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Panny 47WX42 Experience: questions and info for others


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12 replies to this topic

#1 of 13 OFFLINE   john gilson

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Posted May 04 2003 - 07:53 AM

As an aid to people considering the purchase of this (or like) sets I thought I'd post my experiences.
Although these sets availability is waning as the new models come in, these comments may (or may not)
apply to newer Panasonic models. Or they may only apply to my set (which is part of the reason I'm
posting). As a further goal of this post, I do have some remaining questions/problems
with the set. Any comments/suggestions would be appreciated. Although one of my main concerns remaining
is probably well known on this forum (aspect ratio), I couldn't find the second anywhere and thus the new thread.

In order to let everyone know from what perspective I'm coming from...a bit of background...

I bought my Panasonic PT-47WX42 about a month ago. This is my first experiment with rear projection, so take my comments as coming from a newbie. My main use for this set has been DVD viewing. It has been paired with a Sony DVP-S7000 mainly but also
with a Panasonic RA60. Video has been sent from the DVD to the TV over S-Video and Component (more about this later).

After purchase the TV went through several quick AVIA calibrations. After a month, I'm left with the impression that I still have a bit too much red in the picture and the contrast is not quite right. However, I'm still really pleased with the look of the picture. Some user convergence was needed but it was very easy. I found the remote and menu system while not award winning...usable and clear.

So in the future I'm going to tweak it some more and hopefully get the picture more to my liking. However it appears to me that the more I look at the screen, the more I believe that I'll eventually have the TV calibrated by somebody who knows more than I or go into the service menu myself. I still haven't found enough detail to attempt this yet (at pannytv.com and other links that have been posted to aid us first timers). In any case that is in the future.

The two main comments I have with my experience (beyond picture tweaking needs) are...

1). 3 vertical bands of lighter/darker darkness through
the component input.

2). The aspect ratio is incorrect.

I'll explain 1) first. My only Component Cable used is a Radio Shack AVFusion 6ft cable. I bought this right after the TV. Upon switching to the component cable from the S-Video, I noticed these 3 bands in dark/black sections of the picture...or between menus and movie when the picture goes black. The bands are not visible in 'light' areas of any sort...just black. They are not very noticeable as well in a room that isn't nearly dark either. So please don't get the impression that these bars will jump out at you. The bars are not visible through the S-Video cable.

So back to the store went the Component Cable, and I returned with another of the same make to see if it was a faulty cable. The bars were still there (although to be honest they seemed reduced). The bars are also present when using both my Sony S7000 and the Panasonic RA60. So in an unscientific way, I haven't tested another form of component cable, but I'm thinking this isn't a cable problem.

The only mention I've found anywhere about something similar to this issue was over at DVDspot (I think). It was mentioned by 'mic' (sorry if I've gotten that wrong) that he thought that there was an incompatibility problem through the component connections of the previous model year Panasonic TV (47WX49 I think) which I'm guessing is similar to my TV and DVD players with automatic black level. I can't say I know whether my DVD players have 'automatic black level' vs non 'automatic black level'. The RA60 has a black level menu item which I can vary, but whether this then means non 'automatic black level' or this definition is dependent on the inner processing I do not know. Mic mentioned that the Panasonic 82 (I think) did not have the problem. As I will be upgrading to a Progressive Scan DVD player sometime in the near future, any comments on what players have/don't have this incompatibility would be appreciated. Also what about automatic black level may cause this? What is automatic black level vs a user menu of black level?

The second remaining problem is that the aspect ratio for movies is not correct. My picture appears 'taller' then it should be. People appear somewhat 'Close Encouters'ish. If I measure the movie screen dimensions on a 1:2.35 movie, it measures more 1:2 (much smaller black bars then should be there). Obviously on 1:1.85 movies I'm losing picture off the top and bottom. I first thought this was some sort of overscan problem. In AVIA it appears I have 5% overscan on all sides. But as I understand overscan...I don't see how it could change the aspect ratio. I guess my new theory is that somewhere in the service menu is a 'vertical stretch' button that is off? Just to head off a couple responses...the DVD player has been set to 16:9. Posted Image

By comparing the picture on a normal 4:3 set to the Panasonic, I'm losing about 15% of the vertical picture off the top and bottom...and very little of the horizontal...probably about 5%. So far this stretching hasn't been too bad for my enjoyment of the movies. I find this much less noticeable then if the horizontal was stretched which I've tested by changing the DVD output to
4:3.

Again any comments would be appreciated on whether the problem is something that is 'fixable' in the service menu or if this is a much bigger problem then I am hoping.

To wrap up (I know this was way too long), I'm very happy with this set assuming that eventually I can remedy the two above problems. Whether I would have been happier with another set with fewer or different problems...I won't know for a number of years when I get more experience with different sets. My comments should not necessarily scare people away from Panasonics, but I think the information should be out there somewhere (and I was not able to find it with searches on this and other sites). I plan on keeping this set for quite a while and am having a great time with it. Tweeking is part of the fun after all...

Any comments or discussion would be welcomed.

john gilson

#2 of 13 OFFLINE   Marcel_V

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Posted May 04 2003 - 08:06 PM

Ive got the same model as you do, and addressing your first question, I also have the 3 bands of noticable darkness you mention. Just like yours, they come up only in total darkness scenes, like before the THX intro of a movie, or something like that. I dont have Svideo or composite hooked up, so I havent ever checked different sources for this occurance. I just figured it was just something RPTV's do, since they have the 3 CRT guns, and there are 3 of these bars. It doesnt ever seem to come up when a picture is in the screen.

I also have noticed that 1.85 movies fill the whole screen like a HD signal, which doesnt seem right, since HDTV sets are 1.78. It seems there should be some small black bars. I always assumed it was my ancient sony (4 yrs old) DVD player having a bug with its 16x9 setting, but now I am not so sure. With avia I show about 6% vertical and 4% horz overscan, so im guessing the black bars with 1.85 material just ends up filling in the overscan, and only 2.35 bars are visible. For example looking at the THX optimizer pattern on the star wars dvds for a 16x9 box, the vertical sides are just barely visible, but top and bottom horizonatal lines in the box arent remotely visible. I figured there is some kind of vertical stretch that needs to be altered in the service menu as well, but I havent done it. Cable signals are the same, when I watch cnn or espn, the picture seems correctly overscanned on the left and right sides, but I am getting material cut off on the top and bottom. (ticker doesnt fully show up).

I dont have a fix unfortunatly for either of these, but I figured I would chime in my experience so you at least know you arent alone in what you have experienced. Posted Image

#3 of 13 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted May 05 2003 - 03:14 AM

Quote:
I also have noticed that 1.85 movies fill the whole screen like a HD signal, which doesnt seem right, since HDTV sets are 1.78. It seems there should be some small black bars. With avia I show about 6% vertical and 4% horz overscan, so im guessing the black bars with 1.85 material just ends up filling in the overscan

Your TV is operating correctly. You are right that the black bars are in the overscan area and therefore not visible. About 5% overscan is normal. As long as the aspect ratio is close to 1.78 you will not see any black bars. So 1.85 films will fill the screen as will 1.66 films.

I have the Panasonic PT53wx52. Nice TVs for the price aren't they? I've gone into the service menu a couple times to fix some geometry issues, but haven't done the full 64 point convergence in the service menu, just the 9 point in the user menu.

#4 of 13 OFFLINE   john gilson

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Posted May 06 2003 - 12:31 PM

Marcel V, Thanks for seconding the observation of the vertical bars. I guess I'm happy that it isn't just my set...but then I'm unhappy it isn't just my set. At this point I think I'll look for kluges to minimize the bars. Perhaps a little extra room lighting will do the trick.

Bryan...since you've been into the service menu on these sets perhaps you can clear up something for me. At a couple sites (I think pannytv.com is an example) they have examples of the buttons you need to push to get into the service menu...but they only directly mention the method being applicable to older TV models. Are the hoops you need to jump over to get into the service menu similar among the panny TV's, including ours?

Thanks for both your replies...

john gilson

#5 of 13 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted May 06 2003 - 01:03 PM

Yeah, the sequence to enter the Service Menu for our models is the same as what is listed for the older models at www.panny.tv

I've downloaded the service manual that is available at that website and although it's not specifically for our sets, it seems similar enough to get around.

I haven't done a whole lot in the service menu. I've adjusted the horizontal position which was off and also adjusted the vertical pincusion. I need to get back in there to do some more thorough tweaking.

Just be really careful if you do go into the service menu. Write down any values that you change so you can put them back if you mess something up.

If you have any problems getting into the service menu, let me know.

#6 of 13 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted May 06 2003 - 01:35 PM

Not sure, but maybe the 3 vertical bands you guys see have to do w/ light reflection w/in the TV's housing due to black level (ie. brightness setting) being too high, which become noticeable in completely dark scenes or fades to black. When your black level is too high, such scenes won't go to black, so there might be just enough light from the CRT guns to yield what you see. Certainly, internal light reflection is a real issue in general for RPTVs although it's not always noticeable.

Maybe it's also possible that a player might output strange artifacts like that below the point of black, which become visible when your TV's black level is too high. But I'd think your Sony 7000, being the reference player that it was, should not have this problem. Since you're using the TV's linedoubler, maybe there's something wrong there.

All of these guesses can also be compatible w/ the bands not being visible via s-video (or any other input) since the characteristics of different inputs can be different enough to account for this if not equally well calibrated.

FWIW, I have not noticed this issue w/ my 53wx42, but I guess I can look out for it over these next few days to make sure. And as you say, you haven't found much, if any, other owners w/ this issue. Did you try posting to the forum on the www.panny.tv site?

RE: the aspect ratio thing, since you're getting 5% overscan all around, then there might just be some geometry issues w/in the viewable area. Maybe the top and bottom regions are compressed while the middle region is stretched? That might give the impression of a stretched overall image since you might not notice the compression at the top and bottom so easily.

Marcel, OTOH, should definitely fix his overscan (and geometry) so it's even on all sides--or at least adds up the same vertically and horizontally. 6% along top/bottom and 4% along the sides definitely will cause vertical stretching -- by about 6*2 - 4*2 = 4%.

_Man_

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#7 of 13 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted May 06 2003 - 04:16 PM

You do have the black level set too high. And the white level is too high as well. Films are shot in several aspect ratios, meaning you will see letterboxing effects regardless of your display's aspect ratio.

#8 of 13 OFFLINE   Rajeev_s

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Posted May 07 2003 - 03:59 AM

I have 53WX42, I havent seen any black bars in dark scenes. I have set my overscan to 3% vertical and 4.5% horozontal. So far this has given me the best visual stretching. I used avia test patterns to confirm this. So the image my tv puts out seems perfect to me.

#9 of 13 OFFLINE   john gilson

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Posted May 07 2003 - 04:07 AM

Bryan...
After quite a bit more research I'll enter the service mode very carefully. Thanks for the clarification.

Man Fei and Jack...
Thanks for the reply. Currently my Black and White level
is at about 40% of the scale (If I recall Black is at 25 on the ~60 scale and White is at 22). Although from what I read this isn't necessarily high, I can't say that it isn't the cause. In my AVIA tweaking I did vary the user controlled black and white levels. The uneven bands of light remained even at lower black/white levels. although their noticeably was reduced.

So if I understand what you are saying the internal reflections inside the RPTV may be causing the 'banding'. The CRT's send out an 'even' amount of light which then adds constructively in some areas of the screen. But if so (being a TV cause) wouldn't this happen from all inputs? The user settings on my set are all the same across the inputs. I suppose the service menu settings could be different though...

Also if this is a white/dark level problem would it be noticeable to most owners if they turned their levels up?
Not that I'm suggesting everyone in the forum does this...just asking a question.

From the comments so far I think I can state pretty clearly (as clearly as a small sample size will allow) that...
a) this is not a noticeable problem for nearly all people with this set
b) people don't seem to believe in the theory that it is a DVD player/TV incompatibility. This belief at least allows me to more freely look at all progressive players.
c) I must perform more tweaking (although I think tweaking within the user menu will not do it)



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#10 of 13 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted May 07 2003 - 04:36 AM

Quote:
a) this is not a noticeable problem for nearly all people with this set

I wish I could help you out with the banding problem. I've not had any such problem on the PT53wx52. For what it's worth, my Picture setting is at 20 and my Brightness is set at 25.

#11 of 13 OFFLINE   Kurt_I

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Posted May 07 2003 - 05:11 AM

Just to let you know, I do have the same problem with the vertical black bands in dark scenes. I actually exchanged my TV recently hoping that it would go away. But it's just as visible on the new model. When the Sears service guy came out to look at the TV before I could exchange it, I wasn't able to show him the problem since I can't get the room dark enough during the day for the bands to show up. He did say that it sounded like something they would never find.

With my first model, I tried both composite and component inputs and I saw the bands in both cases. I also saw it with both my DVD and VCR. I wasn't able to check S-Video as I didn't have a cable. I'll try some more complete troule shooting with my new TV as well and let you know if anything helps.

Kurt

#12 of 13 OFFLINE   Marcel_V

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Posted May 07 2003 - 03:18 PM

I've got mine set at 6 picture and 30 brightness, from using the THX optimizer on the star wars DVD. This is in a perfectly dark room though, thats why the values are so low. So my banding isnt from incorrect setting of those values, I dont think. I also checked with AVIA, and my settings are consistant with what they recommend. I dont really care because the only time I see it is during PITCH blackouts (like the jump between the dvd menu and the feature). Because of this, I suspect its just a side effect of the TV not receiving an active signal or something. Besides, its barely noticable and I have never had it pointed out by audience members. Posted Image

Regarding the service menu, I just used it the first time last night and thought it was super easy. (although I am pretty good with electronics). Fixed my overscan to 5% all sides and also did course and fine convergance, all in about an hour since Im pretty quick. You could spend hours in fine convergence alone, but I just got it looking pretty even with nothing drastically out of place, color or geometry wise, since its going to fall out of place anyways with the amount of times I move the TV around depending on what side of the room I am viewing from. Fixing these made a definite improvement. I highly recommend using the menu, even if you just use it for convergance and not some of the advanced geometry controls. Just remember to adjust a little bit at a time, piece by piece. Next up for me is E and M focus.

Posted Image

#13 of 13 OFFLINE   Rajeev_s

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Posted May 08 2003 - 02:23 AM

Wanted to update you guys.
I rechecked my TV in complete darkness last night. I didnt see any bands with no inputs to the TV. So the screen was completely black.





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