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Old January 6th, 2007, 09:56 AM   #1
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MODERATOR NOTE: The first dozen posts in this thread were split from their original thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=83031

because they were OT there and needed their own home.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira
Ken Ross,
As you know, 1.3 complaint TVs aren’t out yet and we will surely see them at CES, so how are people able to conclude that 1.3 compliant TVs aren’t that much better than 1.2 or 1.2a complaint TVs as far as picture is concerned?

Anyway, here is an article I posted last month.
http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=82182
Paulo, my gripe was with the marketing guys at HDMI. The pictures they show of a display 'pre-1.3' vs 'post 1.3' are among the most misleading I've ever seen in marketing. The very severe banding they show in the pre 1.3 display is not seen on ANY digital display worth its salt today. That kind of horrific banding was gone in decent displays several years ago. But their marketing makes it sound like a panacea when in reality, its the engineering of the HDTV and NOT whether it's HDMI 1.2 or 1.3. You might see this in a store where Display A vs Display B is shown with the SAME HDMI connection. One display may exhibit more or less banding than the other (if at all). In those cases since the connection is identical, you can easily see it's the engineering differences in the 2 TVs.

I've got 3 digital displays (2 plasmas and 1 LCD) and only on extremely rare occasions do they exhibit banding of any degree and never ever like shown in the HDMI ads. In fact, banding is often related to source material. I recall seeing banding on my first plasma when playing Man In The Iron Mask. I took that same DVD and inserted it in another DVD player hooked up to a CRT HDTV. Guess what? Same banding. The banding was on the DVD and not in the source.

The other highly touted issue is "deep color". Digital display makers went from 26 billion colors (or whatever it was) to 75 billion colors a couple of years ago. Guess what? Nobody saw the difference. Do the HDMI folks tell you that 'deep color' is not a function of just the display but also the source. If your TV can do 'deep color' and the source you're playing can't, you don't get 'deep color'. Do the HDMI folks tell you that if ALL your devices are not 1.3, you don't get 1.3 as an end result. In other words your weakest link in the chain is what your entire HDMI setup becomes. So if you've got a 1.3 HDTV and a 1.2 HD DVD player, you get 1.2 at the end. So you must replace EVERYTHING in your chain to get 1.3. This is a point missed by even the guy from CNET you quoted in your link. Even he acknowledges that the differences will be 'subtle' at best. So what does 'subtle' mean. It more than likely means that unless you have a really large screen of 65" or greater, those subtleties will be lost. IMO this is mostly marketing hype and nothing more.

Again, the point is that the vast majority of the engineering is in the circuitry and design of the HDTV (type of phosphors, direct view vs RPTV etc.), not its method of connection. Heck, many people still swear they get a better picture with component vs HDMI. I tend to prefer HDMI, but I despise the HDMI handshake issue. If you have TVs and sources with HDMI, you know well what I mean by the HDMI "handshake" issue. It's much discussed and unfortunately, thanks to Hollywood, we have to live with it.

I'll be more than happy if HDMI 1.3 does nothing other than eliminate the handshake issue that plagues most of us with HDMI. So, what I'm saying, is 95% of your picture is dependent upon how well your HDTV is engineered and not the connection methodology.
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Old January 6th, 2007, 01:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross
If your TV can do 'deep color' and the source you're playing can't, you don't get 'deep color'. Do the HDMI folks tell you that if ALL your devices are not 1.3, you don't get 1.3 as an end result. In other words your weakest link in the chain is what your entire HDMI setup becomes. So if you've got a 1.3 HDTV and a 1.2 HD DVD player, you get 1.2 at the end.
Knowing that everything has to be 1.3 compliant is common knowledge and I already said that the PS3 has HDMI 1.3 and since the majority of the Blu-Ray players are the PS3, a lot of people don’t have to worry about that. As for the HD-DVD camp, there is the 1.3 compliant Toshiba HD-XA2. The original Samsung and Toshiba High Definition players had issues and replacing them is the smart thing to do anyway.

Not all receivers output 1080p through HDMI and I’ve read about a lot people who aren’t happy that it’s outputting 1080i, so I don’t think they’d mind picking up an HDMI 1.3 compliant Receiver that might get release as early as next month.

I don’t see a problem in companies wanting you to buy the latest electronics. It’s always been that way so what’s the difference now? A lot of people’s older HD TV’s don’t even output 720p and have only component connections for HD, and a lot of 720p compatible TVs have DVI but no HDMI. 1080p TVs have HDMI but it doesn’t support deep color. All these people are in the same boat, not just people with standard HDMI TVs. Basically HD TVs are getting better all the time and if you don’t have the money, then don’t upgrade, its as simple as that.

I’m in a worse situation than most HD TV owners because I have a Samsung 27” TV with only component HD connections and there is no way I can afford to buy a better TV at the moment but you don’t see me complaining about TVs advancing very quickly.
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Old January 6th, 2007, 03:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira
I donít see a problem in companies wanting you to buy the latest electronics. Itís always been that way so whatís the difference now?
I have no problem with CE companies wanting to make money, but I do have a problem with misleading the masses. As I've said (now for the 3rd time), the HDMI people have GROSSLY misrepresented the effects of HDMI 1.3. I gave you an example. You may choose to dismiss that, I don't. You state that it's 'common knowledge' that the weakest link in your chain drops down to whatever version of HDMI that is. What makes you think that's 'common knowledge? Is isn't...far far from it. Most people have no idea what HDMI is to begin with, but they will be told by the ignorantos at Best Buy/Circuit City that HDMI 1.3 is a 'must have'.

I have nothing against 1.3, but again, I do have problems with injecting people with false expectations. You can STILL easily get banding on a 1.3 display if the basic engineering of that display is not good. That is simply a fact and there is nothing that 1.3 can do about it. I just received the Toshiba XA2 HD DVD player a couple of days ago and it's a great player even though its implementation of 1.3 has nothing to do with it.

It's the same thing with 1080i vs 1080p. People who are really in to video know that 1080p is a subtle difference, not a major one. In fact, unless you have a large display (65" and up), viewing at typical viewing distances of 8'-10' will probably show almost no improvement. Much has been written about it, but the AVERAGE buyer goes in to his retailer and is told that you must get a 1080p display, it's SO much better. Again, the fact is that I'll take a well-engineered non 1080p display over a poorly engineered 1080p display any day of the week. Common knowledge? Not even close. Take a look at 1080p plasmas vs non-1080p plasmas from the SAME manufacturer and the same size. You will see that black levels are worse (not as black) in the 1080p displays. This causes a lack of punch and contrast in these 1080p displays that their non-1080p counterparts don't suffer from. I've got a 50" Fujitsu plasma and frankly I find the picture better on it than the new 1080p displays. But trust me, once they've improved the 1080p displays to reproduce blacks the way the non-1080p displays do, I'll seriouusly consider it. But even there it will have to be a 65" display. To get a 1080p 50" display from my 9' viewing distance is a waste and not worth the 'upgrade'....and I'm a sucker for upgrades. Anyone that knows me, knows how I love the newest technology IF it actually offers a significant improvement.

[/QUOTE]
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Old January 6th, 2007, 08:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross
I just received the Toshiba XA2 HD DVD player a couple of days ago and it's a great player even though its implementation of 1.3 has nothing to do with it.

Take a look at 1080p plasmas vs non-1080p plasmas from the SAME manufacturer and the same size. You will see that black levels are worse (not as black) in the 1080p displays. This causes a lack of punch and contrast in these 1080p displays that their non-1080p counterparts don't suffer from. I've got a 50" Fujitsu plasma and frankly I find the picture better on it than the new 1080p displays.
I'm really curious if the XA2 can play 25 mbps HDV videos without stuttering problems. At least a few owners are reporting problems. I have the A1 and it plays them fine but if subsequent models don't, as an HDV distribution format HD-DVD is doomed.

I also would say that I will take the Pioneer Elite Pro FHD1 50 inch 1080p plasma anyday over any other plasma from Pioneer or anyone else and not lose a minutes sleep over its excellent black level and detail. I don't own one, but the only fear I have about watching one again is that I might open up the wallet.
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Old January 6th, 2007, 08:56 PM   #5
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Got to disagree with you about the Pioneer Tom, but there's a good deal of subjectivity involved in any of this. I've seen the Pioneer 50" FH1 many times and I've seen it playing BR movies as well as the Pioneer demo disk. The Pioneer demo disk has several scenes taken at a beach resort. Now you know when you see those scenes that we're looking at a VERY bright and contrasty environment, yet the Pioneer does not convey that in any real sense (this after my trying to adjust it with the remote). It's that lack of punch that leaves me flat every time I see that display. In fact, I much prefer the picture of the 60" non-1080p Pioneer. That display would render a beach scene with the brightness and contrast necessary to make it 'believable'. This is a quality that is very much evident in my Fujitsu. I've spoken to the training director of Fujitsu and he acknowledges that the entire industry is having a problem getting the contrast & black levels that are inherent in their non-1080p displays in to their 1080p displays. Panasonic & Pioneer have a shared patent on a new technology that will show up in the next gen 1080p plasmas. These will produce blacks that are essentially CRT-like and have an honest contrast ratio of 20,000:1! Those that have seen these prototypes say they are the real deal and looked every bit as good as the SED prototypes. These new plasmas are scheduled for release sometime this year.

Going back to that Pioneer demo disk, there's one scene (the opening scene on the Pioneer demo disk) showing a dancer against a black background. The Pioneer 1080p renders this as a 'so so' dark gray/black. I had once popped that same disk in a Panasonic BR player that was hooked up to a Panasonic 65" 1080p display. The Panny did a MUCH better job in showing the blackness behind the dancer, but even it was still not as good as the Panasonic non-1080p displays. In fact, I much prefer the picture of the 60" non-1080p Pioneer. That display would render a beach scene with the brightness and contrast necessary to make it 'believable'. This is a quality that is very much evident in my Fujitsu.

I've said this many times elsewhere, there's far more to a great picture than just resolution. In terms of the 65" Panasonic 1080p plasma, I really really wanted to love it. In fact I was hoping it would be my substitute and upgrade for my 50" Fujitsu. But here too, I've been less than enthralled with it's lack of punch and black levels relative to both my Fujitsu & non-1080p Panasonics. In my eyes black levels not only impact the rendering of dark scenes, but also have an impact on brighter scenes in terms of their 'depth'.

Now, with that said, I've seen a Sony demo disk on the Sony Bravia 46" 1080p LCD and those scenes were among the best I've ever seen! The LCD had all the brightness and contrast you could want with bright scenes. Beach scenes LOOKED like beach scenes! But I have a real problem with LCDs in dark room lighting. All of a sudden, under those conditions, the blacks that looked quite black in bright room lighting, looks muddy. I've got a 26" Sony Bravia in my kitchen and I often call it the "Jekyl & Hyde" of video displays. It looks awesome during the day and uninspiring at night. LCDs still have a way to achieve excellent black levels.

In terms of the Toshiba XA2, I don't know how it does with the HDV encoded disks. To be honest, I was never successful in encoding an HDV DVD to my Toshiba A1, so I really can't tell you. But I know the XA2 has a superb processor not present in any other Toshiba HD DVD player. The picture is utterly superb and I, like most people that have just gotten it, can see a difference between its picture and the A1. It's not day & night, but it's a bit better in terms of sharpness and punch.
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Old January 6th, 2007, 10:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross
I've seen the Pioneer 50" FH1 many times and I've seen it playing BR movies as well as the Pioneer demo disk.
No doubt! What an attention grabber! One can burn up a keyboard in denial but you cannot walk past this one. I think this is one of those products that to not like, you have to not own.
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Old January 6th, 2007, 10:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross
Panasonic & Pioneer have a shared patent on a new technology that will show up in the next gen 1080p plasmas. These will produce blacks that are essentially CRT-like and have an honest contrast ratio of 20,000:1! Those that have seen these prototypes say they are the real deal and looked every bit as good as the SED prototypes. These new plasmas are scheduled for release sometime this year.
These TVs will obviously have 1.3 complaint HDMI inputs and it proves that their will be a lot of 1.3 complaint TVs that will put any TV that is out already to shame and I’m talking about big name brand companies such as Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer, and something tells me that LG may surprise us.

I'm glad you mention the Sony Bravia TVs because you wont see any LCD screen with fewer pixels than 1920X1080 that will have a better picture.

Also you can’t really say Plasma is better than LCD screens because as far as video games is concerned, Bravia LCD screens wins. It all depends on what the TV will be used for.
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Old January 6th, 2007, 11:03 PM   #8
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Old January 6th, 2007, 11:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Roper
No doubt! What an attention grabber! One can burn up a keyboard in denial but you cannot walk past this one. I think this is one of those products that to not like, you have to not own.
Tom, I am not alone. I am not one who defends only what he has. I used to own a 64" Zenith RP HDTV with 9" guns....the height of HD. One day I walked in to a store and saw a Fujitsu plasma and couldn't believe how good the picture was. I acknowledged to myself that this was indeed better than the Zenith I had at home (which was renowned for picture quality with its 9" guns). So say what you will Tom, I am not in a state of denial.

People who appreciate what blacks do for a picture are those that are less than enthralled with the Pioneer & Panasonic 1080p displays. As I said, the Director of Training for Fujitsu has acknowledged that this is an issue with 1080p plasmas. I believe what my eyes tell me, not what someone else does. ;)

Of course there are those that feel resolution is the beginning and end of a TV picture. It is not. But as I said this is subjective, and if you love the Pioneer's picture, so be it. But please don't tell me I'm in denial because it doesn't pass my muster.
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Old January 6th, 2007, 11:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira
These TVs will obviously have 1.3 complaint HDMI inputs and it proves that their will be a lot of 1.3 complaint TVs that will put any TV that is out already to shame and Iím talking about big name brand companies such as Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer, and something tells me that LG may surprise us.

I'm glad you mention the Sony Bravia TVs because you wont see any LCD screen with fewer pixels than 1920X1080 that will have a better picture.

Also you canít really say Plasma is better than LCD screens because as far as video games is concerned, Bravia LCD screens wins. It all depends on what the TV will be used for.
I'm not a gamer. I watch movies and shows like Discovery HD. For programs like that and movies, you can not beat a plasma...particularly if you watch in a dim or dark room.

As far as the shared patent and the new Pioneers and Panasonics that are coming out, yes they will be HDMI 1.3 compliant, but this will have absolutely nothing to do with their improved contrast ratios and blacks.
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Old January 7th, 2007, 02:33 AM   #11
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No Ken, you are not alone! Four years ago I heard the same voices from the CRT advocates. Where are the CRTs now?

Even for you it was an epiphany that a plasma was better than 9 inch guns. Your advice to pan 1080p today will only be pertinent until your next epiphany. 1080p plasma is here now, so is HDMI 1.3. Those Fuji plasmavisions have been nice for a long time, but I wouldn't dare purchase a primary display that isn't at least 1080p.

I think the black issue is just something to point to until they're ready to take the next position. There doesn't even seem to be consensus, not enough contrast or too much contrast? I've read it described both ways! The consensus that does exist comes from the owners who seem pretty happy. As someone who doesn't own one, I can still see why they would be. Awesome display, at the top of my wish list.
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Old January 7th, 2007, 08:18 AM   #12
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No Ken, you are not alone! Four years ago I heard the same voices from the CRT advocates. Where are the CRTs now?

Even for you it was an epiphany that a plasma was better than 9 inch guns. Your advice to pan 1080p today will only be pertinent until your next epiphany. 1080p plasma is here now, so is HDMI 1.3. Those Fuji plasmavisions have been nice for a long time, but I wouldn't dare purchase a primary display that isn't at least 1080p.

I think the black issue is just something to point to until they're ready to take the next position. There doesn't even seem to be consensus, not enough contrast or too much contrast? I've read it described both ways! The consensus that does exist comes from the owners who seem pretty happy. As someone who doesn't own one, I can still see why they would be. Awesome display, at the top of my wish list.
Tom, most of the professional video world knows that CRTs are STILL the best in areas such as black levels but they fall short in areas such as linearity, focus, color uniformity, convergence etc. And Tom, where did I say stay away from 1080p? Anywhere? No. Did I point out how incredible the Sony 46" 1080p display was? Yes. I pointed out a black level issue with the Sony, but that has nothing to do with 1080p. In that case, it's endemic to all LCDs. So I think you have me pegged incredibly wrong. I am a strong advocate for new technology. In fact, if I have a problem, it's jumping on the new bandwagons TOO SOON! Ask my wife! As to 'too much contrast'...where the heck did you read that? There's no such thing as a display having 'too much contrast'. Do you know that a well engineered CRT has, in theory, infinite contrast? No Tom, there's no such thing as 'too much contrast'. Yes, you can dial in a picture that has 'too much contrast', but your display's capabilities can never have 'too much contrast'.

Here's a hint: My next display will also be 1080p, but it will NOT be a compromised 1080p display. You and I can banter back & forth until the cows come home, but my eyes see inferior blacks on the current crop of 1080p units. It just happens to be a fact. Some can see it, some can't. Hell, I see the picture that some consider 'great' and I just scratch my head. I am a very demanding consumer when it comes to video. Much less so with audio. Tom, I have good eyes for this as people who know me can attest to. If the blacks of these models look great to you, go for it! But I surely won't go for a 1080p model when the same manufacturer's non-1080p model have superior black levels and contrast. Look at DLPs. Some people can't stand the rainbows that these displays generate and others can't see them no matter what. As I said, consider yourself lucky that the issue of black levels is not a big deal to you. If it weren't in my case, it would sure make my decisions easier. The first plasmas I saw years ago I laughed at. They had horrific blacks and their pictures were muddy. It wasn't until the better ones that got black levels in to the area of CRTs, became a viable choice for me.

So let me ask you this, do you also think the training director of Fujitsu is wrong? Hey, Fujitsu didn't even have a 1080p model out and he was telling me the soon-to-be-released 65" 1080p model would not have the black levels I'm accustomed to in their non-1080p models....far from a sales pitch Tom. Tom, some people are VERY sensitive to issues like this. Consider yourself fortunate that you don't care about it, but please don't denegrate someone who is sensitive to it.
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Old January 8th, 2007, 02:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira
I'm glad you mention the Sony Bravia TVs because you wont see any LCD screen with fewer pixels than 1920X1080 that will have a better picture.
I'm confused by all these posts...

Are you saying the Bravia is good?
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