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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve had the 4800 firmware loaded on my projector for about 5 months now. I really like it. I don’t really need the effect button, so I don’t mind loosing it. After loading the 4800 firmware, I was amazed by the picture: more natural and vibrant colours, less crushing whites. Also, the screen door seemed less apparent. I feel that I can sit closer to the screen without seeing the pixels or that I can enlarge the picture for a more immersive experience. I know that the screen door can’t be less or more apparent, but that’s what I perceive, subjectively at least.


With the 4800 firmware, I felt that the only calibration required was minor contrast and brightness touch-ups using DVE. To my eyes, the picture seemed far better than what I got with the X1 firmware after calibration with DVE or after trying the various settings proposed here on AVS Forum (even the ones obtained with ColorFacts that have been very popular here). Again, this impression is a very subjective one and I am aware that other posters have reported that there is no significant difference between the 4800 and the X1 firmware after calibration. May be there is more than just better gamma correction on the 4800 firmware; may be there is also a better grey scale tracking.


By the way, the people feeding the X1 with a component progressive signal using a regular hardware DVD player probably don’t have access to hue and saturation controls, so, in that context, the use of the 4800 firmware would make sense. Better picture out of the box.


Using a computer with VMR9, I have been able to use many test patterns found on the Internet (which I can’t use with Overlay). To know about those tests, see this thread http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...readid=348226.


After more than two hundred hours spent on reading and calibrating with those tests, I came to the conclusion that the 4800 firmware provides very close to accurate colours. The various tests for calibrating the separate red, green and blue gamma consistently indicate that. The only thing I noticed, is that the RGB simultaneous gamma setting had to be fine-tuned. Out of the box, the picture is a bit darker than it should be. Not much though. The gamma is closer to 2.5 than to 2.2. But take all this information with a grain of salt. This was eye calibration done by a non-expert with tests patterns that could be biased (although I tend to get the same results with different test patterns). Without a colour analyzer it is impossible to be a 100 per cent accurate. Side note: using DVE on both VMR9 and Overlay, and after having calibrated only the brightness and the contrast, the colours look virtually the same.


On the other hand, using DVE and the red, green and blue filters, the colour test patterns reveal that the 4800 firmware has colour errors. This does not reflect the results I obtained with the various gamma test patterns found on the Internet (which tend to give me the same results). I don’t know which tests are accurate (DVE or Internet). But I know that I have never been satisfied with the colours I obtained with DVE. The closer I get to the optimal DVE colour settings, the pinker and the more unnatural the picture is. I tried DVE with my computer monitor, the sreenplay firmware, the X1 firmware and my brother’s NEC LT 160. All these show colour errors according to DVE. And on all these I get very pink and unnatural flesh tones after calibration. I am more satisfied with the tests found on the Internet. Again, this can very well be a subjective impression. My assumption is the following: could the RGB filters provided with DVE be inaccurate? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that they are inaccurate, I am only assuming that they could be. Please anyone, feel free to confirm or refute that assumption. What is your experience regarding this issue? I’m really curious. For DVE’s defence, I know that at least one poster here reported that his projector’s colours (LU300) were dead on using DVE. So I don’t kwon what to think. May be I just don’t like the NTSC standard colours.


The best way to calibrate the colours with DVE would be to avoid using the filters and instead turn off the red, green and blue colour inputs for calibration of one colour at a time. This would prevent the issue of dealing with inaccurate filters. Unfortunately, I cannot do that on my system without affecting the grey scale. By the way, the ability to correct the colour decoder errors with the X1 would be great. Infocus should provide R-Y and B-Y controls. The NEC LT 160 has those controls but I haven’t been able to correct the colour errors with the DVE filters. The closer I get to the standard DVE colours, the more unnatural the colours look. Unfortunately, I could not turn off the red, green and blue inputs on my brother’s system (LT 160). So I could not try to calibrate without the DVE filters and see for myself how accurate colours would look.


Sorry for this long post. This is an account of my own subjective and non-expert experience with firmware and colour calibration. This is also an account of my naïve understanding of colour tweaking. In the end, I find that trying to obtain accurate settings can be very depressive. Knowing all that, what I would do now is very simple. I would spend more money and buy a projector that has accurate settings, if such a thing exists. People report that the NEC HT 1000 has very accurate colour and gamma settings.


I hope some people will find some benefit reading my post.
 

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Very interesting post. I can certainly believe that colors could be much better, but can't possibly imagine how a software change could improve screendoor. (it's NEVER an issue for me anyway, just curious).


Also, if you lose the effect key, how do you change aspect ratio? I map the effect key to that and programmed it on my learning remote, would be a pain to have to go to a menu every time I changed from sat to dvd.
 

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Bartok,

I have an X1 and can not use the VE blue filter to adjust the color or the colors would be way off. My guess is that it has to do with the filter colors of the color wheel in the projector. I'm tempted to try the 4800 software if it will make an improvement. Did you use the individual color bias and gain controls to tweak the gray scale tracking?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your reply.


I totally agree with you. A firmware cannot reduce the screendoor since the screendoor effect is a consequence of the empty space between micro-mirrors. Still, subjectively, I perceived a less apparent screendoor with the 4800 firmware. May be it’s only because it provides a better balance between the white level and the gamma curve, resulting in more nuanced whites on the screen (as you know, screendoor is more visible in bright scenes). In my case, the reduced visibility of the screendoor was noticeable in the credits or white titles with the 4800 firmware. Again, it’s probably the effect of a better gamma curve that reduced the subjective perception of the screendoor for me. Anyway, that’s how I rationalize the subjective impression I have.


As for effect key, I keep my projector in 4:3 mode and let my HTPC do the necessary scaling, as recommended in Technut’s FAQ sheet. I keep my computer at a 800x600 resolution. But I have to say that I tried the 16:9 mode on my projector with anamorphic DVDs (by unchecking the “keep aspect ratio†function in my software DVD player) and could not see any difference. 4:3 (with keep “aspect ratio†checked) or 16:9 (with keep “aspect ration†unchecked) look virtually the same to my eyes. I tried very hard to see a difference but could not.


I agree with you, if I had to constantly switch aspect ratios, I would want to keep the effect key and stick with the X1 firmware.
 

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I agree, I loaded the 4800 firmware (very easy), kept the settings at default, and still got better results than my calibrated X1 settings. I have a 16:9 screen and my HDTV box is set to 16:9 780p so I don't need any effect button to switch aspect ratios. I'm happy with the 4800 firmware i'm i'm sticking with it.


-d
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
(I use the projector in film mode with the warmest colour temperature for film DVDs.)


timf98,


When I calibrate on Overlay, I simply use DVE and adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation and tint with the Overlay controls of my graphic card (NVIDIA GEForce 4) as explained in DVE. I also fine-tune the brightness and contrast on the projector. I do not touch the grey scale (RGB controls) since there is no way of calibrating the grey scale without specific calibrating tools and test patterns. DVE certainly does not provide that, which is strange because it would be useful for component DVD players and displays. I have to assume a correct tracking of the grey scale by my projector and video card. Any eye calibration here would harm the correct color of grey.


When I calibrate on VMR9, the saturation, tint and hue controls don’t apply anymore. So it is a different story. I use the colour controls of my graphic card (not the Overlay controls) or PowerStrip. What you have is separate/simultaneous red, green and blue controls for each brightness, contrast and gamma control. For example, for the contrast, you can either modify the RGB channels separately or simultaneously (same for brithness and gamma). Three grey scales one on top of another.


Here you have no choice, you have to do some grey scale calibration, but there are a lot of test patterns for doing that on the Internet (see link in my first post for this thread). Here’s a description of what I did (I’m simply repeating what I wrote in other posts): I think the easiest way to proceed for a basic calibration without a color analyzer is to set your black point using the brightness control and changing the three RGB channels simultaneously. Than adjust your white point using the contrast control and changing the RGB channels simultaneously. Finish the calibration by setting the R, the G and the B gamma separately with the gamma patterns found on the Internet. I haven’t been able to find test patterns on the Internet for calibrating the separate RGB channels for contrast and brightness. So again here, I have to assume that the default calibration of my projector and graphic card is correct. With the screenplay firmware, the individual gamma controls for red, green and blue seem to be accurate with the default settings (film + warmest). Only minor touch-ups for contrast, brightness and gamma (the three RGB channels modified simultaneously) are necessary. That’s very easy.


Conclusion: you load the screenplay firmware and get a pretty accurate picture out of the box. You fine-tune (just a few notches) with DVE for contrast and brightness, and you’re all set.


I find your comment about the colour wheel very interesting. If the colour wheel is not accurate, than I guess it would be impossible to obtain perfect colour settings. But still, I don’t understand why the patterns on the Internet would indicate correct colours and the patterns of DVE would indicate wrong colours for the same settings. Again, I’m doing eye calibration and perfect accuracy is impossible. So my perception can very well be biased or unreliable.


Side note regarding possible colour wheel errors: I noticed that the colour of red on my brother’s NEC LT160 seems to be off. When I display a full-red picture with DVE, the colour tends to shift towards orange. I believe if the primary colours of the projector are inaccurate, than it is impossible to obtain accurate colours by mixing them. May be the X1 has the same problem with blue; but it is not as noticeable. After having compared both projectors after calibration, I would say that colour wise, the X1 with the 4800 firmware has all in all better colours than the NEC. Don’t get me wrong, the colours on the NEC are very nice but in my opinion I prefer the X1 (very subjective comment here). But of course the NEC has other advantages, like higher resolution, sealed optics, more colour controls, higher lumen output, etc. The picture is much smoother, more refined and brighter on the NEC.


Sorry again for this long post.


:eek:
 

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Your post has me recosidering the x1 versus the Benq 6100. It is encouraging to know that a firmware upgrade can make a difference. Thanks for the post. I can get the X1 at a discount from the place I work so that along with this upgrade could sway me.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by getme
Your post has me recosidering the x1 versus the Benq 6100. It is encouraging to know that a firmware upgrade can make a difference. Thanks for the post. I can get the X1 at a discount from the place I work so that along with this upgrade could sway me.
I love the X1. Overal its a good buy. It has long standing support on these boards.
 

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Could anyone who has done this and has the files required please pm or email me...


thanks

Miles
 

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Elnino,


many thanks!!


Miles
 

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I'm a bit confused. If both machines are the same can the 4800 firmware "unlock" hidden qualities in the machine the X1 firmware is limited to?


Or - is it the 4800 firmware just looks better out of the box without as much adjustment? Can I still get there with the X1 without the tweak?
 

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Is it easy to change back o the origininal X1 firmware if I don't like the 4800 firmware? Does the firmware update program have a save feature for the current firmware before flashing?
 

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A number of people have posted that once an x1 has had the 4800 firmware uploaded that the "effect" key on the remote does not work as the 4800 has no effect key.

Will an upgraded x1 work with all the function on the the 4800 remote. If I am not mistaken there is a dedicated button on the 4800 remote for aspect ratio.

If this works then it is just a case of borowing a 4800 remote and copying the codes to a learning remote ! (unless infocus will sell you a 4800 remote)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by DrPoko
A number of people have posted that once an x1 has had the 4800 firmware uploaded that the "effect" key on the remote does not work as the 4800 has no effect key.

Will an upgraded x1 work with all the function on the the 4800 remote. If I am not mistaken there is a dedicated button on the 4800 remote for aspect ratio.

If this works then it is just a case of borowing a 4800 remote and copying the codes to a learning remote ! (unless infocus will sell you a 4800 remote)
Guys.... All these qustions.. The best way to find out is to install the firmware and see for yourself. Its easy to install and uninstall. Just follow technut's firmware FAQ for links to the upgrade which comes with some instruction.
 

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I just upgraded my X1 to the 4800 firmware today. Expecting very little, the difference is almost staggering. The overall look is much smoother, refined and colorful. Thanks for the motivation to pull it down off the wall and take a chance. It was more than worth it to preform the firmware switch as the effect is dramatic.


PS: version 1.4 is posted on the Infocus site for anyone to download.
 
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