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Calibrating plasma for SKY+ (part 2)

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by StooMonster, Dec 23, 2003.

  1. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    I had Gordon calibrate my plasma, and the DVD inputs (480p and 576p) via component are awesome; really pleased with results.

    Sky+? I have been tweeking it every day since!
    You see I also have an iScan Ultra in the mix, which does great things for Sky+ on my Panny5 50" plasma.

    The calibration consisted of running my Arcam FMJ DV27+ through the iScan Ultra to the screen and calibrating that. Results looked virtually as good as DV27+ going into the screen via component. Gordon said the Arcam DVD player gives out as near as damn it a reference signal so is a good calibrator.

    Once greyscale calibration was complete, in went the Sky+ signal. First thing we had to do was switch the geometry back to my previous settings (I had calibrated via THX Optimiser with same hardware setup) as Sky+ was way over to one side and needed centreing. Secondly my Sky+ obviously have a red bloom because everything is tinged red; and I don't mean a little, I mean a lot (yellows are oranges, blues are purples, greens are yellow).

    So, I've been messing around with the greyscale on the Advanced Settings by removing high and low red, and that has good results; have also changed White Balance to cold too. But I can't seem to get it quite right, yet.

    I have a plan...
    Record some programmes over Christmas that I have on R2 DVD (must be PAL). Play them back on Sky+ and pause at certain points and then spin DVD up to point and then edit the greyscale of the picture via the Advanced Settings until Sky+ picture looks just like DVD one. :D

    Gordon, I have a plan for how to get large areas of the screen to white and a grey out of Sky box so you can cabilrate at least two parts of greyscale.

    StooMonster
     
  2. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Stoo: If you can do that then we can get better result. For others reading this I can tell you that although an Iscan does do de-interlcaing well it's a real pig to configure with Set Top Boxes and plasma's. Stoo had good settings before I arrived which is not often the case.
     
  3. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Well, firstly the recording Sky+ and comparing to a PAL DVD sounds good in theory -- and was easy enough to switch between the two, but after playing for two or three hours was given up as impossible.

    You see, I had a fundamental erroneous assumption: Sky+ pushing too much red. I had been editing the Advanced Settings' White Balance (greyscale) by decreasing Low and High Red.

    Back a step...
    I dusted down Digital Video Essentials PAL and NTSC editions, which had been sitting on my shelf for a couple of months

    I spent a good few hours tweaking the Contrast and Brightness and Sharpness of my plasma for DVD player using these discs; and with the lovely ISF calibrated greyscale already set by Gordon the picture quality results are stunning, even better than before. :clap: w00t!

    Digressing...
    Also got my Digital Sound Level Meter out and recalibrated sound to exactly equal decibels from all speakers, even the sub-woofer (which had been a challenge in the past).

    Next step
    Decided to have another go at Sky+, but using PAL DVE through iScan Ultra via my DVD player. First thing I did was reset plasma's inputs and then the iScan Ultra, then I noticed a setting I was not expecting...

    ...SATURATION +6 on iScan Ultra. :eek:

    Removed this, reset plasma to ignor my greyscale adjustments, and it looked better already.

    Gordon mentions "although an Iscan does do de-interlcaing well it's a real pig to configure with Set Top Boxes and plasmas", and I will agree with this.

    Using PAL DVE it took several hours to configure the Contrast and Brightness on both the iScan Ultra and the plasma to get the full range of black through white with a nice gradient; using "below black" and "above white" to set maximum and minimum.

    Then used PAL DVE and THX Optimiser to set Sharpness on plasma and Sharpness: Edge Enhancement and Sharpness: Detail Enhancement on the iScan Ultra; which took a good while to play with.

    Result
    Sky+ looks really good: nicely balanced colour, excellent fleshtones, no solarisation, no colour blooming, sharp text. Every channel and programme is much improved. Even Mrs StooMonster is impressed with results! :smoke:

    Compared recorded Sky+ to DVD and the differences are now negligible.

    Conclusion
    It wasn’t red push from Sky+ and therefore the greyscale after all, but a combination of having a value in Saturation and the different Brightness and Contrast settings.

    Gordon, hope my previous post didn’t put anybody off ISF as the greyscale calibration on three inputs has produced excellent results :smashin:; and it was my error in assuming that although the setting on my iScan Ultra and plasma worked before calibration, they definitely didn’t afterwards.

    A suggestion would be to say, next time calibrate with iScan Ultra’s settings all set to 0, at least the Saturation one; because the calibration was performed with Saturation on I think it may have been slightly distorted (concluded my using DVE’s red, green and blue filters) although one would assume that RGB would have been equally boosted by an increase in Saturation.

    StooMonster
     
  4. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Stoo: Good points all well made. I think leaving sat at 0 and doing white and black point should be the solution prior to greyscale. I'll try that next time I am in Iscan territory.

    Gordon
     
  5. jmack

    jmack
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    stoo are you going to post your settings for plasma and iscan so we can try them?

    i know each setup is different but will give us something to go on.
    tried DVE .
     
  6. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    DISCLAIMER
    These settings are for my equipment only, and may look terrible on your equipment.

    Settings will vary not only because of hardware, but because:
    • ISF Calibration of greyscale, or lack of it
    • Hours used on screen at different brightness
    • Quality of cables: video and power
    Hope this helps you get the best out of your plasma and iScan Ultra.


    Panasonic TH-50PHD5 plasma
    Input: RGBHV into VGA from iScan Ultra
    Picture
    Picture Mode: Normal (a)
    Contrast: 20
    Brightness: 5
    Sharpness: 0 (b)
    White Balance: Normal (c)
    Advanced settings: Off
    Advanced settings (d)
    W/B High R: 0
    W/B High B: 0
    W/B Low R: 0
    W/B Low B: 0
    Gamma: 2.5
    Picture Pos./Size (e)
    H-Pos: 0
    H-Size: 0
    V-Pos: 0
    V-Size: 0
    Clock Phase: 0

    DVDO (Silicon Image) iScan Ultra
    Input: component from Sky+ RGBS via JS-Tech RGB2YUV convertor
    Output: RGBHV

    Brightness: -16
    Contrast: -04
    Saturation: 00
    Hue: N/A
    YC Delay: 00
    Sharpness | Edge Enhancement: 00 (f)
    Sharpness | Fine Detail: +06 (g)
    Chroma Filter: ON

    Sky+ v2
    Output: RGBS scart to JS-Tech RGB2YUV convertor
    Contrast: Medium (h)

    Notes
    Notes and callouts describing more detail about the settings:
    • DVE suggests that one should use "Movie" rather than "Normal", but as I have ISF Calibrated greyscale this one works for me.
    • For Sharpness on plasma read Edge Enhancement, on DVD inputs I have this set to -04; but here there is a need to balance between "ghost ringing" and bandwidth (grey mush rather than thin whites lines in DVE).
    • White Balance is the greyscale bias, should never be anything other than Normal (red and blue versions are way off); and even better ISF Calibration will change Normal setting to be correct.
    • This is where you can try your own greyscale calibration, with DVE's colour filters; but beware it will also impact the Brightness and Contrast.
    • How to set geometry and size for Sky so no overscan. Firstly use DVE to set same as a DVD with "L" shapes in the corners and 2.5% overscan (so you can see the 5% text on the screen). Secondly scroll the picture to the right, with no resizing, so that right side edge is 5% and left edge is 0%; on my Sky Digital this gives the perfect balance between maximum pixel useage and overscan. Alternative method for second part is to scroll the picture left and right whilst the info box is up (press up or down whilst on a channel) and guesstimate or even measure the screen and ensure the info box is in the centre; once info box is in the centre, the Sky image is centreed.
    • Edge Enhancement is still "work in progress", but I am happy with this setting. I used to have this set to -04 before ISF Calibration and having a copy of DVE. However, it can start to make things blurred if this is on; particularly is plasma has a negative setting too.
    • Have found that this helps with faces in middle distance, however, had some issues with patterns (e.g. a brick wall in perspective) when I had it set to +08 therefore still a work in progress too.
    • I was one of the originators of setting this to Low with plasmas, however, with the above settings I thought it best to get the median settings and it looks better.
      [/list=a]StooMonster
     
  7. jmack

    jmack
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    thanks stoo

    i bit different to mine

    i had contrast -17 and brightness -17

    but was componsating with the iscan set at +1 and 0 .

    will try out your setting for a while

    thanks once again.

    suprised you have all advanced settings off, as i can it can be quite good for some reds .
     
  8. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    The advanced settings are off as they are adjusted in service menu to be accurate. User menu's are offsets from hidden settings that are not generally accessable. This is one of the reasons that using Stoo's settings you are not likely to get the same results. Hope this is of some use.

    Gordon
     
  9. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Thanks Gordon, and also why Picture Pos./Size settings are zero too -- they've been set by Gordon and saved in the Service Menu. (Before this, they were hugely different numbers, set like I describe above in point e.)

    StooMonster
     

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