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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks,


First time poster here. After a couple of months reading on this forum, I reached the decision to pull the trigger on a 42PWD7UY last week. The concensus on the forums was that given the current availability of HD sources, price drops, as well as my own viewing habits (75% SD material via DirecTivo SD, 25% DVD), this unit would be the right choice for me. Another trend was all the positive feedback from the folks ordering their unit from Visual Apex. Saw many threads covering both simple statements of great experiences and also positive feedback from those who had problems with shipping and defects.


So after what I can arguably consider my best online purchase experience with VA, I received the panel yesterday. Wow! This is my first plasma, so it looks cool just sitting there unpowered! First thing I tried was the LOTR Fellowship DVD via component input. Even with factory settings, it was simply stunning. Then I got to try DirecTivo using it's best quality output of S-Video. The PQ was what I can best describe as foggy, fuzzy, poor.


This was really bad, my 32" Sony Wega CRT just blows it away! I tried all the different scaling options, zoom, justified, normal, full and things did not improve. Next stop was the search pages of this site to consult everyone's posted settings for the W6UY. I tried a few of those as well as the rat settings for composite. I'm not sure if there are huge differences in how the 7UY and 6UY settings effect the image, but the results were all very dark and somewhat lacking in depth of color.


My question to you knowledgeable members of this forum is, how do I go about attempting to get the PQ close to my old TV? As most of our viewing is DirecTivo based, I'm getting some serious "not impressed" comments from my wife, so WAF is suffering right now. What do you think I should do?


1. Find the magic settings file specific to the DirecTivo via S-Video input? As common as these things are, hoping I'm not the only one experiencing this.


2. Purchase better quality S-Video cable? Due to the layout of our family room, I'm using about 18' of non-premium S-Video cable. Could I be losing signal quality here?


3. Lay down $1K for a DirecTivo HD unit? Given the lack of HD material, I would be purchasing a component/hdmi/dvi output terminal for 1k? I would have serious convincing to "management" to justify this additional cost. ;)


4.


Would appreciate any input.
 

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hmm.. this is painful to read. I too am considering the Plasma plunge for this same panel and I too would be watching mostly SD DirecTivo (until the HD Tivo's approach blue collar prices). Someone help this guy out!
 

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hmmm. Ditto to the above comments. Hope someone can help out. I know Rich Harkness has his Panny EDTV fed through an S-video cable for SD content--impressively so as well he says. Can anyone help us?
 

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1. If you haven't done so, purchase a calibration disc and calibrate your set. It is very difficult to adjust contrast and brightness (whitelevel and blacklevel) without a proper calibration DVD.


2. A decent S-video cable will do, use this money to buy DVD from 1.


3. DirecTivo HD will give you HD materials but does not help SD, so this is just an option if you want to view HD materials.


4. Did I mention calibrate? :)


I have a pioneer 43" connected to a DirecTivo via S-Video. My picture looks very good. Much, much better than I had expected.
 

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I can emphasize with you, the Direct Tivo looks like poo on any of the HD sets, specially my 51" Phillips RPTV. You can see things you never noticed like compression artifacts and the colors look muted even compare to my 26" RCA cheap tv. What really helped a lot was 2 things, first get a really good cable, that made a big difference, then get used to it, it doesn't get much better after that, just the way it is. You can monkey with the settings but it's never, ever going to look as good as your 32". With that said, I'm getting my WD7UY tomorrow.....
 

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bigger tv blows up lousy image and shows off its defects. that being said, calibrate the picture somewhat! i watched the bosox/yanks game last night on my directivo over svid on my WD7UY and it was just awesome.
 

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Do some searches for Tivo on this board.


I used to have a SAT-T60 connected to my PWD6UY. Fortunately, now I have the god-box HD Tivo running via DVI.


MANY Panny owners have run into this same issue w/ either their D*Tivos or other similar D* receivers. Try composite. On my set, it's SIGNIFICANTLY better. I'm sure a lot has to do w/ the fact that the artifacts are much more hidden, but that's OK w/ me. It looks quite good. I tried svid and it was pretty horrid.


As was mentioned, it is KEY to get a calibration DVD (or an ISF tech if you can spend the bucks) like Avia or DVE and calibrate EACH plasma input. That's the best way to get a good picture. Use a combination of the DVD and methods like Steaming Rat to make it even better.


You can also search for other user's plasma settings. We used to share that and I'm sure you can find the threads. JuiceRocket started compiling those when the settings threads were pretty active. Not sure if there are 7UY specific ones, but I'm sure you can use the 6UY ones to start.
 

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This does not look to good. I was hoping the my DirecTivo output for SD programming would look better on the Plasma than my 46 inch RPTV.


Here is what I found on my RPTV. I purchased a monster S video cable and to my eyes it looks slightly better than the blue Acoustic Research cable that it replaced. I then calibrated the set with Avia. The picture on some channels (ie Speed and National Geo) look great however some channels (BBC America) look like your viewing them in a fog. The picture quality of Canadian satellite looks far superior to DirecTV so I know the problem is on DirecTV's end on the TV


I am not sure if HD Tivo will help all that much. From what I understand you will have to watch SD programming with black bars down the side of you want to watch via component. Otherwise it is back to S Video if you want to stretch the picture
 

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I currenlty have a hughes e86 hd directv receiver. It is connnected to my 42pw6uy via S-video for SD viewing. I am very happy with the SD picture I get now.


I was planning to get a 37pd25u and a directivo for the bedroom. If I am happy with the SD picture over S-video that I am getting now with the e86/6uy, will I be happy with the Directivo/PD25u?


I guess my question is: Is the picture/signal from a Directivo worse (more artifacts etc) than that of my e86 viewing SD via S-video?


Also, is the picture/signal from a Directivo worse than the picture/signal from a regular Directv receiver (not an HD model, just the basic model)?


Thanks for any input!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by 3lions


I am not sure if HD Tivo will help all that much. From what I understand you will have to watch SD programming with black bars down the side of you want to watch via component. Otherwise it is back to S Video if you want to stretch the picture
Not true. SD on the HD Tivo looks MUCH better via DVI than it did on composite. YMMV. SD programs DO NOT have to have black bars, they will stretch automatically, seems more like Just mode to me, which is what I prefer. SD programs have a much more natural look if the res is kept at 480p. SD programs on HD-specific channels will have black bars (because the program is not native widescreen). In that case, watch the same program on the SD channel for stretching.


Besides, if you get an HD Tivo, you are CRAZY running it in svid. If you want HD, it needs to be component or DVI. Component has more picture settings, and some users indicate that it is slightly better than DVI. I would agree but I'm component input limited and hence use DVI.
 

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Not true. SD on the HD Tivo looks MUCH better via DVI than it did on composite. YMMV. SD programs DO NOT have to have black bars, they will stretch automatically, seems more like Just mode to me, which is what I prefer. SD programs have a much more natural look if the res is kept at 480p. SD programs on HD-specific channels will have black bars (because the program is not native widescreen). In that case, watch the same program on the SD channel for stretching.


Thanks for the clarification regarding SD and the black bars. It is good to know that there is at least an option to improve SD. Now all I have to do is wait for the price of the HD Tivo to come down to a more reasonable level
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you all for the suggestions!


Looks like I need to try a combination of solutions 1 & 2. I will get either a Monster or AR S-Video cable and track down a copy of Avia to do full calibration. Monster cables are a bit too pricey to justify their worth based on the slight improvement they supposedly provide (especially at 18'), might just get one from AR instead. Also, any ideas which local B&M type stores I might find Avia DVD in? I checked with BB and they did not have them. Would like to pick one up tonight in an attempt to rescue the WAF before she fully condemns the display. ;)


One other thing I'm not entirely sure about is if I calibrate using the DVD on component input, will those settings be valid for DirectTivo over S-Video? The manual says picture settings are tied to each input port. So would I be calibrating on say "Cinema" using the DVD and then copying those values to the "Cinema" category of my S-Video input?
 

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I got my Avia on Amazon. Don't know if the B&M stores carry it. Maybe even try Blockbuster or Hollywood Video.


Don't believe the hype w/ Monster cable. All you're really paying for is a stadium for the crappy 49ers to play in.


When calibrating, you have to do it separately for each input. HOWEVER, you have to remember this w/ the panny (unless they've changed the feature). You can only use either svid OR composite, but not both. The plasma recognizes when both are plugged in and only one takes precedence, but I forget which. If you need more than one composite or svid, you'll need a switcher, A/V receiver, or another blade. Also, different sources will require different settings. A D* receiver on svid may require different settings from a DVD or VHS player on svid. You'll have to compromise and just use the DVD as the master source, but use tuning to optimize the other sources.
 

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oldskoolboarder,


If the SVideo cable is used, it overrides the composite signal.


I've got the PWD7UY with the HDTivo and I think the PQ is terrific. The Discovery HD channel has been magnificent, but even the Fox HD feed of the ballgames yesterday were awesome.


Regards,

G
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by GoBowsGo
oldskoolboarder,


If the SVideo cable is used, it overrides the composite signal.


I've got the PWD7UY with the HDTivo and I think the PQ is terrific. The Discovery HD channel has been magnificent, but even the Fox HD feed of the ballgames yesterday were awesome.


Regards,

G
Thanks, I forgot which had priority.


I agree, the BoSox games was unbelievable in HD. You could see the hair on the pitchers' faces. And it was GREAT to see the Yankees shut down in their own house. I'm a SF Giants fan, and since my season is over, I'm happily rooting for the Sox. Beating the Yanks is almost as sweet as beating the lakers or dodgers. :D
 

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I also got my Avia from Amazon. I have never seen it in B&M.


Let us know whow you get on with a new cable and Avia calibration. There are a lot of us DirecTivo users out here that want to know how good the picture can be on a plasma


The only way I can get my wife to agree to a plasma is to sell her on the idea that the picture will be better. I do not want to hear it like I did when we went from a 31inch CRT to a 46" HD RPTV!
 

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Bear in mind that you'll see a more noticeable improvement after calibration. I doubt you'll see any kind of difference w/ a new cable, unless the existing cable is complete crap.


If you really want to get something done tonite:


1) Try a composite cable.

2) Try one of the settings threads like this: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...UY+Calibration

You can also go to the Panny FAQ and search for "15) Tweaks , Picture Settings & Calibration of AVS User." Try other user's settings.

3) Play w/ steaming rat method to improve the picture.


The plasma w/ show ALL of the crappy artifacts that your CRT hid. Fact of life. If you want to show off the SD D*Tivo, make sure you watch/calibrate on a decent show/channel, like HBO. Different shows/channels have different levels of artifacts. Some look good, some OK, some horrible.
 

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Recent owner of the 42wd7uy with DirectTivo via S-video seems fine to me.


The use of better cables are not cost effective for improving the image.


- Just added the Samsung HD Direct Receiver (SIR TS360) only $300 from CC. You would need to upgrade dish if not already HD capable.


The HD broadcasts are spectacular (like the FOX payoff games) and the SD reception is better than my Tivo Samsung Receiver which is running alongside. The new HD Samsung has a lot of hookup flexibility.


The extra service from Direct cost 10.99 for HD feed and 5.00 for the extra receiver. They threw in six months free for the HD.


That 's my two cents...
 

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Greywall,


I have a similar setup. My 2 cents:


Go for the HD DirecTivo - you will not be sorry even though it is expensive. If you thought LOTR on DVD looked good, just wait ... the HD will look unbelievably beautiful on your ED Panny. So much programming is HD now that I bet your SD watching declines to practically nothing. I hardly watch SD anymore, however ... the SD looks decent on the HD Tivo so long as you have the right connection.


In terms of the connections, component works great. If you can swing it, I recommend getting a component switch, which will let you hook up the HD Tivo, progessive scan DVD, and even an xBox or PS2 to the Panny. The model I recommend is the Zektor HDS4.


Also get a Universal Remote MX-500 ($70 online now) and spend a couple hours programming everything and creating some macros.


Enjoy mesmerizing HD!
 
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