Originally Posted by New to Plasma
Thanks for the responses. The set is connected to Uverse and I have seen games from ESPN, Fox Sports SW and the local channel and all seem the same to me. I will get an antenna and try OTA. Also, movies are great. .... I started with the Cnet recommended settings for the custom option and any adjustments after that were by eye only.
Uverse is NOT a good source to use to judge HDTV PQ: at its BEST, UVerse looks Pretty Darn Good on a 50" screen (or smaller....), but the quality of the transmitted signals are seldom at their "Best."
FWIW, we've had Uverse for over 3 years (over 4 perhaps?) - one of the first to sign up when it hit our neighborhood - and have NO immediate plans to dump it: overall, it has been a good service, and PQ GENERALLY looks GREAT on our 42" plasma, is almost always Very Good (or better) on our 50" - but is Frequently ugly as sin on the 60" ST50 - -- - unless we move back to a viewing distance of around 12 feet.
There is simply too much compression on too many of the shows / channels to avoid artifacts. With a small screen, you can ignore most of them, but with a larger panel: Good Luck!
ALSO: 720p panels seem to do better with SD material than 1080p sets - something about less processing being required. (Am including "upconverted" SD DVDs and MOST "HD TV" cable feeds under "SD material!")
Uverse is further hurt by lacking a "Direct Source" mode: you must select either 720p OR 1080i at the Uverse box - which means its inferior processor is handling the upconversion / deinterlacing instead of your TV.
Some shows on Uverse do come across as providing Strikingly Good PQ - particularly those that are nice & Bright, and with Gently Moving objects (check out many - but NOT all! - of the "Showcase" HD Sample programming). Interestingly, the SHOPPING Channels (HSN / QVC) and Local News usually look "HD." Other shows are horrid: For example, shows like GRIMM, with lots of dark / shadowy scenes, seldom fare well.
No. 1 Son recently dropped UVerse TV service - maintaining internet only - and has been RAVING about the PQ provided by OTA channels, so you may want to try a decent antenna to better gauge the PQ capabilities of your set.
Spent a bit of time with the AVS BR disk (HD709) last night - strictly amateur hour - than watched favorite "test scenes" from several blu-rays: I know this is only a Mid-Line set, and is not Properly Calibrated - but without a side-by-side comparison it is difficult to imagine how another panel could provide a Significantly Better picture...