Plasma Newbie Questions

Discussion in 'Displays' started by ShaunSP, May 29, 2006.

  1. ShaunSP

    ShaunSP Auditioning

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    I'm going to post as much detail as possible, so if the post runs long, please forgive me.

    I've been casually researching different models of Plasma TVs for a few weeks. I had a budget around the $2,000 range, and with the holiday weekend, I went out to get a good deal.

    I picked up the Toshiba 42HP66 [EDIT]. On the shelf it looked the best, and in my research I had heard good things. (until today searching posts here which were somewhat mixed on it).

    Got it home, hooked it up to my DVD player, and popped in a few DVDs. Here were my results.

    Star Wars: Episodes 2 & 3 - Looked amazing. I've never seen a better picture for these movies. However there is a moment near the beginning of Episode 3 when Obi Wan and Anakin enter the room where Palpatine is held, there faces look like a pixelated mess.

    War of the Worlds - Great Picture overall, but I kept being drawn to little pixilations here and there.

    Veronica Mars season one - For a TV show, great picture. Some scenes were worse then others, but much better quality then my SD TV signal (upgrading to HDTV Cable tomorrow).

    Now it gets Bad...

    Signs (Mel Gibson Movie) - Looks horrible. Lots of grain all over the screen, either digital, or film grain... I don't know. The Tv seemed to be bringing out the worst in the picture. I feel like I'm watching it on a quicktime video file on my computer. Worse then watching a VHS hooked up to the Plasma.

    Jersey Girl - Looked very grainy. Like an old VHS copy. Even when I change the display options.

    I don't have an upconvert DVD player, will that dramatically fix some of the issues I have? I've used a THX optimizer from a Star Wars disc to calibrate my settings, but it doesn't seem to help.

    I've never had a plasma TV before, is the digital grain something I just have to live with? I was also drawn to simmering images from horizantal lines, and edges of images. This will sound dumb, but the picture looks fine from 10ft or more, is that just the reality of Plasma (should I rearrange my furniture farther from the screen).

    Could I just have a bad TV? Or could some DVDs just look worse on Plasma? Is there a setting issue I should know about?

    The signal I saw in the store was obsiously HD, so when I do upgrade my cable, DVD player, or get a Blu-ray will those really make the player some to life?

    Any help would be great, and if anyone needs clarification on any points I made, please ask. Thanks.

    I also posted this on another forum, just to get as much feedback as possible. Sorry for the double post.
     
  2. DougR

    DougR Second Unit

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    How do you have it hooked up...........S-Video or Component (RGB)Connection ?
     
  3. ShaunSP

    ShaunSP Auditioning

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    Component
     
  4. Robert Hoffman

    Robert Hoffman Stunt Coordinator

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    Have you tried calibrating the TV? If you use a DVD like AVIA to set the contrast & brightness you might find that the issues with the picture go away. Normally TVs out of the box are set to torch mode with these settings at their max. These are hardly the most optimal settings.
     
  5. Robert Hoffman

    Robert Hoffman Stunt Coordinator

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    Also, make sure you have your DVD player configured to output a 16:9 (widescreen) picture. The default on most players is not widescreen (and if you replaced a non-widescreen TV, you'll probably need to change this setting on the DVD player).
     
  6. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Also, in general, the newer and better displays, to better display the potentials of a really well made DVD or better yet, HDTV, can be incredibly unforgiving to less than ideal signals.

    I don't know about the specifics of the discs, but the momentary pixelations may be areas where (a) the compressor barfed, or (b) there may be enough of a surface flaw that your player is getting a bad read. In either case, an older, especially CRT type display can be very forgiving.

    Leo
     
  7. ShaunSP

    ShaunSP Auditioning

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    Just an update for everyone who responded.

    First, thank you for all your input.

    I upgraded to HD cable service, and it's blown me away. The plasma screen looks just like it should.

    I got an upconvert DVD player as welll, a Panasonic. Popped in a few DVDs, and was very impressed with the picture quality through the HDMI cable. "Signs" still looked bad (lots of grain, either digital or film), but I happened to see a preview for it on an HD channel, and it seemed the same,

    Overall, I'm ver happy now. Thanks for all your comments, and suggestions.
     

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