A story about LCD pixels: Me and my 37WLT58

Molhoy

Active Member
Hi all,

It's been a while since I last posted on these forums and a lot has happened during the intervening period. Of greatest significance is that I bought, owned and returned a Toshiba 37WLT58 over a period of a week.

I had deliberated over my decision for many weeks and spent no small amount of time on these forums. In the end, though, as I was looking for something bigger than 32" the Toshiba seemed the obvious choice, with it's unrivalled connectivity and the fact that it had been very well received (check out the WLT58 thread for evidence of this). After auditioning the 32” version I was impressed and placed my order for the 37”.

Upon receipt of the TV I was initially elated. Its performance with standard definition feeds, including Sky+ and PS2/Gamecube/Xbox via RGB exceeded my expectations and the Toshiba SD350 up-scaling HDMI DVD player I bought with it looked great. However, almost immediately cracks began to appear.

The first of these was the discovery of numerous stuck pixels. The combination of new TV fever and the fact that they could only be seen on dark screens meant that I did not see them at first, but once I had noticed one I took a closer look and found that there were a total of twenty littered over the whole screen! :(

As you can imagine, this was a decidedly distressing discovery and one that heavily diluted my initial excitement over the TV. Although I had prepared myself for possibility of a few dead pixels – maybe two or three – I knew that I could not live with this many. However, before contacting the retailer from whom I had bought the TV I decided I would attempt to resolve the problem by running the oft-discussed ‘pixel fixer’ video for a couple of nights.

Needless to say it didn’t work, but by this time it was the weekend and I took the opportunity to go out and buy the necessary ingredients to soft-mod my Xbox to output hi-def, deciding that I would at least try to get the most out of the TV before arranging to return it for an exchange the following Monday. Once home I was soon up and running and playing Soul Calibur II in 720p.

It looked good… but… not as good as I had hoped. There was a slight gauziness to the image that I couldn’t ignore and the more I played the more obvious it seemed to be. Over this same weekend I connected my PC via both DVI-HDMI and the VGA connection and as I played Half Life 2 I saw the same thing. The effect of this gauziness was to create a dithered appearance to high resolution feeds in which some of the finer details seemed to be lost. When running ‘Google Earth’ on the PC via the VGA lead, for example, the detail in the terrain when zooming into a specified location was partly lost in its translation to the screen. I soon began to see the dithered effect even on standard feeds. Indeed, the more I used the TV the more I felt my dissatisfaction mounting and I realised then that I would not be happy if I kept it.

Many people are delighted with their new Toshibas and wouldn’t change them for the world. The recently posted reviews from What Video & Widescreen TV and Stuff also demonstrate that this is an excellent range of TVs in many respects. In fact, I almost feel a bit guilty for writing anything negative as for me, even, the Toshiba was nearly perfect. Even after discovering the gauze/dithering issue there were times that I would switch on the TV and wonder why I had ever questioned its ability, but sooner or later I would notice the effect again and begin doubting the TV once more. Ultimately, for an investment of this size ‘nearly perfect’ and ‘doubt’ cannot be part of the equation.

I should point out at this stage that I am unusually fussy and that the problem was only noticeable when sitting closer to the set for gaming purposes. Furthermore, the phenomenon is not exclusive to the Toshiba. I have seen a similar screen effect on several other screens since discovering it on the Tosh and I do not regard it as a fault or as a fundamental flaw in the panel. It is merely a characteristic that I, personally, could not live with.

On closer inspection of LCD screens I have realised something of which many people may perhaps already be aware. Screens, as we all know, are made up of pixels which are themselves composed of red, green and blue sub-pixels. What I have noticed is that these pixels are arranged in one of two ways (at least on the many sets I have studied). Either in a ‘grid’ like formation or in a ‘brick’ like arrangement. From my brief scanning of a few LCD related websites I believe the former is referred to as the ‘rgb stripe’ configuration, the latter being known as the ‘rgb delta’ configuration (I could be mistaken on this, so feel free to correct me if I have labelled these wrongly). I have attached an image to illustrate the differences.

These two different types of pixel composition lead to slightly different viewing experiences. The grid like arrangement allows for perfectly clean edges to on screen objects, but arguably looks a little less natural with certain sources. The brick-like arrangement can look slightly more natural, but the trade off for this is an absence of clean lines around objects and the creation of the dithered effect seen on the Toshiba (the panel for which is composed this way).

I was particularly surprised to find that the Panny TX32LXD500 and TX32LXD52 – TVs which have been universally accepted to have identical panels – are different in this way. The 500 has the delta ‘brick’ configuration and the 52 has the stripe ‘grid’ configuration. If you don’t believe me, check them out next time you have a chance. Look at a freeview channel screen logo or, better still, press the ‘menu’ button and look at the edges of the on screen graphics. You’ll see what I mean.

Although this is something which is only evident on close inspection, I cannot believe I am the only person who has noticed this… But perhaps I’m the only person who cares! Certainly, I have decided that I will only be happy with a screen from the rgb-stripe school of screen composition. My Toshiba has now been returned on the basis of the stuck pixels, but I will be selecting a new model in its place.

Sorry if I have bored everyone with this, but I have found my experience over the last week or so quite enlightening and felt the need to share it with the only people who may possibly be interested.

Any thoughts or comments would be most welcome… Although if your only thought is that I am an obsessive lunatic feel free to keep that to yourself; I get enough of that from my girlfriend! ;)
 

Attachments

Molhoy

Active Member
No comments from anyone, eh? I guess I sent people to sleep before they got the chance to even think about replying.

Perhaps I should have posted this in the WLT58 thread...

Or perhaps I should have kept it to myself....! ;)

Oh well, it was still nice to get it all off my chest!
 

emrysdavies

Active Member
You say that the Panny 500 has delta brick configuration and that the Panny 52 has the stripe grid. Then you say that you will only be happy with a screen from the rgb-stripe school of screen composition.
Are you inferring that the Panny 52 is better than the Panny 500?
 

RockySpieler

Active Member
The TEVION LCD has a block/grid LCD pattern not the brick/delta pattern on your Toshiba.

There is a diagram in the manual which also describes the RGB elements as sub-pixels.

Have you checked out the 32" Toshiba panel, does it also have the brick/delta construction?

I imagine the brick/delta configuration may not look so good for Web-Browsing or DTP, characters (black on white) would look odd.

I thought blocks and bricks were so last year, isn't timber frame vogue these days :) !.

Sorry good luck in your search for a decent 37" LCD.

EDIT

I have since brought another 32" LCD MEDION from Somerfield (I never learn from experience), anyway it gives 1:1 pixel mapping, and after some macro photography to confirm, it does have the RGB grid construction...........and very nice it is to.

I am beginning to think that the TEVION may have the brick construction, despite the diagram in the manual, purely because the MEDION is so clear, straight lines on letters are straight............bliss, and only £320.
 

Molhoy

Active Member
emrysdavies said:
You say that the Panny 500 has delta brick configuration and that the Panny 52 has the stripe grid. Then you say that you will only be happy with a screen from the rgb-stripe school of screen composition.
Are you inferring that the Panny 52 is better than the Panny 500?
Not fundamentally, no. But for my own tastes, yes.

I should put this into perspective by saying that the differences in screen formation are less noticeable on 32" screens. I would also suggest that the 32" Panny 500 has a slightly crisper, clearer display than the 32" Toshiba although they share the same type of pixel composition. Picture processing is obviously a factor here. However, of the three I would personally choose the Panny 52.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that one screen type is fundamentally superior to the other. As I have said, my expression of preference is down to my own, personal taste. The purpose of this thread was merely to share a discovery regarding LCD screens that I found enlightening, and about which I thought other people may be interested to learn.
 

Molhoy

Active Member
RockySpieler said:
The TEVION LCD has a block/grid LCD pattern not the brick/delta pattern on your Toshiba.

There is a diagram in the manual which also describes the RGB elements as sub-pixels.

Have you checked out the 32" Toshiba panel, does it also have the brick/delta construction?

I imagine the brick/delta configuration may not look so good for Web-Browsing or DTP, characters (black on white) would look odd.

I thought blocks and bricks were so last year, isn't timber frame vogue these days :) !.
LOL! :D

Yes, the 32" has the same pixel composition as the 37", but on the smaller screen the dithering effect is definitely less noticable (although viewing distance is obviously a factor here).

Depending on the resolution and the size of the on screen font, I would agree that the RGB delta pixel type could be less suitable for applications invloving a lot of text, although I didn't really test this myself.
 
It's good to see someone who demands the best from very expensive technology, that's how it should be IMO.

The "gauziness" to me sounds like low response time - or worse yet, some sort of Noise Reduction the TV is doing to everything? I'd be surprised if it was doing that to the VGA input though.
 

richard plumb

Well-known Member
thats odd molhoy.

I do notice 'combing' on sharp edges (especially text) on sky. But thats going into my TV via svideo, so i'm not that surprised (it was there on my previous philips)

Didn't notice anything untoward through DVD or XBMC - component 576p and 1080i respectively.

And I'm not going to start looking too closely either.
 

Molhoy

Active Member
richard plumb said:
thats odd molhoy.

I do notice 'combing' on sharp edges (especially text) on sky. But thats going into my TV via svideo, so i'm not that surprised (it was there on my previous philips)

Didn't notice anything untoward through DVD or XBMC - component 576p and 1080i respectively.

And I'm not going to start looking too closely either.
That sounds like a good plan, Richard!

I know that you have been pleased with your Toshiba and I am happy for you. In fact, I'm jealous that you have found the LCD 'closure' that I seem to be seeking in vane.

TBH, I wish I hadn't noticed this effect as until this (stuck pixels notwithstanding) I was delighted with the set as in every other way it exceeded my expectations.
 

Dune

Active Member
Molhoy said:
That sounds like a good plan, Richard!

I know that you have been pleased with your Toshiba and I am happy for you. In fact, I'm jealous that you have found the LCD 'closure' that I seem to be seeking in vane.
So apart from the stuck pixels would you have exchanged it for a replacement of the same model if your only use for the set was for TV viewing i.e. for watching TV and DVD's?

Or is there something about it that makes you think it is unsuitable for that as well as for gaming?

Dave
 

Molhoy

Active Member
Dune said:
So apart from the stuck pixels would you have exchanged it for a replacement of the same model if your only use for the set was for TV viewing i.e. for watching TV and DVD's?

Or is there something about it that makes you think it is unsuitable for that as well as for gaming?

Dave
Hi Dave,

For TV and DVDs I would say that the Toshiba is excellent - one of the best there is. For games, even, I was really impressed with the TV in terms of motion etc. And everything looked great from 2m or greater viewing distance.

I'm starting to feel really bad about creating doubt over this! The Toshiba is a superb, great value TV with class-leading connectivity and a great picture. For 99% of people I would suggest it would make a great purchase. I just happen to represent the 1%. Neither my partner or any of my friends (some of whom are slaves to technology like me) could see why I was dissatisfied with the television. They all thought it looked great... In fact, my partner is quite annoyed with me for wanting to change it!

As I have said, the reason for me starting this thread was not to warn people about a fundamental problem with the Toshibas. There isn't one. I truely believe that most people would/will love this TV. I just happened to notice a characteristic that I personally didn't like, which led me to do some reasearch into the way screens are produced. I decided to share my experience on here because I don't know anyone who would be prepared to listen to me ramble on about it!!

Don't lose faith the the Toshiba. Check it out in a shop. I think you will like what you see and probably think that I'm just an insanely fussy freak of nature!
 

emrysdavies

Active Member
Molhoy said:
Not fundamentally, no. But for my own tastes, yes.

I should put this into perspective by saying that the differences in screen formation are less noticeable on 32" screens. I would also suggest that the 32" Panny 500 has a slightly crisper, clearer display than the 32" Toshiba although they share the same type of pixel composition. Picture processing is obviously a factor here. However, of the three I would personally choose the Panny 52.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that one screen type is fundamentally superior to the other. As I have said, my expression of preference is down to my own, personal taste. The purpose of this thread was merely to share a discovery regarding LCD screens that I found enlightening, and about which I thought other people may be interested to learn.
Your remarks about the Panny 52 pleases me because it is top of my list, but I need to see the 32" displaying football before I make my mind up. I saw the 26" showing rugby last Saturday and was impressed with that - not the result, I may add.
 

Eiji

Active Member
Molhoy said:
I have seen a similar screen effect on several other screens since discovering it on the Tosh and I do not regard it as a fault or as a fundamental flaw in the panel.
Can you tell me which other screens / LCD models you saw this effect on?
 

The Old Camper

Standard Member
Hello,

I'm new on the forums, I joined because I'm interested in the "brick pattern" phenomenon on the Toshiba LCD sets.

I noticed it today on a 37WL58p. It appears there is some jagginess on the picture. It does not affect the picture quality from a normal viewing distance, but it could be a problem when using this set as a computer monitor.

Moreover, the "brick" pattern seems more obvious on dark tones. It suggests that it could stem from some kind of dithering applied on the subpixels (the pixels being square on LCD panels, and the "bricks" being stretched horizontally, they have to be a combination of sub-pixels)

From as close as I can look, it looks like the pixels are divided in 6 sub-pixels (2 lines of 3 RBG subpixels), physically organized in stripes, but addressed in a brick pattern.

That does not exactly correspond to this interpretation :
http://www.avforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=20370&d=1131299013

I also looked at Samsung LCDs and they don't show this characteristic. Samsung panels are very different, with boomerang shaped subpixels... To some people in the shop, the picture on the Toshiba did look softer and "more natural".

Any ideas on this?
 

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