Friday, September 14, 2007

Playstation 3 as a media hub - how good is it? Part III -- DVD/BD related settings and DVD upscaling capability on firmware v1.9x Part 1


d2cc710e.jpg picture by linkai8424

So this is my 3rd post on Playstation 3 as a media hub topic. Since firmware 1.80, SONY adds dvd and PS1, PS2 game upscaling capability. This is a huge update to further extends the capability of PS3. This review will be more focus on explaining the limitation of using component cable output @1080i I had mentioned earlier on that Fifth Elment BD post. There will be two parts in this review, first half of posing images on various settings related to DVD/BD output, video/audio output; second half of posting images on scaling functionality. There will be tons of pictures for illustration, since I believe visual aids are better approach than words.

So the first picture is my user screen, the overlay image is my Samsung monitor showing information about current resolution, this is the most accurate way of determining whether I get upscaling or NOT (upsacling should show 1080i, no upscaling should show 480p, it's that easyHot). 

5393d6b4.jpg picture by linkai8424

This is the initial video settings, here you can setup video output, advanced RGB color space (I suppose it's for HDMI 1.3 deep color space) , super white to archieve whiter than white (WTW) and blacker than black (BTB) (I have very limited understanding of this...Don't tell anyone)

c3d571da.jpg picture by linkai8424

Going into the Video Output Settings, you'll get the following image showing all outputs PS3 supports. If you set wrong here or your TV/monitor does NOT support that particular setting, you'll only get black screen. To reset, turn off PS3, then push the power button for 5 sec, PS3 will default output to AV MULTI, the lowest setting. I have to choose Component here, since I have no luck with HDMI.

49861b19.jpg picture by linkai8424

Next screen is resolution, pick the ones your TV/monitor, PS3 will default the resolution to the highest resolution you chose. My monitor only accepts 480p and 1080i, so PS3 defaults the resolution @1080i, when 1080i is NOT avaliable like in some games or copyrighted DVDs, PS3 outputs @480p which is the next lower resolution I have.

0ee85be4.jpg picture by linkai8424

Oops, a blurry image using an image stablization enabled camera... This is a summary of the output settings.

4b373073.jpg picture by linkai8424

This is a warning about the shortcome on component output I have mentioned again and again. So if you're dying for the upscaling function yet only old TV set with component input, you're out of luck to get most of the upscaling part, unless you use DVD-R to backup all your DVD collections either shrink or split in order to fit on D5 capacityBroken heart...

279ec31f.jpg picture by linkai8424

Two other important settings on HDMI side, but you need a good HDMI 1.3 equipped TV to support this advanced function...

e3ba4f4b.jpg picture by linkai8424

Some people have report losing whiter than white (WTW), blacker than black (BTB) function on certain TV after upgrading to firmware 1.8 or later...

fffcbec6.jpg picture by linkai8424

Move on to the Audio Output Settings, it's very similar to Video Output. What a blurry picture...

dda28741.jpg picture by linkai8424

Good pictures on output jacks for those NOT too tech savvy people. Use HDMI if you have a TV with HDMI inputs, but you'll only get 2 channels and crappy sound from tiny TV speakers; or connects to an HDMI equipped AVR, but the AVR must able to accept HDMI audio streams, if you get an earlier generation with switching only, save your cable and connects to TV directly... HDMI gives you the ultimate bandwidth to handle multi-channel stream decoded by PS3 or those uncompressed LCPM from BDs. Digital Out is used if you have an older AVR, it's good for games and DVD movies, but lack support for uncompressed LPCM, multi-channels lossless stream (Dolby True HD and DTS HD), and SACD due to bandwidth and copyright issue... I am currently using Digital Out since my Harman Kardon AVR is an older one. (just how irony I bought it last year, and thought that opictal/coxial are the ultimate inputs, well this year I'm already behind technology, sighSad...) AV MULTI is only good for 2 channels, no comment for it.

e0cdbaa2.jpg picture by linkai8424

After picking the outputs, choose the format, I wish I have an AAC decoder on my AVR, but that will only be on products in Japan or Korea, too bad... I also picked Linear PCM 2 Ch. 88.2 kHz for upsampling on CDs.

226099a5.jpg picture by linkai8424

Here is another warning is your AVR doesn't support that particular frequency (88.2, 176.4), your speakers will be damaged... My AVR supports 24bit/96 kHz.

5be16add.jpg picture by linkai8424

After all done, finally comes the summary page.

97a9cb3e.jpg picture by linkai8424

The following squences of images are for DVD/BD functionality on video and audio playback.

Lots of options for menu, language, subtitle stuff...

869b5012.jpg picture by linkai8424

Towards the bottom are advanced features.

8832e73e.jpg picture by linkai8424

Cinema conversion is an option for how the PS3 will process the video frame type, whethe process as video or as film. Automatic is default, let the machine to analyze, video is always process as video no matter what, no good for 23.97 film material.

61ccda7c.jpg picture by linkai8424

DVD Wide Display, a typical setting also seen on standard definition DVD players. Letterbox is the typical choice for widescreen TVs.

62e985c8.jpg picture by linkai8424

Next comes the exciting feature -- the upscaling settings. You can turn off, Double Scale (does NOT work on 720p output, outputs about 10% smaller than Normal), Normal (this option is default, it provides auto aspect ratio correction! It suprises me since it's the first DVD player I've ever purchased having this function, only the softwares on PC provide this kind of functionality. I do appreciate the convience it brings since I no longer have to see a distorted image for 4:3 material on a 16:9 screen without manually switching 16:9 or 4:3 back and forth.), Full Screen (Disable the auto aspect ratio correction while still supports upsacling, don't know why you want to do this, maybe for proctection on those older plasmas with burn-in problem...)

6ea07691.jpg picture by linkai8424

This 1080p/24Hz is a deal breaker for lots of people on AVSforum, outputs @ the original frame rate can elaminate the motion jutterness during a large scene change. The older generation blu-ray players are NOT capable doing this... Automatic lets the device to choose, Off is of course no 24Hz... On is alway enforcing 24Hz output (this is a new feature since firmware 1.90)

962cf6f7.jpg picture by linkai8424

Move on to audios...

If you choose HDMI as audio output earlier, you can choose which decoding method to use here. Bitstream outputs raw audio stream without any processing, currently PS3 is NOT able to output DolbyTrue HD and DTS Master Audio yet. So in order to hear those sound tracks, you have to choose the second option - Linear PCM which lets PS3 decoding internally, then output as LPCM (PS3 CANNOT decode DTS Master Audio yet)...

3bec2061.jpg picture by linkai8424

If you choose Optical Output as audio output earlier, you can choose Bitstream or Linear PCM here. Bitstream gives you multi-channel audio streams such as Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS, Linear PCM will only do 2 channel due to limited bandwidth...

1f3d85d3.jpg picture by linkai8424

Upon choosing Bitstream, PS3 gives yet another warning. What it means is that if your BD offers Dolby True HD or DTS HD/Master audio, you will only get the core lossy information from these lossless formats, still they should be on par with or better than any Dolby or DTS tracks standard def DVD offers. It's a compromised solution if you want to wait for the BD final spec to settle down and bitstream on DTS HD/MA are possbile on output (PS3 or other BD player) and input (AVRs that accepts bitstream)...

cb7cb41a.jpg picture by linkai8424

This is the end of part 1, which pretty much explains all the settings related to video and aduio outputs/settings. Part 2 will be the hands on on upscaling DVD-Rs vs non upscaling DVD-ROMs...


No comments:

Post a Comment