PANASONIC 65" 1080p PLASMA (TH-65PX600U) Owners Thread - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 743 Old 10-11-2006, 09:46 AM
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Larry,

Those appear to be full field measurements, correct? (That is full black screen, full white screen).
If so, remember that plasmas...especially Panasonics...are known to cut power to full field white and therefore not produce the brightest full white fields out there. Rather, it is the ANSI contrast in which plasma tends to excel. When the image isn't full white, but has other dark areas or medium dark (i.e. the typical image from a movie or TV show), there is more luminance available for those smaller areas of bright, so they can go brighter, hence more contrast.

This is why a plasma should look like it has better contrast than the numbers you've measured.
(Again, assuming full-field).
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post #92 of 743 Old 10-11-2006, 10:01 AM
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Using a HTPC might help make the measurements less subject to assumptions. Could do like 1/3 of the screen pure white (255, 255, 255) and the other 2/3 black and then measure those areas. Having an actual picture being input might be more indicative of real-life viewing. Maybe you'll get the same results but it would be interesting to see...

That would eliminate the "white is white" assumption, the possibility that the unit is not displaying pure black with no input, and the full field effect described by Rich. Maybe even go 1/4 or 1/5 white to be sure you have the headroom that Rich describes... If you do 1/4 of the sceen and put the white field in a corner, it will also help identify if the white block has any unexpected effect on the black level of material near it horizontally and vertically. Oh, also be sure to drop the brightness way down.. If the balck level is calibrated lower than 0,0,0 from a PC, of course you'll get grey everywhere.
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post #93 of 743 Old 10-11-2006, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

Larry,

Those appear to be full field measurements, correct? (That is full black screen, full white screen).

Full black but only a tiny patch at full white. But also see my edited post above.


And, yes, the glow looks pretty bright to me.
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post #94 of 743 Old 10-11-2006, 05:00 PM
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For a year I had planned to purchase this set. Then I wavered and decided to hold off - partially due to the cost and partially due to the one and only set I have seen. It was not set up well and had numerous issues - which could very well have been source related.

Recently I purchased a Sharp 52D62U and while I very much like the set - the family has decided that bigger is better I probably will keep the Sharp for the gameroom as originally intended and the plasma would go in the dedicated - light controlled media room.

One of the reasons I am re-evaluating my decision to hold off - after viewing the Sharp and my Panny next to each other for the past 5 days - I realize how much I really love my Panny. Even if only Ed and 42". The PQ is just fantastic. And in the darkest of conditions - it still holds it own. Anyways - back to the 65"er...

I have the opportunity through my EPP (if you have it CALL) to purchase this set very favourably. However, it is a sale and I am not sure how long I have to make this decision. The one and only set I even bought sight unseen was my original panny and that was because of what Rich H posted at the time and his glorious reviews.

Hoping the owners here and others could assist me in determining if this is a purchase that would meet my needs....Please I know this is subjective...but....I really do need the help

I love my current Panny(42 6uy) black levels and contrast - would you say the 65" holds up? It does not have to be better - but at least equal? We will be sitting 8-10' at max away. While I watch mostly HD DVD, HD 1080i/720p and will use it a PC the SO does a fair amount of SD watching - is it watchable for SD - say similar to a 50" 720p Panny (had extensive experience with an 8UK)?

I will most likely be buying a VP - so that would help.

I have viewed the Pioneer FHD1 extensively and very much like that set. In fact had it not been for the glare and lighting conditions of the gameroom - would have bought it. Also had some teen/gaming issues I was uncomfortable leaving this set around for their sole use

I have read Rich's feedback - any additional thoughts?

I have always had the commercial Panny and while I am not fond of the consumer styling - can live with it - what I fear is the inability to tweak - has anyone accessed the SM and been able to tweak if necessary?

I really would appreciate any feedback and have cross posted in the first impressions thread.

Thanks Again!
Therese
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post #95 of 743 Old 10-11-2006, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpwj40e View Post

...snip...

I really would appreciate any feedback and have cross posted in the first impressions thread.

Thanks Again!
Therese

What exactly are you looking for that hasn't already been posted????

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post #96 of 743 Old 10-11-2006, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimP View Post

What exactly are you looking for that hasn't already been posted????

Hmmm...Additional opinions....more detail on the various sources. Is there an impact of the "measurements" as noted in this thread of real life viewing.

Comparison of black/contrast levels to 6 gen panny panels - since I have that panel - easier for me to "visualize".

Has anyone tried a VP with this set. Is using a VP an issue - read that overscan and 1:1 are not issues - also read posts asking for addiitonal info re 1:1. Since it is highly likely I will use a VP - that would be of interest.

If anyone has seen the 1080p LCD's - while apple/oranges comparison that would assist as I am very familiar with those and their PQ capabilities.

Since there are few 1080p plasma's out - hard to ask any pertinent questions...

Therese
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post #97 of 743 Old 10-11-2006, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpwj40e View Post

Hmmm...Additional opinions....more detail on the various sources. Is there an impact of the "measurements" as noted in this thread of real life viewing.

Comparison of black/contrast levels to 6 gen panny panels - since I have that panel - easier for me to "visualize".

Has anyone tried a VP with this set. Is using a VP an issue - read that overscan and 1:1 are not issues - also read posts asking for addiitonal info re 1:1. Since it is highly likely I will use a VP - that would be of interest.

If anyone has seen the 1080p LCD's - while apple/oranges comparison that would assist as I am very familiar with those and their PQ capabilities.

Since there are few 1080p plasma's out - hard to ask any pertinent questions...

Therese

I think it is pretty much safe to say that everything that is currently know about the performance of these panels has already been posted.

Please take some time and actually read all of the posts that are already available instead of asking another redundant question.
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post #98 of 743 Old 10-11-2006, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D-Nice View Post

I think it is pretty much safe to say that everything that is currently know about the performance of these panels has already been posted.

Please take some time and actually read all of the posts that are already available instead of asking another redundant question.

I actually did read them. Sorry for my questions. It does appear that some are redundant.

Therese
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post #99 of 743 Old 10-11-2006, 07:12 PM
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Therese,

For what it's worth, I thought your questions were valid.

I'm always disappointed at how quickly we pounce on a fellow traveler who is just asking for a little help with directions. Sure maybe they missed a street-sign a couple blocks back, but that's no reason to try to make them feel stupid or lazy for asking.

Just my two cents...

-tony
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post #100 of 743 Old 10-11-2006, 08:13 PM
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Anybody knows of a bracket that reaches 48-50" on the wall (three studs at 24") ?
Tilt or fixed , I'll take either.
The plasma side must handle 35.75" x 19.8" for the beast.

Thanks,
Nick
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post #101 of 743 Old 10-11-2006, 08:36 PM
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Nick-

Try www.solidmounts.com . The model number is UF-1000 if I recall correctly.

The back mounting plate is 49 inches wide, if I recall correctly, so should work for you.

Hope this helps,
Rick
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post #102 of 743 Old 10-11-2006, 08:52 PM
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Therese,

Here is my take after using the set for 5 days. (I replaced a Toshiba RPTV with this set and I also have a 42 inch ED Panny.) Pros and Cons (so far) simplified:

Pros:

*Excellent with HD DVDs (The set really shines when viewing these.)
*Excellent with SD DVDs (Well-mastered DVDs virtually equal some HD DVDs. I'm actually excited about rewatching many of my SD DVDs because of this.)
*Large immersive picture that I can sit very close to--I'm sitting at 8 feet and could go closer if I wanted.
*Razor sharp image for a set this large.
*Overscan works well along with what limited user controls it has. (I feel it's not a real "tweaker's" set, but has a fair amount of controls. And the controls are very easy to navigate and use.)
*Quiet and does not generate a lot of heat.
*A nice amount and variety of inputs.

Cons:

*Still cannot get the black levels to where I want them. On wide-screen movies the black bars are "lighter" than I want. Movies with dark scenes to not scream out deep inky blackness.
(I'll be looking at "Batman Begins" on HD DVD tonight to critique what those dark scenes look like.)
(I have not tinkered with the service menu to see how much the black level can be improved by a non-professional calibrator like myself. Playing around with the service menu is weekend, all day/all night type, of thing for me. Hopefully, this weekend.)
*Coming out of the shoot at $10,000, the set is not inexpensive. I feel you get a lot, but I wouldn't buy it at the MSRP.
*Glare. Not a set to watch without controlled lighting.

I've looked at the Pioneer Pro-FHD1 and I almost want to say that I prefer that set's black levels. I say almost because that set is a 50 inch set and perhaps I'm fooled that the blacks are better because everything is more compacted. If it were expanded to a 65 inch set, I'm not so sure its black levels would hold up.

My plan is this: I have 25 days left on my return policy with this set. When assjack1 gets his tomorrow and writes up his compelling and comprehensive review of the set by late tomsorrow (Okay. By the weekend.), I'll have something that is in the same league as my set to which I can compare. (As other people get their sets, I'll be, of course, reading their opinions as well, but it sounds like assjack1 will be the FIRST!)

If the black levels on the TH-65PF9UK are substantially better and it truly outperforms the consumer model, then I'll switch. I'll hate giving up all the inputs on the consumer set and having to buy cards to get the inputs that I want, but ultimate picture quality for the same price is where I'm headed. If both sets are pretty much even, I'll keep the consumer set, not visit this forum any more for four years (so I won't be tempted by the latest and greatest set being released every six months), and then, four years from now I'll check back in and see what I've been missing.

As I view more and learn more, I'll post more PROS and CONS.
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post #103 of 743 Old 10-11-2006, 09:04 PM
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Franchot,

Thanks for continuing to post your impressions of the Panny.

As far as black levels, not to burst your bubble, but I see no reason why you should expect the TH-65PF9UK to have better black levels, let alone substantially better black levels. It's essentially the same display.
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post #104 of 743 Old 10-12-2006, 12:13 AM
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Rich H.,

Yes, of course, you're right, and after tonight's viewings and calibrations this is the stage I'm at...

Although the blacks on this plasma are not too bad compared to other plasmas I've seen through the years, it just doesn't match the nice, deep blacks of my old RPTV. However, the trade-off in having this plasma instead of the RPTV is that the plasma blows away my old RPTV in clarity and sharpness at the price of higher (or should I say reduced?) blacks. And that's not a bad trade-off so far.

Tonight's viewings and calibrations yielded the following observations:

I calibrated in all three modes: Standard, Cinema, and Vivid and I put three movies through their paces: The Maltese Falcon (the newly released remastered disc) upconverted to 1080i; The Incredibles upconverted to 1080i; and Batman Begins on HD DVD in 1080i.

I have a passion for black and white films and almost an equal passion for The Maltese Falcon. I watched some of it in 4x3 mode with black side bars. A crystal clear picture, but the side bars could have been darker for my tastes. I switched to Full Mode and despite disliking full screen films in any other aspect, the movie was quite watchable in that mode. Toggling between Full and Just mode, for some reason I found the Full mode more pleasing.

I put on The Incredibles to see how much color and pop a cartoon on the plasma would have. It looked okay, but got much better as I'll explain below.

Finally, I tried out Batman Begins which has many dark scenes and the detail in some scenes just escaped me. But it also got better.

When I switched over to Vivid mode and calibrated from that mode, is when the set started to really shine in my eyes. The blacks got better, the details got better, and the colors just popped. The dilemma is that the contrast and brightness settings are set somewhat high, and do I risk burn-in at those levels? (They're not at the very top of the scale, but higher than what I would normally set them. But, boy, do those blacks and colors look nice !) (I remember, Rich, when you said that there was the one time when you saw the set looking very good was when it was calibrated from the Vivid mode. Against past wisdom is this the way to coach the best out of this set?

So, as it stands, I'm very pleased with the way it handles SD DVDs. I don't see the hi-def DVD war amounting to much and will probably just end up being a niche market, if that. I learned from my Betamax, super Beta, Super VHS, SACD, and DVD-A experiences that the highest quality products don't also dominate the marketplace. With over 1500 SD DVDs, this plasma is a good ally to have.
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post #105 of 743 Old 10-12-2006, 03:22 AM
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I ordered consumer model with standard consumer pedestal. I am getting a custom stand made. How high should top of my stand be from floor for optimal couch height viewing?
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post #106 of 743 Old 10-12-2006, 03:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franchot View Post

I've looked at the Pioneer Pro-FHD1 and I almost want to say that I prefer that set's black levels. I say almost because that set is a 50 inch set and perhaps I'm fooled that the blacks are better because everything is more compacted. If it were expanded to a 65 inch set, I'm not so sure its black levels would hold up.

Uh oh. Franchot, this is my biggest concern about the big Panny. I've yet to be impressed with the FHD1's black levels and I've always thought that no matter how good the FHD1's picture is, if I were in the market for a 1080p 50" panel, that aspect would prevent me from getting it. If the black levels of the 65" Panny are no better, or possibly a tad worse, I may have to sit out this gen of 1080p big screens and wait.
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post #107 of 743 Old 10-12-2006, 04:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franchot View Post

When I switched over to Vivid mode and calibrated from that mode, is when the set started to really shine in my eyes. The blacks got better, the details got better, and the colors just popped. The dilemma is that the contrast and brightness settings are set somewhat high, and do I risk burn-in at those levels? (They're not at the very top of the scale, but higher than what I would normally set them. But, boy, do those blacks and colors look nice !) (I remember, Rich, when you said that there was the one time when you saw the set looking very good was when it was calibrated from the Vivid mode. Against past wisdom is this the way to coach the best out of this set?

Franchot, I'm thinking that the Vivid mode is just making the blacks 'appear' darker due to the brighter whites contrasting them. The true test would be to throw on something with scenes that are almost totally black with nothing very bright in the same scene to 'fool' you. Of course you can always compare a pure black screen from an unused input and then switch between vivid and other modes to see if the black levels change. My hunch is that they won't, but I really hope I'm wrong.
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post #108 of 743 Old 10-12-2006, 04:44 AM
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Franchot,

If you have either Avia or DVE, display the cross step grayscale pattern. Its a lot easier to see what each picture mode is doing. Check the lower IREs just above black. A lot of the time, changing picture modes affects these values.

Also remember that a set should be calibrated for brightness and contrast in the same lighting that you intend to view it in. This generally means that you need to have a daytime setting and a night time setting.

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post #109 of 743 Old 10-12-2006, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

If the black levels of the 65" Panny are no better, or possibly a tad worse, I may have to sit out this gen of 1080p big screens and wait.

that's precisely my concern, as well - i've been eagerly awaiting the 65" panny for a long, long time, but if the black levels are not up to snuff, then i'm afraid it's going to be no dice for me.

i'll be glad to read others' perceptions of their panels as they're posted here.

thanks for all the info, guys.
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post #110 of 743 Old 10-12-2006, 06:07 AM
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Drat.

The local store that usually lets me do really detailed evals of a display like this sold it's first TH-65X600U even before they put it on display. Now they have more in stock, but want to first get rid of the old 65" Onyx version on display before putting up the new one. They've only been trying to get rid of that display for something like two years already. Curses.

I now have an HD-DVD player so whenever these guys get their act together I can check that out too. But the wait goes on....
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post #111 of 743 Old 10-12-2006, 06:16 AM
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BTW, about the black levels.

I feel certain they are lower than the FHD1 (at least all the FHD1s I've seen, including the one I calibrated via D-Nice's settings). This is because every time I've watched the FHD1 it has been trivial for me to notice the higher black levels of that display. I found myself almost constantly aware of them, except in the brightest scenes.

However on the Panasonic that wasn't the case. The black levels looked consistently rich, just like my display at home. There is one scene I always play (among others) in Jurassic Park 3, where a character is punched and falls into tree covered in large leaves. The leaves are sticking out of deep shadow. On displays with higher black levels, the shadow looks less deep, more washed out, which makes the leaves themselves look less solid and dimensional like they are pasted on a grayish background.

On the TH-65PX600U that shot looked just fine, with the shadow looking nice and deep and the leaves convincingly solid...as good as I remember on my own Panasonic.

The higher black levels only revealed themselves mostly in the worst "torture test" scenes, from Alien etc, where I noticed the black levels being a bit higher than I've seen at home (or from the new smaller Panny models).

I don't know if over time the black levels would become less acceptable over more content, or remain ok for me. But I know I was thrilled with most of what I watched on that panel.

Keep in mind too that apparently some of the new TH-65PX600U owners here are coming from CRT displays. Very often people who switch from CRT to plasmas note the higher black levels (we've had complaints even about the smaller 9th gen Panasonic black levels as well here, from people replacing CRT sets).
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post #112 of 743 Old 10-12-2006, 07:24 AM
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Damn.

I was hoping that you would get a chance to put the 65 through its paces.

I have to admit I with you. Since I have the 657UY, I probably will not upgrade until there is a marked improvement in Black Levels over my current panel. I am still gathering information and reading the insights and observation from fellow posters.

At the very least, I will wait for CES to see what is coming down the pike

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post #113 of 743 Old 10-12-2006, 08:24 AM
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Franchot your comments got me looking back at some of your photos taken of a movie on your new 65"er. The photo in question is attached here. You are saying that the blacks in this photo are not deep enough? I have a old 1992 crt set and what I see in this photo is at least equivalent to my crt...so I think I will be very pleased. Perhaps the photo is not as discerning as your eye?

Thanks,
Bob
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post #114 of 743 Old 10-12-2006, 08:35 AM
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bwclark,

You cannot judge black levels from a screenshot. Have you seen the LCD screenshots that some members have posted? They sure do give the illusion of having deep blacks don't they?
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post #115 of 743 Old 10-12-2006, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimP View Post

Franchot,

If you have either Avia or DVE, display the cross step grayscale pattern. Its a lot easier to see what each picture mode is doing. Check the lower IREs just above black. A lot of the time, changing picture modes affects these values.

Also remember that a set should be calibrated for brightness and contrast in the same lighting that you intend to view it in. This generally means that you need to have a daytime setting and a night time setting.

Thanks, Jim, I have both discs and will check the patterns and do more calibrating this weekend when I have a good chunk of time and my eyes are better rested. (Damn this interferring day job! )

I've only calibrated at night because 100% of my viewing on this set is done after the sun goes down. (Thanks again to that damn day job. ) I like a totally black room, but I have a feeling that I may venture into backlighing territory with this set.

In my bedroom I have a 42 inch ED Panny plasma (which I believe is 3 or 4 years old) which I occasionaly use to watch movies. This new 65 inch set is certainly much better at giving me a more detailed and less noisy picture. I haven't compared black levels between these two sets because the 65 inch plasma is replacing my ISF calibrated RPTV and that's probably why I'm being so critical about the set. I don't want to go backwards in any area (but I realize that I will have to make some trade-offs to stay positive about the set.)

Again, the black levels are nowhere as bad as I've seen on some plasmas and LCDs and I wouldn't call them "washed out," it's just I'm not totally satisfied with their level.

(Hey, Rich H., why don't you buy the old Oynx set? When it's out of the shop, they'll replace it with the new 65PX600u and then you can do a review on the PX set. Then return the Oynx two weeks later because you're dissatisfied with it. Note: this will only work if they have a great return policy and you want to go above and beyond the call of duty for the masses here. .)
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post #116 of 743 Old 10-12-2006, 08:51 AM
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Franchot,
Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed articulation of your experiences to date. As are others - I am interested in your continued findings re blacklevels/contrast. I would also be most interested in your SM tweakings - should they happen. While I appreciate details of particular SM settings etc may be inappropriate for a web forum - your general impressions on the impact they had on PQ/black etc would be very interesting.

Due to my inability to view a local set in anything but the worst of conditions and the currrent impression re black levels. I think I will hold off a few more days to follow any additional findings. And to follow the findings of those receiving the commercial model.

Thanks Again for your time psoting your impressions and answering questions!
Regards,
Therese
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post #117 of 743 Old 10-12-2006, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by wpwj40e View Post

I actually did read them. Sorry for my questions. It does appear that some are redundant.

Therese

I've gotten a PM from someone stating my response to your post was "harsh". Since a third party felt I insulted you, I'm obligated to offer an apology as that was not my intention. Here are the answers to your questions:

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Hmmm...Additional opinions....more detail on the various sources. Is there an impact of the "measurements" as noted in this thread of real life viewing.

Measurements may or may not give you view of what your eyes will see. Personal tastes and tolerances vary, so Measurements should only be used as a guide. Also measurements can be full of it based on how they were derived. Example, Panasonic current derives their 10,000:1 and 5000:1 contrast ratios by taking the measurements with the front glass off (WTF???????)
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Comparison of black/contrast levels to 6 gen panny panels - since I have that panel - easier for me to "visualize".

Myself and R. Harkness have touched on this numerous times. Per a Panasonic engineer the blacks on the 65PX600u should be "on par or slightly better" than the 7th gen Panasonics. R. Harkness has stated that the blacks are comparable to his 3rd gen Panasonic EDTV. So it should be safe to say that the blacks will be on par with what you are accustom to.
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Has anyone tried a VP with this set. Is using a VP an issue - read that overscan and 1:1 are not issues - also read posts asking for addiitonal info re 1:1. Since it is highly likely I will use a VP - that would be of interest.

Nope.
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If anyone has seen the 1080p LCD's - while apple/oranges comparison that would assist as I am very familiar with those and their PQ capabilities.

R. Harness has compared the Panny 65" to a pervious encounter with the Sharp 65" LCD. I think it is safe for me to say that the Panny is overall better than the Sharp....right Rich?
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post #118 of 743 Old 10-12-2006, 09:25 AM
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Therese,

At some point I'll also be hooking up my laptop to the TV and playing around in that menu, but time is the enemy. (After having the set for almost a week, my wife wants to watch an entire movie instead of calibration screens and the same scenes over and over night after night.)

I think it's prudent that you wait for more reviews from other owners, especially Larry Hutchinson's when he gets things rolling. I'm sure his insights will be more probing and comprehensive than the one's I'm unprofessionaly throwing out.

(Just a side comment--if anybody thought D-Nice's comment was "harsh," he/she should spend some time in NYC. They'd probably see it as "to the point."
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post #119 of 743 Old 10-12-2006, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Franchot View Post

*Still cannot get the black levels to where I want them. On wide-screen movies the black bars are "lighter" than I want. Movies with dark scenes to not scream out deep inky blackness.
(I'll be looking at "Batman Begins" on HD DVD tonight to critique what those dark scenes look like.)
(I have not tinkered with the service menu to see how much the black level can be improved by a non-professional calibrator like myself. Playing around with the service menu is weekend, all day/all night type, of thing for me. Hopefully, this weekend.)

I would not expect that the black levels can be improved via any sort of adjustment. They are implicit in the design of the set and are, as I understand it, caused by the need to keep the plasma "alive" (think of starting a fluorescent light.) Perhaps if they added a tiny piece of Radium to each cell....

The way to improve the perception of blacks is to increase the background (bias) room lighting and/or to increase the white level.

Do you watch with the lights out or with bias lighting?
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post #120 of 743 Old 10-12-2006, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by D-Nice View Post

R. Harness has compared the Panny 65" to a pervious encounter with the Sharp 65" LCD. I think it is safe for me to say that the Panny is overall better than the Sharp....right Rich?

Overall, I much prefer the Panny 65 over the Sharp 65 LCD, in that the black levels are clearly deeper on the Panasonic, much better in a dark room (and better off-axis performance). As well I find the Panny 65 to have a generally smoother, more "natural" less digital look than the Sharp LCD.

However, on good HD source material, bright scenes, the Sharp can look incredible. If you were looking at the Panasonic 65 and Sharp 65 playing the same beach/water/boat scenes I'm quite sure it would be the Sharp that would grab your attention if only for sheer light output and vividness. Of course, it would also burn my eyes out in a dark room, with bright scenes, so the Sharp's contrast would have to be turned down, further squashing it's dynamic range compared to the Panasonic.

(Then again, bais lighting could help out with the Sharp LCD).

As far as the black levels of the new Panny 65, I wish I could do a side-by-side with my 4thgen Panasonic ED plasma, but my impression was that over most image material the 65 looked comparable in contrast to what I get at home. However, in really challenging dark scenes, I [i]think[/i/] the 65 displayed slightly higher black levels. I do seem to remember this being the case with the previous Onyx version of the 65" Panny as well, and wondering if dark scenes looked a tad lighter due to the larger surface area of the black areas on the bigger panel. Or whether they in fact measured higher.

Still don't know.
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