Sony's new interpolation-free "Motionflow Impulse" is low-lag, and great for HTPC gaming. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 09-09-2013, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

Those of you running HTPC's on new Sony HDTV's: 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)

1. Load up a fast 60fps game (or use TestUFO Moving Photo Test)
2. Enable Motionflow Impulse. Turn off ambient light sensor for brighter picture.
3. Motion now looks as clear as CRT or plasma. No fake frames or interpolation!

This setting is available in Game Mode. It does flicker like a CRT (because of motion blur eliminating strobe backlight), but it is very high-efficiency, eliminating approximately three-quarters of LCD motion blur. This looks great in 60 frames per second games such as FPS and racing from the HTPC.

Related AVSFORUM Post: New CRT Quality LCD's With Zero Motion Blur
(General thread about strobe backlights, not specific to HTPC's).
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post #2 of 19 Old 09-09-2013, 04:56 PM
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Thanks for the post - it is very relevant for this subforum.

However, I do have to ask the obvious: what does "low-lag" mean? If it is below one frame of lag, that would be outstanding. If it is around one frame, that's still very good. Two frames of lag is acceptable for many gamers unless they are in to fighters or music games, three becomes a barely accetable level for almost any gamer, and more than that is completely unacceptable.

So how many lag frames exist with this new tech turned on? And if the feature is turned off in Game Mode, what are the lag frames then? How was the lag detected? Maybe the thread link has this info; I'll read through it now.

For the record, I have a 60" Sony 3D set from a couple of years back, and turning on Motion Flow easily adds 3-4 frames of lag in game mode with it turned off. I always enjoy seeing improvements in tech so I hope they are onto something here. With Motion Flow on, it does a decent job at smoothing over the visuals, making it appearthat the frame rate is higher than it really is.

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post #3 of 19 Old 09-09-2013, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblow View Post

However, I do have to ask the obvious: what does "low-lag" mean? If it is below one frame of lag, that would be outstanding. If it is around one frame, that's still very good. Two frames of lag is acceptable for many gamers unless they are in to fighters or music games
Depends on the strobe backlight, but generally less than one frame of added lag.

-- LightBoost adds less than one frame of lag (LightBoost), it is only +4ms (half of 1/120sec).
-- Sony's Motionflow Impulse mode adds less than one frame, for a total of less than two frames of total lag.

They are low-lag when compared to yesterday's interpolation and yesterday's inefficient scanning backlights. Many motionflow modes used to take 100 milliseconds, so these are ultra-low-lag modes in comparison. Measurements of Motionflow Impulse using Leo Bodnar:
Quote:
I have some good news about the impulse mode on the sony 2013 KDL-55W905A.
The impulse mode is now available in gaming mode and the input lag in that impulse mode is only 30 ms!
The even better news is that it has been tested with the Leo Bodnar input lag tester, so a highspeed camera input lag test, will probably show 15 ms less.

So there you go, lightboost quality gaming that does not have the way too heavy 120fps requirement. The flickering is still there though.
Good chance that the same low input lag will be valid for the much cheaper Sony w805 as well.

Here is the review, the part about impulse mode is just above the Conclusion:
http://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/news/sony-kdl55w905a-201305172987.htm?page=Performance
So that's a Motionflow mode, zero interpolation artifacts (no fake frames), and adds less than one extra frame of input lag on top of baseline input lag. Which is low-lag, compared to yesterday's Motionflow.

Keep in mind that once lag differential is small, the motion blur elimination can actually cause faster human reaction times that outweigh the minor strobe-related input lag. During fast strafing / turning / panning, you can identify enemies quicker while in motion, without stopping moving. Strobe backlights make the input lag differential so small on some displays (+4ms) that the improved human reaction time often starts to outweigh the tiny input lag. The era is finally here now where high-efficiency motion blur reduction backlights are now worthwhile for computer/gaming use, finally free of interpolation artifacts, and the unreasonable lag is gone. Strobe backlights are even better at 120Hz, however, since half a frame of lag at 120Hz is just 4ms.
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-10-2013, 08:05 AM
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This part is confusing:
Quote:
The impulse mode is now available in gaming mode and the input lag in that impulse mode is only 30 ms!

The even better news is that it has been tested with the Leo Bodnar input lag tester, so a highspeed camera input lag test, will probably show 15 ms less.

There is no "probably" when a proper lag test is conducted. Is it 30ms (almost two frames) of lag added with impulse mode or a confirmed 15ms (about one frame)?

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post #5 of 19 Old 09-10-2013, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblow View Post

This part is confusing:
There is no "probably" when a proper lag test is conducted. Is it 30ms (almost two frames) of lag added with impulse mode or a confirmed 15ms (about one frame)?
The Leo Bodnar test is well known by all sites (HDTVtest, displaylag.com, TFTCentral, myself, etc), to return different input lag values than the SMTT input lag results. Leo Bodnar uses three flashing squares, top edge, center, and bottom edge. The top returns smaller values (similiar to SMTT). The middle is average input lag, and the bottom is worst-case input lag. On plasmas and LightBoost, all values appear as the same. On CRT's and LCD's, they are scanned as the signal comes in sequentially, so the top value is smaller.

Lag Test Method #1: The Leo Bodnar test is 100% confirmed.
Lag Test Method #2: The SMTT test value is NOT confirmed.

We be know SMTT (CRT zero-relative method) is "probably" 15ms because historically, stuff that said 30ms on Leo Bodnar -- often reports 15-20ms on SMTT (CRT zero-relative measurements). A good explanation of the input lag behaviours are found at these links:
http://www.displaylag.com/testing-method/
http://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/news/input-lag/

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post #6 of 19 Old 12-11-2013, 01:36 PM
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Sony did it.., the mistake of the year... their 'smart' engineers decided to enable their interpollation algorithm (after the latest firmware updates) at 'Impulse' mode, and there is no way back.... you can't disable it now....OMG. frown.gif

Impulse mode was the only MotionFlow option where the Sony 4K had the best motion resolution from any other LED in the market, with NONE Interpolation.... sadly now.. Sony's Impulse mode features bad interpollation, large motion blur and this mode now is just a dimmed mode that noone will ever use... frown.gif

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post #7 of 19 Old 01-12-2014, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConnecTEDDD View Post

Sony 4K
Are you saying that only the Sony 4K models are affected? My Sony TV has Impulse but is not 4K, so I am wondering if I should avoid upgrading the firmware, or if I can downgrade the firmware after upgrading.
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post #8 of 19 Old 01-12-2014, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik Garci View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConnecTEDDD View Post

Sony 4K
Are you saying that only the Sony 4K models are affected? My Sony TV has Impulse but is not 4K, so I am wondering if I should avoid upgrading the firmware, or if I can downgrade the firmware after upgrading.

Hello, I have tested only the Sony 55X9005 with tons of reference motion evaluation videos, after the problems I found, some days later they released a newer firmware where the motion performance become worst... frown.gif

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post #9 of 19 Old 04-21-2014, 07:01 PM
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Hey Connec, do you know what firmware version you tested with?

 

I have an Australian model Sony KDL-55W800A/802A TV, and I've been using impulse mode on firmware PKG4.201GAA with it working flawlessly. I have been using it on PS3 and PS4 games that run at 60fps. I have probably played games using impulse mode for about 40-50 hours.

 

However, I recently updated my firmware to PKG4.401GAA and impulse mode is no longer working as intended. Motion blur is reduced to a minimum, but there is a serious ghosting and image doubling of objects when moving. I think you are right in that Sony has enabled frame duplication in this mode. It really makes no sense to me at all, as that what the other modes are for. I updated to the latest firmware as of 21/04/12 (PKG4.410GAA) but impulse mode is still broken.

 

I'm getting in contact with Sony to try see what's up. I mainly use the TV for gaming so this is a major deal breaker for me. I've had the TV for about 6 months.

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post #10 of 19 Old 04-22-2014, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chomby View Post

Hey Connec, do you know what firmware version you tested with?

I have an Australian model Sony KDL-55W800A/802A TV, and I've been using impulse mode on firmware PKG4.201GAA with it working flawlessly. I have been using it on PS3 and PS4 games that run at 60fps. I have probably played games using impulse mode for about 40-50 hours.

However, I recently updated my firmware to PKG4.401GAA and impulse mode is no longer working as intended. Motion blur is reduced to a minimum, but there is a serious ghosting and image doubling of objects when moving. I think you are right in that Sony has enabled frame duplication in this mode. It really makes no sense to me at all, as that what the other modes are for. I updated to the latest firmware as of 21/04/12 (PKG4.410GAA) but impulse mode is still broken.

I'm getting in contact with Sony to try see what's up. I mainly use the TV for gaming so this is a major deal breaker for me. I've had the TV for about 6 months.

Hi, I don't remember the exact firmware version where the added the frame interpolation to the Impulse mode, but this was general the strategy of Sony for all the TV/Projector line where the Impulse mode was available.

They are still trying to improve the frame interpolation upon every update but the ghosting is still here, I'm checking frequently various models with no good news... frown.gif

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post #11 of 19 Old 04-22-2014, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Chomby View Post

However, I recently updated my firmware to PKG4.401GAA and impulse mode is no longer working as intended. Motion blur is reduced to a minimum, but there is a serious ghosting and image doubling of objects when moving. I think you are right in that Sony has enabled frame duplication in this mode.
Have you noticed any extra lag when playing games now?

Also, have you tried downgrading to the previous version?
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post #12 of 19 Old 04-22-2014, 08:08 AM
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Have you noticed any extra lag when playing games now?

Also, have you tried downgrading to the previous version?

I haven't spent enough time using it to tell if there is an increase in input lag. I wouldn't use it to game now anyway as the motion has too much ghosting.

 

I've tried, Sony prevent you from downgrading firmware :(

I've contacted them about it and they'll get back to me in about a week.

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post #13 of 19 Old 04-22-2014, 08:42 AM
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I've tried, Sony prevent you from downgrading firmware frown.gif
OK. Did you try doing a factory reset first?

Link: How to perform a factory reset on the TV

By the way, I have a KDL-47W802A that still has the previous version (PKG4.201AAA), and I always use Impulse (which is the main reason I bought this model), so I will avoid upgrading. I am interested in finding out how Sony will handle this issue.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik Garci View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chomby View Post

I've tried, Sony prevent you from downgrading firmware frown.gif
OK. Did you try doing a factory reset first?

Link: How to perform a factory reset on the TV

By the way, I have a KDL-47W802A that still has the previous version (PKG4.201AAA), and I always use Impulse (which is the main reason I bought this model), so I will avoid upgrading. I am interested in finding out how Sony will handle this issue.

Hi Eric, factory reset don't touch the firmware version.

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post #15 of 19 Old 04-22-2014, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik Garci View Post


OK. Did you try doing a factory reset first?

Link: How to perform a factory reset on the TV

By the way, I have a KDL-47W802A that still has the previous version (PKG4.201AAA), and I always use Impulse (which is the main reason I bought this model), so I will avoid upgrading. I am interested in finding out how Sony will handle this issue.

A factory reset changed nothing unfortunately. I'll post here further when I get more information from Sony.

 

Well whatever you do, don't update your firmware. I'm kicking myself, I loved that smooth, smooth motion...

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post #16 of 19 Old 04-23-2014, 08:53 AM
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This thread just legit depressed me. I was thinking about upgrading my really old KDL46EX400 bedroom TV with a 50" Sony W series TV that has Impulse mode... I kinda wanted to use it for gaming now and then... I might still be able to do it, provided the firmware with the TV in the box hasn't been updated too far... but I'm really scared with what Sony is doing with their latest firmware update. Hope they realize the mistake, fix it, and never mess it up... but it sounds like this problem has been in effect for over 4 months now and I'd have expected them to fix it already if they were going to. Pretty sad!

Will have to make sure the manufacture date of the TV I purchase, if I find one, is before November of last year and NEVER connect it to the Internet. :P

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post #17 of 19 Old 04-23-2014, 04:04 PM
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This thread just legit depressed me. I was thinking about upgrading my really old KDL46EX400 bedroom TV with a 50" Sony W series TV that has Impulse mode... I kinda wanted to use it for gaming now and then... I might still be able to do it, provided the firmware with the TV in the box hasn't been updated too far... but I'm really scared with what Sony is doing with their latest firmware update. Hope they realize the mistake, fix it, and never mess it up... but it sounds like this problem has been in effect for over 4 months now and I'd have expected them to fix it already if they were going to. Pretty sad!

Will have to make sure the manufacture date of the TV I purchase, if I find one, is before November of last year and NEVER connect it to the Internet. :P

Hello, It's pretty difficult to locate a new unit with so old firmware, it must be from the first released models mid-2013, models that produced around (sept-november 2013) are coming loaded with the updated firmware. frown.gif

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post #18 of 19 Old 05-01-2014, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik Garci View Post

OK. Did you try doing a factory reset first?

Link: How to perform a factory reset on the TV

By the way, I have a KDL-47W802A that still has the previous version (PKG4.201AAA), and I always use Impulse (which is the main reason I bought this model), so I will avoid upgrading. I am interested in finding out how Sony will handle this issue.

I haven't heard back from Sony's tech support, but I'm still in contact with their customer service department. They asked me to provide some footage of the ghosting so I took a few pictures and uploaded them to imgur: https://imgur.com/a/bHXAQ

Apologies for the horrible quality, it was taken with a phone camera. It does give you an idea of the ghosting though with Rayman Origins @60fps.
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post #19 of 19 Old 05-11-2014, 09:42 PM
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Hey guys, good news. I tested the new Sony KDL50W800B with Impulse mode and I can confirm it works as intended (reduces motion blur and low input lag).

 

I'm not sure if my panel (KDL55W802A) is faulty or if the firmware upgrade altered something.

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