Just installed NEW Projector - HTPC setup - TEXT FUZZY! - MUST resolve this! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 01-22-2012, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey all.

I just received and setup my new Panasonic PT-AE4000U last night.

I was able to easily use the zoom - horizontal and vertical shifts to get the picture lined up perfectly with my 120" screen. (NO Keystoning used)

I have an HTPC setup - and the machine recognized the new projector immediately (Windows 7/GeForce GTS 450). It autoed to 1080i@39HZ - I set it to 1080p@60HZ.

My only issue is trying to get the TEXT to look good. It looks really FUZZY. I spent 30 mins playing with the FOCUS and I just CANT get the text to look good.

I even tried messing with the sharpness settings on the projector - to no avail... I ended up leaving sharpness at +1....

The Desktop background looks great (A 1080p wallpaper). I watched a movie on it, and I think it looks great... (However, I am upgrading from a cheap 720p projector - so anything would look better).

I cant help thinking that if the TEXT looks fuzzy/out of focus - then my movies aren't going to look as good as they can either...

ANY help is GREATLY appreciated... I just spent $2000 on this - and my wife is going to KILL me if I cant even get the TEXT to look as good as the 720p projector did!!!!
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post #2 of 37 Old 01-22-2012, 08:16 AM
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Check your manual and confirm that you've got over-scanning turned off. I'm assuming that you're connected via HDMI, which by default, usually has it turned on. You'll want to specifically check the section that deals with connecting a PC, might refer to "dot to dot" or "just scan" - different for each manufacturer. Some even require you to use a particular input and/or rename it to "PC".

>main menu>position>over scan - set it so it's set to "0". Don't have an nVidia board right now, but you need to confirm that overscanning is turned off there as well
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post #3 of 37 Old 01-22-2012, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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It is a DVI->HDMI cable. DVI out from the Video card to HDMI in on the projector.

DVI and HDMI are supposed to be PIN compatible for video streams - right?
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post #4 of 37 Old 01-22-2012, 08:38 AM
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Did you adjust Clear Type text?
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post #5 of 37 Old 01-22-2012, 08:44 AM
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I still vote for overscanning/scaling issues that need to be adjusted...
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post #6 of 37 Old 01-22-2012, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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First: Thanks to everyone on every forum for your ideas and insights!

I applied the following changes:

Played with the Focus more.

Turned off any Scaling or Oversizing. I was hoping for something dramatic with this - but didn't get it.

There was a Video Mode setting on the video card that was set to Auto (it described itself as what it told the display was going to be done most). The options were Desktop/text and Video Mode (and auto of course). I set it to Video Mode because that is what I am going to be doing mostly. I noticed the Brightness of the screen go up a little bit when set to this mode.

I ran the Clear-text Wizard - It helped a little bit.

I increased the DPI/Font size in windows - this helped a LOT - as in, this was the most noticeable change.

So what does that show? Is it possible that the Matte on my screen was making the smaller text less clear? Or I guess the combination of all the things I did?
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post #7 of 37 Old 01-22-2012, 06:57 PM
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One thing you could try is to hook up another PC - a laptop or something like that to the projector and see what that looks like.

Do you have any other computers in the house or maybe you can borrow one from work or something like that?
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post #8 of 37 Old 01-22-2012, 07:08 PM
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As suggested here there is something a miss. if you are driving the projector at 1080p with no overscan there should be no fuzzy text it should be pin point clear.

I would start with why your HTPC is autoing EDID at 1080i@39hz. Your HTPC should boot up at 1080p@60hz.
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post #9 of 37 Old 01-22-2012, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah - I thought the same thing...

I will order a new cable..

I found a Monster Mini HDMI (whats on the video card) to HDMI cable.

I will try that and see how it works...

I also DO have a laptop with HDMI out - I can try that and report back as well.
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post #10 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I hooked up a laptop that I have that has HDMI out.

This laptop has an ATI card - plugged in with a gold plated HDMI to HDMI cable.

So it is a perfect test as it has 3 differences. Diff system, diff video card, diff cable.

The projector has multiple HDMI inputs, so I was able to have both systems on and switch between the inputs.

My current HTPC looks better. I switched both machines to default sized DPI, and loaded notepad with the same word scrolled endlessly.

So it looks like I may not waste the time purchasing a new cable for the HTPC.

The only issue I have is that as this SMALL font - I am unable to get the focus precise. It looks ok when the font/DPI is bigger on the text - just not at the smaller size.

Also - while focusing on this notpad screen - I notice that the words on the TOP half of the screen look more in focus than those on the bottom half.

Is this a screen issue?
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post #11 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordx2 View Post

Also - while focusing on this notpad screen - I notice that the words on the TOP half of the screen look more in focus than those on the bottom half.

Is this a screen issue?

Sounds like your projector is not square to the screen. Did you use keystone correction to "square up" the image? If so, disable that and use the lens shift to properly place the picture inside the screen.

The other three things to consider:

Some screen materials can blur the picture a bit (especially porous surfaces like cloth).

The AE4000 has "Smoothscreen" built in which is a bit of a blur-inducer.

Convergence will make a difference, if it's not good it will cause single-pixel detail to be blurred as well. Check your convergence controls, though if it's less than half a pixel you're really not going to be able to improve it.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #12 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
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I have not used keystone. (although - I notice that I have slight trapezoid effect... relatively minor - The left side of the screen is shorter than the right - and the top of the picture is thinner than the bottom - What does that mean about how the projector is mounted? I tried carefully to level the thing.....)

The screen is an Elitescreen 120" pull down screen that I took out of the pull-down, and framed. (I am not a framing person - and my method to 'frame' the screen is a little unorthodox - but its framed nonetheless.)

Is there a way to disable smooth-screen to see if it makes a difference?

How do I check convergence controls? I just searched the manual in adobe for the word convergence and it found no results.
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post #13 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 10:37 AM
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What happens if your PC desktop is set to 1920x1080/60 and you output at 1080i/39 as reccomended by the PJ's EDID? Blurry small text implies that scaling is occuring somewhere in the setup.
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post #14 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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The text was blurry either way. The reason I checked the HZ in the first place was BECAUSE of the blurry text - and I had hoped by setting it to 60 it would rectify the issue. It didn't.
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post #15 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordx2 View Post


Is there a way to disable smooth-screen to see if it makes a difference?

How do I check convergence controls? I just searched the manual in adobe for the word convergence and it found no results.

No to Smoothscreen disabling, it is an optical element within the optical block.

Check convergence with a grid pattern.

You mentioned a previous pj. If it was dlp you might also be noticing differences in the tech. DlP generally is considered the "sharpest" tech.

td
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post #16 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordx2 View Post

Yeah - I thought the same thing...

I will order a new cable..

I found a Monster Mini HDMI (whats on the video card) to HDMI cable.

I will try that and see how it works...

I also DO have a laptop with HDMI out - I can try that and report back as well.

Whoa whoa whoa my friend, please step back from that ledge. DVI to HDMI is fine, because it is all digital, and essentially just a pass through for the video when it goes HDMI to DVI. You will see NO improved performance from a "higher quality" digital cable. If you were having cable problems you would be seeing tiling/jumpiness or no picture at all, not blurriness.
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post #17 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 12:50 PM
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How far from the screen is your head when you are evaluating this text? and what sized text are you evaluating?

My experience is that most people vastly underestimate the relative distance they are to the screen when they are "evaluating" sharpness. Which makes them think it isn't sharp.

Also, Panasonic has a smoothscreen filter on their PJs that will make extreme contrast (like that of white lettering on most backgrounds) look "fuzzy" when up close.

In short, if the movies look good from the viewing position, don't be too concerned.

FWIW, I have a 3000u at a similar size, small text can look fuzzy when up close, but it isn't anything out of the ordinary.

-Suntan
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post #18 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 12:59 PM
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Quote:


What does that mean about how the projector is mounted?

It means your projector is not perpendicular to the screen, thus you'll never get sharp focus across the whole of the image.
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post #19 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 01:51 PM
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Yes, perception I think may play a part here.

If you are expecting to get perfect razor-sharp square pixels on your projection screen, unlikely to happen, at least not with the price point that you are working with.

I have a 720p projector setup and a Mac Mini hooked to it and it plays movie files great and I can do some web browsing on it.

However, sharpness wise it's no Dell Ultra Sharp monitor, that's for sure, if you look close, it is "fuzzy".

One last thing you could try is another projector and see if the output is more acceptable to you,
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post #20 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordx2 View Post

I have not used keystone. (although - I notice that I have slight trapezoid effect... relatively minor - The left side of the screen is shorter than the right - and the top of the picture is thinner than the bottom - What does that mean about how the projector is mounted? I tried carefully to level the thing.....)

The side that's narrower is the side that's closer to the projector. So since the left and top are narrower, it sounds like you've got the projector too far left and too low.

What you want to do is measure so that you place the projector exactly centered on the screen (left to right), and then make sure the projector is level, and the screen plumb (vertical).

Then what I would do next is zoom the image smaller, then tweak the projector so that the image on screen is square (and probably worthwhile check the focus is even across the screen at this point), and then use the lens shift and zoom to make the image fit the screen correctly.

With that, everything should be square and (unless something is wrong with the PJ) focus should be even across the screen.

Quote:


The screen is an Elitescreen 120" pull down screen that I took out of the pull-down, and framed. (I am not a framing person - and my method to 'frame' the screen is a little unorthodox - but its framed nonetheless.)

Well then that should be fine as far as sharpness goes. I was thinking (from when I was looking at AT screens) that some screens made from porous fabric have a tendency to "bleed" color/brightness out which makes stuff a bit blurry.

Even with my SMX AT screen you can tell that right at the screen individual pixels aren't quite as sharp as with a flat/solid material (though that's not an issue from the seating distance)

[QUOTE}How do I check convergence controls? I just searched the manual in adobe for the word convergence and it found no results.[/quote]

Maybe pixel shift (not to be confused with Lens Shift)? It's possible the AE4000 doesn't have such an adjustment, I know higher-end machines do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

How far from the screen is your head when you are evaluating this text? and what sized text are you evaluating?

My experience is that most people vastly underestimate the relative distance they are to the screen when they are "evaluating" sharpness. Which makes them think it isn't sharp.

Also, Panasonic has a smoothscreen filter on their PJs that will make extreme contrast (like that of white lettering on most backgrounds) look "fuzzy" when up close.

In short, if the movies look good from the viewing position, don't be too concerned.

FWIW, I have a 3000u at a similar size, small text can look fuzzy when up close, but it isn't anything out of the ordinary.

-Suntan

If you get a DLP you won't have that fuzzy text problem
http://www.videovantage.com/?p=819

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #21 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by durack View Post

Yes, perception I think may play a part here.

If you are expecting to get perfect razor-sharp square pixels on your projection screen, unlikely to happen, at least not with the price point that you are working with.

I have a 720p projector setup and a Mac Mini hooked to it and it plays movie files great and I can do some web browsing on it.

However, sharpness wise it's no Dell Ultra Sharp monitor, that's for sure, if you look close, it is "fuzzy".

One last thing you could try is another projector and see if the output is more acceptable to you,

I disagree with that, you can get razor sharp text with front projection at price points (well) below $2000. Though you have to have the "right" type of projector, which happens to be DLP. Something like a BenQ W5000/W6000 or an Optoma HD20/HD1080 should get you monitor-sharp text at well less than $2k.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #22 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 03:03 PM
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Does your projector have a 4:4:4 mode? Sounds like a chroma sub-sampling issue.
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post #23 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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puwaha - I am a relative noob when it comes to detailed technical info on projectors.

I have no idea what 4:4:4 is or means or how to check...

There are some good suggestions about checking the level and plumb... I will have to do that in regards to the keystoning...

I have a basic 1 foot leveler that I am using to do this... is there a more appropriate tool for getting the projector and 'lined up' as possible?
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post #24 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Sounds like your projector is not square to the screen. Did you use keystone correction to "square up" the image? If so, disable that and use the lens shift to properly place the picture inside the screen.

The other three things to consider:

Some screen materials can blur the picture a bit (especially porous surfaces like cloth).

The AE4000 has "Smoothscreen" built in which is a bit of a blur-inducer.

Convergence will make a difference, if it's not good it will cause single-pixel detail to be blurred as well. Check your convergence controls, though if it's less than half a pixel you're really not going to be able to improve it.

What Stranger89 suggests is good advice. And how to disable smoothscreen settings you may need to readup. I whould have the projector setup without any ehancements enabled and let you HTPC to the work. Then if required add a little sharpening in projector settings.

Basic projector setup is to have the PJ lens (inc offset) center and 90deg to the screen.

PS I had a old manual when looking for a PJ in pdf. The supported timing and what is conserning is that 1080i/39hz is not a supported. You may have a faulty PJ
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post #25 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordx2 View Post

puwaha - I am a relative noob when it comes to detailed technical info on projectors.

I have no idea what 4:4:4 is or means or how to check...

There are some good suggestions about checking the level and plumb... I will have to do that in regards to the keystoning...

I have a basic 1 foot leveler that I am using to do this... is there a more appropriate tool for getting the projector and 'lined up' as possible?

A level is a good tool, but really it's just all about making sure that the image on the screen is square and aligned with the screen. IMO if it's between being "level" and being aligned with the screen, the screen wins. The biggest reason for this is that personally I don't trust any edge/plane on the projector to be exactly true. So just use the level as a starting point.

I guess basically I'd level and plumb the screen, and then just use the level to get the projector in the ballpark and then just make the projector match the screen.

And just remember to use the lens shift if something is a bit off center rather than tilting/turning the projector and then using keystone correction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bignickfly View Post

What Stranger89 suggests is good advice. And how to disable smoothscreen settings you may need to readup. I whould have the projector setup without any ehancements enabled and let you HTPC to the work. Then if required add a little sharpening in projector settings.

As tvted noted above, Smoothscreen is an optical system built into the projector's light engine that cannot be disabled. It's purpose is to "fill" the gaps between the pixels, to remove SDE. It was a valuable feature/tool back in the early days when we were talking the AE100 with a 960x540 panel. But in the days of 1080p displays it has IMO outlived it's usefulness and is now more of a negative than an asset.

Quote:


PS I had a old manual when looking for a PJ in pdf. The supported timing and what is conserning is that 1080i/39hz is not a supported. You may have a faulty PJ

I would be shocked if the AE4000 doesn't support 1080i, that's one of the ATSC standard resolutions. Though it is quite likely that it's not listed on the "PC compatibility" tables because they are, to be impolite, written for idiots and not people who read the forums here and at least understand a bit about resolutions (if you know your projector is 1920x1080 and that you need to set your desktop resolution to that, you know more about resolution than the people those tables are written for). Well, unless you luck out and get a projector where they let the engineers write the table for custom integrator types to use.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #26 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordx2 View Post

I have not used keystone. (although - I notice that I have slight trapezoid effect... relatively minor - The left side of the screen is shorter than the right - and the top of the picture is thinner than the bottom - What does that mean about how the projector is mounted? I tried carefully to level the thing.....)

If your image is taller on the right than on the left then your projector is pointing slightly towards the right (turn it left to correct). Same with the top. Since the bottom is wider than the top, you are pointing down slightly. This you could correct with keystone.

BT

Just remember, to the MPAA "We're all guilty until..............."
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post #27 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I will move around the PJ tomorrow to try and get it square to the screen.

When reading the manual on this though - it shows that the PJ can be tilted up to 30 degrees EITHER up OR down... So this obviously would not be square to the screen... Is that something that I would HAVE to use keystone to correct? Or is the vertical and horizontal shift enough to get me taken care of?

I will see if I can get some photos up here so that you can all actually SEE what I am looking at.

I really do appreciate all these suggestions...

This is for home theater ONLY - so text really isnt a main concern - however, I feel that if the text doesn't look good, then I may not be experiencing all $2000 worth of my projector on my 1080p movies! It is just a nagging gut feeling....

PS - My old PJ WAS in fact a DLP 720p....
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post #28 of 37 Old 01-23-2012, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordx2 View Post

puwaha - I am a relative noob when it comes to detailed technical info on projectors.

I have no idea what 4:4:4 is or means or how to check...

Sorry... go into your Picture settings and under the Advanced menu, there is a setting for RGB/YPbPr... you have 3 options... AUTO, RGB, or YPbPr.

It's probably on Auto... try RGB. RGB is native computer signals, and hopefully will accept a pure 4:4:4 RGB signal. Using YPbPr compresses signals and can make text unclear. It's not a big deal for video, but it can really cause havoc with text. And with that text being blown up on a big screen... you can really tell a difference.

Check this thread for examples of what the difference is between RGB and YPbPr...

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...php?p=21386797
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post #29 of 37 Old 01-24-2012, 03:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordx2 View Post

I will move around the PJ tomorrow to try and get it square to the screen.

When reading the manual on this though - it shows that the PJ can be tilted up to 30 degrees EITHER up OR down... So this obviously would not be square to the screen... Is that something that I would HAVE to use keystone to correct? Or is the vertical and horizontal shift enough to get me taken care of?

Yes. Keystone will correct any trapezoidal shaping caused by up or down tilting, which you have to do to get the image aligned with the top of your screen with a ceiling mounted PJ. You mentioned in your initial post that you were not using any keystone, so adjusting it will take care of the "wider at the bottom" issue. The "taller on the right" means that your PJ is rotated slightly to the right. Your PJ lamp's center must be perfectly aligned with the center of your screen to get things square in that aspect. You are currently slightly left of center and aiming slightly right to compensate. I believe you mentioned you have fine adjustment on your PJ. Hopefully there is enough to move the image's center line far enough right so that you can then rotate it left and square things up. If not, then you will have to tweak your mount location (provided you have it mounted on your ceiling, that is).

Good luck.

BT

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post #30 of 37 Old 01-24-2012, 06:48 AM
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It's probably on Auto... try RGB. RGB is native computer signals, and hopefully will accept a pure 4:4:4 RGB signal. Using YPbPr compresses signals and can make text unclear.

I don't think you realise that RGB and component are two completely different things.
Two different colour spaces, two different sync methods.
Component is not inherently compressed.
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