Olevia LCD Deinterlacing Problem
Back in October we reviewed the Syntax Olevia 542i LCD. While overall we gave the display a positive review, we noticed that with certain DVDs, the top of the picture would “tear” or be skewed to the right. Over Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) in some markets there were heavy discounts on this and other Olevia displays. Soon after we started receiving report after report of customers having the same problem. We have contacted Olevia about this multiple times but have still received no response. A fellow audioholic, Ken Phipps, sent us a detailed report. It seems that not only did he buy the set, but so did his brother. Between the two of them, they tested a number of different movies, DVD players, and input configurations. We are reprinting part of his report with his permission:
I believe from experimenting with different connections and settings that I've come up with the particular variables that trigger the problem.
It appears that some DVDs have the problem on some players when using the component inputs, and setting the player to 'progressive' playback will *not* fix the issue on these units, where doing so on others will fix it. On the players where progressive mode doesn't fix it, then using the composite or S-Video input on the 542i will fix it.
Here is a list of the 4 DVD players I've tested:
- Sony DVP-NS575P: Progressive mode doesn't fix, have to use composite or s-video connection.
- Phillips DVDR3455H: Progressive mode doesn't fix, have to use composite connection.
- Panasonic DVD-S25: Progressive mode doesn't fix, have to use composite connection.
- JVC XV-N40: Progressive mode *does* fix with component connection.
As I stated in my earlier email, some DVDs trigger the problem while others don't. It appears from what I can see with the four players above to be mostly an issue when using the component connection. I don't have any players with HDMI connectors so I wasn't able to test that.
I've seen this happening with a fairly wide range of DVDs (movies and TV shows). I have attached an image of the screen from the "Ice Age 2" DVD that shows the 'curve' problem. I've also seen this on the 'Ghost Hunters,' 'Curb Your Enthusiam' and 'South Park' DVDs.
This seems to be the consensus from the reports we have received. The tear exists. Depending on which player you have and what type of input you use the problem may or may not be fixed by switching the player to “progressive”. our tests we noticed that there were many more films that were experiencing the problem but that, since they were letterboxed (black bars on the top and bottom), the “problem” was hidden in the black bars. The tear issue seems to be confined to the component inputs as all reports have stated that switching to s-video or composite fixes the problem. We’ve also had reports of the same issue on the 537h so it doesn’t seem to be confined to the just the 542i model. While we suspect that Olevia’s unresponsiveness to this issue is due to the fact that it is sporadic in nature and only affects a small subset of owners. We have subsequently pulled our recommendation of this display and hope that future models will have this problem addressed.
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I called Olevia and couldn't get through. I emailed them at tech support, and got a response within an hour! Here's what Ed said to do (it works):
This is not a glitch but just matter of proper setup; all DVD players
default are set to video output on S video.
The DVD player is not set correctly. You need to change the video
on the DVD Player to Component and not s video and also you need to
on the progressive mode on. All of this is found in your DVD players
Setup. Once this is done your problem will be solve.
Please check our support page for any additional questions you may have
When replying to this e-mail, please leave the original message so I
have history of all information given and received for your case.
20480 E. Business Parkway
City of Industry, CA 91789
Another issue I've noticed is that on some cable programs - especially children's shows, there is a “block” missing from the top left of the screen. It annoys me, but the kids and wife never notice it.
The last issue affects the sound. If you use the sets speakers for sound, and turn up the bass past 50%, there is excessive distortion. This comes through sounding like someone blowing over a microphone. As long as you keep the bass at 50% or less, it's not an issue. But, this set has a subwoofer out. If you hook up a powered subwoofer to the output on the LCD, and want to raise the bass via the tv, the distortion is extremely evident over a 50% setting.
I will say customer service is at the back of the pack as far as Olevia goes. They make a very good product at a very good price, but don't rely on any type of tech help. You are on your own with this set. I've overlooked the three issues above and chalked it up to “you get what you pay for” deal, knowing I'll never get someone to my house to fix these issues.
HD sports and digital signals are excellent, as well as the overall picture. For the price, I still think these sets are a bargain. They definitely need to do more R/D before putting so many sets on the market at rediculously low prices.
I did notify them of the bass distortion issue, and they never got back to me (no surprise). These sets, at the bargain pricing, should be purchased for secondary viewing or bedrooms. I've seen the “non-tuner” type 37“ models going for $599 at MacMall. The newer 437 models with tuners can be had for $699 locally. If you can overlook the few quirks listed above, it's still a great set. It's just too bad it's not a ”perfect" set at that price. No surprise there.
Chalk this one up to a company growing too fast and not having the resources to keep up with customer service or properly releasing products with adequate R&D.