HOW-TO: Calibrating Display to Match HTPC Output - Page 10 - AVS Forum
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post #271 of 486 Old 10-15-2005, 08:51 AM
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Use the 'My Movies' plugin from thegreenbutton.com and get yourself TheaterTek which 'My Movies' can be configured to redirect all movies/commands to. TT allows ffdshow to be used.
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post #272 of 486 Old 10-15-2005, 11:36 AM
 
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Depending, you could use overlay to hard clip, but this will also perform an expansion, and in my experience may clip more than you want to. I think using FFDshow levels filter with VMR9 as bill recommends is best, it avoids expansion, but you can clip, so try that.
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post #273 of 486 Old 10-16-2005, 02:48 PM
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Thanks for the advice guys - I'll try the strategy of hacking a 3rd party player into MCE and see how it goes.

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post #274 of 486 Old 11-03-2005, 09:33 PM
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Hi All,

Im trying to adjust my HD CRT RPTV (Toshiba) to set brightness/contrast and would be very greatful for some advice.

Im running a HTPC (9800pro based through a key-digital transcoder).

I have the phillips test gen, dve (NTSC only), thx optimizer. Im using the ati cat 5.10 drivers (control panels) and am trying to calibrate for DVD's using VMR9 renderless (zoom player, ffdshow, dscaler5006).

I'll reference the THX optimizer here because it was star wars ep III that started me on this new quest, Ive recently begun watching DVD's in near dark whereas previously i'd have a very low wattage globe (11w PC) operating in the rear of my HT room (behind the viewing position).

I noticed that on scenes that were supposed to contain nothing (ie. were supposed to be black) such as the black screen between the menu and the fox logo comes up, I was seeing dark grey (looked black in a slightly lit room). So I started messing with the THX optimizer (afterall it was already in the drive) and this is where my troubles began

Im adjusting brightness, in order to be able to see BTB my brightness settings need to be high enough, either through the display itself or through the brightness setting on the video card driver (for fullscreen3d) that I see this grey (on a blank screen) when its obviously supposed to be black (ie crt's off).

ATM, I like the idea of the screen being black when its not displaying anything, but I am concerned that im missing out on picture detail by setting my brightness low enough to do so.

When I set it to show a blank screen as total black (no difference between the TV being on or off) the THX optimizer logo (words THX) are just visable, I can *just* make out the 7th black box (value 21).

I am open to any advice! :-) Should I cut my losses and calibrate so I can see BTB at the expense of loosing my 'black - empty screen' ?

PS: The philips test pattern generator seems to only be good for calibrating the desktop (im assuming overlay) and not vmr9 renderless which on my system is different to vmr9 windowless.

Cheers,
Bitey
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post #275 of 486 Old 11-03-2005, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not familiar with RP-CRTs and how far the floating black level goes or doesn't go.

But earlier on this thread, someone kindly posted some hand-made screens for black/white ends of the spectrum. The black one had a 0-black background, with vertical bars going from 0 to 25, with 0-black in-between.

On my DLP I was able to use this, along with some other tests, to set the correct gamma and brightness level. Adjusting brightness (black level), I was able to get it so that black-16 and below were all black, and I could make out specs in the black in level 17 and above.


So first, check for any official threads on your specific set, and see if there are any tweaks that can be made to improve picture quality. For example, on Samsung DLPs, changing the Gamma setting in the Service Menu improves greyscale gradation/gamma to a much more accurate setting.

Then try viewing the black screen I mentioned above, and find the value where 16=black and you can start to see detail in 17 and above. Write down that number.

Do you have Avia? If you do, there are screens that show the black/btb bars on the left with white, light grey, and dark grey on the right half of the screen. On my father's CRT at least, the black level floated greatly, so trying to set brightness on one means that it was off on the other screens. If you find this to be true on your CRT, I'm not sure how to properly set brightness there, so I'll defer that to others who are more experience with CRTs.


HTH
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post #276 of 486 Old 11-03-2005, 11:45 PM
 
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Bitey:

You are are not targeting to SEE the BTBs when calibrating. You will lower your black level until they disappear/are indistinguishable from video black (16). Because CRTs have somewhat low ANSI contrast, the level you end up with will vary depending on pattern APL. If you use a high-APL pattern, you will be biasing towards a brighter black level to better maintain shadow details. If you use a low-APL pattern then you will be biasing towards darker blacks to get full black-out. Remember that room lighting affects this greatly of course, so if for some reason you're not watching in a darkened room, match the level of lighting when you watch while you calibrate.

Quote:


Do you have Avia? If you do, there are screens that show the black/btb bars on the left with white, light grey, and dark grey on the right half of the screen.

Note that consumer Avia's patterns are within the 16-235 range, they do not contain bars below black. ALL the bars in avia should remain visible! Avia PRO and DVE contain patterns with BTB and peak white data in the 0-15 and 236-255 range.
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post #277 of 486 Old 11-04-2005, 05:20 AM
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ChrisWiggles & Cyberbri,

Thankyou for your replies. I do not own Avia, only DVE.

If I understand correctly, I should aim for 16 and below (including btb) to be 'black' ie. no light output and have 17 and above visable.

So im my words :-)

If i calibrate using a high-apl pattern (bright pattern ie. high apl pattern in dve)
Pros: I will see more detail in dark scenes
Cons: my blackest black (16) will appear to be dark-grey (some light being output) when dislpaying dark scenes.

or

if I calibrate using a low-apl pattern (dark pattern ie THX optimizer)
Pros: I will achieve a black screen (no output) when nothing is being displayed.
Cons: I will see less detail in very dark scenes.

Seems something is going to have to give here! - I like a black screen, but not at the expense of losing detail in dark scenes in the movie. I'll have to live with a little grey.

Cyberbri - I will look for these hand-made patterns you mention i'll have to see how I can get them to be displayed in VMR9 Renderless, as im trying to keep overlay for 'daytime' viewing (which i'll use the options in the video driver to adjust brightness)..

I improved the blacks a little by increasing contrast slightly - I could run a slightly darker screen with a touch more contrast..

Cheers,
Bitey
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post #278 of 486 Old 11-04-2005, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Bitey View Post

ChrisWiggles & Cyberbri,

Thankyou for your replies. I do not own Avia, only DVE.

If I understand correctly, I should aim for 16 and below (including btb) to be 'black' ie. no light output and have 17 and above visable.

So im my words :-)

If i calibrate using a high-apl pattern (bright pattern ie. high apl pattern in dve)
Pros: I will see more detail in dark scenes
Cons: my blackest black (16) will appear to be dark-grey (some light being output) when dislpaying dark scenes.

or

if I calibrate using a low-apl pattern (dark pattern ie THX optimizer)
Pros: I will achieve a black screen (no output) when nothing is being displayed.
Cons: I will see less detail in very dark scenes.

Seems something is going to have to give here! - I like a black screen, but not at the expense of losing detail in dark scenes in the movie. I'll have to live with a little grey.

Cyberbri - I will look for these hand-made patterns you mention i'll have to see how I can get them to be displayed in VMR9 Renderless, as im trying to keep overlay for 'daytime' viewing (which i'll use the options in the video driver to adjust brightness)..

I improved the blacks a little by increasing contrast slightly - I could run a slightly darker screen with a touch more contrast..

Cheers,
Bitey


Bitey,

I think the key is to find a good in-between setting, where blacks don't look too grey, but you don't lose too much shadow detail. Again, I'm not sure how much your black level will float. That's something you'll have to test.

With the black level screen (I'll add it to this post, since I have it on this computer), display it full-screen and adjust from there. You won't be able to "view it within VMR9". The point is to adjust brightness to black=16, because VMR9 maintains or passes through 0-15 as well, and leaving the brightness set to 0 means that 16-black on DVDs appears way above the black floor. Overlay will put black-16 at 0, so adjusting brightness to the standard PC 0-black level is what you do there.
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post #279 of 486 Old 11-04-2005, 01:10 PM
 
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Quote:


I think the key is to find a good in-between setting, where blacks don't look too grey, but you don't lose too much shadow detail.

Exactly.

Quote:


Again, I'm not sure how much your black level will float. That's something you'll have to test.

Say, I'd like to maybe clarify, there can be a couple things going on. One is black level float or black level clamping/DC restore problems. This will be seen as the actual brightness of the raster black rise based on APL.

The other is ANSI contrast washout, which happens on all displays. This is light spill from one part of the screen to the other. Just want to be clear that while your display may ore may not have good DC restoration thus good ability to maintain a black raster, it WILL spill light. It's usually the light spill that is a weakness here.

hope that helps!
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post #280 of 486 Old 11-06-2005, 05:30 PM
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Thanks again guys,

Im still looking for the sweet-spot, looks like it going to be a few more late nights yet! Im almost there, im finding myself pausing and increasing brightness (on the display) to see if im missing any details or whether the scene is supposed to be black :-) then putting it back when im satisfied im seeing 'everything'!, or loading the calibration dvd's and seeing what my display-adjustment has done to the test-patterns.

I have discovered why I have two different VMR9 settings in addition to overlay (ati cat 5.10):

VMR9 Renderless: Can be adjusted via the "Fullscreen 3D" settings
VMR9: Can be adjusted in the 'Video' settings (under the submenu-all settings)
Overlay: Can be adjusted via the 'Desktop' settings

Im also trying to balance these three out as my live tv (FusionHDTV) can use VMR9 or Overlay.

Cheers,
Bitey
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post #281 of 486 Old 11-06-2005, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Bitey View Post

Im also trying to balance these three out as my live tv (FusionHDTV) can use VMR9 or Overlay.

Cheers,
Bitey


Well, you're getting there.

Live TV is a whole other story. DVDs have a standard that most follow. But broadcast TV can be a mixed bag, even with the major networks. I have found that some of the stations vary by as much as 8 notches on my TV's Brightness setting, as far as where the darkest "black" is. I had it on 54, but found that certain shows, like some shows on ABC, have the deepest black at 62 on my Brightness setting. And I had to go down to about 35 or so to watch Battlestar Galactica on the Sci-Fi channel.
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post #282 of 486 Old 11-10-2005, 07:48 PM
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Spent a few hours reading this thread. Then used 3DO's video and calibrated my Electrohome Marquee 8500 crt projector. The results are alot differant from my Digital Video Essentails DVD. My defaults on my nVidia 6600GT and Theater Tek 2.2.1 is all set at defaults. I got my Extron 202xi level set to 3/4 the way up. I suppose thats roughly 1v which Marquee's love I hear.

3DO's video I used first set my contrast up to 70! and brightness down to 44. Strange.

Then when I used Digital Video Essentials DVD I had to lower contrast to 60 and brightness up to 50. Strange...I wonder if the DVE dvd is video levels 16-235 only.

One thing about DVE is a very usfull test that 3DO doesnt have. It has a screen with a much larger white image in it for setting brightness. With a higher bright area in the screen is largly effects your black levels. Your suppose to go back and forth between the standard black bar screen and this one to get a happy medium.

3DO's video is extremly dark. I did that MS Paint program test on the black bars and found that my 16 black bar on 3DO's video is 17-17-17. Strange.

*Analog fans may be blind but Digital fans are deaf*
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post #283 of 486 Old 11-11-2005, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stylinlp View Post

3DO's video I used first set my contrast up to 70! and brightness down to 44. Strange.

The test patterns in my video will not work well for CRTs as these test patterns contain almost all white and all black. CRTs behave nonlinearly in those regions due to HV power supply design constraints and require test patterns which are more balanced in black/white content.

There is a new Display Calibration forum with a New calibration disc thread where GetGray is putting together a disk which sounds more useful than existing calibration pattern disks. You might check whether his patterns are suitable for CRTs.

Or give it up and go digital
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post #284 of 486 Old 11-11-2005, 10:38 AM
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thank you 3no. I figured something was wrong. Glad you pointed out what it was. All in all at least I have more a handle on how contrast and brightness settings are effecting my picture quality. This thread taught me alot and playing around with DVE and yours helped me see things clearly.

Sorry but going digital would be a step down. I am perfectly happy to stick with my beautifull crt projector

*Analog fans may be blind but Digital fans are deaf*
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post #285 of 486 Old 11-16-2005, 04:17 PM
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I think there should a be a section of this How-To thread devoted to lcd display devices that can't be adjusted so that 16-235 looks correct without expanding to pc levels. Specifically on the Dell 2405fpw and other lcds, the black level can't be adjusted via menus. You have to calibrate via the overlay or vmr9 controls to get it looking right, but this introduces banding and other nasty artifacts. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one with this situation.
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post #286 of 486 Old 11-22-2005, 10:22 AM
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I have some questions about calibrating my XBOX 360 and was wondering if you guys had some thoughts on this.

I am only interested in calibrating the 360 in its 720p output mode, as I will not use it for any 480p output (I'll watch DVDs on my Bravo).

The main challenge as I see it is that I cannot use any DVD for the test patterns. This is because the DVD player does not upscale to 720p - it outputs 480p only.

However, the 360 does have the ability to display images from a PC. So my plan is to use this approach where I get or create the needed test patterns, then use the 360 to display them in 720p. I'll use ColorFacts for my measurements.

My main questions are:

1) How can I tell if the XBOX 360 games are made for Video (16-235) or PC (0-255) levels? Available at my disposal are whatever test patterns I can make or find that I can view as an image on the 360 and my ColorFacts. Is there a particular pattern or approach I can use to gague which levels it is using? Supposely NBA Live 2006 demo contains test patterns - one of which may be a pluge, so maybe this somehow would be useful?

2) Let's say I am able to determine that the 360 is using PC levels... My Sharp 10K has menu settings where you tell it whether you are using PC or Video levels. I'm not sure if that setting applies only to its DVI input or not. If so its a moot point as I have the 360 connected via component.

But assuming this setting does apply to its component inputs, am I right to assume it would be best to set the PC/Video level of the projector's inputs to match what I determine the XBOX 360 720p games to be using? What affect does this setting have on the image? I'm thinking either way you can just use brightness/contrast to compensate so I'm not sure if this setting on the pj really matters... ?

3) Based on the above details on what I'm looking to accomplish here, can you please recommend a good source for 720p static image files that have test patterns I can view as images on the 360 from my PC? If not do you have any tips for creating such images?

Thanks! I will post a full report of the results as I'm sure many other AVSers will be wondering these same questions and interested in our results.
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post #287 of 486 Old 11-22-2005, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingdvd View Post

The main challenge as I see it is that I cannot use any DVD for the test patterns. This is because the DVD player does not upscale to 720p - it outputs 480p only.

Does it matter whether the DVD is copy-restricted or not? I know that some players can upscale to 720p as long as the DVD is not copy-restricted, so perhaps the Xbox 360 can as well. I'm not sure if there are any commercial calibration discs that are not copy-restricted, but you could try making your own or getting GetGray's disc.
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post #288 of 486 Old 11-22-2005, 10:59 AM
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I would assume that games on the XBOX 360 are set to PC levels - heck, 99% of all PC games (and the original XBOX games I saw) all seemed to set black at level 0. However, this could change - some developers may choose to follow video levels - for all we know, maybe Microsoft told them to.

My suggestion would be to use MS Paint and make your own 1280x720p or 1920x1080p patterns. Save them as a BMP graphic file, and then load them up onto your 360 in picture viewing mode, and try calibrating to that.
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post #289 of 486 Old 11-22-2005, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingdvd View Post

I have some questions about calibrating my XBOX 360 and was wondering if you guys had some thoughts on this.

I am only interested in calibrating the 360 in its 720p output mode, as I will not use it for any 480p output (I'll watch DVDs on my Bravo).

The main challenge as I see it is that I cannot use any DVD for the test patterns. This is because the DVD player does not upscale to 720p - it outputs 480p only.

However, the 360 does have the ability to display images from a PC. So my plan is to use this approach where I get or create the needed test patterns, then use the 360 to display them in 720p. I'll use ColorFacts for my measurements.

My main questions are:

1) How can I tell if the XBOX 360 games are made for Video (16-235) or PC (0-255) levels? Available at my disposal are whatever test patterns I can make or find that I can view as an image on the 360 and my ColorFacts. Is there a particular pattern or approach I can use to gague which levels it is using? Supposely NBA Live 2006 demo contains test patterns - one of which may be a pluge, so maybe this somehow would be useful?

2) Let's say I am able to determine that the 360 is using PC levels... My Sharp 10K has menu settings where you tell it whether you are using PC or Video levels. I'm not sure if that setting applies only to its DVI input or not. If so its a moot point as I have the 360 connected via component.

But assuming this setting does apply to its component inputs, am I right to assume it would be best to set the PC/Video level of the projector's inputs to match what I determine the XBOX 360 720p games to be using? What affect does this setting have on the image? I'm thinking either way you can just use brightness/contrast to compensate so I'm not sure if this setting on the pj really matters... ?

3) Based on the above details on what I'm looking to accomplish here, can you please recommend a good source for 720p static image files that have test patterns I can view as images on the 360 from my PC? If not do you have any tips for creating such images?

Thanks! I will post a full report of the results as I'm sure many other AVSers will be wondering these same questions and interested in our results.


I'd say calibrate to 16-235.
Use the different test screens, including the screens with the 0-25 and 230-255 vertical bars.
Once you get those values, if you find a game that has areas looking grey that are supposed to be black, you can just adjust your brightness control down to where it turns black.

You can also try the trick of unplugging the two component cables that pass color, and leave just the luminance (b/w) cable. This will allow you to check color temp, brightness/contrast etc. with anything displayed on-screen.
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post #290 of 486 Old 11-22-2005, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxleung View Post

I would assume that games on the XBOX 360 are set to PC levels - heck, 99% of all PC games (and the original XBOX games I saw) all seemed to set black at level 0. However, this could change - some developers may choose to follow video levels - for all we know, maybe Microsoft told them to.

My suggestion would be to use MS Paint and make your own 1280x720p or 1920x1080p patterns. Save them as a BMP graphic file, and then load them up onto your 360 in picture viewing mode, and try calibrating to that.

Thanks for the suggestions guys. Any thoughts on whether there is a particular pattern I can use (or make) to help me determine whether they are using PC vs Video black levels?
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post #291 of 486 Old 11-22-2005, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingdvd View Post

Thanks for the suggestions guys. Any thoughts on whether there is a particular pattern I can use (or make) to help me determine whether they are using PC vs Video black levels?


It may vary slightly by game, but find a screen with a large black area and adjust brightness according to that.
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post #292 of 486 Old 12-07-2005, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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post #293 of 486 Old 12-12-2005, 08:35 PM
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Sorry for the complete newb, redundant question, I just dont know what exactly to search to get the exact results I want, nor how to fully interpret the jumble explained in the OP.

I have a RCA 52" HDTV (HD52W59) that Im hooking up with my dell I9300. It has a 6800 Go in it so its viable. Running XP. Hooking up w/ DVI. It hooks up fine and I can see the picture(text a tad blurry, but Im looking at the gaming aspect w/ my PC mostly).... minus two things.

It waves or flickers just a tad(the salesman said this was due to the CRT, i think its a timing issue or something) and theres overscan of an inch or so.

What part of the OP would I look at to configure Powerstrip to output at the correct resolution for the TV?

Thanks in advance, means alot.
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post #294 of 486 Old 12-12-2005, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duxwig View Post

Sorry for the complete newb, redundant question, I just dont know what exactly to search to get the exact results I want, nor how to fully interpret the jumble explained in the OP.

I have a RCA 52" HDTV (HD52W59) that Im hooking up with my dell I9300. It has a 6800 Go in it so its viable. Running XP. Hooking up w/ DVI. It hooks up fine and I can see the picture(text a tad blurry, but Im looking at the gaming aspect w/ my PC mostly).... minus two things.

It waves or flickers just a tad(the salesman said this was due to the CRT, i think its a timing issue or something) and theres overscan of an inch or so.

What part of the OP would I look at to configure Powerstrip to output at the correct resolution for the TV?

Thanks in advance, means alot.


Go to www.laptopvideo2go.com and download the 81.95 driver along with the modded INF file that will allow you to install the driver. I helped a friend with his Dell 9300, same card as yours, and was able to install very easily. This driver should have the overscan compensation screen with the sliders.

For some reason, even with the better driver, his Samsung HLR5667 DLP wouldn't accept the 720p resolution over DVI->HDMI, only a 1920x1080 (with flicker).
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post #295 of 486 Old 12-13-2005, 08:57 AM
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I have the 81.94 installed right now, they dont have the slider?
I'll install the 81.95 later.

So it might be a I9300 issue w/ the flicker? Is there anyway to tell what resolution to use to use for the TV that might fit it best for results once I do the overscanthing?
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post #296 of 486 Old 12-13-2005, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by duxwig View Post

I have the 81.94 installed right now, they dont have the slider?
I'll install the 81.95 later.

So it might be a I9300 issue w/ the flicker? Is there anyway to tell what resolution to use to use for the TV that might fit it best for results once I do the overscanthing?

If you already have the overscan compensation sliders in your driver, you should be fine. I just suggested that, because I had to do it for a friend because last week the newest Dell driver he could get for his 9300/6800 Go didn't have anything like that.

The overscan compensation works by having you set the main resolution (in your case, 1920x1080), and then adjusting the resolution down from there with the sliders so the edges of the desktop are smaller than 1920x1080 (say 1876x1016 or something) and fit within the edges of the screen.

I'm not sure why the flicker is there, though.
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post #297 of 486 Old 12-13-2005, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by cyberbri View Post

If you already have the overscan compensation sliders in your driver, you should be fine. I just suggested that, because I had to do it for a friend because last week the newest Dell driver he could get for his 9300/6800 Go didn't have anything like that.

The overscan compensation works by having you set the main resolution (in your case, 1920x1080), and then adjusting the resolution down from there with the sliders so the edges of the desktop are smaller than 1920x1080 (say 1876x1016 or something) and fit within the edges of the screen.

I'm not sure why the flicker is there, though.

Im guessing he has the higher grade screen? The WUXGA or what have you.
Mine is the normal base screen for the I9300. Max res is 1440x900. So I would keep this still and mess with versions of that?
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post #298 of 486 Old 12-13-2005, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duxwig View Post

Im guessing he has the higher grade screen? The WUXGA or what have you.
Mine is the normal base screen for the I9300. Max res is 1440x900. So I would keep this still and mess with versions of that?


I'm not sure what screen he has on his Dell 9300 laptop. Anyway, I'm just talking about the driver for the 6800 Go video card. Normally you can only install Dell OEM drivers on their laptops. So by using the stuff at laptopvideo2go.com, you can install any nVidia driver you want.
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post #299 of 486 Old 01-21-2006, 08:20 PM
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Hi Guys,

I've got a problem. I just built an HTPC and I am in the process of calibrating it to my display. I verified that my DVD decoder is putting out accurate info using the alt-prtscrn method posted earlier, I then calibrated my display using the BTB and WTW mpg files... however...

The image seems flat and on some sources I am seeing quite a bit of false contouring. The TV (a Mits 52" RP DLP, WD52725) allows me to drop the brightness to bring the black levels into the right range but there is nothing I can do that affects the WTW info. I see the different white levels almost all the way up to the 255 values... and adjusting the contrast from min to max has no effect on these settings.

The TV seems to be tuned to working with a standard video signal and when fed a PC signal that needs to be adjusted downward to fit into the video range it seems to get out of it's sweet spot. I haven't found a way to fix this...

Does anyone have any suggestions?
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post #300 of 486 Old 01-21-2006, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I use VMR9 and Zoom Player, so I use the 1-25 black vertical bar screen to make sure I'm at 16=black and there is detail in the bars above that.

White level/contrast is kind of weird on digital displays. I had the same experience when calibrating my DLP. Go back to my first post and read my anecdote about Finding Nemo.
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