Optoma HD25-LV vertical stretch problem? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 08-14-2013, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm trying to find a brighter projector for my CIH screen. I've been using the InFocus SP8602 for a few years and I really love the image quality except that it's just too dim for my setup. My screen is pretty large (155") and is acoustically transparent, so add the light loss from my lens and it's always been really hard to find a good projector that's bright enough. Even with a nearly new bulb, dark scenes tend to lose a bunch of detail and even watching something like a football game it just doesn't have much pop because the overall levels just aren't there.

So with the new brighter 3D projectors coming out, I thought I'd try out the Optoma HD25-LV. I couldn't care less about 3D, but I was hoping the extra lumens would help. It does that - the picture definitely isn't as nice as that of the 8602, but it's plenty bright, and I think the trade-off would be worth it to me.

BUT, when I put it into LBX / letterbox mode in order to use the vertical stretch with the anamorphic lens, the picture is stretched too far, such that the ultimate image is TOO vertically stretched. People look tall and thin. It's not so excessive that a casual viewer might not notice it, but I certainly couldn't put up with it.

Has anyone experienced this, or can anyone with an HD25 test this on their unit and see if they're seeing the same thing? I haven't found a way to adjust the stretch, but obviously if anyone knows of a way to do that that would also solve my problem. Otherwise, I'm afraid there's no way I can keep this.

On a related note, if there's no way for me to fix this, can anyone recommend a good really bright projector (comparable to the HD25) that I should try? I don't tend to be too fond of LCD image quality, but I feel like I'm running out of options.
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post #2 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 03:06 PM
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Have you tried contacting Optoma about this problem? Their tech support department is usually pretty good at getting issues resolved right away.

Just curious - how were you testing to see if the stretch was too much and what type of anamorphic lens are you using?

I haven't tested the new HD25 but the HD20 worked fine with an anamorphic lens.

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post #3 of 19 Old 08-17-2013, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russelliht View Post

Have you tried contacting Optoma about this problem? Their tech support department is usually pretty good at getting issues resolved right away.

Just curious - how were you testing to see if the stretch was too much and what type of anamorphic lens are you using?

I haven't tested the new HD25 but the HD20 worked fine with an anamorphic lens.

Optoma basically said there's no manual way to adjust the amount of stretch. Of course, the csr I spoke to didn't even believe the projector had a vertical stretch mode until I convinced him I was staring right at it. ("Only modes are 16:9 and 4:3 on this projector.")

At this point I guess I could use an external scaler, but I'd rather just put the money into a better projector.
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post #4 of 19 Old 08-17-2013, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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FWIW, I just did a side by side comparison of the Optoma with my Infocus SP8602 and confirmed that the problem is in fact with the Optoma's vertical stretch mode (LBX). Running the same source image (from the Inception blu-ray) to both projectors simultaneously, I paused on a still and switched back and forth on each projector from 16:9 to Letterbox mode. On the Infocus (as with the 2 or 3 other projectors I've previously used in this exact same setup) the top and bottom of the anamorphic image stretches to perfectly lines up with the top and bottom of the 16:9 image area.

On the Optoma, the stretch is noticeably more aggressive, basically resulting in a good chunk of the top and bottom of the image being cut off beyond the black bars.

The result is obviously that an anamorphic lens won't stretch the image into the proper aspect ratio.

I've seen the Optoma suggested as a good bright projector option for use with anamorphic lenses, but as far as I can tell, unless Optoma fixes this in a firmware update, or unless you're wiling to bypass the projector's scaling and use an external scaler, you should not buy the Optoma HD25-LV with the intent on using it in an anamorphic lens setup.

Hope that saves someone else the headache it caused me.
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post #5 of 19 Old 08-21-2013, 08:59 AM
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FYI I will see if I can pass this on to the folks at Optoma.

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post #6 of 19 Old 09-09-2013, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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FYI, thanks to John for putting me in touch with someone at Optoma who knew a lot more about this issue than the customer service people you normally get on the phone. Apparently the aspect ratio problem is a known issue and there is a firmware fix for it. It requires sending the projector in for service (unless some of them are now shipping with the updated firmware, not sure about that). In the end I decided to go with a different projector while I was under the impression that the Optoma's problem wasn't fixable, but I really appreciate John's assistance, and it appears that there is hope after all for CIH setups using the HD25. I just won't be the guinea pig trying it out it seems.
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post #7 of 19 Old 09-27-2013, 12:06 PM
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I was able to get a link from Optoma which has the latest firmware update for the HD25 which has the fix for the letterbox stretch issue for CIH. Warren at Optoma was kind enough to send me the following:

It will is available on our website on the product page for the HD25. It will be on the “Downloads” tab.

http://www.optomausa.com/support/discontinued-products/detail/HD25

I signed up for the firmware and got a two links in an email, one with the firmware instructions and one with the firmware.

Was a pretty smooth update and now the letterbox mode works!


Great that we could update the firmware without sending it in to Optoma.

Curtis
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post #8 of 19 Old 11-26-2013, 03:49 AM
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So is this the ONLY model that has this issue or are there others? I am looking at a HD83.

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post #9 of 19 Old 04-27-2014, 09:46 PM
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My HD131xe has this issue. It's been killing me. I'll see if I can't hunt down this firmware being discussed. My attempts to contact Optoma (both my email and by their web form) get NO RESPONSE. Optoma's support sucks badly (at least responsiveness, enough so they've soured me on their products).
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post #10 of 19 Old 04-28-2014, 03:27 AM
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What I did find interesting on the HD90 that I recently tested was that there a 4 x 3 mode that applied VS to the HS, so a 1.78x lens would be needed. Maybe this is was for letterboxed 4 x 3 transfers on DVD. The other modes seems to be correct though and I did like the "auto Scope" thing that seemed to apply VS as soon as a letterbox image was present. This mode only works when the Anamorphic Lens option Fixed or Movable is selected first.

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post #11 of 19 Old 04-28-2014, 05:00 PM
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I upgraded to the new 04 firmware released in September on my HD131xe today hoping to resolve the "too aggressive vertical stretch" issue that removes top and bottom pixels (for no apparent reason) when using with an anamorphic lens. Anyway, the firmware appears to have made zero change to this issue, even though if I was reading someone's earlier post correctly, they seem to indicate it fixed their issue in regards to LBX mode vertically stretching too much. I guess this means the HD131xe firmware IS different from the other firmware being mentioned if someone else's CIH issue was resolved on the HD25 series?
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post #12 of 19 Old 04-28-2014, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Tambling View Post

I upgraded to the new 04 firmware released in September on my HD131xe today hoping to resolve the "too aggressive vertical stretch" issue that removes top and bottom pixels (for no apparent reason) when using with an anamorphic lens. Anyway, the firmware appears to have made zero change to this issue, even though if I was reading someone's earlier post correctly, they seem to indicate it fixed their issue in regards to LBX mode vertically stretching too much. I guess this means the HD131xe firmware IS different from the other firmware being mentioned if someone else's CIH issue was resolved on the HD25 series?

Let me see if I can get a hold of someone at Optoma...

John Schuermann, Filmmaker / Film Composer
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post #13 of 19 Old 04-29-2014, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Tambling View Post

I upgraded to the new 04 firmware released in September on my HD131xe today hoping to resolve the "too aggressive vertical stretch" issue that removes top and bottom pixels (for no apparent reason) when using with an anamorphic lens. Anyway, the firmware appears to have made zero change to this issue, even though if I was reading someone's earlier post correctly, they seem to indicate it fixed their issue in regards to LBX mode vertically stretching too much. I guess this means the HD131xe firmware IS different from the other firmware being mentioned if someone else's CIH issue was resolved on the HD25 series?

Check your PM. I found a contact at Optoma willing to help.

John Schuermann, Filmmaker / Film Composer
Home Theater Industry Consultant
JS Music and Sound
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post #14 of 19 Old 05-01-2014, 11:22 AM
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I have the same issue of overstretch with HD131xe (UK).

 

Really disappointed... for the last 5 years I have had a great setup with my hd65 and "French prisms" lens and I've spent a fair bit to upgrade.

 

I have applied the 04 firmware and the issue remains. (Even more dissapointed!)

 

Hopefully someone at Optoma can respond!

 

Thanks 

Dan

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post #15 of 19 Old 05-01-2014, 11:49 AM
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John put me in touch with a Senior Product Manager at Optoma (thank you again John, lets hope they can do something). Anyway, I just wanted to mention that so you don't necessarily replicate the effort as I'll certainly report back with the findings. My detailed description of the issue has been forwarded to the a technical team and will hopefully get response.

This weekend I may take pictures just to show people the issue and whether it would be a deal killer for them. Obviously not many people probably pair this budget projector (and I have the HD131xe) with an anamorphic lens, but it actually would be a great bang for the buck CIH setup if this LBX feature worked correctly with a Panamorph (or other anamorphic) lens and didn't over stretch / crop.
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post #16 of 19 Old 05-01-2014, 12:00 PM
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Thanks for posting Brett, lets hope we hear something soon. Cant imagine it would be a big re-write? - must be just amending one "Scale factor" variable in the firmware.

 

I dont have an expensive lens (mine is home made!) but I've had a huge amount of satisfaction from my CIH setup using a HD65 for the last five years - I just assumed the LBX mode would work in the same way on the 131.

 

Edit - here's my rig!

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1529939/my-home-made-rotating-folding-mount#post_24671247

 

Edit - added some info to above thread re my home made lens as per request

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post #17 of 19 Old 05-12-2014, 06:29 PM
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Thanks to John Schuermann here on the forum putting me in touch with a good contact at Optoma, the LBX issue is resolved!

After a few rounds with Optoma technical support we were able to address the LBX issue and I'm happy to say I'm running firmware that does not crop off any picture in LBX mode (for those of us with anamorphic lens and using this feature). Keep in mind I have a HD131xe, but I got to this forum when googling about the "over-stretch" issue as someone else referred to it (so maybe this was a problem on a few models with same or similar firmware). That person's original post also helped isolate the issue because this LBX "over-stretch" issue really was fixed last firmware (they indicated a firmware update fixed it for them, so I was surprised when a firmware update from C03 to C04 didn't fix for me). The issue was that Optoma's Europe site got the proper C04 firmware update that included this LBX fix, but it never posted properly to the USA site (even though it too said C04). I'm not sure EXACTLY if there are variants within the C04 firmware, but the one you need to fix the LBX issue is now being posted to the USA site and should have a date on it of January 2014 instead of the September 2013 which was showing up for previous C04 firmware. There was some discussion about them renaming it C05 to ease confusion, so I don't know what will actually be posted. However, you'll know if once you install it that it has the January 20, 2014 date.

Whew! Confusing stuff. I did ask the technical staff I was working with if this firmware fixed any other issue and he wasn't aware of any. So... for those of you not worried about the LBX over-stretch issue because you never use LBX, you may want to wait until the next firmware unless you just have to know you have the latest firmware.
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post #18 of 19 Old 05-14-2014, 05:36 PM
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So glad that they followed through and your problem is solved smile.gif

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post #19 of 19 Old 05-14-2014, 05:48 PM
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Thanks to you John! Much appreciated!
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