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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At 2 places I have went to and compared plasma and LCD side by side, the details I see in the black or dark areas are better on LCD than Plasma. Each pair of sets playing the same loop. Just today at BB, I had 2 samsungs. Plasma and LCD. I set both to std picture mode in the menu. Both had the same feed. The dark areas, in shadow and dark objects, had more details coming through on the LCD than on the plasma.


Another thing, on the loop, a picture of space with the earth in it looked black on the LCD, but the plasma black was lighter than the LCD. Why is that? Panasonics show up the same way. Is there an issue with their adjustment?


A sony bravia 5 something for 7ish sale I saw looked really good running its own demo off blu ray.


Whats the deal? How should I set them to compare? Do others notice this?
 

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Your perception is fairly accurate. Plasma may have excellent black levels, second only to CRT, but it suffers from an inaccurate gray scale.


And while plasma too excels at contrast ratio, auto brightness limiting can place any advantage down to the level of LCD. Except that LCD also excels in brightness and doesn't suffer from problems with less than accurate gamma curves and gray scale artifacts.


So you might just say, plasma on average has better black levels (although LCD has greatly closed this gap,) LCD has more accurate blacks freer from artifacts.
 

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I think it is mainly because of the light. It is known that LCD looks better (yes, even the black level) than Plasma under uncontrolled lights.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill4903485 /forum/post/18280509


Your perception is fairly accurate. Plasma may have excellent black levels, second only to CRT, but it suffers from an inaccurate gray scale.


And while plasma too excels at contrast ratio, auto brightness limiting can place any advantage down to the level of LCD. Except that LCD also excels in brightness and doesn't suffer from problems with less than accurate gamma curves and gray scale artifacts.


So you might just say, plasma on average has better black levels (although LCD has greatly closed this gap,) LCD has more accurate blacks freer from artifacts.

That is not accurate at all. Plasmas have excellent (if not perfect depending on the model) gray scale AND gamma once calibrated. You'll see much better black level detail with a plasma and also won't have any off angle viewing issues. With a plasma, no matter where you're looking at it from, you get the same image.


As far as auto brightness limiting goes, anything that would cause that should be turned off anyway. Except for the LED local dimming LCDs, there is no LCD that comes close to a plasmas black level performance whatsoever.
 

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The best lcds, (ccfl, edge lit, local dimming) will have blacks better than all plasmas except Panasonic sets- before they start rising in blacks, and Pioneer Kuros, with shadow detail to match. I've been most impressed with Sony's shadow detail on their newer sets.


Since Pioneer stopped making panels and Panasonic isn't fixing their black level rise yet, lcd seems to be a better choice for blacks (and anyone who participates on this site most likely sits directly in front of their tv, so viewing angles are irrelevant, especially if someone appreciates shadow detail), but detail can be obscured I believe through the front filter on the lcd- at least it seems like that happens with some Samsung sets that I've seen. Correct me if I'm wrong on this guys.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholc2 /forum/post/18280960


That is not accurate at all. Plasmas have excellent (if not perfect depending on the model) gray scale AND gamma once calibrated. You'll see much better black level detail with a plasma and also won't have any off angle viewing issues. With a plasma, no matter where you're looking at it from, you get the same image.


As far as auto brightness limiting goes, anything that would cause that should be turned off anyway. Except for the LED local dimming LCDs, there is no LCD that comes close to a plasmas black level performance whatsoever.

Plasma dithering (spatial and temporal) creates artifacts in black areas. AFAIK, auto brightness limiting cannot be disabled.
 

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It's more likely settings than anything.


A lower gamma can reveal more black detail, and too much edge enhancement will exacerbate details and make them appear more prominent than they should be. Properly set gamma, brightness, sharpness, etc, and it comes down to model vs model at that point, and not plasma vs LCD.

Quote:
but it suffers from an inaccurate gray scale.
Excuse me?


Feel free to browse my attached calibration report and tell me exactly what's wrong with my grayscale.

 

Pioneer KRP-500M Forum Post Calibration Report (ISF-Day).pdf 196.6044921875k . file
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Went to HH gregg last night and also noticed a samsung plasma and a sony LCD. LCD had better shadow detail but both sets were adjusted odd. LCD was dimmer than plasma. I adjusted the plasma from vivid to cinema and it looked more like the LCD. I then watched it a bit and I saw the same details in both sets then. It was all the same cable feed playing Hannah Montanna (daughter loves that show). The colors were not perfect and the feed was just a hair dirty. Either way, the lighting was better at HH gregg, more controlled, dimmer. Prompts more questions.


I guess what I need to do is get my own demo loop burned on DVD and flash drive and view it on my CRT to learn how it looks to me now. Then take it and play it on the sets Im looking at and pick out differences while I adjust the settings.


In noticing my viewing habits, I view Tv most often after 6:00 pm. Sun will be lower and behind the tree canopy looking out my west facing windows. (TV will be at right angles to the windows) Only real light wash out will be from 2:00pm till 5:00. I hardly ever watch at those times. Kids will, but not me. Other issue is I prefer light in the room when watching but sometimes, when I watch a good movie (not often enough) It is nice to shut down most light with a small light left on somewhere. Plasma may really come through tops at that point.


Thoughts?
 

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I have noticed just the oposite, plasma tends to have better shadow detail than LCD.


Problem is that on the showroom floor set brightness will be turned up beyond what a typical home set.


I also love that PDP people still bring up about how "brightly" lit the TV section is at BB when almost all of the BBs that I have been in you would almost need a flashlight to read the spec card for the set. The same people will then post on how their plasma is just fine for watching in the sun room at noon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Went to BB during lunch. They had two samsungs, plasma and LCD, side by side in a dim area so lights were not an issue. The plasma was way oversaturated. I had the salesman change setting from dynamic to std on the plasma and from cinema to std on the lcd. LCD was overall brighter than plasma, the color on plasma was richer, but the shadow details in the dark areas were better on LCD.


In one scene of the loop, a guy was sitting talking inside a room. He had on a black shirt like a turtleneck and a dark, but not quite as black blazer type jacket. On the LCD, you could clearly see the turtleneck type shirt and a different, slightly lighter jacket lapel. On the plasma, both of those items were so close to the same shade of black that they looked like one large collar. I watched as plasma was in dynamic and lcd was cinema, and I watched it again both in std, and again with both in dynamic. All same thing. The blacks were black on the plasma, but it did not render the shades of black as well as the LCD.


Thats why I wonder how should I adjust the plasma to see the different shades of black and the details?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I did a google search for shadow detail and plasma and came up with this from AVS. The latter part of the post speaks about increasing the black level. Could this explain what I see?


"moematthews

06-01-07, 01:01 PM

I was browsing LCD's and plasmas yesterday and I always look for shadow detail because I believe thats what seperates the good from the best.


The movie K-Pax is a movie to watch when looking for shadow detail. The movie director cameras are so dark that you can't see the actors one side of their face. Plasma being darker by nature makes the side of the face with no detail. LCD's are brighter by nature so the movie is much more viewable.


Maybe the new super plasmas will improve on this but for now LCD's got the advantage. I'm sure the fanboys will not like this but contrast doesn't mean shadow detail. Yes some LCD's crush blacks but so do plasmas.

www.cnet.com/4520-7874_1-5108543-1.html


Not true. You simply have not seen a properly calibrated plasma, and it sure seems you might be guilty of being a "fanboy" yourself for LCDs. Increasing shadow detail on a plasma can be as simple as increasing the "black level" (as it's called on my Hitachi 55HDX99 Director's Series). This actually means that dark areas of the picture become brighter. Experimenting with that means that previously unseen background objects or facial features become visible. Yes, black levels suffer somewhat, but I believe it is a worthy trade-off. You do not have to live with black crush. And if you're simply "browsing" televisions, you will likely not see a properly calibrated plasma, so of course you will not see shadow detail. The comment about SXRDs and film-quality image rings true for me - the Hitachi Director's Series has "Film Quality Image Tuning" right from the factory, to impart a film-like level of shadow detail to the picture. I find this very pronounced on "The Sopranos" in HD. It's shot in a very dark, brooding style, and increasing black level while it is playing produces noticeable results in bringing out shadow detail, differentiating between different dark colours and the texture of objects in those darker colours.
 

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The only way to properly judge shadow detail rendition between displays is to dim the lights and properly set your black level (brightness control) and gamma (could be a single control or a combination of several).


Without doing that most of what you're seeing is what display happens to have the better settings dialed in.


The display with the best black levels combined with the best gamma will almost always have the best (most accurate) shadow detail.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbird8450 /forum/post/18287391


The only way to properly judge shadow detail rendition between displays is to dim the lights and properly set your black level (brightness control) and gamma (could be a single control or a combination of several).


Without doing that most of what you're seeing is what display happens to have the better settings dialed in.


The display with the best black levels combined with the best gamma will almost always have the best (most accurate) shadow detail.

Bingo. Improper setup can easily destroy a display's picture quality. Any display should be properly calibrated for its environment prior to conducting any kind of evaluation, otherwise you're not evaluating the full potential of the display.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholc2 /forum/post/18280960


there is no LCD that comes close to a plasmas black level performance whatsoever.

That's completely untrue


The best method is to compare model by model.


The G10 for an example can produce 0.04cmd2, and most of the 2009 VA can produce up-to 0.06/7 (natively) and 0.04 (dynamically).


PS: Remember, not all PDPs yield excellent blacks and it depends on number of factors. In addition, due to internal reflection, PDP's ANSI CR is predominantly less than VA based LCDs (except the KURO of cause), which destroys details when there is sufficient luminance (akin to CRTs). Thankfully, this shouldn't be a problem anymore since the glass on the G20 and up are fused.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think I begin to see the light. Properly setup for each viewing location, weather plasma or LCD, the gap narrows. Does this mean that even though panasonics black lever will rise over a short amount of time due to wear on the tv, that if I always tune up the settings, it may not have any ill effect?
 

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No, that's a different situation. You can't counteract the black-rise with any settings.


I would personally avoid Panasonic plasmas for that reason.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbird8450 /forum/post/18289191


No, that's a different situation. You can't counteract the black-rise with any settings.


I would personally avoid Panasonic plasmas for that reason.

or wait till the new models have been out for awhile Panny said they are fixing it on the new models and from what i've seen on the ones that do it in stores the rise is not as terrible as people are making it out to be IMO


everyone should realize that many things people bring up on these forums as problems with a TV are what the average person would never notice and often times its nit picking.
 
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