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Author Topic: WG D9000 26" LCD review "edit at bottom of post"  (Read 5743 times)

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kalars123

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WG D9000 26" LCD review "edit at bottom of post"
« on: June 17, 2011, 06:09:04 pm »
my review of the Wells Gardner d9000 26" LCD


  Lets start off with the official specs that Wells Gardner provides

26" 16:9 LCD panel
Max (native) resolution: 1366x768
Contrast Ratio: 2500:1
Brightness: 500 cd/m2
Response time: 6.5ms
Imputs VGA, 10pin RGB/S jamma
Viewing angle 176 degree's


Those are the specs listed in the brochure, sounds like a average mid-grade LCD panel to me.  Let me tell you this is anything but an average LCD panel.

Ok now lets get into the meat and bones of what this thing can and can't do,

The first thing I tried was just connecting to my computer to see how well it worked at a computer monitor, well it works just fine, although windows does not recognize it at all, just comes up as a generic non plug and play monitor, but it still works, it has no EDID.  The picture on this thing is beautiful it's bright and very crisp, I played several video's on it and noticed no ghosting even played abit of Duke Nukem Forever on it, worked great. So it works just fine as a computer monitor lets see how well it works with a jamma board.

I don't own any truly antique boards but I do have and did try, Mortal Kombat 1-U3, SF2:CE, Sly Spy, Bad Dudes, and Tekken 3.  To hook it up to your jamma harness is strait forward it has a standard Wells Gardner 10 pin connector for RGB/Grnd/Sync so for me it was completely plug and play being that I had a WG K7000 series CRT before. To my surprise it worked right out of the box with all the PCB's and need very little adjustment, if you have had or used a D9800 or any digital CRT you'll be familiar with the adjustment option's as they are very standard except you can adjust the clock and phase of the input. The only downside is that the panel does stretch the image to fit the screen surface. The only game it did not work with at all was Tekken 3, It would show a picture but it just wouldn't lock in, it just kept blinking it and out, both through the jamma connector and through the on-board VGA out.

Now here's where the magic of the panel comes in this LCD panel will refresh at multiple rates, regardless of what the nay-sayer's think this panel is the proof, If you bring up the OSD it will give you the resolution, horiz rate, and Vrefresh, to my surprise it was refreshing the games at the correct rate the OSD is only able to show whole numbers though so 54.84584 will show at 55khz.

since that went so well I decided to hook it up to my mame machine though my Arcade VGA 3k using the jamma connector. It works however to my surprise it behaves exactly like a standard res CRT in every way interlaced resolution's are flickery, small resolutions IE 320x240 are HUGE. I talked this over with Calamity and the best we could figure was that with the Jamma RGB connector it is doing a raw input without any re-sampling of the picture and I'm not even sure if that's what it is doing because if you hook a game up to it, it works fine. I also tried hooking the AVGA up to the VGA input this is when I discovered that it will not accept 15khz signal's through the VGA port.

So then I decided to hook it up through a normal HD 4550 using Calamity's driver's it wouldn't work because I had the resolution set at 640x480 interlaced for my CRT after alot of fiddling with it, I got the computer set to 800x600 and was good to go. Time to start testing resolution's and refresh's.  With calamity's help we tested every single resolution and refresh that was available. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it, it will not accept interlaced resolutions through the VGA port, don't ask me why because it accepts them just fine through jamma input. It will however accept any other resolution and refresh we could throw at it.  To test if the panel was truly refreshing that the correct rate or not, Calamity told me how to do it with his Arcade OSD program, and sure enough the panel is really refreshing at the correct rate.

Setting up Gmame to use the monitor correctly is put it lightly a complete PITA in the end to get most of the games working, i had to use VMMaker with a VGA setting, and set Gmame's INI to d9800 with 16:9 ratio, I know that sounds really weird but remember Gmame and Calamity's drivers were programed to for a CRT not a LCD that won't accept interlaced resolution's.

After I got everything going good I could start going through games testing them out on how it looks on the LCD, unfortunately this is where things start to go down hill. While it will display the game correctly the internal stretching and Auto size adjusting is just GOD AWFUL though VGA.  Don't get me wrong it will display the game, it will refresh at the correct speed, but 8/10 games are either WAY off the screen or Stretched out WAY to big, while you can adjust this through the OSD to be correct it really is a pain in the ass since because it stretch's the image to fit 16:9 games with close to similar resolution's will be stretched out the same amount IE after adjusting UMK3 to fit the screen, I tried Killer Instinct and it was stretched way to far vertically, while the panel will save settings per resolution/Vrefresh with the internal stretching alot of games will overlap and have to continually be adjusted.

Because of this Calamity and I talked and decided the best thing to do was to figure out a way to let Mame do the stretching but still set it to refresh at the correct rate, while you can do this on a per game basis using game INI's it would take a very long time to do, and well is still pretty much a pain in the ass.

That's about all there is to say about it's ability's it truly is a wonderful product but has a couple drawback's which may prove to be a deal breaker for some.

Moving on to mounting this thing, well let me tell you that it is advertised as a replacement screen for 25" and 27" cabinet's there isn't anything further from the truth, while I'm sure there are a few cabinet's that this would drop right in, I can tell you that the vast majority it would not. I have a MK1 cabinet and as most of you probably know it has a HUGE monitor opening, this thing will not fit in it with the stock mounting hardware. the sides of the case/mounting bracket are to wide and hit directly on my Tmolding.  In the end I had to take the mounting/protective case off, and make my own mounting bracket's to get it to fit.  Even then it is a VERY tight fit, there is about 1/16" gap on each side of the monitor.

I called up Wells Gardner about warranty information, the monitor has 1 year parts&labor, I asked about what kind of panel was in my monitor they asked for my S/N they said that it had a LG panel in it, after doing abit more research it is in fact an AU panel after doing some interweb diggin I found the spec sheet for the only 26" panel that AU makes I'm not sure if this is the correct model, but most of the information is close to what Wells Gardner advertises.  Here is the link for those that are interested.

"edit after contacting WG again i found out this is not the correct spec sheet for this panel, they could not provide me a model number I will continue to search for the correct spec sheet and update the review when I have found it"

In the end I personally am very satisfied with this monitor, I can hook my PCB's up to it and it works like a charm, I can use mame with it and it works pretty good, the picture is great, the viewing angle is well above par look it completely sideways and it still a solid clear picture. It's abit bright it will definitely light up your room, it put's out a fair amount of heat not as much as a plasma but more than my computer LCD panel.

However at the end of the day I would have to recommend unless you have the $650 "total cost + shipping" burning a hole in your pocket look at other option's it's great to have a LCD panel that will refresh at multiple rates and displays arcade resolutions, but I think the con's of having to continually adjust the picture and the pain of finding a way to mount it far outweigh the small benefits this has over a classic CRT.

If anyone has any question's feel free to ask and I'll try to answer as best as I can, or if you want me to test a particular game or get picture's of anything particular I'll get them.

"edit"
After reading through my review a few more times i felt like i need to clarify something, when the monitor does internal stretching it stretch's the image up to what I'm assuming is the next closest 16:9 resolution, Gmame outputs 400x256 for UMK3 the monitor stretches it to 582x255, for NeoGeo games Gmame outputs 320x224 the monitor stretches it to 545x238
 
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 10:58:49 am by kalars123 »

Calamity

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Re: WG D9000 26" LCD review "edit at bottom of post"
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 06:27:44 am »
Hi kalars123,

Great report! As you explained, the important feature of this monitor is that it can refresh its panel at custom refresh rates, so that makes it suitable for arcade games, where smooth scrolling is the key factor to visually acceptable results. On the other hand, you have the fixed resolution nature of LCDs, which we can't fight against it, so trying to feed it with thousands of different resolutions only makes things worse. So it would be better to always use its native resolution, but recalculated with a different refresh rate for each game. That wouldn't need of different inis for each game, it could be done automatically by groovymame as a new option for LCDs which accept custom refresh rates (not implemented yet). That way you could control aspect ratio and force a 4:3 picture with black borders if that's what you want, overriding monitor's default scaling behaviour. And in theory it would not require any manual adjustment from game to game, or only minor ones.
Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
Steps to create a log:
 - From command line, run: groovymame.exe -v romname >romname.txt
 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead or pasting it.

CRT Emudriver, VMMaker & Arcade OSD downloads, documentation and discussion:  Eiusdemmodi

kalars123

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Re: WG D9000 26" LCD review "edit at bottom of post"
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2011, 09:18:47 am »
whew someone replied, i though i had either done such a horrid job or such a great job no one had any question's comment's concern's, i'm willing do test anything on this things guys and gals if ya want me to do just ask or answer any question's about it.

krick

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Re: WG D9000 26" LCD review "edit at bottom of post"
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2011, 01:50:29 pm »
The OSD program is showing the refresh rate that is generated by the video card.  It doesn't mean that the monitor is actually syncing to that refresh rate.  I'd be willing to bet that all video signals through the JAMMA input are being fed though a converter board similar to the one pictured here...

CGA to VGA Video Converter Board
http://www.happcontrols.com/monitors/49272700.htm

This would also explain why it can't handle 15KHz on the VGA input.
Hantarex Polo 15KHz
Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 2GB (GCN)
GroovyMAME 0.197.017h_d3d9ex
CRT Emudriver & CRT Tools 2.0 beta 13 (Crimson 16.2.1 for GCN cards)
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Intel Core i7-4790K @ 4.8GHz
ASUS Z87M-PLUS Motherboard

kalars123

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Re: WG D9000 26" LCD review "edit at bottom of post"
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2011, 02:38:15 pm »
It's definitely a converter board of sort sort though i have no idea what kind it's considerably less populated than the one you linked to.
And why is everyone is so set on saying that the OSD is displaying the video input? I'm not saying that's not true, however if that was the case then it would very likely be the same case for a CRT, look at the OSD even if the vrefresh is a fabricated figure which i don't believe it to be, I know for a fact without any question that I am not feeding it 582x255 resolution.

All the testing I did on Calamity's behalf following his instruction's to the letter using his programs say that this panel is capable of refreshing at custom rates other than 60hz, so if you doubt his skill at getting proper numbers out of a display i'm not sure what to say, I for one trust his judgment is just a shame that He and I aren't neighbors so he could come over and really tinker with it, we did the best we could with me having the means and him having the way.


"edit"
and yes i know i need to get a real camera, next thing on my to do list.

Calamity

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Re: WG D9000 26" LCD review "edit at bottom of post"
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2011, 03:53:38 pm »
kalars123,

In your review you say you had to use VGA setup in VMMaker and D9800 for mame.ini (groovymame). That's interesting because D9800 setup will probably use some 15Khz resolutions. Is it possible with your current setup to run groovymame mk -v -md 4 and post the logs so we see which modeline is being used?
Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
Steps to create a log:
 - From command line, run: groovymame.exe -v romname >romname.txt
 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead or pasting it.

CRT Emudriver, VMMaker & Arcade OSD downloads, documentation and discussion:  Eiusdemmodi

kalars123

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Re: WG D9000 26" LCD review "edit at bottom of post"
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2011, 04:14:25 pm »
here ya go, looking through it though it say's it's enabling vsync.... i have that turned off in mame.ini

"edit"
and a picture of what the monitor is report
it's possible that it could be accepting 15khz signals through VGA, i based my original findings on the fact that the AVGA 3k by default only outputs 15khz signals through normal vga and no matter what i did the monitor would not sync to it just reported out of range.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 04:40:32 pm by kalars123 »

Calamity

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Re: WG D9000 26" LCD review "edit at bottom of post"
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2011, 04:55:29 pm »
Perfect! It's using a 15.29 KHz video mode, this is the modeline it's using:

Modeline "400x256" 7.830000 400 416 456 512 256 260 263 279

So the monitor does accept 15KHz through VGA. Probably it works here because D9800 porch values are similar to D9000's. Vsync is automatically enabled by groovymame when it considers the output refresh is close enough to the target one, regardless your ini settings.

So the output refresh shoud be 54.81 Hz. Now, run mk again and press F11 to show fps. If it is 100%, then, as we have vysnc enabled, we'll know for sure that the output refresh is correct.

Finally, go to the player's selection screen in mk. That screen shows a continuous scrolling. Keep your eye on it for 10 seconds or more. If it's perfectly smooth, with not even a single hiccup, then that's the definitive proof that it can refresh its panel at 54.81 Hz.

« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 05:16:16 pm by Calamity »
Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
Steps to create a log:
 - From command line, run: groovymame.exe -v romname >romname.txt
 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead or pasting it.

CRT Emudriver, VMMaker & Arcade OSD downloads, documentation and discussion:  Eiusdemmodi

kalars123

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Re: WG D9000 26" LCD review "edit at bottom of post"
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2011, 05:17:31 pm »
here ya go
and also a quick crappy cell phone video of the credit screen alot shaking "hands aren't so steady anymore it's a ---smurfette--- to do soldering now"
it's not the best quality but i think it capture's ok

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=XLB7TBOQ

Calamity

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Re: WG D9000 26" LCD review "edit at bottom of post"
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2011, 05:37:35 pm »
I can't draw any conclusions by watching that video.

We need your judgment here. Is is soft like silk? Any hiccup?
Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
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 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead or pasting it.

CRT Emudriver, VMMaker & Arcade OSD downloads, documentation and discussion:  Eiusdemmodi

kalars123

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Re: WG D9000 26" LCD review "edit at bottom of post"
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2011, 05:44:11 pm »
well running the games side by side on the WG and my Asus pc monitor, the WG is running extremely smooth, on the Asus, the judder and tearing are immediately noticeable, and on the WG there is no noticeable tearing or juddering.

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Re: WG D9000 26" LCD review "edit at bottom of post"
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2011, 06:07:03 pm »
well running the games side by side on the WG and my Asus pc monitor, the WG is running extremely smooth, on the Asus, the judder and tearing are immediately noticeable, and on the WG there is no noticeable tearing or juddering.

Well, that's normal as you're not probably feeding your Asus monitor with a 54.81 Hz signal anyway. But at least it makes clear for the skeptics that you can judge when a picture has judder. The relevant fact here is if the scroll on your WG is, as you're saying, perfectly smooth, and not a regular series of smooth parts separeted by brief stops, that's what would happen if the panel was not refreshed at the right refresh rate.

Edit: more games to try:

-loht (55.02 Hz)
-donpachi (57.55 Hz)
-sfa3 (59.63 Hz) my favourite one to test judder during character's selection screen.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 06:15:40 pm by Calamity »
Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
Steps to create a log:
 - From command line, run: groovymame.exe -v romname >romname.txt
 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead or pasting it.

CRT Emudriver, VMMaker & Arcade OSD downloads, documentation and discussion:  Eiusdemmodi

kalars123

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Re: WG D9000 26" LCD review "edit at bottom of post"
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2011, 06:13:52 pm »
i just wish there was some way to put that down in black and white LOL, i tried with the video but 1 being a cell phone and 2 my shacky ass hands don't help any.

Calamity

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Re: WG D9000 26" LCD review "edit at bottom of post"
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2011, 06:20:15 pm »
i just wish there was some way to put that down in black and white LOL, i tried with the video but 1 being a cell phone and 2 my shacky ass hands don't help any.

 ;D

Don't worry, it's impossible to record that properly, the only way is to watch it directly and judge, I do believe you.
Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
Steps to create a log:
 - From command line, run: groovymame.exe -v romname >romname.txt
 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead or pasting it.

CRT Emudriver, VMMaker & Arcade OSD downloads, documentation and discussion:  Eiusdemmodi