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Problem with 50" Panasonic TH50-PHW5B - HELP!

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by KBDVD, Mar 8, 2003.

  1. KBDVD

    KBDVD
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    Hi All,

    If someone with a 5 series 50" Panasonic panel, wouldn't mind attempting to duplicate a problem that I am experiencing I would be extremely grateful. If any 5 series 42" panel owners want to try it too, then that would also be cool, but the problem may be related to the higher resolution & subsequent scaling that the 50" panel has to accomplish.

    I'd like any info you can supply, but a simple "mine does it too" or "no problems found" would also be great as I'm trying to establish if I have a problem with my individual panel or if, (as Panasonic suggest) this problem exists on all TH50-PHW5B's.

    The problem is as follows:

    I'm feeding my panel a Region 1 pure NTSC interlaced signal from a Pioneer DVS9 DVD player. (Iv'e also tried two other "true" Region 1 DVD players with the same result, so it's not the player.) via the component inputs on the RCA input board. (No Tuner)

    I see the problem when I select the "Zoom" aspect ratio to fill the screen with an image, say from a 2.35:1 anamorphic DVD. (My Wife & Daughter like to see "ALL" :laugh: the picture.) What I'm seeing is significant and very obvious combing artifacts!

    These manifest themselves as the breaking up of the edges of ANY and ALL moving elements of the picture into horizontal lines, and this aint subtle! Were talking "MAJOR" artifacts here, believe me when I say "if your screen does this too, there is no way you won't be able to spot it!"

    Now the really weird thing about this is if I go into the set up menu and switch off 3:2 pulldown the problem stops!........How can this be?.......Why should this be?.......I could maybe understand this if it were the other way around and switching off 3:2 pulldown caused the problem!

    I thought that 3:2 pulldown was designed to "smooth" the stepping associated with the edges of objects?

    When I contacted Panasonic Customer Service, explained the problem, and went on to mention that switching off 3:2 pulldown effectively resolved it, they seemed to lose interest and their attitude was basically "Well whats the problem then?"

    Well "the problem" as far as I'm concerned is twofold!

    Having spent 6k, (which may not be much to Panasonic but was certainly no small investment for me!) on a new panel a mere 10 weeks ago, I don't now expect to have to "put up with" a problematic aspect of it's operation if it is due to a fault, especially if that fault is "unique" to my panel! That is not as it should be! so this can't represent an adequate response from Panasonic can it? :mad:

    Moreover, one of the reasons that I spent the additional money on a 5 series display rather than picking up one of the discounted "end of line" 4 series panels that were on the market then, was the inclusion of the 3:2 pulldown feature, a feature that is designed to "IMPROVE" picture quality! Having to now switch 3:2 pulldown off in order to resolve a picture quality problem must surely mean that it is either not working as it should, or that it is introducing problems of it's own?......this can't be acceptable can it? :confused:

    Having made this observation and having had it fall on deaf ears, (I think that they'd had enough of me) the customer service representative withdrew to "consult a technical expert." I was then informed, (2nd hand, as I wasn't offered the opportunity to talk to him/her myself) that this was a "normal" artifact when using the zoom aspect ratio as it is "effectively magnifying the image being produced". Well, all I can say is that it certainly wasn't "normal" to see combing artifacts on the "zoom" type apect ratio setting of my two previous NEC panels! These were admittedly 42" 853 x 480 resolution panels, but the latter of the two, a 42MP2, (those of you who frequent the "classified ads" forum may remember it ;)) utilised a 3:2 pulldown system I believe, and I never had to turn that off to make the image watchable! :nono:

    I'm disappointed to report that the dealer who I purchased the screen from a mere 10 weeks ago, ( www.letsgodigital.co.uk ) has also effectively washed his hands of the problem. The Manager of this company simply refered me to the Panasonic customer service line, no offer of a replacement unit to try out......nothing!

    When pressed, and asked about the possibility of a replacement unit, the reply boiled down to "That is for you to discuss with Panasonic." (I suppose that this probably serves me right for making my purchase from, what now turns out to be, a "boxshifter" on price grounds alone, but they did seem very helpful and professional when I originally placed my order, and they "claim" to be a respected Panasonic dealer in their area!)

    When I called him back after having spoken to Panasonic and related the conversation with them to him, He said that he knew the number of a technician at Panasonic and would attempt to get an answer directly from him and ring me back with it, which I suppose is something, but this promised call has yet to materialise. I then added in conversation that my panel had also developed a "stuck" blue pixel 2 weeks ago, after having been 100% perfect upon receipt. His answer was to find and read out to me "Word for Word" Panasonic's pixel policy which he "just happened to have lying around." :rolleyes:

    In fact, it would seem that mentioning this was a "BIG MISTAKE" as he then went on to state that he couldn't possibly exchange a panel that contained a fault that Panasonic didn't "officialy recognise as a fault," as he would then be stuck with it, as "THEY" wouldn't be prepared to take it back. I wasn't 100% sure if he was refering to the combing, the pixel, or both at this point, but I think it was the stuck pixel, cause I got the distinct impression that I had just offered him the "lifeline" that he was looking for! Either way, it was clear by now that I couldn't expect any kind of service that was "above & beyond" after having given him a mere 6k of my hard earned cash, so I gave up! :thumbsdow

    So much for being honest and telling it like it is eh?

    So it's over to you guys, Is this a problem with all 50" Panasonic 5 series panels? or do I have good reason to suspect that my panel has a fault in it's progressive scanning, it's scaling, or it's 3:2 pulldown functions? :(

    Also, what do you guys think of my dealers attitude and Panasonic's response? fair and reasonable or somewhat lacking?


    Life Really Sucks Sometimes! :(

    Please help.
    KBDVD.;)
     
  2. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    2:3 pulldown allows the de-interlaceing in the panel to recognise the original video content was recorded on film at 24fps and to re-constiture the original frames accurately. With it on you shoul dhave least artifacts.

    The combing you are seeing is due to poor scaling I think. Even although it goes away when you switch off 2:3 detection I would suggest that other artifacts will be present that shouldn't be. This looks like a poor design or implimentation from Panasonic. No doubt they will all do that and it's just standard performance to them. I think it's a bug myself.

    Your dealer is who you have a warranty with, not the manufacturer. If you feel the goods are not fit for the purpose they were sold then you should seek redress with the dealer. I think you are going to have problems though.

    Gordon
     
  3. KBDVD

    KBDVD
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    Thanks Gordon,

    Anyone else?

    Best Regards
    KBDVD.
     
  4. JamesTapp

    JamesTapp
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    Hi,

    I have the series 4 Panny, but only 37". The artifacts present when using the zoom mode really make it unwatchable for me. It is a significantly poorer picture.

    Regarding pixels, I was under the impression that they failed or stuck during the manufacturing process, not subsequently. I haven't looked that hard on mine, if I haven't seen it, I don't want to know....;)

    Sorry that your experience has been tainted, I guess it is the same old story, you pay more for good service, but only find out if things go wrong for you.:(

    James
     
  5. KBDVD

    KBDVD
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    Thanks James,

    Yes, I was also under the understanding that if a panel was without any faulty pixels when first used, it would stay that way!
    Unfortunately this is wrong! Panels can have pixel faults develop at any time during their lifetime, but apparently this is especially true during the first three months when the pixels are still settling in. :lesson:

    Using the "zoom" aspect ratio is bound to highlight some problems, most noticably "movement" in large areas of single colours. In addition, it will also make the image appear much less sharp. These are both inevitable due to the "magnification" being undertaken on the Zoom aspect ratio setting. :(

    Both of these to my mind are acceptable "trade-offs" when using this setting. I see these artifacts with or without 3:2 pulldown engaged on my screen, but this is totally understandable.

    But switching "ON" 3:2 pulldown should not introduce SIGNIFICANT COMBING ARTIFACTS! This is a fault! :nono:

    Can anyone else with a TH50-PHW5B 50" Panny confirm or deny this fault?...........Please!

    Best Regards,
    KBDVD.
     
  6. KBDVD

    KBDVD
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    Hi All,

    I thought you might like to see a copy of an e-mail that I have just sent to Let's Go Digital's Complaints department and copied to Panasonic's Customer Care people.

    Dear Mr Cranch,

    In light of the fact that I Haven't heard back from you today, as you indicated I would when we spoke last Thursday (6/3/03),
    I thought I would drop you this line by way of a "Reminder."

    I can understand how the "small matter" of a customer being unhappy with the performance of an item bought from you may not be at the "top of your agenda," even if that customer believes as I do, that the goods purchased are in fact faulty. But, given that the item in question did in fact cost 6k! I would have thought a phone call, even a courtesy one just to say that you had been unable to gather any further information from the Panasonic technician that you mentioned, would have been appropriate.

    You will see that I have provided a link below. This link is to a thread that I have started on the "Plasma Screen" forum of AVForums.

    I alert you, (and Panasonic Customer Care) to this in order to be fair and provide you with a "right to reply" but also to highlight the extent to which I believe that my treatment in this matter has not thus far been fair or adequate. I would hope that you will at least take the time to read my initial post and the subsequent replies of my fellow members.

    If you, (or Panasonic) should choose not to take the opportunity to respond directly on this forum, may I assure you that I intend to faithfully report any subsequent developments in this matter, both positive and negative, but obviously this can only be from my perspective.

    AVForums is a major National & International site with many thousands of active members and is therefore an ideal way for people to learn from other people's experiences both good & bad. It has provided me with much information on av hardware & software and has also alerted me to many problems with av equipment and the "after-sales" service provided by manufacturers and retailers!


    Best Regards,
    KBDVD.
     
  7. cerebros

    cerebros
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    I was under the impression that 3:2 pulldown was what caused the artifacts under the NTSC system as it involves repeating parts of frames to get 24fps to play at the same speed on a 30fps (60 fieldsper second) system... Someone help, I'm confused now...
     
  8. KBDVD

    KBDVD
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    Hello Again,

    Following my e-mail to Let's Go Digital I have received this reply from their Manager Mr David Cranch:

    Thank you for your email and link.

    Please accept my apologies for not contacting you yesterday. When I spoke to you on Friday I completely forgot that I was going to be away on Sunday and Monday. I was in fact at the annual Panasonic Trade show at Heathrow where I did have an opportunity to discuss your problem with the service department.

    I have to admit that I am not fully conversant with the technology within Plasma panels or how they react to NTSC signals however I described your situation as accurately as I could to the Head of Service. The reaction was pretty much as expected. In other words, the panel is performing within specification.

    Interestingly I notice that the first gentleman to respond to your post seems to agree with Panasonic that the " combing " you refer to is a characteristic of the unit and not a fault. Another gentleman with a 37" unit does not use " zoom " mode becuse the picture becomes unwatchable. It would seem therefore that although the unit is not performing as well as you had hoped in this one specific regard, it is within specification.

    The stuck blue pixel is of course a seperate issue and again I have to tell you that from what you have described your unit is well within specification. In the Panasonic A/V catalogue there is at the bottom of every page that features Plasma or LCD products the following statement.

    "All Plasma and LCD Panel technologies may be subject to pixel dropout"

    However, having said all that I can assure you that we are not simply " box shifters ". Indeed if you check other forums and price checking sites you will see that we have just about the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the industry. Our prime concern is to gain and keep customers and the best way to do that is to keep them happy !

    Assuming that you still have the original packaging for your TH-50PHW5B we will be happy to take it back for a full refund. I see little point in exchanging it as we can be fairly certain that any replacement will behave in exactly the same manner.

    We do of course carry alternative brands but to be honest I couldn't promise that you wouldn't have the same problem with a Sony or Pioneer panel and of course they are all subject to possible pixel dropout.

    Please let me know if you would like us to arrange a collection and when it would be convenient.

    Regards

    David Cranch


    This obviously represents a very reasonable response from Let's Go Digital.

    I would have ideally liked the opportunity to try another TH-50PHW5B unit first, but I'm naturaly very pleased to have had the offer of a full refund extended to me, and would like to publicly thank Mr Cranch for this. :smashin:

    So Gents, I could REALLY do with some "Informed" responses from you Panny owners to help me make up my mind on what I should do!.......Where are you all? :confused:

    Is this "highly visible artifact" present on all Panasonic panels? / all 50" units? / or, just on mine? :confused:

    The real shame is that I'm very happy with every other aspect of the Panasonic's performance. If I decide to take up Mr Cranch's offer of a refund, what's out there that offers performance at a similar level?

    Iv'e heard that there is a new Fujitsu 50" model that utilises the Panasonic glass...is this correct & what's the model number?

    Any replies will be gratefully received.

    Best Regards,
    KBDVD.
     
  9. lumpsucker

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    KBDVD,

    The Fujitsu model you refer to is the P50XHA10. It is currently available and a brochure can be downloaded from http://www.fujitsu-general.co.uk/. It does use Panny glass and IanM on this forum has one and is very happy with it I understand. If you do a search on P50XHA10 it will throw up some useful info for you but if you pop over to the US forum at http://www.avsforum.com/ you will soon see that this has become the most popular of panels and there is a wealth of information on it.

    I'd take the money and have a good look around.

    Regards

    Simon
     
  10. Dutch

    Dutch
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    Hi KBDVD,

    I'm sorry to hear of your continuing woes with your Panny. I know how much you were looking forward to your 50 incher. :( I agree with Simon's suggestion of looking at the new Fujitsu models - definitely worth a demo, I think. They even have an HDCP compliant DVI input which would be good for future HD-DVD. Did you ever find out if Panasonic were going to bring out some new DVI-HDCP boards?

    Steve
     
  11. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Cerebos: 2:3 sequenceing is what is used to create 60 fields per second out of 24 frames per second (film). 2:3 PULLDOWN detection allows a de-interlacer to recognise this sequence and to re-create the orignal film frames from their interlaced fields. The refresh rate is STILL 60Hz. So with a progressive NTSC signal you still get a 2:3 sequence...no change except the signal is now 60 progressive FRAMES per second instead of 60 interlaced fields. So you still get motion judder.


    Mr Cranch came through in the end and should be congatulated for taking steps to get a happy customer. I tend to agree with him that they will all be like this. It is probably within spec...it's just the spec isn't as good as it should be......


    Gordon
     
  12. MikeE

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    Can't help specifically with regard to the 50" panasonic, but I have just got a Toshiba 42WP27 (identical to the Panasonic 42" series 5) and it doesn't exhibit any of the problems you described when zoomed.

    I'm using an old Toshiba sd200 DVD player via component and tried both region 1 and 2 films. On R1 I tried it with 3:2 pulldown on and off.

    One thing I did notice with a 2.35:1 film, was that after zooming the picture looked like it was only stretched vertically. I don't know if this is what it should do, but it spoilt the picture even without any obvious signs of image breakup. I hadn't noticed the same effect when zooming a 4:3 image.

    Anyway looks like it may be resolution related. I don't envy your decision over whether to return your plasma though, after only a week and a half of ownership, I couldn't part with mine.
     
  13. BigH

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    KBDVD,

    I have the 50" panny however I don't do much region 1 stuff and have not suffered your problems so far. I invested in an ISCAN Ultra principly to improve Sky digital. It's a nice piece of kit and does much of the video processing (apart from scaling) that the panel normally does. It may well solve your problem as it produces the progressive image before the panel sees it. It does not solve the issue with the Panny but it could solve your problem. It cost me £600 and is worth the money. After spending 6K+ on the panel I reckon an extra 10% for the ISCAN is worth it.
    Before you ask I bought the ISCAN in the US on a recent business trip for US$933!!

    I am expecting my third Panel (within 3 months) shortly!!

    Regards BigH.
     

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