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MXE1 and black levels

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by kwijibo, Nov 20, 2004.

  1. kwijibo

    kwijibo
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    Hi guys,

    I've looked around for the answer...and I think I still need to ask....

    I have a Pioneer MXE1..and having checked the calibration with Video Essentials I've got to say the video ( picture) performance is pretty poor. The "brightness" test shows up nothing to test against, so I assume that the plasma is not even capable of basic test signals. I cannot see the bars to the left and right. They were there on my 'old' TV.

    Is this right?


    If I add a video processr of a certain quailty, will the black levels improve? Apart from the black levels I love the picture, detailed, smooth and even good with $ky. I just want to see something better than grey when watching a dark scenes in films (most of them then)

    help...my other half wants to know why we spent the money, as do I.

    I need to better the black levels!!!
     
  2. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    I believe Pioneer are looking in to this phenomenon. Using an external scaler like a Lumagen in to the DVI or PC input will allow you to see all black and white levels correctly.

    Gordon
     
  3. MAW

    MAW
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    I take it this is on component input? I can second Gordon here, I have one on a DVDO scaler that shows that screen correctly, analogue or digital.
     
  4. kwijibo

    kwijibo
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    thanks for that. Yes it is on component input
     
  5. raydundas@bluey

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    I ahd the same problem. If I turned up my DVD players brightness I could see them, but it buggered up rest of the picture. I have Gordon coming round to add a Lumagen and calibrate and all "should" be hunky dory. I was ****** off when it happened to me as well though
     
  6. loonatic

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    Were you outputting RGB or YUV colourspace via analogue though MAW as I thought it was less to do with the actual input and more to do with the format.

    I tried my Lumagen ProHDP on a fellow forum members MXE-1 the other evening and via his SDI modded RP-82 player into the Lumagen outputting DVI to the panel using FRC mode 2 we got extreamly good results with super smooth pans and the black level/shadow detail was much improved over the straight YUV connection.

    Using the THX set-up found on some DVDs the drop shadow on the THX logo was clearly visible whereas the owner said it was not visible at all via YUV.

    Cheers, Lee
     
  7. SimonO

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    kwijibo, the difference via the Lumagen was huge... In a dark room (and a dark scene from LOTR) it went from being pretty unwatchable to looking about the best I've seen on a plasma... Blacks obviously don't get any blacker, but all the detail comes back which makes the picture appear much more 'filmic' and 3D... The FRC Mode 2 worked really well with the scaler and pans were so smooth... BUT, a scaler should be an upgrade rather than a requirement IMO... Having now seen what the plasma should do, Pioneer REALLY need to sort this out IMO...
     
  8. allygash

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    Gordon/maw,

    Any chance I could use a lumagen/other scalar with my 504hde? I read most people say no chance it'll do anything cause the media box is in the way? I hate the black levels on my 504, detail is great but dark scenes suck.... Thx for any advice. I know I should have waited for the mxe1.....


    DVD: pioneer 868 using wireworld ultra violet 5 HDMI cable...
     
  9. kwijibo

    kwijibo
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    what is FRC mode 2??? And if I need it, how do I get it?
     
  10. loonatic

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    FRC stands for Frame Rate Conversion and the MXE-1 has three modes in which it can operate.

    Mode 1, which is the standard default setting, converts both 50Hz and 60Hz sources internally to 70Hz before displaying them. This seems to work fine for conventional sources but if you want to hookup an external scaler it can cause problems such as juddering or tearing.

    Mode 2 basically turns off the internal frame rate conversion so allows 50Hz sources to be displayed at 50Hz and 60Hz to be displayed at 60Hz.

    Not too sure about mode 3 I think it's something to do with 48Hz, 24fps, source material but not 100% on that.

    Anyway...with the Lumagen ProHDP set to output native resolution at 50Hz via DVI using FRC mode 2 allows for perfectly smooth panning shots without any tearing - well not that we saw in the short time we played with it.

    To change settings you have to access the integrator menu buy holding down then DISPLAY button on the remote until info appears and then press MENU. Be careful in there though as I'm not sure what other settings it allows you to change.

    Cheers, Lee
     
  11. MAW

    MAW
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    Allygash, I think you know the answer. You can get 720p@50Hz to work, I'm not sure how much difference you will see. A definite improvement from RGB scart for sky, I'm sure. I cannot bear to watch an HDE on scart at all, drives me bonkers. Mostly cos I know it could be a brilliant product, it's not intrinsically flawed, just pants implementation.
     
  12. Loafer316

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    I can echo others comments about the brightness on the MXE-1 but the rest of the picture qulaity in terms of colour and pans is excellent!. i have the AVIA disk at home which i will try, as now i have clocked up at least 100hrs on the screen to see if there is any improvment.

    For me a dvi scaler will defo be the next upgrade in the new year. Quick question: i'm going to buy a JS Convertor for my ntl box should i get the vga or componant to be best compatible with a future scaler purchase?? or would a straight RGB output to the scaler be possible? in which case i'll get whatever is suitable for now. thxs
     
  13. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    Loafer - VGA historically gets better results, but either device would become redundant once a scaler is added. The scaler simply needs a scart - 4 RCA or 4 BNC lead for connection from a Sky box.
     
  14. kwijibo

    kwijibo
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    I found the FRC part in the menu. So what should it be set to for Sky and what for the DVD input. I will be getting a video processor after Christmas so need to know what it should be set to for now.

    The menu is very involved, is there a guide somewhere to learn what they all do, or am I best staying away! :blush:
     
  15. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Put it to FRC2 and leave alone. You'll also find that once you've entered the integrator menu all your user menu settings will have been reset to defaults and you'll have to go and check them/set them up again.......

    Gordon
     
  16. raydundas@bluey

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    Gordon, Am I ok to change the FRC on my 50MXE-1 in the meantime, before your visit.
     
  17. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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  18. Joe Fernand

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    Hello all

    We've asked Pioneer UK to have a look at what's happening when inputting Black bars via the YUV inputs - I've loaned them a Lumagen VisionDVI for reference.

    Loonatic - just a quick note re FRC2 - its 60hz >60Hz and 50Hz >100Hz; and as you say smoother than anything else on the market.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  19. kwijibo

    kwijibo
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    I have just heard from a friend that the 43mxe1 (the new one) is not a high def panel but a standard VGA rebadge of a NEC panel. Is this true?? I find that unlikely but would be interested in any thoughts
     
  20. SimonO

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    :rotfl: :suicide:
     
  21. MAW

    MAW
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    Which friend is this exactly? One who can only afford a techwood by any chance?
     
  22. kwijibo

    kwijibo
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    so (reassured) you are saying that it definately is a high def panel then? :lease:
     
  23. Joe Fernand

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    Hello kwijibo

    I think your friend may have gotten hold of the wrong end of the story.

    01. Pioneer MXE1 - these are wholly designed and manufacturer by Pioneer Plasma and both the 43" and 50" are High Def capable as they are both 768 line pixel arrays.

    02. Pioneer Plasma now wholly own NEC Plasma - including its manufacturing plants and its intellectual property.

    03. PDP-615EX - this monster is the first Pioneer/NEC model to be launched; its basically an NEC with a new bezel to make it more Consumer friendly.

    04. VGA Display - now this is where your friend may have half of the info.

    Pioneer UK will launch a 42" VGA Display in Jan 05 at a price that will put it head to head with the Panasonic PWD6 - at the discounted pricing you are seeing now!!!

    This is an NEC designed Display with some changes made by Pioneers design team.

    I just missed seeing this Display last week whilst down at Pioneer UK and it may be we now have to await its actual launch before we get to have a play.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  24. kwijibo

    kwijibo
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    and now I breathe happily once more. Thanks all :thumbsup:
     
  25. raydundas@bluey

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    I just want to say, I changed the FRC to mode 2 and what a difference. Why it does not come with this as default is obviously beyond me. Far smoother motion. I even watched football on ITV and lived to tell the tale. Thanks for the heads up on that one.
     
  26. SimonO

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    You lose picture in picture, which would be a reason for it not to be the default setting...
     
  27. raydundas@bluey

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    A sacrifice worth making. I just got upgraded to sky plus and the difference in picture quality, over my standard sky is huge. I am guessing it is the new LNB because now I have a sharper picture, with far less noise. That combined with making the FRC change has transformed the picture
     
  28. kwijibo

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    I have just watched a couple of DVDs (Shrek2 and eternal sunshine of..) on the new 43mxe1 and have to say that the blacks really are a problem. Are we all saying that a scaler will address this (to some extent) or is the panel itself to blame and nothing can be done to get some black levels
     
  29. loonatic

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    Well I got my 50MXE-1 this morning and I've been playing with it this evening :D

    I have everything connected via my Lumagen, which then connects to the MXE-1 via DVI. I've set the panel to FRC mode 2 and dropped the contrast & brightness and set the Lumagen to output 1280x768 @ 50Hz.

    Now it's not in an ideal position at the moment as it’s propped up against the wall until my wall mount arrives tomorrow and still needs more tinkering with…but from what I’ve seen so far I have no problem at all with the black level or shadow details.

    I have previously owned a 50” Panny series 6 and there is no doubting that it has far deeper blacks but from my short tests this evening it is at the expense of fine detail…especially in shadow/dark areas.

    And the MXE-1 is just so smooth which makes for a more pleasant viewing experience.

    Sky looks great and the extra smoothness again makes it more natural looking.

    Anyway…like I said its early days yet but I’m pleased with it so far.

    Cheers, Lee
     
  30. TheCrow

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    Just got my 50MXE1 four days ago and not had a lot of time to set it up yet but here is what I've noticed so far.

    My Pioneer 868 is connected using analogue component into i/p #1 (VGA).
    Playing the THX black level setup pattern off Alien I see the poor black resolution as other people have described.

    The 868 has a huge number of user picture tweaks including "black level" and "black setup", no amount of tweaking brightness or black level can correct the black problem EXCEPT if I select IRE 7.5 in the black setup. At this point I see all ten shades of black and can see the THX drop shadow clearly with brightness, black level etc all at default levels.

    As I understand it IRE 7.5 is a black reference level that is used in the USA to solve a problem they had in the early days of NTSC. Outside the US most people use IRE 0 as a black ref level.

    Could it be that Pioneer have simply designed there i/p board for IRE 7.5?

    Additionally I have very briefly tried connecting my PC via DVI into the plasma and viewing the same THX pattern. Unfortunately at the moment I am seeing the same black level problem again. So connecting digitally via DVI is not a quick fix for this issue. I hope to pursue this further when time permits.

    As I have seen reports of scalers curing this problem could it be that they are aligned to IRE 7.5?
     

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