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Plasmas - why are they so rubbish with normal TV?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by darrens, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. darrens

    darrens
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    Sorry for the controversial title but having finally decided to get myself a plasma I actually went somewhere to have a look at a few yesterday. They had all the latest plasmas from Pioneer, Panasonic, Sony etc and I came away incredibly disappointed.

    The problem was that while the plasmas were fine from a decent source, (HD hard drive, DVD) they were absolutely rubbish from Sky, Sky+, freeview, idtV and so on.

    Now I was obviously expecting a big quality difference but what I wasn't expecting was that the pictures would look so much worse than a bog standard CRT. To be honest, I don't quite understand the reasons why but my only conclusion was that either the technology needs to get better or we have to wait for better sources.

    Even the forum's favourite (the PW7) fed from a Sky+ box looked terrible.

    I'll look at plasmas again when Sky introduce HD but at the moment they are just aren't ready with normal telly. I guess its my own fault for believing the hype but there are plenty of people/articles that make out plasmas are fine for normal viewing.

    Great with DVDs. Great with HD sources (they had some HD LGs running a hard disk demo which just looked incredible). Awful with TV.
     
  2. LV426

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    ......because they reveal more of the shortcomings of the signal - digital compression artefacts, for example - than CRTs do......
     
  3. Mep

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    depends on many factors..........some satellite channels are just bad anyway and a plasma will make them look worse because of its size....many shops daisy chain teh links to screen so source is worse than it would be at home.....sky+ via JS Tech converter will look much better.
     
  4. Likvid

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    Buy a scaler if you can afford it and forget about the Js Tech, i have one and i am NOT happy.

    If i could scale the SD picture to 1366x768 i think i could remove much of the softness in the picture.
     
  5. davegtt

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    its not the telly thats rubbish, infact the plasma is much better, so much better infact it shows up the inperfect signal that Sky/NTL are sending etc

    thats how I see it anyhow
     
  6. superpixel

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    :rotfl: i never knew plasmas were such esteemed reference video monitors

    those tube TVs and video projectors must have some incredible video processing hiding inside them to correct those shortcomings.

    i have to say though: Sky, Freeview, Analogue - it shouldn't look too shabby compared to DVD, so I suspect the shop setup. Analogue TV is my favourite signal, even sans anamorphic :D
     
  7. Mep

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    But you are in a minority there, as you say in another thread it may not be right with your set up but I haven't seen anybody else disappointed with the JS and it is £800 cheaper than a good scaler. Incidentally have you thought about selling it in the classified section? there are mnay of people always looking to get one here...or maybe there is a fault with your JS?
     
  8. Dune

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    Well yes but if the net result is a rotten picture from your main source how much comfort is it to know it's the source and not the TV?

    It's a bit like Hi-Fi. get a very revealing CD player that shows up poorly mastered discs and you will hear more imperfections. It doesn't improve the listening experience knowing that is the case.

    Dave
     
  9. davegtt

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    Aye true, I agree but at the same time the thread title is asking why plasmas are rubbish with normal TV, I gave an answer, he didnt ask for solutions ;)
     
  10. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    There is a very old saying, and a true one.... "Open the barn door wide enough,and all the crap flies in"

    Plasmas and projectors will show digital artifacts more readily, simply because the picture is larger. Nothing to do with the technology, or signal processing.
     
  11. Brooktop

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    It really is down to the signal. My terrestrial aerial was good; got a FV box and it's even better (I have a good signal being on a hill) - my analogue cable however is very grainy. I moved up from a 32" Sony Wega and good pics are superior, weaker sources have their flaws amplified!
     
  12. superpixel

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    Funny how a 32 or 37" plasma still suffers, yet even a massive digital projection comes off better. Its less about size, more about technology.

    Stop kidding yourselves: plasmas are flat, can go big and can reproduce millions/billions of colours. Enjoy them for what they are. :thumbsup:
     
  13. darrens

    darrens
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    I just don't understand the "shows up poor signals" argument. If a CRT picture looks crisp, stable and well-defined then I can't understand how a "better" plasma can make the picture look soft, fuzzy, have interference at edges and so on.

    I did wonder if they'd connected something up wrong but they had several plasmas showing Sky, Sky+, Freeview, internal digital tuners and they all looked awful.

    I genuinely don't understand it because I can't believe that the shop just happened to set all these up incorrectly, but I also don't understand why a plasma panel should (appear to) introduce picture problems.
     
  14. deanym

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    I agree,

    My freeview, sky and analogue terrestrial are a bit worse with my PDP than CRT tv however dvd's are far superior.

    Doesn't put me off though. TV broadcasts are still perfectly watchable.
     
  15. Brooktop

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    As far as I can tell - there is currently no other technology that can offer PQ at the size plasma can. A poor pic on a 32" CRT doesn't look half as bad when viewed on a 14" CRT - it's the same principle surely!

    No-one that has seen my PW6 has said "but the picture's not as good as your Wega!"
     
  16. one jack walker

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    I have to agree with Darren. Took delivery of my PW7 from AV Sales yersterday, albeit the mediabox package, coz my wife wants Terrestrial TV and teletext, so that was the compromise. However, I haven't got an unlimited budget, so I don't want to have to shell out extra for scalers or converters, to tweak my SKY+ signal. As expected DVD looks brilliant, but I can only echo the comments about SKY and SKY+ having seen the effects last night. Whilst I understand the comments about better and bigger screens showing up imperfections more, artefacting, etc, surely if they are better, they can handle the problems better, rather than showiing them up even more. This panel replaced a cheaper one that I've had since the new year, which showed up the 'painting by numbers' effect (sorry I'm not quite sure what the technical term is) on a lot of SKY transmissions. Thankfully the PW7 has no such issues, I'm just a little dissappointed that it doesn't handle SKY's transmission shortcomings a little better. I guess I'll just have to get used to it, although I need to bear in mind, I haven't tweaked any setting, or run it in yet, I just set to 'Cinema' and left it at that.
     
  17. Tejstar

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    Don’t judge your opinion on what you see in your local Dixons. When I was in the market, the reception on these tv’s were very poor given the signal was being passed to so many tv’s.

    I did take the plunge for a plasma last year and was very surprised how good the pq was once setup at home. Obviously it doesn’t ‘look’ better than a CRT, but I knew this from the start – for me the main thing was that DVD’s look stunning!
     
  18. Nick_UK

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    I don't agree. I have a Hitachi 42" plasma, and a Benq 6200 projector with a screen that will show (up to) a 87" picture, and pictures sourced from digital (both Freeview and Sky) show imperfections which are not there from a DVD source.

    Try showing a low-quality mpg file on your PC screen in a 3" box, then blow it up to full screen. Which looks better ?
     
  19. superpixel

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    Nick,

    Yes - DVD is better than Sky & Freeview.
    And yes, a smaller image looks better than a large one at the same resolution.

    But I thought we were comparing display technologies, not sources or picture size.

    Until today, I never knew people thought plasmas were 'better', especially not on a specialist forum like this! Madness.
     
  20. darrens

    darrens
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    Well, I didn't think plasmas were "better" but I did think they would be as good as CRT. I can accept that when you blow up a picture then it will show up more problems but what surprised me was that size for size plasmas looked so bad with normal telly.

    It's not like my CRT has any clever processing to clean up the picture so why should the plasma appear to "introduce" picture problems?
     
  21. docb

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    It isnt your plasma introducing picture problems, it is the CRT that you cant see the picture problems on.
     
  22. one jack walker

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    Exactly, so why can't the plasma hide the problems like the CRT does
     
  23. hornydragon

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    Well as you said your self its the short comings in sky.... that are the problem, dont blame your TV for your £££pcm broadcaster being crap...(there are ways to improvethe handling of sky and sky its self (Dish alignment and size are critical to a sat broadcast and while the "mini dishes" look lees obtrusive on your house a nice 1m diameter round dish will imporve signal as will proper alignment and better quality reciver and cables (it is important to have a good quality scart for Sky) to the original post by Darrens there are dotted around teh country some plasmas with excellent PQ on Sky and freeview i suggest you see if you can go and see one yourself before you decide.......
     
  24. Wackojacko32

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    Having read this, and many other threads on Plasma's and CRT's I would like to ask a simple question.

    Given that e.g. the PW7 has a horizontal resolution of 480 pixels and CRT has 625 lines aren't some Plasmas loosing a quarter of the resolution compared to CRT's, horizontally at least?

    Would this be the reason for the poorer picture quality, especially as the Plasmas are usually much bigger and hence larger pixels?

    Wackojacko32
     
  25. Selectortone

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    Im glad I don't have Sky from what I keep reading here. I have NTL and the picture on my 42PWD7 is excellent - even the Sky channels.

    She Who Must Be Obeyed, who is not slow in speaking her mind, loves it too.
     
  26. Nick_UK

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    Well, there aren't 625 lines - only about 575 lines are actually displayed on the screen. Exactly how 575 lines are mapped onto the display is a mystery which most manufacturers are not keen to talk about.
     
  27. Wackojacko32

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    Exactly. I think I'm right in saying that DVD's output 480 lines so no mapping required hence better picture?

    Wackojacko32
     
  28. Likvid

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    Yes you are losing definition, PAL DVD are 576 lines and NTSC DVDs are 480 lines.

    If your intention is to watch NTSC DVDs, then a Panny with 852x480 panel makes perfect sense, if you want to watch PAL DVDs you will loose about 100 lines in extra resolution.

    That's why i recommend at least 1024x768 for PAL territory.

     
  29. hornydragon

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    NTSC DVD only PAL DVD is 576 and you forget that CRT is an interlaced display technomlogy and Plasma (except ALIS) is progressive so you need to compare 576i to 480p also the information in the signal is mapped to the display and at what distance can your eye resolve the diffrence between 2 pixels?????? it is not a simple as more lines is better or morepixels is sharper its far more to do with the processing of "Video" to the screens native display character.............. the pixelation you can see from the sofa is due to broadcast, nothing to do with the Display! Also a plasma is far more complex than a CRT for the user to set-up hence why the forums are esstential as are demos and in some cases professional set-up.
     
  30. simonr

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    Remember overscan! :eek: :devil:
    A panel at 852x480pixels displaying NTSC DVD's will not be pixel perfect, after 5% overscan (top and bottom which is 10% of the picture) only 456lines of vertical resolution will be available. That will be upscaled to 480pixels by the panel.

    With PAL DVD's @ 5% overscan (top and bottom witch is 10% of the picture information) 518lines will be available. That will be downscaled to 480lines by the panel.

    Lots of people try to reduce overscan to an absolute minimun, it does improve picture quality. But its not always easy too!
     

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