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Is there really a 'hack' to reduce the flicker on the Series 5 Panasonic screen?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Jon Weaver, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
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    In the following thread, the rumor of their being a 'hack' to put the screen into a mode which will reduce the flicker (And reduce the colour depth) has come to light again:

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=85439

    Is this really the case? If so, why can't we have this information (offically or not). Last time this descussion came about, the people involved stated that they were looking into it and would advise once they have the information. But this simply never happened.

    I know that this will put the screen "out of its standard specifications", but is that really a concern if it will solve the flicker problem! If I ever have to request support from Panasonic/Toshiba, I would simply put the screen back into its default mode.

    At the end of the day, we arn't ment to be going into the service menu, but people do, so why can't we know about this 'hack'?

    I have recently had a loan Series 4 for 2 months and I am now back to a Series 5. The Series 5 definitly flickers more than the 4, but surprisingly the 'Technical Manager' at Toshiba (who I asked about the problem) have never heard of this complaint before.

    Please someone, If there is a 'hack', Please tell us!.. I just want to try it out, then its my decision whether I run the screen in "Flicker - Max Colour Depth" or "Less Flicker - Lower Colour Depth" mode!

    If there is a mode like this available, it seems a shame that we can't get some use from it!!!
     
  2. stigdu

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    I too would like to know how to get into the service menu on the Panny series 5 plasma TV.

    I didn't have this information when I bought my 32" Toshiba CRT TV either, I had to get it from the internet via google, but once I did, I managed to sort out the annoying convergence issue PDQ!
     
  3. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
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    Info about the service menu is readily available (and there isn't much of interest in their, unlike the Sony CRT range).

    I am specifially interested in a way of converting the Series 5 so that its less flickery.

    This 'hack' as its been called was hinted at (in the future tense) many months ago, but nothing ever came of it.

    But now, 2 prominent members of this forum have actually referred to it (in the past tense), I am wondering the info hasn't been made to us!
     
  4. Dixie

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    If I was U I wouldn't mess around with anything Jon. Just leave things alone.Stop looking for this flicker and it will go away.Messing about in those areas we are NOT meant to be in will only leave to you having more talks with that poor Technical Manager or more loan sets or more... etc etc.
    I trust you are now happy with the plasma you now have(apart from this flicker)so why not just sit back and enjoy a fantastic bit of kit.
     
  5. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
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    Hi Dixie,

    I do love my Plasma.. However, I am succeseptable to 'flicker' and if there is anything that 'could' be done to improve it, then I am bound to want it.

    Now I have spent 2 months with a near flicker-free Series 4, I can see the flicker on the Series 5 more than ever.

    If there was no solution to this, then I am MORE than happy.. But when someone says that there is a way to change the way that series 5 works, but won't say how, I am bound to want to know. .Thats just human nature!

    So.. My questions still stands.. If there IS a mode which can reduce the flicker on the series 5, why can't we be told, so that we can change it if we chose and take the risk of invalidating our warranty?
     
  6. TrickyDicky

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    Hi Jon,
    I'm still researching my Plasma purchase and did a search for flicker on the US AVSforum. This post came up which quotes our very own Gordon!:

    Actually, I am now convinced (or nearly so) that the reason there is such contrast in flicker reports between here in the US vs. overseas is due almost entirely to 60hz vs 50hz.

    This comment by an ISF calibrator from another forum in the UK - pretty much summed it up:

    "quote:Originally posted by Gordon F
    I have eliminated flicker on 5 series units by using a scaler set to 60Hz refresh. (has added benefit of superior de-interlacing and video decoding too)"

    So now 'most' everyone here state-side can relax and enjoy their displays.


    So is the flicker only on NTSC material or do you see it with PAL too? The series 5 is loking very tempting with its recent price drop (due to series 6 release I guess). The Nex guys have the WD5 at £2175+VAT with free delivery!

    Rick
    Hopefully Gordon might chip in
     
  7. Jackass

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    If Gordon is correct then the flicker is only on PAL, this being the case then would a freeview PC card like the nebula electronics be useful and can you convert the PAL 50 Hz to 60 or even 100 Hz with a HTPC?

    Steve.
     
  8. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
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    I see the 'flicker' no matter what material I am watching (50hz/60hz PAL/NTSC)

    Don't get me wrong.. When I originally got my screen, I found the flicker very distracting, but after a few weeks I became used to it and no longer find it a problem. It certainly wouldn't put me off of buying another Series 5 and if you can get one for £2175+VAT GO FOR IT!

    Even when I got my Series 5 back, after having the 4 for two months, the flicker didn't bother me as much as I thought it would.

    Its there and it would be nice if I could reduce it, but this suggestion of there being a hack has obviously got me interested.
     
  9. Jackass

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    Were is this damn hack to reduce the flicker?
    Someone called L*** at AVS***s knows it so please PM the details to me. ;)

    I didn't buy the display from any internet dealer and like Jon says at the end of the day the customer should have the choice as to weather they wish to take the chance and face the consequences if they f*** up.

    Like Jon i'm frustrated and a bit pieved as to why folk don't share there knowledge so that us fellow HT enthusiast's can enjoy our hobby even more and not be subjected to something there not happy with.

    I'll get off my podium now :D

    Steve
     
  10. Syberyan

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    Hack Hack? If it really exists then please people share it with us!

    My panny has been flickering for a couple of weeks now and I sure don't get used to it. Observations so far:
    * 50Hz PAL is the worst, just can't watch it :suicide:
    * 60HZ NTSC is much better, less noticable flicker. Enjoyable pic.
    * > 60HZ using PC & VGA input. Doesn't make much of a difference compared to NTSC. Even at 100Hz, there's still flicker.

    flicker hack needed!!

    btw, I own the 42PHW model. Sometimes I read the flicker is only on the 42PW model. Well I can confirm they all got the flickeritis ...
     
  11. MAW

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    I've found the flicker effect much less noticeable with prog. scan DVD, and more with a vga converter and PAL TV. Taken to using S-video converters for TV, but I'm happy to be told that's just subjective c****! The prog. scan thing I'm much more certain of. I do not see how a simple hack of any kind will stop the flicker. You could probably help it very much by picking up a cheap iScan pro now they're going out of fashion with the ultra around, try ivojo.
     
  12. Syberyan

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    I don't see how progressive scan can improve large area flicker as a result of 50Hz scanning. Prog. scan is meant to reduce "line flicker", which is something different IMHO. Can someone straighten this out?

    I'm looking into a solution to reduce the flicker:
    * prog. scan DVD player
    * lumagen or similar scaler @ 75Hz with interlaced DVD input

    Which would give the best results?
     
  13. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
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    I just saw in the thread about the Series 6 Panel that Liam owns a Series 5.

    I would be REALLY interested in finding out whether he runs his with "standard specificaions" or whether he has "hacked" his!
     
  14. Joe Fernand

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    Hello all

    The 'hack' is not a hack - its an operational mode that Panasonic have alluded to that halves the maximum contrast and brightness but reduces flicker on 50Hz PAL signals.

    So far Panasonic UK have not given out the info as to how to kick the displays into this mode - one line of thought being that running the display in this mode is outwith the stated specifications so could cause other issues.

    I tried yesterday and I'll try again to get the info on how to get a PWD5 (or PW5B) into this alternative mode.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  15. Cummo

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    I own the Australian version of the 5 series panasonic SD plasma. In Australia we have the same problem with the flickering 50Hz telecasts. I have spent the last few days on the US avs forum web site trying to find answers to the problem.
    My short term get around has been to purchase a video to VGA converter from grandtec.com.tw (Approx. $200 Aussie $) which provides a 1024x768,75Hz feed to the RGB input on the panny.
    The unit is a stand alone box with composite & s-video feeds & a PC pass-through if you are the RGB for A set top box.The unit comes with a remote.
    Anything connected through the composite & s-video ports provides a rock solid 75Hz picture with little loss in PQ. The unit also has a wide range of adjustments including colour, hue, contrast, brightness etc. The one drawback is with fast action scenes (i.e. Glen McGrath running in & clean bowling the English opener) the picture is slightly more blurred than the standard panny picture. The unit has a sports mode to cover this.
    The other advantage is this unit can be connected to any CRT or
    LCD monitor to provide a high quality television set.
    Am interested if any other sloution, so will watch this post.
     
  16. Joe Fernand

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    Hello all

    So who wants to be the guinea pig? - I've only got boxed PWD5's here today (priced to go - as they say) so I dont have a unit to play with.

    I now have the method for reducing flicker - though it does reduce grey scale to 512; and yes you do have to be careful as you can mess up the panel big time.

    I'm off out now so if someone wants to have a play then I can mail the info to them later tonight.

    So drop me a PM and I'll send someone the info on what to adjust in the Engineering Mode settings.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  17. Syberyan

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    Anyone been able to test this yet?
    Joe, do you know if the procedure is the same for the HD panel?
     
  18. Geeseman

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    Hi,
    Do you really consider the flickering to be that bad on the HD unit?
    I am just about to purchase the HD unit and this talk of flickering is making me uneasy.

    From what joe says, setting the plasma to eliminate flicker reduces the greyscale to 512. This appears to be the same thing that the series 6 does when it receieves a PAL signal.
    I think i'd rather put up with the flicker, although I've looked at the HD42 quite a bit and I don't really see any flickering on it...
     
  19. StooMonster

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    IMHO "flicker" with PAL material is not really noticeable -- unless one is too close to screen, and/or there are large areas of bright colour like white (e.g. snow scenes).

    99.999% of the time, not noticeable. Can't say anyone whos seen my screen working has commented on any kind of flicker.

    When using with PC, I have set to 1366x768 pixels at 85Hz and that is rock solid picture.

    StooMonster
     
  20. Syberyan

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    Geeseman,

    The flicker is a subjective thing. Most people are not bothered by it, they might even never notice. On the other hand there are people that are sensitive to it, like me, and I can't enjoy my panel as long as I don't find a solution.
    PAL material is indeed the worst. I see large area flicker on all bright areas on screen. It doesn't have to be white. A shot of the sky or just a yellow wall will flicker. E.g. some talkshow with a bright background drives me crazy.
    It wouldn't bother me on a 200euro tv, but i paid a lot of money for the plasma and expect complete satisfaction.
    And yes I demoed the panel but strangely enough I noticed it much less and it didn't bother me then.

    So I'd say have a good look with different material before going for it.

    cheers,
    Chris
     
  21. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
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    Joe..

    I am game to take a look.. I will drop you a PM and if it looks easy enough I will give it a bash.

    Jon
     
  22. midlander

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    :boring:

    Or like Greenwood, Tindall or Cohen running in tries against the Wallabies.:p
     
  23. Joe Fernand

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    Chris

    The 'flicker' issue is only with the TH-42PWD5BX or TH-42PW5B or Toshiba clones.

    The TH-42PHD5BX and TH-50PHD5BX use a different system to the Series 5 SD unit and do not suffer the same very obvious flicker on PAL material.

    There is nothing in a PHD unit to be 'reset' to eliminate any flicker you are seeing.

    I must say that having seen the new PWD6BX I'd be tempted to hang off and get a PHD6 in a couple of months time.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  24. Syberyan

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    Joe, I'm shocked! :eek:

    The screen I've got is a TH42PHW5EX.
    If you are saying that it shouldn't flicker, I'm going to pay my dealer a little visit. Maybe there's a problem with the panel, and that could explain why I didn't notice obvious flicker during the demo.

    Or could there be a difference with the BX model you mention?

    Chris
     
  25. StooMonster

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    BX means that it's a UK official plasma, I think you'll find that EX is another European country's official plasma.

    StooMonster
     
  26. wattsj

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  27. Joe Fernand

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    Chris

    To clarify on the Panasonic model numbering as there shouldn't be a W and an H in the same model number.

    TH-42PWD5(BX) - 852x480 pixels - uses what Panasonic call Single Scan technology which gives you flicker on PAL sources.

    TH-42PHD5(BX) - 1024x768 pixels - uses what Panasonic call Dual Scan technology which gives you no (or very little) flicker on PAL sources.

    As StooMonster says if your panel has EX instead of BX then its not an official Panasonic UK sourced unit and your supplier has possibly bought it from a distributor who's importing European sourced stock.

    wattsj - I should go back and edit the earlier post.

    I was trying to say to geeseman that I'd hang off with a PHD5 until the PHD6 comes along as the PWD6 is a big step forward from the PWD5 and hopefully they've achieved similar results with the PHD6.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  28. Syberyan

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    thanks for the info Joe, but it really says TH-42PHW5 on my panel.
    I'm from Belgium btw, so that explains the EX, and maybe also the PHW instead of PHD.

    It's hard to believe my panel has dual scan. I just watched a movie in NTSC which generates little flicker.
    However, when switching back to cable TV afterwards, the difference is huge.
    It couldn't have anything to do with the tuner could it?

    Anyway, I'm considering getting rid of the tuner (hopefully my dealer wants it back), get one of those lumagen vision boxes and hook a dvd recorder to it. And hopefully I'll finally watch my PAL DVD's (and cable) in peace!
     
  29. Geeseman

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    Thanks Joe. From what I see through, there isn't too much difference between the series 5 and series 6 units. They have more connectivity etc, but the image quality won't be that much better. Besides, cost-wise the series 5 are cheaper now, and I think that the HD model would be more expensive and what i can get the series 5 for and the price difference isn't worth the improvements in the 6 series compared to 5...
    regards
     
  30. Joe Fernand

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    Chris

    Now why didn't I guess - you have a Silver bezel on your 1024x768 display.

    That model is not on sale here in the UK and I was not thinking 'out of the box' - as they say in marketing!

    I'd definateley give the TU600 tuner the old heave ho - especially on the HD panel.

    If your PAL source has SCART RGB out I'd try a JS Technology RGB2YUV converter to start with - as your going to need one anyway if you want to install a Lumagen Vision in the system.

    Best regards

    Joe
     

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