Upgrading from Sony KP-51HW40 (1080i CRTRP)

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Brian Herold, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. Brian Herold

    Brian Herold Extra

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    I'm currently becoming more and more disappointed with the PQ of my current set and am looking to upgrade but I'm not sure whether I should make the jump to 1080P now or not. The sources I would be running will be hd upconverted dvd, my xbox on component out, charter hdtv, and coming this winter, most likely an xbox 360 (if they ever come out with some fun games) and a nintendo Wii.

    The two sets im currently looking at are: the samsung HLS6186W (61" 720p) or HLS5087W (50" 1080p).

    I guess I'm trying to decide what the better improvement would be, an increase in size from the 51->61 and gaining 720p (since my current tv only handles interlaced 1080) and generally better PQ... or going the 1080p route, gaining some extra resolution, better black levels, but losing an inch of view. I'm sitting about 8-9' from the screen currently, so im thinking the 61 would probably be the best overall improvement immersive-wise.

    The only limiting factor is that I want to keep the tv's cost around $2K. If theres another set I should be looking at, please let me know - i'd appreciate any push in one direction or the other at this point.
     
  2. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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    Hi Brian - Here's a rundown of your sources:

    Upconverting DVD: 720p/1080i
    Xbox: 480p
    Xbox 360: 720p/1080i
    Nintendo Wii: 480p

    Bottom line is that none of your sources will be able to display at 1920x1080p. So unless you plan on purchasing an HD-DVD, Blu-Ray or PS3 in the next few years, I'd definately lean towards the HL-S6186W 61" model.

    Keep in mind though that the HL-S5087W 50" model features much higher contrast, so I'd recommend you review both models carefully as you might prefer the PQ on this model!
     
  3. Brian Herold

    Brian Herold Extra

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    I do realize that my sources are maxing out at 1080i/720p, but I would be benefiting from the upconversion and higher pixel count of a 1080p set correct? In the future I might end up putting together a HTPC in which case a 1080p set might be the way to go, but as it happens now, im doing all my 'media-centering' from my xbox (xbox media center).

    Ive also been told on another forum that I might want to look into having my existing sony tv professionally calibrated - is something like that worth the cost?
     
  4. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    'I'm currently becoming more and more disappointed with the PQ of my current set and am looking to upgrade'

    What dissappoints you about the display?
    Is your display calibrated?
     
  5. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    When was the last time you had your CRTs and mirror cleaned? In addition, as Chris mentioned, tell me what was calibrated.
     
  6. Brian Herold

    Brian Herold Extra

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    I purchased the TV from someone a year ago, so I'm not sure if any maintenance has been done...

    As far as calibration goes I did some messing around, changed the picture mode from 'vivid' to 'standard', ran through the AVIA calibration disc and things look much better though I still feel like im losing some detail in the blacks.

    Is there a recommended picture mode I should be running in? Vivid is nice since all the lines look really sharp, but a lot of detail is lost (in the dark ranges), standard/movie seem relatively fine except that things feel a little more blurry (next to vivid), and pro just looks overly blurry (like someone applied a large radius gaussian blur to the entire image).

    Someone on avsforum also mentioned I should try cleaning off the CRT's, so I'm going to give that a try and see if the picture improves.
     
  7. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I would clean as suggested. If possible, I would also check beam focus while you're in there to see if that needs work. Also check optical focus after checking beam focus. The image at the screen is the product of two independant focus systems, so a blurry picture at the screen could be either.

    When cleaning the lenses be careful not to let any cleaning fluid get into the lens.
     
  8. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Calibrate with PRO mode - it has the least amount of artificial settings - although you need to enter the service menu to turn them all off.
     
  9. Brian Herold

    Brian Herold Extra

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    I cleaned off the crt lenses and the mirror last night which seemed to help (plus it was just fun checking out all the stuff in there hehe). As far as beam/optical focus, im not sure how to go about doing that (I think I came across something somewhere which involved loosening some of the wingnuts on each crt lens and making adjustments, but obviously I have no experience in doing so)?

    As far as calibration goes... Pro mode? When im looking at the AVIA sharpness test pattern (well all patterns really) all the lines end up about 1/3rd the width they are in standard mode and significantly blurred, like nothing has a hard edge any more. Is this how it should be and I'm just not used to it?

    So once I calibrate in Pro mode, should I also run in that mode all the time as well, if so, what are the other modes good for?
     
  10. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Brian: The wingnuts on the CRT lenses are for optical focus. By beam focus I mean the focusing of the electron beam itself. A projection CRT projects the image of the CRT tubeface onto a screen, in the case of an RPTV, onto the rear of a rear-projection screen surface. Oftern forgotten or misunderstood, is that there are TWO distinct projections, because the CRT tube itself is a sort of projection. The image at the tubeface is created by a scanning electron beam which must be properly focused onto the tubeface. When you view the screen, you are thus seeing the PRODUCT of two distinct projections, either of which may be out of focus. By looking at the screen and observing a blurry picture, you cannot tell which is at fault.

    By looking at the tubeface itself through the lenses (careful!!! use sunglasses and/or drastically reduce white level) you can observe directly how well focused the electron beam is at the tubeface itself. If things are out of focus, beam setup and focus needs to be addressed. Note that your eyes cannot see the color blue very well, so it may always appear more out of focus than G or R. Blue beam focus is best achieved by adjusting beam focus and observing the brightness of blue which diminishes slightly when the beam is most tightly focused. Some blue defocus is often used for better light output/grayscale linearity.

    Once you've established that beam setup is good (or rectified that if beam setup is poor), then you should check optical focus with the lenses and make sure things are well focused. You can also isolate optical focus by observing the inherent phosphor grain of the CRT tube on a white card, which can be done on a defocused white field that does not rely on beam setup being correct whatsoever. Using a sharpness pattern or a grid pattern at the screen while adjusting optical focus is limiting because it hinges on beam setup being as sharp as possible and as even as possible across the tubeface (unlikely).
     
  11. Brian Herold

    Brian Herold Extra

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    Ahh I completely understand now, thanks! So to check beam focus, I just wedge my body inside the tv and look directly into each lens to get an idea of whether the beam focus is on target for each crt (would be similar to adjusting my CRT computer monitor)? I'm really hoping they are focused since it sounds like a pain in the ass to do without an assistant or with little experience in the service menu (which I assume is where all the adjustments would be made).

    As for optical focus, I can just hold a white card above each lens and try making some adjustments with the wingnut-apparatus? What exactly qualifies as a 'defocused white field', just load up a full-screen white image in AVIA (I think I remember there being a plain white test pattern)?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I'm relatively inexperienced when it comes to all this - thanks so far though, this is fun and interesting; I love tinkering with things like this.
     
  12. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Hey Brian, no problem with the questions, it's a complicated field!

    As to your first paragraph, yes, practice a little body contorsions! [​IMG] Or use a hand mirror or something.

    For optical focus, I apologieze I was ambiguous when I said a 'defocused' white field. I meant electronically (beam) defocused so that the beam is a giant blobby blur on the tubeface. This eliminates any visible scanlines, you have a completely smooth white square or field. You isolate each gun and look for phosphor grain. This is difficult to describe, but once you see it you'll know. It's kind of a grainy pattern inherent to the phosphor itself from when it was applied to the tubeface. The best comparison I've found that someone may be familiar with is the structure of a piece of paper. Take a regular piece of printer paper and hold it up to light, and you can see if you look closely that the pulp that goes into making the paper is slightly thicker in some parts and thinner in others which with light behind it looks like it has this grainy kind of structure that you don't normally notice when you pick up a piece of paper. The kind of grainy structure of the phosphor is very similar. With a 3x5 card or something you can move the card through the focus plane while observing a white field with the beam defocused and somewhere in there you can see this grain come into focus. It's probably easiest to see on the green tube. The beam does need to be defocused enough to see an even field, if you're seeing scanlines and the like it will make it nearly impossible to distinguish the grain because you have scanlines 'in the way' so to speak.

    Anyway, if you enjoy tinkering and learning about these things, it might be interesting to explore this.

    If you are interested, this is written primarily for FP displays, however an RPTV is basically the same thing but with a mirror, a box, and a different kind of screen. It is by far the best setup guide for CRT projection I've ever come across. You may enjoy reading it now as you figure out what's going on with your display, or tuck it away for later:

    http://www.keohi.com/keohihdtv/exper...ykuo_tips.html

    see: Front Projector Focus
    and CRT Astigmatism Adjustment, and the cleaning part too.
     

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