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Problem: LCD projector makes video really dark

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Problem: LCD projector makes video really dark
on Dec 11, 2007 at 11:44:28 pm

I'm not even sure what forum to post this.

I was wondering if anybody ever had this problem.

When I play a video through an LCD projector it's really dark. I tested two projectors and the difference is not that much.

I need to play this video for a presentation but don't know how to work around it. thanks.

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Mark Suszko
Re: Problem: LCD projector makes video really dark
on Dec 12, 2007 at 12:11:06 am

You might want to ask inthe live& Stage forum as well. But first, have answers ready for these questions:

What are you playing it out of and how?
What kind of program is it, and in what format?
What kind of projector make and model?
Does it play anything else okay or is the output uniformly the same no matter what is played on it thru any input?
What connectors on the source and projector are you using?
Are all the proper terminators um, terminated?
How long is the distance from source to projector?
Are the projector bulb or bulbs plural working and not old?
Do you know if the original video source is calibrated, i.e. the color bars peak at 100 IRE units and the black level is at 7.5 IRE?

If that previous sentence made zero sense to you, we may have a bigger problem.

If for example you are using the preset zero level black levels for Japan instead of 7.5 US your video is already going to be "crushed", i.e. overly dark, coming out of the source. If you made the video using uncalibrated decks and monitors, there is no telling how over bright or too dim the original material is even if it "looks ok" on the monitor you used while editing.

If the video is okay on multiple other playback screens, just very dim on the projector, I suspect an unterminated signal path or mis-set menus on the projector.

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Re: Problem: LCD projector makes video really dark
on Dec 14, 2007 at 6:35:58 am

In addition to Mark's questions, what is the ANSI lumen rating of your projector, and are you projecting onto a wall or a projection screen?

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Andy Stinton
Re: Problem: LCD projector makes video really dark
on Dec 14, 2007 at 3:59:43 pm

Oh wow I love this question, as it is the bain of my existence . Not withstanding anything that Mark has said , the truth of the matter is the whole projection market is a total crap shoot. Despite alleged

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Re: Problem: LCD projector makes video really dark
on Dec 18, 2007 at 6:25:52 pm

I'm having the same issue. Mostly doing videos for a church. VGA projector.

Is it as simple as that, raising the brightness levels? Can I select ALL the clips and do it once?


iMac family,

G4 - iMac, eMac, mini, and new dual macBook

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andy stinton
Re: Problem: LCD projector makes video really dark
on Dec 24, 2007 at 2:35:48 pm

Yes bumping up the brightness will work ,but as I mentioned different projectors and signal paths require different settings . I would try it at the projector end to start with.

First and foremost set the projector to factory default and go from there . You should be able to get a reasonable picture from doing this . Write down the amount that you have had to boost the picture and then replicate that in your NLE.

It may sound pretty like a pretty crude way to do it, but until the industry relises that the old broadcast standard does not apply to all of todays methods of play back, we are stuck with this crude color correction method.

I'm been making videos for some of the current LED walls an it's a frigging nightmare.

Andy Stinton
Corporate Video
Live & Stage Events
Business Practices

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Ray Palmer
Re: Problem: LCD projector makes video really dark
on Dec 28, 2007 at 1:25:21 am

A simple rule with projectors. You can't project Black.
I mention this because adjusting the projector won't give you the results that ambient light control will. Find a projector that disappoints you and then try it in a dark room, possibly at night.
The only way to really beat that rule is to have a projector with such a bright light level that ambient light looks dark. 5-12k lumens.

Ray Palmer, Engineer
Salt River Project
Phoenix, AZ
602-236-8224 office
There are three types of people in this world, those that can count and those that can't.

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