Individual Entry


Monitor fiasco update

Dell Ultrasharp 2709W

I received a call today from the extremely helpful Mark at Dell technical support. (Seriously, this guy has been busting a gut trying to help me, which can’t have been easy given that, due to some sort of screw-up, the company has no record of my previous communications regarding my ongoing problems.) The long and short of it is that a third monitor will be delivered to me on Monday and the second one will be uplifted.

In other news, the “pinching” I previously mentioned as occurring in three of the panel’s four corners has begun to recede. No, it’s not completely gone, and it’s still quite noticeable with a black background in a dark room, but it currently looks considerably better than it did as little as five or six hours ago. This is most heartening to me, and suggests that such problems will eventually fade once the screen has been allowed to “settle in”. Of course, dead pixels (or stuck pixels that have been given a rigorous work-out with the likes of JScreenFix) can’t be fixed, but this does mean that, should Monday’s arrival suffer from the same pinching effect, I won’t immediately be panicking and calling up tech support. This allows me to concentrate solely on faulty pixels, and I’ve come to the conclusion that, should monitor #3 suffer from a single dead or stuck pixel in a relatively inconspicuous place, I’ll put up with it in return for an end to the hassle.

(Incidentally, it’s perhaps worth pointing out that the monitor I was using this time last year, the Sony MFM-HT205, had a single red stuck pixel fairly close to the centre of the panel. It actually took me over a year to become aware of it, and only because my brother, bless his perceptiveness, pointed it out to me.)

Here’s hoping the old adage of “third time’s a charm” turns out to be true.

PS. I showed my mum The Descent on BD tonight (my first gala screening of the new Australian release from beginning to end). She thought it was great. Then again, I’m not entirely surprised, because according to my dad I inherited my taste for horror movies from her.

Update, February 21st, 2009 at 08:12 PM: I’ve just noticed that the problem is now once again as bad as it has ever been. It appears to begin to show itself after the monitor has been on for a while and just gets progressively worse. Initially, it looks absolutely fine, but within a short space of time the issues begin to assert themselves.

Posted: Friday, February 20, 2009 at 10:03 PM | Comments: 3
Categories: Blu-ray | Cinema | General | Technology



...Didn't even know this was in the works. Terrible idea, flawed from the start considering SHE DOESN'T ESCAPE AT THE END, but I guess they're going by the truncated US ending.

Posted by: Christopher D. Jacobson, February 21, 2009 7:09 PM


Michael, just what do you mean by this vague statement "somewhat over-compressed as is the DVD Beaver standard... " ?
These caps are 90% jpegs.... taken from BMPs of the transfer. "overly compressed" - how do you figure? PNG's would slow down my Server extensively. I get 1 million hits a month.

Posted by: Gary Tooze, February 26, 2009 1:07 AM


“Michael, just what do you mean by this vague statement “somewhat over-compressed as is the DVD Beaver standard… ” ?
These caps are 90% jpegs…. taken from BMPs of the transfer. “overly compressed” - how do you figure? PNG’s would slow down my Server extensively. I get 1 million hits a month.

Gary, what I mean is that the file sizes of your screen captures are surprisingly low, indicating that a certain amount of compression is being applied beyond the minimum. With minimal compression in Photoshop, a JPG of a 1920x1080 image typically ends up at anything between 600 KB and 1 MB, whereas DVD Beaver’s captures are typically in the 200-300 KB range. In many cases, I’ve found that my own captures of the same frames show fewer compression artefacts than those on DVD Beaver (I always save mine with the lowest amount of compression possible - i.e. a setting of “12” in Photoshop), and I suspect that the amount of compression that is being applied to them is the explanation for this. What this means is that, while the captures at DVD Beaver are quite useful for ascertaining the quality of a disc (and on more than one occasion I’ve used them as a basis for deciding whether or not to buy a title - for example, I cancelled my pre-order for the BD of A History of Violence after seeing how poor and DNR-riddled it is; likewise, the quality of Body of Lies encourage me to pick up a copy), they certainly don’t provide a completely accurate picture of a disc’s quality. Quite often, they make the compression look worse than it actually is, which is a troublesome state of affairs given the scrutiny to which full resolution HD captures are generally subjected on, for instance, the AVS Forum. (Look, for example, at the attention the Bourne trilogy has received in terms of the upgrade the BD versions constitute in terms of encoding over the earlier HD DVD releases. I suspect that, if the people posting the captures had compressed them to the extent that DVD Beaver compresses its images, these significant improvements would not have been possible to see, or at least not so clearly.)

I’m certainly not expecting you to devote hundreds of gigabytes to storing PNG images, but I do think it’s worth remembering that, when you’re dealing with material at this high a resolution, and where people pick up on minute differences between versions, any sort of compression that negatively affects the image is to be avoided.

Posted by: Michael Mackenzie, February 26, 2009 9:36 AM

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