Sorry this post is so long.. Hopefully it doesn't discourage anyone from reading it!
I picked up a W1500 a few weeks ago, and I'm having an issue with frame interpolation in 3D. I'm wondering if anyone else is seeing what I'm seeing.. I sent off a detailed email earlier this week to the person at BenQ support who helped me with another issue (the remote didn't work.. I used BenQ online chat support, and they sent me a new remote which arrived in 2 days, and works great!), but since it's been Christmas week, I figure I might not hear from them til next week.. Also, at the same time that I was telling them about the remote issue, I mentioned this issue (FI + 3D), but they didn't have much for me.. They suggested I try hitting "3D Sync Invert", and weird enough it worked, though it had nothing to do with my problem. (3D Sync Invert seems to swap left/right channels?) Anyway, that proved to me that SOMEHOW it should work correctly, so I messed around a bunch, and I figured out how to create and (sort of) fix the problem.
Anyway, I'm hoping to figure out if it's an isolated issue with my projector, or if other people are experiencing this problem, too.. It seems like a bug, but I'd think people would be complaining left and right if they were having the same problem, so hopefully (for BenQ) it's just my projector.
It's also not an HDMI cable issue (5 tested), receiver issue (I'm doing direct HDMI from device to projector), device issue (verified from 2 distinct devices), regular frame interpolation artifacting/issue (2D frame interpolation works fine), 3D depth issue (3D is FINE.. it's awesome, actually).
It's definitely a problem with 3D in combination with frame interpolation. It really seems like a bug in the projector firmware/software.
What is the problem, you may ask.. Well, the problem shows as a line or a "seam" (as my girlfriend referred to it) down the center of the screen during left/right panning shots. One side of the screen will be clear (we'll call this the good side), and FI looks like it's working great, and the other side will be blurry-ish.. What's happening is it's not doing FI right, and it's kind of creating a double image, just on that side of the screen.. Depending on which way the shot is panning, the good side will swap. If the shot is panning left, the left is good.. If it's panning right, the right side is the good side.
Here's how to recreate the problem: I'm not recommending anyone reset their projector to original settings. I'm just pointing out that I DID do this to make sure it wasn't a weird settings thing. I surely wouldn't want to reset everything, and I don't want you to.. Just give this a shot with your current settings, and if your W1500 isn't showing the problem, then I wouldn't worry about! Thanks for checking! : D Actually, posting your settings (if it works fine), would be great, so I can throw those settings in and see if my projector no longer shows the problem.
My settings/changes AFTER I reset all settings (which is under The "Advanced" Menu):
Keystone is "8".. until I get this mounted and/or issue figured out, it's sitting on a shelf. Also, keystone does not reset when you reset all settings.
System On/Off ring tone I set to "OFF".. It's extremely annoying and I was doing a lot of on/off of the projector, haha..
In "Standard" mode, I set lamp "Eco"
In "3D" mode, I set lamp to "Eco"
(The fan is too loud for me in normal mode.. Eco is just lovely, though.)
Those were the only settings I changed.
I have my devices set to play 3D blu-rays at 1080p/24hz, so the projector pops up "1920x1080/24hz" when it switches into 3D mode.
Here's what happens.. When you start up playback for a 3D blu-ray movie, the projector switches the "Preset Mode" to "3D". We'll call this "entering 3D mode". (Technically some 3D blu-rays enter 3D mode for the blu-ray menu.) For me, the non-3D Preset Mode is "Standard".. So when you exit out of a 3D movie / playback, the projector switches back to "Standard" mode. We'll call this "leaving 3D mode".
Also, each of these modes have independent settings, so Standard can have Frame Interpolation OFF, while 3D mode has Frame Interpolation ON.. I like that, since I don't really want FI in 2D, but I do want it in 3D.. So in theory, I can set it to ON in 3D and forget about it..
Butttt, there's a problem with this (at least on my projector.. and I'm curious to hear if other people have the same problem.)
If I enter 3D mode, and 3D mode's "Frame Interpolation" is OFF, then I won't necessarily see the problem. I can turn FI on and all might be well.. But if I leave 3D mode with FI still set to on (Low, Middle, or High, it doesn't matter), then next time I enter 3D mode, I will always see the problem.
Any non-panning shots don't usually show the problem. It's literally just during panning.. But any amount of panning will do it.. A mostly up/down shot with a bit of panning should show it. Any ONLY up/down shot won't show it.
This is extremely extremely obvious. If you haven't noticed this, then you probably don't have the problem.
And it only happens in true 3D.. And I've only tested with 3D blu-rays (frame packed), so I don't know about top/bottom or side-by-side. 2D Frame Interpolation doesn't show the problem.. 2D to 3D conversion plus FI doesn't show the problem. My bet is there's some kind of frame buffering issue where the frame interpolation routine is reading from the wrong left/right channel for part of the image, etc.. Something weird like that.
There is a fix, sort of.. It gives random results. The fix is generally to turn FI OFF while in 3D mode, then leave 3D mode, then enter 3D mode again.. It may take a couple times of entering/leaving 3D mode with FI set to OFF to fix it.. Also changing the "3D Sync Invert" - which is in the Display -> 3D menu - from Disabled to Enabled, or vice versa before turning FI ON (in 3D mode) might be required.. Then I just set 3D Sync Invert back to whatever it was.. And on top of that I MAY need to change the 3D Sync Invert value, fully close the Menu, and then bring the Menu back up and turn FI ON.. It's inconsistent across on/off's of the projector, but whichever order of operations seems to work, will continue to work until I turn on/off the projector again..)
The "sort of.." part of the fix is that sometimes once I get FI working in 3D mode, it seems that no matter which FI setting I set (Low, Middle, High), it'll only be at one FI level (I can't reeeally be sure, but eye-balling it, I can tell a difference between Low, Middle, High in 2D, but I'm not seeing the same difference in 3D).. so whether I set FI to Low, Middle, or High, the projector only renders at "Middle" FI for example.. Sometimes FI won't enable at all, not matter which setting I set FI to (as in, I set it to "Low", but obviously FI isn't actually doing anything, so it's essentially OFF, even though I have it turned on.)
Definitely some kind of weird bug, at least with my projector.
A few good examples where this is extremely obvious within the first minutes of the film... The best examples are bright contrasty colors and bright scenes.. It's a lottt less noticeable in dark scenes. And again, it doesn't happen in 2D to 3D conversion, so you need the 3D blu-rays of these movies.
Pixar's Cars (the original, not Cars 2) - The first scene shows a visual bar down the center of the screen due to the extremely fast motion. The entire intro continues to show scenes with and without the problem. It's a 3 or 4 minute stress test for the problem. Nobody could miss this.
Adventures of Tintin - The intro animation has a really excellent shot that really shows what's going on. The first cut immediately after the Title "Adventures of Tintin" shows on a red background, is to a Newspaper headline, then the screen zooms out, and pans to the left and up, and then it starts showing a printing press run of the newspaper, etc.. With the problem, and FI on Low, only the initial pan away from the newspaper shows the problem, with the line down the center of the newspaper. With FI on High, though, the entire printing press shot also shows the problem with line down the center. (It's also just slightly noticeable in the intro title screen for "Nickelodeon" as the "drop" of paint for the i's dot drops, and also for "Amblin", as the shot zooms out and pans to the right from the moon, but you really need to be looking to notice those 2 spots of it..)
Kung Fu Panda (the first one) - The intro animation, where Po is dreaming the story about himself with the kung fu masters.. There's a number of pretty obvious spots where the line is down the center.
Those 3 are the best and most obvious intro examples of what I looked at so far.
Star Trek Into Darkness - The intro scene.. The aerial shot that zooms down to show Kirk and Bones running out of the indigenous peoples' hut, and getting chased.. The shot zooms in, then pans to the right, following Kirk and Bones.. It's not as obvious as the other movies, since the scene is kind of just a jumble of red and white, but I can still see a visual line down the center where the right half looks good and the left half looks blurry.
Brave - intro scene.. As the aerial shot pans and zooms down to the tent, you can see the blurry right side, though it's a bit less obvious, since it's happening in the fairly homogenous trees.
The Hobbit - disc 1 - The intro scene. It cuts from old Bilbo, to a map that pans from the Shire to Erebor/Dale. That pan shows the problem.. blur on one side, good on the other, if you look closely.. Then when the dragon is attacking the town, there are a number of obvious spots. Mostly when fire is getting spewed..
Here are a few that aren't obvious right at the beginning, but have obvious spots somewhere else in the movie (spoiler alerts...? Haha.. : D These movies are so old, if you haven't seen them yet, you won't care what you're reading...):
Avengers, a couple obvious spots: At 1:38:20, as Ironman flies past the 3 chimneys.. It's very obvious for a quick moment, as he flies in front of the bridge. Starting at 1:45:40, as the team arrives in New York, and the bad guys start pouring out of the hole in the sky... There are lots of quick moments, and then it's really obvious when Thor and Loki are fighting, and as Loki flies flying away on the alien-scooter.
How to Train Your Dragon - At 1:19:30, when Hiccup (main character) enters the fight.. Lots of obvious spots for the next few minutes.
Avatar - At 0:03:28, the up-close shot of the shuttle flying into the atmosphere shows the problem a bit.. I can see a flickering bar down the middle of the screen. Then at 0:28:00, with the altercation between Jake Sully and the hammer-head rhino thing there are a couple obvious spots. Then at 0:29:20 when the giant cat shows up, it's pretty much in 90% of the scenes til Jake Sully jumps off the cliff into the water below (at 31:10).
If someone wants to check this out, but doesn't have one of the above, what were you thinking not owning at least one of these movies in 3D?! : D (Just kiddingggggg!) Name a few 3D blu-rays you have, and hopefully I'll have one of them, and I'll try to find you a spot in the movie! I'll be out of town for the weekend, so I won't be able to find anything til Sunday night or Monday, though.
I've taken a bunch of videos of it happening in Cars and a few others, but I haven't put them online yet. If I get a chance, I will.
I'm really hoping someone can verify that it's just an issue with my projector or that they can repeat the problem. It's seriously so obvious in most of these shots that I could put my grandmother in front of the movie and she'd be yelling at me to go adjust the antenna! (Disclaimer: this statement has not been backed up by scientific research..) However, I DID test this on my girlfriend, who is bored by the difference between DVD and blu-ray, and wishes for nothing more than a working VHS player, so she doesn't have to replace her VHS collection with DVDs (well, OK, in her defense, her VHS collection issss fairly impressive). Anyway, I showed her Cars and asked "what was wrong with what you just saw?" Her response: "There was a seam in the middle..". I'm telling you, if your projector has the problem, you'll definitely see it.
Alright, that's all I've got. Again, sorry for the long post! If anyone could check this out, that would be super helpful! Thanks!