Software Choices

There are several Gx2x model customers having trouble with the PMCv2.  Even more interestingly, one GT20E customer has reported success.  Either way, I am trying to figure out how to move forward to continue expanding the number of supported models..   My current plan is detailed below.

Data Gathering

The first step is to gather more information.  One PMCv2 customer with a G25 has volunteered to run some tests for me, so I am working to assemble a custom PMCv2 device that logs information to a microSDCard.  I am re-working the software on that custom PMCv2 device to try out lots of different timing measurements on their set, trying to read the panel EEPROM at various times during startup, and logging the results.  I won’t be actually trying to clear the EEPROM data at this time, just read it..

Once the the volunteer attaches it to their set and turns their TV on and off a few dozen times (the more data the better), then they’ll mail it back to me for analysis.  Hopefully I will have at least one method that works, and from those choices I will modify the software yet again with several methods of attempting to reset their black levels.  If one (or more!) of those options work, then I’ll have the solution(s) for the Gx2x models.

Customer Options

I like options.  And I installed TWO switches on the PMCv1/v2 devices (even though I only needed one) because hey, two is better than one, right?  Well now I wish I had installed THREE.

As I look to offer choices to customers of different models, the customer needs a way to choose which option they want to use.  As I posted on AVSforum, I am currently considering several options, each with their own set of pros and cons.  For the sake of information sharing, the options that I am considering are listed below.  Keep in mind that these options are subject to change at any time, and depend heavily upon the results of the data gathering phase described above.

  • Option A:
    – Keep switch 2 for Run/Undo.
    – Re-purpose switch 1 for Automatic/Forced Update Mode.
    This is the most hassle from the user, flipping a switch every time they want the update to occur.  The hassle is increased for PMCv2 customers where the switches are more difficult to get to since they are recessed for better shipping protection rather than sticking out like in the PMCv1.  This option preserves the Undo function.
  • Option B:
    – Keep switch 2 for Run/Undo.
    – Re-purpose switch 1 for original-timing Automatic or updated-timing Automatic (I will probably call them “early” and “late” timing).
    This option keeps things automatic for most people, hopefully including the Gx2x customers.  A “forced” reset can still be accomplished by undoing the last reset and then running it normally again.  This option preserves the Undo function.
  • Option C:
    To-date, I do not recall any single customer actually needing the undo functionality.  Since the undo functionality has not been necessary, then we can:
    – Re-purpose switch 2 for Automatic / Forced update.
    – Re-purpose switch 1 for early / late timing.
    The down-side is that there are still a handful of models that have not yet been tested, and those future customers wouldn’t have any undo functionality.  Other customers would be able to choose between early/late timing as well as between automatic/forced updates.

Every option has its own set of pros and cons. Above are a few options that I am considering.  Maybe other options exist that I haven’t thought about.  My goal is to settle on a single software update moving forward for all unsold PMCv2 devices, and offer software updates to existing customers on a case-by-case basis.

any thoughts or comments?