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Samsung PS-42P2ST - White/Grey Bars on 4:3 Inputs ? Changeable?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by chrisconnew, Jan 2, 2003.

  1. chrisconnew

    chrisconnew
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    Still haven't got round to putting up all my impressions of the Samsung 42" i got just before christmas - but i have a question i hope someone can help with.

    Although i am extremely pleased with the Plasma + Receiver + Speaker setup i have - i have one major criticism which i am hoping i can rectify; White bars on 4:3 or 14:9 inputs!

    On any of the AV inputs (RGB Scart, SVideo or Composite - but importantly not on the PC input) if you use either the 14:9 or 4:3 ratios available on the screen, then the bars which are either side of the displayed image are an off white or grey colour which is extremely distracting. The only solution to this that i can find at the moment is to watch 4:3 video in the AutoWide mode which stretches the pictures horizontally - and takes a bit of getting used to,

    Strangely this is not the case if using a PC input in a 4:3 ratio on the VGA input - 1024x768 in 4:3 mode (instead of the screen stretching it to Widescreen fill screen mode) uses blackbars on the left and the rightsides.

    Ideally i'd like to be able to watch AV inputs with black bars (much less distracting) and have the screen auto switch between 4:£ or 16:9 ratio video - as it handled admirably by my old Sony KV29 Trinitron 4:3 screen. Though i only realised that this was the case with the sony recently - having changed my digibox to output 16:9 mode i discovered that the Sony would autoswitch to match the picture being sent to it from the digibox through my Tivo.

    I have tried looking on the net, talking to a Samsung service dealer (who was completely useless - wanted 35notes to come and have a look - thanks but i can do that - maybe if they specialised in samsung plasmas - but not all TVs videos and microwaves!), and checking through the manuals and even trying the PC software allowing you to control the screen using the serial control lead.

    Any ideas - hair thinning due to pulling it out :)

    Chris Connew
    chris@connew.net
     
  2. chrisconnew

    chrisconnew
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    Completely forgot to ask - can anyone here with a different brand of plasma let me know what their plasma is by comparison?

    I must admit to having not checked this before buying - even though i extensively tested a panasonic, toshiba, thomson etc. i simply didn't try feeding a 4:3 and displaying it at native proportions.

    Unfortunately i'm expecting all the replies to say that their bars are black :(

    Cheers
     
  3. chrisconnew

    chrisconnew
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    BUMP!

    50 views and no replies! :( Anyone with an LG, a pioneer or a plasma care to check a 4:3 tv channel from a sky digibox (or other source) and let me know if the bars on the left and right are black.

    Ideally anyone with a Samsung that could check too - may just be my unit, but i doubt it.

    Anyone ?
     
  4. jmack

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    hi on my toshiba you can change the settings from black through to light grey
    and on my old philips if i remember right it used to change colour by it self (dont quote me on that one though)
     
  5. chrisconnew

    chrisconnew
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    ta jmack - i've had a look through the menus on the sammy but i'll be having another look - i don't mind feeling stupid if i missed it but :clown: will be the look on my face if i have




    until :D face appears when i realise i got what i wanted.


    any more for any more ?
     
  6. roofer

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    hi chris, just checked my lg and vertical bars are also grey,btw why would u want to watch programmes in 4 .3 mode any way?
     
  7. chrisconnew

    chrisconnew
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    to be honest roofer - i generally don't, it's mainly other members of the family who aren't used to seeing so many portly characters on screen.

    Although having said that - when i am watching 4:3 programming or dvds 75% of the time i'm perfectly happy watching it in auto wide mode (stretched to fit on the samsung), partly since even the two main seats are not directly in front of the screen and the further you sit to the side the less you notice it. Over Xmas though i have been watching quite a lot of the Discovery and UKFood channels - which IMO have looked awful stretched from where i was sitting, even in the worst viewing seats in my lounge.


    It's mainly an issue that at the moment i consider that i "can't" because of the white/grey bars, especially when i have the lights off and the sound up - in the perfect world the bars would be black (or in the case of a plasma dark grey ;) ) and the display would auto detect.

    It is something that people get used to - but i have to ask why should they? Any modern set for the last 5 years has been capable of detecting screen ratios - i think it's an issue that people put up with, but i certainly would put it on my wishlist of features on the ultimate display.

    You have to ask - did they choose to make the bars grey - or was it an oversight - and if they did choose - then what the F&%* was wrong with them :mad:


    :blush:

    rant over :)
     
  8. Bonzaimaster

    Bonzaimaster
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    chrisconnew

    I agree with you. It seems crazy that Plasma screen don't support auto-switching between 4:3 and 16:9. Some of the 4:3 programming can look awful when stretched.

    It seems like a real step back to have to manually change the format type (I believe there is no direct remote codes for them so using a programmable remote like the Pronto won't help) when spending £3k+ on a screen.
     
  9. chrisconnew

    chrisconnew
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    Binesh - must be on the same wavelength - i was just talking to someone at home about direct codes - since i'm looking at a pronto remote or possible alternatives (if there are any really).

    It does amaze me that companies like samsung or panasonic or pioneer don't give more consideration to these expensive products - maybe they do - but they decide that it is too much work or expense to add sensible featureslike auto switching or direct codes, or direct volume numbers - maybe i'm jumping the gun and assuming that these features aren't present.

    I'll have to start a bit of a rant in another thread and see what people think - though i'd imagine it's been thought of before

    Maybe not - maybe i'm, some kind of plasma messiah/prophet :)

    On the subject of remotes - slightly off topic but i have a Compaq Ipaq and have been looking into addons for that - seems that a decent programmable piece of software that uses the pronto schemes and comes with an infrared emitter that plugs into the headphone socket on the top of the ipaq is about $30 - not bad for the price - will certainyl be more likely to give that a try than to buy a Pronto for £150

    Whatever happens i have to minimise this pile of remotes!

    sky, tivo, samsung plasma, pioneer receiver, sony vcr, dansai dvd plus i'm sure there are mroe lurkign in the shadows :(
     
  10. TheBigApple

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    White bars on the side of 4.3 image on the Pioneer 433HDE.

    Thid model should auto switch aspect ratio, but I cannot get this to work.
     
  11. JamesTapp

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    I have a Panasonic v4.

    You can set the bar colours to black, grey or white.

    The reason that the grey or white options exist is to protect the screen from uneven wear of the pixels. If you don't illuminate the bars (ie black) then those areas will appear brighter than the centre of the screen if you watch a lot of 4:3 material because they won't be as "worn".

    Regarding auto switching, it is possible on the panasonic at least. One guy in a recent mag connected pin 8 of the scart to the PC serial port via an electronic box that sent the codes for the appropriate mode.

    Sounds like a lot of trouble to go to in my opinion....
    ;)
     
  12. chrisconnew

    chrisconnew
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    lot of trouble - that's so true.

    again this is crazy that these things get "missed" :rolleyes:

    interesting what you say about the brightness jamestapp - sounds perfectly reasonable, makes a lot of sense even - but wouldn't the same be true for if you watch a high proportion of 2.35:1 dvds? It'd be nice - and surely not too hard to have the option to change it - at least menu configurable.

    With the models that have little issues like this i'd like to think maybe a firmware or software update could sort these things out.

    I live in hope :p
     
  13. JamesTapp

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    and not in Caergwle? (North Wales humour... sorry :D )

    Indeed, the same applies for 2.35:1 DVDs, the point being that there isn't an aspect selection for that ratio, that is determined by the content.

    If you put your plasma in 4:3 then the bars are never going to disappear, whatever the ratio of the content is.

    The assumption in 16:9 is that you are watching content that includes 16:9 as well as all of the content at other ratios, and therefore the uneven wear of the phosphors is not as likely to take place.
     
  14. chrisconnew

    chrisconnew
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    sorry i must have sounded like i was criticising what you were saying - not the intention.

    I understood from what you wrote that large areas of black on screen - ie the left and right hand bars in 4:3 mode if the bars were black - would mean that those areas woudl appear brighter when watching something in fullscreen mode - ie a 16:9 dvd - i might be misunderstanding - wouldn't this mean that when watching a 2.35:1 dvd (eg i watched Contact earlier) even though the bars may be intentional - if the black bars on the top and bottom are black/dark grey then woudn't that affect the brightness of those areas in the long run in the same way that it would if the 4:3 left and right bars were black, which on the samsuing isn't the case.

    I think i'm following what i've written but just because it makes sense in my head doesn't mean it will to people reading it :(

    does that make sense? i'd assume that if the brightness issue were important then you'd be able to change the bars on a 2.35:1 film so as not to affect the longevity/brightness of the display.

    Bit late - but plasma newbie alert for those who hadn't noticed :)
     
  15. phil_evans

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    Grey on a Pioneer 433MXE by default. Think you can change it in the setup menu though. Surprised 433HDE is different!

    Phil
     
  16. JamesTapp

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    Chris, no problems with the post at all! this is what it is all about!

    The point you raised is valid, ie bars at the top and bottom of a DVD framed in 2.35:1 will have the same effect if you run DVDs at this ratio all of the time.

    I am getting out of my depth here, but I think a 2.35:1 movie on a 16:9 display is letterboxed, ie the black is sent from the DVD player, therefore the plasma has no way knowing that it is a 2.35:1 movie. Whereas putting the plasma into 4:3 mode, it knows that the areas aren't going to be illuminated, whatever the content is.

    Someone help me out here...:)
     
  17. chrisconnew

    chrisconnew
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    2.35:1 black sent from dvd player - that's exactly what i thought - so obviously the plasma has no control over it.

    What would be nice is being able to create custom aspect ratios/displays - the ability to specifiy a new named display mode and specify the stretching and position.

    To be fair a lot of the things i'd like to be able to do woudl be considered advanced for the majority of users who just want to watch tv or dvds on it - but thats why it woudl be better to have an advanced/simple mode switch in the menus, that and a reset all to default switch/toggle somewhere should help to avert any harm being done to the plasma by intrusive users - (read kids :) )
     
  18. Phil_Yeoman

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    Hi

    I have a samsung 42p2sb with separate tuner box. On this model their is a setting to change the aspect ratio automatically. It seems to work fine for terestrial TV but has some problems with content from SKY.

    You are correct about their been no discrete IR codes for this set. You can still perform all the relevant switching using pronto but you need to get a little creative :)

    I am interested in the software you mentioned in your original post could you please let me have some info on it?

    Phil
     
  19. JamieD

    JamieD
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    Anyone know which magazine? It would be a nice simple project, and would make use of that serial port.

    I know it seems a no-brainer to add an aspect switching pin like we have on RGB Scarts, but remember Scart is a very european standard. We don't realise how good we've had it!
     
  20. earlyworm

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    I also am very interested in this gadget to use the serial port to switch aspect modes depending on the voltage of pin 8.
    I had thought of this myself, but as I know nothing about electrical engineering I do not posess the skills to do this.

    I have a Panasonic 37" and Sky digibox and the aspect ratio switching is driving me mad. I cannot tolerate stretched images so I am constantly flipping through the aspect modes.
     
  21. JamesTapp

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    The magazine was probably Home Cinema Choice or Essential Home Cinema, a couple of months ago.

    It was an article about two professional installers and their own installs.

    It doesn't mention a lot about the device, just that one of the guys had made it. In my operating instructions for the Plasma (How to connect the serial terminals). It makes reference to the use of a PC connection through the serial port to send commands such as Power On, Power Off, IIS (Input Select) and DAM (Screen mode toggle).


    I guess that's how he has done it.

    Well beyond my ability, and more required than just a few soldering skills...
     

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