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Philips 36PW9618

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by SuperDupe, Aug 11, 2004.

  1. SuperDupe

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    Hey guys,

    Looking to get hold of the Philips 36PW9618 and wanted to check out your views! I hear its pretty much the best 36" tv on the market at the moment.

    Also, anyone know where I can get a good price on one? Considering picking one up graded or a new one priced matched by John Lewis.

    p.s. if anyone knows of known problems etc. that would be great to know!
     
  2. C.Wolf

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    This is a great set, but you will have to experiment with the picture modes to get a picture you like with least faults/compromises. Pixel plus makes pictures look unnatural, as if anything in the foreground has been cut and pasted onto the background. There is also some smearing on fast moving pictures. But for all its problems its still a great tv if you can get it for the right money. ;)
     
  3. Maxi_TK96

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    As far as the "unnatural" issue goes I'd say it's something of a "eye of the beholder" thing. I find that the image which the 36PW9618 produces is crisp with a lot of details. One thing which you will notice is that the amount of details can be a bit weird at first but you'll get used to it very soon and will regard any other sets with disgust :)

    Just remember that the picture which the 9618/Pixel Plus gives is somewhat different fro what other televisions provides due to motion compensation and oversampling (which produces those very nice details).
     
  4. C.Wolf

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    The unnatural picture is not "in the eye of the beholder", it is a well known problem with pixel plus. Magazine reviews talk of it, and other members of these forums. As for the crisp detail, I agree this is about as good as ive ever seen. As I said before, if you experiment with the picture modes on the 9618 you can generally get a good comprimise between great picture and not too many digital artefacts.
     
  5. Mucus

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    I've had the 32PW9618 for around three weeks now.

    Most people I've spoken too seem happy with the PW9618. Search through the forums and the general verdict seems to be that this is one of the better Philips W/S sets.

    But I'm still not totally satisfied. Actually, I'm quite gutted. Not sure if it's a specific PW9618 issue, or an issue with 100hz W/S sets in general...

    Got it for what I assume is a good price - £800 with stand from a leading (ie. lots of ads in magazines) internet supplier. No problem with them. It arrived on time. My wife and I set up the stand excitedly, switched it on and… were a little surprised at the disappointing picture.

    You definitely need to adjust the settings away from the factory presets in the first few days (reduce contrast/brightness/switch some of the digital treatments off). And not sit too close!

    Problems spotted so far (and which others have pointed out elsewhere in the forum):

    • Sky (if you've got it) quality varies wildly. We watch it through a good quality RGB cable and it's smeary/blocky on some channels - even between programmes on the same channel - BBC news is OK, local BBC news is awful etc. The same could be said of the PW9618's peers - most modern TVs need a good quality feed to do them justice.

    • Dirty screen/dirty marks/clouding/tube face - call it what you want, but it's the biggest problem for me. On a panning shot with a light background, it looks like the inside of the screen's coated with a patchy layer of dust. Once you see it, it's hard to look through it. Most evident on brightly lit programmes such as BBC's DIY programmes my wife forces me to watch. She hasn't mentioned seeing the dirty effect yet, but I see it all the time. Again, the PW9618 doesn't seem to be alone in this respect...

    • The dreaded black lines - I haven't seen them yet. Although... I do have a faint white horizontal line through the centre of the picture - normally you can't see it, but on a vertical panning shot, it's there all right. Search through the Pixel Plus forum and you'll see some photos that are similar to the effect I'm getting.

    • Halos around some moving objects (particularly when against complex backgrounds). Sit at a reasonable distance (my viewing's comfortable from 8ft+) and they won't be too intrusive.

    • I also seem to be missing more off the left of the picture than the right. Most sets have overscan issues, but for me it's just odd that it seems to be down one side. If I view the BBC news on 4:3, the image isn't central - thinner black bar on left than on right. Using the THX optimizer on Finding Nemo, the 16:9 image (circle in rectangle) is missing a slice off the left.

    Good stuff? Well it sounds great. And the picture can be rich and colourful. And the potential for incredibly detailed images is there (watch Lord of the Rings - the most detailed beards you've ever seen...). The remote's nice and heavy. The whole thing looks a quality item (from the outside). There's lots of stuff to fiddle with.

    But coming from a nine-year-old Sony Trinitron 28" 4:3 (now dead) which was a blinding set with no issues with Sky, a natural looking picture with no detail-enhancing oversampling – and no dirty marks, I'm disappointed. The new set is the focal point of our living room and I'm a little embarassed to switch it on in front of guests now! At least it treats Pixar DVDs with respect - I've watched Finding Nemo/Monsters Inc hundreds of times now thanks to my two-year-old and it always looks great.

    I'm past the 7-day 'distance selling' law, and I can't face the whole returns procedure - hell, I might end up with worse 'features' than I have now, and the idea of going through 5+ sets as some have on this forum fills me with fear. But I can't help feeling if I'd plumped for a smaller TV (17" LCD?) I might not be feeling quite so irritated.

    Sorry, this has turned into a bit of a rant. Every W/S TV I've looked into (and I did a helluva lot of research before the latest purchase) seems to have issues. And there are lots of satisfied PW9618 owners out there, it seems.

    Does anyone know if there's a cure (or at least a way of reducing) the dirty screen effect? I can probably put up with the other 'features', but I like my picture clean...

    Thanks!
     
  6. Maxi_TK96

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    If you put a Pixel Plus "recruit" in front of the telly and show the screen I'm sure that the level of motion compensation and level of details can seem unnatural to some since this is something which they are no used to. One must remember that only very few sets have these features so they might seem weird at first. For examples when going to the cinemas the pic there doesn't have any motion compensation, it flickers and stutters when panning which makes it seem like a bad experience which is true if you go there after having PP on all the time. With me it took a month before the image became appealing for me meaning at first I regularly switched to PixelPlus (movies) and 100 hz digital scan (television broadcasts) but nowdays I don't bother with the "regular" 100 hz mode because it's so inferior.

    As far as magazine reviews go I have my doubts whether they bothered to set the tv correctly which (setting up to your preference) is very important especially with these sets where there's plenty of technology inside. The 9618 is very configureable so special attention should be put to setting up the thing correctly.
     
  7. Sunny101

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    Hi everyone,

    I have posted a few replies about my 32PW9618 on the thread before this one.

    I have to totally agree with mucus on this one. Everything you've said is spot on.

    The picture is not natural at all! Iv had the set fo 8 days, well kind of:

    I had my set replaced - due to very poor geometry, pixel plus problems, no auto aspect ratio switching, lots of cropping.

    I couldnt even watch anything on Pixel Plus - its too fake looking, it looks like your watching live broadcast of a cheap play. I reall dont understand how anyone can say thats its excellent. I agree its one of the clearest pictures iv seen, however, the "feel" you get is unwatchable.

    I can only view in 100hz digital scan as this gives the only natural picture. But I get horizontal lines running across the screen in this mode. Thats the main reason I has the set replaced, that too along with geometry. The second set...

    ...is worse! the geometry is totally out. The left side of the rectangle in the THX test is stil missing, and now, the right hand side is not even straight! its like a child has drawn a wonky like;)

    Im in a battle with the retailer for a refund at the moment. And what a rude retailer I must admit. Ive been liasing with Philips who have agreed to the set being very faulty the way Iv described it to them. They even told me that the retailer is not coopertaing at all.

    Mucus dont be afraid to get your money back, you have every right to a perfect tv set. Dont put up with something youre not happy with. If the retailer refuses to give my money back, ill be more than happy to go to Trading Standards, or even Watchdog. Retailers shouldnt be able to get away with being rude and adopting a "sorry mate you get what you paid for" attitude.

    Sorry for the gripes, I would love to say the sets wonderful, but now im looking for a more natural pictue, my 4:3 42" Toshiba rear projection is more of a delight to watch than this over processed thing anyday.

    If you get a perfect picture on 100Hz - then youve got a great picture. Also, this set doesnt have component which puts me off as I cant make use of the progessive scan facility on my DVD player.

    Will let you guys know how i get on...

    Sunny
     
  8. Sunny101

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    Hi Maxi,

    I also felt the same at first - that its just that we're not used to viewing the picture in such a manner. But its more than that - much more. The picture looks like your actuakky behind the camera when it was being filmed.

    Agreed thats the best quality you can get. But is this is how you really want to watch a film? Do you think the director intented us to see it this way?
     
  9. Maxi_TK96

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    A big post but a proper one!
    As far as PixelPlus and television broadcasts go it's a bit of a problem; PP needs to have a good quality source to make the pic look good and to be honest: as far as digital tv goes some channels have **** poor quality (blocky picture, compression artifacts) which will look bad with any large screen, especially with one which brings out details as aggressively as PP.
    As far as television broadcasts go (digital/analog) I suggest switching off PP and using the 100 hz mode since this obviously is a problem in your opinion. As far as DVDs go I recommend using the PP mode (PixelPlus or MoviePlus) since imho PP is best used with DVDs and console games.

    Settings:
    When watching movies use PixelPlus or MoviePlus with sharpening set to none or as low as you can get. When using the 100 hz mode you can easily go +5 (increase sharpening by pressing forward 5 times) without any problems.

    As far as halos go I suggest using the MoviePlus mode since special attention was to reduce halos when using that mode.

    What you call as "clouding" most likely refers to a problem with motion compensation. Any 100 hz with motion compensation technology built in has this problem so it can be seen as a "general 100 hz problem". As far as how the 9618 goes here the problem is definitely there but after experiencing Sony's KV-36HQ100 (I actually owned this for a short while) I'll take the Philly set any time.
     
  10. Mucus

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    Hello Maxi

    I guess there's nothing I can do about the dirty screen effect then? I'm getting confused by various bits of advice (switch the comb filter off! Switch the TV on for 1 minute, switch it off for 30 minutes...). As you report, I've heard of other sets suffering with this to a greater extent. It still depresses me though.

    I have tried the 100hz option, but, like Sunny, I find my eyes drawn to the wavy horizontal lines on this (moire?), and the unwatchably flickery double lines mode.

    I guess I'm convincing myself more and more that I'll need to return the set, but it seems to me every single TV gets suffers some flaws. And I'll have to research my consumer rights, I guess. The wife's not going to be pleased...
     
  11. C.Wolf

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    My brother has a 36pw9618 and he never uses pixel plus. He uses movie plus and 100hz modes, as these give a more natural picture with less digital effects. :thumbsup:
     
  12. Mucus

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    Just did a quick search on google with "motion compensation dirty window". Throws up a lot of scientific papers on why the dirty screen effect exists, as well as the various ugly effects caused by MPEG compression etc.

    Guess there's no solution then.
     
  13. Maxi_TK96

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    As far as settings go I have resorted to using PixelPlus mode since the motion compensation doesn't seem that aggressive when using MoviePlus mode. There is a problem with the halo effect but it doesn't bother me so much that I'd want to get less aggressive motion compensation as a trade off.

    I'm afaird that unless we get very powerful processors very quickly we will just have to suffer with the "100 hz motion compensation" problem for a while. Let us hope that those egg heads @ R&D will figure out a cure. PixelPlus v2 should have a bit better motion compensation included but since I haven't seen a PPv2 set I don't know that for sure.
     
  14. SuperDupe

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    Hey guys -

    thanks for all the advice on the philips set - I picked up a Hitachi 32PD3000 plasma today instead for a (frankly ridiculous) £1,299.

    Don't know what I would have thought about the 9618 had I got it, but reading the posts I'm very glad I took this route. The Hitachi has an amazing picture on nearly all feeds!
     
  15. jah

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    Hi,

    I take it that the 36pw9618 is the latest incarnation of the 36PW9308. I assume that it is the model you would recommend I buy in the absence of a new Pixel Plus 2 version of the 36"?

    Cheers,

    jah
     
  16. Lyricman

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    The 9618 is a discontinued model and the 9308 is a current model
     
  17. Lyricman

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    Well after months of waiting, looking, evaluating finally landed a bargain. The Philips PW9618 for £799 from Curry's end of line sale yesterday. Must say the picture is absolutely fabulous for a TV of this size. Don't know if other branches may be selling them off.
     

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