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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all:

This has been driving me insane for a while now and I just spent another two hours messing it.

Problem: When watching videos to my projector from my HTPC, dark scenes are VERY dark, in that you can make out any detail whatsoever. The same content when watched on another TV in the house from a Roku or FireTV using Kodi or Plex look great (non are projectors)

Trying to fix part 1: I thought it must be that my projector Mistu HD running at 1080p is getting pretty old (6 years) and it may just be the projector. So, I started researching new projectors and then thought -- hmm... I should just try hooking up a firetv to the projector to see how it looks. After hooking up the firetv and playing the same 1080p mkv file, it looked great. Woohoo, I don't need a new projector. So, I then started messing with the calibration on my projector to crank up the brightness and fiddling with the contrast while using the HTPC. This always ended up with a washed out looking image that was too bright and crappy. Then I realized I don't want to mess with the projector settings as the firetv and PS3 (that I tried later) look great. So, I reset the projector setting back to where they were.

Trying to fix part 2: Okay, so this has to be color adjustment on the windows 7 HTPC. So I start playing around with Catalyst control center which basically had the same results as messing with the projector directly... image washed out and crappy looking with no more detail than before, just brighter. Frustrated and set back to defaults.

Trying to fix part 3: Maybe I should update my drivers and ATI software. Did all of that with the same bad results. Gave up

Trying to fix part 4: Maybe ATI driver sucks or catalyst is just messing things up. So I uninstalled everything and just used the stock driver in Windows 7. Same results, gave up.

This brought me here. Anyone else struggled with this or have suggestions? I could just buy another firetv and be done with it but then I wouldn't be able to play the full bluray backups that I have in ArcSoft. :(

System:
HTPC is running Windows 7, Kodi, TotalMedia Theater, ATI HD4200 card output is HDMI to receiver
Receiver is a new Yamaha receiver and HDMI out goes to Projector

--
gs
 

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PCs output 0-255 range video (or called expanded range). Regular home electronics use 16-235 range video (or called limited range). Two are not compatible and can't be simply calibrated away. Anyone use a HTPC must face this problem one way or another. There are many threads on this topic already.


The bottom line is you must make your video player application, your video card/driver and TV/Projector all talking to each other with a same protocol, e.g. either all using limited range or all use expanded range. If any one of them is different, you are screwed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
PCs output 0-255 range video (or called expanded range). Regular home electronics use 16-235 range video (or called limited range). Two are not compatible and can't be simply calibrated away. Anyone use a HTPC must face this problem one way or another. There are many threads on this topic already.


The bottom line is you must make your video player application, your video card/driver and TV/Projector all talking to each other with a same protocol, e.g. either all using limited range or all use expanded range. If any one of them is different, you are screwed.
Thanks for the tips... My projector is set to autodetect limited or expanded and I get the same results when specifying 4:2:2:2 or 4:4:4:4 in both RGB and the other mode inside of Catalyst software. I guess I need to do a lot more reading but it sounds like the problem can be fixed?

I don't see a way to set Kodi, windows media player, or arcsoft to specify an output type. I did configure the setting in FFDShow as well but that also has no result.
 

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Don't use auto-detect on TV. It really won't work well. Any YCbCr implies limited range, IIRC. Only RGB mode has two different range.


Windows desktop and most of its non-video apps always output full range 0-255 RGB, Windows Media Player does the same. Windows Media Center always outputs 16-235 limited range unless you apply a registry hack. Other media players have their own settings. Now video card and its driver can also do a few different things. It can pass through full range RGB unchanged. Or it can convert full range RGB to limited range RGB or limited range YCbCr. The problem here is that if it converts, it has to make assumptions how a video will be played. If it assumes a video is played back as full range RGB like WMP, it can make correct conversion to limited range RGB. However, if the video is actually played as limited range like WMC, this causes double conversion and the output is totally wrong.
 
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