Theo Verelst Local Diary Page 66

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  Feb 15 16:16, 2009

Doubling the stakes of picture making again? No, just descriptions of what I'm into, actually.

I had nothing to do with this, except I made a photo:

A High Quality Blu-Ray Course?

How to start with that ? Well these are good beginnings:

A very good film

A good screen (1080, 3 mS, 500 C/sq m, 28 inch, hdmi)

Or beamer, of course (Mitsubishi HD1000, 720, hdmi, 1500 Lumens, DLP!) and a big an good screen (I use a 2 meters and 30 cm wide (white area) pro grade 1.5 reflective one, 16:9, with dark edges, but totally no thrills, no motor, only a wooden frame to support it, it even hangs in a little bit of unflat way. But it works totally great.

See previous diary pages and some of my general pages about the systems I use, for instance the self-made large surround audio system.

like this?:

I doubt it.

Settings, please?

For almost all films on a decent medium (HD DVD, BBC digital, Blu Ray) cinema is the setting, and cool the temperature, although there are much more exceptions to the last. A 2 extra contrast and 1 brightness can work good, certainly on low mode. But man, those settings have 30 points, and then still they don´t do that much!!!!! Sure, I´m using accurate settings, preferably, adjusting a film is not like adjusting the picture on an old colour TV!

Sharpness can be used on most good films, when feeding the projector with 1080 while it is actually 720, it can derive a lot more perceptual sharpness with it´s internal processing, which is does pretty nice.

Brilliant colour is usuable on most blurays, except films before 70 or from shady sources. 8 Is about the maximum mostly, on less vibrant sources than bluray, probably you´ll want to use 4 or 5.

For HD materials, leave the vertical location at 0, or the motion behaviour seriously suffers.

Standard is bright in a sense, although compared with the intended professional theatre I guess it isn´t enough by far. Lamp is getting worn, but still works good. Mirror invert is because of the way the beamer is hung up.

Hm hard to read, but all should be set neutral, except in this case I deliberatly set 97% scaling on, while normally 100% (pixel match) is usually preferable by far. Here I got the cinema effect just a bit better at the little under 3 meters viewing place with a little enlargement, while loosing a little from the sides, of course. More then 95% doesn´t work good, with respect to motion effects.

No changes to the menus or interface, but picture seems to have improved.

I needed it because the Black Crowes in San Francisco seemed to have a distorting side signal at some point, and the dynamic range of the (most of the time DTS) DA converter in the player and the bi-amped rear speakers is more than enough to not need max-ed out headroom.

If you dare, and it isn´t late at night (for the neighbours). And of course: when the dynamic range of your audio chain allows it, so that quiet scenes aren´t noisy. Otherwise standard should be good. I don´t know how the variou splayers will accomodate these settings technically, the setting which performs no extra processing to the sounds coming from the DTS tracks is by far preferable.

Usually: the higher the better!

If your screen/beamer supports it: great!

I upgraded the blu-ray player recently, it seems to be very nice now with x.v.

As preferable: all large speakers, and no sub channel, that is only confusing unless it would be a real sub channel, like a movie Bose-sub box or so, in most cases it´s not very HiFi to use the sub vacume cleaner approach or still rather small sub speaker to ´do some low frequencies´. Honestly, my main speakers are probably larger a piece than most sub woofers from consumer surround systems, namely 12 inch. I mix the sub low with the main speakers, and filter myself under 40 Hz (without AD DA conversion, with analog filters) to feed a large 15 inch sub, with no bass-port and large enclosure (> 100l) and a lot of power (hundreds of watts sine RMS), of good quality (few coupling capacitors of good quality, DC endstage coupling).

Because of the indirect rear or better put side sound in my setup, and the compensation for the extra DA converter on the front speakers, the distance is maxed out for the side/rear speakers.

Don´t forget to set the best audio quality avaible, which is certainly not always the default setting! (dolby true HD, DTS, and PCM are not compressed formats and therefore almost always preferable):

Neutral is often best, a theater room setting may work:

I haven't checked these acronyms out yet, for Noise Reduction, I found some work fine for older films, like in the Bullet, but normally: all off

Slow DA is generally preferabe, some materials are made for faster (usually not better), short reconstruction filters, and the AV delay depends on your theater, your DA converters (In this case the Lexicon on the TOS link), and how the film was intended:

Will we even get 24 frames/sec material on the Blu-Ray, too???

And does it all work in practice with all these settings?!


VC-1 isn't great, what do those letters suggest, anyhow?

All these screen pictures were made with a camera (most with a (top) mobile phone) and processed a bit. Such process isn´t compable with the actual way the picture looks on the screens. And moreover, the screen you use to look at this page is probably not better, but of less quality (I´m sorry, I mean on average that is statistically true) so it cannot even display a still which shows the actual quality (or lack thereof) of what I´m now used to looking at. One can see the pixels and an impression of colours and such, of course. ANd evidently, we´re not talking louse VCR screendumps of noisy and limited video images here...

I didn´t even process the pictures I took of the screen very much, but for instance here I adapted the gamma to a more normal value and then it is clear the (good quality, it´s a Nokia E90 Communicator with 3 actual megapixels) phone camera there is noise in the images jpg, which clearly isn´t on the screen.

As very much an exception (the latest pictures I took with it are from years ago) the HD screen with a (non-tripod, clearly) HP camera:

A gif for possibly some more colour variation:

Well, that's a going on way, though the screen is nicer (but less resolution, 'only' 720 but in very good quality), and even that could be larger, I think:

Oh, all the above photo´s, lately always made with a good phone or the Sony HC-3 HD cam were processed with cinepaint (some with GIMP) in different ways, not even two were processed in the exact same way! Processing however is mild, and never involves any kind of pixel or otherwise drawing/painting, only general changes like contrast, some gamma corrections, a bit of equalisation or de-equalisation, mild curves or histogram correction, obvious rotations/croppings etc., and always in 16 bits per pixel.

More Music Please!

Creedence Clearwater Revival with a great song called Mary Lou (click images for youtube link, remember to check copyright issues some time).

Another great song:

A fav of mine:

An earier rendering of Mary Lou:

And yet another:

And another:

It's all Rock and Roll:

More (cheap !) RC car

A little movie (50 Mega Bytes, mp4, 640x480) to show the even of remotely viewing where the car drives.

The square thin on the back is a wireless video link, with a battery back, which is fed by the HD cam on the middle part. The receiver of the wireless video/audio link is connected with a small LCD screen, for immedeate feedback of where the car drives from the camera.

I took the transmitter of the (25 euro) RC car apart to find it´s proportional, but step-wise, not continuous.

The motor isn´t pathetic, and can be replaced:

I didn´t take the differential apart.

The front wheels are steered by what looks like a servo (standard RC hobby device) but actually it´s only the motor, gears and potmeter of a servo, the electronics are done by the central unit of the car:

The Bristol synthesizer simulation software suite

This is an impression of the first official commercial sound synthesizer I ever had the pleasure of playing, the Moog/Realistic, in an impression from Bristol, which is Linux software to emulate dozens of classic synthesizers:

Example sound (with reverb added by the jack-rack plugin stereo plate), in 96kbps stereo mp3 (0.1 MB file).

I played it at the Tandy (Radio Shack) store long ago, which was cool.

As I said: Bristol is an Open Source Linux (oss/alsa/jack) synthesizer software package with a lot of synthesizers being emulatable, even simultaneously.

I´ve tried quite a few of them, and most work, and even sound good in certain cases, and certainly they sound analog and playable and like a musical instrument, which isn´t sayable for some of the commercial ones, they don´t work good when you make music.