Is this amount of dithering normal? (Samsung PN51F5300) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-29-2014, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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So I'm sitting pretty much exactly 6 feet away from the 51" plasma in my bedroom, which is mounted on the wall. This is right on the edge of what's supposed to be the proper distance (I think the recommendation might actually be more like 6.5 feet).

 

If I get up and look closely at the TV, a lot of predominately green dancing/sparkling pixels are visible. From what I understand this is normal, inherent to plasma's technology and is called dithering. (I was terrified for a second after googling and seeing a thread about voltage problems).

 

But I can sometimes just about see them a little—if not actually see them—even when laying down at my max viewing distance, and I can usually pick them out if I lean in a bit. I'm just wondering if this is normal. If it is, that's fine, because when at my max distance I consider it totally watchable. The picture is amazing to me, by the way.

 

I've also heard that sometimes this is more prominent when the plasma is new? Is there any truth to that? And finally, after searching I found various people saying that changing the Brightness could affect it (and even that, if they were noticeable, your brightness wasn't set properly). The brightness doesn't do a whole lot—currently it's at 45, and so is the contrast, since I'm being cautious about image retention and pixel aging and all, which also scares me and makes me a bit paranoid, though I've been somewhat reassured that it's not a big deal—but changing the contrast, and especially the Cell Light does. In fact, if I switch momentarily to "Dynamic" mode, which has the Cell Light at the max of 20 and the Contrast almost maxed out (which of course I don't want at all for regular viewing) the pixels are much finer and harder to spot. When on "Movie" mode with Contrast and Brightness down to 45, the green dots are further apart.

 

Thanks a ton to anyone who can help! Just really making sure everything is OK within these first 30 days.

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post #2 of 8 Old 03-30-2014, 11:01 AM
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post ALL your picture settings. I can produce 'abnormal' amounts of dithering on mine if I turn up the brightness too much, but there may be other things that contribute I'm not aware of(others will know)

off the top of my head, I'd assume your contrast is WAY lower than it needs to be. I have mine(on a f8500) set close to 100.

I'm not sure if this is true, but since plasmas use dithering as a method of producing more gradation, perhaps restricting the contrast too much forces the panel to use dithering more than it normally would.

use a test disc, or download the free AVS patterns and actually set your brightness and contrast how it's 'supposed' to be(instead of just cautiously low) and see if that helps.

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 8 Old 03-30-2014, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fierce_gt View Post

post ALL your picture settings. I can produce 'abnormal' amounts of dithering on mine if I turn up the brightness too much, but there may be other things that contribute I'm not aware of(others will know)

off the top of my head, I'd assume your contrast is WAY lower than it needs to be. I have mine(on a f8500) set close to 100.

I'm not sure if this is true, but since plasmas use dithering as a method of producing more gradation, perhaps restricting the contrast too much forces the panel to use dithering more than it normally would.

use a test disc, or download the free AVS patterns and actually set your brightness and contrast how it's 'supposed' to be(instead of just cautiously low) and see if that helps.


I used Disney's WOW disc to adjust the settings. The Brightness definitely seems right. As for contrast, yeah, most people (going by, say, CNET's settings) have this panel's contrast at about 95. I figured I'd keep it low for the first 200 hours or so, based on various advice I've seen...

 

 

Picture Mode - Movie

Cell Light - 10

Contrast - 45

Brightness - 49

Sharpness - 10 (now there seems to be a bit of debate between 0 and 10 for this model, but I had it on 10 for watching a certain roundtable interview that I felt it improved, though that could have been the camera not being in focus properly—I might turn it back to 0 while watching movies)

Color - 50

Tint (G/R) G50 R50

 

Dynamic Contrast, Black Tone, Fleshtone, RGB Only Mode, 10p White Balance, Expert Pattern and Gamma are all either on 0 or Off.


Color Space is on Auto and all White Balance stuff is the default 25.

 

Color Tone - Warm2

Black Optimizer - Auto

Digital Clean View and MPEG Noise Filter are Off.

 

Film Mode is Off and HDMI Black Level is Low.

 

Energy Saving and Eco Sensor are Off.

 

 

 

 

 

I just tried upping the Contrast. I found a menu on the PS3 that had the right side of the screen pretty much pitch black. Raising the Contrast from 45 to 95 actually made the green dots appear in the black on the right. Turning it back to 45, they disappeared. (Of course, the colour does look a lot more vivid that way.)

 

I mentioned the Cell Light earlier, but playing with it didn't do anything to the dots on this screen (except putting it to 1 or 2, in which case they disappeared from the black, but 1 or 2 is much too dim, I think—I remember reading that 10 was the "correct" number, at least on this panel?).

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post #4 of 8 Old 03-30-2014, 05:41 PM
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your settings are very close to mine. my contrast is higher(currently at 100 since it never seems to clip white levels) and my brightness lower(at 43). just about everything else is the same. I have BO set to dark room instead of auto(but I doubt that's the culprit)

it's POSSIBLE that turning down the brightness will help, but it's not like yours is set strangely high, and if you used the WOW disc, it's probably correct for your tv and sources(I'm sure there's some variance just from the bd players we use) not to mention we have different displays, so... I'm gonna go with your setting being correct

I know I tend to leave everything off myself, but maybe experiment with the digital clean and MPEG filters to see if they actually help?

after that, I would try going back into the wow disc, and calibrating brightness after upping the contrast, just in case. it may be that you need to set the brightness too low in order to reduce the dithering, then you have the decision of which you'd rather live with, or returning it for something else. I know I can pretty much eliminate dithering on my f8500 if I set the brightness lower, but at viewing distances it's unnoticeable at 'correct' settings, so I don't have to worry about it
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Displays: Samsung PN64F8500/JVC X35
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Sources: HTPC(Mediabrowser), PS3, XBOX360, Wii, Sony DVP-CX995V
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-30-2014, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll look into those things, but even if this is it, it's fine and definitely watchable, as I said. It's just it was a big purchase for me and I want to make sure everything's absolutely normal with the TV within my 30 day return window.

 

Thanks a ton for your advice!

 

EDIT: So your Cell Light is at 10, too? I'm just wondering because after googling I'm seeing people setting it on Samsung plasmas at anywhere from 10, where I have it, to 12, 14 or 20 (as in this thread, before it devolves into an argument: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1459523/adjusting-cell-light-on-a-plasma). Is there a standard? The Disney Blu has no calibration advice for it.

 

EDIT 2: Just for the record, and I haven't taken a picture of mine successfully, but it looks like this, which someone else posted on this forum:

 

 

Now, that looks really bad... but this is clearly a REALLY up-close image. Again, mine is totally watchable and unnoticeable when I sit at the 6" feet from the TV (and often if I'm even closer). And it does change in texture when I play with Brightness, Contrast, Cell Light, etc. The dots get further apart and closer and such. It seems to swarm in pure-ish blacks and the edges of things. Playing with those controls can get it to disappear from some areas. "Dynamic" makes the dots really hard to find, but then, Dynamic just seems to blow everything out...

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post #6 of 8 Old 03-31-2014, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JarvisKong View Post

I'll look into those things, but even if this is it, it's fine and definitely watchable, as I said. It's just it was a big purchase for me and I want to make sure everything's absolutely normal with the TV within my 30 day return window.

Thanks a ton for your advice!

EDIT: So your Cell Light is at 10, too? I'm just wondering because after googling I'm seeing people setting it on Samsung plasmas at anywhere from 10, where I have it, to 12, 14 or 20 (as in this thread, before it devolves into an argument: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1459523/adjusting-cell-light-on-a-plasma). Is there a standard? The Disney Blu has no calibration advice for it.

EDIT 2: Just for the record, and I haven't taken a picture of mine successfully, but it looks like this, which someone else posted on this forum:




Now, that looks really bad... but this is clearly a REALLY up-close image. Again, mine is totally watchable and unnoticeable when I sit at the 6" feet from the TV (and often if I'm even closer). And it does change in texture when I play with Brightness, Contrast, Cell Light, etc. The dots get further apart and closer and such. It seems to swarm in pure-ish blacks and the edges of things. Playing with those controls can get it to disappear from some areas. "Dynamic" makes the dots really hard to find, but then, Dynamic just seems to blow everything out...

yeah, I have my cell light on 10 too. I had it on 20 for bright room, and 15 for dark room when I first got it, but found it was giving me headaches so I turned it down to 10 and it's been pretty good ever since. i'll see if I can snap some shots of mine for comparison. I don't believe it's that bad currently, but my older Samsung plasma(b530) may have been closer to that. I know it was like two clicks on the brightness setting away from being crazy noticeable

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 #7 of 8 Old 03-31-2014, 08:33 AM
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wow, what can I say, you've opened up my eyes about something I never even noticed on my set, haha.

here's some pics of what I thought looked really clean from my 8-10foot viewing distance.





clearly I have just as much dithering as in the pic you showed, at least on some of the 'brighter' black levels.

I also noted while doing this I need to recalibrate, I was focused on getting my projector just right the other week, and I guess when I adjusted some levels on my HTPC I screwed up. I'm no longer able to make 15, 16, 17 different from 18. so now I have something to do today I guess, haha
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Sources: HTPC(Mediabrowser), PS3, XBOX360, Wii, Sony DVP-CX995V
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-01-2014, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, I'm extremely relieved! I did finally get some pics, taken from the Advanced Brightness part of the Disney WOW disc. The lighter stars and checkerboards are filled with the stuff:

 

 

 

And as they get closer towards total black it's more around the edges:

 

 

 

 

Anyway, thank you so much for your continued help!

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