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Viewing distance and noticing pixels

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by psychobod, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. psychobod

    psychobod
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    Hi

    After much deliberating, I bought a Panasonic 42-pwd8. Set up on a pedestal stand, it is 2.8m (9.18 feet) from the sitting position. I have it in cinema mode, with contrast at -12 and brightness at -10. Will DVE it after 200 hours.

    The colours are fabulous, the plasma is better than I could have imagined and I am not in any way sorry that I did not go for my other choice, the 37PV500.

    I currently have NTL RGB scart through JS converter to component, and Panny S97 via component, both switched through my Denon 2105 amp, to the panel via component to VGA lead.

    DVD looks stunning, NTL is variable.

    HOWEVER - one thing that is bothering the hell out of me is that in 16:9 and JUST mode I can see individual pixels, especially in white or light areas. Writing especially is very pixelated - I can see the individual dots. This is particularly bad on TV, but I can also notice it on 16:9 DVDs, although anamorphic wider screen DVDs that have black bars above & below, seem OK.

    I thought that the distance might be too small, but there have been tons of people on this forum who suggested 42 (and even 50) inch screens are OK at this distance. I try and step back (now viewing at a slight angle, and at about 4m) and I can't make the individual pixels out, and the writing on subtitles or logos looks smooth. In many of the distance calculators I looked at, the borderline between suggested 37 and 42 was around 8-10 feet, which is the distance I am sitting.

    Is this something in my setup, in the picture settings, or the way that the panel is scaling? Or am I just noticing something that others don't?

    Any suggestions or help will be much appreciated. Oh, and I cannot afford £700 worth of scaler, so I am hoping this is a setting issue!

    :lease:
     
  2. psychobod

    psychobod
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    anyone?
     
  3. theo cupier

    theo cupier
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    Not sure if this will help overall, but there's no need to wait until 200 hours before running DVE. My DVE disk was the first thing in my DVD player when my PHD8 arrived.

    Try this and see if it helps.
     
  4. Lionheart

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    Hi psychobod.....i know new Pannys get better as the run in period progresses...i had some pixeling on my pv500 on some cable broadcasts that went after a few weeks.....the guys that know about this kind of panel and scaling etc will no doubt reply...just probably havent seen it yet...just need to give em a little time to get round to it but u will get some help..sorry I cant be more helpful but I just dont know enough about this kind of set up...it certainly sounds like u r at a reasonable viewing distance and are taking the right precautions to run it in
     
  5. psychobod

    psychobod
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    Thanks Lionheart and Theo.
    I hope that someone has a suggestion here - the panel is brilliant, but the picture at 9 feet is a bit like looking very closely at a big digital enlargement. I have never noticed it as much on various display panels in airports etc., at even shorter distance, so am wondering if it is something wrong with this particular panel. I haven't owned a plasma before, so have nothing to directly compare to.

    Wondering if Panasonic would send an engineer around, but if they looki at it and say its perfectly normal, I'd feel a fool, and probably have to pay a call-out fee.
     
  6. tjradiohead

    tjradiohead
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    My PHD has nothing like that, can you take a picture and see if it shows up on the picture?
     
  7. Mep

    Mep
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    have you tried adjusting setings in advanced settings....try black extension on 2 or 3 and gamma on 2.2 or 2.5 and also try tweaking input levels up or down...........
     
  8. psychobod

    psychobod
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    I have tried black extension on 0 , 2 and 4. No huge difference. Gamma is on 2.2 - I will try knock it up to 2.5. Input levels - haven't tried to change any of the specific inputs, but will give this a go.

    I will try and get a photo that may show this - but the best way I can describe it is that when you look at the screen it seems as if there is a very fine wire mesh pattern showing through. As you go closer the meshing changes to individual pixels, and obviously up close you cans see the individual pixels which seems to be RBG or mix of those.
     
  9. madshi

    madshi
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    Seeing the pixel structure is what is usually called SDE ("screen door effect"). This depends on the size of the panel, your viewing distance, the resolution of the panel and also on how good your eyes are!

    Your display (PWD) has a rather low resolution. As a result pixels are bigger, so you need to get farther away compared to displays with a higher resolution.

    If you can see SDE at your viewing distance there's probably not much you can do. A scaler won't help, cause a scaler can't magically make the physical pixel size of your display smaller.

    Now you have 3 choices:

    (1) Increase the viewing distance, until the SDE is gone.
    (2) Or try to ignore the SDE.
    (3) Or buy a higher resolution display instead of yours.

    There are lots of people which bought higher resolution displays not because of the higher resolution, but to avoid exactly this problem (seeing the pixel structure).

    P.S: I have to say that I'm not sure whether what you're seeing is really SDE. It might also be bad scaling. However, to me it sounds like SDE.
     
  10. stevelup

    stevelup
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    Hi

    DVD subtitles are a terrible thing to use to judge any display as they are not anti aliased and do not use a proper alpha channel. They always look blocky, and look especially crappy on a high quality display.

    I'm inclined to think you are over analysing things. I'd strongly recommend chilling out and watching your new toy rather than dissecting it :)

    One thing is for sure - when you move from a smaller display up to a 42" panel - whether it's HD or SD is irrelevant - they really show up how crappy our broadcast TV signals are. There are many DVD's which are not much better.

    I really don't think there is anything wrong with your panel.

    Steve
     
  11. psychobod

    psychobod
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    Madshi, this seems to be what I am seeing. I tried to take some pics, but without setting up my tripod, the focus is not brilliant and although I can vaguely see the "mesh" effect in the photo, it is not nearly as pronounced as when looking at it in real life.

    hmmmm - bummer! I had seen a pwd7 and pv500, but not the pwd8. Can't say I recall noticing anything as pronounced as this on the pwd7 quite close up.

    Can't increase the viewing distance - viewing width-ways across a rectangular room, and all my sound wiring is set underneath a heated wooden floor (not coming up in a hurry!), so I am stuck with the position.

    I can ignore it - and it seems less prominent with better quality broadcast. Just wanted to get those on the forum who have more knowledge and experience in these matters to give some guidance as to whether there was anything I could tweak to improve the situation. I could take my glasses off (but then i would just see a blur) :)

    I was deliberating between the pwd8 and the PHD8, and went for the former because I did not think that spending an extra £1000 before HD went mainstream was worth it. Having read many threads and looked at various viewing-distance websites, I thought that people were saying that a SD panel at 8-10 feet should be fine. Honestly, though, it just bothers me enough to have gone for the PHD instead!
    But I reckon AV sales won't be happy taking a panel back that has about 50 hours on it, even if they get a PHD8 sale out of it. I cannot warrant re-selling the pwd8 as 2nd hand, just for the sake of a slight annoyance.

    Stevelup,

    I can chill - I am not picky, can live with buzzes etc. Don't get me wrong - I love the plasma. Just wanting to check out and rectify something that makes a fabulous image have a slight distraction factor for me!

    What concerns me is that I literally have to go about 4 metres away (through a doorway into my kitchen) before I see the effect disappear. Wondering if this is the case, and if it is SDE as Madshi suggests, then maybe more warnings should be issued on this forum (yes, I know I should have looked at the pwd8 before buying it . . . ).

    If anyone has any suggestions as to any way to improve the situation, then I will be thrilled. If its just the way it is, then I will , well, just try and chill!

    ;)

    By the way - is the general consensus that Sky digital feed is better quality than NTL?
     
  12. Lionheart

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    Best guide is yourself psychobod...if you have done everything reasonable to eliminate a problem and its still there...get the tv seen to under warrenty...usually if u are not happy with something chances are you are right and there is a problem....better to do it sooner than later..even if u r wrong at least u will know
     
  13. Baron Von Doom

    Baron Von Doom
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    hi.just wondering what the recommended viewing distance is for this screen as im thinking of getting one.currently got a 37"pw7 and the picture is fine.
    im viewing at about 9feet. would there be any difference between the pwd8 and the hd8 at this distance?

    thanks
    mark
     
  14. madshi

    madshi
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    The problem is that you can't generally say: "At x feet it should be fine", cause everybody has different eyes. In the US forums there's one guy claiming he can see SDE on a 42" PWD up until 13-14 feet, or something like that, while others are comfortable with 9-10 feet. It very much depends on your eyes.

    The ultimate test to see whether the problem is really SDE or something else would be to feed the PWD with HD content. Why would that help? Because the PWD would have to downscale the HD content, which usually results in a picture which is quite free from source pixelation. If you still see the pixel structure in that situation, then you see true SDE. If the pixelation varies between different sources, it's hard to say for sure.
     
  15. maxl

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    Hi Psychobod

    I have just been reading your posts about the issues with SDE and pixelation you have noticed with your PWD8.

    Are you still having an issue with this or has it improved? I am about to purchase a PWD8 and your comments would be appreciated.

    Cheers

    Gpx..
     
  16. neilmcl

    neilmcl
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    Can I just point out that seeing pixelation on your screen and Screen Door Effect are two completely different things. Screen Door Effect (SDE) effects projectors, especially LCD projectors. It's an effect where the projector lens is so focused that it can pick out individual pixels and their surrounding control electronics so that the pixel appears in it's own little black box. It's like looking at the image through a fly screen, hence the name. SDE has nothing to do with flat panel screens.

    Can I suggest that 9 ft may be a little too close, so moving back and reducing the sharpness, contrast controls should help. Configuring the screen using something like DVE would bet better.
     
  17. psychobod

    psychobod
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    Hi, Gpx - I called AVSales and they were very helpful, adopting the "lets take everything else out of the equation" approach before considering a fault on the panel. So the plan was to set everything back at factory setting, take the component feed direct to the plasma rather than switching through my Denon 2105 (to ensure the Denon is not doing something), and then check results.

    I did both for my NTL feed, albeit briefly. Can say I noticed some improvement in the PQ, but still able to see the mesh effect (whether it is SDE or pixelation, I am clueless about). AVSales agreed that at 9.2 feet I should have absolutely no problem, and said they had never had a similar query before.

    I have guests this weekend so am unable to spend some time swapping things and, in particular, running my s97 DVD direct into the Plasma. Once I have done this, I will re-post here.

    I am unable to move the panel further away - got the whole shebang wired in under the floor, and the couch against the wall. I also only "lose" this effect at about 4 metres, which is what you should comfortably be able to view a 50 inch screen at!

    I just wish there was someone in the know with lots more experience who could come around and have a look, and give me their opinion whether its just my picky eyes or whether there is in fact some kind of issue. I live in north Herts.

    This is a lesson in why it can be more convenient to buy from a local dealer!

    I will post my progress hopefully in the next few days & thanks to all who have tried to help!

    Psbod
     
  18. ddlooping

    ddlooping
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    Hi all. :)

    psychobod, the attached image simulates the Screen-Door-Effect (done in Photoshop).
    Is it what you're experiencing?
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Mep

    Mep
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    be interesting to see if your guests notice it too
     
  20. psychobod

    psychobod
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    Yep - thats pretty much it. Well constructed! - I tried to take photos, but the light completely stuffs any details on a digital image, and I probably would need to use a slow shutter speed and tripod. The mesh effect is worse in light areas of the image, and not noticeable on blacks, or very dark areas.

    MEP - I will ask the guests, but don't want to draw specific attention to it because my wife is very happy with the image. I don't want to spoil her appreciation, and am loathe after all the deliberating to come accross as ungrateful for her support for what essentially was a self-financed "40th birthday present" (to myself).

    I really want to emphasise that I still love the plasma, and it is a vast improvement on a CRT, and I am not ungrateful or unappreciative. Rather, if there is something I can do to improve the image or reduce the effect, I want to do it. Or if there might be something subtle malnfunctioning, then get it seen to.

    If its just the way things are, and I am unfortunate enough to notice, then so be it. Still chuffed!

    :thumbsup:
     
  21. ddlooping

    ddlooping
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    It does look like you're seeing the pixel structure of the panel. :(
    I very much doubt it is due to a panel's fault.

    A couple of options:

    - swap for a 37PWD8 panel: same resolution as your 42PWD8 but with smaller pixels.
    - get the 42PHD8: higher resolution than your 42PWD8, hence smaller pixels for the same size panel.

    Both the above options should minimise SDE, the latter, I would think, more so than the former. :)
     

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