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New Panasonic 50PHW6, My impressions and questions.

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by rscott4563, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Yes this is another one of those help me setup my plasma threads, sorry..

    Questions at bottom of post..

    I'll first give a little run down of my initial impressions:

    Wow was the first thing I thought, it was bigger than I imagined, bigger than it looked in demos and in store, even though I'd measured the size against the wall it still suprised me in person.

    Heres a link to my original thread with pictures of its arrival and inital setup.
    And heres a link to my "get your plasmas out" thread.

    I got it from Ken (Ivojo) who was great to deal with and provided a great service, well recommended to anyone looking for a new purchase, but also lots of thanks to Joe (@ TMF) in particular for all his help.

    It came with just the scart board (I didn't actually want it but it comes free so I'm not complaining!) and I'm using the built in PC input, all of my sources go through my Lumagen Vision, but I also take the passthrough RGB from my JS-rgb2s-video converter directly to the scart input board. This lets me compare NTL (scart) with NTL via Lumagen RGBHV, I can even do a split screen of both at the same time, and to my suprise the direct scart connection is as good as the Lumagen connection (admittedly I haven't setup the Lumagen at all yet, but it is doing the deinterlacing).
    I'm sitting approx 8.5 feet from the screen and this I was told by many would be too close, especially with SD sources, well I can say definitively that this is not too close, I'm using the output of my Tivo (which degrades the NTL signal slightly) and it looks great even with channels like Disc H&L or UK Gold.

    Initial DVD performance is stunning, going through the Lumagen but not setup yet, so I've got very high hopes for what it will be like when its been properly setup and calibrated. I've got a very good component to vga cable and so will be trying the direct DVD to plasma connection to compare once everything is setup.

    Black levels are really good, although not pure black so I think I made the right choice over the Pioneer, as if the blacks were any lighter I think it would bother me.

    The only thing thats annoying me at the moment is the noise, this is a combiniation of the PSU noise and the fan noise, the fan noise is the most annoying, its not very loud but its the tone of it that makes it noticeable, why on earth they couldn't fit two good quality silent fans to a £5000+ display baffles me, I've bought completely silent fans for my PC for less than a £5, has anyone had a go at replacing them, or are they meant to turn off when its not hot (I could turn the heating off to try and get them to turn off?).

    Anyway I'll be back with updates to my findings as I get some more time with my new toys! :D

    Now back to my questions...

    I've tried searching but can't really find what I'm looking for, so...

    My equipment is as listed in my signature, I'm feeding the Lumagen with DVD & XBOX via component and NTL/Tivo via s-video and then outputting to the plasma with RGBHV via the PC input.

    Hopefully StooMonster, Joe (TMF), Grodon, Jase (I know you said you were ordering a panny 6 and lumagen, have you got it yet?), Loonatic (Lee), and anyone else who has a panny or lumagen or both will be able to help.

    Heres a brief run down of my initial questions:

    1) How do I get the plasma to display what signal its receiving, i.e. the resolution, I can get the V & H refresh rates displayed but not the actual resolution?

    2) What would be a good guide line for my initial contrast, brightness, sharpness, mode, powersaving settings etc?

    3) When inputting a signal using the Lumagen what would I set it at for standard Pal, 575/576/625 etc?

    4) I know its going to vary person/setup to person/setup but what have people found to be the best input resolution/refresh for DVD and Sky/NTL from the Lumagen?

    5) How do you calibrate contrast using DVE Pal on a plasma, with my CRT it was at the highest level before blooming occured on the white box, but with the plasma there is no blooming no matter how high it goes?

    6) Anyone got any information on some of the Lumagen settings which aren't covered in the manual, such as genlocking, macrovision count offset, etc. Is there a complete list of menus and there uses?

    7) Anyone got any information on any special menus on the plasma, i.e. ones which would tell me the incoming signal details, hours used etc?

    Thats about all for now!


    But I'm sure I'll be back to add more as I get more into the setup process, I will be getting Gordon in to calibrate but I'll be waiting till I've completed my setup for the forseeable future, probably be adding a DVI input from either a HTPC or a new DVD player in the next 2 months so will wait till then to get everything calibrated together.

    Thanks in advance for all your help, it really will be appreciated.

    Cheers

    Ryan :smashin:
     
  2. Jasonjo

    Jasonjo
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    Ryan,

    Looking great...I too am over the moon with my recent Panny PWD6 purchase :D

    I was amazingly suprised with the picture from NTL when using the JS RGB2VGA converter and a good mains block filter - so much so that I cannot really see any improvement when using the IScan Ultra.

    DVD is amazing though, glad I splashed out on BetterCables cabling now!! :) Never realised the Denon 3800 could put out such a top picture...it was wasted on my 32" CRT!!!

    JJ
     
  3. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Definitely echo your comments, I'm using a lot of good cabling including a 1m Bettercables VGA cable (100 Quid!), Supra AV3, QED Sqart RGB only 1m, Liberty custom made component cables (soon to be upgraded to Mark Grant cables) which will soon be relagated to the Xbox and lots of other quite expensive cables, sometimes it shocks me just how much I'm spent on wire!

    What sort of mains conditioner are you using and does it make a noticeable difference? I've been interested in upgrading the power cabling on my important equipment, plasma/dvd/amp/ntl, but haven't found a resonable cost solution, the RA stuff is just too expensive. Ideally I'd like a 6/8 way extension block with built in filtering and screening to run everything off and then upgrade individual mains cables bit by bit after that.
    I've been looking at the RA Silencer Block and a RA Power Cord but at £280 its a bit more than I'd want to spend, any other suggestions?
    I was also considering a main conditioner from RA as they're only £35 to plug into a spare socket on my current extension cable but I'm unsure of whether they work?

    Cheers

    Ryan
     
  4. Jasonjo

    Jasonjo
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    Ryan,

    I use a Sound Fantastic mains block...comes in 4/6/8 version ranging from £70-£90.

    Bought mine from www.leconcepts.com as they were the cheapest I could find inc delivery. Turned up within 2 days, no probs.

    Check out http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=119145 for a link.

    Haven't done an actual A/B with it. TBH I bought it more for protection than anything else, but I do seem to get very good picture from all sources, much better than I saw when I demo'd the screen. However, I am also using very good cables (BetterCables) and the JS Tech RGB2VGA, all of which adds up to getting the very best signal possible to the screen.

    The way I looked at it was that £80 to protect six components including a 3k plasma, a 1k DVD, a 1.5k amp etc was worth it. I know you can buy surge protectors much cheaper from belkin etc, but if the Sound Fantastic fitered for a better quality supply, which helped picture even a marginal amount, then it is probs worth it to get the best out of my system....

    Cheers

    JJ
     
  5. Jase

    Jase
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    Ryan

    Still waiting for my Panny and Lumagen to be picked up and brought over to Spain. Gordon has calibrated it and set the Lumagen to output 720p @ 59.94Hz for NTSC and 720p @ 75Hz for PAL.

    Your plasma has a higher native resolution and can also accept a 1080p signal according to Ivojo's site so might be worth trying that from the Lumagen to see what results you get. :)

    With regards to power cables, I'm using some that Mark Grant made for me a while ago, complete with silver plated wattgates. He also made me up a 6 way extension block (euro sockets) based on an Olson block. He was also looking into mains filters but I don't know if that ever came to fruition.
     
  6. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    No one want to offer any advice?
     
  7. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Just to update my initial findings regarding the noise of the plasma, I now don't think it is the fans making the most irritating sound, its actually the PSU, although the fans do make some noise its not as intrusive as the humming PSU noise. :mad:
    Anyone got any idea of how to reduce it or has anyone had a swap out due to noise??

    Cheers

    Ryan
     
  8. loonatic

    loonatic
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    The PSU in my unit also makes a slight buzzing noise but it can only be heard from close up. From my viewing position it is as good as silent.

    I was worried about PSU noise before I got mine as my previous 433HDE Pio made an awfull noise from it's PSU which changed pitch/intensity depending on the brightness of the displayed image.

    As for your other questions I can't really be that much help as I use an iScan for my SKY+ and feed my Denon 2900 directly to the screen.

    You can find out what signal the screen is receiving via the service menu.

    You can access a hidden menu by highlighting the language setting in the setup menu, and holding the surround button on the remote down for about 5 seconds.

    The service menu is accessed by holding down the -volume button on the display while it is on and tapping the status button (the one under the power button) 3 times.

    But please be carefull as I do not understand all of the options found in the service menu and you could **** things up big time.

    Cheers, Lee
     
  9. Jasonjo

    Jasonjo
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    As Lee said, but here is a link to a thread that includes pictures:

    Panasonic 5/6 Series Plasma Service Menus

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=116249

    You will be able to see both hours used (from the SD submenu I think) and what input you are getting (e.g. 625i/625p) from the service menu (the IIC submenu I think). Hidden menu is mainly useful for setting the initial input, which is kinda nice :)

    JJ
     
  10. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    On the hidden menu, the one you access using the language option and holding the surround button, what are the options for, inparticular Studio W/B, Remocon User Level, ID select, Remote ID and Slot Power (this last one makes a clicking sound from the back of the plasma, like a relay getting activated?)?

    The PSU noise, is definitely not silent from my sitting position, in fact from 8.5ft it can be heard over the TV at -22 on my Amp which has been calibrated to 75dB at 0.
    I may have to look in to this a bit deeper before possibly getting back to Ken @ Ivojo, maybe I've got a dodgy PSU??
     
  11. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Heres a brief run down of my initial questions:

    1) How do I get the plasma to display what signal its receiving, i.e. the resolution, I can get the V & H refresh rates displayed but not the actual resolution?

    Although you can go in to the service menu this will not always tell you the resolution the devices is receiving. It will tell you the memory bank it thinks is correct for the resolution it thinks it is receiving or perhaps a USER2/3/4/5 memory bank setting when it is a non-standard signal.

    2) What would be a good guide line for my initial contrast, brightness, sharpness, mode, powersaving settings etc?

    Sharpness is around –5 I think put the mode to Cinema or Standard and turn the contrast down about 10-15 notches for a while.

    3) When inputting a signal using the Lumagen what would I set it at for standard Pal, 575/576/625 etc?

    Don’t understand this question. Is this a setting on DVD player or Plasma?

    4) I know its going to vary person/setup to person/setup but what have people found to be the best input resolution/refresh for DVD and Sky/NTL from the Lumagen?

    Try the ones I sent you in the email

    5) How do you calibrate contrast using DVE Pal on a plasma, with my CRT it was at the highest level before blooming occured on the white box, but with the plasma there is no blooming no matter how high it goes?

    You do not get blooming on plasma’s. The phosphor cannot expand and bloom as it is encapsulated in a little pixel type cell. Over driving of the phosphor is more simple to fix by measurement. The other issue you have when contrast is too high on digital devices is that you crush white detail. On DVE go to the Snell and W ilcox MPEG test pattern. On it you should see a white box with another white box inside it. Adjust contrast so that you can see the one within the other. Leave the Plasma contrast as it is and do this adjustment on the scaler. If you can see them both with it at 128 then leave it be. There are other parameters that contrast affects but I’m not going in to it all here.

    6) Anyone got any information on some of the Lumagen settings which aren't covered in the manual, such as genlocking, macrovision count offset, etc. Is there a complete list of menus and there uses?

    Genlocking is automatic with 50 Hz in and out and 60Hz in and out. You want to use these refresh rates if possible. You cannot gunlock a 60Hz output to a 50Hz input signal. I will email details of what the Macrovision offset is but you will need to have 3 more test discs for that one……….

    7) Anyone got any information on any special menus on the plasma, i.e. ones which would tell me the incoming signal details, hours used etc?

    This has been covered already

    gORDON
     
  12. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Thanks for the reply Gordon, I'm going to sit down this afternoon and try and go through your email in detail and see if I can understand everything.

    With repect to question 3, I mean if I don't want the Lumagen to do any upscaling of an incoming Pal signal and just send it straight to the screen at the normal Pal resolution, what Vres do I set on the Lumagen? I get confused by all the different interpretations of what a Pal signal is, 625 total lines, 575/576 actual picture lines, which resolution do I actually want to use? To put it another way, if I connect my DVD player directly to the PC input and feed in a Pal progressive signal direct from the DVD player, what resolution is it sending?

    Also I can't find an explaination of the options in the hidden menu at the link provided at AVS, anyone got any ideas?

    Thanks

    Ryan
     
  13. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Ryan,

    Leave hidden menu's alone......that's why thery are hidden.....

    You cannot get a Lumagen scaler to ouput an interlaced signal that is the same as that coming out of a DVD player. The least it will do is de-interlace it.

    PAL: 625interlaced lines of which 576 usually contain picture information. If you feed a YPrPb signal out of your DVD players interlcaed output your plasma will see it as Y625i memoryblock. If you send it a de-interlaced progressive scan signal then it would see it as Y625P memory block. That is 625progressive horizontal lines of which 576 are likely to carry picture information.

    The vertical resolution setting on the scaler refers the the lines of Picture information.

    Gordon
     
  14. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Thanks Gordon,

    I didn't want to output an interlaced signal, just wanted to know what to output if I just wanted to use the de-interlacer but have the resolution left as is, which I now take it would be 576.

    As to the hidden menu, there are some very useful things in there such as default input selection, just wondering what the others do as they might be just as useful?

    Cheers

    Ryan
     

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