Hitachi FLICKER Issue...Good/Bad News - Page 5 - AVS Forum
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post #121 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 04:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

Wow Delphi, that's pretty hot isn't it? This set has already got some Black Level issues; aren't you completely washed out at Contrast 77% and Brightness 61%? Is that too high a price to pay to get rid of this "defect"?

Guys, you'll see my new post, which is also posted in the Official Hitachi thread, but I'm not feeling good about all things Hitachi these days.

CD

My background, from a serious hobbyist point of view, is still photography and not video, so when I view the picture quality what I am looking for is for the picture to "pop" from having a sufficient level of contrast, which I'm sure is what most of us are looking for too. To that end, as with photography, I am willing to give up some highlight and shadow detail in a situation where I can not dodge and burn my image to near perfection, as I, of course , can not do with the image I get on my plasma display.

While this tv does not have as deep a black as say the Panasonic, the blacks do well with these settings so long as the black enhancement setting is set to "low." With it set to off it certainly becomes washed out; the blacks, that is.

Highlight detail is actually not nearly as affected as what I expected and that goes for even at 100% (yep, you read that right). In fact, for the relatively little detail that gets blown or crushed away it is well worth it for the overall "pop" the picture gains to use higher contrast settings.

I have no burn in issues, by the way.

Watched War of the Worlds again and in most of the night scenes the blacks, and overall contrast, looked really good and I again didn't notice the contrast and brightness flickering.

Unrelated notes:

Isn't it funny how with an HDTV display you can now see those dust specks on the the DVDs as if you were in the theatre again.

I also noticed that the first fighter flying into the battle was an F-22; that's for the aviation and movie geeks.

This movie should look great in HD!
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post #122 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 05:28 AM
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I am having the flicker as well. I have all my settings dialed down for the break in period. When I adjust the settings to some of the ones here and the one on CNET, the flicker is drastically reduced. I can only see it once in a great while. Problem is, the set is very bright. I think I am so use to the "break in" settings, when I change them, its like my eyes are burning. Also, I do see what everyone is saying about the blacks, when I adjust the settings to say the CNET settings, the blacks are greatly lightened.
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post #123 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 06:57 AM
 
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FWIW, the one thing I did noticed after I installed my firmware upgrade was that it completely disables the Black Enhancement feature. However this does result in lightening of black levels and there is no longer any adjustment to get deep rich blacks which you could when this feature was active. But this is something I can live with, the flicker problem which this upgrade resolved, I could not. So this has been a small tradeoff for me but I can say without any hesitation that it still has one of the most beautiful pictures of any plasma tv out there especially with HD. So I am now satisfied overall with the purchase of my Hitachi but feel for those who are not because I was also one of you and hope with some hard work from Hitachi that you can achieve the same result that I eventually did and finally enjoy your sets.
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post #124 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCollins View Post

I am having the flicker as well. I have all my settings dialed down for the break in period. When I adjust the settings to some of the ones here and the one on CNET, the flicker is drastically reduced. I can only see it once in a great while. Problem is, the set is very bright. I think I am so use to the "break in" settings, when I change them, its like my eyes are burning. Also, I do see what everyone is saying about the blacks, when I adjust the settings to say the CNET settings, the blacks are greatly lightened.

I had my settings dialed down for around the first 50 hours or so then said the heck with it and went into my current contrastier and brighter settings with black enhancement activated at the low setting. My eyes adjusted rather quickly to the more vivid image, which I prefer. I'm not seeing the flicker but I'm also not really looking for it anymore.
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post #125 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodef View Post

FWIW, the one thing I did noticed after I installed my firmware upgrade was that it completely disables the Black Enhancement feature. However this does result in lightening of black levels and there is no longer any adjustment to get deep rich blacks which you could when this feature was active. But this is something I can live with, the flicker problem which this upgrade resolved, I could not. So this has been a small tradeoff for me but I can say without any hesitation that it still has one of the most beautiful pictures of any plasma tv out there especially with HD. So I am now satisfied overall with the purchase of my Hitachi but feel for those who are not because I was also one of you and hope with some hard work from Hitachi that you can achieve the same result that I eventually did and finally enjoy your sets.

We need more info. Are you saying that you installed an upgrade firmware and that completely solved your flickering? Which set? What upgrade?
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post #126 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Lodef View Post

FWIW, the one thing I did noticed after I installed my firmware upgrade was that it completely disables the Black Enhancement feature. .

Why not just completey defeat the auto contrast setting (contrast mode) instead? Geesh.
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post #127 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 07:28 AM
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I don't think the flicker issue is related to ALiS technology. There are reports that flicker is also seen on 55" models, which are not ALiS panels.

Also, I don't think the flicker is limited to dark scenes, I think it's just more noticeable.

I was watching a movie (480i sat) and three or four times, the whole panel shifted brightness during bright scenes. When I saw this my heart sank. I even tried the other modes (day,night.) The flicker was apparent in both, but my settings are all very close to each other during break in. The funny thing is though, I haven't noticed any flicker in any other content, even though I've watched stuff with dark scenes.
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post #128 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 07:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benso37 View Post

We need more info. Are you saying that you installed an upgrade firmware and that completely solved your flickering? Which set? What upgrade?

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post8424662
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post #129 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 07:43 AM
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Well as I stated in the other thread, this is either:

1.) A feature.....some feature huh?
2.) A glitch in the Contrast Settings. Specifically the Dynamic Vs Normal Contrast.
Its still possible the Dynamic Contrast is supposed to do this, while the normal isn't and that somehow the Dynamic Contrast is always being used no matter which one you select.

I know I'm grasping at straws here.
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post #130 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 07:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by univibe88 View Post

Why not just completey defeat the auto contrast setting (contrast mode) instead? Geesh.

Maybe you should ask Hitachi or one of their engineers
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post #131 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by metalsaber View Post

the Dynamic Contrast is supposed to do this, while the normal isn't and that somehow the Dynamic Contrast is always being used no matter which one you select.

This is my opinion - 100%. I think to them "normal" means that it adjusts the contrast less than using the dynamic mode, but does not turn it off.

I will certainly tell Hitachi they should release a firmware patch to completely defeat the auto contrast.

Does anybody have any contact info for them? (Other than the 800 #s on the website.)
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post #132 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by univibe88 View Post

This is my opinion - 100%. I think to them "normal" means that it adjusts the contrast less than using the dynamic mode, but does not turn it off.

I will certainly tell Hitachi they should release a firmware patch to completely defeat the auto contrast.

Does anybody have any contact info for them? (Other than the 800 #s on the website.)

Well fellas, you know what they say: when in doubt, try actually reading the manual...lol. Here are a couple of interesting tidbits I picked up: I have NEVER thought to do any viewing or testing with the Contrast Mode set to Dynamic, because it looked so garish, but I suppose, if it helped with this issue at all, you might be able to compensate for it. The operating manual does say this: Set the Dynamic for darker images, more in the level of Black, set to Normal for a balanced White to Black level. BALANCED? That sounds like what I've contended all along the set is doing; shifting Black levels as it tries to compensate...or balance...out White levels. I'm getting ready to head to Dallas for a few days, and wife is just going to be running break-in DVD for me, but can anybody do a "torture test" on this, at night, dark room, etc. and report? I do find this interesting: Plasmas do some things great, but what's supposed to be their biggest shortcoming? It's Black levels, isn't it? So what in the world is Hitachi thinking by coming up with a mode that's, you know, if you want things to be "more in the level of Black"? Who doesn't want things to be more in the level of Black!? FWIW, I also found this in the manual; all along I think we've been wondering silently, if this is really a "feature"...if it was really meant to do this by design...then where is it listed or mentioned. Well, in the guide, under Features and Specifications, in the Features subsection, there is something listed as Picture Enhancement (that's it, no elaboration on how it is achieved or what in the picture is enhanced...god bless the Japanese). Digging a little further, here is a blurb from the 42HDS69 literature, describing the PictureMaster HD III video processor: "ensures a sharp, smooth and seamless image every time by analyzing and optimizing each frame"...and "an ultra-fast computer that predicts the motion of on-screen images for improved picture performance". I don't know about you guys, but this is starting to sound like our culprit. Adjusting each frame for "optimal performance" or whatever, is exactly what the set is doing as it searches for that right Black level as the scene introduces more and less White levels. I think this processor, or Picture Enhancement, especially when combined with the set not in Dynamic mode (you know, to get more in the level of Black) is where we need to start looking. And we need to ask Hitachi: what is Picture Enhancement? What exactly is getting enhanced? How does the PM HD III optimize each image, as it "predicts the motion of on-screen images"? Damn, this has become more work than my job!!

CD

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post #133 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

Well fellas, you know what they say: when in doubt, try actually reading the manual...lol. Here are a couple of interesting tidbits I picked up: I have NEVER thought to do any viewing or testing with the Contrast Mode set to Dynamic, because it looked so garish, but I suppose, if it helped with this issue at all, you might be able to compensate for it. The operating manual does say this: Set the Dynamic for darker images, more in the level of Black, set to Normal for a balanced White to Black level. BALANCED? That sounds like what I've contended all along the set is doing; shifting Black levels as it tries to compensate...or balance...out White levels.

RTFM? Why would I want to do that? Hahaha.

Interestingly, I was having some of the same thoughts this morning. I realized that I had never put it in dynamic mode, and honestly didn't 100% know what it did.

I will try the dynamic mode test tonight and report back.
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post #134 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 11:16 AM
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I stopped into a Boscov's during a road trip and they had the Hitachi 55HDT79. I was looking hard for the screen flicker you all have been talking about, but I was unable to see it on this model. I'm waiting for a HDX99 to play with for longer periods of time. Since I was on a road trip I couldn't just stand there and watch it for hours...well yes I could (It was beautiful). I didn't expect to stop there or see that tv so I didn't bring any of those "dark" DVDs with me.

I'll be following this closely as I want one of these TVs, but if its as bad as people say I might just have to go back to wanting an SXRD...blah..
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post #135 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 11:20 AM
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I'll give it a shot tonight as well.
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post #136 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 11:44 AM
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my software is the 115 version which i dont see any flicker at all
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post #137 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by NismoSkylineGTR View Post

my software is the 115 version which i dont see any flicker at all

That is what my version is and I see it.
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post #138 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by NismoSkylineGTR View Post

my software is the 115 version which i dont see any flicker at all

What are your settings and sources (eg HD cable, d*, DVD, etc.)

How does one check the software version?
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post #139 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by univibe88 View Post

What are your settings and sources (eg HD cable, d*, DVD, etc.)

How does one check the software version?

GO to the Setup menu then I think its Upgrade or Maintenance.
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post #140 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 03:06 PM
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Ok fellas. I actually got through and had a nice chat with the Engineer working on this issue at the service center in San Diego. He told me that he is commited to figuring out this problem and he asked me to get some information from everyone of my customers that has issues. Well as of now, all of you are my customers :-) as far as Hitachi knows. He said thier main problem is that they are having trouble with repeatability. So we have a voice now with Hitachi. Here is the info I need from anyone who wants to get this problem solved. Please email me the info with in the next couple of days so I can get it out to him ASAP. In the subject please put Hitachi Flicker so I can filter all of your messages into one folder. This is the info that Hitachi needs.

Model #
Serial #
S/W Version (if you know how to find that)
Sources that can be repeated to show this issue. DVD chapters, TV shows, anything that you are able to show this issue. Make sure to include if the shows are HD or SD. This is needed so they can verify the problem we are talking about.
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post #141 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 04:12 PM
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^ Jason, you rock. I'll email my info by Wed 9/20...

still one of my favorite bumper stickers of all time...

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* with purchase of equal or lesser Tibet
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post #142 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 04:15 PM
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I emailed you my information.

I called Hitachi as well. They aren't not aware of an issue like this.

She gave me 3 authorized repair centers close to me. I'll probably call them as well to see if they have experienced anything like this. Keep us posted Jason.
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post #143 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 05:26 PM
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Just got off the "horn" with a nice lady at Hitachi Service Center. She said they ARE aware of the problem, but her only suggestions were to mess with Black Enhancement, Dynamic Modes, and Contrast. I specifically asked her what her "higher-ups" or technicians were telling the phone reps to say or how to resolve and she repeated the Video Settings mantra. I didn't push too hard because she really didn't have anything else other than local repair info. and I have had a position like her's before and those people have very little info/power/control. I did ask her nicely to put on my file that I thought it was a weak resolution for people that just dropped many thousands of dollars on a TV to tell us to just play with the settings. If Hitachi is like any other company they eventually look into call trends and customer comments about their product...especially one with many complaints.

Anyway, hopefully the more complaints, the more quickly they try and resolve as this could really hurt Hitachi. Other than this major flaw, I do like the plasma. Hopefully a software fix can work. Also, I had the latest software v0110.0001 for the HDT79.

Jason - Great work again !!! Just emailed you my info.

Hitachi 55" HDT79 - Version 0116.0001 "Flicker fixed BUT picture quality reduced with Version 116."
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post #144 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 06:19 PM
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If they found a fix I would buy a Hitachi-I will buy in the next month or so. If they dont-I will buy a Panasonic.
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post #145 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ck1372 View Post

Anyway, hopefully the more complaints, the more quickly they try and resolve as this could really hurt Hitachi. Other than this major flaw, I do like the plasma. Hopefully a software fix can work. the HDT79.

I agree. More people need to complain about this issue. I would hope the software route is the option. Last thing I want is some guy poking around inside my TV when they aren't sure what is wrong.

And as you said, this TV is perfect otherwise.
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post #146 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mallard View Post

I don't think the flicker issue is related to ALiS technology. There are reports that flicker is also seen on 55" models, which are not ALiS panels.

Also, I don't think the flicker is limited to dark scenes, I think it's just more noticeable.

I was watching a movie (480i sat) and three or four times, the whole panel shifted brightness during bright scenes. When I saw this my heart sank. I even tried the other modes (day,night.) The flicker was apparent in both, but my settings are all very close to each other during break in. The funny thing is though, I haven't noticed any flicker in any other content, even though I've watched stuff with dark scenes.


I notice this too, I think we really see it bad on dark scenes, but I too notice it in light scenes. I saw this watching NFL games lately....

HITACHI 55HDT79 PLASMA
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post #147 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by metalsaber View Post

I agree. More people need to complain about this issue. I would hope the software route is the option. Last thing I want is some guy poking around inside my TV when they aren't sure what is wrong.

And as you said, this TV is perfect otherwise.

I feel the exact same.

HITACHI 55HDT79 PLASMA
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post #148 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

I have NEVER thought to do any viewing or testing with the Contrast Mode set to Dynamic, because it looked so garish, but I suppose, if it helped with this issue at all, you might be able to compensate for it. The operating manual does say this: Set the Dynamic for darker images, more in the level of Black,

Bad news - doesn't help anything. I started with the cnet settings (as they have largely helped my flicker) and changed it dynamic contrast mode. This simply made the picture darker, almost like enabling black enhancement. Because the picture is darker, it brings out the flicker.

I spent an hour playing with the settings - contrast, brightness, black enhancement, contrast mode. My problem with the cnet settings is that the black is not deep enough and the picture looks washed out. I was trying to find some combo of settings that gave a satisfactory black level without the flicker. I evem tried pushing the black enhancement up to medium, and then pushing up the contrast and brightness into the 70s, but I still had flicker.

I did learn that brightness seems to be the real key. With all other cnet settings in place, I played with contrast. I can hardly see a difference in the picture when I move the contrast between 40 and 60. But, with all cnet settings in place, if you start dialing down the brightness setting the black returns - as does the flicker. I was able to move the brightness down to 54 without bringing back the flicker. So I got some black back.

All of this playing was done in a completely black room with a 55hds69. I watched The Incredibles, Chapter 6 on an Oppo 971H over DVI at 720p.

I have s/w V00100.0001

These are the "cnet settings"
Picture Mode: Night
Color Temperature: Standard
Contrast: 50
Brightness: 58
Color: 32
Tint: 4 clicks left of center
Sharpness: 0
Black Enhance: Off
Auto Movie Mode: On
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post #149 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 08:19 PM
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For those that are not sure of what the "flicker" or "Contrast Adjustment" is, here is what I was able to capture with my Digital Camera. Don't hate, it doesn't do video great, but you can definately see where the contrast adjustment happens.

Flicker 640 size .mov - 7megs

It should be fairly easy to tell.

This was done on Tears of the Sun, which to me is the worse contrast adjustment I'm seen so far. If someone has better video recording, they could post a better example.
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post #150 of 2570 Old 09-18-2006, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Monette View Post


Model #
Serial #
S/W Version (if you know how to find that)
Sources that can be repeated to show this issue. DVD chapters, TV shows, anything that you are able to show this issue. Make sure to include if the shows are HD or SD. This is needed so they can verify the problem we are talking about.

Thanks Jason!! I just emailed you. Man it's hard to read the serial # when the thing is still mounted on the wall. I was barely able to peer back there with a flashlight and read it.
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