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What resolution are plasmas?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Captain chaos, Jul 13, 2003.

  1. Captain chaos

    Captain chaos
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    Just a quick question, how many horizontal lines do plasmas have? Is the same 625 PAL lines apply to plasmas as well as regular CRTs?
     
  2. Branxx

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    My 50" Fujitsu has 768 lines.
     
  3. loonatic

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  4. Captain chaos

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    So the plasmas fill the redundant lines with the surrounding pixel information (interpolation?) like with projectors?
     
  5. tbrar

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    Captain Chaos,

    Resolution relates to the number rows of horizontal and vertical pixels that create the picture.

    The native resolution, on the other hand, describes the actual resolution of the plasma display and not the resolution of the delivery signal. When the delivery format is higher or lower than the flat screen's native pixel resolution, the delivery signal will be converted to the plasma's native resolution through an internal converter.

    The Native resolutions typically available today are; 1024x1024(ALIS Interlaced), 1024x768, 1280x768, 1365x768, 640x480, 825x480, 853x480.

    The plasma tv’s process of converting a different input format to its native output format is called "scaling." Plasma's, in that respect, do work in the same way as Projectors, plasma monitors must do a certain amount of interpolating through the video processing chip/converter/scalar.

    An example is a PAL TV source, 625i (interlaced) on a Plasma with a resolution of 853x480 - will be downscaled to mee the displays Native resolution, ie the 625 lines will be made to fit the 480 lines of the plasma.

    This same 625i will be upconverted when displayed on a 1280 x 768 native panel, where the 625i will be displayed as 768, both upconversion/downconvesion will us the plasma's interprolation, video processing capabilities.

    Generally the closer the incoming signal resolution to the plasma's native resolution, the better the picture quality. This is where more advanced external scalars help get the most from Plasma's.
     
  6. Easy2BCheesy

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    Now you see this is what worries me about buying a plasma - specifically the Panasonic models. 480 lines of resolutions isn't so good when you're dealing with 576 lines going in (as is the case with DVD and presumably Sky). Surely on a 42" display we shouldn't be sacrificing 20% of the picture?
     
  7. Captain chaos

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    I think 480 is referring to NTSC which is 525 lines, PAL is 625, which is scaled down to 576 lines, I think.
     
  8. Paden

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    I think Easy2BCheesy is referring to the horizontal resolution of the Panasonics panels.
    You've got 576 lines that have to fit into 480 (their horizontal resolution).
    I was all geared up to buy a panel at the beginning of the year & like a lot of other people was looking at the Pioneer MXE & Panasonic TH-42PW5B but although the latter had a lot better blacks it didn't have the resolution :(
    Still have a spot saved on the wall waiting :)

    Cheers, Paul
     
  9. tbrar

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    If a plasma has a resolution of, as in the example, 853 by 480 then that is the fixed amount of Pixels of the display panel. This amount of pixels cannot be changed.

    All sources fed into that unit will be 'scaled' to fit the fixed pixel resolution of that display regardless of the source.

    The NTSC-analog standard is 525 lines (interlaced). However, only 480 lines are used to make the visible image, the remaining lines contain information pertaining to picture synchronization and are not seen. Simalarly, PAL standard is 625 lines (interlaced), but only 576 lines are used to make the visible image, the remainder contains information pertaining to picture. Consequently actual lines of picture resolution are 480 and 576 for NTSC and PAL respectivly.

    A PAL DVD therfore, has 576 lines of resolution. An NTSC DVD has 480 lines of resolution.

    With this in mind on the above example plasma, an NTSC source will exactly fit the displays native resolution. A PAL, source on the other hand, will be downscaled to fit the FIXED pixel resolution. So you are and will loose picture information in this particular case.

    Does that make any sense ???????:confused:
     
  10. Easy2BCheesy

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    That's exactly my concern although I'm talking about vertical resolution - ie the number of lines from top to bottom. The Panny sounds ideal if you are dealing with NTSC DVD sources, where the resolution is 720x480. However, with PAL DVD (and presumably Sky) resolution is 720x576 - that's a hell of a lot of vertical resolution being downscaled.

    I'd be very interested in comments about the sixth generation's Sky and PAL DVD performance, especially in contrast with the Hitachi panels which have higher resolution (1024x512 or 1024x1024 depending on who you believe!).

    In fact, what panels are recommended that guarantee maximum PAL resolution? The 1024x768 Pioneer?
     
  11. tbrar

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    Easy2BCheesy,

    I owned a Hitachi 42PD3000 for a while.

    Hitachi's panels do have a fixed panel native resolution of 1024 x 1024, but there is more to it than that. The following is an extract from an article which explains:-

    The 1024X1024 monitor uses an interlace scan to see every other line while the 853X480 monitor uses progressive scanning. Using a comparison at a 60hz refresh rate, what you will actually see vertically is 512 lines on the 1024X1024 monitor compared with 480 vertical lines on the 853X480 monitor. Not much difference.

    While the 1024X1024 (XGA resolution) plasma monitor still appears to have the edge in resolution we have to remember that the pixels are rectangles rather than square.

    This enables the monitor to produce the images for the 16:9 widescreen monitor. This means that the 1024 X1024 monitor has to do more interpolating on the horizontally stretched pixel, which can cause some softening. There is just a lot of severe scaling to be done there. The 853X480 monitor, having square pixels, will have an easier time with the horizontal conversion.

    The 1024X1024 monitor can end up softening the image more due to the more severe horizontal filtering. It can depend upon the scalar/converter of the monitor as to which views the best.
     
  12. Easy2BCheesy

    Easy2BCheesy
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    Intriguing stuff. So is there any use sticking a progressive scan input into the Hitachi then if you're effectively getting an interlaced output?

    I see you went for the Pioneer. May I ask how you made your decision? Is there much softening on the upscaling?
     
  13. tbrar

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    Easy2BCheesy,

    I did go for the Pioneer eventually, this is after I owned a Hitachi for a while, but returned due to loads of problems (its in another thread somewhere - quite possibly bad batch ?)

    You can put a progressive signal into the Hitachi, as I did with my Arcam. Basically, this method by passes the Hitachis interlaced to progressive convertion process and uses the progressive input, the Arcam. However, this input is then converted back to interlaced prior to display on the screen. So the benefit (apparent) is using the sources superior (if it is) conversion process to that of the display, but you still watch an interlaced picture.

    I went for the Pioneer after alot consideration into my requirments. I was adamant that I wanted a XGA native progressive display, as opposed to tuner box included etc. This left me with two models; the Pioneer 433MXE and the Panny TH-42PHD5. Both had resolution of 1024 x 768.

    Although Panny had superior blacks the Pioneer had greater colour range (578million compared16.7miilion), better grey scale (800 odd compared to 256). The Pioneer was also Silent, the Panny had a cooler fan.

    The most important factor to me was future proofing. Spending this much on a display, I wanted the ability to migrate as and when I required/demanded. In short the Pio gave me this flexibility and the Panny did and not. This relates to its ability to show Copy Protected High Definition sources (again, all my reasoning explained in another thread).

    PQ is fantastic, but also dependant upon source. I mean put diesel into a Ferrari - it doesn't go very far !. Hence I am interested now in native rate scalars that have been released and more are due out - these will scale all sources to my 1024 x 768 resolution (plus a load more good stuff), these boards, third party developed, fit into the Pioneer - emphasising its future proof credentials.
     
  14. StooMonster

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    PAL is not 625 lines interlaced. PAL has 576 visible lines of 625 broadcast, these 49 lines carry vertical blanking information and teletext. Same with NTSC 525 lines, only 480 carry picture information, 45 of them do not. Hence DVDs only using visible lines of 576 for PAL and 480 for NTSC.

    Scaling also takes places in horizontal resolution too. Both DVD formats and Sky digital are 720 pixels wide, therefore images are scaled up to physical pixel size of screen (e.g. 852, 1024, 1280,1366, etc.).

    A PAL source, either Region 2 DVD or Sky Digital, on a 852x480 plasma will scale up horizontally but lose 20% of the picture information when scaled down vertically. Upscaling, either horizontally (which all screens do) or vertically is a non-issue.

    ALiS (Alternate Lighting Sources) screens -- interlacing plasmas -- have 1024x512 physical pixels. Search this forum and you will find copies of emails from Fujitsu and Hitachi technical support stating that their screens should be fed 1024x512 for PC graphics to get 1:1 pixel match.

    Slight correction to tbar's plasma specs: Pioneer 433MXE (contrast ratio: 900:1; brightness: 900 cd/m^2; colour depth: 24-bit i.e. 16.7million), Panasonic 42PHD5 (contrast ratio: 3000:1, brightness: 500 cd/m^2, depth: 24-bit i.e. 16.7million). Note: even if a screen did have more colour depth it wouldn't matter as MPEG2 (as used in DVDs and Sky Digital) is 24-bit, it's pointless have a higher bit depth screen except for gaming with NextGen graphics cards and DirectX9.

    StooMonster
     
  15. tbrar

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    Stoomonstor,

    Nice of you to come in and add your input.

    I think I stated that of NTSC 525's lines, only 480 were used for the actual picture, simalarily for PAL, 576 lines of the 625 were used for actual picture resolution. With regard to 'Interlaced' I wasn't sure but edged my bets, ..........ooops !, the rest is as stated.

    The MXE spec states that it supports 576 Million colours, not 16.7 Million colours. It is what the display is capable of. Attached is a link to TMF site;

    http://www.tmfsolutions.co.uk/homecinema_plasma_pioneer_433MXE.htm

    Now this cant be such a bad thing as the new Panasonics are in the same (if not higher) range.

    I am looking into the Hitachi issue, but as far as I am aware they actually have 1024 x 1024 fixed pixel addresses.
     
  16. tbrar

    tbrar
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    Stoomonster,

    Youve probably seen this but just in case, the following link is to the US AVSforum Plasma FAQ, it explains how ALIS panels work.

    http://www.avsforumfaq.com/~plasma/#alis

    A small extract is as follows; Existing Alis screens have 1024X1024 discrete pixels but they are addressed in an interlaced manner so every 60th of a second all pixels on the odd rows get addressed followed in the next 60th of a second by the pixels in all the even rows.

    I am unsure about the Hitachi technicians responses & posts, but having had five replacment PD423000's with their direct involvment and still not resolving the issues, or indeed being aware of the problem, I dont put to much weight on what they say........

    But thats just my experience......
     
  17. Paden

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    So ideally you'd want a panel with resoulution > 720 x > 576?
    Is that correct?
    Does that mean that as far a scaling goes you're always better off with a 50" screen?

    Cheers, Paul
     
  18. ncpl

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    My original Fuji ALIS was definitely worse when fed with a high quality prog scan picture. Interlaced from the same machine was much much better.

    My dealer doesn't believe me that the ALIS panel only shows interlaced (yet it will accept an PS signal), it is confirmed in many publications on the web that it is an interlaced picture (and I believe L of 7 Oakes owes me a rather nice bet)

    The MXE is far superior when handling a prog scan image. Int-scan from SKy is possibly better on the ALIS......anyone's guess but probably better suited in the scaling dept for TV rather than DVD P-Scan. Pixels vs line count probably has an easier algorithm to work on.

    I am also waiting for the dust to settle when the next gen of scaler cards comes out. It will be interesting to see Sky at native rate. I have to say that I can't really complain with DVD's...they are awesome.
     
  19. tbrar

    tbrar
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    Ncpl

    I have to agree with your sentiments.

    I watch mostly DVD's, I am much happier (even had I not had issues) with the MXE than the ALIS display, to me the difference is very apparent.

    With regard to the native rate cards, I received an Email from KD sales today - release date of the PIO768P now Christmas!. Aurora are releasing a third (comparable to KD) around Novemeber - Dutch posted on this earlier.
     
  20. StooMonster

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    LOL :rotfl:

    Different websites, different specs on screens! Joe's site (TMF) has different specs to Ivojo that I used for my source. If I could be bothered I'd go look at manufacturers sites to see which dealer is right. :confused:

    :lesson:
    16,777,216 colours is 24-bit, i.e. same as DVD and Sky and PCs.
    576 million? Interesting. Simple maths show that nearest to 576 million is 29-bit colour (i.e. 536,870,912 colours) can't be 30-bit as that's 1.074 billion colours.

    As an individual "colour" pixel is actually made of three pure colour pixels (Red, Green and Blue) the number of bits has to be equally divided by three.

    24-bit divided by 3 = 3 times 8-bit i.e. 256 shades each of Red, Green, and Blue.

    29-bit divided by 3 = 3 times 9.6667-bit which doesn't fit into binary.

    How does 29-bit colour work then? Honestly, I'm really interested to know.

    Here's some info on ALiS resolution:

    StooMonster
     
  21. tbrar

    tbrar
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  22. StooMonster

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    Yes. Downscaling loses picture information whereas upscaling is okay. Ideal to have a resolution greater than 720x576.

    Check this post http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=605359#post605359 for two from nigel and in paricular the second one with the flag images.

    nigel's post will give you an idea of the effect of upscaling.

    StooMonster
     
  23. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Which corrections were those? Do you mean correction? As I said in my previous post, information was from a dealer site and I couldn't be bothered to go to manufacturers' website; glad that you were bothered enough to do so and find link. ;)

    Hrm... 576 million colors sounds like PR and marketing gobbledegook to me. Simple maths show's it's a dubious claim.

    Anyone got an idea how a screen can have 576 million colours?

    StooMonster
     
  24. tbrar

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    Stoomonster,

    I started to watch Daredevil, it looked a bit ropey, Ill watch another day. :smoke:

    Not wanted to dwindle on the subject, but as you asked the correction(s) to your thread were brightness levels (1000 cd/m2) and contrast ratio (1000:1), not as stated 900cd/m2 & 900:1 respectivly.

    With respect to the Hitachi ALIS panels I am still certain- that they do have 1024 x 1024 pixels. However, due to the way they work they can only light half of these at any one time (512). From the information you sent;

    In non ALiS displays each row of pixels has a dedicated pair of electrodes so that every row can be addressed simultaneously to produce a progressive display. With ALiS, the bottom electrode of a row of pixels would also be the top electrode of the next row and so on. What this means in practice is that a row of pixels cannot be lit at the same time as the row next to it because the shared electrode can only be used for one of the two adjacent rows.

    So at any one time - only 512 of the 1024 can be lit. So you are correct in that the actual resolution in use at any 60th second is 1024 x 512, but the number of pixels on the display is actually 1024 x 1024.

    In a simplified example it will be 1024 x 512 (Even Lines being lit) in the first 60th second, then 1024 x 512 (Odd lines being lit) in the second 60th second and so on.

    Anyhow, perhaps someone can share their views, any Hitachi Engineers out there ??

    With respect to the colors, the MXE has 852 Grey Scale. This compares to 256 grey scale of say the Hitachi 42PD3000. I am guessing that this range of greyscale represents the range of intensities for each of the R, G and Blue components of each pixel. Consequently multiplies up accordingly ???.

    Dont know........
     
  25. RAMiAM

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    I think my good friend StooMonster is focusing to much on the Panny vs. Pio' debate.
    He's got Panny which is why he's very eager to diss the Pio' stats :D

    Not to start of yet another Panny/Pio' debate but from what I have seen, from what others have also seen the Panny's can not be beaten for contrast levels whereas the Pio's have better colour range and detail. Also I think the Pio's offer better connectivity.

    Both makes have their merits

    Again, I definately don't want to kick of another Panny/Pio' debate - please no.... :D
     
  26. tbrar

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    RAMiAM,

    Didn't realise Stoomonster had a Panasonic display, interesting ... as their 6th generation display's boast a color range in excess of the Pioneers. See:- http://www.panasonic.com/pbds/subcat/newsinfo/press_03/03_55.html

    On Pio and Panny , absolutely agree that both have their merits, individual choice is one such liberty that thankfully we all have. I chose the Pioneer, others chose Panasonic.

    The fact remains however, that the MXE does have a range of colour that spans 576 Million colours, this may/may not be important to an individual, but it is true !. Whether this is mathematically correct is something that should be addressed with the Pioneer technical design engineers in Japan, and or marketting department, at the same time perhaps have the same discussion with Panasonic

    RAMiAM, I would ben keen to put the Hitachi discussion to bed, wondered what your (or anyone else's) opinion was regarding the number of pixels / resolution of their ALIS panels.

    My beleif is that they do indeed have 1024 x 1024 Pixels (on 42 inch models) therfore physical Pixel Addresses. But, due to the way they work, only 512 of these can be lit at any one time, eg. firstly the odd - then the even. So looking at the screen operating at 60Hz refresh rate, every 60th second a maximum of 512 pixels will be lit.

    The other view is that these displays only have 1024x512 pixel array. I can see why someone may think this, as at any one time a max of 1024 x 512 pixels can be used, but again this is incorrect. Honestly, the information that verifies this has been attached in a previous response from someone with an opposing view to my own !.

    ........look forward to peoples input :smoke:
     
  27. tbrar

    tbrar
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    Stoomonster,

    Right Pioneer color claims : -

    The way in which the colour numbers are derived is the '832 x 832 x 832'

    (I imagine this represnts the various intensities of R, G & B within Phosphors equating to the 832 Greyscale, not 852 shades of grey as I stated ! typo error - apologies), which equals the figure of :-

    575,930,368 :laugh::laugh:

    Now whether or not it displays all of those I dont know and do not intend investigating !!


    Tony
     
  28. GadgetObsessed

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    I think that like some other plasma newbies that I fell into the trap of assuming that a higher resolution panel such as ALiS's 1024x1024 would be "better" than a low resolution panel such as Panny's 853x480.

    However, the more I look into this and after some demos I now think that progressive scan would be more important than the higher res - and Alis screens simply cannot do progressive scan. (Especially as I plan to buy JVCs progressive scan DVD recorder.)

    The Panny is only losing 16.7% (1 in 6) of the horizontal lines and none of the vertical ones for PAL DVD/Sky. Actually watching a Panny 5, I don't notice any loss in detail so is this an issue anyway? Especially when the Panny looks to me like it gives the best Sky picture which is what is most important to me. Does the Pioneer have an advantage because it's screen is "closer" to that of PAL res than ALiS or Pioneer?

    A higher res screen may offer advantages when watching 720p or 1080i but such broadcasts seem a long way away - 5 years? (I'm talking about regular regular BBC, ITV, Sky One, etc being broadcast like this not one off sports events or Hi-Res DVDs.) So I think that I'll get the Panny 37PA20 when it comes out.

    A higher res screen that supported Progressive scan (Pioneer MXE?) would probably be the best compromise but I am after a 32"-37" screen so the only choice is Alis or Panny.
     
  29. NicolasB

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    On the "29-bit colour" issue - this might be analagous to 16-bit colour on PCs. Obviously 16 isn't divisible by three either. What usually happens there is that the green intensity has a wider range of values than the red or the blue. This is useful because the eye is more sensitive to green light than it is to red or blue, and thus is able to resolve a larger number of different intensities of green than it can for either of the other colours.
     
  30. tbrar

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    Garydhooper,

    I was one of those, who didn't know about Plasma's, saw the reviews etc that the Mags gave the Hitachi ALIS panel and bought it.

    In my case though, I had all sorts of issues with the display which required me to learn a great deal very quickly. Thankfully, after five direct replacements from Hitachi & all manner of engineer (their own) visits, I got a full refund.

    The higher resolution ALIS panels, in my opinion will offer an excellent fit for 1080i HD Content, simply because the content is interlaced in any case. 1080i is displayed in its native vertical resolution over 1024x1024 pixels.

    Each field that comes in is shown on its own 1024 x 512 interlaced pixels; 512 (odd) - 1st 60th Second & 512 (even) - 2nd 60th Second providing a 1024 interlaced picture (note though a total of 1024 pixels are used). Though even here a few lines are lost (8 lines per field).

    In any case I am delighted with the Pioneer 433MXE both for my requirments now and equally importantly for my requirments in the future. :smoke:
     

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