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New Loewe Vitros: Problems or "Features"?

Discussion in 'TVs' started by zippy, Jan 21, 2002.

  1. zippy

    zippy
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    I received a new Loewe Vitros from House of Fraser last Tuesday. I bought this model because it has received nothing but praise on this forum and others, after a bitter experience with several Sony KV32FX65s over several months. However there are a few niggles which I hope are not "features". In the order of me noticing them, these are:

    1. The picture appears to be slightly brighter vertically in the centre of the screen. Admittedly, this seems to be getting better as the set burns in.

    2. The picture is not as sharp as I would expect from this TV. On DVD the sharpness, with Sharpness = 2, is worse than my old Sony. This is particulary noticable on skin tones. Again, this seems to be improving slightly with age. I realise that the tubes of the two models use different technology.

    3. When there is no AV signal on an AV channel and the blue screen is shown, the colour is not 100% pure with four large patches of noticable (red?) staining at the top and bottom, approximately 1/4 of the screen width from each side of the screen.

    4. The picture size seems very susceptible to dynamic contrast/brightness e.g. 1) If you PIP split the screen in half with teletext in the right half, the teletext noticably moves left and right as the left hand picture changes; 2) In Pan. mode the right edge of the pictures bows when a bright picture is present, but can be perfectly straight at other times; 3) In full screen mode, the ITV1 title screen (with a convenient grid!) gets bigger as the animation kicks in (i.e. I can see the ITV1 logo shift to the right).

    If these problems weren't there I would definitely say that this is the best 32" TV money can buy - even if it is a lot more money! For £1,500 (with 5 year warranty) I expect it to be perfect. I am seriously thinking of calling the engineers in to recommend a replacement. Has anyone else noticed similar "features"?
     
  2. Barry Bingham

    Barry Bingham
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    Zippy

    I have an Aconda which is technically similar to your Vitros. I too bought from House of Fraser and I obtained a replacement as the first example suffered from colour purity problems.

    Your points (1) and (4) suggest to me that your settings may be too high- especially contrast. The factory defaults (with contrast on 50) are way too high and will produce bowing on a bright image and enlarged text boxes etc. Of course every example will be a tad different but my settings are: Contrast 42, Brightness, 26, Colour 26, sharpness 2, mode normal, tint 0. I used a video essentials disc to help me in arriving at these settings and I do not experience any of the issues you report in 1 and 4.

    On (2) the Loewe produces a very different sort of picture to a Sony. I suspect any Trinitron veteran would complain that the image is too soft. However on dvd and DTT images I cannot imagine that there is any detail available in the source not shown by my Aconda. Ask yourself the same question when using DVD. The sharpness can be illusory- really good discs like Hollow Man on the Loewe are frankly flawless and full of detail but still gentle on the eye- vivid but not razor edged and harsh, i.e., conforming to Euro style ideas of what makes a good picture.

    (3) sounds like a colour purity problem. What is the set like when showing a black and white film in cine mode? Is there visible colour in one or more corners? Any tendency towards this may be made worse by the high contrast settings- so adjust those first. If still present degauss the set by turning it off at the mains and leaving it off for at least five hours- do that a couple of times.

    If you still get visible picture staining then you might have to do as I did and get a replacement set from HoF. None of these 100Hz pure flat sets are perfect- no, not even the Loewe. However its a matter of degree. My present set is closer to perfect than any other I've seen anywhere- a common judgement which probably explains the popularity of these relatively costly TVs.....

    Good Luck and let us know how you get on with adjusting the settings.
     
  3. Buckster

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    I too have a Vitros and have similar issues:

    (1) My Vitros is brighter in the middle than the edges, not normally noticeable, except if you have something like white text on a blue background, the white text in the centre, is definately 'whiter' than at the edge.

    (2) Sharpness is indeed the major issue I have with my TV, I've spoken to Loewe several times regarding this issue, and they state that they've never had any bad comments regarding Sharpness. Its hard to judge, it definately seems to be 'less' sharp, even slightly out of focus, compared to the Panasonic 32PK25 I replaced, but as Barry said, it could be just that the picture is not so hard, the detail seems to be all there, just doesn't look like it, if you know what I mean. One thing did concern me is that some parts of Gladiator did seem to be lacking in detail, especially near the end in the Colleseum.

    (3) I have staining too visible when the blue screen is displayed, and its sometime noticeable on horizontal panning. Doesn't show up on Black and White films, as different colours. Barry is this just non-uniform Brightness (ie no widescreen tube can produce a uniform brightness) or actual Colour staining ?

    I did book a service engineer through House of Fraser, but cancelled when I spoke to the engineer and he told me that Focus can be adjusted by the 'Sharpness' setting in the picture menu ? Er, no, AND if no fault was found then you pay the call out charge, which is about 60 pounds !

    Buckster.
     
  4. Barry Bingham

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    Buckster

    The "blue screen" phenomenon is probably variable brightness. I have occasionally noticed slight darkening on part of the blue screen. Its not marked and does not affect visible picture quality at all. But if you had colour purity issues you would have colour staining visible on b&w as well as sky and pale parts of colour pictures. If your set delivers clean monochrome - even at the edges and corners- on black and white films in cine or zoom your sets purity is AOK.

    I don't think theres a CRT around that isn't brighter in the middle than at the edges. As to whether its a problem is a matter of fact and degree. But the real issue is are you aware of it when watching TV as against watching blue screens? I might sometimes feel that white text is marginally less white near the edges but its not really something thats so obvious as to affect enjoyment- or even be noticed by an ordinary viewer (as against an anxious owner!)

    The sharpness thing is difficult to comment on. It may well be that your set requires service adjustment by a Loewe technician- if you really can pinpoint missing detail which isn't down to poor source or DVD player. A marked brightness variation and out of focus pictures might go together. Jacking up the sharpness is no solution- IME it just spoils the picture with added noise. But consider carefully before calling out the service guy...

    My set delivers its softest images on analogue terrestial- the image is very soft compared to my previous Panasonic. But DVD and good digital terrestial tv (eg, Film 4) is much sharper and full of detail. With the (50Hz) Panny the difference between analogue and digital BBC2 for example was negligible. With the Loewe its very obvious. With the Loewe's digital picture substantially better than the Panny- in fact, gorgeous!. On analogue you could argue that for detail the Panny's picture was, flicker apart, somewhat better. But (I still see the Panny which is at a friends) search for missing detail on the Aconda's analogue picture and its not missing at all!

    There is an acclimatisation process if you've come to Loewe from a Japanese brand- especially Sonys. But once through it- and IF your sets OK there is no missing detail- honest! Friends viewing of Hollow Man, Starship Troopers, 2001 and many other DVDs on the Aconda have resulted in instant conversions to the Loewe cause. A friend from Singapore recently stayed with me and expressed himself as amazed by the Loewe- he felt that the picture was so involving and yet did not hurt his eyes as much as the Sonys he and his family had at home.....
     
  5. Buckster

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    Barry,

    Thankyou for your information, very useful. I am fairly sure that some of the Sharpness issue is going from my Panasonic TV which had a very hard picture to this one. I'll tell you what is slightly odd, and thats that sometimes things that shouldn't be in focus, are, hard to explain, but something in the background, seems more in focus and more detail, than the object that is in the front of view and that should be in-focus. Strange ?

    I may go to a local shop to compare with another Loewe Vitros/Aconda to see if its the same. I went to HoFraser to compare, and they didn't have any of the Loewes connected to a DVD player, so I couldn't compare. Do you know if its possible to call out a Loewe engineer rather than a local 'TV service centre' person that HoFraser send out ? To be honest I would pay 100 quid for a Loewe engineer to come round if they would 'Tweak' the TV so to speak. Any ideas ?

    Thanks again, Mark.
     
  6. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    zippy, with regard to your Vitros, I would have the engineer bring his degausser to your set. It is quite normal for a new flat screen tv to have the colour staining you notice on blue screen muting.
    The auto degaussing is not always capable of removing them, but firstly, make sure no problem loudspeakers are nearby, as these cause the same patches. For example, my Mission 753 floorstanders are not magnetically shielded, and cannot be placed closer than four feet towards my tv, without making the colour patches you describe. A degausser is briefly waved in front of your tv, no more to it, perfect blue muting.
    My only other comment would be that a Vitros hasn't the sharpness of my previous Sony KV32FX60, in particular, I notice it with live BBC weather reports, titles on DVDs and on screen credits. However, the Loewe grows on you, till you prefer it's more filmlike display, I wouldn't say softer, the detail is there but perhaps edge lines are not over-emphasised. Also try reducing the sharpness in your picture settings to minimum. I guess you are utilising both RGB connections.
    All sets have their quirks, even Loewe, if you need the sharpness, then in my experience it means Sony Wegas or Toshiba 32ZP18P or Toshiba 32ZD09BG, tie-lines, slanted pictures etc notwithstanding, Philips 32PW9525 or Panasonic 32PL/PB range next best.
    Personally, I would just have your Vitros degaussed and be content.
     
  7. dbloor

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    For what its worth I have an Aconda and I don't recognise any of your post.

    Maybe I'm lucky?

    D
     
  8. Barry Bingham

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    Buckster

    Intrigued by your variable focus comments. I don't see how an image not in focus on the source an be rendered in focus by the tv- even if its a Loewe :). But the impression might arise from the distinctive "3D" effect that Loewe sets seem to deliver- with characters seeming to stand proud from the screen- even on lower contrast settings. This is what makes the picture so involving- in spite of the fact that (or is it because?) the edge lines are not, as gringottsdirect aptly describes it, "over emphasised" as they would be on a Trinitron.

    As for getting a Loewe engineer its not something I've had to do as I am very happy with my replacement set. But you could e-mail helpline@loewetv.co.uk . I have found them (usually John Chavner) helpful- I mailed them while dealing with HoF and their responses convinced me I was right to seek a replacement for my first set.

    I seem to recall a post here some months ago from someone with the phone number of a Loewe (ie Linn) technician?....
     
  9. zippy

    zippy
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    Barry, and others,

    Thanks for your comments regarding my new set. I tried some black and white footage on DVD (that Kubrick collection comes in handy!) and I didn't notice any colour staining - I'm convinced it's just brightness variation. It seems more subdued now I've had the set running a few hours, especially after tinkering the settings to values Contrast=39, Brightness=25, Colour=26.

    Watched Phantom Menace in full last night, after playing with the THX optimiser. I must say I think I agree with you about the sharpness/detail issue. TV spec. is not high resolution anyway, and in essence Sony et al just over-contrast edge information to give the impression of a more detailed picture. What you get on the Loewe is the original contrast of the film. Once you appreciate the subtlety of variation in the image, there's no going back. I'm well hooked!

    I'm still slightly concerned about the picture size/bowing issue for high contrast/rapidly changing images. Without this the geometry is near perfect, apart from a slight horizontal bowing at the top of the screen. I'll give it another couple of days testing to see if there are any real problems for concern.

    Thanks again

    Zippy
     
  10. Lowrider

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    I have the Vitros, without any of the problems you mention, if you still have the different colours, redish, it could be speakers not properly shielded, to degauss, just disconnect the TV from mains for about 20 minutes.

    I sujest, if you don´t already, to connect the DVD from its component video outputs to the SCART3 on the TV, so you can enjoy Proscan, big improvement from RGB...
     
  11. Buckster

    Buckster
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    Ooops, sorry, duff post, deleted what I was going to say as I released that someone had already answered my question.
     
  12. oldguy

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    hi gang
    would just like to say thankyou to you guys for your informative
    posts on loewe televisions
    my vitros will arrive next monday
    regards oldguy
     

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