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AE700 Tweak Thread

post #1 of 2757
Thread Starter 
Please have some respect for this thread. Owners only, and questions that only pertain to tweaking the AE700. I won't police for content, but if pricing posts start to pop up I will kill them (and the poster... or stearnly warn them... or beat them with a wet noodle... something). Normal forum rules apply.

-MP
post #2 of 2757
OK.
I didn't want to post late last night about eliminating VB on my 700 for two reasons. 1) I was too tired - and, 2) I wanted to be certain VB hadn't returned in the morning after leaving the 700 in stand-by all night.

The best way I've found to reduce (by at least 85%- 90%) VB is to send an interlaced signal to the 700 (I'm using a Sony 9000) and let the 700 handle the de-interlacing/conversion. I tried this with the 500 a few months back - and no luck. VB was the same on the 500 no matter what signal I sent (progressive, interlaced, composite, DVI)

I tell you it looks weird to see the U-571 underwater scenes with no banding! You would have to look very very hard to see any. With a progressive signal I could actually count the individual bars. Now everything looked very smooth. Vast improvement. When I switched (by remote) back to progressive - the banding returned! This was too simple. Next I plopped in AOTC (large ship landing in fog) and presto. Much improved. There is still FPN in the scene - but no banding. Next I played the foggy scenes from Pirates and Master. No problem. Next up the Tatoonie desert scene from Star Wars. Shockingly enough - it looked great too! This scene is an LCD killer if there ever was one. The Das Boot - underwater scenes looked fine as well (although a week transfer). So - I turned power off at the remote. I had previously been hard powering the unit off at the switch on the projector as had been suggested by many here to help with VB (which in my case didn't work). I went to bed.

I woke up at 3:50 am (why sleep?) and couldn't wait to go down and see if the VB was still reduced. I powered up the 700 with the remote - put on U-571 - and was met with the worst streaking I've ever seen. No VB mind you - which is great - but now I have streaking. Kind of looked like a severe case of FPN. But much worse. The screen looked streaked from side to side. Everything. Sky scenes (ch 13), underwater scenes (ch 15) Even the exploding waves rising up from the ocean were streaked. My heart sank. I let the projector warm up for about 20 minutes. Went back in to in to re-check ...and thankfully the streaking was gone. Everything looked great once again (Whew!). The projector evidently needed to warm up (although I never noticed streaking before when it was cold...?). I turned off the 700 at the main switch this time. When I go home this afternoon I'll see if the streaking (FPN?) Is back. Or if turning off the main power switch at the projector somehow prevents it. Maybe feeding an interlaced signal in conjunction with hard powering off the unit, and maybe in conjunction with letting the unit warm up for 20 minutes is the key (at least in my case) to reducing VB. (Geeeze)

Couple things:

I did notice a bit of line twitter (combing artifacts) in the interlaced mode(vs. Progressive) but I'll take that any day over VB.

For me - adjusting the flicker tweak (after 30 minute warm up) did nothing. My 700 arrived with all values at 29. This seemed perfect. I would adjust them - but kept going back to the original factory set values.

I'm receiving my DVI/HDMI cable today and will test my Momitsu with the 700 tonight to see what results I get. No telling.

Weird stuff.
post #3 of 2757
Well I have been the proud ownder of the L500U and as of Monday I am the owner of the AE700. Here are the basic tweaks.

!. Flicker tweak. Get into the options menu and highlight OSD. Hold down the enter button for 3 seconds to get into the service menu Once you are there, highlight the flicker tweak and hit enter. You will see the screen go to different colors as you hit the up or down button. A value will be at the bottom of the display that can be adjusted righ or left. Every projector is different so adjust until you see the least flicker in each one of the color modes. This tweak has a lot of positives in eliminating many erroneous artifacts like peekaboo scanlines abd vertical banding. I want to emphasize older PlayStation2s seem to have a problem with the AE700 in showing massive VB when in progressive mode. My simple fix was to turn off the progressive scan on the PS2 altogether. It totally eliminated the VB. I feel the upscale from the projectors scaler is almost as goos as the progressive scan from the ps2. This seems to be working for some old DVD players as well.

2. Sharpness adjustment. Get into the service menu the same way and hit the service menu button. The up, down, left and right buttons will scroll through colors and adjustment screens. I found the crosshatch pattern in white to work the best for adjusting the sharpness. Get as close as you can to the screen or have someone help you at the screen. Turn the focus on the projector ring until it becomes perfectly sharp. If you want to defocus slightly for any screen noise, that is fine too. I personally find that setting the sharpness in the main picture menu to -2 does a better job at giving you a more filmlike picture without losing subtle details. If you notice a small amuount of red or or blue fringing, that is probably normal. Mine at 110" was less than a couple mm in red fringing. It does not affect the picture on any regular source. I hope this helps.
post #4 of 2757
_______THE AE700 TWEAK LIST_______

1) The most accurate colors (for movies) with the least effort can be achieved by using "Natural" picture mode with color temperature set to -1. This is documented here after careful, sophisticated measurement.

2) You can access the service menu by:
Press Menu->Option
highlight "OSD"
Hold "ENTER" down for 3 seconds

There is an entry in the service menu called "Service Mode" which provides many helpful test images. They can be used to check for stuck & dead pixels, as well as panel alignment and other potential problems. [NOTE: There is also a second service menu which can be accessed by holding down "ENTER" for three seconds while the "Pic Shift" selection is highlighted in the first service menu. The limited settings in that menu do not seem as useful.]

3) FIRMWARE. Panasonic has released new firmware. Version 1.05 and higher fix several known problems. You can check your firmware version in the service menu under 'Self Check'.

The service menu differences between firmware 1.03 and 1.05 are underlined below:
FREEZE MSG (on)
HD OVERSCAN (off)
RUNTIME PRT (on)
FAN FULLMODE (off)
AUTO SETUP (normal)
SELF CHECK
SERVICE MODE
FLICKER ADJ
SD LEVEL (c)
525p OS (off)
HDCP1 (a)
HDCP2 (on)



Here's what the 1.03 menu looks like (Japanese model):


4) Flicker tweak. This tweak is a response to vertical banding (VB) problems. VB consists of translucent vertical lines across your screen (like jail bars). They are often more noticeable when the content you are projecting consists of large, lighter, solid colors. In movies, VB could become apparent in a scene where smoke, fog, or sky fills the screen.

Look for "FLICKER ADJ" in the service menu. Settings vary unit to unit, but several people have experienced improved (lessened) VB after LOWERING the default flicker values even if you do not see flickering on them in this service menu. Make sure you adjust for the mode you are using, or all modes (desk/ceiling). My settings are Red&Blue=23, Green=26.

You can further reduce VB by switching the power off on the unit when you are done using it instead of leaving it in standby. Several theories have been proposed to explain why cutting the power lessens or eliminates VB, but no one is 100% sure why it works. I have hard wired my projector to a wall switch for this very purpose.

Several people have suggested scenes in movies to test your unit for VB problems. I have found nothing better/simpler than projecting a full screen solid color - several colors are good for this, I use a bluish gray, RGB=58/110/165

[NOTE: Many users have reported that "flicker" and also "VB" stabilize over time. After 200 hours I can confirm similar observations on my unit. There is less flicker and less VB now than when the unit was newer.]

5) Overscan is a problem for both VGA and HDMI inputs but can be easily eliminated with tweaking on the VGA input, and possibly eliminated on the HDMI input IF you have firmware version 1.05 or higher(?) - early reports say this is not the case however.

For VGA: Start by feeding the projector a standard 1280x720 resolution. Since this is not always a resolution that is included with most video card drivers, you may need to install the free Rage3D tweak utility or any similar utility to enable this resolution.

LINK to free Rage3D Tweak utility

After you have switched to the proper resolution, run the "Auto" function found in the AE700's position menu to auto set the pixel timings, you may notice that your desktop image is still cropped on the left side. Reboot your machine at this point. For me it came up perfect after reboot, but you may need to re-run "AUTO" again after rebooting.

To confirm that everything is correctly set, you can use Mark Rejhon's test pattern explained here. Make sure you use the bitmap version (shown below) and tile it on your desktop. To do this, right click the image below, then choose "set as background (or wallpaper)". Minimize all windows, then right click your desktop, go into properties, then desktop, and choose to tile this image.



[Note: the "AUTO" option in the position menu is NOT available on the HDMI input. As stated earlier, you can only fix cropping on HDMI if you have firmware version 1.05 or higher and even then maybe not .]

6) White flash. I have never seen this phenomena, but based on user reports it seems to only occur on the HDMI input (and possibly only when feeding an HDCP signal?). Panasonic has suggested that firmware versions 1.05 or higher should eliminate this problem.

The white flash problem may be linked to the scaler/video processor. There also may be a link to certain DVD players, specifically users have reported white flash problems with Denon players more than others, however the problem has been reported on MANY different brands AND on HTPCs (using DVI/HDMI). Other users have reported that they only see the white flash problem when scaling. When they send the projector a 1280x720p signal, there is no white flash problem. If you are using a home theater PC, you should try using FFDShow (its free) to scale the picture to 1280x720.

The white flash problem may also be the result of inferior cables. Some people using quality cables report no white flash issues (the ULTRALINK HDMIPRO-10M Platinum Series HDMI-to-HDMI Cable has been recommended for very long runs, but it will set you back a couple hundred $s. This cable was tested by an AVS forum member / cable testing nut, and was the ONLY non-optical cable he had tested that was capable of delivering flawless 1080p signals over such great length -- not that it matters to you since the AE700 can't even display 1080p but here's to future proofing your cabling and avoiding white flashes!). At least one forum member reported a big decrease in white flashes when he changed cables although it did not eliminate the problem completely.

A couple people reported white flash problems (apparently of a different variety) over analog inputs. One forum member has reportedly eliminated his analog white flash problems completely by taking the ASPECT RATIO menu item off AUTO and setting it to MANUAL. Note that this is not possible using the HDMI input. This analog white flash issue may result from the projector's software constantly monitoring the aspect ratio of the source material and getting it wrong occasionally as aspect ratio ID data is corrupted due to poor replay, signal loss/interference, or a damaged disk. The member reporting this believed the white flashes looked like the projector was losing horizontal lock. This seems to be a very rare problem, I have never seen it myself using the VGA input.

7) Peek-a-boo scan lines. Apparently this is some type of narrow horizontal line noise that can be seen during video which contains a lot of vertical movement (?). I have not noticed this problem on my unit. Not sure if there are any tweaks for it, but I will update if any are mentioned.

8) HDMI Issues . As already noted, you must have firmware 1.05 or higher to resolve picture cropping problems over HDMI, as well as other issues such as white flash. Early reports say cropping is still a problem on firmware 1.05 though.

Another issue many users have reported is excessive artificial sharpening by default on the HDMI input. You can reduce this by entering the standard "picture" menu and turning down sharpness as far as it will go.
post #5 of 2757
I managed to totally and i mean totally remove VB and FPN by setting all numbers in the flicker panel the same.
It hasnt required adjustment for 3 days.Nor does the projector need to warm up.
To begin with i had some obviouse VB when i first got the AE700.
On a side note,has anyone succesfully ran the momitsu dvi connection in PAL at 50htz.
post #6 of 2757
Mine are all the same and I have never seen VB except the one time on my ps2....
post #7 of 2757
Thanks for making a separate "tweak" thread .. the main AE700 thread is too damn long!

My AE700 just arrived today, I will be setting it up shortly.

But you guys are freaking me out. I had an InFocus 4805, but I sold it because I didn't like the "rainbow effect." I thought the AE700 would be the answer to my problems, but now I'm freaked about the "VB" problem.

Should I do the tweaks you suggest first, or just wait to see if I even notice the VB problem before I do anything?

Thanks!
post #8 of 2757
Quote:


Originally posted by SteveCoug
Thanks for making a separate "tweak" thread .. the main AE700 thread is too damn long!

My AE700 just arrived today, I will be setting it up shortly.

But you guys are freaking me out. I had an InFocus 4805, but I sold it because I didn't like the "rainbow effect." I thought the AE700 would be the answer to my problems, but now I'm freaked about the "VB" problem.

Should I do the tweaks you suggest first, or just wait to see if I even notice the VB problem before I do anything?

Thanks!

IMHO, wait. Not all of us are "seeing" VB to the same degree. You can always tweak it later if you it does bother you. Just remember to record the values you started with from the factory so you can go back if needed.
post #9 of 2757
Quote:


Originally posted by aias10
I managed to totally and i mean totally remove VB and FPN by setting all numbers in the flicker panel the same.
It hasnt required adjustment for 3 days.Nor does the projector need to warm up.
To begin with i had some obviouse VB when i first got the AE700.

What are the numbers you are using on your flicker panel?
post #10 of 2757
One other thing to note with regards to VB is that the flicker settings are different for different projectors. Some have noticed that setting flicker to the same value on all 3 screens produces the least VB but that does not work for me. I've tried it and I get more VB than I do setting each indivdual screen for the least amount of flicker. The green screen is the most sensitive and changing the setting up or down by just one causes flicker, but setting the blue screen to the same value already causes flicker and VB, so I would say just go to the individual screens and adjust for the least visible flicker. It also helps to slightly defocus your eyes and stay in the flicker adjustment screen for a little while as you're going back and forth between flicker settings as this will make your eyes a little more sensitive to minute differences in flicker and allow you to achieve the settings with the least amount of flicker. If your settings for all 3 screens match up good for you. If not, don't worry about it, settings for someone else's projector probably would not transalate to the best settings for yours.

On the note of tweaks for best PQ with least noise and higher color saturation though, I did find that using a clean AC power regenerator did improve PQ. If you're interested in audio/videophile reviews of the effect check this out.http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...plant-300.html

I'm using a Sola S4700 instead, and unlike the UPS units with the negative comments in the review (probably APC type units) this one does put out clean sinewave power, but doesn't cost as much as the Toshiba UPS mentioned.
post #11 of 2757
My Flicker settings are 26B 26R and 28G

If I set the green any lower it begins to flicker a lot!

With the above settings I still some VB in certain scenes.

Should I just set them the same even if the green one is flickering? Or is my unit defective?


Jordan "AstroCat"
post #12 of 2757
Quote:


Originally posted by djbluemax1
On the note of tweaks for best PQ with least noise and higher color saturation though, I did find that using a clean AC power regenerator did improve PQ. If you're interested in audio/videophile reviews of the effect check this out.http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...plant-300.html

I'm using a Sola S4700 instead, and unlike the UPS units with the negative comments in the review (probably APC type units) this one does put out clean sinewave power, but doesn't cost as much as the Toshiba UPS mentioned.

Holy crap!

$800 for a UPS?

Yikes.

I guess I'm not that hardcore.
post #13 of 2757
Quote:


Originally posted by AstroCat
My Flicker settings are 26B 26R and 28G

If I set the green any lower it begins to flicker a lot!

With the above settings I still some VB in certain scenes.

Should I just set them the same even if the green one is flickering? Or is my unit defective?


Jordan "AstroCat"

Set each color for the least amount of flicker - don't worry what number they are. And no you don't want each to be the same - unless that exact same figure results in the least amount of flicker for each.
post #14 of 2757
RE: VB -- I always try the settings people post -- I've tried setting them all the same, and at various higher and lower numbers. For mine, nothing beats the settings I already posted. VB is nearly eliminated, I can still see it faintly on the most demanding test images, but barely, and no one who wasn't looking hard for it would ever notice it.

Something scary happened tonight though. I was watching a DVD when suddenly a huge horizontal band of distortion came across the screen, pretty much across the center, taking up about 1/4 of the height. I had never seen anything like this -- it was constant, not temporary or flashing. I stopped the movie, got up, looked into the lens of the projector, and there was a bug INSIDE the lens crawling around frantically as if trapped on the glass and trying to get out. Man, that chamber must be really poorly sealed. I don't know what kind of bug it was, it was small and didn't look like it had wings, it could run fast, and looked white in color (it was definitely a bug tho, not a dust blob). Anyway, I was reminded of how the first computer "bug" occurred when a moth got inside the machine and they started seeing erratic results....

Seems to be gone now, and projector is working fine.
post #15 of 2757
Quote:


Man, that chamber must be really poorly sealed.

I assume this is bad news for those of us hoping the 700 was less susceptible to dust blobs?
post #16 of 2757
OK - I concede. After additional testing for several days - Yes - I agree with the rest of you that VB can be reduced by powering down your 700 completely by using the master on/off switch (or by some other means). In doing this, along with switching to an interlaced signal - VB has been reduced (in my case) to just an occasional minor annoyance. VB was my only major complaint with the 700 (500 too) and now I'm extremely pleased with this unit (at least until the 900 arrives).
post #17 of 2757
I want thank ZXlr8 for the osd info it made a big difference on my VB problems I'd say it's been reduced by 85% it's still a little visible especially on "blue screens" for example during the opening scene of "Finding Nemo"; one thing I'd like to find out is what the optimum settings for the Bravo D2 would be; when I go into the picture menu @ the bottom of the page it indicates that my picture mode is 750/60p when the D2 is sending 720p in its native resolution of 1056x768; if anyone out there has experimented with the custom settings in the D2 please share the info, I have a feeling this may further improve the picture quality of an already awesome PJ. for your info I'm using the 700u with Bravo D2 on a 92" Da-lite HC Matte White; I've also been told that part of the VB problem may be my HC screen...if true would someone verify that? and by the way I'm happy to have jumped into the HT ocean with such great group of Techies!! thanks to all of you!
post #18 of 2757
I just set up my AE4800 and took a quick look at it. Have not had time to do any of the flicker tweaking yet, but I notice a surprising thing.

I am feeding my DVD to the PJ using component and my Dish Network TV to the PJ using S-Video.

When I switched between the component feed and the S-Video feed, the picture of the S-Video feed was way off to the right on the screen. I found that horizontal adjustment setting on the menu and moved the picture, but I had to do that max adjustment (I think it is "+32") to get the S-Video picture to be in approximately the same place as the component picture.

Has anybody else noticed this, or is my PJ messed up?

I had an Infocus 4805 that I just sold to buy this PJ and I could switch back and forth between component and S-Video feeds with almost no change
in horizontal picture position. I find it strange that the two video feeds don't match up on the AE700.
post #19 of 2757
My own one get color uniformity problem, which setting of service mode may help to solve this?

TraderGordo:
I tried to use the powerstrip to correct the overscan but with no success. Any tips on this ? (I'm using a DVI>HDMI cable with ATI9600 fanless)


update:
just check a taiwan's web page and someone get the same problem. In the lower right corner, it's more red than the other page. It's more obvious when playing a full white screen.
post #20 of 2757
my upper right corner is more red than the rest of the screen, but it's VERY slight. Only shows up on a totally white screen and even then it's tough to tell.
post #21 of 2757
Quote:


Originally posted by bapenguin
my upper right corner is more red than the rest of the screen, but it's VERY slight. Only shows up on a totally white screen and even then it's tough to tell.

This MAY have something to do with using lens shift and/or zoom. I moved my projector last night (finally finished my permanent shelf) and changed the shift and zoom. I'm using very minimal shift and very little zoom-in (not totally at the end of range). I too notice very slight red now but in my case its on the far left (not just in a corner). Like others have said, this is only noticible on an all white background. Arg, one more flaw?

I didn't spend time exparimenting with the shift to see if different positions improve this, and maybe this issue was there before and I just didn't notice it.

p.s. Another discovery I made last night -- for temporary or cheap DIY screens, a simple piece of hardboard painted with Kilz2 primer and nothing else gives a better picture than blackout cloth. Just my observation after covering half the hardboard screen with blackout cloth and comparing... I know I have to get real screen material some day soon....
post #22 of 2757
Quote:


Originally posted by TraderGordo
This MAY have something to do with using lens shift and/or zoom. I moved my projector last night (finally finished my permanent shelf) and changed the shift and zoom. I'm using very minimal shift and very little zoom-in (not totally at the end of range). I too notice very slight red now but in my case its on the far left (not just in a corner). Like others have said, this is only noticible on an all white background. Arg, one more flaw?

I didn't spend time exparimenting with the shift to see if different positions improve this, and maybe this issue was there before and I just didn't notice it.

p.s. Another discovery I made last night -- for temporary or cheap DIY screens, a simple piece of hardboard painted with Kilz2 primer and nothing else gives a better picture than blackout cloth. Just my observation after covering half the hardboard screen with blackout cloth and comparing... I know I have to get real screen material some day soon....

Honestly though, is it a flaw if you don't see it during normal viewing?

I'm looking for a good hardboard,foamboard to paint for a screen as I am using a blackoutcloth screen right now. Good to know I may see some improvment with it.
post #23 of 2757
Home Depot has a 1/4" board with a white hard surface, I painted mine with Behr's Silverscreen (getting projector today, so not sure how it will perform yet)

Quote:


Originally posted by bapenguin
I'm looking for a good hardboard,foamboard to paint for a screen as I am using a blackoutcloth screen right now. Good to know I may see some improvment with it.
post #24 of 2757
Thanks Milehigh, I'll look for that this weekend.
post #25 of 2757
Quote:


Originally posted by bapenguin
my upper right corner is more red than the rest of the screen, but it's VERY slight. Only shows up on a totally white screen and even then it's tough to tell.

I have to agree with tradergordo on the "shift use" possibility; I had to remount my PJ due to the fact that my "hated yet beloved" D2 has now been shelf mounted below the PJ; that forced me to "shift down" approx 10% more than b4....then I noticed upon solid color screens a little "red Band" on the extreme far right side of my screen... not visible during playback of DVD's. "perhaps a nuisance but not a problem"
post #26 of 2757
I decided to do the flicker tweak even though I have not noticed any VB. I figured it couldn't hurt. I don't really want to look too hard for VB because once I find a flaw like that, I tend to obssess on it. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

BTW, in doing the flicker test, I was easily able to see the flicker in the blue and green screens, but I couldn't see ANY flicker on the red screen regardless of what setting I used. So I decided to go with the same setting for red as blue, which is what most people have done. My settings ended up being Blue 23, Red 23, Green 26 -- which seems to be a very commmon setting.

I have 5 hours on my projector now and last night after watching it for about 3 hours, suddenly a black line appeared across the top of the screen,
about 4 inches from the top of the screen.

It looked like an entire row of pixels had gone out.

I was kind of freaked out, so I powered down the projector. Turned off the main power switch and then turned it back on.

The "black line" problem was gone.

Has anybody else experienced this? If so, what causes it?
post #27 of 2757
Was the black line above the picture, or within it?
post #28 of 2757
What's your source? cable?
post #29 of 2757
The black line was in the picture, all the way across the screen. Like I had taken a black marking pen and drew a straight line across the screen. The source is DVD from a Zenith 318 with 1081i output using component cables.

I fired up the projector again today for about 15 minutes and did not see it.

Very strange. May be one of those strange "one time" things that does not happen again. I plan to put in a lot of time on the PJ this weekend, so I will see if it pops up again.


BTW, I am still playing with my flicker settings. I thought I had it down, but I still see occassional "peekaboo scan lines." That seems to be the only problem I have right now. I don't see VB, but I'm not really looking for it either.

But after getting rid of the headache-inducing rainbow effect on the InFocus 4805. this PJ is a very big improvement for me. I find it MUCH more
enjoyable to be able watch movies now without getting dizzy, headaches and/or sore eyes.
post #30 of 2757
I know what you mean about DLP; I originally had purchased an Optoma Ezpro 739 frankly because it's cheap!!! but upon comparing it with the Pani even my buddy who owns a Sharp Xd50 wants to get a Pani now... what I enjoy most on the Pani is the Colors they are awesome! tonight I'll try the sharpness controls in the OSD menu; if you notice after tweaking the flicker it looses a little sharpness.... I'll post my results later on tonite...
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