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Discussion Starter #1
If you're a HTPC user of DILA projectors, you're interested in this! This improves picture quality of a DILA from a HTPC!


I used DisplayMate to calibrate Alan's DILA projector. However, I have created a new custom DILA test pattern from scratch so you do not need DisplayMate! You can get your DILA projector perfectly and sparkingly "PIXELLY SHARP<tm>".


Remember, setting a HTPC to do 1360x1024 does NOT necessarily get the best picture quality. You're not there yet! You need to adjust the "PIXEL CLOCK" on your DILA projector to get optimal results! That means TRACKING and PHASE adjustments in the "PIXEL CLOCK" adjustment setting of your DILA projector?

What is TRACKING and PHASE, you say? Good question. Allow me to explain - all digital projectors, including DILA, use digital electronics for displaying images. However, VGA input is analog! In a digital projector, the VGA is converted to digital. This means the PIXEL CLOCK in the projector must be exactly the same as the dot clock of the computer's video card (i.e. GeForce). Otherwise, you will get jittering and flickering if you walk up closely to your screen. TRACKING allows you to increase/decrease the PIXEL CLOCK of the projector relative to the computer's dot clock. PHASE allows you to adjust the synchronization of the clocks - on the exact pixel and not half-a-pixel out of alignment.

Fortunately, it is easy to adjust TRACKING and PHASE - using my new DILA test pattern! First, you should already have a 1360-pixel-wide computer resolution already configured on your HTPC computer, and you switch to the SXGA3 input. Doublecheck that you're already on the SXGA3 input of your DILA. To do this, use your DILA remote control, hit the MENU button, then select VIDEO SOURCE, then select SXGA3. You must be using SXGA3 to use the full 1360-pixel-wide resolution, unless the other inputs are modified to use 1360 pixels wide.

Use SXGA3 Input. If you cannot do 1360-pixel-wide or you do not want to bother with custom computer resolutions, simply select 1280x1024 instead and use SXGA1 or SXGA2. Remember, 1280x1024 looks better than 1360x1024 on SXGA1 and SXGA2. Use 1360x1024 ONLY on SXGA3.

Do not use a HTPC with the HDTV input on the DILA. This is not recommended due to vertical scaling artifacts (720p->768p or 540p->768p). Switch to one of the SXGA inputs depending on the above.


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MY DILA TEST PATTERN

http://www.marky.com/misc/testpatter...ern_ByMark.gif


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STEP BY STEP:

HOW TO ACTIVATE TEST PATTERN


  1. Right click this link and select "Save As":
    Digital_TestPattern_ByMark.bmp
  2. If your PC is your HTPC, save to your WINDOWS subdirectory (C:\\WINDOWS).

    If your PC is not, save to a floppy disk. Then bring the floppy disk to your HTPC and then copy the file to your WINDOWS subdirectory.
  3. On your HTPC, bring up Control Panel:

    Start Menu -> Settings -> Control Panel
  4. Doubleclick Display icon
  5. Click Background Tab
  6. Select "Digital_TestPattern_ByMark" as the background wallpaper.
  7. Important! Select "Tile" (instead of "Center" or "Stretch")
  8. Click OK
  9. You will now see multiple copies of the test pattern tiled horizontally and vertically in the background.
  10. Close or minimize all windows, so you only see your Windows Desktop. You do not need to move or remove your icons, as long as at least half of your screen is empty.[/list=a]


    .

    STEP BY STEP:

    HOW TO ADJUST YOUR DILA USING TEST PATTERN



    I made a few simulations of the artifacts that you will see on your DILA projector.


    While making the below adjustments, feel free to run up to the scren and watch from 2-3 feet away from the screen while you adjust your DILA. It makes the adjustment easier! Also, while adjusting the patterns, watch all 3 test pattern bands, and also the sharpness of the tiny text in my test pattern. All of these items will assist in adjustment.

    Important! The following simulated images are meant to be viewed on a desktop computer monitor. This is because the below simulations will be messed up if you're trying to view the below on an uncalibrated DILA projector. If so, please view this post on another computer that is using an ordinary desktop computer monitor, so you can see the true look of these images.

    Important! Remember, you need to TILE the test pattern on your background, not stretch the test pattern to have one test pattern fill the whole screen. Do not right click on any images above or below and "Set as Wallpaper" - don't do that - because it does not tile the test pattern.
    1. This is probably the pattern you will see on your DILA:
      http://www.marky.com/misc/testpatter...UST-NEEDED.gif


      These vertical bands can be any thickness, from a few pixels thick to almost full screen width. If you see vertical bands like the above, you need to adjust your TRACKING adjustment.


      To adjust TRACKING, use your DILA remote and hit MENU button, then select PIXEL CLOCK. Now adjust TRACKING upwards and downwards. Don't adjust PHASE yet. As you adjust TRACKING, you will notice that the number of bands will go up and down. Try to decrease the number of bands to zero.
    2. If you succeed in the above, you will see the following:
      http://www.marky.com/misc/testpatter...ern_ByMark.gif

      Important! If you're unable to get the above, don't worry. Try to adjust until the whole picture is noisy - with no bands. You want a picture that's either *uniformly* perfect or *uniformly* noisy. What you want to do is eliminate ALL bands - even bands that are half a screen wide! Go to next step.
    3. HOWEVER, if you failed to get the picture clear on the first try and your image looks like either of the following:
      http://www.marky.com/misc/testpatter...UST-NEEDED.gif OR http://www.marky.com/misc/testpatter...T-NEEDED-2.gif

      If you see either of the above, you simply need to adjust your PHASE adjustment.


      Notice that the first image looks very muddy, including the text. You might not even be able to tell the difference between the 1st and 2nd of the 3 test pattern bars. Other times, you will see a noisy image, much like the second image.


      Adjust your PHASE adjustment upwards and downwards. Notice how you start to make the image sharper? Try to find the PHASE adjustment that produces the sharpest image without noise.
    4. Finally, if you succeed, you will see the following image:
      http://www.marky.com/misc/testpatter...ern_ByMark.gif [/list=a]


      You now have DILA PIXEL PERFECTION!


      --------------

      Thanks,

      Mark Rejhon
      www.marky.com


      [This message has been edited by Mark Rejhon (edited 10-05-2000).]
 

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Discussion Starter #2
*** UPDATE ***


This works on other digital displays/projectors such as LCD and DLP projectors that have a TRACKING/PHASE adjustment!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
milori,


Let me ask first: When the user clicks Next>>, does it uses a full-screen test pattern?


/////////


If not...


Based on my experience with test patterns, if the size of the test pattern is the size in your wizard, that's not good enough - you will get within +/- 1 point of Tracking, but you MUST HAVE FULL SCREEN WIDTH of vertical lines for pixel perfection (+/- 0 tracking). There is no way around it. Guaranteed. Because a single band could be 1/2 or 3/4ths screen width and be completely out of the way of your test pattern.


In fact, I was able to force only a SINGLE band to appear on only the right-hand 20% of the screen. It was pixel perfection on the left 80%. If your wizard was in the middle of the screen, it won't detect the band. You simply need full screen width of lines - to eliminate this.


It is not possible to get pixel perfection with your DILARD Wizard on all DILA projectors. My background wallpaper test pattern is! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


First, use my timings and set tracking to 24. Now bring up your DILA wizard. Position wizard on left side of screen. Set tracking to 23 and adjust phase. Notice how you can push the noisy band completely out of the way of your wizard - but the noisy stuff will still be there on the right side of the screen.


Furthermore, you notice in #3 above, if you are using my DILA timings here that sometimes tracking 23 and 25 may look better than tracking 24 - until you adjust phase. Then 24 becomes amazingly pixelly sharp, much better than 23 or 25. This is precisely my experience. This is precisely why I inserted the comment "Important! If you're unable to get the above, don't worry. Try to adjust until the whole picture is noisy - with no bands. You want a picture that's either *uniformly* perfect or *uniformly* noisy. What you want to do is eliminate ALL bands - even bands that are half a screen wide! Go to next step." at the bottom of Step 2.


Also, sometimes noise appeared in diagonal lines and checkerboard while vertical lines was perfect. So that's why I included 3 different patterns. Also, I included some text as another point of reference too.


------------------

Thanks,

Mark Rejhon
www.marky.com/hometheater


[This message has been edited by Mark Rejhon (edited 10-05-2000).]
 

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Thanks Mark R!


Your step by step directions are awesome!

I can't wait to do this.


Are you saying you don't have a D-ILA?... the horror


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Tryg Hoff
 

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Mark R,


You are simply amazing! The time you have taken, the giving nature of your posts. Thank you!


I think I've got it (and d'loaded the image). Only question: what is best sequence for setup of my new G-15? Here's my guess, please confirm:


- arrives calibrated by Alan's company;

- purchase HTPC; get software installed (YXY, Powerstrip, etc.)

- Dilard installed; initial settings configured

- wire to projector; choose SXGA3 (HTPC) and HDTV (satellite)inputs

- test patterns; adjust timing and phase (per this thread)

- try watching various sources; note results; fine tune (ask for help this Forum!)



------------------

Stew

The search for excellence is unending . . .
 

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Hi Mark R.,


I thought about this as well, and I agree that you can sometimes get only 2 or 3 bands total on a full-screen image (if you get only one, you've nailed the tracking correctly). Knowing this, I was concerned about using a smaller-than-full-screen test image as well.


However, it does not appear to be a problem at all. When there are 3 or more bands, the test image is wide enough to show them. With only 2 bands, the wizard will show those as well because it centers itself on the screen (the test image will also show 2 bands). The only problem might be if you manually moved the wizard all the way to one side of the screen, so it is contained completely in one band...


In that specific case, 3 settings may appear to be valid (the right one, +1 above and -1 below)...just like tuning a radio-station.


If that should ever happen, you simply pick the point in the middle, and you're all set. It's really quite easy.


I do like your full-screen images as well. I like that people have a choice.


The DILARD Tracking and Phase Wizard is a simple one, and was given away in the free version of DILARD. The nice thing about it is that you can adjust the tracking and the phase from right inside the wizard.
 

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Quote:
Also, sometimes noise appeared in diagonal lines and checkerboard while vertical lines was perfect. So that's why I included 3 different patterns. Also, I included some text as another point of reference too.
Sorry, Mark. I missed this part of your post. I didn't show the screen after the vertical line step in the Wizard. It's alternating, contrasting pixels (diagonal lines, if you will):

http://www.milori.com/ht/trackphase.gif


Just to be clear, Mark, I think that your test images are great! For DILARD users, it might be convenient to have the controls right there in the Wizard (and to have the Wizard right there in DILARD).


However, to ensure that the settings are absolutely perfect, there's no substitute like a full-screen test image. Since both are free, I'm glad that folks have a choice! When people have a choice, everyone wins!


(No, I'm not talking about the Microsoft vs. DOJ battle...)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
>>"(if you get only one, you've nailed the tracking correctly)."


Nope; this wasn't the case in my tests. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


The correct number of bands that you should get is a big fat zero. Tracking=23 and Tracking=25 yielded one fat half-screen width band. Tracking=24 results in a *uniformly* pixel perfect or *uniformly* noisy/muddy. There's absolutely no banding; the adjusting of phase adjustment cause the whole picture to slowly fade into noisiness/perfection at Tracking=24 with no horizontal movement of bands like there is at Tracking <= 23 and Tracking >= 25 for my testing. Therefore, you should watch for NO BANDS at all - not one band.


Believe me... After all, I slept at AVSCIENCE - staying up even as late as 9:00am playing with the DILA and HTPC. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif I'd say I've consumed well over 30 hours of DILA bulb. It was at about 4 hours when I arrived. I think I left it with the bulb at 45 hours.


------------------

Thanks,

Mark Rejhon
www.marky.com/hometheater
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Martin,


The tracking/phase adjustments are per-source. So if you switch sources, you won't be reusing your tracking/phase adjustments.


The tracking/phase adjustments are VERY video timing dependent. As I said, they only apply to the picture from your HTPC.


------------------

Thanks,

Mark Rejhon
www.marky.com/hometheater
 

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Thanks Mark R. for your efforts. I had just gone to the Windows shutdown mode to get a halftone to set the tracking but your meshes look great.

The only problem that I have is with your link.


-Dean.
 

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Hi Mark,


We are saying the same thing...just using different terms:

Quote:
(if you get only one, you've nailed the tracking correctly)."

Nope; this wasn't the case in my tests.


The correct number of bands that you should get is a big fat zero.
The terms I was using:

2 or more differently shaded bands: Needs Tracking Adjustment

1 uniform, perfect "band" across the whole screen: Ideal Tracking.

0 bands: Computer Off http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Quote:
Tracking=23 and Tracking=25 yielded one fat half-screen width band.
...and what was on the other half of the screen?? I would call that a second band.
 

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Thanks Mark! I used this on my xga lcd projector and now have it set perfectly. The tracking was ok, but the "fine sync" as Mitsubishi calls it was slightly off. A couple of clicks on the remote and now its perfect.


Thanks again,

Ben
 

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Mark R,


Are you saying phase and tracking adjustmens do nothing on any other input non computer driven, like DSS or DVD? I've always wondered that, now seems like a good time to ask.


Chris
 

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 http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif Men/women

Let that Mark(y)get some sleep.He is driven.


------------------

Ron

"Your priorities will be different-its the weighting that counts!"
 

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Quote:
Are you saying phase and tracking adjustmens do nothing on any other input non computer driven, like DSS or DVD?
Hi Chris,


Yes, that is the case. In fact, I was surprised at just how much is considered "Area" data. Meaning, the projector stores that data for each input.


Tracking and phase are 2 of the "Area" settings. It sure would be nice if we could get it "pixel perfect" with a computer and then all of the inputs would be correct, but that's unfortunately not the case.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
>"...and what was on the other half of the screen?? I would call that a

second band."



When the band is about 90% off the screen, it wraps around to the left,

causing slight noise at the left and right edges. I consider this to

be the same band! That's why I say it's just one band.


That's why I call it zero bands at the perfect setting - also because

of the fact that the interference no longer moves left/right, but

fades in and out instead, so it really doesn't behave like a band but

kind of a global-picture "pixel focus" adjustment.


But still, you probably know what I mean - just that I'm being 0-based

here and you're 1-based here. I'll be careful to avoid confusion!


>"Are you saying phase and tracking adjustmens do nothing on any other input non computer driven, like DSS or DVD? I've always wondered that, now seems like a good time to ask."


It's source-specific. What you adjust on one source (ie HDTV or HTPC) will not carry over to the other sources. What you need is a test pattern *specific* to the selected source if you want to adjust test patterns.


If you adjust tracking on the HDTV1080i source, then it will be memorized on the HDTV1080i memory. If you adjust tracking on the SXGA3 source then it will be memorized for SXGA3.


If you switch to 1024x768 and then switch to XGA1 then if you adjust tracking/phase there, it will be memorized for XGA1 only and when you switch back 1360x1024 on SXGA3, it will recall the tracking/phase settings that were last set on SXGA3. So theoretically, you need to play a HDTV test pattern in the same timings as HDTV (right to the exact dot clock!) That is, right down to less than *thousandth of a Hertz* refresh.


Also, tracking/phase is not terribly useful for video sources that are much lower resolution than the pixel array. Such as S-Video connection to the DILA. Obviously, being graphics-based (where graphics is prone to interference by poor tracking/phase) the HTPC benefits most from a tracking/phase optimization on the DILA projector!


Obviously, a test pattern on the computer is much easier. A DVD resolution test pattern would be worthless for adjusting tracking/phase because you need a test pattern resolution matching the DILA pixel array, not a lower resolution (720 pixel wide) being scaled horizontally.


------------------

Thanks,

Mark Rejhon
www.marky.com/hometheater
 

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I am a bit confused on the tracking/phase adjustments. When this is done is it input sensitive or will the adjustments remain perfect if I adjust to pixel perfection on my computer and then change to my DVD/quadscan combo?
 

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Quote:
just that I'm being 0-based here and you're 1-based
Loud and clear, Mark! Now you're talking my language. It's the old "off by one" error. Happens all the time! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Forgot to mention - sometimes noise may appear only in one or two out of the three bands in the test pattern. I witnessed some situations where that happened. I do not know why it happens, but it happens. Maybe there are micro-variances in the dot clock depending on how luminous the scanline is. Or capacitive delays in the cable that varies depending on how dense the test pattern is. Or something else. Doing minor phase adjustments usually fixes this.


Also, better use BetterCables.com cables rather than cheap VGA/RGBHV cables. Definitely avoid the computer-store-bought ones like from Circuit City or Best Buy. Some of them muddy up the signal horizontally enough to make it impossible to achieve pixel perfection. Pixelly-sharp, as I call it!


------------------

Thanks,

Mark Rejhon
www.marky.com/hometheater


[This message has been edited by Mark Rejhon (edited 10-07-2000).]
 
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