Panasonic 11G/12G/13G black levels have seemingly doubled overnight? - Page 101 - AVS Forum
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post #3001 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bdemers View Post

Where the issue gets tricky is that that threshold is a moving target. As the plasma cells age, the voltage required for initialization increases. If the panel anticipates and matches this need properly, the black levels should not experience much rise. The point is to just tip the cells over their initialization threshold, no further.

With the Panasonic panels, it appears that the initialization voltage driver over-compensates for the rise and increases the MLL of the panel.

Basically, using bogus numbers:

Thank you for that nice explanation of the underlying tech however I remain with my belief that the problem is not that of "bogus numbers". The problem appears to be that the moving target threshold is different from set to set. Why are there as many people on this thread who have not experienced a rise ?

Firmware cannot be expected to be predict the threshold for hardware that is not within spec or is behaving unpredictably for some unknown reason (the real problem if you ask me) unless the set is equipped with sensors that may allow the firmware to adapt to the situation. We already know from Panasonic's patent that fixed voltage charges are applied at fixed times so clearly the firmware is not adaptive.

If the issue were as simple as retyping a few "bogus numbers" Panasonic would not risk issuing such a cover-up statement.
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post #3002 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 05:30 AM
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If this is to be Panasonic's final answer to the issue then I feel they have made a huge mistake which could cost them a considerable amount in lost sales due to lack of confidence in what has been until now a premium brand.

They have known about this issue for around 6 months now & despite initially publicly denying it I feel sure they have been looking into it behind the scenes.
I suspect but obviously can't prove that it is not going to be possible to fix this issue with a Firmware update & that either a replacement set or at very least significantly redesigned main-boards will be required. This of course could potentially become very expensive, the answer therefore; call it a feature!

As I have said in previous posts the logic behind increasing the plasma drive voltage is sound after several thousand hours (not 500 hours!) however this should not be at the expense of black levels & to say that they will settle after a few years is frankly BS, "Settle" at what level?

It is clear that a design fault has occurred as the 2010 models are reputedly going to be better in this respect

Given that only a relatively few sets are currently affected in the UK gives credence to a fault rather than a "Feature" otherwise every owner will become affected by this "Feature" at some stage.

We buy these sets in good faith based upon reviews & company marketing saying they produce exception PQ along with very black blacks which is why we pay a premium (in my case £1500 or $2360 for a 50V10) & we end up with a set which produces charcoal grey after 6 months of use, this can't be right & should not be deemed acceptable by anyone, we could buy a mid range LCD & get similar results & have a load of cash spare.

I do hope Panasonic give this more consideration & realise the potential damage this could do to their brand/Sales. We have all seen what is happening to Toyota by being in denial, something which may take decades to get customer confidence back in their brand. Of course no ones life is at risk with the Panasonic problem, however their reputation is! come on Panasonic, do the right thing!
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post #3003 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 05:39 AM
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All of you who have not experienced a rise in your black levels should consider yourselves lucky. My MLL is currently at .027 ftl after being at .009 when new. My set is currently at 2100 hours. When I turn my lights off at night and put up a black screen I can read a book with the glow off my screen. The infinite black which is only available in vivid mode does not exist on my set anymore. If you put your set to a blank input and cycle thru the various picture modes when you hit vivid you should see a dramatically blacker background. This is the infinite black. On my set all modes are exactly the same. At 1300 hours I could still read .0000 ftl in vivid mode. Now it reads the same as all other modes.
I have put my call into Panasonic and have a case#. I have also been given the company line that they are investigating.
I would hope for the rest of you that my set is an isolated incident. If not then Panasonic has a big problem on its hands. Tripling of black levels after only 8 months is totally unacceptable.

P.S.: If you want to accuse me of ranting then I am guilty as charged.

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post #3004 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 05:41 AM
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Has this link been posted yet? If so, sorry for the double post...

http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/04/p...a-hdtvs-but-q/
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post #3005 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulr2006 View Post

They have known about this issue for around 6 months now & despite initially publicly denying it I feel sure they have been looking into it behind the scenes.
I suspect but obviously can't prove that it is not going to be possible to fix this issue with a Firmware update & that either a replacement set or at very least significantly redesigned main-boards will be required. This of course could potentially become very expensive, the answer therefore; call it a feature!

I share this opinion but I also believe the 2010 models will also have this feature(!) and their statement underlies this. They are probably deep in production at this point therefore its probably too late to change the design. That is probably why we got that cover statement. Who cares if the black level increase is going to be gradual if we're ending up at the same location at the same point in time ? Its just a trick to make the increase less noticable.
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post #3006 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuma15 View Post

well it happened to me today. I've been following this thread and dreading it.

I have a 54v10 which looked great in the showroom, and have loved for the few months I had it. I'm not by an means a videophile, or completely understand a lot of the technical terms thrown around here (although I think I'm doing a decent job at catching up).

But I will state that as others have said, it's quite noticable. My picture is nothing like the reviews I read, or the tv I saw in the showroom, or the tv I've owned for the past few months.

I'd like to report how many hours are on it, but I'm afraid to enter the service menu for fear of voiding the warrenty (is this a valid fear?). The thing is, I'm not sure I've made it to 1000 hours yet, although I guess it's possible after burn in and leaving it on all night once in a while.

In any event, I find the picture quality completely unacceptable at this point. This is NOT the tv i originally bought. I'm heartbroken after spending so much time reasearching and so much money just to end up with this

Thanks to everyone here who brought this issue up, and the cnet guy (god bless you). I hope to god Panasonic can fix this. If not I'm demanding a refund. If that doesn't work out, I guess it's an expensive lesson, and I'll just have to eat the cost of this tv and buy something else, because I am not about to put up with this for the next 6 or 7 years.


I have owned a 54V10 for a few months as well. My set has so far not been affected. However I am only around 200-300 hours. I think it would be VERY helpful if you could check the hours in the service menu - especially if you say the rise in black levels just happend. What we don't have in this thread are any concrete numbers on WHEN this happens.

Please check (and post) your hours - it will only take you a couple minutes to do so.

I turn the sharpness on my TV all the way up, because that's how I like my picture... real sharp.
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post #3007 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 05:54 AM
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Like I said I'm afraid it would affect my warrenty. Is there a way for them to know if I accessed the service menu? And does that even affect the warrenty? My fear is that that's really the only recourse I'd have.
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post #3008 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 05:56 AM
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I started a thread on the Consumer Reports web site. One of the staff members picked it up and they are looking into it. I'm guessing that Consumer Reports has much larger and broader audience than either AVSForums or CNet, so they could bring some real pressure on Panasonic.
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post #3009 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 05:58 AM
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FWIW, I just checked the "black level rising" polls which cover the g10 and v10. Whether the problems are real or perceived the numbers are as follows:

99 members took poll
41 people reported rising black levels
40% problem rate

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post #3010 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 06:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRTfrom1990 View Post

I started a thread on the Consumer Reports web site. One of the staff members picked it up and they are looking into it. I'm guessing that Consumer Reports has much larger and broader audience than either AVSForums or CNet, so they could bring some real pressure on Panasonic.

thank you sir. i and i think other panasonic plasma owners with this problem will agree is all we would like is a fix. not some statement stating that it is the design of the tv and it still has a great picture. yes it still does have a pretty good picture as long is there is no dark scenes in it specially night scenes or black bars at the top and bottom. they also left out that IR would get worse as well at least on mine has since the black level rise. i understand every tv's picture will degrade over time, but that time should not show up within the first year of use. come on panasonic do the right thing and correct the problem.
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post #3011 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 06:29 AM
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Any KRP-600M's left?
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post #3012 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donnymac51 View Post

FWIW, I just checked the "black level rising" polls which cover the g10 and v10. Whether the problems are real or perceived the numbers are as follows:

99 members took poll
41 people reported rising black levels
40% problem rate

Panasonic confirmed on cnet that 100% of TVs go through "black level risings"..
So the poll is moot ;-)
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post #3013 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defdog99 View Post

Panasonic confirmed on cnet that 100% of TVs go through "black level risings"..
So the poll is moot ;-)

This is incorrect statement.
All TVs get the voltage adjusted, but not all of them experience black level risings. There are several people in the forum, who reported the same black level (measured) after 500-600, 1000 and even more hours.

Get your facts together instead of spreading rumors.

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Step-by-step guide for restoring the initial MLL on a Panasonic G10 plasma
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post #3014 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by dead pixel View Post

Thank you for that nice explanation of the underlying tech however I remain with my belief that the problem is not that of "bogus numbers".

Just to clarify: by "bogus numbers" I mean that I don't personally know what the voltages are. They could be 1 volt, they could be 100 volts. I just made up numbers for illustration. That's what I meant by "bogus."

Now, to answer your other point: I agree to the possibility. It's possible that the variation from panel-to-panel causes this problem, and that to play it safe, Panasonic over-drove the initialization voltage to make sure that no panels had misfiring issues.

However, I've been lead to believe that the plasma manufacturing process is very stable, and that the variability between panels is minimal. We really need someone with more expertise to clarify if the variation between panels is significant enough to cause some to exhibit this issue while others don't.
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post #3015 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 07:11 AM
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I notice that there is a lot of freaking out going on. Panasonic really gave a standard marketing statement and I do not believe that the statement they made actually addresses the problem at all. The statement does not address sudden and early increase it simply states that the black levels will rise over time. There is clearly a problem that some sets are experiencing what is best described as a glitch in this process creating an overcompensation. It is not effecting all sets and it is not even doing it at the same time. That probably means that there is some unknown variable causing this to occur. The presence of an unknown variable means that Panasonic could be having a hard time finding the problem so that they could figure out how to fix it.

Considering if you talk to a Panasonic rep, they say that panasonic is looking into it. The response that want out to a media outlet though reads like a standard marketing statement to attempt to calm fears. Well, it didn't work, but that does not mean that Panasonic is saying you people who have the problem are screwed and enjoy your grey.

I am really close to buying a g10 and while this is bothering me, I do feel that they will be fixing the problem as soon as they identify it and figure a way to fix it. This is Panasonic, not some off brand spark-o-matic. They have a reputation and I am certain they want to keep it. I do believe that as soon as they determine the cause and figure a fix they will be fixing the affected sets.
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post #3016 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 07:22 AM
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Read this thread late last year. Kinda forgot about it. I have a Panasonic 50PZ800U. Set was made in January of 2009. Purchased in December of 08. My first one showed up scratched so Amazon setup a replacement but would not ship out until January of the next year because of them being out of stock.

Anyways, I just looked at my hours of usage. It stated 1338 and the number after it was 438. I assume the first one is hours? What is the second number?

I did notice a while back that I caught myself saying "I could have sworn my blacks were a little deeper". However, I don't know. Everything seems like it was when I received it. Only way to tell is to test it and honestly, I really don't see the need. When my screen is black, it doesn't light up the room, that's for sure.
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post #3017 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bdemers View Post

It's possible that the variation from panel-to-panel causes this problem, and that to play it safe, Panasonic over-drove the initialization voltage to make sure that no panels had misfiring issues.

This is most certainly the cause of this debacle. They wanted to keep their manufacuring reject rate low to maximize profits. Many companies do this and it always leads to a negative impact on their reputation. That's why its hard to believe that they can be this stupid in the way they've handled it. The story that engineers are now testing panels for this issue is childishly naive. During development extensive testing is done so they obviously detected this and decided to lower the quality threshhold in order to lower the manufacuring reject rate. And now their reputation for quality is forever tarnished, along with that of plasma sets in general.
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post #3018 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by greenland View Post

We need somebody, with deep pockets, to purchase one each of all the 2010 models, and run them 24/7, so that we can see what happens after 2,000 hours, so that we can find out what happens in time to determine if we should feel safe purchasing one, or not. and how I look with my HD shutter glasses on.

Perhaps people should contact Cnet, and urge them to run the tests, or we should push HDguru to run them, since he seems to get special access from Panasonic.

Ask and you shall receive. As soon as I get "pre-order" capabilities for the TC-P50S2, I will purchase the TC-P50S1 (need it for the S2 review anyway) and will thoroughly monitor the idle black rise from 0 hours to 2000 hours.

BTW, asking/expecting HD Guru to do anything that tarnishing Panasonic reputation is futile.
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post #3019 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuma15 View Post

Like I said I'm afraid it would affect my warrenty. Is there a way for them to know if I accessed the service menu? And does that even affect the warrenty? My fear is that that's really the only recourse I'd have.

My understanding is that some firmware upgrades in the past REQUIRED access to the service menu. So no, I don't believe checking the hours will affect your warranty. I'm not even sure there is a way for Panasonic to know if you accessed the SM.

Again, if this just happened to your set - it would be VERY beneficial for everyone to see the hours so we know exactly when it happend.

I turn the sharpness on my TV all the way up, because that's how I like my picture... real sharp.
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post #3020 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D-Nice View Post

BTW, asking/expecting HD Guru to do anything that tarnishing Panasonic reputation is futile.

between cnet, engadget, gizmodo, and consumer reports....i'd say it's a safe bet we no longer need him anymore as they are far more mainstream
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post #3021 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 07:39 AM
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One major question comes to my mind... and I haven't seen it asked:

Some things are hard-coded into the TV settings. Could a firmware fix even access or modify these programmed voltage manipulations?

If so, then the voltages could be lowered.

If not, then short of replacing component boards, there is no fix.

Or maybe just go ahead, quit complaining, mortgage the house, and buy a new TV...



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post #3022 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 08:07 AM
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A few more of the big tech sites and blogs have posted the story now, and by using language such as "Panasonic confesses" and "Panasonic cops to"... they are making the situation look even worse. This is not a good time to piss off consumers. The economy is bad, people are angry... Panasonic better do something soon or this could snowball out-of-control and get really ugly.

One day at a time...
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post #3023 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 08:07 AM
 
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well i think panasonic is right my panasonic s14 after various hours of use the panel was increasing the black leves but with a lillte notice but when the tv hit 2,000 or more the tv was stable with deep blacks my g10 the only deference is the black level hit so aggressive that i notice so quick what that make me thinks is going to do the same thing after several hours it going to the normal level or close.
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post #3024 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alettiere View Post

I think one thing that you have to take into account between people who have this problem in comparison to those who do not, is that viewing habits need to be taken into account. I've owned my set since November and have about 600 hours on mine. The only reason for this is because I doubled up on the break-in procedures.

Let's say the "set off" is 1,000 hours. This would take at least two years for me to achieve with my normal viewing habits, because all I ever do is watch movies or occasionally play a few rounds of Wii here or there. My V10 is on maybe three hours per day average.

On the other hand, there are people who run their sets for 10 hours per day.

Saying that you've only had your set for a month really means nothing - it's more about how aggressively you rack up hours.

I am tempted to start running mine more often now to surpass 1,000 hours. I'm very curious to see what, if anything, will happen. And if it does, you can bet I'll be giving Best Buy hell over it, too.

Anyone will tell you that plasma's picture quality will change over time. This is why people break-in their sets and why a lot of professional calibrators offer "touch ups," but this is a completely different issue we're dealing with here; especially considering the black-levels are, or at least were, considered one of the biggest selling points of the V10 and plasma technology in general.

Plasma is still trying to fend off the stereotypes about burn-in that I still hear rumblings about from the uninformed. Limited life-span is another topic which frequently comes up and a revelation such as this is only going to reinforce the fears that potential buyers already have.

+1

Another voice of reason here. I'm glad you brought up viewing habits. Tonight, I'm getting my V10 calibrated. I asked asked the guy if I needed to break-in the set first. His answer was very direct. No calibrator worth their salt would ever tell someone to break-in their set. The only thing break-in proves is whether or not you got a lemon.

In the case of black levels rising, could it be that some people here are getting to these setpoints sooner than later because of the dogma of using break-in slides 24/7 for the first week versus actually just watching TV that first week? One just has to wonder...

Eric

My Stuff: Panasonic TC-P65ZT60 w/  Ideal-Lume Bias Lighting, Yamaha RX-V3800, Oppo BDP-103D

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post #3025 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D-Nice View Post

Ask and you shall receive. As soon as I get "pre-order" capabilities for the TC-P50S2, I will purchase the TC-P50S1 (need it for the S2 review anyway) and will thoroughly monitor the idle black rise from 0 hours to 2000 hours.

BTW, asking/expecting HD Guru to do anything that tarnishing Panasonic reputation is futile.

Good man D-Nice. My comment about HDguru was intended as snark; that is why I mentioned that he had special access to Panasonic. Hell, they were even running his praise comments on the Panasonic website.

Question for you; do you have any idea about how may hours have to be logged on the Panasonic units, before the automatic level changes are ended? I am wondering if those people who have already seen their black levels cut in half, might expect to see them cut much more.
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post #3026 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 08:26 AM
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I was going to buy a G10 or V10, or potentially wait for the 2010 models. Because of issue, I will not buy any Panasonic plasma tv. Samsung plasmas get similar reviews, and other than the dreaded buzzing (which shows up early so problem TV's can can be RETURNED), I see no reason to either buy the 2009 or wait for the 2010 Panasonic. There are likely many other people like me out there. What store will recommend a Panasonic to a customer when an equally well-regarded Samsung option is less likely to prove problematic in the long run. BB can't afford to have customers come back 6 months after they dropped $2k on a TV, and complain that their TV stinks and Panasonic won't admit this is a problem. They'll just start pushing Samsung.

This is going to be a big problem for them.
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post #3027 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donnymac51 View Post

All of you who have not experienced a rise in your black levels should consider yourselves lucky. My MLL is currently at .027 ftl after being at .009 when new. My set is currently at 2100 hours. When I turn my lights off at night and put up a black screen I can read a book with the glow off my screen. The infinite black which is only available in vivid mode does not exist on my set anymore. If you put your set to a blank input and cycle thru the various picture modes when you hit vivid you should see a dramatically blacker background. This is the infinite black. On my set all modes are exactly the same. At 1300 hours I could still read .0000 ftl in vivid mode. Now it reads the same as all other modes.
I have put my call into Panasonic and have a case#. I have also been given the company line that they are investigating.
I would hope for the rest of you that my set is an isolated incident. If not then Panasonic has a big problem on its hands. Tripling of black levels after only 8 months is totally unacceptable.

P.S.: If you want to accuse me of ranting then I am guilty as charged.

Donny, This is unacceptable, call them and demand management, and have a tech come look at your tv, if they refuse ask for the next person above them. If they refuse to comply, as for a refund. I had Panny replace my first G10 because it buzzed , when my black levels rose, I didnt ask for a case #, I asked for a tech to fix the problem. When they got to my house, my black levels were a charcol greyish black, but image retention was bad, they said i have a bad panel, and relaced the panel. For the time being my set looks new again, if the blacks rise again, I will demand a refund. Remember, they work for you. You paid for a product/service.

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post #3028 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by jonandabby View Post

I was going to buy a G10 or V10, or potentially wait for the 2010 models. Because of issue, I will not buy any Panasonic plasma tv. Samsung plasmas get similar reviews, and other than the dreaded buzzing (which shows up early so problem TV's can can be RETURNED), I see no reason to either buy the 2009 or wait for the 2010 Panasonic. There are likely many other people like me out there. What store will recommend a Panasonic to a customer when an equally well-regarded Samsung option is less likely to prove problematic in the long run. BB can't afford to have customers come back 6 months after they dropped $2k on a TV, and complain that their TV stinks and Panasonic won't admit this is a problem. They'll just start pushing Samsung.

This is going to be a big problem for them.


Some Samsung owners posted that their sets did not start to buzz until they had them for a few months. I recall one guy writing about how his set was very quite, only to post months later, that the set has suddenly developed a very loud buzz.
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post #3029 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by donnymac51 View Post

All of you who have not experienced a rise in your black levels should consider yourselves lucky. My MLL is currently at .027 ftl after being at .009 when new. My set is currently at 2100 hours. When I turn my lights off at night and put up a black screen I can read a book with the glow off my screen. The infinite black which is only available in vivid mode does not exist on my set anymore. If you put your set to a blank input and cycle thru the various picture modes when you hit vivid you should see a dramatically blacker background. This is the infinite black. On my set all modes are exactly the same. At 1300 hours I could still read .0000 ftl in vivid mode. Now it reads the same as all other modes.
I have put my call into Panasonic and have a case#. I have also been given the company line that they are investigating.
I would hope for the rest of you that my set is an isolated incident. If not then Panasonic has a big problem on its hands. Tripling of black levels after only 8 months is totally unacceptable.

P.S.: If you want to accuse me of ranting then I am guilty as charged.

donnymacs, yours is one of the FEW posts here that have ACTUAL METER measurements, so far from ranting, you are doing a valuable service by providing actual data, thanks.
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post #3030 of 11198 Old 02-05-2010, 08:50 AM
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I posted a few weeks ago about returning the G10. I'm in no way saying I was affected by this issue but I think it had problems straight out of the box.

My new set is a LCD LN-52B750. After going through the same movies, and playing through different settings. The blacks, for a LCD seem to be much better than the G10 I had. What really bugged me before was how grey the blacks looked, especially during movie watching with Bars.

I believe that set was faulty. The other G10 I exchanged it for (major buzzing, and dead HDMI input) definitely did not look as grey.

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