Hitachi FLICKER Issue...Good/Bad News - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 2570 Old 08-24-2006, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, fellow 42HDS69 owners, I have some good news and some bad news regarding our flicker issueand I won't even call it dark or black flicker anymore, because I have now identified the issue during light or normal lighting scenes as well. As previously reported, I had just started really watching programming on my set after 100 hours of nothing but break-in DVD; I watched some Finding Nemo last night, looking diligently for any sign of flicker and detected none. Then some of Jackie Brown Collectors Edition and I started to see some evidence of what everyone has been talking about. Tonightand here is the good news: for those of you who have tried to demonstrate this issue to a technician and failed, I think I have the demo disc for youI watched Disc 1, Side A, of Season 1 of The West Wing and there were these, what I can only describe as shifts of contrast, all over the place. If you're not familiar with the show, I think it really exploits this issue because as characters move around inside the White House, the subtleties of light change quickly and all you need to do is look at colors on the walls to see that the set is struggling to decide which picture to display. I know that sounds confusing, so let me see if I can explain it this way: imagine you have say 4 stills of a scene and each still has a different contrast setting and that may, in turn, effect hues and colors in the still. It seems that as a character moves into a different room or light, the set is throwing up 1 still, with 1 setting and then deciding no, maybe this is the proper way to display the picture and the still changes and I have seen examples where, within like 1 seconds time, if you just look at the color of a wall, the picture contrast, hue, color, seem to change 4 times or so before it settles down. I don't know the way some of the technical aspects work, but does this sound like a problem with the sets de-interlacer? Like I said, the only good news I can think of is I am SURE I can demonstrate the issue on my set to a Hitachi technician and maybe we can get some kind of answer on the problem. If it can't be fixed, my set will be going back; whether my issue is more severe than some, or if certain types of programming just bring it out more than others, I cannot say, but I can't live with the picture anomaly.

I started this thread because it has previously been mixed in with the general Hitachi postings, good and bad, but I think those of us trying to decide how to resolve this issue or return these sets, should be able to follow a thread specifically dedicated to this very troubling issue.

CD

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post #2 of 2570 Old 08-24-2006, 09:16 PM
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as long as the situation has been around, and still no cure, you'd think there isnt one. I was into the hitachi as a future purchase, but that might change now. Another poster commented in another thread that alis panels are garbage. I wouldnt go as far to say its garbage, but this model seems to have a huge drawback to the extra resoution with interlaced flicker. Im holding out to see if there are any reports of flicker on the 42hdt79 and x99 sets, then ill decide to go another way or not.
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post #3 of 2570 Old 08-24-2006, 10:03 PM
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if thats the Flicker porblem I saw it at the store. Thre was a blue grdiant background in a seen with some color banding. The color banding was in th source cause all displays showed it. However some handld it better then others, the hitatchi would shift very noticably where the disting jump in the color banding was, while the other displays didn't seem to do this. Is this what you are seeing?
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post #4 of 2570 Old 08-24-2006, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whityfrd View Post

as long as the situation has been around, and still no cure, you'd think there isnt one. I was into the hitachi as a future purchase, but that might change now. Another poster commented in another thread that alis panels are garbage. I wouldnt go as far to say its garbage, but this model seems to have a huge drawback to the extra resoution with interlaced flicker. Im holding out to see if there are any reports of flicker on the 42hdt79 and x99 sets, then ill decide to go another way or not.

Sounds like you're looking for something you will absolutely not find in a flat panel tv. Perfection. Perhaps you might be better off purchasing a Sony CRT? Plasma technology has a little longer to go before all of the kinks are worked out. BTW, as stated on another thread I have the 55" Fujitsu based on the Hitachi e-alis panel - no flicker. Blacks can be weak sometimes but that's it.
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post #5 of 2570 Old 08-24-2006, 11:20 PM
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I looked at our display 42" hitachi today and im sure i see what you guys are talking about. Instead of a rather stable black image or shadows, it 'flickers' with other colors in a dark shade. At viewing distance i dont think this is noticeable as i dont see it on the 55" but its visible up close. Understandably, nobody wants to pay thousands of dollars for a plasma that wont perform the way it should given their 16 bit, 281 trillion color boasts. I guess thats where the rest of the colors are coming from.
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post #6 of 2570 Old 08-25-2006, 04:48 AM
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No flicker with my Hitachi 42".

What I do notice sometimes is the auto contrast adjustment tacking place in some dark scenes but that is a feature of the TV.
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post #7 of 2570 Old 08-25-2006, 05:08 AM
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I have a two year old Hitachi edtv and had the "auto contrast" happening. It might be a feature of the tv, but it is ugly and distracting. I was ready to take the set back until I discovered it only happened if I left it on the "daytime" setting. There's no problem at all if I leave the tv to the more natural "night" setting.

It is my understanding you all are getting this issue when you take it out of the daytime setting?
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post #8 of 2570 Old 08-25-2006, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halfpipetrick View Post

Sounds like you're looking for something you will absolutely not find in a flat panel tv. Perfection. Perhaps you might be better off purchasing a Sony CRT? Plasma technology has a little longer to go before all of the kinks are worked out. BTW, as stated on another thread I have the 55" Fujitsu based on the Hitachi e-alis panel - no flicker. Blacks can be weak sometimes but that's it.


you ever layed thousands of dollars down on something you didnt expect to be near perfection? otherwise you wouldnt be purchasing the set. Im not asking for perfection. Im simply stating that annoying flicker is something i would warrant a no purchase on. Am i supposed to find perfection within lcd, dlp, or crt? Crt too small, dlp is blah to me and i already have an lcd. So where do i find this so called "perfection"?
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post #9 of 2570 Old 08-25-2006, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whityfrd View Post

you ever layed thousands of dollars down on something you didnt expect to be near perfection? Im not asking for perfection. Im simply stating that annoying flicker is something i would warrant a no purchase on.

I've posted a few times in your thread you started and I'm not be critical of your decisions, so take this for what its worth. But what I've experienced from my first plasma choice to my current Sharp LCD. I believe your looking for greener pastures and boy are you in for a suprise. I've read where your disappointed with your Sharp but also have posted you loved it. My experience was frustration (plasma) and I'm sure you haven't had to adjust your Sharp much, but with a plasma let the adjusting begin. And between plasma and LCD, like Optivity said "Pick your Poison".

These are just my opinions.
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post #10 of 2570 Old 08-25-2006, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delphi96 View Post

No flicker with my Hitachi 42".

What I do notice sometimes is the auto contrast adjustment tacking place in some dark scenes but that is a feature of the TV.

I would almost buy this explanation (and at this point I am looking for an answer, rather than an excuse to send it back) as it sounds exactly as I explained it; at the time I thought maybe it was the most asinine description, but I said in my post earlier "it was almost as if the set were displaying different screens, trying to decide which one looked best". Well, that certainly sounds like this Auto Contrast adjustment that you describe. The reason I can't accept this completely is I have seen instances where a scene looked light, like the contrast was washing the picture out, so it quickly switched to where the image looked darker, with more contrast...and better, so maybe the set should have stopped "adjusting" right there...but then it would quickly switch lighter, and then maybe darker again; hence the "flicker"...4 or so contrast changes within a second. If this is the way the set auto contrasts, it's a good idea with bad implementation, because it is annoying as hell. I may have a particularly bad set, because like I said, I even see this transition taking place in regular lighting scenes.

I need to watch more before I give up completely. For instance, I've only hooked my 1080i HD cable box up a few times, but I never noticed this issue with that source. Is it because that's mostly highly-hit information or is it maybe the source? My thinking may be way off here, but my DVD player is outputting 480p right now (haven't purchased a HDMI cable to upconvert to 1080i); could the issue be in how the set is converting 480p to 1080i? Others posting to this thread, I'm curious how many sources you see this issue with. One more so than another?

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Originally Posted by remotecontrolled View Post

I have a two year old Hitachi edtv and had the "auto contrast" happening. It might be a feature of the tv, but it is ugly and distracting. I was ready to take the set back until I discovered it only happened if I left it on the "daytime" setting. There's no problem at all if I leave the tv to the more natural "night" setting.

It is my understanding you all are getting this issue when you take it out of the daytime setting?

RC, I have watched my set exclusively in NightTime mode, so unfortunately it is not that simple in this set.

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post #11 of 2570 Old 08-25-2006, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by oldcband View Post

I've posted a few times in your thread you started and I'm not be critical of your decisions, so take this for what its worth. But what I've experienced from my first plasma choice to my current Sharp LCD. I believe your looking for greener pastures and boy are you in for a suprise. I've read where your disappointed with your Sharp but also have posted you loved it. My experience was frustartion (plasma) and I'm sure you haven't had to adjust your Sharp much, but with a plasma let the adjusting begin. Like Optivity said "Pick your Poison".

Yeah, unfortunately, some of these flat-panel "veterans" may be right. I guess we first time buyers come looking for real improvements over our CRT or bulky RPTVs (I had a Pioneer Elite HD RPTV), but I guess the reality is you have to trade some kind of picture quirk or degradation for the convenience of flat-panel? I say this after looking through my Hitachi manual for any kind of answer to this flicker or Auto-Contrast feature. Didn't find anything, but I did come across these interesting tidbits (these are all under the Troubleshooting section):
-a buzzing sound from the Plasma display panel...is NOT a malfunction
-issues with lip-sync (which I have occasionally noticed)...is NOT a defect in the television
-and our favorite...bright and dark spots and I quote "...there may be points that do not illuminate, points that are too bright, and points with color different with that of the periphery. Please note that this is NOT a malfunction". WTF?

Yeah, it sounds like even the manufacturer is trying to warn us not to expect "perfection". But I'm with the newbies; it may sound naive, but is this what I drop $2,000+ of my hard-earned bucks on?

CD

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post #12 of 2570 Old 08-25-2006, 06:46 AM
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That's a shame, CDLehner. Have you tried adjusting the picture (to your liking) from the daytime setting and seeing if it still flickers that way? It's worth a try.
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post #13 of 2570 Old 08-25-2006, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

-and our favorite...bright and dark spots and I quote "...there may be points that do not illuminate, points that are too bright, and points with color different with that of the periphery. Please note that this is NOT a malfunction". WTF?

Well IMO this a definition of "false contour" and I've been through the same thing your going through now. But I've also learned from folks here that "ALL" don't experience this.

But I ended up with an LCD and I don't have to adjust it. Now some will argue that PQ is better on plamsa and I would agree, and I think thats what attracts you to it. But for me something I didn't need to adjust all the time, was worth choosing a TV that might not have better PQ.

But to me "flicker" is too much and LCD's don't do it. And the trade off was worth it. Just my opinions.

These are just my opinions.
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post #14 of 2570 Old 08-25-2006, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's the latest on my 42HDS69 saga: about 2 days before I got through break-in and really started watching my set, my boss informed me that he could have gotten me a HELLUVA price on the TV. You see, I just started working for him about 4 months ago and lo and behold, in addition to owning the company I work for, he's living every A/V nut's dream: he's an enthusiast who has also started small-time distributing on the side. He's really got connections on just about everything, including beautiful high-end stuff (it's going to get me in major trouble), and the price he is offering me is COST; in fact, it's DISCOUNTED COST (more on that in a minute). When I was looking to buy my set, I didn't want to hit him up for a price...plus I was worried about a delivery...and after he offered, I wasn't going screw the retailer I bought from and jump for the much lower price. However, since my set has now started having this damn flicker issue, it gives me a perfectly legitimate reason to return it and take advantage of the offer.

So I was explaining the issue to him today and I said normally I would exhaust tying to fix the issue on my current set before giving up on it and opting for something else; you know, firmware update, technician visit, etc. But since he was offering the set at a better price, I would just return this one, pray to the Lord that I just got a bad one, and see how his did. However, if the new set also exhibited this flickering, I would, at that point, try the firmware upgrade, technician visit, etc...but if it persisted, that would convince me the issue was inherent to the model and I would not want to keep it. Well, there's always a rub and there it is; as a distributor, he can't just return it, he has to find a different way to move it and isn't interested in taking the loss since he doesn't really deal in Plasma TVs normally and wouldn't be interested in trying to move it if it didn't work out for me.

So...I've got to see if this one can be corrected, so I can determine if this is a model worth getting again at the lower price, or if I have to just ditch Hitachi and start my search, limited to Panny, Pio, Samsung this time, all over again. Ugh!!

Now, here's what I find interesting about this set: IMO, Hitachi has made an effort to really aim the 42HDS69 at the masses; to maybe make THIS set the one that will breakthrough so that everyone thinks "hey, I gotta get a plasma...and wow, look, they're kind of affordable". I mean, I can't recall a TV and magazine campaign around a single model the way I have for the 42HDS69. Now, the prices are dropping through the floor. I know we can't discuss price here, but I will say that in my area, CC has dropped the price $270 since I bought the set 2 weeks ago!! And the distributor that my boss got his price from has dropped the cost about the same. So is Hitachi trying to price this thing to really break out, or do they realize they have a dog on their hands? I'm also wondering, as I hear others talking about waiting for the HDT or HDX series, aren't they likely to use the same panels, and therefore inherit the same flicker issue, as the HDS? Plus, I see that motorized stand as a waste of money for anyone who plans to wall-mount their set anyway.

Chris

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post #15 of 2570 Old 08-25-2006, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

Well, fellow 42HDS69 owners, I have some good news and some bad news regarding our flicker issueand I won't even call it dark or black flicker anymore, because I have now identified the issue during light or normal lighting scenes as well. As previously reported, I had just started really watching programming on my set after 100 hours of nothing but break-in DVD; I watched some Finding Nemo last night, looking diligently for any sign of flicker and detected none. Then some of Jackie Brown Collectors Edition and I started to see some evidence of what everyone has been talking about. Tonightand here is the good news: for those of you who have tried to demonstrate this issue to a technician and failed, I think I have the demo disc for youI watched Disc 1, Side A, of Season 1 of The West Wing and there were these, what I can only describe as shifts of contrast, all over the place. If you're not familiar with the show, I think it really exploits this issue because as characters move around inside the White House, the subtleties of light change quickly and all you need to do is look at colors on the walls to see that the set is struggling to decide which picture to display. I know that sounds confusing, so let me see if I can explain it this way: imagine you have say 4 stills of a scene and each still has a different contrast setting and that may, in turn, effect hues and colors in the still. It seems that as a character moves into a different room or light, the set is throwing up 1 still, with 1 setting and then deciding no, maybe this is the proper way to display the picture and the still changes and I have seen examples where, within like 1 seconds time, if you just look at the color of a wall, the picture contrast, hue, color, seem to change 4 times or so before it settles down. I don't know the way some of the technical aspects work, but does this sound like a problem with the sets de-interlacer? Like I said, the only good news I can think of is I am SURE I can demonstrate the issue on my set to a Hitachi technician and maybe we can get some kind of answer on the problem. If it can't be fixed, my set will be going back; whether my issue is more severe than some, or if certain types of programming just bring it out more than others, I cannot say, but I can't live with the picture anomaly.

I started this thread because it has previously been mixed in with the general Hitachi postings, good and bad, but I think those of us trying to decide how to resolve this issue or return these sets, should be able to follow a thread specifically dedicated to this very troubling issue.

CD

Hello,

I saw this thread and had to chime in. I currently own a 42HDT51 from a couple model years ago that exhibits this very problem. It drove me nuts to say the least. Shortly after I got the panel I started to research the flicker issue. It turns out that the issue is an apparent flaw in all ALIS panels and thus can't be fixed. The only option would be to return it and invest in a non ALIS panel. The flicker annoyed me so much that I haven't even used the panel sinch March of this year. If you are sensitive to this flicker issue return the set immedietly and go for something different. If you are to late to return like I was, better luck with future purchases.
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post #16 of 2570 Old 08-25-2006, 04:02 PM
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Did i miss pictures of the Flicker in one of these threads? can someone "catch" a few flicker pics and share?

how disheartening..
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post #17 of 2570 Old 08-25-2006, 07:39 PM
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So, given this flicker issue, should one steer clear of this model?
As a first time HDTV buyer, I have this set at the top of my list. But, since reading the forums, the flicker issue seems to be a show stopper.
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post #18 of 2570 Old 08-25-2006, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
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So...I settled in for some hard, critical viewing tonight, forced to make a decision about whether to keep my 42HDS69 or not. I started off with my HD STB, as I wanted to test a theory; most of my viewing up until this point had been done with a new DVD player (a Denon 1730, I bought for upconverting on this set, but up until this point I have only been running component output at 480p)...maybe my issue was being caused by the player? Or was exaggerated by the set having to convert 480p to its native 1080i? My Comcast HD STB looked GREAT...and whereas I couldn't stop seeing the "flicker" or contrast shifts from the DVDs, the picture...contrast, color, definition...was sharp and steady from the cable feed. The STB was using the same input and cables that I used for the DVD, so I eliminated them as suspects. So I was convinced that the issue could not be with the "panels", as I have heard someone else suggest, as a panel defect or tendency would happen no matter what the source. Long-story-short: I started monkeying with the settings and for some reason, my problem is DEFINITELY being caused by the Contrast setting being too low. I was still dialed way down from my break-in and I found the picture to be acceptable (other than the "flicker" of course) at about 30%, so that's where I've been watching material the past few days. BEHOLD...bounce it up to 40% and the shadowy, contrast-shifts, flicker-whatevers are GONE!! I went back and watched scenes that were torture the day before: West Wing, Jackie Brown, Armageddon Criterion; did I mention that the flicker was GONE!? I even had my wife lend a second set of eyes, just to make sure I wasn't new-plasma-owner-joins-avsforum-and-starts-seeing-things-that-aren't-really-there guy; but after training her as to what the hell i was talking about, she noticed it every where I did, which was EVERYWHERE, too. But then she also agreed that this Contrast increase eliminated it.

I saw elsewhere, after my discovery, that someone else thinks Color Temp and Noise Reduction settings may be the key in eliminating their flicker issue. But I also noticed his Contrast setting was 56, way above the threshold I discovered. So I think the bottom line is, as one Plasma veteran mentioned, that tweaking, tweaking, tweaking, is really essential in Plasma; you can't just expect these sets to look very good right out of the box.

I will say this: I was still able to re-create this flicker issue with one particularly torturous scene in Jackie Brown. The scene is essential in a dark room, with bodies illuminated as silhouettes from window light at night. I believe this somewhat lighter and somewhat darker holding of black backgrounds is the normal, all plasmas do it, false-contouring that I have heard about. In any case, whatever it is, I can live with it and am ecstactic about being able to tweak the set now for best, most vibrant picture, and not just to make it acceptable to view.

I suggest anyone still having this issue, try checking your Contrast. Too low like mine, or is this a case of different strokes for different folks? I'm really hoping others find some success and welcome reading the posts.

Chris

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post #19 of 2570 Old 08-25-2006, 09:00 PM
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I have the 55HDT79, one of the first to come out.

My firmware release is 0109.0001 on this TV. I have be told that the first sets that came out, were releaseed with last years software. They "say" they have a fix and that it is a firmware update. I will let all you know how it turns out......

HITACHI 55HDT79 PLASMA
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post #20 of 2570 Old 08-25-2006, 10:03 PM
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Damn! I'm so happy you found a solution, CDLehner. After reading your post, I checked the contrast while my tv was at the daytime setting and it was negative thirty-one while my nighttime setting was negative thirteen. It seems you may have solved the problem. I must say, it took at least two weeks of tweaking before I was happy with my Hitachi, but I couldn't be more pleased now.

BRAC, (this seems like an afterthought now)I had the same issue with my ED Hitachi and it's not an ALIS panel.
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post #21 of 2570 Old 08-25-2006, 11:02 PM
 
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Hi all, thought I chip in on this issue since I own the 55HDS52 and have experienced the flicker problem. Was told by Hitachi that my firmware was old and is sending out an upgrade card but might not receive it for awhile because they only have a few and have to wait for customers to return it before they can mail it to me. Did anyone who did the upgrade have this issue resolved by it? My plasma is wall mounted and I have to take it down which is no easy task to perform this upgrade and want to know if I should even bother if it doesn't fix it. They also told me to turn off the Black Enhancment feature, this did greatly improve the problem but it is still there but not nearly as noticable. Anyone who has not tried this should do so because it did help quite a bit. They also told me the engineers in Japan are hard at work on this issue which leads me to believe they have not figured out a permanent solution to this and I didn't have a good feeling after that but I'm pinning my hopes on the upgrade because I really do love the picture on this set and would like to keep it.
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post #22 of 2570 Old 08-26-2006, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

I will say this: I was still able to re-create this flicker issue with one particularly torturous scene in Jackie Brown. The scene is essential in a dark room, with bodies illuminated as silhouettes from window light at night. I believe this somewhat lighter and somewhat darker holding of black backgrounds is the normal, all plasmas do it, false-contouring that I have heard about. In any case, whatever it is, I can live with it and am ecstactic about being able to tweak the set now for best, most vibrant picture, and not just to make it acceptable to view.

I suggest anyone still having this issue, try checking your Contrast. Too low like mine, or is this a case of different strokes for different folks? I'm really hoping others find some success and welcome reading the posts.

Chris

Was the Jackie Brown on the comcast box or the DVD?
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post #23 of 2570 Old 08-26-2006, 04:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Was the Jackie Brown on the comcast box or the DVD?

Collectors Edition DVD.

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post #24 of 2570 Old 08-26-2006, 04:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Lodef View Post

Hi all, thought I chip in on this issue since I own the 55HDS52 and have experienced the flicker problem. Was told by Hitachi that my firmware was old and is sending out an upgrade card but might not receive it for awhile because they only have a few and have to wait for customers to return it before they can mail it to me. Did anyone who did the upgrade have this issue resolved by it? My plasma is wall mounted and I have to take it down which is no easy task to perform this upgrade and want to know if I should even bother if it doesn't fix it. They also told me to turn off the Black Enhancment feature, this did greatly improve the problem but it is still there but not nearly as noticable. Anyone who has not tried this should do so because it did help quite a bit. They also told me the engineers in Japan are hard at work on this issue which leads me to believe they have not figured out a permanent solution to this and I didn't have a good feeling after that but I'm pinning my hopes on the upgrade because I really do love the picture on this set and would like to keep it.

Lodef, stay optimistic, but I have heard 42HDS69 owners say the firmware upgrade did not resolve their problem. I haven't rushed right out to get it for that reason. There is more information on the Hitachi flciker in the OFFICIAL thread.

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post #25 of 2570 Old 08-27-2006, 08:05 AM
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FLICKER NEWS

Ok, sp the salesman came over with an update, I had v0109.0001. I showed him a scene on "The Grudge", pause it and a flicker fest was going on. Perfect, now at least he sees what I am talking about. That I am not crazy.

I should ge the camera and tape a videp of it. I am sure i can replicate the problem. So guys, all you have to do is put a DVD on pause in a dark scene and you can probably demo the flicker.

Anyway, he had update v0110.0001 with him. I was sceptical as I saw someone on here with update v0115.0001.

We loaded it, and the Flicker was still there
I watched "Friday Night Lights" (good movie BTW) and "memoirs of a Geisha and saw tonnes of flicker. Beautiful movies to watch as colour was excellent.

The Hitachi rep lives in Town, not far from me, so I hear. So I am awaiting to see where we go next now.

I am not a real fan of what you guys are doing to cure the flicker issue by manipulating a bunch of settings. That is only a bandade cuire. I do not want to have a certain set of settings just to mask a problem.

If the tV was meant to have a flicker, then the manual would of said "to cure any flicker, please use these settings...". I am not sure how many hours I have logged (is there a counter?), maybe 60-70 hours so far. Not sure if this is a burn in issue.....which would be stupid too.

I am not doubting that v115.0001 will be this salespersons next move...and reading above posts, I am skeptical that will do anything.


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post #26 of 2570 Old 08-27-2006, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

So...I settled in for some hard, critical viewing tonight, forced to make a decision about whether to keep my 42HDS69 or not. I started off with my HD STB, as I wanted to test a theory; most of my viewing up until this point had been done with a new DVD player (a Denon 1730, I bought for upconverting on this set, but up until this point I have only been running component output at 480p)...maybe my issue was being caused by the player? Or was exaggerated by the set having to convert 480p to its native 1080i? My Comcast HD STB looked GREAT...and whereas I couldn't stop seeing the "flicker" or contrast shifts from the DVDs, the picture...contrast, color, definition...was sharp and steady from the cable feed. The STB was using the same input and cables that I used for the DVD, so I eliminated them as suspects. So I was convinced that the issue could not be with the "panels", as I have heard someone else suggest, as a panel defect or tendency would happen no matter what the source. Long-story-short: I started monkeying with the settings and for some reason, my problem is DEFINITELY being caused by the Contrast setting being too low. I was still dialed way down from my break-in and I found the picture to be acceptable (other than the "flicker" of course) at about 30%, so that's where I've been watching material the past few days. BEHOLD...bounce it up to 40% and the shadowy, contrast-shifts, flicker-whatevers are GONE!! I went back and watched scenes that were torture the day before: West Wing, Jackie Brown, Armageddon Criterion; did I mention that the flicker was GONE!? I even had my wife lend a second set of eyes, just to make sure I wasn't new-plasma-owner-joins-avsforum-and-starts-seeing-things-that-aren't-really-there guy; but after training her as to what the hell i was talking about, she noticed it every where I did, which was EVERYWHERE, too. But then she also agreed that this Contrast increase eliminated it.

I saw elsewhere, after my discovery, that someone else thinks Color Temp and Noise Reduction settings may be the key in eliminating their flicker issue. But I also noticed his Contrast setting was 56, way above the threshold I discovered. So I think the bottom line is, as one Plasma veteran mentioned, that tweaking, tweaking, tweaking, is really essential in Plasma; you can't just expect these sets to look very good right out of the box.

I will say this: I was still able to re-create this flicker issue with one particularly torturous scene in Jackie Brown. The scene is essential in a dark room, with bodies illuminated as silhouettes from window light at night. I believe this somewhat lighter and somewhat darker holding of black backgrounds is the normal, all plasmas do it, false-contouring that I have heard about. In any case, whatever it is, I can live with it and am ecstactic about being able to tweak the set now for best, most vibrant picture, and not just to make it acceptable to view.

I suggest anyone still having this issue, try checking your Contrast. Too low like mine, or is this a case of different strokes for different folks? I'm really hoping others find some success and welcome reading the posts.

Chris


I had all my settings at 50%, no change in flicker at all. I tried every combo of settings. the only other thing is maybe burn time, I dunno.

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post #27 of 2570 Old 08-27-2006, 08:29 AM
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I only have about 8 hrs on my set, but decided to try out a DVD just to see if I noticed any flicker. I put in Band of Brothers the 2nd episode. There is a very dark scene at the beginning when they are jumping into Normandy. I didn't notice any flicker, but then again I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking for (maybe thats a good thing ). My contrast and brightness are set at 30%. Blacks seemed to be done really well.
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post #28 of 2570 Old 08-27-2006, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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FLICKER NEWS

I am not a real fan of what you guys are doing to cure the flicker issue by manipulating a bunch of settings. That is only a bandade cuire. I do not want to have a certain set of settings just to mask a problem.

Puchall, I agree with you that it is unacceptable to simply change settings to mask a possible defect or tendency with a particular set. In my case, the only reason I might be able to live with it is that the issue is Contrast being at 30% or lower, which is not really where I'd have the set after dialing it in anyway. In other words, not only does it help with my flicker, but the picture looks BETTER too; I was only that low to begin with because of break-in concerns.

I started this thread because I think we all need to share info to find a possible remedy; that includes any and all feedback from Hitachi, reps, techs, etc. I need the firmware upgrade, but don't expect that to help much. Yes, I am still noticing some flicker, although it is no where near as bad as it was with the Contrast way down. I have mentioned this before and no one really bit, but could it have something to do with the set's processor and the way it handles conversion?? I say this because I only ever see the issue with my DVD player, which is currently outputting at 480p, and I NEVER see it with my STB, which is 1080i...the native resolution for this set. Now, granted, up to this point I am usually watching sports or some other hi-def programming on the STB, and it wouldn't highlight black issues like a movie would, but I think I'm going to make a point of watching some Deadwood or something tonight and see what happens. For me, if this is at least part of the issue, then getting an HDMI cable (which I'm planning to do anyway) and having my player upconvert to 1080i, might greatly help the issue.

CD

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post #29 of 2570 Old 08-27-2006, 10:24 AM
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I started this thread because I think we all need to share info to find a possible remedy; that includes any and all feedback from Hitachi, reps, techs, etc. I need the firmware upgrade, but don't expect that to help much. Yes, I am still noticing some flicker, although it is no where near as bad as it was with the Contrast way down. I have mentioned this before and no one really bit, but could it have something to do with the set's processor and the way it handles conversion?? I say this because I only ever see the issue with my DVD player, which is currently outputting at 480p, and I NEVER see it with my STB, which is 1080i...the native resolution for this set. Now, granted, up to this point I am usually watching sports or some other hi-def programming on the STB, and it wouldn't highlight black issues like a movie would, but I think I'm going to make a point of watching some Deadwood or something tonight and see what happens. For me, if this is at least part of the issue, then getting an HDMI cable (which I'm planning to do anyway) and having my player upconvert to 1080i, might greatly help the issue.

CD[/quote]

Ya, this whole thing is disheartening to me. I am going to take this right to the end, until I am satisfied. The store I bought from, opens Tues AM, I will be on the cell calling the sales rep and seeing whats next.

I see the flicker on HD, my PVR, DVD, all inputs. I watch the HD movie channel that has deadwood, and that flickers too.

Who out there knows something? Is this hardware or software.......Hitachi rep chime in, I know your reading these......

HITACHI 55HDT79 PLASMA
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post #30 of 2570 Old 08-27-2006, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

So...I settled in for some hard, critical viewing tonight, forced to make a decision about whether to keep my 42HDS69 or not. I started off with my HD STB, as I wanted to test a theory; most of my viewing up until this point had been done with a new DVD player (a Denon 1730, I bought for upconverting on this set, but up until this point I have only been running component output at 480p)...maybe my issue was being caused by the player? Or was exaggerated by the set having to convert 480p to its native 1080i? My Comcast HD STB looked GREAT...and whereas I couldn't stop seeing the "flicker" or contrast shifts from the DVDs, the picture...contrast, color, definition...was sharp and steady from the cable feed. The STB was using the same input and cables that I used for the DVD, so I eliminated them as suspects. So I was convinced that the issue could not be with the "panels", as I have heard someone else suggest, as a panel defect or tendency would happen no matter what the source. Long-story-short: I started monkeying with the settings and for some reason, my problem is DEFINITELY being caused by the Contrast setting being too low. I was still dialed way down from my break-in and I found the picture to be acceptable (other than the "flicker" of course) at about 30%, so that's where I've been watching material the past few days. BEHOLD...bounce it up to 40% and the shadowy, contrast-shifts, flicker-whatevers are GONE!! I went back and watched scenes that were torture the day before: West Wing, Jackie Brown, Armageddon Criterion; did I mention that the flicker was GONE!? I even had my wife lend a second set of eyes, just to make sure I wasn't new-plasma-owner-joins-avsforum-and-starts-seeing-things-that-aren't-really-there guy; but after training her as to what the hell i was talking about, she noticed it every where I did, which was EVERYWHERE, too. But then she also agreed that this Contrast increase eliminated it.

I saw elsewhere, after my discovery, that someone else thinks Color Temp and Noise Reduction settings may be the key in eliminating their flicker issue. But I also noticed his Contrast setting was 56, way above the threshold I discovered. So I think the bottom line is, as one Plasma veteran mentioned, that tweaking, tweaking, tweaking, is really essential in Plasma; you can't just expect these sets to look very good right out of the box.

I will say this: I was still able to re-create this flicker issue with one particularly torturous scene in Jackie Brown. The scene is essential in a dark room, with bodies illuminated as silhouettes from window light at night. I believe this somewhat lighter and somewhat darker holding of black backgrounds is the normal, all plasmas do it, false-contouring that I have heard about. In any case, whatever it is, I can live with it and am ecstactic about being able to tweak the set now for best, most vibrant picture, and not just to make it acceptable to view.

I suggest anyone still having this issue, try checking your Contrast. Too low like mine, or is this a case of different strokes for different folks? I'm really hoping others find some success and welcome reading the posts.

Chris

Sincerely, I hope you fixed the problem... Trust me!!! I thought I had the flicker problem fixed many times on my plasma only to have it come and go with no pattern what so ever. The flicker for me was worse with HDMI connections on my set but I could still see it to a slightly lesser extent on the component inputs. For me, the flicker was worse on cable. DVD was actually much better... Hope this helps.
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