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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thank you to everyone for helping me decide on the P50. I think it was the best choice for a plasma. I have owned the P50 for 13 days. My old set was the RCA HD direct view 38" widescreen. It provided nearly perfect HD PQ with all HD sources. The SD, especially with Direct TV, was pathetic. I've heard it is harder to make the transition from direct view to Plasma than from RPTV to Plasma. That seems to be true with some programming but not with other programming.( I'm not going to mention SD and Direct TV programming because it looks significantly better on the P50 w/the HD200.)


As I watched the Masters on CBS and Young Outlaws, Driven and Hardball (the movie) on HBO and Showtime HD networks I was stunned at the PQ. The WOW factor and the "it's like looking through a window" affect was definitely present. The 3 movies looked as if they were in HD.


However, I have been very disappointed in the network HD broadcasts and I don't know why. CSI, Alias, Everybody Loves Raymond etc, look very contrasty to me. The back ground is not defined (too much undefined black) and the colors are exaggerated. The skin tones are off, even after extensive tweaking. CSI and Raymond always looked wonderful on the RCA.


It doesn't make sense to me that many movies I have seen on the HD HBO and Showtime channels look better than HD from the major networks. I think the movies are upconverted to 1080i.....unless they are broadcasting the DVHS versions. BTW, some movies on the HD premium channels, like LC Tomb Raider and older movies have poorer PQ.


My room is moderately bright during the day. The daytime is when I think the display looks the best. The network programming I watch with only a little artificial lighting. Perhaps that is part of the answer. The Masters was also on during the day.


I have the Avia disk. After much tweaking I have ended up with:

R: 241

G: 231

B: 195

Contrast: -4 Brightness: +9 Color: 0 Tint:0 sharpness: -2 noise reduction: Std and most importantly picture mode: Dynamic


I have tried Static, as most suggest, but the picture is too dark and the background detail is lost no matter how much tweaking I do. Even in the dynamic mode, when I am watching some HD programming, it seems like there is a veil over the screen. If I go back to precision setting and select color temp I can toggle between my user setting and +3500. Often the veil will lift when I do this but the red is set back to 255 which is too red. I can then go back to user color temp and turn the red down but then, with other material, the overall picture seems too blue...... eventhough I have only turned down the red.


Honestly when I go back to the "default" settings the picture looks the best except for the red push.


So overall I am very happy. DVD's look great also. My only complaint is network Hd PQ......Too much contrast and the color, especially skin tones, are off. Also it seems like I need to constantly adjust the settings. As, someone in another post suggested, I will set the picture memories for different problems ( too red/ contrasty/veil etc). I'm not sure why the settings seem to need to be changed so often. ( it may be the dynamic mode but I can't make the static mode look acceptable) Again I never needed to do that with the RCA. However, no question that, other than network HD, the P50 has a WOW factor that the RCA did not.


One other thing I have noticed is that the PQ of HD NET (CH199) varies much more with the P50. Before it always looked incredible. On the P50 the PQ is not as sharp and I get that veil affect more often.


These are just my observations after 13 days. Overall I am very happy with the purchase. Of course the reason I got rid of the RCA was I wanted a bigger screen. The only display that comes close to a direct view is a plasma and from what I have seen this is the best 50" out there at the moment.


Has anyone else had my experience. Any suggestions on my settings would be appreciated. :)
 

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I have noticed some of the same issues you have described. In addition, the various picture memory settings seem to not hold when you switch from Video 1-3 and RGB. Specifically I notice that I can have memory 8 set for video 3. I will then switch to RGB2 and watch a movie. When I switch back to video 3 to watch satellite, if I hit the memory button the picture brightness, sharpness, color will change and the TV will display memory 8. This occurrence happens regardless of what memory setting I have initially selected. It is as if when switching input sources, the particular memory settings is lost until you press the memory button one time. Am I alone in noticing this.
 

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DOBE,


I have the exact same experience re: the overly contrasty look of network HD shows with the P50/HD200 combo. The blacks are way too dark and with loss of black detail. This seems noticeably more so with film based shows (CSI, Law & Order, etc.).


For network HD shows, I've found that starting out in the "FINE" mode works better. While the black levels are not as deep as with static and dynamic, there is noticeably better details in the dark areas. I then adjust the black levels and luminance under "PrecisionSettings" in the menu to deepen the blacks. Note: you can only gain access to black levels and luminance adjustments when in Fine mode. I also increase the brightness.


Fine mode seems to take that contrasty edge off of the network HD shows, but it does require some significant adjustments to get a good picture.


Glen
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
bait28: For the moment I have my DVD player and STB connected through my receiver via component cables. That way I leave the P50 on Video 3 and only need to use the receiver's remote to switch between the two devices. I therefore have not noticed the problem you describe.


GlenH: I'm glad I'm not the only person who has noticed the excessive contrast (too much undefined black background) on network HD programming. I will definitely try the Fine mode and hopefully save to memory for use with those shows. The fact that it's worse on film based HD shows makes sense. I think Fuji recommends the Fine mode for film. It also explains why the Masters on CBS looked so good.Thanks
 

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I agree about CSI. Do you guys get OTA PBS HDTV? Some of the PBS

demo loops are IMHO the best HDTV. And when viewing PBS, I dial down

the contrast and brightness, unlike CSI. I haven't upgraded

my dish yet, so I haven't seen HDNet. Only 1 HDPPV movie, which looked

great, but not as good as PBS.


Bait: Is RGB2 the RGB/VGA connector? That's the only one I don't use.

I haven't noticed any strangeness like you describe. Whatever settings

I last had set on an input, stay there. eg. If I am on DVI and hit

memory 1 and then change contrast from -2 to -5. No matter where

I switch to and what other memory setting or changes I make, when I

come back to DVI, contrast is -5 and the other settings are where

I left them.


later


larry
 

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If using the rgb-2/vga input, on the "features" munu, under "Input Terminals", make sure you set "D-SUB input" to "decoder"
 

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I believe part of the problem lies in the fact that the P50 is pretty much showing you the picture as it really is. The networks HD shows DO vary considerably in quality. Everybody Loves Raymond is a show that, for whatever reason, is usually oversaturated and too red in addition to being quite contrasty. However, when I go upstairs to look at the same show on my Panny 34" HDTV, I see the same overall oversaturation and relatively high contrast. CSI is a show that tends to be very contrasty and somewhat grainy (again, the director's intent) and again, I see the same phenomena on my Panny directview. I don't believe the Fujitsu is adding anything that isn't there. What you are seeing is what is actually originating in the transmission IMO.


Keep in mind too that when you were watching your RCA, you were also using an RCA HD tuner which has a far different PQ than the Sony HD200 (which I feel is far better). I started out with an RCA DTC100 and I found the PQ was notches below the Sony/Zenith combo. The overall picture via the RCA tuner tends to be brighter, less contrasty with more subdued colors. I think these characteristics tend to make many shows look more "similar" in that some of the real differences are masked. So you're really talking about 2 variables, the RCA directivew TV AND the RCA built-in tuner in that set.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ken: The RCA used the same picture tube as the German Loewe 38" widescreen. The built-in Direct TV/HD OTA tuner was made by Hughes.


As I said I had the TV for 2 years and the PQ (brightness,black levels, color accuracy) was consistently spectacular on all HD content. Neither Raymond

nor CSI was contrasty or too red. I gave the set to my Dad and watched it last week. My observations stand.


You're explanation for the P50's performance with network HD programming is that it is "pretty much showing you the picture as it really is". That explanation does not ring true.


Nevertheless, the P50's performance with other material....especially live events..... makes it worth the price...... to me.
 

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Wouldn't the RCA, like most TV sets, have circuitry that tries to automatically correct the PQ and attempt to normalize the image? Isn't the P50 more like a video monitor, with manual adjustments? Might this be the explanation?
 

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I wonder how much our own preferences guide our choices.


I have not made many adjustments to my P50 as yet since there are a few additional components that I will be integrating into the system shortly. I am going to wait for my HD Leeza and a Comcast HD box before continuing.


However, through the SDI moded DVD player and Digital Leeza, Dynamic is really unappealing compared to Static and Fine for DVDs'. I have settled on Fine for most DVDs'. I have Static chosen in one of the Memory slots and will often switch to see if I like Static better for a particular DVD. Now that I have made enough adjustments in Fine I seem to switch back to it more often than not. For the moment, I have one memory slot that still has Dynamic chosen and I just can't watch it at all. Hence my comment about personal preferences. One person's preference for Dynamic to "can't watch it at all" is a pretty wide swing.


Additionally, my P50 replaced a Pio 503CMX which had replaced a Sony Wega 36" CRT. Although there is another DVD player in the house attached to a CRT, most of my DVD viewing has been on one or the other plasma displays. Being farther removed from CRT being the primary viewing display in the house for DVD might account for bias my toward Static and Fine as opposed to Dynamic.
 

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mporter has a point. And another reason the P50 may look too dark on

CSI is that CRTs (Dobe's RCA in this case) produce better black level

details.


It's also interesting that the RCA 38" has the same tube as the Loewe.


larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Larry: I think you are correct. I wanted at least a 50" screen so I wasn't looking for direct view displays. I was comparing black levels on RPTV's Vs plasmas. Once I eliminated RPTV's I started comparing different 50" Plasmas. The P50 had the best black level of all the sets I compared.


The problem appears to be that once I got it home I was comparing it to my RCA. The black levels are significantly better on the RCA which makes a big difference on the overall PQ. This difference is most noticeable in night and indoor scenes. In outdoor scenes the P50 shines. Indoor and night scenes are most often a disappointment. The only answer is that I was accustomed to the RCA black levels which, sad to say, are much better than the P50.


However. if you want a 50" display I believe the P50 is the best you can purchase. But, reading this forum can lead one to believe that the P50 has solved the black level problems with plasmas. In fact the P50 has only improved on black levels when compared to other plasmas. The black levels are still not comparable to a great direct view CRT. With outdoor scenes this is not a factor. In fact because of the screen size the outdoor scenes on the P50 are often breathtaking.


We watched Toy Story 2 again last night. When we watched it 4 weeks ago on the RCA the images almost appeared to be in 3D. Last night the 3D appearance was not as great. Again this must relate to black levels. I didn't realize how much black level could affect the overall PQ.


Another example is watching day Vs night baseball in HD. On the RCA both had a 3D appearance. On the P50 the day baseball has that appearance and because of the flat screen and the display's size the P50 also has a WOW factor. With night baseball the P50 loses that 3D AND WOW factor. This is true with most night and indoor scenes. It doesn't seem to apply to basketball games. This must be because there is brighter lighting in a basketball arena. The baseball field is so large that there are many darker areas, which causes the P50 to lose details under those lighting conditions.


Again the problems I am describing must relate to inferior black levels when compared to an outstanding direct view. If someone has another explanation I would love to hear it. However, given my two weeks of viewing the P50 and my 2 years with the RCA I can not accept Ken's explanation that:
Quote:
What you are seeing is what is actually originating in the transmission IMO.
OR

Quote:
I believe part of the problem lies in the fact that the P50 is pretty much showing you the picture as it really is.
lest I be misunderstood, I will repeat it again. If you want a 50" display the P50 is still the best, IMO, but don't be led into believing it has black levels comparable to a great direct view.:)
 

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Dobe, I think you misunderstood my comments. Your original post commented about the variable PQ of OTA HD and specifically stated several shows. Those shows DO present variable PQ and this is NOT a function of the display device. CSI is characterized by high contrast and a somwhat grainy appearence. Raymond is characterized by very saturated colors and an overall reddish appearence (some of the more recent episodes seem to have tamed this down from last season). These characteristics are present on my Fujitsu and Panny directivew HDTV and were also present on my 9" gunned Zenith HD RPTV when I had it. So my point was that these characteristics were not the result of the P50 "altering" the image but rather characteristics OF the image. I stand by that statement and the consistency of my observations from 3 diffferent HD technologies (directview, plasma and RPTV) lead me to that belief.


With this in mind, your individual settings can also contribute to other anomolies. As far as black levels are concerned, nobody has stated that the P50s are as good as a good quality CRTs. The black levels on my directview HDTV and my former HD RPTV were better. However, the overall PQ of the P50 is, IMO, unquestionably superior to either of these displays regardless of their size (my RPTV was 64" and my directivew is 34"). I have not seen a better display of any technology than the P50. Also keep in mind that black levels will vary depending upon your settings. I prefer a somewhat darker picture (more in keeping with studio monitors) and this tends to improve upon the blacks as well as the depth of the picture even with dark scenes. I may be missing some shadow detail, but I find this preferable to the better blacks that result. I've found that even night HD baseball games have a tremendous 3D depth to them. I've also found that whenever there is a light source in a scene with blacks, the blacks look pretty close to a CRTs blacks (with some detail obviously missing).
 

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DOBE,


I certainly agree with you that CRT devices can still exceed plasmas in black level depth and detail. My Panny does loose a little detail in the blacks.


What is interesting is how our experience does not quite match up. It's almost bizarre to hear you describe the Fuji as looking "not quite 3D like the RCA," because my experience is the opposite. My Panny is so three-dimensional it's almost disorientating. The dimensionality is probably the most salient feature of the display...far outstripping any CRT I've seen (although the Loewes can appear very dimensional). The first thing virtually everyone says when they watch Toy Story or any good transfer on the plasma is something like "My God, it's totally 3D...like I'm wearing 3D glasses," "It's like I can reach into the picture," etc.


I've directly compared the Panny plasma with many good CRTs, and it's always been more dimensional. So, it's puzzling you are not experiencing the same qualities. Weird.


Rich H.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I never said "not quite 3D like the RCA", although the implication was there when I described Toy Story. The reason I used Toy Story 2 as an example is that it's the first movie where my family, without any prompting from me, said "It looks almost three dimensional". That was using the RCA. I was therefore looking forward to rewatching the movie on the P50. I ended up turning it off because I was so disappointed. I probably should have adjusted the settings but I had been adjusting them all day for every program I watch.


As I've stated above I do get the 3D effect but only in outdoor (movies or live events) or brightly lite indoor (such as basketball) scenes. Last night I watched a little of "The District" on CBS. After adjusting the oversaturated color I got the picture to look very good. I was going to use that adjustment for CBS HD primetime. The next show was "The Agency" and I had to readjust to get a good picture. The color was not as saturated with that show. I can see why Ken says the problem is source dependent. My question is why I didn't need to constantly adjust the RCA.


I will try radarblip's suggestion described above. I tried the Fine mode but even with Luminesence set to 100 (the highest) and black level adjusted with the Avia disk, the picture is too dark with all sources. The darkness gives a veiled appearance that detracts significantly from the experience.


I will continue playing with the settings. The biggest differences are made with the precision color controls. The best setting for outdoor scenes is the factory default but with other sources those settings are not bright enough and the color is overly saturated.


If anyone has any suggestions for calibrating such as the ones radarblip gave me I would appreciate it. BTW thanks radarblip.


RichH: Given your comments I will rewatch Toy Story 2 and see if I can get that 3D effect after adjustments. I hope I can.
 

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DOBE,


I hope it works out! Funny thing is I lust after that Fuji 50" plasma.


BTW, you can take a look at the link below my name to get an idea of how Toy Story and other films look on my Panny plasma. Best of luck.
 

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Radarblip: Setup your white and black levels with Avia and VE. Dont'

worry about burn in. It seems that from what I read here on P50

settings and my own, contrast: 0 is ok, anything higher seems

to crush whites. I dial mine back to -2, any more and I have to compensate

with more brightness to get proper black level (black bar patterns).

Some of this may depend on DVD player and which input - component,

s-video, or DVI.


Ken: Until I got the D1, when watching most DVDs using

my Avia/VE "calibrated" settings, I also noticed that dialing back

on brightness created more depth to the image. With the D1

the Avia/VE settings came out the same but with the 720P over

DVI, I don't feel that I need to change anything. The Fifth Element

is absolutely breathtaking, as is AOTC. Grant it, they are exceptional

transfers, but there is a noticeable difference than with 480P over component. Yesterday I watched "The Guns of Naverone" DVD that

is not that great a transfer (who can blame them given the age

of the movie). Yet I was still amazed at the amount of detail that

could be seen.


Just like the subliminal messages I was trying to send Doug:

Look into my eyes... You need a D1. :)


Seriously, anybody with a plasma and DVI input must have a D1,

especially for only $200. It's just like if you watch TV,

you must have a Tivo.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by PooperScooper
Just like the subliminal messages I was trying to send Doug:

Look into my eyes... You need a D1. :)
My problem is that my satellite receiver is connected to the DVI connector, and that's really the way I want to keep it. From what I've seen the D1 using component is noticably different than using DVI. And I've not seen any IR controllable DVI switching device that can be called anything but expensive.


They should have put a DVI pass-thru on the D1. :)
 
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