(First time poster here, please be nice.
Like apparently 14% of people, I can notice flickering that most other people cannot.
Specifically, after just getting a Panasonic 50" G15, I noticed that bright areas were flickering badly. After some googling, I found ample evidence of other people noticing the flicker, some saying across all brands, some saying Panasonics are the worst, etc. Specifically I noticed that not only I see bright areas flicker, but I see them as "yellowish" when I move my eyes quickly, with a "side of blue aura" I couldn't quite explain. (My LCD screen leaves no trail when I move my eyes, weird.) I also noticed that the flicker seemed to interfere heavily with some 24fps motion, and almost felt "countable", so I couldn't believe it was 600Hz, and even 60Hz seemed too high. I guessed 20-30Hz. (Turns out I was spot-on! See below.)
Tonight I finally had a "lightbulb" moment (pardon the cheap pun) which I think might be of interest to others wondering about this. I tried to take high-speed photos of the screen displaying a bright scene and of course got inconsistent results, but not enough to figure out what's going on. I got yellow and blue takes though, which made me think I was onto something. Then I remembered that the high-def Handycam I have laying around has a 120fps burst mode, which I honestly never thought I'd find useful... until tonight!
I get consistently 2 frames of one kind, 2 frames of another, which means that A) the difference between the two screenshots below is not
due to interference between the plasma screen and my camera (it would change at every frame, or the pattern would change) and B) that my G15 displays 1/60th of a second a very very blue image, 1/60th a very yellowish image, back and forth, meaning a 30Hz overall cycle. I'm sure they have a good technical reason for this, and they assumed that consumers wouldn't see the 30Hz flicker. Even in total darkness, let me tell you I see it pretty darn well, as 30Hz is way too slow to be acceptable, enough to shop for an LCD thanks to my store's generous return policy. (Very sad, I love
how lifelike the picture is! Have you seen the daytime Lost island shots on such a plasma? WOW!) It also explains why I see it interfering with 24fps motion, 30Hz being relatively close.
Attached are same area crops of the two frames. What we consciously see is the average of the two.
Bottom line is: it's tough as a layman to understand why this is apparently necessary. Power saving, maybe? Surely though, the 600Hz displaying engine doesn't seem all that exciting when you realize it's being used to display significantly different images each 1/60th of a second... I'm surprised so few people see it, given how slow it is.
I also don't think the set is faulty, but just to be sure I'll go to the store tomorrow with my 120fps camera to see if all their plasmas do it, or just Panasonics, or none at all (which would then point to mine being defective - I'd be surprised).
(Note: yes I disabled all the digital processing I could find in the Picture menu, and the 24p option isn't clickable so I don't think it's related to that. It happens with all input sources I could try: HDMI from PS3, HDMI from computer, analog component from PS2, it's even clearly visible in the TV's menus on all inputs. What I filmed is displayed by the G15 itself, does not come from my sources. The two frames you see above were filmed in total darkness, so there's no intereference from other light sources either.)Update:
Having been to the store knowing what to look for, I could easily differenciate plasma screens from LCDs, even from 40 feet away. (The salesman was impressed.
) It turns out that all plasma panels do this
, so it has nothing to do with Panasonic per se. I'm attaching two frames taken in-store where we clearly see a plasma screen (non-Panasonic) on the left and an LCD panel (Sony) on the right.
So it appears that all plasma displays absolutely must spend half their time displaying mostly blue, and half mostly yellow.
(And the headaches are now gone with my replacement CF-backlit LCD panel. I also must admit that modern LCDs have somewhat competitive black levels. Cloudy but decent. Forget about viewing angles though, ugh... 45 degrees from dead center at the very