Archive for the ‘Display Devices’ Category

Defeat Scan Velocity Modulation to Unlock Your HDTV’s Full Potential

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

I just got back from a short vacation at my in-law’s house. In between going out to eat, getting kids down for naps and reacting to Paige’s “Daddy, will you play with me?”, I fiddled with my father-in-law’s TV picture menus. Watching television at their house is extremely frustrating because they have every channel available through Comcast cable, including a dozen high definition channels, but I couldn’t get their TV to look good by eyeballing the basic picture controls (contrast, brightness, color, tint, sharpness). The picture quality was always ruined by crushed whites and blacks and a harsh ringing around every edge of subject matter (eg, a crunchy white translucent halo surrounds every black line defining Spongebob Squarepants’ sponge body).

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Popularity: 44% [?]

iPhone Not True Widescreen - Hope for a 2.35:1 Video iPod

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007


Engadget is reporting that though Apple boasts a “widescreen” display for the iPhone, its screen is actually a non-standard aspect ratio:

Well, anyone who sat in Moscone Center to witness the holy unveiling surely noticed the screen cropping (letterboxing) that occurred when Steve played Pirates of the Carribean. That’s because the iPhone isn’t “widescreen” as the term is customarily understood outside of the reality distortion field — it is not a 1.78:1 (16×9) aspect ratio. Rather, the display utilizes a 1.5:1 aspect ratio.

via Engadget via Crave

Apple has a history of creating and then filling its own hardware niches. Large capacity video iPods for those that enjoy watching David Caruso wince on CSI: Miami, iPod Nanos for jewelry and compressed music lovers and the iPod Shuffle for random players who lost the bolo piece from their bolo tie. The iPod family members all have distinct hardware bonuses and shortcomings that complement each other. So the iPhone isn’t really widescreen, does this leave the possibility open that a new device will fill our widescreen video needs? Will iPhone customers become frustrated while they watch 300 in a thin strip of a 2.40:1 letterbox?

Could Apple’s strategy be to introduce the iPhone’s new on screen dual touch, storage and display technologies to refine them over time and once popular reduce their cost to meet a true widescreen video iPod? Imagine a 16×9 screen dominating the gadget’s full front face, all AV controls on the dual touch screen for the same price as today’s 80 GB iPod. Like a large storage Sony PSP without the D-Pad and buttons (oh, and games, have to remember the PSP plays games).

Maybe all the dual touch patent rumor mock ups were right, we just have to wait for the iPhone to become a commodity and piss off enough videophiles to introduce the true widescreen video iPod. Though I’m sure true videophiles would prefer a 2.35:1 aspect, constant height screen with little velvet curtains on the sides to aid contrast when windowboxing squarer ratios (as mocked up above). Introducing the cinePod (as in Cinescope). Heh.

Popularity: 15% [?]

Do Not Repeat My Mistakes Calibrating Your Home Theater Projector

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

With the HCFR 1.21 update I’ve been struggling with using Gretag Macbeth/X-Rite’s Eye One Pro or Eye One Display2 color meters. A list of my missteps so you don’t repeat my mistakes:

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Popularity: 19% [?]

HowTo - HCFR - Free Video Projector Calibration Software

Saturday, December 16th, 2006

We’re being invaded by France.

HCFR (named after the homecinema-fr.com forums) is a free video calibration tool for Windows. The program is developed by some French forum DIYers who designed their own colorimeter and needed software to take readings and calibrate their home theater video devices. The software also works with X-Rite DTP-94 and Colorvision Spyder2 sensors (no support for Eye One Pro yet, though there is hope as Spyder2 support was added in less than a month).

I discovered HCFR just a few days ago through this AVS Forum Display Calibration Thread. The thread is long and mostly covers discussions of Gamma calculation math, comparisons to other, more expensive, software like Calman, and users posting their results. It was very hard to find concrete answers on how to use the software to calibrate a display. Once I tried the software last night with a Spyder2, I found out why: the interface is very intuitive and it holds your hand through the process.

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Popularity: 56% [?]

Babelcolor - Mac OS X Utility for Eye One Pro and Projector Calibration

Friday, June 23rd, 2006

I’ve mentioned Babelcolor in the last couple posts about calibration. The application can sample and convert between any color space and profile. I checked it out because it is the only third party Mac application (it’s available for PC too) that can accept xyY readings (important for certain calibration Excel spread sheets) from the Eye One Pro in emissive or ambient modes. I was surprised to find it does everything I need to calibrate my Sanyo PLV-Z3 projector in its trial mode.

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Popularity: 27% [?]

Howto: Camera Tripod PVC Extension Pole for Eye One Pro Front Projection Calibration

Friday, June 23rd, 2006

Sunday night, I stayed up late calibrating my Sanyo PLV-Z3 LCD projector. I attempted a full gamma and grayscale reading from 0–100% using GetGray’s 10% increment gray window test patterns. The Eye One Pro can only get reliable sub-30% grayscale readings when you point it directly at the projector with the ambient light head attached (as opposed to the usual emissive readings from the light reflected off the projection screen).

Now I have a problem. My projector is mounted on the ceiling, a little under seven feet off the ground. My camera tripod—that would normally hold the Spyder2 Pro or Eye One Pro—only extends to about five feet high. I had to find a solution to getting the Eye One two feet in front of the projector and fully bathed in the light path so I could sit at my Powerbook and take readings in Babelcolor. I needed to mod my tripod.

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Popularity: 19% [?]

GetGray Calibration DVD Review

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

GetGray is a hobbyist produced home theater calibration DVD. You can only buy it through internet download, as it’s a VIDEO_TS folder you burn to a DVD-R. As implied by the title, the DVD’s primary purpose is to track your digital display device’s underlying gray scale with the aid of a color measuring device like the Colorvision Spyder2 or Gretag Macbeth Eye One Pro.

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Popularity: 28% [?]

Sanyo PLV-Z3 LCD Projector Settings

Friday, June 9th, 2006

I feel good about my home theater set up when I can go into a high end dealer and feel unimpressed with their demo rooms. I watch the usual African savanna HD stream projected onto a 120" diagonal fixed screen by a $30,0000 Runco front projector and line doubler combo and sigh. I know what I have at home is better for a fraction of the cost because I’ve tweaked my front projection system to a higher level than intended by the manufacturer.

I also lose confidence in mainstream home theater magazines when a casual reviewer pans my projector for flaws that are easily overcome with a color correction gel filter, a Colorvision Spyder2PRO monitor calibrator and careful manipulation of user and service menu settings. The magazine’s editorial dogma may skew their opinions toward the lowest common denominator (L.C.D.), Joe-Best-Buy, but it doesn’t speak to me.

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Popularity: 28% [?]

Optoma Graywolf 92 inch 16×9 High Gain Projection Screen Review

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

I was very stressed when I decided to buy my Optoma GrayWolf 92 inch 16×9 1.8 gain projection screen. According to posts on AVS Forum I had to worry about: finding a discounted online retailer that would ship me the right product (the Graywolf has the same product number as Optoma’s white screen), the screen surviving shipping damage (large dents in the roll-up housing reported) and a horizontal line across the image area from a plastic sheet used for packing (more on this later). I’m happy to say I avoided all these headaches and received an intact screen at a reasonable price.

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Popularity: 15% [?]

Howto - Ceiling Mount a Home Theater Front Projector - Metalcraft Mounting System

Saturday, May 6th, 2006

Metalcraft Ceiling MountAfter I fainted from sticker shock at the pricing of the official Sanyo PLV-Z3 projector ceiling mount ($200), I found a much cheaper solution. For $36.95 I could buy a Metalcraft all metal adjustable ceiling mount off ebay.

Mounting a projector to my ceiling was easier than I thought. Here’s how I did it.

Continue reading Howto - Ceiling Mount a Home Theater Front Projector - Metalcraft Mounting System

Popularity: 28% [?]