Grainy DVD video playback on 2009 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Canadian Bacon, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. Canadian Bacon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    On the Baltic Sea
    #1
    My current setup is: 2009 20" nvidia iMac, 4GB RAM/640 GB HD
    I generally would like to know what my expectations for decent video playback should be - thankful for any help people can offer on this:

    When using the Apple DVD player on full-screen mode, dvd playback seems quite grainy, with pixel lag on fast video sequences. Specifically, I was watching original DVD music concerts. The concerts were at night, so the picture is darker, but on my TV & stand-alone DVD player, the picture was less grainy and there was no 'pixel lag'. During computer playback no other programs were open, WLAN was off. The HD is empty except for Apple's stock software.

    So, could one or more of the following be a logical reason for grainy playback?:

    a) it's a computer, not a stand-alone DVD player hooked up to a TV.
    b) screen quality: TN panel compared to CRT TV.
    c) integrated graphics, i.e.: the 2008 iMac with dedicated ATI Radeon 2600 Pro card would be smoother.
    d) display settings on Apple's DVD player. (using stock settings BTW)
    e) full-screen mode performance is generally not perfect on any system.
    f) none of these - something else entirely.
     
  2. torchwood04 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    #2
    Could it just be the DVD you're using? Try another DVD.. Also, are you running the latest updates and stuff?
     
  3. Canadian Bacon thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    On the Baltic Sea
    #3
    I haven't downloaded latest updates, as I can't get this thing to communicate with my router, but that's another story.

    I tried four different DVDs today:
    David Bowie/U2 - original DVDs,
    an original how-to DVD that came with a product I bought recently,
    an original DVD of short-films

    The how-to video was brighter because it was filmed during the day, and it was mostly slow-moving product demonstration material, but every once in a while there was a bit of pixel lag. The other videos were much faster-paced and showed perceived pixel lag more often. It's not that the videos aren't watchable, it just seems sluggish.
     
  4. RealaT macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    #4
    In my experience DVDs always look grainy and murky on computer monitors because of the monitors high resolution and the low resolution of DVD video.

    They look better on standard TVs because they are lower definition and mask the imperfections.

    No idea what you mean by 'pixel lag' though
     
  5. Canadian Bacon thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 27, 2007
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    On the Baltic Sea
    #5
    Yeah, I don't know the correct term for what I mean: when the scene changes during fast movement sequences or drastic scene brightness shifts, it's as if the screen can't keep up and the picture sort of 'falls apart' in places - not across the board. Wish I knew how to describe it better.
     
  6. RealaT macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    #6
    Sounds like interlacing artefacts. Have you tried enabling de-interlacing on the DVD Player app?
     
  7. Canadian Bacon thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 27, 2007
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    On the Baltic Sea
    #7
    Five minutes ago I had no idea what that meant. Just checked: de-interlacing was activated by default and is already on the 'optimal quality' setting. I learned something new though. :)

    Am watching U2 right now and the biggest issues are the graininess and perceived sluggishness at times, but the picture has 'held together'.
     
  8. Canadian Bacon thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    On the Baltic Sea
    #8
    Okay, thanks. That makes sense. Sounds like I don't have to get worked up about anything being wrong then. Cheers.
     
  9. sm2206 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #9
    Re:

    I also thought the same thing (about the video looking grainy) on my new Macbook Pro

    Thought it might be the DVD reader or maybe the player

    After reading some other peoples comments it kind of makes sense. I remember a few years ago when i brought a HD (LCD) TV and was annoyed that DVDs looked so bad / grainy. This was because the HD TV are basically too good for the SD DVDs and it throws up too much info on the screen. In the end i took it back and swapped it for a plasma (as it handles SD much better)
     

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