Confusion: RGB Full vs RGB Limited vs YCbCr. PS3 vs PC - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 07-11-2014, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Confusion: RGB Full vs RGB Limited vs YCbCr. PS3 vs PC

Hello,

I was hoping to reach out to the AVS community with a question in regards to some confusion that I have. I have a Panasonic 32LZ800 LCD HDTV with my PS3, PS4, and PC ALL connected to it through HDMI. My PC has a Radeon HD 7970 so I am using the AMD Catalyst software/drivers. I do not have a 'professional' calibration disc or a calorimeter to calibrate my HDTV with. That said, when trying to adjust the brightness and contrast on the HDTV using my PS3 and a Pixar movie, I seem to get the best results when I set the PS3 display settings to RGB Limited. Contrast is set at 97 and brightness is set at 53.

However, when I try to adjust the brightness and contrast on my PC (using MPC-HC, madVR, and mounting the AVS HD 709 .iso), I get the best result when I set the pixel format to either YCbCr 4:4:4 or RGB 4:4:4 Full and tell madVR that this "display expects the following RGB output levels: PC levels (0-255)." Contrast is set at 97 and brightness is set at 53. When I try to set it to RGB 4:4:4 Limited and tell madVR to expect TV levels (16-235) I have to set the brightness to 0 in order to get things looking right. The white-levels flash from 230 all the way up to 252 with 253 looking like 'reference white.' (Shouldn't the white-levels past 235 all blend together with the range being 16-235?) Maybe I am wrong as I know each device needs to configured individually, but it doesn't seem right to me to have to set the brightness all the way down to 0 for things to look right. I have tried various combinations of RGB 4:4:4 Limited/Full, YCbCr 4:4:4, PC and TV levels through madVR....

So my question to you all is: Why is there a discrepancy between the PS3 and PC? From everything I have read on the 32LZ800 on this forum, many posters have said the display is RGB Limited, which seems to coincide with the settings on my PS3 to make it look right. Yet with my PC I am having to set everything to RGB Full. Shouldn't everything on my PC be set to RGB Limited instead since the HDTV is RGB Limited? Or is setting the brightness to 0 perfectly acceptable and normal? Please help me understand. Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Oihan

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post #2 of 20 Old 07-11-2014, 06:45 AM
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RGB limited, 16-235, is for TV (video levels), RGB full, 0-255, is for PC (PC levels).
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post #3 of 20 Old 07-11-2014, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 8mile13 View Post
RGB limited, 16-235, is for TV (video levels), RGB full, 0-255, is for PC (PC levels).
I get that, but shouldn't I be setting the range based on the TV and not what the TV is connected to? I thought the TV would expect RGB Limited, even on my PC. I guess that's where I am confused here....
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post #4 of 20 Old 07-11-2014, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Oihan View Post
I get that, but shouldn't I be setting the range based on the TV and not what the TV is connected to? I thought the TV would expect RGB Limited, even on my PC. I guess that's where I am confused here....
TV expects YCbCr 4:4:2 on HDMI (broadcast and consumer video BD/DVD ) ,you can use 4:4:4 and on the occasional odd bird TV RGB XXX but the panel will ultimately see limited RGB (16-235) anyway in most cases someTV will support full 0-255 RGB at least in game or PC mode

IOW if your TV panel and video board supports 4:4:4 and by implication RGB 0-255 all the way to and including the panel you can use it if not using it can degrade your picture (make it look dim and washed out ) depends on the TV .

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post #5 of 20 Old 07-11-2014, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tubetwister View Post
TV expects YCbCr 4:4:2 on HDMI you can use 4:4:4 and on the occasional odd bird TV RGB XXX but the panel will ultimately see RGB limited anyway
Is there documentation on this that I can reference? Google has produced nothing for me. Perhaps I am using the wrong keywords.... If it is expecting YCbCr 4:2:2, but the panel will ultimately see RGB limited...then...I need to set my PC to YCbCr 4:2:2...regardless since that's what it's expecting? I like to think I understand computers very well, but I struggle when it comes to AV and getting that set up correctly. :/
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post #6 of 20 Old 07-12-2014, 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Oihan View Post
Is there documentation on this that I can reference? Google has produced nothing for me. Perhaps I am using the wrong keywords.... If it is expecting YCbCr 4:2:2, but the panel will ultimately see RGB limited...then...I need to set my PC to YCbCr 4:2:2...regardless since that's what it's expecting? I like to think I understand computers very well, but I struggle when it comes to AV and getting that set up correctly. :/

There are *some TV's* that can support 4:4:4 or 0-255 all the way to and including the panel
IOW if your TV panel and video board supports 4:4:4 and by implication RGB 0-255 all the way to and including the panel you can use it if not using it can degrade your picture (make it look dim and washed out ) depends on the TV .

See this post linked below and the link at the bottom of the post , If you talk to Google nice it knows everything and where everything is except my dirty socks and my stash


Official 4:4:4 / Chroma Subsampling Thread

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post #7 of 20 Old 07-12-2014, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by tubetwister View Post
See this post linked below and the link at the bottom of the post , If you talk to Google nice it knows everything and where everything is except my dirty socks and my stash

You can set your PC to TV to YCbCr 4:2:2 or YCbCr 4:4:2 the panel will still RGB 16-235 not RGB 0-255 so might as well send it 4:4:2 and conserve the unsupported video bandwidth either way no difference in the picture .

Official 4:4:4 / Chroma Subsampling Thread

can you please provide informations about 4:4:2 and what has chroma sabsampling with level to do?

and how to send 4:4:2 not 4:4:4, 4.:2:2, 4:2:0 YCbCr, limited RGB, unlimited RGB?
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post #8 of 20 Old 07-12-2014, 11:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tubetwister View Post
There are *some TV's* that can support 4:4:4 or 0-255 all the way to and including the panel
IOW if your TV panel and video board supports 4:4:4 and by implication RGB 0-255 all the way to and including the panel you can use it if not using it can degrade your picture (make it look dim and washed out ) depends on the TV .

See this post linked below and the link at the bottom of the post , If you talk to Google nice it knows everything and where everything is except my dirty socks and my stash


Official 4:4:4 / Chroma Subsampling Thread
I was definitely using the wrong keywords. I was including Panasonic and 32LZ800.... Thanks a bunch! I will give it a read and see where it all takes me.
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post #9 of 20 Old 07-13-2014, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Oihan View Post
I get that, but shouldn't I be setting the range based on the TV and not what the TV is connected to? I thought the TV would expect RGB Limited, even on my PC. I guess that's where I am confused here....
Usually you need to set the TV to match the output of the video device. Most consumer video devices (DVD players, Blu-ray Players, video game consoles, etc.) output a limited range signal at the default settings, so typically most TVs expect a limited range signal with the initial settings. Most computers output a full-range signal at the default settings, so usually the TV should be set to accommodate a full-range signal when using a computer. Many video devices provide options to change the signal they output, and again you may need to set the TV to accommodate the signal being sent. Personally I'm not aware of a reasonable way to get the desktop and video to both output a limited range from my 7700 series AMD card, so for simplicity I have my computer output full-range and set my TV accordingly.

EDIT: On a second read I guess the TV doesn't have an option to switch between a limited and full input, and apparently the forum comments suggest the TV can only accept a limited input. Basically the worry here is that you don't want to feed a full range input into a TV that can only display 16-235, since you might lose information in the 0-15 and 236-255 range from the computer desktop. The pattern linked by mightyhuhn below will work to look at 0-15 values on the computer desktop. On a computer it's possible to display video at different levels from the desktop. For example there are ways to display video white at various levels, while white on the computer desktop remains at 255. To check what the video levels are being converted to at the computer desktop you can use colorcop or a print screen with an image editor to pull RGB values. I am not familiar with madVR, but the pixel format settings on my drivers expect 0 to be black and 255 to be white at the desktop, regardless if the limited or full output options are used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oihan View Post
RGB Limited. Contrast is set at 97 and brightness is set at 53.
PC levels (0-255)." Contrast is set at 97 and brightness is set at 53.
This is the way my TV happens to function. I get the same contrast and brightness settings when the TV is correctly set to match the video device, regardless if the TV receives a limited or full range signal. On my TV the reference white level for a limited signal (235 luma) matches the white level from a full-range signal, so both my Blu-ray player and computer display white with the same luminance (brightness).

EDIT: On a second thought it's probably a good idea to check what is happening at the computer desktop, unless you only use the computer for video. Since I'm not familiar with madVR, item 3 listed by mightyhuhn reads like the Limited dynamic range option in Catalyst Control Center, which allows outputting video and the desktop at different ranges between black and white.

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Originally Posted by Oihan View Post
I have to set the brightness to 0 in order to get things looking right. The white-levels flash from 230 all the way up to 252 with 253 looking like 'reference white.
I cannot really comment on how your TV works, but as noted above, when correctly set my TV fits the same amount of contrast between black and white, regardless if I'm using a range of 16-235 (limited) or 0-255 (full). The thing to watch out for is if the TV is not set to match the output of the video device. This reads like you're trying to send a 16-235 signal to a TV expecting 0-255, so I can understand how that could be an issue. Sending a 0-255 signal to a TV that's set to receive 16-235 can also cause issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oihan View Post
Shouldn't the white-levels past 235 all blend together with the range being 16-235?
Most commercial video does not appear to include encoded information outside of the 16-235 range, so displaying video information past 235 is not very important in my opinion. While I consider it silly to display all the way to 254 from a limited signal, it's also not always going to be ideal to try to clip right at 235. For example my TV has a rather bad gamma drop as it clips, so I trade some white level for a better gamma response. Since most people don't have measurement equipment to look at gamma, personally I recommend considering being slightly conservative and displaying a few levels past 235.


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post #10 of 20 Old 07-13-2014, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Oihan View Post
So my question to you all is: Why is there a discrepancy between the PS3 and PC? From everything I have read on the 32LZ800 on this forum, many posters have said the display is RGB Limited, which seems to coincide with the settings on my PS3 to make it look right. Yet with my PC I am having to set everything to RGB Full. Shouldn't everything on my PC be set to RGB Limited instead since the HDTV is RGB Limited? Or is setting the brightness to 0 perfectly acceptable and normal? Please help me understand. Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for taking the time to read this.Oihan
first of all the topic for PC is not very easy...

there are 3 points with the use of MadVR where the range plays a rule.

the 3 possible cases:
1. full range MadVR, full range GPU driver, full range TV this is very high quality and if possible you should use this!
2. full range MadVR, limited range GPU, limited range TV this is "low" quality but works with every TV.
3. limited range MadVR, full range GPU, limited range TV. this is high quality but has a huge problem with this setup only MadVR looks right the rest is off and totally clipped. if you only use the PC for MadVR at your TV use this if 1. is not possible!

a case where everything is limited is never right. i leave the "why" this is the case out this will take quiet some lines with the way how DVD/BD works and how Microsoft windows works and what the GPU driver does.

first of all try to find out if your TV is limited or full range, at lot of TV can do both in PC-MODE they are unlimited and in every other mode they are usually limited, by default they are usually detected as limited (you are on AMD so no problem for you).

set MadVR to full range it is not needed to change this setting at all for a test.
open the blackclipping test file(1-Black Clipping.mp4) from the mp4 version of the AVS 709 test disk.

now set your GPU driver to unlimited RGB(full range) and look at the test picture. if you see only black your TV needs limited input with the current TV settings (contrast brightness has nothing to with this).
even with limited input it is totally normal that you can't see 17+ flash it may starting flashing at 19-21+. this happens because Tv are purely calibrated and this can't be fixed in a lot of cases(some TV have settings to change this) not a lot you can do about without a meter.

you can use this picture as a alternative: http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/all_noprofile.php#black the important numbers totally change but...
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post #11 of 20 Old 07-14-2014, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you both, alluringreality and mightyhuhn! Both of your posts are very informative and helped me get all of this figured out. It appears I am a dim-witt as my TV does not properly support RGB Full - I think I had things mixed up. Lol, ugh. :facepalm: If it weren't for you two I wouldn't have figured this all out. It seems the best I can do is YCbCr or RGB Limited with madVR set to full range. Now I need to figure out if I should set the pixel format to YCbCr 4:4:4, YCbCr 4:2:2, or RGB 4:4:4 Limited.... Thanks again, everyone, for your posts. They are greatly appreciated!
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post #12 of 20 Old 07-14-2014, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightyhuhn View Post
set MadVR to full range it is not needed to change this setting at all for a test.
open the blackclipping test file(1-Black Clipping.mp4) from the mp4 version of the AVS 709 test disk.

now set your GPU driver to unlimited RGB(full range) and look at the test picture. if you see only black your TV needs limited input with the current TV settings (contrast brightness has nothing to with this).
even with limited input it is totally normal that you can't see 17+ flash it may starting flashing at 19-21+. this happens because Tv are purely calibrated and this can't be fixed in a lot of cases(some TV have settings to change this) not a lot you can do about without a meter.
Okay, I really need help trying to figure this out.

I have Intel HD4000 (Ivy Bridge) integrated graphics outputting video signal via HDMI to my Samsung PN60F5300 Plasma TV. Intel settings has YPbPr unchecked (and is outputting 0-255 from what I can tell) and the Lagom.nl tests for black levels and white levels pass in that I can distinguish all black levels starting from 1 and similarly all white levels. (Samsung HDMI Black Level set to Low)

However, I am having a weird issue with MPC-HC and MadVR. I have MadVR setting for the monitor as PC(0-255) so both my GPU and MadVR are set to 0-255. When I open 3-White Clipping.mp4 from AVS 709, all white levels are as expected with 235 matching pure white as expected. The problem arises when I try to view 1-Black Clipping.mp4. All bars 18 and higher flash as expected. However, no setting on my TV control lets me view Bar 17. It appears that this is somehow getting clipped to level 16. Any idea what the issue could be? As I mentioned, this only affects Level 17, all other levels to 235 match as expected.

I also tried setting the Intel GPU to output to 16-235 by checking YPbPr and then setting MadVR display as expecting 16-235. In this case, I have a different but bizzare problem. Now, I can correctly adjust TV brightness so I can see Bar 17 flashing in the Black Clipping test. However, when I play the White Clipping test, even though only bars up to 234 are flashing (as expected), the white level of 235 is not mapping to the true white of the TV (i.e., what 255 looks like in full range mode). Instead, 235 is grayish and seems to be mapping directly to 235 in the 0-255 full scale.

I hope this is making sense. I'm really perplexed by this issue. From taking pictures of the same scene in a movie with my DSLR and comparing the histograms, I can verify that the limited range approach as outlined above does give me more grayish white tones and reduces overall contrast. Moreover, it is also clear that the limited range output from GPU is degrading the colors by a visible amount. The full range path provides much better colors. So I'd really like to stick with the full range approach but I can't understand how to reclaim my Level 17 black and prevent it from clipping. Given that I can view Level 1 in the Lagom.nl website, it seems to indicate that the issue lies somewhere in MPC-HC or MadVR on my setup. Any thoughts/ideas?
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post #13 of 20 Old 07-15-2014, 01:59 AM
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intel is like nvidia there is a huge changing to full range RGB is not working at all in many cases.
you can force it with madNvLevelsTweaker.exe is in the MadVr folder.

samsung was or is still know for bad PC mode support i don't know how they handle this now but in the past you need to change the NAME of the HDMI connector with PC under it to be named PC. this allows support for full range RGB only at 60 HZ it's in your Handbook. all other settings need limited input and convert the input to 4:2:2.don't ask why they do or did this, it's just dumb. 60 hz only is pretty worthless in my eyes so don't waste your time.
you can check your TV for 4:4:4 support with this image: http://madshi.net/madVR/ChromaRes.png
this image only works with 1x1 pixel mapping so not scaled at all. the hole colors are totally different with 4:2:2 and 4:4:4. on a 4:4:4 screen the 4:4:4 is purple and the background is pink. on a 4:2:2 screen the background is purple and the 4:4:4 is barely or not visibility at all and you are able to see the 4:2:2.
Quote:
The problem arises when I try to view 1-Black Clipping.mp4. All bars 18 and higher flash as expected. However, no setting on my TV control lets me view Bar 17.
try using a custom range setting in MadVR try 1-3-255. 18 is pretty good for a normal TV without a 3d lut. and i already said limited MadVR and limited GPU driver is always wrong!
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post #14 of 20 Old 07-15-2014, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mightyhuhn View Post
intel is like nvidia there is a huge changing to full range RGB is not working at all in many cases.
you can force it with madNvLevelsTweaker.exe is in the MadVr folder.

samsung was or is still know for bad PC mode support i don't know how they handle this now but in the past you need to change the NAME of the HDMI connector with PC under it to be named PC. this allows support for full range RGB only at 60 HZ it's in your Handbook. all other settings need limited input and convert the input to 4:2:2.don't ask why they do or did this, it's just dumb. 60 hz only is pretty worthless in my eyes so don't waste your time.
you can check your TV for 4:4:4 support with this image: http://madshi.net/madVR/ChromaRes.png
this image only works with 1x1 pixel mapping so not scaled at all. the hole colors are totally different with 4:2:2 and 4:4:4. on a 4:4:4 screen the 4:4:4 is purple and the background is pink. on a 4:2:2 screen the background is purple and the 4:4:4 is barely or not visibility at all and you are able to see the 4:2:2.
try using a custom range setting in MadVR try 1-3-255. 18 is pretty good for a normal TV without a 3d lut. and i already said limited MadVR and limited GPU driver is always wrong!
Thanks so much. This is great info. Will test things out in the evening and report back. I had forgotten to mention that I am having MadVR change refresh rate to 24p so I can use CinemaSmooth on the TV for judderless viewing of 24p content (except for the IvyBridge 23.972Hz bug causing a dropped frame every 4 mins). This might very well be the source of the issue if it is an implementation issue with Intel's GPU. I'll try 60p refresh rate using MadVR and see if that changes anything.

As you mentioned, running everything at restricted is not great, and I could tell the change in color fidelity when doing that and I would wish to run with everything at 0-255. In the worst case I guess I can live with clipping Black Level 17.

Could you just explain the custom range setting of 1-3-255 in MadVR? I know where to set this, but I don't quite understand what 1-3-255 means?
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post #15 of 20 Old 07-15-2014, 07:33 AM
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http://abload.de/img/thisqhcal.png

this means it will expend the source only to 1-3 not to 0 this mean 17 should be visible with 1-3 just try it out.
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post #16 of 20 Old 07-15-2014, 03:40 PM
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http://abload.de/img/thisqhcal.png

this means it will expend the source only to 1-3 not to 0 this mean 17 should be visible with 1-3 just try it out.
Thanks! So I set it to 2, and 255 and that seemed to do the trick! With 3, I could faintly make out 16 against the BTB background. Also, my Plasma is a 4:2:2 display as per the image you linked to earlier.

IF you don't mind, could you explain what is exactly going on in my setup so I have a better understanding of how things are working?

My Intel Display Driver has YPbPr unchecked (which I believe makes it output full range 0-255). The Samsung TV is set to HDMI Level "Low" which is also supposed to be when feeding in full range 0-255 signals. I believe that my integrated GFX is indeed outputting full range because when I view the Black Level and White level test images at lagom.nl, I can clearly distinguish levels 1-20 and 230-255.

Now, in MadVR, under Device settings, it is set to output either (0-255), or as you recommended (2-255). What I don't understand is why does this cause 16 to map to 0/2, 17 to map to 1/3, etc, when I have both GPU and MadVR to output full range? I would normally expect the image to be washed out, since Black would actually be level 16 which is 16 shades of gray above true black in the full 0-255 range. What am I missing in understanding how this works?
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post #17 of 20 Old 07-15-2014, 04:13 PM
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A BD/DVD is always 4:2:0 limited range YCbCr and MadVR turns this into unlimted RGB(so 16 is now 0 that's why you see 17+ blinking and not 1+ the test video has informations from 0-15 they have to be clipped away) in your case 0-2 are blank but ignore this.
thsi signal goes now in your GPU driver this driver is currently outputting limited RGB so it takes the hole stream and change it to limited RGB(you can still see 0-20 in the picture).
your TV now gets that signal and turn it into 4:2:2 and does the "rest".
this is not simply mapped it is way more complicated how 16-235 is turned to 0-255 at least in MadVR.
to check if your Pc is outputting limited or unlimited RGB you can use the madLevelsTweaker.exe(you find it in the MadVr folder) it can change it back to default again.
usually all TV are detected by as limited.

it's very hard for me to explain this in detail but the hole 16-235 and 0-255 part is pretty easy compared to chroma sampling and colorspaces.
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post #18 of 20 Old 07-16-2014, 12:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mightyhuhn View Post
you can check your TV for 4:4:4 support with this image: http://madshi.net/madVR/ChromaRes.png
this image only works with 1x1 pixel mapping so not scaled at all. the hole colors are totally different with 4:2:2 and 4:4:4. on a 4:4:4 screen the 4:4:4 is purple and the background is pink. on a 4:2:2 screen the background is purple and the 4:4:4 is barely or not visibility at all and you are able to see the 4:2:2.
Thank you again for the info! Your time and effort providing us with all of this information is greatly appreciated!

(...And thank you orion2001 for hijacking this thread. Just teasing :P )

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post #19 of 20 Old 08-01-2014, 07:46 AM
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Functionally I think the PS3 and Xbox 360 for that matter is meant to set to Limited RGB and 720P on all consumer based LCD/LED TV sets.

I have Samsung UN37EH5000 1080P LED TV that supports and accepts Full Ranged RGB (4:4:4 Chroma) when set to PC Mode on the TV.

Even though I find setting the PS3 to Full Range RBG with my TV set to PC Mode and Normal Black Level the colors, whites and blacks are much more detailed I still do not prefer it.

I currently have my PS3 set to Limited RGB with my TV set to PC Mode and Low Black Level. The colors, whites and blacks look less detailed but I find the overall picture to be more natural and the way the PS3 was intended to look on consumer based LCD/LED TV sets.

It's a matter of opinion but some would ague the PS3 is meant to set to Full Ranged RGB on LCD/LED panels that support it 4:4:4 Chroma, this is somewhat true IMHO.

On PC monitors that are 720P native (not 1366x768 that's not 720P native) I think the PS3 should be set to Full Ranged RGB but on all consumer based TV's regardless of native resolution and support of Full Ranged RBG the PS3 should be set to RGB Limited and 720P even if your TV is 1080P native and support 4:4:4 Chroma.

Last edited by Nemix77; 08-01-2014 at 07:53 AM.
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post #20 of 20 Old 08-01-2014, 08:22 AM
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a TV that it setup for unlimited RGB and got limited RGB as input should result in a very low CR. just try it with the blackclipping video file the ps3 can play them back.

a TV with support for unlimited RGB works 100 % the same way as a monitor it just gets easily wrong detected so both should have the same input unlimited RGB.
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