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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So yesterday I bought a Hitachi 42HDT20 ALiS (1024x1024) plasma.

I brought it home today, and hooked it up.


I pulled my Mitsubishi WT46805 off of my entertainment center (faithful beast) and put the Hitachi up in it's place.

I hooked everything up, and turned it on...

**anticipation**

Wife sitting next to me goes "Oh my god! DirecTV looks TERRIBLE!"

**sweat on brow**

I dash for AVIA, and pop it in...

**mild relief**


So now, I have run AVIA, and it's not as bad as it was, but that's to be expected.

I have seen 1080i on this set quite often, and it's outrageously good, but I always assumed the SD performance was a byproduct of a bad cable signal.

It is not.

My Mits (2000 model) looked great on DirecTV.

The Hitachi falls flat on it's face. Text, and menu's are clearer, and the picture doesn't always look awful... just when things move.


I put in Diana Krall Live in Paris to check out the blacks on the TV.

What a sad disappointment.

Every professional review I've ever read has praised this television for it's blacks, and quality SD picture.


Is this normal for an ALiS TV?

The only reason I question it, is because it's supposed to excel in the exact categories it's terrible in.

I honestly never even wanted a plasma... I've never really cared much for them, but this deal was far too good to pass up.


I'm seriously thinking that I'm going to sell, or trade this plasma now.

Like I said, for 1080i, it's OUT-FREAKING-STANDING... but DVD and SDTV are not anywhere near my 4 year old Mitsubishi.


Anyone out there wanting a 42" plasma, and not wanting their nice front projector??
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, as I mentioned...


I replaced my 46" Mitsusbishi HD capable RPTV with the Plasma.

Took it off of the entertainment center, hooked up to the plasma with the same source, same cables, everything.


I don't really think this is a garbage in/garbage out thing.
 

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My 6UY looks a lot worse than my old RPTV with the same source. One of three things is happening:


1) The set is so much sharper than what it replaced that it shows defects you didn't see before.

2) The set has more contrast or less dynamic range, enhancing false contouring present in the MPEG

3) It's a new set and you're looking at it critically, noticing things you never noticed before.


Most likely, it's some of each.
 

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I will add that DirecTV optimizes the picture for display on interlaced CRTs.


The sad fact is that the decisions that allow the picture to work well on such a display unfortunately make it look even worse on most digital fixed-pixel displays.


Mark
 

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I don't like to let a display off the hook too easily when it comes to it's handling of regular cable (NTSC) signals. Yes, the source can be the problem, but examine the same NTSC source on a number of big screen displays and there's an obvious variation of quality: some big screens look like crap, channel after channel, others look quite good. I find my Panny 4UY adds very little noticeable scaling distortion to the signal, because so many channels look truly excellent, and it looks quite natural, with analog stations still looking fluid and analog. When you get a crappier scaler, though, I find it makes all NTSC images look digitized and unnaturally smeary and blocky.


That said, I have seen the Hitachi model in question with NTSC and it was really quite good. Not quite as clean and sharp as my Panny with NTSC, but still better than the majority of plasmas I've seen. But your description of a poor image when something moves perhaps points to some crappy processing from your plasma. I dunno. Motion seems perfectly smooth with NTSC on my Panasonic plasma.
 

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I had the 46805 (now in the very happy hands of my brother in law). I now have the Pioneer 503cmx Plasma. I can tell you my plasma is 100% better than the 46805 on SD sources. I am using the composite cable connected to my Digital Cable.


My plasma is also noticably clearer on HD sources (I assume due to more perfect geometry and convergence) and similiar on DVD (assume a better scaler would put the plasma ahead here as well).


In my opinion, if your plasma is putting out a worse picture than the early generation 46805 Mitsubishi (which had a horrible line doubler) then Alias is that bad!
 

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But the real puzzle is why DVDs look awful. Assuming you've got a component cable going directly to the monitor, the picture shouldn't be that bad. Maybe some settings on the DVD player need to be adjusted?
 

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Not knowing what your cable signal looks like makes it difficult to diagnose. However, when you say that DVD also looks like poop, I begin to think that something is wrong. DVDs should look very good on almost all high end plasmas. In fact, they generally look much better than CRTs that I've seen. So it's hard to imagine what's going on aside from calibration, cabling etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'll reiterate my setup again for you guys... and we'll see where we are from there.


I am watching DirecTV from an RCA UltimateTV (DWD490RE) connected via S-Video (decent quality cable, not the best, but certainly better than some cheapie).

I am watching DVD through a Pioneer DV-563AS (DVD-A/SACD) connected via Acoustic Research Pro Series component video cables (again, not the best, but not the worst either)


On my Mitsubishi television, this picture is outstanding (imho) so I don't think I'm too picky... but holy crap... this thing is just not impressive at all. I really want to love this TV, and I'm trying... but man it's hard.


What should my next step be?
 

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Does your RCA receiver have Component/DVI output? If it does you should use it. I am using my Hitachi with a Sony SAT-HD200 DirecTV receiver which I use to upconvert SD programming to 1080i. It looks quite good but you must remember that you are going to see artifacts in the picture not through the fault of the TV but the SD signal. It truly is a garbage in/garbage out sort of thing.DVDs on my Hitachi look outstanding! I am using Monster Video 3 component cables and I don't notice any problems. Also, how close are you sitting to the set? Anything closer than 8ft. or so and you will see picture artifacts. Like Ken said though it's really hard to diagnose sight unseen. Hang in there with the Hitachi though! It really is a great set and I am VERY happy with mine.

-Mike.
 

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What is amazing is that you are comparing it to the 46805 and stating how much better you like the 46805 for SD. I had my 46805 pretty well calibrated with Avia and kept the convergence on as much as I could - and was never satisfied with SD picture quality. On the other hand - matched with a Panasonic DVD RP-91 (as the 46805 locks in full for 480p) and the 46805 had a terrific DVD picture. Therefore, I always contribute the poor SD quality to a bad line doubler and bad stretch modes (zoom on the 46805 I believe was unwatchable).


My Stepfather purchased a 55810 (believe 2002 Mits model) and I was amazed how much Mits had improved their line doubler in that his SD looked much better than my 46805.


My Pioneer plasma is just as good as his 55810 on SD - thus a good step above the 46805.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Unfortunately, another brand or model of plasma isn't an option for me, as I got this one for an incredible price (perk of working where I do) it was a floor model (pretty much brand new) and we replaced it with the 42HDT50.


The manufacturers warranty started the day I took it home (yesterday) so I have the option of looking into that avenue (if it is indeed a problem, and not just me being picky) or I can just return the thing, and get a 65" RPTV or something.
 

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I'm not in particular saying a different brand plasma. My main point is that the 46805 does not have that good an SD picture - therefore if you can't get the plasma to produce better than the 46805 its got real problems.
 

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Well all I can say is ALiS isn't that bad. My Fujitsu P42HHA10WS is very good and through an HD-Leeza it is excellent. Even with garbage in (VHS tape) it is okay. It is not ALiS that is responsible for this problem it maybe the scaler in your model or your particular unit, and from what others say it might be worth a warranty check on your unit's internal scaler.
 

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It seems that this is an oft echoed complaint; poor SD on larger fixed panel displays. I guess I'm fortunate, in that my P50 has absolutely amazing SD image quality for the most part (depending on programming. Some stuff is soft and just plain yucky) via 's' cable from E*. Maybe it's my location with a very strong signal but, for instance, PPV Daredevil looked fantastic last night. So, it is possible to have a great SD pic.

You do have a basis for comparison since you had a good pic from the Mits so that weakens the GIGO explanation somewhat. Another thing you might try is borrowing another D* receiver and seeing if there's an improvement. I assume your signal levels are strong?

The comment about a superior display evidencing heightened artifacts and anomalies is true, too.

You mentioned that it was a floor model. Did you have an opportunity to view SD programming on it before you bought it?

Whatever the cause, it's not something that you should have to put up with. I don't think it's anything inherent in ALiS since other ALis display owners don't have your complaint as a rule. It sound like something specific to your set up as several previous posters have suggested.

Good luck in ironing it out. Your PDP really should be bringing you joy!


Andy
 

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I want to note that satellite signal strength actually has zero effect on picture quality. All signal strength tells you is how many "errors" you are having. If you cross the maximum error threshold you run out of good data and get breakups. But the picture quality between strength of 63, say, and 98, is identical -- for the same channel.
 
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