Sherwood Newcastle R-972 A/V Receiver Video Test Bench
The Sherwood passed all of our deinterlacing and video clipping tests, both Digital and Analog, and the Digital Resolution tests. The Analog Clipping test did not pass all of the information above white to the peak level of 255, but it did go to a level of 243. It just squeaked by with 3.5 percent headroom above the 235 peak white level. (The ATSC digital video system includes brightness levels from 1 to 255, with 16 to 235 reserved for program material and the rest as headroom.) The Sherwood failed both of our Analog Resolution tests, a shortcoming it shares with many A/V receivers we’ve tested.
The 480p-to-1080p scaling passed with room to spare, but the pattern used for this test uncovered a significant problem unrelated to scaling per se. With a 480i or 480p source, and the Sherwood’s output video resolution set to 1080i, 1080p, 720p, or Auto, the image was geometrically distorted. It looked like a fun-house mirror’s distortion, with the center of the image stretched vertically and the left and right sides horizontally. This was true with either an HDMI or component input.
I also ran into another issue in which a 480i/p component input to the receiver, with 1080p HDMI output, would frequently break up. It caused serious image degradation, often accompanied by severe flickering. At press time Sherwood informed us it was aware with the component video breakup issue and would be issuing a firmware update to address it. However, the geometric distortion noted above appeared to be an unrelated issue, as it was always present, except when 480p or Bypass was selected as the AVR’s output resolution.—TJN