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Epson Home Cinema 720 tweak thread - Page 3

post #61 of 91
Hi all -
Looks like I might be digging up a partially fossilized thread here, but I just picked up the HC 720 and while I'm already loving it, I know I can get more out of it by calibrating properly.

I'm watching in a dedicated theater room, no light when watching movies, 125" 2.40 screen made from SeymourAV material and DIY instructions.

I have both Avia and DVE calibration disks. Questions for this projector are about starting points for calibration:

Which mode did you select as a baseline / why? (ie, Theater 1, 2, Living Room, etc.)

I read what auto iris does in the manual, and when I turn it on, scenes look brighter to me, but would this be a variable in calibration that is better set to off?

Skin tones... DVE recommends 0 for the setting, and controlling color with RGB offsets, right way to go on this PJ?

Epson Super White? Again, something better turned off or does it improve finished calibration results?

In general, I'm looking to avoid plugging up shadows too much and keep high lights from blowing out and loosing detail. Seems I might have to give up some contrast to achieve that but should be okay in a completely dark room.

Any suggestions for starting points? THANKS!
post #62 of 91
Good choice on PJ - great value! I've been subscribed to your build thread and was surprised to see you here...

For your room I'd definitely start with one of the Theater modes. More importantly, you should read this entire review which includes Art's tweaks...
post #63 of 91
Thanks for the link, I'll have a read!

Cool that you're following my thread. And I think this PJ is a great value! I hope to run an Epson 1080p projector and an SMX screen down the road, but I blew my budget building the room, sound treatments, and nice audio equipment so I figured I could save about $3000 right now going this route and in a year or two, upgrade when possibly something even better is available and prices have dropped.
post #64 of 91
Id start off with theaterblack1. Turn off the auto irs. use black and white contrast settings to get your contrast and brightness right. then go from there. Out of the box color is pretty good, but brightness and contrast tweaking can help a lot. After your done tweaking and saved your settings, turn auto irs back on. The irs doesnt affect anything that you did in the settings.
post #65 of 91
I had the HC720 in my home for 2 days last week. I already have a BenQ W5000 DLP 1080p projector but it's been a year since I bought it and I have the urge to open up a box with a brand new pj inside. I don't really have a reason to purchase another beamer other than the desire to try out something new.

Anyway, I may have kept the HC720 as a backup unit to my main one since you can get it so relatively cheap nowadays except for the fact that it died less than 48 hours after receiving it. The red light rhythmically flashed slowly and no attempt at restarting it would work. It's a shame because for the money, there may not be a better projector out there today. I consider my W5000 to be right up there when it comes to bang for the buck but this HC720, when it's working is very impressive.

I found that standing back from my 106" Da-Lite High Power screen about 6' or so the screen door effect vanished. The brightness uniformity was perfect to my eyes and the convergence was only out a little bit in various places and certainly became a non-issue a few feet back. I saw no vertical banding or dust blobs or color uniformity problems either. Even motion blur was minor and better to my eyes than the 1080UB I demoed a while back.

The colors of the HC720 were amazing and it's sharpness was at least equal to my W5000 if not a tad better (this is truly shocking as the W5000 is considered one of the sharpest projectors around). Brightness, even in Theater 1 mode was perfect and I liked the shadow detail.

Setup was a breeze. I used calibration discs to touch up the white and black levels and was quite pleased with the results.

Although I prefer my W5000, I could easily use the HC720 as it's temporary replacement to stand in for it if it were out for service for instance. I could even sell the W5000 and be happy with the HC720 for a time if necessary if not for one problem. And that is black levels. Unfortunately the blacks on the HC720 don't stand up to the W5000. They appear to be slightly bluish at times and for that reason I wouldn't be able to use the HC720 for years and years but for the money I am extremely impressed.

However, it doesn't give me a good feeling when the projector only lasts for two days. I had to return it for a refund. Too bad. I had a nice new home for it on my audio/video stand and it was a perfect fit too.

The lens on it would have allowed me to go larger than 106" in my room. This is what was tempting me to keep it. I'd like a 120" or 133" screen and my W5000 is maxed out at 106" from about 13' away from the screen.

The very fact that I can compare the HC720 so favorably to the W5000 is a testament to Epson's engineering in my opinion. I realize that any manufacturer can deliver a dud right from the factory so I don't really hold it against Epson but still, I have owned 6 projectors now over the past 6 years and not one of them have quit on me that fast.

Well, I just thought I'd chime in with my humble experience. I have thought about re-purchasing it. I'll give it some thought. It's a whole lot of projector for the price, that's for sure!

Wayne
post #66 of 91
Wayne - sorry you got a dud...if you follow the main Epson 720 thread you'd see that nobody else has had the same experience. Hard to really judge a product based on that. I mean, someone over in the dedicated theater construction got a "dud" new Sim 2 and got it replaced for free since it was a new unit and under warranty. fwiw....

Glad you liked it for everything else except black levels.
post #67 of 91
Thanks Audixium.

I don't hold it against Epson. Any manufacturer can let a bad one through once in a while.

I bought it at a big box store with a very liberal return policy. I could easily re-order it but they're out of stock. I don't really need to order it again. I was just curious and having a bit of fun. Still, the short throw lens on it along with the low price is very tempting...

The problem is I have a cave (deep brown - almost black walls and ceiling with black area rugs over a beige carpet). So anything but great blacks is going to show it's shortcomings. I should really consider the 1080UB or the 6500 but at 3 x the price I'm not ready to outlay that kind of cash when I already have a perfectly good working projector with good blacks. I just wish I could throw a larger image like what the HC720 gave me.

It may come down to the point where I have to choose between good blacks and a larger image if I want to stay at the price point that the HC720 is at now. If a larger image is more important than black levels then it's a no brainer. I need to order the HC720 again. If it's the other way around then I need something else.

I did notice that any other mode than Theater 1 was a little noisy with regards to the fan. Not a huge issue but I'm used to 23db levels with my W5000. My concern would be that as the bulb ages on the HC720, I'd have to bump up to one of the other modes to get a brighter image but then a noisier fan.

The High Power screen helps in this regard though.

Wayne
post #68 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by opus007 View Post

If I set the DVI Video to Expanded and using Hdmi and RGB color it washes out the color.So should I leave it at normal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dasbin View Post

Make sure DVI Video Level is set correctly to match your output settings.

If you can, feed the Epson RGB via HDMI rather than YCbCr. For some reason the Epson's processor crushes dark details on a YCbCr HDMI input.

Doesn't setting the DVI Video to expanded make the projector expect PC levels(0-255)? In that case, you're clipping below blacks and above whites, as video is 16-235. The image appears washed out because there is no true black or white, just shades of grey. Put in a 2:35 movie, change from DVI-standard to DVI-enhanced and the bars will get lighter. This isn't right, the bars shouldn't change.

As well, changing to enhanced creates a yellow push, indicating there is a mismatch between the source and the display. In this case the source is sending 16-235 and the pj is displaying that in 0-255 levels.

Hooking to a PC gives the proper levels with enhanced, as that is what PC displays are optimized for.

Am I the only one who sees it this way?

I admit I can't switch my source to enhanced, perhaps there is a difference...
post #69 of 91
I believe the Epson's have it backwards. Expanded will allow btb and wtw to be displayed. Normal will not. If you have a test disc that displays a btb and wtw pattern you will be able to test it. You want it set so that btb and wtw is displayed. Then adjust the brightness and contrast properly. If you have a BR or HD DVD player download and burn the AVS HD calibration disc. It is free and will allow you to do this.

Keep in mind some players/sources won't send btb and wtw. Basically that means the player/source is clipping not the Epson. In that case neither normal nor expanded will work.
post #70 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by beekermartin View Post

I believe the Epson's have it backwards. Expanded will allow btb and wtw to be displayed. Normal will not. If you have a test disc that displays a btb and wtw pattern you will be able to test it. You want it set so that btb and wtw is displayed. Then adjust the brightness and contrast properly. If you have a BR or HD DVD player download and burn the AVS HD calibration disc. It is free and will allow you to do this.

Keep in mind some players/sources won't send btb and wtw. Basically that means the player/source is clipping not the Epson. In that case neither normal nor expanded will work.

Normal and expanded have nothing to do with BTB and WTW. If the source can send it and the display can show it, then both will displayed. Both BTB and WTW are displayed on the range of 16-235..it's only a bar or two below 16 that you need to show BTB, similarly with WTW.

People seem to be think that the 0-255 range is somehow more than the 16-235. It's not. Black is set at 0 and white at 255 for PC-video. For consumer-video black is set to 16 and white to 235.

Here's a quote that explains it:

"When consumer video is mastered it is not uncommon for the video signal to go slightly below digital 16 or slightly above digital 235. This is directly related to using a calibration disc to set black level using a pluge pattern that provides 1 or 2 bars slightly above 16 and one bar below 16 and that bar we call below black. The difference between the below black bar and peak black is called Black To Black. Digital Video Essentials also includes WTW, White To White, video content in select patterns. Just like the below black bar this content is slightly above peak white or 235

The reason DVI uses RGB is because DVI is actually a PC standard and adding to the confusion of standards PC video uses the full 0-255 range of digital video. If a consumer source or display is designed for PC video 0-255 then the original 16-235 of consumer video will be scaled to 0-255 and BTB and WTW cannot pass since they exceed the available range."


By setting the Epson to expanded(0-255) you are not only preventing BTB and WTW from passing, but you are clipping blacks and whites.
post #71 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by beekermartin View Post

If you have a BR or HD DVD player download and burn the AVS HD calibration disc. It is free and will allow you to do this.

Is this it (or is there something newer I should look for?)

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=948496

Thanks for mentioning that. I've been here for a while and didn't even know there was a free calibration disk!
post #72 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by novasol View Post

Both BTB and WTW are displayed on the range of 16-235..it's only a bar or two below 16 that you need to show BTB, similarly with WTW.

This doesn't make sense as written. It says BTB is displayed on the range of 16-235 and that you need a bar or two below that range to display it. Seems contradictory. Can you clarify?
post #73 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by novasol View Post

Normal and expanded have nothing to do with BTB and WTW. If the source can send it and the display can show it, then both will displayed. Both BTB and WTW are displayed on the range of 16-235..it's only a bar or two below 16 that you need to show BTB, similarly with WTW.

People seem to be think that the 0-255 range is somehow more than the 16-235. It's not. Black is set at 0 and white at 255 for PC-video. For consumer-video black is set to 16 and white to 235.

Here's a quote that explains it:

"When consumer video is mastered it is not uncommon for the video signal to go slightly below digital 16 or slightly above digital 235. This is directly related to using a calibration disc to set black level using a pluge pattern that provides 1 or 2 bars slightly above 16 and one bar below 16 and that bar we call below black. The difference between the below black bar and peak black is called Black To Black. Digital Video Essentials also includes WTW, White To White, video content in select patterns. Just like the below black bar this content is slightly above peak white or 235

The reason DVI uses RGB is because DVI is actually a PC standard and adding to the confusion of standards PC video uses the full 0-255 range of digital video. If a consumer source or display is designed for PC video 0-255 then the original 16-235 of consumer video will be scaled to 0-255 and BTB and WTW cannot pass since they exceed the available range."


By setting the Epson to expanded(0-255) you are not only preventing BTB and WTW from passing, but you are clipping blacks and whites.

Normally I would agree with you but you are wrong this time. The Epson has it backwards. I've researched this more than I can begin to explain. In order to see btb and wtw on the Epson you need to set it to expanded. End of story!
post #74 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcent1 View Post

Is this it (or is there something newer I should look for?)

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=948496

Thanks for mentioning that. I've been here for a while and didn't even know there was a free calibration disk!

That is it!

Burn it and select the normal settings tab in the disc menu. That will display different test patterns. It will display one that allows you to set the brightness and contrast properly by eye. If you leave the Epson set to normal you will not be able to see anything below 16 on the brightness pattern or above 235 on the contrast pattern. If you set it to expanded you will be able to.

So again set it to EXPANDED and calibrate the brightness and contrast using the test disc.

Now if you can't see below 16 or above 235 whether the Epson is set to expanded or normal then that means your source is clipping it. Some receivers are known for this problem as well as some players.

Bottom line is if you can see below 16 and above 235 when the Epson is set to expanded then that is where you should set it before you calibrate.

I apologize if I am offending anyone but I know I am right and I don't want anyone here to get the wrong information. I read a lot of incorrect information here on this topic before I found out the truth. It is rather simple to understand. If you can see btb and wtw then the display is not clipping. If you can't see it then it is. In normal you can't see it, it is being clipped. In expanded you can see it, it is not being clipped.
post #75 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by beekermartin View Post

That is it!

Burn it and select the normal settings tab in the disc menu. That will display different test patterns. It will display one that allows you to set the brightness and contrast properly by eye. If you leave the Epson set to normal you will not be able to see anything below 16 on the brightness pattern or above 235 on the contrast pattern. If you set it to expanded you will be able to.

So again set it to EXPANDED and calibrate the brightness and contrast using the test disc.

Now if you can't see below 16 or above 235 whether the Epson is set to expanded or normal then that means your source is clipping it. Some receivers are known for this problem as well as some players.

Bottom line is if you can see below 16 and above 235 when the Epson is set to expanded then that is where you should set it before you calibrate.

I apologize if I am offending anyone but I know I am right and I don't want anyone here to get the wrong information. I read a lot of incorrect information here on this topic before I found out the truth. It is rather simple to understand. If you can see btb and wtw then the display is not clipping. If you can't see it then it is. In normal you can't see it, it is being clipped. In expanded you can see it, it is not being clipped.

I think part of the confusion lies in the fact that I am not talking about BTB and WTW being clipped, rather normal black and white levels. Those that lie within the 16-235 range. It seems to my eye that setting the pj to 0-255 and the source to 16-235 is clipping normal black and white levels and rendering shades of grey. It's a mismatch being source and pj. I don't have a player to set to expanded so I don't know what that combination would produce.

Don't you see a very unnatural yellow push when changing the pj from 16-235 to 0-255? Put it in Dynamic and you'll really see it. To me that indicates a color space mismatch being source and display.
post #76 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by novasol View Post

I think part of the confusion lies in the fact that I am not talking about BTB and WTW being clipped, rather normal black and white levels. Those that lie within the 16-235 range. It seems to my eye that setting the pj to 0-255 and the source to 16-235 is clipping normal black and white levels and rendering shades of grey. It's a mismatch being source and pj. I don't have a player to set to expanded so I don't know what that combination would produce.

Don't you see a very unnatural yellow push when changing the pj from 16-235 to 0-255? Put it in Dynamic and you'll really see it. To me that indicates a color space mismatch being source and display.

It really depends on your source. I can't change it on my Samsung BD-UP5000 when it is connected to a TV which it sees the Epson as. The option is blacked out. It automatically selects tv output. Even with that said I can see btb and wtw on the Epson in expanded mode because the player passes it even in normal mode. Not all players or receivers do but they should.

What you need to do is get a test disc that has btb and wtw patterns. Display the pattern and try both normal and expanded in the Epson. If you can't see btb or wtw then change your source to expanded and try again. You should be able to see it with the proper settings. If you lower the brightness and still can't see below 16 no matter how low you set it then it is being clipped. Same if you can't see above 235 no matter how high you set the contrast. If you still can't see it then that means your source is clipping and the Epson won't display btb or wtw because it isn't receiving the information.

Again, just selecting expanded and not calibrating is not going to look good. You need to adjust brightness and contrast using a test disc.
post #77 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by beekermartin View Post

It really depends on your source. I can't change it on my Samsung BD-UP5000 when it is connected to a TV which it sees the Epson as. The option is blacked out. It automatically selects tv output. Even with that said I can see btb and wtw on the Epson in expanded mode because the player passes it even in normal mode. Not all players or receivers do but they should.

What you need to do is get a test disc that has btb and wtw patterns. Display the pattern and try both normal and expanded in the Epson. If you can't see btb or wtw then change your source to expanded and try again. You should be able to see it with the proper settings. If you lower the brightness and still can't see below 16 no matter how low you set it then it is being clipped. Same if you can't see above 235 no matter how high you set the contrast. If you still can't see it then that means your source is clipping and the Epson won't display btb or wtw because it isn't receiving the information.

Again, just selecting expanded and not calibrating is not going to look good. You need to adjust brightness and contrast using a test disc.

Okay, with my new matte white 1.0 screen the image is much better, not washed out at all. Deep blacks and still good shadow detail. Weird, because I was using an "inherited" gray screen before(which should have deeper blacks) and it looked like crap no matter how I tweaked it.
post #78 of 91
When should the buib be changed ? I have 1200 hours and it look good in total darkness which is the only way I watch it. What should I look for to know when to change the bulb.
post #79 of 91
As long as it looks fine to you, then don't worry about it. I'm currently over 2,100 hours on the original bulb. The "change bulb" warning has started appearing when I turn the projector on, but it goes away shortly.
post #80 of 91
Great news, I didn't know there was a warning message. Yes it still looks great to me, probably need to get up there and dust it off when I move the image up to make room for the kids Kinect thats coming for xmas.
Thanks for the reply.
post #81 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad T View Post

As long as it looks fine to you, then don't worry about it. I'm currently over 2,100 hours on the original bulb. The "change bulb" warning has started appearing when I turn the projector on, but it goes away shortly.

You can eliminate that warning (if you want to) by resetting the hours.
post #82 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audixium View Post

You can eliminate that warning (if you want to) by resetting the hours.

Thanks. I thought that might work, but I'm just gonna let it ride so it will be easy to know how many hours I actually get out of the bulb. The warning goes away after about a minute, so it's not that big of a deal. Last night it was showing 2,114 hours. If I didn't have a High Power screen, it would probably be way too dim, but with the HP all is still good.
post #83 of 91
If anyone is interested, I took apart my 720 to clean the polarizers, LCDs and light path. I had some pink blotches that I was able to get rid of. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...5#post19732825
post #84 of 91
How hard was it to get the pink blobs out? Do you know if it was the LCDs or Polarizers that was causing them? What did you use to clean the Polarizers and how did you go about cleaning them and the LCDs?

I have some pink splotches on my projector that I want to get cleaned. I have no problem taking things apart and putting them back together, but I just don't want to damage anything in the cleaning process.

Dave
post #85 of 91
I initially just removed the cover and then blew compressed air (from a compressor). That did not help.

The second time with the cover off took about two hours to remove the main board, the polarizers and light path cover, and clean it all. It is not hard, but it takes some patience and care.

I have read that it is the polarizers, but couldn't tell you for sure. I didn't take the LCDs out, but just cleaned one surface after removing the small lenses in front of each one. Two of the polarizers are actually pairs. I had dust in between them that wouldn't come off with just a dry microfiber towel (for auto cleaning!). I used glass cleaner, but that left streaks. I ended up using a q-tip to clean the streaks. I cleaned all of the mirrors and lenses in the light path also. I used the microfiber towel and blew to remove the stray dust.

The biggest challenge was figuring out how to disconnect the LCD ribbon cables to take off the main board. --> The black plastic piece needed to be pulled and twisted off after the tabs on the white plastic were pried open (or broken off). Then just the ribbon was pulled out of the white plastic piece. It took a bit to figure that out. It was easy to put back once I figured out how the black plastic pieces twisted in.

A tip: the cover of the PJ can be taken off only when you take a couple of the screws out of the connection panel ( take them all off as you'll need to take the connection panel cover off to remove the main board).

Let me know if you have any questions!
post #86 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreasMergner View Post

I initially just removed the cover and then blew compressed air (from a compressor). That did not help.

Well, I couldn't get the cover off the top. I'm missing a screw someplace towards the back. Which screws need to come out to get the top off besides the deep-set ones on the bottom and the little one on the side of the connections?

Dave
post #87 of 91
Dave, if you are looking directly at the connections, there are two screws there that need to come off to get the cover off (one of the top ones, and the one on the right facing 90 degrees from your view). You might as well take all of them out if you plan on removing the main board since you need to remove the plastic cover over the connections to do it.

Good luck and feel free to ask me any more questions.
post #88 of 91
Thanks, Andreas! I will try that.

Dave
post #89 of 91
I am on 1750 hours and the 720 seems to be less clear to me. What is the average time to replace the bulb.
post #90 of 91
That is when I replaced my bulbs but my issue was usually brightness. You may also have some dust. Still, with a new bulb you will likely feel you have a new PJ again with the increased image quality.
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