AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wilmington Ohio
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"I'll just my 2 cents in what's NOT talked about frequently with plamsa... VT50 & some E8000 explicitly. But this information applies to all plasmas.
1) Plasma color == fake. if you really break down the pulse width modulation and do the math per one cycle the TV is really only capable of maybe 3-4k true colors. The "24,000" gradation is a bunch of marketing BS.
To get into this a bit further. The "snow/static" you see two parts. 1. it's dithering... 2. it's the TV changing the 4k colors around trying to make up the color you are suppose to see. The reason you see it like static is because the TV is changing what colors are optimized in the 4k available every other frame and also re-calculating the dithering with the new colors. Thus different information is shown. Color is essentially interleaved between multiple screen refreshes trying to trick your eyes into seeing (more color) something that is not there. Almost like a DLP does, but not quite.
2) VT50/whatever has reference color == misdirection. The calibrator/shootouts will show you these charts. And the latest one's being the fancy color tracking charts. What 's left off and NOT told to you is the TV is only accurate like that to a range of APL (average picture level). APL is basically saying how bright or how dim the image is you are looking at. When calibrating calibrators find a specific size pattern which calibrates the TV to the best color/gamma over a range of APL. But the TV is NOT reference for all APL. Period. If you were to do a calibration with 1% slides (this means 1% of the TV screen has information, or better said in the center of the screen you have a square that is 19x10 pixels), then 5%, 10% 15%, 20% 25% patterns and lets stop and 50%. You will see the color does not track linear. And the TV does not have reference color. It may have "reference" color for a range of say 8%-20% APL, but it won't be reference on any image outside of that.
3) The ABL (it's in ALL plasma TV's. Is one of biggest contributors to the color issues) also causes the gamma to be inaccurate in the same fashion. Again the same applies here. Once your outside of that zone where the TV isn't stressed the gamma gets very inaccurate.
4) Motion... the VT50 actually distorts motion on darker scenes on slow moving images. The new drive systems scans slower and actually drops information. You can see green scan lines on darker objects moving and it actually drops resolution while this is happening. This is because those areas of the screen (darker) are actually refreshing differently.
5) Purists TV? Really? lets think about this. A plasma is really anything but pure. Dithering == re-processing of the color/grayscale == loss of both color and grayscale resolution. Period. And then add on the color and gamma distortion == not pure. The entire argument of "well you can't see dithering from your seating position" is hogwash. Yes, you can. If you don't have 20/20 vision that's not my problem and not what were discussing. At the recommended viewing distance if you had a 65" high quality 24bit LCD next to a "true color" 65" plasma you would easily be able to see the difference. The plasma would look soft. Especially on complicated pictures.
6) Brightness (max luminance)... Everyone is out there touting numbers like 47fL for daytime viewing. But not one persons stops and asks what does this number represent? Well, here it is... It represents when the calibrator puts up a tiny white square on the screen with an all black background. It DOES NOT represent that the TV can hit 47fl with most content during the day. Another big mistake people also do is take one reading from one calibrator/TV and compare it to a different one without asking the big question... Did he use the same size square on the screen for the measurement? If you don't know what size pattern was used on a plasma measurement, the measurements are about worthless. You can thank the ABL and the dynamic drive systems for this.
7) brightness again (max luminance)... Lets say were using 10% sized patterns of 100% white. Would a Samsung E8000 calibrated to 35fL using this 10% white window perform identical to a VT50 calibrated to 35fL using the same 10% white window? The answer is NO. The the ABL's are programmed/engineered differently, and they both have different dynamic drive systems. The E8000 actually appears brighter in some scenes than the VT50 in this case.
Some of you might think I'm way off base here. But some of the data for what I'm talking about already exists and has been proven by some really sharp guys on here already. The only thing is they didn't spoon feed it out. You have to geek out and look at their numbers/charts in detail. As well I have collected my own. These past 2 years I have owned both E7000&E8000 and VT30&VT50 and done some extensive analysis. I'm not saying plasma sucks. But the misdirection that plasma is the best or "reference" needs to stop.
IMO the reality is anyone who claims "reference" for a plasma either has an agenda (sales) OR they don't know enough about the technology to really understand what is going on. The ABL/dynamic drive basically stops the plasma in it's tracks from being able to truly be "reference".
It's like if you asked 100 people "is NJ basically straight east of northern Kansas?" I'm guessing most would say no, why? Because they have always looked at flat maps. If you take spherical data (earth) and make it flat it will distort. Thus NJ appears further north than it really is. Granted only about 65% of NJ is on the same latitude as KS, it is. However NJ is only 160 some odd miles long!
Not understanding the plasma ABL/dynamic drive system is the equivalent to the people who are reading the distorted flat map and still reporting that NJ is way north of KS. Sadly for some this might even be AFTER you have showed them a map with the latitude lines drawn on it.
There is a reason why studios use LCDs for critical color adjustments and not plasmas.
For these shootouts... people should ask them to do post calibration reports/testing like this.
#1) color. Do full 3d color tracking using patterns from 1% to 100% APL in steps of 5%. Show the chart in 3D. Which is essentially stacked slices of color tracking. This can be automated, IMO calman should do this already. No clue, don't use the software.
To draw this out clearer...
1) Do normal color tracking as shown from last shootout. 25%,50%,75%100% for each color (RGBYMK).
2) Do this test multiple times. Every time change APL. Go from patterns 1% apl to 100%apl in steps of 5.
3) stack this information up, put each slice on top of one another from 1% to 100%. Create a 3d chart.
4) make another graph and show luminance accuracy over same ranges
#2) repeat this but do it for gamma
#3) motion resolution, do low APL motion resolution tests. These would be patterns moving around the screen that are DARK but VERY detailed. Use different levels of dark patterns. Does it drop details?!? Also have pattens which include bright detail on the same plane.
#4) brightness (peak luminance), if you calibrated the TVs to 35 foot lamberts using whatever method you choose. Do a sweep test post calibration. Run a peak luminance test, but use sweeping sized windows. Sweep and measure from 1% to ABL peak. What do you see? graph it.
#5) high compression tests. Playback something that is compressed, and dark. Take the movie Aliens for example and re-code it to look like crap (not totally). See what TV can make it looks the best. Reality is most people watch compressed video now days.
Anyway, I've been hesitant to post this. I almost hit cancel... this post doesn't really do much.
In the end if you love plasma's keep buying them. Always get what you like, life is too short.
But just know if you made your decision based on "what's best" by some shootout or calibration reports/review online. Make sure you really understand the information that's been presented to you."
Edited by SiGGy - Today at 12:52 pm
Time Warner Cable/Panasonic UB900/ Roku Premiere +/Sony S780 Soundbar/Harmony 650
Calman Enthusiast/Chromapure Standard with Auto Cal