Is my TV broken? - The limitations of technology

Discussion in 'General TV Discussions Forum' started by Steve Withers, Dec 21, 2015.


    1. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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    2. Stuartj1

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      Great article. You must have been reading some of the owners threads?
       
    3. google

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      Thanks Steve. At the end of the second to last paragraph you've put 'OLD' instead of oled.

      Cheers.
       
    4. kbfern

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      Great article Steve as always, although it just goes to show that buying any new tv is a bit of a lottery as to whether you will get one with "faults" or just that it is what it is and be happy with what you have.:)
       
    5. Ems1

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      Great article Steve - many thanks and a Happy Christmas to you all.
       
    6. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      Corrected, thanks. Hopefully OLED won't be old just yet!
       
    7. SonOfSJ

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      You're on a roll, Mr Withers! Another reference article which should be essential reading for all, especially those people on the forums who return set after set. Perhaps I've just been lucky with my own sets so far, even my LG which I didn't initially like.
       
    8. SonOfSJ

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      In your second-last sentence you say "This is especially important if you're spending a lot of money so, if you think a certain issue might annoy you, go and look at the TV yourself to make sure.". The only problem with that is for potential purchases of OLEDs and the dark edges (vignetting) which is visible on some screens, with certain material. It can be difficult, or impossible to see dark material, in a dark environment (which might show the fault) in a typical John Lewis or Currys shop. Some shops don't even allow customers to plug in their own USB sticks which might have the revealing material. The last time I was in such a shop was a week ago, at Currys / PC World in Braehead, outside Glasgow. This store has the largest collection of televisions in Scotland. Among the televisions on display was the LG 4K flat OLED 65EF950V, and I have to say that with the (4K) material that it was showing, it's possibly the most captivating picture that I've ever seen in a shop, it looked even better than the very large Samsung UE78JS9500 about 20 metres away which was also showing very striking material. But, there was little chance of seeing dark material on the LG, and even less chance of getting the Currys staff to dim the lights in the huge shop just to see if the LG showed vignetting .......
       
    9. MrBungle2005

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      The trouble is, that "buying", "new", and "lottery" are words that really shouldn't exist in the same sentence. Every other household item doesn't have the same stipulation when buying new.
       
    10. Steve Withers

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      It's true that demoing TVs isn't easy these days, not only due to the staff in the store receiving limited training but also because the conditions are never ideal (unless they a dedicated demo room) and some issues are hard to identify without dedicated test patterns.
       
    11. Har-One

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      Excellent article. A good reminder to call off the search for the perfect TV.
       
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    12. gigglebug

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      I know that the electrical retailer that I work for are more than happy for customers to have a demo set at home for a period of time to test them in their own surroundings, it's called " Being On Approval". I'm sure we can't be the only ones to offer this service??
       
    13. BrightonChris

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      When you spend three thousand pounds or more on a television it shouldn't be a lottery. It's that simple.
       
    14. SonOfSJ

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      Er, you probably are the only ones to offer that service, whoever you are ..... What a shame that more people can't know who you are!
       
    15. google

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      I don't think we would see much technical advancement if TV manufacturers charging over £3000 for a TV had to make sure every TV they produce is near perfect quality. As an example, the makers of oled wouldn't at this stage make a decision to halt production for a few years until they perfect it. I dont think we would want them to either?

      It shouldn't be underestimated how difficult it must be to manufacture these latest UHD TV's.
       
    16. BrightonChris

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      I'm not saying that every TV should be perfect, I'm saying that if two people by the same TV they should be pretty much the same and not have the massive differences in light bleed, uniformity etc.
       
    17. SonOfSJ

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      I think that now, in 2015, people are not willing to pay the true cost of high-end televisions. So, LG's 4K OLED 65EF950V is now about £4k, half the price of the Panasonic 4K OLED 65CZ952B. But the Panasonic doesn't have vignetting. So maybe 8 grand is what it actually costs to produce a reliable set, without vignetting the degree of which varies from sample to sample? The Pioneer LX5090 plasma television, which was a top product when it was released in August 2008, cost £2350, Pioneer Kuro PDP-LX5090 50in Plasma TV - Pioneer Kuro PDP-LX5090 which would nowadays seem a lot (without even allowing for that price seven years ago being worth more than now, because of inflation) for a 50-inch set with no 3D, no 4K and no smart features. But that was the price that Pioneer felt that the set cost and that people would pay, including me a year later. And it was reliable. Didn't stop Pioneer leaving the television business though, this was their last generation plasma.

      Good stuff costs money, sometimes plenty money. Televisions like these are luxury items after all.
       
    18. google

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      I know what you are saying and that's why I responded to your comment in the way I did.
       
    19. gigglebug

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      No free advertising I would guess!! A customer can take an item home for a trial period then decide to return it if is isn't to their liking. I'm not sure if it has to be paid for or not before hand, I would guess it does! I don't actually work in the shops though, I return the faulty stock to the suppliers. I've personally had expensive Hifi separates on home demo in the past before I worked in electrical retail though so I thought it must be a general thing?? Would seem like good service to me!
       
    20. NickInWiltshire

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      Two interesting stories from the early days of CDs which are applicable.

      1. A retailer who turned the volume on an amp up to max in the gap between tracks to show there was absolutely no noise - and blew everyone's brains out when the next track started. Makes me think of people trying to "see" detail in the near black region on an OLED and then complaining when it shows them a lot of blocks. Too clean for its own good.

      2. On the other hand early CD players often sounded harsh and many people noticed it. The manufacturers said it was "perfect" and people just weren't used to hearing high frequencies so clearly. But it turned out it was due to nonlinearity of the DACs which was later fixed. Again OLEDs do seem to show some similar issues which could well be fixed in later models. But if you buy a TV now you are buying whatever is possible now. You can't swap your way to an engineering breakthrough. :D
       
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    21. Hixs

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      I just learnt a lot about TV's in one small article. Props to you, good sir!
       
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    22. vaktmestern

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      Great article. :smashin: Maybe a few Get a eye opener.
       
    23. Roohster

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      We've come a long way since CRT technology.
      Oh, wait... no we haven't :p

      In the search for bigger, brighter, thinner panels with ever-increasing resolution, a lot of compromises seem to have been made along the way.
      It's not a reassuring time to be buying a tv.
       
    24. Trollslayer

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      A sorely needed article, thank you.
       
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    25. jfinnie

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      However, although we have seen signs of screen burn on pre-production samples at shows and have heard reports of image retention, we should stress that neither issue was present on any of the OLED TVs that we have tested to date.

      You wouldn't see it on review sets, no one in their right mind would be sending out TV's with thousands of hours on them for review, which is what would be necessary for you to be seeing it. It is hard to believe that OLED TVs won't suffer from image retention, as every incarnation of the technology to date has, and there haven't been any breakthroughs in the underlying tech here. I pity anyone watching any significant amount of rolling news on these sets...
       
    26. Spacecat

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      Makes me enjoy my kuro 600krp even more. :)
      7 years of cracking tv watching.....hope it keeps going
       
    27. RomanHD

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      Steve thanks for the great review.

      I am reading and learning throgh reviews and forum threads ....

      If we are talking about prices than it should be taken into consideration that retailers have more than 60% margin (add on price) when TV sets are imported and stored in to the warehouses (payed inport taxes and VAT). The market in GB is not so different to the other markets arround the Europe ...
       
      Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
    28. Old Bones

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      An excellent article, and a reminder that no technology is perfect. There are always going to be compromises, especially when you consider the constraints manufacturers are under - the bulk of the market cannot afford, and could not justify the cost of a Pioneer Kuro or similar, but would be perfectly happy with something for considerably less.

      And the fact that Pioneer did leave the market shows the way things have gone - we all generally want more for less. I remember selling the last Kuro off the wall - even with a decent discount, it was still almost twice the price of the nearest Panasonic. It was lovely, but it was a connoisseurs TV.

      I personally tend to say a set is 'decent', rather than good or bad. A 'decent' set should deliver what its expected to considering its cost, niche, use, etc. If it has a good picture, the number and sort of connections I'd expect, a useable remote, EPG, etc, as long as its fits with what the customer needs, then I'm happy. And thats what customers are generally looking for - good value and a solid, reliable TV. And these days, they dont have to spend a huge amount of money. A Samung 48in J5500 is currently £409 - thats very good value, considering what you get. Would I go for a higher spec? Personally, yes, but it fits what many customers need, and I have no problem recommending it. A good solid TV from one of the big four is easy to find, and its arguable that for the average customer, there is possibly too much choice.

      Gigglebug - you might the only retailer I'm aware of that offers such a service, although one or two customers have asked! The reason why pretty much nobody offers such a scheme is simply that the margin on TV's are generally now so thin, that returning a 'used' TV to stock and discounting that set by even a reasonably small percentage pretty much wipes out any profit at all. Its could be that very high end sets could be sold like that, but it would potentially be horribly expensive for most retailers.

      My employer is relatively generous over returns, and during the World Cup some years back, someone noticed a number of big sets that all got returned just after the end of the Final, for various reasons, having been bought just at the start. I suspect that 'borrowing' was the best way of describing what had happened to them!

      Thats excellent advice.The best thing anyone can do is to come and look at a set. Its obviously wise to do some research first, however, buying a TV, any more than buying a suit or shoes, should not just be a paper exercise. What someone regards as wonderful, someone else just may not like. It has to fit and be comfortable.
      And even if all the reviews are saying something is a must buy, its your eyes that will be looking at it. If its good, then it will show. Then you pays your money, and takes your choice.
       
      Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
    29. PC1975

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      I love my Panasonic GT60 plasma but ... it suffers from judder with frame interpolation turned off so I have it set to mid which creates artifacting in the form of shimmer around moving objects. It's not very noticeable but is present and to my eyes is the lesser of two evils in that respect. Line bleed is also occasionally present on scrolling credits on a black screen but that's not really an issue to me as I haven't noticed it on anything else.

      It also suffers from image retention so I manage my viewing to ensure the same logo isn't on screen for hours at a time or night after night. Colour banding is also mildly present but to such a marginal extent that it doesn't bother me at all. Power consumption is higher than LCD & OLED but as another member recently pointed out, it's marginal and probably amounts to under £30 extra per year in electricity.

      Brightness wise it's fine and I have no problems whatsoever during daytime. The image quality is really good as is contrast in that it displays shadow detail very well. Colours are rich but natural looking and objects have a solidity to them that just seems to escape any LED LCD I've seen. Black levels are, at times a sheer joy to behold - they're just wonderful and at the same time never crush anything, a real treat for the eyes if you appreciate it.

      I've tried replacing it with LED LCD a number of times including some of the highest rated models around, namely Sony HX723, HX853, W905 & Samsung F8000. I gave them all a good try but just could not make what was to my eyes a step down in picture quality.

      The plasma has perfect screen uniformity and to some extent all of the LED LCDs suffered from panel banding, light bleed and clouding. The colours just weren't as rich or natural, even on the W905 with it's 'triluminous' quantum dot technology. In fact if anything the colours looked overly stretched and notably unnatural. Blue eyes looked far too piercing for example.

      The W9 also had an extremely narrow viewing angle so much so that you could see a very slight silky blueish fading in the corners when viewing straight on. Motion wasn't as good on any of the LEDs either, particularly vertical motion which suffered from slight break up on all of them. I think if anything the HX853 was the best all round performing LED I've tried. Any time I try LED and switch back to plasma one of the things that grabs me is how much smoother plasma looks in comparison. It's not as sharp but is just nice on the eyes.

      I had a good close look at a top of the range Samsung 4k LED LCD and the flat panel LG 4k Oled in Currys a couple of weeks ago and neither looked better than the GT60 to my eyes. The LED still had the traits I associate with that tech, ie lack of depth & solidity to the image and the Oled totally crushed shadow detail just above black to the extent it could hardly be made out even though all the other TVs alongside it were showing it just fine. I cycled through the picture modes and made sure additional processing was at a minimum but it made no difference, it appeared to be inherent to the panel.

      I'd like to replace my plasma with something bigger that doesn't suffer from image retention but as of yet there is nothing on the market to tempt me. For the record I've never seen any vertical banding or dse on a Panasonic plasma and I've owned 3 (S20, ST50, GT60) and a friend owns a GT30. I didn't think they were traits associated with the tech and was surprised to read that.

      That's my tuppence worth, well done if you managed to get to the end ;)

      n.b. I'm no plasma zealot or fan of something just because I own it. My observations are genuine and I'll move on to something else if I think it's better.
       
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      Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
    30. gigglebug

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      Hi there Old Bones. The shop staff definitely have the option to do it if the customer asks but it's not necessarily something that is promoted. I would guess that from the examples that I have personally seen that it tends to naturally be the higher end purchases which people want to demo anyway, the last one I saw was a Sony 65 inch 9005 model a month or so ago. They are never provided with brand new sealed stock rather shop demo items so any loss of margin will have already been accounted for. Hope that clears it up
       

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