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This forum has been very informative in my search to improve PQ on my Samsung plasma and Dish 622 DVR. I contacted a local video integrator of high-end projection systems and he was able to arrange for a VP50 demo on my system.


My expectations were to significantly improve SD and was hoping for any improvement on HD. In preparation, I recorded some excellent HD football footage, PBS broadcast and a concert. He looked at my recorded material and said that the Samsung had one of the best pictures he had ever seen on any plasma. The Samsung was able to achieve 1:1 mapping which we confirmed. On HD, the VP50 made a noticeable improvement with no adjustments right out of the box. The picture was brighter and had more detail and exposed that I had some black crush on my set. So far so good. But the majority of my time is spent watching SD and here is where I expected the biggest improvement. To our surprise the picture was no better on SD with the VP50 than from the Dish 622 (we ran them in parallel). In fact the settings that made the HD look so good actually made the SD look a bit washed out. I'm sure we could have fixed that but there didn't seem to be a way to significantly improve SD and bring it closer to a 720p or even a 480p standard.


In the end, the overall improvements didn't justify the $3000 cost. What I have learned is: 1) there is no magic box that will fix SD performance, 2) The Samsung is a terrific plasma with an SD processor that rivals the SD processing in the VP 50, 4) That the VP 50 can yield some really nice improvements on a simple plasma system (HD) and probably better on a projection system, 5) that a good calibrator could probably tune my HD picture to what the VP 50 yielded in HD.
 

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GIGO! Seriously, I agree there is no subsitute for a high resolution source. It is a shame that the FCC has wasted a decade of our time allowing the analog sourced broadcasters to continue to muck up our television watching. Even after January 09 there will be lots of analog material simply converted to digital and still looking like sh_t! The law mandates only digital transmission, not (high resolution) digital originals/masters.
 
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