Sony VPL owners use Dark Frame Insertion? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-12-2013, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm new to the Sony camp and was wondering if any owners use the dark frame insertion (film mode 1 and 2)? I don't like the look of frame interpolation (motion flow), but was very interested in the dark frame modes. In the manual it says that it gives the digital projector a 35 mm film-like look, but it looks like it makes the picture a little darker. I'm using a HTPC with Plex to run a native 1080p/ 24 output to the projector. For those that use dark frame, what combo settings (mode? signal output?) do you use for the best picture to you. Thanks for the help

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post #2 of 12 Old 05-13-2013, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jbn008 View Post

I'm new to the Sony camp and was wondering if any owners use the dark frame insertion (film mode 1 and 2)? I don't like the look of frame interpolation (motion flow), but was very interested in the dark frame modes. In the manual it says that it gives the digital projector a 35 mm film-like look, but it looks like it makes the picture a little darker. I'm using a HTPC with Plex to run a native 1080p/ 24 output to the projector. For those that use dark frame, what combo settings (mode? signal output?) do you use for the best picture to you. Thanks for the help


Black frame insertion will inherently drop the brightness (by up to 50%, depending the scheme used) since a fraction of the projected video frames are now being blanked (black). This mode does mimic the technique used with film projectors where a mechanical shutter is used to 'flash' each frame of the movie film (shot at 24 frames per second) either two or three times and with the mechnical shutter blanking out the light between each projected image. This was done to reduce the visible flicker as compared to the case where the film was simply projected at 24 fps with the only blanking ocurring between individual movie frame (i.e., no double or triple flashing of individual frames).

Some modern consumer digital projectors give you 3 options for the projected video when a 24 fps (Hz) source is used, such as movies from Blu-ray Discs: 1) the normal mode of operation is to project the same frame multiple times, For example if it were to be projected at 120 Hz then this mode would be referred to as using 5:5 pulldown where each of the original source video frames are simply repeated 5 times. 2) Insert interpolated frames between the original frames. This motion smoothing technique involves creating one or mujltiple interpolated frames inserted between each original frame. Most projectors supporting frame interpolation offer at least two modes that differ in the number of interpolated frames to be inserted between the original source video's frames.. 3) Insert black frames between original frames. In this case there are different schemes possible such as alternating video frames and black frames (resulting in 50% light loss) up to repeating each original frame multiple times (e.g., say 4 times) then inserting one black frame (e.g., project 4 video frames followed by 1 black frame resulting in a 20% light loss). I don't know the specifics of what black frame insertion schemes Sony is using for the 2 modes on their projector, so I don't know how much lower the projected lumens will be for each of these black frame insertion modes as compared to the normal projection modes, but the projected image will inherently appear dimmer when black frame insertion is used.



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post #3 of 12 Old 05-13-2013, 06:47 AM
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Depends on what Sony Model you are looking at. My hw50es only has one option for film mode. The Sony vw90es had both film mode 1 and 2.

Film mode 1 on the Sony (which is the only option on the 50) is not actually dark frame insertion. They are using RED frames. There is no perceivable light loss with red frames, and the benefit is that it breaks the sample and hold effect that all non crt projectors suffer from. The motion resolution is increased and the perceived contrast is enhanced. With 24p sources you do get substantial flicker. However, I find I get used to it after about 10 minutes, and I enjoy the effect of frame insertion. I find that with 60p sources, frame insertion is VERY beneficial without the flicker. I started watched movies at 60p with frame insertion and it looks absolutely fantastic. The sony is great with pulldown and you don't get much judder in 60p mode vs 24p mode.

Film mode 2 (Sony VW90) is real black frame insertion and does cut down light output by at least 50%. Motion resolution is slightly enhanced but this mode is really useless unless you have a really high gain screen. It also seems to REDUCE the dynamic range of the image.

BTW. JVC does Red Frame Insertion also (No black frame in any mode) BUT it's unusable to me as it leaves red trailing/fringing on any high contrast image. I tried the JVC Red frame insertion on the JVC X7 and X70. I believe on the JVC they are refereed to as Clear motion drive 3 and 4.
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-13-2013, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I appreciate both of your replies, so thank you for all the help. I have the VPL-VW95, but haven't tried the dark frame with 1080p/60 (only 24), so I'll give it a try. You're right about the brightness drop, but for strictly films, it might be worth checking out.

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post #5 of 12 Old 05-13-2013, 08:53 PM
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This was touched on, but I will add to the motion resolution. When I went to VDC a couple of years ago, they used black frame insertion on their new LED DLP pj. Scott(tse) showed me the motion resolution test and this was the only way to achieve full 1080p. Without BFI, most pjs at that time could only do about half that motion resolution. I haven't kept up in the last year, so I am not sure if any digital has gotten close to full 1080p motion resolution.

I will mention that I have a Sony G90 CRT that achieves full 1080p motion resolution. Scott explained to me that CRTs at any given point in time are displaying a mostly blank screen kind of like BFI.

If you want to test motion resolution, then the new Spears and Munsil disc has a test on it.

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post #6 of 12 Old 05-14-2013, 06:49 AM
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How many lines of motion resolution does Sony HW50 have with red frame insertion activated? Conan, can you test it? (test 2) http://www.avsforum.com/t/1014030/fpd-benchmark-software-for-the-professional-information#post_20673945
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-01-2013, 04:29 PM
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Nice to see a thread on Dark Frame Insertion (DFI) as it's just not discussed enough, IMHO.

I can't use DFI on my HW50ES with 24p content b/c of the pervasive flicker. It appears to me to be 48Hz flicker, though I'm just guessing, based on my observation that the frequency of the flicker appears to be similar to the flicker present when viewing 3D on the HW50 (which is supposed to be 48Hz). For all I know, it could be 24Hz flicker. I have no way of measuring. It's very evident in bright scenes; less so in darker scenes.

Interestingly, I haven't seen any complaints about flicker with DFI on the VW1000ES. I don't know, however, if that's because it's really not there, or because there's not a large enough sample pool (not many people own the VW1000ES) to get an accurate assessment!

FWIW, here's a schematic I drew up of the different schemes of DFI one could have, & what frequency the panels would have to operate at to achieve any given frequency of dark frames:
http://f.cl.ly/items/13392X0S3X29473P0X1x/DarkFrameInsertion-DifferentFrequencies.pdf

Basically, I believe the HW50ES panels can't operate any faster than 120Hz. Hence, the 50ES is likely limited to 96Hz processing when DFI is used for 24p content. In other words, every original frame is repeated 4 times, but with every other frame replaced with a dark frame. That leads to 48Hz flicker, which is objectionable. With 144Hz processing, one would repeat every original 24p frame 6 times, but replace every other frame with a dark frame. At some point, how fast the liquid crystals respond likely becomes a limiting factor.

Importantly, all these schemes only cost, at most, 50% light output. Which is fine by me for the increased motion resolution one can get. It helps that I have a High Contrast HP (2.4) screen.

I'm very curious if any of this has been updated with the newer models. I relayed my concerns about DFI to Sony & an engineer did mention that they're aware of the desire for 144Hz. I'm hoping this means that they're aware of both the desire for 144Hz with 3D (which leads to 72Hz flickering -- which'd made 3D more palatable; currently it has far too much flicker) as well as with DFI. I'm hoping that once they implement 144Hz for 3D that they'll also implement it properly for DFI. It'd really make Sony projectors quite the desirable option due to the increased motion resolution!

Cheers.

P.S. Ericglo thanks for the recommendation on the new Spears & Munsil disc.
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-01-2013, 04:31 PM
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Btw I remember it was mentioned somewhere that the increased contrast/sharpness with DFI is due to processing designed to combat the inherent drop in brightness. It's actually somewhat unfortunate, as I find the increased contrast/sharpness distracting & somewhat unnatural with certain content.

As long as they spent the R&D developing DFI, I really wish they'd make more effort to refine it. I seriously don't know of anyone who uses DFI b/c of the rampant flicker. This is unfortunate, as it has great potential.
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-01-2013, 08:05 PM
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I read through the VW1000 thread and it seems that there is no perceivable flicker with DFI in 24hz mode. This is HUGE news, as DFI greatly improves the motion resolution and sample and hold effect. I'm really sensitive to the Sample and Hold effect and I use it for EVERYTHING on my 50es. With 24hz content, the flicker is way too annoying so I started watching movies in 60hz with DFI on instead. The Sony is good with pulldown and the judder is not to bad when playing blurays at 60hz instead of 24hz. The benefits of DFI or I should say RFI (red frame insertion) is very apparent to me.

It seems that the VW1000 and most likely the VW500 are using 144hz panels as people have reported less flicker in 3D on the VW1000 vs. VW50 and no flicker in 24hz mode with DFI active on the VW1000.
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-06-2013, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conan48 View Post

It seems that the VW1000 and most likely the VW500 are using 144hz panels as people have reported less flicker in 3D on the VW1000 vs. VW50 and no flicker in 24hz mode with DFI active on the VW1000.

The reduced flicker in 3D is most likely because of the reduced brightness on the VW1000. As you've pointed out, the flicker is most noticeable in brighter scenes.

Doesn't the VW1000 use 240hz panels? That could also account for the improvement in flicker in both 2D and 3D.

See here:

http://pro.sony-asia.com/Prof-BC-Proj-Projector/feature/Technology/510947
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post #11 of 12 Old 10-07-2013, 02:53 PM
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conan48: Yes I also noticed that VW1000 users didn't report flicker with DFI; however, as I mentioned earlier, I wasn't sure if that was just b/c there's not a big enough sampling pool smile.gif

Also, my HW50ES doesn't appear to have red frame insertion. It appears to just be black frame insertion. Here are a couple of shots taken at high shutter speed with DFI enabled:



Looks like a complete dark frame to me. I seem to have caught it in the middle of a panel update, hence why it appears to be in between a dark frame & regular frame. Where have you seen red frame insertion? What's the theory behind red frame insertion? Just curious.

Wizziwig: Thanks for the link. However, the schematic, though showing 240Hz operation, appears to indicate the panels themselves can only display images at 120Hz. The 1/240s in between frames is the time needed to update the panel. The 144Hz scheme that I was talking about (http://f.cl.ly/items/13392X0S3X29473P0X1x/DarkFrameInsertion-DifferentFrequencies.pdf) would require images displayed at 144Hz (well, each other 'image' would be a dark frame). So that'd require 288Hz processing, I suppose. We might be caught up in semantics here smile.gif

I'm def curious as to why VW1000 users don't report flicker with DFI.

EDIT: I just tried this again & now I do see red frames in my high shutter speed photographs. I'm completely confused now...
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post #12 of 12 Old 12-17-2013, 02:58 AM
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I just found this thread and I m interested in all of this. I own a VPL-VW1000ES and the Film Mode option on my VW1000 does not introduce ANY flicker at all. At least, no flicker that is visible to me. On my HW50 the flicker with the Film Mode activated was very bad and I had to turn it off. Also, the flicker in 3D on the VW1000 is MUCH BETTER (much less flicker) then on the HW50. My dealer asked at his Sony tech if the VW1000 uses tripple flash for 3D but it was confirmed by the Sony tech that it DOES NOT. There is a big downside of using DFI, at least there is on the VW1000: the native on/off contrast with DFI disabled is 8955:1 and with DFI turned on it drops down to 4311:1.

DFI + FI LOW on my VW1000 does seem like a perfect combination to me (for 2D content). Very smooth picture with no visible artifacts. Have to do some more testing because I m not quite sure if FI is able to add anything valueable if you already use DFI.
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