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Which to tweak first!

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by tryingtimes, Dec 11, 2001.

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  1. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    Chicken and egg spring to mind.
    I have two complex devices (HCPC and BG808) both of which can be tweaked to death.
    The PJ has been set up to a 'watchable' standard as has the HCPC.
    I want to start improving the picture (now the novelty has worn off).
    How do I determine which I should adjust first when they are codependent?

    Cheers
    Alex
     
  2. NickBull

    NickBull
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    Pc's are a bit more understandable! But now is the time to tweak the pj, as Roland should be able to fix any damage when he comes for the final set up!

    I made a mess of mine, but luckily had a copy of the memory bank so you can revert to Rolands original settings.

    My main tweaking was trying different Vertical resolutions to see if it made a difference to sharpness and detail. I did notice small changes between 600, 668, 720 and 960 but not much. The changes were a lot diferent once Roland had done the final set up.

    I'm sticking with 720 at the moment, but I may well try a slightly lower one again. All resolutions are for 16:9 as I don't watch anything at 4:3!

    When is Roland back for the final tweak? After he has done I'd be very reticent to change much! But that's me!

    Nick
     
  3. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    You might be right about not changing much.
    I'm dying to have people 'round though. It's just that there's no black detail and it's all a little soft.
    Doctor terrible's house of horrible last night - the colours were truly diabolical :)
     
  4. JohnAd

    JohnAd
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    Alex

    What are you using to watch TV?

    Is the picture/black etc bad for DVD?

    John
     
  5. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    PC is running at 1280x720
    TV is sky through PCTV Rave (composite)
    DVD is PowerDVD 4 - black detail is fairly poor and image is soft (but this is only after a quick setup by Roland)
    I just wanted to make some quick (maybe temporary) tweaks to improve before Roland visits (as that might now be after Christmas)
     
  6. JohnAd

    JohnAd
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    Right

    Firstly is the projector displaying the windows desktop sharply or is this soft as well?


    Secondly make sure that the overlay is calibrated correctly. So if you used AVIA or VE you may have set up black at 7.5 IRE which will crush the blacks for PAL. DScaler 3.1.0 has it's own settings for the overlay which may help here. (Look up radeon overlay on AVS you want 0 IRE settings for PAL discs and TV)

    Assuming you have got the right brighness setting the next thing to play with is gamma. Try this out on the Radeon drivers and also using the DScaler gamma filter, just start playing with the values and see if it helps. With the Radeon drivers be careful as with high values you will lose picture detail.

    If you're in DScaler try pressing L to get a snapshot of what you are seeing and maybe post it in your site as a jpeg.

    John
     
  7. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    I'll have to look at the other stuff tonight (as well as try and fix my soundcard's dts!)
    All I can say for now is that when Roland did the greyscale it looked pretty even.
    The desktop does indeed look soft - readable - but soft.
     
  8. NickBull

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    It might be the problem I had where the pj allocated a memory bank for a resolution/refresh rate I hadn't used before and the colour balance and convergence were slightly out resulting in a soft and slightly 'Green' picture.

    find a source you're happy with and make a note of the memory bank, then switch to the hcpc and if it looks bad, try copying the good memory bank to the bad one, or even a new one. It will only save it if you adjust the contrast or brightness though.

    When Roland came to see me for the tweaks he immediately understood what I'd beeen posting on the forums about softness and lack of focus. It now looks loads better.

    Even before the tweaks I showed a couple of friends (sober too) and they were well impressed anyway. I think we are probably all a bit over critical at times and a lot of people will just see a big picture and think 'WOW'. Obviously the longer they watch the more critical they will be too.!!

    If you have the PAL version of The Phantom Menace, try the THX optimiser in the Audio menu, it helps adjust the simple things like contrast and brightness although to get the colour saturation right you need some special filter glasses!

    I also think that some films and DVD transfers don't have massive amounts of black detail at the correct settings and it's a bit tempting to up brightness to look for it and this affects the picture.

    I've also noticed that diferent dvd's have diferent brighness levels and some are just too dark! I have the contrast on the PJ at 75/76 and the brightness at 42/44 and this can depend on the films.

    Apart from this I don't really mess with too much at all. I think that a lower verticle resolution might help if the pj not set up optimaly. It might be worth trying slightly less that 720 until Roland has a play? I think it's all to do with badly focused electrons or something and you might be getting too much overlap until it's focused properly!

    Cheers

    Nick
     
  9. Roland @ B4

    Roland @ B4
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    Tweak away my friend.
    This is always a problem. Do you set the projector to the scaller (HCPC) or adjust the PJ?
    My advice whilst you have yet to have your system calibrated is to play with all the bits you want then next week when its all looking good to leave it alone unless something horrid shows.
    Playing after that is lkely to upset the calibration.
     
  10. NickBull

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    You get a special prize if you mess it up so badly that Roland can't fix it! I don't htink this is a problem with 808's as they have factory presets so you can start from scratch.

    I suppose it's like setting up a motorcycle suspension, what is the problem, the front or the back? How will stiffenting the front affect the back? What happens if I change the tyres to a softer compound! Why did that tree jump out on tw*t me?

    I would say make a note of every setting, adjust in small increments and if no improvement re-set and try the PC or whatever. If you adjust everything at once you will never know what is making the diference and end up tweaking for eternity!

    Nick
     
  11. Jenz

    Jenz
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    I would argue that you shouldn't do that much if any tweaking in these early stages but you should get accustomed to watching material as is at this point.

    This is because I believe you're not experienced enough to know what is causing the problem in order to fix it. I made this mistake when I got mine.

    I would suggest reading many of the articles on colour/sharpness/PC Setup before diving in yourself. I would suggest watching at least 15 films as is to note the issues.

    For example you're talking about poor black levels... how do you know that the discs areOK, what is the frame of reference etc. Avia and Video Essentials should be used for this kind of thing. If you dont have them then pick up a copy before you tweak etc.

    Please dont be offended in what I said I'm just trying to make the point that its all to easy to play and then find whoops it looks even worse.

    Regards Jenz.
     
  12. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    No Jenz, your absolutely right about me not having the experience to know what's wrong in the first place.

    I kind of wanted to learn as much as possible though so that I don't feel as dependant on you guys!
    It seemed like a good place to do it as Roland could always fix it when he comes back.

    If Roland is coming next week (like he hinted up there in his post) then I can probably leave it.

    I might just get a list of issues together for Roland to say "yes I'll be able to fix that" or "no, that sounds like a HCPC issue".

    That way at least I'll feel confident.

    I have Video Essentials but have only ever used it for a TV before!
    I'll have a look through it see if there are any problems.

    Thanks all (I might still be tempted)
    Alex
     
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