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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Pioneer 50†plasma tearing problem keeps coming up over and over again.


If anyone from Pioneer cruises this forum, or anyone else who knows how to contact them, would you please provide us with the lowdown on the problem of the panel up converting everything to 70hz. This has been reported elsewhere on the AVS Forum as a firmware issue. My understanding is that when the panel receives a PC-type signal (and possibly any kind of signal), it up converts it to 70hz in the firmware after all other processing has been done. This causes big problems with certain scalers and any devices which operate at 60hz, the Faroudja NRS being one example. I spent a lot of money on the NRS, only to find out that it sucks big time with the 503CMX. Faroudja has said over and over that the problem is in the panel and this seems to be corroborated by other sources, such as the owner of Aurora Multimedia.


If this contention is true, why has Pioneer remained silent on the problem and not come up with a fix? The market for scalers and plasmas is big and growing quickly. Yes, some scalers have variable refresh rates and setting them to 72hz seems to work properly, but to me the real issue is the so-called firmware problem.


Is it possible to change the firmware not to up convert to 70hz? If so, are there any implications which might not be obvious (i.e. will the PDA-5002 card still operate properly, will all attached devices still produce a good, artefact-free picture)?


Could it be offered as a one-off thing for people who need/want it changed? If so, what’s involved and how would a panel firmware upgrade be done? I for one would even be willing to pay for a firmware upgrade, assuming the cost isn’t outrageous.


It really would be useful to hear from Pioneer on this. Any light which can be shed on it would be much appreciated.


TIA.
 

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This isn't firmware related, it is inherent in the design of the panel. Pioneer has always been different than every other manufacturer with regards to their plasmas. No one else has 1280x768 and no one else uses 70hz. They will not and cannot change the specs, they refresh where they refresh. Faroudja is saving face because the 1280x768 scaler was designed SOLELY for the Pioneer and they knew it was a different refresh rate. If they didn't then they are too stupid to get my business. In any case, it is up to F to change their refresh rates on the Pioneer scalers NOT for Pioneer to redesign their entire line of plasmas to suit F. Besides, every other scaler manufacturer offers different refresh rates so it really is a F only specific issue.


PS. I told you the same thing over a year ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ericbee:


Thanks for the I told you so. At the risk of opening up another can of worms, there was no info on this forum about this problem before I bought the 503 and the NRS. I’m the only one I can see who has made a lot of noise about it, but who cares, really.


Some other people disagree with your assessment about the firmware. There’s a lot of other info around, including one guy from Pioneer, who was on this forum some time ago. He said that Japan is aware of the problem. Also, I give a lot of credence to the Aurora guys, who know this thing inside and out. They also say it’s the panel’s problem and that Pioneer was looking into “fixing itâ€.


I’m really not looking for more opinions. I want some facts from Pioneer.
 

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I know this is off the topic but I´m hoping for some advice. A faroudja scaler and a pio plasma... does the scaler have SDI inputs. Is there a way to get a digital path (SDI from dvd-less D/A steps) to the pio plasma and have DCDi and TrueLife(wouldn´t that be the ultimate DVD image, if you fed it with a chroma free SDI modded DVD player)??


Are Faroudja not planing on making their scalers (deinterlacers) with adjustable refresh rates (don´t most of other scalers do this, like the keydigital plugincard for the pio)??


How much does an outboard Faroudja scalers cost (NRS?), and why would it be expensive? The FLI2300 does deinterlacing and scaling (and zooming), DCDi and TrueLife and it´s used in DVD players that don´t cost that much at all. Would an outboard scaler need anything more than the FLI2300? Isn´t a scaler just something like the FLI2300 with some inputs/outputs and selectable resolutions (which I think the FLI does)?
 

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The 3ed generation pioneer plasma was designed to show signals it identifies as PC at a 70Hz refresh rate, regardless of the input rate. The 2nd generation (I.E. PDP502MX and PDP505HD) do not have this issue.


The issue is NOT related to our 1280x768 resolution or our method of manufacturing. It is simply how this model of plasma was designed to operate.


At this time Pioneer does not have plans on changing the firmware of the PDP503CXM.


In my experience the Faroudja NRS do a very good job of working around this limitation.


Josh Kairoff

Sr. Product planner, Display

Pioneer Electronics
 

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nice to see some response, but Jim's comment is that specifically, the Faroudja NRS, with a 60hz fixed output, cannot deal with the linitation. Eric and I had the same problem. Other scalers, like the Leeza, can, by simply outputting 72hz.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Joshk:


Thanks for the info. It’s disappointing news to say the least, but I’m hardly surprised.


I don’t know how you can state the NRS does a good job of working around this limitation. It puts out a fixed 60hz rate, which the panel up converts to 70hz. This causes image tearing, plain and simple. Faroudja said there’s nothing they can do about it and that it’s caused by the panel.


There’s one observation I’ve posted before and still stand by. The NRS does not exhibit this problem when it’s processing video-based material. I’ve done a lot of careful watching, comparing video versus movie-based material and can categorically state it only happens with movies. This leads me to conclude it has something to do with converting 24fps, but I’m not a technical person, so can only speculate. I’ve tried turning off film mode (3:2 pull down), but it makes no difference.


So, joshk, if you’re with Pioneer, I have a challenge for you. Get someone at Pioneer together with Faroudja and do a joint assessment of a 503CMX or equivalent with an NRS. I’m assuming this hasn’t been done by anyone, but could be wrong. Maybe those in the technical know will figure it out and a solution can be found. A good contact there is Michael Pearce, Senior Technical Support Representative at [email protected] or 408-735-1492 x256.
 

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Josh is indeed with Pioneer.
 

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I have to support Jims challenge, would be very interresting to see what they come up with.


Jim, do the NRS have digital inputs / outputs (SDI/DVI)??
 

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Jim, isn't this a case of "the tail wagging the dog?" I mean, is it really Pioneer's responsibility to make sure that it's panel is compatible with every high end add-on out there? Seems to me that Faroudja should be listening to their aftermaket customers and fix the NRS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
keyser:


No SDI or DVI yet, but they're working on a new NRS with DVI out, according to Michael Pearce. They also have the DCS, which essentially is an NRS with a built-in DVD player and DVI output. It provides the same capability as an SDI-modified DVD player in one box.


I haven’t seen the DCS nor has it been reviewed on this forum, to the best of my knowledge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mark Ichiyama:


I agree with your point and have been down that road with Faroudja many times. It has always been my contention that they should have made certain the NRS worked properly with the Pioneer panels. I even accused them of not doing proper testing and QA, but they never responded to that challenge. To be fair, they did offer me a free conversion to 720p, but I decided to turn it down. Most people have been telling me that it won’t be anywhere near as good, tearing problem aside.


I’ve recently found out the Sharp Aquos, an LCD panel, operates at 1280 x 768. I guess the NRS will work properly with it, at least in theory.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim Boden
Mark Ichiyama:


I agree with your point and have been down that road with Faroudja many times. It has always been my contention that they should have made certain the NRS worked properly with the Pioneer panels.
So why do you call on Pio to change their firmware?

It really seems like it's the Faroudja's responsibility to be compatible with as many displays as possible, or if they are not, to tell their customers about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
wojtek:


I'm just trying to clarify what the problem is. It's been bounced around and customers like me are caught in the middle. The NRS worked with the previous generation 505 panel, hence the query to Pioneer, which is where a change took place without explanation.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by wojtek
So why do you call on Pio to change their firmware?
Are you serious? How about this:

1) Because upconverting to 70hz is stupid whether it's NTSC or PAL land.

2) You fellas paid enough for this plasma, it's basic functions such as refresh rate should meet standards. 70hz is not standard for video.

There must be a reason, other than stupidity, that pioneer chose 70hz for this panel.?

A display, especially such a high tech/expensive one like a plasma, should be universal; and support as many different types of connections, refresh rates, resolutions as possible. And at least be able to display and pass thru the standards without tearing....


Josh, It is probably your duty as Sr. Product Planner to pass our views on up the corporate ladder regarding this 70hz problem. It's nice having someone like you interacting with customers on a public forum like this.

Thanks,

Bob C
 

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The display SHOULD be able to up the refresh without problems, kinda like 100hz TV´s work.. or is the process more complex then doubling the refresh rate? Higher refresh rates = a more stable picture, a quick eye can notice flicker on 60 and 70hz.


Jim,


Will the new NRS also have SDI in.. any other new features? Whats your TrueLife(think they call this something else on NRS) setting and what do you think of that "enhancer"?


"When a unit in the NR Series is ordered, the display type is specified. The unit is then optimized for that display. This configuration has two benefits; first the display will be sent the signal that provides the highest quality and second, since the scan rate of the display does not change, the NR Series does not add expensive, and unnecessary, variable rate scaling."


Thats from the Faroudja site, can you order the NRS´s with different scan modes, and what do they mean expensive, aren´t their scalers more expensive than most others? The new keydigital plugin card has selectable refresh rates, is that more expensive than the NRS?


Do the NRS´s do 2-2 pulldown and are completely pal compatible??
 

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I have visited Jim NRS threads several times. It seems to me that there should be no difference between the NRS running at 60Hz and my PC running at 60Hz. If this is an issue with the display why does my PC running 60Hz 1280x768 dot for dot work perfectly? There is no tearing of defects of any kind. This is what the display was designed for. I think that the Pioneers internal scaling to 70Hz is a bogie that someone in throwing out the process of trying to blame Pioneer.


Therefore, I would be inclined to conclude that the Pioneer upconverting to 70Hz is NOT in fact a problem. It converts just fine in my case with a crystal clear picture and no tearing on DVDs.


NOTE: If I set my monitor frequency to 70Hz or 72Hz other wierd stuff happens. I am going to start a trhead on the PC forum.
 

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I have the same observations to report:


I can run a Pioneer at 60 Hz from an HTPC or a Vigatec GVC-1280 with no problem


with the Leeza, I had to set it to 70/72 Hz


I am curious how it would behave with the new Key or Aurora cards


Mark
 

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I was about to buy the 503 with a tvp-1000 tuner but now Im really confused -as a novice to this what exactly is wrong with the unit and should I stay away Jim?
 

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The Aurora card produces an output that the Pioneer sees as Video, not PC, therefor it does not have any issues with forced 70Hz output refresh.


The Pioneer PDP503CMX or PDP433CMX when used with the Aurora TVP-1000 card work extreamly well and produce a very fine quality image.


josh
 
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