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The age old phosphor complaint - where do we go from here?

Ratfink

Well-known Member
Hi, I tried bumping an old thread but it had expired, so..

Being new to the world of HD, I recently returned a Panny G10 due to experiencing 'phosphor flashes' and 'rainbows'. I did my research, understand the phosphor trailing issue, and certainly experienced it in games (although annoying, I could see myself adjusting to it - perhaps as I take gaming less seriously), however, the yellow flashes during movies proved quite a shock, and unforgivable in my eyes. I understand this is a flaw of the technology, and it's true that not everyone sees it (my OH claimed she couldn't), but it was difficult to miss, and very distracting. I find it hard to believe anyone who does see them can simply accept it, as it's akin to someone flashing a lightbulb on, esp. during b&w scenes, or scenes in which something bright is shown against a dark background. It's natural to move ones eyes during viewing (I suppose it depends how close you sit too) and even with general eye movement, I would catch bright yellow flashes.

It left me quite depressed, as being satisfied with the plasma picture otherwise, I feel doomed to look (or wait) for another technology, and I've already waited long enough I feel. I prefer the look of plasma over LCD personally, yet can't forgive, nor ignore that quite prominent flaw.

Anyone in a similar boat that can offer consoling advice, as I'd love to know what others have done in the same situation. Simply live with it? Found a better option? Know of one coming soon? I read that it's inherent to all, so it's not as simple as going for another panel, if you're sensitive to it in the first place.
 

Pontiac

Active Member
Ratfink, if you look at the CES coverage forum here on the Panasonic new range for 2010 they feature some improvements to phosphor trailing apparently making it near enough invisible to people like you and me who are susceptible.

BTW, I noticed it too and was damn annoyed as completely satisfied with picture otherwise. However, it was either that or LCD backlight bleeding which I found more annoying! In time, I actually grew used to it and now dont even notice it really. Or more like I do but dont, if you see what I mean. I think it's a mindset thing. Took me about a year to get into this mindset though.
 

japeries

Standard Member
Being new to the world of HD, I recently returned a Panny G10 due to experiencing 'phosphor flashes' and 'rainbows'.

I recently sent one back for the same reason. As Pontiac said the new Panasonic 3D plasmas have faster phophors which should reduce or eliminate the problem. We'll have to wait until at least 2011 before this technology appears in the more affordable models though.

In the meantime some of the new LED LCDs announced at CES look interesting.

The current Panasonic IPS LCDs look good to my eyes apart from the black levels. If the LED backlighting helps to address this issue then I will probably get one of those.
 

Ratfink

Well-known Member
Thanks for the response guys.

I saw the AVforums video r.e. the 3D Panels, and they do indeed claim to have addressed the issue. However, I was reading elsewhere the smallest 3D panel will be 50" - that's way too big for me, 42" was pushing it (although I got used to it rather quickly). I also admit 3D technology doesn't interest me in the slightest. If there is another new range (non 3D) utlising the same technology, then I'd certainly be interested. At least I know I'm satisfied with the plasma picture quality otherwise, so have set myself up for a confident purchase should this issue be rectified (I also read they're using Kuro technology in the new range?).

Haven't seen the IPS LCDs you mention japeries, I know the technology has moved along, so I would certainly keep my options open no matter what the technology.

Sadly I am on a budget too - it took a while for the G10 to suit my pocket, so I may be in for quite the wait!
 

n0bby

Active Member
I was reading elsewhere the smallest 3D panel will be 50" - that's way too big for me, 42" was pushing it (although I got used to it rather quickly).
In what way would 50" be "way too big" Ratfink?

When we moved from a big-ish house to a tiny cottage our 50" plasma came too, and we ended up sat less than 2 metres away from it. I'd say it took about 1 day before we'd got completely used to it. Like you say - you got used to the 42" rather quickly. A 50" would be exactly the same.

And as we found, letterbox widescreen movies look a decent size on a 50" that's quite close to your nose! :thumbsup:
 

rewerb

Well-known Member
Thanks for the response guys.

I saw the AVforums video r.e. the 3D Panels, and they do indeed claim to have addressed the issue. However, I was reading elsewhere the smallest 3D panel will be 50" -
That's what the US have announced (but they never had a 42V10 either last year.) Need to wait for UK/Japanese announcements in next few weeks.
 

Jim Di Griz

Distinguished Member
In what way would 50" be "way too big" Ratfink?

When we moved from a big-ish house to a tiny cottage our 50" plasma came too, and we ended up sat less than 2 metres away from it. I'd say it took about 1 day before we'd got completely used to it. Like you say - you got used to the 42" rather quickly. A 50" would be exactly the same.

And as we found, letterbox widescreen movies look a decent size on a 50" that's quite close to your nose! :thumbsup:

Exactly :thumbsup:

Ive said this many times - when you are thinking of buying a bigger tv remember that all those 2:35/2:40/2:45 etc framed films will have borders top and bottom anyway - so especially if you like films, the bigger tv the better! Also, if you watch a lot of 4:3 it will help. :)

A 50" will seem too big for about a day. Then a week later you will think "actually that looks just right now".

A month later you might think "damn, maybe a 60" next year!" ;)
 

Ratfink

Well-known Member
No, seriously, 42" is it. We have a small living room, very small, and I just managed to squeeze the 42" in the required space. While I did get used the size, it more than dominates the room, so that is the limit. Tbh, if I could get a 37", I'd probably consider that over the 42".

One can only hope for 42" on the UK models.
 

pjdk

Standard Member
I can't imagine the Japanese with their tiny living spaces would put up with the choice of 50 inch screens or no 3D/new panel technologies so I expect you'll be in luck.

FWIW I had ordered a 42V10 by phone from John Lewis sight unseen (based just on reviews and comments here), but having seen it in person in store with all the trails/flashes/rainbows I had to cancel it. That, along with the very poor (to my eyes) SD performance, left me quite disappointed. I'm coming from a good Sony 32inch tube that I believe was one of their best so perhaps my expectations are still too high? I won't hijack this thread with that story though...
 

Ratfink

Well-known Member
pjdk - Go ahead, as obviously I'm in the market for a new TV too and going from CRT to plasma, aside from the phosphor problems, required quite an adjustment - but I got used to it. As I say, had I not had those issues, I would have kept the TV as the upscaling alone was terrific - SD acceptable, although obviously different from CRT (Store lighting doesn't always help either).
 

pjdk

Standard Member
OK. But remember you did ask!

I had ordered the Panasonic 42" V10 by phone when we were snowed in and was awaiting delivery. Then a few days later when I ventured into Reading I found myself near John Lewis so I decided to wander down to the television section and check out my imminent arrival. I immediately noticed the flashing/trailing/rainbows. I know I'm sensitive to this kind of thing, perhaps I was an insect in a previous life, who knows - I see DLP rainbows and a similar effects in some new tech lighting (I was in an Airbus A380 and saw the effect on the "white" stairwell lights). More than a little worried I checked all the Panasonic models in the shop and fiddled with the settings to see if I could eliminate them. They had an older Panasonic model there too which was perhaps worse. The nail in the coffin though was SD pictures - or rather seeing significantly better SD on a Samsung HD Ready plasma a couple of screens away. As a significant amount of my viewing will be SD it's an important consideration, arguably more important than full HD as I also have a projector in the same room. The artifacts on the Panasonics would have driven me crazy.

I was back to square one. Almost. The picture on the HD ready Samsung had taken my eye and was actually pretty good. Better than that the phosphor trails were either not there or not obvious. I didn't make too much effort to find them truth be told but they certainly didn't jump out at me like on the Panasonics. The price - £450 compared with £1050 (both with 5 year warranties) - I was pretty much sold. The icing on the cake was fuller picture controls which is something that I, like many here, desire. I've calibrated screens with test patterns since my laserdisc days (ahhh laserdisc) in the 90s so I'm quite used to an accurate image.

So I placed my order for the cheap Samsung and am expecting delivery this week. Sure, I don't expect the blacks to be as inky as the Panasonic - but then the only thing that looks inky black in real life is, well, black ink. I know that when I go to the cinema that the blacks aren't inky there either, far from it. I'm happy to make that sacrifice for a picture that doesn't trail, a set that deinterlaces SD "properly" and can be calibrated without resorting to the service menu.

That said, if my Sony CRT hadn't just gone green in the gills I'd probably be waiting for the new Panasonics to see if they've really got the phosphor issue and deinterlacing sorted because I like and generally trust Panasonic as a brand.
 

Ratfink

Well-known Member
Pjdk - That was an interesting post, thanks. Which model did you order? Any chance of posting some feedback once you've played with the set a bit?

I'm aware the trailing/flashes are inherent to the technology - even kuro owners noticing them, but I'd be willing to sacrifice the Panny blacks, if I noticed less flashing (and tbh, while the blacks were impressively inky, I'm used to and comfortable with CRT/cinema black levels). Thing is, I heard the Pannys are better with screen retention/image burning than other models, which is another huge concern of mine. However, as you say Sammys have more picture options. Still, until the new range of Pannys sort this issue, and become somewhat affordable, I would consider a cheaper set just to tide me over - so I can at least enjoy upscaled / blu-ray movies again.

Your feedback on the set would be most appreciated! I'm feeling quite lost without a set at the moment.

Also, do you game by chance? I'd be curious to see how it holds up there..
 

pjdk

Standard Member
Certainly - once it's delivered and I have a few hours on it I'll report back. The model number is Samsung PS42B451.

I also looked at the 42" LG that was £100 more (with a very impressive single glass sheet design) but I had read more reports of image retention and poorer black levels on those than on the Samsungs. And £100 is quite a percentage increase in this price bracket. To be honest I'm looking at this purchase more as a stopgap for a year or two or three, and while £450 is still a significant amount of money to throw away I wouldn't feel as bad relegating it to the spare room as I would a set that cost 1050.

I'm not a gamer so I won't really be able to comment on the IR. Perhaps I could download a demo of something that would simulate the experience so that I could comment on the flash effects. Any suggestions (it will be connected to a HTPC as well as blu-ray)?

I expect/hope that with reasonable calibration and no gaming, IR won't be too much of an issue for me. I have seen some pictures of Panasonics with pretty awful IR too so I decided that screen technology in general just isn't as good as I would like it to be and that anything is a compromise at the moment.
 

andyvvc

Active Member
I've had my G10B (the 50" verson) for about a week now. SD broadcast quality doesn't concern me - its always been rubbish. However, HD and Xbox input at 1080p was a must for me. I had trawled forum after forum, and soon found that LCD (despite looking ace in shops) would probably drive me nuts with its blurring and delay when playing Xbox games.
My limit was a shade over £900 - Richer Sounds had the G10s in for 899 so it was a no brainer for me.

Im starting to see green/yellowish hues or flashes on the edge of people and objects when the screen pans quickly, or when images move into and out of shot quickly. It seems hit and miss though, "Bourne Identity" seems worst. Whilst "BladeRunner" and "T2" dont really seem to exhibit this 'flaw' at all.

Given my budget, and the fact that i was watching DVDs on an old 32" CRT, there really wasn't anything else for me to consider. I'd love a V or Z10 but the prices are stupid (certainy for the Z range). And the decent LCD Phillips are £1500 for a 42" (viewing distance for HD means i need 50" inches, at a distance of over 8 foot)

I've bitten the bullet, and will live with this phospher trail/flashes. To my eye, the better the BD encoding, the less artifact there seems to be. . . ?

I'm not sure what your alternative is though, unless you spend a lot more wonga or wait another few years...? You mention a 450 quid Samsung set - is this Plasma, and does it *not* exhibit and phospher issues? Surely the image quality when moving is worse though? Or is this a trait you are happy to live with if the phospher issue was so apparent to your eyes...?

At this stage (one week in) im kinda convincing myself that i am seeing this artifact - but i could of course be wrong... perhaps this is "Buyer's Guilt" or just paranoia :)
 

pjdk

Standard Member
Thanks choddo206 - I'll give Sin City a go.

Andyvvc - yes, the Samsung I'm waiting for is a plasma. Probably as low as you can go without it falling off the back of a lorry :). It could be that the flashes were not obvious on it because the phosphors are universally slower to decay and therefore leave a more complete colour trail - I honestly don't know. Perhaps it's that the Panasonic has a slightly better black level and that benefit actually exacerbates the issue. Or maybe it's different way of processing the image - that idea would tie in with your suggestion that different encoding affects the prevalence of the problem. All I noticed in the shop was that all the Panasonics did it on regular broadcasts, and the Samsung didn't seem to.

Also, coming from a CRT the Samsung was closer to the image I was used to, more natural, though that could have been influenced by the clearly better deinterlacing. Why on earth Panasonic can't do a better job of that when so many people still watch significant amounts of SD boggles my mind.

I really was taken aback to be considering something that was half the price of the v10. I didn't change the order to the Samsung straight away though because I was so dumbfounded and couldn't really get my head around what I had seen. I waited a couple of days and went back to John Lewis to reassess - no change.

The Samsung arrives on Thursday...
 

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