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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm almost at the end of my 30-day return period, and could use some advice.


I just got a Pioneer PRO-910 that I absolutely love for OTA high-def broadcasts, and also love for DVD playback. But until I get a HD DirecTV/TIVO box I do most of my watching over one that is standard definition. And no matter what settings I use, some of these SD programs have a blotchiness to the skin tones, especially in dark scenes, that makes it really unwatchable (at least, now that I’m aware of it).


I have a ISF guy lined up to work on the set, but he wants to wait until I get the HD TIVO hooked up before he does any calibration. In any event, he says his adjustments will not cure this problem. (He recommended waiting for the next generation of plasmas, or at least switching to a Panny or Fugitzu, but admits he has never worked on a current Pioneer Elite plasma).


The guy at the store (which wants to keep the thing sold, of course) told me that once I get the HD D*TV/TIVO box with its HDMI connection to the Pioneer, the problem will clear up because the signal will be digital all the way, with no digital to analog processing.


The conventional wisdom so far on the TIVO forum (where I also posted this question) is that high definition televisions are all going to look bad displaying lousy standard definition programming.


I'm rushing right home to try applying the "Steaming Rat" adjustment method (see the FAQ sticky post), but would really appreciate any thoughts people might have about whether this is a fixable situation.
 

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SD shows recorded with the HD TiVo still look bad on an HDTV. There is very little you can do to make SD look better on an HD set other than calibrate the set. I've had my RPTV calibrated but the SD still looks bad at times. It's improved from what it was out of the box, but SD still sucks.


I've looked at the Pio 910 and it's a great set. If you can afford another $900 I'd spend the money and get the HD TiVo, then have the Pio calibrated.


Good luck!


Jim
 

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I have a 503CMX and DVD and HD are fantastic. Cable SD channels sometimes can be pretty bad. I have a HD Time Warner Box with componets out. SD on mine is never as good as DVD.


If I recall correctly you should put some hours on the plasma before having it professionally calibrated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had "calibrated" my new Pioneer Elite using Digital Video Essentials and I still had the nasty stuff I can only describe as 'blotchiness" in some standard definition material, particularly on skin tones in low light. Then I came upon RHarkness' "Steamed Rat" method of visual calibration in this forum:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=261309


I cranked my "color" setting down to get more realistic skin tones (about -11 on my set) and turned the "brightness down a little (-4). I eased the contrast down from the default 40 to about 35. The sharpness stayed at zero.


The results were stunning. While the picture at first looked a bit washed out to me, it was only by comparison to the overly bright colors I had been looking at before. After an evening of watching all sorts of programming I came to very much prefer this setup. And the offending blotchiness was gone on all but the most terrible programming. I had originally noticed it was particularly bad in the movie "The Cooler". It looks just fine now. I have a guilty pleasure watching old episodes of "Combat", and they still look pretty bad, either in color or black and white, but I can easily live with them since they ARE considerably improved.


I'm keeping the Pioneer.


My next move is to get an ISF calibration. It will be interesting to see how much I'll then have to tone it down.
 

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Well done! I'm glad things worked out.


The side effect of your more believable image is that you may become more sensitive to the unrealistic, over-rich color look in many displays, especially your neighbors' or those displayed in stores.


The Pioneer is a great plasma!
 
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