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Discussion Starter #1
I've spent a little time (the last two evenings) fooling around with writting a Windows driver for the Panasonic DVI card for the 6UY series. I have, what I think, is a working copy for a 50" HD unit (it's the one I have) but I need someone who's lost all hope with a similar configuration to help me test it.


It might screw up your Windows XP and your plasma may come to a boil but then again, it might work :) Any volunteers? I only want one for now.


You MUST have:

- Windows XP

- Panny 50" 6UY kooked up through DVI

- DVI blade

- Powerstrip NOT installed or played with (if possible)

- lost all hope of this working and ready to re-install Windows XP.

- Any ATI Radeon card, I think. I have a 9700 Pro and it works.


I've built in the 37", 42" ED and 42" HD resolutions also but I'm not touching them until a stable 50" version works. I have two resolutions that work for the 50" but I'm not sure which one is better. I'm hoping you can help me out in recommending which one because you CAN'T do 1366x768 (at least not without Powerstrip and I can't get that to go either).


The first person to post here that's interested in testing it, please PM me your email address and I'll send the driver file and make up some instructions.


If this works, I'll have a 42" HD person try it to see if it will work and so on until they all work. I'll then make it available here.


Thanks,

Santo
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Quote:
Originally posted by orogogus
not that I can help you test, but is the version of catalyst driver important as well?
Good question! I dunno. I'm using the latest Catalyst drivers. The driver shouldn't matter and I'm hoping that this monitor driver will work on any video card but I need to test out with someone that's got a similar setup for now.


Santo
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Quote:
Originally posted by orogogus
so catalyst 4.1 then?
I had 3.9 and I thought that was the most recent :) They much change drivers like underwear over there. I'm downloading it and trying it now. If it doesn't work, I'll post back.


Edit: Once I installed the new driver, those modes went away. It's back to the drawing board :( Once I have something, I'll post again.


Santo
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, looks like you need a little more then the monitor driver by itself. Re-installing the new ATI drivers wiped out registry entries that Powerstrip added for different non-standard resolutions. I'll have to figure out what registry entries that PowerStrip puts into the video driver and if the registry GUID is the same for different manufacturers. Seems to be so for monitors. If not, it will be ATI only. I'm thinking it's just one registry entry per resolution mode but that would be too easy. I wonder if the structure of the resolution entries are different for each video card manufacturer?


For now, Powerstrip is only used for adding these resolution entries into the video driver. These entries include the freqencies and pixel clock information. If I can figure out what it does, all entries should be the same for each resolution.


Let's see what I can figure out this weekend.

Santo
 

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I flashed the BIOS on my DVI blade and still had to tweak the registry settings of the new ATI drivers to accept 856x480x60Hz. It works great now--I have 1:1 pixel mapping for desktop, and games automatically recognize it as a native resolution. Briefly got 1366x768x57Hz working, but as I have an ED panel it sure didn't look any better.


The problem is the DVI blade misreports the available plug-and-play resolutions to Windows, and I'm not sure any driver can override this--are you sure the image is not being scaled to 1024x768 and then back by the Panny?. There was a post in another forum explaining this was exactly what Powerstrip did with the DVI blade. You can check 1:1 mapping with this utility, or use it to adjust display width until alternating 1-pixel lines are perfect: Nokia monitor test patterns


After looking at some $700 eprom flashing tools I finally just built my own custom one that let me flash the DVI blade without desoldering anything, and I put in my own desired resolutions.


I am using a 9700 All-In-Wonder, and have never used Powerstrip, because before I got the DVI blade the older Catalyst drivers already had those resolutions for VGA. DVI looks a *lot* better than VGA even with a short 3' VGA cable--I think because of the way Panny does "enhancement" processing to all analog inputs.

Halo for PC, any Unreal-based game, and the Serious Sams look awesome in widescreen with 6x anti-aliasing!
 

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Powerstrip's forum includes panny 50" timings:

http://www.entechtaiwan.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=394


I haven't tried those, but I've had pretty good luck with my settings:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...72#post2900372


these work fine for me at 1368x768 when I adjust the panny screen by a couple pixels.


Given this, I'm not sure what the big win is for developing a driver that tries to do what powerstrip already does. If it's just an ease of use thing, maybe a script that does an initial auto-configuration of powerstrip with these timings would be easiest. (Perhaps just unpack the candidate timings into pstrip.ini, then auto-run powerstrip and have the user select the resolution that most closely matches their panny's native resolution).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Bcc,


I understand why you would wonder why anyone would bother creating a monitor driver for the Panny plasmas because it can be done without it by using Powerstrip. The reason for the "driver" is so that you wouldn't have to use Powerstrip. From my understanding so far, Powerstrip puts in a couple of registry entries and you're all set to go. A monitor inf file should also be able to do this and is a much simpler way of making the appropriate registry changes for those who aren't too keen on messing around with Powerstrip. It's also an easy way to re-install the changes when you upgrade your drivers. This is what happened on my first stab at it.


As I see it, you only need a driver to install the closest thing to native screen resolution possible, and nothing else. The 42" HD model is fine because the DVI blade has no trouble doing 1024x768 but setting up Windows to do 842x480 or 1366x768 becomes tricky. I tried setting up the driver for all the modes listed for the DVI blade that the manual states but everything but native resolution will scale anyway, so the only real resolution anyone would want should be true native resolution.


Unfortunately, I've tried all sorts of resolutions and settings and 1024x768 still looks clearer then anything close to native resolution because ATI cards can't do 1366 pixels wide. My next experiment was to try 1920x1080 and see what the plasma's internal scaler would do because it's doing a fine job of scaling 1024x768.


The closest resolutions to native that I have so far for the DVI blade for a 50" HD Panny is 1368x768 and 1376x774. Both of them are a little fuzzy so I have a little more playing around to do.


Anyone's input is much appreciated. My DVI blade was dated January 2004 on the box, so I don't know if the rumour about new DVI blades with fixes coming is true.


BFG9000,


I'm using the Nokia monitor test program and it reports whatever resolution I can get to work. That is a GREAT piece of software :)


Santo
 

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snuci,


I have a very similar setup with my 50" Pany and would be happy to test your driver out. Like bcc I got my setup using PowerStrip, but wasn't completely happy with the picture so fell back to using analog and left the DVI blade for connection to my Comcast box. I have since reconfigured my computer so no PowerStrip info remains.


BFG9000,


OK, you have my interest. Can any regular guy flash the bios or is this something that needs a lot of special technology that only electronics experts have access to? All the stuff we have to do just seems so much of a kludge given how much we each paid for our systems. I would like to be able to fix it once and for all.


Thanks!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by snuci


Unfortunately, I've tried all sorts of resolutions and settings and 1024x768 still looks clearer then anything close to native resolution because ATI cards can't do 1366 pixels wide. My next experiment was to try 1920x1080 and see what the plasma's internal scaler would do because it's doing a fine job of scaling 1024x768.


The closest resolutions to native that I have so far for the DVI blade for a 50" HD Panny is 1368x768 and 1376x774. Both of them are a little fuzzy so I have a little more playing around to do.

What you are saying is that you don't have true pixel perfect setup otherwise 1368x768 would have looked just as clear as 1024x768.


bcc, your setting are no good either, same goes for powerstript forum setting.


George
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by norushnomore


bcc, your setting are no good either, same goes for powerstript forum setting.


George
How so? To me, my 1368x768 DVI settings with powerstrip are clearer than any VGA connection I've seen. I can read text on the display no problem from 7 feet away. The text has a somewhat fuzzy look when viewed via VGA, not present when viewed via DVI. Admittedly I can't see a clear winner between DVI and VGA when viewing a DVD. But when viewing a DVD, my progressive scan consumer dvd player looks just as nice as well.


The behavior I see when adjusting timing parameters with powerstrip (such as overscan) leads me to believe that the panny is not doing any scaling. You seem to be suggesting otherwise.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bcc
How so?
Try 1024x768 via DVI and make sure you have all Win XP tricks disabled

(like smooth edges of the screen fonts option) then go back 1368x768 and compare.


Also when you have it pixel perfect you cannot toggle between normal and full modes.


Then it could be that your DVI card is diffent from the one I have

(both of them actually, I got two, one for Voom and another for my HTPC)

and you are indeed getting a perfect pixel match (I am running ATI Radeon 9600 XT, another potential factor)


I got 1280x720 working great via DVI, good enough for now. Semi perfect as it flips into true widescreen mode without any scaling.

I am speculating this might be even better for DVD playback then having HTPC output in native resolition and do the non-standard scaling to 1368x768.


George
 

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IslandGuy: Please see the Other thread in HTPC forum . Note I have a 9700proAIW and not an 8500, though bcc has both an 8500 and a 9600 and seemed to get powerstrip to work ok.


snuci: Did you use the Nokia program to adjust the display width of the Panny while at 1368x768? Shouldn't be fuzzy at all if there is no scaling. My blade is dated December, 2003 and only had 640x480, 800x600, and 1024x768 settings in the BIOS until I added 856x480 and 1368x768.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
BFG9000,


I'd be willing to experiment with reprogramming the DVI blade if the chip is socketted on the blade and I can make a different copy. Is this the case? I have an Needham's EMP11 eeprom programmer that does lots of chips. Do you know the chip type?


Another note that struck me was the reference to "4D" and not "6D". I would assume they cannot be the same because this firmware would include HDCP support. Hrmmm.... that could be interesting for previous Panny DVI blade owners :)


I have a 50" so I could test out your 1368x768. If you have the instructions, PM me and I'll try them, if you would like.


To answer your question, I can also read my text in both modes I specified but 1024x768 is razor sharp. 1368x768 give a slightly softer look. I equate this to not being exactly right. It looks no where near a bad as an LCD display at non-native resolution, for example. I didn't see anything that couold be adjusted within the Nokia program. My DVI blade is


Norushmore,


Thanks for your observation about "pixel perfect" and not being able "to toggle between normal and full modes" when it's correct. This will ensure that I am correct with my settings but can you ever get pixel perfect with 1368x768 when the panel is 1366x768? I will play with 1280x720 also. The scaler is very good in the Panny and if you throw it a common resolution, I think it does a fantastic job as opposed to a resolution that's off by a couple of pixels. That's why I don't think we'll ever get 1366x768 with ATI cards.



Santo
 

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snuci: Unfortunately the chip is soldered onto the blade board so if you have experience with hot-air soldering equipment ... It is a very small serial SmBus FM24C03U chip.


If you use the alternating vertical lines part of the Nokia program, you can then use the Panny remote to adjust display width until you have overscanned 1 pixel on each side and viola!--the moire goes away. It will be very obvious when you have pixel-perfect. Overscan is just that-you lose a pixel on each side so that all the remaining ones line up perfectly with the panel cells.


The Panny is definitely scaling at 1024, and probably also scaling at 1368 when using Powerstrip. You will not be able to get pixel-perfect if there is any scaling going on.


As far as I can tell there is no HDCP mentioned in software, so it is probably implemented in hardware.
 

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BFG, did you get a chance to try the BIOS flash for the DVI blade on 50"? I looked at the other thread, and I have to say I'm intrigued. It also sounded like this won't be fixed by panny any time soon (although I can't imagine it's hard to do if you already hacked a work-around for the ED resolution), which sucks. You'd think they'd be interested in putting in WS resolutions instead of 'standard' PC resoutions for the DVI blade, being how their panel is WS and all... Of course, what resolution to put in is critical since all video cards aren't created equal in terms of what they can output.
 

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BFG9000: Thanks for sending the link to the other thread. Sounds like you may have already gotten a chance to test out on a 50". I sent you a PM and would be happy to be a tester if you don't already have things running. Please let me know.


Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
In the ATI Catalyst drivers, there's a registry entry for the EDID of the Panny plasma. I changed it to be the same as BFG's EDID (if he used the same one as BertG did at the Avforums site but the driver will not pick it up. If I can find a reg entry to make it use the EDID in the registry and not the one from the monitor itself, then you shouldn't have to change anything.


The EDID in the registry does not get overwritten each time that the PC boots up so it might be doable. I just can't understand why the EDID info would be in the registry if it's not used. There's a registry entry called "DALRULE_GetTVFakeEDID" but I've had no luck. Could it be something close?


Failing this, if the Panny DVI blade could be programmed through the DVI connector while in circuit, this could be an option too. I just need an EDID editor now because I couldn't find any info besides basic info and can't create an EDID.


The quest continues....

Santo
 
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