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HDTV = Now all my movies and games look like crap?

AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero The new film by Quentin KoopantinoRegistered User regular
edited October 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So I just bought a new HDTV. This one, to be exact.

So I bring it home and get it all hooked up to a brand new upconverting DVD player with a fancy gold plated HDMI cable and all that good stuff. I make sure everything is in working order and set up correctly. The only thing I haven't taken the time to do yet is calibrate my HDTV for color/brightness/etc.

However, my movies look like shit. They're all pixelated to crap, even with upconversion to 720p (the native res of my HDTV). I hooked up my Wii with some nice new component cables and got that configured properly for 480p and that looks rough around the edges too.

Is this normal? Are all HDTVs going to make my movies and games look like shit, or is it just this set? Or is this something that can be "calibrated away?"

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AbsoluteZero on
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Posts

  • PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    1) Yeah, pretty much. Ever zoom in on a youtube video?

    2) Don't upconvert.

    3) Watch some HD content. Heros premiers tonight. Good excuse to buy a 360.

    PirateJon on
    all perfectionists are mediocre in their own eyes
  • RedDawnRedDawn Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Unfortunately that is the nature of the beast. Some TV's will scale a bit better than others, however with out the original content being HD it isn't going to look as good. Basically on a regular TV, all the jagged lines and imperfections aren't seen due to the lack of clarity of the the set.

    RedDawn on
  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero The new film by Quentin Koopantino Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    My collection of DVDs is vast, and making them all look unacceptably shitty wasn't the point of getting this thing.

    I think I may return it.

    AbsoluteZero on
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  • imperial6imperial6 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Try just using a regular progressive scan dvd player and not upconverting before you decide. Regular dvd's really shouldn't be that bad.

    imperial6 on
  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2007
    I would return it and get a projection HD tv that is 54 inch.

    EliteLamer on
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  • elizabexelizabex Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    On the contrary, all *my* old DVDs look great ---- super clear, etc etc ---- on my HDTV.

    When I first bought my HDTV, I bought an up-converting DVD player that inputted via HDMI. A Sony something-or-other that I had read decent reviews about. It looked like CRAP --- super muddy. A big, big disappointment. I also thought that this is what I was goign to have to live with and was, unsurprisingly, very let down.

    Then I returned the POS DVD player, bought the Xbox360 HD-DVD player. Decided to run my Xbox through VGA cables (upconverting isn't a problem via VGA since it's just monitor resolution anyway --- which is good, considering my xbox doesn't have HDMI and can't upconvert through component cables).

    End result? I can hardly tell the different between older movies and HD-DVD movies. The picture is super, super crisp and clear, and I couldn't be happier with it.

    The moral of the story: don't think your *television* purchase was a bad one b/c of a DVD player you bought. While my story is a little different (esp the use of the VGA port as opposed to the HDMI plug -- my HDMI port is currently empty), it should shed some light towards the end of your tunnel. :)

    That said, my PS2 looks muddy on the HDTV. I used to have a Wii, but it got stolen in a break-in (about two weeks after launch. So sad.), so I don't know how it would look either.

    best of luck!

    EDIT: for reference, here's my TV. Very similar to yours, I imagine:
    OLEVIA 32 inch LCD

    elizabex on
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  • EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I use plain component cables with my HDTV and a vanilla progressive scan DVD player. No upconversion, just regular 480p. And DVDs look great. They're not hypercrisp and supersharp like true HD content, but it's a far cry from looking like crap. No pixelation, no rough edges.

    So yeah, try turning off the upconversion. There's a few other filters that will sometimes make a picture look worse, as well, but it depends on the set.

    EggyToast on
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  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero The new film by Quentin Koopantino Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Switching to 480p makes the picture look softer and lighter for some reason.

    AbsoluteZero on
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  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Switching to 480p makes the picture look softer and lighter for some reason.

    Remember, DVDs were meant to be played at 480p on Standard Def sets. You now have an HD set, and DVDs were not made for it. Doesn't mean they won't play, but they aren't going to look as good. If you want things to look nice on your new HD set, you need to have HD content. I had the same issue as you, and found a decent upconverting player that held me over until I got HD-DVD, which looks fucking spectacular.

    The Wii was also meant to be played at 480p, which is why it looks like crap.

    RocketSauce on
  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero The new film by Quentin Koopantino Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Well, I don't have the bucks for an HD-DVD player or anything like that... so I guess this TV is going back.

    No wonder HD adoption is so slow, it's pretty well pointless without any HD content.

    AbsoluteZero on
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  • CruixCruix Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I dunno about all the people here who are saying "that's the nature of the beast" -- I got a nice new HDTV a while ago and hooked it up to an upscaling DVD Player and it makes my DVDs look great.

    Obviously, nothing is going to look as good as true hi-def video, but there's no reason upscaling your DVDs should make them look WORSE. Fiddle around with your settings on your HDTV, check avsforums.com and see if anyone has some recommendations for settings on your TV -- that helps a TON most of the time.

    When I go to watch my DVDs, I put the picture into the appropriately titled "movie" mode for picture, and have fiddled with a couple color settings and voila -- my movies look a lot better.

    I would suggest you check both the settings on your TV and your upscaling DVD player. There's no reason it should be as bad as you're suggesting.

    Unless you got a television that has bad picture anyway, all of these problems should be solvable.

    Cruix on
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  • FibretipFibretip Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    also... are you sitting too close?

    this weekend i got a 26 inch tv... if i sit in my usual chair it looks like shit with normal dvd player / digital tv. If i move one meter further away... it looks awesome.

    have you calculated that into your equations when buying a big tv?

    Fibretip on
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  • GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    You said you didn't calibrate your set AT ALL. I am not surprised in the least that your stuff looks like crap. You just plugged the thing in and expected awesome. You need to spend some time within the menus of your TV, turning off all the sharpness filters, auto brightness crap, and really just figure out how to get your TV back to neutral. The "nature of the beast" is that HDTVs come from the factory looking like crap.

    Gihgehls on
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  • YodaTunaYodaTuna Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Well, I don't have the bucks for an HD-DVD player or anything like that... so I guess this TV is going back.

    No wonder HD adoption is so slow, it's pretty well pointless without any HD content.

    I blame the god damn movie industry and not being able to decide on HD DVD or BluRay. I've had a 50" HD set for a year and still haven't gotten any kind of High Definition DVD player because I don't want to be screwed if the industry goes the other way.

    It makes the TV shows and games I play in HD super pretty though. However I wish there was more HD channels. I always see shit on the discovery channel and science channel that are like "WATCH THIS IN HD!" But comcast doesn't have the regular discovery channel in HD(Just Discovery HDTheatre, which just shows the same crap every day) or the science channel. It really chaps my ass.

    YodaTuna on
  • khainkhain Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Fibretip wrote: »
    also... are you sitting too close?

    this weekend i got a 26 inch tv... if i sit in my usual chair it looks like shit with normal dvd player / digital tv. If i move one meter further away... it looks awesome.

    have you calculated that into your equations when buying a big tv?

    From what I've read and personally observed your suppose to sit about double the screen size away from the TV.

    khain on
  • elizabexelizabex Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Cruix wrote: »
    I dunno about all the people here who are saying "that's the nature of the beast" -- I got a nice new HDTV a while ago and hooked it up to an upscaling DVD Player and it makes my DVDs look great.

    Unless you got a television that has bad picture anyway, all of these problems should be solvable.

    Totally agree. Thanks to the generous return policies of Best Buy, Circuit City, etc, it'd definitely be worth trying out several different DVD players to see if you can get one that works to your satisfaction.

    elizabex on
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  • precisionkprecisionk Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Get a HD Oppo, my old dvd's look good upconverted. Sure they aren't HD-DVD quality, but good enough.


    Tv will look like shit because 99% of stuff is analog still (hurry your ass up 2010, so we can get digital standard)

    precisionk on
  • embrikembrik Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Cruix wrote: »
    I dunno about all the people here who are saying "that's the nature of the beast" -- I got a nice new HDTV a while ago and hooked it up to an upscaling DVD Player and it makes my DVDs look great.

    Obviously, nothing is going to look as good as true hi-def video, but there's no reason upscaling your DVDs should make them look WORSE. Fiddle around with your settings on your HDTV, check avsforums.com and see if anyone has some recommendations for settings on your TV -- that helps a TON most of the time.

    When I go to watch my DVDs, I put the picture into the appropriately titled "movie" mode for picture, and have fiddled with a couple color settings and voila -- my movies look a lot better.

    I would suggest you check both the settings on your TV and your upscaling DVD player. There's no reason it should be as bad as you're suggesting.

    Unless you got a television that has bad picture anyway, all of these problems should be solvable.


    I agree with this 100%. I've got a Sharp Aquos 32" HDTV, and a Sony DVP-90V Upconverting DVD player. The DVD player I had to set to 1080i to actually have it upconvert that far, and all of my DVDs (except the old ones with poor "letterbox" transfers) look awesome. I had to do very little in the way of adjusting anything else to get excellent DVD playback.

    embrik on
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  • RedDawnRedDawn Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I don't watch all that many movies on my tv, but when I do I play them through my 360 with a vga cable and they generally look pretty good.

    The Nintendo Wii however doesn't look that great even with the component cables. Don't get me wrong, it isn't a deal breaker, but at the same I notice a lot of jagged edges.

    RedDawn on
  • ZeonZeon Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Yeah, you really need to adjust some of the settings in the menu. Either that or that TV sucks. I bought an offbrand Envision LCD HDTV about a year ago and i couldnt be happier with it. When i first hooked it up, yeah it looked like absolute shit, and since it was late and i had to go to work the next day, i went to bed thinking i dumped a shitload of money on something worthless. But the next day i played around with the settings, and since then i think it looks better than an SDTV when playing standard def content. Some shows still look kind of shitty (CSI comes immediately to mind, for whatever reason) but most stuff looks better, especially commercials for some reason.

    The only thing i would say is worse 100% of the time would be PS2 output, it really looks like shit. But i dont have the component cables for it, so i cant say its the TV's fault or the PS2's fault.

    The PS3 looks fucking downright beautiful. So do DVD's.

    Bottom line is, before you take anything back or give up on HDTV, mess around with the settings to see if theres anything you can adjust. I would guess there is, and youll be much happier with the TV after you do.

    Zeon on
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  • GanluanGanluan Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    RedDawn wrote: »
    I don't watch all that many movies on my tv, but when I do I play them through my 360 with a vga cable and they generally look pretty good.

    The Nintendo Wii however doesn't look that great even with the component cables. Don't get me wrong, it isn't a deal breaker, but at the same I notice a lot of jagged edges.

    I notice the "jaggies" on the Wii even with component on my Samsung plasma, but it does a great job of scaling for older content, even 480i TV signals. It takes a period of time to adjust, but with the stuff you can watch in HD (sports in particular), it's amazing to see how clear TV can be.

    Ganluan on
  • elizabexelizabex Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Regular broadcast TV definitely looks okay for me ---- and yeah, the network HD channels are super awesome.

    If you have a computer, you can always play DVDs off your DVD drive and input to your TV via the VGA plug. When my Xbox was in the shop (3 rings of light --- grahhhh!!), I would plug my laptop into my TV whenever I wanted to watch a movie. As long as your graphics card can output at your TV's native resolution, it'll be like watching an "upscaled" signal
    worked great for me, super sharp picture, etc. Much better than the Sony DVD player I had mentioned earlier in this thread.

    Plus, you've got super-huge computer monitor ready for usage!

    elizabex on
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  • tony_importanttony_important Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I got an HDTV months ago, and I'm using an upscaling DVD player. I found that the colours on both the TV and DVD player were prettttty fucked out of the box, causing my movies to look like garbage.

    I spent a whole day watching Return of the King to get all of the colours/sharpness/brightness right so that there'd be a balance over a variety of scenes. Subsequently, all of my videogames/computer stuff looked great on the tv afterwards.

    tony_important on
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  • Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    All my old DVDs even looked pretty damn good on my samsung 61" DLP using even fucking s-video
    and then i got my 360 and shit looked better
    your tv must be poopy

    Shazkar Shadowstorm on
    poo
  • rockmonkeyrockmonkey Little RockRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I have a month old 40" Polaroid LCD HDTV with an upconverting dvd player connected with a good HDMI cable and I think my regular dvds looks pretty fucking slick. I'm sitting 10' from the screen, for reference.

    Movies i've watched on it so far being stuff like Casino Royale and Pan's Labyrinth both of which looked awesome.


    watching standard tv does suck though, fuck that noise.

    rockmonkey on
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  • EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    There was an article on CNN today about Best Buy admitting that they've been doing a shitty job actually explaining what is involved in HD video. That it's not just buying a TV (which most people blow all their cash on), but about cables, new cable/satellite service, and potentially new DVD/HDDVD players.

    Some people also expect it to look awesome right out of the box, and it doesn't. My TV came and I had to recalibrate the colors (it's a rear-proj HD set, doesn't even have HDMI -- not that it matters, digital is digital), and I turned off a few of the filters as well. I think it's the comb filter that typically makes the picture jaggier, for instance.

    EggyToast on
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  • Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    LCDs just tend to do poorly with non-native res video sources in general.

    Also, you don't need gold-plated HDMI cables. HDMI is a digital signal.

    Marty81 on
  • DeusfauxDeusfaux Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    precisionk wrote: »
    Tv will look like shit because 99% of stuff is analog still (hurry your ass up 2010, so we can get digital standard)

    This has absolutely nothing to do with picture quality.

    Ask anyone who has gone from analog to using a digital reciever and how the same channels do not change whatsoever in visual quality.

    Now if they're comparing to newly available HD versions of those stations, thats a different story

    Deusfaux on
  • Scott_CameronScott_Cameron Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I have a TV which uses a Samsung panal, but has a crap inbuilt scaler for 480/576i material. I use XBMC to upscale all my DVD movies and DivX files, and they look fantastic at 720p, especially DVD. Not quite HD, but close enough for my liking.

    I also have an upscaling "Freeview" box, which makes Freeview transmissions look pretty great at 720p, too.

    The problem with the HD era is that, unless your TV has a fantastic scaler built in, SD material is going to look terrible without some sort of external scaler. Colour/contrast settings do make a big difference, too. I have external scalers, which I got cheap, and now everything looks brill.

    Scott_Cameron on
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  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=846734

    Take some time to calibrate the TV and if you can take back your upscaling DVD player and swap it for a different one (possibly one recommended in this thread). One comment from avs stood out which is:

    "Returned it. Good TV, but not so much for gaming, especially in SD. Swapped out for a Sony Bravia, KDL32S2010." Apparently there's a lag and no mention of a 'game' mode.

    There seem to be a sizeable number of people mentioning they're taking it back due to SD performance though. May be worth that refund after all.

    If you're delving in to the HD market then I'd highly recommend the AVS forums for getting some decent information on the set you're buying. When you're laying down that much cash, it's good to be informed.

    Mr_Grinch on
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  • precisionkprecisionk Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Deusfaux wrote: »
    precisionk wrote: »
    Tv will look like shit because 99% of stuff is analog still (hurry your ass up 2010, so we can get digital standard)

    This has absolutely nothing to do with picture quality.

    Ask anyone who has gone from analog to using a digital reciever and how the same channels do not change whatsoever in visual quality.

    Now if they're comparing to newly available HD versions of those stations, thats a different story

    It doesn't matter the receiver so much as the channels are broadcasted in analog. I am saying, picture quality SHOULD improve some once all stations are required to broadcast in digital IF you have a HD TV and IF you have a digital receiver.

    precisionk on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Make sure the DVD is upconverting the signal. If it isn't the TV may be doing it and TVs are much worse at it than the players are.

    nexuscrawler on
  • GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    EggyToast wrote: »
    Some people also expect it to look awesome right out of the box, and it doesn't. My TV came and I had to recalibrate the colors (it's a rear-proj HD set, doesn't even have HDMI -- not that it matters, digital is digital), and I turned off a few of the filters as well. I think it's the comb filter that typically makes the picture jaggier, for instance.

    I'm curious which other sort of cable is carrying your digital signal.

    Gihgehls on
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  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Gihgehls wrote: »
    EggyToast wrote: »
    Some people also expect it to look awesome right out of the box, and it doesn't. My TV came and I had to recalibrate the colors (it's a rear-proj HD set, doesn't even have HDMI -- not that it matters, digital is digital), and I turned off a few of the filters as well. I think it's the comb filter that typically makes the picture jaggier, for instance.

    I'm curious which other sort of cable is carrying your digital signal.

    DVI does digital.

    Shogun on
  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    My regular DVDs look gorgeous upconverted to 720p via HDMI, however the scaler in the tv I have itself is shit, so my non 360 games suffer as a result. You might want to try finding a TV with a better scaler.

    Balefuego on
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  • khainkhain Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Shogun wrote: »
    Gihgehls wrote: »
    EggyToast wrote: »
    Some people also expect it to look awesome right out of the box, and it doesn't. My TV came and I had to recalibrate the colors (it's a rear-proj HD set, doesn't even have HDMI -- not that it matters, digital is digital), and I turned off a few of the filters as well. I think it's the comb filter that typically makes the picture jaggier, for instance.

    I'm curious which other sort of cable is carrying your digital signal.

    DVI does digital.

    If his TV doesn't have hdmi I really doubt it has dvi.

    khain on
  • LaPuzzaLaPuzza Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Oddly enough, proper processing on non-HD was the main reason I went with the Sony SXRD XBR2. Its freaking beautiful, and anyone reading this thread looking to avoid this problem should look at a latest-gen Sony with there 2.5 version of the software.

    Also, I've seen some DVD players do some really, really horrible upconverting. Like, cable box bad. you might want to look at a new upconverting DVD player if yours is a POS like my last one.

    LaPuzza on
  • blincolnblincoln Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    You might consider trying connecting the player in different ways as well. I don't own an HDTV yet, but a friend of mine just got a giant flat screen HDTV. I saw some regular DVDs playing on it at a party and they looked great - I found out later they were playing from an Xbox (not 360) connected via either s-video or composite, because he didn't have the cables to connect it digitally.
    I suspect that the analogue connection acted sort of like antialiasing on the picture from the DVDs, much like how an analogue NTSC TV looks acceptable even though a digital video of the same resolution at the same size will be pixellated beyond belief.
    I don't know the exact size, but it was at least a 45" set, and we were sitting about 5-6 feet away.
    There's also the better upconverter/different TV route, of course.

    blincoln on
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  • DeusfauxDeusfaux Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    precisionk wrote: »
    Deusfaux wrote: »
    precisionk wrote: »
    Tv will look like shit because 99% of stuff is analog still (hurry your ass up 2010, so we can get digital standard)

    This has absolutely nothing to do with picture quality.

    Ask anyone who has gone from analog to using a digital reciever and how the same channels do not change whatsoever in visual quality.

    Now if they're comparing to newly available HD versions of those stations, thats a different story

    It doesn't matter the receiver so much as the channels are broadcasted in analog. I am saying, picture quality SHOULD improve some once all stations are required to broadcast in digital IF you have a HD TV and IF you have a digital receiver.

    And I'm saying there is nothing about digital that makes the picture any better. I worked with the local cable provider for western Canada, it's just how it works. The signal still comes over the same copper cabling, in the same resolution and everything.

    Different tvs can affect quality, different cables carrying the signal, and whether the signal is HD or not, but analog vs digital --> there just isnt a difference.

    Maybe I'm just not understanding what you're saying. Anyways!

    Deusfaux on
  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero The new film by Quentin Koopantino Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    HOLY CRAP

    You guys were right about turning the Sharpness setting completely off. The picture looks a million times better, I think I'll be keeping this HDTV after all! I gotta figure how to calibrate it properly, now. I don't know the first thing. avsforums is a good place to look for that info?

    Also @Marty81, I splurged on that gold plated, ferrite core HDMI cable. $6 at monoprice.com. :D

    Also Also @Mr_Grinch. I played some F-Zero GX and noticed no lag at all. If there was lag, you'd know it with that game. Might I also mention that game is smooth as fucking silk in pro-scan... I've never been able to tell the difference between interlaced and pro-scan until now.

    AbsoluteZero on
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