Originally Posted by RYAXIN /forum/post/15510102
Exactly what type of testing would this be?
Well, I primarily test in-store, but I also take advantage of displays owned by people that I know. I do not test in the professional manner, unfortunately, as I do not own the equipment necessary to do a proper calibration. I do the in-store testing about twice a year in order to cover various models released.
By in-store, I mean that I visit a local shop where a friend is employed and simply spend time working with various displays. I usually have a buddy with me and we bring in all of our own equipment in order to account for different sources. I general, I use a mix of test patterns, specific Blu-ray discs and DVDs, PC input, and gaming (of both the 30 and 60 fps variety). As noted, I could not possibly do a complete and proper calibration so instead I become somewhat familiar with a number of models via forums such as this in addition to relying on the equipment I DO bring and do a "light calibration". I'm not going for perfect accuracy in these tests, rather, looking for immediate flaws in the handling of demanding content.
I believe 60 frames per second games are actually one of the most demanding applications you can throw at a display and something that is never touched upon in any reviews. I also often use multiple machines in order to allow side-by-side comparisons.
As for image retention, well, I'm simply interested in determining how "safe" a plasma display may be when a static image is displayed for 20 minutes. Testing this is very difficult in a store, for obvious reasons. All of the Samsung models displayed image retention (visible on top of other content) after 20 minutes of static imagery. This did not occur in any of the other plasmas present. Of course, this isn't exactly scientific, but it certainly is interesting. Image retention easily occured on all of these panels even without using the static image test.
I think I was more surprised by the awful dithering that occurs in somewhat darker material. The problem is as severe as a 2005 Panasonic plasma, which is quite shocking indeed. This is unrelated to settings being used.
It's simply my approach to sizing up the various displays on the market using material I am quite familiar with. This allows me to spend quite a bit of time with each display using my own content with reasonable adjustments made to picture quality. At the very least, this method highlights differences between various brands almost immediately and flaws become quite clear. Of course, I approach each panel with "worse case" scenarios, so I'm sure with the right content all of them can look at least "good".
I actually enjoy doing this, by the way. There is no real purpose behind it other than self-information. Of course, I tend to upgrade displays every year (sell previous years model to other people). I've just upgraded to a Pioneer 5020fd from a 5080HD. I've owned 4 plasmas since 2006, actually, and 4 CRTs before that. A little crazy, I suppose. I finally feel as if I've reached a point where I can be satisfied, however. I've held onto my Sony CRT and I plan to hang onto my 9th gen Pioneer plasma. I don't expect to upgrade this year as there isn't anything really impressive in the cards at the moment.