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Where to demo in SE - VR5 v PW7 v others

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by iranu, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. iranu

    iranu
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    Having had a look through the yellow pages (Reading Area) I can't find a retailer that does both the above models. It's very difficult to remember exactly what was seen in each store.

    Can anyone suggest a good retailer around the Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire (London if required) area that will have these plus others set up.

    Ta

    P.S. Don't say Currys :suicide:

    P.P.S. Please no "screen x is better than screen y" posts - I would like my eyes to judge.
     
  2. Loada

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    How about Nexnix or AV-Sales? They're not right on your doorstep but they're within reasonable distance and both have good demo facilities and are well-respected on these forums.
     
  3. iranu

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    Loada - thx - will be going to nexnix tomorrow.
     
  4. dali1020

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    Iranu I`m also in the Reading area, let me Know how it goes tomorrow (travel time Etc) good luck
     
  5. iranu

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    dali - took about 1hr 15mins to get down there from Henley area - left 11.30am. M4, M25, A24 and about 1hr 30mins to get back left 2.30pm. Let them know if you want a demo.

    They had the PW6, VR5, XR3 and a Hitachi (can't remember the model 5200, I think)

    I am not looking for a plasma myself, I was giving moral support to my father, but I do have two working eyes!


    Andy and another lad were very helpful, there was no hardsell or pushyness. Good, solid, honest comments from all who we spoke to. :clap: Unfortunately the show room was not really set up as per the photos on their website. There were lots of boxes about with tables and chairs in the demo room. :thumbsdow. However, they did change the setup of the plasmas to give a better picture when we discussed what was good and bad and there was no BS. :smashin: My "report" (lol) is as follows. It's a long one.


    A: On initial impression the PW6 was the best screen there by a mile. :rolleyes: Oh god another panny lover I here you cry! but theres more....

    B: XR3 was out of price range but left on anyway. Don't know why it costs more, was not overly impressed. :(

    C: The Hitachi was awful with sky (probably because of the resolution?). With dvd, the blacks were grey and a bit washed out. One of the other chaps from Nexnix popped in and we commented on the poor 2k screen and he basically said, if you're gonna put a high definition signal into the plasma then the Hitachi is the one to go for. If not then one of the other two. We won't be doing HD so this panel just didn't get viewed anymore, even though it remained on. If it had blown our socks off, we (lol, the old codger, I commit :suicide: ) would have considered spending the extra money over the NEC/Panny.

    I have a friend who has converted the signals to HD using a sweetspot card and Dscaler for his PC with a Hitachi and he says the results are stunning (well he would! :devil: ). I haven't seen it yet.... but I do believe him.

    D: The VR5 had terrible colour problems INITIALLY. Reds were RED!!, greens were toxic, and blues, well blues were green :zonked: . The pw6 (and hitachi) were used as a reference to correct this.


    So the task in hand was to get the VR5 looking like the PW6. We got very, very close with a bit of tweaking. Blacks were as good, imho. The panel was brighter without upping the brightness (if you see what I mean) although I personally am not looking for the brightest panel. The detail level in those blacks was good as was the sharpness of the picture. We got very good reds without the colour looking orange which I have seen posted in some pics on AV forums.

    When viewing sky sports news, the VR5 and the XR3 suffered from jitter when displaying the ticker tape bar at the bottom of the screen. PW6 and hitachi did not. My father did have an in-home demo of the NEC VM5 for 4 days and I don't remember seeing this, although I thought the picture was a bit jittery with sky footie. :(

    So all was going well. Having seen many pw6 n 7's I think that this IS the standard. However there are drawbacks and merits regarding the Pannys. All documented on AV forums.

    To sum up I would say the PW6/7s are very good. The VR5 gets as close as I've personally seen to these with a bit of tweaking and is brighter so therefore...

    It basically came down to......

    1. Pw6/7 has excellent PQ but is "not future proofed" regarding HD Sky (blah blah) and extra input boards (component, DVI i.e. cost goes ^) are required.

    2. VR5 has all inputs and gets very good PQ (when compared to panny, is better than others I have seen for the same money), seems to be "future proofed" but does suffer that bit of jitter. To much :beer:? (I will post in the VR5 thread regarding this)


    My advice to anyone in the market looking to buy a plasma echoes Hornydragon's advice (thx HD) : Go and demo them, side by side if you can - your eyes are different to everyone elses on the planet.

    Well that's it really. I have my own thoughts as to what I would do/buy.

    My dad bought the...........
     
  6. peezee

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    iranu, nice report, pretty much aligns to how I compare the VR5 vs the PWD7 (guess PW6 is about the same), good to see you could adjust the image such that you couldn't see that "orange effect" on some of the reds. I need to go see "Meet the Fockers" at the movies, just arrived here, I WANT to know what colour that shirt is, exactly... :laugh: :blush:

    A couple of comments:

    -> judder on the VR5: I believe this is due to the VR5 being set to *fixed 60Hz* by default, there's a service menu that allows you to switch it to "Auto 50Hz" or s'thing like this (description on how to do this in one of the 2 main VR5 threads). I think the judder you've experienced should totally disappear if set at 50Hz.

    -> Details in black areas: though I fully agree with your judgment on "blacks looking black" on the VR5 (almost as black as the PWD's - almost), I'm still not convinced it's on par with the Panny as far as details in shadow areas is concerned - and that's in fact what stopped me (at least for now) from purchasing that plasma display.
    I'm trying to better understand what's the best sequence to set up a display (wrt brightness/contrast/gamma) such that it would show as much details as possible while maintaining enough contrast and good enough blacks - all of which somewhat conflicting with each other, such that in the end you have to find the best "trade-off".
    I'll then try to apply that approach to the range of various controls on the NEC, including tweaking the setup level (black pedestal) and low-tone, to hopefully get to a point where I can say I'm not bothered anymore with the lack of details I've experienced thru my two previous demo's/tests of the VR5.
     
  7. iranu

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    Ta. I did try to give my most honest thoughts. It is sometimes difficult to express them and I certainly don't have the full understanding of some of the terms for artifacting. I also really tried very hard to get away from the "panny is best" syndrome. After reading losts of posts here, it can be difficult to be objective.

    In the end my dad did buy the VR5, which had dropped another £46 before VAT to £1299. That was a nice surprise after he had made his decision.

    I think that the VR5 is a good compromise between the pannys PQ along with the sky HD issue and the Hitachi which is more expensive and requires more money for a HD signal from a PC.

    peezee a big thank you regarding the judder. I will definitely try that and report back.

    Set up seems to be trial and error but I know what you mean about "best sequence". Maybe one of the AV sellers on these forums can advise. They have to do it all the time so they must get proficient.
     
  8. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    for proper set-up let it run 200 hours (on low settings) and then get it pro calibrated......
     
  9. iranu

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    A big :beer: for peezee. As suggested, the tickertape bars on sky sports news are now judder free. :clap:

    Thanks very much. Will continue tweaking the picture, lots of options.

    P.S. service menu access by pressing (on remote) in sequence; Off timer, exit, mute, off timer.
     
  10. BALLISTIX

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    Iranu, did you notice any degredation of PQ when put into auto mode as suggested by another post?
    I'll be blowed if I can notice any difference.

    Andy
     
  11. smudger

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    anyone know where to see a pw7 set up in the north east area
     
  12. peezee

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    iranu, you're welcome, glad to see it worked out fine for you! :cool:

    'd be interested to see an answer to Ballistix's (sp? :) ) question as well...
     
  13. Loada

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    There is an artifact in "auto" mode, especially with faces in dark scenes and sudden movement. Some have called it "false contouring". It's hard to describe - it appears that the skin tone "blurs" rather than remaining well-defined. However, it's not intrusive and you probably wouldn't notice it unless it was pointed out to you. Even then, it''s really not an issue - for example, there are far more obvious artifacts in the MPEG encoding processes used by Sky/Telewest/NTL.
     
  14. BALLISTIX

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    Well i must be lucky! I've been switching between 60Hz and auto for the past couple of weeks, no noticable difference any of us can spot.
    Did witness the juddering on two adverts and Sky news in 60Hz mode though.
    Mine is left in AUTO mode now.

    Andy
     
  15. peezee

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    Sounds like the other report claiming in essence that the Auto 50Hz mode produces a cr.ppy picture is rather overstated... oh well! :rolleyes:
     
  16. Bearded_Malc

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    It seems strange that Auto should produce a worse image. It's fairly plain that 60Hz will give problems with a 50Hz signal but why would Auto, if it is detecting 50Hz correctly, give problems with 50Hz signals?

    I wonder if cinema mode has anything to do with it? That takes a 24(25) fps and does 2:3 to make it 60Hz. On 50Hz that's not needed so it could be set to off (except perhaps for region 1 DVDs unless the DVD player sorts that).

    The other setting that might apply is the RGB Select setting which has a motion option. I wonder if that has an effect on this?
     
  17. Loada

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    I switched my VR5 to "Auto" (50hz) whilst watching the Real Madrid game last night. As soon as I returned out of service mode, I noticed the "effect" - I think Salgardo had just been clipped on the knee and had fallen to the floor - the player who ran into him jumped up and as he did, his arm (skin tone) created a "rainbow" (colour blur) effect as it moved - it was brief but noticeable. However, I did have Cinema Mode set to ON and off the top of my head, I think I have the RGB option set to MOTION (need to check). I'll do some more testing tonight during the football again.
    For me, the juddering isn't that bad - it's only really noticeable when you run a channel with a ticker (or credits) and it's not bad (I've seen much worse on a Tosh 32" WL48 LCD).
    In theory, the "auto" mode shouldn't intoduce any artifacts but it's not as straightforward as saying the incoming signal is 50hz so it should work. There is a fair bit of internal processing and scaling involved either way.
     
  18. peezee

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    Loada, what you describe is very similar to what I saw the 1st time I demo'ed a 42VR5 (and posted on this forum), that time it was connected to a DVD player (playing I-Robot PAL DVD). Later when connected to my laptop I couldn't see the picture problem during fast motion anymore (and couldn't understand why), I guess having the whole set-up run at 60Hz would explain this diff. (meaning my laptop does a better job at FRC'ing than the plasma, quite possible).
    Anyway I'd say that imho it's visible yes but not that terribly annoying an artefact, and I only saw it on pretty fast moving objects (guess this could depend on individuals though).

    I believe the NEC has to do an internal 50->60Hz conversion when receiving 50Hz video, iow its glass isn't able to natively run at 50Hz (chipset issue). If that's the case then any regular TV signal in Europe should exhibit this "fast motion" blurr in the NECs... but does it? Iow in Europe we have to choose b/w two evils: either judder (plasma set to 60Hz) or fast-motion blurr (set to Auto 50Hz).

    Anyway, found the post below on the US forum, from one of the moderators of the Video Processors sub-forum there (the guy says he's got 6 scalers to play with... :eek: ). He's also an XR3G owner and trying to have his plasma work at native res. @50Hz and note quite there yet. But as you can read he's of the opinion that 50Hz on the NEC works pretty well in fact (just not at native res)...

     
  19. Bearded_Malc

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    Peezee - care to post the link to that post?

    If the glass only runs at 60Hz then all 50Hz is converted so why does 60/Auto make a difference? It would be interesting to see what the actually screen refresh rate was. I wonder if a fast shutter speed could calculated it?

    If it is running on 60 and locked to do no conversion with the 60/Auto on 60 perhaps what happens is that the screen is fed pictures as fast as possible at 60Hz, and if no frame is available then it repeats a frame. A sort of emergency mode for a glitch. That gives a judder every 6th frame, which is missing. If you set Auto the software interpolates extra frames which gives the blur on motion.
     
  20. peezee

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  21. Bearded_Malc

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    I actually saw a VR5 today. Took I-Robot and played the robot attack scene (18). Very impressed. Very sharp. This was with the service menu default of 60Hz. Then I swapped to auto and the image looked softer to me which I think fits with the suggestion that the VR5 is interpolating on auto and inserting a repeat frame on 60Hz. I forgot to try Cinema on/off, etc :oops:.

    I did try moving the setup level. This just seemed to make the picture darker with no other gains. Perhaps you need low light for any gains.

    Then we went to JL and saw a 50in vierra, 50in pioneer and 43in pioneer. Same robot attack scene on all 3. I couldn't see any difference in the blacks. They all seem adequate and the same as I remember the VR5 being. What I did notice was the picture seemed much softer on all 3 compared with the VR5. My better half who came in latter said exactly the same and I deliberately didn't say what I thought so as not to influence her. In the bit where the robots attack the broken glass looked much sharper on the VR5 and the stubble on his chin was individual hairs.

    Of course this could be JL's setup. The 50in pioneer had HDMI input as well as normal and the DVD was played on both. I can't say I saw much difference between the two. The VR5 was connected via HDMI too.

    So based on my experience the VR5 has it. Plus it has more features and a lot more helpful staff :smashin: .
     
  22. Loada

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    I did some further testing with the Auto setting last night, with Crimewatch (of all things). There was a bit where one of the police guys stands next to a "Most Wanted" board and the camera zooms in on individual photos (polaroids) on the board. The camera then pans quickly sideways to the next photo. I found that using this bit (looped over and over via my Sky+ box) showed the difference CLEARLY between Auto and 60hz modes. On 60hz (the default), the photograph panned smoothly with no colour bleed, no artifacts or distortion. When I switched to Auto, and re-ran the clip, it was unwatchable. The white border of the polaroid photograph during the sideways pan was split into blurred red, white and blue outlines and the face in the photograph was completely distorted, as if it had been blurred out and the edges of the face exhibited the same RGB "haloing" effect. As the camera panned you could not make out any details until the pan stopped. Then the picture returned to normal and the detail and colour returned to normal. Toggling Cinema mode on and off seemed to make no difference, nor did switching the RGB setup from DTV to Motion to Auto. So, although the 50hz mode does eliminate the (slight) judder caused by FRC from 50->60, it's at the expense of picture quality. I can understand why some have said it's not noticeable because on some sources, it's difficult to spot. I noticed it most when there was a clear contrast between colours and/or skin tones. For example, the bright white of a polaroid photograph's border.
    I really think the "judder" on the VR5 isn't that bad at all. I've seen displays where scrolling text and tickers are unreadable.

    And of course, just to be fair (and not to antagonise the wizards), I'll admit that this wasn't the most scientific test and "your mileage may vary" (to coin a phrase used here a lot!).

    Hope that helps.
     
  23. BALLISTIX

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    Guys can we move this to the vr5 thread?
    Can someone a bit less noob than me copy and paste?

    Andy
     
  24. Bearded_Malc

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    Done. I probably should have posted there so sorry about that :(
     

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