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Pioneer 503CMX Trail woes  

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
I recently bought a Pioneer 503-CMX and was really happy with it until a few days ago. While the HD and DVD images this set produces are amazing I've started to notice some flaws that I really cannot live with and would like to know if they are inherent to all plasmas or just this set. By the way I already tested the 433CMX and the comercial Pioneer units and they also show the exact same problems. So Pioneer is out of the running.

The first artifact that bugs me the most are what I called "green trails". During fast moving scenes or pans the edges of the image blur a little which wouldnt bother me at all (it happens on all my LCDs when I move a window) but the problem is that said blur doesnt have the same color as the object that is moving but a lurid green color. For instance if someone with a white shirt waves their arm the bluring trail is not white but GREEN! It really really bothers me since I play games that have lots of fast movement and the effect is very apparent then. If I play a game such as halo and I turn around the effect is clearly visible again and everything blurs and leaves a slight trail that is colored green regardless of the color of the object that caused the trail/blur. Do other plasmas exhibit this behavior? I am thinking of buying the Fujitsu P50 if it solves this particular issue.

The other problem I have is that whenever a large part of the screen has a large white object the set's brightness seems to change or fluctuate rather quickly. I think I read somewhere that this is a "feature" that prevents burn in. Is there any plasma that doesnt have this feature or will at least allow me to disable it?. I think I read that the Fuji P50 will dissable something similar by activating the "static brightness feature on the menu".

Finally the last issue with the set is somewhat harder to describe. Whenever there is some text on a solid white or color background it appears as if the brightness of the entire line where the text is diminishes. while credits are rolling I can see that each line of text has a different brightness across the screen than the rest of the screen even though the text doesnt occupy the whole line across the screen the effect does producing a very clear artifact.

If the problems are not evident in other plasmas I'll return my CMX and go for the Fuji p50. Your help ir appreciated.
post #2 of 37
Haven't noticed on my 533 w/303, but I'll be sure to look for it tonight.
post #3 of 37
This was definitely reported way back a year or more ago. I tried doing a search, but it must be beyond the search limits (#). Problem is, I don't recall who posted about it, but I do remember that they even posted animated graphic to illustrate the effect. And I don't recall the fix, if there was one.

Maybe this will jog someone else's memory.

The graphic, IIRC, was a square black box moving sideways on a white background. With a trailing green shadowish effect.
post #4 of 37
Well, I did find this , and it may be related...

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=217291
post #5 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Brucer
This was definitely reported way back a year or more ago. I tried doing a search, but it must be beyond the search limits (#). Problem is, I don't recall who posted about it, but I do remember that they even posted animated graphic to illustrate the effect. And I don't recall the fix, if there was one.

Maybe this will jog someone else's memory.

The graphic, IIRC, was a square black box moving sideways on a white background. With a trailing green shadowish effect.
That sounds like my problem. A rather easy way to re-create the problem is to hook up a pc to the Pioneer and then move any window around a bit. I doubt there'd be a fix to this issue. However my main concern is whether other plasmas exhibit this problem. I dont want to spend more money unless the problem is fixed on other sets.
post #6 of 37
I might be completely wrong but maybe contrast is set too high? This green trail shouldn't happen at any contrast level but maybe lower settings can alleviate this effect. Just a thought. And no, I haven't noticed it on my Panny.

Andrzej
post #7 of 37
Then again, I haven't noticed it on my 503cmx either. :) Ignorance is bliss anyways.... La la la la, I can't hear you...
post #8 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Brucer
Well, I did find this , and it may be related...

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=217291
Thanks for the info, that is one of the artifacts I was concerned about. it is pretty obvious on Animation and some games. I find it interesting that Pioneer calls it a "Feature". " It isnt a bug, its a feature" LOL.
post #9 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Andrzej
I might be completely wrong but maybe contrast is set too high? This green trail shouldn't happen at any contrast level but maybe lower settings can alleviate this effect. Just a thought. And no, I haven't noticed it on my Panny.

Andrzej
The green blur/trails are visible at any contrast level although it is easier to notice if the constrast is high. My main concern now is whether other sets have it too so it is encouraging to hear that your Panny doesnt have this issue. Anyone with a Fuji P50 cares to comment?
post #10 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by wmwilson01
Then again, I haven't noticed it on my 503cmx either. :) Ignorance is bliss anyways.... La la la la, I can't hear you...
LOL, it is so funny you should say that. When I bought the set my girlfriend noticed one dead pixel and wanted to point it out to me. Since I couldnt see it and didnt want to see it I just ran out the room. :) to this day I dont know where that stuck pixel is and I am happier for it.
post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by The Executor
The other problem I have is that whenever a large part of the screen has a large white object the set's brightness seems to change or fluctuate rather quickly.
Yes, the auto-dimming is a known issue on the 503. Basically the more white in the image, the dimmer it gets, until it's almost as dim as the Power Mode 2. I've read that this is only caused by PC signals, but I think I have seen the same thing on HD signals through the 5 BNC port. I don't know if this is a "feature" or just a limit on the amount of power the screen can draw. You just have to live with it, and it's not very noticeable on DVDs anyway since they rarely have full-white images.
Quote:
Originally posted by The Executor
I think I read somewhere that this is a "feature" that prevents burn in.
You're thinking of something else. When the 503 gets a static PC signal for a long time (like on the order of minutes), it will automatically reduce power. This is documented in the tech manual.
Quote:
Originally posted by The Executor
Finally the last issue with the set is somewhat harder to describe. Whenever there is some text on a solid white or color background it appears as if the brightness of the entire line where the text is diminishes.
The text smearing is also a known issue (at least to me). Plasma is certainly not perfect. If it really bothers you, you can reduce the brightness of the image (e.g., Mode 2) and it will go away.
post #12 of 37
Well Ive never seen any of this on my 433 and I really looked for flaws during the first few months.I think some calibration like the Harkness method is in order.My pq is so good now that Im done with being bothered by this stuff.
post #13 of 37
I demo'd a 503MXE today and saw the effect you are talking about.
The best type of movies to see it on are the likes of Toy Story because they often have flat backgrounds comprised of a single colour (being a cartoon and all...) which makes it easier to see the effect.
In all honesty I'm not sure what it is. It might be a side effect of Pio's panel function of converting all material to 72Hz. I'd assume it would be far less visible on normal video as I haven't noticed it before. I'd even say that it was more an after-image than anything else.
As a classic example look for it behind the lamp that moves across the screen on the Pixar logo at the beginning of the movie.

On a side note, has anyone been using the Xbox through component 480P on their 503MXE or HD? I tried it today and the image was quite a bit darker at 480P than it is on the Fujitsu?
what are other people's experiences?
post #14 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Geeseman
I demo'd a 503MXE today and saw the effect you are talking about.
The best type of movies to see it on are the likes of Toy Story because they often have flat backgrounds comprised of a single colour (being a cartoon and all...) which makes it easier to see the effect.
In all honesty I'm not sure what it is. It might be a side effect of Pio's panel function of converting all material to 72Hz. I'd assume it would be far less visible on normal video as I haven't noticed it before. I'd even say that it was more an after-image than anything else.
As a classic example look for it behind the lamp that moves across the screen on the Pixar logo at the beginning of the movie.

On a side note, has anyone been using the Xbox through component 480P on their 503MXE or HD? I tried it today and the image was quite a bit darker at 480P than it is on the Fujitsu?
what are other people's experiences?
Yeah cartoons in general make the effect more readily apparent. My question to all the board members is whether they see the effects (specially the green blurring and trails) on other brands?. At this point I've decided I cannot live with the pioneer so I am returning it. However I am very afraid of spending thousands more for another plasma brand such as the Fujitsu p50 that may have the same artifacts. Basically what I would really like to know is whether the blur/green trails on fast moving images is specific to the Pioneer or is it a side effect of Plasma Technology in general. Your help is apreciated
post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by The Executor
Yeah cartoons in general make the effect more readily apparent. My question to all the board members is whether they see the effects (specially the green blurring and trails) on other brands?. At this point I've decided I cannot live with the pioneer so I am returning it. However I am very afraid of spending thousands more for another plasma brand such as the Fujitsu p50 that may have the same artifacts. Basically what I would really like to know is whether the blur/green trails on fast moving images is specific to the Pioneer or is it a side effect of Plasma Technology in general. Your help is apreciated
I have never seen it on my Panny 42" HD5UY or heard other Panny owners mentioned it. "Green push" had been associated with Pio plasmas and some suggested it is due to the deep cells that formed the pixels!
post #16 of 37
Executor - you have a sharp eye. None of the problems are fixable - but I've found them all livable. I really don't know if other brands exhibit these problems to any degree, but I've tried to watch for them and have not noticed them on Pannys or Fujis.

I was an early 503 owner and one of the first to notice the whitening bands (described in the thread above posted by Brucer). But a fellow named Digby did a lot of work on the longer decay times of the green phosphor on his older Pio 502. He wrote an application that was like a "Pong" game in which white squares would bounce back and forth across the screen. He showed that there were green trails on white boxes which lengthened as the box traveled faster and faster. I ran the application he sent me and the trails occurred on the 503CMX too - but perhaps not as bad as he was describing. So unfortunately, if you can't live with it, it ain't going to get any better in my experience. Howard
post #17 of 37
Bingo! Howard, Thanks...Wow! I didn't remember it was that far back,

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...threadid=94378
post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by Brucer
Bingo! Howard, Thanks...Wow! I didn't remember it was that far back,

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...threadid=94378
Off topic but...

have not heard from member Digby in some time: did a search and recalled this thread with his last post:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...105#post912105
post #19 of 37
Well, I think that my purchase decision for a 50" unit is off Pioneer now.
Firstly the 503MXE unit I saw has problems with after images, or after glow as stated above. This is with any video source. It's quite noticeable, but I can't help thinking that its a product of the video board in the unit as it doesn't seem apparent on the retail version the HDE.
Whats the experience with the MXE for 50" owners?
Secondly, Xbox display comes out too dark on component. Does this highlight the low contrast of the unit? Comapred it to the Fuju and the Fuju was much brighter at displaying Xbox at 480P than the Pioneer...
I'd really like to get the pioneer because of its upgrade path, but these two factors have pretty much put me off it.
Any experiences?

Oh and The Executor, I didn't see it on the Fuju Panel. Im trying it on the Panasonic 50" tommorrow. Will post results.
post #20 of 37
I can't see these problems on my 433CMX with 5002 video card. I tried some of the tests folks talked about here and I can't pick up on it. Maybe my eye is just not trained well enough to pick up on it but if it is there I don't notice it.
post #21 of 37
Argh. I am a few days away from ordering a 433cmx and am beginning to feel like I should go the panny route. I like the pio image better (from what I've seen at Circuit City), but this image trail stuff is making me nervous. At the store I didn't notice it but then again the conditions weren't like the ones posted here.

Can anyone else add their 2 cents on this subject? Is this trailing common to all plasmas?
post #22 of 37
WOW, this sort of creating a shark frenzy! Sorry for contributing to that, given the number of units sold since it's introduction and lack of reported cases, I just figured it must not be that big of a deal.

Mark- Hope Digby is OK, long time no hear.
post #23 of 37
I haven't noticed any of the problems on my 503CMX and I certainly will not be checking closely for it either. I know if I ever see it once I will see it every time I look at the display from then on!!!:)

Scott
post #24 of 37
I sent Digby a PM

I wonder if the green trail problem is simply a calibration issue: too much green drive?
post #25 of 37
P.S

I have calibrated my 503 with Colorfacts.

Scott
post #26 of 37
The sky isn't falling. The 433 and 503 are great plasmas at an even better price point. Geeseman, the X-box will look fine on a properly adjusted 503 and probably no better or worse than on a Fuji.

The flaws discussed in this thread are very minor and are not often noticed in daily use. I am a total obsessive about my equipment and I have never had a second thought about my purchase decision. And I paid a lot more 21 months ago for my 503.

I've said it many times - if HTPC or web use is very important to you, there is just no better plasma currently than the 433/503 with 5002 card being fed by DVI. I'm typing this message on my plasma PC and it is sheer bliss. If on the other hand, video (black level primarily) is paramount, you should compare the current Pios against the new Fujis and Pannys. Or maybe wait till new Pios are introduced to see what's released. There also seems to be some price shakeout with the introductory sale prices of the new Pannys, so the next few months will be interesting. Howard
post #27 of 37
It's true the Pio panels (at least the 503) have a green bias. You need to do a calibration with a spectroradiometer to get rid of it. Other light meters aren't as sensitive and don't get rid of the green problem. I've had 2 ColorFacts devices. The first was not a spectroradiometer and the second (a CF-6000) is. It produced a much better result and got rid of the green problem. There is a lot of green to dial out. The green high setting should be somewhere in the 220’s.

I do not have the green trail problem on my 503.
post #28 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Jim Boden
It's true the Pio panels (at least the 503) have a green bias. You need to do a calibration with a spectroradiometer to get rid of it. Other light meters aren't as sensitive and don't get rid of the green problem. I've had 2 ColorFacts devices. The first was not a spectroradiometer and the second (a CF-6000) is. It produced a much better result and got rid of the green problem. There is a lot of green to dial out. The green high setting should be somewhere in the 220’s.

I do not have the green trail problem on my 503.
Jim,

Before buying the Pioneer I was well aware of the green push some sets exhibit. To my untrained eye it was very apparent when compared to other plasmas. However the effect I described in the thread is not that. I doubt it can be fixed with calibration. The green trails is in my opinion not related to any kind of color calibration, I based that on the fact that when I changed the color values on the integrator menus to the extremes ( just to check if it would affect the artifact) the green trails remained regardless. I am sure the green bias on the overall image can be fixed with an expert's calibration but the green trails is another issue alltogether. Also the entire line of Pioneer plasmas have the problem. The comercial CMX (50 and 43 inches) series, the consumer HD series and the elite series. I'd be the first one to come out and say that the Pioneer plasmas produce a very vibrant and colorful image with more than acceptable black levels, however I also believe it is important for potential buyers to be aware of the issues raised on this thread. For me the Pioneers are out. Hopefully the company will fix these issues in their next generation.
post #29 of 37
Im going to inspect another 503MXE today. Hopefully the unit I saw previously was screwed or something... Will report back.
post #30 of 37
I repeat: I don't have the green trail problem. Maybe it has something to do with my NRS scaler, not sure.
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