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Black bars & plasmas = bad?  

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
So I bought a hitachi 55hdt79 plasma and........with most of my dvds in 2.35, and with 16:9 ratio, I get black bars on top and bottom.

Will this cause any danger to screen burn if I watch movies like for 7 straight hours like this?

Is it impossible to get rid of black bars (without zoom).....?

Sorry for the noob question..... :confused:
post #2 of 31
Hey I'm a noob too, but that's a great question, i don't have an answer though. But i'd love to hear one!
post #3 of 31
Black bars don't hurt anything as long as you use a little common sense. I've had two different plasmas (Sony 42" since early 2001 thru this spring; Pio 50" since), always watched movies with black bars and never had any issues. Now this is with sensible settings for contrast, which should be done in any case. And just to be on the safe side I would avoid them very early in the life of the plasma (first 100 hours or so); I don't know if this is just an urban myth, but when I got my Pio I followed it by watching either HD programming (16:9); dvd's with no black bars (tv shows, for example), or by using one of the stretch/zoom modes. After the "break-in" period I don't worry about them at all. I haven't noticed on the Pio, but I remember on the Sony occasionally you could still see them after a long period of watching (once you switched to other material without them), very faintly, but they would quickly dis-appear watching normal program material.

You have the same issue if you watched 4:3 without stretching (but I rarely do that).
post #4 of 31
At first I was paranoid about watching video with black bars for long periods of time but I shortly realized there was nothing to be paranoid about. I've since always watched movies with the black bars showing on my plasma. After the movie i'll sometimes notice a little bit of image retention but like Enigma said it always goes away after a couple minutes as soon as I return to normal full screen viewing. The only way I could see burn-in occuring is if you let your plasma run for 24+ hours with black bars and even then I wouldn't be surprised if it went away after returning back to full screen viewing. Enjoy your new TV! :)
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enigma
Black bars don't hurt anything as long as you use a little common sense. I've had two different plasmas (Sony 42" since early 2001 thru this spring; Pio 50" since), always watched movies with black bars and never had any issues. Now this is with sensible settings for contrast, which should be done in any case. And just to be on the safe side I would avoid them very early in the life of the plasma (first 100 hours or so); I don't know if this is just an urban myth, but when I got my Pio I followed it by watching either HD programming (16:9); dvd's with no black bars (tv shows, for example), or by using one of the stretch/zoom modes. After the "break-in" period I don't worry about them at all. I haven't noticed on the Pio, but I remember on the Sony occasionally you could still see them after a long period of watching (once you switched to other material without them), very faintly, but they would quickly dis-appear watching normal program material.

You have the same issue if you watched 4:3 without stretching (but I rarely do that).

Thanks, you made me feel better. I have seen bits and pieces of your comments in from other threads as well...

I just set up this thing tonight and we watched about an hour of lord of the rings then those black bars made me think.

I guess no cable etc can change any of that either, eh?

It will be tough no using black bars IMO as most of my movies are in 2.35. Guess I will have to live with that zoom feature fir the first 100 hours or so........

I thought plasmas wouldve gotten past this crap. :(
post #6 of 31
J/W but isn't the whole point of having 16:9 widescreen so that when you watch DVD's there won't be any black bars??
post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by puchall1
I thought plasmas wouldve gotten past this crap.
I'm not at all convinced that it's required; just a conservative suggestion (I believe their is a summary similar to this on Panny's website somewhere, and it is commonly posted in the Pio threads, though Pio's only official position is that they left a static image in place for 24 hrs, IIRC, and after playing normal program material for another 24 hrs all image retention had gone away. I just did it to be on the safe side. 100 hours go pretty fast if you just leave the plasma on 24/7 with an hd channel like discoveryHD, if you have that available. Some folks have made "breakin" dvd's which recycle with different full-screen colors, but I think that's a little crazy myself.
post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by longhorns
J/W but isn't the whole point of having 16:9 widescreen so that when you watch DVD's there won't be any black bars??
Sort of. Widescreen has many aspect ratios. HDTV is, by definition, a widescreen format with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (16:9). "Regular" (SD or NTSC) tv has an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, or 4:3. Movies are filmed in all sorts of aspect ratios, but two popular ones are called "Acadamy Standard" (or Academy Flat, I forget), which is 1.85:1. When you watch these on a widescreen display you'll see very small black bars at the top and bottom of the screen (or maybe just one or the other); these are barely noticeable. Another common standard used, though, is a much wider aspect ratio, 2.35:1 (sometimes as wide as 2:40:1), often called "scope" films. These films will have significant black bars top and bottom when viewed on a 1.78 screen.

Many modern animated films are actually framed in 1.78:1, so you get no black bars. The aspect ratio of any film can be determined by looking at technical specs in IMDB, Amazon, etc.

The 16:9 was chosen as the HDTV standard as sort of a compromise between 4:3 and scope film. One has black bars on the sides, the other top and bottom, but both have a reasonable portion of the screen in use.
post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 
I think the part that pecs away at me is that the book says no longer than 15% of the viewing time........jeesh, should I be just watching animated movies on my 5k + TV......hope not.

:(
post #10 of 31
Thanks this is helping me understand much more. I read a couple of hours ago in a thread about the LG 37LC2D, someone put up a post saying he loved that he can use the zoom feature which (he said) there were 16 different types and he liked it because he was able to zoom into any picture and fit the screen without black bars all the time. Is this correct/possible?? Here's a piece of the post: "I really like the ratio adjustments. Especially, the one that you can adjust zoom gradually up to 16 steps. Now I can watch any aspect ratio without black bars. The 7 video presets are also great." Here is a link to the thread http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=685784
post #11 of 31
Zoom modes generally cut off a portion of the sides or top/bottom of the picture. Not something I would want to do with movies.
post #12 of 31
I was at my folks house last night and noticed some burn-in on their plasma from side bars watching 4:3 programming. The tv is 2-3 weeks old and was in my house for all that time up until this past tuesday. I had the contrast set to under 30% so it isn't like it was in torch mode. While in my house various stuff was used on the tv (so not just strictly 4x3) but I think thus far that's all my folks have watched and the side black bar burn-in wasn't there before.

I am hoping it is just an issue with some longer image retention and will go away (it did seem to lessen as I watched a bit of hd dvd on it...I think) but sheesh, this is ridiculous.

I think having to limit what people watch in first 100 hours is pretty silly and having to be concerned of this stuff is silly. Basically, the technology needs to improve because a tv set at under 30% contrast shouldnt have this within 100 hours and most people are clueless of burn-in and no doubt will buy plasmas and get it. Maybe instead of whipping out 70-100" plasmas that nobody will buy they should focus on making plasmas better with burn-in.

I have had a CRT RPTV for 6 years and have not had one tiny spec of burn-in thus far. Silly that a plasma less than a month old that is set looooooooooow in contrast to prevent this crap has possibly got it.

If it is there when I check it out next time I am going to run that white wash screen thing and try and get the middle of the screen in line with the side bars. I realize this decreases the life of the panel but I am sure they will manage with whatever life decrease it gives.

Good thing is my folks aren't picky and I doubt they'd ever notice this. I mean it isnt super obvious but I saw it when close to the screen then when at a real distance I keyed in to it since I knew it was there.

Still is silly. What I find amusing is sites about plasmas and burn-in, etc imply to not keep a static image on the screen for more than 20 mins...well crap, if you are watching a 2.35:1 movie wtf, you're supposed to turn the tv off every 20 mins to avoid aspect ratio bar burn-in? Please.
post #13 of 31
Have you ever seen a Ferrari advertised for sale with 100K miles on the odometer? Do ya think "garage kept" would be a redundancy in the ad copy? :D
post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 
Still is silly. What I find amusing is sites about plasmas and burn-in, etc imply to not keep a static image on the screen for more than 20 mins...well crap, if you are watching a 2.35:1 movie wtf, you're supposed to turn the tv off every 20 mins to avoid aspect ratio bar burn-in? Please.[/quote]

+1, I am having a hard time swallowing this black bar stuff. I did not know about it until I watched my first movie last night and the thought came to me. Flippin salespeople never mention that. No wonder at stores, the display has some sort of 1:35 animated cartoon or some house made dvd..... :mad:
post #15 of 31
Plasma can withstand movie after movie with the bars. Just as long you switch up a little it usally goes away very fast. Now icons with bright white in them like video game icons are not so easy to wash away. Sometimes it takes hours for it to go away if you play the same game alot.
post #16 of 31
it can be annoying though if you only want to watch movies. you have to think about watching too many widescreen movies back to back and switch over or run the "screen cleaner" technology that some plasmas include in the tv.
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlindo
I was at my folks house last night and noticed some burn-in on their plasma from side bars watching 4:3 programming. The tv is 2-3 weeks old and was in my house for all that time up until this past tuesday. I had the contrast set to under 30% so it isn't like it was in torch mode. While in my house various stuff was used on the tv (so not just strictly 4x3) but I think thus far that's all my folks have watched and the side black bar burn-in wasn't there before.

I am hoping it is just an issue with some longer image retention and will go away (it did seem to lessen as I watched a bit of hd dvd on it...I think) but sheesh, this is ridiculous.

I think having to limit what people watch in first 100 hours is pretty silly and having to be concerned of this stuff is silly. Basically, the technology needs to improve because a tv set at under 30% contrast shouldnt have this within 100 hours and most people are clueless of burn-in and no doubt will buy plasmas and get it. Maybe instead of whipping out 70-100" plasmas that nobody will buy they should focus on making plasmas better with burn-in.

I have had a CRT RPTV for 6 years and have not had one tiny spec of burn-in thus far. Silly that a plasma less than a month old that is set looooooooooow in contrast to prevent this crap has possibly got it.

If it is there when I check it out next time I am going to run that white wash screen thing and try and get the middle of the screen in line with the side bars. I realize this decreases the life of the panel but I am sure they will manage with whatever life decrease it gives.

Good thing is my folks aren't picky and I doubt they'd ever notice this. I mean it isnt super obvious but I saw it when close to the screen then when at a real distance I keyed in to it since I knew it was there.

Still is silly. What I find amusing is sites about plasmas and burn-in, etc imply to not keep a static image on the screen for more than 20 mins...well crap, if you are watching a 2.35:1 movie wtf, you're supposed to turn the tv off every 20 mins to avoid aspect ratio bar burn-in? Please.
Didn't they know that they should watch the majority of 4:3 material stretched? That's just an unfortunate reality in the world of plasma tvs. Always stretch 4:3 unless the show is really important to you (I would never stretch Scrubs :p). It's my understanding and experience with friends' tvs that if you stretch the majority of 4:3 and you watch more shows that fill the screen than movies that don't then you will be fine. We even play videogames from time to time and other than a little image retention the tv is fine. I think football and baseball seasons are much more taxing on the tv than an occasional videogame or occasional 4:3/1.85/2.35 movie or tv session.
post #18 of 31
I stretch everything. It bugs me to have that much of the screen be unused. Stretching really doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I don't notice it much. Panasonics have decent stretch modes. Not as good as my old Sony, but decent.
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by avjeff
I stretch everything. It bugs me to have that much of the screen be unused. Stretching really doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I don't notice it much. Panasonics have decent stretch modes. Not as good as my old Sony, but decent.
In addition to the format settings available on my Philips 50PF9631D, my DISH ViP 622 has various format output settings, one of which is 'gray bars' which take the place of the 'black bars' on certain formats, and that (as I understand it) will help reduce the I.R. due to foreshortening the picture horizontally. Use what ever weapons are available.....
John
post #20 of 31
I'm in the process of shopping for my first HDTV. The black bars are my main concern. I watch a lot of 2:35 movies. Man I can't make up my mind. Plasma's have the best contrast ratio, but it's like you have to be so darn careful with them. I want to relax and watch a movie. I don't want to have that black bar burn in worry in the back in my mind while I try to enjoy a movie. I hate stretching the picture.

Then I look at LCDs and the screen is too small. Then I look at DLPs and I hear about rainbows and crap. Then I look at the Sony LCD rear projection and hear that Samsung DLPs are better. CRTs are too big. I've been researching for two months and I can't make up my mind.

For a movie buff, what is the best route?
post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCRob
I'm in the process of shopping for my first HDTV. The black bars are my main concern. I watch a lot of 2:35 movies. Man I can't make up my mind. Plasma's have the best contrast ratio, but it's like you have to be so darn careful with them. I want to relax and watch a movie. I don't want to have that black bar burn in worry in the back in my mind while I try to enjoy a movie. I hate stretching the picture.

Then I look at LCDs and the screen is too small. Then I look at DLPs and I hear about rainbows and crap. Then I look at the Sony LCD rear projection and hear that Samsung DLPs are better. CRTs are too big. I've been researching for two months and I can't make up my mind.

For a movie buff, what is the best route?
I did a lot of research as well, and went with plasma - I am also a movie buff.

For video games, maybe LCD is a better choice...
(due to the constant staric score bars and what not)

For movies, I think (hope) a propperly broken in plasma wil be fine with black bars.
I have just finished breaking in my plasma (Pioneer 4360) so I'll start enjoying it soon, and will stop worrying about static black bars.
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCRob
I'm in the process of shopping for my first HDTV. The black bars are my main concern. I watch a lot of 2:35 movies. Man I can't make up my mind. Plasma's have the best contrast ratio, but it's like you have to be so darn careful with them. I want to relax and watch a movie. I don't want to have that black bar burn in worry in the back in my mind while I try to enjoy a movie. I hate stretching the picture.

Then I look at LCDs and the screen is too small. Then I look at DLPs and I hear about rainbows and crap. Then I look at the Sony LCD rear projection and hear that Samsung DLPs are better. CRTs are too big. I've been researching for two months and I can't make up my mind.

For a movie buff, what is the best route?
Going to the movie threater instead.
post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters
Going to the movie threater instead.
WRONG!
:mad:

The theaters these days are the reason I was inspired to drop ~10 grand on a dedicated home theater room.

Going to the movies lately means dealing with:
Crap quality projections,
absolute %$#* audience etiquette,
and rediculous prices for concessions.

I am DONE with the theaters.
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schteevie
WRONG!
:mad:

The theaters these days are the reason I was inspired to drop ~10 grand on a dedicated home theater room.

Going to the movies lately means dealing with:
Crap quality projections,
absolute %$#* audience etiquette,
and rediculous prices for concessions.

I am DONE with the theaters.
Yes sir!!! The day I put my 42 inch plasma in my home theater was the day I stopped going to the theaters. I absolutely hate the whole idea of going to the movies now.
post #25 of 31
One of the main reasons we went for a 50" plasma was because we spend absolutely no money going to theatres. The experience is terrible these days. I don't know how people can stand going and paying to sit in a theatre to hear obnoxious kids, people coughing, gum or syrupy pop on the floor, people kicking the back of your chair, and etc... We wait for the DVD.
post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schteevie
WRONG!
:mad:

The theaters these days are the reason I was inspired to drop ~10 grand on a dedicated home theater room.

Going to the movies lately means dealing with:
Crap quality projections,
absolute %$#* audience etiquette,
and rediculous prices for concessions.

I am DONE with the theaters.
Unless you live in LA and can go to the Arclight Dome
post #27 of 31
The movie theaters suck. I used to go all of the time, but I can't stand it anymore. When I do go, I wait until the movie has been out for a while and almost out of theaters. I try to be the only one in there. When I watch a movie, I want to be engulfed into the story. 95% of the people in theaters stuff their faces with crunchy pop corn and are making noise with candy wrappers, not to mention the couple that brings their 8 month old baby in there. The floor is always sticky and the picture isn't that clear.

I was at Sam's Club today and checking out their tv's. The plasmas look the best IMO. The Samsung plasma looked sweet. I also finally experienced the "rainbow effect" on a sharp dlp projector. At least I think I did. They were playing a b/w western on it. I was seeing flashes of rainbow type colors. I didn't see anything on the DLP tvs though.

Anyways, does anyone know if Samsung makes a good plasma?
post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by avjeff
One of the main reasons we went for a 50" plasma was because we spend absolutely no money going to theatres. The experience is terrible these days. I don't know how people can stand going and paying to sit in a theatre to hear obnoxious kids, people coughing, gum or syrupy pop on the floor, people kicking the back of your chair, and etc... We wait for the DVD.
I still go to a lot of movies, because it's an activity that my daughter and I enjoy, and opportunities to have a good time with a child should not be missed. We go when not many people go, so the other people are not objectionable.

However, maybe it's just me (or the theater), but I think the picture on my relatively small 37" plasma is better than that at the theater, and my pretty cheapo sound system is almost as good. In the theater, I find the film is sometimes out of focus, and there seems to be some flicker that doesn't happen at home.

Of course, the best part about watching at home is being able to pause at the critical spots (you know what I mean), plus review the parts where you can't hear the dialog.
post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schteevie
WRONG!
:mad:

The theaters these days are the reason I was inspired to drop ~10 grand on a dedicated home theater room.

Going to the movies lately means dealing with:
Crap quality projections,
absolute %$#* audience etiquette,
and rediculous prices for concessions.

I am DONE with the theaters.
What is really bothering me is the fact that people are starting to use their cell-phones to text message people during films. So you can see the glow coming from their cell-phones! In France I believe they have technology at the theathers where if you are in the theater they send out certain waves to shut off cell-phones during the movie. If that technology exists we need it right away here.
post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by avjeff
I stretch everything. It bugs me to have that much of the screen be unused. Stretching really doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I don't notice it much. Panasonics have decent stretch modes. Not as good as my old Sony, but decent.
Hi

I'm very new to the USA and this comment has surprised me as I'd not seen this very often in Europe. Being in the company of audio- and videophiles I'm surprised people are happy to watch a 4:3 image distorted onto a 16:9 screen. My eyes always start to water and my brain can't handle eliptical car wheels.

I have to have the side bars with a 4:3 image so CRT or LCD is the only route for me.
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