Panasonic PF50 Pro Plasma- initial impressions

Seekershadow

Novice Member
Hi there,
Thanks for confirming that about the Advanced Motion Resolution mode, it definitely eliminates the DFC but I still find it strange that the option is in a hidden menu! :confused:
Just to reconfirm, I tried 48/50hz input modes and FRC min/AMR does not add new frames, once you turn FRC mid or higher the flicker rate changes (resampled to 60 frames), so you can be safe leaving AMR on for almost everything where you do not see artifacts.

I also use MPC & Madvr with Jinc 3 taps for the scaling. I do not use the smooth motion at all as it blurs the video when panning and the gamma I do not set as I just use the TV's calibrated gamma. Is it beneficial to set gamma in Madvr as well to get it flat?
Steve
I don't think so, but trying different gamma in madvr is not harmful.

I've been away from a while and just read the new posts. I can't do it now, but I'll upload some gamma readings to will show the WIDE variation based on test patterns used.

From a perfectly flat 2.2, to 2.0 with big 90 ire spike and everywhere in between- all with the same tv settings , just different sized patterns
That sounds like ABL which can only be defeated in monitor mode :S. Also I think these displays work best at 2.2
 

button_sw

Active Member
That sounds like ABL which can only be defeated in monitor mode :S. Also I think these displays work best at 2.2

Is that 2.2 in the system menu because that is more like 2.0 when using my meter and the 2.4 setting is more or less bang on 2.2?

2.2 in the menu looks too bright and washed out to me, which confirms what the meter comes back with.
 

Seekershadow

Novice Member
Agree 2.2 is not ideal, that is why I use gamma correction to achieve intermediaries. It's your call whether to do it on the display or in software but I don't have much choice (2.0, 2.2, 2.6, S-curve) and alot of controls behave more predictably on 2.2.

Now before I forget do you guys have access to color and hue controls or is that absent on PF?
 

Capital

Standard Member
OK here we go-

Here are very different gamma readings- all using the SAME settings on the Display!
(Standard mode, 2.2, WB at norm)

The take away is that you’re going to get completely different results depending on what kind and size of window patterns you use to calibrate.

You can see that using the various APL patterns it reads pretty much 2.2
using the standard window patterns on black it reads lighter.

Which is correct APL or standard windows? Which represents real work material?
I’m not going to delve into it myself. There are a few LONG threads on AVSForum that go into this in great detail. The answer: ? that depends!

gammaMISC.png
 

fluxo

Distinguished Member
Regarding the APL of real content, there are some interesting charts/graphs in this thread. The APL seems to vary quite a bit depending on the content type (the numbers for films look lower).

However, there is reason to believe that the ABL behaviour of plasmas is related more to average energy/luminance level (output level) than average picture level (input level).
 

button_sw

Active Member
OK here we go-

Here are very different gamma readings- all using the SAME settings on the Display!
(Standard mode, 2.2, WB at norm)

The take away is that you’re going to get completely different results depending on what kind and size of window patterns you use to calibrate.

You can see that using the various APL patterns it reads pretty much 2.2
using the standard window patterns on black it reads lighter.

Which is correct APL or standard windows? Which represents real work material?
I’m not going to delve into it myself. There are a few LONG threads on AVSForum that go into this in great detail. The answer: ? that depends!

View attachment 450276

Hi Capital,

What patterns to you think work best with this TV, looking at the pictures the APL patterns seem better than the standard windows? The 1% with 25% background also look good.

Cheers Steve
 

Capital

Standard Member
?
All this shows is the out of the box settings from Panasonic when read with my so-so meter (Display 2)
Perhaps- it reveals that Panasonic uses an ABL pattern when setting up the Pro models.. perhaps not.



Other threads I've read lead me to believe panasonic themselves might use 6.5% patterns when setting up the consumer models, So that's probably worth something.




So far, Im pretty happy with the factory setup.
 

button_sw

Active Member
?
Other threads I've read lead me to believe panasonic themselves might use 6.5% patterns when setting up the consumer models, So that's probably worth something.

Do you think that's Window's or APL Patterns at 6.5%

Cheers

Steve
 

Capital

Standard Member
I should have specified.: 6.5% window patters are used in the THX benchmark


Perhaps read through those links I posted earlier, I'd be interested in your impression.

I actually now think the out of the box gamma setting may represent the best compromise on these displays.
I have one preset using 2.2, and one using 2.4 - both set to WARM
Im pretty happy so far.


My earlier color temp measurements where off too, and I think WARM is much closer to 6500 than I though at first.

Im going to order a new probe soon to check, i think mine is on the way out

here's yet another thread:
ABL effects measured for comparison
 

button_sw

Active Member
Thanks Capital,

I have a X-Rite Colormunki Display which is pretty accurate but have not been able to have a real play with this set yet due to work commitments and getting the TV to myself at night without the Wife complaining! LOL

My initial measurements using both the AVS709 HCFR Standard Windows and the GCD 10% Windows are that the Normal and Cinema Default Warm preset (Gamma 2.2 in menu) is actually Gamma 2.0 in real life. The menu preset of 2.4 Gamma in Cinema warm is a real life 2.2 and pretty close to 6500k with only a few minor adjustments needed high end but a fair bit on the low end Grayscale. In Normal mode a menu Gamma of 2.4 is about 2.1 in real life but this looks fine due to the higher contrast ration in this mode.

What I have changed is the ALL_CUTOFF in the service menu so that on the default Cinema mode a brightness setting of 0 in the menu is perfect on a pluge test.

My settings are currently these (I need to redo them again with different patterns)

Service Menu Settings

R DRIVE C4
G DRIVE FC
B DRIVE 70
R CUTOFF 87
G CUTOFF 87
B CUTOFF 87

ALL DRIVE FC
ALL CUTOFF 87

Cinema Mode (Default)
Gamma 2.2 (Real World 2.0)
Contrast 20
Brightness 0
Colour -3
Hue 0
Sharpness 0
White Balance - Warm

W/B High R - 1
W/B High G - 0
W/B High B - 2
W/B Low R - 2
W/B Low G - 0
W/B Low B - 0


The Setting that I use:

Cinema Mode
Gamma 2.4 (Real World 2.2)
Contrast 20
Brightness 6
Colour -3
Hue 0
Sharpness 0
White Balance - Warm

W/B High R - 1
W/B High G - 0
W/B High B - 2
W/B Low R - 2
W/B Low G - 0
W/B Low B - 0


If I get a chance tonight I will do a whole new run with some different windows. Do you know where I can get 6.5% patterns from?

Cheers
Steve
 

Capital

Standard Member
Sure, you can find 6.5% patterns here:
Mascior's Calibration Disc

Try the AVCHD apl patterns too.
What you'll see is that your greyscale tracking will be totally different than you though with the AVCHD standard windows..

That's the issue, you can calibrate everything to read correct on a plasma, but you are really only calibrating to a particular set of patterns, since it's a moving target!

Get everything perfect with 10% windows, then test to a different pattern and everything will report off again!

I had greyscale tracking info too for all those gamma reading I posted earlier.. they varied just as much!
remember..
 

button_sw

Active Member
Cheers for the link Capital. I think with with Plasma Calibration is that even if the charts look good you still need to use your trusty eyes to see what looks best.

I will report with some results soon.

Cheers
 

SteveTM

Novice Member
That image seems to really stress my screen for some reason, maybe it put the ABL into overdrive as entire screen noticably dimmed at 1:1 mapping - I think even the onscreen display dimmed until I stopped showing it. Took it off pretty quick,...very strange indeed. I presume this also happens on your screen.
 

fluxo

Distinguished Member
Who made that image and why?

Thanks.
 

SteveTM

Novice Member
After a quick Google search I found the following info regarding why the image was created:

"If your display is only capable of 4:2:0 resolution, you should not be able to see any lines in the left pattern, and I think the whole image will appear to be the same color.

With a 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 display, the pattern on the left should appear to be distinct red and blue alternating lines.

If your display is only capable of 4:2:2 resolution, the right pattern will appear to be noticeably darker than the center pattern, and seem to be a solid color.

If your display is capable of 4:4:4 resolution, the patterns in the center and on the right should appear to be roughly the same color. They may differ slightly because one is made from horizontal lines and the other is a checkerboard pattern."
 

Seekershadow

Novice Member
Well there is really no doubt the display is 4:4:4/RGB capable that is why I left out the origin of that image to avoid confusion, I just happened upon it in this discussion about different scaling algorithms. What I think is happening is the super fine checkerboard pattern wreaks havoc on the spatial dithering algorithm used by modern plasmas, on my PF30 it caused alot of terrible noise and also dimming like Steve pointed out, thankfully that kind of pattern will never occur on video or game content but I believe if you throw enough repeating geometric patterns with hard-high contrast edges you can make a difficult time for these newer plasmas (who are probably optimised somewhat for 3d :rotfl:)
 

button_sw

Active Member
A little update on my PF50....

...I'm still loving the PF50 and the picture never ceases to amaze me at times but it does have a few annoyances that I am going to share with you. I have been tinkering and performing several calibrations on this TV and the limited calibration controls do hurt it somewhat but I now have a really good picture that I am very happy with.

In the service manual it states that the High W/B is @ 75% and the low W/B is @ 15% but when using these the high end has an error at 90IRE and the low end has errors at 30 and 40IRE. I used the method of 80% high and 20% low and this produces a very good Grayscale Calibration, and I had to use the AVS Standard Windows as the ABL is quite aggressive on this set and using smaller windows produces better Charts but is worse in real world content.

My Calibrated to D65 Service Menu Settings on the default Cinema Mode (2.2 Gamma) are:

Contrast - 20
Brightness - 5
Colour - -3
Tint/Hue - 1
Sharpness - 0
Input Level - -2


Service Menu W/B

W/B Red Drive - D2
W/B Green Drive - FC
W/B Blue Drive - 6B

W/B Red Cut - 85
W/B Green Cut - 80
W/B Blue Cut - 85

All Drive - FC
All Cut - 85

(If making adjustments to the Service Menu, ALWAYS write down the original settings!)


Gamma is definitely a bit screwed on these displays as the starting point at the low end (10%) is really low which leads to very washed out details. For example on the standard 2.2 preset the Gamma at 10% starts at 1.89 and then rises to about 2.08 and tracks at about 2.1 between 40 and 80IRE. Even when selecting the preset gamma of 2.4 in the menu it still starts so low at about 1.95 @ 10% and then rising to about 2.18 and tracking roughly that from about 40 to 70IRE. What this means in real world viewing is that in dark scenes and TV shows they are washed out a lot of the time, normal scenes and outside shots look perfectly normal. I experimented with the Black Extension Setting the other day (usually I would never touch a setting like this) and to my amazement when watching an episode of Greys Anatomy when set to +1 it brought the whole show to life! It now looked like what it should do if the gamma starting point was actually @ 2.2 and not 1.9. The downside to this setting is that it produces black crush and you lose your shadow detail and I initially thought that it is a compromise between a washed out low end image and shadow detail but the image was so much better!! Using a pluge pattern I cranked the Brightness (Black Level) up to 25 and now all shadow detail is back and the image has still retained the punch at the low end.

I will try and capture some screenshots so you can see the difference but using Black Extension on this TV is a must if you don't want a washed out picture at a low level due to the low starting point of the gamma.

I'm loving the TV more than ever with this latest tweak, I hope the owners are still enjoying their sets!

Cheers, Steve
 

SteveTM

Novice Member
Hello Steve,

Thanks for the update regarding the gamma foibles of this set. I have to agree completely with what you mention regarding dark scenes looking a bit murky and milky now and then.

The black extension +1 tweak is something I always had to use on my previous PF30 and definitely gave an extra vital punch to the image, and still use the function on the PF50 when needed.

Most of the time 2.2 looks ok to me but in certain games and films things can certainly look iffy and it's nice to know you can prove this with your meter results. I used to think it could be the fault of the film where in post processing they raised the brightness in certain under exposed scenes. Off the top of my head the recent Downey Jr Sherlock films and the Hobbit 2012 film really show the dark dull gamma thing at times and they look quite disappointing without the +1 extension.

I presumed it was impossible to get all shadow detail back if using +1 black extension but since you have a meter and feel it is possible, and not too detrimental to the image, I'll have to try a proper memory save using it with proper brightness adjustments. What I normally do (cos I'm a bit idle) is use the quick combo of extension +1 and use gamma 2.0 instead of 2.2 to get shadow details back without having to alter the brightness slider.

Anyway, glad you feel the gamma thing can be improved.
 
Last edited:

button_sw

Active Member
Hi Steve,

Gamma is definitely improved with the black extension and it's just a shame that the starting point is so low as gamma between 40% to 80% on most modes is pretty good, shame on Panasonic.

I also found that on certain programmes that the black crush is not too much of an issue but when watching Blu Rays getting all the shadow detail back is important. The +25 of brightness does not seem to degrade the quality of the picture as much as I thought it would and it is usually around that point for a Gamma 2.6 setting.

I'm on nights this week but if I get a chance I will try to post some charts and screenshots.
 

fluxo

Distinguished Member
Is black extension the same thing as black expander on the VT65, do you think?

It's a setting I've wondered about. In the manual:

"Black Expander
Gradually adjusts the shades of black."

To me, that quoted description is not very helpful at all.
 

button_sw

Active Member
Hi Fluxo,

I imagine that the Black Expander is the same as Black Extension on the VT65, but whether it is needed depends on the starting point of the Gamma on your TV, and if you can calibrate your Gamma with the 10 point controls it should never be needed anyway as you would be able to manually adjust the gamma points at all 10 points on the grayscale.

The trouble with the PF50 is that it only has limited 2pt White Balance Controls and the start point is so low at 10% (Gamma 1.9) on the 2.2. and 2.4 Gamma presets that it just gives a washed out look in shadow detail and dark scenes. Black Extension does help enormously with this and the start point goes up to 2.1 Gamma measured so the whole gamma range is much more linear.

Using this method does have it's drawback though with Black Crush as you lose black detail between 17 and 20. This is generally ok when watching normal TV but when watching films you need that detail back so the compromise is either have a better Gamma with Black Crush or a washed out low end but with perfect shadow detail. How hard could it have been for Panasonic to have Gamma starting at the right setting???

I'm still experimenting with bumping the Brightness level up very high to get the shadow detail back with Black Extension on but not sure yet if it is degrading the picture or you are going full circle and ending back with an over bright low end!! It may be a case of having to compromise on certain programmes.

I'd imagine on your VT65 it's a mode you should never need.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Panasonic JZ2000 Final Thoughts - TV Calibration: Should you? And More...
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

What's new on UK streaming services for December 2021
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Best Projectors of 2021 - Editor's Choice Awards
  • By Steve Withers
  • Published
Black Friday 2021: What you need to know
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
What's new on Blu-ray Special - The Cinema of Zhang Yimou & Gong Li
  • By Mark Costello
  • Published
AVForums Podcast: 24th November 2021
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom