ZH403 HDR Laser projector - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 67 Old 01-06-2020, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by DunMunro View Post
The reviewer doesn't note any problems with the lens and if text and graphics were soft, then this would be of interest to the reviewer, as corporate users will want the ability to project sharp text and graphics. I don't know why Optoma markets this projector for corporate and educational use. However, I can speculate that they feel that this unit will be very competitive there and will increase overall sales, whereas in the home market it might just steal sales from their existing line of home video and home theatre projectors. BenQ seems to have a similar marketing strategy but many users seem impressed with their business oriented projectors when used in their home theatres.
You make some very valid points as to why they wouldn't Market it to the home theater Market. DLP by nature of the technology lends itself to being very sharp with text and graphics so I don't have any reason to believe it wouldn't be Sharp. That being said things such as the size of the lens and the quality of the lens would have a great deal to do with uniformity in moving images which I find all glass lenses to work a lot better than ones that are not. I appreciate you sharing your perspective. I am curious to hear some real world reviews of movies from actual owners.

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post #32 of 67 Old 01-06-2020, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by DunMunro View Post
The reviewer doesn't note any problems with the lens and if text and graphics were soft, then this would be of interest to the reviewer, as corporate users will want the ability to project sharp text and graphics. I don't know why Optoma markets this projector for corporate and educational use. However, I can speculate that they feel that this unit will be very competitive there and will increase overall sales, whereas in the home market it might just steal sales from their existing line of home video and home theatre projectors. BenQ seems to have a similar marketing strategy but many users seem impressed with their business oriented projectors when used in their home theatres.
You and I always seem to be on the opposite side of a discussion. I do appreciate your perspective and objectivity. You don't seem to allow your own bias to get in the way of seeing the positives and negatives for a particular brand, even though your love of budget gear is evident. I appreciate the earnestness with which you pursue this hobby.

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post #33 of 67 Old 01-06-2020, 01:14 PM
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Here's my initial game plan. I plan on setting the ZH403 on a 27 inch high file cabinet with the lens 10 ft away from a 100 inch Elite Pro Cinema white screen with a 1.1 gain. Here I'll get the feel of the projector and familarize myself with the menus and watch scenes from a selected movie using an Oppo 203. I will be using both the 4k and the bluray disks from this movie for comparison purposes. This is where most of my allotted 4 hrs will be spent. Here I'll check RJ Dooms request to test the SDR content in the rRBG mode with dynamic black on. I'll do comparisons against my Benq HT3550 which hangs with a perpendicular throw and shoots to a second screen Elite Pro 100" CW screen. I can see both screens, but not at the same time, by turning my head and looking through open French doors. Both rooms are same color with the same carpet and both can be made 100% dark at the same time. Then I will set up my HT2150 and shoot to the 100" screen from 5.5 ft away to evaluate gaming aspects of the ZH, which is my primary interest in this projector. You would think that a projector designed to display graphics would do well as a gaming projector. Next I'll replace the ZH with a Benq HT3050 to do Radio 81s comparison. This will not be a side by side comparison but a one at a time comparison.
I will then move the ZH to the gaming room (it's intended home) and set it up inverted on a shelf 8.5 ft away from an 90" Elite Pro CW screen with the same 1.1 gain as my others. I'll set my HT 2150 on a table 4.4 ft from the same screen and here I'll evaluate if an 32 ms input lag will be fast enough for my gaming purposes. 32 ms with HDR on is fast but it doesn't compete with the 16 ms input lag of the HT2150. As far as I'm concerned the HT2150 is the best gaming projector out there but I have to set it up every time I want to use it. The ZH will set in one spot and gather dust which is okay considering its IP6X certified dust resistant. Its rated for 24/7 operation and my Granddaughter will use every second of it if she is allowed to. The ZH406 has too great of throw distance for this room and in my opinion the Optoma HD39HDR did not review well. So its this one or stay with the HT2150. Thanks for all the info and debates and keep your requests and opinions coming.
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post #34 of 67 Old 01-07-2020, 09:14 PM
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FedEx delivered my ZH403 at 2PM today and I took my time unboxing it. The first thing I noticed was there was no projector lens cover. I’ll call my salesman about that tomorrow. Optoma lived up to their reputation of worthless remote controllers; small, white and no backlight. You have to have a flashlight to use it. And things only got worse when I started using it. It was the same with my UHD51ALV. The third negative thing, I knew about before ordering the ZH403, was the lack of a second 2.2 HDMI port. I try to plug my gaming consuls directly into the projector to cut down on lag and connect the audio through my AVR. If I want to connect my AVR to the projector to watch movies, TV, or whatever, you need a second 2.2 compliant HDMI port. I’ll have to make use of the 1.4 HDMI port or go with a switch, and those never work well.

Things improved from there. I spent an hour watching Skull Island and learning the system. sRGB mode was the best out of the box for color, contrast and blacks and Cinema was the second. As the Road Test stated the other modes were not useful, but that included the Presentation mode which the Road Test was positive on. DynamicBlack, when used with the sRGB mode made little noticeable difference. It’s one of three brightness modes and the same results could be had by setting brightness to 80%. I may notice better results later and if I do I’ll update.

The ZH403 compared much better to the HT3050 than I expected. I used an Oppo BP103 and “Jumani: Welcome to the Jungle” BluRay 1080p disc for the comparison. The ZH403 was slightly sharper than the HT3050 and the HT3050 had only a very slight edge in color, which surprised me, because my HT3050 has excellent color.

The real surprise came when I compared the ZH403 to the HT3550. I loaded the Jumanji 1080p disk into a Panny UHD 820 which fed the HT3550 and I loaded the Jumanji 4k disc into an Oppo BDP 203 which fed the ZH403. The projectors are in separate but almost identical rooms. They project 90 degrees to each other and by looking through the connecting door I have a clear view of both screens and I can stand the same distance from each screen. I had to make adjustments to the ZH403, but it made good use of the HDR and the picture was as sharp and had almost as good of color as the 1080p upscaled to 4k picture of the HT3550. If I worked a little longer with the ZH403, I’m sure I could have matched the color quality of the HT3550.

If you’re looking for a plug and play projector, the HZ403 ain’t it. You have to make adjustments to get a good picture; however, the adjustments are easy to make despite the buggy remote, and they can be saved. I absolutely hate the remote.

I’ll evaluate gaming tomorrow.
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post #35 of 67 Old 01-07-2020, 10:13 PM
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Nice @bjones8103

How are the black levels compared to the HT3050 and HT3550? Does the laser shut off on a full black screen? How was the brightness in sRGB compared the HT3050/HT3550 best color modes?

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post #36 of 67 Old 01-08-2020, 05:42 AM
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Nice @bjones8103

How are the black levels compared to the HT3050 and HT3550? Does the laser shut off on a full black screen? How was the brightness in sRGB compared the HT3050/HT3550 best color modes?
The black levels compared favorably on both the HT3050 and the HT3550, but more so on the HT3050. The best mode overall for the ZH403 was sRGB and to me the pictures were near identical. Please understand that this was not a side by side comparison as I was able to make with the HT3550, this was a set one up, take it down, and then set the other one up. The ZH403 had a slightly washed out picture compared to the HT3550. I would not have noticed it if it wasn't a side by side comparison. I was running out of my 4 hrs bulb time, and I still want to make gaming evaluations so I terminated the comparison. After doing so, I realized I could have matched the pictures exactly by using gamma adjustments.

The laser never shut off during my comparisons. If it had it would be boxed up and heading back to FedEX. Is this a problem with lasers? And how do I get a full black screen?

I did not compare the sRGB mode with the HT3550. When the ZH403 detects a HDR signal it enters a HDR mode locking all other modes and many adjustments out.
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post #37 of 67 Old 01-08-2020, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bjones8103 View Post
The black levels compared favorably on both the HT3050 and the HT3550, but more so on the HT3050. The best mode overall for the ZH403 was sRGB and to me the pictures were near identical. Please understand that this was not a side by side comparison as I was able to make with the HT3550, this was a set one up, take it down, and then set the other one up. The ZH403 had a slightly washed out picture compared to the HT3550. I would not have noticed it if it wasn't a side by side comparison. I was running out of my 4 hrs bulb time, and I still want to make gaming evaluations so I terminated the comparison. After doing so, I realized I could have matched the pictures exactly by using gamma adjustments.

The laser never shut off during my comparisons. If it had it would be boxed up and heading back to FedEX. Is this a problem with lasers? And how do I get a full black screen?
Some laser projectors will shut the laser light off (the projector stays active) when the scene content fades to pure black but will instantly resume if the content brightens. Typically the laser has to be in Dynamic Black mode for this to happen.
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post #38 of 67 Old 01-08-2020, 06:05 AM
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Some laser projectors will shut the laser light off (the projector stays active) when the scene content fades to pure black but will instantly resume if the content brightens. Typically the laser has to be in Dynamic Black mode for this to happen.
Thanks for telling me that and I'll try to make it happen. I edited my previous reply to add something you already know but you may want to revisit it anyway. This is my first dance with a laser and I need 'youse' guys to do my thinking for me.
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Thanks for telling me that and I'll try to make it happen. I edited my previous reply to add something you already know but you may want to revisit it anyway. This is my first dance with a laser and I need 'youse' guys to do my thinking for me.

The scene content would have to be digitally coded so that black is black rather than a value slightly above black. This complicates things as measuring actual digital video frame coding is difficult. On some other Optoma laser projectors Dynamic Black has several levels, with DB3 allowing for full light cut-off.

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post #40 of 67 Old 01-09-2020, 08:35 PM
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Any updates?

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post #41 of 67 Old 01-10-2020, 05:19 AM
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@bjones8103

Any updates?
Yeah, I got new bulb to my UHD51a, installed it, and like I previously posted, it's not the bulb. I've been working with my salesman trying to get it repaired.

I'm finding the ZH403 somewhat unstable as far as colors go when it comes to bluray movies. Colors are vibrant, but do change from background to background. Color management for gaming is good, maybe even excellent, and while input lag is still somewhat high, I believe the quoted 32 ms is accurate. Do laser engines have a burn in period? I watched "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" in a straight 1080 yesterday, doing comparisons with Benq HT3050 and will do the same with "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones" today. The reason I asked about burn in is that with "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" sRGB mode gave the best results and with the Star Wars movie Cinema mode is by far the best. I'm not recommending for everyone to run out and buy one of these things right now.
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post #42 of 67 Old 01-10-2020, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I got new bulb to my UHD51a, installed it, and like I previously posted, it's not the bulb. I've been working with my salesman trying to get it repaired.

I'm finding the ZH403 somewhat unstable as far as colors go when it comes to bluray movies. Colors are vibrant, but do change from background to background. Color management for gaming is good, maybe even excellent, and while input lag is still somewhat high, I believe the quoted 32 ms is accurate. Do laser engines have a burn in period? I watched "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" in a straight 1080 yesterday, doing comparisons with Benq HT3050 and will do the same with "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones" today. The reason I asked about burn in is that with "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" sRGB mode gave the best results and with the Star Wars movie Cinema mode is by far the best. I'm not recommending for everyone to run out and buy one of these things right now.
Different films will have different colour palettes, and switching between SDR and HDR can change things as well. The fact that the ZH403 can compare at all to an HT3050 is actually very impressive, given that the ZH403 is retailing for only about $250 more than the HT3050, when it was first introduced, and the ZH403 has a laser light engine and HDR capability.
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post #43 of 67 Old 01-11-2020, 09:34 AM
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Different films will have different colour palettes, and switching between SDR and HDR can change things as well. The fact that the ZH403 can compare at all to an HT3050 is actually very impressive, given that the ZH403 is retailing for only about $250 more than the HT3050, when it was first introduced, and the ZH403 has a laser light engine and HDR capability.
Presently I'm watching older HD resolution movies, primarily the Star Wars movies in chronological order from Episode One thru The Rise of Skywalker (when it's released). The older blurays do not have the image quality of newer ones. My biggest problem is purple shadows in some scenes, not a deal breaker but noticable. They are not noticable with the Benq HT3050. They were not noticeable with the ZH403 watching the HD versions of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Skull Isand. Once you move into 4k movies with HDR, this thing rocks, having both better clarity and color.

Another problem I have is my HDMI cabling, which in this room is about 20ft. I go through an AV Receiver for movies but not for games and this animal only has one 4K HDR port. I come out of my AVR and PS4 with high speed male to female 3ft jumper cables, which allows me to share the 2.2 compliant HDR port with out having to remove the hdmi cables at the PS4, the AVR, or the projector ports. It's kind of a no switch port saver. Cables are cheaper than repairs. I try to use fiber when possible, but fiber cables have to be from source to display (in my experience, anyway) and are not compatible with the male to female jumpers. On a 20 ft cable run there's not a lot to gain by using fiber over a quality HDMI cable, however, the extra hdmi connectors have to cause some degradation in film quality and input lag.

Gaming is the reason I bought this projector, and it's an excellent gaming projector. I don't know of any other laser projector that offers HDR with a 32ms input lag. And as I've already stated, the HDR rocks.

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post #44 of 67 Old 01-23-2020, 06:21 PM
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@bjones8103

You end up keeping the ZH403?

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post #45 of 67 Old 01-24-2020, 04:00 AM
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@bjones8103

You end up keeping the ZH403?
Yeah, I love it. Except for the moderate input lag, 32 ms in all modes, it's a good gaming projector, which was my reason for buying it. I love the laser. Colors are very good when gaming, especially in the HDR mode. If your good at tuning a projector it can be made good for movies, but I'm not. I have two other projectors set up for movies.
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post #46 of 67 Old 01-24-2020, 08:38 AM
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Yeah, I love it. Except for the moderate input lag, 32 ms in all modes, it's a good gaming projector, which was my reason for buying it. I love the laser. Colors are very good when gaming, especially in the HDR mode. If your good at tuning a projector it can be made good for movies, but I'm not. I have two other projectors set up for movies.

does it accept 1080p 120Hz 10-bit HDR 4:4:4? I'm considering getting this projector for gaming
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post #47 of 67 Old 01-24-2020, 01:10 PM
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does it accept 1080p 120Hz 10-bit HDR 4:4:4? I'm considering getting this projector for gaming
I'm not sure but I believe 60hz is the best this creature does at 1080p. It's not designed to be a gaming projector. Works well with the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X for an old codger like me.
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post #48 of 67 Old 01-24-2020, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure but I believe 60hz is the best this creature does at 1080p. It's not designed to be a gaming projector. Works well with the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X for an old codger like me.

It supports 120hz for 3D input. I'd make a WAG and suggest that if you send it 120hz 1080p via your PC that it will sync to it, as per my UHD50.
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post #49 of 67 Old 01-24-2020, 03:36 PM
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It supports 120hz for 3D input. I'd make a WAG and suggest that if you send it 120hz 1080p via your PC that it will sync to it, as per my UHD50.
Bring on the PS5! I doubt my PC will.
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Bring on the PS5! I doubt my PC will.
Most modern PCs can do 120hz at 1080p.

go to "Display Adapter Properties"

select 1080p in the adapter tab and then 120hz in the monitor tab. It may take a few seconds to sync but if it doesn't windows will revert to the previous setting.

Edit: I am not sure if this post is showing up correctly.

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post #51 of 67 Old 01-25-2020, 08:44 AM
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Most modern PCs can do 120hz at 1080p.

go to "Display Adapter Properties"

select 1080p in the adapter tab and then 120hz in the monitor tab. It may take a few seconds to sync but if it doesn't windows will revert to the previous setting.

Edit: I am not sure if this post is showing up correctly.
OK;

Here we go.

Display //////1 Computer/////////////2 Optoma 1080p

Desk Top 1920 X 1080

Active 1920 X 1080//////////1920 X 1080

Bit depth 8 bit/////////////////8 bit

Color format RGB//////////////RGB

Color Space sdr//////////////sdr

Refresh rate 60 hz/////////59 hz
(no drop down option for 120)

Doesn't tell you what you want to know because my relic of a computer can't do a 120 hz refresh rate

I'll check out the PS4 and Xbox One X settings and see if one of them will do 120 hz

I tried putting the info into a chart format but this forum wouldn't do it.















PS4

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post #52 of 67 Old 01-25-2020, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by DunMunro View Post
Most modern PCs can do 120hz at 1080p.

go to "Display Adapter Properties"

select 1080p in the adapter tab and then 120hz in the monitor tab. It may take a few seconds to sync but if it doesn't windows will revert to the previous setting.

Edit: I am not sure if this post is showing up correctly.
Neither the PS4 nor the Xbox One X will support 1080P at 120 hz. I checked out the Additional Information in the ZH 403 manual and no where does it show 1080P at 120 hz support including 3d. Go to Optoma's website and download the manual and see what you come up with. And believe me when I say I would love to see it support 1080P at 120 hz.
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Neither the PS4 nor the Xbox One X will support 1080P at 120 hz. I checked out the Additional Information in the ZH 403 manual and no where does it show 1080P at 120 hz support including 3d. Go to Optoma's website and download the manual and see what you come up with. And believe me when I say I would love to see it support 1080P at 120 hz.
Well on the bottom of page 56 it states:

[email protected] and [email protected] will run in 100Hz; [email protected] will run in 144Hz; other 3D timing will
run in 120Hz.


But it might not allow a non-3D signal at 120hz.
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post #54 of 67 Old 01-25-2020, 01:06 PM
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Well on the bottom of page 56 it states:

[email protected] and [email protected] will run in 100Hz; [email protected] will run in 144Hz; other 3D timing will
run in 120Hz.


But it might not allow a non-3D signal at 120hz.
Just emailed Optoma support with those questions. Don't hold your breath. I don't think I've committed on this, but this things a light canon.

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@bjones8103
What's the GPU?

You might be able to create a custom resolution.
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post #56 of 67 Old 01-25-2020, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Just emailed Optoma support with those questions. Don't hold your breath. I don't think I've committed on this, but this things a light canon.

[email protected] isn't listed in my UHD50 manual and I'm guessing that if I asked, Optoma would refer to their specs and say it doesn't work...yet my testing proves that it does. Basically, to support 1080p 3D (which is the spec for the ZH403) the projector has to alternate between two 1080p images at an effective rate of 120hz.
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Originally Posted by noob00224 View Post
@bjones8103
What's the GPU?

You might be able to create a custom resolution.
No ideal. I push the button and it turns on. If it doesn't turn on it goes back to Optoma.
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post #58 of 67 Old 01-25-2020, 02:06 PM
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No ideal. I push the button and it turns on. If it doesn't turn on it goes back to Optoma.
No, I meant create a custom resolution from the PC. What graphics card is being used?
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post #59 of 67 Old 01-25-2020, 04:13 PM
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No, I meant create a custom resolution from the PC. What graphics card is being used?
Dahh. Nvidia Ge Force GTX 860M
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post #60 of 67 Old 01-25-2020, 04:33 PM
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Dahh. Nvidia Ge Force GTX 860M
Well just create a custom resolution.

Open the "Change Resolution" tab of NVCP, then choose "Customize", then choose "Create Custom Resolution", once in this pop up window, change 60Hz to 120Hz, then hit test. This will not hurt anything, if the projector doesn't support it, it will say "out of range" or the screen will be dark, simply hit escape or wait a few seconds for the test to automatically conclude. If it fails, you can retry it again at 120Hz, but instead change "Automatic" to "CVT Reduced Blank" and try again. If this fails, try 100Hz, if it works, try going up from there, maybe even just jump straight to 119Hz. https://www.blurbusters.com/overclock/120hz-pc-to-tv/ On this page, look for "Test to check for true 120 frames per second."
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