Using a Samsung LCD with Xbox 360 over HDMI/VGA? Better read this! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 333 Old 02-02-2008, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone with an HDMI Xbox 360 and a Samsung 61/65/69/71/81 series is not getting the correct quality picture, please read this!

I remember a time just before I bought my Xbox 360 Elite... I was using the 360 VGA cable with my Samsung LNT4661. Microsoft updated the 360 dashboard to included "reference level settings", and I found that reference level "expanded" coupled with the Samsung "Home Theatre PC" mode set to "ON" fixed the washed out image VGA produced, very rich picture, but didn't kill my shadow detail.

I got my HDMI 360, and was expecting a very similar picture, maybe better black level control and shadow detail, and maybe a sharper image without ghosted text, etc. I dialed in the infamous "1499 settings", looked good, but not what I remember, and definitely not the picture IQ that I received from my PS3 over HDMI. Fast forward 6 months.... I figured it out, and you should too!

I knew something wasn't right and tried to probe AVS, Samsung, Microsoft for some answers about which combo of reference levels, and HDMI black levels, the general consensus was HDMI black level "Low" + Reference Level "Normal" was acceptable, and the same was true about the opposite (HDMI black level "normal" + reference level "expanded") produced the same black levels. The picture quality difference between the PS3 and 360 over HDMI got me thinking... Shouldn't HDMI "Low" coupled with 360 "Expanded" produce full RGB? NO. It looks rich, but your shadow detail will suffer big time...

Anyway, for Xbox 360 if you want the image quality to look outstanding, NO COMBINATIONS OF SETTINGS BESIDES THESE ARE CORRECT, it is the only way to use RGB colorspace with 360 and a Sammy LCD, giving you rich colors, great black levels, and accurate shadow detail:

ON YOUR 360:
-Plug your 360 into HDMI 1
-Set the reference level on the purple tab to "Expanded"

ON YOUR SAMSUNG LCD:
-Label HDMI 1 "PC" on the "inputs" tab along the left side of your TV menu
-Go to picture settings and reset them (last option), then use the following settings:

Picture mode: Standard
Contrast: 90
Brightness: 44
Sharpness: greyed out
Color: greyed out
Tint: 50/50 (may be greyed out)
Backlight: 3-6
HDMI Black Level: greyed out (normal)
Black Adjust: off
Dynamic Contrast: low or medium
Gamma: 0
Color Gamut: Auto
Home Theatre PC mode: On (this tells the TV to look for true RGB)
DNIE: On (I think it is greyed out)
DNR: off
White levels: default, all 15
color levels: default, all 15

You may have to power cycle your TV, but I found resetting your picture settings had the same effect, but the important things to note are:

-HDMI 1 is named PC
-Home Theatre PC "ON" (and NOT greyed out anymore)
-Xbox 360 reference levels Expanded
-some options get greyed out when correctly activated (sharpness, etc.)


PLEASE TRY THIS, YOU CAN PLAY WITH THE ACTUAL PICTURE SETTINGS, BUT THE 3 ABOVE ARE CRUCIAL.

I am surprised it took this long to figure it out, but I am confident I am correct, and you will immediately notice how amazing the picture is, no compromises.

I think this should be a sticky... Very important, easily overlooked.

Nothing else is true RGB.
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post #2 of 333 Old 02-02-2008, 04:28 PM
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I suppose that does not apply to the Sammy DLP's?
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post #3 of 333 Old 02-02-2008, 05:01 PM
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So, if I'm understanding this correctly, you setup the 360 to output 0-255 levels by choosing "expanded" reference level and then setup the TV to "Home Theatre PC" mode so that it would expect 0-255 levels just like a PC would output. Then a lot of other settings to get colors just right.

How does this differ with what you did for the PS3? Did you use YCbCr out for the PS3. I'd expect that to use 16-235 video standard levels by default, but perhaps it can be over-ridden. I'd think that the Samsung would automatically expect 16-235 levels when receiving YCbCr colorspace.

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post #4 of 333 Old 02-02-2008, 05:11 PM
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Valid points and that is fine for gaming but keep in mind that you don't want to use 0-255 (expanded) for HD DVD/DVD playback . Games are 0-255 but movies are 16-235 .

--- Jason
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post #5 of 333 Old 02-02-2008, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaGamePimp View Post

Valid points and that is fine for gaming but keep in mind that you don't want to use 0-255 (expanded) for HD DVD/DVD playback . Games are 0-255 but movies are 16-235 .

--- Jason

It would make sense to me, if you set the 360 to "expanded" that it would stretch the 16-235 levels from DVD/HD-DVD to the 0-255 range. Since that makes sense, I suppose that is not what is done? Do they do this stuff, just to confound the user?

P.J.
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post #6 of 333 Old 02-02-2008, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valence01 View Post

So, if I'm understanding this correctly, you setup the 360 to output 0-255 levels by choosing "expanded" reference level and then setup the TV to "Home Theatre PC" mode so that it would expect 0-255 levels just like a PC would output.

EXACTLY!

I think this information is very important, the average user wouldn't name their HDMI input (that their 360 is hooked up to) "PC" by accident (AND set the 360 to "expanded")...

Setting the Xbox to expanded does let it output 0-255, but because samsung and microsoft worked so closely on some specs of the TV's game mode supposedly, the Samsung HDMI firmware might recognize it as a 360 specifically, and as a multi-purpose video device (16-235), instead of a PC-like 0-255 full RGB colorspace.

I'm pretty sure this would apply to all Samsung/360 combos, and not just for HDMI either, VGA too, which ironically was the reason I remember how good it could look, playing around when MS released the VGA updates, "expanded" paired with "home theatre PC" mode (which made sense to me because it was a VGA connection from my 360...) produced excellent picture IQ

the HDMI input has to be named/flagged "PC" from the drop-down preset names on any Samsung so that it looks for full RGB colorspace (and so that "Home Theatre PC" won't be greyed out anymore), and Xbox 360 has to output full colorspace (Expanded). Anything else is wrong, but you lose the ability to set a few things like color+ (maybe a good thing if the RGB is PC accurate to begin with)

Note that when you have these settings enabled correctly, there will only be 2 picture size options to choose from, 16:9, and 4:3, but you will still get 1:1 pixel mapping like "just scan" allows, as evidenced by the 360's music visualizer (screensaver) having a small black border when set to full screen in 1080p (the black border normally wouldn't be seen in overscanned "16:9" size, only "Just Scan"). For example if your dashboard was set to 720p instead of 1080p, the image wouldn't fill the whole screen (even though "16:9" picture size usually stretches everything to fill the screen), because it is pixel-mapped 720p, and your TV is 1080p natively

Hope this helps...
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post #7 of 333 Old 02-03-2008, 07:00 AM
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I'm guessing this wouldn't work with my Samsung since it is a 720p model from last year, the 92D.
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post #8 of 333 Old 02-03-2008, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin4092D View Post

I'm guessing this wouldn't work with my Samsung since it is a 720p model from last year, the 92D.

I had a 4096 a couple years back that had the "Home Theatre PC" mode, I think the 92 series is just like the 96, except for the 720p panel and a different sound deflector. If yours does have the HTPC (greyed out unless selecting PC as the input name) in the advanced options menu, then you can activate RGB mode. You don't need 1080p to do this.
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post #9 of 333 Old 02-03-2008, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero HD View Post

I had a 4096 a couple years back that had the "Home Theatre PC" mode, I think the 92 series is just like the 96, except for the 720p panel and a different sound deflector. If yours does have the HTPC (greyed out unless selecting PC as the input name) in the advanced options menu, then you can activate RGB mode. You don't need 1080p to do this.

Do you mean game mode on the 4096?
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post #10 of 333 Old 02-03-2008, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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no, game mode has something to do with image processing (or the lack thereof), "Home Theatre PC" mode tells the TV to look for 0-255 scale gradients of color.
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post #11 of 333 Old 02-03-2008, 10:17 AM
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Should I try this with my Sammy LN-T3253H (720P)? I don't have an HDMI cable yet, but I was planning to switch my Wii from Composite to Component and my 360 from Component to HDMI. Thanks.
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post #12 of 333 Old 02-03-2008, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BKell View Post

Should I try this with my Sammy LN-T3253H (720P)? I don't have an HDMI cable yet, but I was planning to switch my Wii from Composite to Component and my 360 from Component to HDMI. Thanks.

absolutely, as long as you have "Home Theatre PC" mode in your "setup" menu (as shown below)

Picture


Sound

Channel

Setup--
--Home Theatre PC
--ON


Input--
--Edit Name
--HDMI 1
--"PC"
(from dropdown list, NOT named manually!)
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post #13 of 333 Old 02-04-2008, 05:08 AM
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Sweet. I'll give it a try. My picture looks great now (to me) but I'll try this out.
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post #14 of 333 Old 02-04-2008, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero HD View Post

absolutely, as long as you have "Home Theatre PC" mode in your "setup" menu (as shown below)

Picture


Sound

Channel

Setup--
--Home Theatre PC
--ON


Input--
--Edit Name
--HDMI 1
--"PC"
(from dropdown list, NOT named manually!)


I do have that mode. Will have to try it out when I get my new cables. Thanks.
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post #15 of 333 Old 02-04-2008, 09:08 AM
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I have a LN-S4095d and I don't think I have a home theater PC mode option. I believe it's the same as the 4096 minus a few small options (cable card, etc..) Hmm.. Thanks for the heads up. I'll see if I have that option. Can anyone else with a 95 series confirm whether or not this applies to us?

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post #16 of 333 Old 02-04-2008, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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it should have that option, check under the menu structure I posted above
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post #17 of 333 Old 02-04-2008, 11:05 AM
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What were your settings using the VGA cable?
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post #18 of 333 Old 02-04-2008, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero HD View Post

absolutely, as long as you have "Home Theatre PC" mode in your "setup" menu (as shown below)

Picture


Sound

Channel

Setup--
--Home Theatre PC
--ON


Input--
--Edit Name
--HDMI 1
--"PC"
(from dropdown list, NOT named manually!)



I have an older 360...it only has component port.....will this work?
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post #19 of 333 Old 02-04-2008, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverbull271 View Post

I have an older 360...it only has component port.....will this work?

Buy the VGA cable for the xbox 360
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post #20 of 333 Old 02-04-2008, 12:51 PM
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component no good?
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post #21 of 333 Old 02-04-2008, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverbull271 View Post

component no good?

Component's fine.
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post #22 of 333 Old 02-04-2008, 01:27 PM
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so whats the big deal then? whats the fuss all about over VGA?
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post #23 of 333 Old 02-04-2008, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverbull271 View Post

so whats the big deal then? whats the fuss all about over VGA?

Depends on your tv, VGA gives a sharper picture then component
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post #24 of 333 Old 02-04-2008, 03:04 PM
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For Samsung DLPs at least, using VGA eliminates a lot of lag for gaming. Unfortunately, even choosing "expanded" on the 360 with VGA doesn't totally fix the black level.

Cary
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post #25 of 333 Old 02-04-2008, 03:47 PM
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Is there any way to get similar PQ on HDMI 2 or 3? I have a 4066 and I'm using HDMI 1 for my PC (set to home theater pc mode); I want to avoid getting a switcher. I've been struggling w/ getting a good balance of contrast/color saturation while maintaining black level detail.
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post #26 of 333 Old 02-04-2008, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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component doesn't support RGB as far as I know, and I think any of the 3 HDMI ports would work with this. (ONLY HDM1 APPARENTLY) I need some feedback though, my set looks superb, and I want to hear from others.
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post #27 of 333 Old 02-05-2008, 09:29 PM
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My friend has the 4671f sammy lcd and he tried these and says the shadow detail is amazing. I however have the 4671f and I did not like the effect it had on PQ, but I think I need to retest.
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post #28 of 333 Old 02-06-2008, 12:48 AM - Thread Starter
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ah, we lost some posts due to the website issues earlier, boo.
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post #29 of 333 Old 02-06-2008, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero HD View Post

I need some feedback though, my set looks superb, and I want to hear from others.

I have the 61 series and honestly I don't notice a big difference. I did everything you said correctly but for me it does not look much different. The only thing different was DNR was set to auto because it was greyed out.
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post #30 of 333 Old 02-06-2008, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero HD View Post

it should have that option, check under the menu structure I posted above

Thanks a lot Zero. I'll definitely try it out

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