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by-passing the Z2 scaler??

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Omega Prime, May 15, 2005.

  1. Omega Prime

    Omega Prime
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    Hi
    I'm a noob when it comes to projectors and I have had a sanyo z2 for the last 6 months (260hrs on the clock :cool: ) but until recently I have noticed theat the picture quality from my Xbox outputting 480p has been very jaggy with a lot of flicker also.

    I always thought that since the xbox was outputing a progressive signal, the z2's onboard scaler was bypassed but after reading some posts here it seems that is not the case.

    Does anyone know how to bypass the onnboard scaler of the z2? and also would a HTPC help if I had one and used it with my xbox?

    Any advice would be appreciated :)
     
  2. Omega Prime

    Omega Prime
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    Come' on guys. Someone must have some one must have some advice since enough people have the z2/z3 in this forum. :confused:
     
  3. Comer

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    Using a HCPC outputting a 1280X720 resolution via VGA or HDMI will give a beautiful image that bypasses the scaler. But going down the HCPC route can be very frustrating as well as being very rewarding.

    BTW, don't expect to get instant answers here on a Sunday afternoon :D
     
  4. booker

    booker
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    Omega, so you are not happy with the gaming you are getting it on the sanyo z2?
    I`m planning on getting the Z2 mostly for Xbox gaming...

    could someone on this forum advice me if the Z2 works fine with Xbox gaming?

    I want to know this before i buy it at teh end of the month.
     
  5. Omega Prime

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    booker, don't get me wrong, gaming on the z2 using an NTSC xbox outputting 480p or 720p is just gorgous. Once you calibrate the z2 using Avia or a similar calibration disc the results are beautiful.Playing at those resolutions is so much better than playing on a normal Tv, trust me....my mates come round and never want to leave because of the clarity and detail on the screen that just cant be seen on a standard tv. So yes definately go for a z2.

    My problem is that because i am super critical when it comes to graphics I have noticed that some games in particlar claim they are 480p compatible but I still get jaggies when playing.I just accepted it since I thought the xbox was bypassing the internal scaler of the z2 and outputting directly onto the screen but that is not the case. So I thought maybe if I could bypass the scaler then the jaggies would disappear since progressive scan suppose to eliminate jaggies.

    Anyone that has a similar setup to mine feel free to comment, I just want to maximise the potential of my z2 (since we all paid our well earned money for it :D )

    Once again any ideas would help.
     
  6. Omega Prime

    Omega Prime
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    Ah, almost forgot Comer, thanks for the advice. What do you mean that it is very frustrating using a HTPC? Is there anyway I could use my xbox with it to boost the progressive scan ouput of my xbox also?

    .......and I kinda forgot it was a weekend. Hope I get some more answers during the week :suicide:
     
  7. booker

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    Since i see you play with the projector let me ask you one question, i read about the bad black levels on the z2, how bad are they?

    I can`t imagine playing Splinter cell type of game on a bad black level.. or doom, etc..black are really important when it come to gaming.

    So this is the reason why i`m still deciding 4805 or Z2.

    Resolution vs Black

    ANy comments or advice from you?
     
  8. Omega Prime

    Omega Prime
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    Booker, before I purchased my z2 I was a bit conserned like yourself about the contrast ratio aswell but I have played all three splinter cells on my z2 and the blacks are indeed black on my projector, not grey. To achieve this there are a few things you need to do:

    1) Your surroundings- If yours surrounding walls are light in colour (for example cream, like mines) you must use a high definition grey screen instead of a matt white one. Light colors on the wall will reflect white light back to your screen and if you do not use a grey screen, the blacks may become slightly washed out. If you have a dark wall colour, I would still go for a grey screen, just to enhance blacks anyway. I originally had Draper matt white screen initially and the blacks were grey most of the time, but with my Draper high def grey screen, blacks are definately black. Remember a quality screen does make a difference, I wish it wasnt true (because of the price) but it is :smashin:

    2) Make sure that your screen has a black boarder around the edges. This is another cosmetic enhancement. This prevents light from the edges of your image from internally reflecting back into your image. Black boarders therefore enhacing the blacks on your image. I also want to add that all the tweaks I am listing here also improve colour saturation and clarity since it is improving the constrast of the image overall.

    3) As I mentioned before calibrate the z2 using Avia (for your NTSC material). Once I did this the colour reproduction, the blacks, everything was instantly more vivid. There definately is a reason why everyone here goes on about calibrating your projectorr. Definately a must.

    4) Another important thing is your connection type. As i said before, I am really critical of how graphics look on my projector from my xbox. I originally used an official Microsoft High Def pack and noticed vertical banding but everything else looked fine. I wasnt until my Monster component cables came that I realized what I was missing. The colour was again improved on, the contrast (and hence the black reproduction) was improved also and no vertical banding. Some people believe that the quality of your cables does not really affect things but I believe that is true when you are viewng an image on a 36 inche tv or something (since I didnt see any improvement when i used it there). When deaaling with such a big screen using a projector however, the Monster cables are definately a vast improvement.

    So thats my two cents but you must remember I use my z2 primarily for my NTSC xbox and I am 100% satisfied with the results. Initially I was like you but through experience I know that the above points I have listed will definately do the job when it comes to reproducing accurate black levels . :thumbsup:
     
  9. booker

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    Thanks, really i was really concern about this and no one was able to give me a answer like you did.

    From the screen i find on the internet the pic is really good, but once again, you can´t judge picture quality from screenshots, on the other hand is the only visible thing i have since i don´t have any store who demo those projectors, i have to order from internet without even looking at the,

    This will be my frist projector so i won´t be dissapointed at all. I´m sure about that.
    I already take notice of this info and i´m definalty going to do all those things you mention.

    Thanks for the info! really apreciate!.

    Ohh one more question, i was watching a video where the guy close and open the Lens, it seems does with the lens close you got a darker pic than 100% open. Where do you have your lens? it seems this also improved Blacks.
     
  10. Omega Prime

    Omega Prime
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    Booker, i believe the z2 is a great first projector. It was my first and I am still happy with it 6 months down the line. I just want to maximise its potential now, hence my venture into the HTPC route :D

    Regarding the lens aperture (iris). Over the months I have experimented and tweaked how much it is opened against lamp mode (fully bright or semi bright) and to tell you the truth I really can't see any reason to justify wether it does improve blacks more or not. If i have the lamp full on (which gives a brighter image) and I have the iris wide open I tend to close it a bit to give a more natural look. If i have the lamp on semi-bright ( which gives a darker image) i tend to have the iris almost fully opened. My point is it depends on your perception of what you like and how things look. Other people on this forum from what I have read thinks differently. The bottom line though is once you do all of the things i have advised before, the iris will have little to no real affect on the good blacks you would be obtaining. :)

    Good luck with your first projector when you get it!
     
  11. booker

    booker
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    BTW, what screen are you using? Gray High Contrast? or wich type?
     
  12. MWD

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    Hi people,

    Im interested in what screen you use too and also how far Omega is down the line of a hcpc. I have a z2 myself and at the mo Im using my xbox as the player. I half tempted to go down the easy DVI route of a Sammy 945/950 but am curious about the extra quality of a hcpc and the bonus of jukebox, etc.

    Are you using any current kit or buying all new?

    Have to say that Ive done a fair bit of reading regarding hcpc and have confused myself further. I currently have a MSI KT4 Ultra mobo, XP 1500+, 512RAM and an MSI GF4 Ti4800SE graphics card which has dvi out. Any idea if any of this could be used to start a hcpc?

    Oh and to answer above, the z2 is great for playing games on the xbox - suggest you try burnout 3 if you haven't played it - awesome on big screen.

    Tara
     
  13. Penfold73

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    Omega if you are putting 480p into the Z2 then it has to re-scale the image to 720p (the native resolution of its panels). The only way to avoid rescaling the image would be to use only a section of the lcd panels measuring 480x640 pixels. I don't know how to do that, but I don't think that's what you're after. Essentially I think you are looking for a better way of rescaling the image than the z2's scaler. In that case you can try an external dedicated scaler (like the ones from ISCAN and Lumagen).
     
  14. Joe Fernand

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    Penfold73

    There does seem to be some odd maths going on around here :)

    You cant actually 'bypass' the Video Processing in all but a very few (if any) Projectors - what you can do is send the Projector a Native Resolution and Optimal Refresh rate signal and then using an appropriate test patterns ensure the Projector is not over or under scanning the signal.

    Unless all of your source material is encoded at 1280x720 there needs to be resizing taking place somewhere in the signal chain - doing the processing before the signal gets into the projector can be beneficial (if the external processing is superior to the on-board processing).

    Keep in mind though that decent processing can add a delay to the video signal so you may find you 'interactivity' between hand and eye has to alter slightly for game playing.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  15. mr ooops

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    works great, i was happy with just a rgb connection then when i got component it was awesome, plus im selling a z2 in the classified section :smashin:
     
  16. Omega Prime

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    Booker and MWD: I am using a Draper 92 inch High Defination Contast Grey screen (manual).

    I also own one of those Samsung HD950 dvd payers which I connect to my z2 thru DVI. Now I cannot stress this enough, I contrast and the resolution from this player is outstanding on the z2. It is a definate must have for anyone since it converts normal Pal DVD 520i resolutions to 720p and 1080i resolutions which are just breathtaking.

    Penfold73 and Joe Fernand: That is correct, I am looking for an external dedicated scaler. I thought thats what a HTPC was but I am just beginning to learn about it. I want something that can essentailly take my 480i/480p input from my tv/xbox and scale it to the 720p panels of the z2 therefore bypassing the z2's internal scaler. Any ideas or recommendations???
     
  17. booker

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    wow i just realize that...

    so, if i play a movie/game wich is 480p the projector will have to re scaled to 720, how does the picture looks? how does the scaler of the z2 work, do you have pixelations, etc ?
     
  18. Omega Prime

    Omega Prime
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    No. Booker, no pixilation and i sit about 1.5 times the screen width away from the screen. I think the picture is crisp but I just want to see how it looks without the z2 having to scale the image, since I have heard from others on the forum that the image is supposed to be even better. But as it stands the Picture quality is great IMO. :D
     
  19. booker

    booker
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    Omega,
    I did some research and i find the same Screen on my country :) is around 300usd but if u say it really help the blacks, is a good investment

    one more question, though, does this screen dim too much the picture or is a nice balance? since the Z2 don´t have too much contrast ratio i´m worry about this as well.
     
  20. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Omega Prime

    We supply a fair few Projector and Plasma customers with external Video Processor's - Lumagen and DVDO being our main stay products.

    Lumagen are currently running a 'Summer Promotion' on the entry level VisionDVI processor at £695.00 ex delivery.

    The VisionDVI will output at up to 1366x768P and can be user programmed to Output the 1280x720 at 50/60Hz signal that will provide the Native Rate pixel matching you want to achieve.

    Its worth considering what a more expensive Lumagen can offer you in the longer term by way of HD processing of 1080i signals to 1280x720P; though your looking at upping the expenditure to over £1.2K.

    Any questions please shout.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  21. MWD

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    Cheers for the response Omega - where did you get your Sammy 950? Multiregion? Also I hear there are sometimes problems with the length of dvi cable you use, what do you have?

    Any piccies of it all working?

    Cheers
     
  22. booker

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    one last question for all Z2 owners, does the LCD projectors suffer from the respond Time as the LCD monitors does?

    Does anyone of you experience Delay when gaming coz this? or the Respond time is good?

    thanks and sorry if this has been asked before.
     
  23. mr ooops

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    no delay at all, but i feel wheezie playing fps games on such a big screen, but am fine playing racers etc on it
     
  24. Omega Prime

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    Booker: In my opinion, the contrast ratio seems fine on the screen. I knew that the z2 didnt have a high contrast ratio hence why I got a grey high contrast screen to definarely help things. On my previous matt white screen the lack of contrast definately hurt. With a well calibrated projector and the right environment, the contrast on the picture will be high. Not a problem at all.

    Joe Fernand: Thanks for the tip. Interestingly enough i was reading up about the DVDO Iscan HD not so long ago. Do you stock this product, if so how much?? BTW anything over £1k is out of my price reach at the mo :)

    MWD: Yes, my Samsung 950 us multiregional. Got it ages ago when it first came out. It was from the web though. Sorry but can't remember where exactly, I'll have to look for the receipt and I will let you know. I am still using the packaged 3m DVI cabble that came with it. I was tempted to get a longer cable but i read up on the forums about white spots occurring when longer wires (more than 6metres I think) were being used. I have had no problems at all with the player. The onboared chip really does a good job of upscaling to 720p and 1080i images but to tell you the truth I really cant tell the difference between the two :rolleyes:

    Booker: In all my games I have played on my z2 (over 60+ xbox games) i have never experienced any type of lag what so ever between sound and video or video and controller. Whats wierd though is that just a few days ago I got an NTSC copy of Star wars episode 3; Revenge of the Sith and there was a noticable lagg in audio and video (about 1 second out). In addition this game is supposed to be 480p but it shows terribel on the z2 (jaggies and flickering galore). Everything just looks washed out. Its wierd. :mad: Has anyone with this game had any problems on their projector??

    So besides that 1 game out of 60 plus, no lagging. Respond time is good.

    Fragmaster: FPS make me feel whoozy too :devil: Halo 2 on a 92 inch screen is wierd but I love it :D
     
  25. Joe Fernand

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    Omega Prime

    You have a PM.

    Best regards

    Joe

    PS Its always fun 'watching' someone playing a Game on a big screen - they can never stand/sit still or resist moving the controller around as the image moves.
     
  26. booker

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    oh ok, thanks for the info, i´m definatly getting the z2 then... :D
     
  27. booker

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    Motion Blur is an issue or is an exagerated issue?

    so far the only "setbacks" are black levels and VB (both can be tweaked to get them better).

    the only remaining question is, how bad is the motion blur, this sound horrible, specially for gaming, but it could sound worst than is actually is.
     
  28. Omega Prime

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    Joe Fernand: Thanks for the PM. Will look into it.

    Booker: I have not experienced any motion blur what so ever on this projector. Gaming in my opinion is perfect. Fast moving games like racing games are not blurred in any way; just crisp and vibrant. Nothing beats you actually seeing it for yourself though because only you can really judge. I wish all demo projectors were properly calibrated and setup in the right environment so that when potential customers viewed them they would see the best picture possible. Oh well .
     
  29. booker

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    Omega, Your word is enough, if i ask so many question is coz i´m saving a lot of money, on my country this kind of "toys" are really expensive and honeslty i want to make a good investment and i don´want to buy something and realize i made a bad chocie since i didn´t make a good research job ;)

    On the other hand i know this kind of questions could be "annoying" after a while, but i think you should understand my situation, not having a store to look this projector and only based my purchase by user opinion are really hard. More hard since 1 say White and the other says black.

    Anyways, i´m going for the Z2 over the 4805 since Z2 is HD, it has some flaws but the4805 has it as well. beside your comments are encourging.

    Thanks for the info, really.
     
  30. Omega Prime

    Omega Prime
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    Booker: :lesson: Your questions ain't annoying at all. Everyone who wants to make an informed decision about buying a projector has gone through this. Anyway the z2 IMO is a great projector and when you finally get yours I will be happy to give any advice (like calibration settings or setup equipment).

    Good luck
     

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