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AE-100 and Progressive Scan

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by HEADRAT, Mar 29, 2002.

  1. HEADRAT

    HEADRAT
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    OK I've got an AE-100 on loan for the weekend, how can I use my PC to feed the PJ a progressive scan signal ?

    XP 1800
    GF3
    512 DDR Ram
    Abit KG7 RAID
    PowerDVD 4.0
    Windows XP Pro

    I'm PC literate but just not sure what I have to do :)

    Do I just need to connect my PC to the VGA input on the PJ or is it more involved than that ??

    HEADRAT
     
  2. Hoglet

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    [ edited to fix broken link and trailing spaces -- dave ]

    The missing piece is to download and install PowerStrip:
    http://www.entechtaiwan.com/ps.htm

    You need to create a custom resolution compatible with the WIDE480 mode of the AE100. You might also want to try the WIDE720 mode - some people prefer this.

    Here are my final WIDE480 and WIDE720 PowerStrip settings.

    PowerStrip timing parameters:
    856x480=856,40,72,80,480,4,5,11,31500,342

    PowerStrip timing parameters:
    1280x720=1280,56,120,240,720,4,6,20,76500,342

    You should just be able to cut and paste these in.

    Another tip is to make sure the OPTIONS/PC PRIORITY setting of the AE100 is set to WIDE.

    Finally, I use a test bitmap, created by Mark Rehjon, as my windows background. It was designed to help you synchronize the projector and PC pixel clocks to get perfect pixel mapping. If the pixel clock setting in Powerstrip is incorrect, you see really bad vertical banding (caused by aliasing) in the part of the image that is made up of alternating black and white vertical lines.

    See this thread on AVS for more details:
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=90884
    and Mark's homepage:
    http://www.marky.com/hometheater/

    --- Dave
     
  3. HEADRAT

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    Where exactly do you input these timings, at a guess its in :-

    Advanced Timing Options > Customer Resolutions > User Defined

    And the figures you are quoting are the refresh rate, front porch etc etc..

    Can you just confirm how I enter these, I'm not quite sure what to put where :)


    HEADRAT
     
  4. Hoglet

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    OK, I guess I should have included a few more details, but I was in a rush last night.

    Start by connecting the PC to a normal monitor.

    After installing PowerStrip a new icon should appear on the right hand side of the tool bar. Click on this, then select Display Profiles/Configure. The Display profiles window should appear.

    In the Display profiles window, select Advanced timing options. The Advanced timing options window should appear.

    In the Advanced timings options window, select Custom resolutions. The Custom resolutions window should appear. In the bottom right hand corner is a little clipboard icon, used to Paste in timings from the clipboard.

    In IE, highlight the line starting 856x480 from my earlier post. Make sure you don't copy any leading or trailing spaces. Cut and Paste this into a notepad, and double check there are no leading or trailing spaces. Once you're happy, copy the settings and then in the Custom resolutions window press the clipboard icon. The numbers in the New Resolution section should change. If they don't change, you probably have leading or trailing spaces. Try again.

    Now, press Add new resolution. At this stage you might be asked to reboot. Or, you might get a message saying the display driver has acccepted the resolution.

    Case 1) Reboot required
    Allow the machine to reboot. Then, get back into the Display profiles window and adjust the resolution slider until you see 856x480. Stop at this point and click Apply and OK the change. Then, select the Advanced timings option.

    Case 2) No reboot required
    Hopefully, the driver will accept the resolution and you'll be allowed to switch to it. Do so. Then press the close button on the Custom timings window.

    In either case, if the new resolution has not been accepted, the only course of action is to try upgrading to the latest display drivers for your card. Or, get a new graphics card.

    In both cases you should now be back in the Advanced timings window, and the new timings should be visible. You may need to adjust the controls on your monitor to make make the image visible. As you are displaying a 16:9 resolution on a 4:3 monitor, the text will be somewhat tall and thin. That's good!

    At this point, depending on the graphics card you have, the pixel clock value may have changed slightly. The reason for this is that most graphics cards can only vary the pixel clock in discrete chunks. They use Phase Locked Loop (PLL) based clock multipliers and dividers with integer ratios. I know that my Radeon 7200 can generate a 31.500 MHz pixel clock. I also know that my Geforce2 GTS cannot, but it can come very close. In my case, it shows 31.499MHz. This is close enough. Ideally the clock should be accurate to say quarter of a pixel over the active portion. This is 31.500 +- 31.500*0.25/856, which works out as 31.491MHz to 31.509MHz.

    If you are within this range, then that's close enough. If not, then get as close as you can, and (see later) use the test bitmap to adjust the DOT CLK setting in the AE100 to remove any vertical banding.

    Finally, the timings you should now see (for WIDE480) are:

    Pixel Clock 31.500MHz (or very close)

    Horizontal:
    -- Scan Rate 30.057KHz (or very close)
    -- Active 856 pixels
    -- Front porch 40 pixels
    -- Sync width 72 pixels
    -- Back porch 80 pixels
    -- Total 1048 pixels

    Vertical:
    -- Refresh Rate 60.114Hz (or very close)
    -- Active 480 lines
    -- Front porch 4 lines
    -- Sync width 5 lines
    -- Back porch 11 lines
    -- Total 500 lines

    Synchronization
    -ve for both H and V (although this does not matter for the AE100)

    Finally, go back to the Display profiles window and select Save as, and choose a name like WIDE480. If you like, allow PowerStrip to create a shortcut to this mode on your desktop. Then click OK to exit PowerStrip.

    Now, disconnect the monitor and connect the AE100.

    In the AE100 menu, go to OPTIONS/PC PRIORITY and make sure this is set to WIDE.

    Next, go to the PICTURE menu and check the SIGNAL MODE is displayed as WIDE480. If not, you need to go back and check your PowerStrip settings.

    Next, go to the POSITION menu and (if necessary) adjust the H-POSI and V-POSI settings to centre the image.

    Next, using the bitmap I linked to above as a TILED windows background, check for any vertical banding (it's really obvious). If there is any, then try adjusing DOT CLK to eliminate it.

    Finally, you'll need to adjust the CLOCK PHASE so that any video noise is eliminated. Try going from one extreem to the other a few times, and choose the setting which results in the least noisy image. It might be best to do this after the PC and Projector have had some time to warm up properly, since their clocks will drift with temperature variations.

    You should now have Pixel Perfext mapping from the HTPC to the AE100.

    Whew!

    --- Dave
     
  5. Hoglet

    Hoglet
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    Oops, the link to the test bitmap I orignally posted was broken. I've fixed it now, and added another to Mark's homepage, which is well worth a visit.

    --- Dave
     
  6. HEADRAT

    HEADRAT
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    Hi Dave,

    Very comprehensive :)

    Thankyou very much for you mini FAQ ..

    HEADRAT
     
  7. Splice

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    Cheers Dave,

    Thanks for going to so much effort, i will give that a go, i think i may have had my settings slightly out.well, When i get my Panny back from Panasonic that is.

    All the best......... splice.
     
  8. museumsteve

    museumsteve
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    cheers for the effort Dave..I know what I'll be doing this weekend..:)
     
  9. HEADRAT

    HEADRAT
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    Hi Dave,

    Just to let you know I got everything working perfectly with you wonderful instuctions, many thank :)

    Indeed Wide 480 seems to be the sweet spot for the AE-100 and my PC gave a far superior picture than my Son 725D and component output..

    Looks like the HCPC is definately the way to go if your using an AE-100, couldn't beleive the quality of the desktop output either :)

    HEADRAT
     
  10. Desmo

    Desmo
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    Was thinking of getting one of these to run on my HTPC bu this will be my first projector. Is it a good one to get as it is within my budget (buying a house you see).
    What size picture should I expect and what sort of throw distance is necessary?
    From what I understand this would be good for me as a first PJ cos setup and maintenance are quite minimal. I don't have the money to chuck hundreds of pounds at tubes for a CRT.

    Also I know lot's of people say get a demo firs but if everyone around here says it's good enough for them then I'm sure it will be fine for me (I'm not an out and out movie buff like most around here).
    Unless of course you know anyone in my area to do a demo (Braintree, Essex. Nearest bigger towns Chelmsford or Colchester)
     
  11. Guest

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    I've tried this and as soon as I go back into the display profiles window and adjust the resolution to 856x480 and click apply the image on my monitor just goes totally screwy for about 5 seconds and then it reverts back to 800x600! Any idea what might be causing this and what I need to do to carry on? Should I just be able to connect the PC to my panny and select the 856x480 and it will work on that or do I need to get it working on my normal monitor first?

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  12. mattr

    mattr
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    My monitor is screwy with that resolution too - it's because it doesn't support a horizontal frequency less than 32KHz and the 856x480 resolution is 30KHz.
     
  13. Timh

    Timh
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    Help I have no wide480, I have set the projector to 16:9 but it shows VGA480.
    The pixel clock is also only showing 31.448 MHz.
    I am using a Creative labs nvidea gforce 2 32mb graphics card.
    Please help I dont know what to do next :(

    Thanks for any help.
     
  14. Timh

    Timh
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    :eek: I forgot to set the OPTIONS/PC PRIORITY and set it to wide, I now have wide480 :)
    What benefit would there be in fitting a Radeon card? I just tested it with my gforce 2 card it looked mint, just a bit jerky because I only have an AMD 333 proccessor at the moment.
     
  15. Kramer

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    Tim,

    Now that you've seen your AE-100 in "mint" Wide 480, what do you think?

    You'll also need a test pattern to corectly set the dot clock phase - this makes a major improvement if the settings are out.

    I don't know the url at the mo, but I'll root it out & post it.
     
  16. Timh

    Timh
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    Kramer

    You were right, wide480 rocks :D but its not watchable with my PC, I only have an AMD K6 333 proccessor and the image is a bit jerky. Its took me all this time to get powerstrip working :confused:
    I have seen many comments about getting the dot clock phase set correctly, but when I used the Auto set up feature it looked pretty good, no vertical banding at all :D
    I better start saving for computer upgrades, my Son will also benefit from medal of Hour running smoother with a new proccessor.
    Whats a good sound card for 5.1 sound?
     
  17. popeckia

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    The cheapest available soundcard I could find that had optical out to pass through DD to the Amp was the Guillemot Fortissimo II... can find it at http://www.insight.com/uk among others... there are two version, both have the optical out so can use either. Drivers are a bit crappy but works perfectly fine for me... could get into a big debate with some about the merits of vastly more expensive sound cards, but if you were into one of those, you wouldn't have bought the AE100 like we did :)
     
  18. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    My job here is to keep an eye on Tim, after all, he is my guinea pig.:D
     
  19. Timh

    Timh
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    Guy

    Have you got that RGB/Componant convertor yet, I need some one to test it for me :D

    p.s

    got my Sky digi box now, I ended up with the Sony, so no s-video connection :(
     
  20. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    Guy

    Have you got that RGB/Componant convertor yet, I need some one to test it for me.


    Ooooh, you do tickle me. You know full well you are my leader.:D
     
  21. Timh

    Timh
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    no no no no, you did test the Van Damme componant cable for me you know ;)
     
  22. Dodgey

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    OK, firstly , I have got my PT100 AE working with Powerstrip and Win DVD with the resolutions suggested at the beginning of this discussion (thanks!) - copied and pasted.

    1. The difference is STAGGERING!!! - Whilst running a few discs through I casually thought, "that's sharp and smooth??". Then I switched back to S-Video from my H-Fi DVD player. Bloody hell!!! Aweful. At first I thought that the VGA cable being plugged into the PJ as well was interfering, but no! I had got used to a soft, slightly blurry image with slight ghosting on the edges of faces etc. Muddy colours, you name it. Its a revalation. If you are thinking of having a go - DO IT!!! It's like upgrading your PJ by 50% at least.

    2. A couple of things though... I notice on the left of the picture that not all of the vertical res is being used on my PJ. There is a very faint unused grey bar on the left (from top to bottom). Not much, but enough to notice, maybe 2% of the total width of the picture, nothing masking would not solve. I'm confused because I copied and pasted the powerstrip settings - any ideas. It's just on the left.

    3. I notice now that because I'm using the PC input I can't use the aspect modes on the PJ - I imagine because the PC deals with this? (I like to "zoom" sometimes).

    Thanks

    roger
     
  23. Timh

    Timh
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    Dodgey

    Have you set the OPTIONS/PC PRIORITY to wide? you can change from 4:3 to wide. then you will get wide480 in the menu, but you have probably done this.
     
  24. Dodgey

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    TimH, Yep, it is set to Wise priority and shows as Wide 480. Just a bit of a shame there is a vertical bar on the left of unused pixels. I paid for them and i want to see them!!!

    :)
     
  25. Timh

    Timh
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    Dodgey

    Have you tried altering the image in the projector menu, you can shift it to the left, maybe this is what you need to do to get rid of the vertical bar.
    Take a look at page 36 in the Operating instructions under Horizontal Position.
    I used the Auto setup feature on the projector, it looked spot after using this.
     
  26. Dodgey

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    Thanks Tim, I'll give it a go when I'm back home after the weekend. Bloody good this HTPC thing. Just waiting for my cables now, and to devise some way of mounting the thing to my ceiling. Not bad with a hacksaw though :)
     
  27. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
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    This thread seems the most appropriate place to ask this:

    I'm just taking my first tentative steps into HCPC. Following Hoglet's superb step-by-step account of how to set up Powerstrip (thanks, Dave) I noticed, of course, the immediate improvement in picture quality. But I was surprised by one thing...

    The projected image seems to be narrower than the picture being fed from the DVD: that's to say, if I move the image sideways with the AE100's "position" adjustment, I can see a small-ish amount at each extreme edge which doesn't fit on the screen.

    It's not a serious problem, but it does seems odd to go to all the trouble of matching the AE100's true resolution and still not be able to see all of the picture.

    Has anyone else noticed this?

    Thanks in advance,

    Bert
    http://www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  28. Timh

    Timh
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    the obvious checks to make are setting the pc priority to wide and windvd set to 16:9, which you probably have done allready.
    The only other recommendation is after you pc and projector have warmed up try the Auto setup feature in the positition menu on the AE100. I found this corrected my setup, and was quite accurate, but strangely if you keep going back to the Auto setup it some times brings them back to Factory default, all the zero's.
     
  29. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
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    Tim,

    A quick trial seems to confirm that the Auto Setup option has indeed solved the problem. Thanks.

    Now I have to work out what's causing the shuddering pans...

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  30. Timh

    Timh
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    Bert

    It could be your PC not being powerful enough, could you remind us of the specs.
     

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