Colour differences between VGA, DVI, HDMI - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 01-06-2009, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Edit: New description to save time.

I use ASUS's HD4670 with onboard VGA, DVI and HDMI plugs. My display is a SONY KDL-40S3000 HDTV. I use the same HDMI input on the TV for my testing.

When I use DVI with DVI-to-HDMI cable (Catalyst detects the display as DVI) colours are fine.
When I use DVI with DVI-to-HDMI dongle that does not support Audio and HDMI-to-HDMI cable (Catalyst detects the display again as DVI) colours are fine.
When I use DVI with DVI-to-HDMI dongle that supports Audio and same HDMI-to-HDMI cable (Catalyst detects the display as HDMI) colours are washed out and darks are almost black.
When I use the HDMI plug with the same HDMI-to-HDMI cable (Catalyst detecs the display as HDMI) colours are again washed out and darks are almost black.

To sum it up, whenever catalyst detects the display as HDMI the colours are all bad, and it makes no difference if it comes from the HDMI or the DVI plug (+proper dongle) of the card.

I have tried different HDMI cables, different Catalyst drivers, different operating system (Vista 64 and XP SP3), different HDMI ports on my TV, different settings on my TV. Nothing changes.

When the problem occurs and while the display is identified as HDMI I have the option to change the pixel colours from PC to Studio. This changes absolutely nothing.

The colours cannot be fixed by changing gamma/brightness/contrast on Catalyst or TV or combination. Like I said I compare apples to apples by just keeping everything same and change the plug on the card. With DVI everything is fine, with HDMI it's not.

It is apparent that Catalyst sends different colours to the TV when using HDMI and different when using DVI. The problem is that the ones over HDMI are not watchable. I need to get the same colours as from DVI.

I would gladly use DVI-to-HDMI but I lose the audio over HDMI. If I use the dongle that does support audio I get the same problem.





-Original Post-

The problem: HDMI outputs dark colours almost black and bright colours amlost white. You can tell the problem even looking at the desktop, folder yellows are washed out, speaker icon on tray almost black.

DVI is way much better, and VGA is ideal.

Hardware: The graphics card is an Asus HD4670 with all three connectors available. The TV is a Sony 40S3000.

Now I can use a DVI->HDMI cable with great results but no sound. When I hook a DVI to HDMI adaptor and a HDMI cable I get sound but same colour output as when I use the HDMI connector in the first place.

I currently have all three connectors hooked up on the TV and it's amazing how different the colours are, especially between HDMI and DVI (both connected on HDMI ports on the TV).

Now I wonder, can this be the HDMI cable I use? Can this be the audio part messing with the colours when I use the HDMI cable?

I wonder because using the DVI port of the card using a DVI to HDMI cable is great, but when I use the dongle plus my HDMI cable results are same as when I use this cable on the HDMI port.

Can this be a cable HDMI version issue? I believe my calbes (I have tried two different ones with same results) are pre 1.2 version. I read that 1.3 and latter also supports xvYCC. Is it possible that a 1.3 cable fix this?

Thank you in advance.

P.S. I have tried various versions of CCC to no avail. I use WinXP MCE SP3 and the computer has nothing loaded but MPC Homecinema and Matroska Splitter.
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post #2 of 19 Old 01-06-2009, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otheos View Post

The problem: HDMI outputs dark colours almost black and bright colours amlost white. You can tell the problem even looking at the desktop, folder yellows are washed out, speaker icon on tray almost black.

DVI is way much better, and VGA is ideal.

Hardware: The graphics card is an Asus HD4670 with all three connectors available. The TV is a Sony 40S3000.

Now I can use a DVI->HDMI cable with great results but no sound. When I hook a DVI to HDMI adaptor and a HDMI cable I get sound but same colour output as when I use the HDMI connector in the first place.

I currently have all three connectors hooked up on the TV and it's amazing how different the colours are, especially between HDMI and DVI (both connected on HDMI ports on the TV).

Now I wonder, can this be the HDMI cable I use? Can this be the audio part messing with the colours when I use the HDMI cable?

I wonder because using the DVI port of the card using a DVI to HDMI cable is great, but when I use the dongle plus my HDMI cable results are same as when I use this cable on the HDMI port.

Can this be a cable HDMI version issue? I believe my calbes (I have tried two different ones with same results) are pre 1.2 version. I read that 1.3 and latter also supports xvYCC. Is it possible that a 1.3 cable fix this?

Thank you in advance.

P.S. I have tried various versions of CCC to no avail. I use WinXP MCE SP3 and the computer has nothing loaded but MPC Homecinema and Matroska Splitter.

What may be happening is the TV is configured to assume Limited (16-235) color expansion on the HDMI input and Full (0-255) on the VGA connection. I'm not sure where the setting is for ATI drivers, but you should be able to change it on the PC from Full to Limited. Hopefully that will resolve the issue over HDMI / DVI
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post #3 of 19 Old 01-06-2009, 10:04 AM
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There is no difference between the DVI and HDMI video protocol so the cable makes no difference.
Almost all/if not all HDTVs set and save their color settings separatly for each interface to allow for difference in color inputs from separate sources.
I suggest that you try chaning the color settings when watching the different HDMI inputs to see if you can improve their individual PQ.
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post #4 of 19 Old 01-06-2009, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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That was quick, thanks for the tips.

The TV only has HDMI (and VGA) inputs. I can understand a difference between digital (HDMI, DVI) and analog (VGA) connections but here the big(ger) difference is between HDMI and DVI.

From DVI I use a DVI to HDMI cable that plugs to the TV's HDMI in. Then I use a simple HDMI to HDMI on the same input of the TV and the colours are different.

Shouldn't the drivers output the same colours using either of the two digital interfaces? shouldn't the TV use the same profile when receiving from the same HDMI input?

Now what really confuses me is the fact that I get the same washed out colours from the DVI connection if and only if I use the DVItoHDMI dongle plus the HDMI to HDMI cable.

It is as if either the cable causes the problem, or the audio that now goes through it as well, or that with this setup the graphics card sends different signals to the TV (EDID?)

BTW, CCC gives me the option to change from PC to Studio colours but makes little or no difference.

Thanks again.
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post #5 of 19 Old 01-06-2009, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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More testing:

I have two DVI2HDMI dongles. One from ATI (grey) that supports audio over HDMI and one from WIESON (yellow) that came with an Asus HD3650 AGP that doesn't support audio over HDMI.

Now when I use the yellow (no audio) dongle the colours are great (same as when I use the DVItoHDMI cable). Under CCC the connection appears as DVI. When I use the grey (supports audio) the colours go bad. Under CCC the connection appears as HDMI.

Which leads me to believe that either the audio messes up with the colours OR that the grey dongle gives different info to the card that sends different colours or vice versa, different info to the TV that translates them differently.

Which one is it?

Oh, and how can it be fixed??

Thanks again.
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post #6 of 19 Old 01-06-2009, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otheos View Post

More testing:

I have two DVI2HDMI dongles. One from ATI (grey) that supports audio over HDMI and one from WIESON (yellow) that came with an Asus HD3650 AGP that doesn't support audio over HDMI.

Now when I use the yellow (no audio) dongle the colours are great (same as when I use the DVItoHDMI cable). Under CCC the connection appears as DVI. When I use the grey (supports audio) the colours go bad. Under CCC the connection appears as HDMI.

Which leads me to believe that either the audio messes up with the colours OR that the grey dongle gives different info to the card that sends different colours or vice versa, different info to the TV that translates them differently.

Which one is it?

Oh, and how can it be fixed??

Thanks again.

It's the pixel format.

ATI drivers from 8.11 on allow these to be selected in drivers.

HDMI with the ATI dongle will default to either YCrCb or RGB limited. Either of these will use the 16-235 range which is acutally consistent with other consumer electroncs devices. If you had previously used a video card via DVI then you have probably calibrated your set for the full 0-255 range, so this will look washed out.

To get full 0-255 output load up 8.11 or newer and set the output to RGB full.

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post #7 of 19 Old 01-06-2009, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help.

I am using 8.12 and tried either pixel formats but there is no difference.

If I understand this correctly, HDMI (straight from the card) or DVI2HDMI using ATI's (audio enabled) dongle will output different colours than DVI2HDMI (cable) or DVI2HDMI dongle without audio?

Which setup outputs which colour profile and how can I swap them?

I tried re-calibrating the TV but it simply cannot display the colours.

Thanks again.
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post #8 of 19 Old 01-06-2009, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otheos View Post

Thanks for the help.

I am using 8.12 and tried either pixel formats but there is no difference.

If I understand this correctly, HDMI (straight from the card) or DVI2HDMI using ATI's (audio enabled) dongle will output different colours than DVI2HDMI (cable) or DVI2HDMI dongle without audio?

Which setup outputs which colour profile and how can I swap them?

I tried re-calibrating the TV but it simply cannot display the colours.

Thanks again.

Well Are you hooked up to a reciever in the middle?

Somthing is really wrong if you flip between the pixel formats and don't see a difference.

Here is my recomendation, set the pixel format to RGB studio(video, 16-235) levels.
Download the AVS calibaration disc http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=948496

The first pattern checks black levels, because ATI expands the black level to the desktop you'll never see anything below 16 so turn your brightness up till you see 18, then you should be good.

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post #9 of 19 Old 01-06-2009, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I have to admit there is absolutely no difference between PC and Studio colour settings.

As for calibrating, in the Basic Settings MP4 I see absolutely nothing.
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post #10 of 19 Old 01-06-2009, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otheos View Post

I have to admit there is absolutely no difference between PC and Studio colour settings.

As for calibrating, in the Basic Settings MP4 I see absolutely nothing.

that's because you're all screwed up.

Calibrate and things will get better.

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post #11 of 19 Old 01-06-2009, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again,

what I am saying is there is nothing I can do to my TV settings (brightness, contrast) to make the above video anything but black. I cannot calibrate my TV as the output of the graphics card is all messed up when I use the HDMI (straight or through the ATI dongle).

Thank you for your time.
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post #12 of 19 Old 01-06-2009, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otheos View Post

Thanks again,

what I am saying is there is nothing I can do to my TV settings (brightness, contrast) to make the above video anything but black. I cannot calibrate my TV as the output of the graphics card is all messed up when I use the HDMI (straight or through the ATI dongle).

Thank you for your time.

That's just not possible.

brightness should always turn up the black level. When you throw up that basic settigns MP4 you should be able to see values 20+ if you turn your brightness up enough.

If you can't either your TV or your video card is physically broken.
THe only other possibility is that you have some other software (adobe gamma loader) on your PC that is altering the output of your video card.

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post #13 of 19 Old 01-06-2009, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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This is exactly the problem. The output of the card is so dark (for dark colours and bright for bright ones) that no setting on my TV can show anything on that video.

If I use the DVI output everything is fine. It's only when Catalysts identifies my display as HDMI (straight HDMI or HDMI with ATI dongle through DVI) that colours are messed up.

There is a THX.jpg somewhere in the forum (sorry can't remember the thread I downloaded it from, have read a few now). When using DVI I can go see all grades of black, the shadow of the letters, everything. When I use HDMI I can barely notice a difference at 25 and can't make out any shadow on the THX letters. (I'll try to find the thread so that you know which picture I am talking about, sorry for now).

So no wonder why that video that only goes as bright as 22 is all black, if I can only see grades brighter than 25. It's a mess.

It's obvious that Catalyst sends completely messed up colour when it detecs an HDMI display while colours are absolutely fine when the display shows up as DVI. And we are talking the same display here, which in both cases is hooked up using the same HDMI port at its back.

Oh and no other software is running. And even if it did it would do the same regardless of the plug on the card (DVI or HDMI).

Weird.

P.S. I have now tried also Vista x64 with various drivers with exactly the same results.

Edit: I forgot to thank you. Thanks a lot.
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post #14 of 19 Old 01-06-2009, 01:36 PM
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I wish I could help you more, but without getting infront of your set and computer I don't think I can offer much more assistance.

Sounds like something has gone very wrong, TV's can have very complex input settings (different per input per resolution). Obviously the video card output can vary greatly with drivers, settings and software.

All I can tell is how it SHOULD work.

If you play a DVD (star wars, any pixar disc) with the THX pattern the an ATI card will clip off the shadow, but obviously you should be able to see the THX pattern in the middle.

If you set your ATI pixel format to RGB studio, that output should theoretically match a standalone DVD player.

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post #15 of 19 Old 01-06-2009, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your time. I also created a ticked with ATI. I have also checked the EDID info the TV sends and it's the same over DVI and HDMI.

I'll keep looking for a solution and definetly post here if I find one. If you come up with anything please post back.

Thanks again.

Solutions are still welcome.
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post #16 of 19 Old 01-06-2009, 01:44 PM
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the TV is hooked up directly to the PC right?

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post #17 of 19 Old 01-06-2009, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes it is. Nothing between the two.
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post #18 of 19 Old 01-08-2009, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone?

What I am after here is a way to force catalyst to send 16-235 over HDMI instead of 0-255.

Help!
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post #19 of 19 Old 01-08-2009, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otheos View Post

Anyone?

What I am after here is a way to force catalyst to send 16-235 over HDMI instead of 0-255.

Help!

I think your card might be deffective you are getting really abnormal results and if it was just one OS I'd think registry or bad driver load ect...

This is really just too weird and it sounds like you've done a great job trouble shooting it.

The only other thing I can think of is to try hooking it up to a friends TV to see if it works correctly with a different make model of TV (also maybe try a different HDMI port, but probably not that.).

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