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Table Of Content

Overview

In this guide you will be given help to get the best picture quality in the interaction between your display and your graphics-adapter. Furthermore there are detailed explanations of the concepts behind de-interlacing, refresh-rates, color-management etc.

Display properties

When getting the most out of the teamwork between your display and your graphics-adapter you first have to find the detailed properties of your monitor.
The most important data we want to know are the video-optimized modes for SDTV and  HDTV  (for PAL and NTSC refresh-rates) and possible cinema-modes like "24p".
Because MP has an integrated function to automatically change the refesh-rate (Dynamic Refresh Rate Changer), but cannot change the resolution of the graphics-adapter, we want to find out the highest resolution where all desired refresh-rates are supported.
Ideally this would be 1920x1080 aka Full HD.

Of course you can consult the technical reference manual supplied with your display but this might be inaccurate or incomplete.

There is a better way because the display communicates all of its detailed capabilities to the graphics-adapter via the interface-connection (VGA, DVI or HDMI). All these communicated modes should be selectable in the settings of your graphics-driver.
The display might even be capable of still more modes (e.g. non-standard refresh-rates or resolutions) but these are often available only by registry-tweaks or with specialized tools.

There is a tool from Entech called Monitor Asset Manager (MonInfo for short) which you can download and use free for personal use.

When you install and start Monitor Asset Manager you will get a picture similar to the following after a few seconds of waiting:

In the upper left side you can see a listing of all attached displays as directly read out over the data-channel (EDID) followed by a list of these same display names as they are stored in the Windows registry.

Here we have three displays:

  • PHL000 is an LCD-TV (for MediaPortal)
  • MST0530 is a VGA touchscreen (as a secondary information display during playback)
  • SAM05C4 is a TFT (for the main Windows desktop)

When you scroll down you can compare if Windows has stored the same IDs in the registry as were read out from the display. At the end of the scroll down-list there are a few sample-examples provided as reference.

The list of hex-data in the section Raw Data on the lower left contains the undecoded (EDID data.

This is only of use for experts who could e.g. decode some display information that are not yet presented in clear form on the right side.
You can also save the complete information in a txt-file when you select Save report... from the file menu.

Now let's take a detailed view at the decoded information on the right side in a step by step manner.

The two main groups of information that we have to extract are resolution/timing data and color-information.
For users who transmit audio over HDMI the corresponding audio-capabilities can also be of interest, but will not further be considered here.  

Header Information

  • Model name: here Philips FTV
  • Manufacturer: here Philips
  • Plug and Play ID: here PHL0000
  • Serial number: here_n/a_
  • Manufacture date: here 2009, ISO week 8
  • Filter driver: here None
  • EDID revision:here 1.3

Basis display parameters

  • Input signal type: here Digital
    (could also be Analog in case of VGA, DVI-A, or Component-Video; then additional parameters like video level, sync-information etc. are present)
     
  • Color bit depth: here Undefined
    (because multiple bit depths are supported; see below)
     
  • Display type: here RGB color
    (could also be monochrome, non-RGB color or undefined)
     
  • Screen size: here 1280 x 720 mm (57,8 in)
     
  • Power management: here Not supported
    (means that the PC cannot turn this display into Standby/Suspend/Active-off/Low-power)
     
  • Extension blocs: here 1 (CEA-EXT)  (=extended information present)
     
  • DDC/CI: here Not supported (=Display Data Channel/Command Interface)

Color characteristics

To better understand the following properties please refer to the Color explanations

With the following set of parameters the color presentation of the display is fully defined.
Ideally that would enable the graphics-adapter to faithfully convert the input color data form the source (DVB, DVD, BD...) to a very natural looking picture with high color-fidelity without any further calibration.

  • Default color space: here Non-sRGB
    sRGB is a color profile that was developed especially for good color representation for CRT-monitors in typical office environments. A display optimized for video presentation (PAL/NTSC)  usually needs a slightly different color space. Thus most displays will report a Non-sRGB colorspace to the graphics-adapter which is further defined by the next values. Nevertheless sRGB is the next-best approximation of video-display colorspace and is usually always selectable as a color-profile in the color-management of Windows.
     
  • Display gamma: here 2,20
    This is the standard gamma for video presentation.
     
  • Red chromaticity: here Rx 0,640 - Ry 0,330
  • Green chromaticity: here Gx 0,290 - Gy 0,600
  • Blue chromaticity: here Bx 0,150 - By 0,060
    These so called chromaticity coordinates define a triangle in an XY-presentation of the color-space (CIE xy chromaticity diagram).
    Inside this triangle are all colors that can be displayed by the display.
     
  • White point (default): here Wx 0,289 - Wy 0,299
    This coordinate pair tells the graphics card the definition of a pure white.
     
  • Additional descriptors: here None

 

Basic Timing Characteristics

  • Horizontal scan range: here 15-70kHz (=max. vertical resolution x max. refresh-rate)
     
  • Vertical scan range: here 48-62Hz  (="refresh-rate")
    This is the refresh-rate of the physical LCD and not necessarily identical to the refresh-rate that is delivered from the graphics-adapter.
    This is most obvious with native cinema-material ("24p"), which is delivered with 24 frames per second.
    In a real cinema each frame is projected twice to avoid flickering so that we have a total refresh-rate of 2x24=48 Hz.
    The LCD does exactly the exact. Each frame delivered every 1/24th of a second is displayed twice so that we are in the (allowed) vertical scan range of 48...62 Hz.
    The same applies to native 25p or 30p source-material where also each frame is projected/displayed twice so that double the refresh rate.
     
  • Video bandwidth: here 150MHz
  • CVT standard: here Not supported (CVT=Coordinated Video Timings)
  • GTF standard: here Not supported (GTF=Generalized Timing Formula)
  • Additional descriptors: here None
     

Now here come the first two resolution/refresh-rate pairs that the display reports to Windows as preferred timings.
When you first connect the display to your HTPC, Windows will as default use the native/preferred timing.
 

  • Preferred timing: here Yes
     
  • Native/preferred timing: here 1920x1080p at 60Hz (16:9)
    Modeline: here "1920x1080" 148,500 1920 2008 2052 2200 1080 1084 1089 1125 +hsync +vsync
    (The modeline parameters are the detailed timing parameters for the graphics adapter to accurately display the corresponding timing from the line above.)
     
  • Detailed timing #1:here 1920x1080p at 50Hz (16:9)
    Modeline: here "1920x1080" 148,500 1920 2448 2492 2640 1080 1084 1089 1125 +hsync +vsync

Standard timings supported

These are the supported standard computer resolution and timings.
These are normally not used for video-applications but could be of use when the display is for special purposes as a PC-monitor.

  • 640 x  480p at  60Hz - IBM VGA
  • 800 x  600p at  60Hz - VESA
  • 1024 x  768p at  60Hz - VESA
  • 1360 x  765p at  60Hz - VESA STD
  • 1280 x 1024p at  60Hz - VESA STD
  • 1600 x 1200p at  60Hz - VESA STD

 

EIA/CEA-861 Information

These are resolution/timing-parameter sets encoded in the EDID according to a defined standard with very detailed additional informations like underscan, pixel-format etc.

 

  • Revision number: here 3 (=EIA-861b)
     
  • IT underscan: here Supported (display is capable of underscan adjustments)
     
  • Basic audio: here Supported (display is capable of audio playback over HDMI)

 

The next two entries are very important for the bit-resolution of the luminance and color information per pixel. The meaning of this data is further explained in the color-explanations.
With most modern graphics-adapters you can select the pixel-format as RGB, YCbCr 4:4:4 or YCbCr 4:2:2.

  • YCbCr 4:4:4:here Supported
  • YCbCr 4:2:2:here Supported
     
  • Native formats: here 1
     
  • Detailed timing #1: here 1920x1080p at 24Hz (16:9)
    Modeline"1920x1080" 74,250 1920 2558 2602 2750 1080 1084 1089 1125+hsync+vsync
    Remark: this is the native cinema-format "24p" for BD or other 24p-material
     
  • Detailed timing #2: here1920x1080i at 50Hz (16:9)
    Modeline"1920x1080" 74,250 1920 2448 2492 2640 1080 1084 1094 1124 interlace +hsync +vsync
    Remark: this is the HDTV-format "1080i 50Hz" for PAL (also usable for PAL SDTV, PAL-DVDs etc.)
     
  • Detailed timing #3: here 1280x720p at 50Hz (16:9)
    Modeline"1280x720" 74,250 1280 1720 1760 1980 720 725 730 750 +hsync +vsync
    Remark: this is the HDTV-format "720p 50Hz" for PAL (also usable for PAL SDTV, PAL-DVDs etc.)
     
  • Detailed timing #4: here 1920x1080i at 60Hz (16:9)
    Modeline"1920x1080" 74,250 1920 2008 2052 2200 1080 1084 1094 1124 interlace +hsync +vsync
    Remark: this is the HDTV-format "1080i 60Hz" for NTSC (also usable for NTSC SDTV, NTSC-DVDs etc.)

CE video identifiers (VICs) - timing/formats supported

These timings/formats are also supported but decribed in less detail.
As you see they include all the already defined timings/formats.
The second ratio behind the aspect-ratio (16:9 or 4:3) is the pixel-ratio.
In contrast to the square-pixels at an LCD or plasma-display, the "pixels" at a CRT TV-display is not square!
You can see this by looking at the standard PAL-resolution (720:576) which has an aspect-ratio 1.25:1, but  the aspect ratio of 4:3 is equal to 1.33:1

So there is a pixel-ratio unequal to 1 which must be used for an undistorted display if material produced for 4:3 non-square pixels (CRT) is displayed on a square-pixel display (LCD, plasma etc.).
There can be a further correction factor if the source-material is anamorphically compressed.

This results in the different possible pixel-ratios.

  • 1920 x 1080p at  50Hz - HDTV (16:9, 1:1)
  • 1920 x 1080p at  60Hz - HDTV (16:9, 1:1)
  • 1920 x 1080p at  24Hz - HDTV (16:9, 1:1)
  • 1920 x 1080p at  25Hz - HDTV (16:9, 1:1)
  • 1920 x 1080p at  30Hz - HDTV (16:9, 1:1)
  • 1920 x 1080i at  50Hz - HDTV (16:9, 1:1)
  • 1920 x 1080i at  60Hz - HDTV (16:9, 1:1)
  • 1280 x  720p at  50Hz - HDTV (16:9, 1:1)
  • 1280 x  720p at  60Hz - HDTV (16:9, 1:1)
  • 720 x  576p at  50Hz - EDTV (16:9, 64:45)
  • 720 x  480p at  60Hz - EDTV (16:9, 32:27)
  • 720 x  576p at  50Hz - EDTV (4:3, 16:15)
  • 720 x  480p at  60Hz - EDTV (4:3, 8:9)
  • 720 x  576i at  50Hz - Doublescan (16:9, 64:45)
  • 720 x  480i at  60Hz - Doublescan (16:9, 32:27)
  • 720 x  576i at  50Hz - Doublescan (4:3, 16:15)
  • 720 x  480i at  60Hz - Doublescan (4:3, 8:9)
  • 640 x  480p at  60Hz - Default (4:3, 1:1)

  NB: NTSC refresh rate = (Hz*1000)/1001

This last entry about the NTSC refresh rate is quite important.
In the early days of NTSC the refresh-rate was synchronized exactly to the AC-mains frequency of 60 Hz.
The disadvantages are the occurence of certain artefacts in moving objects.
This can be partly avoided by using a refresh-rate slightly different to 60 Hz.
Thus the refresh-rate is lowered by a factor of 1000/1001 to 59.94 Hz (or 29.97 Hz instead of 30 Hz).

CE audio data (formats supported)

The audio capabilities of the display are of no further interest here.

In summary the display is able to decode all standard formats send over HDMIbut it downmixes multichannel streams to 2.0 stereo because it has only stereo speakers built-in.
The new high-resolution formats used with BD (DTS HD-master etc.) are not supported.
These would have to be downmixed to LPCM or AC3 by the HTPC if they are to be rendered by the speakers inside the display.

  •   LPCM: here   2-channel, 16/20/24 bit depths at 32/44/48/88/96 kHz
  •   AC-3: here*   * 6-channel,  640k max. bit rate at 32/44/48 kHz

CE speaker allocation data

  • Channel configuration: here_2.0_
  • Front left/right: here_Yes_
  • Front LFE: here_No_
  • Front center: here_No_
  • Rear left/right: here_No_
  • Rear center: here_No_
  • Front left/right center: here_No_
  • Rear left/right center: here_No_
  • Rear LFE : here No 

CE vendor specific data (VSDB)

  • IEEE registration number:here 0x000C03
  • CEC physical address:here_4.0.0.0_
  • Supports AI (ACP, ISRC):here No

The next values are of importance again. bpp is bits per pixel.
Because each pixel consists of three color-information in RGB-mode we can calculate the color-depth in bits of each pixel. 36bpp means 12bit per pixel per color and 30bpp is 10bit per pixel per color.
The YCbCr 4:4:4 capability was explained already above.
Altogether these are currently the best color-properties in the consumer-market and should be sufficient for every source-material in the foreseeable future,

  • Supports 48bpp:here No
  • Supports 36bpp:here Yes
  • Supports 30bpp:here Yes
  • Supports YCbCr 4:4:4:here Yes
     
  • Supports dual-link DVI:here No
  • Maximum TMDS clock:here 225MHz(pixel-clock)
  • Video latency (p:here 201ms
  • Audio latency (p):here 201ms
    (audio and video are in sync)
     
  • Audio/video latency (info) :here n/a
  • HDMI video capabilities:here No
  • Data payload:here 030C004000382D806565

CE colorimetry data  

Again some very important color data.

  • xvYCC709 support: here_Yes_
    This is an extended color-space used in HDTV
  • xvYCC601 support: here_Yes_
    This is an extended color-space used in SDTV, DVD etc.

Other extended color-spaces (here unsupported)

  • sYCC601 support: here_No_
  • AdobeYCC601 support: here_No_
  • AdobeRGB support: here_No_
  • Metadata profile flags: here_0x01_

   

 

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