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Discussion Starter #1
To all,


It seems that the original Radeon 8500 display driver had a problem with the Gamma controls which has been reported on this site.


Today ATI posted an "alternate" driver which includes smoothvision support (a fancy name for advanced anti-aliasing in 3D). That same driver should resolve the Gamma issue. Note, this is NOT a hardware issue, the HW Gamma support of the Radeon 8500 is substantially improved over the previous Radeon.


We hope this resolves this issue.


The driver can be found at

http://support.ati.com/products/pc/r...&cmdNext=GO%21



Stephen Orr
 

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Thanks Stephen, I'll load up the new drivers today and see if that helps to fix the problem with the gamma. Any word yet on the release of the updated DVD player?I'd love to be able to get the digital passthrough working for DD and DTS. As it stands now the player in 7.2 is unusable for home theater applications. Thanks for keeping an eye on the forum. :)
 

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Stephen,


Thanks for the update. While we're on the subject of Radeon drivers, could you please, please, pretty please look into getting the problem with interlaced overlays in all recent drivers fixed? Version 7093 and earlier of the Win9X support interlaced overlay with some help from PowerStrip, but in all drivers since then for 9x/2K/XP interlaced overlays don't work at all.


I realize that the 'official' position of ATI may be that the Radeon doesn't support interlacing, but we all know that the hardware supports it and the drivers used to support it (with some help from Powerstrip). I'm not necessarily asking for full-blown support of interlacing, but could you at least try to get the limited interlacing support that existing in the earlier drivers restored?


Support for interlacing is a big deal for those of us using RPTV's, because it allows us to obtain higher resolutions than 540p, and it makes a difference in picture quality for DVD playback.


Thanks,
 

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According to Stephen the Radeon 2's will now have higher PQ for DVD than Radeon 1's using these new drivers. Can someone please confirm?
 

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It would be nice to see some reviews which talk about it's DVD playback. All the reviews I've seen just point out the obvious as far as games go.
 

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nkanet,


From reading Stephen Orr's post on the top of the page my understanding is that the Radeon 8500 has superior HW gamma support potential over the Radeon. Hopefully this card's potential will release its kinetic energy into the video card industry and the Radeon 8500 will be King. Its obvious that once ATI improves gaming performance with these drivers they will chomp up alot of the market, lets hope that there aren't any parameters there which may collide with our sacred 2D PQ.
 

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I just started playing with the pre-8500 Radeon AIW card. Its user interface for color correction is just AWFUL, IMO, compared to NVidia (or even an earlier AIW I own). Awkward to use, no storage of multiple settings for different displays/screens, etc. I also have a Diamond Viper card in another machine, and its UI is also MILES more friendly. Sure, the Radeon has some good features and HW capabilities, but if they don't make it more user friendly/useful, it's the last ATI card I'll get.
 

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Tried the new drivers 3286 with my 8500 and I still get posterizing with the gamma set at anything other than 0. Unfortunately, every time you load a DVD or switch software players you have to return to the overlay menu under display settings and reset it because the default value is one and it keeps changing back to default. I set all the parameters in the software players(ATI 5.0,PowerDVD XP)to the default values and was using only the overlay adjustments to make the changes.


Cliff, if you happen to still be scanning the forum I'd like to know if you've tried the new drivers and notice any difference in the greyscale. As long as I leave the gamma at 0, I get a very good image,but a little lacking in good black level. With the gamma level changed the overall picture improves but the posterization makes it unwatchable as far as I'm concerned.


Stephen Orr, I didn't notice any difference with the new drivers. Is the revision mainly the addition of smoothvision and does this have any benefit for DVD playback? I see it refered to as an enhancement for 3D(Gaming?)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
To sound a bit like a politician, I started this thread by saying it should fix the problem (even the italics were there.


I (and my team) are up to our eyeballs in a couple of things so we haven't had a chance to try this out ourselves, but I asked around and people were pretty sure a fix for this issue had gone in. Certainly the new driver is a BETTER driver, not only in the 3D area, but overall stability, 2D performance, we improve it every day!
 

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I must say that I found what appear to be, to my eyes, a better overall color balance and tracking with the 8500 vs the Radeon LE, in a quick (as quick as 1 hour between views could be) comparison between the two. So, we shall see, i guess.
 

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Ken:


How do you compare the color balance? With the naked eye? I didn't think anyone's eyes were good enough for that.


Has anyone compared the cards on a scope or colorometer?


- Dave
 

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I feel it is subjectively better, but that may not be true on paper. Who knows? Totally different presentation, to say the least. Valid science inclues subjective analysis as a component of it's makeup, at the very least.


As soon as the subjective analysis leaves the field, there is very little chance for the science in question -as a avenue of pursuit- to remain valid.


As for testing the 8500 card out, in a shoot out scenario, well, only if the gamma is correct. Is it? no-one seems to know for sure. i was going to do it last night, but this is what happened.


From another thread:


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Sorry about that guys. I am as of -today- quitting my fulltime job to get back to doinbg what Ilove best.. doing things like the card modifications. To give you an idea, last night I was supposed to put my 8500 Radeon Card in the HTPC, to test it out,and compare to my modifed LE card. I could do that.. or... finish putting together a pair of prototype D'appolito (MTM) (woofer-tweeter-woofer) speakers (will sell in the $6-7k range) two-way speakers..and hear them with an electronic cross over for the first time. The speakers have the potential to trash the $20k+ protptype's in the room, and.. apparently... They Do!


So, you can guess which job won out. Man these speakers sound good.

So, I'm using custom wiring, on custom amps, with custom Bryston Crossover,and custom stands, with custom acoustics..and kick ass prototype speakers. Mmm.. Mmm... good.


The Radeon takes a back seat to that, for the moment

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I said earlier in this thread that we had not had a chance to replicate the issue in our labs to prove that the posted drivers solve the problem.


That is no longer the case. Under Windows XP we installed the "In the box" Radeon 8500 driver (7.60) and reproduced the problem, then we installed the driver from the Web (7.63.01) and the problem was resolved.


Now, Clark didn't talk about what OS he was using so our test isn't a 100% correlation. This is what Clark said

Quote:
Tried the new drivers 3286 with my 8500 and I still get posterizing with the gamma set at anything other than 0. Unfortunately, every time you load a DVD or switch software players you have to return to the overlay menu under display settings and reset it because the default value is one and it keeps changing back to default. I set all the parameters in the software players(ATI 5.0,PowerDVD XP)to the default values and was using only the overlay adjustments to make the changes.
We tested using the Overlay Gamma control in the ATI Player (DVD 5.0) which we recommend for controlling DVD playback using ATI's player. Also, when upgrading from a previous driver it would be a VERY good idea to completely uninstall the previous driver and sanitize the registry to ensure no old Gamma stuff is lying around. At any rate - we consider the issue resolved. (Unless you guys can prove me wrong).


Stephen Orr
 

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Ok Stephen, i'll give it a try again. A friend is waiting to scam my LE card out from under me, so I have to make the switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Responding to JKohn


I understand what you want, but have little direct control over that area of the drivers. The best I can say at this point is


1) I will lobby for the interlaced support to "go back in"

2) I will try to ensure that the 8500 component out work allows the older Radeon to get more HTPC freindly modes enabled.


Neither of these will happen quickly however.


Stephen
 

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Below is my previous posted report for the 3281 drivers under WinXP. The 3286 drivers have the exact same grayscale problems as posted. The only improvement with the 3286 drivers is that vertical or horizontal scrolling text is now very smooth. Of course smoothmotion does nothing for combing and aliasing on video source material.


As a side note after installing the 3286 drivers WinXP has become slightly unstable causing some programs to shut down. I never had this problem with the original XP supported drivers. I did a clean install of the 3286 drivers.

â€Based on Kazushi’s comment that the unsupported 3281 drivers did not cause WinXP to crash I installed them and spent the last 5 hours testing (visual & scope) the ATI 8500 card for DVD playback. You will be glad to know that ATI has made some progress with the drivers and the hardware is not defective.


The grayscale ramp is no longer segmented and the posterization (gross banding) is gone for the most part. As usual the advanced color control settings do not stick and have to be reset each time you start a DVD. I could not find any settings in the registry for the color controls. Perhaps the ATI player needs to be installed for the registry settings to be recorded and stick, I did not do that because Kazushi said the player caused WinXP to crash. The Gamma correction factor is better but not perfect. When you increase the Gamma correction to normal levels that we have been using it pulls down the peak white level voltage from 700 mV to 640 mV and also puts a kink in the ramp at ~ 90 IRE. This means that the Gamma correction formula is not implemented correctly and/or the color lookup table is not responding correctly for the overlay. The end points at 0 mV and 700 mV should not be effected when applying a gammaâ€
 

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Stephen,


Thanks for responding on the interlacing issue, at least I know there's some hope. I'll stop bugging you about it for a little while. :)
 
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