Labour pains If you buy one

Labour pains

If you buy one test disc for your home theater, invest in a Blu-ray copy of the Spears and Munsil High-Definition calibration disc. It has a fabulous set of tests labour pains will tell you a lot about your HDTV or Blu-ray player. The BD670 soared through this battery of tests with one exception; it failed the Chroma Zone Plate test. Is that bad? Well, the fact that it doesnt pass full chroma resolution isnt great, but what would be more telling would be truly visible issues with color while watching films and television programs. Players that do well with chroma upsampling can reproduce fine lines of color detail and borders between light and darker colors effortlessly, with minimal color bleed. P This is more noticeable on certain material and usually only visible at larger screen sizes. A great Blu-ray to test this out isP Baraka, which has some glorious looking fly over shots of a volcano. The BD670 did a fairly good job with labour pains bleed, but the Panasonic BDT210 did a better job of resolving the detail between the glowing red magma and the charred labour pains background. I ran the player briefly through 2 calibrated HDTVs Panasonic TC-P50ST30, Samsung LN40C670, and a calibrated JVC DLA RS25 projector, before plunking it down with the LG 55LW5600 55 3D LED HDTV for most of the testing review also forthcoming and didnt see too much evidence on real world content of poor chroma upconversion. The LG did pass the luma multiburst, chroma multiburst, luma zone plate, and both chroma upsampling error tests, so Im not sure what to make of the failed chroma zone plate test as it doesnt seem to have that noticeable an effect on real world program material. But the Panasonic BDT210 passed all of these tests as well as acing the Chroma zone plate test. P So does it matter?P It may if you view content on a really large screen and are very conscious of minute color details, but for most people the Blu-ray performance of the BD670 will be just plain fabulous. When it comes to deinterlacing performance, converting interlaced DVDs and 1080i Blu-ray Discs to 1080p progressive output, the BD670 is rock solid. My son loves watching the race car clip from Super Speedway which is used on several discs to test a players 2:3 cadence detection. If a player is able to detect this as a film-based 24 frame/second source, youll get clean details in the background grandstands. P If not, youll get major moir distortion in the grandstands curved lines that shouldnt be there. P So while Jake likes watching the car zoom around the track, I focus instead of the background. P What little moir I saw vanished faster than any player Ive tried to date. Impressive. The player also passed every cadence test we threw at it. The jaggies test didnt trip the player up, but it wasnt perfect. Certainly a little better than the Panasonic player. The performance with DVDs was equally as impressive using the HQV 0 Benchmark disc. P Unlike the Panasonic, the LG player lacks 24P output capability on DVDs so film-based standard def material may have some judder artifacts uneven motion unless your TV is able to detect and correct for that. The one area where the BD670 was disappointing was its disc-loading times. On some of the newer Blu-ray 3D discs Tangled, Gnomeo and Juliet, Despicable Me, it loaded quite quickly. On some of the torture Blu-rays like The Expendables and Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, the LG was noticeably slower than the Panasonic. On The Expendables, the BD670 took 1 minute and 27 seconds before loading the Lionsgate gears. That isnt quick. POTC : COTBP took 38 seconds which is dramatically slower than the DMP-BDT2 On DVDs like Gladiator, the BD670 took 13 seconds to present the Dreamworks opening; the Panasonic took 17 in one of the rare instances where it was slower than the LG player. The BD-Live heavyP Inglourious Basterds took 59 seconds which is also quite average. Interestingly, the BD670 was faster with streaming media than the Panasonic 2 seconds faster accessing Netlfix and getting to a movie. Overall, the Panasonic is a faster loading player. Id call the BD670 average or below in this category. PIts no speed demon.

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