Panasonic 42phd8 Help Needed!

usman24

Active Member
I just set up my panasonic phd8 plasma last night and I need some advice. I purchased the hdmi terminal board for dvd + js rgb to vga for freeview. I am happy with the picture from freeview, much better than my hitachi 42pd5200 but I need advice on whether hdmi or component will give me least picture noise. I had a quick look at sin city, lord of the rings and constantine.

Sin City looked excellent compared to hitachi with very good shadow detail and blacks. constantine was good but lord of the rings in the darker scenes [return of the king] when orcs are sailing in on boats [very foggy scene] it looks terrible. Banding and other types of noise etc, I think the transfer on lord of the rings is very over-rated. Also It may be that hdmi is ruthlessly revealing of an average transfer compared to component rca analogue. Should I purchase a component board and compare the two?

I have also noticed that with the phd8 if you use the vga input or any digital input, colour control is not available to adjust. This got me worried until I used the blue filter of dve with the colour bars and the colour decoder was almost dead on any way so that was a relief.

Please give advice on input issue and any settings you would recommend i.e brightness, contrast.
 

UKseless1

Active Member
Instead of buying the component board you could simply buy or borrow a component to VGA cable as the VGA input will accept component.
 

Mep

Well-known Member
my phd8 is arriving today with hdmi and component boards.....I'll try both routes with my denon 2910 and let you know the results.
 

usman24

Active Member
Hi Mep, i have the same denon player, let me know what you experience.
 

usman24

Active Member
ukseless1, whats wrong witha direct component connection without the vga converter?
 

mine

Standard Member
mep said:
my phd8 is arriving today with hdmi and component boards.....I'll try both routes with my denon 2910 and let you know the results.
yes , very interesting for me too..
please keep us informed with your findings and tests
regards
mine
 

UKseless1

Active Member
Hi yes was suggesting a cheaper route to running a comparison however as MEP has the bits and pieces required to compare, it will be interesting to see the results.
 

usman24

Active Member
ok, thanks mep, sorry ukseless1.
 

gizlaroc

Distinguished Member
I have always found that the panny screens have exactly the problem you describe when using the digital inputs with anything other than HD. Analogue wins everytime for me, although I was hoping that the claims of 14 bit processing giving twice the greyscale steps on the digital inputs would have helped out a bit here.

It is the noise in the darker areas that I just don't like, don't get me wrong it is the same with all the other makes with Pioneer being the only one that improves on this, however I don't see why they can't get it right on digital when they get it so right on the analogue?

Just go out of your dvd player scart for now and into the JS converter, then switch between the two to see which one you prefer. You didn't say what player you are using? I know the samsung players are quite popular, but the only one I saw, was it and 850 or something? Had terrible hdmi output, it isn't one of those is it?
 

usman24

Active Member
Hi Gizlaroc, I am using a denon 2910 dvd player with dvi to hdmi lead by supra.
 

davsdu

Novice Member
Would there be any difference in PQ, between using a component---->vga cable, or buying a component-input board and use component--->component?
 

UKseless1

Active Member
I can't answer that one personally, I use the Component VGA route and have no experience the other way around. It does an excellent job on my PWD8.
 

usman24

Active Member
I am worried now that i've purchased the wrong screen. pioneer 436 was the other option.
 

gizlaroc

Distinguished Member
Really don't worry, the Pioneer has far more issues mate.

Have you tried going through the JS converter yet?
 

usman24

Active Member
I am at work @ the moment will test it when I go home and take some pills to calm down and than have heart attack! after testing it
 

Mep

Well-known Member
OK, have tried the denon 2910 on bnc component and HDMI 720p and 1080i...only a brief test on I Robot as the PQ on this DVD is pretty good anyway. I have to say that on my breif test I am hard pushed to see much difference.....1080i seems to be marginally better than 720p but 1080i and component are barely distinguishable but maybe, just maybe 1080i has the slight edge.....doesn't seem to create more noise.
Possibly not that helpful a report and I'll report more when I've tested it out some more.....but for now I would say if you are happy with your pic on component you may as well stick with it......but on teh other hand you'll need hdmi at some stage so it just comes down to whether you want to spend another £100.
Anyway, overall the picture is excellent, on cinema mod with everything turned down to zero for now.
 

usman24

Active Member
Thanks mep, I will try out rgb scart to vga on the dvd player and compare them both when I get home to get a taste of analogue picture quality.

By the way if you have lotr return of the king, check it on hdmi, especially dark foggy scenes and let me know what you think.
 

Mep

Well-known Member
I tried that scene Osgiliath Invaded and the fog is definitely not great (on either HDMI 720p or 1080i, but HDMI Y, cb, cr is definitely better than HDMI RGB) but component didn't improve it much either (if at all). It actually looks a bit better on my PW7 via component but then that has been calibrated and has about 1500 hours on it, so both factors could and should improve the PHD8. BAsically though I just don't think the dvd itself is greatest quality in those dark foggy scenes. If you look at the reference material on the DVE disk there is no such banding and the PHD8 even though only a few hours old looks fantastic.
 

usman24

Active Member
hi mep, I thought I was the only one. I watched the same scene with rgb scart to vga converter to test the analogue picture and found that there was less banding and less video noise and mpeg blocking than the hdmi input. I do think the hdmi/dvi inputs are not up to scratch on the panasonic. My hitachi had better quality with digital than analogue, it depends on the processing methinks.

Also can you do an A/B comparison as I have noticed that the dvi output picture has a strange green tint on anything I play and the analogue picture looks more natural with much better colour balance. It may be the denon has a firmware problem with digital outputs also. Please let moe know your findings as I may need to change my player in the future as this is a very irritating problem.
 

Mep

Well-known Member
well I don't have DVI and its a bit frustarting that you have to turn hdmi off to view component because you can't do a very quick flip between inputs.
I think I'll just grin and bear it for now. I'm sure calibration will improve it and a scaler even more so.........I'm just impatient to get Hi Def sources now but will probably keep this denon until then.
 

Mep

Well-known Member
usman24....what do you have gamma set to in the advanced settings?...it should be 2.5 (i'd forgotten to do this) It does make an improvement on both HDMI and component.....more so on component I think. Don't change anything else in there, just gamma and see what you think.
 

usman24

Active Member
ok will try this evening, only read the post this morning. had it on 2.2 by the way

Also, how does the gamma settings help picture quality?

Another thing I have spotted is a reddish tint to blacks on some dark scenes including the black bars when watching dvd's, have you seen this on your set up?
 

Mep

Well-known Member
to be honest I'm not sure what it does technically, but it reduces banding quite considerably...........I haven't seen thereddish tint though.
 

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