LG Plasma: Dull Whites - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-06-2010, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Greetings!

I recently got my first plasma television and was initially impressed. It is the LG 50PQ30. The picture was nice but I've noticed that it doesn't seem to pop out from the screen. Everything seems dark and dull. I asked about this in the owner's thread for this model but I didn't find a definitive answer. I figured someone else, owner or not, may have some tips to tweak the set for improved performance.

My main concern is the quality of the whites. They have a serious gray dullness to them that is upsetting. I've compared this set to my brother's Insignia LCD and the whites are much better on his TV. They're brighter and have a distinct purity. I find that I have to crank the contrast a great deal (between 90 and 100 in many cases) in order to get comparable results. Even at those settings, his TV still looks better. For reference, his contrast is only set to 62. This bugs me because I have read that it's best to avoid using contrast and brightness settings above 50 for the first several hundred hours.

We noticed a strange phenomenon when we tried playing Forza 3. The menus are white in that game so we used it to compare the TVs. It was strange because when the menu was full screen (almost all of the display was showing white), everything took on a gray hue. When the menu reduced in size to only about 1/4 of the display, it was significantly brighter and more vivid in the white section. It may be hard to understand what I'm saying. Basically, Forza 3 has a main menu that is mostly white. When you select the career option, it takes you to a screen showing your car in an outdoor setting and a small portion of the screen is the white menu.

I have the Energy Star thing set to off but it seems like the TV is adjusting the brightness or something to make the menu less bright/painful to look at. That's the only explanation that we could come up with, though we did not see any options in the settings that looked like they'd cause that.

Other aspects of the picture are dark but generally look pretty good. I've been watching some of my HD-DVDs and most of them are pretty impressive. It is hard to enjoy the movies, though, when I've always got those concerns about the whites in the back of my head. The TV is nice and the picture does look pleasing. It just really bugs me and I don't feel like I could keep this TV and enjoy it for years to come.

Does anyone have any tips, as far as different settings go? I have been using some settings that I found in the owner's thread. They were posted by a member (thank you to this person!) that used the ISF Expert controls to calibrate the TV in further detail. The colors look great but the whites don't seem to have been enhanced.

As of right now, I am very tempted to take the TV back. I am not entirely sure what the rules are on mentioning retailers so I will leave that out. The important thing is that they will likely be pinning me with a sizable restocking fee (15%). Prices are probably supposed to be discussed so I won't reveal how much that will end up being. The important thing is that it is more money than I want to toss out the window. It makes me mad that it's going to cost me that much just to try out a TV and find out that it is not working out for me. I understand that they are going to have to mark it down because I opened it but it's a tough pill to swallow. I asked about waiving the restocking fee if I opt for store credit but that doesn't seem like it will work out.

I apologize for going on and on. I appreciate any suggestions that you may have. I've gone through all of the menu options a couple of times in hopes of finding some setting that I've overlooked but I'm not too hopeful for that. I also figured it couldn't hurt to get some feedback from the helpful and knowledgeable people on this forum before I bend over for this retailer and take the restocking fee (unless you have any suggestions for talking my way out of that ).

Thanks for your time!

Best,

LKS
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-06-2010, 06:34 PM
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Next to an LCD, any plasma is going to appear "dull" or gray. And the LG is one of the brighter plasmas.

Plasmas have limiters that crank the overall brightness down when a white image dominates the entire scene, so that's not unusual.

Looks like you're an LCD guy. Nothing wrong with that -- you just need to visit a different forum.
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-06-2010, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response, PrimeTime. I suppose I better go back and take another look at the LCD options.

The stores are probably not the best place to be making final judgments but I feel like the Insignia plasma (which is apparently a dumbed-down Samsung) was significantly brighter than what my LG is capable of. I am, of course, going by only what I can remember. The demo going on at Best Buy had a lot of whites and they looked great. It wouldn't surprise me if they had its settings in extreme positions, though.

I'll keep searching and looking at alternative sets. My initial plan was to try my luck on the Samsung PN50B450 at Sears or the Insignia 50" plasma. I'd love the 3D options on the Samsung but I'm not sure if it's worth the extra cost. The Insignia comes with a nice warranty, which is attractive.

I appreciate the help. I'll wander over to the LCD subforum and see what TVs people are recommending.
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-06-2010, 07:06 PM
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Use a little bleach..like Clorox...I dunno
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post #5 of 14 Old 02-06-2010, 07:15 PM
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Check your calibration and color temp settings. They will have a large impact on the whites. Moving toward a cooler setting on the color temp will minimize dull whites.

Home Theater is GREAT
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post #6 of 14 Old 02-06-2010, 07:35 PM
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My LG 42PG20 is last years version to your 768p plasma series. I noticed it was not super bright when I first got it. After running the break in disc for a few days I noticed it brightened up quite a bit. Plasmas need time to break in and have to be babied some. The reward is generaly a more satisfying viewing experience over LCD (which is not saying LCD does not deliver a good picture...it does).

As to whites being 'brighter and having a distinct purity', those are two seperatre things. The brightness is one factor. If you like your set to be super bright then you need an LCD TV. However this is not considered to be an optimum way to view and can lead to eye fatigue when viewing for long periods of time. The 'purity' of white is based on grey scale tracking. This can only be done with a meter and calibration software/disc. Just about any uncalibrated tv's white 'purity' is off. If you are not used to watching a properly calibrated TV (and not just for a few minutes in a store) then it is easy to be comfortable with the inaccurate picture that this displays on the screen.

The bottom line is that YOU are happy with the viewing experience the TV provides.
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post #7 of 14 Old 02-07-2010, 12:42 AM
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First off, you compromised and got yourself an old LG. You want WHITE get a PS80. It'll be what yor looking for.
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post #8 of 14 Old 02-07-2010, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for all of the replies. I appreciate all of the input.

I have decided that I'll just give it some time to see if I adjust to this display. If I can't, then I'll take the TV back and save up some more money before buying another set. I found a 52" LCD that sounds like it'd be more up my alley. It's a 1080P display with a refresh rate of 120Hz. That's enough about that; this is the plasma section.

I am surprised, though, that I never came across any information about the dimming whites on plasmas before. I did quite a bit of research before buying and didn't see anything about this. If I would have known about this then I probably would have never gotten the plasma. I guess it all gets buried by the pile of burn-in and image retention concerns. I can understand how the dimming screen would be nice at times but it really isn't for me. It sounds like I'll be making a move over to the LCD forum.

Thanks again, guys. It's nice to have some answers.
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-07-2010, 10:46 AM
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As for "research," just walk in to a Costco, where the poor plasmas look gray and dim next to the shiny LCDs. That's why they sell far more LCDs than plasmas.

The appeal of plasmas stems from more subtle qualities than raw brightness. It is often described around here as a more refined picture: darker, blacker "blacks" and a consistent picture independent of viewer or pixel locations.

The preference of many for the brighter images on LCD is often derided here as pandering to a coarser sensibility. It's not. In the end, it comes down to a matter of taste.
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post #10 of 14 Old 02-09-2010, 11:48 AM
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I had an LG for a while and then took it back for the same issues.
I posted - or rather 'ranted' about it in another thread

Therefore I feel this post is redundant,

Anyway,
I swapped it for a Samsung and have been very happy with it. (brightness and all)

Bottom line, The LGs have a SUPER aggressive ABL (Auto Brightness Limiter)
It can not be corrected for or disabled - also impossible to get into the service menu.

If your looking for a good LCD, I would suggest the Toshiba Regza 52XV648u.
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post #11 of 14 Old 04-06-2013, 04:41 AM
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I have been looking at plasma because of all the good review. Today I went into a shop and had the plasma panasonic 65 vt 50 compared with sharp led 60 lc 835. The led blow the panasonic away. If you like watching a movie with sunglasses then a plasma is the go but if you want a clear and realistic picture then led is the way.
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post #12 of 14 Old 04-06-2013, 04:47 AM
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Next week Iam getting a panasonic tecknicien do his magic and will make my choice then. What i have seen today is that it is not only the whites witch are off white but it is all the colors. The blue sky became blue dull. It was like wearing sunglasses I hope that the panasonic will be better ones it is calibrated. There was another smaller plasma next to a led and the colors were very close and the plasma actualy lookt really nice. maybe it is the bigger size????? 65 Inch. we will find out.
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post #13 of 14 Old 04-06-2013, 07:15 AM
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Buy the Sharp LCD and stop posting all over the plasma forum threads! This is a 3 year old thread about whites on an older LG plasma. You're not even looking at an LG!!rolleyes.gif
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post #14 of 14 Old 04-06-2013, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenC56 View Post

Buy the Sharp LCD and stop posting all over the plasma forum threads! This is a 3 year old thread about whites on an older LG plasma. You're not even looking at an LG!!rolleyes.gif
+1
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