NTSC picture breakup with Sharp P50 (LC37P50E)

Jim Barry

Active Member
My new Sharp LC37P50E exhibits picture breakup with NTSC input (via RGB Scart). Sometimes this takes the form of thin lines running across the picture (see attached Image1.jpg), sometimes it is more severe (see Image2.jpg). Do all P50s have this problem or is it just mine that is faulty?
 

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jobseeker

Active Member
Both my 26 models do this, but you can stop it by going into the menu and changing the colour system to the approporiate NTSC setting when playing NTSC material. It only takes a couple of seconds.
 

Jim Barry

Active Member
jobseeker said:
Both my 26 models do this, but you can stop it by going into the menu and changing the colour system to the approporiate NTSC setting when playing NTSC material. It only takes a couple of seconds.
The breakup still occurs with the NTSC3.58 setting. It seems to stop on NTSC4.43, but then the picture quality is much worse - the picture is juddery with jagged edges. On the "Auto" setting, the picture quality is good apart from the breakup I posted the screenshots of. Worryingly, PAL sources also look much worse when the Colour System is explicitly set to "PAL" rather than "Auto". Something is definitely not right with this set :(
 
If you are hooked up via RGB SCART, here's what I think is happening.

When you have it set to "Auto" It's using the RGB signal.
Setting it to NTSC.358, 4.43 or PAL, falls back onto the Composite video signal which will explain why it looks so much worse.

What DVD player are you using? I'll hazard a guess that it's a Pioneer one... all the Pioneer players I've had have had fairly dodgy RGB SCART implementation.
 

Jim Barry

Active Member
Hi Lyris, I get exactly the same problem with a Pioneer and a Sony DVD player. The Pioneer is a freebee thrown in with the TV by Digisaurus. However, the Sony is the DVP-NS700V which I have been using to play NTSC discs for several years with absolutely no problems.
 

Jim Barry

Active Member
I phoned Sharp, who initially tried to tell me that the set was only designed for PAL. After I pointed out that the TV lists NTSC3.58 and NTSC4.43 in the Colour System menu, they accepted that there was a problem but have yet to get back to me with any solutions.

I took my DVD player down to the local Currys and sure enough the display model exhibited exactly the same problem. You'd have thought that Sharp could at least have done some basic testing with 480i sources before releasing this product. :mad:

I don't really know what to do now. I'm reluctant to return the TV because it does look great with 576i and I don't know what else I would buy instead. However, not being able to watch my R0/R1 DVDs is not an acceptable situation. The only other thing I can think of is to buy a new DVD player with HDMI output and see whether the Sharp works properly with that. (I didn't want to buy an HDMI DVD player right away as I was folornly hoping that somebody would eventually bring out a twin-tuner Freeview recorder with integrated DVD and HDMI output.)
 
You're right, that's totally unacceptable for an LCD Television. Sharp should realise that optimized for PAL or not, these screens are still very expensive.
 

neilmcl

Well-known Member
SirSleepalot said:
PAL sources also look much worse when the Colour System is explicitly set to "PAL" rather than "Auto". Something is definitely not right with this set :(
I have to agree with you there, although I wouldn't say it was much worse but setting the colour system to PAL rather than Auto has a detrimental effect to the picture quality, strange really as there should be no difference at all.
 

jobseeker

Active Member
I don't get any change in picture quality as such - it just stops the problem if I set it to NTSC 4.43. The set should be receiving all these signals via RGB if that's how you've set it in the menu surely. Nevertheless, it's a problem which should not be there if the set has had any worthwhile testing before release. I wonder if it's in any way related to these 'NTSC via component' problems too. Isn't it amazing how virtually no manufacturers sets can come out without some issue or other which requires firmware/software fixes. They should give 'em to people like us to beta test if they can't do it themselves properly.
 

Jim Barry

Active Member
neilmcl said:
I have to agree with you there, although I wouldn't say it was much worse
I definitely find it much worse. On "Auto" the picture is smooth, but when set to "PAL" it sort of shimmers, rather like a cheap 50 Hz CRT. Also, the fluidity is lost - for example camera pans become unpleasantly jerky. With 480i input, choosing "NTSC3.58" or "NTSC4.43" produces an effect that might be better described as a vertical wiggle.

For the I/P setting, "Interlaced" produces the best image as it appears to be largely free of image processing effects. "Progressive" mode produces a very steady picture but seems to introduce a small yet irritating amount of sharpening.

I am not 100% certain what "Film Mode" does, as it is not properly explained in the manual. (Actually, very little is explained in the manual, it is extremely scant.) However, I assume it tries to detect odd/even fields pulled down from the same frame (as is the case with movies released on R2 DVD) and switches between interlaced and progressive mode accordingly. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work very well, continually flitting between interlaced/progressive in a quite annoying fashion. It's not quite that simple, though. I happened to notice that Film Mode produced an excellent result (on a par with CRT) with the scrolling credits at the end of Sin City. With Film Mode disabled, I tried it with both interlaced and progressive modes and the result was inferior in each case.

BTW, I attached my laptop via S-Video and noticed that setting the sharpness control to -10 does actually seem to activate a softening filter (as opposed to simply disabling the sharpening filter). Setting the sharpness to -9 resulted in relatively clear, readable text whereas -10 was just a blurry mess.
 

Jim Barry

Active Member
jobseeker said:
I don't get any change in picture quality as such - it just stops the problem if I set it to NTSC 4.43.
Have you tried changing the setting while viewing static text, e.g. a DVD chapter menu? You should easily see the difference then.

jobseeker said:
Isn't it amazing how virtually no manufacturers sets can come out without some issue or other which requires firmware/software fixes. They should give 'em to people like us to beta test if they can't do it themselves properly.
I couldn't agree more. :mad: Even worse, the Sharp seems to have no facility for customers to apply firmware updates.
 

pjskel

Well-known Member
Film mode is an option for when viewing broadcasts that where originally captured on film. I think it tweaks the contrast/colour balance to provide a look that replicates what you'd have seen in the Cinema or viewing the original footage.
Similarly Video mode is for stuff recorded straight to videotape - again it tweaks the output to make the image look as good as it was originally intended.
 

Jim Barry

Active Member
I still have not got an answer from Sharp about this. However, I went into John Lewis where they have the Samsung DVD player connected up via HDMI to an LC37P50E. I fired up an NTSC DVD and the Sharp reported the signal as 576p. I assume the Samsung is converting the 480-line NTSC material to 576p before sending it out via HDMI. In any case, I was able to watch the NTSC DVD on the Sharp without any breakup, and it looked pretty darn good too. Obviously I would rather that the SCART inputs worked properly, but it seems that my problems are solved if I go out and get myself a new HDMI DVD player. The choice seems to be between Toshiba, LG and Samsung - I just need to decide which one to go for...
 
Film mode is an option for when viewing broadcasts that where originally captured on film. I think it tweaks the contrast/colour balance to provide a look that replicates what you'd have seen in the Cinema or viewing the original footage.
Unless it's different on these Sharp TVs (never used one), Film Mode activates 3:2 pulldown and reconstructs an accurate Progressive picture from a film that's been transferred to interlaced video.
 

pjskel

Well-known Member
You might be right - now that you've said that. But then again, I couldn't get prog out from the Sharp DVD recorder I had also, so wasn't able to do much on that front.
 

Eiji

Active Member
Slightly offtopic but can anyone who has the Sharp LC-32GA6E check and see if that model (or the 26" / 37" version) has this problem with NTSC sources via RGB?
 

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