What image quality can you expect from cheap widescreen tv's?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Bart_R, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. Bart_R

    Bart_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi everybody,

    Recently I bought a new widescreen tv. A rather cheap one. Now I'm kind of annoyed by the image quality, especially when it comes the colors, and in particular the black levels. My question is though, do I have a right to be upset, or can't I possibly expect the colors to be adequate on a cheap widescreen tv?

    You see, I thought the main difference as far as pricing goes is the pixel quality, the flatness of the screen, and overall sharpness of the image. And also perhaps the stillness/steadiness of the picture. Stuff like that. I expected the coloring to be fine. I mean, my old 4/3 tv-set of about 25 years old has better colors than this new set. Can that be right?

    My specific concerns are 1) the black levels (i.e. the way a darkish image in a long shot gets completely black, or when something dark is against a dark background, it merges together in one black whole) 2) some colors, like red and purple tend to flare a bit and look oversaturated.

    So anyway, do you think I have any right to be picky in this pricerange (about 400 dollars/euro's)? Shouldn't the image at least be as adequate as my ancient 4/3 screen?

    Thanks in advance for any comments...

    Bart.
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    If you purchased recently you have every right to not be satisfied with your set. Most retailers will at minimum allow to exchange it for a different one.

    New HDTV's do tend to like the best sources. But if DVD doesn't look good especially using Component Video, you should definetly try to exchange it.
     
  3. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    Have you tried setting the color controls with a reference disc, such as Video Essentials? Proper adjustment can make a world of difference.

    Aspect ratio doesn't have anything directly to do with color quality, but logically I'd figure that a widescreen set is harder to manufacture so if you get a really cheap one, by widescreen standards, I'd expect that some serious compromises were made, just as you'd find if you bought the cheapest 4:3 set you could find.

    But try adjusting the color with a reference disc.

    Good luck!

    Jan
     
  4. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Jan is on the money.

    I think that most HD tube sets look "okay" once set up properly.

    Best wishes

    Gregg
     
  5. Bart_R

    Bart_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you for your replies [​IMG]

    I purchased it 2 days ago, so I guess I should be able to exchange it if the store has got any of such policy. The problem is though, that the pricing was very decent, and pretty much any other widescreen will amount to about twice the price of this one. And well, I didn't intend on spending that much money on a widescreen tv. If I'm reaching those levels (of cash) I'd rather opt for a projector. I actually intend on buying a nice projector within a year, so the widescreen is just something to tide me over. I never really intended on getting on, but since this one's price was good I thought: why not? That said though, I'm not sure if I want to spend over 6 months watching movies with unsatisfactory colors and contrast.

    "New HDTV's do tend to like the best sources." What do you mean with this sentence? Do you mean you get the best results with DVD and the proper connections? And HD = High Definition, right? Are are all new widescreen tv's in essence HD?

    Cable looks pretty sub-par to begin with. Fuzzy, snowy image. The image on my old 4/3 tv looked tighter. And then there's the reported color/contrast problems. Now with my dvd (connected through cart) it's not the sharpness is alright, but the color problems are still there. What's strange though is that it was worse before, when I had my dvd player connected through the other scart connection (there are 2). It was connected to the av1-scart, and now I decided to use the av2-one. Which is a slight improvement, but it's still not the way it "should be".

    I haven't tried setting the colors with a reference disc, but I have tried every kind of tweaking and played several dvd's and there seems to be no way I can solve my problems. There are settings for color, brightness, contrast, sharpness, which I have used extensively but without noticeable results.

    Anyway, it's not a terrible image, but nevertheless I don't think I can stand this picture (it being of a lesser quality than my old 4/3 set) for several months to come. I just hope that, if necessary, I could get my money back. I doubt it though...

    Thanks again [​IMG]
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Bart, you must be from the U.K., what with those mentions of SCART connections. Might you tell us the make and model of set we're talking about here?
     
  7. Bart_R

    Bart_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, actually, I'm not from the UK. I'm from the Netherlands. It has the same tv-standard as the U.K. of course, which is what matters here.

    Anyway, it's a Daewoo DWX 2880 tv-set...
     

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