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LCD picture quality thoughts

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs Forum' started by Kilburn, Jul 28, 2005.

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  1. Kilburn

    Kilburn
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    I have been looking to buy an LCD TV for a few months now, and have done a lot of comparison of what is out there, as well as having bought one model and sent it back because I wasn’t happy with the PQ. What I have been looking for is a TV that gives excellent PQ with current broadcasts, but is also HD ready.

    One conclusion that I’m reaching is that I haven’t seen any LCD TV of 26” or above, that’s PQ I was really happy with when viewing ‘normal’ 576 line TV pictures from the kind of distance that I do in my living room (2-3 metres). To a certain extent this is also true of the large widescreen CRTs that I have looked at when viewed from this range.

    The closest LCD set that I’ve seen to producing flawless 576 line images is the Sony KLV26 HG2, I assume due to its WEGA Engine processing, but I need a PC input so its no good to me. Even with picture processing such as WEGA Engine or Pixel Plus, no 32” LCD I have seen looks great at a couple of meters viewing distance.

    However, I have thought that from the same distance, 23” displays do appear to give much better PQ when viewing normal 576 line images.

    As I will be using the TV mainly for viewing normal TV, at least for the next couple of years, I came to the conclusion that a good 23” LCD would suit my purposes best. After ruling out all the sets with no PC connections (bye bye Sony and Panasonic :( ), I first settled on the Phillips 23pf9956. However, this set does not support HD and is based on a pretty old panel, so when the Samsung LE23R41B came out, I decided that it could be a better bet. Sadly, although the Samsung has component inputs, so I assume is HD compatible, unlike its bigger 26” and 32” brothers, it has no HDMI input. This seemed like a very strange omission.

    Most recently, I have started to hear that the new Sony range is due out imminently. The new ‘S’ series Sony KLVS23A10 looked to be just the thing, but then I read in the press release that for the European market models, only 26” and above sets will have HDMI. Why??

    It seems that the view in the industry is that sets below 26” do not need to be HD compatible.

    This is borne out by a scientific study in BBC research white paper that I discovered (http://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/whp/whp-pdf-files/WHP092.pdf ).

    This indicates that on a 23” screen from 2.7 metre distance, only 20% of a sample of testers found the resolution of 576 line ‘standard TV’ images gave inadequate resolution, and required 720 line HD images. This proportion rose to 40% with a 26” screen, while over 60% of viewers of a 32” screen found that they required 720 line or better resolution. The other conclusion that seems to be drawn is that screens of 32” or bigger are too large to display normal 576 line TV pictures without showing up their lack of resolution to the viewer, while 26” is on the borderline.

    So, the outcome of all of this is that it would seem that my quest for a TV that is great now, but will also be able to take full advantage of HD when it arrives, seems doomed to failure. I have decided that I will just buy a 23” LCD now that has some HD capability (i.e. component inputs) - either the Samsung or the new Sony (if it is reasonably priced), and then live with the fact that when HD arrives in earnest in a couple of years, I will probably want to trade up.
     
  2. David Mackenzie

    David Mackenzie
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    Very good question. Sony seem to love to screw Europe around. I have the KLV26HG2 and agree with you, it's excellent - but oh guess what, Sony decided that us Europeans didn't need the DVI connector so they took it off and gave us SCART instead :mad:

    As for BBCs research - sorry to dismiss it so quickly but, I hate reading that kind of thing from a corporation that struggles to produce watchable image quality (compared to all but the shopping channels) on Freeview. Nevertheless, putting that aside, I find it hard to believe that 3 inches make all the difference. The people selected were probably mainly average Joes who wouldn't notice the difference, unlike people who read a forum like this - people who are more likely to buy an expensive top of the range LCD TV in the first place. I agree totally with you - there's HD enthusiasts out there that want to watch it on smaller screens. Did they never even consider viewing distance?

    Edit: that paper was good reading though. I hope though that results like that don't play any part in Sony's decisions. If the panel is small enough and the Euro version is crippled enough, I'd be tempted just to import it.
     
  3. danvitale

    danvitale
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    Source material quality and viewing distance - two key factors that revolve around buying LCD TVs.

    Dont buy a large screen if youre going to sit close to it... and dont expect great a great quality picture if youre going to be using Scart.

    LCDs shows up source material quality, not vice versa.
     
  4. Kilburn

    Kilburn
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    I imagine that Sony and Samsung probably so similar research themselves, and if that research has come to the same conclusions, then it is very likely that it is the reason why HDMI is omitted from panels smaller than 26".

    After all, if 'only' 20% would notice the difference, why bother?


    As you say, Lyris - message for manufacturers: That 20% are probably the people who want to buy your expensive, high spec TVs!!


    Sadly, the idea of importing the US version Sony is not a goer, because although it has two HDMI inputs, it has no scarts - and I need at least one for my freeview box.
     
  5. David Mackenzie

    David Mackenzie
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    Not necessarily. Does your Freeview box support the output of an S-Video (Y/C) signal? If so, then all you need is an inexpensive adapter and feed it into the US sets' S-Video input. (This is exactly the reason I got into Freeview in the first place - but at the last minute ordered the European model instead). The quality of the processing on the WEGA sets is so good, that an S-Video signal looks very nearly as good as an RGB over SCART signal.

    BTW, which of the US Sonys has 2 HDMI inputs?
     

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