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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought I might get this ball rolling.

Mike has been nice enough to let me do a little testing with one of his modified boards. It arrived today!

I will not be installing it until Saturday mourning, as friday night (and Sat mourn) will be used to "remember" several of my favorite scenes.

However I thought I'd give you a basic run down of the new layout.


First there is a new 1.5 X 3 inch daughter board mounted near the back of the main board, just behind the 15 pin output. It has about 40 or 50 components on it, and looks like it picks up it's signals from just in front of where the output filters used to be, then returns the signals to the main board at the output of those filters.

This new daughter board also seems to have it's own power connection using a 18 inch cord and 4 prong connector, with another 1.25X2 inch circut board inline. This board also has many components on it, but is shunk wrapped so it's hard to tell how many...but looking at what I can see from the open ends, it seems to be a power supply with perhaps some filtering???

Alot going on here to be sure!!!

It is first going to be used with my NEC XG110LC...then a few days later with my Ampro 3600.

My HTPC consists of a 1.4 ghz Athlon cpu, Whisper 450 watt power supply and M-Audio 24/96 audio card.

Anyway I will post immediate thoughts this weekend, and more reflective analysis at a later date, when both the NEC and Ampro have had their turns.
 

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I'm interested in your results as I wish to be one of Mike's "customers" too in the near future. Do you have a regular Radeon to compare it to?


Robert
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I'll be removing a standard Radeon 64DDR...so it's apples for apples...and the excellent circumstance to have the 15 pin still on this one.

This way the basic mod it's self can be evaluated. Later the advancement due to correct termination (5 BNC added)


The other reason I'm not doing this until Saturday is because Friday night I've promised to watch Vanilla Sky...I'm a movie lover first...the toys come after...the movies are the reason I have HT :)
 

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KennyG could you give an URL where I can find more information on this mod ?


Keep us informed of your tests.


Thanks


G_ROM
 

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G-ROM:


Check this thread out--pictures towards the middle, page 2:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...n&pagenumber=2


I have a Mike Parker Radeon 7500 card (or should I say, Radeon 7500 Mike Parker Edition?!?) installed in my new HTPC from Digital Connections. I just finished my theater and had Roger Galvin setup my projector (Sony G90) using Mike's modified card. Mike set the output voltage at 0.8, but setting it at 0.7V is as easy as snipping three silver wires on the card. Although 0.8 could be considered a little too hot for a G90 (which expects a solid 0.7V), Roger was happy to leave it at that setting and tweak based on that--he noted that the desktop was especially tight and noise free, with no halos or shadows on text..everything was very crisp. I admitedly have no baseline from which to judge the card on (this being my first HTPC and this HTPC having never seen anything but a Mike Parker 7500 in it), but Roger Galvin (who has done upwards of 400 G90 setups and who is very comfortable around an HTPC) was VERY pleased with the picture.


For what it's worth, there was a *small* picture anomalie visible *only* on some internal G90 setup screens (e.g., cross hatch) when running at 0.8--it amounted to bleed through (similar to what you would see on something like a 1.0V S-Video feed into a G90) in the form of a small top to bottom "waterfall" that appeared about 5/6 the way across the picture (counting from the left). It was about 8" on my 100" screen and it looks like waves shimmering down, top to bottom...kind of like a subtle light white ripple on the black background. Mind you, this was only visible on *certain* internal Sony setup screens (e.g., crosshatch) with the card set to 0.8V and it was a direct result of running the card at 0.8 vs. the standard 0.7 the G90 expected. Being lazy, I decided to leave the card set at 0.8V, since there was no indication of any video abberation on actual source material.


Suffice it to say that I am VERY happy with the modification--and I am constantly pestering Mike to do a similar mod to my HiPix card. In terms of value, Mike's Radeon mod saved me from having to buy something like a Extron RGB 202xi VGA-to-RGBHV interface to feed into my Extron SW 6 AV HR MX switcher (600 MHz)--this was DEFINITELY a cost effective solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A very quick first impression as I'm headed off to an evening of music.


First off the card was a snap to install, opened the HTPC up, swapped cards.

Power HTPC up and let it do it's thing...the ownly thing I had to do was reset my resolution and refresh rate in powerstrip...no big deal.


Now first impressions of the picture...definitely a step forward!


First: the movie Zero Effect, I watched this two nights ago, and while the image was pretty good it has alot of ringing throughout the movie.

After installing the Mike-Mod Radeon it is gone!!! I won't say 100% gone because I haven't watched but about 15 minutes of it, however I selected several scenes, and all the ringing is gone, this picture is much cleaner.

Detail was the same.


Second: From Hell...this is my new Black Level/ Shadow Detail reference, I say those item remain about the same...at this time.


Third: Star Wars Ep1...EE hell for many viewers, and while I don't think it's that bad on my system, it does have some of the worst EE I have ever seen. After having a 15 min look with this new card I can definitely say it's not nearly as bad!

It's still there in many scenes, but it's been "turned down" quite a bit.

Much more pleasing.


This is about the point I've had the card up and running for about 1 hour


Fourth: Gladiator...this is where I started to notice an improvement in fine detail...perhaps this card (like many other electronic components) need a few hours of break-in time.

Detail is getting better!


Gotta run, but my first impression is a very good one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
About your LT150, I don't know...

Can any digital pj do 1080p? Most of them have a native resolution that their internal scalers works at...if you feed it a different resolution wouldn't the internal scaler take over and scale it down? For a digital doesn't the best picture come from sending a native resolution to the pj and bypassing the internal scaler?

Other than a critical viewing every time a friend gets one, I have no real experience with digital pjs.
 

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Just how in the HECK can you "tone down" edge enhancement without softening the image? I'm sorry, but I do not believe edge enhancement can be removed once it's used on an mpeg encoding.


Can you provide screen captures?
 

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Kenny,

I have two concerns that were not mentioned from your first impression. One of the most obvious improvements that has been immediately noticed is tighter and sharper text on the desktop.... The other is a more intense/punchier low noise image.


- What is the cable that you're using and at what length?


I hate the HD15 connector, it tests fine for short distances (3 to 6'), but on long runs it somehow contributes to ringing/banding. I use the same cables Alex use (Belden 1694A), I call it wonder cable, because it actually does wonders.


From my inhouse testing using a Marquee 9500LC as the projector, the Radeon LE and the 32/64DDR boards are low performers in comparison to the 7200/7500, Even the Radeon "powered by" is an excellent performer, I have the 7500 "powered by" in my computer. We've purchased and have tested several Radeon cards with this mod, so far the only cards that I would personally consider HIGH PERFORMANCE would be the 7200/7500. The other cards did very well in sharpness and colors, but lacked punch and depth in detail and were a little too noisey for my taste. The 7200/7500 are true high performers, but cables/connectors are critical here...




Shawn,

primarily the circuit is an electronic filter. It does very well with lowering noise, and it almost eliminates banding, ghosting and ringing, that is why the desktop text is noted to be so sharp and clear. And yes, it produces a clean signal without ANY loss of sharpness. Don't ask!
 

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Shawn,


The modded card produces a sharper, cleaner signal. The edge enhancement in EP1 is a visible halo with a darker edge. Before the mod, the image is softer and more noisy. This produces a softer and fatter edge even on the edge enhancement. With the modded card, the cleaner sharper signal is apparant in a cleaner, tighter edge enhancement. Still very objectional, but not nearly as offensive.


After seeing desktop text without and with the mod respectively, the unmodded text looks like it is in bold compared to the modded text. Think of the edge enhancement being "un-bolded" in episode1 with the modded card.


I hope this helps.

Doug
 

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Hi,


If anyone has a 9" CRT, try a high resolution setting like 1920x960 or 1920x1080. KBK says he sees no EE at high resolutions. Iceman believes the reason may be that the high resolution is creating a low pass filter. Of course, check if the lines of horizontal and vertical resolution are distinct, not overlapping. Here's a link to the Nokia monitor test: http://members.rogers.com/98ngbenj/NOKIATest.zip . Mike, can a a well tuned stock 9" projector do 1920x1080 cleanly or would it have to be heavily modified ala Chris Stephens or KBK?



Ben
 

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Hi Mike,


As you probably know, I have an Ehome 8500LC refitted with 9" LC tubes (from Tim Martin). My setup includes a Radeon 7500 and an Extron RGB 202 plus. Would I get any benefits from your Radeon mod? And more important, are you planning a projector calibration tour anywhere near my area (Rhode Island)? From what I can tell, you would be the perfect person to properly set up my HTPC/DTC 100/Ehome combo, so I would love to get you over here to get the most out of my setup :) I'm basically a do it yourself kind of guy, but I would gladly pay to have you set it up properly and hopefully show me how to maintain your hard work.
 

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Mike,

I am all for marketing and building up demand and I love hearing all the reports of how good it looks but what I would really like to know is some ballpark pricing.



Kevin C. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Shawn I can answer that last question, yes it can be done on a 7200 because that's what I'll be ordering.


Ok I'm done using it on the NEC XG110LC, with KBK paint screen.

I have used Mike's mod'ed card without BNC connectors for two days straight (about 6 hour per day) then put my 64DDR Radeon with output filters removed back in for about 3 hours of "did I see that right?" checking.


I did notice a slightly sharper desktop, not a large jump

Overall colors are slightly more saturated.

Sense of depth seems about the same.


Movies like Zero Effect, Star Wars, and Tombstone benefitted the most, the ringing in Zero Effect completely disappeared (put my old card back in and yes it was back)

It lessened the EE on Star Wars and Tombstone, perhaps proving that some of this EE is worsened by our hardware.


Movies with very good transfer did not show major improvements.

Color saturation was better over all, and minor ringing was removed.

Transfers like: the Pledge, Criterion's the Rock,From Hell, the Fast & the Furious, all saw very minor improvements in the above areas...in other words the minor improvement in text sharpness of the desktop did not translate to motion picture sharpness. (movies are much less demanding focus/sharpness wise)


Gladiator was the one strange movie in this whole thing...this mod'ed card does something to this movie, but for the life of me I can't figure out what it is...it's not sharper, the colors no more improved than any other transfers, this transfer had little or no ringing to begin with...I don't know but for some reason it does look slightly better.


Tonight the NEC comes off the ceiling (for good :() and the Ampro will go up, we will see how the Ampro works with this card!
 

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Bob,

I don't usually do the travel thing, And when I've traveled it has been to repair/correct problem projectors. But for you I'd be willing to come to RI. I remember your E-tech 9500, I'm not great with PC's but I would love a chance to tweak your 9500, plus I could bring a modified 7500.


Shoot me an email!


Kevin,

I'm getting closer. While waiting on accurate pricing and distribution, I've decided to do some more testing. I'm hoping the feedback could make the mod even better before it's distributed.


We're getting closer.... ;)
 

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KennyG,


Why are you taking down your NEC? Just curious.
 

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Hi All:


___Is this mod a simple 2nd, 3rd, 4th or higher order low pass filter mod? The higher order the filtering the flatter the curve will be up to the Ramdac’s high frequency cutoff. Since this is a mod coming in after the original filter install has been removed but at the ~ same place in the circuit, it sure sounds like that is what this is? Anyone care to elaborate?


___As far as the Retail originals and “LE’s†vs. the 7200/7500’s are concerned, this is interesting because the only difference between the cards is the output filtering since they use the exact same cores.


___Thanks


___Wayne R. Gerdes

___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.

___ [email protected]
 
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