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TeknologikL is a place for conversation and discussion about new technologies emerging in consumer electronics with a focus on high-definition video and audio. The blog will cover topics including home theater equipment, digital distribution, media streaming, electronic product reviews and more.

The blog's owners are constantly searching for the next device to satisfy their ever growing hunger for technology. Media junkies standing on the edge of reality, ready to take the jump.

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Gamma-X Review - Don't Live Inside The Gloom

Posted April 22, 2010 12:00 AM by Kaplin

Last week's review of the HDFury HDCP Stripper left me having to place another order because my original didn't come with the power supply I needed. I saw some cheap ones on eBay, but I wanted the version sold by CurtPalme because it powered the HDFury from a USB port on a nearby device.

I had the option to buy the power supply by itself for $50, or buy a product called Gamma-X for $100 that included a free power supply with the purchase.

Gamma Power
According to the manufacturer, Gamma-X gives your video a "Gamma Boost" to brighten the shadows and dark parts of the picture. They claim that it only corrects the black information without altering the lighter parts of the picture to prevent them from becoming too bright.

I decided to splurge and order the Gamma-X despite not having any specific issues with my TV being too dark. I figured since I was basically able to get it for half price, I would give the product a try.

When I told my wife about what this new device did, her first reaction was, "The TV is already too bright as it is, why would you want it to be brighter?" As it turns out, she was right… (there's a first time for everything).

Once the Gamma-X is attached to the cable carrying the video signal to your TV, there is an adjustable dial that alters the gamma level of the video signal, increasing the brightness of the picture. Although they claim this is done without "washing-out" the picture by only increasing the brightness of the black level tones, as opposed to the TV's own brightness control which will brighten the entire image, my tests seems to show the entire image loses some of the crispness of the HD picture. I do admit that it does a better job than the television's brightness control, so if you already have your brightness pumped up to the maximum then it is possible this device would improve your picture.

Thoughts on the Gamma-X
Adjusting the dial on the front of the Gamma-X will produce a very noticeable difference on the picture, going from a slight change to a drastically brighter picture. It reminded me of the Brightness/Contrast adjustment found in Photoshop. Although the Photoshop feature can be useful for very dark images, you do lose some sharpness of the original image; but at least with Photoshop there are other adjustments that can bring the sharpness back up.

In the end, I preferred the original image without the Gamma-X device connected. That being said, if you are specifically having issues with the picture on your television being hard to see, especially in dark scenes, this device might save you from having to replace your TV. However, if you don't have problems with your black levels then I'd suggest passing on the Gamma-X and sticking with the HDFury product (which I do recommend) for all of your HDCP woes.

More Info:
GammaX: Gamma Boost and Cable Driver
Gamma Correction (Wikipedia)

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#1

Re: Gamma-X Review - Don't Live Inside The Gloom

04/22/2010 6:20 AM

Or you could just adjust gamma with your video driver software e.g. ATI's Catalyst.

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#2
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Re: Gamma-X Review - Don't Live Inside The Gloom

04/22/2010 8:50 AM

You are assuming everyone watches TV through their computer.

Many people still rely on standard television and many of us who do store their content on a PC stream it instead of using an HTPC.

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#3

Re: Gamma-X Review - Don't Live Inside The Gloom

04/22/2010 11:35 PM

What is a TV?

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