ColorDMD - LCD versus LED?


By goatdan

1 year ago


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#51 1 year ago

I look forward to putting a LED display in Rocky and Bullwinkle (light blue) using Sigma. Also looking forward to putting a LED one in Dr Who once the ROM file has been released.

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#52 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

I mean, come on, look at the HiRes TSPP video that Razorbak86 linked to, how the hell can you not like that? It is like watching the Simpsons cartoon.

But it's not, and that's the problem. The smear mode can't turn pixel art into real high resolution art. Simpsons cartoons don't have jagged lines or blobby eyes. The eyes are circles. The side of Barts head is straight. In dots, your brain fills in the missing information and you feel like you're seeing straight lines and circles. Smear mode fills in the blanks, but is limited by the limited resolution of the master art...and it just becomes a smear & isn't what the artists were going for. Dots XL is the superior option.

-1
#53 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

But it's not, and that's the problem. The smear mode can't turn pixel art into real high resolution art. Simpsons cartoons don't have jagged lines or blobby eyes. The eyes are circles. The side of Barts head is straight. In dots, your brain fills in the missing information and you feel like you're seeing straight lines and circles. Smear mode fills in the blanks, but is limited by the limited resolution of the master art...and it just becomes a smear & isn't what the artists were going for. Dots XL is the superior option.

Really? Are you looking at it 2 inches away? Enjoy it for what it is standing 3-4 foot away.

#54 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

Really? Are you looking at it 2 inches away? Enjoy it for what it is standing 3-4 foot away.

I have eyes. I enjoy dots very much because that's the art as it was created. Smear mode destroys the art and makes it look shitty....from 10 feet away, even.

#55 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

I look forward to putting a LED display in Rocky and Bullwinkle (light blue) using Sigma. Also looking forward to putting a LED one in Dr Who once the ROM file has been released.

And one in my DE SW....

#56 1 year ago

Are the LCDs in stock yet? I have a new TZ that news some color.

#57 1 year ago

I prefer the LCD over LED when it comes to ColorDMDs, but if I didn't already have the LCD version in my Tron I'd probably go LED for that one, the extra brightness would look good for the theme.

#58 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I have eyes. I enjoy dots very much because that's the art as it was created. Smear mode destroys the art and makes it look shitty....from 10 feet away, even.

Looks great to me and I don't wear glasses. Of course, I'm not analyzing every dot and every frame.
Every piece of Electronics has it limits, even the newest 4k TV, which looks like a waste of money to me.

-1
#59 1 year ago
Quoted from BrianZ:

And one in my DE SW....

Are you taking that game to the Houston show?

#60 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

Looks great to me and I don't wear glasses. Of course, I'm not analyzing every dot and every frame.
Every piece of Electronics has it limits, even the newest 4k TV, which looks like a waste of money to me.

It's not about analyzing every frame. It's about what looks right and what looks wrong. I think if their High res filter was able to interpret things in the way some video game emulator settings do, I might be interested...until then, I'm sticking w/ DotsXL. For instance, this filter on Super Mario World makes the game look like "hand drawn" type art with perfectly curved lines. ColorDMD doesn't do that. I wonder if future updates could be capable of offering a smoother smoothing mode.

SMW (resized).png
TSPP (resized).png

#61 1 year ago

Your example is around 300x100pixels whereas ColorDMD has 128x32 to work with. You can't get a perfectly smooth line without available datapoints.

The beauty of the LCD model is the choices you get to maximize the display on the machine. Some look great with dotsXL, some with SCAN, some with HIRES. You don't have to convince us that HIRES is bad, I think it looks terrific on some titles, whereas dotsXL looks better on others. The LED version is great for a super bright display with saturated colors and fits in a standard DMD opening, but if the LCD fits, I'd prefer the LCD.

Either way, enjoy! There's no 'right' answer, its all personal choice.

Quoted from Rarehero:

It's not about analyzing every frame. It's about what looks right and what looks wrong. I think if their High res filter was able to interpret things in the way some video game emulator settings do, I might be interested...until then, I'm sticking w/ DotsXL. For instance, this filter on Super Mario World makes the game look like "hand drawn" type art with perfectly curved lines. ColorDMD doesn't do that. I wonder if future updates could be capable of offering a smoother smoothing mode.

#62 1 year ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

Your example is around 300x100pixels whereas ColorDMD has 128x32 to work with. You can't get a perfectly smooth line without available datapoints.
The beauty of the LCD model is the choices you get to maximize the display on the machine. Some look great with dotsXL, some with SCAN, some with HIRES. You don't have to convince us that HIRES is bad, I think it looks terrific on some titles, whereas dotsXL looks better on others. The LED version is great for a super bright display with saturated colors and fits in a standard DMD opening, but if the LCD fits, I'd prefer the LCD.
Either way, enjoy! There's no 'right' answer, its all personal choice.

Yup! My point is, it doesn't make Simpsons look like the show.

#63 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I'm sticking w/ DotsXL.

That looks amazing in HIRES. Where's the DOTXL for comparison?

simp (resized).png

#64 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

It's not about analyzing every frame. It's about what looks right and what looks wrong. I think if their High res filter was able to interpret things in the way some video game emulator settings do, I might be interested...until then, I'm sticking w/ DotsXL. For instance, this filter on Super Mario World makes the game look like "hand drawn" type art with perfectly curved lines. ColorDMD doesn't do that. I wonder if future updates could be capable of offering a smoother smoothing mode.

This paper was an inspiration for trying to add upscaling to the ColorDMD but the example of SMW graphics is a bit optimistic. The problem with the curve fitting in this algorithm is that it makes everything look curvy... which is kind of cool but it makes text look weird.

The dark little secret of pinball animation is that most of the time you're looking at text. If the text is goofy, people hate it no matter how the graphics look... and one of the main reason people like the smoothing in the ColorDMD is that (most of the time) it makes the text less "pixellated" and more pleasant to look at.

When I first unveiled our upscaler in March of 2013 the feedback I got was the text look blobby. I spent several months tweaking the custom scaling algorithm (it doesn't use curve fitting and does incorporate specific features of the original round dot artwork) just to try to make it look good across text of varying sizes and fonts.

If you're interested in the SMW scaler, here's a reference to the paper and some associated comparisons: https://johanneskopf.de/publications/pixelart/paper/pixel.pdf

It looks great on the curvy bits but really screws up anything that's supposted to have a sharp angle. Also notice that on the turtle shell above, it turnes the lines in the shell into polka dots... looking more like a lady bug.

The challenge is trying to find a tradeoff that handles both text and animation reasonably well while still being implementable with available hadware resources. Newer/larger FPGAs help.

pixelart (resized).PNG

pixelart2 (resized).png

#65 1 year ago
Quoted from Dmod:

This paper was an inspiration for trying to add upscaling to the ColorDMD but the example of SMW graphics is a bit optimistic. The problem with the curve fitting in this algorithm is that it makes everything look curvy... which is kind of cool but it makes text look weird.
The dark little secret of pinball animation is that most of the time you're looking at text. If the text is goofy, people hate it no matter how the graphics look... and one of the main reason people like the smoothing in the ColorDMD is that (most of the time) it makes the text really easy and more pleasant to read.

That's where we've always differed on this topic. You're interested in the text. I'm interested in the character art. Is ColorDMD capable of doing a curvy algorithm? If so, I'd love to see how that looks!!!

#66 1 year ago
Quoted from audihere:

That looks amazing in HIRES. Where's the DOTXL for comparison?

I don't think this is XL (just found these on Google), but it's dots...personally, I think this looks better...it's the way the art was designed. It looks retro and cool...but when made solid, it looks like a poor version of the cartoon. But hey, to each their own...

TSPP (resized).png

dots (resized).png

#67 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

That's where we've always differed on this topic. You're interested in the text. I'm interested in the character art. Is ColorDMD capable of doing a curvy algorithm? If so, I'd love to see how that looks!!!

I don't think the algorithm they have in the paper is designed to run in real-time hardware. It requires a lot of processing power. There were some videos but I think they were captured, rendered off-line, and then played back in real time.

I'm not sure if there are simplifications or more recent algorithms that can produce similar results more efficiently.

» YouTube video

#68 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I don't think this is XL (just found these on Google), but it's dots...personally, I think this looks better...it's the way the art was designed. It looks retro and cool...but when made solid, it looks like a poor version of the cartoon. But hey, to each their own...

I think it depends on the game but I really like HIRES. I still think it looks way better than dots. To each his own. That's the great thing about the LCD, you can do different forms.

#69 1 year ago

I would like to see images or video of the same game using the LED model and LCD model. I would expect the LED model to be better. LCDs suffer from poor blackness levels and bad angle viewing. I have several ColorDMDs, but I think the LEDs will eventually overtake the LCDs in sales. I get the whole different rendering modes that looks good in some games, but image quality and clarity are important much like on TVs. The plasma DMDs are monochrome, but they are really bright and pop. If Hi-Res like MMr update would be possible (I know it is not), this would be a different argument.

#70 1 year ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

Games going forward are going to be available for both displays. Since TWD is a standard stern ''new" backbox either would work. *BUT* you should not buy a display based on future hoped for support. It may come, it may not. Buy a display for what it can do now.

Quoted from Dmod:

^What he said.

Thanks, but are you saying The Walking Dead won't be supported? I thought it was close to complete
It would be a shame not to have Color DMD on that title.

#71 1 year ago

Personally, I'm a dots guy and am planning to upgrade to the LED displays. Luckily, I hadn't converted my whole collection yet and only have three of the LCD displays (1x Stern, 2x WPC). Anyone who loves hi-res want to buy them?

#72 1 year ago

I have the LED in my DESW. Just installed it and it is awesome.

» YouTube video

#73 1 year ago

Just a personal opinion, I have a few LCDs and much prefer the look of the dots in color. I don't care for the look of the converted animation.

Very interested in trying the LED version once the convert the software over. I'd like to get one in my TZ and try it in other games. Like the idea of a brighter display.

One thing i found is that one of my LCDs is slightly faded looking, not crisp and bright. Its different from my other LCDs and I can't get it to be bright as the others.

#74 1 year ago
Quoted from cleland:

Thanks, but are you saying The Walking Dead won't be supported? I thought it was close to complete
It would be a shame not to have Color DMD on that title.

Whoever told you that is a filthy liar. Filthy I say!

There's always a SLIGHT chance that support for a title may require changes to the hardware, or it will take a lot longer than expected to complete due to complexity (heeyyyy Star Trek, how you doin'?), so the "buy a display for what it can do NOW" is a CYA move to prevent disgruntled consumers.

#75 1 year ago
Quoted from ltcmdrobvious:

Personally, I'm a dots guy and am planning to upgrade to the LED displays. Luckily, I hadn't converted my whole collection yet and only have three of the LCD displays (1x Stern, 2x WPC). Anyone who loves hi-res want to buy them?

I'd be interested at the right price. Lmk thanks.

#76 1 year ago

Just ordered an LED for my TOTAN. I have an LCD in my STTNG so I am interested in seeing the difference side by side.
I'll post an update once I get it installed.

#77 1 year ago

As it's my first I'm going with LED - it's US$ 30 cheaper!

#78 1 year ago

installed an led display in got today looks great, super easy to a install in spike game, just need a clear screen, an off set kit, both for sale on the color dmd web site, and with the led display you can plug right into the back box, with a power pig tail, no need for converter boards like with the lcd version.

IMG_0614 (resized).JPG

#79 1 year ago

Have to say I still have a hard time getting past the low contrast, brightness and saturation of the LCDs. LEDs definitely win.

Good news is that we might not be stuck with LCD / LED for as long as it appeared. LG begin inkjet printing of OLEDs early next year, and Sharp, TCL and Samsung will follow. Cost should drop like a stone and production numbers explode. QD or uLED aren't that far off either.

#80 1 year ago
Quoted from rooftop:

installed an led display in got today looks great, super easy to a install in spike game, just need a clear screen, an off set kit, both for sale on the color dmd web site, and with the led display you can plug right into the back box, with a power pig tail, no need for converter boards like with the lcd version.

Thanks for the post! Starting with this production cycle, new LCDs are now shipping with the same Chroma controller board used in the LED display. Both displays now only require a single 12V supply, and the same power solution can be used with both displays.

For more information: http://www.colordmd.com/chromainfo.html

#81 1 year ago

I love both of them. When I saw my friends CV with the LED I thought it looked fantastic! Right now I have three LCD's but my next purchase will be an LED.

BTW, I prefer the DotsXL look (all three of mine are set on it) on 90% of the machines out there, but do think the smoothing looks pretty good on Simpson's.

#82 1 year ago
Quoted from Rferullo:

Just ordered an LED for my TOTAN. I have an LCD in my STTNG so I am interested in seeing the difference side by side.
I'll post an update once I get it installed.

I like to see that, and hear your opinion on black level, fading, view angle etc.

I like the LCD for its modes, although I think I would only use Dots, Dotsxl and Tiles.
I like the LED for the formfactor (although you will not see that once build in) clarity and black levels.

#83 1 year ago

I'm in the "depends on which game it's in" crowd. I think STTNG and MM look awesome in HiRes but i use DotsXL for SM. Now that the ROM is released I'm going to do a direct comparison with the LCD and LED is SM. My only complaint with the LCD version has been color reproduction of Red, the color gamut of the screen used limits it's capabilities and on titles like SM where a lot of red is used I think the LED version will shine. As far as contrast and brightness goes on the LCD panel, make sure you tweak these to the viewing angle in the game, maxing out the brightness makes the background look grey instead of black but the right combination produces a great experience.

#84 1 year ago
Quoted from bobukcat:

I'm in the "depends on which game it's in" crowd. I think STTNG and MM look awesome in HiRes but i use DotsXL for SM. Now that the ROM is released I'm going to do a direct comparison with the LCD and LED is SM. My only complaint with the LCD version has been color reproduction of Red, the color gamut of the screen used limits it's capabilities and on titles like SM where a lot of red is used I think the LED version will shine. As far as contrast and brightness goes on the LCD panel, make sure you tweak these to the viewing angle in the game, maxing out the brightness makes the background look grey instead of black but the right combination produces a great experience.

Please post a picture/video of that as SM is my main title which will get a colorDMD treatment. Still wondering to go Led or LCD on this title.
DotXL vs Dots?

#85 1 year ago

I have 14 of the LCDs and none are set to plain Dots. Most are set to Dot-XL. This is the all around works great for Bally/Williams games. A couple I play with setting to Tile (MM and LOTR I think). The brick look with castle type games seems to fit. Newer games (AC/DC and POTC) I like the blending modes. I sometimes think Hi-Res pushes it a bit so I like 8-Bit.

And then the one outlier - TZ - I still have set to black and white Scan Mode.

If there was a problem where the LCD hardware would not fit of course I would look at LED. I would try and arrange the games so one LED was not in the middle of a line of LCD games. I'm sure the discrete LED would stand out. As for brightness? I have old eyes and LEDs can be a bit piercing. I "was" worried about the LCD not being bright enough but then I used it in an Addams and it illuminates the THING panel just fine.

Here are a couple of old pics using my failing HTC (went fuzzy then pink).

IMAG0746 (resized).jpg

IMAG0747 (resized).jpg

IMAG0748 (resized).jpg

IMAG0749 (resized).jpg

#86 1 year ago
Quoted from Taxman:

I have 14 of the LCDs and none are set to plain Dots. Most are set to Dot-XL. This is the all around works great for Bally/Williams games. A couple I play with setting to Tile (MM and LOTR I think). The brick look with castle type games seems to fit. Newer games (AC/DC and POTC) I like the blending modes. I sometimes think Hi-Res pushes it a bit so I like 8-Bit.
And then the one outlier - TZ - I still have set to black and white Scan Mode.
If there was a problem where the LCD hardware would not fit of course I would look at LED. I would try and arrange the games so one LED was not in the middle of a line of LCD games. I'm sure the discrete LED would stand out. As for brightness? I have old eyes and LEDs can be a bit piercing. I "was" worried about the LCD not being bright enough but then I used it in an Addams and it illuminates the THING panel just fine.
Here are a couple of old pics using my failing HTC (went fuzzy then pink).

Nice lineup Taxman. I'd be happy to trade you a top of the line Samsung Note 7 for anyone of those pins Don't worry - it won't explode.

#87 1 year ago

I've got a Judge Dredd LED on the way, looks awesome from what I've seen! I'm definitely a fan of the old school dot look with the bright colors, myself.

#88 1 year ago
Quoted from PeterG:

Please post a picture/video of that as SM is my main title which will get a colorDMD treatment. Still wondering to go Led or LCD on this title.
DotXL vs Dots?

I did the swap over from of the LED from my CV but it doesn't actually mount so I had to rig something temporary up. There were a couple other challenges as well but after that I have it working and I'm still tweaking the brightness and contrast settings - it looked terrible with defaults. I shot some video but realized I have it zoomed in way too far so I have to re-shoot it. My initial impressions are that some scenes look much better than the LCD on Dots or HiRes and some don't look as good. I'll try to get the video completed, uploaded and linked tonight or tomorrow. One thing for sure, none of the video I've shot so far (all on a Canon T6i with a really nice lens) does the colors of the LED display justice but I'm still working on it. Long story short, I don't think you can possibly go wrong either way!

#89 1 year ago
Quoted from Rferullo:

Nice lineup Taxman. I'd be happy to trade you a top of the line Samsung Note 7 for anyone of those pins Don't worry - it won't explode.

I do need one since it is Winter time. Stack it under the logs in the fireplace and when you want the mood just call yourself

#90 1 year ago

After a bit of trial and error I was able to capture a pretty decent video of the LED display in SM - now running ROM 3.3. (Original run LED displays will have the product key erased when you load the Spiderman Chroma ROM onto it so capture that and the process to re-enter it before you do load it. Randy said this will not happen with new displays that are now shipping or with other ROMs). I had to under-expose the video to best capture the colors but it's still doesn't match the vibrancy the eye sees. I captured with with contrast at 3 and brightness at 4 which are the settings I thought looked best in person. I'll try to upload similar videos with the LCD display in both HiRes and Dots for comparison and link them here.

LED Display with 3.3 ROM: » YouTube video

#91 1 year ago
Quoted from bobukcat:

After a bit of trial and error I was able to capture a pretty decent video of the LED display in SM - now running ROM 3.3. (Original run LED displays will have the product key erased when you load the Spiderman Chroma ROM onto it so capture that and the process to re-enter it before you do load it. Randy said this will not happen with new displays that are now shipping or with other ROMs). I had to under-expose the video to best capture the colors but it's still doesn't match the vibrancy the eye sees. I captured with with contrast at 3 and brightness at 4 which are the settings I thought looked best in person. I'll try to upload similar videos with the LCD display in both HiRes and Dots for comparison and link they here.
LED Display with 3.3 ROM: » YouTube video

Great! Looking forward for your next videos!

#92 1 year ago

That looks real good.

#94 1 year ago

Here's the video of the LCD is HiRes: » YouTube video

I tried to include as many of the same frames as possible but didn't do an exact one-to-one.

And here is video of Dots mode on the LCD: » YouTube video

#95 1 year ago

I like the LCD one...

#96 1 year ago

I like the lcd one better and ordered one for my fish tales . Can"t Wait !!!! Thank you all for the response .

Dan

#97 1 year ago

LCD looks way better.... can't wait for star trek and the walking dead to come out Randy

#98 1 year ago

As I said before you really can't go wrong either way but the videos do not do the vibrancy of the LED colors justice and make the LCD look closer to it than it appears to the eye. Due to the way I had to shoot the video to make any of them look close to real life the reds in the LCD look more saturated than they do to my eye as well. Great work by the ColorDMD crew on this title, you can actually tell what the video frames are supposed to be with either installed.

#99 1 year ago

Looks great, dots on LCD. Is there a difference between dots and dotsXL? Indeed this title needs color, only to know what you are looking at. I can see that LED seems brighter than the LCD. It looks more vivid.

#100 1 year ago
Quoted from PeterG:

Looks great, dots on LCD. Is there a difference between dots and dotsXL? Indeed this title needs color, only to know what you are looking at. I can see that LED seems brighter than the LCD. It looks more vivid.

Yes, the size of the dots on DotsXL are larger than the small dot of a DMD or LED. This means less black space between dots in the same space without using smoothing algorithms.

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