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Pioneer PDP-4216HD, PDP-5016HD -- official thread

post #1 of 121
Thread Starter 
Tweeter, the consumer electronics store, partnered with Pioneer Electronics in building and marketing of a limited batch of affordable plasma televisions in anticipation of 2006 Thanksgiving and Christmas sales. The "16-series" series comprises two models -- PDP-4216HD, PDP-5016HD -- which are sold exclusively at Tweeter stores and its affiliates: HiFi Buys, Sound Advice and Showcase Home Entertainment.

The 42-inch model borrows design cues from Elite series with integrated speakers on the sides. The finish is matte black versus glossy black. The front panel says "Pioneer" instead of "Elite".



The 50-ich model looks very similar to PDP-5070HD but speakers are not detacheable. Matte black finish with "Pioneer" name on the front panel.



According to Tweeter, the "16"-series models have the panels similar to 7th generation Elite models, with crystal emissive layer and with deep encased cell structure.

The booklet may lure you into thinking that this set accepts 1080p signal, because:
  • These sets are advertised as high definition televisions.
  • The footnote says that "High-Definition Television (HDTV) refers to a complete product/system with the following minimum performance attributes: Receiver: Receives ATSC terrestrial digital transmissions and decodes all ATSC Table 3 video formats."

So you may think that since these TVs are HDTVs and 1080p/24, 1080p/30 and 1080p/60 are all defined in ATSC Table 3, then these TV accept fashionable 1080p programming from over-the-air. Umm, does anyone broadcast in 1080p? Nope. So, you may think that these TVs accept 1080p from HDMI, which makes more practical sense. Nope.

1080p/60 signal is not accepted over HDMI.

To make it clear: these TVs are watered down comparing to regular Pioneer models. The cost is saved further by removing less-used features like CableCard slot, Electronic Program Guide (TV Guide) and 72Hz mode for 24p input. The menu is simplified as well, leaving only basic "Color", "Tint", "Brightness", "Contrast" and "MPEG Noise Reduction".

Nevertheless, if you are OK with picture right out of the box, and considering that these TVs have panels similar to -- but not the same as -- Elite models, they may be worth a look.

PDP-4216HD overview, Pioneer Electronics website
PDP-4216HD brochure, Pioneer Electronics website
PDP-4216HD, Tweeter electronics store

PDP-5016HD overview, Pioneer Electronics website
PDP-5016HD brochure, Pioneer Electronics website
PDP-5016HD, Tweeter electronics store

PDP-4216HD, PDP-5016HD Owners Manual, Pioneer Electronics website
post #2 of 121
Thread Starter 
I just got a PDP-4216HD, replacing Hitachi 42HDS69, which had issues with image stability, black levels and color accuracy. I will report my experience with this TV in this thread. In short, after one day owning this Pioneer, I am starting to think that I might as well have kept the Hitachi. I expected more from Pioneer.

Experiences of current users as well as questions of prospective users are welcome.
post #3 of 121
I saw the 42" set at Sound Advice and was very impressed. Nice looking for sure, especially for the price.

Aaron
post #4 of 121
I thought the **16 Pioneer models were reduced quality panels made to compete better on price? Glass the same, but the guts of the display are supplied by other lesser quality Chinese part makers?

I'm not sure if I got the story right, but I thought it was something along these lines. I DO prefer the matte black frames on these two panels, however.
post #5 of 121
yes, i have read the same thing about the cheap components not made by pioneer, but by 3rd world manufacturers. besides cheaper components, less tweakability, no menu or cable card, no indep memory for inputs, etc, I BELIEVE it also has fewer connection inputs, ie--only one hdmi, one component, etc. be sure to verify this before buying.

i'd be very reticent to get this set, because it's NOT a complete, total PIONEER AND, IN FACT, MAY BE LIKE A SAMPO OR SANUI, IE--NOT EXACTLY THE CREAM OF THE CROP!

if finances are tight, and you want to save $$, i'd get the panny px60, the sammy --53 series set, or the HP SET. JUST THINK ABOUT IT AND GET THE EXPERIENCES OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD IT A WHILE AND SEE HOW GOOD IT IS, AND IF THE NEW OWNERS ARE HAPPY WITH IT. I WOULD NOT BUY IT THINKING YOU ARE GETTING A REAL PIONEER until proven otherwise!! GOOD LUCK, JEROLDD
post #6 of 121
I wonder how good the QAM tuner is in this (or in the 5070) set? It's very important to me as I won't have a cable or other external box. My CC carries all the free local channels on the cable and that's enough for me. The last Panny PX6U I tried had a great picture but a terrible QAM tuner. It only picked up one HD channel where I had other RPTVs picking up all of them. So how is it in the Pioneer?
post #7 of 121
I think the Pioneer 16 series are for consumers making the switch from CRT TV to HDTV who are not particular with extra features, hence the entry price. My local Tweeter had the 16 next to another pioneer model (PRO/Elite not sure) but to my eyes they looked pretty even PQ wise. I'm currently an owner of the 4216HD and happy with my purchase.

Quote:
yes, i have read the same thing about the cheap components not made by pioneer, but by 3rd world manufacturers.

I'm not sure about "cheap components" but the box it came from does say assembled in USA with parts from Japan, South Korea and other countries.
post #8 of 121
Are these "cheap" parts any worse off than the sub-$2000 plasma's parts from other companies? The Panny 42" HD plasma was selling for a grand on black Friday. You would think at that price, they'd have to use substantially cheaper parts than these Pioneers.

Just trying to get to the bottom of this cause these are on my list. They are beautiful sets and I thought the PQ was right up there with the Elites they were next to.
post #9 of 121
just speculating here, but given Panasonic's dominance in the market, they can use better parts and still be very competitively priced because they've become so efficient in making panels (volume, experience, etc).

I don't think these particular Pio's are substantially worse than anything else, only that they probably aren't up to the very best standards that Pioneer is generally known for, at least when it comes to plasma panels. I suspect these Tweeter specific models would compete favorably with middle-tier panel makers; still good or maybe even very good.. just not GREAT, like the other Pio models they've made. Again, I haven't examined them closely.. I'm just going by the (albeit limited) information I've read about them.
post #10 of 121
Thread Starter 
So far this set seems ok. Progressive channels are great, but interlaced are so-so. Still picture is very detailed and sharp, but when camera starts panning, the background smears significantly. This is especially pronounced on nature documentaries when grass becomes just green clay. Ugh. This issue does not relate to Pioneer only, but I am wondering maybe more expensive models have better motion compensation, or more tweaks to control it.

The Hitachi is less sharp on still images, but does not smear this much on panning, simply because it displays interlaced signal natively without motion compensation.

Comparing Hitachi and Pioneer, I'd say Pioneer for DVD movies, Hitachi for 1080i sports video.
post #11 of 121
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeroldd View Post

yes, i have read the same thing about the cheap components not made by pioneer, but by 3rd world manufacturers. besides cheaper components, less tweakability, no menu or cable card, no indep memory for inputs, etc, I BELIEVE it also has fewer connection inputs, ie--only one hdmi, one component, etc. be sure to verify this before buying.

Instead of simply being a believer you could have clicked on the product links posted above.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeroldd View Post

i'd be very reticent to get this set, because it's NOT a complete, total PIONEER AND, IN FACT, MAY BE LIKE A SAMPO OR SANUI, IE--NOT EXACTLY THE CREAM OF THE CROP!

Most likely this is true, but this does not mean that these sets are total crap
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeroldd View Post

if finances are tight, and you want to save $$, i'd get the panny px60, the sammy --53 series set, or the HP SET.

I don't like the external styling of px60, px600 is better. I was considering buying px600 though. Tweeter has px600 for the same price as 16-series Pioneers. For the same money, Panasonics have Electronic program guide included.
post #12 of 121
Quote:


So far this set seems ok. Progressive channels are great, but interlaced are so-so. Still picture is very detailed and sharp, but when camera starts panning, the background smears significantly. This is especially pronounced on nature documentaries when grass becomes just green clay.

Ungermann what are your settings? Also, if you can, post a pic of these grass that looks green clay. I don't see it when watching football or Discovery Channel.
post #13 of 121
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike65 View Post

Ungermann what are your settings?

I am still playing with settings and I don't have a proper calibration DVD like DVE or Avia. Need to get one. I used THX quick setup from "Moulin Rouge" DVD. Also, my DVD player does not show blacker than black and whiter than white, so my DVD movies actually look worse than TV programming. Just ordered OPPO 981 in hope that I will get better results with it.

Anyway, my contrast is somewhere between 30 and 40, and brightness is about 58-60. I haven't decided on red/green balance, maybe just a notch or two to the red side. Overall I am quite pleased with the colors but I hoped for better grayscale. On darker scenes everything is black, I cannot get it to display dark gray tones. I wonder how to get into its Service Menu, do you happen to know that?

By the way, I noticed that when contrast is above 65, white is clear white, when contrast is below 65 then white gets a little bluish. Have you notice similar effect on your TV?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike65 View Post

Also, if you can, post a pic of these grass that looks green clay. I don't see it when watching football or Discovery Channel.

You can see the same effect using "Motion blur" in Photoshop. This is exactly what it looks like. It may be less noticeable when watching football, try watching some nature documentaries with well-defined grass blades, and then see how they are smeared into uniform green background when camera pans. You will likely see this on interlaced channels that on progressive channels (Pioneer "Info" panel sucks, it does not show feed type: resolution interlaced/progresive and frame rate).
post #14 of 121
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kutyafal View Post

I wonder how good the QAM tuner is in this (or in the 5070) set? It's very important to me as I won't have a cable or other external box. My CC carries all the free local channels on the cable and that's enough for me. The last Panny PX6U I tried had a great picture but a terrible QAM tuner. It only picked up one HD channel where I had other RPTVs picking up all of them. So how is it in the Pioneer?

I don't know about other Pioneer TVs, but these two Pioneers have stupid RF connections using two inputs, one for analog and another for DTV. Idiotic. You will need to use a splitter to get all your channels. You will obviously lose quality of analog channels.

The tuner itself seems ok to me, but the Hitachi I had before seemed even better, being able to "fall through" and search forward if a channel I switched on had no signal. The Hitachi uses only one RF input as well.
post #15 of 121
For the money, would you recommend the Pioneer over the Panasonic TH42PX60U?

I'm considering both right now, and it's a toss-up. Both have great features... I've owned a Sony Trinitron for 12 years that I'm about to replace, and either of these seems like a great set, and the Pioneer intriques me based on the fact that this set has the previous gen. "Elite" technology.... but the Pan has some great reviews. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

thanks!
post #16 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by superj View Post

For the money, would you recommend the Pioneer over the Panasonic TH42PX60U?

I'm considering both right now, and it's a toss-up. Both have great features... I've owned a Sony Trinitron for 12 years that I'm about to replace, and either of these seems like a great set, and the Pioneer intriques me based on the fact that this set has the previous gen. "Elite" technology.... but the Pan has some great reviews. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

thanks!

No, not for 42" size.
Panasonic's 42"ers do a great job, especially if you are lucky enough to have seen a 6uy-9uk industrial models.

50"-60", however, is another story.
post #17 of 121
Quote:
By the way, I noticed that when contrast is above 65, white is clear white, when contrast is below 65 then white gets a little bluish. Have you notice similar effect on your TV?

Yes.

My contrast setting is at 45 as it feels cooler to my eyes.
post #18 of 121
Went and saw these sets again today. The 42" was jsut above the 50PRO FHD1. I have to say....the picture looked almost exactly similar. The Elite was also marked down to a pretty good price. I know I want the Pioneer, I just gotta decide do I want Good, Better, Best.
post #19 of 121
Thread Starter 
I wrote a comprehensive review if anyone is interested: http://www.epinions.com/content_302286343812
post #20 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

I don't know about other Pioneer TVs, but these two Pioneers have stupid RF connections using two inputs, one for analog and another for DTV. Idiotic. You will need to use a splitter to get all your channels. You will obviously lose quality of analog channels.

I'd rather have two RF inputs with separate analog and digital tuners than the stupid way Panasonic gives you only one RF input and i hate it. I cannot switch back and forth between digital and analog. But on my HP LCD TV, i have two RF inputs and this enables me to switch between OTA and cable on the fly.

As long as you use a good high-bandwidth splitter and RG6 cabling you should not lose any picture quality on analog at all - i've tested mine repeatedly and i have no signal loss.
post #21 of 121
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post

I'd rather have two RF inputs with separate analog and digital tuners than the stupid way Panasonic gives you only one RF input and i hate it. I cannot switch back and forth between digital and analog. But on my HP LCD TV, i have two RF inputs and this enables me to switch between OTA and cable on the fly.

As long as you use a good high-bandwidth splitter and RG6 cabling you should not lose any picture quality on analog at all - i've tested mine repeatedly and i have no signal loss.

Both OTA and cable are able to deliver full range of bands -- VHF and UHF -- as well as full range of channel types -- analog, SDTV, HDTV. Therefore, if you have two sources and want to join them, there are different options. If you watch ONLY analog from OTA and ONLY digital from the cable, then separate Analog and Digital inputs work fine for you. I am happy for you, but this does not work for me. If someone else would like to watch say, channels 1-12 over OTA and everything else over cable, no matter analog or digital, then he would need inputs that differentiate by band not by signal type.

With one input you can use a joiner instead of splitter. A joiner filters out certain bands. Analog channels are usually broadcast on meter band (VHF), digital channels are usually broadcast on decimeter band (UHF). So by using a joiner you can have, for example, aerial VHF and cable UHF WITHOUT LOSING SIGNAL STRENGTH. And this will work for your use case too.

With two inputs which are dedicated to analog and digital input respectively, you just HAVE to use splitter thus losing signal strength. There is a six-way splitter in the outside cabinet of my building, feeding six units. There is a three-way splitter in my garage. Now I had to put another two-way splitter. I am telling you that my analog channels looked like crap before I added the last splitter, now they look even worse.

The point is not that two inputs are worse than one, it actually can be better. But the inputs should be configurable, while in case of this Pioneer they are cast in stone. This is ugly, stupid and cheap solution. Without ability to setup signal types and band ranges, two RF inputs give less flexibility than one.
post #22 of 121
Okay, I finally received my 5016HD from Tweeter about 1 week ago and will attempt to give you my observations.

Prior to receiving this PDP, I had a Samsung HL-S5086W DLP, a Sony KDS-50A2000 SXRD, and a Zenith (LG) Z50PX2D Plasma.

I am not a professional so most of my judgment comes from comparing this Pioneer to the other sets. I know, it's a little subjective but I am VERY particular.

First off, the Pioneer is very attractive with its matte black bezel and built-in stand. I am using the stand and am not planning on wall mounting the unit so I can't comment if this is possible or not. Glare from reflections doesn't appear to be any better or worse than several plasmas I looked at including the Zenith.

Observations:

1) Color accuracy, rendition, depth and, subtleties are astounding! Compared to all of the other sets I owned, and tried for at least a few weeks each, this display has the best color fullness and rendition HANDS DOWN! The very slight rouge on women's faces is clearly visible and a welcome surprise. The Sony KDS SXRD had a slight greenish tinge to fleshtones that I simply could not adjust out no matter what I tried.

2) Whites on this can be very bright and I think this would yield an excellent contrast ratio coupled with the blacks. I have not seen any tinge of color between the various intensities of white. It seems to track color temp of whites very well through various intensities. It's brightness was only exceeded by the Samsung DLP but that set did not have "Sharp" clear whites like the Pioneer. (Probably due to the effect of a projection screen) The Zenith had an annoying, and un-defeatable, dynamic contrast function that had a noticably bad effect on shadows.

3) Black levels are very good...equal to the SXRD and better than the others. The surprising thing here is that despite there being a very faint amount of light still being output from the screen in a dark room, it is better than the Samsung by far and no worse than the others. The visible graduations between dark grays are non-existent as far as I've seen. There is no "banding" or flickering visible in darkly shaded images. Black level rendition is solid. Better than the others.

4) HD (OTA) signal sharpness is not quite as good as the Samsung DLP, equal to the SXRD, and better than the Zenith. The Zenith had a noticeably "soft" HD picture that could not be improved with sharpness adjustment without adding noise and unsightly artifacts. I don't notice any significant "smearing" of HD pictures in motion. This set appears to be better than the SXRD and Zenith plasma in that regard and roughly comparable to the Samsung. There is a sometimes noticeable brief pixelation when HD Images change from one shot to a completely different shot that may last a split second while the set "homes-in" on the picture. I don't see this all the time....just on rare occasions but it is something I did not notice on the other sets.

5) SD (OTA & Satellite) is handled quite well compared to the others with a slight edge going to the Zenith. The Pioneer's "non-uniform" 4:3 stretch mode has the greatest fishbowl effect compared to the others although the picture in the center two thirds of the screen looks the most natural of all of them.

6) DVDs were tried through a Panasonic DVD-S52K upconverting player at 480i Component, 480p component, 480p HDMI, 720p HDMI, and 1080i HDMI. Believe it or not, well made DVDs looked best @ 480i through component. There was a slightly noticeable degradation in picture quality at the higher resolutions through HDMI. I don't think this is a fault of the Pioneer, but rather an indication of its superior de-interlacing abilities compared to the upscaling & de-interlacing of the DVD Player. Because of this, I tried the output from my LG combo DVD Recorder/VCR and it was even better yet at 480i through component. 480i even looks better than 480p to me. So, ultimately, 480i being fed to the Pioneer yields a very sharp, clean, noise free picture that is comparable to the other TVs being fed 720p & 1080i via HDMI. (Of course, overall it looks better due to colors, whites, and blacks)

7) HDTV Tuner sensitivity is on par with the Sony & Zenith. The Samsung definitely had the most sensitive HD tuner and it was able to pull-in one additional station that the others could not. I can't comment yet on NTSC tuner sensitivity as I have not had the need to try it yet.

8) Sound quality with Truesurround XT is okay for normal TV viewing and is comparable to the Samsung and Sony sound-wise. The Zenith just blows the others away as it has a woofer, midrange and tweeter built into each side of the panel (six speakers!) and also had BBE sound as well that really made it sound awesome. (for a TV)

9) Burn-in and image retention has not been seen by me at all....yet, even with bright station logos. I am, and will always be careful of it. The Zenith ehibited no burn-in but had very noticeable image rentention at times. Nothing that would affect viewing pleasure but there none-the-less.

10) The box does state that this unit is assembled in the USA with parts fabricated in Japan, South Korea, and other countries. Someone else had the concern that all of the electronics may be sub-par and not up to the standards of Pioneer's other "mainstream" models. I have taken a peek at the circuit boards through the ventilation holes in the back and can confirm that at least two of the large custom processing ICs (integrated circuits) have the Pioneer name on them so I know at least some of the circuitry is Pioneer based....a good thing I would imagine.

I'll add more as time goes on but overall, I am, by far, more pleased with this unit than any others that I have had. Overall pluses in picture quality easily beats the others. I WILL be keeping this one!

By the way, in case you may be interested, the MAIN reasons why I returned the other brands is as follows:

Samsung DLP: Sub-par black levels, too bright, NO 3-D effect, and an annoying habit of changing digital channel numbers stored in memory on its own.

Sony SXRD: Slight greenish tinge to skintones (and everything else) that could not be corrected with out making things worse, somewhat "soft" HD picture at times.

Zenith Plasma: Very soft HD picture, Random red sparkles in dark areas of picture (LG thing?), Dynamic contrast was annoying

Again, these comments are just my mostly subjective opinions....take them for what they are worth. You can decide that.
post #23 of 121
Did you by any chance try the QAM tuner (HD through regular cable) and if not could you? Everything else sounds good but I'm curious about it's sensitivity as I don't have a cable box nor a good HD antenna but get all the local HD channels in my basic cable. Thanks.
post #24 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by kutyafal View Post

Did you by any chance try the QAM tuner (HD through regular cable) and if not could you? Everything else sounds good but I'm curious about it's sensitivity as I don't have a cable box nor a good HD antenna but get all the local HD channels in my basic cable. Thanks.

Sorry, I have not tried QAM....I don't currently have cable.
post #25 of 121
Thread Starter 
polyscroll, how do you watch OTA SD and OTA HD? Do you use splitter? Or does SD mean 480i DTV?
post #26 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

polyscroll, how do you watch OTA SD and OTA HD? Do you use splitter? Or does SD mean 480i DTV?

SD in my case is both 480i DTV and 480i from satellite over S-Video. Both are quite acceptable for me. Haven't tried SD through Analog RF input yet.
post #27 of 121
Here some Tech info that I found in the 4216HD/5016HD Service Manual and looked up on the web:

These TVs use the following Integrated Circuits:

Genesis FLI8662 Scaler/De-Interlacer/Controller:
True 10-bit video processing
Faroudja 10-bit DCDi
Faroudja 3D combfilters
Advanced PIP features
10-bit Advanced Color Management (ACM) and Adaptive Contrast Control (ACC)
and much more....

Silicon Image SiI 9023 HDMI Receiver/Input Controller
HDMI 1.2 Compliant
HDCP 1.1 Compliant
Supports up to 1080p input
24-bit RGB/YCbCr 4:4:4
16/20/24-bit YCbCr 4:2:2
8/10/12-bit YCbCr 4:2:2
Audio Decode Logic for Dolby Digital and DTS
and much more.....

Sony CXA2069Q Audio/Video Switch
7 inputs, 3 outputs

Micronas MSP 4450K Multistandard Sound Processor
Handles all Audio Processing
TruSurround XT

The boards in this unit appear to be built by Humax using quality components. The main processor is made by Pioneer.
The PDP Panel is made by Pioneer but it is still unclear what gen panel this is (6th or 7th). The service manual lists AWU1212 (50") which on Pioneer's parts website is shown to be used in the 5016HD and the 5070HD/5071HD. Pioneer's website lists an AWU1233 for the 5016HD.

There is still some confusion between the sevice manual and the website. I will try to iron that out.

Overall, I would say that the build quality is quite good in these sets, and, the picture quality is top notch judging from my own personal experience with the 5016HD. The Genesis Deinterlacer/scaler is an excellent one and even has Faroudja!

I'll report more on these sets as I find info out.
post #28 of 121
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by polyscroll View Post

Genesis FLI8662 Scaler/De-Interlacer/Controller:
True 10-bit video processing
Faroudja 10-bit DCDi
Faroudja 3D combfilters
Advanced PIP features
10-bit Advanced Color Management (ACM) and Adaptive Contrast Control (ACC)
and much more....

I guess this is the reason why I did not notice a lot of improvement when I replaced my 50-dollar DVD player with OPPO 981, which also has Faroudja chip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by polyscroll View Post

Silicon Image SiI 9023 HDMI Receiver/Input Controller
HDMI 1.2 Compliant
HDCP 1.1 Compliant
Supports up to 1080p input
24-bit RGB/YCbCr 4:4:4
16/20/24-bit YCbCr 4:2:2
8/10/12-bit YCbCr 4:2:2
Audio Decode Logic for Dolby Digital and DTS
and much more.....

User's Manual says that HDMI accepts up to 1080i. I can confirm that 1080p is not accepted, at least by 4216.
post #29 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

I guess this is the reason why I did not notice a lot of improvement when I replaced my 50-dollar DVD player with OPPO 981, which also has Faroudja chip.

My Panasonic DVD-S52K HDMI Upconverter outputting (720p or 1080i) did not look as sharp as my LG combo DVD Recorder/VCR outputting 480i....so the Panasonic is now sold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

User's Manual says that HDMI accepts up to 1080i. I can confirm that 1080p is not accepted, at least by 4216.

Oh well, the chip can handle 1080p but it looks like Pioneer chose not to take advantage of it. As a consolation, the Genesis/Faroudja chip is supposed to handle deinterlacing up to 1080i. I doubt that even if you could feed 1080p to the TV that it would look significantly better than 1080i.
post #30 of 121
Maybe I haven't been paying attention but, do these panels utilize the newer bonded, single layer glass? That would certainly be a clue as to whether these are more akin to 7th generation or 6th generation panels.

If you are an owner and unsure, the simple way to check is to get some white text on a black background (movie credits, etc.), and see if you can notice a double image or mirrored reflection of text when looking at the screen at more acute or extreme angles.
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