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Panny PL30/PD30 - great settings - surprising results

Discussion in 'General TV Discussions Forum' started by IvanFraser, Nov 12, 2003.

  1. IvanFraser

    IvanFraser
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    Having had Panny's, a Sony and Phillips 32in w/s and just got myself a TX36PL30, I'd like to offer suggestions for setup, because the PL30 breaks the rules that I am familiar with - and this may also be the case for the PD30.

    This forum has helped me to get to grips with my sets over the years, so I would like to put something back in.

    I am assuming the PD30 has a very similar tube to the PL30, so I hope the following may sort out probs that some are experiencing.

    I have to disagree with the reviewer on this site for suggested setup. Having spent 5 days playing, I have found a setup that brings out the best in all formats.

    Firstly, I have ditched RGB - which was an assumption carried over from my previous sets - wherein it was always the best mode. Now I find s-video mode from my Phillips DVD gives the best pic, and composite from my Pace cable box. Imperfections are there on getting up to the screen but really not noticeable from over 5 feet away. Composite on the Panny is better than RGB was on the Sony Wega - richer and smoother all round. I've always felt the Pace cable from Telewest was a tad under-coloured, but the Panny brings out the best and enriches it well.

    But it's the display settings that surprised me and were so different to my other sets that were responsible for taking me so long to find the best picture.

    My previous sets benefitted from contrast up in the 60-70% with brightness at 50% or less. Not any more. For a while I had the AI mode off as it was over-contrasty, making whites painfully bright at times. But by adjusting contrast and brightness, this is reduced to a nice, clear white. Blacks still err on the dense side, but it's a characteristic of these sets and one soon gets accustomed.

    I now have the following settings and every mode sparkles:

    Contrast - 45%
    Bright - 60%
    Colour - 55%
    Sharpness 2 (one less than 50%)
    Colour Balance - Normal
    P-NR - Off
    AI - On
    Scan - 100Hz

    In the setup mode Flicker Reduction is set to On and when watching field sport to DDM (makes a big difference in reducing blurring of players and crowd in action and panning scenes).

    The above does not work with AI off and looks fairly dull. I don't like cinema settings with contrast and brighness and colour down - presumably so they don't blind us in bright scenes with the sheer amount of light, and probably to save a few bucks in the long run by reducing the burnout factor of their kit. I like the 'window' effect and like natural contrast, brilliance and colour. So the above settings were surprising and quite different to my previous sets - even the Pannys.

    Care needs to be taken with these sets as the settings are so fickle; change one aspect a tiny bit and others have to be tweaked to compensate. E.g. it's easy to have colour just too high - enough to cause only reds to be overdone, but a slight increase in brightness can compensate etc. Get it right though and the picture is superb.

    PD30s may have other settings and gizmos that I'm unfamiliar with, but I hope this helps with some of the probs people are having.

    I had probs in RGB with flickering, and routing the equipment through each other didn't help. But the s-video picture is as good as - if not better than the RGB, so I'm not sweating that at all.

    The main thing I learned is not to assume too much when setting up. Some rules for one set don't apply to others. And the PL30 (I hope PD30 too) might not seem such a great set if we assume that general settings and rules apply equally across the board.

    Cheers everyone

    Ivan :hiya:
     
  2. IvanFraser

    IvanFraser
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    Okay, so perhaps not the best setting for every scenario above :0)

    I found on a few tv progs that the whites were just too boosted by the AI.

    However, I've tweaked and found what I think now are the best all round, with scope for simple alteration on the occasional show that has just too much contrast. Using % is wooly on these sets as they aren't marked this way and don't have an even number of notches above or below 50% to gauge, so I'll call each press of the + button a notch. These tvs are so fickle and I found I have to have the precise settings for a well-balanced picture.

    Contrast: 50% (anything above this brings issues with the occasional tv show, but one notch above is okay for most, and makes a considerable difference when used in the following setup)

    Brightness: 4 notches (more can be too bright and less brings out issues with loss of detail and too much black on some shows)

    Colour: 1 notch above 50% (depending on the colour setting, certain colours are emphasized and de-emphasized - in particular a certain shade of red can jump out too much)

    Sharpness: 50%, but is malleable depending on the show.

    P-NR - off, but can be used occasionally for certain terrestrial or lower quality recorded videos (have a Panasonic vid which works extremely well with the PL30)

    AI: On (on occasion it may be necessary to turn this off if a show is awash with whites and is over-contrasty, though I haven't yet seen one - I expect sports with lots of white strips and perhaps cookery progs with chefs in white tunics etc. may be a little much on the eyes now and then)

    Colour balance: Normal (warm benefits NTSC vids which are usually very drained and require a reduction in brightness)

    Scan: Auto (I'm not sure if prog scan makes such a difference to NTSC as opposed to 100Hz)

    Flicker control: always on and ddm for sports (ddm doesn't go well with other tv shows like sports commentry, Ab Fab etc. and causes a degree of stutter during motion)

    Shame about RGB, because through cable it does have a more focussed picture, but some of the quality is lost by the minor flickering. It's not such an issue that I would sweat it, so am sticking with composite, which is better on this set than I've seen in several previous w/s 32in 50Hz models.

    Having had this setting for a couple of days, I think it's the best across the board.

    Keeping AI on makes a big difference to the vibrancy - and switching it off is an option if things get too contrasty on the whites, yet leaves a very reasonable picture.

    Even one or two notches off any of these settings can cause issues - even though they may be okay for specific programmes. So frustrating when you are tweaking settings according to what you're watching, only to switch over and find it doesn't work at all for something else.

    It's taken a whole week to get to this point, so I hope it helps some folk to find a good setup quicker and perhaps avoid having to spend so much time finding their best settings.

    May work for the PD30 too. Who knows?

    Cheers

    Ivan
     
  3. Turisu

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    Well the PD30 doesn't have an AI setting or anything like it so perhaps it's just permanently on or permanently off. So if these settings are based heavily on AI being on or off then it's hard to judge whether using them on a PD30 would give the same results you have.

    Thanks for sharing your findings :)
     

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