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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't gotten any real responses to my post here
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=458427



But after tweaking my 50phd7uy for the weekend watching dvd's, HBO high def bad boys II, HD football, etc..


I can't seem to increase the black level detail. Black is definitely black, which is great. But I hate that in dark scenes, everything just looks like a blob of black. For example, black hair, with a pin stripe blazer. with a dark tie. everything seems to just be a big mass.


I tried Video Essentials, which helped me calibrte the brightness. But picture adjustment on VE, doesn't ever bend the bar or create blooming, so it's tough to adjust.


Then, there's all the advanced adjustments which I'm not sure about. Color temp, gamma, AGC, color management, White balance for red, blue, etc..


On the other end of the black issue. The whites are just so BRIGHT. The whites are whiter than white, if that's even possible. I've turned down the picture to -9 and brightness is at 0.


I'm having trouble with the steaming RAT method. Has anyone done this with their 7UY?


Thanks,
 

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I noticed you said you calibrated brightness, did you do the same for contrast or "whitelevel"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Contrast, which on the panny is picture, was difficult to calibrate with DVE DVD. The line never bends, and I don't really see any blooming anywhere on the scale. To my eyes, I think -7 through -12 is the right setting.


I'm wondering if any of the advanced setting on the unit makes a difference.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by gadgetfreaky
Contrast, which on the panny is picture, was difficult to calibrate with DVE DVD. The line never bends, and I don't really see any blooming anywhere on the scale. To my eyes, I think -7 through -12 is the right setting.


I'm wondering if any of the advanced setting on the unit makes a difference.
The line will not bend on a plasma, this is for use on CRT based displays only and is really a measure of the display/projector's power supply performance. For plasmas and LCDs, IIRC, you need to follow the instructions in "Troubleshooting - Contrast" which are in Title 7, Chapter 8 of the DVE disk.


-Steve
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by gadgetfreaky
Contrast, which on the panny is picture, was difficult to calibrate with DVE DVD. The line never bends, and I don't really see any blooming anywhere on the scale. To my eyes, I think -7 through -12 is the right setting.


I'm wondering if any of the advanced setting on the unit makes a difference.
Blooming does not occur on Plasmas and the bending line is also for CRT displays. This recent thread on the relationship between black & white levels may be helpful.
 

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As I posted in your other thread:


I have made the same observations with my 50PHD6UY, but I don't think it's a shortcoming of the display or the settings, but rather the source material. Sometimes the detail just isn't there in the source. If I notice a dark object such as an actors dark hair that seems lacking detail, I adjust the brightness up and often find that the detail just isn't there to begin with. With different (better quality?) source material, where the scenes are lighted and shot properly using good cameras, you will see all the detail of dark objects if your brightness (black level) is set correctly.


As for the bright whites, again, this varies with the source. I've seen this mostly with HDTV shows. The only solution I've found is to dial down the Picture/Contrast (white level) and then readjust the black level. The white level on my 50PHD6UY is currently at -7, but I've had it as low as -12. My brightness (black level) setting is between -1 and +3, depending on the source material.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I guess, there really isn't one perfect setting huh? Does any of the advanced menu settings effect this black level detail?
 

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The only true "perfect" setting - and this is up for debate - is the one that looks positively the best to your eyes. I've seen five guys standing next to each other looking at the same screen and each had their own idea about which was the ideal picture to them. Funny to watch, if you ever get the chance.


I'd agree with Rob that it could just be the transfer to the source material. I've gotten DVDs that I've previously owned the VHS version of and the detail in blacks was just completely dropped out in the transfer. If the lack of detail is consistent, though, that might not be the case.


What are you running for your connection?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm connecting both my HD Tivo via component. I'm waiting for my DB15 to component cable to come in to hook up my DVD player. But for now I'm using the single component input and just unplugging the tivo when I want to watch my dvd player.
 

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Keep in mind that the calibration for the DVD player and the right levels for the HDDirecTivo may very well be different. For example, it's been reported that the HDDirecTivo switches black levels depending upon the resolution you select. Apparently it uses the brighter 7.5 IRE for Component 480i and the darker 0 IRE for everything else. You can adjust your display for either but the same calibration WILL NOT WORK for both!


I'v found that with my Fujitus P50 plasma, the same display levels happen to work just fine for a Pioneer Elite 59avi DVD player at default settings and an HDDirecTivo both hooked up via HDMI/DVI at a fixed, 1080i resolution, but that's mostly luck.


The calibrated levels you achieve for the DVD should be used to train your eye so that you can make adjustments as necessary for the HDDirecTivo.


Also, test to check that the way you are using your DVD player with this display allows for proper passing of "Blacker than Black" data. If that data is being clipped improperly by the player or display then signal processing such as the scaling of the image will also cause "black crush" as near black details and true black details get improperly rounded to the same level. "Blacker than Black" data is not supposed to be visible when properly calibrated -- it should look just like "Black" data -- but it has to be there to avoid such artifacts when the signal is processed.


Also be careful to select a proper "picture mode" on the display before calibration. The brighter picture modes may not make it possible for you to calibrate for subtle black detail. And turn off any "feature" that automatically adjusts display light levels according to what's being displayed.


It is useful to check the horizontal and vertical "gray ramps" on your calibration DVD. Digital displays such as plasmas will have a certain amount of roughness in such ramps since they only have a finite number of possible steps of gray. Nevertheless, when setting white and black levels, you will likely find that the ones that look best when you watch shows also happen to produce the smoothest looking gray ramps.


Finally, don't despair or lose patience. Plasmas are rather finicky in their setup. If you keep at it, and take the time to make small changes and see whether you're getting closer or farther from where you want to be, you WILL close in on a very good looking result in a few weeks.

--Bob
 

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Keep at it G.F. It is common for new plasma owners to have misgivings about the ablities of their new toy during the early stages of calibrating it. These puppies are far less forgiving than conventional TVs as regards being set improperly. The good news is that as you start to dial it in the image will get noticeably better. There will come a point where you stumble across something close to the right settings and the bell will go off in your head, as "Gee! That looks GREAT! How could I have ever doubted?"


This is particularly true if you are looking at high quality source content (good HDTV from a good tuner, or good DVDs from a good player) -- content that is actually capable of looking great. Keep in mind however that a set like yours will also show up all the defects in bad content.

--Bob
 

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I am not trolling here, but could the loss of shadow detail just be an undesired side effect of having the best blacks in the industry?
 

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"I am not trolling here, but could the loss of shadow detail just be an undesired side effect of having the best blacks in the industry?"


I don't think that's what it is. I think it's that the processing / gamma stuff is not properly optimized in the Panasonic.
 

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I find with my Panny 50PHD6UY, that if the detail is there to begin with, and the black level is set correctly, there is absolutely no lack of detail with darker images.
 

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I am considering the purchase of 42" PHD7UY, for its reputed black level performance, and this information about the dropped detail of the dark pictures concerns me a bit. Is there any way you could make sure that it's the display and not just the source material? Maybe you could watch the same dvd on another display and then compare between the two? I found that to test the black level details, the Superbit 'Panic Room' and Platinum Edition of 'Seven' are useful DVD sources. Maybe if you have those titles you could try and see if the details are really lost on your 7UY display or not. If you don't have those titles, could you post some screen shot samples of the dark scenes you have tried out? Thanks.
 

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I have the Panny ED plasma. I have done thorough checks of it's black level detail vs other plasmas, as well as against the best CRTs. (I have lots of black level, shadow detail torture test DVDs).


I have yet to see missing shadow detail on my panasonic that was not also missing on the other displays (including on the CRTs). In other words, each time I thought I was missing something it turned out it was the source. The Panny still has the best black level detail I've seen a plasma.

For instance, despite assertions from Pioneer that "Panasonic looses black detail, our plasma preserves shadow detail with better gray scale gradation" I have yet to see this verified in practice. In direct comparisons the Panny's deeper black levels show gradations and details that are absent on the Pioneer.


Not picking on Pioneer, it also does it's own great things (I just happened to have done a lot of direct comparisons using Pioneer).


But, I wouldn't concern yourself with the black detail thing. Technically the plasma, at least my plasma, doesn't discern the very, very bottom of the gray scale. But in practice - real viewing - I've found this not to be an issue.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by R Harkness
But, I wouldn't concern yourself with the black detail thing. Technically the plasma, at least my plasma, doesn't discern the very, very bottom of the gray scale. But in practice - real viewing - I've found this not to be an issue.
Thanks for your input, Harkness. I'm browsing through your gallery of screenshots, they look sweet. Would you mind posting some of your black level "torture test" screenshots? As I've mentioned, I could use Panic Room or Seven as reference if you have those. I'd appreciate it! Thanks much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I guess I am so used to my 32" CRT Sony KV television. Which still is a beauty after 8 years. It's tough to compare the same show. should the HD version of law & order on the plasma going to show the same detail as the SD version of the show on my CRT?


Or do I need to compare SD to SD?


I've continued to tweak the plasma, but still feel the bright white and the black detail can't balance out. For example, HD football games, the white pants of most teams are glaringly white. too white.


In scenes like the recent HBOH bad boys 2 in HD, Martin's black vick jersey or the black tires of a white police car just don't have the detail.


I saw Man on Fire on DVD, and it looked great. the detail on faces and such do blow me away. But this was last week before I tweaked the plasma. Got a few movies like hellboy to watch this weekend and hopefully I can continue to tweak.


What does the GAMMA selection do? It seems to make a difference in black detail.
 

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What DVD player are you using with Digital Video Essentials and how are you connecting it to your display?
 
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