Problem on RGB inputs on Panny 36PD30

Discussion in 'General TV Discussions Forum' started by GadgetObsessed, Aug 7, 2003.

  1. GadgetObsessed

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    I have had my PD30 for a week now and have had some concerns about the quality of the picture during dark scenes – it can look very murky. I watch everything (Sky+ and DVD) via RGB.

    Last night I was watching Star Wars Attack of the Clones and this had the perfect example of what I think is wrong. At about 5m30s in there is a scene where the senator is sitting against a bright window in a big gray chair, wearing a black cloack, grey shirt and brown waist band. However, the PD30 simply showed everything apart from his face as a black silhouette. Nothing that I could do to the picture settings would change this.

    However if I switched to Picture in Picture mode the detail in the senator WAS shown! Eventually I worked out that this was because when in PiP mode each source is displayed using composite not RGB. If I switch my DVD output to composite I get the detail again during non PiP. This made me check Sky+ again. Watching faces in a dark scene I could see some blockiness caused by solarisation. Again switching to PAL instead of RGB on the Sk+ box fixed this.

    I don't want to watch everything using composite on such a quality TV!

    Does anyone else out there have the same problem? Has anyone got a solution – will I get round this for the DVD when I change to one with component outputs?

    I am going to phone Panasonic today to see what they suggest.
     
  2. GadgetObsessed

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    Just phoned Panasonic and an engineer agreed that this was a fault and that I should contact the retailer.

    Phoned Comet and they have happily agreed to change the set for another one. I have to say that the Comet service has been excellent. Their price was good, they had stock and delivered quickly. Now as soon as I have found a problem they agree to swap the set. I especially liked being given the name and direct number of the person that I was dealing with so that I could sort out any problems without having to wait on hold for 10 mins. They have also been the only company that have said that they will call me back in 5 mins and have actually done so!
     
  3. kwangomango

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    Sounds like the tv suffers from black crushing - variations in black/dark grey are all crushed down to a single black and you lose detail. Some previous Loewe models suffered from crushing when only using RGB or component. Have you tried some black/grey scale test patterns on Avia to see if some of the graduations are lost?
    The other chance is that both your DVD and Sky+ unit are crushing the detail. My Tivo and Amstrad Sky box crush both black and white when using RGB.
     
  4. GadgetObsessed

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    kwangomango - "black crushing" sounds like exactly the right term. I had suspected that the TV had something like this and also wondered if it does the same at the opposite end of the spectrum. (White crush?) I feel that in a mixed brightness scenes the bright areas are too bright and the dark areas are too dark.

    Is there anything that can be done to fix it? Any ideas why it is only visible in RGB?

    Hopefully not all PD30s have this problem as a replacement arrives on Tuesday. I had not noticed it for the first two nights as the delivery guys hooked up the DVD via a nonRGB scart. As usual with these kind of things once I had noticed it I couldn't stop seeing it.

    Maybe I'll test the DVD player on my old TV to check that it is not the DVD player.
     
  5. Turisu

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    I can confirm this, the RGB inputs on my PD30 are terrible. In addition to the aforementioned black problem, if I turn the brightness up quite high I can see alot of horizontal lines of interference all over the screen. This completely vanishes if I switch to composite or S-Video on the same port.
    But if you really want to see the 'black crush' in action, watch the scene in Jurassic Park where they first see the Brachiosaurus in the field. As it walks through the trees, every detail and crease of its skin is visible. But when the camera pans up and puts the bright sky in the background, it's reduced to a plain black blob >_<
    I noticed a similar (though less severe) problem of this kind on an older Toshiba I had. I solved it by disabling SVM (I don't know why it worked but it did). So does anyone know how to disable SVM on a PD30? I notice it seems to be set to quite a high default level with no means of adjustment in the service menu. But the text that says "Service Menu 1" (or something like that) when you enter service mode implies that there may be deeper levels...
     
  6. cybamerc

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    Any problems with component?
     
  7. GadgetObsessed

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    Turisu - I have noticed the same problem with the horizontal lines but I have to turn the brightness very high (>75%) to see it. (According to my Avia test disk the brightness should be about 50%.)

    Can anyone confirm if the same problem exists with component inputs?

    A nearby Comet (Orpington) has one of these sets set up with component inputs so maybe I should go there to check and see if it is the same.

    I watched Equilibrium last night - its a very dark film. It has alot of people wearing black clothes and is shot in a dark environment. Via RGB a lot of detail was lost. However, the black crush seems worsst when showing a dark area against a bright background. The set does have very good blacks and I wonder if this effect is something to do with a set up that accentuates blacks.

    For anyone watching DVD via RGB an easy was to switch to composite on your TV is to press the Multi Screen button on the TV remote. This seems to switch from RGB to the composite feed via the same scart socket. (maybe the TV cannot handle two simultaneous RGB feeds?)

    If my next Panny is the same I'll get an engineer round to see if it is something they can fix it.

    I wonder if this is why when brock_landers reported about the Panny launch in another thread he mentioned that they were demoing it with a composite feed rather than RGB.
     
  8. fatbob

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    If your dvd player has it's own controls for contrast, brightness, sharpness etc. try turning the brightness level up on the dvd player while the picture is paused on a dark scene, and see if the lost shadow details appear.

    The brightness (or "black level" as it's called on some machines) often varies between composite, s-video and rgb, although usually to a much smaller degree than seems to be the case on the PD30. It sounds as though this could be a fault with the set, although it would still be worth trying this just to see if it does make any difference.

    Cheers,

    Bob.
     
  9. normski

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    hi

    i had this problem also with my pd 30, in that to me it just
    seemed to be to black or to white and no real grey scale, i also found that the picture was better when using composite v
    on a set costing this much with a wide range of inputs it is really dissapointing that comp v is better then rgb and even component.
    i got this set after a pf2 which had bad purity problems which after 3 exchanges was no better.again a good set let down by poor quality which when i compare the pd30 and the pf2, the tosh had the better picture quality but was spoilt by green staining on the tube. also the panasonic seemed very sensitive to my loud speakers which are shielded and caused the panny some purity probs these speakers did not effect any other tvs at all. so my pd 30 has gone back to r o l for them to check the quality and their engineers reported back saying their is no fault but as you say you need to view the set properly to see the faults . they have offered me a refund less shipping cost.i have now ordered a panny 37 plasma from currys their price was 2999
    inc stand and tuner box i also got 200 of this price.I know the 42 plasma is available for 2555 else where but i aint got the space but i needed the tuner box for the good lady so she can use it without having to swith on all th home cin gear.

    normski
     
  10. bonzobanana

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    It doesn't always happen this way round. My sharp teleivision is incapble of showing black gradiance or stepping of darkness via tuner, composite or s-video (actually s-video is slightly improved) but its perfect with RGB. Basically the tuner section in my Sharp is rubbish. I assume its down to the 100hz processing as Panasonics I've seen with 50hz display have been brilliant in rgb mode.
     
  11. Bombini

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    Hi guys,

    have the same probs on my panny 32pd30. Turning the brightness + colour up helped a lot on my set. Now palpatine wears a brown belt - but there is still a little difference between composite an rgb!!! I don´t want to connect the set through composite, cause it´s a huge quality loss - watched gettysburgh yesterday and found out, that in composite mode there´s "digital smearing" visible in every close up (faces). Connecting through RGB makes a very good picture and this dvd is really bad quality!!!

    The horizontal lines in black scenes disappear, if you set PNR to "dynamic".:eek: I wonder if the lines disappear using the component input (Don`t have this output on my DVD)??? Can anyone confirm this???

    Bye,

    bombini
     
  12. GadgetObsessed

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    I found that with brightness turned up (too) high palpatines belt just started to show up. However, his brown shirt did not show up at all and it was still difficult to tell where he ended and the desk started.

    Switch to composite by pressing multi-window and the difference is really clear. If I turn my brightness up I start to see horizontal grey lines on black backgrounds. Looks like interference but ensuring that the power cables were not close to the scart leads made no difference.

    I have noticed that these lines disappear with dynamic or cinema settings and assumed that this was because these settings looked so much darker - I stick to Normal.

    Watched Equilibrium on DVD. Its a dark film with people wearing black clothes in dimly lit scenes. Via RGB lots of detail was lost - I had to watch it via composite.

    I went to Comet at the weekend and the display model did not exhibit the same amount of black crushing (still a slight difference compared with composite) via RGB or component. Getting the set swapped tomorrow. Unfortunately I wont be there to test it when it arrives. If that set is the same then I'll get an engineer round to see what he can do.
     
  13. Turisu

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    You don't have to use composite. I have my DVD player outputting S-Video and that gives a great picture without the 'black crush' and without the line interference. The only thing I'm forced to use composite for is Sky and I can live with that.
     
  14. Radiohead

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    That is unacceptable IMO - for a new flagship set to force a user to use composite for Sky rather than RGB is a joke.
     
  15. Turisu

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    I agree it's pretty poor. I'm only sticking with it because I've been playing the TV swapping game for too long now and this has been the best set I've had in all other respects (barring the hideous SVM >_<). But god only knows what I'll end up with if I give up this one.
    There's never anything on sky anyways...
     
  16. jspone

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    Sorry if this is a daft question, but what's "the hideous SVM" ?

    Can anyone say for certain that black crushing is a problem when using component input?

    John
     
  17. GadgetObsessed

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    Had my 36PD30 swapped yesterday because of the black crush issue. Unfortunately the new set is only slightly better. (At 5m 04sec on AotC DVD Palpatine has just about got a visible belt and left hand now but still has his brown shirt displayed as black and no shadow detail.)

    I checked the DVD player on another TV via RGB to prove that it was not the DVD player, tried the other RGB scart on the Panny and used difeerent scart leads - all to no avail. Also I can see horizontal grey lines flashing on RGB on black backgrounds if I tun the brightness up above 60% - I dont see this via Sky+ though.

    However, the RGB picture via Sky+ seems to be better than the old set. Generally, the picture quality on my new set is MUCH better than the old one! For the first time I have been really impressed with the quality of the Panny.

    The colours now are perfect. With the previous TV the colours were either much too strong and glaring or dull. This especially showed up on the Sky+ menus where strong red, blue and yellows are used. All three colours were over bearing and adjusting the picture settings did not help. While watching anything I was forever changing the settings as bright scenes were too bright and dark scenes were too dark.

    It really does show that changing TVs is a game of Russian roulette! I'll definitely be keeping the new one. Sky+ via RGB is excellent and so is the DVD via S-Video. Tonight I'll try and borrow a component equipped DVD player and see if the black crush is on component as well as RGB - if it isn't then I'll be happy enough as I plan to replace my Pioneer 454 with the JVC DMR1 Pal progressive DVD-RAM/-RW recorder anyway.
     
  18. Bombini

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    @garydhooper:

    Hi,

    playing russian roulette, too, but the reason for my exchange ist a pinkish band on the left side of the screen in bright scenes, that drives me mad (it´s not caused by a magnetic field - its a tube problem).

    I was checking the SWEP2 scene again and found out, that there is no difference between composite and RGB anymore, if I turn off the "blacklevel" function on my Denon DVD900. Both inputs were showing the same "dark" picture. In my eyes the difference is caused by the DVD-Player. Maybe you got a similar function activated on your DVD, which causes a difference between RGB and composite input.

    Hope I´ll be lucky with my new set, too....

    bye,

    bombini
     
  19. GadgetObsessed

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    Hi Bombini

    I have no picture controls at all on my Pioneer DVD player so not much I can do there.

    I do not think that the problem is with the DVD as I only see a difference between Svideo/composite (detail) and RGB (no detail) using the Panny PD30. When I connect the DVD player to my old Sony TV I get the detail in both RGB and Svideo/composite.

    I am guessing that there is something in the TV setup that is responsible for this RGB quirk. Setting the black level like this makes the blacks stronger giving apparent improved contrast - at the expense of detail. I just think that the Panny setup gives a great black level but at a cost of too much loss of detail.

    Cheers
    Gary
     
  20. Turisu

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    jspone - SVM is Scan Velocity Modulation. It's one of those picture 'improvement' processes they put on TVs to try and trick you into thinking the picture is better than it actually is.
    When set at a very subtle level it can make quite a positive difference depending on what you're watching. But when set too high (as is the case with the PD30) it makes everything look too sharp, makes black lines too thick (particularly noticeable when watching The Simpsons), makes darks too dark and lights too light.
    On Toshiba TVs, the SVM can be disabled by using Pic Mode 3 or adjusted to taste in the service menu. If I could only find out how to do this on the PD30, I would consider it perfect.
     
  21. GadgetObsessed

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    Can anybody who has experienced this problem confirm if:
    (a) the issue is different with different DVD players.
    (b) the problem does not appear when using component inputs
     
  22. Dangermouse2000

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    Hi garydhooper,

    I use a Toshiba 330 with my 32PD30. I too have problems with the black levels, very slightly better than yours though. I can just about make out Palpatine's brown top.

    I have used both RGB and Component with no difference in black levels between them. S-video and composite are slightly better. But as others here have said. You don't spend all this money to not use RGB or Component!

    I will be going back to the store this weekend to test some other's they have comming in. I also have a grey bar down the right side of my screen when playing NTSC dvd's. And the TV buzzes quite loudly.

    Hopefully the new PD30's will not have these problems.

    I will let you know.
     
  23. GadgetObsessed

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    Not veryone has seen this problem so it is either variation in the sets or some incompatibility with certain DVD players. (Maybe DVD players vary in the level of their black output.)

    For anyone not seeing this problem what DVD player do you have.

    So far it appears that problems have been reported with the following DVD players:
    Toshiba 330 - Component or RGB
    Pioneer 454 - RGB (no component)

    Compatible DVD players:
    ????
     
  24. Radiohead

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    Do we think that the set has been released too quickly, using Joe Public as beta-testers?
     
  25. GadgetObsessed

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    Panasonic are recommending that I take my DVD player to Comet to check it using their display model.

    Has anyone found that they get black crushing from one DVD player but not from another?

    Has anyone found that on a DVD player with variable brightness, contrast and gamma (whatever that is) that they can vary the level of black crushing?
     
  26. Dangermouse2000

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    Although the Tosh 330 has variable picture settings. The result is the same as turning up the brightness on the pd30. Everything look too grey and washed out.
     
  27. GadgetObsessed

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    Went to Comet to check their display model with my DVD player.
    The black crushing was clearly evident - just about seeing Palpatines belt. Then checked the TV using the Panny DVD connected to it (a 5 DVD all in one with component outputs) and it was exactly the same. Then I tried the DVD with the Tosh PF2 and the picture showed all the detail missing on the Panny.

    So it appears that this is definitely a "feature" of the set.

    I have a suspicion that the only problem that are not seeing this problem i.e. can see palpatines shirt at 5:04 on Star Wars AotC are those using prog scan DVD players. Can anyone with prog scan and a Panny pd30 confirm this?
     
  28. Dangermouse2000

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    Tried the same Star Wars scene on a friends older Panasonic TV (forgot which model - only 50hz) and the detail was missing on that as well. That was with Panasonic dvd player as well.

    I think this darker images may be a style that Panasonic have gone for and not necessarily a fault with the PD30's. In fact the PD30 gave a bit more richness in the brown belt and top than the old one.

    Does anyone with another model Panasonic TV get the same results with this AOTC scene?
     
  29. perka

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    My 36pd30 do not suffer from the "darkness"problem. There is no difference changing from scart rgb (external digital reciever) or the component inputs from denon dvd 3800 and progressive scan or spilt screen mode etc.

    But in general the presentation is quite dark (the front glass is dark to impove blacklevel) and IMO this is a matter of taste.
     
  30. GadgetObsessed

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    Perka - I don't get any dark crushing on Sky via RGB on my second set. I only get this via my DVD player. It is an issue with the set removing detail via RGB that it does not using Svideo or composite. This does not appear to be anything to do with the black level of the set itself - which is generally very good.

    I have seen that the black crushing was exactly the same on Comets display model with my DVD player and with a Panny DVD player via RGB or component. (A toshiba DVD playing on a Tosh PF2 via RGB did not show the same problem.)

    Your case would seem to fit in with my theory that the only people who don't get this problem with their DVD are those using progressive scan.

    DVD players that seem to have dark crushing (via RGB) with the PD30:
    Tosh 330 (component or RGB)
    Panny SCHT900 (component or RGB)
    Pioneer 454 (RGB - no component)

    DVD players that appear to work with the PD 30:
    Denon 3800 (component - progressive scan)

    Can anyone else add to the working list?
     

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