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Plamsa Dilemma - DVD Great, TV Rubbish!!!!

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs Forum' started by Jasonjo, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. Jasonjo

    Jasonjo
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    Hi All,

    I have been deliberting over getting a plasma for quite some time, now and I am pretty much sold on the Panny PWD6 or the PHD6 after seeing them at Event II and at AV-Sales.

    HOWEVER, although I am totally blown away with DVD pictures, I cannot get my head around the rubbish pictures you get with normal TV. So far, I have seen the Panny with both Freeview and Sky. But I am not sure I can live with the fizzing and noisey picture which seems to result, even with supposedly good bitrate channels. Thus far I have seen Sky with scart, VGA and component (using the JS tech convertors) but not managed to see it with NTL (which is my current source at home). TBH I have not been happy with normal TV pictures through any of these methods from what I have seen...

    So, after having convinced the wife that plasma is the way to go, I am pretty sure the first thing she will say once I connect the NTL digibox is "hmmm...the picture was better on the old TV (32PF10 CRT)" - as we tend to watch TV 80% and DVD 20% this will not be good news :( :suicide:

    So, can anyone offer a solution to improve normal TV pictures???

    I am quite happy to spend a few extra quid if changes are noticabley better....

    Or am I worrying unnecessarily, as NTL digital is far better then sky when used with plasma (as it looks brilliant on my 32" CRT at the moment)???

    Thanks

    JJ
     
  2. loonatic

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    Hi JJ,

    First things first...you won't match the quality of your current CRT no matter what you do, not with the current crop of plasma/LCDs. It's not all the screens fault it has alot to do with the poor bit rates we have to suffer.

    Your only real option is to look into using an external scaler such as an iScan Ultra or Lumagen Vision but these will still not match what you have and will introduce their own problems such as lip-sync and on the iScan at least dropped frames or slow-down. Plus they will add, with extra cables, from £600 to £1000+ to the price.

    Sorry not to be more positive but that's just how it is IMHO.

    You might want to take a look at LCDs as IMHO they produce a more natual looking picture but they still have their faults.

    I have had a Pio 433HDE and a Sony 30" LCD over the last 12 months - the Pio was returned and I have just sold the Sony this week.

    And the only thing I am really pleased about is that I still have my old 28" Sony CRT.

    Tough call mate with no simple answer...as it stands I would not want to replace my CRT 100% for either a plasma/LCD.

    Cheers, Lee
     
  3. Koing

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    It is not the plasma's fault.

    It only MAGNIFIES the 'poor' signal in the tv reception or the over compressed signals that sky use. Even worse with OTA tv programes.

    Like watching a 320x240 resolutin video on a 21" monitor maximised. Running 1600x1200 = it looks poor. Poor source poor output. That is the no1 reason why dvd looks so much better. Higher resolution.

    The Sky digital stuff I looked at seemed good to me from what I have seen.

    imo ntl digital looks worse then sky digital. I see more blockiness in ntl digital then sky digital. Well at my friends place that is. Can't confirm for anywhere else though.

    Koing
     
  4. Koing

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    Also forgot to add that the pure increase in screen size magnifies the floors in the poor signal even more. The smaller the tv screen the better the signal 'well appear' if it is poor.

    Koing
     
  5. hornydragon

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    HD sat???
    Freeveiw istechinally best source so spend £100+ on good FV box ie netgem thathas yuv and see what you think on CRT compared to ntl
     
  6. MAW

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    I project NTL at 8 ft horizontal, it can look good or total c***. I have 2 connections, YUV and s-video. poor bitrates are better with s-video, it hides the problems a bit! I've tried this with a borrowed PW5, same result. Netgem does work well, noticeably better than my Pace twin. Most of all, netgem saves £170 to connect via YUV switching, the price of a converter and interconnects.
     
  7. Jasonjo

    Jasonjo
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    Thanks Chaps...

    Although expensive, has anyone had success with TV picture improval using an Iscan for normal TV? Is this a good compromise to get TV to a more watchable picture?

    Maybe I need to demo with a scaler to see I guess...

    JJ
     
  8. MAW

    MAW
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    iscan works well with HD plasma, IMHO not so good with a PW6. But you might think different, well worth a try. The audio delay needs to be sorted, it's a real problem. It's a solvable problem though, just more money....
     
  9. Jasonjo

    Jasonjo
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    Hmmm...ok thanks MAW - and I though 3k for the plasma was enough already ;) silly me...

    JJ
     
  10. Jasonjo

    Jasonjo
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    So, am I just fussy or do you guys suffer a worse picture for normal TV in favour of the other plasma benefits???

    JJ
     
  11. joys_R_us

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    SIZE MATTERS: at least for me ! Comparing my 43" Pio with a 28" CRT I am clearly in favour of the plasma, even with (good quality) TV channels. The premium digital channels here in Germany are generally not that far away from DVD quality. DVD of course is a nobrainer...

    Even the missus was impressed last night with the film quality on the TV (non DVD).

    BTW: It might help to increase your sitting distance a bit, if this is possible. From 3 meters on it really is FUN !
     
  12. Jasonjo

    Jasonjo
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    Thanks Joys, yeah I have been testing from about 8-9 ft, problem is that my room will only allow a max viewing dist of this...:-(
     
  13. nealgs

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    Hi JJ,

    My reply as requested :)

    We upgraded (depending on who's point of view ;) ) from a Panasonic 32PF10 to a Pioneer PDP-433MXE just over a month or so ago - DVD and sky box are fed to plasma via JSTech RGB2YUV via Yamaha Reciever.

    Our viewing is probably 75% TV (Sky)/25% DVD, whilst our 2yr old son it's more like 75% DVD/25% TV (he's currently mad about Monsters Inc, Ice Age, Dinosaur, Finding Nemo, Toy Story1&2, Bugs Life)

    It's a difficult one to comment in that yes, there are faults:

    1. lip-sync issues on Sky, only occasionally, and mostly on the less normally watched channels eg. UK Style etc. Don't remember seeing them on the 32PF10
    2. Occasional pixellation (but IIRC this did happen on the 32PF10) so more than likely a Digi box issues (Amstrad unit :( )

    it's hard to say were the problem lies as connectivity to the new Display system has changed considerably compared to how connection was achieved with the 32PF10.

    There are quite a few new variables involved, new TV, Converter boxes, Video switching via amp, ongoing sky transmission quality variations, weather, etc.

    IMO and for our setup and viewing style etc, the sky picture quality hasn't really changed that much (if at all) the lip-sync can be lived with as it's fairly rare, and the other benefits of the Panel far outway that one (minor) issue.

    The biggest critic for anything that would be different after spending so much money (and i'd say this probably applies to most of you guys also) is SWMBO.

    The only thing mine has commented on has been the lip-sync, and that was only once a couple of weeks back.

    hope this helps
    regards
    Gary
     
  14. philipb

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    For normal TV from sky or anywhere, a good CRT will outperform a plasma in some aspects of PQ - contrast being the most obvious. But the plasma will have perfect geometry which no CRT can ever achieve.

    You may have high standards so not sure what constitutes rubbish to your eyes- but my Sky+ PQ on a 433MXE is very good - the thing you have to do is stop comparing it with a CRT. A key step in improving my PQ was to put a Mark Grant mains lead on the Sky+ box.

    When Sky+ is good its excellent - I watched the Heist couple of nights ago on Sky movies and it was like watching a DVD, superb PQ. When its poor the plasma will show it up I'm afraid.
     
  15. Jasonjo

    Jasonjo
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    Cheers Gary - hmmm....interesting as the current picture on my 32PF10 is great - no where near the fizzing, noisy one I saw on demo...

    I really, really want to say what the hell and suffer a little loss in quality for TV, but from what I have seen the "loss" is quite substantail compared to the current 32PF10...also I am worried that after spending 3k I will be stuck with a poorer picture for most of the time and then will not be able to return it!!!! Home trial would be cool, but alas not really practical...

    Philip - yeah, I am happy to suffer the contrast issues, it is mainly the fizzing and noise over blocks of colour that I found distracting. Interesting thought about mains cables etc.

    JJ
     
  16. nealgs

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    Gota say our 32PF10 PQ was awesome too.

    In my eyes the PQ of the Plasma sometimes exceeds that of the 32PF10.

    I would definately say that in regards to PQ, we have not taken a step backwards going with the MXE (from a sky and DVD PQ view), it's as good as the 32PF10 (wether that means our Panny was not setup properly I don't know :) ) but both myself and the wife are pleased with it (and kids too)

    And neighbours are jealous too - result hehe :), it's now a case of keeping up with the neals :devil: :smashin:

    Gary
     
  17. steve36

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    Jasonjo
    I agree with some comments above, sometimes on the Sky movie channels it's almost as good as DVD.
    The other day I had channel-5 via Sky+ on and thought it was a DVD it was so detailed. The difference from channel to channel is very noticable.

    But sometimes when I look at backgrounds I think yuk if only sky were'nt so arrogant that we have 200+ channels of low-bitrate s***.
    Overall I would'nt go back to CRT, even if I did have 3 foot of living room spare for the back of the CRT and a table to take the 90Kgs.
    I am normally quite fussy and I think that the percentage of good viewing is acceptable even to me.

    One other thought that I can't explain, the noise level within the Sky picture seems to vary from day to day, possibly due to atmostpheric conditions. This actually caused me some concerns when testing, and may have affected the viewing you have done.

    Regarding contrast, maybe my CRT was faulty, but I find my plasma to have higher contrast to the level where I normally turn the settings down.

    Steve.
     
  18. kharris777

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    AAARRRGGHHH

    Just set up my shiny new Hitachi plasma and i must say Im very dissapointed with the SKyPQ. So much so that I might even take the thing back (if I can get away with it that is).

    I am using RGB SCART out with Monster Scart.

    After using this scart lead it defo made a diff, but I not sure if spending anymore will make it any better.

    DVD is good though...
     
  19. geeWcee

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    I think I'll buy a 36" CRT after reading these posts!!
     
  20. kharris777

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    So here is my plan but I need more info

    Can't find the thread but it is suggested that a decent Freeview box willoutperform the sky channels on a like for like basis.

    Is this true, is the bit rate higher for freeview then Sky? I am desperate to get more PQout of my standard viewing for my new 42" plasma but SKy is certainly not cutting it at the mo!

    Obviously before anyone says, I know that not all the channels are on Free view!
     
  21. kid rock

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    I bought a Plasma 2years ago the NEC plasma sync and added the Silicon Images I scan pro- fantastic picture even on Sky via S video -virtually no noise or artefacting and better contrast. My advice buy just a Plasma monitor and get an external prog scan source ie the Silicon Image. Much better than my CRT 28 Sony!!!!


    Cheers
    Kid Rock
     
  22. geeWcee

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    You promise??? ;)
     
  23. Brogan

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    I wouldn't be so sure about that.
    I was testing my old Panasonic 4:3 TV yesterday as a chap was buying it off me.
    I plugged Sky in to show him it all worked and I was suddenly reminded just how bad the PQ is on a plasma.
    The movie channels are generally pretty good but some of the other channels are just dire.
    It's almost like watching a worn out old video cassette through a pair of dirty net curtains...
     
  24. MAW

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    Brogan, I hope you are just illustrating your point? It's not so terrible is it?
     
  25. blindlemon

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    Have you read the posts in here? :devil: :D :D
     
  26. Brogan

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    Well...perhaps I am exagerating a bit...but not much.
    Some of the low bit rate channels are truly awful when they've been blown up to 50".
     
  27. Brogan

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    Duplicate post deleted.
     
  28. MAW

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    Thought this marvellous media box waved it's majic wand over poor bitrates? No, that must be a special extra in Costas' plasma, you should ask him where he got it, his is stupendous, best plasma picture in the world.
     
  29. Blu-rayx

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    :hiya:


    Sky PQ on my Hitachi is very good :smashin:


    DVD:D
     
  30. sapper

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    I/we have a Pio433 MXE monitor box.

    For TV, we use Telewests digital TV service feeding the Pio via a RGB-Scart converter (J_S technology)

    We do not subscribe to any premium channels.

    Whilst the picture quality isnt brilliant, it is very watchable, even on the docuemntry type channels....

    Certainly, I have had no regrets going from a philips 32 Wide screen to a plasma.. (the tv blew up last month and could not be repaired! the popele we gave it to had to buy a new one!)

    Adrian
     

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