I hate the default DNIe processing. Samsung's beloved DNIe makes good video source look unatural. while only "enhancing" defects in crappy video source! In fact, I think Samsung should develop a "reverse DNIe for most of the low quality SD video that's broadcast today! ;)
DNIe also makes a computer desktop image look terrible by creating ringing, and artificial light and dark pockets next to fonts (edge "enhancement?"). DNIe further destroys the benefits of 1:1 pixel mapping that would, otherwise, yield nice, crisp Windows desktop fonts of 1 pixel width.
When I received my new HL-R yesterday, (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ed#post6168832
) I couldn't believe the crappy PQ as compared to my old HL-N model and I stayed up nearly all night, attempting to realize a solution, or at least an acceptable improvement. I always ran my HL-N with DNIe Mode set to "off" and I miss its unsurpassed sharpness and clarity with 1:1 pixel mapping. Hopefully, other forum members will leverage my techniques and settings to, perhaps, gain even greater improvement. Members, please report your findings here.
I still prefer the PQ of my HL-N, but I think I can live with the current amount of DNIe distortion I'm seeing after discovering the following tweaks.
Use DNIe Demo Mode to evaluate changes made in the service menus and user menus. Toggle DNIe demo mode on and off while watching the right side of the screen for changes and differences. My goal was to adjust my set such that there is no perceptable difference on the right side of the screen when comparing Demo Mode "on" and Demo Mode "off." Because DNIe Demo Mode is not available from the service menu, it is necessary to exit the service menu and enter Demo Mode to evaluate any changes.
The left side of the demo mode screen is not useful, other than to possibly train your eye to recognize the impact of DNIe induced defects! When DNIe mode is selected "on,", the DNIe "effect" is even further exaggerated than normal viewing mode on the left half of the screen so toggling DNIe mode "on" and "off" will allow you to compare an extreme DNIe effect (DNIe Mode "on") to your normal viewing mode (DNIe Mode "off"). Once you've trained your eye to notice the undesireable qualities of the extreme DNIe effect, start tweaking and evaluating with the right half of the screen. The objective is to compare the appearance of only the right half of the screen with DNIe Mode "on" and "off." Do not compare the right half to the left half, as a salesman would have you do when pushing this DNIe BS!
Video test source:
If you have a HTPC, the Windows desktop provides a very good video source for hunting down DNIe artifacts. I used my HTPC and ATI 9800 Pro and hooked up to the HDMI input. This PC is my main home theater source. I set the Windows desktop to about a 20% neutral gray color. Unlike with my HL-N, my Windows video settings inititally refused to drive a 1280x780 video mode to the HL-R. (HDMI handshake to blame?) Fortunately, the ATI drivers provide a way to force 1280x720 mode. (Right click desktop then Properties >> Display Properties >> Settings >> Advanced >> Displays...click "FPD," then Troubleshoot and check "Force 720p Mode.") Once I achieved 720p mode, I was later able to reboot to 720p mode with the "force" box unchecked. Strange! I also used the Digital Video Essentials DVD SMTPE test pattern from Title 13, Chapter 2 and the patterns of Chapters 3 and 5. When completing calibration, be aware that different mpeg decoders and different directshow renderers will yield different results on a PC so I suspect other's user menu calibration adjustments will vary from mine.
My Service Menu Adjustments:
Fortunately, I found the SM DNIe menu settings to be sticky. Enter the SM and navigate to the DNIe menu. I zeroed out nearly every setting that is not color related. The only exceptions are the Sub Contrast, Sub Brightness, and ALPHAU/L entries. These settings have a very large effect and also interact with the user menu Brightness setting, at the very least. I found changes to these settings were necessary to completely remove the last detectable differences on the right side of the screen when toggling between DNIe Demo mode on and off. Once these settings were modified from their default values (which varies with input source, BTW) it was necessary to redo basic calibration of the User menu items with NVE--partiularly the Contrast and Brightness settings.
B_RATIO and W_RATIO are a pain. Their default values are 12000! I found no method to quickly zero these entries. I held the remote control button down with a small screw and some masking tape while I ate dinner.
Here are the default HDMI values followed by my best values to date. Remember to record all your default values before you start tweaking! I also found that I preferred Gamma = 0.
DNIe Service Menu Items
NR_MAX Y/C..........48 >> 0
NR_MIN Y/C...........16 >> 0
Core........................4 >> 0
B_RATIO..........12000 >> 0
BLACK_TILT.........120 >> 0
W_RATIO.........12000 >> 0
WHITE_TILT.........200 >> 0
GAIN 1X.................16 >> 0
GAIN 1Y.................12 >> 0
GAIN 2X...................8 >> 0
GAIN 2Y...................4 >> 0
GAIN 3X...................1 >> 0
NDON....................ON >> OFF
CORING_ON..........ON >> OFF
SCALE_R................92 >> 0
WTE_CSC.........YCCRGB >> no change
DITHER_MOD...........0 >> no change
RED_C_COEFF.....128 >> no change
GRN_C_COEFF.....128 >> no change
BLU_C_COEFF.....128 >> no change
RED_B_COEFF.....128 >> no change
GRN_B_COEFF.....128 >> no change
BLU_B_COEFF.....128 >> no change
Sub Contrast.......105 >> 80
Sub Brightness....235 >> 275
ALPHAU/L..............50 >> 255
I also ran basic calibration with DVE (the SM clears the settings each time) and ended up with the following custom user settings:
Color Tone...WARM 1
Others will obviously get different settings here.
My end result is much improved. I cannot detect a differerence in the right half of the screen between DNIe Mode "on" and "off." Hoever, there is still more DNIe badness built into this HL-R than the HL-N and the HL-N still has better PQ (better geometry and far less overscan too! :() DNIe Demo Mode has taken me as far as I can go. I'm not sure that it's possible to achieve the settings necessary to match the PQ of the HL-N "DNIe off" mode. If anyone comes up with something better, please post. Also, I haven't corrected my other inputs yet and I'd be interested in hearing about experiences with the other inputs.
Also, I can only guess at the function of a few of these SM DNIe settings. If anyone has the definitions for any or all of them, please post! I don't have the service manual, but may attempt to find one--that is, if I can now tame the excessive overcan so the HDMI input can be used with my HTPC. So far, I've only been able to find an excessively underscanning custom video resolution with Powerstrip. A slightly overscanning custom resolution is what's, obviously, necessary for a HTPC. Even then, I won't have 1:1 pixel mapping for all the 720p souce I play from my HTPC like I had with the HL-N. My Mac-mini HD firewire recorder is connected to the VGA input so, although Samsung provided PC adjustments on it, it's already in use.