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Strange picture + an old debt

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by zmbq, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. zmbq

    zmbq
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    First let me thank those who answered my previous question about which DVDs to use when Plasma shopping. Thanks, guys.

    I went to my first store a couple of days ago, to take a look at the Fujitsu P50XHA. They had 42" and 60" LGs there, too. At first I admired the 42" LG's picture, until they turned on the Fujitsu. I was stunned. The picture was magnificent. I've never seen such a bright and crisp picture on, well, anything.

    First the source was an Onkyo DVD player, showing some movie with animated monkeys. You could count the hairs on their heads from quite a distance (I didn't bring my own DVDs because I haven't got a short-list yet. I will when I do). The problems began when I stepped to the display and watched closely.

    The objects in focus were extremely sharp, but the backgroun was, well, fuzzy. Out-of-focus objects were rather hard to distinguish (the background had a lot of leaves, being a movie about animated monkeys in the jungle). It might be MPEG's fault, but it was there. It wasn't noticable when watching the screen from normal watching distance.

    Then I asked the salesman (I was disappointed to know he couldn't tell me what inputs the display had. He tried to search it on the internet, but couldn't find anything about the non-US model. He wasn't even sure if there were a non-US model. Is there?) to show me 4:3 TV broadcasts.

    Once more, I was blown away. This time not because of the picture quality (more on that later), but because I didn't even notice there were no bars on the side. There's some sort of magic there - the picture seems natural as if it was always a 16:9 picture. I don't know what kind of transformation they use, but it's a darn good one. I switched to a soccer match, to see if the game looks funny on the sides of the screen - but I couldn't notice anything strange. I love it.

    The problem was picture quality. The display was connected to the Israeli satellite TV provider, and on some channels the bad quality was quite disturbing. It actually bothered me to look at some of them (the image wasn't very sharp, and the colors not as bright). Other channels were better. Obviously this isn't the Plasma's fault, but it still wasn't a rewarding experience to watch some of the channels.

    The soccer game I mentioned was even worse. The grass was great, the ads along the field were great, the white lines bordering the field were great, but the players were impossible to look at. It seemed as if each player had some checkered squares around him. Tiny squares, but noticable one from quite a distance.

    Obviously this isn't the display's fault, but the quality of the broadcast (the fact that they connected the satellite box using a composite cable probably didn't help, either). Still, I wonder if someone else encountered similar problems, and knows of ways to fix them.

    Since most of my viewing is TV, I'm afraid I will spend most of my viewing time ****** off because the picture doesn't look as good as it should. I don't want to pay $15,000 for that, when instead I can pay $3000 for a nice rear-projection TV, be slightly ****** off when I watch DVDs, and have $12,000 extra in the bank to comfort me. Of course, I don't WANT a rear-projection TV, I want a plasma! :blush:
     
  2. IanM

    IanM
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    zmbq,

    I've got the European version (P50XHA10ES as opposed to P50XHA10US) and it does look superb with a good source. Unfortunately any screen that size will just emphasise the problems if the source is dodgy.

    A soccer match from satellite fed through a composite cable is close to being the worst combination you can get. TV pictures are rarely as good as DVD and soccer is probably the most difficult thing to display. The players tend to be so far away that the resolution of the signal cannot do justice to them. And as for connecting by composite...

    I think you'll find that a decent quality connection (I don't known if you have RGB SCART in Israel) will make a massive difference. And then there are all sorts of ways you could improve the signal. There is another thread currently running about improving the Sky satellite TV that we get here in the UK that is worth looking at as most of the principles are the same.

    I'm a big soccer fan (so much so that calling it "soccer" instead of football is painful) and probably watch as many matches as DVDs on my plasma. It will never be an amazing picture until we get HDTV (if that ever happens) because I doubt that any scaler can add detail to the players (although I'd love to be contradicted on that). However I think that it looks far better on a decent plasma than on any RPTV I've ever seen down the pub. The beer's cheaper too...

    Cheers,
    Ian.
     
  3. zmbq

    zmbq
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    I'm not much for football (see? Fighting against my US-influenced culture ;) ), but there wasn't any race on when I checked the TV.

    One of the thing the salesman couldn't tell me, was whether there are RGB-SCART inputs on the display or not (the US version has component inputs, but I don't have any component source). My satellite box does indeed have an RGB output, as does my DVD player (which is supposed to offer progressive scan, as well. A Sony something 700, I don't remember which model exactly).

    I think I'll go to another dealer, and first make sure they're using the best connection available.

    Thanks!
     
  4. IanM

    IanM
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    The European version comes with the following inputs as standard:

    DVI (HDCP compliant)
    VGA
    BNC Component

    There is also a videoboard slot with two options:

    a) RGB SCART (which I have) or
    b) S-Video and a second Component input.

    If your DVD player offers progressive scan then I'm surprised that it doesn't have component outputs (although some machines use VGA for progressive output).

    btw: I'm a big F1 fan as well. It is much more suited to plasmas than football: the varied colours and rock-solid on-screen graphics look superb. And examining the picture quality gives something relatively interesting to do between pit-stop windows...

    Cheers,
    Ian.
     

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