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upgraded from CRT to LCD, initial thoughts...

qwert-e

Active Member
My parents have a 10 year old Sony 28" CRT, top of the range at the time costing around £1300. It had a grey surround and glossy black finish on the screen, and black levels were great. We've always been happy with the quality but since buying a PS3 the SD limitation wasn't cutting it any more.

28" is about the right size for the room but since that size isnt available for many LCDs I went for a 32", and going on the which? magazine's 5/5 rating for SD and HD and a few other online reviews I went for a TX32LXD80. Of the 100s tested very few got 5/5 for both, even Panasonic's replacement TXL32x10 / 15 only scored 4/5 for SD.

So I was hoping for big things, and managed to bag a refurb model for £300. I've tried it out and overall i'm not too impressed. Sharpness, colour, motion blur are all great, and even for SD content its better than the old TV. But things really fall down when it comes to black level and shadow detail. The black level is just as bad when the LCD is switched off as when on so this isn't down to back light bleed. It looks even worse because the LCD has a glossy black surround, which really shows how grey the panel is. Even after adjusting settings, dark scenes look really disappointing, and a lot of the screen has no detail at all and is just flat grey.

So erm, is this as good as LCD gets? I imagine swapping this TV with its matt grey finish on the screen to model with a glossy black finish would help black level a lot?

Or even something I could do... change the glossy black surround for a matt grey one like the old CRT had would help a lot.
 
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davidcharles

Well-known Member
I uploaded a screenshot here:
www.portablepowersupplies.co.uk/ebay/DSC00227.jpg

The black level isnt as bad as it looks, but the lack of shadow detail is.

..without stating the obvious, the picture looks washed out....to me anyway......have u tried lowering the brightness (black level) and lowering the backlight level a bit.....in a bright room an LCD should have a great picture, including black levels.
 
My initial thoughts were, are you sure that 30" is big enough?

I was more than happy with a 32" CRT but, perceptions of acceptable size for a given room dimensions seem to have increased dramatically with the advent of Plasma & LCD screens.

I went from a 32" CRT to a 40" LCD thinking that was more than enough.

However, even that soon looked small and I have a 46" now.

and only last week I was thinking maybe I should have got the 52" after all :rolleyes:.
 

qwert-e

Active Member
yeah the snap i took makes it look washed out but actually the tv is in cinema preset mode! like i said in real life the black level is the same when the tv is off, so its definitely not a backlight issue.

Regarding screen size, think of it this way. a 32" tv means a 32" pig ugly black monolith taking centre stage in a living room, which only looks good when switched off. An even bigger tv would make things even worth. Also, I actually use a 1080p projector in my own home with a 100" screen. To be honest comparing the two side by side i wouldn't say i 'enjoy' the bigger screen more, in fact the increased sharpness you get from a smaller display (same number of pixels in a smaller area) can be quite nice.
 
yeah the snap i took makes it look washed out but actually the tv is in cinema preset mode! like i said in real life the black level is the same when the tv is off, so its definitely not a backlight issue.

Regarding screen size, think of it this way. a 32" tv means a 32" pig ugly black monolith taking centre stage in a living room, which only looks good when switched off. An even bigger tv would make things even worth. Also, I actually use a 1080p projector in my own home with a 100" screen. To be honest comparing the two side by side i wouldn't say i 'enjoy' the bigger screen more, in fact the increased sharpness you get from a smaller display (same number of pixels in a smaller area) can be quite nice.

Fair enough, but I was under the impression that increased screen size meant proportionately more pixels, hence no reduction in PQ/sharpness.
 

glesgaguyav

Active Member
yeah the snap i took makes it look washed out but actually the tv is in cinema preset mode! like i said in real life the black level is the same when the tv is off

Cinema mode on LCD's in my experience always gives a less vibrant picture,which I presume you are meant to watch in a darkend room, it could also be that your panel just doesn't have good black levels, good black levels seem to be the Holy Grail of LCD's.

I would play around with the settings though.
 

qwert-e

Active Member
hmm i bought this tv thinking its got the best pq LCD has to offer, it beat even models costing 3-4 times as much in the which? review. it seems i'll have to wait for oled to get pq better than crt in every way at around the 28" size :thumbsdown:
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
I went from an award winning CRT to an award winning LCD.
Not once have I thought it was a mistake.
I would suggest your settings are wrong, or maybe the source.
Are you using SKY+ and a scart?
You should consider an HD box and HDMI.
Even if you don't subscribe to the HD channels, I found the improvement in SD pictures quite dramatic.
You are switching from an analogue source to a digital one, after all.
 

qwert-e

Active Member
i'm actually going from sky+ rgb scart to ps3 hdmi. i've tried ps3's freeview playtv and hd content and both show this issue. i've also check the 'super black' setting on the ps3 as i know this has an affect on black level on hdmi.

there's not too many settings to play around with on the panasonic, just brightness contrast colour and saturation. not even backlight brightness. I think screens with a glossy black finish have better black levels than the matt finish ones, are LCDs generally matt? I know most computer screens are glossy, and the black level on my cheap lcd laptop screen looks better than my tv.
 

qwert-e

Active Member
update: i've just been doing some testing on the tv's power consumption. according to the panasonic spec and which magazine's testing, power consumption when in standby should be less than 1W. my meter is showing 12W in standby. Maybe when panasonic were refurbing this set they replaced standard components with cheaper ones? I guess i'll never know, thats the risk you take with refurb. arrr!!
 

S Bibby

Active Member
Hi,
I've just bought my first LCD TV, which is the Hitachi UT37. This TV uses a panel called IPS Alpha which I believe is the same as your Panasonic LCD, although it uses a slim profile EEFL backlight. Black level seems reasonable on Cinema setting when the backlight is basically at the lowest setting, brightness is fair and Dynamic Contrast is on (I don't notice much of a difference when using dynamic).

Based on my impressions, it might be worth choosing a setting which gives you the right picture for your environment. If Panasonic do not include many controls, then I would recommend trying the Cinema/Film setting and keep an eye on the Brightness.

Power consumption - mine is only 3 Watts on Standby with a DVD Player attached and 80/120 on normal settings. The TV uses a 37 inch 1080p panel so I would think the Panasonic would use a similar amount if not less. It is probably best to switch the TV off completely from the remote or the On/Off switch which is provided on some LCD TVs ie. Toshiba.

Cheers,
Simon
 
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qwert-e

Active Member
Thanks for the advice. Since I cant adjust the backlight brightness on my set, i've resorted to putting it on 'eco' mode then covering the light sensor so the tv thinks its dark. Even then the picture is much brighter than my old CRT, which probably explains why the black levels on the CRT were better.

I'm also very tempted to spray paint the casing silver, as was the vogue in the 90s. it'd mean opening up the casing and voiding the warranty, but it might be worth doing. Another option is white like this, not sure if it might look naff though: KDL-40E5510 (KDL40E5510) : Overview : BRAVIA TV : Sony

i'm a compulsive modder what can i say :cool:
 

S Bibby

Active Member
Qwert,
It is funny you say that since I was thinking of doing the opposite to the stand on my TV, which is a Silver plastic. I would prefer it to be Mattish Black or Dark Grey but unfortunately I too have concerns about my recently acquired warranty.

If you like retro the stand on the Hitachi and has a kind of 60s/70s chrome feel to it. It is also shaped like a UFO, apparently.
 

qwert-e

Active Member
The idea of going silver was actually to help improve perceived black level. At the moment the glossy black casing really shows up the lack-of-black on the LCD screen. A 'lighter' casing would make dark images look blacker, a quirk of how our eyes work.

If I were you i'd leave it... in a few years everyone will be bored of black and will be going back to silver again. Then again we'll probably have borderless wirelessly powered oled screens with e-ink to make them blend into the wallpaper when turned off too :)
 

davidcharles

Well-known Member
..i still think the picture looks too washed out...brightness and backlight SHOULD help the picture if u lower them...for the ps3, try changing RGB to "FULL" in display settings...the picture from my ps3 is much better when this is set to "full" rather than "limited"
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
No backlight controls on the LXD80, which is a bit odd.
I seem to remember people preferring the LXD85, for that reason.
I could be wrong.
 

qwert-e

Active Member
yup, i've checked the 'rgb' setting is on full and putting it on limited does lighten the blacks.

i think i've pretty much fixed it now... by putting the tv on 'eco' mode and some tape over the light sensor, the backlight dies down a bit. power consumption is 80W vs 90W for cinema mode, and the black level is now 'ok'. My calibrated settings are:
contrast 100%
brightness 75% (any lower and the shadow detail suffers)
colour 40%
sharpness -1

so all in all the black level and shadow detail are acceptable, and everything else is excellent. it would be nice to dial down the backlight brightness some more, but overall i'm pretty happy.
 

davidcharles

Well-known Member
No backlight controls on the LXD80, which is a bit odd.
I seem to remember people preferring the LXD85, for that reason.
I could be wrong.

ahh i see....its like my samsung...it has no direct backlight control BUT if use the energy saving option of off, low, medium and high it basically reduces the backlight to save energy.....must be the same on the sharp
 

ertoil

Active Member
if you come from a Sony CRT with great black levels
maybe you should buy again a Sony LCD (W4000 is cheap now)
or Samsung led ..i ve read the Pioneer lcd 37v has amazing
blacks for a LCD ¿true?:hiya:
 

S Bibby

Active Member
I think brightness isn't that much of an issue and I usually have mine lower on the LCD than I would for a CRT TV/Display Monitor. I don't think the colour of the frame matters that much since it is a Gloss finish anyway and will look better in a light environment.
 

peahead

Well-known Member
update: i've just been doing some testing on the tv's power consumption. according to the panasonic spec and which magazine's testing, power consumption when in standby should be less than 1W. my meter is showing 12W in standby. Maybe when panasonic were refurbing this set they replaced standard components with cheaper ones? I guess i'll never know, thats the risk you take with refurb. arrr!!

Hi

Try testing the tvs power consumption after it has been of for a bit as i think most tvs need some time to fully power down.
 

S Bibby

Active Member
I also thought I might point out that other equipment will use an amount of power in standby such as DVD/BD Players and PVRs such as Sky Plus. I know this will probably have occured to you anyway but if you are sending all of these through the same outlet then they will add to the drain.
 

qwert-e

Active Member
yeah the tv is the only thing plugged into the socket and i left it for about 15 minutes before measuring. I'll try leaving it on standby overnight to see if that makes any difference. I also found out something quite unexpected and very cool about this tv, and probably many others, i'm going to start a new thread for it though :)
 

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