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Panny 5 & 6 series 42" plasma's and DVI issues - Any update?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Jackass, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. Jackass

    Jackass
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    I read over at AVS about programming some blade (whats that?)
    Also is it possible to fix series 5, 42" ers, DVI input to accept native rate 852 x 480?

    Cheers,

    Steve.
     
  2. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Well I've been playing with a series 5 card (the card for my 50" series 5 is the same one as for 42"), and doing some research; I also bought the circuit diagrams of Panny5 series plasmas for $10 of the net.

    The SiI151A DVI chip in the series5 board is the limiter: it only accepts three resolutions 640x480, 800x600 and 1024x768 all at 60Hz; but the screen would accept anything. This is annoying and could only be fixed with a hardware mod; which I am investigating. :smoke:

    The series 6 boards use a different SiI (Silicon Image) DVI chip that accepts almost any resolution and refresh rate and even HDCP signals too, but aren't setup for PCs. This is because PCs can typically only output horizontal resolutions divisible my eight, therefore the EDID data (tells Windows what plug'n'play resolutions the monitor supports) needs updating.

    I can flash the firmware in both these DVI boards :) but the series 5 board needs a hardware mod. A very kind AV company is loaning me a series 6 board to examine and see how feasible my envisaged mod is.

    The DVI gives a nice picture, but to be honest, not that much better than 1:1 pixel mapped analogue signal.

    StooMonster
     
  3. Jackass

    Jackass
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    Stoo,

    See the series 5 DVI card, If used and fixed would it open up the use of more greyscale (2048 i think) as advertised by panasonic?

    I would be interested in a modded card if your going down that route. :)
    If your successfull or should i say when your successfull :) can you let me know.

    Steve.
     
  4. kurtz

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    Quote from StooMonster:
    Does this mean that a series 6 DVI board will accept 50Hz signals (eg. 576p/50, 720p/50 from a Denon A11) which was a problem on the series 5? Or would the series 6 board still need flashing get it to accept these signals even though the Sil chip is capable of handling them?
     
  5. cenkbut

    cenkbut
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    Please someone respond to this question as I'll buy a 50pw6 very soon.
     
  6. kurtz

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    cenkbut, this question may have been effectively answered on the DVD player forum by this thread where gandley posted an extract from a French Panny owner:

    which looks like 720p/50 isn't recognised by the DVI card and 570p/50 on the DVI input is reclocked to 60Hz.

    However, this thread from Matthew Taylor on the plasma forum has some info from Panasonic:

    which seems to confirm the current lack of 50hz support over DVI but offers hope that they may have a solution in the offing :) .
     
  7. cenkbut

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    Thanks a lot man, that is really helpful
     
  8. V5-APS

    V5-APS
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    By board and unit though, do Panasonic mean a new scrren as well ??? Hope not....this can't be an in surmountable issue for them !!
     
  9. rscott4563

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    I remember not so long ago someone said that Panasonic would be keeping the same input board architecture for the next generation of panels, if this is true then the series 7 DVI board, which we would assume would not have any of the current problems, will fit the series 6 plasmas..... Hopefully

    Ryan
     
  10. cenkbut

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    Wow that's good news so the best thing to do is to use the component board of panny 6 until dvi7 board is released.
     
  11. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    I did say I assume and I can't remember who the source was for this information, though it was someone in the business. I'm currently waiting to hear back from Panasonic on this question and a number of other technical questions and will post results as soon as I have them, hopefully someone in the know will come in with some more definite answers on the whole series 6 series 7 input board compatibilty issue.

    Thinking back I remember it was to do with a question about whether Panasonic will allow third parties to produce cards for their plasmas as Pioneer currently do and the answer was that they were going to and this would mean the input board architecture would stay the same....

    Ryan
     
  12. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Also if you dont have plans for the built in PC input of the plasma then you could save some money and just use that for you component input, all you need is a 3 RCA (from plasma) to HD15 (PC input) cable.

    Ryan
     
  13. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    I think it highly likely that series 7 cards will not be compatible with series 6 screens, series 6 don't work in series 5 do they? Furthermore, Panasonic will not let third parties produce cards for their screens, unlike Pioneer who support it.

    The Panny plasmas can display just about any resolution / refresh rate combination -- you can test this via VGA.

    The problem is the DVI / HDMI receiver chips made by Silicon Image Inc are the limiting factors of what digital signals a screen will display.

    The Silicon Image website http://www.siimage.com contains plenty of useful information about DVI and HDMI as Silicon Image are one of the inventors of these formats.

    Use the search box on the front screen and enter "DVI Receivers" which will take you to the SiI Customer Resource Center. Here you can click on categories on the left, and can easily navigate to "DVI | Receivers" or "DVI-HDCP | Receivers" or "HDMI | Receivers" to read all about the chips that are available now and what signals they support.

    StooMonster
     
  14. cenkbut

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    I will use the VGA port for sky,echostar receiver and dvd recorder using a rgb switch and js rgb - vga converter so i'll need a component board for now.
     
  15. cenkbut

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    Are you sure about this, it will be a shame for 6 users not to use this dvi card, so how can they sell 6 series displays with this incompatibility?
     
  16. V5-APS

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    Keep in mind that some series 4 cards did carry over to the series 5, so it may happen !!
     
  17. rscott4563

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    You seem very definite on your post, do you have some information from Panasonic which we don't?

    This is one of the questions which I'm waiting to hear back from Panasonic, I know that the Panasonic can accept any resolution and refresh rate (within reason) via the VGA port but does anyone have any proof that the screen is actually displaying at this resolution (if a 1366x768 is feed in, do we know that it is pixel perfect and hasn't been scaled again by the built in scaler) and refresh rate (rather than being re converted down to 60Hz), also I've read the posts regarding the reflashing of the DVI boards EDID data to allow it to accept any resolution and refresh rate (within reason) but again does anyone know if this is then displayed as it should be without any re conversion down to 60Hz or re-scaled again by the internal gubbins??

    Cheers

    Ryan :smashin:
     
  18. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Found at least one reference to the claim that Panasonic were releasing their card architecture to third parties, it comes via SimonO, via Joe Fernand, see the link here (its just over half way down the thread), there are also comments there regarding the fact that it is believed that any refresh rate above 60Hz is resampled back down before being displayed, we really need answers from Panasonic technical to put us all straight, wheres that Panaman/Techman guy who pops up now and again??

    Ryan :smashin:
     
  19. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Just doing a quick search and isn't the DVI board for the 5 series Panasonics the TY-42TM4D DVI Terminal Board, which would make it the 4 series board wouldn't it?
    I tried doing a search for a TY-42TM5D DVI Terminal Board and couldn't find anything, is there even a 5 series specific DVI board??
    Surely this would hint that there would be no reason why there wouldn't be backwards compatiblity with the new 7 series board and the 6 series???

    Or I could have got it all wrong or maybe someone has some information direct from Panasonic which says differently, if so please share it with the rest of us...

    Ryan
    :smashin:
     
  20. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Bump, anyone with some more input??
     
  21. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Well still no reply from Panasonic regarding my questions, does anyone here have the answers regarding this question:

    Cheers

    Ryan
     
  22. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    1. Panasonic do not have a good record in this area.
    2. The business case supports my view, i.e. encourages people to upgrade, which is a plasma sale and thus Panny getting a return on their investment in plasma technology (plants etc), whereas selling a £200 PCB is not.

    Anyone who refers to internal gubbins obviously doesn't have such documentation as the Technical Engineering Manuals that contain detailed circuit diagrams of these plasmas; but are easily purchased as PDFs over the internet for $10.

    Panasonic plasmas do not convert all refresh rates to 60Hz, they also support 48Hz and 50Hz too. Pioneer plasmas on the other hand (at least last years models) convert all fresh rates to 70Hz (and produce that infamous tearing effect).

    Some newer generation plasmas also support 100Hz rates for their internal frame buffers.

    How do I know this? Because I have enough PC skills to search the internet, find a "judder tester" piece of software, install it, run it, and see which frame rates work at native rates and do not "judder" or "tear" (two technical terms for imaging problems). And have tested not only have my 50" plasma screen, and my LCD television, and my LCD monitors, but my friends 50" plasmas, and my Sony GDM-FW900 CRT monitor too.

    If you want proof, run the test yourself on a range of screens, it's child's play.

    Furthermore, one can read the Technical Engineering Manuals rather than bother Panasonic UK who are not too well equiped to answer the questions because Japan tell them squat.

    Who do we think lent StooMonster different DVI boards from different Panasonic models to play with in the hope that he could help them?

    As I pointed out in other posts, if only it were as simple as flashing VESA EDID data to allow DVI cards to accept different resolutions life would be simple, it's the SILICON IMAGE DVI/DVI-HDCP/HDMI RECEIVER chips that limit the digital signal resolutions these screens accept. EDID only affects Plug-and-Play in Windows, not the card itself.



    Yes that is correct, and mentioned in other post in this group and others.

    Panasonic did not bother making a board for series 5, but series 4 board fits the series 5 screen. This was because there was no definitives about the direction of DVI/DVI-HDCP/HDMI in 2002 when series 5 was designed; so they just ignored the issue.

    This is the fundamental part of the problem, the series 4 board uses DVI Receiver chips that were available at the time in 2001 (Silicon Image SiI151A, go look them up yourself) and they only accept three resolution 640x480, 800x600 and 1024x768 @ 60Hz.

    However, from the Technical Engineering Manuals one can see that the ciruits are the same in series 6 and 5 screens, and the series 6 board could easily work with series 5 screens if they hadn't used different edge connectors and a different physical shape.

    HTH and I bet it's a better answer than you get out of Panasonic UK.

    StooMonster
     
  23. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Thanks For the comprehensive reply, that was the sort of thing I was hoping for, funny it comes from a fellow enthusiast and not from Panasonic, even though they have around 5k of my money, obviously giving tech support isn't too high on their agenda...

    This sounded like a bit of a dig, but with text u never can tell, anyway if it was then where exactly do I claim to have documentation such as the Technical Engineering Manuals??

    This sounds like really good news, but do you happen to know what the displayable frequency range is of the 50" series 6 Panasonic, i.e. 48Hz to 85H or will it display correctly up to its input limit of 120Hz?

    Just re-read another thread here which I had seen but forgot about.

    So are you saying that this means the HD units don't suffer from the reduced greyscale issue when taking a 50Hz Pal signal and running at quasi 100Hz?

    So if this is true I should be able to feed a 120Hz signal in from a PC and the plasma should display it as is?

    Slight missunderstanding here, I realise that the series 4/5 DVI board is hardware restricted, but it was the 6 series DVI board (for my 6 series 50") which I was talking about in that it is apparently hardware capable but has the issues with the wrong EDID information, so assuming the 6 series DVI card had the correct EDID information I could connect my PC to it and run 1366x768 @ 48/50/60Hz with no internal reconversion??

    Thanks again for your help, it really is appreciated.

    I will do just this, but I just figured that if you already knew the answers then I might as well just ask first..

    Ryan

    :smashin:
     
  24. Jackass

    Jackass
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    Stoo,

    Any update on retrofitting the 6 series internals into the 5 series DVI card?

    Thanks,

    Steve.
     
  25. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    rscott4563: technical manuals can be found from the likes of http://www.icxinyi.com/EN/ for about US$10, there are other places too. You can get the technical manuals of plasmas and their cards if you look around the net hard enough, but it may cost a couple of quid. I may have come across as a bit tetchy that day :blush:.

    Jackass: this should easily be possible, the problem is in locating the correct edge connectors -- they are Panasonic bespoke ones. I recon one could hardware or desolder connectors from series 4/5 boards and wire them up to series 6 board but this would be messy and a mistake could kill the screen.

    The Silicon Image SiI169 DVI-HDCP Receiver chip used in the TY-42TMD cards isn't all that either, it's okay, but still has it's issues.

    I've got 1:1 analogue pixel matching with both my Radeoned PC and DVDO iScan HD scaler with high quality cables and to be honest it's not very much different to the DVI.

    StooMonster
     
  26. rscott4563

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    I've been in touch with the UK technical department of Silicon Image regarding the SiI169 chip used in the Panasonic series 6 DVI input board.

    Here is a copy of my correspondence with Mr Aris Sotiriou of Silicon Image UK:

    This to me says that the DVI board can at least in hardware accept a range of refresh rates, we already know that it can accept native resolutions at 60Hz, but as StooMonster has pointed out the Panasonic plasma's can accept refresh rates of 48/50/60Hz without conversion via their analogue inputs and so it seems that there is no reason other than the firmware/EDID in the series 6 DVI board that is stopping the DVI input accepting these same rates at native resolution or any standard VESA resolution. Going back and checking the many previous posts regarding the Panasonic DVI problems on this and the US forum, I can't find any information as to whether anyone has managed to modify the DVI board to accept these different refresh rates, the modification has been done to alter the available resolutions, but what about refresh rates??

    I now have renewed faith that I may be able to get 48, 50 and 60Hz at 1366x768 via DVI...;)
     
  27. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    The easiest test is to ask any dealer that has DVDO iScan HD and Panasonic series 6 screens to demo to you -- Joe @ Media Factory, AV-Sales down here in Kent, etc.

    DVDO iScan HD displays 1366x768 at 48Hz, 50Hz, 60Hz (and any other resolution with ease) through DVI -- and it ignors VESA EDID.

    This will demostrate to you if this is achieveable, if it is then you can easily flash EDID and make it work with PC -- if it doesn't work then there is nothing you can do.

    I tried this on a Pioneer MXE, and all it would accept were 60Hz signals; and the series 5 card with SiI151 only accepts 60Hz too.

    StooMonster
     
  28. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Cheers Stoo, I suppose the challenge has been set for some kind hearted retailer or someone out there who has bought a iScanHD and has a series 6 Panasonic, to do a little testing and let us know.

    I really hope someone can help out here as it seems the iScanHD is the perfect device to test with if it does indeed ignore the EDID and is fully adjustable so as to achieve 1:1 mapping.

    Joe, Alastair, Anyone??? :lease:

    Ryan
     
  29. Jackass

    Jackass
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    Is there an echo in this forum :D
     
  30. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    I think we should keep any new posts regarding the DVI issue on this thread as the other thread was initially meant to be about the series 7 Panasonics.

    Ryan :smashin:
     

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