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51WH36P first impressions

Discussion in 'TVs' started by Demon, Sep 22, 2003.

  1. Demon

    Demon
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    Just got back from my brothers.. he's just had the new 51WH36P delivered...

    Well for those that want to know..

    First Impressions
    - The sets immediately looked good, the new case is much nicer, it is a sculptured all plastic affair, at last, and although the top is thin, they have kindly added a small sculptured bit in the middle that is perfect for even a large centre speaker.
    The 51/57" have a 'cloth' grill at the front, although it looks like a plastic panel. The 42 has a plastic panel, with holes in the bottom 1/3 for airflow... aesthetics wise, the 42 might just shade the 51/57, but its a close thing
    - The picture is instantly improved. Either this was set-up exceptionally well, or they have improved the Focus no-end. The Menus's (New with loads of colour) look pin-sharp, and considering its size, this is amazing. The contrast range with the 'black stretch' is excellent, the best I have ever seen in an RPTV, and probably in any CRT based set.
    - colours are uniform, and very well contained, there appears to be no discernible red or blue push, although there must be some, since they are normally set-up to have this non-linear response, it certainly does not show itself in normal viewing.
    - Its bright.. eye-piercingly so, it needed turning down quite a bit, and even then its still bright...

    Thats first impressions... so having then fiddled with it...
    1. The convergence was miles out, and using the standard menu had us going round in circles.. but quickly entering service mode, and using the 'proper' convergence setup... it was absolutely spot on.......
    2. The focus is pin-sharp in the centre, and only gets slightly worse towards the periphery. Some text on sky channels is quite soft, but since the SKY Menu is very sharp, this must be the poor broadcast quality..
    3. Noise is excellent, the DNR can be adjusted per input source, so can be high for SKY, and low for DVD's.. and with SKY this makes big difference..
    4. The 100Hz processing has taken a step forward, the pure 100Hz mode still has some flicker and does not improve the picture at all. What I mean by this is any MPEG2 jaggies are apparently obvious. Selecting Natural or Active imrpoves things, and it was hard to see any artefacts creeping in, We tries a football match, and fairly fast horizontal scrolling text, and there was no sign of processing, although I am sure given the correct situation, the processing would show itself. The Progressive mode, (De-interlcaing) does indeed work well, sat up close to the set, you can see the scan lines, but in PROGRESS mode, all scan lines completely disappear. We tried watching sections of movies alternately in all picture modes, and all I can say is, I am impressed, to be honest all modes look good, it was nearly impossible to see any difference between Progresive and Natural/Active modes at normal viewing distances (9-10 feet away).

    5. Using the THX Optimizer, we had a look at the sets basic video perfromance, and it is excellent, no matter what the contrast setting you can make out all 8 boxes on the contrast test, which leaves massive scope for setting the thing up... I like higher contrast for some films, to reveal more detail, and this still allows all the shades of white to be visible.. The brightness as usual is very high, and turned down to 50 gives the correct 7 Box (Hidden THX Drop shadow effect). The geomtery is excellent, as is usual with RPTV's. The best test is the sharpness test pattern, the black/white bars appear to have no moire and no noise, you could turn the sharpness to 100% and there was still no aliasing occuring..

    6. Black Strecth - this is great, never had it on my 50wh18B, and it really makes a big difference, it really makes blacks, black, and gives a dramatic feeling of detail.
    7. The 'active vision' in general is good, it adds real definition to the picture, all edges are crisp and sharp, and is a real improvement over previous models.

    With the convergence set, we tried a few films, well all the favourite bits, anyway...
    1. Monsters Inc - Awesome, as it always is, but there is no lack of anything in the picture.. the contrast is excellent, yet the dark level detail is stunning... anyone wondering if blowing the picture upto 51" will degrade detail need not worry, it just looks better the bigger it gets!!! There was plenty of scope to try the processing modes. Its clear the Toshiba seem to be doing something right, as the pure 100Hz mode shows all the sources MPEG2 aretfacts up, all the jaggies etc that are produced by the DVD player are present, yet switch to any other mode, and the set does an excellent job of smoothing them out without ruiing edge detail.
    2. Gladiator - Hacing recently demo'd a 42" plasma, and this being one of the demo films, it was nice to see how RPTV's stack up.. And the results are amazing. There is one part in particular that really shows how good this set is.. during the initial battle, Maximus chops a guys head off, leaving his sword embedded in a tree, the director has delibreatly slowed the frame rate down for effect, and on all the plasma's we saw, this gave a 'jerky' motion to the sword flapping up and down, that seemed very noticeably unnatural. On the Tosh this is rendered very very well, the decrease in visual frame rate is noticeable, but the sword flapping up and down looks smooth and controlled. This battle is quite dark, and looks superb on a 51" screen.
    3. Road to Perdition - a difficult film for TV's, its dark and moody... and again well handled by the Tosh. It felt cinematic with nothing to draw you away from the film. Usually on a lot of sets, you start noticeing dark areas where all the detail has disappeared, or it just looks false, and this can ruin a film, but I am pleased to report that the set handles all this admirably.

    We hooked up the XBOX, to see how this performs..
    Its a big improvement - the Focus is excellent for a big CRT, text is still slightly soft, but then its trying to blow up and analogue 576 line picture to 51"... and considering this, its amazing how well it copes. As is usual, you need to either switch of black strecth, or increase the brightness/decrease contrast so dark areas are 'lit up', as this always aids gameplay... it looks noticeably better then my 50wh18B, mainly due to what I think is better processing, less noise, and better focus.

    If you are wondering if a 51" is too big, and will the 42 Give a better picture...
    Well I think the answer is NO, the 51" is not too big, and the picture is just as detailed, and just as bright. but the extra size is only a good thing.

    Normally the 42 has benefitted from a nicer cabinet, but this has been redressed. The larger cabinets are sculptured, and chamferred on the sides/top, and this helps to make the set look much smaller and less imposing in the room. The top bezel is thin, but as mentioned, the moulding on top widens for few inches to allow a large centre speaker to be placed on top, albeit slightly angled back..

    As for the Plasma/RPTV - horses for courses, it seems to me that if viewing DVD's and TV, the RPTV is better, there are less artefacts, and better contrast etc. The problem I see in all Plasma sets is they are trying to render an analogue signal on a digital display, and like viewing DVD's on a TFT monitor via DVI, it produces a detrimental affect. Plasma's however are much better when fed a high res source, whether XBOX in 1080P, or a PC, the focus is excellent, and shows the performance of a plasma off.. but having seen a few Plasma's with HTPC's feeding them higher res interpolated DVD's, I still think this RPTV wins...

    I was all excited about the Progress de-interlacing internal picture mode, but think this has such a negliglible effect compared to the active vision and black stretch. It removes scan lines, but only if you are less then 1 metre can you see them anyway..

    So I am looking forward to mine arriving, the new menu is nice, there are one or two nice features, like press the OK button, and a small menu appears so you can quickly goto a aprticular AV Input (now there are 5 AV inputs to choose from via this menu).
    The service mode is controlled/entered in the same way as all previous Tosh;s, so its instantly tweakable...

    I got home, and low and behold Toshiba have left a message telling me mine will be delivered next monday... Lets hope this one is setup as well as my brothers...

    NOTE - We did not have a progressive scan DVD player to check the external prog scan effects... all tests were done via an SD220E..


    Addition - During daylight, there appeared to be no Haloing when on a black screen with a smal lamount of white text, and there appears to be no shadows/colour leakage/internal reflection.. We will check tonight, when dark, as these things are more noticeable. But this again seems to be an improvement over previous models..
     
  2. nathan_silly

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    Nice review Demon. Cue lots of Plasma owner's on this thead saying "CRT RP is crap" :)

    How does interlace & progressive compare? Can you tell much difference at say 2.5M? Jaggie/Scanlines/Judder/Moire reduction?

    I feel Plasma has a long way to go to compete against a well setup CRT RP.
     
  3. bodyfodder

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    Great review mate:clap:

    I saw the 42wh33 in currys on saturday and was very impressed by the pic quality and this was from being fed a poor signal!

    How did you have your xbox connected to the tosh? Was it with the offcial scart lead or component? Also how much of a difference did it make after you ran the service level convergence?

    Thanks.:)
     
  4. nathan_silly

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    I can answer your question- basically less (or zero) colour overlapping- say on a black outline (Simpsons/Futurama) when it's out you've got bits of red/blue that shouldn't be seen. When you've fully converged the lines are black.

    Look for that picture of Wallace & Grommit I posted. That's well bad (because the focus is out), but you get the idea. Abit like the 3D effect pictures. Like this, but say perfect but not in a little area...

    http://www.hurricanehunters.com/3d.jpg
     
  5. bodyfodder

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    Thanks for the info:smashin:
     
  6. Demon

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    Just some more thoughts..

    OK, My brother has had time to play with the TV a bit more now, and so far so good...

    We spotted some massive 'halo' effects around people on SKY (Eastenders.. yuk..).. thinking this was the TV, he thought he'd bought a duffer...

    But when I noticed he'd moved his Sky Box to the other side of the room and was using a 5M scart lead (£15) and it was fully wired!!... and strangely if we hooked up the DVD player with the same lead, there was ghosting galore... but through the 10M Component leads (Yep, thats 10Metres) there was hardly any ghosting at all... amazing really.. so needless to say he is now going to go and get a decent scart lead. Of course the other explanation is that the set is poor with RGB sources... we will soon find out!

    I then set up the set in complete darkness, its amazing how the black level suddenly jumps up when the lights go out!!!... but I am glad to report that the TV does 'black' very well.... it looks so cinematic, I am jealous!!!. The contrast was set at 72, which is close to how I have my 50wh18B, but on the 51WH36, this is still too bright, and has 'too' much detail.. (You do start to see any mpeg/dvd DAC deficiencies), so its down at 65... taking it lower just hides too much detail.

    Films still look superb, mainstream stuff like Back to the Future looks more vivid and rich in detail then any TV I have owned...

    Nathan, I have looked at the interlaced/progressive mode difference, and to be honest I can hardly see any scan lines at 2.5M when in interlaced mode, so progressive mode does not make much difference...
    As for Jaggies/Artefacts etc, "100Hz" mode is raw, and you see all the MPEG artefacts of sky/dvd etc, and I think some flicker is still evident, but "ACTIVE"/"NATURAL" and "PROGRESS" are all flicker free to the extreme, and do a great job of smoothing artefacts out. I did not see any moire at all.
    Picture brightness/stability seems relatively equal between Progressive and Interlaced modes..

    We left it in Progressive de-interlaced mode, and occasionally you swear you may see some flicker, and you are not sure if its the film, or you, but switching to the other modes makes no real difference...

    The set seems to be the based on the same core as the 32ZP38... and having just read the review for the set in Home Entertainment, which apparently stood hands above all its rivals, and it seems for the same reasons I think the 51WH36P is so good. MInd you, they do mention the 32ZP38B is progressive scan (PAL + NTSC) and said "IN PAL progressive scan the sharpness is extraordinary"... so I assume this is looking good for the xxWH46 series being PAL prog scan!!!...


    I think I'll be stopping intensely scrutinising the TV, as the more you look the more you realise things like SKY really isn't very good quality, and how your component leads could be better... etc..

    An interesting thing is that when playing back NTSC material, the Picture mode is locked to "progressive/de-interlaced"... not a bad thing, but bizzarre...
     
  7. docfeelgood

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    How do you guys think the SONY KP-44PX22 stacks up against these Toshibas. I've just had a good look at it in curries and it is very stylish with picture quality looking very good compared to the Toshiba models it was standing next to.

    On first impressions it gave a better picture. However, the Toshiba's were the older models tho (not the WH36).... and the test conditions were obviously rubbish.

    :)
     
  8. nathan_silly

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    The Sony's lack Component, and are not Progressive. Wheras the latest Toshiba models have these two (very useful) features.

    How much is the Sony 44"? I know refurbed models are £1000 (which I wouldn't touch with a barge pole)- brand new ~£1400? If so the 51" Toshiba is £1400.
     
  9. dBa

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    Great review, just a quick question ......

    Can't seem to get my hands on a 51WH36P but a shop in Munich (3.5 hrs away) has a 57WH36P and will deliver here to Vienna. Concerned that the 57" might be too big.

    What is the shortest and ideal distance from viewer to screen?
     
  10. Demon

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    another update..

    I told my brother to try his shorter much better quality scart lead for SKY, which was exhibiting some very noticeable analogue artefacts. Things like people moving accros patterned wall paper, you would see smearing of the person as they moved quickly, not i a digital way, but in an analogue way, as though there was some severe ringing occuring in the scart lead.

    He sat his 46wh08B next to the 51WH26 and comapred. The new set looks 3 times better, the difference is staggering, but the older set with its softer picture made this 'halo/smearing' effect much less noticeable... which means either,

    1. The Set has a problem with analogue RGB, some impedence mismatch some where which is poorly matched with his SKY+ box..
    2. The set is just revealing more of the SKY 'aretefacts' since it seems fine on RGB DVD's and a lot of SKY Channel like SKY NEws which look like they have a much higher bitrate...

    It reminds me of watching low bitrate sky channels on plasma.. they never look good...

    unless this is a 'commonly known' problem..

    Some examples...
    "When moving their heads, every now and again, all detail goes in the hair, as it moves, and it smears a lot, you can almost see the trail left by the movement", I've seen this on Doctor WHo before...
    "When someone walks quickly passed some patterned wallpaper, the wallpaper lightens around the person, in a halo effect"...

    It seemed much better this morning.. according to my brother.. and I can't help thinking it may be sky' scrappy data rate. Changing the processing mode, makes no difference what so ever, and football on sports, is pin sharp, with no digital smearing of the football whatsoever...
     
  11. mammoth

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    Fantastic review, you have sold it to me, but I will have to wait until next January to sample it for myself, happy viewing!:clap:
     
  12. MarkR

    MarkR
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    I was only browsing this this room out of interest, but after reading these fantastic reviews I now want a 51WH36P. I only got my 42" Tosh about 5 months ago. :(

    Great thread Demon!! :smashin:
     
  13. Demon

    Demon
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    The final standing...

    Well, having reported that My brother was experiencing Halo effects on SKY via RGB, etc, it turns out that in fact the DNR was causing all the problems... I had turned it upto max on SKY since it did a superb job of removing noise, but I think obviously now, the filtering that DNR produces gives awful smearing when set to max... turned down to 1, or even off, the picture is agains outstanding on RGB Sources, much to my relief as I get mine on Monday!!!

    I suppose there had to be a chink in the armour somewhere, and this would be it.. DNR, as plagues the Phillips sets, is just a possible source of a bad review.... the problem is really SKY, having a set with excellent detail (Plasma's seem to suffer the most) just cannot help but reveal all the noise/artefacts of low bitrate MPEG2 compressed video, and to try and smooth it all up, there is no magic solution, what ever you do to 'filter' the noise will inevitably filter detail as well, and give side effects of lag(Halo's and Smearing).. not matter how dynamic it is, realistically, it will never be perfect, and always filter something it shouldn't too heavily..

    I'll shut up now... :)
     
  14. clancol

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    Thanks demon. that answers almost all our questions,
    But i think we all have one remaining.
    it's a cheek to ask but is there no way of borrowing a Pal ps dvd player.
    Sorry to have to ask
    but you seem to be the only person to see and have access to one of these puppys!
    agian sorry to ask.
     
  15. fjollon

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    I would also like to know how the set looks with PS Pal. I mean, that is really the big deal with this new set. I allready have a 50WH18 and might upgrade...

    You and your brother are not planning to leave PS unused now when it's finally here, I hope? A PS player doesn't cost that much compared to the TV itself, and "they say" PS looks a lot better in general. (Never seen it myself though).
     
  16. MiniMilk

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    How is it going with the TV, Demon?

    Have you noticed anything that is disturbing with the TV?

    Have you yet tried the PS Pal?
     
  17. alexs2

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    Excellent review....almost made me wish I'd not bought the 50WT29...almost!....I've been very pleased also with the picture quality,especially taking into account your remarks when compared to a plasma screen.
     
  18. nathan_silly

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    Btw, if anyone's interested- even though I've only just lined the bottom bit of my RP- I have noticed a increase in picture quality- seems to be more blacker, with better contrast between the darker/lighter scenes. Text seems sharper too.

    Should be even better when I finish it off and do the back & sides.
     
  19. Demon

    Demon
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    what material did you use.. is it megabucks???
     
  20. nathan_silly

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    Nope. Black velvet is fine, bought some off Taz for £6. Seen similar stuff for £8/M.. probably need 2M at the most. Checkout my thread on "RP Lining"
     
  21. raymen

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    Hi Nathan,

    How did you attach it too the bottum.

    And you did see the difference,i told you.


    Mvrg,
    Raymen
     
  22. nathan_silly

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    Sorry rayman- I don't understand.

    Are you talking about lining the RP with black cloth or the disabling SVM?

    For the black cloth- didn't use any glue on the bottom- except for the area in front, otherwise it'll drop down into the lower section. You do need to use glue for the sides & back though. MAKE SURE YOU COVER THE LENSES- you don't want glue all over them!! Also be careful with the mirror obviously.
     
  23. raymen

    raymen
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    no i mean the the lining inside.

    i also disabled the SVM,but did not notice anything different in the picture,did you.

    But the clothing inside did much more then i accpected.

    Thank for telling me.

    MVrg,
    Raymen
     
  24. voggsson

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    Great review, I just purhased one Toshiba 51WH36 on monday (nov.3) and I am waiting for it to be deliverd (I live in Iceland so I have to wait one or two weeks for overseas delivery). I can't wait for it to get here.

    Ingi
     
  25. bond007

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    I got my Tosh on thursday, set it up and love the image, I did have a Plasma (panny 42pw6) but returned it due to the image, and I find that the tosh has a better overall image quality, just not as sharp. The only prob I have with mine at the moment is it needs to be focused, the blue is way out, the red and green arnt bad. I have noticed that damn band in the center, which has been put down to, by other people in the forum as masking tape residue. Also I need to get the image size correct, its cutting off quite a bit of the image, can see it on cable due to part of the logo being missing and on adverts, parts of the text going off the screen. I had a go at setting the size the other day in the service menu, but after getting the size correct, i went to do the convergence, but couldnt get the edges to converge, everywhere else would be fine, but the last few cm of the screen the red would be way out, so I had to put is close to what it was before, now I see a little misconvergence of the red in the mid center ie
    _______________________________
    |good, good, good, good, good |
    |good, misscon,misscon,misscon, good|
    |good, misscon, good, misscon, good |
    |good, misscon,misscon,misscon,good |
    |good, good, good, good, good |
    ------------------------------------
    of the screen of the red one side and blue the other. can be seen in the menu. Only slightly, about 1-2mm. All of which can be fixed hopefully by doing the electrical and mechanical focus, and then trying again to do the size and convergence.

    The only problem that I think is just due to it being a rear projetcion is, in dark scenes, if that is a bright section on say the left section of the screen a slight halo appears on the right center, is this normal?

    I would like to do the focus, but to be honest, I'm a little scared to, just incase I screw it up. So may have to find someone how will. But from all you people that own one of these, does it sound normal the slight probs I have with it, in general viewing its not really that noticable, only when you get closer and have text, or different coloured lines you can see it. But other than these, which arnt really too bad, I really like this especially for the price, thats what made me feel real sick when i got my plasma and it had a few problems that i just couldnt live with, the price i paid for it.
     
  26. beng

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    The best online price I've seen this for is Unbeatable; 1410 with a stand.

    I'm thinking about ditching my three year old Hitachi 43 inch ilumina in favour of this mutha. Can anyone recommend a vendor in the UK?
     
  27. bond007

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    I got mine from www.roberstsons-online.co.uk for £1369 without stand (you will not need it, it will be too high) + £261 for a 5 year warranty.
     
  28. acucobol

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    I have the 42wh36p and it is amzing how quickly you get used to it and wish you had bought the larger version. My new rule is - It can never be too big.


    Bond007

    I too can see a band in the centre of the screen , but only when the screen is black e.g. when DVD's are loading. Are you sure it is masking tape or is it the result of the design of the tv?

    Opinions please.
     
  29. bond007

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    not sure, im hoping it is, i see it mostly in films when the screen pans, sometimes i see it on still images, Just basing it on what people have said here.

    I agree with you on the size, i have had mine for less than a week and its appearing to be smaller every day:)
     
  30. Dts007

    Dts007
    Active Member

    Joined:
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    I went with the 57" version, I too see that band in the middle but only when DVDs are loading.

    When I first got mine I thought oh no its too big! But a week later it looked more down to earth. Now it doesnt even look massive anymore!
     

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