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Powerstrip Help

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bill Catherall, Mar 21, 2002.

  1. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    I've had a "dark" looking computer for about 1.5 years now. The black levels are horrendous. I can't make any further adjustments to the contrast or brightness settings on my monitor (a 19" Futura brand). They're both pegged at the highest settings. When I watch DVDs (not very often), watch any Quicktime videos, and all images are much darker than they should be and I can't make out any detail in pictures with shadows or dim lighting. I've just put up with it and figured it was a problem with the monitor.
    Well today I decided to do something about it and downloaded Powerstrip. It recognized my video card just fine (3dfx Voodoo3) and seems to be able to adjust the brightness and contrast...except for DVD video. I put in Video Essentials in an attempt to use the video test patterns to fine-tune the black levels on my monitor but making changes in Powerstrip doesn't do anything to how the DVD video window looks. I'm using Ravisent Cinemaster as the DVD player. I don't have a hardware decoder.
    I can turn down the brightness all the way...the entire screen goes almost black except for the DVD window. It remains completely unchanged. Is there some setting in Powerstrip that I'm missing to make changes to how the DVD video window responds to changes? Is it just a problem with my video card? Is it a problem with the software DVD player?
    If it helps, I'm running Win98SE, 128MB RAM, 950 MHz AMD Athlon.
    If the the only solution is changing out my existing hardware then I'll probably just let it go as is. My computer isn't my primary DVD player, but it is rather annoying looking at rather dark pictures. Also, when I scan images I can't get the settings right if I make adjustments. The pictures always look washed out on all other computers when they look fine on mine.
     
  2. JackJD

    JackJD Stunt Coordinator

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    Bill,

    First the disclaimer... I am by no means an expert in the category of video display devices, but, that said, I think what you need to adjust is the video overlay. On my HTPC it is hidden amongst the "advanced" settings of my video card driver program. Perhaps someone else who is an expert, or at least familiar with you video card can give you a more complete/detailed explanation/instructions on how to remedy your problem. I hope I helped, at least a bit... Good luck -JD
     
  3. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    Thanks Jack. I couldn't find any video overlay settings in the Display control panel. Would it be a different control panel? I don't have the 3dfx control panels for my card installed. I did a while ago, but they didn't seem to control anything so I didn't reinstall them the last time I reformatted and reinstalled everything (just a few months ago). I don't remember seeing any video overlay settings in those control panels when I dug through them last time.

    Another thing that might help...I have Hardware Acceleration set to Full.

    I'll be out on vacation the next couple of days, so I appoligize if I don't get back to any of you and your suggestions. I'll check in Friday morning and again Sunday night.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  4. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Ouch Bill. If you can't find the video overlay settings, you might be forced to get a new videocard with better overlay tweaking. A GeForce 2MX can be had for cheap (~$100).
    Try searching Google. Maybe search the Google Groups section as well. I'm sure many users have had the same problem.
    On my GeForce 2 GTS with Powerstrip, I can tweak gamma for each application. Kinda gets annoying when I click on a window of a different app and the monitor dims or brightness. Ooops! [​IMG]
    However, I don't recall any gamma setting for overlays in PowerStrip. I don't have a DVD player, but maybe if I play a movie from the HD with Windows media player I can test if the Gamma hotkeys in Powerstrip will affect it. Probably not though. The Nvidia drivers do have overlay support, at least.
     
  5. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Well, adjusting gamma with powerstrip has no effect on WinDVD playback. Oh well. [​IMG]
     
  6. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    Digging up this old thread to report my latest findings...

    I was finally able to make the needed adjustments. It turns out that there was indeed a setting in Powerstrip that needed to be selected. I had to select "Apply to video overlay if possible." Simple enough, but hard to find...I had to scroll to find that selection instead of it just sitting there on top. (Kind of odd that it was hidden...but even more odd that it was turned off by default.)

    Anyway, once I had it set to apply to the video overlay I was able to tweak the video settings to get DVD playback to look right. I used Video Essentials with the pluge pattern to adjust brightness and contrast. Much much better!

    Now...anybody know how to adjust color and tint with Powerstrip? The settings aren't way off, but can use just a little nudge. To adjust color I tried selecting just the blue level and sliding the brightness and contrast (contrast seemed to work better), but small changes to the SMPTE color bars actually translated to huge overall shifts. Then I tried the same using the red and green selectors for adjusting tint. Again...didn't work. I just ended up shifting the color temperature too far while working with the SMPTE bars.

    Not really a big deal. Things look great now.
     
  7. AllenD

    AllenD Second Unit

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    I have ME so it might not be the same for 98SE. Did you try right mouse click on desktop--->properties--->settings tab--->advanced--->then you should be able to find a tab for your voodoo card w/additional properties. That's where I find my overlay settings.
     

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