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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have spent endless hours looking in stores and doing research on the web, and have checked out any displays I could in person, and am not satisifed that I can find the right display for my needs. I have several hundred black and white films that I play on a laserdisc player through S-Video (which I can convert to component if I have to), and the only aspect ratio available is 4:3. I also watch DVDs through an upscaling DVD player, so I want the high-def option too, with good colors. But with all these old films, I keep seeing too much contrast (all black, stark white where there should be shades of gray) and weird jerky motion. (This is in the few displays I've actually been able to check out.) The best size panel for my needs is a 37", which further limits my choices, since not everyone makes them. I was hoping the new Sharp LED series would work, but it has the same problems with too-high contrast, and they don't make a 37". Anyone have any suggestions for the best panel? The previous thread asking a question similar to this is now two years old, so it isn't much use.


Helpful answers only, please. I don't want to hear things like "throw out your laserdisc collection." I have 500 of the things, and most of the material was filmed in 4:3 to begin with.
 

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Since I've never researched the various sets from the standpoint of best B&W picture quality, I'm afraid I can't offer you any advice as far as which panel to go with. I can, however, make a recommendation that you purchase a high quality external scaler/processor. Since a majority of your source material is in SD (i.e. LDs and DVDs), this would seem like a logical investment for someone who wants to achieve the best possible end result on an HD display.
 

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Not sure if the newer Sharp models have it or not, but older ones had a B&W mode tucked away in the advanced video settings. I never used it so honestly have no idea what it did or how well it worked. You might want to download a manual to see if it is still there and then try it out locally.


Good luck.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvernon /forum/post/18132579


Not sure if the newer Sharp models have it or not, but older ones had a B&W mode tucked away in the advanced video settings. I never used it so honestly have no idea what it did or how well it worked. You might want to download a manual to see if it is still there and then try it out locally.


Good luck.

Its there on my brand new SHarp LE705


Too bad almost no 4:3 LCDs are available.


AtW
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATWindsor /forum/post/18132611


Its there on my brand new SHarp LE705


Too bad almost no 4:3 LCDs are available.


AtW

It's ridiculous to desire a 4:3 panel today as it defeats what 1080P 16:9 is provided for - HD is not for 4:3. Your cutting off part of everything that's being displayed that otherwise would be viewed and if the 4:3 is a locked content due to age and outdated theater format it's easily viewable.


A panel that's True HD doing 1080P and 1:1 Dot Mode is going to provide a display of content in the manner the Director intended and in his chosen format and a PQ = 500-600% better. You get screwed with 4:3 and it's so obvious as to be ridiculous. View CNN in HD and then switch over to a SD channel and you lose a third of what the HD viewers are observing and during election debates it's quite helpful. Dot Mode 1:1 and HD = perfection while SD 4:3 = a big fat TURD View and I can view old movies on my 57" in wide screen as the Director intended instead of a CRT BOX panel slaughtering old content.


You can still view in 4:3 if that's your desire but it's truly defeating what is being fed through the TV as they are not feeding 4:3 unless that was the original Dinosaur content from 60 years ago. At this moment I'm viewing full screen 16:9 of a 1943 movie in B/W and it looks awesome even though it's not an HD channel.


My Sharp does SD quite well with most 480i Turdvision but I see no reason for a 4:3 panel when the wide screen 1080P panel can display as if your at the Theater instead of a squeeze box CRT tube TV cutting off most of the material. I'm nearly 60 and finally able to see movies the way my parents had viewed them in a theatrical release instead of a POS 4:3 CRT and the future may hold 21:9 screens to match most theatrical formats without boxing content. There next to no 4:3 screens because they fail to match toeday's HD feeds otherwise you'd chop off about a third of what's being displayed and considering they are selling over 100 million panels around the globe annual it should tell you consumers have next to no desire for 4:3 display of material on a flat panel.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by westa6969 /forum/post/18133819


It's ridiculous to desire a 4:3 panel today as it defeats what 1080P 16:9 is provided for - HD is not for 4:3. Your cutting off part of everything that's being displayed that otherwise would be viewed and if the 4:3 is a locked content due to age and outdated theater format it's easily viewable.

If i where you, I would ask people what they need the display for, before you go off on a rant about how ridiculous it is. I'm not going to use a 4:3 display for 1080p HD-content. There are plenty of 16:9 panles, i wish there was a bit more in more uncommon formats, for special use. As per today, it's basically impossible to get a 4:3 LCD thats bigger than 20 inches (at a pirce that resembles normal)


AtW
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have the manual for the Sharp, and the feature (they call it "monochrome") is there, but I wasn't able to check it out in the store. The program they were playing did have some black and white commercials (16:9, not 4:3), but the store had the contrast set so high there was no grayscale at all. You got either all black or all white. Until I can find a store that will let me put one of my grayscale DVDs in a player and put it through the panel, there's no way to view it. I tried my neighbor's Toshiba, and even with contrast adjustments it couldn't handle the grayscale. There was also a lot of jerky motion.


FWIW, I asked this question over on Amazon of a reviewer, and he recommended the LG 37LH40.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyco_ork /forum/post/18132220


I have spent endless hours looking in stores and doing research on the web, and have checked out any displays I could in person, and am not satisifed that I can find the right display for my needs. I have several hundred black and white films that I play on a laserdisc player through S-Video (which I can convert to component if I have to), and the only aspect ratio available is 4:3. I also watch DVDs through an upscaling DVD player, so I want the high-def option too, with good colors. But with all these old films, I keep seeing too much contrast (all black, stark white where there should be shades of gray) and weird jerky motion. (This is in the few displays I've actually been able to check out.) The best size panel for my needs is a 37", which further limits my choices, since not everyone makes them. I was hoping the new Sharp LED series would work, but it has the same problems with too-high contrast, and they don't make a 37". Anyone have any suggestions for the best panel? The previous thread asking a question similar to this is now two years old, so it isn't much use.


Helpful answers only, please. I don't want to hear things like "throw out your laserdisc collection." I have 500 of the things, and most of the material was filmed in 4:3 to begin with.

I understand exactly what you want as I love to watch older movies or shows, too, like for example Casablanca or The Avengers. While Casablanca is available on Blu-ray most material still isn't and it's perfectly legitimate to use older hardware wherever necessary. I for example use a 46" LCD with LED backlight that supports 4:3 without stretching etc. - resulting in a 4:3 picture with a diagonal size of more than 90 cm - much better than my old 28" 4:3 CRT!



Sadly, I have no particular recommendation for a specific set as I'm not firm with 37" models but my advice would be to get the biggest 16:9 flatpanel you can accomodate which is able to do a (nearly) perfect graybar ramp - you know the test pictures with the grays from deep black to bright white?


Some sets try to increase contrast too much by drowning dark grays into blacks - you'll probably want to avoid that (or disable "dynamic contrast") to not lose detail.

Most sets from well-known brands produce a good-enough to excellent picture for upscaled SD and especially true HD material so you may want to prioritize the ability to handle your old b&w movies and things like user friendliness.


Also note that some of the newer sets drop the S-Video input so you'll either have to make sure to get one with this input or convert the signal to component video. If your laserdisc-player has a component video output you should probably use that anyway as it is generally the better analog connection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny42 /forum/post/18144689


Also note that some of the newer sets drop the S-Video input so you'll either have to make sure to get one with this input or convert the signal to component video. If your laserdisc-player has a component video output you should probably use that anyway as it is generally the better analog connection.

Benny, thanks for the info. Yes, I've noted the missing s-video connection on the newer sets. One reason I was attracted to Sharp, but I've found a high-quality converter that I could use if I have to. Unfortunately, it increases the cost of the transition by $150.


I don't have a video of a gray-scale ramp. What I use is a film by a Hungarian filmmaker named Bela Tarr. It was released in 2000, but it's grayscale with a vengeance. There are many scenes that are mostly different shades of dark gray with a little bit of brighter light coming in at an angle. A real test of a set's ability to differentiate, and most of them fail. There is also a scene in it in which the cameraman is walking backwards, using a steadycam, and the character is walking toward him down a sloping hill. It's a night scene, with pools of light coming from streetlights and pools of darkness between the lights; but even the dark spots have information, and are not entirely black. Cobblestones, for instance. The light glints from the cobblestones. Since the steadycam operator is walking backward, there is a slight undulating motion in the background. On a normal CRT this is noticeable but not fatal. On the LCDs it is fatal. You feel as if you're on the deck of an ocean liner in a storm.


I agree with the other poster who complained about CRTs cutting off the edges of the frame; that's the main reason I want to upgrade. I would love to have the full frame of my 4:3 films. Unfortunately, 37" is really my limit for a set. I'm in a tight space, and can't go any bigger. This gives a picture that is vertically only 1.5" more than my 27" CRT. A 32" LCD would be vertically 1" less. Although I would like to get the additional material around the edges of the frame, so far the tradeoffs I've seen aren't worth the small gain. My old CRT responds instantly to motion information, with no jaggies, and has endless grayscale capabilities. The LCD designers are going to have to do better. I'm hoping that the LED designs will tip the balance.


I do want the newer capabilities for HD, also. If I had a big room I'd keep the CRT set and use one of the new sets for new formats. That would make the most sense. But I simply don't have the room.
 

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Just for an experiment, have you tried turning the color control all the way off before you watch a black and white movie on your LCD tv?

The reason I ask, is that I have found an improvement when doing so on my Sony 32" XBR1.

I have found watching black and white films to have a greenish tint in black backgrounds. So, I tried turning the color all the way down to zero. Goodbye greenish tint.

Try it and see if it makes a difference!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazerfan /forum/post/18150293


Just for an experiment, have you tried turning the color control all the way off before you watch a black and white movie on your LCD tv?

The reason I ask, is that I have found an improvement when doing so on my Sony 32" XBR1.

I have found watching black and white films to have a greenish tint in black backgrounds. So, I tried turning the color all the way down to zero. Goodbye greenish tint.

Try it and see if it makes a difference!

Many DVDs of both B&W and color films have a built-in greenish tint. This may be due in part to the use of old video sources for transfers, but even Criterion DVDs of B&W films often display a greenish tint.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike999 /forum/post/18150396


Many DVDs of both B&W and color films have a built-in greenish tint. This may be due in part to the use of old video sources for transfers, but even Criterion DVDs of B&W films often display a greenish tint.

I've started a small blu-ray collection of Criterion releases. Recently I watched the blu-ray version of Repulsion on my main monitor, which is a Pioneer Elite Pro-101FD plasma. I didn't notice a greenish tint, but I will have to check again.

When I spoke of the greenish tint on my Sony XBR LCD, I was really speaking about some of the digital over-the-air tv stations that have black and white programs, such as the old Alfred Hitchcock tv episodes. These low quality digital tv stations pump out 480i signals with heavy compression artifacts and the black and white tv shows look very green. By turning the color down to zero, it eliminates this greenish hue.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazerfan /forum/post/18150472


I've started a small blu-ray collection of Criterion releases. Recently I watched the blu-ray version of Repulsion on my main monitor, which is a Pioneer Elite Pro-101FD plasma. I didn't notice a greenish tint, but I will have to check again.

Blu-Ray seems to have eliminated the greenish tint that plagued a lot of DVDs.

Quote:
When I spoke of the greenish tint on my Sony XBR LCD, I was really speaking about some of the digital over-the-air tv stations that have black and white programs, such as the old Alfred Hitchcock tv episodes.

Again, I think this problem is due mainly to the use of video masters, which often give B&W material a greenish hue.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyco_ork /forum/post/18132220


I have spent endless hours looking in stores and doing research on the web, and have checked out any displays I could in person, and am not satisifed that I can find the right display for my needs. I have several hundred black and white films that I play on a laserdisc player through S-Video (which I can convert to component if I have to), and the only aspect ratio available is 4:3. I also watch DVDs through an upscaling DVD player, so I want the high-def option too, with good colors. But with all these old films, I keep seeing too much contrast (all black, stark white where there should be shades of gray) and weird jerky motion. (This is in the few displays I've actually been able to check out.) The best size panel for my needs is a 37", which further limits my choices, since not everyone makes them. I was hoping the new Sharp LED series would work, but it has the same problems with too-high contrast, and they don't make a 37". Anyone have any suggestions for the best panel? The previous thread asking a question similar to this is now two years old, so it isn't much use.


Helpful answers only, please. I don't want to hear things like "throw out your laserdisc collection." I have 500 of the things, and most of the material was filmed in 4:3 to begin with.

I think any of the top tier brands (e.g. Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sharp) are going to be capable of performing exceptionally with black and white source material. What you are seeing in the stores are display models with settings for looking 'punchy' under florescent lighting. All of the higher end sets have user controls for dialing in the picture for proper video reproduction. You could also consider a professional calibration along with a good LCD from a top tier brand, although I don't think I'd recommend spending the money on a calibration for a small display like a 37". Even with just making your own adjustments with some good calibration discs you will get good results with today's displays.


Another thing to consider regarding calibration: the IRE level range in laserdisc is different than that of today's DVD and Blu-ray players. What that means is that your Brightness and Contrast settings for laserdisc will be lower than for DVD/Blu-ray, i.e. if you use a DVD/Blu-ray calibration disc, the results for Brightness and Contrast would be incorrect for laserdisc. I would recommend the Video Essentials laserdisc for properly adjusting Brightness and Contrast for the input you have the laserdisc player on.




I run laserdisc with my Samsung 52B750 and it looks fantastic. The scalers and video processing in todays top tier brands are quite good. I test drove a DVDO Edge external video processor and found that the processing in my 52B750 was better. You could also consider getting an higher end AVR with good video processing.


What laserdisc player do you have? You should consider just connecting your player via composite, as the comb filter in todays top displays and processors are likely going to outperform the comb filter in your player. I know this is true of my Pioneer d704. Composite is the native format on the disc.


I highly recommend reading this:

http://www.mindspring.com/~laserguru/digitalage.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazerfan /forum/post/18150293


Just for an experiment, have you tried turning the color control all the way off before you watch a black and white movie on your LCD tv?

That sounds like a good idea, but I don't have an LCD yet. Maybe I can try it at the stores, if I can pry a remote loose from the sales staff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkcohen /forum/post/18150574



What laserdisc player do you have? You should consider just connecting your player via composite, as the comb filter in todays top displays and processors are likely going to outperform the comb filter in your player. I know this is true of my Pioneer d704. Composite is the native format on the disc.

Man, that is a whale of a lot of information.


My LD player is a Pioneer DVL 919, and I connect through a JVC JS-X777 switchbox, using S-Video. Unfortunately, from the article you provided the link for, the DVL 919 is not necessarily the highest quality, but it has served me well for 13 years. I also had a Marantz LV 510U, but I just donated it to a media museum.


I have been gradually moving the laser content over to DVD, using my pioneer DVRs. I am concerned that the laser players will break, and I've also run out of storage room. The DVDs I can store in a wallet. So the problems with 4:3 and grayscale apply equally to the DVD format. When I test TVs in stores or on other peoples' sets I'm using a DVD -- can't lug an LD player around with me.


The DVDO line of equipment the article links to looks like a good way to go if I can't find what I want from the built-in TV settings. Although I don't imagine the DVDO or any other processors being able to deal with the jerky, undulating motion I mention in one of my posts above.


Thanks for all this. I'm glad I'm doing this research before I jump in with both feet, but I have to say I never expected the problem to have this many ramifications and possible solutions.
 

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The jerky motion you were seeing, was that in the stores' demo material they were playing on their displays, or from one of your DVDs? I don't see this issue with my Samsung and my laserdisc. I do see the problem occassionally where it is the source that is the problem, rather than the display, e.g. bad broadcasts and incorrectly authored discs or video files.


Laserdisc players won't be around forever, but there is a whole market out there for repairing and refurbishing them. I think they'll be with us still for some time. I love my d704.


I don't recommend getting an external processor. That was good advice at the time that article I linked to was written, but video processing in flat panels has much improved since then. As I said above, I tried a DVDO Edge, and was disappointed with it. I found that my Samsung LCD has better processing, and I returned the Edge.


Glad to help, keep us posted on your journey.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyco_ork /forum/post/18151176


That sounds like a good idea, but I don't have an LCD yet. Maybe I can try it at the stores, if I can pry a remote loose from the sales staff.

If there's a menu button on the front panel of the tv set, you won't need a remote to turn the color down to zero. Just go to the picture menu and lower the color down to zero. I'm wondering if removing the tv's color processing from the black and white image might cure some of the artifacts that are happening?

I know when I hook a laserdisc player directly to my Sony XBR LCD, with color at the normal mid-point, I get a greenish tint all the time. When I hook it to my Elite monitor, there is no greenish tint. Makes me think it's simply a function of Sony lcd.

To the other poster who mentioned a natural green tint... I do notice this in some color movies as well! A perfect example is The Matrix. That movie is naturally "greenish."
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazerfan /forum/post/18151752


To the other poster who mentioned a natural green tint... I do notice this in some color movies as well! A perfect example is The Matrix. That movie is naturally "greenish."

THE MATRIX was filmed or digitally altered to look that way. What I was referring to are errors that occur when transferring a film to DVD. Somewhere in the process, a change in the color space may occur (e.g., CMYK -> RGB), and when done improperly, this can generate a color bias in the image. Sometimes the errors can lead to a red or blue tint, but most often the tint is green. Blu-Ray seems to correct this problem to some extent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkcohen /forum/post/18151469


The jerky motion you were seeing, was that in the stores' demo material they were playing on their displays, or from one of your DVDs? I don't see this issue with my Samsung and my laserdisc. I do see the problem occassionally where it is the source that is the problem, rather than the display, e.g. bad broadcasts and incorrectly authored discs or video files.

The undulating, "ship at sea" motion was actually on a grayscale DVD, not LD. But I've seen jerkiness even on the store displays, using broadcast sports material. However, for obvious reasons, I can't give them full tests. The "ship at sea" was on a Toshiba owned by my neighbor. The whole display in black-and-white and grayscale was awful. I'm going to test the same disk on another friends' larger Sony in the next few days.


Unfortunately, Sharp inform me that they have discontinued their 37" models and have no plans to reintroduce them. The 32" is just too small, and the 40" won't fit in my space. I'm in a New York apartment, crammed to the gills, and space is at a premium. The TV has to be sandwiched between a set of large speakers (used for music studio processing, not for watching TV), and a bunch of computer equipment. We're constantly breaking our toes on furniture and equipment as it is. Very nice, for everyone with basements and media rooms, to have all these huge panels, but what is someone in my situation supposed to do? I like the idea of the Sharp monochrome setting, but without the right size display available there's no point even in testing it.


The jaggies I mentioned were mostly from lasers of opera performances, where shots of the conductor or the musicians in the pit, or of other dark scenes, have a lot of bleed. The folds in the sleeve of a black jacket, for instance, disappear when the contrast is too high, or when the LD player is set to "Movie" mode. When the contrast is not as high, or the LD is in "Normal" mode, there is too much gray. I'm better able to adjust this after I've copied an LD to one of my Pioneer DVR machines. They allow different user settings, and I can set the IRE to 0 or 7.5, or make other adjustments, to fine-tune the grayscales and blacks on those machines when I use them for playback. So far I haven't been able to hook one of them up to an LCD display, so I don't know how those tweaks would work on an LCD.
 
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