Dynamic tone mapping and projectors

alebonau

Well-known Member
As a a bit of a back ground i am an early adopter for 4k uhd from day one of release of the format and players and projectors capable. I have owned two projectors in jvc x7000 without dynamic tone mapping. and also in the last year a projector in the jvc n7 that didnt have dynamic tone mapping initially but has now via a firmware update. In 3-4 years I used work arounds without tone mapping including to tone map externally via devices. Keen een to talk about dynamic tone mapping for projectors and not only the benefits but talk through some of the other arguments I see mentioned on this site. The below just some I noticed in a epson 9400 thread.

Dont need DTM slider is all you need ? I would question this, as this is something i found exploring in helping couple of folk with the epson 9400 and HDR content. a great example is mathew McConaughey scene at start of interstellar.... the scenes initially look great then come to his scene - its early morning pitch black and cant see anything on screen....so we slide the slider and so can see some thing ... then there are other scenes that look out of whack... so yeah am sure you could find a point on the slider that looks good for interstellar overall... with some playing around... but what does that mean for next movie you watch... so you play around with the slider again. thats where dynamic tone mapping steps in.

its been a revelation literally for me. having used two projectors without it to see what a boon and literally set forget it is once have it (DTM).

I have 95 nits or 100 nits ? or ~30FL and thats all I need. This certainly helps. I achieve 100nits and 100% this helps with HDR. and those folks with closer to 50-75 nits i would say struggle with HDR and uhd. unless they get a calibrator or they themselves know how to best set their projector to suit. you can calibrate to get some benefit of HDR with as little as 22 FL I beleive otherwise will find just some things just too dark. This is a side issue though to tone mapping. ie having the nits to do gain benefit for HDR. This is basic setup of a projector for 4k uhd and HDR.

I have a panasonic player and that can tone map ? I have had previous gen ub900 and current gen ub9000 and can say without a shadow of doubt these help... where they help is in what is called static tone mapping. ie look at the metadata of a disc and then do tone mapping to suit. this has its limits though. often the meta data is just wrong or plain missing. yeah beleive it or not this is more often then realise... its better than nothing at all, definitely of benefit . but doesnt help where peak luminance actually varies in scenes or even frame by frame and neither helps with other sources like stuff from media sources like apple TV 4K or other brand uhd blu-ray player, or htpc or media servers or gaming consoles.

I have a vertex unit and can force DV or LLDV (dolby vision tone mapping) ? Not something I have explored personally. Mainly because with a couple of goes of using fury devices the hdmi issues give me a serious aversion to explore. I also wonder how effective as its only going to work for dolby vision sources and media ? it relies on the source gear to tone map. Plus it doesnt really know what capability of your display is ? I'll let others talk through this approach further...

My own conclusions so far,

Tone mapping needs to be dynamic, and needs to exist in either in the projector or in a separate device that handles all HDR signals.
folks perhaps need to experience what dynamic tone mapping is to appreciate...the lack of having to fiddle (scene by scene, frame by frame, movie by movie) ..the set forget nature... dynamic tone mapping is indeed not only looking at meta data is appreciative of your projection conditions (nits can achieve) but also analysing either frame by frame or scene by scene of the disc to tone map.

Tone mapping should have been dynamic from day one of 4k uhd and projectors. it just wasnt. hopefully it is the case going forward with projector releases
(only jvc builds in, LG has something on the the horizon) and more add on devices (we have madvr envy and lumagen both costing far more than many projectors themselves) that do all this for you feeding a tone mapped signal to the projector.

Keen for this thread perhaps for folks to share their thoughts. their experiences with tone mapping and managing without... This is really quite key to enjoying the best we can manage with projectors and 4k UHD and HDR. So please share your thoughts...
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
I agree. DTM is mandatory really; especially for projectors moving forwards.

It was an obvious mis-step by everyone in the PJ industry apart from JVC and will be corrected moving forwards on newer models from Sony and Epson, which will feature someform of DTM, even if its just basic.

However I think they can be forgiven. HDR was fairly new then and even now, we don't have a standard for HDR content on projectors. HDR content is mastered for TVs, specifically normally on OLED reference panels. So mapping HDR to projection is always going to take a bit of guess work, but the increased colour gamut of HDR is a real benefit. Then take into account the emergence of HGIG, Dolby Vision.. Its all very complex.

One thing is for sure and thats PJ companies need to stop cheaping out on their processing power and pack enough compute power to allow for flexible firmware updates to address and update standards like TVs do. For example, some OLED TVs got an 'upgrade' to the new HGIG standard recently. JVC showed its possible to a degree so it'd be great if moving forwards everyone else did the same.

I'd love to see a calibrated OLED next to a calibrated JVC with frame adapt HDR and see just how close the HDR picture is on the JVC to the OLED. I've hear some users manage to get it pretty close.
 

bytehoven

Active Member
I tested all of the HDR mapping solutions with my JVC x990/rs640.

The ub820 was really a game changer at being able to quickly adjust the dynamic slider to boost the upper end of the PQ curve, without clipping highlights.

DV LLDV took the image quality to the next level with DV disc content and DV streaming on the atv4k. It also did very well with HDR10 content on disc, but the problematic titles that challenge all mapping solutions, were more difficult to accommodate with DV LLDV because of the fixed st2084 custom curve. There were no easy ways to tweak the st2084 curve on the fly. This is an area I'd love to test with the 790/915es, to see if the low, mid and high DHDRE adjustments provided a good offset for challenging content. DV LLDV just needs a solid reference 700-2000 nit curve to provide outstanding performance.

The Lumagen pro was the king. Although DV LLDV was equally as good with some DV streaming and disc content that could pull a P5 layer.

The tone mapping quality benefits ranked as follows...
... in projector st2084 settings
... in projector custom curves (ChadB, dominic, etc)
... ub820 SDR bt2020
... DV LLDV + best in projector custom curves (ChadB hi and low, and one of my Frankenstein st2084 settings)
... Lumagen Pro

Imho, most people could be very happy with ub820 mapping performance and flexibility.

DV LLDV is a cost effective alternative to the Lumagen, which presents the nuanced qualities in specular highlights. Once you see specular highlights rendered via DV LLDV or a Lumagen, it's hard to go back.

Enter OLED ... my OLED 77cx experience so far blows all of it out if the water.

Perfect black outs and lower gamma response. Night scenes look like night.

Perfect specular highlights and well reproduced midtones. Day scenes look and feel like day.

NO gamma artifacts when quickly transitioning from dark to bright scenes, like you see with any low dynamic range display, using gamma manipulation too boost highlights and upper tonal ranges during dark scenes.

NO image pumping or jumps, due to dynamic iris or laser dimming, needed to achieve the illusion of increased dynamic range.

The only down side to OLED ... the perception of image size being reduced, which is a major stumbling block for some HT fans. I have been able to get past this barrier because I find all of the other pros out weigh this consideration. I have also found positioning the panel closer restores enough forced image size perspective.
 

alebonau

Well-known Member
However I think they can be forgiven. HDR was fairly new then and even now, we don't have a standard for HDR content on projectors. HDR content is mastered for TVs, specifically normally on OLED reference panels. So mapping HDR to projection is always going to take a bit of guess work, but the increased colour gamut of HDR is a real benefit. Then take into account the emergence of HGIG, Dolby Vision.. Its all very complex.

I agree can be forgiven for the 1st gen machines and still getting to grip with things, but in many cases eg epson, sony and jvc we are now on 2nd or even third gen ! since ... so surely time to now get with the program :D

agr
One thing is for sure and thats PJ companies need to stop cheaping out on their processing power and pack enough compute power to allow for flexible firmware updates to address and update standards like TVs do. For example, some OLED TVs got an 'upgrade' to the new HGIG standard recently. JVC showed its possible to a degree so it'd be great if moving forwards everyone else did the same.

ee 100% ... some opportunity still for add on devices ... but I so wish more affordable rather than the unobtainable pricing that mad vr any and lumagen charge for entry...

I'd love to see a calibrated OLED next to a calibrated JVC with frame adapt HDR and see just how close the HDR picture is on the JVC to the OLED. I've hear some users manage to get it pretty close.
be interesting in deed. I just watched sicario...last time i watched was with my non native jvc without tone mapping. gosh watching it on jvc now with tone mapping what an amazing job it does. this was evidenced watching the opening on blu-ray shortly after. HDR just adds so much to those bright day light scenes even !

I tested all of the HDR mapping solutions with my JVC x990/rs640.

great to read !

The ub820 was really a game changer at being able to quickly adjust the dynamic slider to boost the upper end of the PQ curve, without clipping highlights.
agree worked a lot better than oppo's fail solution that they never really got to complete. I feel papa's work and in conjunction with JVC at one point helped them to finally pull through a DTM solution...

DV LLDV took the image quality to the next level with DV disc content and DV streaming on the atv4k. It also did very well with HDR10 content on disc, but the problematic titles that challenge all mapping solutions, were more difficult to accommodate with DV LLDV because of the fixed st2084 custom curve. There were no easy ways to tweak the st2084 curve on the fly. This is an area I'd love to test with the 790/915es, to see if the low, mid and high DHDRE adjustments provided a good offset for challenging content. DV LLDV just needs a solid reference 700-2000 nit curve to provide outstanding performance.

I so wish hdfury would do a JVC style add on switcher box for all your media sources and do on the fly tone mapping way JVC do. not just limited to DV...am sure as hdfury it would be more affordably priced than madvr or lumagen :)

The Lumagen pro was the king. Although DV LLDV was equally as good with some DV streaming and disc content that could pull a P5 layer.

am sure the lumagen is king ! good to hear the DV solution works

DV LLDV is a cost effective alternative to the Lumagen, which presents the nuanced qualities in specular highlights. Once you see specular highlights rendered via DV LLDV or a Lumagen, it's hard to go back.

definitely sounds like a good option... I just so wish hdfury would put some effort into a DTM solution that is affordable...

Enter OLED
appreciate your thoughts on the OLED, though lets stick to projectors :)
 
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Luminated67

Distinguished Member
It’s weird that despite the fact I know my OLED produces a better image for all the above reasons I still much prefer the image I see from the projector screen and size is only part of this. Maybe I’m old school and I’m not willing to embrace the future but for me it mimics the experience in the cinema which brings happy memories.

I have to admit my 4K collection is very small, for no other reason than building a movie collection can be done very cheaply secondhand with 1080P and the image a lot of the time is damn near as good. Would we all be in agreement that probably gaming in where HDR really excels and with movies it’s still less perfected.

I know some say probably rightly that HDR benefits from higher native contrast but from my experience when Gordon hooked up his Lumagen the difference I saw in the Mark Wahlberg movie Deepwater Horizon was remarkable, of course Gordon had to highlight the changes at the start to my untrained eye but from that point on it was incredible. Not to say the image and scene without it was in anyway bad but it’s the extra detail in the shadows that are missed.

Personally I think a Lumagen is one of those items that can transform what you see but it comes at a cost that is a difficult pill to swallow for most myself included.
 
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alebonau

Well-known Member
I have to admit my 4K collection is very small, for no other reason than building a movie collection can be done very cheaply secondhand with 1080P and the image a lot of the time is damn near as good. Would we all be in agreement that probably gaming in where HDR really excels and with movies it’s still less perfected.

we do enjoy gaming via the xbox one X but pretty happy with movies to be honest.... I am just wowed upon wowed :D sicario today... the daylight scenes just checking the blu-ray at the end opening scenes via blu-ray just look so flat ! not to say prior to looking at via 4k uhd and HDR i wouldn't have been wowed in the past :D

I know some say probably rightly that HDR benefits from higher native contrast but from my experience when Gordon hooked up his Lumagen the difference I saw in the Mark Wahlberg movie Deepwater Horizon was remarkable, of course Gordon had to highlight the changes at the start to my untrained eye but from that point on it was incredible. Not to say the image and scene without it was in anyway bad but it’s the extra detail in the shadows that are missed.

I'm with you... am not one to say only benefits higher contrast :) but yeah not to say without it is bad... but yes it is extra detail isn it ... thats lost without it ? I wish I could afford a lumagen :O

Personally I think a Lumagen is one of those items that can transform what you see but it comes at a cost that is a difficult pill to swallow for most myself included.

yep definitely and no doubt can transform but yeah for me the freebie jvc version will just have to do :D
 

bytehoven

Active Member
...lets stick to...

It's all good. People can do whatever makes them happy. I made my investment to support where I feel the greatest innovation will come in the future, while being able too enjoy current tech.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
It's all good. People can do whatever makes them happy. I made my investment to support where I feel the greatest innovation will come in the future, while being able too enjoy current tech.

I think its nice to see the perspective of someone who has switched from PJ to OLED.

I did the same and although I do think OLED is just far far superior, the 77'' panel size despite me moving seating 2.5-2.7m close is still not cinematic enough IMO. Its okay for main seating position but it doesn't have that home cinema vibe quite yet. It might be a height issue tho and I need to mount it a bit higher. In my small room it is nearing the sweet spot.


What puzzles me is why 88'' OLED for the more richer people on the forum aren't in the conversation.
If a JVC NX9 costs 17k or a Sony lazer once you add in a lumagen and a screen.. you do get fairly close to the price of an 88'' OLED panel. if people are only throwing 100'' - 110' images.. 88.. is a decent sell IMO.

88 vs 100
88 vs 110

Then again LG's 88inch panels can't be wall mounted and have a few weird design choices like being attached to that awful audio stand.

ok if we're going over 110'' i totally see why you'd pick size over OLED.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
It’s weird that despite the fact I know my OLED produces a better image for all the above reasons I still much prefer the image I see from the projector screen and size is only part of this. Maybe I’m old school and I’m not willing to embrace the future but for me it mimics the experience in the cinema which brings happy memories.

I have to admit my 4K collection is very small, for no other reason than building a movie collection can be done very cheaply secondhand with 1080P and the image a lot of the time is damn near as good. Would we all be in agreement that probably gaming in where HDR really excels and with movies it’s still less perfected.

I know some say probably rightly that HDR benefits from higher native contrast but from my experience when Gordon hooked up his Lumagen the difference I saw in the Mark Wahlberg movie Deepwater Horizon was remarkable, of course Gordon had to highlight the changes at the start to my untrained eye but from that point on it was incredible. Not to say the image and scene without it was in anyway bad but it’s the extra detail in the shadows that are missed.

Personally I think a Lumagen is one of those items that can transform what you see but it comes at a cost that is a difficult pill to swallow for most myself included.

Maybe its also the fact you have watched a 65'' OLED and not a 77 or 88'' panel.

The 77'' panel slowly bridges the gap in a home envrionment between a TV and a cinema display. IMO It is not there. Its not big enough... but its closer than ever and makes me appreciate the film more.

I used to think its something about projection.. and maybe it is... but i think its moreso something about size. I do agree with your sentiments when apply it to our 65'' OLEd. Its just a TV.. same with 65'' 902B.. but the 77'' OLEd.. i take a bit more seriously.

Still I do not think it matches the same cinematic impact as a bigger projector because I like the size of the sound to match the projection.

The size increase is still fairly dramatic. some positioning of trhe screen can alleviate this but nothing really beats:

i think against 95'' its fairly substantial

and 110'' makes 77'' look postage stamp sized.

so I do think size is still the most important factor and although 77'' isn't small, I make no mistake in saying it isn't big either.

is the PQ difference worth it? IMO.. yes and no. Yes its worth it in that.. well the PQ is in a different stratosphere imo.. but the experience and immersion and wow factor isn't there at 77'' IMO. instead its more wow factor for the quality and sharpness and colours and HDR and specular highlight detail.

I personall think both go hand in hand. OLED is reference monitor + good for one seated watching but projector is good for movie theater experience with the family.


Once we reach JVC N5/N7 levels in a treated room, I am told the blacks and contrast become perfect and OLED-like.


also a pro to projector I've found is your iris obviously adapts to lower lightoutput. so when a bright image comes on a projection screen.. i actually squint and feel more HDR impact than when I see it on the OLED. so in a way, projector HDR impact.. the QLED wow factor.. is better on a PJ.
 

Luminated67

Distinguished Member
^Sorry for OT.

Like I said I don’t think it’s size that’s the issue, at least not for me. The OLED gives a glossy finish to an image that’s not present with a screen, I will repeat the projector mimics the local cinema which is an experience I have treasured through my life.

Might be an age thing but for me I enjoy the OLED for watching TV programs etc but I always chose the projector for watching a movie.

It’s like CD vs vinyl, one is clinical and the other has emotion..... and the odd crackle. LOL
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
^Like I said I don’t think it’s size that’s the issue, at least not for me. The OLED gives a glossy finish to an image that’s not present with a screen, I will repeat the projector mimics the local cinema which is an experience I have treasured through my life.

Might be an age thing but for me I enjoy the OLED for watching TV programs etc but I always chose the projector for watching a movie.

Hmm true. I don't notice the gloss in a pitch black room which is how I view all my content but definitely do during the day.

Might keep an eye out for it.

Next year when JVC release new line of PJs, if I can find a room with appropriate throw distance to get 110'' image, I'll do a comparison of OLED vs JVC in a mostly treated room with ALR screen. Will be interesting to see the findings.
 

bytehoven

Active Member
To the degree we all might have confirmation bias as one of the check boxes Al noted, people sharing alternative approaches, can help others imagine alternative possibilities.

People are fortunate to have access and the resources for any of the HT solutions we discuss.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
I think its nice to see the perspective of someone who has switched from PJ to OLED.

I did the same and although I do think OLED is just far far superior, the 77'' panel size despite me moving seating 2.5-2.7m close is still not cinematic enough IMO. Its okay for main seating position but it doesn't have that home cinema vibe quite yet. It might be a height issue tho and I need to mount it a bit higher. In my small room it is nearing the sweet spot.


What puzzles me is why 88'' OLED for the more richer people on the forum aren't in the conversation.
If a JVC NX9 costs 17k or a Sony lazer once you add in a lumagen and a screen.. you do get fairly close to the price of an 88'' OLED panel. if people are only throwing 100'' - 110' images.. 88.. is a decent sell IMO.

88 vs 100
88 vs 110

Then again LG's 88inch panels can't be wall mounted and have a few weird design choices like being attached to that awful audio stand.

ok if we're going over 110'' i totally see why you'd pick size over OLED.

because you can’t have an AT screen with a TV so need to compromise on speaker positioning and also because you can get get a better picture with a projector 😉
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
because you can’t have an AT screen with a TV so need to compromise on speaker positioning and also because you can get get a better picture with a projector 😉


Agreed on the sound.

Disagree on the PQ. I don't see how PQ gets better than OLED since its the technology used as a reference monitor for creating the content.
 

Luminated67

Distinguished Member
because you can’t have an AT screen with a TV so need to compromise on speaker positioning and also because you can get get a better picture with a projector 😉

A more enjoyable authentic cinematic experience I would say.;)
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
A more enjoyable authentic cinematic experience I would say.;)

much more movie like.

OLED screens looks too shiny

you get a much better depth to a quality PJ image as well
 

Luminated67

Distinguished Member
much more movie like.

OLED screens looks too shiny

you get a much better depth to a quality PJ image as well

I think the young enthusiast will embrace the newer tech but in much the same way as audio enthusiasts the preferred source is always vinyl and turntable.
 

3rdignis

Active Member
I think projection would be better of if 4k bluray discs had adopted everything except hdr as many have said although there would be no room for tv's to improve into.

If you want to see a projection world where dtm is not needed check out blade runner 2049 with dtm turned off (max 200 nits) or sdr rec 709 footage on spears and munsel uhd
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
I think projection would be better of if 4k bluray discs had adopted everything except hdr as many have said although there would be no room for tv's to improve into.

If you want to see a projection world where dtm is not needed check out blade runner 2049 with dtm turned off (max 200 nits) or sdr rec 709 footage on spears and munsel uhd

agreed. Would have been nice if they had a TV colour rendition and one for projectors which had theincrease colour gamut and resolution without the crazy tone mapping
 

3rdignis

Active Member
Hdtvtest says br 2049 max 200nits.
So I have turned off tone mapping and using s and m uhd changed contrast to clip at 200nits not 350 so let's see?
 

alebonau

Well-known Member
Hdtvtest says br 2049 max 200nits.
So I have turned off tone mapping and using s and m uhd changed contrast to clip at 200nits not 350 so let's see?

i don’t understand why would turn tone mapping off though ? If have tone mapping, presume we are talking dynamic tone mapping it would detect this disc and do what planning to do automatically ?

If you want to see a projection world where dtm is not needed check out blade runner 2049 with dtm turned off (max 200 nits) or sdr rec 709 footage on spears and munsel uhd

if turn dtm off the projector has no opportunity to detect abs adjust ? And next disc put in would have to intervene again ? Why intervene presuming have dynamic tone mapping ? Also why limit to rec709 ? Be loosing on wcg ? Do clarify Incase am missing something
 

3rdignis

Active Member
I am no expert.
I have ub9000 which as mentioned goes off static disc metadata which it seems isn't always that accurate.
Turning off optimizer is only worthwhile trying if you know a better max nits than stated on disc
BR 2049 clipping at 200nits is different to how I have seen it many times so is difficult to accept as correct but it is definitely not dark.
I have increased contrast a lot and brightness by 1 does this effect anything other than clipping white point and crushing black?
 

alebonau

Well-known Member
I am no expert.
I have ub9000 which as mentioned goes off static disc metadata which it seems isn't always that accurate.
Turning off optimizer is only worthwhile trying if you know a better max nits than stated on disc
BR 2049 clipping at 200nits is different to how I have seen it many times so is difficult to accept as correct but it is definitely not dark.
I have increased contrast a lot and brightness by 1 does this effect anything other than clipping white point and crushing black?

no problem, totally understand ;) yes I have ub9000 as well and appreciate you are exploring alternative of not using :) interesting your thoughts without it.

with the S&M discs are you just setting up to clip abs crush because yes true dynamic tone mapping does not I believe clip and crush :)

this is something been shown with madvr dynamic tone mapping vs new Sony’s that don’t and using the S&M horse scene and the dark scene from revenant, rose window scene from aquaman.
 

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