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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(Posted with permission of AVS & Alan)


As many of you know, I have been busy hacking away at my Davis projector. I've discovered how to permanently modify the color curves on the Davis, by modifying the existing firmware packages that they distribute for their projectors. You then download the firmware with Davis' sup.exe program.


The primary motivation was to fix the green shift caused by revision L on the DLX650, but you can also use it to both calibrate the projector, as well as maximize the dynamic range of its output. I've also made some baby steps towards modifying the resolution table in the firmware. I've now packaged up my discoveries into a piece of shareware, so other Davis users can take advantage of it.


Four forum members have been beta testing it. I think they generally like it. I could definitely use feedback from more users, hopefully someone will help me figure out the resolution tables.


So, without further ado:

DavisTuner

Features
  • Manually change color maps You can change the shape of the gamma curve, and separately change the color balance/gray scale.
  • Copy color maps You can copy a color map from one firmware to another. For example, for the DLX650, take the color ramps from K, and put them in the L firmware. Definitely recommended!
  • Automatic gamma ramps. This function will automatically generate an exponential gamma ramp, making full use of the dynamic range of the Davis' color maps. You should not assume, however, that entering a "2" would yield a measured gamma of 2. But in my opinion it does look nice!
  • Test patterns. This generates a color map with non-linearities at the top and bottom of the map (i.e. 0 and 100 IRE). No need for long calibration - just put up a gray scale, and make sure that (only) absolute black is replaced with red, and absolute white is replaced by green. This will ensure that you're driving the projector in such a way that its full dynamic range is being utilized.
  • Flash gamma. As was rumored, there is a utility for flashing a gamma ramp to the projector (which only lasts until the projector is power cycled). Thanks to my mystery man for providing it to me! Loading a ramp this way takes about 3 seconds. I implemented the protocol in my program, so that when you change the color map, you can flash it to the projector, to see if you like it, before making it permanent.
  • Resolutions. This is still a work in progress. I have currently modified my own projector to accept 720P from the Hipix (when coupled with a Panamorph, which I own). I have previously gotten my projector to sync to a 1024x554 (1.85:1) signal from Powerstrip (whereas it used to see that signal as 800x600). More work/research needs to be done. This currently only works for revision "L" for the DLX650, but if someone gives me another firmware, theoretically I can do the calculations and build in support for it as well.

See DavisTuner for more info and to download.

Caveats
  • This is not exactly polished software. Don't expect too much, so that you'll be pleasantly surprised! :)
  • Even though I wanted there to be context sensitive help - there's not. There *is* a windows help file, however.
  • Davis might not want to honor your warranty (if you have one) if it knows you downloaded a hacked firmware to your projector. Use at your own risk! Don't sue me!
  • You are not allowed to use this software to calibrate other people's projectors (without talking to me about licensing).


You will need a Davis programming cable to use DavisTuner. News Flash! Now you can either build the cable yourself, or purchase an assembled one for about $30. See my DavisTuner link in my sig for details.


Hopefully, for those of you that don't want to bother, I will soon be providing a calibration service, using ColorFacts. Stay tuned!!


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·

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Well done Mike... Sorry I was not more help with the testing....


Its a 80% that my Davis will be going on the block in the next week but I will be sorry to see it go....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Are you going to sell it on AVS? Make sure to sell the programming cable with it! :)


Are you going to have any projector, or not for the foreseeable future?


Mike
 

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Without Projector... Go wash your mouth out with soap laddie :D !!!!


Its in the classifieds now and could come with prog cable too... Would be perfect for a Euro buyer and if they are near enough they can come and take the screen too...


This is only if a current deal works out and I dont want to jinx it so will tell you if it happens...
 

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Hey Mike,


Congrats on the software, looks very nice for the people with Davis units!
 

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OK, can you tell me is this will also work on the 450 and it's clones? One other thing, I lost the remote/mouse cable that came with my projector (or rather FedEX lost it), do I need that cable to interface with the programming cable?


NickB
 

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Just when Thumper finished modifying my Davis DL-S8, and I thought I'd wrung every bit of oomph possible out of this venerable projecter, you have to come along and spoil things :)


Of course, this is great mews. Now, can someone give me a lead on the programming cable?


At this rate, maybe I won't be replacing the Davis this year!

Good Viewing,

John G
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by dlptheater
Hey Mike,


Congrats on the software, looks very nice for the people with Davis units!
Hey Lance - maybe if you're lucky, you'll end up with a Davis again! I hear Phreddy has one for sale! :)


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by NickB
OK, can you tell me is this will also work on the 450 and it's clones?
Yes. It should work for any Davis or clone that you can get firmware for from http://techsupport.davis.no/ . It might even work for Dreamvision projectors too - I don't know if they use the same firmware, or if you can get access to its firmware.

Quote:


One other thing, I lost the remote/mouse cable that came with my projector (or rather FedEX lost it), do I need that cable to interface with the programming cable?
The programming cable plugs into the buffer box (instead of the mouse cable). The buffer box connects to the EVC cable, which goes to the projector.


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by johng
Just when Thumper finished modifying my Davis DL-S8, and I thought I'd wrung every bit of oomph possible out of this venerable projecter, you have to come along and spoil things :)
Well, Thumper does great work. If you could only do one, my tweak or his tweak, I'd definitely recommend his changes. But both is a good idea too! :)


I also had my projector thumperized. He measured a contrast improvement from 150:1 to about 450:1 - pretty impressive! But I noticed that when I calibrated with Avia, the absolute black on a DVD was not as dark as the black of my yxy blanking. So I played around with the gamma curves, and I definitely saw a big improvement in shadow detail when I put in a different curve. And my gamma curves used the whole dynamic range of the projector (the default curves did not). Using my test pattern gamma curve, I was able to verify that when the DVD wanted absolute black, my projector actually tried to make black. (I had to change my GeForce overlay settings a fair bit - I should make an oscilloscope measurement.) I then got ColorFacts. My sensor is slightly out of whack in how it detects red, so I don't know how accurate this is - but it measured a contrast of 800:1. Hopefully, I can eventually get some more scientific information.

Quote:


Of course, this is great news. Now, can someone give me a lead on the programming cable?
E-mail Soren Fleron at Davis Denmark at [mail][email protected][/mail]. He says it's 75 Euro (like $70 USD) + shipping. He says he's stocking up on them!


I actually asked him about a powerbuy on the cable, but it didn't go anywhere.


Mike
 

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"The programming cable plugs into the buffer box (instead of the mouse cable). The buffer box connects to the EVC cable, which goes to the projector."


Damn, Well actually Lance tried to buy my projector over a year ago and FedEX messed up big time. They lost the boxes I sent and I had to file a claim. They finally found the projector and sent it back to me but they lost the box that contained the EVC cable. Lookls like I'll have to get a new one.


John G,


and on that note maybe some of us in the bay area can get together and have a davis projector party (assuming of course that Northern Cal means the Bay Area). We could all go in on a programing cable and spend an evening calibrating/comparing projectors. What about it, any takers please PM me.


Mike,


So do I need to find a firmware first and then email that to you?


Thanks,


Nick
 

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I have a Viewsonic PJL830. I am one of the beta tester for MFlaster. So yes it works great on the Davis DL450 clones.


I played quite a bit with the software. It's easy to use. I don't have Colorfact so I had no way to quantified my changes. I used it to boost red mainly and I change the gamma curve. My colors has now more punch and my skin tone is more natural. I will love to get a better calibration but I found the equipment to expensive to go forward with this. I will like to see how a perfectly calibrated Davis DL450 looks.


Mike if you get colorfact let me know how the calibrated curve look like I am curious to compare it to what I came out with.


Bruno
 

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Mike,

This is terribly unfair :) I'm really ready to replace my Davis and now, between you and Thumper, I'm being given a reason to hold on to this baby!


Anyway, this sounds great. The link to Soren for the cable is greatly appreciated. I'll contact him about the programming cable, then send you and e-mail.

Good, er, Programming....

John G
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by NickB
"The programming cable plugs into the buffer box (instead of the mouse cable). The buffer box connects to the EVC cable, which goes to the projector."


Damn, Well actually Lance tried to buy my projector over a year ago and FedEX messed up big time. They lost the boxes I sent and I had to file a claim. They finally found the projector and sent it back to me but they lost the box that contained the EVC cable. Lookls like I'll have to get a new one.
Do you really mean just the EVC cable? Do you know what I mean when I say the buffer box? I guess you have an EVC - VGA adapter? If not, and your projector is currently useable, then you have EVC out of the projector, into the buffer box, which converts that to VGA.


If you have the buffer box, but not the EVC cable, that's better, as the EVC cable is standard.

Quote:
So do I need to find a firmware first and then email that to you?
Well, if you just go to "Information" from the projector menu, it'll say what revision of firmware is on the projector. I'm pretty sure "Q" is the most recent for the 450 - Lance, can you confirm? My documentation says where to get all the firmwares ( http://techsupport.davis.no ) - but don't worry, I have them all already! :)


Mike
 

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The whole buffer box and cable assembly is gone. I shipped it separately and they lost it so I just use a EVC to VGA cable now.


NickB
 

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Mike, I am curious. Is the screen shot in this post an exemple on the setting that your are using? Gamma is set at 1, right?


Bruno
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by bgosselin
Mike, I am curious. Is the screen shot in this post an exemple on the setting that your are using? Gamma is set at 1, right?
No, that's not a picture of what I'm using. I don't even remember where it comes from. I just pulled up something and took a screenshot.


I'm using the autogamma of 2.0, with the color map from "Natural Colors" from K. Maybe I have the Green reduced a little, I don't actually remember.


Mike
 

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i have a dreamvision moviestar plus which is a daavis clone. it is almost a year old, does anyone know if a dvd player modded with cinematrix would give me an improved picture thier info is on www.cinematrix-usa.com or if my unit has upgraded software that could be added. thanks
 

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Davis have a notoriously bad scaler inside so yes a Cinematrix mod to a DVD should help big time... If the scaling artifatcs bother you and a HTPC is too much hassle then I would look at this or the el cheapo native scaler that has come up a few times here... (cant remember the model number now but its about $200 for a pretty good effect so I read)...
 
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