Originally Posted by Owen
We will have to agree to disagree on this one.
I have no doubt it does, beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder.
As delivered my SXRD was VERY bright, had over saturated color, exaggerated red and green primaries average black levels and a gamma of 1.8, certainly not the best. Now it is similar to the Hitachi for brightness, has no exaggerated color, accurate primaries, Kuro black levels and a gamma of 2.2, what a difference that has made. Color is now the aspect of performance I most enjoy on the SXRD.
Yes digitals don't do black, and that's the one thing I really do miss about the Hitachi, especially when viewing dark video content in a very dim to dark environment.
It's not all bad though, the SXRD has better ANSI contrast then the Hitachi, even with it fully blacked out internally. It also has perfect shadow detail without affecting black level, every level above video black is clearly visible, something CRT typically have trouble with when set up for absolute blacks.
I purchased the Hitachi over the Sony and Toshiba because of its superior convergence adjustment which is vital to sharp images in a CRT RPTV. I always found color better on the Sony and Toshi sets the CRT phosphor primaries are just better IMHO.
I see artifacts on the Kuro's, the SXRD has a natural advantage over Plasma as it does not use pulse width modulation to drive its pixels and hence suffers no shadow noise.
To do the best convergence job you need a single line width 1080 pattern, with each grid line alternating between two colors so you can see how they line up. Usually alternating green-red and a blur- red patterns are provided. With overlapping colors like a white grid it's too difficult to see exactly where the centre of each color is, especially blue. With dashed two color lines its easy to see exactly where the centre of each colored line is.
Are you saying you can resolve an alternating 1920 vertical black and white line and alternating 1080 horizontal black and white line pattern on your set?
That's amazing, even the high end 9 gun 1080p front projectors had trouble with that.
I don't have the service manual for the Hitachi any longer, but I think it was called Y Detail Control, there where separate setting for 1080i, 480i and 576i. It was basically a sharpness control for color (chroma).
It you displayed a black and white pattern for adjusting sharpness, adjusting Y Detail had no affect, but display an images containing color detail like human skin and the affect was obvious. Increasing the setting provided more color detail and decreasing its filtered or smoothed color.
While increasing Y Detail certainly increases detail it has the negative affect of making compression artifacts and color banding more noticeable. Conversely decreasing Y detail smoothes out artifacts as the majority of digital artifacts are in chroma not luma.
It could well be that the US model Hitachi's come with Y Detail set low and that's why you don't see the artifacts I did. I ran Y Detail bumped up as I'm a HD detail junky, but for DVD it was definitely counterproductive.
Unfortunately I ran DVD's upscaled to 1080 which meant that I was running a HD optimized setup with DVD unless I went into the service menu to adjust Y Detail, which was too impractical.
The US Hitachi's have a totally different service menu structure to the model I had. Menu items where numbered from 1 to over 600 with no cryptic names to give any clue as to what they did. 80% or the service menu is also un-documented in the service manual, thanks Hitachi. Maybe someone here knows or can guess the name of the menu item on the US model.
Adjusting the color decoder helps but it does not alter the color of the CRT phosphors, the exaggerated red primary will always be there as Bob explained in the Hitachi thread. The color of red is off as shown in LastButNotLeast's CEI graph, and that can't be fixed without replacing the red gun for a different type.
If Hitachi had exaggerated green as well the result would have been more balanced and worked out better IMHO, that's what most manufactures have been doing with digital displays.