Originally Posted by Chere
I would like to point out that there has been a recent issue discovered concerning the VT50's video processing. Basically it looks like Panasonic for its 2012 flagship is using a poor video processor where pq for cable and satellite channels is soft and unwatchable in 1080i.
Originally Posted by sheshechic
What they are discussing is true for all three models.
Whether it is unwatchable or not is for each person to decide. IMO, it does tick me off but I wouldn't say that it's unwatchable.
Well it was mentioned early on, by myself included, that the ST50 appears somewhat soft. I wasn't sure what to make of it at first since I was coming from a 42" 720p Panny. It doesn't always appear soft though. Here are some comments by SiGGy from the VT thread:
It seems the TV is over dithering material, especially skin tones. There's a major loss of resolution (detail) happening when this occurs. It makes things look like their out of focus because it's dropping all of the detail when it dithers and you get a soft image. It's not the source, it's the TV doing it. Granted some video sources seem to exacerbate the issue.
In fact most skin tones look out of focus on my set when there isn't a high contrast scene. They only look good when there's bright material to back up the soft areas. For example skin areas in the shadows are consistently soft and dithered if the scene doesn't have any bright material.
I think this is the same thing people are seeing when they say "one minute it looks great, the next it looks soft"
I don't believe this is a 1080i issue as I've noticed it on 720p content as well. There doesn't seem to be a consensus from the VT thread as to what is causing it either. I'm using the same STB that I used with my prior plasma and I'm feeding the signal directly into the TV and letting it do the scaling. To be honest, I haven't noticed any issues while watching film based material. I only see it with live broadcasts or material on video (e.g. news, sports, late night talk shows, etc.)
SiGGy's comment about high contrast and bright scenes is interesting. This is what I've noticed as well. Outdoor sports such as baseball or games in brightly lit arenas look great, but talk shows where the background is mostly dark (e.g. Jay Leno) appear soft. If a really bright light shines on someone though (like when a band is performing) it looks good. As SiGGy said, one minute it can look great, the next it looks soft. This is what makes this issue somewhat maddening. Although the picture does look soft, it does not look bad. It's frustrating though because you know the picture could look sharper.
I'm not sure what the solution is or if there is one. I've tweaked with the settings a little bit and I'll probably do so a little more. In the VT thread, some people claim that running the source through an AVR and outputting 1080p to the TV resolves the issue, while others said it made no difference. Comparisons were done between the Panny and other sets using the same source. One person said the other set was sharper, someone else said the other set was just as soft. Maybe someone will come up with a solution for this, but for now I'm going to try to not worry about it and just enjoy my set.