New CRT-Quality LCD's. Zero Motion Blur! (LightBoost Monitors / Low Lag Motionflow Impulse TV's) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-10-2013, 10:35 PM - Thread Starter
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For people interested in eliminating motion blur during video gaming, there is some good news in new displays. The CRT feeling is back!

This is in regards to MOTION quality (not color quality, black quality), with the brand new strobe-backlight LCD's that finally produce true CRT motion resolution in an LCD. LCD still has poor black levels compared to CRT, but the LCD motion blur dragon has been finally slayed. This article is not for people who prefer motion blur; this article is not for people who disliked CRT's. This is for people who wants maximum motion resolution in a display -- clearest and sharpest fast motion during video games.

I'm well known in other areas of the forum, but not in this section. I wanted to mention two major new developments as of year 2013 for people who want the maximum possible motion resolution in video games out of an LCD display. Recently, new strobe backlights have been invented that manage to allow LCD to have better motion resolution than a plasma, without the disadvantage of plasma input lag. (Plasma is still better for color quality, but this is for people who care more about maximum motion resolution).

What are Strobe Backlights???

Strobe backlights are backlights/edgelights that flash once per refresh, which makes the LCD flicker like a CRT. The backlight is turned off while waiting for pixel transitions (unseen by human eyes), and the backlight is strobed only on fully-refreshed LCD frames (seen by human eyes). The strobes can be shorter than pixel transitions, breaking the pixel transition speed barrier! In addition, it eliminates the sample-and-hold effect.



Several good articles about strobe backlights include TFTCentral: Motion Blur Reduction Backlights. For a long time, there was scanning backlights that were commonly used by Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, etc HDTV's. Most of them combined interpolation so these created lots of input lag, and created a fake "soap opera" effect. But the brand new strobe backlights are low-lag and 100% interpolation free, which is slowly starting to revolutionize video gaming for motion-blur-sensitive people. These finally bring CRT motion resolution to LCD displays, with a lot of amazed testimonials that are similiar to:
Quote:
original post (Transsive)
Then yesterday I, for some reason, disabled the 3d and noticed there was no ghosting to be spotted at all in titan quest. It's like playing on my old CRT.
Quote:
original post (Inu)
I can confirm this works on BENQ XL2420TX
EDIT: And OMG i can play scout so much better now in TF2, this is borderline cheating.
Quote:
original post (TerrorHead)
Thanks for this, it really works! Just tried it on my VG278H. Its like a CRT now!
Quote:
original post (Vega)
Oh my, I just got Skyrim AFK camera spinning (which I used to test LCD's versus the [Sony CRT] FW900) to run without stutters and VSYNC locked to 120. This Benq with Lightboost is just as crystal clear if not clearer than the FW900 motion. I am in awe. More testing tomorrow. Any of my doubts about this Lightboost technology have been vaporized! I've been playing around with this fluid motion on this monitor for like 6-hours straight, that is how impressive it is.
Quote:
OCN post (Baxter299)
way to go vega enjoyed your review and pics ..thanks for taking the time .got my VG248QE last friday .replacing my fw900 witch is finally taking a rest in my closet .
Quote:
OCN post (Romir)
Thanks for the timely review Vega.
I went ahead and opened mine and WOW, it really does feel like my FW900. I haven't tried a game yet but it's down right eerie seeing 2d text move without going blurry.
...And dozens others rave reviews by gamers...

If you care more about black levels and maximum color quality, you may not be interested. However, if you want fast pans that are as perfectly sharp as stationary images, without using motion interpolation, and without the input lag, strobe backlights are becoming an increasingly popular solution. If want perfect sharpness during fast motion (e.g. being able to see fast panning motion similiar to www.testufo.com/#test=photo with zero motion blur) whie playing video games, you need a flicker display technology such as a CRT, a LightBoost display, or a Motionflow Impulse display. Even the best plasma displays still create too much motion blur for some people who are extremely sensitive to motion blur. Also, for best motion fludiity without interpolation, you need to run a framerate matching display refresh rate.

There are some good web based animations that helps people understand motion blur better, and why strobe backlights reduce motion blur.
View these animations in Google Chrome on a recent computer (everything in chrome://gpu enabled):
- Animation that shows higher framerate has less motion blur: www.testufo.com/#test=framerates
- Animation that shows how eye tracking can create motion blur: www.testufo.com/#test=eyetracking
- Animation that shows how flicker reduce motion blur: www.testufo.com/#test=blackframes

Mathematically, for high-efficiency strobe backlights, motion blur is directly proportional to strobe length. Both TFTCentral and Blur Busters measured the strobe lengths of LightBoost, as well as looked at motion tests such as PixPerAn and TestUFO.com.

As a comparison, plasma displays has 5ms of motion blur due to red/green phosphor decay, and the medium-persistence Sony GDM-W900 CRT has about 1-2ms of motion blur, due to phosphor decay. The numbers measured for LightBoost has less motion blur than plasma (and it actually shows up in motion tests such as www.testufo.com/#test=photo that LightBoost has clearer motion than plasma). This finally puts LCD truly in CRT ballpark -- both from a subjective AND objective/measured perspective -- At least for medium-persistence phosphor type. Provided you have a GPU capable of running framerates matching refresh rates, since you're avoiding interpolation with these types of strobe backlights.

Strobe backlights generally improves motion of games with a fast panning motion (such as www.testufo.com/#test=photo ...) so it benefits games that has fast panning, such as strafing and turns in FPS games, fast flybys such as low helicoptor-flybys in Battlefield 3, and things like racing games (arcade racers, sim racers, etc). In addition beyond gaming, it can also benefit a small minority of people who get eyestrain from motion blur (e.g. like scrolling a web browser window and getting eyestrain because of the blur). Be noted that strobe backlights aren't for people who hated CRT, though the LightBoost behaves like a high-refresh-rate 120Hz CRT.


1. LightBoost Monitors

Supported 120Hz Computer Monitors:
ASUS: VG248QE, ASUS VG278H, ASUS VG278HE, BENQ XL2411T, BENQ XL2420T, BENQ XL2420TX, BENQ XL2420TE, BENQ XL2720T, Acer HN274HBbmiiid


LightBoost is a strobe backlight that is now available in several 120Hz computer monitors (google "LightBoost monitors"). It is normally used as part of nVidia 3D Vision to synchronize strobe flashes with the timings of shutter glasses. However, it also additionally eliminates motion blur too, independently of its original stereoscopic purpose. Recently in 2013, LightBoost became more popular for 2D motion blur elimination. It has recently gotten coverage in several media websites such as ArsTechnica, AnandTech, TFTCentral, etc.

The definitive guide is the LightBoost HOWTO. The newest and most popular method of enabling LightBoost is the new ToastyX Strobelight utility, which is a software utility that allows you to use LightBoost with almost any graphics card (nVidia or AMD) on almost any LightBoost monitor. Bear in mind Lightboost doesn't look good at 60fps@120Hz, it only looks amazing at 120fps@120Hz. LightBoost is hardware-locked to strobe at 100-to-120Hz, so it is like a CRT that's locked to flicker only at a 100-to-120Hz refresh rate. So it will only benefit computer sources, since those are the only mainstream sources capable of outputting 120Hz.

Experiment with your VSYNC setting (e.g. use Adaptive VSYNC) so that your game panning motion can look as perfectly zero motion blur as possible. This can be challenging with more recent games, but not impossible with Titan's and Geforce 770/7880 GPU's. Older games such as Source Engine games can run at 120fps easily on cheaper 600-series GeForce GPU's. A favourite setting by LightBoost users is Adaptive VSYNC, since it is an input-lag-reduced VSYNC ON, while providing the perfect zero motion blur motion fluidity whenever framerates matches refresh rates. Disable your game's artificial motion blur feature, so you can enjoy gaming unfettered by artificial motion blur.

Main Pros:
+ Elimination of motion blur. CRT perfect clarity motion.
+ Improved competitive advantage by faster human reaction times.
+ Far more fluid than regular 120Hz or 144Hz.
+ Fast motion is more immersive.

Main Cons:
- Reduced brightness.
- Degradation of color quality. (Can be calibrated)
- Minor flicker, if you are flicker sensitive. (like a 120Hz CRT)
- Requires a powerful GPU to get full benefits. You need 120fps@120Hz for full benefits.

2. Sony Motionflow Impulse

Supported Sony Televisions:
HX920 Series, HX923 Series, HX925 Series, HX929 Series, XBR-55HX950, XBR-65HX950, KDL-47W802A (Budget), KDL-55w802A (Budget), KDL-55W900A, W905A Series, XBR-55X900A (4K Ultra), XBR-65X900A (4K Ultra)


The Motionflow Impulse Mode is a new Sony strobe backlight now available in Game Mode on several newer higher-end Sony HDTV's. What is amazing about it is that it is one of the world's first low-latency motion blur reduction technology to hit an LCD HDTV, that is available during Game Mode. No interpolation lag! It flickers a LOT like a 60Hz CRT, so it is not as easy on everybody's eyes as LightBoost. However, if you turn the lights down a little bit, and also turn off the ambient light sensor, the image becomes brighter than a projector screen, and when you play video games -- you have an amazing 4x less motion blur (4 times the motion resolution! All blu-rays motion tests show full 1080 lines of motion resolution with zero interpolation artifacts). Motionflow Impulse is doing the equivalent of a 3:1 black frame insertion (75% dark, 25% bright).

The advantage of Motionflow Impulse is that it works with all 60Hz sources, including video game consoles. Bear in mind that most console games only run at 30fps, so you won't get the full benefits from 30fps games (you get a double-image effect like when playing on plasma). You will probably want to stick to 60fps games, which is easier to get from a HTPC running a powerful GPU.

Main Pros:
+ Elimination of motion blur. CRT perfect clarity motion.
+ No interpolation. Low lag.
+ About 4x less motion blur than regular 60Hz
+ Better color quality than a computer monitor

Main Cons:
- Greatly reduced brightness in strobe mode. (Disabling ambient light sensor helps)
- Flickers a lot like a 60Hz CRT
- You need 60fps @ 60Hz for full benefits (since you're avoiding interpolation)


3. High End Speciality Monitors

This would not be complete without a mention of some other ultra-high-end computer displays that have this technology. These utilize ultra-high-efficiency strobe backlights or scanning backlights, using low input latency, and without using interpolation. These are not consumer displays, and generally cost more than the above displays.

-- 22" Viewpixx Scientific Vision Research monitor. (datasheet)
Five figure priced. Confirmed interpolation free.
http://www.vpixx.com/products/visual-stimulus-displays/viewpixx.html

-- 24" EIZO FDF2405W LCD monitor with 240Hz VA LCD (page 15 of manual mentions strobe backlight).
Four figure priced. Confirmed interpolation free.
http://www.eizo.com/global/products/duravision/fdf2405w/


Testing Motion on a Strobe Backlight

Find material that does fast panning motion during framerates matching refresh rate.
One good test is the TestUFO Moving Photo Test at www.testufo.com/#test=photo
(View on a recent computer with ATI/nVidia, running Chrome browser, for perfect framerate=Hz motion)

On a short persistence display -- such as a CRT or one of the high-efficiency strobe backlight displays -- the moving photo at www.testufo.com/#test=photo looks exactly as sharp as a stationary photo at www.testufo.com/#test=photo&pps=0 ... Fast panning motion would appear perfectly sharp, just like on a CRT. Turn on/off your display's strobe mode while viewing the panning motion. When strobes are enabled, you will be able to count the windows in the castle at the top of the moving photo, for example.

Be noted that in your video games, you may not benefit very much from a strobe backlight unless you can run at framerates matching refresh rates. A good test of multiple framerates can be done by viewing www.testufo.com/#test=framerates&count=3 (while using a CRT or strobe backlight display); you will observe that maximum game motion quality literally demands framerate=Hz
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-15-2013, 08:13 PM
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I have just purchased a lightboost monitor, the Asus VG248QE and can attest that when running 120fps @ 120hz, it looks great! My question is about these new Sony TV's with Motionflow Impulse. How would they compare to the Asus monitor for high end PC gaming? I notice a reduced 60fps requirement vs the lightboost monitors, this should be much easier to obtain with a PC than 120fps. Will it still look as good and have much reduced motion blur, or is there a trade off?

I am slightly put off by the colors of the Asus monitor. I am thinking a 32" 1080p Sony TV (32W650A) with Motionflow impulse might be a decent secondary option, with better colors and lower fps requirements, not sure if this is a good idea though, especially as a PC monitor. Anyone tried this yet??
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-16-2013, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roman707 View Post

I have just purchased a lightboost monitor, the Asus VG248QE and can attest that when running 120fps @ 120hz, it looks great!
Yes, that's the great thing about the amazing motion resolution of these displays --
Quote:
Originally Posted by roman707 View Post

[however...] I am slightly put off by the colors of the Asus monitor.
This is a known tradeoff, but you can also reduce this somewhat. There are some calibrated picture settings available in the LightBoost FAQ, to fix the purple tint and fix the gamma bleaching issue. For the best quality LightBoost, I highly recommend the ASUS VG278H over the ASUS VG248QE. It costs twice as much, but the colors are much better. The contrast ratio is twice as much in LightBoost, so colors are twice as saturated.
Quote:
I am thinking a 32" 1080p Sony TV (32W650A) with Motionflow impulse might be a decent secondary option, with better colors and lower fps requirements, not sure if this is a good idea though, especially as a PC monitor. Anyone tried this yet??
New Sony HDTV's actually make surprisingly good computer monitors, since they have fairly low input lag (<= 1 frame) and typically support 4:4:4 chroma for PC use. Do make sure you use Microsoft Cleartype Tuner, as some Sony HDTV's have used a BGR array instead of RGB array. That said, I'm not sure if there's a 32" model of a Sony, that also happens to have Motionflow Impulse.
Quote:
My question is about these new Sony TV's with Motionflow Impulse. How would they compare to the Asus monitor for high end PC gaming? I notice a reduced 60fps requirement vs the lightboost monitors, this should be much easier to obtain with a PC than 120fps. Will it still look as good and have much reduced motion blur, or is there a trade off?
Typically, much better colors, but slightly less motion blur reduction. In general, Impulse is equivalent to a backlight-driven 3:1 black frame insertion that reduces LCD motion blur by about 75% -- which means things are only one-quarter as blurry during fast smooth pans (like the pan at www.testufo.com/#test=photo viewed in Chrome browser).
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-17-2013, 01:24 PM
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Hello there, everyone! You're talking about 27 inch LightBoost monitors, when can we expect to see much larger sizes{ say 75 inches } ?
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Anyone?
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-26-2013, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digitally challe View Post

Anyone?
LightBoost is primarily found in computer monitors. For similar strobe backlights, you'll want to look at equivalent strobe backlights in HDTV"s such as Sony's "Motionflow Impulse".

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Thank you.
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-09-2013, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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New computer monitor display with a strobe backlight, this time, a VA LCD!
Eizo FDF2405W -- 240Hz VA LCD monitor with strobe backlight

It does not use interpolation, but uses a strobe backlight to achieve 240Hz:
Upon studying the Eizo FDF-2405W manual for Eizo’s upcoming monitor, there is good news on page 15:
http://www.eizo.com/global/support/db/files/manuals/03V24694A1/Manual-EN.pdf
Quote:
Originally Posted by EIZO FDF2405W Manual 
Reducing motion blur “Blur Reduction”

Motion blur occurs when the eye recognizes liquid crystal transitions which comes from changing screens (frames). When “Blur Reduction” is set to “On”, the backlight flickers in sync with liquid crystal transition*1 so the change cannot be seen, thereby achieving clear images with less blur. (Default setting: On)

*1 This monitor converts 120 Hz input signals into 240 Hz within the panel, and doubles the refresh rate to draw two images per frame. By applying a voltage higher than the input signal to speed up response (overdrive) for the first image, and then drawing the second image with the original input signal, the liquid crystals are stabilized. The “Blur Reduction” function turns on the backlight only for the stable duration of the second image, and off for other durations.
This means no interpolation is used, so no input lag from interpolation! The Eizo “240Hz” monitor achieves 240Hz via a two-pass refresh. One overdriven refresh in the dark, unseen by the human eye, followed by a single backlight strobe flash on a very clean 120Hz refresh. This should produce excellent LightBoost-style quality, reasonable input lag, and excellent VA colors. Although this model is targeted at GIS/mapping, this could potentially become an excellent casual-gaming 120Hz monitor with great color! An interesting question is the strobe flash length, as shorter strobe flahes results in less motion blur.

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post #9 of 11 Old 11-11-2013, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roman707 View Post

I am thinking a 32" 1080p Sony TV (32W650A) with Motionflow impulse might be a decent secondary option, with better colors and lower fps requirements, not sure if this is a good idea though, especially as a PC monitor. Anyone tried this yet??
I tried strobing on the 32W650A, although it is called LED Motion on that model. There are no Motionflow settings in its menu. When LED Motion is set to On, the backlight strobes at 60Hz, but the panel response is not very quick, so there is a lot of ghosting. In some cases, I can see up to 4 or 5 trailing ghosts, and the first ghost is almost as bright as the primary image. Also, within the bottom 25% of the screen, there is a faint leading ghost, probably because the backlight strobes slightly too late, and the panel is refreshed from bottom to top (instead of refreshing from top to bottom like a CRT does). Upgrading the firmware made no difference.

Others models that have LED Motion are the 32R400A, 40R450A and 50R450A, which have even worse ghosting than the 32W650A, because they seem to strobe at 120Hz, and their panel response seems to be slower as well.

I also tried strobing on the 47W802A, which actually has Motionflow Impulse in its menu, not LED Motion. It strobes at 60Hz, and the panel response is quite quick, so I usually see just one faint trailing ghost. It is much better than the 32W650A.

By the way, I used a light meter to measure the light output, and it dropped by about 80% when strobing was enabled on the 47W802A or 32W650A. I also used a power meter to measure the power usage, which dropped by about 60%. The 47W802A wins again because it is almost twice as bright as the 32W650A, when the backlight is set to Max on both.


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I don't think that this is the best quote to use:
Quote:
witch is finally taking a rest in my closet .
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Glad I found this thread before pulling the trigger on a new monitor! thanks!


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