Spectrum Update: OSD Edition

Hi community!

It’s been quiet around Spectrum of late. The project is currently in the hands of the engineering team which is affected by the Coronavirus outbreak in China, more specifically by the associated quarantine. This delays them, and prevents us from traveling there ourselves. Rest assured we are still on track to ship the monitor on schedule as intended. As far as we know none of our partners in China are personally experiencing this horrible disease, but we wish everyone affected a quick recovery to good health.

Meanwhile, there is something we can do to further the project: it’s time to dive into the OSD!

On-Screen Display

A monitor’s on-screen display (OSD) is a menu that is superimposed over the image on the screen that allows the user to change settings and gather information. These used to be crude, monochrome, text-based menus that offered access to basic image settings, but in recent years have become more elaborate and offer additional features.

Spectrum needs an OSD for you to access its settings, and we would like to ask for your assistance to make sure the menu we end up with is the best it can be!

Menu structure

Though many manufacturers try to come up with the most spectacular shapes for their menus, we believe that function is more important than pretty looks. After exploring many different options, a simple menu that categorizes settings in logical groups and presents them in a structured manner makes most sense to us.

We can also use the OSD to display static information. Things that aren’t options or menus, but information that could be useful like the currently active input port, the resolution, color space, that kind of thing. Those could be hidden in an information sub-menu somewhere, but why not feature them at the top of the OSD? That way you can see whether or not you actually need to change a setting before diving into the menu to find it.

  • :+1:That sounds about right
  • :-1: That doesn’t sound right

0 voters

Controls

Spectrum has three controls. The power button is straightforward: it turns the monitor on or off. That leaves a control stick and a programmable button. They are placed on the back of the device in such a way that you can reach them with your fingers by reaching around the bottom edge of the display. The Eve logo on the front bezel forms a convenient arrow pointing where the buttons are.

Outside of the OSD

When the OSD is not active, the function of the programmable button is clear: it does whatever it is programmed to do. By default, that is to switch to the next active input signal. But you could change it to something else, like muting sound, switching color spaces, or some other feature that occurs often in your particular use case.

That leaves the control stick to open the menu. Conveniently, that also puts your finger right where it needs to be to navigate the menu! Just push the stick in any direction, and the OSD menu pops up!

  • :+1:That sounds about right
  • :-1: That doesn’t sound right

0 voters

Navigating the menu

Once the OSD is active, things change. With a menu where the categories are structured left-to-right and the menu options are structured top to bottom, we can easily navigate with the control stick to change settings.

Moving the stick up and down will change the highlighted menu option, or adjust a slider like those for brightness, contrast, or overdrive. Moving the stick to the right will enter the highlighted menu or activate the highlighted setting. Moving the stick to the left returns to the previous menu.

Comp_2_2

  • :+1:That sounds about right
  • :-1: That doesn’t sound right

0 voters

Closing the menu

When you’re done with the menu you’ll want it to go away. There are two ways to go about this: firstly, you can simply wait. The menu will disappear by itself if you’re not using it, after a pre-determined delay that can be adjusted in the menu itself.

Alternatively, you can press the programmable button. It’s not doing anything else when you’re in the menu, after all! Also, your finger conveniently passes it on the way back from reaching for the control stick.

  • :+1:That sounds about right
  • :-1: That doesn’t sound right

0 voters

Optionally, we can make it so that moving the control stick left when you’re already in the main menu also closes the OSD. Like going back to the previous menu until you’ve run out of menus to go back to, as it were. This lets you control every aspect of the OSD with just the control stick, which some people may prefer. It also means that if you’re too excited pressing left repeatedly to get back to main menu, you might accidentally close the menu if you press left once too often…

  • I think this would make my life easier
  • I don’t know how this would affect me
  • I think this would make my life harder

0 voters

The actual options

When it comes to the actual menu, there are many options that need to find a home. We’ve made a few diagrams showing what we think makes sense, but of course it’s not about what we think makes sense. So please have a look through these suggestions. Tell us if a feature is missing or in the wrong submenu by leaving a comment!

The Main Menu

Video Input Select
USB Input Select
Features
Presets
Color
Image
Monitor Setup

Within each main menu option, submenu options exist. The menu options are ordered so that often-used features (like switching inputs or turning features on and off) are at the top for easy access. Less-used categories featuring options like changing the color of the power indicator LED, that a user is likely to set once and then never touch again, are further down the list.

Video Input Select menu

On a monitor with multiple ports for video input, switching between active inputs is often a common action. For that reason, we figure that it makes sense to put it at the top of the menu!

VIDEO INPUT SELECT >
DisplayPort 1
DisplayPort 2
USB-C
HDMI
Auto switch input On
Off
  • :+1:That sounds about right
  • :-1: An important feature is missing, I’ll leave a comment

0 voters

USB Input Select menu

Our monitor has built-in USB ports, and to use them the monitor needs to be attached to a computer. That can be done traditionally though the USB-B port, but we also have a USB-C port available for this. Some people may want to connect both, for example using USB-B alongside DisplayPort to connect the monitor to a desktop computer, whilst connecting it to a notebook through USB-C.

When automatically switching, Spectrum’s USB hub will use USB-C to drive the USB ports when the video signal comes in over USB-C, and use the USB-B port when DisplayPort or HDMI are used. But users can also switch manually if they prefer…

USB INPUT SELECT >
USB-B
USB-C
Auto switch input On
Off

Both the Video Input Select category and USB Input Select category are pretty small, and it would be possible to combine them into a single Main Menu entry. That would make this submenu more complex, but it would make other Main Menu entries quicker to reach.

  • :+1:That sounds about right
  • :clap: I’d rather see Video- and USB Input Select combined into one subcategory
  • :-1: An important feature is missing, I’ll leave a comment

0 voters

Features menu

Our monitor can do some cool stuff, some of which have nothing to do with the image displayed. Because these are things that incidentally get adjusted or switched on or off, they are up next in the Main Menu so that they are quick to reach.

FEATURES >
Volume Increase
Decrease
Frame Rate Counter On
Off
  • :+1:That sounds about right
  • :-1: An important feature is missing, I’ll leave a comment

0 voters

Presets menu

When you’ve got the monitor set up just right, it helps to create a Preset. That way you can easily get back to how you like it after experimenting with the settings. The default preset allows you to return to factory settings.

PRESETS >
Load default
Load user preset 1
Load user preset 2
Load user preset 3
Save preset Save user preset 1
Save user preset 2
Save user preset 3
  • :+1:That sounds about right
  • :-1: An important feature is missing, I’ll leave a comment

0 voters

Color menu

Now we’re getting into the realm of ‘set and forget’ settings. Most users will decide on a setting they like, and then never adjust it again. They are a bit lower down the Main Menu.

COLOR > >> >>>
Brightness Increase
Decrease
Color space DCI-P3
Emulated sRGB
sRGB
Contrast Increase
Decrease
Color Temperature Cool
Normal
Warm
User Defined Red Increase
Decrease
Green Increase
Decrease
Blue Increase
Decrease
Gamma Increase
Decrease
  • :+1:That sounds about right
  • :-1: An important feature is missing, I’ll leave a comment

0 voters

Image menu

More image quality settings…

IMAGE > >>
Max Refresh Rate 144Hz
165Hz
Variable Refresh Rate Off
On
Overdrive Off
Normal
High
User Defined Increase
Decrease
Backlight strobing On
Off
Backlight dimming Off
Global
Aspect Control 1 : 1
Pixel Perfect
Fill
Stretch
  • :+1:That sounds about right
  • :-1: An important feature is missing, I’ll leave a comment

0 voters

To conclude…

This is just our first dip into the OSD, and based on your feedback we may be very far along or we just barely started. Did we miss any important features? Did we misplace your favorite setting? Do you have ideas on how to improve the on-screen menu to make a more useful tool for getting the most out of Spectrum? Leave a comment and let us know!

15 Likes

I like this idea a lot, but would make 1 tiny change. Double tap left at the main menu to close. That way you wont actually do it accidentally if your fingers are moving faster than your eyes.

33 Likes

Firstly best wishes to anyone facing any issues in relation to this horrid Corvid-19 all we can do is hope it will pass without too much further losses.

So on to my feedback for OSD…

I really like the idea of seeing some key settings at a glance at the top of the OSD menu but I’d also like to see a second area that maybe showed some icons relating to the image menu as these seem more frequent changers to me if switching between different games that require such. Therefore I’d actually like to select this gaming orientated header info region and toggle across the icons, being able to select from the possible settings for each.

For controls & navigation, it would also be cool to have an app that you can have in the OS system tray to make changes from the OSD or app equivalent using a mouse. This could also allow presets to be selected by right clicking the app in the system tray.

Presets - doesn’t seem like enough potential user preset save slots. I’d like to see quite a few more so you can have different presets as you may find necessary for different games.

Image menu - maybe a low and medium overdrive option should exist.

2 Likes

I may be incorrect, but I read this update as being representative of the layout as opposed to being the exact options that will be available. For example in one of the images they show volume controls… but there are no speakers in the monitor so that option doesn’t even matter…

2 Likes

I realise it may be a flavour of the menu layout but whilst we’re at it I thought I’d provide my initial feedback to what was presented too with how I feel about it overall.

As for the volume I wasn’t sure if that existed for any headphone jack and any audio passthrough from the signal input?

1 Like

I guess it’s possible, but that would usually be handled on the source device side. Unless there is an amp in the monitor for some reason… But yeah, I get what you’re saying about feedback, it had just sounded in your original post as though you expected what was on the screen to be the actual settings they’d settled on rather than placeholders

Comments about Overdrive Adjustment

Fantastic thought.

Now, about Overdrive. To me, this is VERY important in the refersh rate race to retina refresh rates. I prefer 100-level overdrive or 128-level overdrive. The scaler’s overdrive gain setting should be exposed all the way to the user in OSD. So it’s an easy programming

Simple ON/OFF – yuck
Simple 2 levels, 3 levels, 4 levels – yuck
Blur Busters now recommends monitor reviewers penalize (bump scores down a bit) for inflexible overdrive adjustments.

Brightness 0%->100%
Contrast 0%->100%
Overdrive 0%->100%

image

I prefer Overdrive Sliders because:
– It greatly improves fine control
– It is easy to adjust while watching www.testufo.com/ghosting
– It improves flexibility with strobe tuning (unless you have perfect presets automatically configured when strobing is enabled).
– I can human-see overdrive differences in 1% steps when strobing (DyAc, ULMB, ELMB, etc) is enabled.
– Temperature differences can mean fine adjustments are needed. For example, a cold room might need 2% stronger overdrive than warmer room (1 degree C difference). Remember forgetting a watch or smartphone in a car in the winter? Cold LCDs run slower. And the pixel response speed changes are visible even over 2C differences. EXACTLY! Manufacturers try their best, but they often test at one temperature. But the consumer computer room is colder in the winter, or you might be living in a tropical climate. You’ll need to adjust overdrive by 3% or 5% or 8.5% to compensate. See?

Overrdive: 0% [||||||||||---------------------] 100%

= YES!!!

(Can be horizontal or vertical, just make it similar to how you do Brightness & Contrast)

TL;DR: Minimum 100-Levels of Overdrive

Please make sure that Overdrive User Defined setting is AT LEAST 100 levels. Many scaler chips already has it. Usually 128-level. Also, many reviewers use Blur Busters Testing Inventions and we sometimes tell reviewers our opinions on how scores should be penalized, because of real-user complaints.

If your panel vendors argue, give them a hyperlink to this post == they will be convinced if reviewers gives higher scores to monitors with more flexible overdrive that makes actual real-world users happy.

Complexity For Users: Easy with a motion test: User Defined is VERY easy to adjust while watching a TestUFO motion test – for example, www.testufo.com/ghosting while adjusting. It already exists in a scant few monitor brands. Also, the presets make it easy to reset a messed-up user-defined setting, so that’s a great compromise. But just make sure User Defined is at least 100 levels.

Engineering Time Estimate: Zero.: Nearly all panel scaler hardware already has something called “OD Gain” it built in. Sometimes users see it in Factory Menus and Service Menus. But it no longer belongs there. Blur Busters now recommends that it be a user-adjustable setting. Common overdrive presets are simply hardcoded OD Gain numbers. So why not make ALL of the OD Gain settings available to the end user in a slider? No-brainer.

38 Likes

Comments about Backlight Strobing

image

What’s missing is a pulse width adjustment which generates a motion clarity-versus-brightness tradeoff.

The Need for a Strobe Length (Pulse Width) Adjustment

Motion blur of strobing is directly proportional to the strobe flash length.
Therefore the menus should provide this adjustment to end users.

Different monitor vendors have different methods of exposing this setting, such as the following:

  • Second menu setting that has a 0% ||||||||||----------------------- 100% setting
  • Or Replace ON/OFF with OFF/UltraShort/Short/Medium/Long/VeryLong settings
  • Or Make Brightness behave as the pulse width setting whenever strobing is enabled.

Other manufacturers have hidden this in factory menu, but several have now moved this to the main menu. Longer strobe lengths are brighter but has more motion blur, and shorter strobe lengths are darker but has less motion blur.

Most Brightness settings use DC adjustment (Essentially equivalent to pulse height). But this should automatically switch to pulse width adjustment (unless you simultaneously have both a Brightness & a Strobe Length / Pulse Width adjustment), since strobing is superior at one-pulse-per-refresh, and pulse-width is what gives you the brightness-vs-clarity tradeoff. Picture brightness will be related to strobe area (pulse width times pulse height = total number of photons in a strobe). But only pulse width will affect motion clarity.

1ms of strobe flash translates to 1 pixel of motion blur per 1000 pixels/second motion. So that means 4 pixels of motion blur during 4000 pixels/second motion. Shorter strobe lengths are darker but produces clearer motion (better MPRT benchmark). See blurbusters.com/gtg-vs-mprt

You can test this yourself easily with any ULMB monitor, since all NVIDIA ULMB monitors have a “ULMB Pulse Width” setting.

Try it Yourself; It’s A Useful Adustment

Find any NVIDIA native GSYNC monitor with an included ULMB feature, and give it a test. Just look at this test, or this test while having ULMB enabled.

At 3000 pixels/sec, 1ms MPRT still produces 3 pixel of motion blur which can obscure 6-point text scrolling fast. Now open OSD menu and adjust “ULMB Pulse Width” to about 50 or less. That produces 0.5ms MPRT (1.5 pixels of motion blur at 3000 pixels/second) which makes tiny text readable during fast stutterless framerate=Hz speeds. That’s 0.5ms MPRT versus 1.0ms MPRT made human visible! But 1.0ms MPRT is twice as bright as 0.5ms MPRT. Users need to choose. So that’s why there should be an adjustment available to users.

Possible Strobing Concern: Slow Red Phosphor

Some LG panels use the problematic red phosphor that produces great colors but really makes strobing very bad with red-ghosting. If this is one of them, then this should be disclosed to the user.

Red Phosphor Problems For Strobing:
https://www.aperturegrille.com/reviews/ViewSonicXG270QG/#Strobe-Pursuit

Look at the red-colored ghosting during strobing:

It’s possible that there will be a situation where the 165Hz panel has this problem phosphor (good for colors, but bad for strobing), while the 240Hz panel does not ahve the problem phosphor.

If any panels have this problem red phosphor, this should be informed to users in advance. It will be amazing colors for non-strobe operation but bad for strobing.

Accordingly, consumer expectations of strobing should be tempered to minimize charge-backs and refunds – at least informed users will be informed about the limitations of strobe quality. It would still be a useful feature, but not as good as expected because of phosphor interference to strobing.

37 Likes

I’d really like to see loads of information about the incoming signals. Not sure what’s realistically possible and I don’t know a ton about monitors but here are some of my ideas:

The one thing I REALLY want to see is a simple yes/no HDR signal indicator. HDR gaming on my HDR TV has been a nightmare because it’s difficult to know when my PC is outputting the proper signal. I know newer TVs have some kind of HDR flag so I assume this is possible.
Next, the quality of HDR signals can vary a bunch, this video by Digital Foundry really shows that off. The worst offenders are basically just SDR. To combat this, a simple readout showing peak luminance would be amazing.
Now if we’re talking a dream feature wishlist, the visualization used in the video would be a really neat option. I doubt it’s possible but here’s the forum post with more details.

A few other ideas:

  • A simple adaptive sync status indicator.
  • FPS info such as averages along with 0.1% & 1% lows.
  • Adaptive sync range (48-144hz) mentioned somewhere in the OSD.
  • Display what maximum resolution, framerate, etc. is possible for each input.
12 Likes

So there are some useful ideas, I will get them in categories:

  1. OC:
    Overclocking menu (160hz option on 4K …)
    On 1440p make options (Auto / 50 / 60 / 90 / 120 / 144 / 160 / 165 / 180 / 200 / 240

  2. Colors
    4:4:4 / 4:2:2 / 4:2:0 options
    adobeRGB option

3: Functions
Picture in picture (PIP and also PBP)
Dashboard - showing CPU temp , Clock , RAM, GPU, refresh rate , FPS (Very important for me and many tech enthusiast, reason why many youtubers use Aorus monitors)
Crosshair, gaming features
Black equalizer (turnable off, set from 0 - 100)
Aim stabilizer
Profiles - make affable / removable then. Like you can have 2-10 presets and switch them with buttons

  1. Not fully related
    Listen to @BlurBusters he has nice ideas about removing blur. :upside_down_face:
    Update us about bezels on two newer panels :grinning:
    For newer panels - HDMI 2.1 and for 4K one - DP 2.0
7 Likes

I think this will depend on how the stick handles, so we’ll definitely want to test its feel when we get our hands on the prototypes. Great suggestion!

That’s exactly the kind of creature comforts that’ll make our OSD better! We’ll see about getting as much useful information at a glance.

As someone who generally sets-and-forgets monitor settings, I thought three presets was a lot! I think this may depend on how much memory we have available to store profiles, but clearly we’ll need to try and get more than three user presets :slight_smile:

The first half of the topic is about layout and controls. The second half is about the actual settings and options. We know they’re not complete, that’s why we’re asking you guys!

:point_up: That.

You are the very reason we have a user defined option instead of just presets for overdrive, and I know that the table doesn’t show it, but we do intend to be as granular as possible!

Sounds like something we need to add, then!

Picture-in-picture and split-screen are planned features, we haven’t quite decided where they fit into the menu. We’ll probably take a deeper dive into sorting the menu categories later, so it’ll definitely come up!

All other information displays mentioned or requested so far rely on input signal data and monitor settings. The features you mentioned all require measurement in software and an additional data connection to the monitor. As cool as these data readouts would be, I doubt we’ll have the resources to implement them…

8 Likes

I think it would be really nice to have that Dashboard through, so at least if you can look at it it would be great

1 Like

You mean “as fine granularity as possible” :wink:

UPDATE: I edited my post with some minor corrections, make sure you re-record or re-read.

6 Likes

I just wanted to say that I admire the work you are putting into this kind of posts. Tells a lot about how serious Eve is about community feedback.

7 Likes

Happy to hear you are implementing blur buster’s suggestions :slight_smile: wanna hear your thoughts on possible elmb sync feature or if you plan on open sourcing the firmware to manually adjust?

1 Like

For controls, is it already decided to place at back of the monitor?

It might not convenience for some users (for me at least), as I most likely will put some of my items in the space between monitor and stand. Which leave me to either reach the buttons from side, or move my items away.


Also, will eve include some basic monitor test features?

Presumably the Monitor Setup menu will also include a firmware update option from attached USB.

The physical design was already discussed, polled, voted on and finialized.

1 Like

That is not fully true, they told that there may be changes in two newer versions design

Don’t expect any changes to the design except where needed to fit the new panels.

6 Likes