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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Nov 18, 2007
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    6
    Contrast in dark video scenes
    I have an 8GB Touch with 1.1.2 installed. This is the second production batch, as far as I can tell as I had to return my original Touch due to extremely poor video black performance, moire effects, etc.

    My question is, do you all notice that the contrast ratio changes dramatically between light and dark scenes? On outdoor, well lit indoor, or indoor scenes with some well lit objects, the Touch performs really well. However, cut to a low light indoor scene or a night scene without bright areas and suddenly the contrast ratio falls way off, turning what was black to gray - a solid gray as opposed to being riddled with artifacts.

    I've tested this behavior with multiple movies & TV shows:

    • FASTER - looks great, period as it's all shot at MotoGP race tracks. Black looks black.
    • HULK - all outdoor scenes look great. Low light indoor scenes have low contrast and gray blacks with virtually no color 'pop'.
    • Warren Miller's Cold Fusion - great! Again, all outdoor. Black looks black.
    • Aliens in America - great. Black looks black.


    Should I be returning this unit for another or is this the state of the Touch until a firmware change (or app) that includes contrast controls?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    EuphLlama's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 27, 2007
    Location
    Colleyville, Texas
    Posts
    254
    Specs:
    iMac - MacBook Pro - iPhone - Nano - Touch
    Mine does the same thing. So do my friends. I'm just not going to worry about it. I notice it on my iPhone sometimes, also.
    Computer & TV: MacBook Pro 15-inch, Intel 2.2. iMac 20-inch, Intel 2.4. AppleTV 40G
    iPod: Nano black 4G, Touch 8G
    Phone: iPhone 4G

  3. #3

    mac747's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 01, 2006
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    385
    Specs:
    2.2GHZ Macbook Pro - 4GB RAM - 500GB HD
    Mine does that as well. Makes it pretty sucky to watch horror films, which is one of the reasons I use it most...

  4. #4

    giulio's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 19, 2007
    Location
    NY USA
    Posts
    1,813
    Specs:
    iMac 5.1 | iMac 7.1 | iPod Touch | iPod Nano
    Is it because the backlight is always on, and the LCD creates black by darkening pixels... maybe you're seeing the light come through since the room is dark. To test the theory, turn the device off. OFF off. Then boot it back up. you'll see that the black screen is actually lighter than the 'off' screen.
    schweb This has to be one of the best threads ever in MF history...
    Cherokee This gets my vote for most innovative thread on Mac-Forums... ever.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Nov 18, 2007
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by mac747 View Post
    Mine does that as well. Makes it pretty sucky to watch horror films, which is one of the reasons I use it most...
    That's exactly what I would have watched on the Touch but the contrast issue made me watch horror films on my Mac or on my home theater set up leaving the Touch for more brightly lit films, in general.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Nov 18, 2007
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by giulio View Post
    Is it because the backlight is always on, and the LCD creates black by darkening pixels... maybe you're seeing the light come through since the room is dark. To test the theory, turn the device off. OFF off. Then boot it back up. you'll see that the black screen is actually lighter than the 'off' screen.
    No doubt there are LCD issues. However, it's clear from the Touch's rendering of photos and outdoor scenes that it is capable of darker black. I'm guessing it's more a contrast setting that favors greater detail over deeper black. It's also possible that setting the contrast to get deeper blacks in dark scenes will result in both crushed blacks and moire or shimmering effects. I noticed this once in a while on the Hulk's skin in dark scenes - sort of a shimmering on the surface of his skin.

    I guess the bottom line is to wait and see what happens with the dev community and Apple's own firmware updates. IF someone does develop a contrast controller for the Touch, then it would be time to hack the system, or drop some $$!

    Thanks for you help!

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