The Secrets Blu-ray Player HDMI Benchmark - Part 2


Overall Conclusions About the HK 990

For those who started with Tyler's review and worked their way through this three-parter, 20,000 words have passed your eyes. Only a very special product requires that level of analysis. There is no comparable for the HK990. One could say that an equivalent could be crafted with three or more boxes. Unfortunately, this is not a viable option because many different functional blocks inside the HK990 interface with each other in ways that cannot be replicated with RCA cables running between multiple external boxes.

As with any debut product, the HK990 has some glitches. The front panel controls are very difficult to manipulate and the room-correction system has some software bugs. Putting these issues aside, the HK990 is a revolutionary product that will be on the list of the 100 most important audio components ten years from now.


Video EQ
Written by Ron , August 09, 2011

Ideally, and as described in the article, it is always best to calibrate the display first with an accurate external pattern device, however, I have found there IS an option(for an extra $1200) for multiple sources with the use of the AV Foundry Video EQ Pro. If required, this allows an individual to calibrate Grayscale, Gamma, Luminance AND Color Management for up to FOUR individual source components which would go a long way toward taming the differences with any potential colorspace issues.


Written by Jerry , August 12, 2011

How about revealing what player A and B are? It might be interesting.


Where is the test for the PS3?
Written by Shawn , August 13, 2011

Where is the test for the PS3?



    Players and PS3
    Written by Ron Jones , August 29, 2011

    As for what players A and B were, I would assume these were the Oppo and Sony players are tested in Part 1 of this story. As shown in Part 1 the Sony standalone players appear to be doing some sort of mapping betweeen the grey levels recorded on the disc and what is actually output via HDMI. When I first read part 1 a couple of months ago a bell immediately went off for me as it explained why I had seen such non-linear gamma results (with a curve that looked like an inverted 'U') when calibrating a JVC projector and using a Sony BDP-S470 player playing the HD Calibration disc as the source. I went back and reviewed results for a couple of other displays where I had used PS3s (both older Fat models) playing a HD calibration disc as the signal source and these did not show the poor gamma curve. So I don't think the PS3 has this same issue as the Sony standalone BD players. However, you probably should not set the PS3 to use 'RGB Full' as that mode for the PS3's HDMI output is mapping grey scale levels between the video standard (16-235) and the PC standard (0-255). I have my PS3's set to output in Y Cb/Pb Cr/Pr mode.


    Written by ChrisHeinonen , August 30, 2011

    While we are still working on the PS3 data, you certainly should use RGB Full if using RGB, and SuperWhite if using YCbCr. Otherwise values that should be 0 are mapped up to 16, and values that should be over 235/240 are truncated at those points. Some people will tell you that's fine since there should be no video data in there anyway, but if you calibrate correctly you will have that data hidden by the Brightness and Contrast of the display, but you will still get the correct data from the player. RGB Full did not look to do any remapping in our testing unless RGB Full wasn't enabled.


    PS3 Correction
    Written by ChrisHeinonen , August 30, 2011

    Sorry about that last post, I shouldn't comment before coffee. Superwhite on the PS3 is good, RGB Full is bad would be a good general view as RGB Full does remap 16-235 to 0-255. If you're using your PS3 on a computer monitor that's calibrated for that range you'd want to enable this, but if you are using it on a video display calibrated for the normal video range, it would not be good.


    PS3 Correction
    Written by Hydrosaure , September 02, 2011

    I agree with you Chris.

    The PS3 does a terrible job at converting YCbCr to RGB Full range.

    Even for games, you're better off staying in Limited range and let you TV/scaler do their job.


    More Please
    Written by Donnie , March 22, 2012

    Okay , now you've whetted our appetites, can we get some more "correct" players and shootout data?. We're waiting!!



    So HDMI is not simply Video Pass through?
    Written by Percy Mistry , April 05, 2012

    I was of the impression that using HDMI as a transfer medium allows the raw data from the disc to be sent from the source (player) to the destination (TV) without any processing. Kinda like a pass through - the player is nothing but a true "transport". So in case of bluray it would the pure 1080i data going to the TV. Apparently that doesn't seem to be the case! The players are messing around with the data. But WHY ? Is it not possible to send the data without modifying it over HDMI to the TV?


    Video Pass Through
    Written by ChrisHeinonen , April 05, 2012

    All video eventually winds up as RGB data, since that is what a display presents. Data is all stored on Blu-ray discs at YCbCr 4:2:0 in order to save space, as storing it as raw RGB (4:4:4) would take up far more space, and Blu-ray is already space limited. Also, all consumer devices work with 4:2:2 or 4;4:4, so it has to be converted before it is sent over HDMI.

    Most Blu-ray content, at least for commercial film, is stored as 1080p24, so it is natively progressive. TV shows and concert videos are the most common 1080i60 sources, but they too are 4:2:0 encoded for Blu-ray.

    It really isn't possible to send 4:2:0 to a commercial TV. You can find some displays in the commercial realm that might handle 4:2:0, but they'd also be likely to have an SDI input on them. You can slso find modified Blu-ray players that can do 4:2:0 over SDI, but you'd need a processor (such as the Lumagen Radiance line) with an SDI input to handle that 4:2:0 as your display can't. At that point you're still getting a conversion to 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 or RGB, which is what we're testing for anyway.

    So the simple answer is, no. Until we have a source media that uses something like 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 for the source content (perhaps 4K can do this, and have a larger color space like DCI) it will probably remain the case as well.