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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was considering the brightness of PDP technology over the years, I currently own a 9G Kuro (5020) and an old Vizio VP422, not even sure whose glass is in the Vizio. Anyway, the Pioneer is actually plenty bright but not anywhere near as retina searing as my VP422. I suspect this has to do with the methods of minimally priming the cells to achieve the lower black levels, but compared to many other plasma's, even those with quite terrible, almost LCD rivaling mll's, I have noticed an overall diminished white output in newer v. older plasmas. I am speaking of panels such as the well regarded Samsung F5300B, H5000, and nearly all of the recent Panasonic models (haven't really seen an ST60, but have seen plenty of VT/ZT60's).

Is this a result of more stringent power consumption restrictions, or due to manufacturers not wanting to put in power supplies that can handle the current demand of a high peak white on these larger screens? Perhaps I have the perfect storm so to speak, a smaller panel (being a 42"), and it being an older 720p panel? I mean, I literally have no noticeable ABL compression/expansion on my VP422. Interesting still is that I have not noticed any ABL or diminished light output on my grandfathers Vizio 50" 1080P Plasma either. I guess what I am wondering is, what happened to the great mid tones and peak whites that plasma used to offer? I have owned this older Vizio for years with no IR or uneven screen wear, and there have plenty of times where I left a DVD menu on screen all night (fell asleep after long days at work), so it cannot be to prevent IR or reduce phosphor aging. Just curious, I mean I am a pretty big plasma fan, always have been, just wondering why the big trend towards dim plasma monitors. While I realize that the industry standard is near the 35ftL range, there are times when daytime viewing requires a bit more punch, my VP422 certainly has it, and the Pioneer is not by any means dim, just wondering why most plasma's, though especially Panasonic stuff made after the 8UK/9UK series, always looked so dim to me.
 

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According to CNET, the Vizio's like your VP422, were probably the brightest PDP's ever made. However, it came at the expense of black level performance and lower contrast ratio's when compared to the latest plasmas. As you know the Kuro's pretty much excelled in all areas, even in fairly bright room environments, but don't forget, they weren't as energy efficient as today's sets and they certainly didn't come cheap.

Ian
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the CNET reference, I didn't even bother looking it up b/c I was almost sure that it was too insignificant a plasma to even have a review there. Glad to know my opinion is founded about the brightness, I mean, this thing KILLS my LED-LCD in my living room (had to go that route...roommates :( ). I am amazed every time I see it. The funny thing is that, while black levels are pretty bad by most standards, the detail IN the black is phenomenal, nothing ever looks crushed into the grey, every little detail sort of "pokes" through the not-so-great blacks. To the point where, honestly, the contrast is so high and so static that it looks very pleasing, very watchable...in fact more pleasing than the Panasonic models that I have bought and sold over the years. I guess what I love the most is there are NO floating blacks and NO visible ABL on the VP422, it's a no nonsense panel that just looks good in everything but a completely dark room. I often wonder what would have happened if plasma had gone that route, where they retained their good white levels, similar to the trail that the F8500 was attempting to blaze. Personally, I find floating blacks and floating whites (ABL) so distracting...ABL maybe even more than floating blacks (well, depending on how much they float).

I am really proud of Pioneer for being ALL about the PQ, their panels ate tons of power but the picture quality they had was just great all the way around. I guess I am "that guy", the one that would gladly sacrifice a little power consumption for a great panel. The VP422, while not a black level great, is just such a pleasant set to look at, the only situation that it doesn't excel at is watching the tv in complete darkness. I guess I am just proud of the plasma that I do own and really lamenting the fact that the tech is dead and that OLED is a little too far off to really fill the gap :(
 

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I'm jealous that you can leave a menu on all night without too much fear. My old Panasonic will retain shadows of a menu (or health bar) for weeks if it holds still for only a few minutes. :(
Now I'll have to compare it to the bright familyroom LCD because it is a fairly old PDP.

EDIT:
My panny plasma will indeed put out a brighter image than the Sanyo LCD in the familyroom (which is a nicely bright TV) and will even match my phoneLCD (made for outdoor use), but only in Dynamic mode which is permanently saddled with terrible gamma that looks unnatural and adds lots of image-noise (gamma on this Panasonic is different for each preset, but non-adjustable). Cinema and User presets (the only ones with decent-looking gamma) are noticeably darker at their brightest possible settings.
 

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Personally, I don't like overly bright displays like those found on LCD's. They just don't look natural to me. THX recommends a brightness level of 30 ftl under controlled lighting conditions which is easily achieved by most plasmas which are still brighter then my old CRT. That being said, I actually prefer it a few foot lamps higher then that, however, for most daylight viewing, your probably better off with a set with a very good AR filter, a less aggressive ABL, or the ability to output levels that can be only be achieved by an LCD. The Samsung 8500 may fit the bill so to speak, but there are floating blacks and possible color bleed issues to consider. Bottom line, there's no such thing as a perfect display.

Ian
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
In no way am I looking for a LED-LCD plasma analog (in terms of brightness), it just so happens that this VP422, and some of the older Plasmas really can do it. I keep my Vizio at 53 contrast, 40 brightness and it is just perfect (they both go to 100, and there is a huge degree of change in that range). At 53, it's putting out the same amount of light as my Vizio 50" CFL LCD, not overly bright but cuts right through the daylight that comes through my side facing glass sliding door. Very pleasing amount of light, looks just like my old Mitsubishi 26" CRT At no point do I ever have to take out the remote and change the contrast values b/c it just always looks good, well short of a completely dark room, and even then, it's better than any LCD I have seen.

I really need to get a meter to find out what this panel is putting out because I just love watching the set. Though I am also curious to see what its maximum light output is, as it must be some sort of record for plasma. I guess what I am getting at with the panel brightness comparison is the Panasonic models throughout the years looking increasingly dim. Almost like they were tinting the front glass so much to obtain the best black levels that plasma tech was seen as trading black for peak white (since panasonic was the most popular plasma at the time). I must have went through 3 or 4 different models, I think the last one was an S50 and my eyes just couldn't get used to how dark the image was. It was about that time there was all of this talk of how plasma just "couldn't compete" in terms of brightness compared to LCD, meanwhile I was here watching the VP422 every day thinking, if I had this any brighter I think my eyes would start bleeding...it's so bright that I had to turn it down to right out of the box.

Also, about leaving an image on screen and falling asleep, yeah, that is a TERRIBLE feeling. The first time it happened I was physically panicked for a few hours, thinking I had ruined my panel, but after about an 30-60 mins the IR was gone, no harm done. I was so surprised, and thankfully I learned that this panel is almost impossible to burn in, which is surprising because it is so bright.
 

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I was here watching the VP422 every day thinking, if I had this any brighter I think my eyes would start bleeding...it's so bright that I have to turn it down to right out of the box.
You mean like this? I caught this neighborhood cop while you were out leaving your house after watching a hockey game on the VP422! :eek: I would suggest you call the authorities, but I doubt he'll be returning. ;)




Ian :D
 

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personally, all my tv's have been able to reach around 30-35ftl, so as far as i'm concerned, they're all 100% as bright as i want. the real difference is the MLL which has ranged from basically 0 to 'bright enough to read by'...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I understand the 35ft.L goal. While I feel that it is important to adhere to some standard, my eyes prefer a bit more punch, even though I can certainly appreciate a 30-35ft.L image.

I suppose what I am saying is that Samsung was lauded for their ability make a "plasma so bright it could rival an LED-LCD" meanwhile many older plasmas were as bright or brighter years ago. Now, you would say that it is more impressive because the black levels are much better, though looking at the F8500 specs, it is not anything really remarkable, though I am sure a little bit better than this old Vizio that nobody cared too much about :D Just interesting that plasma essentially died because it wasn't bright enough, something that many people believed was inherent to the technology, which really was never true.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
You mean like this? I caught this neighborhood cop while you were out leaving your house after watching a hockey game on the VP422! :eek: I would suggest you call the authorities, but I doubt he'll be returning. ;)




Ian :D
^ Lol..love this. It is impressively bright and a not well acknowledged plasma set. To be honest I wasn't expecting anything noteworthy when I bought it, having my Pioneer Kuro in the main room, so I suppose I am glad it excels at something :D
 

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Just interesting that plasma essentially died because it wasn't bright enough, something that many people believed was inherent to the technology, which really was never true.
I remember the days when you can actually view TV's in a light controlled room. Unfortunately due to the increase of big box stores, most PDP's were seen under poor florescent lighting which favored brighter LCD displays. Despite their lower luminance levels, color accuracy, black levels and contrast levels continued to improve. According to the Image Science Foundation, contrast is the most important specification when it comes to picture quality, it's what gives the picture the pop you are referring to. I agree that in bright room environments many plasma displays may fall short in this area, but in home theater applications, asside from projection screens, they are still more faithful to film and they come closest to meeting ATSC/SMPTE/CIE specifications. There are a lot of reasons why Plasma died, but picture quality wasn't one of them.


Plasma, a requiem
What's the big deal, you might ask? Don't LCD TVs—or LED TVs, if you like to mistakenly call them that—already represent the overwhelming majority of TV sales?
Yes, though frankly I've never been able to understand why, unless you happen to live in a sun-drenched house without any window coverings, where LCD's higher brightness and less reflective screens would be a plus. (Or if you need a TV with a screen smaller than 42 inches.) All those so-called LCD TV features that manufacturers like to brag about, such as local dimming and 120Hz and 240Hz technologies—plasma doesn't need them. They're simply efforts to overcome LCD TVs' inherent weaknesses. And let's not even get into viewing angles.
The best plasmas deliver everything a videophile could want in a TV: great, deep black levels, accurate colors, and unlimited viewing angles. Think that plasmas only appeal to video snobs? We recently brought a bunch of new employees into our TV labs and asked them to pick their favorite two TVs. Out of the 15 TVs playing the same program, every single person picked the only two plasma sets in the room. James Wilcox-Consumer Reports January 2014
Also see:
Rip Panasonic Plasma.

Ian
 

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I understand the 35ft.L goal. While I feel that it is important to adhere to some standard, my eyes prefer a bit more punch, even though I can certainly appreciate a 30-35ft.L image.

I suppose what I am saying is that Samsung was lauded for their ability make a "plasma so bright it could rival an LED-LCD" meanwhile many older plasmas were as bright or brighter years ago. Now, you would say that it is more impressive because the black levels are much better, though looking at the F8500 specs, it is not anything really remarkable, though I am sure a little bit better than this old Vizio that nobody cared too much about :D Just interesting that plasma essentially died because it wasn't bright enough, something that many people believed was inherent to the technology, which really was never true.
the blacks are pretty remarkable, the fact that it maintains those blacks with the brightness is what got ppl's attention.


it's capable of ansi contrast ratios close to 10000:1 and on/off contrast of almost 50000:1. the only display I know of that beats that is the kuro and last gen panny's.


but I'm sure the reasons for dimmer plasma 'on average' is:
-more stringent eco requirements
-trying to produce cheaper, not better displays
-application of more aggressive screen filters


I think there's more to the statement 'plasmas are too dim'. it's not an absolute statement, like you said your old plasma proves otherwise, as does the f8500. but at least in the f8500's case, it's not a cheap display, and while imo it blows away all competition from the lcd market, most average ppl won't appreciate what it does so well, and will wonder why the 700dollar lcd beside it that's slightly brighter isn't the better purchase. selling plasmas to the average crowd is like expecting everybody to buy high end sports cars. not everybody 'gets it' and it doesn't make any sense to spend more money, deal with more maintenance, and whatever else comes with owning a Porsche over a Honda.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Yep, you hit the nail on the head, I agree wholeheartedly. Even the reasons you mentioned are the reasons I came to. Above all I am just disappointed that such a great technology died...though I suppose OLED isn't too far off, thankfully
 

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still would be nice if oled replaced lcd instead of plasma...


I'd love it if:
-lcd's were restricted to smaller sizes, and cheap models, since even the expensive ones aren't very good anyway.
-oled's took over as the 'top of the line' big screens, capable of UHD and whatever else
-plasma's became the economical performers, something like the st60 would still destroy any lcd, but they will still be limited in size and resolution
 

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The only plasma that was anywhere near as bright as my LX5090 / 5020 Kuro 9G was the Panasonic TXP50GT60B but I just couldn't get used to the DFC on the Panasonic so stuck to the Kuro. I also had a Panasonic TXP55VT65B and that was about 30% dimmer than the Pioneer and the GT60B and I could still see the DFC albeit less than the GT60B so I got rid of it.
 

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The only plasma that was anywhere near as bright as my LX5090 / 5020 Kuro 9G was the Panasonic TXP50GT60B but I just couldn't get used to the DFC on the Panasonic so stuck to the Kuro. I also had a Panasonic TXP55VT65B and that was about 30% dimmer than the Pioneer and the GT60B and I could still see the DFC albeit less than the GT60B so I got rid of
it.
I can only assume that you are in the UK, which I believe uses the 50hz PAL frame rate. I have found that certain PDP's may be more sensitive to DFC at these rates then the NTSA standard 60hz rate. 60hz can also be an issue occasionally due to high data compression. I rarely see any noticeable banding or posterization on 24p BD content when watching my S60.

Ian
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Vegeta, I am glad you brought that up, about the 30% dimmer estimate, I had also concluded that the last generation Panasonic's were just too dark for my eyes. I rarely ever get a chance to watch movies in a dark room, someone almost always has a light on somewhere, kitchen, over the stove, you name it. The only time the Panasonic looked acceptable to me was in near complete darkness. It made me really upset too, as I had sold my 42" Kuro a few months before they were released, I was thinking that Panasonic would carry on with the same tech Pioneer was using. Perhaps they did, but the brightness was just never there.
 

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Vegeta, I am glad you brought that up, about the 30% dimmer estimate, I had also concluded that the last generation Panasonic's were just too dark for my eyes. I rarely ever get a chance to watch movies in a dark room, someone almost always has a light on somewhere, kitchen, over the stove, you name it. The only time the Panasonic looked acceptable to me was in near complete darkness. It made me really upset too, as I had sold my 42" Kuro a few months before they were released, I was thinking that Panasonic would carry on with the same tech Pioneer was using. Perhaps they did, but the brightness was just never there.
FWIW, my 2013 Panasonic is brighter then my 2010 model which is brighter then my in-laws 2009 Panny. Have you actually viewed any of these sets properly calibrated and at home under normal viewing conditions? I watch sports on my set all day long with indirect sunlight in my media room and the picture is pretty bright. However, when watching movies under the same conditions I have to draw the shades a bit to reduce reflections. I have a Toshiba Reza LCD in my bedroom with a matte screen, which is a lot less reflective, but under similar lighting conditions, it really doesn't look that much brighter.

Ian
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Interestingly, no, I have never seen them fully calibrated, wish I had the opportunity to. I just recently saw a fellow members VT60, I was fairly impressed, it wasn't as dim as I remember the ST60 I saw just a few weeks ago (odd to, as the ST60 is supposed to be a bit brighter; likely it was a setting difference). Anyway, I am kind of interested in compiling a list of plasma's in terms of peak brightness (those with respectable black levels, the F8500 is likely at the top, but I am unsure as to where the Panasonic's, lower-end Samsung's, and of course, the Kuro's fit.
 

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RE:

Interestingly, no, I have never seen them fully calibrated, wish I had the opportunity to. I just recently saw a fellow members VT60, I was fairly impressed, it wasn't as dim as I remember the ST60 I saw just a few weeks ago (odd to, as the ST60 is supposed to be a bit brighter; likely it was a setting difference). Anyway, I am kind of interested in compiling a list of plasma's in terms of peak brightness (those with respectable black levels, the F8500 is likely at the top, but I am unsure as to where the Panasonic's, lower-end Samsung's, and of course, the Kuro's fit.
Why this obsession with brightness? Do you live in a glass house? :)

The problem is that you’re judging brightness capabilities based on what you’re seeing with your eyes at a single point in time. Just because one set looks “brighter” than another set you compared it to, doesn’t necessarily conclude that it is the “brighter” TV of the two. For example, what environments were they in? Dim environments or bright environments? What settings/modes were they using? What are their viewing preferences? The bottom line is this: You can’t make a judgment call on brightness based simply on what you see unless you know the settings that are being used. Just because my Kuro can get blazingly bright, for example, doesn’t necessarily mean that I run the set like that. In fact, some people look at it and say, “Oh, that’s a dim TV set. It sucks.”

I own two Kuros (5020 and 151FD) and a Panasonic VT50. I can sit there and crank the contrast on my remote and “eye-ball” them all in order to get them pretty damned bright. But I’m also sacrificing other parts of the picture while doing so that you probably don't realize. With that said, the only set I’ve ever had professionally calibrated that was able to achieve super bright levels WITHOUT introducing additional sacrifices to the picture is my 151. I'm assuming that the other 9/9.5G Elite models also would fall into this family as well.

Yes, the f8500 can get very bright, but its black-levels are no on par with Panasonic or Pioneer, which is a sacrifice I'm not willing to make.

I own a 5020 and it’s mostly just used in the playroom with the kids these days. The only mode that you can calibrate is movie mode and while the brightness is just fine, the anti-reflective filter sucks and its lack of calibration controls make it incapable of producing a reference image. It’s like having a Porsche, but being restricted to only drive it 50mph. You’re really only getting a “taste” of what the Kuro can really do.

We have a guy here in California who actually interviews potential clients before agreeing to calibrate their sets. And if the clients appear to be those types who favor “vibrancy” over accuracy, he will not agree to calibrate their sets, because he knows they’ll be disappointed. D-Nice himself has said that he could care less if a panel can do over 30ftL. Even if someone does a Day/Night calibration, they usually end up using the Night mode exclusively, because 35ftL is more than sufficient for viewing in even a moderately lit room.

As for my 151FD, once you unlock ISF modes and plug in some settings, you get a gorgeous picture that rivals pretty much anything. And the anti-reflective filter is superior on the Elite models, which makes a lot of difference in terms of being able to reject light, which is equally as important as its “brightness” capabilities. And yes, it can easily reach 50ftL levels without any issues, but I don’t really feel this is important. Max brightness is only a small piece of the pie when it comes to things like color accuracy and black levels.
 
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