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Discussion Starter #1
First my equipment:
Epson 8100
Visual Apex Classic white 92" screen
Denon AVR 988
Sony bdp-360 blu-ray
2 - 25ft. 28 awg hdmi cables with monster coupler
DVE Blu-ray test disc

During black level calibration on dve disc, no matter how low I set the brightness i cannot see the below video black, 4% above, and 2% above black bars on the basic black level calibration. The video says something is clipping the signal if this happens. This was not a problem with my Toshiba LCD with 6 ft. Bettercables HDMI. Do I need to get an hdmi signal booster instead of a coupler or is it some other component in my system? Any help is appreciated
 

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2x25' giving you a total of 50' of HDMI is a bit long and could possibly be the cause the other issue is that you may need to check your BluRay player video settings including "black level" to see if that is set wrong.
 

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The 8100 is known to be an ambient light home theater projector. The 8500 is the reference black level model. Not sure what compelled you to buy this projector, but I'm not confident you could get true blacks on a model engineered for ambient light situations.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
the $800.00 price difference compelled me to buy this projector. I realize its not a reference level product but it should be able to get through a basic black level test on an amatuer calibration disc. Which is why I'm asking if its in my setup. It just seems their would be a lot more 8100 owners complaining about this if it were a problem with the projector. But then again maybe there are a lot of people having problems with this projector. Any links to some similar complaints would be great help.
 

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Most LCD projectors and displays still do not get perfect black level. This is an inherent trate with going with LCD over DLP or LED.
 

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An easy test for the HDMI is to connect your DVD locally with your projector using a shorter cable. It would quickly eliminate the HDMI as the problem.
The 8100 is a great projector, especially at the price point. We all live my our means, and the 8100 is a fine projector. I would try a short cable with direct hookup and see what happens.
Also, are you connecting directly to the projector or are you running it through your receiver first?

Matteo
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks matteo, i'll try a shorter length cable and see how it goes. I connected the hdmi through the receiver first and then directly to the blu-ray player and still got the same result. But the shorter cable directly to the projector is a good way to eliminate one possible problem.
 

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You might get better blacks with it off.. mine has great blacks with it off and all the lights off. :rofl:
All joking aside, I have an Epson 6100 and it is a little lacking in the black levels as well. What size, brand and color of screen are you using? I am not a screen expert but I did find that the grey colored screens helped improve the black levels.

Matt
 

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You could try set Epson Super White off and HDMI Video range to Expand from Signal menu. Then lower the brightness until black is black enough.

My set:
Samsung BPD -1500
Epson EH-TW5000 (Epson 7500UB)
Sony STR-DG820
 

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The length of HDMI cables will not affect black levels.
Good call.

Yes, I had doubts about this doing anything, but I always like to start simple. If the coupler were having problems or the cables were bad, even though the chances were slim of it correcting the problem, it would give me a piece of mind of what was happening. Almost certainly a waste of time, but it is simple and just one more thing to check of the list of possibilities.

Matteo
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Leonard,
I've read an entire mother-load of your posts and you are obviously knowledgeable with the ins and outs and what-have you's of video. I'll go with what you said and not worry about the cables. I will try what DTMan suggested but I think I already have those settings in place. This is a very nice projector for the money without a doubt but there is a noticeable difference in black levels when you go from a nice LCD flat panel to a moderately priced LCD projector. I guess i will have to upgrade to a grey screen to help black levels seeing as how that's a lot cheaper than upgrading a projector.
 

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Don't go on faith in what I say. Just get to know a bit about how data is transferred in HDMI cables. Cable length can induce data dropout, but the effect is not going to affect parameters like video level because of the way the data is distributed in the signal.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
DTMan,
I thought I had Super White off but I didn't. I turned it off and still nothing. Then I looked at my hdmi signal range and it was set to normal. Turned it to "expanded" and there they were, the 4% and 2% above video black bars. I still couldn't see the below video black but who gives a I'm not supposed to anyways. I was able to adjust the brightness to what the disc suggested and there was a definitively better picture. The brightness was set to 13 which is what was suggested in the Projectorreviews website but it was definitely too bright.

Now, can someone explain to me what the Epson Superwhite and HDMI video range settings do and what they are for?

Thanks
 

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Epson Super White description from the User Manual:

If bright white areas of images such as clouds and T-shirts on the beach in summer appear uneven and overexposed, set to "On". When set to "On", the "HDMI Video Range" setting will be ignored.

Good link explaining hdmi levels:

audioholics.com/tweaks/calibrate-your-system/hdmi-black-levels-xvycc-rgb/

My pj is different model, but i get good black and white levels with these basic settings:
brightness -9
Contrast 9
Epson Super White Off
Hdmi Video Range Expanded
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That article from audioholics was a huge help. I had the xvYcc set to auto on my blu-ray player and the RGB settings on my receiver were set to 0-255. Once I turned off xvycc and set the RGB to 16-255, I could finally see the below video black bar. There were a combination of things clipping the black level signal in my system. Settings on the projector were wrong as well as the blu-ray player and receiver. On the projectorreviews web site, It recommended the brightness be set to +13. With the DVE Blu-ray disc I ended up setting the brightness at -12! I just went with the web site recommendation because the blacks were being clipped by something in signal path and I couldn't figure out what it was. It seemed like once I set the black level properly, everything about the picture, from skin tones to colors to blacks, got much better. Thanks for all the help
 
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