Instructions for Zero Motion Blur on LightBoost LCD
Supported Monitors: ASUS VG248QE, BENQ XL2411T, ASUS VG278H, ASUS VG278HE, BENQ XL2420T, BENQ XL2420TX, BENQ XL2720T, Acer HN274HB.
Instructions: Vendor Supported Steps | Unofficial LightBoost Steps | Samsung HOWTO
LightBoost monitors have a strobe backlight feature that completely eliminate motion blur for 2D; for CRT-quality perfectly sharp fast motion on LCD.
Fast Motion Without LightBoost
Fast Motion With LightBoost
|These are real photographs. Not simulated. See 60fps vs 120fps vs LightBoost|
- Media coverage include TFTCentral, pcmonitors.info, NewEgg, and more;
- Forum coverage include HardForum, Overclock.net, and many others;
- LightBoost has zero perceiptible motion blur like a CRT;
- LightBoost 120 Hz has clearer motion than non-LightBoost 120 Hz and 144 Hz;
- LightBoost strobe backlight can be used for 2D mode;
- Motion tests (PixPerAn) measures 80% less motion blur than a 120 Hz LCD;
- See Motion Blur Photo Comparision: 60Hz vs 120Hz vs LightBoost.
A strobe backlight hides LCD pixel transitions, preventing ghosting. Pixel transitions are kept unseen in dark between refreshes; the backlight strobes synchronously only on fully-refreshed frames as seen in high speed video and explained in Science & References Page.
An nVidia graphics card is needed since LightBoost is an nVidia technology. Preferably a fast GPU such as Geforce GTX 680 or GeForce Titan; since you need a frame rate matching refresh rate (120 fps @ 120 Hz) for the best LightBoost benefit. There are two different sets of instructions, depending on whether or not you have the 3D emitter.
Vendor Supported Instructions for LightBoost in 2D
Option A: Choose these instructions if you have a LightBoost monitor, and you have obtained the shutter glasses emitter, or it’s built into your monitor (e.g. ASUS VG278H). No registry tweaks needed! Works on all versions of Windows that 3D Vision is supported.
The procedure is simply set up stereoscopic 3D normally, launch the game in stereoscopic 3D, and then use Control+T to turn off stereoscopic operation. At this point, you have LightBoost in 2D and you can play normally with no glasses, and with no motion blur! No need to wear the 3D glasses if you don’t want to wear them. The detailed procedure is as follows:
- Make sure your monitor supports LightBoost (e.g. ASUS VG278H)
- Get your favorite latest graphics drivers from nVidia (www.geforce.com).
- Make sure your glasses emitter is connected.
- Go to Control Panel -> Display -> Adjust Resolution.
- Verify “Enable Stereoscopic 3D settings for all displays” is enabled. (May be missing on Windows 7, skip this step).
- Go to NVIDIA Control Panel (system tray -> nVidia icon), and select “Setup Stereoscopic 3D”.
- Click “Test Stereoscopic 3D” and follow the vendor instructions to test it at 120Hz.
- Start a video game. The game should be running in stereoscopic 3D. This makes sure LightBoost is running, since it is automatically enabled during stereoscopic 3D.
- Hit Control-T inside the video game to turn off stereoscopic operation. This is an official keypress combination provided by official nVidia graphics drivers.
- Now you can play the game with no motion blur, for 120fps @ 120Hz gaming!
The LightBoost strobe backlight is still enabled, and you don’t need the 3D glasses.
- Unlike the Unofficial Hack below, you have to hit Control+T every time you launch a game. 3D is not persistently enabled at the desktop, unless you install the registry tweak to force LightBoost to always be enabled.
- Some users have reported more input lag with the Control+T method than the Unofficial Hack method below.
- Some games may need extra adjustment to work well with this (e.g. raising max_fps in Source engine games, or adjusting the VSYNC setting).
- You need frame rates matching (or exceeding) Hz for best benefit. LightBoost only works at 100Hz to 120Hz. Thus, you need 100fps@100Hz, or 120fps@120Hz.
Unofficial Hack for LightBoost in 2D (No Glasses Emitter)
If this doesn’t work, follow the long version of the instructions:
- Make sure your monitor supports LightBoost (e.g. ASUS VG248QE)
Use at least driver 310.90 driver from nVidia (www.geforce.com)
- IMPORTANT (monitor-specific): If you’re using a monitor without an emitter (e.g. BENQ monitors, ASUS VG278HE or ASUS VG248QE) you must trick it into thinking it’s an ASUS VG278H (non-HE) by installing the EDID override INF file. (This is so nVidia drivers are able to be tricked into enabling LightBoost in 2D mode, without needing to own a shutter glasses emitter). Download the INF file here:
Note: Windows Vista, 7 and 8 is supported. Windows XP is not supported.
- Install this INF file via Device Manager, then reboot.
Detailed instructions: First, right-click this INF file in File Explorer and select “Install”. Next, go to Device Manager and right-click your monitor, select “Update Driver Software”, then “Browser my computer…”, then “Let me pick…”, then disable “Show compatible hardware”, then select the “LightBoost EDID Override” from manufacturer ASUS (even if you don’t have ASUS), and then reboot.
IMPORTANT (Windows 8 specific): If you’re installing under Windows 8,
follow these instructions to disable driver signature enforcement before installing this INF file. The INF file is installed via right-clicking the monitor in Control Panel -> Device Manager, and updating its driver.
- Install registry tweak to enable LightBoost in 2D mode without shutter glasses:
- Save this as a .reg file, double click on .reg file, add to registry, reboot.
- Go to Control Panel -> Display -> Adjust Resolution
- Verify “Enable Stereoscopic 3D settings for all displays” is enabled (Windows 8 only)
- Go to NVIDIA Control Panel (system tray -> nVidia icon)
- Select “Set up Stereoscopic 3D” at left bar
- Select “Enable Stereoscopic 3D” checkbox
- Select “Asus 120Hz LCD” (even if you have a BENQ), and click Apply
Immediately, you should see a change in display colors.
- Quickly verify your LightBoost is enabled.
(a) Check monitor’s OSD menus, the “LightBoost” adjustment is unlocked.
(b) Wave hand in front of your screen. You should see a stroboscopic effect.
- The image may need adjustment (different colors, dimmer brightness).
NOTE: For a brighter image, configure the Contrast setting in your monitor’s menu. Although, the best Contrast setting for best LightBoost colors is 65 for calibration for both ASUS and BENQ, some people may find this too dim. (For ASUS, a Contrast of 90 leads to a brighter picture, but worse colors). The picture can be further improved by re-calibrating via nVidia Control Panel.
- Via your monitor’s adjustments, adjust the LightBoost setting while viewing the Lagom Contrast Test Pattern until it looks good.
- If certain games stubbornly launch in 3D mode (double image), press Control+T while inside the game, to make it switch back to 2D mode.
- Make sure you run your game at frame rates matching refresh rates.
You need 120 fps @ 120 Hz for maximum LightBoost benefit.
LightBoost is limited to working at refresh rates 100 Hz to 120 Hz
TIP: Improving Convenience, Stability & Eliminating “Control+T”:
Once you’ve verified LightBoost works (Step 12), and the registry tweak was already installed (Step 4), you can make LightBoost “stick” by going to nVidia Control Panel and disabling “Enable Stereoscopic 3D” (clear the checkbox in Step 8). If the screen did not flicker when doing this, LightBoost is still enabled even after disabling 3D!
– Games launch in 2D without needing Control+T
– Driver stability is improved in this mode, less freezing occurs.
- VSYNC OFF now works much more reliably, reducing input lag, fps higher than Hz.
(Note: Some games may automatically switch resolutions; make sure it stays at 120 Hz)
TIP: Adjust your LightBoost setting for very sharp-looking fast motion:
Adjust your “LightBoost” OSD setting via monitor menus. This adjusts strobe length. Use any value except “OFF”. Lower values are dimmer but have sharper-looking fast motion. Higher values are brighter but have less clear-looking fast motion. The sharpest fast motion occurs at 10% but is very dim. 100% is bright and is good enough for most people. A good compromise setting is 50% in a darkened room.
TIP: Smooth Scrolling In Web Browser
Smooth scroll in web browsers: If you’re using Chrome and web browsing, install Chromium Smooth Scroller to gain the benefits of sharp text scrolling with the mouse wheel. Make sure the steering wheel icon is enabled in your Chrome toolbar.
TIP: Turning Off The LightBoost Hack Without Uninstalling:
To turn off LightBoost:
1. Turn off the “Enable Stereoscopic 3D” checkbox in nVidia Control Panel
2. Switch to 60 Hz mode, then switch back to 120 Hz (or 144 Hz).
You can use a system tray utility such as MultiRes to do this more quickly.
TIP: Motion Testing Software For Comparisions
If you wish to do some testing of motion blur, install the PixPerAn motion test.
Keep tuned on the upcoming Blur Busters Motion Tests coming Spring 2013!
Note: PixPerAn does not work reliably under Windows 8
TIP: Fixing the pixel checkerboard artifact
If your LightBoost mode exhibits an ugly pixelated trailing artifact (photo), this is an amplified LCD inversion artifact. To mostly eliminate this, reduce your Contrast downwards to around 65%. Some users report that the XL2420T and VG278HE has more of a problem with this artifact, while it is not noticeable on XL2411T, VG248QE and VG278H.
TIP: Triple monitor surround users
Enabling LightBoost on triple monitor surround requires special steps. HardForum user ‘Vega’ has posted some good instructions.
The Resulting Zero Motion Blur
- All trailing artifacts disappears! Ghosting, coronas, etc.
- All motion blur disappears!
- No motion blur when you play video games, even during fast motion.
- The zero motion blur effect will also occurs on the Windows desktop (e.g. window dragging, scrolling) if you’ve installed the registry tweak and rebooted.
How is it possible?
- LightBoost is a programmable strobe backlight. The backlight is turned off while waiting for LCD to finish pixel transitions (unseen by human eyes), and the backlight is strobed only on fully-refreshed LCD frames (seen by human eyes). The strobes can be shorter than the panel’s pixel transitions, breaking the pixel persistence barrier!
- The strobe lengths are about 2 milliseconds long.
baseline – 60fps@60Hz LCD – (16.7ms sample-and-hold)
50% less motion blur – 120fps@120Hz regular LCD (8.33ms sample-and-hold)
85% less motion blur – 120fps@120Hz LightBoost (2.4ms strobe)
92% less motion blur – 120fps@120Hz LightBoost OSD setting 10% (1.4ms strobe)
Photo Comparision: 60Hz versus 120Hz versus LightBoost
- That’s an order of magnitude better motion clarity than a 60 Hz LCD!
Motion blur becomes below human perceptible levels, becoming zero motion blur.
- Here’s proof demonstrated by a YouTube high speed (1000fps) video of a LightBoost strobe backlight successfully bypassing pixel persistence as the motion blur barrier. For some explanations, see the Scanning Backlight FAQ.
- There are lots of “It’s like a CRT” testimonials.
- Minor Side Effects: Different color, dimmer screen (slight crimson tint on BENQ, fixable via a new monitor profile, nVidia color calibration), different brightness, some flicker feel (if you are sensitive to CRT flicker).
- LightBoost is hardware-limited to refresh rates between 100Hz and 120Hz.
For 144 Hz, LightBoost is turned off (automatically). Fortunately, there’s far less motion blur with 120 Hz LightBoost than with 144 Hz non-LightBoost.
- You need fps=Hz for best LightBoost benefit. (e.g. 100fps@100Hz or 120fps@120Hz)
CRT style gaming on LCD
It is CRT sharp; allowing complete immersion without being distracted by motion blur. You do need a GPU (GTX 680) fast enough to frequently hit 120fps@120Hz most of the time to really notice the big improvement in motion clarity, with perfectly clear images even during fast turning. Also, disable the GPU artifical motion blur effects in video games, as that reintroduces motion blur that you’ve zero’d out with this strobe backlight tweak. Also, some source-engine games needs their fps_max raised at the developer console, to play smooth. Also try turning VSYNC on versus off, since some games play more smoothly with one or the other setting (game-dependant). If you are a big-time gamer that plays lots of TF2 or Quake Live, or other fast-twitch action games, the CRT-style motion clarity more than outweighs the other side effects for some games.
High Speed Video Demonstration
This high speed video (480fps + 1000fps) demonstrates a LightBoost strobe backlight successfully bypassing pixel persistence as the motion blur barrier:
Zero Motion Blur LCD’s have finally arrived! And 120 Hz monitors are falling in price:
The ASUS VG248QE can be found for less than $300.