E-ALiS + Scaler??

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by superpixel, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. superpixel

    superpixel
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hello all, wonder if i could get some help..

    I demo'ed a Hitachi 55PMA550E over the weekend with Sky and DVD, and was impressed.

    This is an e-alis screen, I'm not entirely sure what this means (I know ALiS though), but what implications does this have, if any, for adding an external scaler? Has anyone tried or seen or sold such a combination?

    DVDs on the Hitachi were fine for our needs from even just 2m away, how would a scaler compare to this standard for poor Sky channels such as UK Gold/QVC as well as the good ones, including at such a short distance (where one seat will be...and yes, it has to be 50"+ by orders).

    Would a 50" NEC plus scaler be much better (another option)?

    Thanks!
     
  2. NonPayingMember

    NonPayingMember
    Previously Liam @ Prog AV

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Messages:
    8,525
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Kent
    Ratings:
    +830
    The e-ALIS technology is half of the old ALIS and half ordinary plasma. The ALIS bit still remains that for every two rows of pixels there is only one "firing gun" if you will, it alternately fires up and down so quickly that the eye only sees the one row. On old ALiS this means in one refresh all the odd pixels were lit, in the next refresh all the even. e-ALIS is essentially twice as fast so while it still takes two goes to light all pixels on the screen, it now does this entirely within one refresh. This means the picture is technically back to being normal progressive scan format, only the way the panel is driven means that technically all rows of pixels are still not being lit at once. While I haven't actually tried and tested, I imagine this will make coupling it with a scaler far easier than before as it has no reason (theoretically) for it to not want to work with a normal WXGA signal.

    Saying that, I still prefer the NEC! I don't know about the Hitachi, but with the NEC you will need to run any digital (DVI) connection at 60Hz on the 50" as there is no 50hz or 75hz option for PAL originated material.

    As for quality you can expect from a scaler, get a demo!! It's the only way to be sure (and I would advise getting the screen from the same supplier as the scaler to ensure the retailer has the responsibility of making the two work as a pair not you)
     
  3. superpixel

    superpixel
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks! (speedy reply, impressive)

    I must have a plasma that looks stylish (Panasonic, Pioneer, Fujitsu panels definitely don't cut it for me)...and have only now seriously contemplated the scaler option.

    do you know where i could demo the NEC and/or the Hitachi with scaler and with Sky?? I live in the north of england, but can travel anywhere when im gonna be spending thousands of pounds.

    i definitely don't rely on others opinions, dont worry - i would demo toasters before buying one if i could!

    i have never seen a NEC panel in action, but I have seen the Sony 50" TV which uses a (old?) NEC panel and that was very impressive to my eyes no matter what popular opinion on Sony Plasmas is.

    I do not like the plasma forum's choice - the Panasonics - at all ... there's just no brightness...its not especially clear or sharp...detail in dark scenes is just as good/bad as the other screens..the only good thing is blacks are black not dark grey....but id rather have grey blacks than grey whites! when i said to my family that the Panasonics are widely regarded as the best by some...they looked at me like i was a madman.

    so that's my preference on picture 'style'. but is QVC gonna look acceptable?!

    PS I saw a black NEC panel once, it looked sexy, but do their current models look like this?? If its not stylish, it has to be ruled out I'm afraid...

    Oh, and is the 60Hz limit on DVI going to cause any problems in practice (im thinking judder and other things would be a theoretical cause for concern?)
     
  4. NonPayingMember

    NonPayingMember
    Previously Liam @ Prog AV

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Messages:
    8,525
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Kent
    Ratings:
    +830
    NEC is as equally bland bezelled as the Pioneer, Fujitsu and Panasonic selection. A couple of inches of charcoal or silver/grey and that's it. But it is about the only plasma that gives such a high contrast while retaining decent brightness, and is the reason why we are looking into getting one down here very soon. The Fujitsu being the other one to keep your eye on, if they are going to keep the brushed titanium style bezels this might fit your style requirement. Otherwise you will need to get this from someone like Loewe or B and O. To be honest almost all panels are plain looking, it's creative installation of that can make or break it. Plasma lift? Sunken into the wall? Behind a false painting that rolls up and out the way??

    Must it be plasma though? The Sim2 Grand Cinema RPTVs are absolutely stunning, in function and form. It will take up some floorspace, but if you want high contrast and brightness, in a sexy box, this is the one.
     
  5. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
    Distinguished Member AVForums Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2002
    Messages:
    28,913
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    The Borders
    Ratings:
    +3,568
    Hello superpixel

    What's a 'stylish' Plasma?

    They all look like big bits of glass with a trim around the edge - what's you reference for a 'stylish' screen? Liam's thrown in the SIM2 RPTV - which designs look good to you?

    I wonder which of the Panasonic displays you're been viewing - the PWD (852x480) or the PHD (1024x768 & 1366x768); the HD's have certainly got enough pixels to produce a sharp image. Stick a High Definition source on one and they are almost three dimensional.

    With a decent Video Processor you could easily have different settings for Daytime and Night-time viewing - some of the very 'bright' screens look good with a lot of ambient light but get overbearing when you turn the lights down for Movie nights.

    Its not unusual to get comments like - 'its too dark' once we set up someone's TV to reference (or I should say near reference) levels; though once they've watched a properly adjusted set for a little while they soon find it impossible to go back to their old settings :)

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  6. superpixel

    superpixel
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    hi joe

    my idea of stylish is most TVs (Pioneer, Sony, Panasonic). i dont need anything outrageously spectacular, and i dont mind plain and minimal, quite the reverse, but...

    the plasma panels all look rather different to us, the details, finish etc all have to be just right...im sure it doesnt bother performance-hounds, but it is vital for us. The (now old?) fujitsu's for example have a very chunky bezel, a logo that looks like its been glued on by a 5 year old, visible 'joints', and buttons on the side that make me almost weep in despair! I admit this may seem fussy to some. The Panasonics are ruined by the buttons on the bottom, and they just remind me of walking the aisles of Tesco and Ikea to be honest... The Pioneer's bezel is like a big boxy slate - something more suited to airports than my new living room... The NEC I saw fitted the bill just fine though! So to me and my family, the panels definitely do not look all the same at all.

    The SIM2 RPTV was something that crossed my mind, and it has done again - thanks for the ideas - but the viewing angle & lamp life (and fan noise?) make it not for us. The photos of it look gorgeous though...

    as for the panasonics, i have seen all their models, and all the vieras too, and im afraid the 50" just isn't good enough for me - but i plan to demo the new models eagerly in case of any improvement. the 42" panel was plenty clear and detailed, I thought it was rather special actually...but the 50" wasn't. I was willing to accept this was just the bigger size...until i demo'ed the Hitachi 55" not next to, but near to it, armed with a measuring tape...and on Sky, DVD and Hi-Definition, the Hitachi was better even at close viewing distances. I couldn't quite believe it, so connected Sky and DVD directly to each rather than through the splitter, but the result was still the same (and yes, i was surprised..i thought the Hitachi would be rather rubbish...especially as even the Fujitsu version wasn't as good as this)

    and the brightness im afraid is just plain lacking for me on the Panasonics. I absolutely do not like a cartoonish or overly bright picture - but the Panasonic is just too dull. Like its under a cloud. I have always bought Panasonic CRTs, which again aren't the brightest and have a very 'natural' tone, but with this as my reference, the plasmas still fall way short. Add in 95% of viewing will be in daylight (a rather sunny room to boot) or under halogen light...and the Panasonic just seemed the wrong choice.

    So this leaves in the end...And yes, I'm willing to accept I'm chasing the impossible:

    the new Panasonic 50" Viera
    the forthcoming Sony 50" TV
    Hitachi 55"
    NEC 50"

    and any scaler or setup tricks that can improve those (I'm guessing the TVs wont accept native resolution on their HDMI input, so a scaler is isn't as useful as for the other two).

    phew, i sound like victor meldrew a bit in this post! so...any thoughts?!
     
  7. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
    Distinguished Member AVForums Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2002
    Messages:
    28,913
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    The Borders
    Ratings:
    +3,568
    superpixel

    I'm surprised you didn't like the Pioneer XDE - the gloss Black bezel looks good in most 'modern settings' and its easy enough to paint if you fancy changing the colour.

    Pioneer Japan even have a 'LifeStyle' site - see http://lifestyle-net.com/myroom/menu/osusume/index.html

    The Artcoustic site also shows the XDE in a decent set up with full 'on wall' Loudspeaker array - the Artcoustic speakers shown have optional 'Digital Art' applied to the grill covers; see http://www.artcoustic.co.uk

    I'm not sure which Panasonic Display/TV you've been viewing and how it was configured/adjusted/calibrated but it obviously wasn't one of the screens I use/view on a day to day basis (TH-50PHD7) as it certainly doesn't produce a poor image!

    No screen is going to look at its best in a brightly lit room - Pioneer tend to look better than Panasonic in high ambient lighting; though again they both look better with subdued lighting.

    Keep in mind the 'stated' contrast figures go out the window if you have lots of ambient light - your looking at figures around 160:1 in 150 Lux.

    As Liam suggests your other option is a 'stealth' installation - or even a custom bezel/overlay; depends how 'integrated' you want everything to look in your room.

    HDMI sockets can be limited to certain Fixed signal Input types and as you say they often don't include the Native Resolution (NR) of the Display - though some that don't include NR in the spec sheet do actually pass NR.

    Even at non NR an external Processor will most often have a positive affect on the image you see on screen - even simple things like being able to adjust over scan is a big bonus; not something you can achieve with most TV's.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  8. superpixel

    superpixel
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks for the help and replies! :thumbsup:

    I do like the style of the XDE's...its the business panels I don't like, and alas the XDE's are absolutely not up to scratch performance wise (motion pixellation, judder and a 'slow-motion' effect)...having lived with an old Pioneer 503 for a while which has a superb picture (save for the odd washed out scene due to the contrast), I conclude its the electronics which are horrendous.

    I think in reality, the NEC will be demo'ed and only considered if its picture is significantly superior to my other shortlisted candidates...the idea of a dedicated scaler working minor miracles is the main temptation with it...the Hitachi was just an idea based on its surprising performance, but I don't fancy it much when i have to hand over my hard-earned

    that means the new Panasonic and new Sony will probably be the end choice. Nothing much changes in 20 years of buying tellies really! :)

    the Panasonic certainly wasn't bad...the main problems were lack of brightness and that minimum viewing distance with real source material was more than other 50" ers. but if anything its still the main contender, so my mind is definitely open. the screens i have demo'ed are a 50-PHD7 with DVD on component board and Sky on RGB-to-VGA, and a Viera 50" - all just running on default settings. I've seen them many times in different shops also...but after the "proper" demo, coming back home to the Pioneer 503 was a revelation - just more pleasing all-round. If Pioneer's newer TVs were as good but based around their new panel, we'd have one by now...
     
  9. They

    They
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Messages:
    171
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Bristol
    Ratings:
    +0
    The e-ALiS system does in fact light all the pixels at once, the main differences are the interlaced addressing stage (not like CRTs or old ALiS) and an encapsulated or bounded pixel cell structure.

    There are still only half(+1) display/scan electrodes as per the old ALiS but the new design allows for a progressive display. (See HiFi News AVTech suppliment Aug 2004 pg34/35)

    Cheers.

    David.
     
  10. NonPayingMember

    NonPayingMember
    Previously Liam @ Prog AV

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Messages:
    8,525
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Kent
    Ratings:
    +830
    Which is pretty much what I said. But the pixels are still not lit at once, they stay lit at the same time but one set is always addressed/lit before the other (as you say later - interlaced addressing stage). With e-ALIS it is quick enough to produce a whole progressive frame, with ALIS it was displaying two interlaced fields which the eye combines into a frame. Either way I wasn't brilliantly impressed with the one I saw, but for it's price/size ratio it has plenty of uses.
     
  11. They

    They
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Messages:
    171
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Bristol
    Ratings:
    +0
    The pixels are indeed lit at once. The whole panel is energised in the same instant; no sets, no pairs, no interlacing!

    The interlaced addressing is nessesary due to the number of display/scan electrodes used in the addressing stage and the fact that each pixel/row may require different data, whereas the once each sub-pixel cell is 'setup' the whole panel can be energised.

    The special arrangement of the display/scan electrodes in the e-ALiS design (which differs significantly from the old ALiS) allows for this to happen and does so in a more efficient manner than competing PDP technologies. Fujitsu/Hitachi were considering alternative names for the technology as ALiS is a mis-nomer in this case, but decided to stick with e-ALiS for some reason.

    Cheers.

    David.
     

Share This Page

Loading...