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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
SX-5500, 29 Bars Made Easy


Still can't get the 5500 to display all 29 of the shading bars? If not, YOU ARE LOOSING SHADOW CONTRAST!


As some have found, the dark and light end bars are not controlled in the service menu. These bars are set using the BRIGHT and CONTRAST controls in the user menu. Here's how to do it.


Set both bright and contrast to 0 in the user menu (MU). Enter the Service Menu (SM). If you've seen the 29 bars, you know how to get here. For those that haven't and wish to optimize their projector, to access the SM press MENU, release, press RESET, release, and press and hold RESET until the SM appears.


WRITE DOWN ALL THE VALUES YOU SEE FOR FUTURE REFERENCE! Scroll through the various menus taking note of the values before changing anything. Don't be scared, nothing bytes.


Scroll over to either of the two GAMMA submenus and scroll down to any value (or bright or subbright). Move the cursor to either the red or blue color adjustment using the arrows on the remote. Once on a color value, press MENU SELECT on the remote and the 29 bars will display. The black bars on the end are controlled by the BRIGHT in the UM. Go back to the UM by pressing MENU twice on the remote. If the two black bars were clearly distinguishable, you need to reduce the bright. Conversely, if the two black bars appeared the same, you need to raise the bright. Make a small change to the bright as necessary and then go back to the SM as you did before and look at the black bars again. Go back to the UM and make further change, as necessary. Go back in the SM and look again, etc. (This can get old.) When you can barely tell the two black bars apart, you are at the optimal setting for the bright control.


So now look at the two white bars on the other end. Are they easily distinguishable, or (more likely) now run together as one bright bar? Use the same proceedure you used for the black bars, only this time use the CONTRAST control in the UM. If the bars run together, turn down the contrast. If the bars are clearly distinctive, raise the contrast. Do this until the bars are barely distinguishable. Mine ended up with bright at +11 and contrast at +7. Your mileage may vary.


Now look at video materal on screen. Is it too bright or dark? Don't touch those bright/contrast settings that you've worked so hard for. Go into the SM and scroll down to VID-GAIN in the VID-AD menu. Move over to the "W" value. This control seems to affect the amount of light sent to the LCoS, but DOES NOT AFFECT THE GREYSCALE AND BAR ADJUSTMENTS. The 29 bars are a product of how the LCoS windows "cloud up" thereby restricting the amount of light reflected back to the screen. "W" is the green and overall drive level while "R" and "B" control the red and blue relative to the overall setting. If you raise the W, you can oversaturate your picture giving things a real shine (and loosing picture contrast), but when you go back to the 29 bars, you'll find them unaffected even with the gain at maximum/minimum settings. I found that lowering the "W" by one notch under that as delivered (to 11 from 12, again, your mileage may vary) seemed to also help contrast detail ever so slightly. Perhaps the factory sets them "hot" at the expense of detail. You can also boost/cut the red blue here.


BTW, when you view the 29 bars, take note of the color. Do the bars appear white/grey or are their areas of red and/or blue? If you have color variation across the bars, this can be adjusted. Additionally, the overall color temperature can be adjusted.


In the second GAMMA menu are the subcontrast and subbright menus. These are used to set the overall color tone, much like a bass or treble control for an audio system. The red, green, and blue can be controled independantly here. This is where you would adjust to achieve a 6500K or any desired overall color temperature. Once you've got these set, look again at the bars. Do they show uniform color and brightness across the spectrum? If not, go into the first GAMMA menu and scroll down to the percentage value that best portrays the area that needs adjustment. This menu is like a graphic equalizer for your audio system only controlling color rather than sound across the spectrum. To see what areas are affected by which %, increase a color drastically until it is readily appearant where its effect will be on the scale. Adjust the colors and/or brightness (multiple colors) as necessary trying to keep a constant "tone" across the bands.


Because the 5500 appears to "leak" blue light, a certain amount of blue finds its way into all colors. Because the leakage is a low intensity constant, its greatest manifestation is at reduced light values (lower % values) where it makes up a greater portion of the whole. You may find that you get a better color balance across the bands by reducing blue at the lower light settings to partially compensate for excess blue leakage. I find that while this helps the overall grey values and picture quality, pure reds will still be effected. A filter (or redesign) may be (is?) required to get rid of the excess blue, but would require major changes in the GAMMA menus as well as the VID-GAIN, but then, you know how to do this now, don't you?
 

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What a great post! This is what made this forum great and reminds me of the good old days. Hopefully we won't have any name-calling in this thread! :)


Seriously, I think I need to go buy a Hitachi and have another look...and you're partly to blame toddalin. ;)


Nice job.


Tom
 

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toddalin


Excellent explanation, you have more patience then me for writing down all this stuff.


The one thing you didn't mention is how good the shadow detail becomes. Once you have done this it makes it every bit as good as a sharp 9000


People have focused so much on the purple problem but with some sweat and bulb hours this is a great projector
 

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Thanks Todd ! I got mine in last night and I really needed this info. You da man. I ordered the 20cc green filter just in case I need it during setup as well...
 

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toddalin,

Well done! You've covered most of the basics to get people experimenting. Just one small point - to enter the service menu one has to press menu and then reset TWICE, the second time holding it till the SM appears.


I think there's scope here for someone to produce a booklet on 'How to optimise your SX5500W'. I'd buy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
barryz, of course you are right on the entrance to the SM, and I lay awake all night trying to remember if I said to preset RESET once or twice. Nice catch!
 

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Has anyone thought about putting together a 5500 FAQ? I've been lurking here for a while reading up on this projector and have decided to go with it over the Sanyo PLV-60...


This forum is incredible!


Kevin
 

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Kevin,


What did you think about the 5500 vs. the Sanyo PLV-60?
 

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Quote:
Kevin,


What did you think about the 5500 vs. the Sanyo PLV-60?
Well I haven't had the fortune of actually seeing either of these yet so my "decision" isn't as informed as I would like.


What has made me lean towards the 5500 is the LCOS technology, the fact that it looks like the original issues with it have either gone away on some of the newer units, or there have been numerous discussions on how to resolve them (purple push). I like the idea of having the DVI input and it sounds like this projector is definitely the hottest on the boards at the moment!


I can't wait to get a look at Bruce's setup in the near future as it sounds like he is having a lot of success in a similar viewing environment (ambient light).


Funny, but I have a distinct feeling that I'd be blown away by either of these projectors compared to what I'm watching now! The one problem with this forum is that I am MUCH more critical now of my RP TV now and the particular issues it has as opposed to when I first bought it... :)
 

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The DVI input makes a big difference on this projector even though it wont take its native rate.Just ffed it 1024 and you will be blown away.

Contrast and blacks are great as well.

Very bright projector.
 

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Alan, or Mark, when can we read your review?
 

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We want your expertise in sizing it up to the competition!


Is Hitachi gonna take the world by storm? Their entry into FP with this as their first product is pretty awesome. Just think what's next!
 

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Alan wrote: "The DVI input makes a big difference on this projector even though it wont take its native rate.Just ffed it 1024 and you will be blown away."


What video card are you using, assuming that you feed it with an HTPC?
 

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toddalin,


I'm trying your proceedure and when I get to the Vid-Gain setting I can't make it change. Tried the up - down arrows ( and pretty much everything else ) and it just remains on 12. Is ther something I'm missing?


Thanks,

Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Pat, should be adjustable just as all the other noted parameters. HOWEVER, are you set on a composite, S-video, or component input or are you using the computer interface inputs? If you are in computer (RGB) mode, VID-GAIN and VID-CUTOFF may not apply (or work). Try changing to a regular video input while watching. I do these adjustments in S-video mode with an S-video signal being fed to the projector.


I only feed composite, S-video, and component inputs. If you intend to use the computer inputs, try ACD and HD GAINS and CUTOFFS. You have nothing to loose. Let us know how it goes.
 

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toddalin,

Thanks for the quick reply and the initial post! I figured out exactly what you posted a short time later ( tried it on component and iy worked great.

I love this projector - Had my first real premiere today and had to watch another movie after myy guests left. I'm seeing a liitle problem on pans but I'm hoping Dscasler may solve them ( haven't really tried it yet ). Anyway thanks again!


Pat
 
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