Q&A: How can I get the crispest picture possible on my projection TV??


Q:  CRT’s can be made to compete with the sharpness of an LCD or Plasma, but I’m just not seeing it on my Pioneer Elite Pro-710HD Rear Projection TV. I’ve done the deep optics cleaning and I’ve gone into the multi-point convergence from the menu. Anything else to recommend? I know that a shim operation would probably help, but there must be something more???

Projection TV Troubleshooting Advice

A:  Four things contribute to a sharp, or crisp, picture:

  1. Optics (lens) cleaning.
  2. Mechanical focusing on the scanlines themselves using a mid-light-level grid. (I use the Cantilever technique.) You can find a video on how to do the Cantilever Technique at www.youtube.com/mrbobbigscreen.
  3. Electronic focusing at the focus block, being very careful not to disturb the screen potentiometer.
  4. A high-precision convergence using a mid-light-level grid again.
    Note: the built-in Pioneer internal grid is useless for this. 

Run all viewed video material at Contrast midpoint rather than in the upper-plus regions of the bar graph. Overdoing it on the light level/energy levels hitting your screen softens your focusing and tows your convergence off in bad directions. Set your Black Level for excellence in seeing shadow detail, once the Contrast is set properly.

In Service Menu, there’s Sharpness and Detail. I always run Detail up close to its max. (I try to never completely max things out unless absolutely necessary). Sharpness has to be played with, but usually needs to be lowered from factory settings. In playing with it, watch the vertical lines for edge enhancement. Too much EE will make things look crisper from a distance, but the repeat opposite lines next to the regular vertical lines in your content will be glaringly obvious if viewed up close. We want a Pioneer 510 to be regularly viewable from 6′, a Pioneer 610 to be viewable at 7′, and a Pioneer 710 to be viewable on a regular basis at 8′. These are basically the same kind of viewing distances recommended for DLPs.

Here’s a selection of shots done on the renovation of a Pioneer 510 Rear Projection TV. (Dave is a prominent contributor at AVSforum’s Pioneer Elite 510 Problem thread.) His handle is AquaCow. Below are some shots of the mechanical job he did. 


[quote name=”Mr Bob” url=”/t/695922/dont-dump-your-crt-rptv/11100#post_22265850″]
Here are some shots of these Pioneer Elite CRT sets that I have calibrated in other parts of the country.  As you can see, in the crispness factor arena, a Pioneer Elite Rear Projection TV is definitely no slouch.

Remember, any excess blue edging you see in the images is due to digital camera artifacting – it does not appear on the screen itself from normal viewing distances.

Hit F11 to open up your screen and see these pix better –

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Robert Jones is a Professional LEVEL II ISF Calibrator. His special talent lies in using the Image Perfection protocol as the final and most crucial step in the ultrafine tuning of High-Definition Home Theater and Front and Rear Projection TV systems. He optimizes and extends the working life of Projection TVs to 20 years and beyond.  Bob started the popular “Don’t Dump Your CRT-RPTV!” thread in 2006. It has over 13,000 posts spanning more than 400 pages and it is still going strong. These posts can be found at www.AVSForum.com  under the handle “Mr Bob”. Informational videos can be found at Youtube channel MrBobBigScreen. You can reach Bob directly at 510-278-4247 or bob@imageperfection.com. Though Bob specializes in Pioneer and Mitsubishi projection TV’s, he repairs and maintains Flat Screen and Flat Panel systems made by most manufacturers.

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