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Nat Crea - Surround Visuals Update
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Jon Boe



Joined: 16 Feb 2004
Posts: 396
Location: Centennial, Colorado USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Nat,

Thanks for the additional info.

I am currently using a TH2Go , one computer, and 3 projectors for my setup as well, but using a flat screen that works out to be approximately 20x4 feet in size. The FOV is not that different from my earlier WidevieW setup but there are a few major differences.

1. The impact on halo/AI lighting with the TH2Go is managably for the ground effects (taxi lights, etc) but I haven't found anyway to make the AI landing lights anything other than huge blobs of light.

2. The "need for speed" effect. What I found with the angled screens was that the feeling of speed during takeoff and landing was much more realistic. Also, flying in IFR with clouds was much more realistic with the curved screen.

3. I was able to align the horizon in turns with WidevieW, so that wasn't a problem. It was the requirement for 4 high end computers that drove me bananas. My room is hot enough as it is. Very Happy

4. The TH2Go is a great solution and the one that I plan to use for the near term. I really liked your use of the SOL7 to give the screen some degree of curve and to blend the images between the 3 projectors. My inclination is to do the same thing as an interim... I have lots to do on the flightdeck with mod's this year. Save the computer upgrades for 2010 when pricing gets better and then maybe explore reactivating WidevieW/WideTraffic and wrap the screens a bit more to reacquire that feeling of speed.

Cheers,

Jon
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melnato



Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 1087
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Can you tell me (us) what zoom factor you are using to get the
120 degree FOV?


Hi Paul,

Here is what i have found during testing:

FS9: Zoom =0.3 (only acceptable value)

FSX "wide view aspect=False"...then zoom=0.3

FSX "wide view aspect=True"...then zoom=1.0
(you can zoom out even further in this mode, but the image distorts/stretches towards the edges)

Nat
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dbday



Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why we are talking TH2G I have been wondering about something. As I understand it the TH2G takes a single input from a video card of 1024 x 768 and creates three outputs spreading the single image over now three monitors/projectors at 3072 x 768 eg) three images side by side

My question relates to using a 16:9 image instead of a 4:3. Does the TH2G have any limitations in terms of resolution or is that determined solely by the video card. For example if the video card supports 16:9 such as 1360 x 768 (I know it's not perfect but let's pretend) will the TH2G convert that to output 4080 x 768 if your monitor/projector will handle it? Basically will the TH2G take any input from the video card (ignoring whether monitors/projectors can handle it as my question is solely around the TH2G capability)
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melnato



Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 1087
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dbday,

The TH2Go Digital version can handle almost any resolution...4:3, 16:9, 16:10...etc.

I'm running 3840X800 (3 X 1280X800, which is the native resolution of my projectors)

Here is the Digital TH2Go specs from Matrox:

Quote:
Resolution..............................Refresh Rates
1920 x 480 (3 x 640 x 480) 60Hz
2400 x 480 (3 x 800 x 480) 60Hz
2400 x 600 (3 x 800 x 600) 60, 75, 85Hz
3072 x 768 (3 x 1024 x 768) 60, 75, 85Hz
3840 x 720 (3 x 1280 x 720) 60Hz
3840 x 768 (3 x 1280 x 768) 60Hz
3840 x 800 (3 x 1280 x 800) 60Hz
3840 x 960 (3 x 1280 x 960) 60Hz
3840 x 1024 (3 x 1280 x 1024) 60Hz
4080 x 768 (3 x 1360 x 768) 60Hz
New! 4098 x 768 (3 x 1366 x 768)3 60Hz
New! 4320 x 900 (3 x 1440 x 900)3 60Hz
New! 5040 x 1050 (3 x 1680 x 1050)3 57Hz



Nat
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dbday



Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Nat. If you don't mind shedding some light on one other thing. After seeing your most recent pics I was blown away with what you have been able to do. You and Nic are inspirations. I have quite a good home cockpit using some real 737 parts, but as much as I want to I will never be able to do what you and others have done in the visuals as I simply don't have the room.

Over 10 years ago my son and I visited James Price's cockpit and I will never forget it. One of the things he did was he had a projector at the front with a large TV monitor on the front side windows of the Capt/FO. ALthough not perfect visual setup considering the differences of having a projector at front/monitor at side it actually was quite good. Although I may not have room for a screen setup aroung the side windows I do have just enough room on the side windows of the cockpit to install a large flat screen monitor on each of the Capt/FO front side windows. Remembering the improvement in Price's sim these side monitors offered I am considering doing the same as the only other alternative I have.

My question is have you or any others had any experience in setting something like this up using TH2G? Given that the flat screen side monitors would be 16:9 (more or less) and my projector is only 1024 x 768 there would be a mismatch in resolution. This would I think force me to set the card res to 4:3 to accomodate the projector leaving wasted real estate on the widescreen monitors screen with the blacked out area when set to 4:3.

I would image the TH2G receives it's resolution input from the video card meaning only one resolution and not able to set differing resolution per output to each screen/projector. Given that I have to resolve to such a setup do you have any suggestions as to how best to configure eg) 1024 x 768 front projector with 16:9 side LCD monitors?

Bruce Day
Toronto, Canada
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melnato



Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 1087
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce,

I have not tested different/mixed resolutions within TH2Go, but I don'tsee a huge problem.
Yes the TH2Go will split the resolutions equally to all three devices,
but that wouldn't hurt your LCDscreens for example, they can display resolutions above or below "native" quite well.

I personally would set the resolution(3072X768) to match your projector as this is the device which would benefit
most form displaying its native resolution...make sense? Smile

Nat
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dbday



Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Nat. That makes perfect sense and was what I thought I would end up with.
If I understand it correctly there would be a reasonable downside to that. That downside would be that each side widescreen 16:9 monitor would be displaying in 4:3 eg) 1024 x 768? Is that correct? If that is the case a large amount of the side monitors would be displaying nothing but a verticle black stripe up each side of the screen as in using a HD TV in 4:3.

If so that loses much of the effect but may be my only choice. The only other solution I could see would be purchasing another projector that displays 16:9 also in addition to the side monitors and set the video card at 16:9 res. Obviously that is not an attractive choice - especially since I recently purchased this projector. Is it correct that the TH2G can only display one resolution and cannot independently change each ports resolution?

Looks like I am asking for the impossible from my current setup (projector). The native 1024 x 768 on the projector while displaying the side monitors at 16:9. If you wouldn't mind would you be able to look at the link in this message and see if there is anyway based on 16:9 selectable on a 4:3 native resolution that I can get this projector to run at 16:9 to match the side monitors. Or maybe someone else has dealt with this same issue and has come up with a solution.

One other point that may help if you know the answer. I have an Optima DX605 projector

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1585387&csid=ITD&body=MAIN#detailspecs

that the specs above is Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Native/16:9 Selectable and HD compatible at 720p. When using I actually select 16:9 as my basement has limited height so my screen is not very tall. As a result I can't display in the normal 4:3 as the top FS drop down menu is not visible. Selecting 16:9 on the projector resolves this. But still the card is displaying at 1024 x 768 so the side screens would still be receiving a 4:3 signal? Don't really understand that 16:9 selectable on the projector while the card is still displaying at 4:3 but it works.

Any other thoughts??

Thks, Bruce
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melnato



Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 1087
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is it correct that the TH2G can only display one resolution and cannot independently change each ports resolution?


Sorry Bruce, the TH2Go only tricks Windows into thinking there is a Extra wide monitor connected to it,
so obviously a single monitor can not have multiple resolutions at the same time Shocked

Yep, you are in a bit of sticky situation. I think you may be best off running FS in 16:9 resolution
so your LCDs will display 'correctly' and lose some vertical pixels off your projector....or by a new projector.

When you select 16:9 on your projector, it actually compresses the 4:3 image to create the 16:9 aspect,
its not true 16:9 as you will lose picture quality when doing this. All projectors can display higher resolutions
and different aspect ratios...BUT the Native resolution is the only true high quality picture it can project.
Don't be fooled by the manufacturers compatibility modes/specs.

This is a good lesson for anyone about to go down the projector road...ONLY look at the NATIVE resolution of the projector and buy identical projectors...

Nat
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dbday



Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been communicating with Nat and we think this might work but wondering if anyone has actually done this?

What if the approach used was the Matrox Dual Head2Go "Digital" Box? Here's what I think may work based on some real life experience combined with some research I have done on the Matrox Dual Head Digital Box.

1) Attach the projector to the DVI output on the card as I am now (I've tried both video card ports for the projector and I need to stay with the DVI out on the video card as I get much better contrast on the projector)

2) Attach the Dual Head2Go Box to the VGA out on the video card (surprisingly enough I have checked Matrox's site and their Dual Head2Go Digital Box connects to the VGA port on the card NOT to the DVI port)

This from what I see allows me to do everything that I want to do

a) keep my projector attached to the DVI output while maintaining my current 1024 x 768 resolution set on the card for the DVI port eg) 4:3 resolution

b) allows me to attach the Dual Head2Go to the VGA port of the video card as that is what the box attaches to and that is what the port I want to attach it to

c) allows me to have two different resolutions for the two different types of visual outputs eg) projector and LCD monitors

1) on the DVI port (Projector) I set the resolution to 1024 x 768

2) on the VGA port (DualHead2Go Digital Box) I set the resolution to 1920 x 1200. eg) 16:10 The digital DualHead2Go box according to Matrox's site will take up to this resolution x 2 which happens to be exactly what the monitors two 24" Samsung monitors are capable of.

As far as what I can see this should be able to be done. I have tried this before without the Matrox box eg) attached the projector to one video port and attached an additional monitor as a side screen on the other video port. I worked perfectly for one monitor but I took a major hit in framerates. (I did it by undocking a side view and dragging it to the second monitor). By attaching the Dual Head2Go to the same port instead of one monitor I should be able to display both side views. Other than the frame rate hit I can't see why, with the Matrox Digital Dual Head2Go, it wouldn't work now with two side monitors. I would simply drag each side view to each monitor (actually to half of the now double wide screen).

What was interesting was I had no Sync problems as everything flowed from the front view (projector) screen to the side screen monitor perfectly eg) taxiing traffic, clouds etc. This was because it was a single version of FS views running from one version of FS. There were not mulitple versions of FS running as per wideview with all the corresponding sync problems on Wideview for FS9. I understand this sync problem with Wideview this is fixed for FSX, but stll left with the mulitple computer issues.

If this is the case, it resolves every problem but the framerate. The FS computer I was running this on however, was a very old computer and could only run FS9 at 25 fps at the best of times with one view. I am buying a new computer this fall - actually planned to run FSX. A friend of mine purchased a system a year ago last fall for FSX that ran FS9 at 120 fps. My new system would be two years newer than his, so if there isn't enough computing power to do the above in FSX, I certainly should have plenty of power to run high framerates in FS9 even with mulitple side views.

I don't know anything about Matrox's boxes but from my real life experience combined with my research on the Matrx digital Dual Head2Go I think this should work. If anyone has had any real life experience with this approach I would be interested in hearing about it.

Bruce
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Karl737



Joined: 12 Jan 2009
Posts: 53
Location: Woodvale near Bendigo, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
That is an absolutely awesome set up! Applause I hope to end up with something similar eventually. You have certainly moved the bar up a few notches.

Cheers,
Karl
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VeeOne



Joined: 25 Jan 2004
Posts: 50
Location: Long Island, New York

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow i must say those visuals look absolutely amazing!!

Slowly getting my sim back together (life was getting in the way for a little while) and i am amazed at the progress in this hobby.

Definately looking forward to getting a visual setup like that going!! Great work! Looks like the real sims!!

Mike Leavy
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melnato



Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 1087
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mike!

I used to( and still) drool over your Sim when I first started.

It will definitely be a Beauty soon Cool

Nat
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warvet



Joined: 15 May 2004
Posts: 1298

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now he just drools over his own Mike lol Smile Jjk Nat You have alot to drool over both of you and rightly so you deserve it for all the time and $$ you invested. By the way Mike a little tip if I were you I'd paint the wall a grey not white it will diffuse the light much better and give you far crisper colors and deeper blacks. Anyway JMO thats what I found works well. Good luck either way.

Tim
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VeeOne



Joined: 25 Jan 2004
Posts: 50
Location: Long Island, New York

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey thanks for the tip Tim! I do remember there was always a bit of a glare in the room.. Always thought it was my thinning hair Smile

Unfortunately the sim is almost completely boxed / crated up for a move from NY to TX. The move has taken much much longer than expected obviously due to the housing market and a buyer that backed out at the closing table Evil or Very Mad . Should be down there in a few months though..

The good news is that i will be working with some new stuff, new flight controls and converted TQ from NorthernFlightSim, and a nice new MCP/Glare from FDS. Cant wait to get this move overwith!!!

Keep up the great work Nat!! BTW i would be extremely jealous if i didnt get to fly the real ones for a living.. now im just jealous Smile

Good to hear from you Tim! hope things are going well wth your business venture! Simming at all??
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dcutugno



Joined: 17 May 2005
Posts: 60
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Need advice on better projector, if the space is not an issue what you suggest:

Benq MP 730 contrast 700 lumens 2000 but 1280 as resolution

Benq 522ST contrast 2000 lumens 2000 but 1024

i'm in doubt about the contrast...more black at 2000 but low FOV at 1024 what do you guys think?
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