Poor Black Levels on 42PX80

Nik73

Distinguished Member
Hi guys, I posted this in the PX80 tread but got no response.

I picked up my 42PX80 this week and was initially very impressed. To be honest, I still am as the picture quality is fantastic............... but.........

To be frank, the supposed fantastic blacks are bloody awful!!! The reason I bought a Plasma over LCD is that I'd had enough of the "greys" of LCD and wanted the deep blacks I'd seen on the PX80 in pics like this......



or

http://www.*/image/hdtv/Panasonic-TH42PX80/police.jpg

Here, you can't tell where the 16:9 borders meet the edge of the frame as the blacks are so deep. I didn't think this was actually possible as modern tv frames are as black as it gets!! However my mate has a Samsung M86 LCD and the blacks on that are incredible! Proper deep black. They've been compared to be just about as good as those on the Panasonic plasmas! :confused::confused::confused:

So why is it the blacks on my set are more like the very very dark grey I've seen on some LCD's. Even the cheapy 19" Phillips LCD we have at work has better blacks!! :confused:

Obviously I've tried adjusting the settings, but no matter what I can't get the blacks to be remotely close to the blacks of the frame or my mates M86. There is no difference in inputs either, they're all the same. In a dark room watching a dark movie, it's absolutely horrendous. The fact that the frame is so dark just exaggerates the issue. Putting it on an AV input with no signal, the so called blacks are clearly grey. Unfortunately I have no way taking a picture to illustrate the problem.

So a few questions if I may...........

-Is this is a faulty panel do you think? If so, what causes it? I can't seem to find anyone else suffering he same problem.
- Does it take a while for the blacks to settle in on a new plasma? Even if they do, I can't see them dropping that much.
-Is there some blatantly obvious setting I'm missing? I don't think it's this as the worst blacks on my mates M86 are better than the best on my PX80. Surely this shouldn't be the case as blacks are what plasmas are all about.


Your help and advice would be very much appreciated. :lease:
 

audiphile76

Well-known Member
Please check the brightness levels in the settings. Bring them down further. Lowering brightness will give better blacks. Recommendation is to bring it few notches below from 50%.
 

RODCULL

Novice Member
If I remember correctly on my PZ85 you can control the blackness of the side panels with one of the menu options. By default I think they're set to the lightest shade of grey the menu option supports, presumably to prevent any black bar 'retention' issues during the first 200 hours or so. It may be worth checking whether the PX80 has a similar setting. This may partly explain why you can tell where the image borders meet the frame edge. I'm not sure whether the option is applicable to the side bars, top and bottom bars or all blacks though.
 

johnboy35

Active Member
You also need to remember the samsung plus other lcd's as well get the so called deep blacks by turning the backlight off in certain areas so you lose any detail in the dark parts of picture as well,Buying your px80 was definatley the better option:thumbsup:
 

Nik73

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the replies guys,

Audi, as I said, I have played with the settings and even if I lower the brightness to zero the picture virtually disappears but the blacks are still grey. This is actually a good way of illustrating the issue. My standard viewing settings are 3 clicks to the left of 50%.

Rod, yeah the PX80 does have that option but sadly it is only for the side bars.

John, my mate actually has his settings a lot higher than recommended. I think his backlight is 7. I can confirm there really is no lack of detail, even in shadows, at this level. I can't believe I'm defending an LCD set, but the difference is that huge.

Thanks again for the help guys, it's appreciated as this is really bothering me. I'll try and take a picture with my mobile but don't think it's good enoughto show it.
 

Lin3ar

Distinguished Member
Something doesn't sound right to me.Even with my 2 year old PX60 the blacks are pretty black, certainly not grey at all.
The PX80 is praised for having better blacks than previous models by reviewers and owners alike.I would expect the blacks to be close to that of the Kuros and better than any LCD.
It might be worth having a look at a PX80 in a shop to see its black performance, maybe there is a problem with your panel.
 

audiphile76

Well-known Member
To add to my previous post regarding blacks enhancement using lowering the brightness settings, pause the panny where are there are black scenes next to the black borders. Then modify the brightness settings so that there is no visible black line separating them. This might help achieve better blacks and also help avoid the visible separation of lines
 

eiren

Distinguished Member
Nik, if you want it looking like your mate's television then stick your contrast up to 100%... all the way.

Then take the brightness right down so that the picture looks at the right level.

Give that a go.

:thumbsup:
 

Nik73

Distinguished Member
That's what I was thinking Lin3ar. Here's some photos trying to show the problem. Obviously the camera is pants and it has exaggerated the problem so the blacks are actually a bit blacker than these show. These were taken just now so the room was pretty bright.

This is the widescreen borders with the brightness at zero




This is with the brightness full




This is with the brightness at my viewing settings




As I said, they exaggerate the issue, but even taking that into account, surely the blacks should e much better?
 

Nik73

Distinguished Member
To add to my previous post regarding blacks enhancement using lowering the brightness settings, pause the panny where are there are black scenes next to the black borders. Then modify the brightness settings so that there is no visible black line separating them. This might help achieve better blacks and also help avoid the visible separation of lines

I've tried that too audi and can do that without a problem. The trouble is, the black borders aren't actually black! lol. To me the whole screen on dark scenes looks as though the brightness is way too high.
 

Lin3ar

Distinguished Member
As you say, it is difficult to judge from photos but if the blacks look grey (which they certainly do in the last snap) then I would say there is a problem with the panel.
 

Nik73

Distinguished Member
Was just looking in the LG6000 thread and although it's a different panel, these pics show the kind of blacks I'm getting.

http://www.avforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6808912&postcount=30

http://www.avforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6930226&postcount=160

http://www.avforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6931270&postcount=167


I think the last lot have their brightness WAY too high but the bottom shot which I think is from ID4 of the plane taking off is pretty much what I see in a dark room.
I can't believe I'm saying it but my mates M86 absolutely wipes the floor with the blacks on mine. Surely this can't be right?

Can anyone with this set tell me if they're getting blacks anything like the first pics I posted? I've seen them that good, just on an LCD! :eek:
 

Raine

Active Member
When you're watching in the dark, movies like Aliens versus Predator Requiem, the nearly pitch black scenes you will clearly see a difference between the screen black and the bezel black. It would look somewhat grey in comparison. Even on a kuro. It's when you have a picture with bright and dark areas that make you think the blacks are pure black. It's an illusion, otherwise why are Pio talking about pure black tech? Cause it doesn't exist atm on plasmas.
 

badbob

Banned
You also need to remember the samsung plus other lcd's as well get the so called deep blacks by turning the backlight off in certain areas

Wrong. The M86 has standard CCFL backlight, it doesn't have the 96 individual LED's which turn off when the area is black. I have a M86, blacks are great at lower backlight settings.
 

Klippie

Member
Is the TV doing this on all inputs have you tried them all, it does seem very strange that your set isn't giving good black levels as you say it could be a faulty panel.

I've just posted this picture on in another thread its the settings I got when I run Avia and Digital Video Essentials on my 37PX80 I'am sure there won't be that much difference with the 42", give them a go and see what you think.



Look at the black of the bezel and the screen with these settings...:thumbsup:
 

Protoplasm

Novice Member
Does the Pansonic have seperate settings per input, or "one for all?"

It only allows you to specify the viewing mode per input but the contrast/brightness etc. are tied to the viewing mode so you can set "normal" viewing mode to have different contrast etc. and assign that to, say, HDMI1 and have "cinema" assigned to HDMI2.

So, no, it does not have separate settings per input, but you can work around that to a certain extent.
 

Nik73

Distinguished Member
Thanks Klippie, I can get them looking similar in daylight. Is there any chance you could take the same pic in a dark room without the menu?
Also, have you had black levels anywhere near those in the pics at the top of the thread?
I just can't believe any LCD could be SO much better than pne pf the best plasmas for blacks.

Thanks for all the comments guys.
 

matr69

Member
Is the TV doing this on all inputs have you tried them all, it does seem very strange that your set isn't giving good black levels as you say it could be a faulty panel.

I've just posted this picture on in another thread its the settings I got when I run Avia and Digital Video Essentials on my 37PX80 I'am sure there won't be that much difference with the 42", give them a go and see what you think.



Look at the black of the bezel and the screen with these settings...:thumbsup:

How many clicks left are the contrast and brightness on this? Also what is the colour setting i.e how many clicks left or right?

Thanks
Mat
 

golden void

Novice Member
It only allows you to specify the viewing mode per input but the contrast/brightness etc. are tied to the viewing mode so you can set "normal" viewing mode to have different contrast etc. and assign that to, say, HDMI1 and have "cinema" assigned to HDMI2.

So, no, it does not have separate settings per input, but you can work around that to a certain extent.


Well that right there is going to be a major problem. How many modes do you have available?? Even with just the 6 sources I have currently connected to my Sammy (inbuilt FV, DVD, XBox360 in component, Wii in AV, VHS recorder in Scart1and PS3 in HMI1), I need pretty different settings for all 6.
 

matr69

Member
Well that right there is going to be a major problem. How many modes do you have available?? Even with just the 6 sources I have currently connected to my Sammy (inbuilt FV, DVD, XBox360 in component, Wii in AV, VHS recorder in Scart1and PS3 in HMI1), I need pretty different settings for all 6.

Get a Pio 4280 then, that has what you need but obviously you have to pay for it:)
 

Klippie

Member
Nik73,

Yes no problem, I'll post a pic when its dark.

The black levels in my set have been fine nothing like the pictures you posted, they're much better now though after tweaking.

Matr69,

Sorry I can't count the clicks as it took me over an hour to get the settings right I'd loose them all, but I've measured the bars in the menus so use a ruler and adjust the bars till they are the same length as in the picture below. The menu box size is for the 37PX80 if the 42's is bigger just calculate the difference and add it in.

Here's the sizes...



Gbmitie,

HDMI.

:thumbsup:
 

JUICE690

Active Member
I'm of the same opinion as you Nik, tbh now I never have all the lights turned off when I'm watching film with borders because I know I'll just analyze the contrast and not enjoy the film.

I came to the conclusion that this was as good as it was going to get (unless I forked out an exrtra £800 for the Kuro) didn't think for a minute that an LCD would out perform it's contrast levels.:confused:

I'll post up some pics of mine later, would be interesting to compare them with some other PX80 users.
 

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