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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got the projector yesterday and I played around with it a bit. When it looked good, it looked very good. When it was bad, it looked downright terrible.


Here's what I've noticed:


1) Black level seems very high. I adjusted brightness and contrast using Avia. Brightness is at 32 and contrast is at 93. The projector is in a temporary location and is putting out a picture about 6 feet wide against my wall. When I have my equipment moved, I plan to have a picture 8 feet wide. All my walls are white, the ceiling is white, and the carpet is white.


How much will expanding the picture to 8 feet help the black levels? How much will darkening the room help the black levels? Other than adjusting the brightness and contrast, is there more I can do?


2) Colors: After I got done adjusting color and hue using Avia, I did a quick Munsilization. The colors seemed pretty good, but when I put in some DVD's, I was a little unpleased. On some scenes they looked very good, but on others, not so much. The big problem seemed to be on people's faces. For all I know this was due to the limits of NTSC and MPEG-2 encoding, but some parts of the faces seemed to be a big block of color. I was using the component outputs of a non-progressive DVD player.


Should I be making further adjustments to the projector? Am I just seeing the limits of NTSC? If I can't get an acceptable 8 foot wide picture due to NTSC, I'm just tempted to return the projector.


By the way, the first movie I looked at was Twister, and the opening scene really left me disappointed. I figured that maybe the transfer wasn't that good because it was one of the first DVD's out there, but I put in Men In Black, and it was better, but still not great.


Thanks for any help,

Brian




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Brian
 

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Quote:
some parts of the faces seemed to be a big block of color
Hi Brian,


That sounds like a good case of posterization. Pull up a gray scale pattern in AVIA and see if you can clearly distinguish each of the different colored sections, and that they appear to be equally spaced in the ramp.


I don't know too much about the internals of this projector, but your description sounds like a gamma adjustment is in order. If Munsil's FAQ has any information on adjusting the gamma settings, check that part out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, posterization is exactly what I was trying to describe. I'm going to see what I can do as far as gamma adjustments go.


My other concern is black level - and the projector I also considered getting is the G15... The reason I didn't go that route is that the projector will be the primary viewing device (i.e. I'll use it for watching normal TV) and the bulb cost on the projector, need for a PC, and fan noise on the G15 steered me towards the 10HT.


However, to hear people talk here about the black level on the G15 makes me reconsider that decision. I'm wondering how much of the poor black level I'm seeing is due to the "bright" room that I have. Presumably, with the extra light that the G15 throws, I'll have an even bigger problem with black level until I paint the walls, get a dark rug, paint the ceiling, and get a shadow box. Is that correct?


Thanks again,

Brian


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Brian
 

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Get a gray screen.


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Ken Elliott
 

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Hi Brian,


I'm sure that a lot of folks will tell you that a 10HT / G15 combination isn't quite apples-to-apples. One will cost about twice what the other one will.


For twice the price, I think that you would be quite disappointed if you didn't notice a very substantial improvement in the quality of the picture.


OK, back to the 10HT. I think that it's the better choice if it is going to be your primary television, but you are definitely going to want to fix the posterization (and maybe adjust the black level). I believe that there is a "service menu" or something similar with the projector (you probably know more about it than I do).


I have no doubt that some 10HT gurus will jump in to lend a hand shortly...I'm just trying to help out until they arrive http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif .
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess what I'm trying to drive at is how much will darkening the surroundings increase the perceived contrast? I understand that the real level of black will not decrease unless I get a grey screen, but I want to improve the perceived black level.


I'm going to play around with the bias settings tonight to hopefully improve the black level, and I hope that that will improve the black level to an acceptable level. I'm pretty sure that I'll be able to fix the posterization issues with some harder work on the gain and contrast settings.


A question for the DILA guys... When you are watching a movie that has a bunch of black in it (like stars against the night sky), how close is the black to the inky black of a CRT? Once you lowered the light floor of your room (darkening the walls, ceiling, etc.) did you notice a big improvement in black level? Or was it something a bit more subtle?


Thanks,

Brian


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Brian
 

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I'm not so sure the 11HT has better contrast than the 10HT. The specs by Sony says it does, but one can never take the factory specs at face value. It wouldn't surprise me if the tweaks Sony made are the same things done by a full 'Munsilization' to achieve the better contrast ratio. What a concept for a company to actually have a pj setup correctly for home theater out of the box (if that is what they have done with the 11HT). Part of the improvement of the 11HT are the changes made to keep away the dust blobs and other complaints made by 10HT owners.

You can also find more ways to tweak your 10HT at this web site: http://hometown.aol.com/steve3678/index.html


[This message has been edited by PeterF (edited 05-16-2001).]
 

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Unless I'm misunderstanding what some people are saying about ambient light and black levels, I think I disagree with them.


I don't think lowering the ambient light level is going to make your 10HT's blacks look better. In fact, I think it's going to make them look worse.


It's true that if you lower the ambient light levels the black level on the screen will go down. The problem is, though, that you will then be perceiving the black level of the screen against the surrounding black that is now much darker. This gives a perception of worse black level even if the actual black level is better.


High black levels can be tolerable with lots of ambient light. Lower the ambient light and they stick out like a sore thumb.


Having said that, I wouldn't get disheartened until you've done all you can to tweak the 10HT's black level. According to the people who know (not me), you should be able to get a substantial improvement over the out-of-box black level (by carefully tweaking according to Don Munsil's FAQ). At least enough so that it would be silly to spring the extra bucks for a G15 if your only major complaint is the black level. -- Herb


P.S. If I were you I'd go ask for help in the 10HT forum at www.thebigpicturedvd.com . That's where most of the 10HT experts are hanging out, and they'll be glad to help.



[This message has been edited by hsitz (edited 05-16-2001).]
 

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I would also add (actually, second kelliot's post) that many 10HT owners have said that adding a Grayhawk screen to there setup made a big difference in perceived black levels.


kmartin
 

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I also suggest buying a gray screen. You can get a fixed mount Da-lite high contrast from Cousinsvideo.com for less than 500.00 with shipping. That will solve your black level problem. The first time I saw the Sony projector it was at a dealer who was projecting it onto a white wall. I was not impressed. It was not until I saw the projector being used with a gray screen did I realize how good it could be.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hmm, I had the exact same feeling about the lowering of ambient light - that it would excerbate the black level issue. I'll definitely have to play around with putting up some black sheets and see how much it helps.


The nice thing about the grey screen is that I could use it with a G15 if I decide to go that route. The unfortunate part of the grey screen is that if I decide it doesn't make enough difference, it'll be too late to return the 10HT by that point.


Brian


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Brian
 

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The perception of black level can be improved by raising the ambient light provided that light doesn't also fall on the screen.


With your all white room that could be tricky, but some folks have used a raised screen (off the wall) with string lights behind the screen such that there is a low level of light on the wall surrounding the screen.


Gray screens also help, as others have noted.


Hi-gain screens can help by reducing the amount of ambient light reflected off the screen to your eyes. This is sort of the opposite of the gray screen useful only when high levels of ambient light are washing out the picture.


I too am waiting/hoping for the 11HT. I want the high resolution because I do a lot of HD viewing and the DILAs are just to noisy and expensive to operate.


Frank
 

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Hi

It does not matter if you choose for the G15. Except for the once (!) felt higher price, you will never regret it.

It is not only black levels that is superior, It is much more. Razor sharp perception because of the higher resolution, you will not encounter in the movie theatre, no screendoor effect but pure continuos tone of color. You must look from less than 3 feet to perceive pixels for a screen of 8 feet wide. I have seen the 10HT and the low difference between max white and black plus screendoor (pixels)could never put me INTO the movie. Always I was at the sideline of the adventure, a distant spectator of images. With the G15 you are in the movie, a kind of simulation so real that it becomes real enough, a virtual reality that draws you in. Given a big enough screen.

Buy the G15, you will not regret it if you can afford it.
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Frank I still owe you http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif

Kyrill
 

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Brian,


If you have this black level fetish... how did you buy the 10ht in the first place? or is this a recent development?


The answer to your previous question is YES. The darker you make the room, the darker your black is gonna be. The black level on your screen is a combo of 2 things. Ambient light, and what the projector puts out. Fix 1/2 of this equation and your half way there.


Here's the test. turn off all the lights(eliminate all ambient light) now project something that has black material. Go up to your screen and put your hand in the light path of the projector so it casts a shadow on your screen. That shadow is as black as the picture can ever get, period. Now, the difference from that shadow and the black level the projector is producing is what I think your concerned about.


How do CRT's produce that Inky black? Mostly because the room you have to watch the 200 lumen projector in has to be pitch black!


One way to stop worrying about black level is to boost your peak whites. The screaming whites of the D-ILA help do this.


It's all relative...




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Tryg Hoff
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It's not so much as a fetish as much as just a question is if this is as good as it's going to get.


The reason I got it in the first place was because of what I've heard on various forums and the fact that it's damn near impossible to find a dealer that has it set up even remotely well. I figure if I don't like it, I can return it.


The black level currently is bordering on bothering me. When I watch scenes that have both black and white on a screen, it's fine. When it's mainly black with specks of white (like stars against a night sky), it irks me a bit.


What I'm wondering is which of the tweaks would do the most for me:


1) Return the 10HT and get a G15 - big bucks and I would expect much, much better black levels - but maybe the room is the bigger problem

2) Darken the walls, ceiling, and floor

3) Use some photo resistors and try to better calibrate the bias to further decrease black level

4) Get a grey screen.


Now, I should say that of the black level and the posterization, the posterization bothered me MUCH, MUCH more than the black level. With that being said, I think every video enthusiast strives to get the blacks as black as possible, and I'm just wondering what else I can do.



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Brian
 

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You could return the 10HT and wait a few months for the 11HT. It has greater contrast and may help the perceived black level. If you're not happy with the 10HT, waiting a few months or more is nothing compared to months of questioning whether you bought the right projector. I recently returned my 10, and while after the tweaks it was great, the high blacks still took me out of several dark films. I'm willing to wait the 2, 3, or 4 months, or whatever for the 11. I liked the 10 enough that just a little improvement in the form of an 11HT would make it a slam dunk.
 

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I have a very dark room where I can control 99% of the light that enters. The walls are a deep dark purple shade, the carpet is a light grey and the ceiling is white. The 10HT is really too bright, you just don't need that much light is a controled enviroment, but after a friend of mine ISFed it and set the colors right there is no question this projector is great. The blacks in my setup are the best I have seen on a non CRT projector, but keep in mind that most DLPs, LCDs, and D-ilas are not demoed in a light controled area.


Even with the brightness way down the projector still lights up my room and I can see the speakers and the corners of the walls, some things I and going to tinker with in the near future are a masking system for the lense and the screen area, a dark rug in front of the screan and some thing dark on the ceiling. One other thing I have heard of to try to increase the precieved black is to run some rope light on the edge of the screen with a dimmer hooked to them this is supposed to increase the contrast in your eye, or something like that.


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Brian Ingram


Pardon my terrible spelling :)
 
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