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Seattle: Panny 65GT50 looks bad on 720p OTA; Do I need an OTA STB?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

I just bought a panny 65GT50, and hooked up an OTA antenna. However the stations in 720p don't look so great. They have a watercolor look to them close up. The 1080i stations and blu-ray of course look fabulous. I've read that the internal scaler in the tv is not so great. So now I'm looking for a solution. It's been suggested that i get a standalone tv tuner, then run that signal through a upscaling receiver or oppo blu-ray player. However I'm having a hard time locating a good reliable stand alone tv tuner. I've seen 2 so far, but they seem to have a lot of bad reviews.

I know that I could use Tivo, but then I'm trying to avoid that at this point due to the monthly fee.

So what is the current best recomendation for a good reliable stand alone HD TV Tuner for receiving OTA signals and outputting to HDMI. (or any other suggestions)

Thanks very much

P.S. I just talked to Tivo and apparently it can be used as a tuner only, without a subscription, however the rep said it leaves an annoying red stripe on the screen.
Does anybody have experience with this, or how to get rid of it?

post #2 of 13
If you do a little digging, we have a number of "best OTA tuner" threads already going. Might want to check one of those. Or take the TV back. Sounds to me like something's wrong. I've never seen a huge color shift from a 1080i source to a 720p.

Might also check your local thread and see if your ABC or FOX affiliate has a problem, though I suppose you've tried both.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Dr Don,


The problem is not actually a color shift at all, it's just resolution.
I think the TV itself is fine, just the scalar just dosen't seem very good. I played a 480p SD DVD in my bluray player (which upscales to 1080p) and those images actually look pretty good.

Anyway, I'll search the threads for best OTA tuners.

post #4 of 13
Next question is where are you? This could still be an issue with your ABC or FOX affiliate. If either one is running subchannels or has their encoding improperly set, dim scenes almost look like a paint-by-numbers portrait.

Assuming good 1080i and 720p broadcasts, even the cheapest television will do the cross conversion from 720p to 1080i/p fairly well. there can BE a little resolution hit, but If standard DVDs are looking better than your ABC affiliate, something's wrong. Hate to see you throw money at it only to get the same result.

I'd try a second set before spending any money or check with others in your local thread to see if it's a broadcaster issue.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Dr don,

Thanks again.

I'm out of the 30 days to exchange the set. The effect shows up on all 720p stations.

fox, abc, joetv,and pbs as well.

However 1080i stations and blu-ray look fabulous.

I also had the 60in version (60gt50) in my house along with the 65gt50, side up side because I was trying to decide which one to keep and they both looked the same on 720p material. So i'm suspecting it's not the set.

post #6 of 13
I'm kind of with Dr. Don on this one. Most ATSC tuners these days in the major tv mfrs sets are really good (unless Panasonic had a bad production run of tuners) so if you're getting a bad OTA signal to begin with, upscaling it probably won't make that much of a difference and in fact may make it worse. How is your antenna setup? Indoors or outdoors? Dr. Don's suggestion on asking around you local OTA HDTV group is a good idea. Others in you area may have had the same issues and came up with a solution. Keep in mind that the larger your panel is and the closer you sit, the imperfections and artefacts in the pq will become more noticeable.
post #7 of 13
Originally Posted by sandman123 View Post

The effect shows up on all 720p stations.
Where are you? We need a location. If possible, please add it to your profile so we can all see at a glance. See mine to the left.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Dr, Don

I'm located in Seattle Washington. About 15 miles north of downtown Seattle.

I've checked antennaweb.org, and all my stations are very strong.
I have old but pretty good rooftop antenna.
The 1080i stations look great off this antenna, just the 720p ones don't.

How would I check with the local HDTV group?

post #9 of 13
Originally Posted by sandman123 View Post

How would I check with the local HDTV group?
The Seattle OTA group thread is here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/254620/seattle-wa-ota Just took a quick glance. KOMO runs a subchannel and M-DTV. Q13 has an empty subchannel and also runs M-DTV and KCTS has two subchannels. That's some fractured bandwidth. You're gonna see a resolution hit.

However, KING also runs a sub and M-DTV, but KING looks fine for you. Yeah, I'd find someone near you who'd loan you an ATSC STB for a six pack just to see if it's your set (my bet).

title edited to make more specific.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for checking that out Dr Don.

Yeah as you say, KING in 1080i looks great to me. But komo, Q13, and PBS all (720p) don't look so great.

If it is my set, it not my particular one, but the whole line, because I had the exact same issue with the 60in version i had as well.

So I'm now i'll try to find a good OTA Tuner, but reading through that forum, boy there are only a few available and they all have issues.

I might try to buy one from frys' and see.

post #11 of 13
The PHD-8VX HD tuner box from ePVision upscales very well and provides sharp images. And has a good tuner.
post #12 of 13
If you decide to try a STB, I have one for sale.

post #13 of 13
I don't think an STB is going to help. You already said it happened to the 60 in version, so I think the TV is fine.

Try going into your menu settings and see if there any noise reductions on. Sometimes they make the picture worse and its better to turn it off.

Also be sure the "picture format" is correct, and you don't have your picture set on "wide" or "zoom", which might not look bad on 1080i material, but looks worse on 720p material.
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