Is this what to expect from HD plasmas?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Nelson Au, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I just had a look at some plasmas at a Magnolia Hi-Fi dealer in my local Best Buy store.

    I was curious to see how a standard def DVD would look like on an HD plasma. The set I looked at was a 50" Sony KDE-50XBR950 WEGA plasma. I was surprised by the amount of pixelation I saw. They played a demo DVD in a decent player, can't recall the brand via component connections I believe. They were using the Sony's circuitry to do the image processing. The DVD had a scene from The Two Towers where Frodo and Sean Astin's character were out in a field and a flying dragon was above them. (I have not seen The Two Towers yet so I didn't know the creature flying over them) When the dragon was flying and the camera pans over the clouly sky, the clouds have some pixelation artifacts. I was surprised by this. The sales guy said that it's just the way it is for standard def DVD's on an HD set.

    One time I saw the original Warner DVD release of Bullitt on a friends 47" HDTV ready RPTV. During the car chase, there are shots of Steve MacQueen in the Mustang from an in-car camera. His right cheek looked like I was seeing the same kinds of artifacts I saw tonight on the plasma set.

    If I had more time tonight, I would have asked to see the same disc on an EDTV plasma. (And I will later) But is what I saw what I will expect to see when I buy my fancy new plasma screen? Particularly if I get a 50" and at that size, only an HDTV would be available.

    I also saw standard def over the air reception on only one non HD channel and it looked awful! They said they cannot recieve any other stations at that time. Looked like low rez MPEG video on a computer monitor. And I suppose that is exactly what I was seeing.

    Thanks! Nelson
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    This is exactly why I'm leaning towards a plasma EDTV. A lot of HDTV plasmas have terrible upscalers that give artifacts with std def signals. 'Course, an external scaler like an iScan or Lumagen is always an option too. [​IMG]

    Also, sometime changing the output of the player helps: 480i, 480p, and some players now upscale themselves. *Usually* (not always) do it better than the display.
     
  3. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks Kevin- I'll do some more viewings and look into those external scalers. The thing is I saw another Sony 50" Plasma XS series at a friend's house over the weekend and it looked great! Of course the source was the "Down with Love" DVD and it's lack of high speed action could have something to do with it.

    Glad to hear from another HTF'er in the Bay Area.

    Nelson
     
  4. John S

    John S Producer

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    Most fixed pixel displays do excel with a quality upscalling DVD player to their native resolution via HDMI / DVI connection. Usually 720p. Nearly all displays need some experiementation to see what actually looks best as far as DVD goes.

    I think you need further testing to really make an evaluation on this particular displays DVD performance.

    You say standard Def? So they were feeding the display 480i? or was it 480p ED??? I find many of these displays these days do best with a 480i fed via component video. Way less of this type of artifacting, then when 480p is used via the same component video connection.
     

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