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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought one and stared at it for 7 days, and then got my money back. I tried it with basic cable, digital cable, DVD component, DVD NTSC, and VCR NTSC, and downloaded AVIs.


Here are my observations. Is this what I can expect of more expensive LCD sets?


First off, let me say it is a quality piece of kit, and I wanted to love it. But, I just saw too much that turned me off. When my wife started to notice things too, I knew it was too obvious. She did not say anything at first, being happy with the small foot print, and low price, but once I mentioned taking it back she started to concur.


THE GOOD:


1. Nice shiny plastic, good materials, great sound.


2. In the store, with HD it looks just like a Sharp Aquos at double the price as far as I can tell. Of course I saw non of the bad things I list below in the store either.


3. More inputs than I needed by a factor of 3 or so.


4. Well thought out remote, nice and heavy.


5. Good rotating base, and handles at the back top for easy handling


6. Stationary images looked breathtakingly great, and so did my basic NTSC cable which was suprising. Better than the 20" CRT it replaced, most of the time. Cartoons look awesome.


7. No blocky images except for super high speed motion like F1 cars zooming by. Baseball and golf looked fine.


8. good memory of my settings as you move from input to input. Including aspect ratio.


9. Quiet fan. Made a very low pitched whooshing noise that you can barely hear.


10. Black levels are alright. Black looked pretty black, not grey like a Primus 42" Plasma or cheap cheap LCD screens like on a portable DVD player. Sure the black plastic border was way blacker, but blackness being to light did not stick out.


THE BAD:


1. high pitched buzzing noise. I don't think this was the fan. The fan is in the center and this seemed to come from one side. Sounded like a buzzing resistor or something. Maybe it was just this unit? Or is it the screen? I have good ears, and this was almost painful at 10 feet away in a quiet house. For a while I thought it was the basic cable, but it happened with any input.


2. firmware bug? channel 7 from my basic coax cable would not hold 4:3. When the camera changed scenes in TV shows or commercials, it would jump to 16:9 and get locked there until I changed channels and back. Only this channel did this, and it did it every time I checked. It made me wish you could update the firmware or at least understand how this could happen for only one channel. I thought of blocking this channel to hide it. That is when I also first thought of returning it.


3. bad area/detail image processing. I don't know how to explain this, and have not seen it anywhere else, but here goes. It seems like the image is processed by area and when the camera slowly pans things get distorted. For example, if the camera is pointed at a face and then slowly pans a foot over, then the outline of the face will move, but not the details inside the face area. The eyes hold their spot on the screen while the face moves. Then the eyes lurch to where they belong and stay there for a while as the scene pans. It happens everywhere. A brick wall being panned does the same thing. The bricks and mortar stay put, while the outline of the wall moves with the rest of the scene. How it does this, I do not know. Why is even harder to fathom. If you took a big piece of paper and cut a hole in it, hold it up against a brick wall, and then slowly move it then that is what it looked like. I hate this effect. It is a show stopper. Who wants peoples eyes to move around their faces?


4, tracers or stobe effect. In a dimly lit scene, if someone moves their arm in a circle then you see a slide show sort of. Like if you wave your finger in front of a CRT screen. This is not the end of the world for me, but my wife mentioned it. In the movie "The Notebook" it only happened once when she lifts her legs up high in a dim scene. What would happen if I watched Star Wars I could only imagine.


5. watermark like effect. When watching basic cable, with a low quality/blurry TV show when the camera panned, it would have a pattern of artifacts that would remain stationary. Mostly only noticeable up close.


6. Not enough colors. Skin tones sometimes looked washed out or pale. Night scenes sometimes looked like they where in 16 color mode.


7. Scenes with out-of-focus lense effects looked smudged. You know how they focus on something, and things in the distance are out of focus on purpose? These scenes look really bad. Like the computer is trying to focus it when it should leave it alone.


If I do my research and spend an extra grand, will I still be disappointed? Is LCD for me? After this, I don't want another LCD with these problems. But I very much loved the image quality when these things were not happening. I love the benefits of LCD such as low power, no burn in, light weight, no half life.


Boo hoo. sniff sniff. My theory is that Acer is doing these tricks to compensate for what would otherwise be a 60 Hz slide show. I wonder if 85Hz panels will fix the problems without need for such processing tricks.
 

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you should give the benq dv3250 a look


just a little more and does much better with SD/ED, it also does a great job with details
 

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That sounds like a real horror show with the image processing.


There is nothing to do with LCD technology itself or with pixel speed or with 60 vs 85 Hz refresh rate going on here. From what you're describing I get that it is extremely badly implemented firmware, maybe running on a microprocessor that's just plain too slow to do the job. The kind of thing that would happen if you asked people to implement it who had never done anything like that before.


Try some different models and I bet you can get something satisfactory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I asked my salesman if I could bring my VCR and DVD to the store and hook them up to sets. He said yeah. Then I can judge the other LCDs without risk of returning them and being a pain in the butt.
 

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I have one of these and this is what I recently posted on another forum, along the same lines as your "bad area/detail image processing" although I put it down to refresh, it may be processing huh?


The refresh is pretty bad, I only have a cheap SD STB, but pixel response times are very slow. Peoples faces seem the best way to see it, close ups especially. A face not moving looks fantastic, but when the head starts to move in the scene, you see moles, scars, shadows and skintones all go "smeary" and drift around as the face moves, scrolling credits are also a dead give away of the bad refresh, black words on white background is the worst. This is all really bugging me right now, I bout this a s a second "fiddle" to me projector but I like a faster refresh I think....

The HTPC is amazing on it, text is as clear as, the inputs are great, customer service is great, Ive had them on the phone, they called me later with some ideas on my problems and offered a new remote and new set without me even asking..

I have 2 problems with the software. On "pc" mose the set turns off if theres no video signal, even though this feature is turned off. The other is an annoying "auto zooming" feature that zooms into 4x3 material when the TV is set to 16x9, ie when I change channels on my STB it will autozoom, I have zoom set at 16x9 and normal... They had no answers for either of these but I think the former is a firmware bug.....


I still like the set, its just not perfect.
 
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