Do the grey bits matter?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs Forum' started by superann, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. superann

    superann
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    On our (lovely) 43MXE1, we prefer to show normal TV programs in normal TV format, rather than wide screen. This obviously leaves grey strips on either side of the picture. But we've read that you shouldn't leave the same image displaying on a plasma for long periods. Do the grey strips count as an "image" in this respect--in other words, are we risking burning them onto the screen over time? Or does the fact that they're a neutral mid-grey make them harmless?!

    Apologies as ever if this is a stupid question!

    Superann
     
  2. David Mackenzie

    David Mackenzie
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    I'm afraid the answer is yes, anything that's static on the screen counts.
     
  3. LV426

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    Not true, lyris.

    Plasmas suffer burn-in because whenever they are illuminated, the phosphors age. As they age, they get dimmer. This happens all the time, with both moving and static images. However, the effect only becomes visible when some part of the screen is aged more rapidly than another - typically by displaying a brighter signal such as a static logo - and the phosphors here get dimmer than those around them.

    The grey edges are grey as an average colour; in other words, they will age the phosphors in this part of the screen on average at the same rate as the randomly-changing colours in the rest of the screen do.

    So they aren't exactly harmless; they are designed to do the same amount of "harm" as normal use does. And as the screen ages uniformly, you never notice anything visible.
     
  4. ddlooping

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    ... but won't side bars marks show when switching to a 16:9 program?
     
  5. LV426

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    The intention of the grey colour is so that it won't. The theory is that on average over a period of time the ageing effect of any randomly moving image (ie the bit in the middle of a 4x3 display) is actually exactly the same as the ageing effect of plain grey. So the sides and the middle, theoretically, degrade at the same rate. So you don't see any effect.

    You have to understand that Plasmas (and CRTs for that matter) are ageing all the time they are switched on; not just when logos or other static patterns are displayed. However, the impact of this only becomes visible when this ageing is uneven; then, the advanced ageing of (say) the place where a logo was, causes that part of the screen to be dimmer than the rest - that's the visible effect of burn-in.

    So long as it's evenly distributed, the ageing (dimming) doesn't become visible. The grey edges are an attempt to make ageing occur evenly when 4x3 pillar-boxed images are on display. Hence, no visible effect.
     
  6. ddlooping

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    Thanks for the clarification, Nigel. :)
     
  7. David Mackenzie

    David Mackenzie
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    D'oh, my apologies!
     
  8. superann

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    Nigel, thanks very much for the explanation. That's reassuring, (and interesting), and we won't have to go back to looking at all those wide people on the screen after all (I see enough of those in the mirror!). :)

    Superann
     
  9. Bernard Barnett

    Bernard Barnett
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    Nigel's explanation is convincing but I'm afraid my experience is different. The first year I had my plasma I displayed all 4x3 material in its correct mode. As a result the edges of the screen are now a slightly different colour from the middle. I now use smart mode for all non-16x9 material and find it perfectly acceptable as I don't suffer from "golden eyes". (To those who ask "in that case why did you get a plasma?", I got it for space reasons, not because I consider it superior to CRT - I don't.)
     
  10. GalacticaActual

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    With contrast , brightness and colour correctly set using a reference disc such as digital video essentials, you can signifficantly reduce your chances of screen burn and image retention :)
    If you use the panasonic auto mode it will strech the picture at the sides to some degree and make it look a bit disorted. I use 16:9 for pretty much every thing Unless the dvd I am watching is not anamorphic. with 16:9 the picture makes people look a little fatter than usall but the whole screen is evenly filled with out having to use the grey or black bars at the side when watching a 4;3 image. :thumbsup:
    I would say that 95% of the stuff thatb is watched on my viera is anamorphic wide screen anyway so the 4:3 grey bar issue has never really been a problem :)
     
  11. MAW

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    Nigel's explanation is factually correct, and for 99.9% of people, correct in practice. Bernard, sorry I can't remember what screen you have, is it my favourite (not)perchance? If so, there lies your problem. Happy you have found a way round it you can live with though.
     
  12. spook

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    I have found that for most of the 4:3 content that I watch, I use zoom mode, ie you loose the top and bottom of the image,
    I havent found much that's not acceptable to be viewed this way,
    an added bonus is that station idents and logos are also cut off the image which is no bad thing.

    Spook
     
  13. LV426

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    My explanation refers only to the OP's question about grey side bars. Not all Plasmas use mid-grey in this way. If yours has black (or nearly black) side bars then uneven ageing with prolonged 4x3 use will be an issue.
     
  14. pjclark1

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    I just watch everything in 16:9 or JUST
    so no borders ever anywhere. My xbox can do incremental zoom
    to remove top/bottom bars for those dvds that are "wider" than 1.85:1
     
  15. MAW

    MAW
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    PJ, I can hardly believe I am reading this. You bang on about poor PQ on scart, yet you'll use an x-box as a dvd player, and foul up the aspect ratio with zoom functions. Each to their own, sure, but I'd practice what you preach. But you're right on 'Just' mode, it's usually fine for 4:3, and my less discerning clients I leave in this mode and tell them not to mess with aspect, it's all too complicated for about 1/2 the population!
     
  16. Steve_P

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    You're kidding! :rolleyes: They buy a plasma display panel but can't handle the more technical subject of aspect ratio switching? Maybe you should be selling them a plasma TV instead :p [cheeky_grin] :D

    S.
     
  17. LV426

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    It is curious how so many people ask questions on boards like this about which setting is "right" for a given circumstance. If we assume for the moment that "right" means uncropped and undistorted (within the capabilities of the display) (and I know that that's not what many people consider to be "right") then I find it hard to understand how so many people can't establish for themselves whether something is "right" simply by looking at it. If I have a (say) mislabelled DVD which isn't anamorphic when it should be, or vice versa, then I can tell straight away, just by looking at the shapes of things. Many people, it seems, find this hard to do, being, as they seem to be, more concerned with the presence of "black bars" or something else that seemingly detracts from their enjoyment more than, say, oval circles (or too fat or too tall people and props) do. Strange.
     
  18. MAW

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    I think so too, but ther's nowt so queer as folk, as they say in the north. I try to explain this with reference to mistaking Callista Flockhart and John Goodman sometimes, but even with a .ppt presentation it's an uphill struggle. @why are there so many different picture shapes' is the hardest question to answer, I mean it's not as if there are just 3 after all!

    And Steve, my customers get me to design and install a system precisely because they don't undertand the technicalities. Many of them have no time to try, they are too busy making sure of the next bonus.
     
  19. Bernard Barnett

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    I think it's your second (not) favourite.
     
  20. MAW

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    Ah, yes, more than averagely susceptible to burn/image retention issues. But the main thing is that you have a way round the problem that you can stand. One of the reasons I'm such a loyal panasonic man is that they do not suffer from this except under the most wanton abuse. But as Nigel's eloquent contribution makes clear, all but the most desperate cases wear off to the point of invisibility eventually, it's much less of a problem than most newbies imagine.
     
  21. Joe Fernand

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    Hello all

    superann - You may want to note that you can adjust the intensity of the side bars in the Integrator Menu without affecting the picture area when in 4:3 or Dot to Dot mode. (this is NOT an option on the HDE PlasmaTV models).

    Unless your running your display with side bars all of the time its perfectly feasible to jump between 16:9, 14:9 and 4:3 even with the side bars set to near black; as long as you mix and match and don't run 4:3 all the time.

    Bernard barnett - its worth noting these affects have become less of an issue with each subsequent generation of displays as the Plasma manufacturers have improved the robustness of the phosphors used and the power management of the charges that drive the phosphors.

    Nigel - it is amazing how many folk seem to be 'tolerant' of odd shaped images; as long as its a wide screen image!

    MAW - keep encouraging them to earn and spend the bonuses :)

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  22. pjclark1

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    MAW
    you got it wrong on the xbox, it does proper incremental zoom, no change to aspect ratio thats stays exactly the same. The xbox is one of the finest media players around IMHO, once you have it chipped. It also has progressive outputs for games and movies.
    (i never have minded missing the left and right few inches of really widescreen movies)

    PS
    my next neibours purchased their first widescreen tv from Dixons recently. Took it back 2 days later cos all the people looked short and fat, and Dixons gave them a full refund .........ha ha.
     

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