Resolution change brings big improvement

L

LTJ

Guest
Hello all. I'm still using the panny 100 and I'm at that time I'm definitley up for a change. Can't make me mind uop though whether to stay with a PJ - either LCD or DLP or change to a 40 inch plus LCD screen? Anyhow I won't get into that debate in this thread, I really want to talk about what I think was a substantial improvement to my trusty old panny.

It's funny how that by total accident you hit upon an improvemnet. I was off today and was desperately trying to find an excuse not to decorate a room that I'd planned to start on. So looking for any diversion that I could I thought "I know what? let's take the S-Video out put of my PC's ATI sapphire graphics card and feed it into my redundant iScan pro"

So this I did initially into my LCD screen monitor. The iScan showed an input and gave an image to the screen but very blurred and narrow with a caption saying something like the frequency setting was too high. So I poked around in the ATI software and found something that offered 720p resolution - well I've only ever had two resolution options on the ATI card 800x600 and 1024 x 768, Any how I tried and then couldn't get any image on the LCD screen just a message again about frequency paremeters. Anyhow I connect the Panny up and here I could see fine. Bugger it I thought I'll try and undo the settings so the monitor would work, and in desperation I tried uninstalling the latest ATI drivers.

So I did this and awaited a restart and still there was a problem with the LCD monitor, not only that when via the panny I went to the control panel display the ATI drivers were still there! Not only that but blimey all of a sudden the ATI was offering me a full range of resolution settings!. I don't know what happened but here for the first time since purchased the graphics card was various settings I could try.

Then all of a sudden it hit me. I had the ATI set to 1280 x 720 not the 1024 x 768 I had before so once choosing the latter setting the LCD monitor was fine. But the odd thing was the image on the panny 100 now didn't look as good as it did when I'd inadvertantly set the ATI to 1280 x 720. So now time to experiment.

Now a couple of years ago the holy grail for the panny 100 user and other PJ's had become pixel matching via a tool like power strip. A decent forum user called Hoglet gave all the setteing parameters to set the panny 100 up for pixel matching. Initially I thought the pixel matching wrought very nice improvements - until last year when just for the hell of it I switched the resolution on the ATI card to(what then it seems ) was it's highest setting 1024 x 768 and I have to say I did find it more film like and after switching back and forth I was convinced the higher resolution although not a perfect pixel match actually looked better and even put in a couple of post relaying my observations and wondering whether I'd done something wrong as pixel matching was supposed to in theory be a far vibrant punchier image- but it wasn't. I did revisit powerstrip again recently and once again tried PM but my observations were the same as the first time around i.e. the higher resolution looked better.

Well as my ATI card was now (and I still don't know why) was now offering me 1280 x 720 my mind turned to all those media player HD clips I'd recently download as they are 1280 x 720p (progressive scan). Blimeywhen I started them up in Theatre Tek they were magnificent. They now filled the whole of the screen (16-9) and looked superb. So I thought Hmm... what does DVD look like with this resolution. Again it looked fantastic. A couple of months back I'd seen 'The Day after tomorrow ' going cheap bought it and was very disapointed with the results on the panny100 but now it looked excellent.
I then tried the 1280 x 720 setting with sky via the sweet spot capture card and descaler again a very clear improvement over 1024 x768.

So by a complete fluke earlier tonight and maybe somebody can explai what happened i finally had the option for the first time on the ATI graphics card for several options of resolution and 1280 x 720 was a revelation. So anyone with a Panny 100 try the 1280 x 720 setting you won't be dissapointed.

Any one else experimenting with different resolutions?

Thanks

Lawrence
 

theritz

Active Member
Hi Lawrence, good to see you round these parts again.... :hiya:

I've always been able to get a zillion different resolutions from the Radeon in my pc - right click on the desktop, Settings, Advanced, Adapter, list modes and there they are... no need for powerstrip with 1280x720.

When I was using the AE100 I wasn't a fan of it's scaling ability and consequently stuck to 1:1 pixel matching. Effectively what you're doing is up-scaling dvd to 1280x720, then getting the AE100 to scale it to 856x848. I found outputting 1280x720 to be marginally softer than 1:1 pixel matching on the AE100, and could see scaling artifacts, but not to a huge degree. I think it's arguable whether taking this route is beneficial when viewing HD which is native 720p. On the one hand the PC is creating an image in the native definition of the video stream, but the AE100 is scaling that back to it's native resolution. I would prefer the PC's superior scaling ability to output the material to the AE100, but the difference is probably marginal. If you prefer using 720 out to the AE100 then it's your eyes that count at the end of the day.

I may have read your post incorrectly, but I assume you're connecting the PC directly to the AE100 ? S-Video out from a PC to an iScan would seem to me to kind of defeat the purpose of using the PC in the first place - i.e. superlative de-interlacing and 1:1 scaling.

For what it's worth, resolution does make a significant difference - moving to a 1280x720 projector from the AE100 is a significant change. Mind you, the guy who bought my AE100 was perfectly happy with it, and if I hadn't changed I'd be still happy to watch the image it produced for some time to come. As for swapping for a 40" screen ? not for me i'm afraid - nothing like the impact of a front projected 7 ft screen..... :cool:

Regards,

S.
 
L

LTJ

Guest
Hello Sean. As you say I didn't make it totally clear what I was upto.
Right I started out yesterday just to see (as an experiment) if I could output s-video from the ATI graphics card on my HTPC and pipe that into the iScan pro and then to a small TFT screen. Yes it worked but not very well. Eventually I got myself into a tangle and finished up - even though I was now VGA straight out of the HTPC only being able to display on the panny not the TFT .

Now since I've had the HTPC my ATI card has never offered anything but two resolutions on the slide bar in settings (via control panel). Now for some unknown reason due to removing the recent ATI drivers all of a sudden I had the option of a multitude of options in settings.

As you see Sean this is a complecated tale, so far told very badly.
Anyhow by now I've given up on the iScan experiment due to the fact I now have all these resolution settings to try. So now at this point I'm back to the HTPC straight into the Panny100 with the iScan no where to be seen.

Blimey I'm waffling. Right to cut to the chase.Once I'd tried 1280 x 720 with the panny (won't work with the tft) there was no turning back everything improved, the WMV HD clips, standard DVD play back and sky RGB -sweetspot
all looked better in 1280 x 720. I have several times in the past used power strip and attained pixel matching and back then it was a leap forward but not as good as 1024 x 768 and nowhere near 1280 x 720.

As you say Sean it now means that my panny has to down scale the image to 856 x 480 yet even so too my eyes it looks far far better. It reminded me of an article in Projector Central http://www.projectorcentral.com/480i_vs_480p.htm

I realise that this is about 480i vs 480p but Evan makes the point in the article that sometims you have to trust your eyes as there are no absolute right answers any more.

Maybe the Panny's scaler prefers a higher resoution to down scale and 1280 x 720 suits it just fine? I don't know it works for me though, to such an exent I'm feeling less in a hurry to either move on to a new PJ or (Sean don't look) go for the increasingly available larger LCD screens.

By the way Sean and anyone reading. I went to the Sound and Vision show in London last Saturday and boy oh boy that Sim C3X lite was absolutely staggering.

lawrence
 

nwgarratt

Distinguished Member
I sometimes play a DVD from my computer via my Panny 100. I can't really see much difference between pixel matched 856 x 480 and scaled down 1280 x 720. I just played ROTS which looks very good but I can't really see much difference.

It does make me think what a proper displayed 720 resolution would look like.
 
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