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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The "Toshiba LCoS owners" thread has become quite long and littered with much discussion that doesn't necessarily have to do with owning one of these puppies. Being one such owner my burning question is: "How do I make my picture even better?"


I have started this thread in the hopes that such sharing can occur with the same sort of vigor we have seen with the Samsung DLP and Sony GWXBR.


Note that I currently have all SVideo input sources, so an obvious answer would be: "Get better sources". I will hopefully plug the DVD hole on that one soon. My primary viewing source is a DirecTV with TiVo. The DirecTV compression combined with SVideo, I believe, provides a challenge in getting the best possible picture.


Okay, let me start off with what I think I already know in terms of tweaking tips:


1) Start in "Movie" mode to access the full black levels of the set and tweak from there. It will switch to "Preference" mode upon tweaking but will retain the baseline of the Movie mode.


2) "Warm" color temperature apparently is closest to 6500 K across the range. I guess my assumption is that this is another good tweaking starting point????


As of now I have only attempt UM tweaks. I know how to get into the SM but don't know what to do once I get there. Has anyone seen a service manual on this baby yet?


I did an Avia calibration a few days ago, but wasn't entirely pleased with the results. Another thread on using Avia for DLP sets suggested setting the white level up until you couldn't see a brightness increase in the top bar anymore (just in the lower bars). This is apparently a good technique for plasmas. My result was that all bars got brighter all of the way to 100%.


In terms of black level setting: I was never able to see the second black bar, even at 100% brightness.


Color and Tint settings were useful. I ended up with a 42 on color and +9 on tint.


Sharpness tests (yes, probably also only for CRT-based sets) were not useful. No differences in the test at any sharpness level that I could see.


I finally ended up with the infamous "what looks good to me test". One problem on the DirecTV with TiVo picture is that skin tones and some browns and yellows have a "checkerboard" look to them at times. If you look at the display close up it is dithering across the entire display (moving color pattern rather than solid) and I think seeing the checkerboard is kind of a "snapshot" effect of my eyes catching a particular phase of this pattern. My wife sees it as well.


Okay, by lowering contrast to 80%, brightness to 40%, and sharpness to 45% I get what I believe is an optimum picture with this particular source. I would like a slightly brighter picture, but moving the brightness up over 60%, for example, makes the checkerboarding problem much more apparent. Sharpness also has an impact on this. Over 50% makes the effect more pronounced, 40% starts to make small text slightly blurry. 45% is a compromise setting. Note that raising the contrast up over 80-85% starts to wash out the image somewhat.


The sad part of this is that on a DVD over SVideo picture I don't get any checkerboarding and can be much more free with how I set things up. For example, brightness can be punched up quite a bit. The problem is that all SVideo Preference settings are shared....


All in all I am very pleased with the SD performance of this set, even with my current questionable source. jp2's was better, but he was getting his through an HD-capable STB. I haven't fixed by access card problem on my DTC100 to see how DirecTV looks through it, but OTA upconverted SD looks very good (and no checkerboards).


I am a little concerned that I couldn't see the second black bar in the black level settings, but maybe I will with component inputs?....


Your thoughts, insights, and additional ideas are greatly welcome!
 

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I haven't measured grey scale with Colorfacts yet....awaiting my replacement set.


Sharpness appears best around the 15-25 mark, but it is hard to tell.


DVI input accepts the signal from my PC running a Leadtek GeForce3 Ti500. Powerstrip actually got Plug-and-Play info over the connection and listed it as "Plug and Play Monitor, TSB0100". It listed the serial number also, gamma 1.0, colorspace RGB, and defaulted to the following resolutions (all progressive -- probably a limit of the DVI output on the Leadtek) 640x480p, 720x480p, 848x486p. I was also able to successfully add 960x540p and 1920x540p. DVD's look great at 960x540p with only about 2-3% overscan all the way around. Superbit version of the Patriot showed detail I had not seen before. 1920x540p is worthless because of geometry issues. Unable to add 1280x720p or 1280x768p via DVI. Again, note that my graphics card probably has alot to do with this as it appears that it has limitations on the DVI output.


The DVI input is noticably clearer and free of noise compared to the VGA input. (same caveat as above about the Leadtek card) I have never seen DVD's look better -- other than 10+K FP systems.


Via VGA I'm able to use 640x480, 800x600, and 1280x768 effectively. All other input rates cause the raster to be too far off-center to correct. It appears that Vpos and Hpos are global for all inputs -- I may be wrong.


Color decoder on all inputs seemed pretty accurate. Color control a little over-saturated on most inputs.


All I have so far.


Sean
 

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I should also note that color temp is affected by contrast level.


Looking at the crossed-step pattern in Avia I noticed that upping the white level caused the bars to be noticably less uniform in color. So you may want to limit the white level where color uniformity on this pattern is maintained reasonable well. Your grey scale may not be D6500K, but it will at least be more uniform if you don't stray from the default value too much. I too noticed that you can take the white level to maximum and not lose any appreciable amount of detail.


I'm awaiting to hear how to adjust the grey scale before I mess with that. I know that I prefer the white level about 15-25 steps higher than default for movie mode viewing 1080i...just for the simple fact that this set is capable of quite a bit of "punch".


Sean
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by BTDT
... One problem on the DirecTV with TiVo picture is that skin tones and some browns and yellows have a "checkerboard" look to them at times. If you look at the display close up it is dithering across the entire display (moving color pattern rather than solid) and I think seeing the checkerboard is kind of a "snapshot" effect of my eyes catching a particular phase of this pattern. My wife sees it as well. ...
Your wonderful Lcos set is allowing you to see DirecTV's compression artifacts in all their glory. Sometimes it's like watching a highly compressed AVI file on a PC.


This isn't a fault of the TV, rather they are artifacts that DirecTV is able to introduce because 95% of their viewers probably have >30" direct view NTSC sets that will never resolve them.


I have found that SD upconverted via my Dishnetwork 6000 and output over component looks better than S-Video. Probably due to the upsampling done digitally in the STB as opposed to the TV doing the processing. This is purely personal taste, but I like the way the upconversion "softens" the compression artifacts where the S-Video makes them plainly obvious.


Sean
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the feedback Sean_S. You have some better equipment than I have hooked up to this...yet! DirecTV artifacts are indeed visible on this set, but look better than what I have seen on the DLP sets, for example. I can't really say it looks any worse than it did on my old Pioneer Elite widescreen, except the there was no checkerboarding due to the "fuzzing out" of such effects.


A lot of this is apparently the SVideo input or the DirecTiVo unit itself. For example, channel 100 (a free one) off of my DTC100 looks better than the equivalent over the DirecTiVo.


All in all a very satisfying experience though.


Note: I actually dropped the sharpness to around 20% at one point but my wife started complaining about fuzzy text. Regular pictures do look better (meaning DirecTV SD over SVideo) but with all of the recent CNN watching text fuzziness is much more noticable.


I was looking around my local Frys at DVD players this noontime. While I understand they do a horrible job of tweaking their sets I was still impressed with how much better PBS HD looks on my Tosh than ANY of the sets there, including plasmas, DLPs, and CRTs.


Any thoughts on my "missing black bar"?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by BTDT
Any thoughts on my "missing black bar"?
My set behaves the same as yours, except via the DVI input. Running Avia on my HTPC via DVI I was able to see both bars.


I don't think this is a bad thing though....your supposed to set the black level to where the first bar is just invisible...I think.


I agree, I have never seen a non-FP with a better picture than this set.


Sean
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, that sets my mind at some ease. I sometimes imagine that I almost see the first black bar. Good to hear that a better input allows you to see it. Based on other reports I am expecting a much better DVD picture out of one of the newer and better players. The current picture is still very good, but I can see where it might be better (i.e. artifacts here and there).
 

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BTDT, what DVD player are you using? As I understand it, some of them will not allow you to see some of the darkest areas of display, because of their inability to show some of the blacks (or dark) areas. This may only be a limitation of your DVD player, but maybe not. Did you happen to find a Panny XP30 at Frye's? I purchased a Panny RP82 back in December, but I'm only getting S-video service out of it at this time on my 36" Toshiba. Sure would swap you my great DVD player for your problematic Toshiba Display which is unable to display the second black bar. ;) ;) ;)


Sorry to post in here as a non-owner, but now I'll have to wait till the fall when the new units (2nd gen) come out. That will give me some extra time to save up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It is a Sony DVP S500P, a 5-year-old interlaced player. Rated pretty good in its day and cost me around $700. I was able to see both black bars on my Pioneer Elite with the same player.


Probably not a big deal at this point. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't seeing a problem.


Good luck on your future purchase. By fall there should be some really nice DVD players available with 720p/1080i out. :)
 

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Sean_s, Your VGA vs DVI video quality test with DVD material is discouraging. Unfortunately I have a Sony HD200 connected to the DVI port. I plan to buy a Sapphire Radian soon, I hope there is a difference. Maybe a Component vs VGA video quality test with DVD material could give us some added insight. Does anyone have the equipment to run this test?


Java Junky
 

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I have an Audio Authority VGA to component converter. Maybe I'll test it out.

I think my limitations are caused by my video adapter. Someone else should try to connect an HTPC via DVI and post their results using Powerstrip.


Sean
 

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I was wrong about 1920x540p. It has geometry issues as far as the Windows desktop, but DVD's look the best at this resolution. My problem before was that I had the aspect ratio locked in WinDVD. After changing this setting the DVD had the correct geometry.


I haven't tried this resolution with component, and probably won't. This was via DVI. VGA input will not accurately display HD resolutions other than 720p; and it doesn't overscan anything so you end up with black bars all the way around. If you want to view DVD's with your HTPC, then DVI or component are really your only options for good PQ. I have my HTPC connected via DVI and VGA and I switch between them depending on what I'm doing.


Sean
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by javajunky
Sean_S, Does your video card do interlace resolutions through both the DVI and VGA? Is everything your sending through progressive?


Java Junky
All progressive.


DVI input will accept interlace, but my adapter doesn't output interlace over DVI.


VGA input only accepts progressive. Interlace signals are displayed, but with terrible geometry issues which aren't correctable with the Powerstrip timing adjustments.


My adapter will output interlace over VGA, but I haven't connected my VGA to component transcoder to test it out 1920x1080i. I may try, but I'm out of power outlets behind the TV and the transcoder needs a power source.


1920x540p over DVI looks great for DVD's.


Sean
 

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Sean_S,


Do you use Component connections for HDTV Sources? Did you test the difference between DVI and Component for those Sources? I'm contemplating switching to Component for my Sony HD200 and saving the DVI port for HTPC use. What's your opinion?


Java
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by javajunky
Sean_S,


Do you use Component connections for HDTV Sources? Did you test the difference between DVI and Component for those Sources? I'm contemplating switching to Component for my Sony HD200 and saving the DVI port for HTPC use. What's your opinion?


Java
Java, unfortunately I don't have any DVI sources other than my PC. Not until the Dish921 comes out.


Tough call on using the DVI port soley for PC use.... You would definitely have to rely on power strip to do any gaming since the DVI ports wants 480i/p, 720p, or 1080i. With the VGA input you can use 800x600, 640x480, 1024x768, or 1280x768--much more friendly to gaming. DVI, however, is definitely sharper. I only use DVI for viewing DVD's on my PC. If you have both inputs available, go ahead and use them both.


Also note that you cannot use the VGA connection for HDTV. It is set up completely for PC resolutions--no overscan--must be processed differently by the internal scaler. I discovered this after testing with my PC and connecting my Dish6000 RGB out to the VGA input.


Sean
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sean_S,


I have watched some HD off of my DTC100 over the VGA input, but aren't entirely sure what I am seeing. The DTC100, I believe, only outputs in 1080i (or perhaps also 590p). The picture seems to appear completely, but I have noted that it appears overly dim and can't be adequately brightened despite any settings on the Tosh. I am getting a little bit of garbage in the lower right hand corner of the screen. It is a thin, multi-colored line at the very bottom that cannot be adjusted away.


According to the specs I shouldn't be able to use the DTC100 on this set. Like I said, it seems to kind of work but I am not happy with the picture. It is certainly not "breathtaking" like it should be.


Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
In other news, I purchased a Panasonic XP50 yesterday, but have yet to hook it up. I am very interested to see what effect a newer, better, and progressive player will make via component inputs vs. my current SVideo input player.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
One last thing:


Another odd thing I am seeing on my set is a flickering of the image.


This occurs almost exclusively when viewing the DirecTV with TiVo via SVideo. It seems to be somewhat related to what is currently being shown. Last night, for example, I was watching CNN and getting an extreme amount of flicker. We then started watching some pre-recorded material and after a moment the flicker went away.


This kind of goes with a noticable adjustment in light level during the viewing of some material.


Is this the video processing that is producing this effect? Has anyone else seen it?


The net net here is that I am trying to determine if I have any issues with this set that aren't simply related to having bad sources.


BTW, Sean, I notice on another thread you are having your set replaced. What are the particular issues involved and do they related at all to what we are talking about here?
 
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