Image Quality Problems Using Projector with Laptop

  1. Posts : 6
    Windows 10 64-bit
       20 Apr 2018 #1

    Image Quality Problems Using Projector with Laptop


    I'm not sure that this is the best Forum to post this on so if there's a better one please let me know.

    I'm trying to display accurate images of photos using a Canon projector and I'm failing. Images are way too bright overall, the colors are too saturated and not right, and darker areas are completely black. I can adjust the projector image adjustments to make the images a little better but the image quality is still way off.

    I have an HP Laptop 17-g161us laptop with HDMI output running Windows 10. I'm connecting to a Canon SX-7 Mark II projector which has VGA and DVI inputs. Right now the HDMI output from the laptop goes to a HDMI to VGA adapter and the VGA cable plugs into the projector. I want to switch to HDMI to DVI to get a digital connection but I don't have the right cable yet.

    When I just connect the projector and display the laptop screen on the projector the image quality is off by a lot. I know when I switch to digital a connection I should see some improvement but the colors are so off that it seems that there must be more wrong than that.

    My first thought is to ensure that the correct color profile for the projector is set. When I look at the Windows Color Management screen, on the Devices tab, at the top, there's a pull down to identify the display device. With the projector connected I expect to see a choice for the projector but I see none. There's the Generic Intel PNP monitor and a bunch of non-printer printers like FAX, Foxit and other PDF printers, and MS XPS document writer. Shouldn't I see a choice for the projector?

    The generic Intel choice shows "Display: 1|2" when the projector is connected but just "Display 1" when it's not. That seems to indicate that both the laptop and projector are using the same color profile. Can't I use the correct profile for each device simultaneously?

    Someone provided me a color profile for this projector. I saw no way to use it on the Devices tab, but when I switched to the All Profiles tab I could add it. However when I switch back to the Devices tab it doesn't appear. I was thinking that if I can only use 1 profile at a time I would use the one for the projector but I don't see any way to do that. Also I thought that Windows would have the Canon color profile for the projector preloaded but I see no way to find or use it either.

    I think I'm misunderstanding something basic about how this should work but I haven't been able to find much on the web. What am I missing? What do I need to do to get accurate color rendition using the projector?

    Any help in understanding this area better or improving the projector display quality would be appreciated.

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  2. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,877
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       21 Apr 2018 #2

    I'd suggest waiting until you get the proper cable, using adapters seem to always degrade things. It's not a problem with data transfer but some of the finer things like images can be an issue. As a more drastic solution it may require a different device that accommodates the same type port on both. Also keep in mind cable length.
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  3. Posts : 159
    Windows 10-1803-17763.195
       21 Apr 2018 #3

    I have had some experience projecting image files via an Epson Projector.
    This projector has a list of choices for the environment the presentation is using. If its a bright room, dark room, large theatre style etc. Check the manual for your projector to discover if it has control features.
    Initially I did a colour calibration for the projector using a ColorMunki device. This activity was not as straight forward as doing a desktop monitor. The projector is becoming the 'monitor' for the laptop is the reason I did a colour calibration. The lighting in the room has a strong influence on the colour content.

    This projector colour profile is stored in the Windows/System32/spool/drivers/color. The desktop monitor colour profiles are stored there also. So if the projector has its own colour profile use it for the presentation and then revert back to the monitor profile afterwards.
    In Control Panel/ColorManagement choose the color profile to use.

    I discovered when presenting files from other people that if the projector is set to fit into the room lighting that the basic sRGB colour settings to be the default out of the laptop have presented the colours expected. The other person's files are likely not from a color calibrated source.

    My very first projector experience was a rental from the local library. I plugged in and discovered colour blue was closer to magneta -definitely in the purple tones. The fluorescent type lighting added the orangish overall tinge. That is when I discovered that a colour calibrated computer produced better results if all items were calibrated...OR...if all were on one colour profile.
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  4. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,877
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       21 Apr 2018 #4

    Rose, glad you 'chimed in', the extent of my experience with such things is more as a hobbyist/personal use but I did learn a lot [enough to be dangerous] from a community education course at our local jr. college some 25-30 years ago and film cameras.
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  5. Posts : 1,004
    Windows 10
       21 Apr 2018 #5

    As the materials used in the Display devices are different and the backlights there is no way you will get exact matching. Closer hopefully.

    " Can't I use the correct profile for each device simultaneously?"
    Yes, Canon don't seem to supply one. I understand you have got one from elsewhere.

    " Shouldn't I see a choice for the projector? "
    Yes, certainly on modern ones with HDMI, DisplayPort. They send info back to Windows.
    In Colour Management you would select settings for each Display device.
    If the projector is not listed separately then you will have to use the Projector's own calibration as per the Manual which does show quite a considerable range of adjustments, P.102 onwards.

    I use an Dell monitor (Display: 2. HDMI) in addition to the built in display and they use different ICC profiles. So the generic PnP Laptop screen (Display: 1.) uses a profile (sRGB) which is probably generated by going through the basic colour calibration in Windows 10. Box "Use my settings" is ticked. On Display: 2 (the Dell). that box is unticked and it uses the supplied Dell ICC profile.
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  6. Posts : 6
    Windows 10 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       21 Apr 2018 #6


    Thanks to all for the help.

    After reading all the comments it occurs to me that as you suggest maybe I'd see different results with a digital cable. I don't think that the image quality should be much different because of analog vs. digital, but I think that maybe with a digital connection the monitor can do a better job of telling Windows exactly what device is attached. Thanks.

    Rose W:
    Re the room conditions: We generally have a dark room with not much external light coming in. The projector doesn't have choices for room conditions, but it has picture modes like those typically provided for a TV. The modes are Standard, Presentation, Movie, Photo, Home Cinema, and sRGB. I thought I should use Photo (I'm showing photos) or sRGB (what Windows displays use). It also has Brightness, Sharpness, Gamma, and individual color adjustments (gain & offset for each color, 6 axis color adjust) which I don't understand. I tried different modes but none of them provided even decent color. I also fooled with the adjustments and it didn't help much.

    Re the projector color profiles: You (and the internet) say that the profiles are stored in the Windows/System32/spool/drivers/color. But on my Windows 10 laptop the color folder doesn't exist. (Yes, my explorer is set to show all files.) I reloaded Windows from scratch maybe a month ago so nothing should be wrong with it. I have no idea what's going on here.

    You say "In Control Panel/ColorManagement choose the color profile to use." In my post I described the problems I had trying to use the Color Management. When I look at the Devices tab no profiles are listed for the display and the Add button is grayed out. I'm thinking that based on Helmut's comments I need to get a digital connection going before I do anything else. The analog VGA connection could be causing multiple problems because Windows isn't getting enough information from the display to tell it what device is connected. In any case thanks for your help.

    From what I see even with the projector connected and on the Color Management screen still shows only 1 choice, and that's for the laptop display. But as you say think the problem may be that I'm using an analog VGA connection. The way you say the Color Management screen behaves sounds like the way I expect mine to act, but it doesn't. I'm really anxious to get that digital connection going now.

    Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to write detailed responses.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7. Posts : 159
    Windows 10-1803-17763.195
       21 Apr 2018 #7

    But on my Windows 10 laptop the color folder doesn't exist.
    Do a search in your system folder for sRGB -or- sRGB_v4_ICC_preference_.icc -or- sRGB Color Space Profile.icm. Other common files include AdobeRGB1998.icc -or-AdobeRGB
    If nothing turns up then your next question to ask is 'Where do I download Win10 basic profiles for the drivers\color folder in System32.
    I just checked my laptop(Windows Home) vs my desktop (Windows Pro) and the basic color profiles are the same in both.
    If there is no color profile files in your system32 then there is nothing to choose for your color management.
    I used VGA until recently then a purchase of an Asus PB278 and the video card provided an hdmi outlet. The laptop does not have this hdmi . The resolution gets to be at maximum on the hdmi. Not so with VGA.

    Look in the second tab of Color Management in Control Panel
    Click image for larger version. 

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