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Panasonic IPS-Alpha panels - worth upgrading to?

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by somersetpaul, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. somersetpaul

    somersetpaul Member

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    I have a Toshiba 26wlt66 which has been great, but following a room change-around I now have two seats at quite wide viewing angles and the colour washes out a bit and I lose contrast.

    When I bought the set it claimed 176 degree viewing angle, which is true I suppose but the picture is not as good at wider angles.

    I am considering upgrading to a Panny 26LMD or LXD with IPS-Alpha panels which claim 178 degree and no loss of picture quality at wide angles.

    Is this true or is it just hype?

    Any other reason why I should or should not upgrade? Don't want to spend money if the difference will be minimal.

    When I upgraded from my old 27wlt56 I was glad I did - the newer technology made a big difference.

    Room size dictates this screen size by the way.
  2. somersetpaul

    somersetpaul Member

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    Bump - can anyone with a recent Panasonic LCD TV comment on how good it is at a wide viewing angle?

    Thanks.
  3. Yannis

    Yannis Member

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    The best panels on the market are S-PVA. You will find them in expensive Sonys and Samsungs such as 32W4000 or 32A656.

    Viewing angle , blacks and contrast will be much better than WLT66 which i believe uses a ΑU Optronics panel.
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  4. Icm76

    Icm76 Member

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    Given the OP's criteria this statement is ridiculous, S-PVA is still grossly inferior to IPS when considering viewing angles and it's very easy to prove for yourself. With S-PVA the colour & gamma will wash out instantaneously as you change the horizontal view angle.


    Somersetpaul - you should go demo a Sony or Samsung and compare with the Panasonic. Try watching something like Sky Sports News, look at the skin colour on the presenter's face and then move your view angle left or right. On Sony/Samsung S-PVA you will no doubt see that the the skin tone is quite saturated & somewhat red from 90°, but it will be very washed out & pale long before you get anywhere near the claimed view angles. The Panasonic will be much better in this test, the panel's colour & gamma remains stable across a much greater range of view angle.

    IPS-alpha has the best view angles, though be aware that Panasonic's LXD is a newer panel type than LMD (the LMD has much worse view angle range on the vertical.) Note that Hitachi also use IPS-alpha, though Hitachi don't have a great reputation for build quality...

    Check out http://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/reviews.php for another opinion acknowledging the superiority of Panasonic/IPS-alpha view angles.

    S-IPS panels (some Toshiba, Philips & LG) will also be superior, but there is usually a whitish glow on black images when viewed from an angle. I think even Sharp's ASV panel type is better than S-PVA on the viewing angles!


    This site has nice photos to compare, but you should really get a shortlist together & get a first hand demo as the photos won't give a 100% accurate impression.
    http://www.digitalversus.com/duels.php?ty=10&ma1=16&mo1=194&p1=3411&ma2=60&ph=8
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    Last edited: Jul 18, 2008
  5. somersetpaul

    somersetpaul Member

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    Very helpful, thanks.

    I have been seen in Comet recently looking down the line of TVs at a sharp angle! But its not always easy to compare under shop conditions.

    I had noticed that the best Panasonic sets had little "wash-out" compared to the other makes, but I couldn't compare to my Tosh as it is now discontinued. I didn't want to spend money and see little difference.

    I think you have convinced me - technology is improving quickly in this area I think.
  6. Yannis

    Yannis Member

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    S-PVA panels are the best when it comes to blacks , contrast ratios and color reproduction. The viewing anlges are also among the best.

    No wonder that class leading LCDs like Samsung 656 , Toshiba ZF355 and Sony X3500 are using S-PVA panels.

    Toshiba has sold their part of IPS-alpha if you haven't heard , same with Hitachi...

    http://displayblog.wordpress.com/2008/02/15/ips-alpha-to-become-matsupoopa-subsidiary/

    Now they are using S-PVA panels for the expensive models , S-IPS for the midrange and AU Optronics for the lower ones.

    Since you like ΗDTVtest i suggest that you read how poorly Panny LZD85 did in their review...

    http://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/Panasonic-TX37LZD85/

    Also i suggest that you take a look at this to see the viewing angles before saying inacurrate things...

    http://www.digitalversus.com/duels.php?ty=10&ma1=16&mo1=102&p1=2643&ma2=60&ph=8

    W4000 has a type of "clear panel" same that Samsung uses and probably they didn't take the best possible picture.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2008
  7. Boostrail

    Boostrail Active Member

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    Totally disagree!

    Your first link says a lot in the second paragraph about the merits /demerits of the IPS-Alpha vs SPVA panels.

    Toshiba afaik never used an IPS-alpha panel as they had gone down development route for the 40"/46" picture frame presentation XF/ZF models based on the SPVA panel before their involvement with IPS-Alpha. As you say they use LG/Philips S-IPS for their mid range models and AUO for the cheapest.

    The review in your second quote is in my opinion somewhat flawed and unique in reviews of this set in giving a few negative points which I feel come from a rapid review that did not fully explore or understand the (I agree somewhat ambiguous) settings available on this model.

    This thread however seeks to compare IPS-Alpha with other panels. I do not know what your link on viewing angles is supposed to show as the pictures are too small to draw any conclusion and if I blow them up they are subject to the definitely inferior performance of the Dell LCD monitor I am using?

    OK I may be biased as I bought a Panny 37LZD85 as in a side by side comparison it offered excellent viewing angles and (OK only by a small margin) better than S-PVA panels in both Toshiba XF and Sony W 40" sets. (I would never buy a Samsung). This was important to me as the TV sits virtually dead centre in a 21' lounge where people can sit not only in front but also to the extreme sides.

    The other advantage that IMHO the IPS-Alpha panel has is a more natural colour rendition. OK the technically assessed colour veracity appears to be near identical but S-PVA panels look incredibly garish to me. This aspect is remarked upon in your first link.

    Not quite finally but black levels. I dont think there is actually much difference between these panels in their naked form - it is down to the way they are driven as it is with several other aspects of an LCD's performance.

    Definitely finally defects. IPS-alpha panels seem to have very few problems with dead/stuck pixels this may be that as I have heard that if they do occur they default to black rather than brilliant white as on S-PVA. A few IPS-Alpha panels seem to suffer from edge backlight bleed that may possibly relate to mounting points. The S-PVA panel conversely seems to have an endemic clouding fault.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2008
  8. Yannis

    Yannis Member

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    Ιf the question is "which type od panel has the best viewing angles?" then IPS-alpha is the correct answer. On the other hand if the question is "which is the best panel overall?" then it must be S-PVA based on best blacks , contrast ratios and excellent viewing angles which are marginally worse than IPS-alpha.

    LG's S-IPS panels suffer from poor blacks (among the worse in the bussiness) , and Sharp's ASV while having very good blacks and contrast suffer from inferior viewing angles.

    It's true that S-PVA panels have clouding problems but for 95% of all cases the problem is negligible and not visible in everyday use.

    As for stuck/dead pixels i had 3 Sony LCDs for the past 3 years and none of them had not even one.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2008
  9. Boostrail

    Boostrail Active Member

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    I have no issue with blacks on my IPS-alpha panel but agree that S-IPS panels are poor in this respect. Indeed what I see as black could not to me be blacker and without loss of detail in dark scenes. I have never believed published contrast ratios as every manufacturer seems to have a different means of measuring them. Again I have no issue with this as what I see is a display that has a deep range of contrast values.

    IMHO the major difference apart from viewing angles is the attribute mentioned in the second paragraph of your first linkin your earlier post - that is that the IPS-alpha gives a more natural colour rendition.

    From what I have seen even a small amount of clouding negates the black level performance.
  10. andrewfee

    andrewfee Active Member

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    Actually, I believe H-IPS are the best LCD panels around, but I don't think there are any televisions that make use of them, just NEC's high end monitors.

    For example, here's a close-up of an S-PVA pixel vs some H-IPS pixels. (not to scale)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    S-PVA pixels are not always fully lit, depending on the brightness of what is being displayed on-screen, whereas H-IPS is much more uniform, and has less noticeable gaps between pixels.

    S-PVA has poor viewing angles, with the centre of the image generally ending up being darker than the rest of the panel (assuming you're sitting straight on) with some slight ‘black crush’ that lessens towards the edges. Colour starts to shift almost immediately as you go off-axis.

    With a good H-IPS panel, there should be (almost) no change in black level as you move off-axis, whereas S-PVA gets a lot brighter very quickly.

    Here's a comparison between an H-IPS panel and a CRT:
    [​IMG]



    I don't think Panasonic's IPS-alpha panels are quite as good as H-IPS, but they should be better than S-PVA. The problem is that Panasonic's processing is awful, and the user controls are very limited. So, despite them having a great panel, I wouldn't recommend buying one.

    Forcing sharpness enhancement and not having a backlight control negates any advantages the sets may offer in my opinion.

    I wouldn't go that far! :eek:

    One thing to note is that many screens do not show nearly as much ‘washout’ at wide angles before they are calibrated. Before you bring colour to the proper levels with an S-PVA panel, you don't notice it nearly as much, but once it's set correctly the viewing angle becomes a lot narrower.

    That's more to do with most S-PVA panels using a wide colour gamut backlight which does result in unnatural colour reproduction out of the box. (as you will see it in stores) This can be corrected by changing a couple of settings in the menus on most of them.



    I agree with what has been said about about IPS not comparing to S-PVA when it comes to contrast ratio, but contrast ratio on all LCDs is a bit rubbish anyway. I would much rather have an image that stays accurate whether I'm looking at it dead-centre or not. Even moving your head slightly affects S-PVA.
  11. Yannis

    Yannis Member

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    Poor viewing angles on S-PVA? May i ask which TV you saw?

    I have twο Sony LCDs with S-PVA currently and the viewing angle is excellent. You can watch TV from the far side of the room with no problem at all.

    Unless you saw a Samsung with "Super Clear panel" or something cause those due to reflective coating the viewing angle is not typical S-PVA.
  12. andrewfee

    andrewfee Active Member

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    I've had a few BRAVIAs, a 52ʺ Samsung and colour/black level washes out almost immediately when you get off-axis.

    It's not about whether you can see an image or not (you won't have a problem with that on virtually any LCD these days) it's whether the picture changes when you move off-centre.
  13. Boostrail

    Boostrail Active Member

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    Panasonics processing is not awful! Difficult to judge perhaps with pane/panel comparison differentials. Firstly they do use dynamic contrast (optional setting) but this is far better than any other dynamic contrast system I have seen - it is imperceptible in operation. Panny motion processing is IMHO second to none. I am a footy and other motion sports addict. On HD and high quality SD sports their upper market models leave nothing to be desired. Even more remarkably I can use the settings on these TV's to eliminate annoying effects for example "mosquitos" on lower bit rate feeds. The only problem is that Panasonic organise their settings in a way that is perhaps confusing to the non technical "joe public" user . However I find that such problems with instruction books, menus etc is endemic as they are written by people who speak english/german/french but have a different logic to west europeans.
    IncidentallyI have never seen the point of manual fixed setting backlight control.If you do have it then surely it has to be at max, unless you want grey whites (like a plasma?), from whence a good (Panny dynamic) control takes over

    Not from what I have seen. S-PVA panels even after set up never look as natural as the IPS-alpha panels that I have also seen.
  14. andrewfee

    andrewfee Active Member

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    :rotfl: Nice one, you almost got me…
  15. Yannis

    Yannis Member

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    Well this picture proves you wrong...

    http://www.digitalversus.com/duels.php?ty=10&ma1=16&mo1=102&p1=2643&ma2=60&ph=8

    Maybe you are a bit biased against LCDs after your latest purchase (Pioneer plasma if i remember correctly)?:rolleyes:

    Anyway if you need help regasing your Kuro i would be glad to help.:rotfl:
  16. andrewfee

    andrewfee Active Member

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    For what it's worth, the last television that I bought was actually a 40W3000 back in October last year, if you don't count the TX37LZD80 I changed my mind about before it was delivered back in April.

    It certainly did not have viewing angles anything like as good those images show when it was calibrated, and there is nothing to say that the exposure is locked in those photographs or whether they were taken before/after calibration.

    Seeing as the latest BRAVIA there, the 32W4000, has some serious viewing angle issues, which are a lot more like I have seen in person, I'm guessing that W3000 shot was either before calibration and/or did not have the exposure locked for all the photos:

    http://www.digitalversus.com/duels.php?ty=10&ma1=16&mo1=194&p1=3411&ma2=60&mo2=120&p2=2890&ph=8
  17. Yannis

    Yannis Member

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    I recently read an info (but don't know if it's true) that 32W4000 is using a Sharp ASV panel (same used in Philips 32PFL9603) and not an S-PVA like it's bigger brothers.

    That would explain the inferior viewing angles in the 32 inch set.
  18. Razenko

    Razenko Member

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    Hi,

    I'm currently wondering as well whether I should upgrade my Toshiba 32C3500 I bought a year ago, I'm not entirely happy with the screen, the viewing angles and black levels aren't that great.
    The panel used in this model is an LG S-IPS panel.
    I'm wondering whether upgrading to LCD TV's with S-PVA, ASV or IPS-Alpha panels will dramatically improve black levels and viewing angles, and whether it will be worth the cost.

    Actually, the LG Panels are used in the A, C, CV and XV (low to mid-end) series, and I believe in some X and Z-series as well.
    However the best 32-inch model Toshiba had when I bought my 32C3500 was the 32R3500, which used an AUO AMVA panel, so the AUO panels are actually used in higher end models, not low end.
  19. somersetpaul

    somersetpaul Member

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    I actually went for the 32CV in the end - the slim frame takes up little more space than my old 26". Viewing angles looked pretty good in store. The saleman said this was down to the much higher contrast ratio on newer models. On getting it home I am very pleased, black levels are excellent, viewing angle is better but still some wash out at wide angles. This improved with careful calibration.

    Didn't buy a Panny as SD performance in store (shop@panasonic) was so poor and because of the higher price. Glad I upgraded anyway.
  20. Razenko

    Razenko Member

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    Well, congrats with your new TV :clap:, and its good to hear that you are satisfied about it :thumbsup:.

    The CV series does indeed have a higher contrast ratio according to Toshiba, but the quoted 30,000 seems a bit unrealistic :).
    However, www.hdtvtest.co.uk tested the Toshiba XV-series and said that the XV series still had "below average blacks", but thats compared to top-of-the line Sony/Samsung LCDs & Pioneer/Panasonic Plasma's.
    I'm probably just nitpicking when it comes to picture quality :rotfl:, but when I'm browsing around on some websites, such as the DigitalVersus website mentioned before in this thread, I do notice that for instance the new Sony 32W4000 does have a much lower black level (0,1 cd/m2) compared to the Toshiba 37C3030 (0,51 cd/m2), and makes me wonder how dark scenes would look on the Sony, since they aren't always that great on my Toshiba.
  21. somersetpaul

    somersetpaul Member

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    Quote from Trustedreviews review of 32CV (hope this is allowed):

    "Feeling particularly mean, I tested the TV for the most part with the recent Blu-ray of Master And Commander: The Far Side of the World, a film packed with notably dark, gloomy scenes - particularly those which take place at night on the high seas. But the 32CV505DB rose to the considerable black level challenges posed by the film much, much better than I'd expected it to.


    For instance, as the ship's ‘Jonah' throws himself overboard with a heavy cannonball for company, the night sky behind him looks very dark indeed, with precious little of the grey cloudiness we expect to see on relatively cheap LCDs. What makes this especially surprising is the fact that probably our biggest single gripe about Toshiba's small LCD TVs in recent times has been their inability to render a really deep, convincing black. So hats off to the Toshiba boys for bringing this key picture element so far forward in a single generation."

    Blacks on my screen certainly are inky jet black. And I leave the auto backlight off as it's not very subtle.

    Anyway (back on topic) my point is that for whatever reason S-IPS panels can now give very good results (assuming this set does have an S-IPS panel).
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2008
  22. Razenko

    Razenko Member

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    I guess that Toshiba finally managed to improve their black level performance :clap:
    But I'm not too sure whether the CV uses an LG panel either, according to some people on the Toshiba CV/XV thread it does use LG panels, But I have also heard rumors they used Sharp panels.
    But still, My own Toshiba is still unsatisfactory when it comes to black level performance, and I'm wondering whether its worth upgrading to something better, or perhaps waiting 'till things improve even more, as more TVs with LED backlighting are on the horizon as well.
  23. Nielo TM

    Nielo TM Active Member

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    I know this is an old thread, but when comparing panels, keep monitor and TV separate


    In the monitor arena, viewing angles of S-PVA and A-MVA are no match for the S-IPS and IPS Pro (aka H-IPS and IPA Alpha). However, in the TV/large display arena, viewing angles of S-PVA and A-MVA are excellent. The same cannot be said for S-IPS.

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