Got our 36" Toshiba today, got a few questions about contrast

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Wesley S, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. Wesley S

    Wesley S Stunt Coordinator

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    Our 36" Toshiba 36AF42 finally came in and when playing with it today as recommended by most here I checked the contrast first. Sure enough it was set to 100%. I turned it back to 50% but it just seems too dark. Even at 60% it's rather dark. I have all other settings set at 50% right now but will order either the Avia or S&V disc here in a week or so. I haven't really played with many settings yet but no matter what I do I keep going back to turning the contrast back up a little even though I know it's not good. (?)

    The room itself is very bright. 9 bay windows light the room so during the day it's lit very well. What do you guys think. Is the darkness something you HAVE to get used to because when I say dark "I" think it's really dark.
     
  2. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Ever notice that the best studio monitors display their images in darkened rooms and the contrast is not eye hurting high?

    If it hurts your eyes, it is too high.

    High contrast also shortens life of the TV. Just be aware of that.

    Regards
     
  3. Wesley S

    Wesley S Stunt Coordinator

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    Well it doesn't hurt my eyes even at 100% and I'm super sensitive to things of that sort. Especially a computer monitor.
     
  4. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Without knowing how the internal contrast is set, it is hard to gauge if 100% contrast on your set is actually too high.

    Recommended contrast setting is usually 30 to 35 ft-l of light output on a 100 ire windowbox. Need a light meter to measure this.

    REgards
     
  5. Brent Hutto

    Brent Hutto Supporting Actor

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    Is there any way to use an SLR's in-camera exposure meter to get an absolute brightness level? For instance, if you put the camera close enough for your 100 ire box to fill the frame, could you then convert photographic EI units to foot-lamberts?
     
  6. Wesley S

    Wesley S Stunt Coordinator

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    Well it's set to 70 right now. It was at 90 but I keep turning it down the more I watch it. I suppose thats good [​IMG]

    It's rainy here today but there is snow everywhere so it's really bright in the room. I guess tonight we'll really see how bright the tv itself is.
     
  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Wesley: Have you spent much time viewing a properly calibrated display? It may be you're simply used to watching these things blazing in torch mode. Get unused to the idea. At an estimated 70 percent, your white level may be a bit high. Also, calibrated displays are meant to be viewed in a darkened environment. JB
     
  8. TimHON

    TimHON Agent

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    I have a Toshiba 36hf72 and experienced the same type of thing you are talking about. When I initially got the set I immediately lowered contrast and brightness as a lot of people recommend in these forums and thought the picture looked terrible. Way to dark and impossible to discern detail in darkly lit scenes. I then set the level to a compromise position(around 65 contrast and brightness) After letting my eyes adjust for a couple of weeks I then calibrated with avia and the settings were way to high according to the disc. So I compromised again and lowered the settings to about 60 for each. Now after having the set for six weeks I used the disc againg and after calibration I now have contrast to 52 and brightness to 48 and guess what. The picture looks fantastic to me on DVD and digital cable. Analog cable is still too dark and I have the brightness and contrast set higher(not nearly as high as originally) I tried setting the contrast and brightness back to the old levels of 65 and the picture looked terribly washed out. The point of this whole post as least as far as I am concerned is that I was so used to watching an improperly calibrated set it took me a while to adjust. You might want to try the same.
     
  9. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Tim is correct here. You have to retrain yourself to judge video critically. Accurate video tends to output much less light than what most consumers are used to.
     
  10. Wesley S

    Wesley S Stunt Coordinator

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  11. BrianDB

    BrianDB Agent

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    I have the 36HF12. Originally I had the Contrast set @ 100. I have slowly turned it down (at 76 for the cable). From the best I can figure there needs to be a certain "break-in" period. Somewhat similar to CPUs and PC Memory. One theory on overclocking pc's is to run your pc night and day at full load (CPU intensive clients, etc.) then after a couple of days of that attempt to overclock to the max.

    After initial power-up these toshibas may need a spot of time to find their comfort zone. Comparable to RPTVs which you don't really want to attempt a calibration until they have been run for a while.
     
  12. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    I think it's too dark because the Toshiba 36AF42 is a Direct View TV, and not an RPTV.

    I had this same difficulty with a Zenith 36" Direct View set. With Contrast @ 67%, it looked way too dark.

    But with an RPTV, the Contrast looks horrible @ anything *above* about 55!

    Why the big difference in Contrast values on Direct Views vs. RPTV?

    Is it something inherent to RPTV, that the Contrast looks much more acceptable on a lower setting?

    BTW: I had my contrast & brightness controls @ 100 for 5 years on a Direct View 36" set (hadn't even realized it! [​IMG]), and never saw a tiny hint of burn-in!

    So, Wesley, since you've got a Direct View, I'd put the contrast where it looks good to *you*, and not worry about it. Other "burn-in crazed" individuals might disagree of course. But isn't it true that there's a *much* greater risk of burn-in on an RPTV than on a D. View?
     
  13. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    No, burn-in is a risk on direct-view sets as well.

    And in addition to burn-in being an issue, overdriving a picture tube will reduce its useful life expectancy significantly.
     
  14. Wesley S

    Wesley S Stunt Coordinator

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    What is the life expeceancy of televisions these days anyway. The one that this replace we just took to the dump 15 min ago and it still works, just takes about 5 min to come on and it was about 15-17 years old [​IMG] (Zenith)

    We did change the setting to Warm and both him and I agree it looks better. We're still tinkering [​IMG]
     
  15. TimHON

    TimHON Agent

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    The only concern isn't burn in all though that is obviously something to watch out for. At least with my set with contrast and brightness set to the high levels I was used to I was actually washing out the picture. Now that I have retrained my eyes and don't need to watch an over brightened picture shadow detail and color seem so much better. I am not saying that to do this you need to lower contrast and brightness to a certain numerical value. Just use one of the calibration discs which will get your picture much more accurate. If after your eyes are accustomed to these levels and you still think the picture looks bad, than I guess go back to the old levels. The bottom line is to be happy with your TV.
     
  16. Wesley S

    Wesley S Stunt Coordinator

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    Well they are both extremely happy with the TV. I've slowly convinced them to set it to a lower level thats acceptable to them and just leave it for several weeks to get used to it. Heck I'm even happy with what it's set at now. I think my dad is really excited about using a calibration disc. I'm going to order in a few weeks. I'll give the tv at least 3-4 weeks to settle in.
     
  17. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Wesley, when you say you took the old, working television to the dump, do you mean it went into the landfill or is it being recycled? I hope the latter.
     
  18. Wesley S

    Wesley S Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry it's at the dump. We have no where to have the recycled around here. I'm in the sticks. I wouldn't worry though. We left it out beside the dumpster figuring it would be taken home and we drove by today and it was gone.
     
  19. Wesley S

    Wesley S Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I came home today to a drastic change. The contrast is now at 15, brightness is at 100 and everything else is at 50% except tint which is +10. He thinks there is a little red push.

    Picture is much clearer (contrast was at 70) and I guess they are getting used to the darker picture.

    What about the brightness being at 100%. Any worries there?
     
  20. TimHON

    TimHON Agent

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    Unlike setting the contrast too high which increasess white level to a level which could lead to burn in, I don't think brightness at this level can cause damage to the set but I can only imagine what the picture must look like. I really think you would benefit from getting a calibration disc and at least see what the "correct" levels are. I put correct in quotes because if it isn't harming the set i suppose correct is whatever your parents are most happy with. Having said that I think in the long run they would be happier with a properly adjusted set.
     

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