bl00dy thing isn't 16:9!

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs Forum' started by richard plumb, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    had my philips 30pf9975 LCD TV for two days now.

    Watching Eastenders, my wife commented on how the characters looked too tall. This is watching through Sky, with the TV on 'widescreen', which just expands the picture sideways.

    I compared with analogue, and she was right. If I choose the oddly named '16:9', they look OK, but there are black bars at the top and bottom. Hmm.

    So I checked the manual. No mention.

    So then I checked the specs.

    1280x768 panel. 16:9 would be 1280x720

    This is a 16:9.6 panel!!! :mad:

    Its also effectively not a 30" diagonal, as watching in the correct aspect ratio for 16:9 results in a smaller vertical image, so you probably lose about 1" from the diagonal.

    Now, I'm pretty upset. The difference isn't huge, but surely this set is being sold as a 'widescreen' set, which is commonly held to mean 16:9. My sky box is outputting 16:9 TV, which I expect to fill my TV without unnecessary distortion.

    So either I live with squashed images, or have bars on the top and bottom of every program.


    Anybody else got any comments, or any other TVs being sold to the public on false pretences!?
     
  2. nrmsmith

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    Yes I noticed this as well.

    I measured the actual screen width vs height and noticed that the calculated ratio is not 1:78 : 1 (16:9) but 1:67 : 1.

    I think this is the same problem as forum members identified was wrong with the Sharp 30" LCD screen, and what steered me towards the Philips instead.

    Unfortunately, I assumed, rather than checked that the Philips wouldn't suffer the same problem. But it does. Annoying.

    I assume the problem must be an unfortunate side-effect of the somewhat unusual screen size (30"). I wonder what Philips have to say about the matter?

    Nigel
     
  3. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
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    Interesting.. Whilst reading this, I am sat in front of my 17" Relisys RLT1720 and decided to measure it.. This is also 1.67:1 (or 15:9).

    I then checked my Panasonic Plasma and that is spot on 16:9

    Even though it doesn't state 16:9 on the box, I just check their web site and it clearly says 16:9.

    This is very naughty indeed!!!
     
  4. mikeaitch

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    Just about to buy one of these Jon

    Any good?
     
  5. JH4

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    I think you may have hit on something I have suspected on LCD sets - found the same on a Grundig 17 inch LCD. (1280 x 768)
    Anyone else got the same problem ?
     
  6. StooMonster

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    Most widescreen computer monitors are physically 16:10 ratio, not 16:9. e.g. my desktop's Sony FW900 24" widescreen CRT = 16:10 ratio.

    1280x728 (a PC resolution) is 16:10 ratio too.

    IMHO these screens are PC monitors with tuner functionality, even my 17" LCD Grundig (1280x768).

    StooMonster
     
  7. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    but considering these are sold as absolutely consumer models, with built in tuner for the Philips, its not really on. Surely they'll get comments from customers getting black bars on their sky/freeview?

    I'm also surprised this hasn't been mentioned once to my knowledge in any of the reviews of this or the Sharp set.

    Even if its based on a PC panel, wouldn't it have been simple to just extend the top and bottom frame to cover up the extra few pixels, like normal CRTs have some of the tube behind the plastic frame.

    At least then it'd look like it was filling the screen. Even though I can do the same with 16:9 mode, just the fact that there are visible bars is grating.


    I think I'm going to write to Philips about this and see what they say. Maybe also mention it to one of the HC mags?
     
  8. StooMonster

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    Do reviewers really know or care or even have it in their interests to write objective reviews? Methinks not. It's why boards like this exist, people share knowledge.

    Now my Panny plasma is both physically and pixel resolution (1366x768) 16:9 ratio, as is my old 28" widescreen Sony CRT, but all my other LCD "widescreen" displays and computer monitors are 16:10 even the 1920x1200 laptop (if it were 16:9 it would be 1920x1080).

    Your display is probably marked up as 16:9 on websites more out of ignorance than deliberate deception.

    StooMonster
     
  9. cybersoga

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    Overscan (zooming in) or the picture being slightly stretched out of proportion will usually hide the black bars on consumer models. On 16:9 screens adjusted with minimum/no overscan, when you watch 1.85:1 movies you should see a tiny black bar top/bottom as 16:9 equates to 1.78:1 not 1.85:1. On a 16:10 screen every dvd will have black bars top/bottom (even 1.78:1 dvds) if it's adjusted correctly because it's 1.6:1, taller than a 16:9/1.78:1 widescreen television.
     
  10. calscot

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    Sounds to me that it's a compromise between video use and computer use. The 1280 x 768 resolution allows 720p video (1280 x 720) while also allowing 1024x768 computer resolutions which many games will use.

    I think you just have to live with the black bars and realise you have 720p video.

    I think diagonal measurements of screens are really stupid as it makes it incredibly difficult to work out the dimensions - who's good at sums of square roots? They should give the width of the screen to which you just multiply by 9 and then divide by 4 and 4 again to get the height - well within most peoples grasp. That way you wouldn't be thinking you've lost out on size as the width would be the same.
     
  11. gmt steve

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    They've been coning us for years. Every CRT set is a con with regards to screen size.
    36" is a 34"
    32" is a 30"
    etc
    In the US they have always quoted screen sizes correctly.
     
  12. LCD Man

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    i TOOK MY SHARP AQUOS BACK FOR THIS. THIS IS A DISGRACE IN MY EYES.
     
  13. nrmsmith

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    Richard

    Please do this. I am also going to write to Philips to complain & see what they have to say. At the very least, it is dishonest to advertise it as 16:9 when it clearly isn't. I'm sure Trading Standards would have something to say about it as well.

    (OTOH, I'm surprised PC manufacturers have never been taken to task on their advertised Hard Disk sizes; eg. a 40GB iPod that is actually only 37GB etc).......

    Nigel
     
  14. LV426

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    You can only tell, reliably, what the aspect ratio of your screen is, by physically measuring it and calculating the result. Using the pixel measurement assumes that pixels are always square. And they don't have to be square.

    I'm not saying that these screens are (or aren't) precisely 16x9 - I don't know. But do be sure by actual measurement before you start your legal action (or whatever).
     
  15. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    not planning legal action just yet :)

    But its kind of obvious when you start to look at things. The fact that there are both 'widescreen' and '16:9' zoom modes, its PC heritage (manual is quite VGA connector focussed) etc.

    I'll measure the screen tonight, just to make sure.
     
  16. MAW

    MAW
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    The pixels on many widescreen panels are not square, but sounds like the philips ones are, or nearly so. The Pio 503/4 screens have the same pixel count, but are 16:9 measured. The problem is very widespread, as Stoo says, and he has the only high res plasma glass (shared with fujitsu) that offers square pixels and real 16:9. My new dell laptop is 15:9, and has black bars watching dvd's Strangely projectors are always just like that can of Ronseal, the ratio always matches the pixel count. It's a flat panel problem. Anyone fancy joining me in a campaign for square pixels?
     
  17. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    but it only appears to be a large flat panel problem. Small LCDs for projectors are usually 4:3 or 16:9, even though lots of those will go to business use (well, maybe not the 16:9 ones)

    I can understand the 4:3 screens reusing tech from PC panels, but when they went widescreen, why didnt' they go 16:9 like the rest of the entire world?

    BTW, I'm writing this from my philips screen at 1024x768 and its lovely. Much better than through my low res projector. Doesn't seem to like 1280xanything though...

    WMV HD looks really nice :D Might buy a DVD just for ****s and giggles.
     
  18. cybersoga

    cybersoga
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    I can't understand this either, does anyone know why widescreen PC monitors are not the same shape as widescreen televisions? Why are 1280x720 and 1920x1080 not standard windows resolutions by now?
     
  19. StooMonster

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    720p screens are 1280x720 pixels and 16:9 ratio, as are 1080p screens at 1920x1080p pixels.

    1280x768, 1920x1200, 2304x1440 (my desktop's resolution) are 16:10 computer resolutions; but I know this and I know my monitor is physically a 16:10 shape so it's fine. :)

    My 17" widescreen LCD television, is 17" diagonally (I just measured it, and didn't include frame), has a resolution of 1280x768 (16:10) and the screen measures 370mm x 230mm -- quelle suprise 16:10.

    This is just another example of 16:10 widescreen PC screens and modes being confused and/or sold as 16:9 -- just like my Grundig.

    Now the 50" plasma is definately 16:9 and 1366x768 to boot too -- perhaps this is another plasma advantage over LCD? :devil:

    Yes, many screens are sold in UK measuring screen size including the plasic casing. Ten years ago there was a famous brand of monitors who had HUGE plastic borders around their screens, precisely because of this naughtiness.

    Ah ha the old trick used by naughty manufacturers of dividing by 1000 instead of 1024 to calculate GigaBytes; that old scams being going on since MegaByte days. I must be getting old, to see the same old nonsense come round more than once! :eek:

    StooMonster
     
  20. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    I was going to say widescreen monitors (16:10) have been around for years, but then so have widescreen televisions (16:9).

    First saw widescreen monitors in early 1990s, only saw widescreens televisions from mid-1990s.

    My widescreen monitor (Sony FW900) supports 1920x1080 but it looks distorted without square pixels and needs to be 1920x1200 -- like the Dell laptop -- or 2304x1440 in which this is typed.

    That is an interesting question cybersoga!

    StooMonster
     
  21. Stackers

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    I've also got the 30" Phillips LCD TV. It replaced an older 32" Sony CRT TV and i must admit that thru Sky programs like say "Eastenders" are no different, on my Sony the pics looked tall but i always preffered this to stretched widescreen! Sky 1 has just started broadcasting in Widescreen and the picture is much better taller than wider IMHO!

    One question i have (slightly off subject). Is that occasionally (and not for long) i've seen my picture and sound get out of sync! Now the box for this is inbuilt (Compared to the Sharp LCD). Is there anything else i should consider buying for it that might help?
     
  22. MAW

    MAW
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    You should consider buying word 2003, so you can write and complain. It's the only real cure.
     
  23. Stackers

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    I've got Wordpad so i guess that would do!!! ;)

    It's not really a problem but thought i'd best check!

    I'm new to all this so if this is a daft question go easy on me but what about something like Iscan Ultra? Would that be of benefit to an LCD TV?
     
  24. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    maybe.

    On Tivo menus, the images look similar to when I feed my sky through a ProV for the projector - slightly processed and a bit slow. But normal TV looks much better.

    I haven't tried the ProV with the screen yet - it'll output 1024x768 which is a perfect fit for the screen. But I think Philips scaling is pretty damn good, so I personally doubt the ProV will beat it. iScan might though.

    Don't see it improving the lipsynch though, as thats probably there in the original signal anyways.
     
  25. zerolight

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    you could argue that you have more screen rather than less. its the same width as other screens but a bit taller. so you get the same letterboxed image in 16:9 mode that you get on any other plasma (you have borders due to extra screen rather than because it has less width). the plus on that is that a 4:3 picture can be bigger than on a different manufactures screen but the same size on widescreen. it's a bonus. if you like.

    the samsung widescreen thats out at the moment is the same, if you use "widescreen" then it fills the entire screen and is stretched, but it you choose 16:9 then you get true widescreen. the 42" Samsung screen is noticeably bigger than the Hitachi 42", rather than smaller, suggesting its as wide, but taller.

    just a thought from a newbie.
     
  26. Erpland

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    It is partly the consumers fault, when the manufactures make the tubes they are made as say a 21" tube because they are a 21" tube, they are also stocked as a 21" tube, even the model number of the tube relates to the 21, but when they are placed inside a cabinet you loose and inch or so and the display is adjusted accordingly(hopefully), because the model of the set still carries the 21, they were always assumed to have a viewable screen of 21", I don't remember any manufacturer ever 'claim' the viewing area was the same as the tube dimensions.
    If you're going as far as saying its a con, I say the consumer is stupid.

    In the case of LCD's people have been buying computer LCD monitors described as 'widescreen' wrongly believing it would be perfect for 16:9 viewing, what do you want them described as then? long screen?

    consumer perfectionism has gone mad, gotta go now Ive just found another dead pixel, must contact watchdog.

    :kisses:
     
  27. Koing

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    my 23" Sony lcd is described as *Widescreen* but it DID say it was 16:10 on it. I knew this right when I bought it.

    I'd rather have 1920x1200 then 1920x1080 ANYDAY of the week. But I use it mostly for pc use then watching films etc.

    Got to do your checks before hand I guess but it is a bit of a con though.

    Koing
     
  28. cjc1

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    Like Koing I have 23" Sony and in the manual it clearly states it is 15:9 and on their web site. However most retailers stated it was 16:9. In this case to be fair to Sony they provided the info and retailers chose to ignore it. I wonder if this is the case with other manufacturers.
     
  29. philsparks

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    Koing / cjc1

    I thought most of Sony LCDs didn't have PC inputs - that's what put me off them - I was thinking of going for the Phillips 23" or the new JVC when it comes out as both of these have VGA plugs.

    What do you think of yr Sonys, what did you compare them to, and can I be rude and ask whether you got a good price and where from?
    Phil
     
  30. cjc1

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    My Sony does not have VGA but that was not important to me. At the time (sept/oct '03) I rated Sony best after many viewings. However I will be the first to admit many retailers let the product down by the quality of signal. it you are buying a preimum product you expect it to be shown at its best. The Sony was the only one what I did'nt leave the shop thinking "is that as good as it gets".

    Got mine from http://www.hotkit.co.uk (probably best if you don't tell your other half see you are going on a site with a nae like that) for £1,419 which was a good price at the time, also it is not a grey import and they had it in stock unlike several other sites who offered similar prices but were trawling for orders.
     

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