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Samsung SP50L7HX pixel perfect from HTPC !!

Discussion in 'TVs' started by DLPMaybe, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. DLPMaybe

    DLPMaybe
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    The following method has been confirmed to give pixel perfect picture via HTPC for SP50L7HX and SP46L6HX. It may well work with others too.


    I have been playing with my samsung with my HTPC for the last couple weeks. Mainly trying to improve the picture quality. I have had some good results but to achieve these I have to do some convoluted things. I hope this info is useful to people out there. And if somebody knows what is going on I would like to know!

    SP50L7HX
    HTPC DVI -> HDMI
    graphics card -> 6600 GT

    Ok...

    Under menu->inputs->edit name change hdmi to PC.

    The below will NOT work if this is not set to PC.


    Using powerstrip added 1280 720 resolution with default settings at 50hz. The usual massive overscan is present. Press P.Size on remote. 16:9 shown no extra options.

    On the advanced timing options page modify the vertical geometry refresh rate to 60. Screen flashes black. The usual massive overscan is present. Press P.Size on remote. 16:9 shown but with extra resize options. Using these the overscan can be removed completely.

    Run the Nokia screen configuration utility. The only screen I used on this is the one with the horizontal and vertical lines really close together. When looking at the horizontal lines there are dark bands. Using the resize option after pressing P.Size these can be removed. But it is impossible to get the horizontal and the vertical perfect at the same time. In real terms this makes text on the screen appear distorted in places on the screen.

    Now the weird bit:

    Press PIP on/off.
    Press PIP swap.
    Change input to a scart with no signal coming in.
    Press PIP swap.
    Press PIP on/off.

    Some overscan returns but not the massive default overscan. But the good bit... The vertical and horizontal lines in Nokia are perfect. Text on the screen looks soooo much better. Movies look slightly better.

    The options under P.Size are present. But if you modify any of them there is a big jump in settings (usually to how they were before the PIP bit).

    Now I am as happy as a pig in **** but get the feeling that I should not have to go through this weird process to get the good picture. It is not too big a deal as I have a Pronto so can set a macro to do the stuff when I jump to the HTPC.

    Thoughts!?
     
  2. Razor

    Razor
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    There are a few threads with the info you need. Try using powerstrip and resize the screen there. It does work so dont worry too much, other members have had success.

    Good luck :)
     
  3. DLPMaybe

    DLPMaybe
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    I am not worrying as I think I have succeeded; just in a weird way :smashin: I feel like I have read every thread in this forum:) Plus many from avs.

    I messed around with powerstrip for hours. Using several suggested different resolutions and settings. Most of these coming from avs. That is what is strange about how I ended up getting a good picture. It was not though changing these setting but with the TV suddenly changing what it did with the same signal. But only doing this though a convoluted set of steps.
     
  4. Razor

    Razor
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    Glad you finally got success :)
     
  5. Facct

    Facct
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    Would it not just be easier to use the VGA input? Or is there is a noticable difference in quality?
     
  6. Razor

    Razor
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    Facct :hiya:
    There is a noticable difference between vga and the dvi/hdmi input. The dvi/hdmi is a digital input and the vga is analouge. The means the picture is converted from a digital signal to a analouge, when any conversion takes place quality is lost. Digital to digital is ideal as the signal is pure. The picture is noise free with the dvi/hdmi (digital) connection. Also you are ment to get 1:1 pixel mapping. With vga the picture can be distored ie the pixels may not fall where they are ment to. This can lead to a slight curve when a straight line is displayed.

    Give it a try and see the results, it is definately worth it. :thumbsup:
     
  7. DLPMaybe

    DLPMaybe
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    When I use the VGA input the quality is really bad. For example when I use the nokia screen with the fine lines they appear as a complete blur rather than individual lines.

    This could be due to a bad cable or bad setup but the wife wanted the VGA cable back to use the PC upstairs so could not experiment much!

    You are correct though I should give this a better go but I am kind of happy at the moment as I have just added a pixel perfect button to my pronto. So when I switch to the HTPC I have 0% overscan. If I want pixel perfect with slight over scan I press one button and it switches.
     
  8. DLPMaybe

    DLPMaybe
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    Another tip for 0% overscan via HTMI:

    You MUST set the input on HTMI to PC via menu->Input->edit name.

    I thought this was just to appear nice when switching inputs (I didn't RTFM). It actually changes the way that the TV processes the image on that input.
     
  9. AV Alan

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    Hi,

    I think this is the key - I have been messing around with powerstrip etc trying to get it just right, but select PC as the input type for HDMI and it all fits pixel perfect on the screen. Thanks for the tip! :thumbsup:

    Unfortunately I am still not totally happy, I am looking at a HD sample of shark tale and through HDMI it does not look quite as good as VGA, it looks as if the resolution is lower or perhaps the colour depth is lower as I can justnotice blocks of colour I could not see before - any ideas, the video card is set to the same resolution and no of colours for both modes.

    Alan
     
  10. DLPMaybe

    DLPMaybe
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    No problem :smashin:

    The only thing I could suggest is trying the PIP change see if that improves the image. It does with mine. So basically now that you have the no overscan:

    Press PIP on.
    Press PIP swap.
    Choose EXT1,2 or 3. There must be NO signal on the selected input.
    Press PIP swap
    Press PIP on

    Some overscan will return but the picture should be pixel perfect. Either use the nokia util to see the difference or just look at any text. It should be far sharper.

    If after doing this the picture quality is still not as good as VGA please let me know. I will be tempted to play with VGA again.
     
  11. KableMan

    KableMan
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    Hey Guys :hiya:

    I just RTFM'd my manual and yes there it is "select PC in Edit Name to recognise the signal as 640x480 PC signal" and then selecting 1280x720 (EIA/CEA-861B) in powerstrip and you get a perfect picture with no overscan - in fact this is the exact same picture I was getting with my tweaked powerstrip settings but without the hassle!

    So DLPMaybe I then tried your interesting set of steps and Oh My God!! I thought the picture I was seeing before was excellent - this is absolutely gob smackingly good! The text is perfect and I mean 1:1 pixel perfect even from an inch away from the screen - it is incredibly sharp and crystal clear - it makes my PC monitor look complete crap :eek: I now have a huge 50" pin point accurate TFT display! wow! There is no sign of the blotchy light/dark text that I saw before :smashin:

    The only flaw is the slight (and it is slight) overscan - its half the last digit in the time and half the windows icon on the start button and touches the bottom of the quick launch icons on the start bar. It is a much more bearable than the huge overscan you get when first switching to 1280x720 when not in PC mode. I don't think you'd notice it in most movies and games.

    How the heck did you find this combination - and there's got to be an easier way of arriving at these settings!? Is there anyway to get powerstrip maybe to reverse engineer the current settings so I can re-apply them without having to go through these steps?

    Cheers :thumbsup:
    KableMan
     
  12. DLPMaybe

    DLPMaybe
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    I am delighted that someone else has seen the same results :thumbsup: I thought I was slightly mad as it is a totally convoluted way to get the good signal. As you say when you switch to this mode the picture quality for text is just stunning.

    I had gone through all the steps you described. I had changed the name just by chance. I wanted it to say PC on the screen. I did not associate this with the slightly improved image to start with. So I guess if anybody followed my instructions earlier they would have not seen the results. Last night I changed it away from PC and could not get the screen back and put 2 and 2 together on that front.

    The PIP bit was complete fluke. I was setting up a macro in the pronto to put the sky as PIP when on HTPC. There was an error in the macro and the sky box was off. It switched to the PC and I nearly fell off my chair... then did a little victory dance :clap: Messed around a bit more and confirmed that the input that your switching from must have no signal.

    I have tried so many different ways to get this picture quality without the PIP swap. I cannot do it. I do not think powerstrip will be able to help here. When the PIP swap is done something internal to the TV decides to treat the same signal differently. I hope I am wrong here and it can be achieved in a different way.
     
  13. Bacus

    Bacus
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    Hi there,
    I have had my SP50 for a few months now but still cant seem to get my picture looking any good through HDMI with powerstrip ! I dont know if my graphics card is up to it (Radeon 8500LE) also, and god knows if i am being thick but, does DVD PQ improve over using normal DVD player ? :confused:
     
  14. DLPMaybe

    DLPMaybe
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    Hi Sikenny,

    Have you tried following the steps in this thread?

    I am not familiar with the graphics card so I am not sure if that is good enough.

    I understand that the latest generation of video cards was meant to improve DVD quality. I only got into the HTPC game recently so cannot personal comment on the improvement.

    The DVD quality with a good setup is defiantly better than a DVD player. The first time I put a DVD in without much tweaking I was totally gutted as the picture quality was terrible. Over time and much sweat the picture quality is superb. I sometimes forget how good and put the same DVD on the PC and DVD player to compare. I sit in the back of my chair very happy.

    If you let me know what steps you have tried, whether you have tried the steps in this thread etc, I can try to suggest some things. Maybe someone who is familiar with the graphics card can comment on wether it is good enough?
     
  15. Bacus

    Bacus
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    With powerstrip i cant seem to find how to get onto Custom Resolutions screen or the screen for Advanced Timing Options ! I am running lord or the rings through pc and HDMI lead, PQ is good ! but want to see if it gets any better.I am suffering from really large black bands at the top and bottom of the screen(about6/7 inches) is this right ?
     
  16. DLPMaybe

    DLPMaybe
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    You may have the incorrect version of powerstrip. The first version I downloaded did not let me get to that screen. This is a link to the version I think I am using 3.61:

    http://entechtaiwan.net/util/ps.shtm

    Try that.
     
  17. Bacus

    Bacus
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    Well looks like i have sorted powerstrip, thanks for your help mate. Still cant get rid of those annoying thick black bars top and bottom of screen though ! maybe its my dvd program ? i am using real player ! what one do you use ?
     
  18. DLPMaybe

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    No problem :thumbsup:

    You should expect to see some black bars with LOLR as it is the wider wide screen (2.35:1). The ones you describe do sound too large though.

    I use theatertek with FFDshow doing some post processing. You have to pay for this player but you can get a free trial I believe. I think you hve to pay and then if you don't register in a month they refund. Don't quote me on that!

    I think the other option is zoom player. I have not tried this.
     
  19. russraff

    russraff
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    This stunning trick also works on the 46" version, too. Why Samsung don't make this standard, I don't know?

    Russell
     
  20. AV Alan

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    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for both the tips here - setting the HDMI input to PC gets rid of the overscan :) & saves messing with powerstrip

    Doing the PIP on/swap/swap/off gives pixel perfect picture :)

    The only problem is that after the PIP trick I have a slight overscan - just about loose the close program x in the top RH side and part of the start button on the bottom LH side.

    Is there any way I can have my cake and eat it - ie picture perfect and pixel perfect or is this just a mapping issue where x pixels from the video card have to fit to x pixels on the SP50?

    Thx
    Alan
     
  21. DLPMaybe

    DLPMaybe
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    Hi,

    What is the model number of your 46" set? I want to change the first message to state which sets this trick is confirmed to work with.

    I would love to hear the answer to that question. It seems like a fluke/"fault" that it does work.
     
  22. russraff

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    SP46L6HX is the model number - the same one Pauley on this forum has. I wonder if he knows about this trick??

    DVD playback on from the PC is now amazing; the HD trailer for Madagascar is superb. The only thing is I heard that ATI cards have a better DVD display quality than nVidia cards (mine's a 6800).

    I wonder if the Sagem/LG/Toshiba DLP sets display PC text as none pixel perfect, or does those sets resize the pic, too?

    Russell
     
  23. Tarbat

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    I've also got an SP46L6HX. Does all this mean that when the Sky+HD box arrives, we'll all have to go through these PIP SWAP steps to get the HDMI connection from the Sky+HD box working properly with 1:1 pixel mapping?
     
  24. dunsters

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    The Sagem has the option to show in Natif or 16:9 etc. in all cases I can report even if you have set the resolution to 1280:768 the picture is 100% clear:thumbsup: but ..... I do lose 1/2 the scroll bar from the right hand side of my screen :thumbsdow (a little tricky with the trackerball mouse on my wireless keyboard):rolleyes:

    I have yet to run powerstrip which I know will let me adjust all this.:smashin:

    Cheers:hiya:
     
  25. DLPMaybe

    DLPMaybe
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    I have just contacted Samsung customer support and they are aware of this issue and do class it as a bug. The engineer said that they will let me know when a resolution is found. I will put updates here if I get them.
     
  26. DLPMaybe

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    The HD standard is 720p @ 50hz right? I have only tried doing this with a 720p @ 60hz. It may not even work with a 50hz signal. I will check tonight.

    So as it stands best case the trick will have to be used, worse case it will be impossible to get a pixel perfect image with sky HD. Hmm....
     
  27. DLPMaybe

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    Isn't it impossible to get a pixel perfect image on a screen with native resolution of 1280:720 sending a signal 1280:768?

    It is good that you are getting a good image, I guess it means that the TV is doing a very good job of converting the image. But are you sure it is pixel perfect? Best way to confirm is using the nokia screen utility.
     
  28. DLPMaybe

    DLPMaybe
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    Replying to myself I am going mad!

    I guess not impossible the TV could just ignore the extra 48 vertical making a 1280:720 image.
     
  29. Tarbat

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    I wonder how Samsung will deliver a fix for this bug to all our TVs?

    Thanks, look forward to the results of this test. I'm starting to think this could become a real problem when Sky+HD launches, when I'm sure we'll all expect a pixel perfect picture. That's one of the main reasons I bought a 1280x720 DLP RPTV.

    I guess I'm hoping this is only a 60hz bug, and that no tricks will be needed to view 1280x720 @50hz from a Sky+HD box over HDMI with 1:1 pixel mapping.
     
  30. DLPMaybe

    DLPMaybe
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    I have tried sending a 1280x720 @50hz signal in the past. It has massive overscan(not a issue with skyHD) and was not pixel perfect for sure. I only moved to 60hz as it gives more resizing options.
     

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