Panasonic 11G/12G/13G black levels have seemingly doubled overnight? - Page 118 - AVS Forum
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:08 AM
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Looks like Panasonic is singlehandedly killing the Plasma industry with this boneheaded black level move on their part. I will never buy another Panasonic plasma until this issue is confirmed to be fixed and eliminated, until then, I am going back to LCD, as much as I hate that idea. Not quite sure what I am going to get just yet....

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Old 02-08-2010, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by jefflackey View Post

Again, the only way we are going to get them to spend any time and effort on this is to somehow convince them it will hurt their sales of the 2010 generation of sets if they don't. That's the bottom line, and the only thing that will move them to action. Now the question is how to do that.

Cnet is now running a disclaimer of sorts, referencing this thread, atop their 2009 Panasonic plasma reviews. If that carries over to 2010 reviews then that helps. But I believe real business pressure only comes from wider scope mainstream outlets. Got any friends in the news business?

Myself, I have no friends. Except my dog. But he died.

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Old 02-08-2010, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by maxflinn View Post

that panasonic plasma tvs , start out life with , we,ll call it , black level A , and end up with , lets say black level D.....

that the newer sets will take a little longer to get to D....

so , what you initially see , is not what you get , thats my interpretation of it , and i do think its remarkable that they have said it ...

I would not say panasonic plasmas in general when the marjority probably will never have this issue. There will probably not be a fix since it does not happen to everyset and its probably very difficult to fix. If the solution was so concrete there would probably be a fix. There are too many curveballs with this issue.

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Old 02-08-2010, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by donnymac51 View Post

The best way to communicate with panasonic is to call them instead of emailing them. I called last week about the infinite black and IR issue and told them I wanted a tech to look at my set. He will be here tomorrow morning.

Donny - I also have a Panasonic Plasma set in Florida, can you let me know what the tech says tomorrow when he visits your TV. I have the same IB issue, so I want to have a tech come and look at it, but wanted to see what yours says first.

What have other technicians been saying when they see this issue "in the field"? Do panel replacements just reset the issue, or does it fix it?

Thanks!
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:55 AM
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I received the following e-mail this morning. It is not exactly the response I had hoped for (an ETA for a fix).

Quote:


On Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 11:30 AM, wrote:

Thank you for your inquiry.

Yes we are investigating the issue so that a fix can be created.

We hope this information is helpful to you. Thank you for contacting Panasonic.


On February 1, 2010 at 2:31 PM, xxxx wrote:

I have a TC-P50G15 and have become aware of the issue with black levels, which was brought to light in the AVS Forum. Although I've had my TV since August of 2009, it only has 170 hours of use and does not yet exhibit any issues with black levels. However, if this is actually a software issue as is suggested in the aforementioned AVS Forum thread, my TV's black level quality will degrade when it hits 500 hours of use. I would very much appreciate acknowledgment of this issue and assurance that a fix is being developed quickly. It will go a long way towards restoring my faith in Panasonic.

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Old 02-08-2010, 10:09 AM
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I understand wanting to put pressure on panasonic for a fix, but I really don't get why people that aren't seeing a problem are contacting them.

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Old 02-08-2010, 10:11 AM
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Something came to my mind. I'm not an expert and this may be ridiculous but I'm gonna say it anyway. As you know it seems that this problem has been seen mostly in America.Is there any chance that 120V/60Hz in America may play any role in this issue?
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by chad473 View Post

I understand wanting to put pressure on panasonic for a fix, but I really don't get why people that aren't seeing a problem are contacting them.

Maybe I've missed some details, as this thread is very long, but it seems that this is a confirmed issue with all sets once they reach 500 hours. My set is way below that, so I'd LOVE for Panasonic to develop a fix before my set's voltage bumps up to compensate for panel degradation. I think you call that being proactive.
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:44 AM
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tell us something we didn't already know. sad part is my black levels look even worse then that pic. http://hd.engadget.com/2010/01/11/pa...-black-levels/
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jodusc View Post

I received the following e-mail this morning. It is not exactly the response I had hoped for (an ETA for a fix).

Even if they knew the fix today it would take a while for testing to be performed. We want them to get this right and we also don't want regressions. Myself, I am not expecting anything in the near future.

The response you got is actually seems positive to me. "So that a fix can be created" if correct information seems to imply Panasonic believes it is fixable and they plan to provide resolution. Because media outlets such as CNet are involved I imagine they'll be communicating to them ASAP what the roadmap is, i.e. damage control.
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:51 AM
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Here is a link to HTM's news release, on the black level issue. Seems to be downplaying the issue somewhat. Perhaps they are concerned with legal or advertising repercussions, or just want to be cautious.

http://www.hometheatermag.com/news/020810panasonic/
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Botany-Bay View Post

Here is a link to HTM's news release, on the black level issue. Seems to be downplaying the issue somewhat. Perhaps they are concerned with legal or advertising repercussions, or just want to be cautious.

http://www.hometheatermag.com/news/020810panasonic/


Well they appear to have gone as far as they could, since they are just reporting what they read about. They have no first hand knowledge, and have not talked to Panasonic. If they had taken the time to read what Orta had posted, they would have learned what model he measured, so apparently they were too lazy to even do that.

I do appreciate this ending comment from them:

"This incident highlights a problem for reviewers as well as manufacturers. Try as we do to deliver definitive reviews, we cannot monitor every product to the end of its design life—except, of course, for products we own—so we can provide only a general prediction of what will happen. Perhaps we should pay more attention to aging related issues."

Of course the problem, in this case, is not the normal aging issue, It is a case of marrying a raven haired beauty, and having her turn gray as a badger before the first wedding anniversary.
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by greenland View Post


Of course the problem, in this case, is not the normal aging issue, It is a case of marrying a raven haired beauty, and having her turn gray as a badger before the first wedding anniversary.

Ya but you can drink alot more beer to make her look better but I don't think even beer will make the sets look blacker unless of course you pass out!

All kidding aside I think these clowns that give raving reviews to a product in their hands for a day or so should seriously re-evaluate how they review things. They are encouraging jerry rigging of results as the manufacturers know they will not be heavily scrutinized.

Case in Point: Intel CPU's in reviews overclock like hell but rarely achieve those results in real life as they are cherry picked for review purposes. The reviewers should get a random one off the shelf like the rest of us have to.
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by tlh1005 View Post

The response you got is actually seems positive to me.

I agree, the acknowledgment they sent is somewhat heartening. It also serves the purpose of creating a trail for me personally. If I have big problems down the line, I will reference my communication to them acknowledging the issue while my TV still had plenty of warranty coverage left. Either way, I'm looking into extending the warranty.
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by jodusc View Post

I agree, the acknowledgment they sent is somewhat heartening. It also serves the purpose of creating a trail for me personally. If I have big problems down the line, I will reference my communication to them acknowledging the issue while my TV still had plenty of warranty coverage left. Either way, I'm looking into extending the warranty.

I have an extended warranty on mine from where I bought it & am relieved I have that now given the potential of this issue in 2-3 years say. The one thing that I think could be a problem is if Panny goofed as D-Nice suggests the rate of or final level of black change could be dramatic. Time will tell on that one.
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by thebigdaddye View Post


Panasonic's 2010 plasma line has much better black levels


for how long? 500 hours?
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Camster View Post

Ya but you can drink alot more beer to make her look better but I don't think even beer will make the sets look blacker unless of course you pass out!

All kidding aside I think these clowns that give raving reviews to a product in their hands for a day or so should seriously re-evaluate how they review things. They are encouraging jerry rigging of results as the manufacturers know they will not be heavily scrutinized.

Case in Point: Intel CPU's in reviews overclock like hell but rarely achieve those results in real life as they are cherry picked for review purposes. The reviewers should get a random one off the shelf like the rest of us have to.

I would like to see professional calibrators arrange a flatpanel shootout, where the measure panels against each other after two thousand hours of usage.

D-Nice tells me that all the Plasma maker increase the voltage to the pixels, as the hours accumulate, but Panasonic is the only one that does it in a manner that "harms the idle luminance". To me what that translates to is: a one year old Samsung that Panasonic had deeper blacks than, when new, probably has deeper blacks than the Panasonic model, now.
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by greenland View Post

I would like to see professional calibrators arrange a flatpanel shootout, where the measure panels against each other after two thousand hours of usage.

D-Nice tells me that all the Plasma maker increase the voltage to the pixels, as the hours accumulate, but Panasonic is the only one that does it in a manner that "harms the idle luminance". To me what that translates to is: a one year old Samsung that Panasonic had deeper blacks than, when new, probably has deeper blacks than the Panasonic model, now.

I would also like to see such a shootout--and I do wonder if an aged Samsung would suddenly have better blacks than an aged Panasonic.
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jodusc View Post

Maybe I've missed some details, as this thread is very long, but it seems that this is a confirmed issue with all sets once they reach 500 hours. My set is way below that, so I'd LOVE for Panasonic to develop a fix before my set's voltage bumps up to compensate for panel degradation. I think you call that being proactive.

i would not say all sets but all models. I have 1000 hours with no issues.

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Old 02-08-2010, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Camster View Post

I have an extended warranty on mine from where I bought it & am relieved I have that now given the potential of this issue in 2-3 years say. The one thing that I think could be a problem is if Panny goofed as D-Nice suggests the rate of or final level of black change could be dramatic. Time will tell on that one.

I'm not 100% sure how extended warranty work, but I doubt it helps you with the doubled-black-level issue. If Panasonic doesn't consider it is defective (Function As Design), do you think the company that sold you the warranty would cover the repair or replacement cost?
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Niner View Post

I'm not 100% sure how extended warranty work, but I doubt it helps you with the doubled-black-level issue. If Panasonic doesn't consider it is defective (Function As Design), do you think the company that sold you the warranty would cover the repair or replacement cost?

That's a good point but if the condition got really bad as we don't know how brutal the blacks become in time yet it could be argued at that point the set is defective especially if it looks bad. Not to mention I would not be dealing with Panny anymore so it's likely I'll know more about it at that time than the warranty service people might, who knows?

I've had a set replaced under extended warranties before & the response was it can't be fixed as there are no longer any parts so they replace the set. These companies don't keep a spare parts inventory for any length of time on this new stuff I'm told.

Besides I think the higher voltages will result in premature failures of the sets if they are set too high from the start. I'll see in the 5 years I'm covered for.

In the end we pay our money & take our chances...
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by greenland View Post

D-Nice tells me that all the Plasma maker increase the voltage to the pixels, as the hours accumulate, but Panasonic is the only one that does it in a manner that "harms the idle luminance". To me what that translates to is: a one year old Samsung that Panasonic had deeper blacks than, when new, probably has deeper blacks than the Panasonic model, now.

D-Nice tells me that, "No one needs to return their displays. They are still good displays... they just have some issues."
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:56 PM
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D-Nice tells me that, "No one needs to return their displays. They are still good displays... they just have some issues."

exactly, as every TV has there issues. This black level thing is blown way out of proportion. Even though I know Dnice will not answer, i bet he would agree with that statement.

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Old 02-08-2010, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Rpresner View Post

exactly, as every TV has there issues. This black level thing is blown way out of proportion. Even though I know Dnice will not answer, i bet he would agree with that statement.

D-Nice said that he is going to pick up an S1 and an S2. He plans on running up the hours on the S1 to measure the black level changes, if any, as the hours roll up on the panel. That will take a few months, before he will be able to provide his honest evaluation on his measurements.
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jodusc View Post

Maybe I've missed some details, as this thread is very long, but it seems that this is a confirmed issue with all sets once they reach 500 hours. My set is way below that, so I'd LOVE for Panasonic to develop a fix before my set's voltage bumps up to compensate for panel degradation. I think you call that being proactive.


First time to this formum, and what an eye openner. I got my first plasma, a TC-P42G10, over the weekend. New out of the box, I went online to Panasonic to register, saw there was a firmware upgrade to 1.28, tried to figure out how to read the software version code on my set and ended up here.

Three hours of reading later, and I'm reading the same conclusion as jodusc, that perhaps if the software hasn't started the voltage ramp-up yet, then perhaps there should be a way to fix this with a software patch. My set was manufactued in Sept. 2009, and came with software version 1.24.


I'm guessing the complexity with patching the existing sets is that there are probably individual "life remaining" memory values for each pixel, which are being plugged into the voltage formula so that "older" pixels end up with stepped up voltages as needed.

The voltage step-up function is probably good for 99% of all mulit-color pixel aging situations, so a global fix to the function would screw up the way the main picture appears. The only way to patch a fix that would work on black only would be to adjust the weighted increments to the counter variables for pixels that are in "black" mode. However, just looking at the counter variables would not allow one to tell which pixels had been aged in "black mode" and which had aged in "normal use" mode.

Someone whose use counters are all very low could apply a patch to the weighting function and not have negative effects. Even though in both cases, one could not identify which counters to set back and which not to, setting back counters that are all relatively nil would not cause unintended consequences...

If I am thinking about this possibly implementation correctly, it would also explain why this type of aging is noticable mainly to people viewing letterbox stuff. In the normal state of the world with pixels doing other stuff than just black, the application of the voltage function would not be as noticable, even if there was a problem with the way it was working for "active black" time use.

I am more of a math / programming guy... I have no background in image stuff, but here's an example of how it might work:

Un = active use time for pixel n
Vn = F(Un) = activation voltages for pixel n

For each hour that pixel n is active, the software increments up Un in a weighted fashion. So if the pixel is showing 100% contrast, white, then, for example, Un increments by 100 units per hour. For time which the pixel is at 50% contrast, showing some mix of R/G/B, a weighted value would be computed and added to Un.

What has probably happened is that the weighting function for black (which, something I remember suggested that "true black" is implemented by panasonic by turning the pixel completely off), is adding too much to the Un value. This may be because of an assumption that most users will be viewing with picture cranked up to 100 for a glowing screen, or it could be something as dumb as plugging in a Pioneer algorithm for screen phosphors that age differently due to different manufacturing quality tollerances, etc.

But once you have Un computed, its impossibly to tell whether the value should be reduced or not, because you don't know whether it is the result of overstated "black", or normal color combinations.

It migh be possible to patch by pixel address in a way that would work to fix the black bars on top and bottom of the screen only, but it would again be difficult to apply across the board because the person who has watched 100% letterbox films and the person who was only watching 50% letterbox films would need those values reduced by different amounts in order to stay within the pixel/plasma life paramaters that the voltage increase function is here to account for in the first place.

So, again, even though this is mostly guess work, it would seem that any solution rolled out for existing sets will only work on sets that have very very low hours on them, and/or would need to be rolled out on sets with a higher number of hours on them accounting for situation specific variables in each case, meaning prohibitive cost.

Which leads me to the real point: can this problem be reduced by the so-called "break in" process? It would seem that it should at least reduce the amount of "black" contribution to the use variables as the voltage adjustments are made. I wonder how many people who are experiencing this problem actually went through the 100 hour break-in DVD prodedure, etc...

Cheers!
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:43 PM
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I believe that I read comments from a number of people who said that they had gone through the accelerated break-in procedures, and had still ended up with the rapid loss of black level.
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:12 PM
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Keren C: the issue is still under investigation at this time
Marc: Is that the latest update? How long will this investigation be ongoing?
Keren C: we should have a resolution in the end of this month
Marc: Is that definite?
Keren C: as far as I know
Marc: Has upper level tech told you this?
Marc: Or is this a guess? THats fine too
Keren C: no ihave been told by upper level management
Marc: Is firmware in the works?
Keren C: we have not been told about a firmware yet
Marc: So this issue will definitely 100% have a resolution by March 1?
Keren C: we have been advised the investigation will be completed by the end of the month
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by greenland View Post

I believe that I read comments from a number of people who said that they had gone through the accelerated break-in procedures, and had still ended up with the rapid loss of black level.

I did the full 100 hour break-in DVD process. My set still jumped from 0.008 ftL new to 0.015 ftL post-500 hours.
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:20 PM
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Just finished reading this incredibly long thread. I'd like to congratulate Rpresner for posting the same thing exactly 98 times (so far) in the same thread. 2.75% of the entire thread devoted to telling people the issue is overblown.
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by greenland View Post

D-Nice said that he is going to pick up an S1 and an S2. He plans on running up the hours on the S1 to measure the black level changes, if any, as the hours roll up on the panel. That will take a few months, before he will be able to provide his honest evaluation on his measurements.

I cant wait to hear back on his readings. I still think this issue is extremely isolated to only a small percentage of buyers that deserve a remedy, but I do not think there will be any fixes. Just replacements. There are just to many variables in this problem to pinpoint any fix by firmware. Every sets pixels are aged differently. My biggest gripe is when people state that every 11-12g TV has this issue. I believe this case is isolated to panasonics avg defective panels rate, which is about 3% maybe(just a guess on my part) To date, I believe there were 6 people on this forum with black level proof. I hope they find a solution in the future to there defective sets. Its funny how not one professional site has seen this issue on these sets. I will bet none of those reviewers has a v10-g10 with this issue or it probably would have came up like the THX issue. Still I will stand by all the reviews in saying this is the best TV(my v10) other than the Kuro.. but given its pricepoint before Pio went out of business, was one of the best buys you could have made. Still is.

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