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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Newbie here, been lurking for a while, and you folks have been really helpful. So...


I have one of the Panasonic 52" DLP RP's. I bought it for a particular application for a house which I then didn't move into, and now I'm stuck with it for a while. Ah well. It's major advantages for me have been (in no particular order) HD capability, including 720p; no burn-in problem; no convergence hassles; very light weight (130 lbs); perfectly acceptable image in well-lit scenes; no hot spot; and very wide viewing angle.


I've done my best to calibrate it with the Video Essentials disc, but it's disadvantages are becoming increasingly irritating; if you're reading this post you probably already know them: Really lousy black levels, and fairly awful scaling. It also has can't-turn-it-down-far-enough sharpening and the usual red push. My dealer has been unable to help me with the latter two complaints, telling me that Panasonic tells him that they won't give anyone the keys to the kingdom (access to the service menu), because there's only one computer in the country that can re-calibrate the beast if I screw it up, and that, essentially, if the customer doesn't like the way color decoding and other parameters are set up, then they shouldn't have bought the set. Jeez.


Regardless of all that, I'd like to do what I can to improve the image until I can afford an FP (which is likely to be DLP, assuming they improve) and screen. (Since I'm in the middle of a remodel, that may be a while.) I've been looking at scalers, specifically high-end ones that will also be useful for an FP setup, like the Runco PFP-7. I'd like the scaler to do as much of the processing as possible, leaving the display out of the loop to whatever extent I can.


So here (finally!) are my questions:


(1) Does the Panasonic turn off all its annoying circuitry when it receives a 720p signal? I know that it's deinterlacer will turn off, but how about color decoding, edge "enhancement," etc.? This doesn't seem likely, but is worth asking.


(2) If not, is there any other way to defeat the display's video processing? How about the XGA input? BTW, what is it's resolution (the manual is in synthetic English, and I haven't been able to figure this out)?


(3) Even without the defeat of the display's circuitry, am I likely to get a better image with a good scaler/deinterlacer like the Runco?


Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
 

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Stan,


I don't have all of the answers, but I'll put in my two cents.


(1) Does the Panasonic turn off all its annoying circuitry when it receives a 720p signal? I know that it's deinterlacer will turn off, but how about color decoding, edge "enhancement," etc.? This doesn't seem likely, but is worth asking.


I don't know specifically how your Panasonic handles it's HD inputs, but many DTV displays have different color settings (no controls) when handling high res input. This is probably due to the fact that HD signals have much more color resolution, and the color deviation is less likely to be off than with NTSC video input.


So I'd guess that with an external scaler, you could make better color adjustments that would just be passed through to the picture.


(2) If not, is there any other way to defeat the display's video processing? How about the XGA input? BTW, what is it's resolution (the manual is in synthetic English, and I haven't been able to figure this out)?


Your display's native resolution is 1280 X 720 (720p) XGA is 1024 X 768 and I'm not sure how the Panasonic's internal scaler would handle XGA input, or if the unit has a VGA input connection.


If it does have a VGA input, and XGA display support it's hard to say if the unit would show a sideboxed 4:3 image with XGA input, or if it would stretch the image to 16:9 proportions.


My Sony LCD RPTV does both.


(3) Even without the defeat of the display's circuitry, am I likely to get a better image with a good scaler/deinterlacer like the Runco?


Runco usually makes their scalers to work with their CRT displays, which would not necessarily be a good match for a DLP RPTV.

Runco has good service and a broad dealer/service network, but is rarely the best technology available, nor the best quality for a given price.


If you are looking at spending that kind of money, I'd consider the Vigetec or The Rock scalers, which are more flexible designs for both CRT and digital RPTV/FPTV use. They have specific resolutions that will match your 720p native capability, and also add stretch modes to compensate for 4:3 and non-16:9 enhanced DVDs


If you don't have one already you might look at getting a progressive scan DVD player as a interim solution, because the 480p input is much easier to scale up than any 480i NTSC signal.


Not to sound discouraging, but if it were my choice to make I'd sell the Panasonic RPTV and buy a Sharp Z9000 which has the same resolution, a much better internal scaler, better contrast and blacks. Solving most of your problems in one stroke.


-Dean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dean,


Thank you very much for the information; it's all helpful. I've managed to locate information on The Rock (which I hadn't yet heard of); it looks extremely capable, very attractive. A Google search found nothing on Vigetec, though; might you have a reference for more info?


BTW, the new line of Runco scalers with the PFP prefix (PFP = "Pixel-For-Pixel") is meant not just for their CRT projectors, but also for fixed-pixel devices like DLP, plasma, etc. Still, The Rock looks more attractive for the same price.


Yeah, I know, I really ought to get a Sharp or Seleco sooner rather than later, and your prompting has me thinking...


Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dean,


Thanks a bunch; it's bleeding edge I'm interested in (still getting educated, obviously), and both The Rock and the Vigatec look like they're the current inhabitants of that area. (You'd think I could've found Vigatec by myself in the Video Processors Forum -- Duh.)


These forums are great; you guys know your stuff, and I'm very grateful for the education y'all are providing.


Thanks, Dean!
 
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