Are all progressive plasma screens inherently flawed?

Discussion in 'Cable TV & Virgin Media TV' started by loonatic, Dec 11, 2003.

  1. loonatic

    loonatic
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    I bought my Pioneer 433HDE after a brief demo at my local TV store about this time last year and was never happy with it. It buzzed loudly, Sky+ was okay at best but for the most part crap and worst of all was the streaking/highlighting picture problem for which it was ultimately returned for a full credit.

    Now, a year on, I decided to take another look at the current crop of screens due to the rave reviews they have been getting both from this forum and various magazines.

    I have looked at the following screens in the last week:

    Pioneer 503MXE, 434HDE & 504HDE

    Panasonic TH-42PW6B, TH-42PA20 & TH-50PHW6

    Sony KE42MR1 & KE42TS2

    Hitachi 42PMA400E

    And all of them, except the Hitachi and the Sony AliS panel, exhibited the same fault. It is far more evident on the Pioneer’s than the Panasonic & Sony models but it’s still there.

    You can clearly see the problem if you bring up the Sky navigation menu at the bottom of the screen and look either side of the blue on-screen channel selector – you can see that it has changed the brightness/contrast of the underlying image. This I guess on it’s own could be lived with.

    Also, if you have Aliens on DVD in chapter 3 when Ripley is standing in front of a computer monitor with green scrolling text as the text scrolls upwards you can clearly see a corresponding shadow/streak go straight through her face. And using the PC input on the 433HDE was dire.

    It is not source or interconnect dependant. It must be related to how the panel is driven and how the individual pixels are controlled.

    This does not show on the ALiS panels I have seen nor on the Sony LCD screen I owned, nor on my Sony LCD PJ which I have just sold nor on the Sharp 37” LCD I saw this week also.

    Surely this is not really acceptable when you are spending upwards of £5k on a screen for it to have such a flaw – or as the guy from Pioneer called it a ‘feature’. Well it’s not a feature I can live with I’m afraid.

    I am surprised that nobody has mentioned this before.

    Has no one else been put off by this ‘feature’?

    I would really like to here people’s view on this subject as I desperately wanted to buy one of the new 434s but feel that I will only be very disappointed again and as both the Pioneer and Panasonic models have only recently been released nothing is going to change in the near future.

    Cheers, Lee
     
  2. KarlRobinson

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    It does this on mine, but I can't really understand why. As a digital device I thought pixels could be turned on or off?
     
  3. Bob Todd

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    So what your saying is LCD's dont have this Problem:)



    Leader of the LCD is the Daddy revolution, AVforums
     
  4. MAW

    MAW
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    It might be a processing problem, ditch the tuner models, try some panel only types. At least you get control of the processing. There's absolutely no need for an integrated analogue tuner, most people never watch them anyway.
     
  5. pteittinen

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    I thought the Panny TH-50PHW6 didn't have a tuner, and loonatic noticed the same 'feature' in that one, too.
     
  6. ancientgeek

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    My 433MXE doesn't buzz. I do get transient plasma artifacts, but not a consistent problem with the Sky navigation box. Occasionally there is streaking to the right of it for a fraction of a second after the picture behind suddenly changes brightness. The lack of a decent black in a darkened room is more irritating to me. The screen is fed component converted from RGB by a JS converter.

    There's no doubt that plasmas are still a compromise. But for now, for me, they are the best compromise for everyday use in both lit and darkened surroundings.

    My opinions:

    Once you've bought it, watch the programme, not the screen. The broadcasts are often more flawed than the screen.

    Don't bother with a stupid media box - wait for the 434MXE or whatever it's going to be called.
     
  7. loonatic

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    LCDs do not seem to suffer from this problem.

    They produce a much cleaner image...until something moves..allthough this is improving all the time.

    Cheers, Lee
     
  8. loonatic

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    It has nothing to do with tuner boxes as it affects both the Pioneer MXEs and the Panasonic display models.

    Even if you feed them their native res via a high-end scaler such as a CenterStage CS-2 the problem is still there.

    Cheers, Lee
     
  9. loonatic

    loonatic
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    The problem is though that I don't see this 'feature' being resolved in the next version of the MXE panel either...it seems to me that it's just part'n'parcel with plasma technology and one that seems to get over looked and no combination of cables/converters/scalers etc will make any difference.

    Also, in my findings this feature was consistant at all times and was never their occassionally as I have demonstrated to numerous people including a rep from Pioneer.

    And I tried to ignore it but it was just so obvious that I found I could not. I guess it's a bit like if I found a dead-pixel that would be it for me I would see nothing but that one pixel I'm sure.

    Cheers, Lee
     
  10. MAW

    MAW
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    Must be your eyes are better than mine then, I have many issues with tuner box models, but can usually find satisfaction with displays. I deal with them all day every day, perhaps I'm used to what they look like. Never watch CRT anywhere, none of our friends have one any more, I'm a good salesman:D
     
  11. loonatic

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    Do you have access to the Aliens DVD MAW...if so take a look at chapter 3 and see if you can see what I'm on about.

    I wouldn't say my eye's were that good...I wear glasses.

    Cheers, Lee
     
  12. MAW

    MAW
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    I'll check it out on plasma, then watch on my progressive LCD PJ...
     
  13. sticker

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    Lee,
    Although I have issues with the quality of the Skyimage on my pio503mxe, I can't see this issue with the Sky navigation menu.!!!

    Also my screen doesn't buzz, certainly not from the front, you can hear a buzz if you pop your headaround the back though.

    Is the nav problem a processing issue, I'm running mine through a Lumagen. Perhaps Gordon or Joe could comment.

    Regards
    John
     
  14. loonatic

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    Hi John,

    I was only refrerring to my 433HDE with regards to the buzzing not all screens in general...allthough it does seem to be a common complaint on these boards with some saying plasma's do buzz and other's saying they don't.

    I'm glad you can't see the problem but it is there...I promise you...but don't go looking for it - if your happy that's great - and I must say the the 503MXE that I viewed was hookd up to a DVHS player showing Ice Age and it was the best thing I've seen on a plasma plus you could watch it from a few feet away. It was even better than the 434HDE showing Finding Nemo from a 868 via HDMI.

    I'm not trying to say don't buy plasma's it's just that I find it strange that for such an expensive piece of equipment that such a fault has gone un-noticed by so many people.

    It would be very interestig to hear from Gordon as he deals with people who are paying a fair bit to have their screens calibrated yet to my eye still will still have a fairly obvious image defect.

    It's also odd that it does not seem to affect the ALiS panels.

    Cheers, Lee
     
  15. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Sitting watching D6 panny fed DVI from an HD-Leeza and do not see this artifact on SkyPlus menu over image.

    Gordon
     
  16. loonatic

    loonatic
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    Okay then..try this...

    Bring up the Sky+ TV guide and move the highlight bar up and down.

    While doing this look to the left and right of the highlight bar and you should see a change in brightness corresponding to the moving bar.

    Cheers, Lee
     
  17. dogma6

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    I get the problem with the Sky menu's you are describing & I have a phillips 32" CRT


    I think it's just sky :confused: , prob show's up more on certian display's
     
  18. MAW

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    My projector does it, just assumed it was what was being broadcast I suppose! I have no plasma here, but going back to my PW6 install this AM, But I am convinced it will be there! But whether it's a 'flaw' or a 'feature' of the displays I'm not sure. Maybe it s a feature of ALIS screens that they don't. They are VERY bright, maybe got something to do with it?
     
  19. Darren Blake

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    My Hitachi 42PMA400E exhibits brightness "banding" like you describe, on composite, RGB and VGA inputs. It annoys me, too. :(
     
  20. nealgs

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    We had exactly that problem on our Panny TX-32PF10 CRT unit, and the same happens on the 433MXE, only thing that's stayed the same is the Amstrad Sky Digi box :(

    That to me would say it's the sky box, not the viewing unit.

    Gary
     
  21. loonatic

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    It's defo not your Sky box as it also happens on DVD via either component or HDMI and PC input.

    That's why I use the Aliens DVD but you could easily use more or less any Simpsons or Futurama DVD which shows it up well due to the highly defined edges.

    Also, watch Countdown on either Freeview, Sky or analog and you'll see the same streaks along the top end bottom edges of the numbers/letters board.

    I would just like to point out for the interest of integrity that I do not normally watch Countdown I just stumbled upon it one day.

    It does not affect my Sony 30" LCD TV nor my Sony HS10 PJ nor my old Sony 28" iDTV CRT.

    It's at a lower level I think.

    Cheers, Lee
     
  22. liy

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    Loonatic:


    A digression! How are you feeding HDMI into your 433 HDE - I didn't think the 433hde had either dvi or HDMI input? Please enlighten!!!

    Thank you.

    LIY
     
  23. MAW

    MAW
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    Back from the PW6, tried aliens,(the kids were at school) no, I couldn't see it, but could with the sky box. It might be that the conrtast and brightness are well down on this one, it's less than 10 hours old, and needs some hours before calibration, it might be fainter and not noticeable. I'll need to see it on a calibrated screen.
     
  24. loonatic

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    I do not own either a plasma or as of this morning an LCD TV at this moment.

    I had a 433HDE which I returned.

    I have seen many screens this week and the HDMI comment was referreing to the 434 I saw.

    Cheers, Lee
     
  25. loonatic

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    Hmmm...well the PW6s I saw were in my localShop@Panasonic shop and were all wall mounted next to each other.

    Like I said it was not as pronounced as it was on the Pioneer's but still clearly visible - perhaps only to the trained eye !!

    Cheers, Lee
     
  26. MAW

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    How do shop@panasonic connect? In Guildford it's all composite video, or was when I was last there. They are franchises, so no standards, entirely down to ownership.
     
  27. nealgs

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    can't say that I saw anything similar with DVD on either display unit. The fact that the only thing that has changed is the sky box, and the problem is still there, means it's either the sky box or the TX32PF10 and the 433MXE process the signals in a very similar way

    Gary
     
  28. Koing

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    Indeed but my father wants teletext. We have Sky digital so that takes care of the tv stuff but he still wants normal teletext.

    A bunch of scart connectors wouldn't go a miss though...

    Koing
     
  29. Brogan

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    I've just tried this and I can just about see the effect you're talking about.
    I've had my 504 for over 6 months though and I only noticed it now because I was specifically looking for it, so it can't be that big an issue.

    Are you seriously suggesting that some shadowing/banding when in the Sky Guide is the reason you returned your plasma?
    How often do you 'watch' it?
     
  30. LiquidB

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    Probably, what you notice is the power reduction in the PSP panel. Similar to what exists in a CRT TV and is there called 'beam current limitation', the Plasma panels have a maximim power output they can produce in the phosphors. So for instance take a black screen with only a tiny white square, and it will shine very bright into your eyes. But then as you increase the size of the square, the brightness will go down as a white pixel draws more power than a black pixel.

    This explains probably why the 'contrast' goes down when the menu of your sky box is displayed: the menu probably draws more power and the light output is reduced.

    This is in fact also why plasma sets can be spectacular contrast ratio's and still be outperformed by an LCD with a relatively low contrast ratio: the spec is measured on a tiny white square, not representing your average broadcast.

    LCD sets don't suffer from this effect because the backlight is allways on, no matter what the video content is. black is made by actually driving the LCD pixels in such a way that the light is blocked. Therefore an LCD will always be as bright as it has to be (even too bright with today's sets). Dimming the backlight will reduce the peak white output and will also decrease the blacklevel in the same way. This will give a better picture in dark movies.


    The other thing you've seen about the green stuff that's tailing reminds me of false contouring. I can't be sure untill I've seen it. If it is what I think it is, then it's inherent to plasma technology. LCD won't have this either.
     

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