Set up the TV side of things first. The Anthem will generate video signals for you to do this so you don't need any source devices to do this.
First you need to figure out the "native" resolution of your DLP TV. That's the actual, physical pixel matrix in its hardware. Your TV will convert (scale) other sizes of signal to that native resolution, so don't confuse the native resolution with the various different types of signals the TV will accept. What you are looking for is the resolution it converts them to for display. That may very well be 1920 x 1080p/60Hz, but check the manual specs to be sure.
You will want to set the Anthem to your TV's "native" resolution, if it will, indeed also accept that as an input resolution, or to the nearest resolution it will accept otherwise. The Anthem's job is to convert all incoming video to that "best" resolution for your TV so that your TV's electronics have the least amount of work to do.
Before you do that, prepare your TV for best quality imaging. Do this by turning off what are called the "torch mode" settings that likely came as the factory defaults. The torch mode settings produce an overly bright/contrasty, overly red, and overly sharpness enhanced image at too high (too blue) a color temperature. These settings produce an eye catching image in garish store lighting but they are way wrong for best viewing. There are also several image "enhancement" features typically turned on by default that will really just get in the way of good viewing. They are designed to help deal with crappy signals (which you won't have) and the bad level settings most owners use.
Find a "picture mode" in your TV labeled something like "movies". That's the one to use. Avoid anything labeled something like Vivid, Vibrant, Dynamic, Games, Scorch your Eyeballs, or the like. If you have two possible picture modes to choose between, pick the one that produces the darker and softer lookin image.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Do NOT just assume you can modify any picture mode into the equivalent of a different picture mode such as "movies" simply by adjusting the TV's level settings. In modern TVs these picture modes often make additional, secret setting changes behind your back that you can not alter with the user controls. Find the "movies" picture mode and start from there.
Having picked the right picture mode, turn off enhancements like "flesh tone correction", automatic brightness adjustment, SVM (velocity modulation -- it's awful, don't ask), noise reduction, or detail enhancement. Turn them all off and leave them off.
Look for a setting for "Color Temperature". You will likely need to set it to produce a more reddish cast to whites than the factory default. This is often confusingly labeled "warmer" (for the reddish tone) even though it really corresponds to a lower (i.e, cooler) Color Temperature. By default this is usually set too blue because that setting trick's the shopper's eyes into thinking the screen is brighter -- and then the factory compensates by pushing red color in other settings. If you have a Color Temperature setting marked 6500K or SMPTE STANDARD that's the one you want.
Finally set Brightness, Contrast, Color, Tint, and Sharpness all to the mid range values. Again, the factory default settings, even in the "movies" mode, are likely to be WRONG.
Having prepped your TV, now go to the Anthem Setup / Video Output menu.
The first order of business is getting the right resolution output to your TV. Set PREFERRED=HDMI and set the "native" resolution (e.g., 1920x1080p/60Hz if that's what you found in the TV specs). Set Color Space to HDTV and set Color Format to YCbCr 4:4:4 (to start -- you might decide later that 4:2:2 looks better). Set Sync = Normal.
Back out of that menu and Accept those changes. The Anthem Setup screen should now appear centered on your TV as a reddish screen with text on it.
If it doesn't appear, or is shifted horizontally by, say 1/3 of the screen, then go back into the Setup / Video Output menu and change to Sync=Inverted and try again.
If you can't get your TV to display it's "native" resolution from the Anthem then something is wrong. Either your cable is bad or you misread the TV manual as to its actual "native" resolution and which resolution it will accept as input that is closest to that. Again, don't get confused just because your TV will accept another resolution such as 720p. Your TV is designed to do the same sort of scaling the Anthem does, although not as well, so it will accept a variety of different resolutions. But the one YOU want to use from the Anthem is your TV's "native" resolution or as close as you can get to it.
Once you have the TV displaying its "native" resolution from the Anthem then you are ready for the next step.
Back out of the Setup menu entirely. If you have no video coming in from a source you should now see an all blue screen -- the Anthem's default screen when it has no video input. Now press and hold the "7" key on the Anthem remote until the Video Source Adjust menu comes up.
That menu should be crisp and centered -- black text on a grayish background with some colored labels. If not, then you have a problem. Recheck your Setup / Video Output settings.
If so, now go to the Info panel in that menu. Double check that the output resolution and format it says you are sending to your TV is what you told it to send.
Now go to the Patterns panel on that menu and bring up any of the bar charts. They should fill the screen. Use the Back button to exit the bar pattern.
If all this is right then your video output signal is setup just fine and you can proceed to setting the "levels" on your TV.
Bring up the SMPTE test pattern, called "Color Bars" in that menu.
Remember that you have previously set all the level controls in your TV to their mid-point. You are now going to set them properly.
It is best to do this in a dimly lit room.
The Contrast setting controls white levels. Adjust it either side of mid-point until you find a pleasing light level for whites in the test pattern, without their looking grayish. For your HDMI input, that may very well just be the mid-point position. The correct setting will likely be quite a bit lower than the factory default, since that is set for more garish room lighting.
Next use the Brightness setting to control black levels. The Anthem V1.1x manual tells you how to do that using the near black fields in the lower right of the SMPTE chart.
Brightness and Contrast interact so you may want to iterate a bit on this.
Now go to the gray bars test patten and verify that all the bars are distinguishable -- i.e., you haven't got some bars near black or near white merging together so that you can't tell them apart. If there's a problem, adjust white levels with Contrast and then go back to the SMPTE chart to re-adjust black levels with Brightness.
[NOTE: Using source device test patterns -- as from a calibration DVD disc -- you will be able to later refine your Brightness and Contrast settings, as well as being able to verify that Blacker than Black and Peak White data are being properly handled. But that's for later.]
Now you need to adjust the color settings in your TV. This is best done with the aid of a blue gelatin filter which you will find included with any of the calibration DVD discs you can buy such as Avia, or Digital Video Essentials (DVE). You'll need a calibration disc when setting up your DVD player, so get one if you don't already have one.
[NOTE: If you don't have a blue gelatin filter yet, you can adjust Color and Tint in your TV by eye while watching TV later, but you will be amazed how much better it looks when you eventually do it "right" with the filter. Modern digital TVs are finicky about correct level settings. Or to put it another way, the difference between "right" and "nearly right" is likely to be a LOT greater than what you are used to from older TVs.]
The Color setting controls color saturation (brilliance). The Tint setting controls the bias towards Red or Green. Look through the blue filter at the SMPTE test chart and follow the instructions in the Anthem manual to adjust your Color and Tint properly. Basically what you are looking for is the amount of Blue that's added in as part of making up white. When White and Blue look the same brightness when viewed through the blue gelatin filter then that's set right. Similarly you look at the blue contribution to magenta and cyan, again through the blue filter, and adjust Tint until they match.
Color and Tint also interact, so you will need to take some time to iterate and find the best setting. You will also have red and green gelatin filters in your calibration DVD stuff. Look at the SMPTE pattern through those and notice that for each filter there's a DIFFERENT pair of primary colors that match (and vary as the Color setting changes) and also of secondary colors that match (and are controlled with Tint). The best settings of Color and Tint through each filter may differ a bit. You may prefer the Color and Tint setting which seems the best "compromise" setting -- not perfect for any gelatin filter, but pretty close for all three.
Finally adjust your TV's Sharpness setting. The best way to do this, for now, is to Back out of the SMPTE chart and look at menu text in the Video Source Adjust menu. You want vertical black edges to look crisp but without any hint of a slightly brighter "halo" to either side of them. Run Sharpness up and down to see how the appearance of text changes. The correct setting is likely to be in the lower 1/3 of the available range of settings, and is also likely to be WELL below the factory default value.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The correct, "calibrated" settings for your TV may result in imaging that is darker and softer than you are used to, and possibly with a more reddish cast to it. Take some time to get used to these settings. Properly calibrated settings really are better. You will see more natural imagery and more real detail once you get over the surprise at how different they are. Feel free to adjust things to your taste after you've had some time to view different programs, but always refer back to your "calibrated" settings. Over time, if you are like most people, you will find your taste preferences converging on the "calibrated" settings.
Once you've got the Anthem sending a good "native" resolution signal to your TV and you've got the levels set on your TV, then the TV side of things is DONE! It is the Anthem's job to convert all input video to your selected output settings in the best possible way -- dealing automatically with all the various technical differences between inputs.
You may find that you need to vary levels for different source devices. If so, do NOT do that using the TV's settings. The TV's settings are now "right" for the video coming from the Anthem. Instead make adjustments in the Anthem's INPUT settings for each source device -- again in the Video Source Adjust menu (under the "7" key).
[NOTE: As you get more used to adjusting settings, and using tools like a calibration DVD, you will discover ways to improve your TV-side settings using such source-side tools. For example, the Anthem test patterns provide no way to verify that you haven't set Contrast (white levels) so high that you are losing "Peak White" details. A calibration DVD such as Digital Video Essentials, provides another way to help set your TV's Contrast level so as to keep it from pushing whites above the limit of what your TV can faithfully reproduce.]
But before you do that, you need to prep each source device to send the best possible signal to the Anthem. The rule of thumb for this is simple. Set each source device to do the LEAST POSSIBLE manipulation of the image. Leave it to the Anthem to do all the work.
So for a standard DVD player, for example, you want it to send 480i video to the Anthem, since that's what comes off the DVD disc, and you want to turn off any image "enhancement" features it may offer. If your DVD player also offers "picture modes", follow the rule of thumb given above and pick the one described as doing the LEAST POSSIBLE to the imaging coming off the DVD disc.
For your Motorola HDTV set top box, you want it to send along exactly the same resolution as happens to be coming at the moment on the channel you are currently watching.
For SDTV channels that will always be 480i. For HDTV that will most often be 1080i, but sometimes (typically live sports shows) it will be 720p.
If your Motorola box works like my Comcast/Motorola box, you will, however, only be able to set two resolutions -- one for SDTV and one for HDTV. In that case set 480i and 1080i. Also, if your box has an HDMI output (instead of DVI) be sure to set the Motorola's output format to YCbCr 4:4:4.
[IMPORTANT NOTE: Some recent Anthem purchasers have run into a new bug in the Anthems that makes it difficult for the Anthem to handle 1080i input via HDMI or Component. A fix is expected shortly. If you have this bug it will be obvious -- either a "scrambled" screen image or no image at 1080i input to the Anthem. Contact Anthem tech support. The workaround is to set 480i and 720p from your box, but again this is not ideal, so do switch back to 480i and 1080i when you get this fixed.]
For standard DVD players, you can adjust the Anthem's input settings with the aid of a calibration DVD. These DVDs come with instructions. The process is not hard, but it does take some time and can be confusing at first until you get a handle on what's going on. It's really very similar to what you already did setting up the TV output side of the Anthem using the TV's own controls. Only minor changes should be needed, if any, for the Anthem input settings. If you find you need to make major adjustments to the Anthem's input levels, you should probably go back and revist the way you set the levels on your TV for the Anthem's output.
For your set top box, look for test pattern programs that are periodically broadcast on INHD and HDNET early in the morning about twice a month. The INHD version is called "Tune Up". Record these if you have a DVR. Another program, "Bars and Tones" can be found on both HDTV and SDTV channels now and again. Using these, you can adjust the Anthem's input levels for your set top box. The changes from the best levels you found for your HDMI DVD player should be very close to those for your HDMI set top box.
The resulting image quality should be very VERY good, approaching spectacular if you've been careful. A professional calibration technician, an "ISF" tech, would bring additional signal generation and light sensing tools to refine things further.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
. -- Need personal consultation/training?
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.