Terrible Banding

Blue Ion

Sep 19, 2008
Madrid, Spain
Suddenly, some terrible banding sets in everywhere.
Quake 2 textures are no longer smooth, they are still filtered (or with their strange filtering that sometimes shows some serious blockiness) but now show some banding specially on the dark and far areas where textures have the slightest gradients.
Videos show equivalent banding, being specially worse with cartoons where mpeg4 blocks pop in and pop out on solid colours like sitting ducks.
And all over the xfce desktop some slight banding has set on every little gradient, on the background, the shutdown menu, the launchbar...

This didn't used to happen, I don't remember if xfce banding was there or not, but Quake 2 or video banding wasn't definitely there. It happened when I was on a trip.
At first I've just dissed it as firmware corruption, I've been using the hotfix 2. Since the device isn't the most stable one ever, it crashes from time to time, and maybe something got corrupted in the way, and in the middle of nowhere there where little I could do. But now that I had reflashed and installed hotfix 3 it no longer should be the case.
I've tried setting Xorg to use 24 or 32 bit depth instead of 16 bit but both failed to start.
An other SD card I've used for developing where I installed the firmware also displays similar symptoms.

I know what 16 bit colours can do, I had a Voodoo 3 (whose accelerated modes where limited to 16 bits) and games still looked just as good, but this looks like a downscale to 8 bit.

I don't have anything particularly important on the nand so I can reflash if it is needed.

Thanks for the help, and I hope it isn't anything physical.

EDIT: Oh, I've forgot, I have a good camera with a good macro so I can post photos if needed, but banding looked a lot like this

I remembered that project from when I played Bioshock on my trusty Radeon 9600 Pro and had the same problem, though in that case, it was expected.

EDIT 2: I've remembered this topic http://www.gp32x.de/board/index.php?/topic/54882-are-we-stuck-at-16bit-graphics/page__p__884528__hl__banding__fromsearch__1&#entry884528 and I see smooth bands with notaz's op_gammatool.
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Dont quote me but it sounds like your LCD cable is playing up. I've started to get similar in some situations, or certain screen angles and some folk have RMA their units to get it sorted. All my desktop wallpapers are totally wrong now for example and Mario 64 is garish as hell, other games can be fine though, its odd.
Sorry for the double post and with such short time, but I guess this finding deserves it's own post.

It IS physical, the lcd cable must have gone wrong (DAMN IT). I've just noticed how I pulled back the screen to full horizontal and the screen turned to a shade of blue. Toying with the screen and with the op_gammatool I can see how I lose or gain gradients as I move back and forth the screen.

How is the op_gammatool screen supposed to look like?
I was going to describe the screen but screw it, I'll just make a photo.

Here are the photos:

What are my options? Or should I just RMA it away?
Chances are this is going to get worse as I open it and close and while PSX and Snes games won't be that bad, videos and filtered games will get more and more noticeable as I lose more and more shades of red.
id just rma unless your comftable enuff, u could open it see if the cable is seated correctly. Isnt it just flex cable
It's probably best to RMA, looks like some LCD data lines are broken. gammatool should show gradients, here is one of my old pics:

Ok, that is dissapointing, but at least there is no doubt.

One final question, is openpandorasales@gmail.com still working? I'm going to mail tomorrow morning since it's already night at England. I've used that mail for communicating before, but I couldn't find anything official on the web page, other than sales@openpandora.org.