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Projector FAQ/Resources/Calibration. Got a question? Check here first. Videos added

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by theritz, Jun 29, 2003.

  1. theritz

    Active Member

    Aug 17, 2002
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    The forum is visited on a regular basis by newcomers who have lots of questions to ask about digital projectors. The idea of developing a "FAQ" came from Kramer in conversation off the Forum some months ago, and was also recently mentioned on the forum.

    The "search" function is usually the best to find information on which projector you're interested in, but to get newcomers off to a good start, this thread sets out some common information about the current market projectors.

    AVForums Video Productions

    Tutorial on projector positioning, room used and adding anamorphic lens. - Coming Soon
    Tutorial on Basic projector calibration - Coming soon

    Bristol Show 2008, Sim2's Alan Roser discusses anamorphic projection and how it works - http://tv.avforums.com/index.php?videoid=5
    Bristol Show 2008, Steve Carter from JVC discusses the HD100 DILA projector - JVC at the Bristol Sound & Vision Show 2008 | AVForums

    Coming soon, Video reviews and further tutorials....


    First off, technical details about current popular projectors. Projector Central is a valuable resource for technical details and reviews of practically every projector on the market. Its throw-distance calculator has been known to be inaccurate, but is very useful for establishing general guidelines. The following details link directly to Projectorcentral.com, giving technical details for the following projectors:

    Panasonic AE100

    Panasonic AE300

    Panasonic AE500

    Sanyo Z1

    Sony HS2

    Sony HS10

    NEC HT1000

    Epson TW100

    Sharp Z90

    Sharp Z9000

    Sharp Z10000

    Sharp XV-Z200

    JVC Dila


    If you're interested in the technical specifications of a projector other than those listed above, then use Projector Centrals Search function Here .

    Looking for info about Sharp or JVC projectors - Retro of the forums is Tech Support @ Marata Vision, distributors of these projectors.

    Lots of info on the Hitachi pJTX100 in This Thread.


    G Lightfoot's excellent calibration thread can be found here with discussion here.


    Sorry folks - technology seems to be determined to prevent the "Quick Search Links" from working............ Pop along to the "Search" buton on the top of the Forum screen and Search away to your hearts content !!


    Sanyo PLV-Z4 lamp failure?
    Many have found this thread beneficial!


    The following links will bring you to threads on the forum which will give you details and opinions about issues which recur regularly on the Forum.

    Show me some general help with calibrating my projector

    Projector Lamp life - how not to kill the lamp in your projector

    Calibos Guide to getting rid of Dust

    Views on AE100 reliability

    AE100 Owners Register - Lots of Views

    Sanyo Z1/Panasonic AE300 views

    Setting up projector and screen

    Hoya FL-D Filter - What is it and what does it do

    Description of LCD / DLP / CRT

    HS10 and CC40R filter

    The Expert HS10 thread !

    Building a DIY Fixed Screen

    DIY Ceiling Mount

    Another DIY Ceiling Mount

    Vertical banding

    What's a ProV ?

    HT1000/MT8 comparison (inc screen shots)

    Sanyo Z1 mini review inc screen shots

    Review of Briteview Scaler

    General Technical Information

    Panasonic AE100 Manual (Pdf)

    Panasonic AE700 User Manual - Go Here and click on Operating Instructions.

    The links posted here lead off-site to explain technical issues of interest for those interested in Front-Projection.

    Glossary of Technical Terms

    Progressive Scan Explained in detail

    Front Projection Screen Design Guide

    Front Projection Screen Installation (PDF)

    Understanding Aspect Ratios (PDF)

    Projecting through a wall ? Look here for Optical Glass , search for "Precision Parallel Windows", direct link here

    Making a home-made screen using Blackout material ? Look here for info about covering a frame without wrinkles.

    What is 1:1 Pixel matching ?

    Infocus X1/Toshiba MT100 Detailed FAQ

    Want to know what DLP "Rainbows" look like ? Check this out.

    Dead/stuck pixel ?? Have a look a Chris Nightingale's solution here

    Want to check if you've got 1:1 pixel matching correctly ?Just copy Mark Rejhon's Test pattern from here and follow his instructions here. The Nokia Test Screen suite can be downloaded here.

    All you need to know about DVI is in this thread.

    See how DLP works here - remember that this is a promotional video by Texas Instruments..... also it's a 2Mb dload - 56kers beware.

    DLP Artifacts explained here

    Remote control battery for the AE100 is a Cr2525 from Jessops - £1.99 or less.

    Instructions on how to make a DIY Projector mount ? Download the instructions provided by mikeq here

    Explanation of different forms of video connectors - Click Here

    Different types of DVI Connection information here

    AE500 50hz via DVI - Click Here

    How to get the best from the AE500 - Click Here

    All you want to know about JVC DILA... Click Here

    Projectors with 1080p24

    Projectors with 1080p24 (sticky?) | AVForums

    Need Further Persuasion ?

    If you're having doubts about how effective front projection can be, or you've been disappointed by demonstrations in bright conditions in AV dealers, or you're "fence-sitting", unsure, as most of us were at one time, whether you should go for it or not, then have a good look at pictures of Calibos' set-up in this thread - or Meep's set-up (CRT Grrrr...) here, or Gary Lightfoot's setup here, just a few of the set-ups which might inspire/convince you of what can be done by members, and how brill it can look. Check out the members gallery for lots more.

    Click Here for a "show us yours" thread - lots of pictures of members setups, and lots of info........

    Making a Contribution

    Suggestions for additional topics which could be added to this thread, or links which you think would be useful in the FAQ would be very welcome - I'll be happy to edit the above and include any other links which people think would be useful.

    Once additional items have been included in this post, the individual additional posts will be deleted to keep the thread tidy, and an appropriate acknowledgement will be placed at the bottom of the thread.

    Thanks to Kramer for agreeing to maintain the thread.

    Sean G.

    Acknowledgement: Thanks to members for links posted here

    Messiah - Links and Quick Search

    mca - Panasonic AE100 Manual

    Branxx - Optical Glass source

    Gary Lightfoot - Covering a frame with Blackout

    Paulb - Infocus X1 FAQ Link

    Chris Nightingale - dead/stuck Pixel Link

    Clintc - Suggesting Mark Rejhons DILA pattern for 1:1 pixel matching, and Mark himself for thinking it up in the first place !!

    Nunew33 - link to his own post about DVI

    Anim - link to demo of how DLP works

    Retro - Sharp DLP

    mikeq - instructions on a DIY Projector Mount

    Messiah - Link to Types of Video Connectors

    Messiah - Link to Types of DVI Connections

    zoolap - Links to Pansonic and Hitachi projector information

    Calibos - The "Getting rid of Dust Blobs" thread

    Retro - Link to JVC Dila info

    zAndy1 - Link to Panasonic AE700 User Instructions

    Ekko Star - Link to Thread on projector lamp life
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2014
  2. Avi

    Distinguished Member

    Dec 30, 2004
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    I thought the following might also be useful in understanding some of the basic calibration concepts and display settings.

    A step by step beginners guide to calibration using some of the FREE software/test patterns available on different global forums -


    A basic guide to common display settings for HDMI level and colour space. What to use and why ?

    HDMI Enhanced Black Levels, xvYCC and RGB — Reviews and News from Audioholics

    FREE Blu ray and HD-DVD HD test pattern discs (Similar to DVE but free). Simply download and burn the image to a standard DVD. The link also inlcudes instructions on how to use the patterns.

    AVS HD 709 - Blu-ray, HD DVD, & MP4 Calibration - AVS Forum

    For PAL SD DVD the following free calibration and test material (cadence and motion assessment) is useful.

    [Software]MERIGHI TEST DVD favolosa tool di calibrazione freeware - Il Termitano Forum

    Details of the test material here -


    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
  3. KelvinS1965

    Distinguished Member

    Jan 3, 2006
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    I hope it's OK for me to post in this FAQ, but I've replied to a number of posts regarding dissapointing image quality (poor blacks mainly). Sometimes the poster seemed to expect that simply buying an expensive projector would guarantee a perfect image. I felt that this might be a good place to put some important links and comments, to explain why this isn't the case and offer some options to achieve a good result worthy of the cost of these machines. While anyone can have a projector if they have the space and a clear wall, getting a good image out of it requires a bit of effort and/or planning.

    I don't want to put off casual users who are more than happy with a budget projector and maybe using a plain wall as a screen.....there is undoubtably a certain 'wow' factor to watching films at a bigger size in your own home and it is fun. This post is aimed more at those who perhaps already have a good quality TV (Kuro, etc) and want to try to achieve a comparable image quality from a projector, or who are dissapointed with the image they are getting from their projector.

    For quality projectors such as the Infocus IN83, JVC HD750 and Sony VWL80 to produce high contrast ratios and stunning images, they need to be viewed in a completely dark room, which most posters seem to understand. However viewing these projectors in a completely dark, but a white walled/ceilinged room will mostly ruin what these projectors can achieve. It is not sufficient to be able to block off any external light as you are sat in a room with a light source of around 200 watts or more. Whenever there is a dark scene with some light areas in it, the light will bounce off the walls/ceiling and back to the screen and raise the black levels, making the image look washed out. To produce good dark scene performance and image depth, we need to minimise the amount of reflections from the room back to the screen. There are a number of ways to deal with this effect, though this list is not exhaustive it should be considered a starting point, with the easier options listed first:

    • Choose a screen that has a narrower viewing angle, so that the image is focused back at the viewer and less at the surrounding walls and ceiling. This has the added benefit that the 'gain' of the reflections back at the screen will be lower, reducing the 'washout' effect. Consider the possiblity of using a grey screen if the room walls can't be made any darker: As a test to see how effective this can be try using an ND2 filter which will give a similar effect (though even the more expensive 'coated' type made by Hoya will still reduce ANSI contrast slightly by reflecting some light back into the projector's lens). Use the projector calculator link below to work out if you will have a bright enough image when using a lower gain screen.
    • At the very least adjust the contrast and brightness using the THX setup patterns included on many DVDs/BluRays, use a disc such as Digital Video Essentials or download the free AVS709 disc from AVSForums. After you've put a few hours on the lamp first to allow it to settle, consider getting an ISF calibrator in to adjust your projector to D65 and rec709. For heaven's sake please don't spend £5,000 on a quality projector and then just punch in someone's settings as (with the possible execption of CMS settings) they are more likely to make the image less accurate. In fact don't spend £500 and just punch in someone else's settings: Projector lamps are very variable and a test by Cine4home of 25 projectors showed that every example needed different settings to achieve D65.
    • Paint the walls and ceiling a darker colour where possible and acceptable, using Matt paint to avoid reflections caused by silk paint or gloss.
    • Add curtains to the sides of the screen that can be drawn forwards to frame the screen and block reflections. Ideally they should be black, but in practice a dark colour will be a vast improvement over white walls.
    • Build a removable 'tent' or clip material to the ceiling (usually the worst offender) that can be secured using small hooks that won't spoil the room when not viewing films. There are some pictures of my 'Bat Tent' linked to below to give some idea of what can be achieved. There are other variations on this theme and I'll add links to anymore that I come across.
    • If you are lucky enough to have a dedicated room, cover the walls and ceiling with black or dark velvet and use a dark coloured carpet/rug. A very good example of this is member Shockabuku's 'BatBarn' or on a more modest scale Manni01's 'BatBin'. While these rooms might be considered a bit too 'hardcore' for some, they are the only way to really get the maximum out of the better projectors. Ironically they will also make much more of the cheaper ones too, so a 'BatCave' with a sub £2,000 projector may well look better than a HD750 in a pale coloured living room.

    A final tip is to actually go and demo your shortlist of projectors. The number of 'circular' threads on this projector forum, with people asking 'which is best', is unbelievable. I love my HD350, but I know of at least one forum member who had to sell his because he was bothered by 'motion blur'....a demo might have saved this expensive mistake as selling a nearly new PJ is an exercise in wasting cash. Equally, demoing a DLP projector to make sure you (and your family) aren't susseptable to 'rainbow effect' is imperative.

    Some useful links to tie in with the points made above in the order discussed:

    ND2 Filter from Jessops

    Projector calculator Please note: This website appears to use the maximum quoted lumens output from the manufacturers. In practice many projectors have a much lower output when used in colour accurate modes. Example being Panasonic AE3000; quoted at 1600 lumens, in 'Colour 1' ('accurate') mode around 400 lumens. Please use this link with caution and ask other owners and read Phil Hinton's reviews on this website where available for some real indications of brightness in accurate modes.

    Digital Video Essentials home page this disc is available from the usual places; Play.com, HMV, Amazon, etc.

    AVS709 free calibration disc this disc can be burnt onto a DVD blank but played back in high definition by creating an AVC HD disc; requires a BluRay player that can playback AVC HD discs, such as PS3, Sony BDP-S300/350/500/550 and others.

    Cine4home translated by Google If this link fails to work (sometimes happens with Google translations) use Cine4Home - Start Seite - www.cine4home.de and insert into your prefered translator browser.

    Pictures of my setup showing my 'Bat Tent'

    Bat Barn Part 1

    Bat Barn Part 2

    AVForums video of the Bat Barn

    Manni01's Bat Bin

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/members-home-cinema-gallery/849459-room-improvements-light-control.html Excellent thread showing IWC Dopplel's room improvements.

    Maximising image contrast thread, with lots of black and blue velvet. :smashin:

    My Setup thread first page

    I hope this is of some help. I will revisit to add extra links and comments as I think of them. :thumbsup:
    Last edited: May 20, 2009
  4. KelvinS1965

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    Jan 3, 2006
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    I wanted to add a section to explain some of the mystery surrounding anamorphic lenses and other methods of dealing with various wider aspect ratios. This was partly inspired by recent PMs and questions regarding the Panasonic AE3000/4000 which has a lens memory feature (so I can link to this post to save me retyping continuously :)) and also to try to explain the types of lenses and resources for finding information and suppliers.

    As per my previous post, I hope it is OK for me to add this to the FAQs, I'm sure if a mod feels it isn't relevant then I won't be too offended if it gets removed. :)

    Anamorphic lenses:

    There are basically two types of lenses; Vertical Compression and Horizontal Expansion, from now on referred to as VC or HE. Both lenses require the use of some kind of Image Processing provided by a scaler (it may be in the PJ, BluRay/DVD player or an external video processor) to vertically 'stretch' the image so that the black bars are no longer on the 16:9 panel of the PJ and the image then looks 'tall and thin'. This is effectively like upscaling the image from approx 1920 x 810 (ignoring the black bars) to 1920 x 1080, so the better the scaler, then the less chance of artifacts.

    The choice of one of two types of lens is required to correct the proportions of the now stretched image. The point of either method is that the whole of the projector's 16:9 panel is used to create the image, rather than the top and bottom being 'wasted' projecting black bars on aspect ratios wider than 1.78:1 (16:9). Both types of lens will give a brighter 2.35:1 image than when zooming (see below) as the pixel density is greater and it is using the whole panel of the PJ.

    VC Lenses:

    VC lenses tend to be used with a Constant Image Width (CIW) screen setup (where the 'black bars' are projected onto a 16:9 screen which may or may not have masks that cover the bars when watching a wider AR film such as 2.35:1). They work by squashing the image back down to correct the image distortion created above by the PJ/Player/VP. The wider AR image will remain the same width but will have less height than the 'native' 16:9 image, requiring top and bottom masking to get the best out of the image.

    Watching 16:9 content requires the VC lens to be moved out of the way and the IP setting changed to 16:9 (exact naming may differ between PJs and VPs). The resulting 16:9 image will then fill the 16:9 screen exactly (after any masking has been removed of course).

    VC lenses seem to be less common, but they still available (see links added lower down this post). This type of lens can cause an image distortion known as ‘barrel distortion' where the image is bigger in the centre of the screen. Good edge masking can help to hide this slight overspill.

    HE Lenses:

    HE lenses tend to be used with a Constant Image Height (CIH) screen setup. The HE lens stretches the tall and thin image created by the image processing to make a picture 33% wider, but the same height and in the correct proportions. This will require the use of a 2.35:1 screen to get the best out of the setup and in this mode will fill the screen exactly. This type of lens can cause an image distortion known as ‘pin cushion' distortion where the middle of the image is less high than the sides, so can be used with a curved screen and /or good edge masking to absorb slight overspill.

    Watching 16:9 content with a HE lens can be done two ways: Either slide the lens out of the way (motorised or manual) and change the IP setting to 16:9 for 'pure' viewing with the least processing and no lens distortions.

    Alternatively, the lens can be left in place and the IP's 4:3 mode used (again names may vary between PJs and VPs) for an instant AR change. This method squashes the 16:9 image so that it is not using the whole panel width, which distorts the image, which in turn is corrected by the lens. This means that some horizontal resolution is lost in this mode (only 1440 x 1080 is used*), but many users say that losing horizontal resolution is less significant and has the convenience of leaving the lens in place for all viewing. Viewing 16:9 on a 2.35:1 screen will require side masking as it will not fill the whole width of the screen.

    HE lenses are easier to find, with variations on how they achieve the HE end result, such as using prisms or cylinder lenses.

    For both types of lens:

    Pros: Uses full panel 2.35:1 content, brighter image, increased pixel density allowing closer viewing distances.
    Cons: Cost of a good enough lens for full HD PJ, throw distance issues can result in excessive barrel/pincushion distortion, slight loss of ANSI contrast due to reflections from the glass back into the PJ. May require an external VP at additional cost.

    I should add for completeness that there is a third screen arrangement called Constant Image Area (CIA). This is an arrangement that may (but not exclusively) be based on a screen of around 2.05:1. It would use 4 way masking: For 2.35:1 (and higher ARs such as 2.55:1) content use the top and bottom masking, for 16:9 content the side masks come into play. The two main ARs would effectively have the same area, which means that the images would have similar impact: With CIH setups the complaint is that 16:9 can appear too small and for CIW that 2.35:1 content is smaller than 16:9. CIA can be achieved by a combination of zooming, using a scaler and/or a lens.

    Non lens alternatives:

    16:9 screen setup 'Standard':

    The simplest method for watching different AR content is to have a 16:9 screen, with the projector adjusted to fill the screen for 16:9 content. Wider AR content will add top and bottom black bars, which will still be 'projected' by the projector: Depending on the black level of the projector in question they may be quite visible especially against a white screen. Reflections from light coloured walls/ceiling in the viewing room will also tend to raise the black level of these bars. This setup is exactly the way that widescreen TVs work, so it is a more familiar situation for many new PJ owners. Adding top and bottom masking will help frame the image for wider AR content and many commercial and DIY methods exist.

    Pros: Simple, cheap and no scaling of image.
    Cons: Requires top and bottom masking to remove black bars.

    CIH using the ‘Zoom method':

    The requires a 2.35:1 screen and the projector needs to be arranged such that for 2.35:1 content there is enough zoom range on the projector to zoom the top and bottom black bars off the top and bottom of the screen. A projector with good ‘fill ratio' for the pixels helps as you will be effectively increasing the size of the pixels by 33%. This requires dark walls behind the screen or material/masking to soak up the black bars which as still projected by the projector so need good black level performance to help ‘hide' the off screen bars for best effect. I personally have a dark brown screen wall and found that with my original AE1000 the bars still showed against the wall. Subsequent upgrades to AE2000, AE3000 and HD350 have made the bars progressively less visible (virtually not noticeable since the AE3000 upgrade).

    For watching 16:9 content the projector is zoomed back to fit the ‘taller' image on the 2.35:1 screen: Note this leaves side bars on a 2.35:1 screen, but these are unlit by the projector (unlike the top and bottom bars of 2.35:1 content) so they tend to be very dark, provided the room décor is also dark enough to quell reflections. Side masking can still be worthwhile with this arrangement however.

    To be able to use this method, the projector needs to have a zoom range of greater than 1 to 1.33 and ideally more than this to allow flexibility in positioning. It helps if the projector has a remote controlled zoom, focus and shift as the image will often tend to move up or down as the zoom is adjusted.

    The Panasonic AE3000 and recently announced AE4000 allow the zoom, shift and focus settings required for ‘zooming', other projectors may be announced later that also allow this feature, so I'll add them at the bottom of this post. It is important to note that neither of these projectors do anything more than zoom, shift and focus: The black bars are still present and the full panel is not used for wider ARs than 16:9 so the increased pixel density of using a VC or HE lens does not apply. A 2.35:1 screen is also required to use this feature (exactly the same as the above details for manual/remote ‘zoom method'.

    Pros: Cheap, no extra glass to distort the image, no scaling required so image is 1:1 pixel mapped. Lens memory convienience.
    Cons: Pixel density reduced, not using the full panel for 2.35:1 content so may be less bright than using a lens, more adjustments required (especially with manual zoom PJs).

    Video processor ‘Shrink method':

    This is my current setup and a relatively unknown method: It generally requires a separate video processor with the ability to shrink the image within a window. A worthwhile option for users that tend to watch mostly 2.35:1 content: I find a high percentage of BluRays I watch tend to be this format, though older film, TV production and sports viewers may not find this to be the case. However, this method reduces the resolution of the image, so is not really recommended for watching an entire BluRay, but it is perfect for a quick one button press to fit 16:9 menus/trailers on to a 2.35:1 screen without having to adjust the zoom, shift and focus. In practice watching a DVD using this method means that the 720 x 576 image is upscaled less than for full HD, which doesn't seem to hurt the image quality (provided the viewing distance is far enough back not to allow the pixels to be visible, such as greater than 0.7 x screen width in the case of my HD350). Effectively, watching 2.35:1 content is the same as the zoom method and most of the time I leave the PJ adjusted and zoomed for 2.35:1 content, with the VP set to 1:1 pixel mapped mode.

    When watching 16:9 it is a 16:9 ‘window' within the 2.35:1 section of the screen: If this image was sent to a widescreen TV, you would see black bars on all four sides; I'll try to post some pictures later to explain more clearly: The 16:9 resolution for this method is roughly 1440 x 810 when using a full HD projector, which is plenty to view the menus and trailers even on BluRay (some users even watch entire BluRay films in this setting, but I prefer to rezoom for these relatively rare occasions for best quality). On Lumagen HDP/HDQ (and presumably the Radiance models) this feature is in a sub menu called ‘Shrink' and can be assigned to the '16:9' button on the remote. On some projectors (including the AE3000) selecting the ‘S16:9' mode has the same effect, I'm not aware of other projectors that have this option, but I'll add any that I find out about.

    Pros: Convenient one button 'instant' AR change, no lens to effect the image in 2.35:1 mode.
    Cons: Lowers resolution for 16:9 content, cost of external VP if not available in PJ. Pixel density reduced, not using the full panel for 2.35:1 content so may be less bright than using a lens.

    Lens suppliers:

    CAVX Aussiemorph Mk3 AVForums powerbuy
    ISCO home cinema

    I'll return to this thread to edit and add further details and links.

    Updated 09 Nov 2009:

    * I've recently tried using a lens (secondhand Isco II HE type) and find that leaving the lens in place for 16:9 gives a picture that I'm happy to watch a whole film through. Some lenses don't allow an easy 'slide out of the way' option as they magnify the image a little, which means you have to adjust the zoom, once the lens is out of the way, for 16:9. The Isco II is one such lens.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2010
  5. Tom.W


    Nov 16, 2004
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    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
  6. cozmic

    Standard Member

    Feb 9, 2011
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    How do I configure colour using the DVE disc? I've tried adjusting the RGB gain/bias but no matter what I do the green colour pattern still does not match up. The projector is an Optoma HD600X.

    Any ideas?

  7. yongshenglamps

    Novice Member

    Jun 18, 2014
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    Happy to learn that.Thanks for sharing!

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