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What is the quality on a 852 against a 1024 plasma?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by sathelp, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. sathelp

    sathelp
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    Hi to you all. This is my first post to this forum, so go easy on me!

    I am looking to buy a Plasma very soon and my better half has set her eye on an LG. Now the price difference between a VGA (852) and a XGA (1024) is quite a bit.

    Before I buy I would like to know what the quality of pic is on each of the two size plasmas of probably the worse bit rate channel on Satellite TV and of course this is ITV (sci-fi comes a close second though!).

    If any of you have seen the difference in quality, can you let me know how they fair up against each other and also your thoughts on this matter.

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts, thanks.
     
  2. Nick_UK

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    You will obviously get a higher resolution on the 1024 screen. On an 852 pixel screen the pixels will be larger, so the picture won't be quite so well defined. Also, if you have a dead pixel (which is fairly common, since most manufacturers allow between 3 and 8 pixels before scrapping the screen), it will be a little bit more noticeable. 1024 pixel screens are more expensive because the reject rate is higher in the manufacturing process.
     
  3. sathelp

    sathelp
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    Thanks for the reply, but will a poorly encoded or low bitrate channel like ITV or a non statmuxed channel under preasure (footy on BBC for example) on the Sky satellite platform look worse or better on a 1024?

    I see a lot of pixelation and moskitoing on my 32"ws from these type of programmes and channels but obviously not from good fixed or statmuxed channels on satellite. I just do not want to buy a really high res screen to find that pixelation is worse.

    I would appreciate it if someone who has seen both to comment or if someone out there has the facility to see the same program on both res plasmas at the same time (shop setup may be) and let me know.

    comments? :lease:
     
  4. johnaalex

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    This is one area where the larger the number is not necessarily best; it can depend on the source material and the software that converts it into the digital domain if analogue. The best thing to do is ignore the figures and let yours make the decision based on available funds. Good luck!
     
  5. Export Strength

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    This is a very difficult question to answer on a forum but I’ll do my best. I'll apologise in advance for the long answer but reading through other threads I think that this may help a few of you.

    Firstly higher resolution on it's own DOES NOT guarantee better picture quality. There are several factors that effect quality and resolution is just one. In the UK we use a system called PAL for standard definition pictures (DVD & broadcast TV) and this has a resolution of 720x576. As you can't buy plasma with this resolution every screen available will have to process, or scale, the image to meet its native resolution. The accuracy of this scaling process is VERY important in producing quality images. We also have to discover whether the scaling is linear. I.e. is the horizontal and vertical scaling proportionate? If not we will produce unwanted artefacts that effect quality. This question has become quite an important one with HDTV just around the corner.
    Imagine, if you will, we have three 42-inch screens with different resolutions (1=1280x720; 2=1024x768; 3=852x480) but otherwise identical electronics. And we are feeding HDTV in at 720p. As 720P has a resolution of 1280x720 screen 1 would be best as we can generate a 1:1 pixel map. However, which out of 2 & 3 would produce the cleanest image? Surprisingly enough the answer is 3. The scaling on screen 3 is linear, or 1:1. The horizontal and vertical resolution of the incoming image must be scaled down by 66.6%. This is mathematically pretty straightforward. Screen 2, although it has a higher resolution, requires the incoming image to be scaled by 106% vertically and 80% horizontally. This is not so easy and hence we generate artefacts within the image. Remember we are dealing with MOVING images not pictures.

    Resolution is really only important when taken into consideration with viewing distance and screen size. Think digital cameras. You really only need to take high res pictures if you want to produce quality BIG prints. This is why HDTV has arrived. The consumer desire for bigger pictures means we need higher quality broadcasts. Why have HD if we all watched TV on 13-inch portables...?
    If the incoming image is fixed at 720x576 and your TV has a different resolution then it's how the TV process's the info not just the resolution that matters. There is no question that a higher resolution screen should produce a cleaner image, but what I hope you all realise is that looking at the specifications in the brochure will not tell you if the picture is better or not. Hi resolution and crap processing just will not work well.

    Higher resolution screens will be, when all is even, more expensive due to the faster and more advanced processing needed to map the incoming images to the resolution of the screen. This is true of any pixel based display. As for pixel failure. I have been selling plasma's for five years and so far only three screens have had a pixel go (if more have gone my customers have stayed strangely quiet) - and they were both lower res!

    The Panasonic plasma screens are fantastic examples of standard definition screens. Even with HD sourced material they better a lot of others. There is not much out there that beats their performance. At the moment only Pioneer and Fujitsu can do that - and thats pretty subjective!

    The most important factor in producing accurate images is gray scale, and the screen's control of colour temperature over gray scale. After this we have black level, contrast and brightness. But that’s a different question and I’m going to stop now, you can WAKE UP now.

    Sathelp,

    You must go and take a look at both screens to see for yourself whether the extra is worth paying. I'm not familiar with either so I can't advise. But there is nothing wrong with 852x480 plasma's as long as the on board electronics are top notch. LG???? As for bit-rate variations on different channels there is not a lot that can be done. Even the best screens have problems with these channels. Remember the old Hi-Fi quote - "crap in, crap out"!!
     
  6. sathelp

    sathelp
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    Thanks Export Strength. Please feel free to add any other comments anyone if you have any........
     
  7. gcgoldchristoph

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    :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

    Methinks EXPORTSTRENGTH should be nominated for "top Forum-Advice to the newbies". This is the clearest explanation of resolution & its effect on PQ that I have read on the forum and many others have tried.

    I am a complete newbie to this plasma scene and still dithering about which one to buy ( & when !!) Info like this provided by exportstrength has removed some of the doubts

    many thanks
     
  8. dickie

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    Export Strength your anwer was very understandable. Tnx.
     
  9. NikB

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    Very useful info there, which has now put me in a quandry. I was dead set on buying a TH42-PHD7 as it's higher resolution and has to processors. In theory this should be a better picture but from what you're saying it might not be. Given that the PHD7 is almost £1k more than the PWD7 now would it be a mistake to go for the more expensive screen? I haven't had the opportunity to demo these side by side yet so can't decide for myself. I have seen a PWD7 and really wasn't impressed with the quality at all, the colour banding was terrible. Could this just be to do with the setup? My main aim is for DVD and gaming as I don't watch a lot of tv so what's the better one in the long term, or would it be better to wait for other technologies etc?
     
  10. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    The HD version of the 42" Panasonic plasma's are superior, imho. There is less of the false contouring you mention and find objectionable. I am off to have a play with one right now. Going to be trying pixel for pixel analogue and digital at a few refresh rates to see what happens......at least that is the plan.

    Even although the resolution of the panel matches neither SD nor HD video resolutions it will be superior to the SD version when displaying both.

    Gordon
     
  11. Nick_UK

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    If you are thinking of connecting a PC or other gaming device, you might benefit from a higher screen resolution.
     
  12. wyerd

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    This thread is very interesting. Like NickB, i was all set to buy the TH42-PHD7 to connect to my HCPC which I use to watch DVD's and Freeview TV using a Nebula DVB card. Is this still the plasma to go for, or will the PWD7 do the job just as well?

    Thanks,
    David.
     
  13. lintonmac

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    David

    >Is this still the plasma to go for, or will the PWD7 do the job just as well?

    Given your use of a HTPC, I would have thought you would benefit from the higher res screen more than most. But then, real cost/benefit is only a decision you can make.

    I bought the Hitachi 42PD5100 for a similar reason - I wanted it to be useful as a monitor, and to be able to use my Powerbook to play back stuff using either VGA or DVI. In this case, the Mac does the scaling, and does a pretty good job of it. With a high res screen you are getting 92% more pixels (I think) at 1024 x 768 - that's a lot more detail.

    If you have DVI, then go for a high res, and even if you just have vga. But you could also consider more of a "monitor" screen such as the Pioneer MXE series (someone on this forum told of a VERY interesting price for this yesterday).

    I am very happy with the Hitachi which although specced at 1024 x 1024 is an ALIS display, so not the same as a 1024 x 768 (see other threads). But it certainly gives me a good and faithful monitor display when set to 1024 x 768 (which wouldn't be the case with SD). I am also pleased with the display from my freeview box as well via composite!

    Ian
     
  14. NikB

    NikB
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    Will the price of the PHD7 suddenly start to drop like the PWD7 or is it likely to stay where it is for the forseeable future given the extra technology it has on board?
     
  15. rooster

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    Why don't they make them in pal standard resolution then????
     
  16. Export Strength

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    Gcgoldchristoph & Dickie, thanks for your comments.

    Rooster, most flat screens conform to one PC resolution or other. The biggest market for these products is usually commercial and PC driven. However any 852x480 panel (Panasonic etc...) is an NTSC SD (widescreen) panel, ideal for the massive Japanese and US markets. I assume the UK market is considered to small.
    Things are changing though. DLP chips are now available at true HD resolution and Sharp have a 45-inch LCD with true 1080i res. Most manufacturers are looking to the future now... roll on HDTV.

    For those of you looking at screens of varying resolution I do not mean to create confusion. The single most important decision when buying a screen is the decision to get in the car and visit a dealer. Only a specialist is - or should be - capable of demonstrating a one properly calibrated screen against another. Then let your eyes do the talking. Just make sure the person you are talking to is aware of what you will be using the screen for - I'm almost always recommending plasma over LCD due to it's superior performance, but if the screen will be used to surf the net for 10 hours a day you might damage a plasma (screen burn!!!). Things like this are important.

    I haven't had the opportunity to play with the PHD7 yet so I can't pass opinion, Gordon looks like he'll have the answer soon. Don't get me wrong, higher res is almost always desirable over lower res - as long as it is done correctly. The colour banding that Gordon mentioned is a by-product of incorrectly set colour temp (accross grayscale) - amongst other things. If the PHD7 improves this then we're talking about a better product, rather than just higher res. This also would explain away the cost difference!
     
  17. Joe Fernand

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    Hello all

    NikNB - for PC uses its a no brainier! Go with the higher resolution Progressive display. Your Graphic card outputs a Progressive signal and you'll not enjoy viewing any software at 852x480.

    Export Strength - the false contouring on a Panasonic PWD5, 6 or 7 is down to it having an inferior video engine than a PHD5, 6 or 7; no amount of fiddling with Grey Scale or any other setting can fix this 'feature'.

    A PWD4 will outperform a PWD5, 6 or 7 in this respect as Panasonic only introduced the cost savings that cause the excessive false contouring on the 5 Series displays.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  18. The Nightfly

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    Joe,

    False contouring on the PWD5/6/7 sounds a bit off-putting, how noticeable is it in practice ? Aren't the later generation Panasonics meant to have a greater bit-depth specificaly aimed at reducing this kind of thing ? Just goes to that specifications are no substitute for actual viewing I suppose.

    Is this something that can be reduced by an external scaler or is it inherent to the panel ?

    Allan
     
  19. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    I'd just like to mention that I've set up alot of D5 and D6 Panasonics to correct greyscale and gamma and it doesn't remove all the false contouring/posterisation. There is no doubt that correct setting of input levels and other bits and bobs (you can't expect me to give away all my secrets) will alleviate alot of it but the fact stll remains the HD 42 and 50 show these alot less in my opnion.

    I spent some time at Joes yesterday afternoon and he kindly let me sit and muck around with an HD7 before it got packed up. I just wanted to see what Native rate we could get working to it. We did a little calibration but not the full boona.

    1024x768@ 50, 60 and 48Hz all worked a treat in to analogue PC input using RGBHV.

    Only 1024x768@59.94 worked in to the DVI port. The last thing we did was compare Sky News and a DVD via DVI against Native @50Hz through PC input. I'd say that the only difference anyone would likely have noticed was the slight judder in the ticker tape on Sky NEws introduced by the 59.94Hz refresh on the news channel. We were only feeding a crappy s-video signal to the scaler though. I am sure that had we used a better DVD(it was a DVD recorder with signal routed from Sky through it) then we would have seen more detail in the DVI feed. In my experience feeding SDI in and DVI out gives a wonderful noise free image from quality DVD's that is missing with analogue signal.

    Anyway, that's how we got on.

    As ExportS says plasma's are historically monitors. As monitors start going to Video resolutions and our video standards start to reach PC resolutions we will get what we want....but it wont last long. Our TV standard resoltuions are going to be staying as they are for 5-10 years at a time. PC resolutions are not. They are going to continue increasing and if technology can keep up there is going to be a demand for even higher resolutions of displays....nothing stands still. Good news is we all benefit from better pictures though...hooray!

    G
     
  20. Joe Fernand

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    NikB

    The Panasonic HD Displays are produced/sold in MUCH smaller quantities than the SD Displays so don't have the economies of scale you currently see affecting the PWD6 price.

    Mind you the PWD7 price is most likely to jump back up by a fair few quid when they are released - I don't believe Panasonic UK can sustain the current PWD6 giveaway and make a sensible profit.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  21. NikB

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    No probs Joe, just don't want to buy one and find a few weeks later it's price has fallen through the floor. I've almost pieced together my setup now so hopefully will be ordering from you in Jan. Cheers.
     
  22. Grand Dizzy

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    A month-old topic, but I wanted to add my two cents...

    Admittedly, I know very little about plasmas, but I do know a lot about screen resolution (I work in computer graphics). So make what you will of my opinions...

    To me, 480-line pictures are like some kind of sick joke by the Japanese on the rest of the world.

    It's only really America, Japan and a few others that use 480-line images (I reckon it to be about 20% of world population in total). The rest of us have 576. This difference in resolution is not merely a technical difference that you'd never notice — the difference is glaringly obvious. You can quite easily see the difference on a normal size CRT at normal viewing distance.

    When I went to America, the resolution there sucked. Likewise, I've heard Americans say how much better and clearer the TV picture is over here. The whole reason America is pushing HDTV so strongly is because of how crappy NTSC is. Our TV pictures to an American is like HDTV to us.

    Here's the maths:

    NTSC + extra 20% lines = PAL
    PAL + extra 25% lines = HDTV (720 lines)

    That's two very big jumps in picture quality.

    So personally I would never consider buying a 480-line plasma. It's throwing away the high resolution we're blessed with in this country and using the low resolution of some other underprivileged country. And for a resolution freak like me, that would be worse than using an old CRT!

    To see all the lines of our PAL image, we ideally need a 576-line screen (or an exact multiple of 576, such as 1152). However, our choice really only comes down to 768 or 1024, and 1024 is much better because it's much bigger.

    I'll explain why 1024 is so much better than 768...

    768 lines is only a little bigger than the original image of 576. So near the top and bottom of the screen, the picture will match up with the lines on the screen, which is what you want. But as you go into the middle of the screen, the lines of the image will become out of synch with the screen, so there will be places where each line on the screen is representing two lines of the original image, and everything will be blurred.

    On the other hand, with a 1024-line screen, every line of the original image has nearly 1.8 lines of the screen representing it, so much more of the original lines get resolved much more clearly, as there are plenty of screen lines to cover them all.

    As for the price, I haven't noticed any trend of higher resolution being more expensive. Some of the most expensive plasmas you can buy are lower resolution, and you can get 1024-line plasmas just as cheap as any other resolution.

    Anyway, this is all just my opinion. As I said, I don't know too much about plasmas. Just resolution!
     

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