Originally Posted by Mr Fusion
So what's the input lag like on that 32U3? Have you been able to do any sort of tests? (i.e. fighting games, fps, etc.)
If I manage to find a neighbor in my apt building that has a high speed shutter camera and is willing to take a few shots of frame rate clock comparisons, I do still have my Dell Trinitron CRT monitor, but honestly, it would just be to verify what I already know. This thing is low in input lag, and I've been playing on CRTs ever since I started gaming over 10 years ago, so I think I'd notice if it weren't.My Mini Review so far on the Panasonic TC-L32U3
I've tested FPS shooters, high speed race games, RPGs, etc, and all have played quite well on it. In fact in Far Cry for the first time ever I managed to take out all the mercs at the start of Volcano just before you get to Krieger without using the OCIW grenades or rocket launcher on Realistic, and that isn't easy. I barely lost any armor and had all my health. Far Cry is a game I've played through quite a lot before too, trying my best to perfect gameplay. I've made numerous no scratch videos of it on Realistic, but never managed this well on that part of the game before. I don't play fighter games, but if I manage to tear myself away from Skyrim long enough I could fire up Batman Arkham City (which I've beaten on New Game Plus with my CRT) just to see how that plays. I don't mean to belittle all the diligent lag testing that's been done, but honestly, I've always thought that even with a CRT and good high speed cam, you're still not actually testing with a given control device that you'd be using in game.
I've watched a few Blu-rays on it, the Superbowl, and various TV shows and it handles them all pretty well. It DOES depend on how well movies are filmed as far as the result you get though. For instance the camera focusing and overall cinematic quality on 50/50 is nowhere near as good as other Blu-rays I've watched, like Final Destination 5 and Cowboys and Aliens. It shows detail so well when the source material you're viewing is good, that even ABC's airing of Transformers 1 looked nearly Blu-ray like in IQ. I'd never noticed before for instance that the main actors when viewed in the car S7 takes them away in that their faces all look noticeably spray tanned, revealing edges of their faces without tan.
As a PC monitor it also functions quite well. I have literally not had to employ ANY settings adjustments like MPEG reduction or Sharpen some have claimed necessary for red text. Honestly, and I'm being very candid here, what is the big fuss over 4:4:4? People go on endlessly about it as if it were a critical thing. So far I've not seen that OR the lack of a "PC" labeled HDMI port to be an issue at all. I did retune Clear Type from where I had it adjusted for my CRT, but overall the text is quite clear on this display. It also scales quite well. Having the desktop at 1920x1080 resulted in files I wanted to edit being too small in text. I'm actually running 1366x768 desktop res, and there's virtually no difference in IQ. Everything's just comfortably bigger and easier to read. I've also played games in 1280x720, since my current GTS 250 1GB can't handle a lot of games in 1920x1080, and it handles that fine too. On the "Full" AR setting ("Format" button on remote), it perfectly fits any 16:9 res 1920x1080 or under with 1:1 mapping.
Viewing angles horizontally are excellent. Vertically, not so much, though that seems inherent with ANY LCD. Keep in mind I'm coming from a CRT. The vertical angles are doable though, as long as you're not standing close while it's at the norm seated view height. I can watch it while lying on my couch with no ill effects. The back lighting is plenty even enough and in all the test patterns I ran, there were no problems with contrast, clarity, or gradients. No dead or stuck pixels either. One adjustment I did make however is to move one of my living room lamps forward a bit. My living room is oddly shaped. Rather than being rectangle, at the end of the room where I have my TV (mainly to keep the surround wires along the walls vs across the room) it's shaped like a corner. This means there's no room directly to either side of the TV to place lamps, so if any of them are too far back, you can see their reflection on the screen. It's mostly because I have a small living room and that "far" lamp was lighting up a 2' wide bit of white pantry wall that juts out, and even then, it was just a subtle reflection on the right edge of the screen only visible during dark scenes. It wasn't a problem with my previous CRT TV because I had it on a 4' high stand to view it over my monitor, so it wasn't at the proper angle to see the reflection. This TV is certainly not as bad as some LGs I've seen as far as reflecting light off the screen though, esp last year's LGs, which looked completely washed out with the slightest of light reflection.
Once the lighting is setup reasonably well, this set looks amazing in everything from color quality to black levels, to gradient detail, even in blacks. Even more so I've found when tuned in well. I actually use Game mode with the color warmth turned down a bit. I've done comparisons by setting all the presets as close to one another as possible. Some will look pretty much identical, but some (except for Game and maybe Custom) always have a slight difference because of specific processing used that can't be adjusted out. Initially I was using Cinema mode, but I found when I tuned Game and Cinema modes as close as possible, Game mode ends up looking better because with the right color warmth adjustment, you get a bit better color contrast without the colors being too saturated as per default Game mode settings, and black gradient detail in dark shots is better too. The processing Cinema mode uses to soften the picture is a tradeoff IMO, it can crush blacks in dark scenes and wash color contrast some. I've even noticed ever so slightly smoother performance in Skyrim with it set to Game mode as well, no doubt due to eliminating unnecessary processing. I feel this is more a convenience plus than a tradeoff of fewer usable presets (I say "usable" only because I scrutinize over every minute detail), because I can literally use one mode for everything.Trick I found on CNET for lighting
I may go one step further on the lighting and buy a small light to put behind the TV for a subtle indirect glow around the set. Many are doing this now to eliminate eye strain that can be caused by too dark lighting, and it can even make the color quality better if you use a bulb that is 6500k and high in CRI (Color Rendering Index). I've done some searching and there are linear (straight tube) CCFL bulbs in the 9"-18" length in 6500k at anywhere from 85-98 CRI rating. There's also under cabinet fixtures that fit them. I may even drill holes in the housing of the lamp so I can mount it directly to the TV's wall mounting holes. I would also probably have to dim the lamp some if I can't find one low enough in lumens with a high CRI. There's a local lamp part shop that told me about dot matrix pattern semicircular tubes of plastic that can be clipped onto CFFL bulbs and rotated to adjust dimming. I would then add an extension cord to allow plugging it in a socket that's easily reachable, though I did find one 18 incher that has a 10' cord. Then I'd put an in line switch on it near the plug. The behind the TV lamp will be for movies and dark games only, the others suffice for TV, net, etc. Alternatively there are dimmable CFL screw-in bulbs that are 6500k in lower CRI ratings if you want to use an existing small table lamp, but they of course require more space and k and CRI ratings can change once you dim them. You also need to factor in the cost, quality and any adverse effects the dimmer might have on other nearby electronics.