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Panasonics responce to PW5 'Flicker' problem

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Jon Weaver, Dec 24, 2002.

  1. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
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    A colleague of mine wrote to Panasonic to raise the 'flicker' issue to them.

    Here is the responce they gave:
    The new PW5 panels do not have the anti flicker reduction system that the PW4 had. t

    This system on the pw4 reduced the flicker at the expense of
    introducing more distortion during times of movement in the picture the pw5 panel has much improved moving picture performance but with slightly higher flicker level.
    the level of flicker is very minor and is only noticeable on very bright static scenes.

    Also note that most large area displays i.e large screen tvs also flicker to an extent--especially when pheripheral vision is used to view the picture.

    Minor flicker is a limitation of plasma technology (and televisions).
    however, the PW5 does have much better moving video performance than the PW4 as a result of the panel drive differences that produce this flicker.

    The PW5 also has a higher grey scale resolution of 1024 levels as opposed to the pw4 512 levels. thus the PW4 pic has slighltly higher levels of digital colour banding noise in areas of gradual shading.

    Plasma technolgy is a compromise of the two types of effect (flicker or better motion reproduction) and the human eye tends to pick up on picture distortion more easily which can result in poorer viewing pleasure--especically during films that have large amounts of movement.

    There is no plan for any upgrade to reduce flicker since this would be at the expense of the panels exceptional motion and gray scale level reproduction.


    Atleast its honest, but its interesting to see that they 'intentionally' removed the process which reduces the flicker!
     
  2. Paul D

    Paul D
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    Very interesting Jon.

    I never noticed a difference in "panning" during my demo between the 4/5 series panels. (both top Plasmas)
    However i was spending most of my time looking for the difference in flicker and grey scale banding etc.
    Saying that, i have already stated in other posts how stunning football looks on this "5" Plasma, with very smooth movement. (it's like having a private box at the ground :p )

    However there may be some truth in Panasonics statement about the flicker reduction feature in the 4th series.
    On my 100hz Panasonic 36PF10 CRT TV, i found i much prefered the flicker reduction option turned off. With it enabled the picture became flat and less "live". I found the picture gained a kind of "sparkle" that was missing with flicker reduction on.
    It was all kind of subtle, only noticeable after a good ten minutes or more of watching.
    Mind you the flicker reduction did make text more stable to read etc.
    I only see the "slight flicker" during very bright scenes (as stated), and even then only if i'm not looking directly at the screen.


    PS i wonder how many people have been put off getting this fantastic Plasma due to these threads about this slight flickering, when it is much less than a standard CRT TV!:D
    I have now got many hundred hours under my belt with the 42PW5BX and i can still state that it is giving a near perfect image that never ceases to amaze me. Ie no colour banding whats so ever (unless in the source signal etc), beautiful colours and stunning contrast (this coming from somebody who's normally so "nit picking" as to drive everbody mad! :devil: )
     
  3. keyser

    keyser
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    fulabeer,

    It´s nice to know that there other nitpickers out there. I had a toshiba 36zd26p and had 4 replacements and thought they were all unbearable. Anyways, you say that the flicker is less then on a standard CRT. I see no flicker at all on 100hz TV´s, and on 50hz I only notice the flicker if they are sitting right next to a 100hz tv or on on screen displays, then the flicker is pretty darn bad. How does the panasonic flicker compare to 50 and 100hz CRT´s on both bright pictures and OSD?
     
  4. Paul D

    Paul D
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    Without doing a back to back test, i would say the "5" Panny is better than a 50hz set but it's harder to say if it's better than a 100hz set.
    This is because of screen size and the differing technologies.
    For example looking at the OSD of the plasma produces no flicker at all, this is the same for most DVD/TV viewing. However during very bright white scenes the slight flicker is more visible etc.
    Yet on a 100hz TV set even with flicker reduction "on" there is still some slight flickering with the OSD and text etc. Also on normal 50/100hz set you still get black scan lines that "twitter".

    Another point to bear in mind is screen size and viewing distance.
    Bigger screen sizes cover more of our peripheral vision, making any flicker more visable.
    I'm running my Barco 808s on a 100" diagonal screen and see worse flicker on that than the Panny, yet you don't get anybody complaining about flicker on them!. I can run the Barco at 72hz/75hz to reduce the flicker, but it's just not a problem that bugs me.
    People should really go get a good demo before buying, even if it's just to put their minds at rest.

    On the subject of nit picking. I used to be a total Toshiba fan, but after the nightmare that was Toshibas first true flat screen effort (32ZD or something)with it's dark/dirty patches all over the screen(it was near unwatchable). And Toshibas total dis-interest about customer satisfaction, i have vowed never to buy Toshiba products again. ( i could have saved money buying the Toshiba clone of the Panny 42 plasma, but couldn't stand the thought of the Toshiba badge staring at me)
    It ended up with me asking the very arrogant and rude "Top Rank" Toshiba Technician to leave my house (before i flattened him). He actually told my wife in her own house to "shut up"!

    I know some of Panasonics TVs and some of their other products have flaws, but up to now they have always been something that either doesn't bug me or something that i can live with!

    I apologise to anybody who keeps reading my defensive posts about the 5 series 42" Plasma, but with so many flawed products on the market, it's just this screen is so very good!

    I better shut up now about these Panasonic Plasmas are as i'm starting to sound like a "Panasonic Preacher"!:D
     
  5. keyser

    keyser
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    fulabeer,

    I have noticed on all TV´s, even my 29" 50hz sony that they smear quite badly. Bright objects in dark environments always leave a trail when they move. I just watched a horror movie when someone had a candle in a very dark room and whenever the candle moved there was a massive trail behind it. I also notice this on eternal darkness on the gamecube, very ugly. I assume this problem is because the pixels in the screen just can´t go from bright white to pitch black quickly enough. And I was wondering if plasmas also suffer from this problem.

    Since plasmas are prone to burn in, I´d imagine they suffer the same or even worse than CRT TV´s ??
     
  6. ijwoo1

    ijwoo1
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    Excellent post Jon, thanks. It sort of puts my mind at rest.

    The PQ in all other respects is absolutely flawless so I guess its a compromise I need to accept. The flicker issue is a strange one though, there are times where I swear there is no flicker whatso ever, even on bright images (Mainly when viewing Xbox via Svideo !), then other times its really obvious and close to 50Hz CRT flicker. I really can't work it out !

    Assuming its possible, its a pity they wont even consider reducing the amount of "motion smoothing" a tad, or perhaps even include such an option in the setup screens so you can choose between flicker or smooth image motion.

    And one last point, its interesting to note that in all the various comparisons people have done between the PW5 and say the Pioneer, that nobody has ever commented on smoother images with the PW5, yet more than a few, you and I included, have commented on the flicker ! Have Panasonic got their priorities wrong ?

    Rgds
     
  7. keyser

    keyser
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    I´ve never seen mention of this flicker over on the avs forums. Is the flicker the same for pal and ntsc??

    Also I have never heard anyone talk about bad panning on the older Panasonics and notice that they are better on the 5, could it be that the displays are cheaper to produce or something this way, without the dual scan and that´s why they have changed?
     
  8. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    They will no doubt change priority when time comes to replace 5 with 6.
    Whenever that will be.

    They should have kept the 4 scanning system whilst introducing the other technology benefits of the 5. Then everyone would be happy.
    Panasonic must be surprised how the 5 flickering has become an issue ( for some ).
     
  9. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    There have been posts and threads mentioning this on AVS, but certainly I first became aware of this reading aRCaM 's posts here.

    Panasonic will tell you there is no difference in manufacturing costs, also they told me 70% of their plasma panels are unacceptable so are cannibalised. Hence the still high prices.
    Who can say if either statement is true ?
     

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