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Plasma / bigger displays – Am I Just Not Seeing It?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by TivoUK, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. TivoUK

    TivoUK
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    Let me set the scene here.
    Have had my 50 hz. Toshiba 32” widescreen TV for years – love it to bits.
    Never liked 100hz. screens, and plasma etc. , they introduced digital artefacts IMHO

    However, my views on these are several years out of date as I have been happy with my TV so not really looked at what has gone on over time. Did not want to buy new TV, did not look!

    In the last couple of weeks my views where at first changed, but are now slipping back to how they used to be.

    A couple of weeks ago I got to see some high def footage on a Panasonic plasma TV. Quite simply I was blown away – never seen quality like it, was like looking through a window, movies where light years ahead of DVD quality and I was smitten!

    With high def material being out there now, and with Sky high def, Blu Ray etc. coming online in the next year or so, coupled with the fact my TV must be getting on for 9 or so years old and could go bang at any moment, thought it might be time to upgrade.

    Have looked at plasma TV’s, LCD TV’s / projectors, DLP TV’s / projectors and have to say that IMHO they make everyday TV viewing a worse experience for me.

    Lower def stuff like Sky just looks worse on these types of screens to me, DVD’s show up picture artefacts that I do not see on my trusty CRT.

    Before you all start saying there are so many things that can influence how the low def stuff looks – hear me out!!

    I saw a Toshiba DLP rear projector TV, the latest Pioneer plasma TV in the same store. They where both feed Freeview picture from the same box via RGB SCART, Sky via the RGB and they both had a HDMI equipped DVD player in them playing the films. The store moved things around so I could test the screens getting the same signal, they were great like that.

    They just looked worse to me, with the DVD’s I am quite willing to accept that the difference was so minor that I am not sure it is there at all and I could live with it, but on the Freeview / Sky it looked horrible, subjective I know.

    At this point I should say that the problems I saw I do no blame the plasma / DLP for at all – it is the fault of the low def Sky / Freeview and their bit rates, going for more channels over picture quality.

    However, when you stretch these low def sources to fill higher def screens it amplifies the faults already there, and IMHO gives a worse viewing experience than my lowly CRT.

    Why not some “zoom out” mode for people like me?
    Allow me the choice of perceived quality over image size and let me shrink the low-def Sky / Freeview / aerial picture to a smaller area within the plasma screen that matches the resolution of the lower def stuff. This would mean the lower def picture was not being stretched to fill out the higher def screen and me seeing the picture problems the stretch introduces. My choice to view a smaller image on the big screen.

    Do not get me wrong, feed a high def movie the DLP and the plasma looked stunning and is so nearly a good enough reason to buy one, but if I am honest these high def movies and TV shows would be 10% of my viewing – the other 90% would be off low def Sky and would look poorer.

    Your views folks???
     
  2. braveknight

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    That's why some people spend £1K+ on a scaler...
     
  3. dilsher

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    indeed..scalers are the answer together with full ISF and SDI modded kit...

    Seeing a scaler in action on Sky.. I must admit - its blown me away and Sky is as good as DVD..even freeview xcan look unbleivbaly good - but you are talking dosh mate....

    Dil
     
  4. laser

    laser
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    Totally agree with you, TivoUK.

    A good DVD player and a DVD can look superb on newer plasma, LCD. However Freeview and Sky do leave a lot to be required.

    You must bare in mind that the resolution of most new plasma is 1024x780 or higher and thus greater than resolution of SD broadcasts, coupled with low bit rates, sometimes as low 3mb/s on Sky and Freeview you are going to get poor PQ.

    Scalers may help but if broadcasts are poor then whatever is displayed on the TV will be poor.

    CRT TV's have much lower resolutions and therefore do not show many of the inadequacies and so tends to look better than plasma or LCD with low resolution images.

    If you don't need to change your CRT and what lots of Sky or Freeview then you might be better to hang fire before replacing your TV and see have HD-DVD, Blue-ray and Sky HD shape up.
     
  5. pjclark1

    pjclark1
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    sky looks great on my panny 42"
    (most of the channels)
    analogue TV looks pooh though.
     

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