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DVE contrast & brightness on PV500 plasma

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by pwood, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. pwood

    pwood
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    Well I took the plunge and bought this disc to see what all the fuss was about and I have found it very informative but the basic video setup regards my PV500 has not turned out as expected and wondered if anyone could share their findings or knowledge.
    I used a Panasonic es10 DVD player both via component and RGB. This player does not have any brightness / contrast controls so I figured it was one less variable to bother about. Initially I used Cinema setting and then Normal ( why is it that cinema seems to boost black level detail yet appear softer) anyway brightness ended up at approx 68% and color at about 65%. Contrast however has me stumpted as I cannot see must difference except at off and full on and the blooming does not seem to appear except at almost full on. So I settled on 40% but without the discs help I must say. As for the sharpness I find that when set correctly according to the disc in reality it need a couple of clicks further up to avoid everthing looking blurry. The colour setting does appear to look good and there is no problem with the blue squares when flicking between cool normal and warm so I've settled on normal.

    Cant believe the brightness setting is correct and would welcome advice on setting contast. I feel my other question on setup regards the fact that my other DVD player has its own picture controls which would surely confuse the results is best left to another day.
     
  2. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    Hi,

    There is a basic calibration 'sticky' at the top of the LCD/DLP forum with some info on how to calibrate a digital display, and it might help you with which test patterns to use. Blooming is a term used for CRTs, and digitals don't suffer from this so you can't use it to set your plasma's levels.

    Here's a link to the sticky:

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=196873

    Gary.
     
  3. pwood

    pwood
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    Cheers Gary.
     
  4. pwood

    pwood
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    Still having problems adjusting contrast. Is there any other patterns you can recommend to fine tune it.
     
  5. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    If you're using PAL DVE, then this one should be useful:

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=11466

    If you still can't see the white box within the 100% box it may be that the source is clipping the white so you can't see it. You will have to try the settings you have and see if the white box becomes visible (i.e, try cinema, then increase/decrease contrast to see if it becomes visible, and do that with them all).

    If you don't have DVE, then a THX Optimode might help (it's on Star Wars disks amongst others).

    Gary.
     
  6. pwood

    pwood
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    Problem is i can see the white box all the way up to 90% and all the way down to almost 0%, so deciding when enough is enough is difficult. I'll try adjusting to the left hand black box and see how that works out. The pattern you link to is the one I used from your previous reply.

    Still reckon brightness is to high at 55% but according to the DVD disk (point at which below black bar just dissappears thats where it occurs on my screen).

    set up my father in laws Panny CRT and it looks very good after calibration using basic DVD setup albeit the contrast set up was still the hardest.
     
  7. AndyH

    AndyH
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    I had another go at this last night and found the same thing.

    On all contrast setting patterns and boxes, I can see the same relative difference in whiteness between 0% and 100% on the contast range!


    After 100 hours of running in, i'm now at around 40% for brightness and 25% for contrast (roughly from memory).

    Colour is still surprisingly high (like 80%), but telly and DVDs look amazing. Nothing is overly saturated until I either bring up the Sky banner / planner or watch the Simpsons :)


    I'm quickly coming around to the conclusion I had with my CRT - use calibration patterns to get in the right ballpark, then tweak until you actually think it looks right!

    I mean, who says my eyes are correctly calibrated? ;)
     
  8. pwood

    pwood
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    Andy please confirm you have a PV500 as your contast and brightness settings are far lower than mine. However colour setting is 65%
     
  9. AndyH

    AndyH
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    Yep - 37" PV500.

    So what have you got set?



    Edit -

    Sorry, just taken the time to re-read your original post. I agree that the sharpness needs to be up a notch or two, so that's one thing!

    I'm guessing that our settings are going to differ slightly based on ambient light conditions - plus I might spend far too long in dark rooms, and hence have a greater sensitivity to brightness!


    Going through the DIY calibration paces with the plasma reminded me what it was like with the CRT, thoughts like -

    1. I'm calibrating using a top notch DVD player through a digital link. What's to say my Sky+ box is going to look right - for a start the Sky+ box has a Low, Medium and High setting for contast... I could add that to the equation.

    2. I'm still confused by NSTC vs PAL black level (no matter how many times I read the thread on the subject around these parts). I *believe* my Pioneer 868 is normalising the problem and outputting black at 0mv but I'm not entirely convinced. That'll be proven when I get my PAL version of DVE. Currently I only have an NTSC

    3. People are right that THX Optimode is largely useless. I used PAL Attack Of the Clones and it violently disagreed with NTSC Video Essentials about brightness level. Interestingly, after using AOTC my Sky picture looked a lot better in terms of less banding and less blocking on faces.

    I then popped in Region 1 Fight Club and Optimode was all over the place! But yet the film still looked OK to my eyes.


    I've typed so much I've lost my train of thought.. essentially I'm coming to the conclusion that things look good to me - and at the end of the day, maybe the director wanted everything to look washed out and grey.. or have I got my brightness too high... :)



    Edit Edit -

    Contrast - up to the first leg of the "n" in Cinema
    Brightness - Halfway through the "e" in Cinema
    Colour - Actually, more like 70-75% (not the 80 or so I said above)
     
  10. pwood

    pwood
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    Have you found the black level detail to be better when using cinema mode setting. I have but also find it to be softer which kinda annoys me so I've settled on normal mode. Of course I'll probably flick between the 2 and get moaned at from the other half when watching something!
     
  11. AndyH

    AndyH
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    Heh, no - I've only looked at cinema mode so far.

    If it is softer, then I suspect I'll stick with it as that can only help the lower quality Sky broadcasts.


    I'll give it a go though (and likely get commented on too!)
     
  12. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    The idea of test patterns is to send the correct value of black to the display, along with some bars (or box) that are 1% and/or 2% above black, so you can adjust the brightness so that the 1% and 2% parts are just visible. That way you know you are seeing the detail above black and aren't crushing it all into black.

    The same is done for the white level (contrast) for the same reasons of course.

    Adjusting by eye means that something is probably being compromised along the way. If you can always see the white bar/block then you aren't crushing the detail, but I don't know why you can't lose it by raising the contrast unless the source isn't sending a full signal for white - 0.717v IIRC.

    CRTs work differently to digitals and you don't need to lose the white box/bars, just increase the contrast before the white begins to 'bloom' or the lines begin to bow. I believe it's partly setting up the white level according to the power supplies capabilities as well, hence the bloom/distortion limitation.

    Gary
     
  13. pwood

    pwood
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    Are you saying that it may be the Panasonic es10' output ( via component) which is causing me not to see the change in the white box. I'll try my trusty Sony 725d via RGB. The reason I used the panny is that it does not have any brightness/contrast etc settings to confuse the issue.
     
  14. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    If you can see the white box within the white box then you are seeing all the detail you should be. It's only a problem when you can't see the box or conversly the black bars when setting the black level (with the brightness control).

    I'm not sure but it's a possibility the player may be having an effect, so it's worth trying the other player just to eliminate that as a problem. As it is, if you can see the boxes you can see the detail. Not sure why you can't make it dissapear unless plasmas work differently to other displays.

    Gary.
     
  15. pwood

    pwood
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    Piers showed me how to do it on a Fujitsu Plasma using a test pattern similar to DVE at the Scottish Show . Once home and the pv500 did not produce the same results. I am beginning to think the Auto contrast feature of the pv500 my be the cause of my confusion as it may be working in the background ( As far as I know it cannot be turned off). I've settled on 45% as any higher just starts to increase glare without any real benefit.

    Thanks Gary for your input, most appreciated :smashin:
     
  16. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    The auto contrast is probably the cause. On my Sony 100hz tv, I had to turn all the processing off to get an image that didn't create it's own artefacts etc, so you could always try turning off the auto feature and see what it looks like without it.

    Gary.
     
  17. Chappo

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    Guys I bow to your greater knowledge, never owned a plasme tv. I have a PV500 on way in 7 days, but do I really need this DVE disc just to set the picture? Is there not a reccomended setting in the handbook. Just wondering if i need to splash out for this disc, already upgraded my scarts while I await delivery.
     
  18. TEDDYBASS

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    Cant believe the brightness setting is correct and would welcome advice on setting contast. I feel my other question on setup regards the fact that my other DVD player has its own picture controls which would surely confuse the results is best left to another day.[/QUOTE]

    I too recently bought the DVE disc. After following the procedure for the contrast and brightness settings I didnt like the results and immediatley reset to my previous settings. This has put me off using the DEV disc and I havn't got any further into the video set up process. Have I been too rash and impatient ?

    I have a panny 42pv500 panel and tosh sd350e player.
     
  19. empiregav

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    Teddybass - have a question for you. What is the tosh SD350 like? Presume you use the HDMI ouput? I have a Sony NS930V dvd player, which was damn near their flagship model about a year ago and was wondering whether I'd notice any improvement over the standard prog component out? Had my 37PV500 for a couple of weeks now - fab piccy but does need careful set up for each input. Cheers.
     
  20. TEDDYBASS

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    empiregav- To my eyes the 350 gives a very good pq using the HDMI output. It looks sharp, clear and with good depth of field. I am afraid my only comparison was against my old phillips supermarket special with scart. I saw an immediate and obvious improvement as did other members of my family. I have heard that contrary to accepted wisdom the picture on the 350 is even better using the component output but I havnt tried it yet. The sound is ok ( I only have the panels speakers ) but not spectacular, which may be the telly's fault not the DVD player.
    In conclusion I think the 350 has proved to be good value and for the price I paid (approx £76 from Amazon) represents a bargain when compared with the quality you will get with a £40 supermarket special.
     
  21. empiregav

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    mmmm - your comments about the component out being better than the hdmi are interesting as the 350 doesnt upscale to 720p through its component connections - only via its hdmi. The piccy through these would be 480p which obviously is not as high a resolution. I was talking to a staff member from Sevenoaks Sound and Vision recently and he said that when they ran a test comparing component to upscaled hdmi on members of the public, nearly all said they thought the component pic was better!!
     

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