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Philips LCD - Pixel Plus / Pixel Plus 2 difference?

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by ase001, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. ase001

    ase001
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    What are the differences between Pixel Plus and Pixel Plus 2, the Philips web sites seems to be a bit mean with detail? You would think a new tele (32PF7520D) would use the latest i.e. Pixel Plus 2 if it was the next generation. So there must be some technical differences and cost. The only one I can see is colour enhancement. Can anybody point me at any information that can give me more detail?

    Perhaps somebody out there who owns a 32PF9986 could tell me if Pixel Plus 2 performs well and if you can switch the different functions on/off or switch between Pixel Plus and Pixel Plus 2. If so are there any changes in picture quality especially concerning skin tones.


    The real question is: - do Pixel Plus 2 screens justify the premium over Pixel Plus screens or have I got the plot completely wrong apologies if so?
     
  2. scrapbook

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    Even with Pixel Plus, most Philips users will use generally revert to Movie Plus instead as it has less side effects. i.e. Less Halo effect
     
  3. ase001

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    I heard this before and I think it was put down to the Pixel Plus engine (circuitry/Processor/firmware) not being quite up to the job. Although the technology used did work. So I expect Philips would use an enhance version of Pixel Plus engine in the new LCDs (i.e. 32PF7520D) to make it work with all none HD sources or what would be the point of Pixel Plus? Also Sony, Tosh and Panasonic versions seem to work well from reports on this forum so Philips must make their version work as well to be able to sell any.

    Maybe I am looking at this to simplistic as I have never had the opportunity to play with these technologies, but I plan to soon finances willing. As with many other readers on this forum shelling £1200 plus is not something you do lightly or very often and doing research like this is all part of the buying experience! So knowledgeable forums users please be patient and humour those (me) readers of this forum with limted knowledge!
     
  4. Rob1698

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    The Pixel Plus 2 works quite well (it may be the best avaiable), but of course you have something that works much better than what you have seen before, you start to see new room for improvement.

    You cannot really tweak the PP2 parameters. You can switch it off in two steps, and there are some settings like sharpness and noise reduction, but that's it.
    Even when you turn off PP2 processing, the result is not the same as in the "PP2 demo screen" where one half is "normal" and the other is "PP2". This I find a bit strange.

    Overall I am very happy with it. I have turned PP2 on all the time. But I don't watch DVD, only off-air. Mostly satellite, but sometimes digital and analog cable.
    IMHO this TV gives the best picture out of a standard PAL signal.

    Note the successor of the 9986 is the 9830. These are the Philips high-end TVs. Other LCDs have simpler processing and are sold at lower prices.
     
  5. Andy3

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    There's a piece about TV technologies in the latest Wot Plasma mag.
    Apparently, one of the problems with PP was that it could cause 'ringing' (a bit like 'black-after-white' on over-sharpened analogue sets) and slight de-saturation after a sharp edge. PP2 reduces this effect.
    Other things too, but the mag is upstairs and I'm on me 2nd Grouse! :D
     
  6. Cynthia 7

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    Hi ase,

    I have a Pixel Plus 1.5 crt television bought a year ago. It really has an incredible picture, which I keep on fairly natural settings, i.e. low contrast and low brightness. The Pixel Plus 2 is meant to be even better. On sports programmes there is a slight judder of the ball and Movie Plus aspect possibly reduces this. Whether this is more noticeable on lcd screens I don't know.

    I had decided on a 17PF9946 Philips lcd for my kitchen and that had excellent ratings in different magazines, not just av magazines, I didn't see any mention of this being a Pixel Plus screen.
     
  7. ase001

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    But how is PP2 better? What does it offer over PP? There seams to be quite a few quid difference between PP2 LCDs and that of PP LCDs or even none PP LCDs. We come down what all of us do when buying something, evaluate if the benefits of additional functionality/performance justify the additional cost. It’s very nice to own a super car but how often do you go at 200mph, you possibly will only ever do 70mph-ish therefore a Mini will do! Its the same with PP2 do you only use it occasionally or is it must have or will PP suffice or even no PP e.g 32PF5520? Is it just too much trouble to keep switching between modes that you leave it on the default, then a Mini will do. Whatever I get it must be female whoops family friendly and that I’m not constantly being called to change the settings each time a different type of program is on. P.S I have three females in my house who are non technical (Daaaaaad can you).
     
  8. They

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    I wrote an article on PP2 for HiFi News' AVTech section some months ago. A bit too much to reproduce here but if I can PDF it I will try and send you a copy if you like.

    I should point out though that PP was designed for CRT displays and doesn't work too well on fixed pixel displays like plasmas and LCDs. PP2 was designed to be more flexible in its scaling and enhancing processes to suit a variety of display technologies and works much better on PDPs and LCDs. It also includes 10bit processing, motion compensated noise reduction, an improved de-interlacer with features similar to Faroudja's DCDi and a unique 'line thinning' process which compensates for an artifact of transient improvment algorithms (edge sharpening) that can cause thin lines and point details to broaden. A very effective process. (The list goes on)

    PP2 still has limitations, most of which have been ironed out in the latest version called PixelPlus 2 HD to be debut on Philips' next range of LCDs and PDPs due between July and September 2005. January 2006 will see Philips' LCD range include its ClearLCD technology featuring Aptura, the trademark for its dimmable scanning backlight technology which greatly enhances motion sharpness as well as black levels and dynamic contrast ratios.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers.

    David.
     
  9. Cynthia 7

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    Hi They,

    Thank you for such indepth information. That is an amazing definition of Pixel Plus 2.

    Particularly interesting is the news of the future Philips Pixel Plus 2 HD range; I wonder if it will be really HD ready with compatibility with the HD Sky box. It seems it would be worth waiting until next year anyway to buy a set with Aptura.
     
  10. They

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    I believe that Aptura and ClearLCD are well worth the wait. I have seen both 32" and 42" LCDs using this technology and the results were very impressive. Philips were due to launch the technology in the 32PF9830 32" version of its latest LCD range due out in July, but I am told it has decided to wait until it updates the whole range (32, 37, 42 & 55 inch) early in 2006. That's a shame as I was considering getting the 32" for myself next month.

    (FYI, if anyone's interested in the technology, I have written an article for the September issue of HiFi News' AVTech section on LCD image blur and distortions, why they occur and why the problems can't be fully solved just by making the response times faster.)

    PixelPlus 2 HD is based on a completely new system design, running on Philips' Nexperia/TriMedia platform of super powerful multi-core Very-Long-Instruction-Word programmable processors. PP2 HD is now a fully digital system and current implementations are programmed to process and output up to 1366x768p resolution (24 to 75Hz). The pixel resolution has been chosen to match the maximum of the current and near future range of fixed pixel displays, although it is easy with the new system for Philips to up the rez to 1920x1080p when applied to such a display. PP2 HD features many new features and enhancements to existing ones. Digital Natural Motion (DNM) now includes a 'halo' artifact reduction algorithm that seems to work very well from what I have seen.

    I won't put too much detail here because PP2 HD is the subject of one of my forthcoming articles. But I hope the above helps.

    Cheers.

    David.
     
  11. Cynthia 7

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    Wow David, a lot of interesting news there. I shall certainly be buying the September issue of HiFi News.

    I had always assumed the response times had a marked effect on image blur and distortions with LCD, obviously not. Good news that the "halo" artifact reduction algorithm seems to work well, that is one of the major criticisms of Pixel Plus.

    I now have six months to save up for a 32" Philips LCD for the bedroom. I have a five year old Sony 28" crt currently and it never seems large enough after viewing the 36" Philips crt downstairs. Both are viewed at a distance of 11 feet. My godson would be delighted to receive the Sony.
     
  12. jimsan

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    Have just read the complete spec for the 9830 on another thread and am really surprised that Philips has abandoned the Scanning Backlight for the 9830. There has been a lot of talk about this new model on here and this particular feature had become very important to a lot of people.

    In fact I expect that a few orders have been placed for the 9830 on the strength of the inclusion of this Aptura feature, as it was featured in some of Philips press releases.

    There are going to be a number of disappointed folks out there.

    Jimmy
     
  13. Rob1698

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    Well, it just means I won't have to go to the shop and wonder if I should sell my 9986 and buy a 9830.
    Let's wait for january and look again.
     
  14. ase001

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    Thank you for the responses to my original posting. They have definitely wetted my apatite to find out more. One thing that has started to puzzle me since reading the latest replies is why would you need any sort of picture enhancement for HD sources especially if the LCD screen supports the native resolutions of those sources. Maybe colour enhancements but all the other stuff? Or is it to try and enhance low resolution sources to appear like a HD sources. I know in the HiFi world, top class preamps don’t fiddle with the source and try to faithfully reproduce the original sound. Will we move this way with TVs?

    For those who wish to play around with different effects on Low resolution TV sources and have a TV tuner in your computer try this program ‘DScaler’ found at this Web site http://www.dscaler.org/ It doesn’t add lines or pixels but does have different types of filters etc. I found changing the various options has different effects if you have a CRT or LCD monitor. Please read the information on the Web site before installing it, I wouldn't like you to screw your computer up. If anyone reading this thread has come across similar programs perhaps you could post the URL.

    What consistently seems to come out of these threads is that the technology is still some way from being stable. So I will bank my cash and sit tight for another six months and watch the technology matures a bit more.
     
  15. tont

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    Most LCD screens (1366x768) does not support the native resulution of HD (1920x1080). HD picture is very good but with Pixel Plus even better (more contrast and sharpnes, more 3D like). With HD Pixel Plus has not side effects (halo aroun small moving objects and s.o.) as with SD low resulution sources.
     
  16. jimsan

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    You're obviously a pretty clued up kinda bloke. The biggest problem that LCD's will have AFTER HDTV kicks in will be the black level detailing. This is still it's biggest problem and Philips scanning backlight is one of the first, if not the first, serious attempt to help this situation.

    You are right to wait, as I now feel that the 9830 is now less of an advancement on the 9986 than it previously was seeming to be, and if I'd placed an order based on the info available about it's scanning backlight, I would now cancel it.

    Jimmy
     
  17. scrapbook

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    It makes you wonder if the technology doesn't quite work yet. Why wait another 6 months for all manufacturers to catch up if you have a killer app?
     
  18. ase001

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    I suppose 1366x768 LCD panels originated from the computer industry and the TV industry adopted them as these were the only LCD panels available. Now that TV LCD panels are now starting to be dominate in the market you think there would be good commercial reasons to move to a native HD resolution. Plasma has moved to 1024x1024 which appears to be closer. If this was the case for LCD then costs must be reduced as the effort required to shape/stretch/shrink a picture would be that much simpler. Enabling some of the cheaper manufacturer create TV’s with acceptable picture quality without having to poor millions into R&D. Maybe it’s not in the interest of the Premium brand suppliers for that very reason or am I being a bit cynical?
     
  19. jimsan

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    The right resolution for up to 32" LCD's should be 1280x720. 37"+ panels should be 1920x1080. Simple really.

    Jimmy
     
  20. ianh64

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    I highly suspect compression artifacts will still be a problem. Have you seen HD1? It still gets pixellated just like SD digital transmissions - its just that the pixellation is higher in definition!

    -Ian
     
  21. ianh64

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    Are you talking about ALiS panels? They are in reality 1024x512 concurrently driven pixels - parts of the circuits for each adjacent rows are effectively shared giving an interlaced type of display. This is a backward step IMO, especially when you read how some manufacturers (like Hitachi Marketing dept) talk of 1080i support by cropping the bits of the picture that do not fit.

    I don't think that 1:1 pixel mapping is of any benefit to a broadcast signal since you still need to deal with overscan somehow so it is very possible that the picture would need to be scaled to avoid overscan issues even if the display was true 1280x720. PC display or from a scaler / upscaling DVD player may when a display can handle dot for dot input may be another matter.

    -Ian
     
  22. ase001

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    It must be a real challenge to come up with an algorithm which stretches a 720p HD picture to 768 lines without visually distorting the picture as you must compensate in the horizontal plane as well or you would get a fattening or thinning effect. A 1080i HD to 768 lines without distortion must be harder as each frame is only 540 lines.

    It must have been relatively easy for a standard picture sources. I guess there are about 400 (usable) lines, so you would just double both horizontal and vertical information (give or take a few lines/pixels).

    Getting to 1080p HD must be near impossible without have a native HD resolution (1080) panel as the processing power required is probably not economically available today. Look at the PC industry, to handle that resolution you have to spend a couple hundred quid just on the graphics card. I know the functions of graphic cards are different to that needed in a TV but the processing power requirement must be similar. Also the PC has scale on its side, there must be zillions of graphic cards out there!

    So I shall not hold my breath, I’m sure we won’t see true HD 1080p TV for some time (well within my price range)!

    So I will base my focus for selection of an LCD TV on standard TV and 720 HD picture performance.

    I can probably understand why Philips are late to market with their PP2 HD engine and why it’s going to cost a few quid when it eventually hits the market.

    Maybe I looking at this to simply, I’m sure knowledgeable forum members will put me right.
     
  23. Rob1698

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    That is actually the correct thing to do. There is an area of "overscan" defined for all TV formats, including HDTV, that a TV is not supposed to show.
    Of course it is a waste, and of course we want to see everything. But my Philips 9986 also crops a 1080i picture before scaling it to 1366x768!
    (then again when displaying 720p it does not crop it...)
     
  24. Rob1698

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    This is what the scaler is designed to do. It may seem like a challenge at first, but actually it is just a simple transformation using an input buffer, a transformation matrix, and an output buffer.

    A scaler does not work by naive "pixel doubling" anymore. Early scalers for computer LCD panels worked that way, that is why the picture looked so ugly when 640x480 was displayed on an 800x600 panel, e.g. during system boot.

    But now even computer panels have a scaler, and the only ill effect of scaling up is the "soft" (blurry) look of the fonts, just like anti-aliased fonts.

    So, it really does not matter what scaling factor you want, it does not need to be integral at all. It is a challenge in terms of computational power (and explains why digitally processing TVs are still expensive), but not a design challenge.
     
  25. ase001

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    So are you saying that LCD TV screen effectively simulates a CRT screen in the way the picture is displayed not pixel by pixel? So in its simplest form it just a 768 line CRT screen? If this is true then do the low cost LCD screens use analogue scalars?


    P.S Thank you again for those contributing to this thread, I am truly finding this discussion simulating and fascinating. Cheers.
     
  26. tont

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    Yes, and I think it crops from 1440x810. And 1440x810 is exactly 3/4 from
    1920x1080. It is not need lot of computational power to drop every 4. line and every 4. tot on line. 1280x720 is 2/3 of 1920x1080 to drop every 3. line and every 3. dot on line. Upscaling from 720x576 and Pixel Plus bettering need computational power and this is reason why on LCD is better than other. May be that cropping from 1440x810 is reason why PC 1:1 pixel is not achievable on 1366 resolution.
     
  27. ase001

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    I'm gob smacked! If only they could map 1:1, you could solve a lot of problems. You could process 2 or 3 frames in front of the frame showing and determine if you could switch pixels off early to minimize slow pixel switching effects and other things like that.

    I hate to think of the processes involved, how many times does a digital picture from a DVD for example go from digital to analogue and back again and eventually back to analogue to be display on digital system that is simulating an analogue TV. The mind boggles, as I said earlier in super HiFi equipment they don’t mess around with the source and try to faithfully reproduce it as it was recorded. Maybe it’s time for change and go pure digital from source to display. You would get the picture the director intended instead of an over processed load of crap.

    I’m firming up my conclusion that I must wait and it’s going to be along wait! When I eventually invest it’s got to last, my current Panny 25” CRT is 15 years old and going strong all be it the contrast is a little dim (well a lot, I just watch it a dark room). PQ is damned better that some LCDs I seen around. I think I’m slowly moving back into the CRT camp maybe the Samsung WS-32Z308, I know it’s far from perfect but it doesn’t blow all my future LCD budget! This gives time for LCD technology to mature a bit more and for me to save.

    GO PURE DIGITAL
     
  28. Rob1698

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    No, no... that is not true! It crops about 20 pixels at all edges. Only a small border area.
     
  29. tont

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    Is the 21 pixels bigger border than 20 pixels? 810-768=42 42/2=21
     
  30. ase001

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    Moving on has anybody compiled a table listing the features of PP and PP2 and what they do? Better still a list including the equivalents by other manufactures as well (Dist, DNie, VERA etc)? It would easier then to scan this forum for comments about individual functions from manufacturer to manufacturer.
     

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