D-ILA Projectors » Reference Series

ID #1229

What is the "Input Level" feature in the Input Signal menu of my DLA-RS57?

The Input Level feature (also know as HDMI Input on older projectors) allows you to select the HDMI input setting that matches the HDMI setting of the device that is connected to the projector.  For projector models that are THX certified, you have a choice of Enhanced, Standard and Super White (and Auto for newer models).  For nearly all your video sources you would want to use Standard mode, unless it is forced to Super White by THX mode. Super White is used for when the video source is uning "whiter-than-white" video levels (this is not very common, except for THX certified movies).  Enhanced mode should be used for PC input signals using the HDMI input.

A deeper understanding of HDMI levels will help to clarify the proper use of this feature, so here is a basic primer: HDMI is a digital signal format used for transmitting audio and video signals. For consumer grade video, shades of gray (and color shades) are represented by the digital value range of 0 - 255 (8-bit video). Fundamentally, value 0 is black, value 255 is white, and the values between are levels of gray. However, the actual range of video for each type of signal source is:

0 – 255 = Video range for PC graphic signals (Enhanced setting)

    16 – 235 = Video range for standard video signals (Standard setting)

    16 – 255 = Video range for Super White video sources (Super White setting)

Although video from a PC utilizes the entire 0 – 255 range, typical video sources use level 16 as the base level for black and level 235 as the peak level for 100% white. Super White video sources also use level 16 for black but use level 255 for peak white. You might experience crushed blacks, clipped whites, or a washed out image if your projector HDMI level setting doesn’t match the video source.

Normally, the preferred method is to set both the Blu-ray player and the Projector to Standard mode.  Some Blu-ray players do not have an option to change the HDMI output levels but they are typically defaulted to Standard video levels.  Some Blu-ray players have a Super Bright output mode (it might have another name), but that would only be preferred if you projector is defaulting to Super White because you have selected the THX mode.  But the preferred (and standardized) method is to use Standard mode for all non-THX modes.

Please note that the projector’s Standard, Enhanced, and Super White mode selection is a global setting that will not save with any of the Picture Modes.

Last update: 2014-01-22 15:07
Author: Ken Bylsma
Revision: 1.2

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