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NON-Vesa Resolution setup in Brightsign player

Hi all.

I need to setup a Brightsign player to use a non-vesa resolution.

The resolution is 512 x 1472 pixels (horisontal = 512, vertical is 1472) so it is portrait mode.

Turning content is not an option.

Since the total pixel count is about for 512 x 1472 pixels is 754.000 pixels, which is well within the HD pixels space of about 2.000.000 pixels, (1920x1080) it should be no problem, even when running at 60P

EDID from the screen connected to the player reports exactly 512x1472@60P

And since the BrightSign player output is HDMI, and the HDMI standard requires, that units using HDMI accepts non-Vesa resolutions - it must be possible to set this up.

However I have yet to find how to do this.

Can BrightSign help me with this?

 

Regards

Hans-Henning Terp-Hansen, B.Sc.EE.CE.EP

R&D Manager

Expromo Europe

16 comments

  • 0
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    Lyndon

     

    You can't force the brightsign to output a resolution that's not already coded in its firmware. Usually, when screens have odd resolutions, you can still set the player to a standard resolution, and the screen only looks at the first 512 pixels wide, and first 1472 pixels tall.  We can submit a bug request to our developers to see if that resolution can be added. 

  • 0
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    Hans-Henning Terp-Hansen

    Hi, and thanks for the answer. I raised the issue in a more appropiate forum on your website and will follow up there.

    However, since BrightSign Players uses HDMI and since the HDMI standard requires the playout device to able to either accept EDID data from a display/screen or accept a custom resolution - as long as it is within the bandwith of the HDMI interface in use - BrightSign players which are not capable of either two is non-HDMI compliant.

    So it should be possible to setup a custom resolution in the drop down menu. And being stuck to VESA resolutions is quite stupid. Most of these resolutions are 10+ years old, and many displays/screens nowadays has resolutions that does not fit into the VESA standards. In my case I would need a 4K BrightSign player to playback a video where the upper left corner of the canvas shows the video with the 512 x 1472 pixels that I need. It is somewhat stupid to use a BrightSign player with a pixel capacity of about 8 million pixels, because I only need about 700.000 pixels - or about 1/10th of the bandwith.

    Many many other devices - even low cost graphics cards supports custom resolutions at absolutly no hassle. See fx. this picture which is a screen shot from my low-cost joe-and-jane-consumer DELL laptop. So BrightSign should definitely support this as well - being a professional company with professional products.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/otrbpl9ycx2s2fv/Custom%20resolution.png?dl=0

    The link is safe, it is just a PNG file.

     

    Looking forward to your kind reply.

     

    Kindest regards

     

    Hans-Henning Terp-Hansen, B.Sc.EE.CE.EP

    R&D Manager

    Expromo Europe

  • 0
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    Romeo

    Hi,

    The HDMI specification doesn't require any custom modes to be supported. The only mode that devices and screens have to support is 640x480x60p. If no other common modes are found, then that is what is used.

    We list our supported modes below:

    http://support.brightsign.biz/hc/en-us/articles/218065627-Supported-video-output-resolutions

    As per what my colleague had mentioned before, you can still drive that display by creating a zone of that size in BrightAuthor, usually by positioning that zone at coordinate x=0, y=0 with width=512 and height=1472 on the zone layout (Edit Tab > Layout).

    Regards,

    Romeo

     

     

  • 0
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    Hans-Henning Terp-Hansen

    Hi Romeo

    I think you should read the HDMI specification. Back in ver. 1.3a these chapters forces the manufacturer of the HDMI source to listen to the E-EDID, including the resolution

    4.2.8 DDC (EDID) page 51


    Chapter 6, page 84

    8.3 E-EDID Data Structure page 118 and onwards

    8.4.5 Enhanced DDC Source page 123

     

    Even when connecting a sink (a display/screen/whatever) with a HDMI to DVI adapter, the HDMI source must be able to change the data structure of video output signal to match the DVI standard v.1.0, including whatever resolution is reported back from the sink to the source. See this chapter

    Appendix C.2 page 136

     

    So yes, your device is actually not fully HDMI compliant.

     

    Regardless weather you agree or not - let me ask these questions:

    1: Since the HDMI interface is made in such a way, that any resolution within the bandwith of the HDMI interface is used, why does BrightSign limit the output resolution to a relatively few resolutions? What is the reason for this?

    2: Since HDMI natively supports EDID and E-EDID - why does BrightSign players at least not support reading this data from the display?

    If the players did this (like pretty much any other HDMI source on the market), then it would be easy for the user to connect and use the player. You can just select EDID in the dropdown menu, and then you would be 100% sure, that the output resolution actually matches the input resolution of the screen, including all timing issues, bandwith limitations, colorspaces, color depth etc.

     

    I am not giving up on this - due to my affection of your in other ways brilliant products. And no - I am not going to use a 4K player for playing back a video with 700.000 pixel, which what you currently are suggesting.

     

    Looking forward to your kind reply.

     

    Kindest regards

    Hans-Henning Terp-Hansen

    Expromo Europe

     

     

     

  • 0
    Avatar
    Romeo

    Hi Hans-Henning,

    >1: Since the HDMI interface is made in such a way, that any resolution within the bandwith of the HDMI interface is used, why does BrightSign limit the output resolution to a relatively few resolutions? What is the reason for this?

    In your specific case and based on how you would like the device to work, then this would be useful, however it's not easy/possible due to limitation on HDMI clock calculations for the SoC.

    >2: Since HDMI natively supports EDID and E-EDID - why does BrightSign players at least not support reading this data from the display?

    The player does read the EDID and when using the "Auto" videomode the player is supposed to drive the screen based on the EDID information that was provided by the screen. This is only achievable if you were to write your own scripts (ScreenVideomode.SetMode("auto"))rather than using BA. This approach would still not be of any help to you as the timing for that custom resolution would need to be calculated first then added to the FW... 

    > I am not going to use a 4K player for playing back a video with 700.000 pixel, which what you currently are suggesting

    You do not need a 4K player to drive 512x1472. You could use a HD222/XD232 (FW 6.0.51) with a presentation in portrait mode (BA 4.3.0.16) with a zone with the dimensions and the coordinates that I have mentioned before.

    Regards,

    Romeo

     

     

     

  • 0
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    Hans-Henning Terp-Hansen

    Hi Romeo, and thanks for your answer

    I should correct myself, It was another support from your company who told me that BrightSign playes does not support portrait mode, such as 1080x1920.

    It was Lyndon who gave me this answer, and I qoute:

    "You can't. You can't set the brightsign to 1080x1920 by choosing a portrait layout"

    So if this in fact is possible, then I shall go and try this. Using a HD player makes more sense.

     

    However, I still think it is quite strange, that setting custom resolutions should be that hard.

    Since all other HDMI sources that I know and can think of does not have all possible custom resolutions build into their FW (it would be a somewhat 1.7 million different resolutions that should be coded into the firmware for a HDMI source with HD bandwith) and they still work with whatever resolution I select on my EDID output from my LED screen - I think it must be some sort of lack of programming and/or understanding of the digital video domain in the HDMI/DVI environment that causes your problem with this. It can also be the hardware used inside the player - but this seems highly unlikely to me.

    To me a picture is just clock and data. And the limit of the pixelclock sets the limit of the resolution, color depth and framerate in combination. here in Europe we use 50 Hz refreshrate, and that actually gives us 20% more pixels on the same interface. We for one example run 2304x1280 pixels on a single layer DVI interface. And this is possible because it runs 50Hz, At 60Hz we would be beyond the bandwith of the DVI interface and its HDMI compliant sister.

    The equation for the bandwith, given that you use 8 bit RGB color space is as simple as this:

    Bandwith = x-pixels times y-pixels times colordepth in bits times ammount of colors (3 becuase it is RGB) times framerate.

    This equation can be programmed in C and even an Atmel Tiny13 MCU can cope this easily. 

    I know, that other calculations also are necessary but neither of these are that complex either.

    HDMI basically supports a picture with only 1 horisontal line and all the pixels within the bandwith on that single line. The resolution would then be 2.304.000 pixels by 1 pixel. It also (again basically) supports a picture with 1 vertical line of pixels which would then be 1 by 2.304.000 pixels. And then any box inbetween these two resolutions is also supported. There are some practical limitations to this - but the concept is as this.

    So to get the source to just send fx. 619 pixels, then send a line shift, then send another 619 pixels, and another lineshift and so on cannot be that difficult. It is exactly (as in accuratly exactly) the same that happens when running fx. 800 by 600 or 1920 by 1080 pixels, or any other resolution that you have in the list. In other words is running 512 x 1472 pixels exactly the same task as running 1024x768 or any other resolution within the bandwith.

    I think you should contact the vendor of the HDMI driver chip you use in the BrightSign player hardware, and demand a clear description on how to setup any resolution you want - if this is what is needed.

    Afterall - the screens used nowadays are not all with VESA standard resolutions, and the future is going to show a LOT more displays which are not bound to these resolutions either.

    And everytime you run into this, you need to work a new firmware, distribute it, customers needs to install or update their devices in order for them to work with new displays and yada yada yada. A lot of unnecessary work that you can omit if the player can use custom resolutions. Even cheap Chinese LED screens can do this. And spending company-time (and thus a lot of company-money) on constantly making firmware changes does not add anything positive to the companys bottom line result. It only costs money.

    Thanks at least for reading my post. I genuinely think that your company should consider this issue.

    Kindest regards

    Hans-Henning

     

  • 0
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    Romeo

    Hi Hans-Henning,

    Please see below for the reply from our FW Engineer concerning this subject:

    "The format calculations are relatively straightforward. The stumbling block is the setup of the HMDI pixel clock. The setup of the PLL for this to meet the jitter requirements isn't as straightforward as one might think, and the values required have to be provided by our chip vendor. This limits our abilities to provide custom video modes."

    I hope this makes it clearer as to why it would make it challenging to implement what you're suggesting here.

    Regards,

    Romeo

     

     

  • 0
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    Hans-Henning Terp-Hansen

    Dear Romeo. First of all thanks a lot for taking my questions seriously - i really appreciate this.

    Please also tell the Firmware Engineer that I appreciate hes answer. However I am going to challenge him a bit:

    The PLL (Phase Locked Loop that is) setup I agree is not a trivial task to setup and keep running with reasonable jitter.

    However, in this current example, the pixelclock needed for 753.664 pixels, which equals the resolution of 512 x 1472 is pretty much the same as 1024x768 pixels. The pixel count here is 786.432 pixels. So changeing the pixelclock from this resolution to 512 x 1472 is in fact not that difficult.

    I clearly understand that your chip vendor has some limitations and you are depending on this vendors limitations (and/or willingness) to supply the needed features.

    I suggest, that if it is totally impossible to implement custom resolutions into the current hardware platform you use in the BrightSign Players, then you should launch a new range of players that has this functionality. And the ad-banner on the front of your website can easiely be

    THE NEW BRIGHTSIGN PLAYER - NOW SUPPORTS ANY RESOLUTION YOU WANT :-)

    We, being the leading european supplier of LED screens (we actually have installations is USA as well), would be able to use your products in much more installations if this feature is enabled. Because we, very close to, never install a screen with a VESA resolution. It is almost always an odd resolution such as 1624 x 519 (!) pixels, or latest at a TV station it was 6400 pixels times 980 pixels.

    We have had quite some cases where we wanted to use BrightSign players because of simplicity and stability, but had no other choice than to scrap them because they could not run the resolution we wanted. We then ended up using a PC with Windoze 7 and some playback software - with the advantages and drawbacks this solution has.

    Again thanks a lot for your time. I shall try the portrait mode later today.

    Kindest regards

    Hans-Henning

  • 0
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    Dick Trump

    It is now May 2019 and I just read this exchange because I would like to do just what Hans-Henning requested, allowing a custom EDID to tell the Brightsign what resolution to output.

    I do not have a current generation player on hand to test, only an XT1143 which would be similar generation to the thread.  So has the situation changed since then that would allow odd resolutions?

    Regards

    Dick

  • 0
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    JRB Technical

    It's kind of a catch-22. On one side, I understand being able to do odd resolutions. But on the other hand 99% of use cases fit the resolutions already possible with BrightSign players.

    In the case of LED walls, the NovaStar processors and many others already accept the resolutions that the BrightSign players output. You just use a standard resolution that is larger than your LED wall resolution, and set the Zone Size to that of the LED wall in BrightAuthor. The LED Wall just ignores the over fill.

    This works fine, I do this all the time for LED Walls for Events, and do all kinds of odd resolutions using BrightSign players this way, as every wall I do is a different size and configuration, and different manufacturers of LED panels. Yet they all have worked fine with BrightSign players for content.

    Here are some examples that I have done this way recently.

    Absen X2v 4x2 at 432x768 (1920x1080)

    Absen X2v 6x3 at 1296x576 (1920x1080)

    Absen X2v 8x4 at 1728x768 (1920x1080)

    Absen M2.3 14x4 at 3024x864 (3840x2160)

     

  • 0
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    Dick Trump

    My situation is a bit different.  I am doing blended projection for a museum that will have 7 projectors total.  I'm using a blending engine that automatically creates an EDID based on the total number of pixels in the final projection.  It will take that resolution as an input and cut up the image with the proper overlap regions and outputs in standard projector resolutions.  The engine will accept up to 4K resolution.

    That saves on production and editing, allowing the specific overlap to be determined in the field rather than being nailed down in post.

    I would use that capability on four of the projectors for one portion and two of the projectors for another.  The 7th would have its own BS player.

    Dick

  • 1
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    Hans-Henning Terp-Hansen

    @Dick Trump @ JRB Technical.

     

    Issues are still not resolved, here 3 years later. It is true, that given that the canvas does not exceed either 1920x1080 or 3840x2160, then it can be done, just positioning the content in the upper left corner and then leave the rest of the pixels black.

    However, this is not really that intelligent - and if a screen is 4224 x 1296, which is the exact measurement of the latest screen I have installed, a 4k Brightsign player is out of the question.

    4224 x 1296 is only about 70% of the bandwith of standard UHD (approx 5 mio pixels.) - but it is impossible to play this back on a brightsign player. Everybody else in the business, including Intel, AMD, nVidia, DataPath and even the video switchers/matrices from LightWare actually supports any resolution, as long as it is within the limits of the bandwith. All of these people has stopped talking about resolutions. They now see images and video as a pixelstream, and do not really care how many pixels horisontally and vertically.

    Even Microsoft Surface Laptop has a native 3:2 format with a native resolution of 2256 x 1504 pixels. (https://www.microsoft.com/da-dk/surface/devices/surface-laptop/tech-specs)

    BirghtSign should update their view on this as well - as the future is going away from VESA resolutions. It will be history within the next 5-10 years - this is quite sure, among with the fact that standard LCD panels also will dissappear due to the fact that LED screens will take over as they are superior in every aspect. And since LED screens can be build in any format and resolution needed/desired, standard formats will be gone.

    Its your call.

    Kindest regards

    Hans-Henning

  • 0
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    Dick Trump

    Thank you for weighing in, Hans-Henning.  It is disappointing that an otherwise versatile product line has this limitation.

    I think Brightsign remains an easy decision for standard resolutions which is the bulk of our business.  We have been able to handle these special situations much as has been described by using a portion of the standard canvas.  But as modular LED screens become more dominant, we will have to look at other solutions.

    Regards

    Dick

  • 0
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    Daniel Murphy

    @Hans-Henning Terp-Hansen

    Similar situation here.  Building a 3200 x 2970 1.2mm LED column and unfortunately cannot use a BS player.  Hans, I'd love to know what you are using to drive your latest 4224 x 1296 LED screen?

    Best regards,

    Daniel

  • 0
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    Ross Halford

    This is something I am now struggling to contend with...

    I have a wall that is really frustratingly worked out to be 1944x768px. 24px wider than HD.

    Now, it would be great if I could just use a video anchored top left in a container 2048x1152px - which the BrightSign outputs. Only problem is, the selectable output is 60hz and the controller only accepts this amount of pixels at 50hz output!

    BrightSign have to wake up to the fact that we must be able to output custom resolutions. There is no need to use things like scalers when all you need is to change some settings. I've had to switch to a ChromeBox, which can output any resolution you want without fuss, at whatever hz you want, for reliable operation.

  • 0
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    wb

    Same problem here and I am quite disappointed.

    I bought two XD234 to drive 2160X3840 5.5" mipi displays and tried many different resolutions, rotated content and portrait mode but it seems pointless.

    A new 1080x1920 5.5inch HDMI AMOLED display has the same problems with brightsign.

    How will this ever work with these stretched shelf displays?

    So back to Raspberry Pi + info-beamer signage software I guess.

    Maybe there is a solution in 2020?

     

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