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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,


Just got done doing an experiment with the Gamma settings on my HLN617W. Here's what I did.


Popped "The Matrix" into my old interlaced Toshiba SD-3109 DVD player connected via component cables to Comp 1.


Went to the chapter (4 I think) that has Trinity talking to Neo in the bar for the first time.


My GOD is the color banding horrible here.


Anyway, went into the service menu and toggled from 0 to 15 the gamma settings... here's what I found.


Gamma 0 appeared to be the lesser of the evils. Still looked like crap, but not AS bad as 1-5.


Ok, after getting to Gamma 5, every single Gamma from 6 to 12 appeared EXACTLY the same as Gamma 5. Gamma 13 however made everything RED. Gamma 14 I liken to infrared vision, i.e. "Predator view". Gamma 15 looked the same. Now HERE'S the weird part. Toggling back DOWN from 15 to 0, Gamma 13 STILL turns everything red... but Gamma 12 through Gamma 6 KEEPS it RED. i.e. no change whatsoever from whatever the previous gamma was when you go from 6 through 12, or 12 through 6. Gamma 5 gets you back to actual changes, etc.


So, while the HLN actually have 16 different gamma settings, it appears that only about 8 or 9 actually change anything. At least 3 of which seem to be totally useless ( assuming the red mode or the Predator vision is something that I will never need).


Anywho... just thought I would pass that along.


Later,

Jeff
 

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Does anyone actually know what the gamma profiles of each table looks like? What would be really nice would be the ability to create a custom gamma table. That would allow us to spend hours in the SM.
 

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Does anyone else have a HLN617W? Do you have the same banding problems?


I wonder if the 467 or 567 will have a better picture than the 617. Iceblade, do you think you'd be happier with a smaller screen?


Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Tweakophyte
Does anyone else have a HLN617W? Do you have the same banding problems?


I wonder if the 467 or 567 will have a better picture than the 617. Iceblade, do you think you'd be happier with a smaller screen?


Thanks,
I'd say no. I need/want the 61" picture size. While it is theoretically possible that a smaller screen may help reduce some of the problems I see, I want the cause eliminated, not covered up. Given the number of people that have the HLM version of this set and are "not seeing any problems like I am", I am wondering if I didn't just get a lemon. Hopefully I will know more if and when someone posts a ColorFacts calibration with these sets.


Later,

Jeff
 

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I have a HLN617 and TS160 STB. I have not noticed anything out of the ordinary while viewing either cable, directv or HD material. I'm not sure I know what color banding means? My picture on my 61" is better than I ever expected, with colors so vibrant and clear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by dscotta
I have a HLN617 and TS160 STB. I have not noticed anything out of the ordinary while viewing either cable, directv or HD material. I'm not sure I know what color banding means? My picture on my 61" is better than I ever expected, with colors so vibrant and clear.
Ok, someone else posted places that you can easily see banding and those are the scenes I used to view. If you have "The Matrix" on DVD, goto Chapter 4, the bar seen where Trinity is talking to Neo. Pay attention to the flesh tones of Trinity especially. At least on MY set, there are GIANT portions of her face that are all the same color... very "splotchy" looking. It makes it seem like her face is made of clay. This is what color banding is. FYI, I am using an old interlaced DVD player hooked into the Comp1 input with Gamma 0, Warm1 color tone and Custom Contrast, Sharpness, Brightness, Tint and Color set via Video Essentials.


Let me know if you still don't see what I am talking about. Also, if you could let me know what DVD player and which input you are using, that might be helpful as well.


Thanks,

Jeff
 

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Iceblade,

After reading your post yesterday night, i tried out chap 4 on my Samsung 507 using both an older pioneer @ 480i and the Bravo D1 through DVI. I was looking for vertical stripes or some other artifacts so i dint really give much thought to the color. But i can clearly recall seeing the 'splotchy' tones on her face. Is there some website where i can see how an image looks like w and w/o banding. I have to confirm what i saw was banding. Matrix not being a very colorful movie, really makes it difficult for observing artifacts etc.

On a different note, have you ever seen the chroma bug on Toy Story with your DVD/TV setup. I've looked very closely but i cannot see any CUE(the horizontal stripes) on the TS logo, with both DVD players. Is it because the Faroudja DCDi takes care of the interlaced input ?


There are a few other issues with my 507 after 2 weeks of owning it and i am planning to post it soon. As of now, i have done very little tweaking, mainly the contrast, brightness, gamma settings.


Nivas
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by srinivos
Iceblade,

After reading your post yesterday night, i tried out chap 4 on my Samsung 507 using both an older pioneer @ 480i and the Bravo D1 through DVI. I was looking for vertical stripes or some other artifacts so i dint really give much thought to the color. But i can clearly recall seeing the 'splotchy' tones on her face. Is there some website where i can see how an image looks like w and w/o banding. I have to confirm what i saw was banding. Matrix not being a very colorful movie, really makes it difficult for observing artifacts etc.

On a different note, have you ever seen the chroma bug on Toy Story with your DVD/TV setup. I've looked very closely but i cannot see any CUE(the horizontal stripes) on the TS logo, with both DVD players. Is it because the Faroudja DCDi takes care of the interlaced input ?


There are a few other issues with my 507 after 2 weeks of owning it and i am planning to post it soon. As of now, i have done very little tweaking, mainly the contrast, brightness, gamma settings.


Nivas
Nivas,


I don't have any links that show color banding. I don't recall if I have ever seen a site show this explicitly. All I know is that this scene in The Matrix makes banding readily apparent to most people. The other scene I tried last night was Chapter 24 I think of Gladiator. When the Emperor is talking to an advisor and the sky/sun is behind his back. His face does the "clay" thing... thought not nearly as dreadful as The Matrix scene you have already viewed.


Did you see splotches with both the DVI input as well as the 480i upconverted to 480p? What Gamma are you using?


I went through all 6 "useful" Gamma settings (0-5) and found that 0 appeared to look the least horrid... though it wasn't even "good' or "fair" in terms of quality. I call it "muted splotchy" in that it wasn't as stark a contrast as the other gammas made the banding.


As far as the Chroma thing... I've investigated this issue on the "Secrets Of Home Theater Hi-FI" webpage with the shootout for DVD players and stuff.
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...ut-1-2003.html


Scroll down to "Chroma, 3-2 Alt. Flags" and the one below it. They have the Monsters Inc. and Toy Story frames to see the bug. I haven't noticed this thus far, but I can at least see if I can tell with the Monsters Inc. dvd. I don't own Toy Story though.


Thanks,

Jeff
 

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The splotches appeared with both inputs 480i upconverted via component-1 and DVI input at 720p from the Bravo. Gamma is currently set to 2. I haven't tried changing gamma with this scene, i'll do it tonight.


I've referred to the Secrets site for the Chroma error too, and it looks like my pioneer doesn't have the chroma bug ! I've tried REAL hard but there are no streaks or jagged edges in the red areas. I even checked chap 4, scene with the red microphone but it seems just fine. Since the MPEG decoding takes place inside the player, i would assume the Faroudja DCDi plays no part in removing the CUE. Someone correct me if am wrong. Anyways, i am not going to try anymore :)


You can check out this site too:
http://twentysix.net/HLM507W/artifacts/

I am going to try the THX optimode test today. I did check it many times for a one-to-one comparision with the 2 DVD players but not for the rainbow effect.


-Nivas
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by srinivos



You can check out this site too:
http://twentysix.net/HLM507W/artifacts/

I am going to try the THX optimode test today. I did check it many times for a one-to-one comparision with the 2 DVD players but not for the rainbow effect.


-Nivas
Yep, already been there. I see rainbows all the time when there is a dark picture. They do not appear to be any more pronounced depending on the video source. That is to say, it's a TV thing, not a DVD player, set top box, or resolution issue. The color wheel method is the color wheel method. Nothing you can do abou it. It's not that big of a deal to me. I can put up with it with little problem if only I could solve all the other issues.


Thanks,

Jeff
 

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Hi guys!

To see the Chroma bug look at the tite page/ menu page for either toy story or chicken run. I have a well tweaked HLM507 and HAD a Sony DVD715. Like the shootout website warns: once you see the bug there is no turning back. It is true. So now I have the XP30. If someone asked about the bug on the Bravo I believe it has been reported that it's MPEG decoder is bug free.

I know you HLN owners are probably tiered of hearing this but in a way we HLM owners lucked out by having some of the amazing tweakers on this forum set their HLMs up and give us their hard work....the difference between a untweaked HLM and a tweaked one is substanial. I hope you guys have luck figuring out and setting up your HLNs.I am reading your progress with intrest as Samsung may offer us HLM owners the MOTHER of all boards. I am reading to see how you guys are fairing with your set ups.


Good Luck,

Mark
 

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Iceblade,


I had some time to pop in Road to Perdition last weekend and noticed the "clay face" of the oldest son (forget what scene). My wife noticed it right away. I was using a Pioneer DV-47A DVD player set to interlaced output connected to component input #1 of the HLN617. I paused the movie, changed DVD player to progressive and still had the color banding although it didn't seem as bad. Imagination?? After changing cables to component #2 the color banding was gone.


Stan
 

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Iceblade, have you really tested the Gamma setting of 4?.


I tried the ones between 0 and 5 and I think 0 really had color banding issues. 5 was a bit darker. I ended up at the factory default of 4 and have not had any of those issues. The only changes I made were some of the user menus. I think I'm actually using Dynamic and Warm 2.


My only complaint might be the lack of some detail in the dark scenes, otherwise my 5065 via digital cable and via a SA Tivo looks good on most channels. Guess I'm in the minority - and no I'm not blind ;)
 

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As I mention on my HLM page, I'm pretty sure that most, if not all instances of color banding/clay face effect are coming from poor source material and are not due to a problem with DLP technology itself. The reason why I believe this is because I have never experienced these problems on any source other than DVD, and since I've upgraded my DVD player from a cheapo samsung model to the Panasonic XP30, the instances of seeing it even from DVD have gone down dramatically.


I have just conducted a little experiment to try to illustrate what I'm talking about, from the DVD scene in question, but before I even get started with this, I want to say that The Matrix is *NOT* a good movie to use to calibrate your TV with! The entire movie (be design) has a yellow/green cast to it. Fleshtones should not look natural because they've been altered! And if you do adjust your TV so that you get natural tones from this movie, well, you'll push everything else you watch into the red/magenta zone.


Now let me explain what I did. I started out by grabbing this frame using PowerDVD on my computer. I figured this would be the cleanest way to see exactly what is on the DVD. Then I took the frame and enlarged it to 1280x720 (the native resolution of the TV). The reason I did this was because any problems with the image will likely be exacerbated by the scaling done in within the TV, and I have decided to simulate that here. I then cropped it down to just Trinity's face, since we don't need the whole frame for this demonstration.

http://twentysix.net/HLM507W/artifac...ixclayface.jpg


Here's how I interpret what I see here:

ORIGINAL - This is the image exactly as it is encoded on the DVD, except with the modifications as described above. Notice how dark it is. Notice how splotchy it already looks. When the image is this dark, there just aren't enough levels of brightness to get any kind of smooth gradients.

GRAYSCALE - This is the original image with color removed. Using the same method I used in my DLP image deconstruction experiment, I've determined that the original image has only *54* levels of brightness in it! That's not a lot to work with!

GAMMA - I've adjusted the gamma of the original image to bring the image into a more visible range that we can look at. I did not reduce or increase the levels of brightness in the image, I simply shifted them all into a brighter range. Again, it's pretty obvious that there's a lot of splotchiness in the source material.

GRAYSCALE+GAMMA - This is the lightened image with color removed. I made this to verify that the lightened image still has exactly 54 levels of brightness (thus showing I have not added or removed any shades), and it does.


Now I'm willing to bet that DVD players with inferior MPEG decoders will only make this lack of definition worse, with additional gradient banding of their own.


So again, I stand by my original theory that the "clay face" effect is not a limitation of DLP technology, but rather, caused by poor source material.


Are some TV's better at showing dark scenes than others? I bet they are, but they still can't help what's in the source. Maybe other TV technologies are "smoothing over" the splotchiness with their less-sharp imaging technologies? But I'm betting that if you're seeing splotchiness in this scene on your TV, it's coming from the actual DVD (or the player) and is not anything being added by the TV itself.


The light "grid" visible on the grayscale images I am willing to bet has something to do with the fact that MPEG compression stores color information at a lower resolution than the actual image.


So again, please check the source material (and the actual source equipment) before you start blaming the TV, and for pete's sake, don't use The Matrix (or any other movie that has purposely had the colors modified) to calibrate your TV for color!
 

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Sting, nice work and thanks for the post!


How about adding it to your website? I have your site bookmarked so that I can refer friends to it :)
 

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I would have to agree that the trouble many seem to be are having with their DLP's or other display types is really due to hyper-scrutiny (at close viewing distances) of the picture when the source is not perfect. For example, even on my relatively small 27" Sony analog tube TV (which has a really nice picture), our digital cable channels clearly have noticeable compression pixelization, especially in darker scenes or images with subtle shading gradations. This happens due to the bandwidth limitations of the cable system, which requires that the hundreds of signals being sent out over the coax be compressed so that they will all fit. Analog cable channels from the same digital cable box do not have a noticeable compression problem, but their quality depends on how good the signal is from each of the network feeds. The digital cable channels look cleaner and better defined than the analog channels (the way DVD's look obviously better than VHS), but they suffer from some encoding compression flaws. DVD's also have digital encoding compression issues (some more than others) because the file sizes for a two hour movie can be very, very large and have to be compressed to fit. So, there will be some noticeable flaws in almost any source material due to the limitations of the transmission method or storage medium being used. Plus, every televison and film production company uses a staggering variety of equipment and methods to film, edit, master and transfer their projects for consumer use, so the quality of what you will get from a broadcast, cable network or DVD will run the gamut from very poor to unbelievably good. Not to mention that consumer DVD players also vary in quality - for example, the scalers in cheaper progressive DVD players usually are not very good. Sorry for the long post, but if you scrutinize anything closely enough you will certainly find some flaws.
 

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Originally posted by Iceblade

Hey guys,


Just got done doing an experiment with the Gamma settings on my HLN617W. Here's what I did.


Popped "The Matrix" into my old interlaced Toshiba SD-3109 DVD player connected via component cables to Comp 1.





My 2 cents:


I read somewhere that the Matrx is not a great source to do any kind of tweaking. The Matrix source contains intentional green tinting throughout the movie.


I've got my heart set on an HLN as soon as my dealer gets his hands on one. I'm also going to purchase either the Bravo or Sammy931 DVD. Hopefully I can pop in my AVIA disk and bring out the true picture in this puppy!
 

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Iceblade, interestingly, I have the HLN617W AND the Toshiba SD-3109 as well. I still see color banding on it. So, chances are that yours is not a lemon.


Sting, I think your theory relating color banding and source quality is something to consider. I have not seen color banding with an HDTV signal, only with DVD.
 

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I think if you search for posts started by FTLEE from about a year or so ago you'll find some pics of LOTR with the banding. I thought tweaking the set reduced it in all by the brightest of pictures.


This is frustrating. At this point all I have guaranteed is buyers remorse.

:(
 

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Quote:
for pete's sake, don't use The Matrix (or any other movie that has purposely had the colors modified) to calibrate your TV for color!
I couldn't agree more. While The Matrix may have been one the best DVD releases when it first appeared, it hardly holds up today--those of us with front projector set-ups shooting on 100" screens have known this for a while. I can tell you that when I first got my pj, I was shocked at just how poor the transfer of The Matrix was. I haven't seen this color banding/clay faces issue on Samsung DLP sets myself--I don't own one--but I've seen similar phenomena on different discs from time to time in my set-up. Off the top of my head, I can think of Blade as one such disc (I don't remember the chapter number, but if anyone's interested I will post it tonight).


I suspect that these DLP TVs are simply less forgiving of any flaws either in the source material or any component in the signal chain--most likely the source material. At any rate, I've been following this thread with great interest because I'm moving and will likely have to give up my pj :( I have to say that what I've read and seen so far is inclining me to sit tight and wait out the summer.
 
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