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Video question, again

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by [email protected], Mar 13, 2007.

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  1. Guest

    OK, I'm gonna ask the same question again, but hopefully this time
    I'll make myself more clear.

    Any modern monitor, LCD or CRT, when you navigate the menus eventually
    has a feature where it displays the mode of the incoming analog VGA.
    For example, it'll tell you the VSYNC and HSYNC frequency, and
    sometimes even the resolution depending on the model.

    So again, I ask, how does the monitor know this? It seems pretty
    simple to count the number of hsyncs per vsync to get the number of
    lines per frame. Is it that simple? Like if I count 600 (+/-) hsyncs
    per vsync, I'd guess... lemme see.... hmmm... 800x600?

    Does anyone have a clue about this? I'm pretty sure the DDC lines are
    not used for this, but am I wrong? I'm pretty sure the DDC is used the
    other way round.

    Basically all I want to know is how LCDs in particular set up their
    incoming sampler section. The monitor must sample at the correct dot
    clock before resizing the image and tossing it at the panel in native
    resolution. Or so I think.

    It's for a personal project that went into a coma a while back but is
    awake again. It's actually a lot more convoluted than this, but I'd to
    read up on how the pros do it.
     
  2. vertreko

    vertreko Guest

    I think that is exactly how the monitor does it. Although there are
    weirdnesses: for example, some (rare) monitor timing formats are
    actually interlaced, and you would count more HSYNCs on one field than
    on the other. I'm betting that, in addition to counting H and V,
    there is a table of sorts based on H and V polarity, H and V counts,
    and maybe even front and back porch width (both H and V), that will
    point the monitor to one of its possible standard timing formats.
    Yep, DDC is used by the PC to figure out which formats the monitor can
    support. I'm 99% sure that the PC can't use the DDC line to tell the
    monitor what it is getting.
     
  3. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    I don't know for certain, but I would guess that this is correct: From the
    VSync and HSync frequencies you can get the number of lines and make a very
    good educated guess at the resolution. Modern LCDs seem to do a pretty good
    job of synchornizing correctly (whereas I had one maybe 4/5 years ago that
    seldom would without manual tweaking) when presented with "standard"
    resolutions -- I wouldn't be surprised at all if many perform poorly if you
    purposely create custom "oddball" resolutions such as, say, 1133 x 737.
    No, it really doesn't have to do this: For the simplest LCD, regardless of
    how many pixels are actually being sent per line, you just have to sample
    the same number of times as your LCD has pixels on the screen. If you LCD
    is 1280x1024 and someone's shipping you 1600 pixels per line... oh well,
    you'll just miss some of the information. If they send you 800 pixels per
    line, you'll sometimes sample the same pixel more than once. Depending on
    the ratio of pixels sent to pixels displayed, you get various artifacts from
    this approach, often noticeably as vertical banding, particularly around
    sharp edges. Extra lines are skipped, "absent" lines are repeated. The
    result is potentially quite ugly, but given that LCDs are intended to be
    used at their native resolutions anyway, this isn't much of a problem.
    (I've also seen LCDs that simply "center" imagines that don't have enough
    pixels... this is relatively common with, e.g., widescreen monitors that'll
    have the option to put up black vertical borders on the left and right of
    the image if you send them a 4:3 screen.)

    That being said, I believe that some of the better LCDs (and, e.g., video
    projectors where it's very much expected that they won't be run at their
    native resolution) *do* try to lock on to the exact incoming pixel stream,
    store it in a multi-line buffer, and then regenerate the output to the LCD
    using a filter of their choosing (you could use, e.g., a simple average
    filter so that for an 800x600 LCD you just average together four pixels in a
    cluster if someone's sending you 1600x1200 -- the filter you choose is
    determined largely by whether you're attempting to highlight edges, trying
    to be color accurate, etc.: This is the standard sampling problem in image
    processing, and there are about a dozen filters commonly used to "re-sample"
    display data in an effort to convert from one display format to another.)
    What are you trying to do?
     
  4. Guest

    I bet you could run some intersting experiments with a video driver
    that lets you fully tune the timings (think xvidetune for xfree86) and
    perhaps some sort of magnified to examine the screen.
     
  5. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    I expect it uses a frequency counter. It's not difficult.

    Graham
     
  6. freq counter
    yes, but note INTERLACE.
    In case of interlace for example in PAL(whereIamorwasratherasallisdigitalnow)
    50 fields per second vertical deflection so 50Hz, and a horizontal deflection
    frequency of 15625 Hz, gives 15625 / 50 = 312.5 lines.
    But because of interlace you get 625 lines, the lines of one frame are displayed
    'between' those of the previous one.
    The form of the vertical sync pulse causes a slightly later V trigger.



    Absolutely not ;-)

    PLL
    ON A LCD THE DOTS PER LINE ARE FIXED.
    So if you have 1980 H dots, and 32 uS line sync, you know the time to
    hang around in one dot.
    calculate.

    OK
     
  7. Guest

    That's great, now guess the exact dot clock of the video signal. Still
    not difficult?
     
  8. Guest

    This would imply that the LCD monitor is able to retime itself to spew
    out its native 1280 pixels at the same rate as the incoming video
    line.

    "Real" 1280x1024 has a hsync of 60KHz let's say. But now I give the
    monitor a 640x480 VGA signal at a hsync of 31Khz. That doesn't fit. So
    the LCD slows itself down to sample the incoming signal at 31KHz at
    1280 samples (or whatever the actual number is) per line and spews out
    1280 pixels to the panel at 31KHz HSYNC.

    That kind of makes sense, the monitor is slaved to the incoming hsync
    and then it just samples whatever happens to be there, aliasing etc..
    be damned and tosses it out to the panel. Hm.

    But now what about the lines? Does it just do a naive sequence of
    trying to fit the incoming 480 lines into the native 1024 lines by
    sending out the same line twice, then next line three times, etc... to
    sort of get close to the 2.13 ratio required?

    So it still has to know someting about the incoming signal, otherwise
    how could it do that trick?
    Ah, my mistake was in thinking the signal needs to be accurately
    sampled.
    Display 15KHz RGBI on VGA-style monitor. My project kind of works, one
    of the problems I have is that the source computer, a Commodore 128,
    uses a 16MHz video chip with programmable sync rate. The dot clock
    never changes, so I have to be able to regenerate this clock with
    whatever hsyncs are being tossed at me.

    I either have to build a edge phase detector that only samples on the
    edge of the hsync and tries to correct a ceramic resonator, or use a
    genlock PLL but figure out on the fly the correct ratio to get back
    16MHz.

    The main problem is that my microcontroller is used as the divider,
    but it also uses the recovered clock as its own clock. My mistake, I
    guess. I can't use the microcontroller to count since its own clock is
    always changing.

    The chip that does the actual scan conversion has to know the dot
    clock so that the output is as sharp and crisp and jitter and artifact-
    free as displaying the RGBI on a native RGBI monitor. Otherwise why
    bother?

    Other problems include too much jitter on the recovered clock, and
    bizarre behavior of the chip.

    Anyways, I get a display, but there is fuzz around some pixels and I
    can't get the LUT to work to map the colors to the correct VGA colors.
    It's all a purple, fuzzy mess.

    There is very little noise on the supply, the genlock's supply is so
    quiet it's below what I can measure with my scope, I get the same 2mV
    waveform wether my probe is connected or not....
     
  9. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Not for someone who knows how their display works. It's not a guess. You
    know the horizontal rate - just sort out the blanking and sync pulses,
    count one line time, and multiply that by the number of pixels across
    the screen to get the dot clock.

    Cheers!
    Rich
     
  10. John Fields

    John Fields Guest

     

  11. Read the datasheets on the video processors in the monitors.


    --
    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
     
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