Are plasmas this prone to interference? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-03-2013, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I've never owned or even known anyone who owned a plasma, so I don't have any background knowledge of them. That said, is the level of interference my plasma has normal? While it's an old plasma, a Panasonic TH-42PW5, it seems to have been well-taken care of, and has roughly 12,000 hours on it (I believe the life rating for it is 60,000? Being made in 2002 I'd say 12,000 is pretty good).

Here are two pictures, both using the S-Video input on the back, that exemplify the problem I'm having really well-
http://i.imgur.com/teLHwDq.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/II1HtvA.jpg

The first shows off basically a worst-case scenario- I've got an N64 plugged straight into the display, with the cord plugged in from the front rather than being routed through the back, and help up next to the top right of the display. This is just to show off the interference pattern as clearly as possible. It's a series of bands that start thicker at the bottom and get thinner as they go up to the top. It should be noted that changing the contrast on the display makes the bands thicker or thinner.

The second is the cord routed through the back. The pattern is less noticeable, but still there, and visible from a normal viewing distance. The cord setup is as ideal as possible, I don't know how to improve it any further. Both the N64 and the Plasma are the sole devices plugged into 2 different outlets, and in the case of the TV the outlet was just replaced with a brand new one. It also affects my Xbox, Wii, and PS2 through component input, but I haven't noticed it through composite(probably just the low quality and blending of composite hides it).

Anybody know how I can further reduce or eliminate this interference? Is this somewhat common for plasmas, at least older ones? I know they interfere with radios and stuff, but I wouldn't imagine they'd be that poorly shielded that they can't sit in an average home without gross lines crossing the screen. Any help is appreciated!
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-03-2013, 09:15 PM
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I've never seen anything like that before. I couldn't believe that is 'normal', though it may be common under certain situations I have not experienced. i'm certainly no expert.

I will say though, linking any kind of interference in the video signal to a problem with plasma technology seems like a leap. can I conclude from that you've tried the exact scenario with an lcd with no issues? you've mentioned some other game systems, so that's a good start on eliminating the source, but until you've double checked with another tv, you can't really be certain.

Displays: Samsung PN64F8500/JVC X35
AVR: Pioneer VSX-1018AH, 5.1 audio
Sources: HTPC(Mediabrowser), PS3, XBOX360, Wii, Sony DVP-CX995V
Control: Harmony One
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-03-2013, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll bring my LCD monitor into the room tomorrow to make sure the problem isn't electrical. Not trying to give plasmas a bad rap or anything! I do know the picture is very noisy up close, but from what I've read this is a universal thing, and I thought this could have been related in some general sense.
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-04-2013, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Set my LCD monitor in front of the plasma, used the plasma's power cord, and plugged it into the same outlet. No interference or apparent signal degradation at all. Of course the plasma draws much higher wattage (around 230W as I recall) than this little LCD monitor. I suppose it could still be tied to the purity or strength or whatever of my home. I know every fuse in our breaker box is in use, instead of having the usual overflow protection of two empty slots.

And to be clear I'm not trying to make any sort of assumption that it's the fault of plasma technology, I just don't know what's wrong and took a guess simply because I'm very unfamiliar with them.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-04-2013, 02:34 PM
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hmm, the only thing i'm thinking is maybe the TV's processing isn't that great. that is when it takes the SD source and converts it to display on the screen, it's adding a lot of artifacts.

i'm no electrical engineer though, so I don't know for sure if plasma drawing higher current would make this issue worse, I just haven't seen it myself, and I have hooked up SD sources via s-video to my plasma. so I tend to think if anything, it's a defect in the tv somewhere.

the fact that you seem to get the same results with different sources, and not with different TV's does strongly suggest it's something about your tv. I don't know how much they actually work, but do you have the ferrite cores on your power cord? the two plasmas I have came with them and it's supposed to clean up the electrical signal.

Displays: Samsung PN64F8500/JVC X35
AVR: Pioneer VSX-1018AH, 5.1 audio
Sources: HTPC(Mediabrowser), PS3, XBOX360, Wii, Sony DVP-CX995V
Control: Harmony One
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-05-2013, 10:57 AM
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That's composite video noise... it's probably due to the interference produced by the plasma panel. Less of a problem with modern panels but true solution is to use better shielded cables.
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-05-2013, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_gt View Post

hmm, the only thing i'm thinking is maybe the TV's processing isn't that great. that is when it takes the SD source and converts it to display on the screen, it's adding a lot of artifacts.

i'm no electrical engineer though, so I don't know for sure if plasma drawing higher current would make this issue worse, I just haven't seen it myself, and I have hooked up SD sources via s-video to my plasma. so I tend to think if anything, it's a defect in the tv somewhere.

the fact that you seem to get the same results with different sources, and not with different TV's does strongly suggest it's something about your tv. I don't know how much they actually work, but do you have the ferrite cores on your power cord? the two plasmas I have came with them and it's supposed to clean up the electrical signal.

I have one ferrite core(they're the black cylindrical wrap-around pieces right?) near where the power cord plugs into the TV. I tried another cord since it's the standard plug type for computers and monitors, and it didn't seem to make a difference as I recall.

And as for upscaling, it's an EDTV meaning it's max resolution is 854x480p, and I've gotten the interference with 480p sources. One more thing I'll try is not stretching to widescreen since it's not truly native for these older consoles(just renders a wider FOV that looks natural when stretched by the TV), though I don't think that will make a difference.
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Originally Posted by tom669 View Post

That's composite video noise... it's probably due to the interference produced by the plasma panel. Less of a problem with modern panels but true solution is to use better shielded cables.

Is "composite video noise" a bit of a misnomer? Because I get this with component connections as well. Cable shielding would make sense, as it seems to be the worst with my Xbox component cables(very cheap 3rd party thin cables) and N64/SNES S-video cables(same). My only issue if it's cable shielding is that I use a video switcher seated a ways away from the TV, and it's connected to the TV through this cable, which is a very nice highly shielded cable(not that I'm an expert by any means, but it's a high quality). Can the TV pick up the interference from the cheaper source cables even from a distance away?
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-05-2013, 12:03 PM
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Component uses similar signals to composite so it can affect it too. It's not the TV picking up interference... the interference is just making its way into the cable.
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-05-2013, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, so it's the TV that's causing the interference. Is there anything I can do in addition to getting better shielded cables, or is a little bit just inevitable? Move my video switch/the TV further away? I still notice this(though less so) using even some high-quality source cables.
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