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This years LCDs a disappointment ?

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by ianh64, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. ianh64

    ianh64
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    I have just spend a few hours killing time in two TV stored. John Lewis and The Sony Center. I thought that I would take a look at ths years offerings. What a disappointment. IMHO, a couple of models from last year make this years offerings look poor in comparison.

    First up was the 32" V series from Sony at the local Sony Center. The guy assured me that I was watching Freeview and when I commented on the PQ he blamed it all on the aerial feed. What a load of BS. The picture was just downright poor and nothing to do with a poor qualiry RF feed. Have Sony seen the competition from last year? If this is their flagship model they are still playing catchup. It was beaten hands down by the Managers referb special 42" plasma sitting next to it playing exactly the same source. OK, so I only have freeview to go on, but its what I watch 99% of the time and my Loewe Xelos SL is tons better.

    Next up, John Lewis. Everything was plugged into a single Sky feed playing music. So problems with distribution could be a factor. I don't know what the models were, but there were HD Ready offerings from JVC, Panasonic, Sony S Series and last years Sharp GA3 and Philips 9986. I think there may have been a Samsung too, but didn't spend any time over it if there was. And possibly a Toshiba and a non HD ready version of I think the Panasonic. They were either 32" or 26" in size. Well in that showing, the best was still the Philips. Again last years model. The only piece of good news was that this years Panny was better than last years. So I guess within themselves, progress has been made.

    This all got me wondering. Have the dramatic price drops that we have seen over the last year also meant that compromises have been made in quality. A similar thing happened with the Pio Plasma a number of years ago. The newer model was a backward step in PQ.

    Ok, everything is all subjective, but without fiddling with the settings, I must say that years offerings are a bit disappointing. Thankfully prices seem to have come down to soften the blow.
     
  2. David Mackenzie

    David Mackenzie
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    If you're watching Freeview 99% of the time, I honestly think you'd be better sticking with CRT, or if you have to go flat, Sharp's P-series (low resolution panels).
     
  3. pjskel

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    Or spend it like Ian, and buy a Loewe! :laugh:
    I have a GD1 32" from Sharp, which I'm well impressed with, and a local Loewe dealer whom I'm well acquainted with - none of the Loewe's have impressed me in their display area - the Pios getting Euro1080 leave them standing, which is a pity since the Loewe are capable of so much more I believe and as Ian states himself.
    I'll have a Loewe Xelos soon to see for myself, and/or the new Individual, as well as the JVC.
    So, hopefully, I'll be able to quantify Ian's thoughts or counter them.
    It's interesting to note that one member here has opted for a 40" Sony V at £2K odd, having tested it in-store (a Sony one) with Apple Powerbook and Gamecube, and well, you can read in the Sony thread what clinched it for him.
    It wold therefore seem it's different strokes for different folks, or it depends on what features have been turned off/on to get the image as good as possible.

    With respect Ian, I wouldn't put a lot of faith in the one you saw with its set-up, as being representative of the V series, although it is hard not to seeing as the Plasma was doing a better job of what it was given. Maybe, therein lies the rub - Plasmas have a better analog source design, whereas more design on LCDs goes on the digital and component inputs, where HD plays through.
    Who knows - could be a simple set to set variation or poorly set up by lazy staff who'll trot out the "it'll look much better when YOU get it home, etc" line.
     
  4. Shin Gouki

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    Is'nt it ironic when someone who works in store says that the TV looks crap because it's running off a crappy RF connection, we have someone here who says he was lying. :D

    The TV looked crap because it was set up crap. Its just a miracle that the guy working in the store admited to it. :D
     
  5. TarMoo

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    Last year's Sony KDL32MRX1 and Philips 9986 were the first 2 LCD screens that looked acceptable in my eyes (if not a little pricey). You would hope that the 9830 would be a step up from the 9986.

    Recently I saw the MRX1 demoed alongside many of the newer sets including the JVC LT32DS6. The Sony had a better looking picture. I am still waiting to see a LCD set with a step up in PQ from last years best, or one which matches the best Plasma (HD demo for 37PV500 looks amazing).
     
  6. Faust

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    I would agree and have said before that the 37" Panny 500 Plasma takes some beating. However, as a super critic of LCD panels in relation to how they handle SD broadcasts, I was simply blown away by the PQ of the new Sony V series when I auditioned it in Comet last week. It just goes to show how variable viewing can be in a store environment. For me LCD has come on leaps and bounds in 2005. I would not entertain one last year whereas I am now simply waiting for larger panels at lower prices.
     
  7. ianh64

    ianh64
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    The Freeview feed had what can only be described as ringing and mosquito noisearound the images. Its nothing to do with a poor quality feed as it was inbuilt Freeview. Freeview either works or it doesn't. When it doesn't work, it is obvious - either no picture or large areas of blocking. What I saw was none of this. If it was running analogue RF or a composite feed from somewhere I could explain the problem away, but the assistant insisted it was builtin Freeview. So the halo, ringing, ghosting, mosquito noise or what ever combination it is would appear to come as a result of either the digital processing and/or upscaling. I would hope that this can be softened rather than being an inherrent fault in the display. Similar things could be seen on the Philips 9986 but could be avoided by turning off some of the processing that was meant to make this set stand apart from the competition.
     
  8. scrapbook

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    You've confused me Ian.

    Until I fitted an aerial amplifier to my loft aerial the freeview picture was appaling when I first split the thread to two different bedrooms. The picture was acceptable on one tv for 6 months before i wired the second.
     
  9. andrewfee

    andrewfee
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    That's just the freeview signal, no matter what you're viewing it on. Some sets may have processing that helps (but will likely remove some detail too)

    BBC channels are particularly bad for this.
     
  10. ianh64

    ianh64
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    Absolutely my point. This years sets do not appear as good as some of last years. I know freeview very well. I know that some displays can look atrocious with it whilst others can get around the problems. The defect with the Sony was clearly visible - the 42" Sony plasma next to it from last years range was making a better job. The type of defect, assuming that it was inbuilt freeview was not part of the original picture. It was intorduced by the Sony.

    My point is that I have seen some models last year handling the problem and some didn't. It is clear that the issue can be resolved and I expected not to see this type of problem in this years models, especially those that people are saying are fantastic. IMHO, they are not handling PQ issues as well as some of last years, albeit more expensive models. I think that technology has moved on, but more in adding HD ready connectors and price cutting than in PQ.
     
  11. ziggy66

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    How we spend our Bank Holidays. I too could be seen in John Lewis (Samsung, JVC, Phillips and older Sonys), Sony shop latest V series and the Panasonic shop for the 500.

    Sony was by far the best IMHO which is a shame as it is twice the price of the Samsung. Sony was fed from freeview as were most of the rest and I felt that it showed much less noise and was not as 'blocky'.

    The Sony was also the best looking of the bunch. So I do have a dilemma.

    Or maybe not the current 4:3 screen has yet to give up the ghost and I could just wait for the new Samsung screens to arrive - trouble is I only want a 26" and there is no point in waiting for ever as there will always be the next big thing around the corner
     
  12. andrewfee

    andrewfee
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    Plasmas, especially last years' models are lower resolution than LCDs. They also have strange native resolutions, so they can soften the image quite a bit, hiding these problems.

    You'll find that with a HD feed, the plasma will be lacking in detail compared to the LCD.

    You either go with a low-res panel and have current broadcasts looking good, or go with a high res panel having high-def material looking amazing. (Games, or DVDs through a quality player)

    LCDs are high resolution displays and will show up every flaw in the source, wheras lower resolution displays hide a lot of the problems. The downside is that lower resolution displays are also hiding a lot of detail.
     
  13. ianh64

    ianh64
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    I know the difference between a Plasma and an LCD and the merits of both. The Plasma was an example with direct side by side viewing. My LCD is a year old and gives a better SD Freeview picture than this years latest model from Sony.

    I was expecting better from this years crops. I guess cost cutting and the numbers game/catch phrases used by the marketing departments have been higher on the priority list than handling the shortcomings of LCD technology. Last years models were a huge step over the previous generation, there appears to be no forward step to suppass the handfull of top performing LCD's from last years crop. I kind of expected these to have been bettered by all this year. I note a few posts elsewhere talking about last years Wega engine from some Sony models being better than this years. If true, this supports my observations.

    And I know for sure that some of this years models are a backward step from last years - that came direct from the UK product manager of a manufacturer when I asked for a comparision of last years range and an interim range launched earlier this year - it was all about cutting costs and adding HD ready connectors. It was a backward step in PQ because the technology used in the more expensive models was still too costly to put in the budget range. And that very same 6 months old backward step technology will make its way into eagerly awaited forthcoming models from a leading manufacturer. So that for sure will not be bettered by some of last years models but should hopefully better their own year old model.
     

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