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Need some quick clarification on Hitachi "Stretch Modes" and Tosh "Resolution"


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#1 of 108 OFFLINE   Rain

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Posted October 22 2002 - 05:16 AM

As I mentioned in another thread, I'm very disappointed in my Sony RPTV due to the severe "ghosting." As I find this intolerable, I'm going to try to swap it for a different brand.

So, I need some clarification on some of the stuff I've read, but that hasn't really been explained.

Hitachi: The common criticism seems to be "bad stretch modes." Can someone elaborate on this? Are we talking only about those stretch modes for viewing 4:3 stuff stretched out to fill the screen to avoid "burn-in?" If so, I don't care really. I am only interested in whether it can properly play DVD in OAR. (ie. Widescreen stuff can properly displayed and 4:3 stuff can be properly displayed in a 4:3 ratio...)

Toshiba: Ok, this one I completely don't get. I'm hearing that there is a slight loss of resolution with Toshiba as compared to other RPTVs. Why? Talk to me like I'm a newbie, because when it comes to this stuff I am. At the same time, if this is true, why does Toshiba seem to be the TV most HTFers prefer?

Thanks a bunch!

"Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." - Imagine by John Lennon

#2 of 108 OFFLINE   Michael TLV

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Posted October 22 2002 - 05:32 AM

Greetings

People do not see the resolution issue with the Toshiba until it is pointed out to them. It is subtle and affects DVD's the most. No impact on HDTV and little on cable.

Without comparing it to something without the problem or without a good frame of reference ... hard to know. Average person won't notice it as much especially on an uncalibrated tV set.

This feature was introduced last year. Toshibas have been popular since their inception. They are also priced right.

There are no perfect TV sets in this price range. Consider that a $75K US Runco FPTV has its own issues as well ... so perfection obviously isn't at the $75K point either ...

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#3 of 108 OFFLINE   Rain

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Posted October 22 2002 - 05:40 AM

Quote:
...and affects DVD's the most.
And DVD viewing is all I really care about. Posted Image

Right now I'm leaning towards trying the Hitachi, so I would appreciate some comments on the "stretch modes." Like I said, if this issue applies only to the modes that artificially stretch 4:3 stuff out to 16:9, I don't care as I would only be using that for my very minimal (and unimportant) cable TV viewing.

And, yes, I realize there is no perfection. The object of the game is to get as close to "perfection" as possible within my price range. Due to the very distracting "ghosting," I doubt the Sony is it.
__________________

I'm going back to the retailer tonight so any further input would be greatly appreciated!

"Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." - Imagine by John Lennon

#4 of 108 OFFLINE   Brian Barnesky

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Posted October 22 2002 - 06:33 AM

Dave......I told you I'd report back so here it goes.

I'm taking delivery of my new..........57hdx82 TODAY!

I wen't around on Sunday after narrowing down to the Hitachi or the Tosh and spent some time with the units (and some VERY unknowledgable salesman). Luckily we all have these forums to keep us on our game.

I did think the swx had a crisper picture.....especially on texting. I really really wanted to like the stretch mode and go with the hitachi (especially after reading so many great reviews) but I saw the light.

During regular (news, sitcoms...etc) broadcasting the stretch mode was't really that bad. I was lucky enough to see the swx and hdx side by side and had both remotes in my hand and put the same channel on. The tell tale sign was when I turned on ESPN and watched a hockey game for a while.....The HItachi looked absolutely TERRIBLE anytime the camera panned/moved quickly to follow a slap shot or following a golf ball was even worse. This probably isn't even a word but I wan't to say the swx picture was warbling and looked like a tripped out fish-eye lens effect. I instantly knew I could NEVER be able to watch that on any sporting event. The Toshiba's stretch mode is really quite impressive. It's so uniform and even. I also tried the stretch on a mits and it was better than the hitachi in my view by a small margin however.

Granted I'm not buying this set for it's stretch mode.....from what I saw I think that the Hitachi probably will have a crisper picture while viewing dvd's and hdtv(which looked terrific on the HItachi by the way). I just don't think that alot of 4:3 material that I watch will be going away for at least a year or two and I believe that I made the right purchase (FOR MY NEEDS) at this time. I plan on hanging on to this unit for 4-5 years and then what I really want (Elite plasma) should be in my budget by then.....hopefully.

I really wanted to buy local...especially with all the worry some issues of no color, clicking sounds and doa...etc. I laughed at most prices that I was given and started losing faith but the last place I hit up, Video only here in Seattle, made me pull the trigger. I brushed off three slime ball salesmen and eventually started talking to someone younger and more desperate (total assumption) for a sale. He had some pretty good lines, "Remember...you need to keep contrast on 100 for the first week or two to help speed up the burn-in process"...I was like "O.k?.....I'll remember that.....ha ha ha!. Also while stating that I thought a model of dvd player had the chroma bug he said, "Yeah...that's a good feature and helps the picture alot I've heard!"...Ha HA AH!!!!!!

Sorry this is so long but he eventually said if I make you a crazy deal will you buy today? I said try me and I walked out 20 minutes later and am taking delivery today. I understand the not giving price post and so if anyone wants to know what I paid E-mail me at b.barnesky@attbi.com and I'll pm you back.

let's put it this way....with a 5 yr warranty he beat some other "Great Deals" by about $7-800! I really thought I'd have to try Onecall but I'm very happy paying a small bit more for the 30 day exchange option.

I had a hard time deciding on the 50 vs. 57 though. That was a tough one for me. The 50 looked MUCH better on a cable feed from my sitting distance (10.5-12') but I'm trusting the movie experience will be much greater on the 57" I just have always hated the huge boxes in peoples homes that I've seen. Oh well...

I'll let you know how everything goes with the new set!

once again....good luck!

#5 of 108 OFFLINE   Brian Barnesky

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Posted October 22 2002 - 06:43 AM

Dave......I told you I'd report back so here it goes.

I'm taking delivery of my new..........57hdx82 TODAY!

I wen't around on Sunday after narrowing down to the Hitachi or the Tosh and spent some time with the units (and some VERY unknowledgable salesman). Luckily we all have these forums to keep us on our game.

I did think the swx had a crisper picture.....especially on texting. I really really wanted to like the stretch mode and go with the hitachi (especially after reading so many great reviews) but I saw the light.

During regular (news, sitcoms...etc) broadcasting the stretch mode was't really that bad. I was lucky enough to see the swx and hdx side by side and had both remotes in my hand and put the same channel on. The tell tale sign was when I turned on ESPN and watched a hockey game for a while.....The HItachi looked absolutely TERRIBLE anytime the camera panned/moved quickly to follow a slap shot or following a golf ball was even worse. This probably isn't even a word but I wan't to say the swx picture was warbling and looked like a tripped out fish-eye lens effect. I instantly knew I could NEVER be able to watch that on any sporting event. The Toshiba's stretch mode is really quite impressive. It's so uniform and even. I also tried the stretch on a mits and it was better than the hitachi in my view by a small margin however.

Granted I'm not buying this set for it's stretch mode.....from what I saw I think that the Hitachi probably will have a crisper picture while viewing dvd's and hdtv(which looked terrific on the HItachi by the way). I just don't think that alot of 4:3 material that I watch will be going away for at least a year or two and I believe that I made the right purchase (FOR MY NEEDS) at this time. I plan on hanging on to this unit for 4-5 years and then what I really want (Elite plasma) should be in my budget by then.....hopefully.

I really wanted to buy local...especially with all the worry some issues of no color, clicking sounds and doa...etc. I laughed at most prices that I was given and started losing faith but the last place I hit up, Video only here in Seattle, made me pull the trigger. I brushed off three slime ball salesmen and eventually started talking to someone younger and more desperate (total assumption) for a sale. He had some pretty good lines, "Remember...you need to keep contrast on 100 for the first week or two to help speed up the burn-in process"...I was like "O.k?.....I'll remember that.....ha ha ha!. Also while stating that I thought a model of dvd player had the chroma bug he said, "Yeah...that's a good feature and helps the picture alot I've heard!"...Ha HA AH!!!!!!

Sorry this is so long but he eventually said if I make you a crazy deal will you buy today? I said try me and I walked out 20 minutes later and am taking delivery today. I understand the not giving price post and so if anyone wants to know what I paid E-mail me at b.barnesky@attbi.com and I'll pm you back.

let's put it this way....with a 5 yr warranty he beat some other "Great Deals" by about $7-800! I really thought I'd have to try Onecall but I'm very happy paying a small bit more for the 30 day exchange option.

I had a hard time deciding on the 50 vs. 57 though. That was a tough one for me. The 50 looked MUCH better on a cable feed from my sitting distance (10.5-12') but I'm trusting the movie experience will be much greater on the 57" I just have always hated the huge boxes in peoples homes that I've seen. Oh well...

I'll let you know how everything goes with the new set!

once again....good luck!

#6 of 108 OFFLINE   Rain

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Posted October 22 2002 - 07:07 AM

So again I ask: The "Stretch Mode" issue only applies to stretching 4:3 stuff out to 16:9 and not to viewing DVD in the proper OAR??????????????????
"Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." - Imagine by John Lennon

#7 of 108 OFFLINE   Wayne McRae

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Posted October 22 2002 - 07:14 AM

Rain,I've looked at the same sets for the last 3 weeks. For what it's worth, I would give a slight edge to the Hitachi on DVD's and a big edge to the Tosh on cable and stretch modes. The Hi-def loops looked outstanding on both for a year or 2 down the road by the time we get some decent Hi-def. I'm sure you know this but Visions Electronics is offering 30 months of 0% interest financing and they carry Hitachi. Hope this helps.

Wayner

#8 of 108 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted October 22 2002 - 07:27 AM

Michael TLV:

In your travels as an ISFer, would you feel it generally fair to say that Toshiba tends to have among the more accurate color decoders found on consumer televisions?

And aren't they easier displays than most to get to track their grayscales closely?

Of all the mass-market OEMs, my preference tends to be for Tosh. The Hitachis, on the other hand, as I understand, require some serious taming of that grayscale to get a good picture. But when the picture's dialed in, it dazzles. (I have an HTF friend who really seems to like her Hitachi.)

But, Rain, as has been pointed out to you, you are not going to find perfection in any one set. Each marque has its strengths and weaknesses. Too, even with the same make and model, there are unit-to-unit variations, due to manufacturing tolerances. For all you know, another Sony unit might exhibit more acceptable levels of edge-enhancement artifacting.

JB

#9 of 108 OFFLINE   Rain

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Posted October 22 2002 - 07:33 AM

Quote:
For all you know, another Sony unit might exhibit more acceptable levels of edge-enhancement artifacting.
Well, I'm already on my second set, plus the one I looked at yesterday at A&B had the exact same thing.

If the Hitachi has issues that can be ISF'd away, I'd still prefer that to issues that cannot be, like what I'm seeing on the Sony.

"Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." - Imagine by John Lennon

#10 of 108 OFFLINE   Rain

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Posted October 22 2002 - 07:52 AM

Quote:
A guy can go crazy from listening to all the various view points.
Tell me about it, I'm finding this whole process extremely stressful.

And I'm wondering if someone could please give a direct answer on the "Stretch Mode" issue. Once again, does this only apply to the modes that stretch 4:3 stuff out to 16:9? A simple yes or no would be great! This is what I'm thinking based on what has been posted so far, but I would just like to be sure. Posted Image

"Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." - Imagine by John Lennon

#11 of 108 OFFLINE   Bill Slack

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Posted October 22 2002 - 08:00 AM

Rain:

No worry. The stretch modes are for 4:3 material, yes. But does the Hitachi support zooming (and zoomng in progressive mode?) some TVs do not, which would be a problem for non-anamoprhic discs unless you have a scaler or a DVD player with a built-in scaler.

Have you considered Mits? They're quite popular, and the red-push problem can even be tamed without an ISF calibration (though updating the firmware is a better overall fix than an attenuator on the red cable.)

#12 of 108 OFFLINE   Michael TLV

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Posted October 22 2002 - 09:57 AM

Greetings Jack

With respect to colour decoders in Toshiba units, if we were completely locked out of service mode parameters, the Toshiba would definitely have one of the better ones out there.

With current generations of sets, Hitachi, Panasonic, Mits, Sony all allow direct access to the colour decoder while Pioneer and Toshiba do not. As a result the Toshiba currently falls to the bottom 5 of this list.

The best grayscale tracking that I have and continue to see belongs to Mitsubishi sets. Toshibas are typically +/- 300-400K while most Mits' are +/- 200 or better. Have found that Panasonic tracks slightly better than Toshiba now too, but worse than mits. Hitachi's track slightly worse than Toshiba ... +/-500 range similar to Pioneers.

Bear in mind that in most cases, the differences are barely noticable by the human eye anyway.

Samsung ... that is another story ... +/- 1000 sometimes.

All this is for RPTV's ...

I was starting to like Hitachi sets until just recently. I am trying to track down a pastel colour issue with some of the new sets ... something akin to downconverting the colour from 16 million to 256 ... makes image depth completely vanish.

Regards
Michael @ The Laser Video Experience
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#13 of 108 OFFLINE   Rain

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Posted October 22 2002 - 11:58 AM

Michael, you're in Calgary! You ever get to Vancouver to do callibrations? How do you feel about the Sony in terms of colour? (You got email!)
______________________

As for the "ghosting" issue, it's every bit as bad on the Hitachi set I looked at today. I was also unable to adjust the Hitachi to give me anywhere near as good a picture overall as what I'm getting on the Sony. So, for now, I'm sticking with the Sony.

I'm a picky guy by nature, so perhaps my expectations are set a little too high.

Thanks for everyone for their input.

(ps. I'm posting this from Future Shop...and no that's not where I checked out the Hitachi. All the sets look like crap here. Posted Image )

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#14 of 108 OFFLINE   Steve Schaffer

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Posted October 22 2002 - 12:23 PM

Rain,

The bad stretch on Hitachis only applys to the variable stretch for making a 4/3 picture fill a 16/9 screen--it's almost nauseating.

I had an Hitachi UWX for 2-3 weeks before swapping for my current Sony. In addition to the stretch, it had a "posterized" look to most fleshtones (made faces look like they were painted with flat latex paint, with no subtlety whatsoever) especially on ntsc stuff, not as bad on HD or progressive scan dvd. Color depth and subtlety was downright lousy compared to the Sony. It's grayscale had a very pronounced green tinge at the low end that I never could get rid of.
According to the AVIA color decoder evaluation pattern, it had +20% red push and -15% Green push. Note that this color decoder "push" is a separate issue from grayscale.

The Sony had a little green in the low end of the gray scale which I got rid of by turning down the G-Cut item in the service menu. By doing the AXIS mod I was able to get the color decoder to less than 3% push on all colors. This allows more vivid overall color without faces looking oversaturated and unnatural. Grayscale is easily adjustable in the service menu via the Cut and Drive settings, but really can't be done accurately without some pretty sophisticated test equipment. I was able to get rid of the green tint just by eyeball, but haven't tried to go any further with it.


I had seen the ghosting on the Hitachis in the stores, didn't see it on the one I had at home. Didn't see it on the Sony until it became an issue of note over at Home Theater Spot. Obsessed about it for several weeks, but now after seeing it on so many other sets I honestly don't notice it any more except on very overcompressed channels on DirecTV--or it may just not be as bad as the set has aged.

I have not had a Toshiba in my home and don't feel that I can fairly evaluate a set that I've only seen in stores, so I can't comment on it. I did consider Toshiba but didn't like the menu system or the slow channel changing, neither of which have any effect on picture quality.

What I can say from my own experience is that between Hitachi and Sony I'll take the Sony.

Steve S.
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#15 of 108 OFFLINE   Trevor H

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Posted October 22 2002 - 06:46 PM

Damn, I was ready to get a Hitachi 57SWX20B until I read this thread.
Rain & Dave, I know what you are going through, this whole decision process is driving me nuts.
What stretch mode were you guys using on the Hitachi? it has six aspect modes:
1) 4:3 standard with grey bars
2) 4:3 expanded
3) 4:3 zoom 1
4) 4:3 zoom 2
5) 16:9 standard
6) 16:9 zoom

Rain, when you are talking about a sets ability to play a DVD in its OAR, are you talking about anamorphic discs or non-anamorphic letterboxed discs? because I would also like to know how the Hitachi handles non-anamorphic letterboxed discs played on a progressive scan dvd player without the scaling feature on the player.
Trevor Harder

#16 of 108 OFFLINE   MichaelFusick

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Posted October 23 2002 - 02:37 AM

Steve,

Your the first one I thought of when MichealTLV asked about that posterized or pastel look to faces.

I have seen it once myself... It effects a few sets, but it is one of those things that only we are going to notice and bothers us, and most repair guys and centers are not willing to acknowledge that anything is wrong. My guess is a wacky algorythim or setting for the VirtualHD chip. Who knows..

Seems like a complete 180 between sony and Hitachi though. Sony's comes back alot (WV600 is a boomerang)since they have sand in the screen now. Actual beach sand behind the protective shield.

I wonder what goes on in facotries where these are built? Think the behind the scenes action would make us cringe?

Ever been in the kitchen of a resturaunt and see what goes on, then think twice about eating there? Wonder if it is like that with RPTV MFG's?


#17 of 108 OFFLINE   Rain

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Posted October 23 2002 - 04:40 AM

Quote:
Rain, when you are talking about a sets ability to play a DVD in its OAR, are you talking about anamorphic discs or non-anamorphic letterboxed discs?
Both.

Based on what Steve is saying, it does appear that the bad stretch modes only applies to stretching 4:3 to 16:9 and not viewing DVD in the proper OAR. Right, Steve?

By the way, I have learned that a full manual convergence is covered under warranty. I'm going to have this done once the set is broken in (why not, if it's free). I wonder if that might help at all with the "ghosting"? I dunno.

"Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." - Imagine by John Lennon

#18 of 108 OFFLINE   MichaelFusick

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Posted October 23 2002 - 05:06 AM

Hitachi's don't inherently ghost that bad. Atleast mine doesn't. Not really any ringing either. These problems plauge alot of other sets and aren't really fixable. Hitachi seems to be better at this stuff.

There are different types of ghosting.

The type the Hitachi has is usually blue "bloom" around all the edges of things like white letters. It's easily fixed with a tightening of the blue focus. They are actually made and calibrated this way at the factory to improve light output and add that little bit of "blue" look to the whites for a nice apearance on the showroom floor it seems. Even service manuals have a procudere to "defocus the blue" The Fix for this is easy. The other Ghosting Hitachi's have is EE or edge enhancment. SVM is deafeatable in the user and serivice menus, and just make sure you turn off any EE on the DVD player and you'll be fine. Panasonic DVD players seems the worst at this.

Some sets have ghosting on just one side, Like toshiba. That type is much harder to fix. MichaelTLV might know better about this. There have been lots of reports about this too. I am not as familiar with Toshiba units.

Sony ghosts too.. But again.. It's a different kind and not really correctable. As long as no one points this out, you'll be fine. Once you see it though.. Game over. Your all done. Sony's seem to have this problem that's alot different than the Hitachi's do. Generally, Hitachi are not considered to be a "ghosting" set since the ghosting they might have is set up related or correctable.

All three sets are ISF-able and alot of tweak knowledge exists.

Sony's tweak nice. Hitachi needs a little more knowledge, but it's comming around to the point where people are now starting to tweak them and calibrate them more then they used too. AVS forums has alot of Hitachi tweaking and experiementaion going on right now, so some good things are starting to come out of it, with some solid knowledge too.

Toshiba resolution is the worst of the three for DVD's This is not something that can be corrected with even masterly level tweaking knowlege. MichealTLV had some good posts about the previous models at www.Keohi.com/keohihdtv

The new models of Toshiba's are a little better though.

Here is a link to some talk. It got a little heated and silly, but there still some things of value.
http://www.avsforum.....0&pagenumber=2

Here is the Toshiba of last year photo taken from MichaelTLV from a showroom floor.

Posted Image
You can notice that the 6.75mhz circle is not clear and the ribs or lines you actually see are the lines of the lenticular screen, and not of the resolution chart itself...

Here is a AVS forum memeber's new set uncalibrated:

Posted Image

It's a little better than last years, but not perfect

Here is a Photo I took from the showroom floor of CC. You can see the CC sign in the reflection, sorry it was a bright showroom. The set is not calibrated other than a quick manual convergence via user menu before the photo. It was from a JVC DVD player on 480i (interlaced)

Posted Image

Still not completely perfect, but it really beats the Toshiba hands down. You can clearly see the lines of the 6.75mh circle. There is some EE going on, you can see how some lines are darker than others. This is settings related.

This might help you a bit.

MIKE


#19 of 108 OFFLINE   MichaelFusick

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Posted October 23 2002 - 05:11 AM

Forgot to add that the AVS memeber photo was on 480P mode and not 480i mode. He had a progressive scan DVD player.

I think that Hitachi does and excellent job with 480i upconversion, better than most if not all the sets out there.

Toshiba is better with 480P to 540P than it is with 480i to 540P. Atleast this is what MichealTLV and some other's a have suggested.


#20 of 108 OFFLINE   Rain

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Posted October 23 2002 - 06:12 AM

The phenomenon I am referring to as "ghosting" was duplicated almost exactly on the Hitachi I looked at yesterday.

Interestingly enough, I can also see it on the photos posted above. If you look at the second pic, to the right of the slanted vertical line farthest to the right, it's there.

"Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." - Imagine by John Lennon


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