IN THE LAB
|DVD-VIDEO PERFORMANCE Maximum-white level error (composite): -1 IRE Setup level (composite): 7.5 IRE Onscreen horizontal resolution: 540 lines||Horizontal luminance response (progressive-scan, re level at 2 MHz)
4/6/8 MHz: -0.1/-0.2/-0.4 dB
10/12/13.5 MHz: -1.7/-2.5/-3.6 dB In-player letterboxing good
|DVD-movie playback was fine, and progressive-scan performance was free of the common faults (like color smearing), though as usual, video-originated material looked distinctly rougher than movies, with jagged diagonals often visible.
Whether the source was the built-in analog tuner, the composite/S-video input, or the i.Link input, recording quality on either the hard drive or a DVD depended on the recording mode. Image quality ranged from excellent in the 1-hour HQ and 2-hour SP modes to barely watchable in the fuzzy and jerky 6-hour SLP mode. Horizontal resolution fell by around half, to 260 lines, starting with the 3-hour LP mode, producing a VHS-like softness. Video encoding artifacts such as blocking and mosquito noise were also visible in the LP mode. These became annoying in the EP mode (4 hours) and very distracting on all but the simplest program material in the SLP mode, which also halved vertical resolution (240 lines instead of 480). All DVD recorders behave like this, unfortunately. On the other hand, high-speed dubbing quality between hard drive and DVD was bit-perfect in either direction. -D.R.
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