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FAQ: RTC2200 Component to RGB Converter with Gamma Boost

 
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kal
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Location: Ottawa, Canada

TV/Projector: JVC DLA-RS56


PostLink    Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:52 pm    Post subject: FAQ: RTC2200 Component to RGB Converter with Gamma Boost Reply with quote


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RTC2200 Component to RGB Converter w/ Gamma Boost



Click HERE to order today directly from the manufacturer!

To be notified immediately of any news on this product, click HERE (you must be registered and logged in).


Add a component input to any projector, TV, or monitor that only accepts RGB (VGA)!


The RTC2200 converts the component (YPbPr) signal found on many source devices to a RGB signal required by most CRT projectors, computer monitors, and some TVs. Designed by a home theater enthusiast, it is regarded by most enthusiasts as the best component to RGB transcoder available (regardless of price). The fact that it's one of the least expensive ones available and has a pile of extra features like adjustable gamma boost is an added bonus!

What does the adjustable gamma boost do?

An adjustable gamma boost is used to restore shadow detail. If you've always found movies too dark or missing detail in dark scenes, you need a gamma boost! This is best shown with real life examples of the RTC200 in action:



Allows you to use an analog output cable of any length as the RTC2200 has a cable driver stage. Perfect for those of you that already have a long RGBHV cable going to your projector.

Gamma adjustment: The RTC2200 adds gamma adjustment to the signal for absolutely perfect shadow detail.

Allows you to set the sync polarity for fussy projectors or displays like older Barco projectors.
Allows you to tune the horizontal shift, horizontal width, and vertical height.

Specifications/Features:
  • High-Bandwidth (up to 1080p/60).
  • Adjustable gamma correction on both component and pass-through inputs for absolutely perfect shadow detail. The gamma curve up to 30IRE can be adjusted in order to improve the low level linearity.
  • Completely removes all sync from the output.
  • Automatic or manual setting of H-delay, H-width, V-width, H-polarity and V-polarity, including user selectable positive or negative sync output for older projectors like Barco 800/801/808/1208 that only accept negative sync.
  • RGBHV pass-through compatible with all standard PC graphics resolutions.
  • Auto-switches between inputs (if no sync is present on the RGB input than the component input is selected).
  • Manual or automatic color conversion selection for SD and HD color space.
  • Accepts bi- and tri-level sync and is Macrovision compatible (except 480i, 576i).
  • Accepts the following component video formats: 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i23/25/30, 1080p50/59/60
  • All sync settings as listed above can be individually set in automatic or in manual mode.
  • The black level of the output signal can be manually set which is ideal for DC coupled systems.

Reviews/Testimonials

"Got the RTC2200 installed today, and it made a definite improvement in the 720P viewing on my Sony VPH -1272 CRT Projector. The blacks are noticeably improved, and so is the image clarity compared to the Lumagen Vision it replaced. Kim packed it well, provided very good communication, and charges a more than reasonable price. What's not to like? I opted for his product, in part, from the positive comments on the forum about his units, and very positive comments about his customer focus. My hat is off to Kim. I judge suppliers not just by their product, or by the problems that might pop up, but by their willingness to listen to the customer and to focus on solutions. Kim does just that." - PJMoore

"Many people (myself included) cannot live without some sort of gamma boost to get out of black faster (ie: pulling out low light details without affecting the black level). All CRT projectors can really benefit from this. How much you like it yourself or how critical you find it to be is somewhat a matter of taste, though I don't know anyone that, given the option, would not use it. I use it on my HTPC for DVD playback and the difference (to me) is fantastic. I use the RTC2200 transcoder/gamma boost for HDTV and my PS3 feeding through an HDMI converter. The results are fantastic!" - Kal (webmaster)

"I finally received the transcoder last night. Kim shipped this very quickly ... here are my initial impressions of the RTC2200 unit with gamma correction. Right away I was surprised at the size of the unit. I guess I was expecting something about the size of my Key Digital unit but this thing was about three times that big! I'm not complaining, I think that's a good thing as it probably has more goodies packed inside than lesser units. It looks more like an actual component that can go on the stack rather than just a matchbox connected between cables. The case was simple but well put together and sturdy. So, I disconnected my Key Digital unit and hooked up the Crescendo transcoder. I have some HD video saved on my HD DVR that I view regularly to make comparisons when I change settings and what not. The difference was not immediately noticeable but keep in mind that at this point I have not touched any of the pots on the unit. I made sure my projector was warmed up and ready to go and then I found a little eyeglass screwdriver and started turning the pot labeled "BLK LVL" (Gamma Adjustment). Wow! Within just a few turns I saw a difference right away. I had paused my HD DVR on a closeup scene from Bikini Destinations where the model was coming up out of the water with darkness in the background and lots of shadows on her face. Turning the gamma adjustment back and forth I began to see and understand how the control works. It was as if I had just replaced my screen with a high power, high gain material! Even better, increasing the gamma not only gave me a bump in overall brightness but it preserved the blacks as well! After some further tweaking I found that I was able to turn down my projectors brightness and contrast controls by 4 to 5 clicks each right away and the gamma adjustment in the Crescendo unit compensated for this while also making the blacks look even blacker! I only had a few hours with this last night but the improvement I am seeing is by far the best I have achieved to date with this projector (NEC XG-110). If you have a cheap transcoder and/or your CRT projector appears dim and washed out or suffers from "gray" blacks, you really should check out Kim's transcoder with the gamma adjustment. This was worth every penny and I should have bought one a long time ago. Thanks Kim" - Dropzone7

For more reviews, or to post your own review, see the RTC2200 user reviews thread.


Manuals

The RTC2200 user user manual with detailed instructions can be found here. (PDF format)


FAQ

What's this gamma control for? What does it do? Why would I need it? Can't I just bump up my brightness?
For a complete explanation of Gamma Correction, please see this thread.

My display requires negative sync to work (Example: Older Barco units like 800/801, some 808). Can I force negative sync output with this device?
Yes, there are jumpers available to force negative sync output.

Does the RTC2200 change the resolution? Upconvert or downcovert?
The RTC2200 does not change the resolution or refresh rate in any way. It simply converts the component input signal to an RGBHV (VGA) signal. The RTC2200 outputs whatever resolution you feed it. Absolutely nothing is changed.

Does RTC2200 have problems driving longer RGB output cables? Do I have to keep the output cables short?
No. There is no need to keep the cable between the RTC2200 and the projector as short as possible. Long cables work fine. The RTC2200 has an RGBHV output driver stage so it has no problems driving the typically long (25-50') cables found in most home theaters. As always (with or without the RTC2200 box), you should always try and use high quality 75 Ohm terminated cables whenever possible - especially if the cables are long.

My display has composite (ie: combined) sync with only 4 BNC inputs not 5. (Examples: Barco 7xx/Cine7 or Ampro). How do I hook it up?
Combine the H/V sync lines using a $2 BNC T-connector like this. You could also use an Extron 109 or 202 box as well to combine the two sync lines.

My display sometimes loses sync which results in a blanking or diagonal ripping of the image. What can I do?
Set the RTC2200 to positive sync instead of negative. See the manual for how to do this. This seems to happen particulary often with Electrohome Marquee CRT projectors.


Futher questions should be directed to Crescendo-Systems at: crescendo-systems@curtpalme.com


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Last edited by kal on Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:09 pm; edited 12 times in total
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dbaisey




Joined: 09 Mar 2006
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Location: Southern Cal LA / Seattle WA


PostLink    Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding the ISS2200 component w/gamma card for the NEC switcher: I was just e-mailed from my customer that the card works just great, so much that he said it never looked better. Wanted to pass the info down and give it a recommendation it deserves. Thanks Kim, you make my job easier. Doug
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Tom.W




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PostLink    Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have to agree ! Thanks Kim Smile
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beun




Joined: 28 Jun 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome
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AnalogRocks
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Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 26077
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

TV/Projector: Sony 1252Q, AMPRO 4000G


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would the output level of 1V P-P cause any problems runing into a Sony G520P 21" computer monitor that's rated for 0.7v P-P? I know you can do a gama bump on the PC but I was thinking of just doing it externally with an RTC-2200
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beun




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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The RTC2200 does not get all the way up tp 1Vpp, even with maximum gamma is is only around 850mV.
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AnalogRocks
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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok thanks Kim, I thought I read in the spec's it outputted 1V P-P. 850mV would probably be fine.
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gregstv




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PostLink    Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
Is there a test pattern around for setting the gamma level
Thanks
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kal
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Joined: 06 Mar 2006
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TV/Projector: JVC DLA-RS56


PostLink    Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gregstv wrote:
Hi
Is there a test pattern around for setting the gamma level
Thanks


It's not quite that simple. To set gamma correctly you need to measure light output at various levels using a meter. I have a guide on how to do it correctly: http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10457

Kal

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beun




Joined: 28 Jun 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys,

I just learned that a critical part for this box is being discontinued and I am not sure for how much longer I will still be able to buy it. I just ordered more for 30 more RTC2200's but unless there is more stock in the channel or I find another solution the RTC2200's days may be numbered.

This means I will search for another technical solution.


Kim

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kal
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Joined: 06 Mar 2006
Posts: 16914
Location: Ottawa, Canada

TV/Projector: JVC DLA-RS56


PostLink    Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoa. That's not good Kim. Let us know what you find out....

Kal

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AnalogRocks
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Joined: 08 Mar 2006
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

TV/Projector: Sony 1252Q, AMPRO 4000G


PostLink    Posted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beun wrote:
Guys,

I just learned that a critical part for this box is being discontinued and I am not sure for how much longer I will still be able to buy it. I just ordered more for 30 more RTC2200's but unless there is more stock in the channel or I find another solution the RTC2200's days may be numbered.

This means I will search for another technical solution.


Kim


Shocked

Keep us posted.

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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey guys,

The RTC2200 is on sale. Only until the end of December!

Full details: http://www.curtpalme.com/RTC2200.shtm

Kal

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beun




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PostLink    Posted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For everyone that has the newer version of the RTC2200 labeled the RTC2220 I would like to gauge interest in two potential upgrades:

1) Output on 5 true 75Ohm BNC connectors additional to the VGA output, this is a retrofit that can be performed by the handyman with a soldering iron (very easy to do), or it can be done by me. The cost is $49 plus shipping (those BNC's are expensive)
2) A self install left shift function similar to that on the TC1600, this is a daughter card that plugs into existing headers on the main board, no soldering required. The cost will be $29 plus shipping.


Kim

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beun




Joined: 28 Jun 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Tue May 12, 2009 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few posts above I mentioned that one of the parts I used was being discontinued. Back then I managed to buy some more, but trying it again today was a no-go, they are gone. Therefore I will have to redesign the RTC2220 to work with a different part which unfortunately is even more expensive than the old one.

I will not raise prices but the redesign will take me at least a week, another week to order test boards and two weeks for the production boards.

I will keep some of the old parts and an old board in stock in case some are needed for repairs.


Kim

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beun




Joined: 28 Jun 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am happy to report that the redesign is a succes, I have built up and measured the new design and it works ass well as the original design. As mentioned in my previous post I have kept some of the obsolete parts for repairs although they have never failed me.


Kimj

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