Plasma Dithering. Inherent of the technology? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 07-19-2008, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I just hooked up a New Samsung plasma 1080p display and cannot not for the life of me get rid of the dithering on light greys and shadows. Is this just something that is inherent on plasma displays?

It is a Samsung PN50A510. Hooked to a PS3 via HDMI. All sharpness and DNR is turned off.

I have tried,

calibration.
different HDMI cable.
Different power outlet.
Power conditioner on same outlet.
Different source.

Any help would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 25 Old 07-19-2008, 09:04 PM
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The way I understand it, plasma pixels can only be on or off, so they have to be strobed at different rates to create different brightness levels. (pulse width modualtion) Different manufacturers handle this in different ways, which is why the dithering is different on various plasmas, but it seems to be inherent to the technology.
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post #3 of 25 Old 07-19-2008, 09:04 PM
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looks that way for now...apparently there are not enough bits for the number of pixels. see this thread...may give you some insight

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1046426


Quote:
Originally Posted by phansson View Post

I just hooked up a New Samsung plasma 1080p display and cannot not for the life of me get rid of the dithering on light greys and shadows. Is this just something that is inherent on plasma displays?

It is a Samsung PN50A510. Hooked to a PS3 via HDMI. All sharpness and DNR is turned off.

I have tried,

calibration.
different HDMI cable.
Different power outlet.
Power conditioner on same outlet.
Different source.

Any help would be appreciated.

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post #4 of 25 Old 07-19-2008, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. I was afraid that was the going to be the answer. Do LCD panels have the same problems?
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post #5 of 25 Old 07-19-2008, 11:19 PM
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I have a samsung and I believe it may be significantly worse on the samsung than on the panasonic. So you may want to check a panny out.
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post #6 of 25 Old 07-19-2008, 11:28 PM - Thread Starter
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For the record, I am not trying to down talk any certain manufacturer. I would buy any brand that produces a better picture (in a certain price range).

The samsung just looks horrible to me. It is really distracting to me.....

I don't want to start a fight in this forum but does LCD have this same "dithering" effect? It is hard to make any kind of intelligent decision at Best Buy when they have no way of testing the tv's. It is very frustrating.
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post #7 of 25 Old 07-20-2008, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phansson View Post

Thanks for the input. I was afraid that was the going to be the answer. Do LCD panels have the same problems?


In that thread there was a pic of a 1920 x 1080 image to test dithering and color banding (not too sure if I'm using the correct terminology).

http://web.comhem.se/zacabeb/reposit...ectrum_rgb.png

I put the image on my panasonic LCD and got no banding on all 3 colors. Pending replies on my results I belive that is good news. Whenever my 65" plasma gets delivered (within the next couple of days hopefully) I will report on how this image is displayed on it.
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post #8 of 25 Old 07-20-2008, 12:58 AM
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I would expect to see some degree of posterisation (banding) with any digital display, I've still not found anything that can produce gradations as smooth as a good CRT. The better flat panels are good enough for most people to be happy with though.

I don't think you'll see any dithering on most of the newer LCDs, but there's a chance you'll see posterisation with that image. The 10-bit panels should be quite good though. (note: many manufacturers list the processing bit-depth rather than the panel)


You should definitely check out plasmas from other manufacturers if you would still prefer one over an LCD. (better viewing angles, colour reproduction etc.) I've heard that Panasonic is better than Samsung, and Pioneer is better than either in my opinion. PWM noise is noticeable even in bright scenes if you're looking for it with them, but the way they handle it is generally a lot less noticeable/annoying than what I've seen on other plasmas. (Panasonic has terrible dithering in dark areas, for example)
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post #9 of 25 Old 07-20-2008, 03:40 AM
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it looks like my Samsung LCD handle it extremely well, no visible banding.
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post #10 of 25 Old 07-20-2008, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phansson View Post

I don't want to start a fight in this forum but does LCD have this same "dithering" effect?

LCD panels typically convert sub-pixel (RGB) drive signals to analog, so pulse width modulation is mostly a plasma and DLP (all-digital) technique. Some microdisplay LC displays (for RPTVs) do use PWM; for example the eLCoS , a type of LC display, and a JVC LCOS. LCD panels have issues, too, such as sluggish switching times causing smearing, color accuracy, and inadequate viewing angles. -- John
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post #11 of 25 Old 07-20-2008, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swifty7 View Post

it looks like my Samsung LCD handle it extremely well, no visible banding.


How does it handle motion?


Pioneer and panasonic are the best at reducing banding,false contouring, posterization. Totaly eliminate it? Maybe not.
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post #12 of 25 Old 07-20-2008, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewfee View Post

(Panasonic has terrible dithering in dark areas, for example)


Do you mean like dancing pixels on a all black screen with the brightness turned up? All plasmas will do that, like dlp, but it's probably a calibration issue if you see this time to time. Source, elevated blacks from different content,display settings, how deep the set's black levels are.
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post #13 of 25 Old 07-20-2008, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zues View Post

Do you mean like dancing pixels on a all black screen with the brightness turned up? All plasmas will do that, like dlp, but it's probably a calibration issue if you see this time to time. Source, elevated blacks from different content,display settings, how deep the set's black levels are.

What I am talking about you can't get out with calibration. At least I couldn't. It is "dancing pixels" but in very light gray and dark shadows. It really makes the picture look grainy. I don't see it in my SXRD sony projector.
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post #14 of 25 Old 07-20-2008, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zues View Post

Do you mean like dancing pixels on a all black screen with the brightness turned up? All plasmas will do that, like dlp, but it's probably a calibration issue if you see this time to time. Source, elevated blacks from different content,display settings, how deep the set's black levels are.

Calibration can not get rid of that. It's simply how it displays dark imagery. I believe Pioneer handles this significantly better than most (all?) other plasmas as it doesn't use the same type of dithering.
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post #15 of 25 Old 07-20-2008, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I took the plasma back to BB today and just got a credit. I finally convinced one of the geek squad guys to hook up a blu ray player to an Sony XBR LCD and it did not have the "dithering" effect on the color bar test screen. So I guess I am going to go the LCD route.

Thanks for the input.
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post #16 of 25 Old 07-20-2008, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zues View Post

How does it handle motion?


Pioneer and panasonic are the best at reducing banding,false contouring, posterization. Totaly eliminate it? Maybe not.

actually very good, I can't perceive any motion blur.
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post #17 of 25 Old 07-20-2008, 10:42 PM
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Wow did you just say the lcd route? god good luck with the motion blurr clouds not uniformly off axis viewing angles motion resolution (its another thing not motion blurr) Super Inacurate Whites that will make you tear and an acurate picture.

by your previous post i thought you wanted "would buy any brand that produces a better picture"

for those $3,500+ you spent i would get the pioneer any day over the xbr lol......

i dont want to bash or start a war but Better PQ is the pioneer in that price range regardless of the 8th generation or the current 9th generation.

good luck and i do recommend going with a panasonic or a pioneer



Quote:
Originally Posted by phansson View Post

For the record, I am not trying to down talk any certain manufacturer. I would buy any brand that produces a better picture (in a certain price range).

The samsung just looks horrible to me. It is really distracting to me.....

I don't want to start a fight in this forum but does LCD have this same "dithering" effect? It is hard to make any kind of intelligent decision at Best Buy when they have no way of testing the tv's. It is very frustrating.


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post #18 of 25 Old 07-20-2008, 10:43 PM
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Without boring you with too many technical details; Dithering is not present due to PWM or analog vs digital. It is present because Plasma displays have have limited number of gray levels per sub-pixel thanks to them moving away from binary combinations. It used to be that a panel with 10 subfields would have the binary weights per subfield:

1 2 4 8 16 32 64 128 256 512 1024

and using combinations of these weights the number of gray levels would be 1024 unique levels.

Not anymore. Today panel manufacturers are turning to continous/contiguous where combinations other that adjacent ones are not allowed. This is done to eliminate false contour noise and reduce black level. In the above example the number of unique gray levels would be only 10.

You can see that halftoning (dithering, error diffusion) is needed.



I'll post a more technical explanation in the 8-bit depth thread tomorrow

Cheers

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post #19 of 25 Old 07-21-2008, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gus738 View Post

Wow did you just say the lcd route? god good luck with the motion blurr clouds not uniformly off axis viewing angles motion resolution (its another thing not motion blurr) Super Inacurate Whites that will make you tear and an acurate picture.

by your previous post i thought you wanted "would buy any brand that produces a better picture"

for those $3,500+ you spent i would get the pioneer any day over the xbr lol......

i dont want to bash or start a war but Better PQ is the pioneer in that price range regardless of the 8th generation or the current 9th generation.

good luck and i do recommend going with a panasonic or a pioneer

I would buy any brand that produces a better picture, the problem that I have seen with plasma is you have to get up to the Pioneer kuro to really get a good black level. I finally talked to someone at BB that would let me hook up a Blu Ray player to a couple of tv's. I took in a sony disc with test patterns to check the grays and black level. The LCD tv's I checked (XBR4 and Samsung 650 series) did not have any of the "dithering" artifacts in its picture. Does it look bright. Hell yeah, but hopefully I can dial it down to sane levels.

This tv is for my kids/wife to play games and watch movies. I wanted to keep the budget around $1500 to $2200. I have a 106" projection setup that I have all my money in.

I ended up with the Samsung 46a650 set.

1. No burn in.
2. 120Hz processing.
3. 10 bit panels.
4. No "dithering" for the price point I selected
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post #20 of 25 Old 07-21-2008, 10:10 AM
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I always thought the reason that made one of the pros of plasma was that it had better blacks than LCD. That's why I'm replacing my 60" lcd with a plasma.
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post #21 of 25 Old 07-21-2008, 10:36 AM
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well that projector sums everything up but for a flat panel its not just the blacks that plasma wins over lcd, its the accurate color the processing the off axis viewing angle the uniformly its even motion resolution sucks and motion blurr is noticeable and alot more ... you can get a 8th generation if you can find one PDP-5080 under 2gs shouldnt be an issue.

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post #22 of 25 Old 07-21-2008, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I hate motion blur (not as bad as the dithering I witnessed on the Plasma Samsung unit), but supposedly a lot those issues you mentioned have been fixed on this new Samsung LCD. I am one of those guys that can't watch a tv at a friends house without messing with the controls. So "noise" introduced by the plasma I tried really got me. Hopefully, I can live with the downfalls of the set I purchased.

Finding a tv at BB now is impossible. 95% are not correctly calibrated and they all are running a HD feed over standard coax. The Pioneers even look like crap at the store.

Thanks to all for your input. This is why I visit AVS....
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post #23 of 25 Old 07-21-2008, 11:15 AM
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bro i hate to disapoint you but the only claims samsung has is that additional frame trick of 120hz which makes it un realistic. that goes as far as motion blurr, motion resolution has not been fixed even on plasma the kuro can only do 900 lines this is where crt still wins. uniformly? cloud? those are still issues even with the 71/81 series so its not fixed far from it ... hopefully you wont notice motion blurr on or off with amp or 120hz or any other issues but once you find it im sure you will go back to plasma. not all plasmas are the same by all means another sammy plasma could of had diffrent dithering heck no two identical panels will exisit side by side.

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post #24 of 25 Old 07-21-2008, 12:14 PM
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I like my plasma, but don't listen to these guys about the lcd. That samsung is easily one of the highest rated this year so far. It has awesome motion processing. Yes the off angle viewing is not so hot, but the colors are very accurate and blacks are good. Overall it is a good set and not one to be disappointed in. Also you can turn amp off if you don't like the 3d effect.
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post #25 of 25 Old 07-21-2008, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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All water under a bridge.

I did get my question answered, which was all I needed to know.
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