Do Nvidia cards crush blacks in TMT3 Blu-Rays on Windows 7 like they do with Vista? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 182 Old 09-16-2009, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm going to ditch my onboard GPU for a discrete card and am trying to narrow down a card I'd like to buy. I've been happier with Nividia the last couple of years but reading on hear it sounds like, at least in Vista, it will crush blacks when watching blu-ray using TMT3. Would I get black crush with Windows 7 as well?

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post #2 of 182 Old 09-16-2009, 08:54 PM
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I use Vista with a old 8500 GT and have it connected to my plasma via HDMI set to RGB with a dynamic range of 0-255 and do not get black crush.
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post #3 of 182 Old 09-17-2009, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarlp View Post

I'm going to ditch my onboard GPU for a discrete card and am trying to narrow down a card I'd like to buy. I've been happier with Nividia the last couple of years but reading on hear it sounds like, at least in Vista, it will crush blacks when watching blu-ray using TMT3. Would I get black crush with Windows 7 as well?

I am using Win7 and Nvidia's drivers are perfect. All video levels are properly set with no adjustment needed on my display.

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post #4 of 182 Old 09-17-2009, 04:19 PM
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Using Nvidia 9300 integrate into a Zotac ITX motherboard and I had no problems at all on my 58" Samsung Plasma until today. Today I uninstall my TMT 3 and bought a license. Now for some reason all hardware acceleration in TMT 3 with or without SIM feature results in stuttering. I turned off all hardware acceleration in the MCE plugin and the regular ap and all is working smooth. Only difference was before I was using an older version that I update to version 160. AFter I bought the full retail version I uninstalled version 160 then rebooted and installed the latest version Arcsoft provided which was version 160 with no updating and now I get the stutter. Goes figure. You would have thought updating versions would cause the most problems. Instead its the other way around - installing the latest version by itself caused the problems.
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post #5 of 182 Old 09-17-2009, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarlp View Post

I'm going to ditch my onboard GPU for a discrete card and am trying to narrow down a card I'd like to buy. I've been happier with Nividia the last couple of years but reading on hear it sounds like, at least in Vista, it will crush blacks when watching blu-ray using TMT3. Would I get black crush with Windows 7 as well?

Level's expansion with TMT3/PDVD/WinDVD for HD playback has been there for me in Vista and Win7, with Geforce 9600GT and GTS250 (9800GtX+) and latest generation of drivers, but it's very easy to manage in the NVidia CP.

In my case with a Samsung LCD that only accepts video levels I set Digital Color Format to YCbCr444 and Color Settings to 16-235 (BTW, at least up to Cat9.6, I need to do something similar with ATI).

OTH the real problem is that black levels are not uniform for every app. For instance Media Center does not expand at all for SD. I use ffdshow to fix levels for SD playback.

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post #6 of 182 Old 09-17-2009, 10:22 PM
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I use an 8800GTX and the picture over BNC to a crt is something nice. I have nvidia purevideo for the SD stuff as well as cccp which both seem to effect TMT3 and PDVD not sure about wind dvd have not used it in a long time. Supposedly the 260 and 285 can off load more from the cpu, while doing all the scaling and cleaning up anything not in footage's original size. Waiting on NEC to before I give up my workstation monitor.

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post #7 of 182 Old 09-18-2009, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulli View Post

OTH the real problem is that black levels are not uniform for every app. For instance Media Center does not expand at all for SD. I use ffdshow to fix levels for SD playback.

I was surprised to read this so I checked Media Center. You are right and SD content in media center is all washed out. That's annoying. How do you fix this with ffdshow?

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post #8 of 182 Old 09-18-2009, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawguy View Post

I was surprised to read this so I checked Media Center. You are right and SD content in media center is all washed out. That's annoying. How do you fix this with ffdshow?

Try unchecking YUY2, YV12, YVYU and UYVY in the Output tab and check "High quality YV12 to RGB conversion".

For some strange reason this is not working for me with latest ffdshow versions in Win7 RTM, so I set the Levels tab input to 16-235, and Output to 0-255, and check "Full Range". This works.

Off course, Nvidia CP has to be set like I said in my previous post.

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post #9 of 182 Old 09-18-2009, 08:15 AM
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As of 30 days ago blu ray is STILL broke on nvidia using NATIVE HDMI.

You can fix this by selecting 16-235 range in Nvidia C/P but then everything else gets compressed to 32-219 and looks like crap.

The bug lies in the fact that the nvidia driver compresses everything to 16-235 EXCEPT protected blu ray content.

So to answer your question, yes it's still broken. There is a fix above, but then it breaks your other apps.

If you require HDMI and have TV that only accepts 16-235 and you want consistent levels across all aps then go with ATI.
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post #10 of 182 Old 09-18-2009, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaups View Post

As of 30 days ago blu ray is STILL broke on nvidia using NATIVE HDMI.

You can fix this by selecting 16-235 range in Nvidia C/P but then everything else gets compressed to 32-219 and looks like crap.

The bug lies in the fact that the nvidia driver compresses everything to 16-235 EXCEPT protected blu ray content.

So to answer your question, yes it's still broken. There is a fix above, but then it breaks your other apps.

If you require HDMI and have TV that only accepts 16-235 and you want consistent levels across all aps then go with ATI.

This!

Also if aren't using HDMI audio you can do a registry hack to force your HDMI connection back into DVI mode, then if you run everything at 16-235 you're good to go.

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post #11 of 182 Old 09-18-2009, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotti View Post

This!

Also if aren't using HDMI audio you can do a registry hack to force your HDMI connection back into DVI mode, then if you run everything at 16-235 you're good to go.

Not exactly. With this hack all NON-video is still outputted at 0-255 and thus crushed. Games, desktop, photos, etc....all will be crushed.
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post #12 of 182 Old 09-18-2009, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarlp View Post

I'm going to ditch my onboard GPU for a discrete card ...

This was the OP problem, no NATIVE HDMI. For discrete Nvidia (9600GT and GTS250) there is no double compression in my systems. BTW my 9600gt has native HDMI (no DVI-HDMI adapter).

Also, with discrete cards, Nvidia and ATI behave just the same for me.

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post #13 of 182 Old 09-18-2009, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaups View Post

Not exactly. With this hack all NON-video is still outputted at 0-255 and thus crushed. Games, desktop, photos, etc....all will be crushed.

Yes/No

You can then expand your video to 0-255, then all your content is 0-255, and then you can calibrate your TV to use these levels (Assuming something in your video chain doesn't clip).

This is what I do (actually I've got a native DVI out, and have my HDMI audio on my second display). And it works perfectly. All content video/desktop has correct black level.

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post #14 of 182 Old 09-18-2009, 12:05 PM
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This is why I qualified my post referencing a TV that does not allow for 0-255 HDMI. The HDMI Spec calls for 16-235 and it is not possible to calibrate my Panasonic Plasma for 0-255...and I suspect many other sets (obviously not all) will have the same limitation.

I have spent a lot of time screwing with this, and it works much better with ATI....not to mention you won't lose the HDMI audio.
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post #15 of 182 Old 09-19-2009, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulli View Post

Try unchecking YUY2, YV12, YVYU and UYVY in the Output tab and check "High quality YV12 to RGB conversion".

For some strange reason this is not working for me with latest ffdshow versions in Win7 RTM, so I set the Levels tab input to 16-235, and Output to 0-255, and check "Full Range". This works.

Off course, Nvidia CP has to be set like I said in my previous post.

This is really screwed up. I just added a Hauppauge HDPVR a few days ago and I can see that black levels are all elevated when I have Video Levels set to 16-235 and my Projector set to Standard HDMI mode. Setting output in the Nvidia control panel to 0-255 and keeping my projector at Standard HDMI fixes blacks for the TV input but crushes them for Bluray.

Changing my projector's HDMI input to Enhanced just reverses the problem.

I don't think that ffdshow fixes my live TV problem. I could not get it to anyway.

I think I just have to manually change the control panel setting. I have to do this for the refresh rate anyway because I can't watch TV at 24fps.

One day we will get drivers that work seamlessly.

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post #16 of 182 Old 09-21-2009, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawguy View Post

This is really screwed up. I just added a Hauppauge HDPVR a few days ago and I can see that black levels are all elevated when I have Video Levels set to 16-235 and my Projector set to Standard HDMI mode. Setting output in the Nvidia control panel to 0-255 and keeping my projector at Standard HDMI fixes blacks for the TV input but crushes them for Bluray.

Changing my projector's HDMI input to Enhanced just reverses the problem.

I don't think that ffdshow fixes my live TV problem. I could not get it to anyway.

I think I just have to manually change the control panel setting. I have to do this for the refresh rate anyway because I can't watch TV at 24fps.

One day we will get drivers that work seamlessly.

That's great optimism but the nvidia drivers have been borked in this regard for several years.
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post #17 of 182 Old 09-21-2009, 09:11 AM
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This has been the one significant issue that I've had with the Nvidia drivers.

Have people been sending Nvidia a message about this? They have a comment section for driver issues, and they have been very responsive for gaming related matters. Maybe they'll consider fixing this if enough messages are sent.
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post #18 of 182 Old 09-21-2009, 09:58 AM
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The point should be made the bug ONLY effects integrate audio HDMI solutions and then only truly effects the Protected Video Path.

If you take a bluray and you have anyDVDHD, my pass them menu and open up the .M2TS file directly then it plays at the same levels as all your other content.

It is only video that goes through PVP that fails to get compressed with the rest of the content (so it is always one level blacker).

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post #19 of 182 Old 09-21-2009, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotti View Post

The point should be made the bug ONLY effects integrate audio HDMI solutions and then only truly effects the Protected Video Path.

Not really true. It affects me with my external NVIDIA card.

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post #20 of 182 Old 09-21-2009, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

This has been the one significant issue that I've had with the Nvidia drivers.

Have people been sending Nvidia a message about this? They have a comment section for driver issues, and they have been very responsive for gaming related matters. Maybe they'll consider fixing this if enough messages are sent.

Thanks. I just did. everyone else should also.

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post #21 of 182 Old 09-21-2009, 02:13 PM
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The problem is that most of us do not know enough to complain intelligently to nvidia... Even on this forum one person says one thing and another says that is not correct. If we could get one person to accurately describe the problem and get everyone to agree on the facts and what needs to be done we could start an e-mail campaign that would get attention... When the manufactures get e-mails with incorrect information or disputed information they often just chalk it up to users not knowing how to set up things. Last year at CES i told one of the NVIDIA engineeers that there was a problem with black crush and that he should try to follow some of the comments on the various websites but he said that he was unaware of the issue...
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post #22 of 182 Old 09-21-2009, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawguy View Post

Not really true. It affects me with my external NVIDIA card.

I didn't mean to imply that it was onboard IGPs.
I meant that HDMI native outputs or DVI outputs that can also output audio w/ the correct DVI->HDMI adapter.

DVI only card that do not support HDMI audio, do not suffer the bug (at least the ones I've played with).

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post #23 of 182 Old 09-21-2009, 02:34 PM
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beaups:

I've been getting this same issue with ATI since I first got a 2600XT. It was registry hacks then to get uniform levels. A particular beta driver like 8.12 hotfix really gave me uniform levels.

Last Catalyst that I checked was 9.6 (I've temporarily uninstalled my 4670). Has this been fixed with latest releases? Thanks.

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post #24 of 182 Old 09-21-2009, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garyrall View Post

The problem is that most of us do not know enough to complain intelligently to nvidia... Even on this forum one person says one thing and another says that is not correct. If we could get one person to accurately describe the problem and get everyone to agree on the facts and what needs to be done we could start an e-mail campaign that would get attention... When the manufactures get e-mails with incorrect information or disputed information they often just chalk it up to users not knowing how to set up things. Last year at CES i told one of the NVIDIA engineeers that there was a problem with black crush and that he should try to follow some of the comments on the various websites but he said that he was unaware of the issue...
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I can describe it fairly suciently.

First lets define HDMI output vs DVI output

HDMI output for nvidia cards, is defined in this post to mean cards that support outputing audio in the video stream.

[bug]
The Vista and windows 7 drivers include a "feature" that compresses all output content to 16-235 for HDMI output to keep within the HDMI spec.

Any content that comes via the Protected Video Path is not compressed at the output stage with the rest of the content.
[/bug]

Reasons people don't see this bug:
Windows XP drivers do not include this compression. So XP users do not see this bug.

DVI output (DVI->HDMI included, as long as the card does support audio) does not include compression and DVI uses do not see this.

People who transcode their blu-rays to mkv or play the m2ts stream directly are by passing PVP and therefore do not see the bug.

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post #25 of 182 Old 09-21-2009, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotti View Post

I can describe it fairly suciently.

First lets define HDMI output vs DVI output

HDMI output for nvidia cards, is defined in this post to mean cards that support outputing audio in the video stream.

[bug]
The Vista and windows 7 drivers include a "feature" that compresses all output content to 16-235 for HDMI output to keep within the HDMI spec.

Any content that comes via the Protected Video Path is not compressed at the output stage with the rest of the content.
[/bug]

Reasons people don't see this bug:
Windows XP drivers do not include this compression. So XP users do not see this bug.

DVI output (DVI->HDMI included, as long as the card does support audio) does not include compression and DVI uses do not see this.

People who transcode their blu-rays to mkv or play the m2ts stream directly are by passing PVP and therefore do not see the bug.

That is exactly the problem. But that happens to ATI drivers too! Why?

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post #26 of 182 Old 09-21-2009, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulli View Post

beaups:

I've been getting this same issue with ATI since I first got a 2600XT. It was registry hacks then to get uniform levels. A particular beta driver like 8.12 hotfix really gave me uniform levels.

Last Catalyst that I checked was 9.6 (I've temporarily uninstalled my 4670). Has this been fixed with latest releases? Thanks.

ATI has a similiar but different problem.

ATI always expands HD to desktop levels, but they are always desktop levels. SD content is not expanded by default, but players can request that it be darker, All HD content (Regardless of PVP or not) is at desktop levels. So you get a similiar thing where Blu-Ray is darker than DVD in media center, but playback a dvd in WMP and the black levels match HD. This is on every output VGA, HDMI, DVI as well.

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post #27 of 182 Old 09-21-2009, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotti View Post

The Vista and windows 7 drivers include a "feature" that compresses all output content to 16-235 for HDMI output to keep within the HDMI spec.

I think that it must be compressing native 16-235 content even further.

If I watch live TV coming from a Hauppauge HDPVR, it is looks all washed out when my NVIDIA control panel and Projector are both set to 16-235. As the Component output from my cable box is most definitely equivalent to 16-235, the only explanation for the video looking washed out is that there is additional compression at work. In order to make this kind of video look normal, I have to change the NVIDIA control panel setting to 0-255 and keep my projector at 16-235. Thus, something is clealy out of spec even when things look okay on the screen.

Bluray and DVDs played on Arcsoft TMT look just fine. I have run brightness and contrast test patterns to confirm this.

So, MCE is improperly compressing video and you must run your video equipment out of spec in order to correct for this.

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post #28 of 182 Old 09-21-2009, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotti View Post

ATI has a similiar but different problem.

ATI always expands HD to desktop levels, but they are always desktop levels. SD content is not expanded by default, but players can request that it be darker, All HD content (Regardless of PVP or not) is at desktop levels. So you get a similiar thing where Blu-Ray is darker than DVD in media center, but playback a dvd in WMP and the black levels match HD. This is on every output VGA, HDMI, DVI as well.

OK, I get it, Sotti. Thanks for the very clear explanation.

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post #29 of 182 Old 09-21-2009, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawguy View Post

I think that it must be compressing native 16-235 content even further.

If I watch live TV coming from a Hauppauge HDPVR, it is looks all washed out when my NVIDIA control panel and Projector are both set to 16-235. As the Component output from my cable box is most definitely equivalent to 16-235, the only explanation for the video looking washed out is that there is additional compression at work. In order to make this kind of video look normal, I have to change the NVIDIA control panel setting to 0-255 and keep my projector at 16-235. Thus, something is clealy out of spec even when things look okay on the screen.

Bluray and DVDs played on Arcsoft TMT look just fine. I have run brightness and contrast test patterns to confirm this.

So, MCE is improperly compressing video and you must run your video equipment out of spec in order to correct for this.

Is the Digital Color Format set to YCbCr444?

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post #30 of 182 Old 09-21-2009, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotti View Post

ATI has a similiar but different problem.

ATI always expands HD to desktop levels, but they are always desktop levels.

sotti, my GTS250 also expands to desktop levels. Did a test with DVE HD BD reverse grey ramps pattern.

1) Opened TMT3 on my main Dell 2407WFP RGB monitor and minimized and maximized program, and then did the same on my Samsung LCD connected via HDMI adapter, and which only accepts 16-235. Pattern looked exactly the same (calibrated for 0-255).

BTW HDMI Digital Color Format set to YCbCr444 and Video color Settings to "With the Nvidia settings".

2) I then opened another 1080p grey ramp pattern from .ts file with WMP and it was OK on the Dell, and compressed on the Samsung. Just went to Nvidia CP, and adjusted Video color Settings to "With Video Player settings" and now got no compression with minimized and maximized WMP window, exact same pattern as on the Dell.

3) With these same settings I opened 7MC and put AVIA DVD to display ramps gray pattern, and moved MC to both displays. It showed fine on the Dell but definitely with DOUBLE COMPRESSION in MC (using MC player). Using 7MC native decoders.

4) Tried now with WMP and it worked just fine in both monitors.

SOOO ... after more than a year since the release of Vista I have to conclude that the dreaded Media Center double compression bug is still there with Nvidia drivers for 16-235 display devices (so beaups is utterly right! Thx beaups! ). I didn't notice because I really do not use MC that much, and when I do I use other decoders like ffdshow.

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