scale. It goes to "total white" at 100.0.
    - North America (will call it "USA" for purpose of this article) has black set at 7.5 and not 0.0. Blame lazy engineers from a long time ago. Because of this, all of our equipment is different from Japanese stuff. Or at least is SUPPOSED to be different.
    - When a NTSC USA player gets a DVD, it's output is stepped up +7.5 IRE so the tv understands it and it looks correct. When an analog signal (VHS, cable, tv, etc) is inputted into a digital device, the device steps down the IRE by -7.5 so it is at proper 0.0 for digital needs (playback, capture, encode, etc).

    NOTE! Because IRE shares a relationship with 0-255/16-235 YUV scale, I have mushed them together for the purpose of this conversation, even though they are not "the same thing" necessarily.

    Master scale for reference:


    Proper DVD recorder and playback activity for NTSC USA:


    Wrong IRE input, creates bad output for NTSC USA:


    Wrong IRE input, but will look OK on the record (ONLY!):


    This is an example of how Panasonic has NOT AT ALL addressed the IRE error, but rather shifted the luminance ("brightness" spectrum, which in turn holds mostly green color in NTSC USA):



    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


    Some references:
    http://www.thx.com/mod/techlib/contrast.html
    http://www.signvideo.com/dv-black-levels-dvd-authoring-mpeg-2-part-1.htm

    Related videohelp topics:
    https://www.videohelp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=163667
    https://www.videohelp.com/forum/archive/t219752.html
    https://www.videohelp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=258753&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=30

    Other sites/forums with related info:
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=416292
    http://www.smr-archive.com/forum_6/messages/438.shtml
    http://ultimateavmag.com/dvdplayers/904ayre/


    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


    On a related note, in TMPGENC, that stupid "OUTPUT YUV DATA ..." settings is quite easy to understand (or at least IN THEORY should be). It was specifically made for DV input, but applies to anything with the wrong set of values.

    OUTPUT YUV DATA ... CHECKED
    >>>> LEAVE AS 0.0 IRE
    >>>> FOR DV SOURCES AND DIGITAL 0-255 SOURCES

    OUTPUT YUV DATA ... NOT CHECKED
    >>>> CONVERT FROM 7.5 DOWN TO 0.0 IRE
    >>>> FOR TRADITIONAL ANALOG SOURCES 16-235

    .... then again, it DOES say 8-235 .... and I've been re-encoding MPEG files from capture cards for a long time with it .... and leaving it UNCHECKED did not in any way adversely affect the file .... so much for theory applying here .. then again, we already know that software is screwy, as is the setting data...

    I'll have to come back to the TMPG stuff, not quite right yet.

    And the RGB interface (not YUV) may have something to do with it .... at least the DVD recorder part of this conversation is correct (and "easy" by comparison!)


    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


    None of this is really "final publish" quality, I'm still trying to catch mistakes, iron out any bugs, and make sure this is really the best way to VISUALLY explain this entire mess. So while helpful feedback is fine, derogatory feedback is not (and I prefer it be PM'd anyway, not clutter this thread).
    Want my help? Ask here! (not via PM!)
    FAQs: Best Blank DiscsBest TBCsBest VCRs for captureRestore VHS
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  23. Wow! That looks really great, and is exactly what I have been talking about all along. North America will eventually completely abandon the 7.5 IRE black level NTSC video standard as we transition to digital ATSC broadcasting. DV sources are already there, and most newer NTSC TV's and displays are designed to handle 0 IRE anyway. It is a complex situation to explain, but the basic premise is simple... DVD-Video should be encoded with a 0 IRE black level, otherwise it will not look right in a standard DVD player. When transferring a 7.5 IRE black level source to DVD, it needs to be adjusted to 0 IRE prior to encoding.
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  24. Originally Posted by TomJones
    Pioneer(DVR-420H/520H) seems to recommend 7.5 IRE over 0 IRE.

    There are six available presets for inputs. Three are factory set - Tuner, VCR and LDP. Three are user set. All of the factory set presets use 7.5 IRE for black setup. User presets can be set at 0 IRE or 7.5 IRE.

    There are six available presets for disc playback. Three are factory set -
    TV(CRT), PDP(for plasma displays) and Professional. Three are user set.
    All of the factory set presets use 7.5 IRE for black setup. User presets can be set at 0 IRE or 7.5 IRE.

    I'm not convinced that any of my input or playback presets should be set at 0 IRE when Pioneer chooses 7.5 IRE in all of their factory set presets.

    But I'm willing to listen if someone thinks otherwise.
    The problems arise when playing recorded DVD's that are not at the 0 IRE black level standard and are at 7.5 IRE instead... when played on another machine that does not have output black level adjustments to compensate for this, the image will be too light. In the case of the Pioneer, I have a 220 on the way and will check it out.
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  25. Member Marvingj's Avatar
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    Great Input LordSmurf!!!!!
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  26. Member TomJones's Avatar
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    gshelley,

    But if I set my inputs to make 0 IRE DVDs, then they won't play back correctly on my own unit unless I set it to 0 IRE playback. But I thought 7.5 IRE was still used for setting up display devices in the U.S. There doesn't seem to be a "correct" way to solve this problem to me.
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  27. Originally Posted by TomJones
    gshelley,

    But if I set my inputs to make 0 IRE DVDs, then they won't play back correctly on my own unit unless I set it to 0 IRE playback. But I thought 7.5 IRE was still used for setting up display devices in the U.S. There doesn't seem to be a "correct" way to solve this problem to me.
    Sure they will. You play commercial DVD's on the Pioneer and they look fine, right? They are all encoded at 0 IRE black level. One thing about those input black level settings on the Pioneer... does setting it to 7.5 IRE mean that the source is 7.5 IRE and the Pioneer then adjusts for a 0 IRE encode? Or is it the other way around?
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  28. Member TomJones's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gshelley61
    Originally Posted by TomJones
    gshelley,

    But if I set my inputs to make 0 IRE DVDs, then they won't play back correctly on my own unit unless I set it to 0 IRE playback. But I thought 7.5 IRE was still used for setting up display devices in the U.S. There doesn't seem to be a "correct" way to solve this problem to me.
    Sure they will. You play commercial DVD's on the Pioneer and they look fine, right? They are all encoded at 0 IRE black level. One thing about those input black level settings on the Pioneer... does setting it to 7.5 IRE mean that the source is 7.5 IRE and the Pioneer then adjusts for a 0 IRE encode? Or is it the other way around?
    To be sure about this, I just fired up my stuff to check. If the inputs are changed from 7.5 IRE to 0 IRE, the picture gets brighter. Doing this on the playback settings makes the picture darker as expected.

    But I'm still wandering around the wilderness of confusion. Nice that Pioneer provided these capabilities. But it would be better if there was some consensus on how to use them.
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  29. OK - on the input side of things, it appears the black level settings the Pioneer provides are referring to the source video black level. For NTSC 7.5 IRE black level sources (VHS, 8mm, Hi8, laserdisc, broadcast and cable signals, etc.), set the Pioneer input black level to 7.5 IRE. It apparently compensates by adjusting the black level down to 0 IRE for a proper DVD encode. For MiniDV, Digital8, and other 0 IRE black level sources... set the Pioneer input black level to 0 IRE. No adjustment by the DVD recorder will actually be made - it will encode the source video exactly as it is sent.

    For playback, set the output black level to whichever standard works best on your display. Most newer TV's can handle 0 IRE black level signals and benefit from the "blacker" looking blacks.

    I'm really looking forward to checking out the 220 now. 8)
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  30. Member TomJones's Avatar
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    The fog is starting to lift. I guess the Toshiba black level bug is that the inputs are fixed at 0 IRE resulting in too bright encodes.

    Thanks for the help.
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