Contrast ratio... specs concerning pic quality?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by DustinT, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. DustinT

    DustinT Agent

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    hi Guys,

    my pockets aren't too deep for my new Plasma, so i'm doing some serious shopping.

    3000:1 seems to be the average Contrast ratio for EDTV and even some HD. but i saw one that was at 5000 ( i think it was that 42" HD at wal-marts site for $1999).

    As i'm surfin the web for info and prices, can anyone tell me if these specs will for certain make a huge difference in picture quality? or are they going to vary from tv to tv? could a 5000:1 on one t.v. be no better than 3000:1 on another?

    any info on this would be much appreciated. we are planning on buying in May, so i still have some time to sort through all these options!
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    More important is the general Color Decoding, grey scale tracking, ect..ect.... 3000:1 and 5000:1 are both way way up there on contrast ratio.
     
  3. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Calibrated contrast ratios tend to be well under 500:1 for any type of display.

    The Ansi method of 16 boxes almost always gives something like 180-200 :1 for CRT units ... 100-110 for DLP ... 80-100 for LCD ... plasmas are somewhere between CRT and DLP.

    Big numbers really mean little ... it's what the calibrated numbers look like that is more important.

    Big numbers do not guarantee better calibrated numbers. It's all in how you measure to get those big numbers...

    Regards
     
  4. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    it seems to me that contrast ratio has become the "watts per channel" of tv specs. i read somewhere that the problem of unreliable/inflated specs has to do with the fact that there is no standard used to measure contrast ratio yet?

    i heard that real contrast ratios are low, but i didn't realize they were in the low 100's -- yikes!
     
  5. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Guys!

    please don't confuse the two different CR measurements. The thousands range indicate on/off CR, while ANSI CR will be much lower. Both are important measurements, and different display types will have strengths in one or the other. Oviously as high as possible on both is ideal, but no such display exists.

    Lastly, remember that the specs listed may be way off from the real calibrated numbers. Use reviews for more accurate numbers, and understand what the spec is, be it ANSI or on/off.

    I wouldn't call 3K or 5K:1 on/off "way way up there" if you are considering CRT in the mix. Both of those CRs definitely can leave something to be desired for some viewers.
     
  6. John S

    John S Producer

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    So what is considered way up there? Maybe a model example of such too?
     
  7. DustinT

    DustinT Agent

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    just wanted to bounce in here and say thanks to all who have responded so far. this is leading me to believe what i already thought... i need to see the tv in action rather than purchasing based on specs.
     
  8. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Way up there would be 20K:1 and up, which is pretty much approaching infinity. 20K:1 and beyond gets to be pretty worthless to measure, and I wouldn't set up a display with that high an on/off anyway, because shadow detail can be crippled by a much lower ANSI contrast. These numbers are only achieved by CRT displays, which have poor ANSI contrast.

    I would not go so far as to say that specs are not important, but what you need to quantify certain aspects is *accurate* specs. I can know a lot about a display based on detailed and accurate specifications. Some things like depth and noise resolving in the temporal domain are not usually revealed by normal specs but they too can be quantified. (though perhaps less-so the issue of depth, since so many things, IMO can contribute to that perception, not the least of which also involves viewing angles).
     

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