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pixel plus, Wega Engine etc - are they overrated?

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by richard plumb, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    I have a philips 30pf9975 with pixel plus 1. Mostly fed sky through a Tivo, via svideo. From my normal viewing distance of about 12ft, it looks fabulous - lots of detail, great movement etc.

    Its not HD ready, so I've been looking around at upgrade options. Seeing the cheap Samsung, and the cheap(ish) Sony 's' etc. But having pixel plus, and watching a lot of SD makes me think "hang on, I'd better get a set with a good SD engine"

    But I think they may be overrated.

    If I stand close to my TV (say 3-5ft), I can clearly see the absolute mess that is Sky - macroblocking, shimmery textures etc. Surely the adage 'garbage in, garbage out' is very appropriate to the UK digital TV area.

    Yes, DVDs look great, but I usually watch those on a front projector, so thats a relatively small section of viewing.


    Does anyone else think that for basic Sky / Freeview SD viewing, it really doesn't matter if you have a fantastic scaler in your TV or not?

    And just think what you could do with the savings - buy a nice upscaling DVD player, or the Sky HD box, or an xbox 360...
     
  2. andrewfee

    andrewfee
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    No matter what LCD you're watching, it'll look a mess up close. In the UK, television broadcasts, digital or not, are awful. Digital has far too low bitrates on 99% of the channels, so it tends to look crap. But it looked crap on my CRT as well, in my opinion.

    When an LCD is not displaying something at its native resolution (generally 720p) however, viewing distances become critical.

    A 32" set, for example, should be viewed at around 9/10ft. Any closer and it starts highlighting flaws in the source material. HD material can be viewed as close as you like though.

    These viewing distances also apply to CRTs - the difference is that with CRTs, while they don't look great up close, are running the broadcast at "native resolution" so they look "sharp" up close, even though they're blurring out details from the image. (such as macroblocking, which is far less noticeable)

    It's the catch-22 of an LCD really - you get to see every tiny little detail from the source, and with a properly set up display and a good source, it's the best looking television you'll have seen. With a crap input, however, it will show off all the little details you can't see on a CRT, but will also highlight all the flaws.

    Whatever you do, make sure you've got sharpness set to 0 on an LCD. You should have it set to 0 on any display, but it starts making things look worse a lot quicker on an LCD.
     
  3. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    If so, then if the original source doesn't look a lot better, why spend more on these upscaling engines? Surely their main (if not only) aim is to improve the quality of lo-def sources when scaled up to the higher res panels?

    I'm assuming that you'd want to bypass a lot of this for things like Xbox 360, Sky HD etc - do as little processing as possible when the source is nearly the same as the panel res.

    Therefore aren't you better off saving the money and getting the best HD panel possible and accepting that SD won't look any better than your old CRT?
     
  4. andrewfee

    andrewfee
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    Well, they can help quite a bit. I've got an upscaling DVD player, and it does wonders to DVDs, so I would imagine that the extra processing is worth it.

    However, there's only so much you can do with a low bitrate 720x480 image.

    If your primary use for the television is gaming, or skyHD, then there's probably not much point spending (potentially) more than twice the price on an LCD.
     
  5. David Mackenzie

    David Mackenzie
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    For me to say whether or not WEGA is overestimated, first of all I need to know exactly what it does and what it doesn't do. And right now, I don't. My Sony LCD WEGA TV has unbelievably good comb filtering (apparently better than that found on studio equipment), for example - and I don't know if this is a WEGA only feature or something found on all Sony TVs.

    I do however know that when I looked at DVDs on my Samsung LCD, I noticed a lot more visible MPEG compression than I had before. Do the WEGA TVs have a discreet filter for this kind of thing? If they do, then bravo to them because I never noticed any processing artefacts or side-effects at all. Or perhaps it's just down to different properties in the panel?

    I do agree though that all this "this magic word means your TV is greatly improved" is a bit hard to swallow. The manufacturers need to give us tech-heads exact explanations of exactly what their systems do.
     
  6. andrewfee

    andrewfee
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    Lyris, I'm not aware of the Wega/BRAVIA engine processing MPEG artifacts, however the Samsung has a faster response time, which would make them much easier to see. It could just be that your Sony LCD is blurring things enough to make them less noticeable without being bad for motion blur.
     
  7. ThePimpmaster

    ThePimpmaster
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    I think the technologies have good and bad sides. The Samsung has great performance with PC and HD material.But without a scalerlike Wega engine, bad sources will look worse. As long as we are fed up with bad sources the filters/scalers will be system sellers. For example, a Philips set with pixel plus looked great to me, with a normal source in the shop, but with HD material it wasn't better then the Samsung. I'de even say that Samsung looked better (up close).

    The technologies aren't overrated, they are actually needed to make old and new technologie work together efficiently.
     

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