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Sharp 'P' Series

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by scrapbook, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. scrapbook

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    I read with interest the news regarding the Sharp series of panels optimized for PAL broadbcasts. Intially a month or two ago I assume this series wouldn't be HD ready so to some degree dismissed as interesting, but of not much use to me.

    Now I see they are HD ready I am intrigued to to know from the 'techies' what are the advantages / disadvantages of having a panel at 960 x 540 rather than the more standard 1366 x 768.

    Is this new PAL optimised resolution likely to give an inferior image on all sources other that broadcast TV for instance? If you have a 1366 x 768 panel next to a 960 x 540 panel could you tell the difference?
     
  2. DanH

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    Im not a 'techie', but heres my 2p anyway :).

    They are not HD Ready. They may have a HDMI socket, but it has to have a minimum of 720 lines for it to be HD ready.

    In theory, higher resolution LCDs will look better with HD sources, but regardless of that, would you be happy paying (potentially a lot of money) for HD content and not seeing the full resolution? I know i wouldnt.
     
  3. hornydragon

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    940x540 my be closer pal 720x576 but i would still go for 1366x768 as we are moving towards albeit slowly 720p and for some reason 940x 540 seems a bit too odd and 2 years too late. I guess i will wait till i have seen one in the flesh before trying to make my mind up but that res does sound very off perhaps thats a good thing
     
  4. GrahamC

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    I wouldn't buy one but then I'm a geek, but I can see where Sharp are coming from i.e. from the view point of my mum and dad. Slim and flat is all that matters :rolleyes: . If the tuner and sockets fit the bill then okaykokay. Res numbers, Hi-Def, HDMI .... swooosh right over their heads and just think if in 12 months these are discounted to 600 quid for 32" because of the lower tech then Sharp have a very healthy balance sheet.
     
  5. kaarlito

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    Well, the resolution is an half on 1080. After reading the press release, the panel will downscale if it is a HD definition. Assuming that a picture as better look downscaled than upscaled and by this, a downscaled picture should not suffer if it is HD resolution. Those panel could be a very interesting alternative.

    Personnally, it is what I was looking for months. A panel that intend to perform a real PQ with analogue or digital TV broadcast without upscaling and ready to perform PQ for HD resolution. It should be the TV that people want to replace a CRT and get a normal PQ without loss quality, and don't want to pay for looking HD brodcoast. :thumbsup:

    Like me :)
     
  6. richard plumb

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    Its just Sharp continuing their slide down crapola lane. First they have fantastic, hires panels. Then they slap us with 640x480 panels and hope we don't notice. Now they are playing at HD. Unfortunately as mentioned its not HD ready and 720p will look little better than on a 480p capable CRT


    Come on Sharp, we know you have great TVs - stop pulling your punches.

    [/cynical hat]
     
  7. jimg

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    Nonsense! They are targeting the direct CRT replacement market with these sets, not every one wants HD or has even heard of it. Sharp make great sets for HD and are just addresssing a different market sector here.
     
  8. richard plumb

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    If this is addressing 'SD' viewers, then why not have a 576 panel? 960x540 is clearly 'half HD' and is therefore tuned for budget HD viewing, not optimised SD viewing
     
  9. Dune

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    You are right it is "half HD". It is half 1920x1080.

    I find that rather intriguing because virrtually all the HD ready sets will scale a a 1080i high def picture.

    For example most HD plasmas have resultions like 1024x720 (or 768) so there is scaling there. Most LCD's are 1366x768 or simular so scaling applies there also.

    So basically just about every set is scaling down a 1080i picture.

    Maybe it is easier (and better) to scale a 1080i picture down to half size on each dimension than to match the panel sizes of LCD and plasmas displays.

    There are some sets that are 1280x720 (Sagen DLP sets for example) but most LCD's will have to up scale a 720p picture to make use of the full panel resolution. So while the P series will be downscaling I don't see that it is much different than downcaling a 1080i picture in terms of the fact it does it!

    What it performs like picture wise will be interesting. I am sure it won't be as good as a proper 720 set on 720 feeds but it could still be very good.

    Dave
     
  10. jimg

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    Because 625 is actually including non "picture" info see the Sharp press release: http://www.sharp.de/presse/prmentry.php?id=160&prmid=33

    I hope your German is good!
     
  11. richard plumb

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    whatever you want to believe JimG. I find it hard to believe that Sharp produce a dedicated line of LCDs for us PAL bods. I *do* believe that they'd switch to using some half-HD panels they are already using for Japan and other areas.

    As for scaling - well anything 'i' will need to be deinterlaced. I'd like for my panel to at least handle one of the inputs natively - so 720 lines is my preference.
     
  12. neilmcl

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    I think it's vey canny of Sharp to get their feet in both the European HD and SD flat panel market. After all how many other manufacturers have offered PAL optimised sets recently. It's good marketing as far as I can see.
     
  13. Dune

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    Bablefish translation of the web page:

    More than 60 million tube television are still located in the German households. This number shows the large potential for flat television and here particularly for LCD TVs. And the LCD TV market booms: Thus two time about three times as many LCD televisions are sold as in the previous year, in which altogether five million devices were sold. The market stands thus at the threshold to the mass-market. But LCD TV has to still fight with prejudices. - not completely more unauthorized - a point of criticism is the quality of the television picture on modern LCDs. The reason is however not the quality of the screens, but the resolution of the output signal.

    The PaL signal supplies a vertical resolution of 625 physical lines. Less videotex, EPG and Synchro signals 576 lines remain for the image representation. The highly soluble HD ready panels of the LCD televisions thus must generate their picture from a substantially smaller picture resolution of the television signal. This adjustment is usually done via complicated mathematical algorithms, which project the vertical resolution of the Pa L signal onto the substantially higher resolution of the LCD panel. It is generated contents, which are missing in the output signal. This interpolation between the pixels can cause picture noise or shade effects, which can cloud the television benefit.

    Sharp creates with PALoptimal as the only manufacturers world-wide remedy. The LCD panels of the P50-Serie developed particularly for the European market offer an pixel-exact conversion of the PaL signal. A pixel of the output signal corresponds exactly to one pixel of the LCDs, which is void of artificial conversion of the signal. Result is Sharps best picture for television.

    But the new Sharp panel offers still more: Because although the new P50-Modelle is not due to the line representation HD ready, they can represent HDTV pictures in high-quality. Sharp selects a resolution of 540 lines for the P50-Geraete. This corresponds to the PaL signal less 6,25 per cent of "Overscan". The Overscan designates the portion of lines, which cannot be represented by televisions. Conventional televisions cover up to ten per cent of the output signal by "Overscan". The decision for a resolution of 540 instead of 576 lines, fell due to the possibility of being able to represent also the pictures of the HDTV standards 1080i and 720P without complicated conversion. Because 540 lines dissolution correspond accurately half from 1080 and three quarter from 720 lines. And naturally also a HD mixing CCIT place with support of the HDCP copy protection is also on board the new televisions, so that they do not remain black if HDTV became generally accepted as picture standard.

    Furthermore they offer two SCART entrances, a high-quality similar component entrance and an s-video-entrance. For the good sound the amplifier with two times ten Watts and the Virtual Dolby Surround function provide.

    Also the special panels for the European market set on a high brightness of 450 candelas per square meters and horizontal like vertical points of view of 170 degrees.

    PALoptimal is first choice for the viewers, who want predominantly television programs to use and today optimally watch television, however not without future security to do would like ", like that Michael cure jetty, marketing manager Retail Sales division with Sharp Electronics Germany/Austria in Hamburg.

    The new P50-Serie covers the three devices LC-37P50E, LC-32P50E and LC-26P50E with screen diagonals of 94, 80 and 65 centimeters and is available at a price of 2.499 euro (LC-37P50E), 1,699 euro (LC-32P50E) and/or 1,199 euro (LC-26P50E) noncommittal price recommendation in the trade. The distribution to the trade begins at the end of of July.

    So that is approximately £1700 for the 37 inch, £1170 for the 32 inch and £825 for the 26 inch.

    Dave
     
  14. DanH

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    What it actually looks like, only time will tell. But its missing 57600 pixels of resolution from a 720p signal.

    Upscaling 720p to 1366x768 is a non issue imho. My LCD does a good job of upscaling 576i to 1366x768 (DVDs via RGB scart look a lot better, and more detailed than the CRT it replaced), and it also has to de-interlace it first, so scaling 720p is a piece of cake in comparison.

    As i said before, would you be happy paying for HD content, (of which the whole selling point is better resolution) and not getting it?
    If i bought a Superbit DVD and found it only had the normal disc in the box, i wouldnt be happy as its not what i paid for.
     
  15. Dune

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    I don't think that is the point of these sets at all.

    I think the idea is that people could be disappointed with a HD LCD showing off-air freeview or sky SD pictures wheras with the P-series they get a flat TV that offers as good or better quality then their old CRT with ths sort of source material.

    We don't know how much Sky HD will cost and we already know a lot of people won't pay current Sky prices given the take up of Freeview.

    So to turn your argument around, why pay for a HD set when you are never going to use its HD capabilites?

    The fact the geometry makes it easy for the set to scale down a HD feed just means it will work if, one day, all SD broadcasts are replaced by HD.

    What a HD picture scaled down onto one of these sets will look like is the intruiging part. If it looks better than when the set is displaying an SD off-air signal then that is just a bonus.

    Especially if a P series gives a better picture on off-air SD than a HD set.

    That said the prices quoted in Euros are too high IMO to attract people with just a bit of knowledge about HD as you can have a HD set for not much more. Whether there would be any logic in buying a HD set if you were never going to subscribe to Sky HD is another matter but logic goes out of the window when something is perceived to be better when in fact it might not be given your use of it.

    It is an interesting bit of lateral thinking by Sharp but I don't think it is new idea. I noticed a Samsung SD plasma in Curry's today with a hdmi socket. The panel res wasn't 540 vertical but it was "SD", 852 x whatever so you might expect this set to be better at SD (than a HD set) and also to offer a decent "HD" picture if Sharps arguments hold true.

    Dave
     
  16. jobseeker

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    Wel I'll sure be looking at them seriously. I've heard that it's one of the best pictures seen for standard tv transmissions. If that's true when I see it and they get the pricing right, then I may well buy one. Part of the problem for routine TV viewers with these new sets is that we pay more money for a worse picture in simple terms. I have 6 TV sets in my house all ready for replacement - 4 in bedrooms and 2 downstairs - and I won't need top notch hi-def performance on 'em all for sure. By the time it's the norm, they'll all want replacing again anyway.
     
  17. Order Sixty Six

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    Good argument Dune. HD panels look poor with standard signals, and for most of us I'm not going to pay for SKY HD, so I'm stuck with a HD panel with looks crap with SD broadcasts. The bonus of having a HD panel with SD-DVDs is some players upscale, mine does and it looks great, but I just wonder if the new Sharp will look just as good with DVDs? I think that there are a lot of people out there who are disapointed with SD television pictures on their HD panels.
     
  18. DanH

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    It makes perfect sense if your not interested in HD at all. I was just responding to the comment about HD being downscaled.
    I definately agree with you about people buying highres LCDs with no interest in HD. Its just shooting yourself in the foot. For me, i can live with variable image quality via freeview as HD is something im very much looking forward to. If i wasnt, i would have bought a nice CRT. (Maybe an SD plasma, but i didnt really want anything bigger than 32")

    The Sharp should do well with HD sources even when downscaled, as the signal is progressive for one (at least with 720p), and should be a lot higher bit rate.
    It just doesnt sit right with me that people who are looking to ditch their CRTs see a Sharp P LCD in a showroom and think, wow that looks better than the others here (showing SD), and buy one, then also get interested in HD content, which they will never be able to take full advantage of even if it does look better.
     
  19. Order Sixty Six

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    I'm not sure that 'most' people know what HD is, or even care. When HD becomes the standard and free to watch, HD panels will be common place but that is years off. I think that a lot of people don't care in the same way a lot of us reading and writing these forums do...
     
  20. DanH

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    Thats just it. Alot of people dont and will buy whatever gets sold to them in Currys.
    Its not just SkyHD or broadcast HD that will appeal to people either, Xbox360/Ps3 HD-DVD/BluRay etc etc. These are all things that are going to attract people in 12months time (6months for Xbox360), and although they have the right sockets on the back of their tellys, will they get the most from the equipment? (enough to justify the price at least)
     
  21. jobseeker

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    To be honest, most of these people will not have a clue whether they've got the best or not and care even less. Let's face it, most domestic entertainment buyers just ain't like us folk. They want a tele, they go to a shop, the missus says 'that silver one looks nice' or he says 'that's the cheapest' and they buy it. No insult intended here, that's just the way most people I know buy entertainment equipment.
     
  22. Andy3

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    Bang on the nail, Jobseeker. I spent 20 years in the TV trade. In my early years, most people would ask 'what's the best picture?' or what's the most reliable?' :smashin: , but as the years passed it slowly gave way to 'what's the cheapest?' or 'what's the biggest for not too much cash?' :thumbsdow
    Only old couples seemed interested in quality, funnily enough...
    What really depressed me was this: One day (about five years after leaving the trade, I was browsing a local 'Curry's' type shop which had a 40" back-pj TV running in the window. To combat the daylight, the contrast, brightness and colour were all set to 11, and it looked like all the 'enhancements' were up full, too. It was foul, I kid you not. If I had set a TV up like that I would have felt thoroughly ashamed :suicide:
    Then a middle-aged couple came and looked at the same set. After a few moments, the bloke says to his missus "Look at that, Audrey. What a beauty, eh? Imagine that in our living room". Missus coos and remarks "look how good the picture is.." Aaargh!
    Then a friend down the road calls and tells me that he's got a new telly from Asda (oh groan...) and could I 'just pop round' and set it up for him? Sure thing, I'm there in half-an-hour.
    It's a BUSH cheap an' cheerful widesceen effort, which after several false starts, I tune to all the local analogue channels. Yes it's analogue only and he doesn't have OnDigi (as it was at the time). The pictures are pretty gruesome, lots of geometry and convergence errors, and EHT regulation is ropey, causing the dreaded bends. Of course I have it swiched to 4:3, as that's all there is. "Is it meant to be wide?" he askes. "Only on widescreen broadcasts" say I. ..."Oh. When are they on?" "Never" I reply. "Oh. Can you make it wide anyway?" "Yup"...... :rolleyes:
    Finally, have you ever heard yer average punter say (of bog VHS) "I can't stand video recordings, they're all fuzzy and the colours are unstable"? Neither have I, people are content with the most dreadful sh!t.
     
  23. GrahamC

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    If the image is even half decent I can see the Sharp P range being their biggest seller. I will be looking very closly at one for sure. Hi Def from my projector in the cinema room, sweet and simple TV in the lounge. :thumbsup:
     
  24. bigtim

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    Reminds me of a discussion I had with someone in work a few years back. She swore blind there was no difference between broadcast TV, DVD or the her VHS recordings - they were all "perfect" :rolleyes:

    Still, I'll be reading the reviews of these P series with interest. Could be a good 'n' cheap stopgap for me and could then be retired to the Bedroom when HD becomes ubiquitous.
     
  25. HelloTech

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    Sounds like a good idea to me and it should give a good quality picture from most formats.

    If I remember correctly after all blank, colour and text lines used in the PAL 625 broadcast are removed you are left with very close to the 540 lines of this new P series.

    I know it isn't a HD ready TV as it has 540 lines instead of the minimum 720 but from all accounts it isn't designed as a HD TV but more as a "normal broadcast" TV.

    Also it is half of 1080 and a quick bit of math shows it is also 3/4 of 720 so if you did want to view HD content on it at a later date you could do and you shouldn’t get any of the usual problems that you get when using the complicated logarithms used on 768 panels to display all signals except 768 PC signals (ever noticed the fuzzy picture close up on all manufacturers LCD TV's) so the picture on HD should look good.

    Well that's me done for now - any more ideas?
    :smashin:
     
  26. pjskel

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    That's pretty much spot on - it's a lot to do with simplification. Simplifying the processing to halve the 1080 signal, will get all pixels used on a 1:1 basis, which "should" give the best possible use of the display's properties.
    That's fine for DVD as standard (540 resolution by default, or as makes little difference), and if broadcasts in the future use 1080i or p for delivery.
    Where things get interesting is if (presumably) they pump out 720p - then the set will need to do 3:2 pull down to get 1080, then halve that before displaying.
    As long as the 3:2 PD is done well and not on the cheap, then it will be plenty suitable for the masses as HD trickles out from all aspects of it's usage - broadcast, pre-recorded discs, and home recordings on DVD Recorders.

    Should be interesting to see how it pans out in reality - theory is wonderful, but no substitution for reality.
     
  27. manzaboy

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    OK so the general consensus is that this is better quality terrestrial\freeview but will be half quality HD...Now can anyone comment as to whether standard (non-hd) DVD should be any good with this set - and also what about PC\Playstation input via the HDMI???
    This could be a good stopgap as someone mentioned earlier.
    HD-ready Sky will be expensive for forst 12 months so in the meantime if the pic looks good and it does the regular stuff then it could be a good flat replacement for a CRT???
    If not any suggestions for alternatives that should give a nice freeview pic and can be hooked up to a PC?
     
  28. David Mackenzie

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    Don't bother trying to hook a PC up to one of these, if they have the input. The resolution would be unusably small for computer use.
     
  29. jerkyboy

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    When are sharp going to officially anounce their proper lCD's, the LC-37GA6E and LC-37GD7E ?.

    These look very nice, but if they dont hurry up I might have to go for the new 37" JVC instead.
     
  30. pjskel

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    The new Titanium replacement should be upon us in 2 months time.
    The current 3 range is being replaced by the P50 (available next month, IIRC), so that's all that'll exist, AFAIK.
     

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