LCD TV artefacts - help me understand please!


Novice Member
Hi all

I'm looking to replace an old CRT TV, and have tried unsuccessfully to buy a properly working "refurbished" one. So I'm looking at the possibility of buying a new 32" LCD instead (that's the upper limit on screen size I could accommodate).

But I have a problem. When I view them in shops, even the very best ones according to the reviews etc (Sony 32V2000, Toshiba WLT66/68) look awful on Standard Def TV. Since I won't be getting HD reception for years to come, the SD quality is of prime importance.

What particularly bothers me is the kind of "ghosting" that appears all the way round channel logos and text etc which I can still see even if I stand 8-10ft away (which is about my home viewing distance).

Could someone please explain what's going on? On my home Freeview receiver (Topfield 5800) I generally only see this kind of ghosting on the extremely low bitrate channels (eg ITV4) or on Football from ITV. I don't notice it on BBC channels, including CBeebies.

Since the effect does occasionally appear on the worst Freeview channels at home, I'd put it down to an MPEG2 low-bitrate artefact, but then I don't understand why I would see it much worse on other channels in the shops than at home. I know their RF distribution is usually terrible, but I don't understand how this would introduce digital artefacts like this - I would expect maybe a bit of noise, loss of focus etc instead.

So, is it something inherent in the LCD sets themselves that produce this ghastly ghostly effect? And is it what magazine reviews refer to as "halo-ing"? If I bought an LCD and took it home would it only show these effects to the same extent as my CRT does, or would it look as terrible as in the shops?

And, if I spend nearly £1000 on a TV, and when I get it home it looks worse than my old £150 CRT, can I take it back? Comet told me I can't.

Sorry for the long-winded post, I hope someone can help me please! :lease:



Well-known Member
A couple of things

LCD flat screens are always set up in the shops to give a brilliant (i.e. full on) picture under shop lighting. The contrast will be set to max, the brightness to very high, and the backlight (the light tube that makes the screen work) to max

At home, most of these settings will be turned down to suit the ambient lighting in your room and the set will produce a very much better picture. The halo you talk about, in a good well adjusted set, will be absent

Secondly, most displays in most retailers will be showing a dvd specially made to demonstrate the sets high definition performance. As you note, the incoming aerial signals are usually poor and will give rubbish standard definition pictures from freeview or analogue tv

Some retailers take a little more trouble. For instance John Lewis usually have reasonable signals on their aerial systems and its often possible to get the remote, find an anlogue or freeview signal and turn down the contrast and brightness on the set. Some independent retailers do the same. John Lewis also have a 28day take it back policy. They won't be best pleased about it, but they will do it, assuming you've been careful to keep the packaging etc in pristine condition so that they can sell the set to someone else. Other on line sellers may change a set as well. If you trawl this forum you'll find who will. And who won't

With a good aerial and or sky dish you will get a good picture on a lcd flat screen. With a high def signal or dvd the picture can look stunning on a top brand set. With standard def analogue or digital the picture can be exceptionally good. As good as crt but with twice the lines

I'm more than happy with my flat screen. Don't be put off by rubbish displays in some retail chains


Novice Member
What particularly bothers me is the kind of "ghosting" that appears all the way round channel logos and text etc which I can still see even if I stand 8-10ft away (which is about my home viewing distance).
Do you mean that it almost looks like there's a glowing edge around logos/text etc? If so, the Toshiba WLT68 lets you pretty much eliminate it by turning down the sharpness control to -50. This has been one of my biggest complaints with LCDs, and the Toshiba is finally an LCD where you can get rid of it without completely blurring the image.

For what it's worth, I use a TF5800 too, and I think it looks fantastic on the Toshiba - I've not been happy with how it looked on any other LCD, even the BRAVIAs.

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