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Discussion Starter #41
12 - OPTIMIZING IMAGE DECODING, "SHAPING," AND ENHANCEMENT


This has been the most difficult article to write, since it involves *subjective* judgments of image quality. So, up-front, my goals here were to try to get the images on my 36XS955 to *not* look like video but like realistic, high-quality film, at its best, where possible. Maybe even reality! The hardest part to get right is the reproduction of *texture*: human skin, clothing, rock and sand, distant trees, hair. Many image enhancements smear or attenuate this texture, but I am happy to claim that these particular Sony sets seem capable of reproducing it very well - providing it's not killed within the set by misguided filtering and over-the-top enhancements. What have helped me are (1) an extensive photography background, and (2) expectations in line with reality. TV is a crummy picture by most standards, but there's no reason one can't maximize its quality for what it is. And HD raises the stakes.


Video can have a look, and I have typically found it unattractive - overly bright, compressed luminance range; over-sharpening of all detail (historically called aperture correction; exaggerated color, especially food colors and reds; and *way* over-sharpening of high-contrast edges independent of other detail. Speaking optimistically, I have found that, even among SD channels, there is a great deal of first-rate NTSC video, whether local news, Survivor on CBS, or some documentary on the History or Food channel. I don't want the set tinkering excessively with good video. Just pass it to the screen, thanks, with suitable noise suppression and a little sharpness enhancement to compensate for losses in the long signal chain from camera thru editing to broadcast.


So I am striving for *transparency.* Some broadcast and VCR video is hopelessly bad, and so it will appear on-screen. It seems that attempts at manipulation just make it worse! So transparency works for me there, too, and I just deal with it.


There are too many technical details to write about in a forum message, so I have attached a PDF document converted from a Word document of the real article in its entirety. A detailed chart expresses succinctly what I have discovered about the very important 2170P-3 settings and the related MID5 chart, and I note a couple of newly-discovered (9-8-05) settings in 2103-1. (The charts' boundaries may print better than Adobe Reader will display.) In addition, please download one of the service-data charts available in this thread before attempting to make changes, as it makes plain the relationships among the picture and video modes and these settings. (Note: No discussion here about gamma, black level, color, geometry, convergence, etc. See other articles.)


That said, this continues to be a fascinating discovery process, and experiments can be conducted *safely* by (1) using one of the useless picture modes for playing around and (2) by laying claim to a couple of the columns in the MID5 table for your own purposes. If nothing else, I think just trying out the settings suggested in the table will really please some folks who are searching for this image perfection.


Feedback from readers is VERY WELCOME. Please! And let me know if there's any trouble with the PDF document.


[Small changes to message and major revisions to PDF document 9-8-05.]

 

Image_Processing_rev1_1.pdf 147.017578125k . file
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Here are a couple of excellent memory-stick test patterns for image tweaking. Edge effects, oversharpening, image "ghosting," and smear are all revealed quite well. These are only 4:3, as there is no advantage to a special 16:9 version (heights are the same).

 

image_optimizing-pats.zip 187.22265625k . file
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Here is an excellent memory-stick test pattern (not my invention) for focus adjustment. To remove the confusion of any misconvergence, it's recommended that you use 2170P-2 #1 RGBS = 2 to turn off all but the green gun when tweaking the 2170D-4 dynamic-focus settings. (You don't have to, but it helps.)


If the display is filled with the pattern, it won't compress into a file
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Here is the 16:9 version of the above.

 

focusmatrix_16x9sparse.zip 288.0087890625k . file
 

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As a newbie and a dope, I am highly uneducated in the land of electronic tinkering. Therefore, I am seeking mainly info here or at least some easy-to-understand suggestions.


Problem #1 - A slight but noticeable upward bowing at the bottom only, in letterbox and NOT in 4:3

Problem #2 - While viewing black and white broadcasts (or DVD) left third of the screen has a slight bluish tint. Right third has a slight brownish tint. (In both cases, emphasis on slight, but unnerving to me) The center third seems fine.


I'd be grateful for any ideas that would eliminate the need to call a tech out.


Many thanks!
 

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Talking about convergence, geometry, and things of that nature, several of you have told me that I can have a tech come out under warranty to use the magnets and all that other good stuff.


What would I ask for and how would I set it up, to get a tech to come out and do these sorts of things for me?
 

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I'd just say the convergance is off, and it's really noticeable.


By the way Ken,


I have found a discovery with SYSM.It seems you were right in that 3 is the "OFF" setting.


Upon further investigation i have noticed that when i turned sharpness way down with SYSM set at 1 or 0 it's blurry, but if i change SYSM to 3 it cleans up the picture and makes it sharper.Even with no sharpness or up to max the sharpness level stayed the same without getting grainy or blurry if i turn it up or down.


I guess you mentioned about leaving the sharpness setting at 20% right, is this the proper level?Upon using the DVE sharpness pattern it was hard to adjust the sharpness level since i set SYSM to 3 it pretty much does'nt matter where i put it, it looks the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #48

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny V. /forum/post/0


Problem #1 - A slight but noticeable upward bowing at the bottom only, in letterbox and NOT in 4:3

Problem #2 - While viewing black and white broadcasts (or DVD) left third of the screen has a slight bluish tint. Right third has a slight brownish tint. (In both cases, emphasis on slight, but unnerving to me) The center third seems fine.

(1) This is almost certainly correctable only with magnets, and Sony does not offer a single service-mode adjustment for it. Tilt, yes; bowing or curving, no. A magnet placed properly on the side of the CRT in the center of the botton will "repel" or "attract" the electron beam as it approaches this area, and the effect is to pull the scan lines outward or push them inward. Same with the corners and top. The sides can be corrected with correction signals added to the horizontal deflection, and that's what is available in the service code adjustments. But not top and bottom.


Since it's the same electron-beam that does both 4:3 and HD, I wonder if you are just not bothered by it on 4:3 because you don't have a perfect horizontal line staring you in the face al of the time, as you do at the bottom of the HD raster.


(2) Mine is very slightly this way, too, but I can easily ignore it. For now. According to the service manual, this is either a slight lateral misalignment of the deflection yoke (established with rubber wedges fixing the position of the yoke's front edge), or a slight adjustment of the main central purity magnets may be required.


All of these require opening the set and are best accomplished by a trained service person. If the set is still under warranty, this is the *only* way, and I would prompt the service organization sending out the tech to make sure it is someone who is savvy about placing magnets. (It's a very "organic" process, and requires common-sense skill, not following a recipe.) Tell them what you need done -- e.g. bottom-curvature geometry and yoke alignment. Make sure your convergence is okay; he can diddle that, too.


Personally, I *will* remove the back from my set and try a few adjustments myself -- I have a long history with this kind of thing that makes me fearless! But it ain't for the faint-of-heart or undisciplined.


I *wish* these adjustments were possible electronically, but the physics of it argue against that, to our inconvenience.
 

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Discussion Starter #49

Quote:
Originally Posted by Q of BanditZ /forum/post/0


What would I ask for and how would I set it up, to get a tech to come out and do these sorts of things for me?

The thing to avoid is having some tech-bozo-in-training to mess with convergence on your set! I would ask around at high-end TV or home-theater specialty stores as to who does competent "magnet work" or who their favorite Sony service store is. Then call them, and grill them on whether they have a good "magnet guy." If they mumble or say, Oh yeah, all of our guys can do that," um, I would be a bit skeptical and try elsewhere.


I haven't gone throught this yet, but the specialty shop that sold me my TV pointed me to a service shop whose manager has already convinced me that he has two of his several service people who are especially good with magnets (a credible reply). I just haven't gotten the nerve yet, and my service warranty runs out in about 10 days.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenTech /forum/post/0


The thing to avoid is having some tech-bozo-in-training to mess with convergence on your set! I would ask around at high-end TV or home-theater specialty stores as to who does competent "magnet work" or who their favorite Sony service store is. Then call them, and grill them on whether they have a good "magnet guy." If they mumble or say, Oh yeah, all of our guys can do that," um, I would be a bit skeptical and try elsewhere.


I haven't gone throught this yet, but the specialty shop that sold me my TV pointed me to a service shop whose manager has already convinced me that he has two of his several service people who are especially good with magnets (a credible reply). I just haven't gotten the nerve yet, and my service warranty runs out in about 10 days.

Since I purchased my TV through Crutchfield, I'd have to ask them about it. See who they would refer me to.
 

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Discussion Starter #51

Quote:
Originally Posted by Q of BanditZ /forum/post/0


Since I purchased my TV through Crutchfield, I'd have to ask them about it. See who they would refer me to.

Unless they operate physically in your city, they wouldn't have a clue! No, I would visit a few stores in person. It's not much of an imposition to humbly ask for a referral to a service center they like. "I really don't know who else to ask," you could say. Just be really cool about it.


Even though I already have a referral, I think I will make a small tour of a few stores and see what they recommend, too. Maybe mention the service shop for which I have that referral to see if they agree.
 

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Regarding grayscale calibration:


I know every tube is different, but they have to be within some sort of spec.


Assuming nearly the same default values were present, could it be assumed that although not perfect, merely copying the sbrt, cuts and drives from your set would provide good grayscale, much better than stock? It cant possible require more than fine tuning from the point youve reached, allowing for the difference between sets. Unless Im way off the mark, and every set is WAY different?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenTech /forum/post/0


Unless they operate physically in your city, they wouldn't have a clue!

Crutchfield explained to me that they would contact whoever the Sony service people would be in, or near my area.


It's a crapshoot how reliable THEY would be. Crutchfield wouldn't be the problem.


I may just save up and have an ISF man come out in a few months and just do it right.
 

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Discussion Starter #54

Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2003 /forum/post/0


could it be assumed that although not perfect, merely copying the sbrt, cuts and drives from your set would provide good grayscale, much better than stock?

That might work really well. It's just that no one has given me any feedback yet, and I have set up only one set.


The exact voltages at which each tube produces a minimum glow on the tube face (darkest gray) has quite a bit to do with physical parameters in the three electron guns, and I have to believe that tiny variations in spacing of each emitter/cathode to grid #1 would alter the curve and cutoff. In my set, the blue gun has a slightly different response curve, and so I have to fudge it by knocking GAMB up one notch. I don't know if that's typical.


That said, I believe starting with my settings would put you in the ballpark of the brightness range I have come to appreciate, and tweaking of the settings for perfect color tracking and black cutoff might be minor.


Please post what your experience is because others may wish to try this without all the experimenting I find peversely delightful!


For convenience, here's a summary of my settings:


(1) (Brightness slider target average = 31.) 2170P-1 #7 SBRT = 31.

2170P-3 #13 UBOF for various inputs varies from 0 to 4. Choose 0 for the peripheral or input that gives the highest black level, and adjust others to match. Mine was a Toshiba DVD player. SBRT can be fudged if all of the UBOF settings are too high or low.


(2) 2170P-1 #8-13 RDRV-BCUT = 42-28-22-31-18-14 for a Normal color temp about 6400K. See my article #03 under "Normal Color" for my "white cloud" suggestion.


(3) For 2170P-1 #12-19: Warm = 0-7-34-31-28-34-31-28; Cool = 0-7-28-31-34-28-31-34.


(4) Suggestion: For a display gamma = 2.2 (TV standard), set 2170P-4 GAMR-GAMB to 3 for the picture mode of your choice; Set GAMS = 0. I have set Movie = Pro for all settings except gamma, and I use Movie for the "3" settings. For Pro, GAMR-GAMB = 0 = display gamma of about 2.45. My set requires fudging GAMB one higher for accurate blue tracking in grayscale. YMMV.


If there is black contamination with a color on an input relative to the others (my 1080i HD/tuner was yellow-green!), it has to be compensated with 2170P-1 #3 and 4, CBOF and CROF. For me 44-47 became 58-54 for 1080i broadcast OTA. Only blue and red are adjustable.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenTech /forum/post/0


(1) This is almost certainly correctable only with magnets, and Sony does not offer a single service-mode adjustment for it. Tilt, yes; bowing or curving, no. A magnet placed properly on the side of the CRT in the center of the botton will "repel" or "attract" the electron beam as it approaches this area, and the effect is to pull the scan lines outward or push them inward. Same with the corners and top. The sides can be corrected with correction signals added to the horizontal deflection, and that's what is available in the service code adjustments. But not top and bottom.


.....

Howcome computer monitors have electronic adjustments for geometry and tvs don't?


Also I have an old Sony PVM2030 that I used as a Videogame monitor as it has RGB input. The pincushion was off (bowed out) and the overscan was to much cutting off much of the image. I had to take off the back to fix it. All I did was adjust some pots back there to adj the pincushion, picture size, position. Can you do this with the newer Sony HDTVs?
 

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Discussion Starter #57

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC19 /forum/post/0


All I did was adjust some pots back there to adj the pincushion, picture size, position. Can you do this with the newer Sony HDTVs?

Nope. No pots, except a couple on the high-voltage transformer for focus, G2 voltage, and one other, perhaps astigmatism. Everything else that you mentioned is adjusted in software/memory by setting numbers in a special service mode. You don't need to take the back off the set.


This seems to be the manufacturing trend. There are about 540 or so to this line of sets we are discussing here, and some of those have 1, others 60+ possible "memorized" settings, depending on type of signal, which input, etc. How could that ever be accomplised with pots?
 

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Ken, i put back SYSM to 1,since i have noticed the image was not as clear at 3.There was no ghosting at 0 or 1 since i have disabled VSM completely and the 4 you have mentioned starting with VM.


It seems that if you leave SYSM to 3 the sharpness slider has NO effect what so ever.If you put it at 0 or max it looks the same.


It seems that in order for sharpness to work, SYSM has to be set to either 1 or 0.(which are identical by the way).


So i would just leave SYSM alone like a lot of other people have mentioned.


just wanted to let you know of the discovery,You can try it yourself if you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #59

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrocHunter /forum/post/0


(1) It seems that if you leave SYSM to 3 the sharpness slider has NO effect what so ever.If you put it at 0 or max it looks the same.


(2) It seems that in order for sharpness to work, SYSM has to be set to either 1 or 0.(which are identical by the way).


(3) So i would just leave SYSM alone like a lot of other people have mentioned.


(4) just wanted to let you know of the discovery,You can try it yourself if you want.

(1) Sorry, but this is incorrect. See my article, which you apparently won't read for some reason. SYSM 0-2 is mapped to Sharpness, true, but the effect is very coarse. If Sharpness-control effect seems to disappear when SYSM = 3, you are feeding a signal which is much too coarse itself to show it. 2170P-3 #6-8 most certainly *are* also affected by the Sharpness slider, and a sufficiently sharp test pattern shows it readily (only a few of which can be found on DVE, for example).


There's not much you can do with this TV to improve really mushy SD material. (Travel Channel comes to mind.) The TV's enhancements are designed to work on small detail, except for SYSM = 1, and that level of detail simply doesn't exist in lots of broadcast video. But it *does* exist in some of it, and that's what I try to optimize.


(2) Wrong. Sorry. But 0 and 1 do seem identical.


(3) I disagree. If you *like* it, leave it alone (at 1 or 2), and this might be what *you* should do. But its effects distort image-texture quality for fine images from DVD or HD sources. That's why Sony has it initially set to 3 = OFF for all HD sources. My DVD images are harmed by the coarseness of SYSM, and I recommend *not* using it on those inputs for 480i and 480p. That said, my goal has been to *inform* people how to see these effects, and then to make up their own minds about what effects they want. This puts the control into the users' hands, not strictly Sony's. That, obviously, includes you. You get to pick your poison! My choice is to leave SYSM at 3, as it does not serve any of my purposes.


(4) Dude! Been there! Read the articles. I've spent *hours* researching this *before* writing the articles. (By the way, I'll stop saying that if you are dyslexic or something that prevents you from reading them. Is it that you don't have Adobe Reader?)
 

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KenTech, after reading your article the other day I tried several of the items you mentioned with various to little success. I tend to agree with Crochunter (somewhat) on the SYSM setting. I have left mine at 1 for everything except HD content which stayed at 3.

Changing the SYSM setting (with 480p from DVE & AVIA) & (1080i from ESPNHD frozen frame) caused the picture to shift horizontally with minor sharpness changes. SYSM @ 2 is a little coarse and 1 has the best compromise with DVD.

HD 1080i still looks best with a setting of 3 for all modes.

I wonder if since you may have used the memory stick for your images that you may see these differences ??

I still don't understand why the picture moves (left - right) with SYSM setting ???

Also, like Croc I'm keeping VM off with default pro settings on all pic modes (VM=0, VMH=12, VMM=8 & VML=4).

Lastly, I will try your MIDE setting on unused MID5/POP value of 60/61.


Todd
 
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