TV Quality in Shops v Home

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I recently bought a Panasonic 42 inch HD Plasma.
When I saw it at Hardly Normals, they run this demo through it.
HD Tv some really nice scenery shots from all over the world, Sand Dunes,
beaches ect ect, its a standard demo that most shops use.
Its crystal clear, very sharp image.
But with my Plasma, DVDs are not a sharp, no where near it, why ?
Cheers, Zach

Re: TV Quality in Shops v Home

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The simple answer is - DVD ain't hi def - no where near it. Get a HD digital
tuner, or a HD blueray player, or a HD DVD player, or a HD PVR - i think you
get the picture now...
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Re: TV Quality in Shops v Home

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DVDs are not as sharp.


Re: TV Quality in Shops v Home

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Standard definition material (e.g. from a DVD) can look good but often isn't
especially on most HD panels.
Full HD (1080i or 1080p) on a 1920 x 1080 panel can look absolutely
glorious.  The 7 network HD demo loop (when transmitted in 1080i) can easily
demonstrate this, and this is probably what you've seen in the shops.
SD transmissions are 576i whereas HD transmissions are either 720p or 1080i.

Your Panasonic plasma panel has a native resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels
(IMHO somewhere between SD and true HD).

The problem with getting a good SD picture on an HD display is -

1)    The quality of the original SD source (DVD or transmission).  If the
available bandwidth is too restricted or the material poorly encoded you can
get digital artefacts (blockiness or pixel crawl) especially around moving
objects.  I've seen pretty good SD transmissions but then again seen a lot
of poor ones as well.  Viewing a poor SD transmission or source does tend to
look worse on a HD panel rather than on an SD panel.

2)    The "engine" driving the panel.  With an SD transmission or source the
overall pixel count is less than the panel can display mapping at a 1 : 1
ratio, therefore to map the other "missing" pixels to the panel's native
resolution, the "engine" has to guess or interpolate the missing information
to map the picture to the panel.  Depending on the capability of the engine
driving the panel the resultant SD picture can look quite acceptable or just
plain awful.

3)    Viewing distance.  Don't sit too close to the screen.  You will notice
the imperfections in the PQ much more if your viewing distance is too close.
There is some good info about this on the dtvforum at -



Re: TV Quality in Shops v Home

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There are several reasons:
1) DVD's are a PAL resolution (720x576 pixels) source, not a hi-
definition source. This standard def signal must be up-converted to
display on your 768 or 1080 line hi-def screen.

2) DVD's vary *greatly* in picture quality. Some are absolute garbage
with all sorts of film and conversion artifacts etc. Even a Blueray or
HDDVD disc can be crap quality and not as good an image as the
standard DVD version. It's all about how much effort the producer puts
in to the conversion process. The best DVD's are usually the "ultimate
editions" that have been digitally restored frame-by-frame etc, and
especially movies which were filmed entirely in digital. e.g. the
latest Star Wars movies and animated features etc.

If you want a demo of what your screen can do, there is a hi-def demo
channel available on digital TV. Tune that in and enjoy the 10minute
scenery loop.


Re: TV Quality in Shops v Home

When you say Digital TV to see this demo loop, what do you mean ?
I don't have Foxtel Digital, is this where it is, as I would love to see it.
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I'm talking about free-to-air digital TV, the one that will eventually
replace the analog system.
See this site for details: %

Channel 7 broadcast a high definition "demo" channel, you should find
it (if you can receive the signal) if you scan all the channels with
your digital set-top-box.

Many TV's now come with a digital decoder built-in, your new Plasma
might even have one?
otherwise you need a HD digital "set top box" and they cost about $100

Foxtel digital is an entirely different and private pay-per-use cable
service. When people talk about Digital TV, they do *not* mean Foxtel


Re: TV Quality in Shops v Home

its to do with source material, connection type, picture settings and
screen ability

source material:
the quality of the program you are watching is one of the big factors,
disney dvd's are usually the best quality reproductions availalbe. many
are THX certified complete with a thx optimiser program on the disc.

quality goes from excellent (7hd loop) to good (disney dvd) to poor
(foxtel) even a pgood analogue signal will surpass foxtel in quality.

Connection type:
use atleast s-video when connecting sources but where possible use
component or rgb/s. with analogue video connections, the more seperating
of the signals the clearer the image.

component is the most common of the high quality connections, appering
on many digital decoders, dvd's, PC's.

there is rgb/hv using the VGA connection but this is rare on anything
but high def tuners etc.

Picture settings:
configuring your contrast/brightess/sharpness etc settings to the right
levels can make all the difference. get a THX dvd like disney's the lion
king and use the optomiser.

contrast and sharpness are the big ones. turn off all image inhancers in
the menu, all colour brightners, edge enhancers, black levels etc. try
and make the image as natural as possible, many displays are set to look
bright and colourfull for display purposes so they stand out in a store,
however, these settings are unrealistic for general use and can distort
the images naturalness to the point of annoyance.

screen ability:
the scaler and panel driver are usually to blame when a usually good
source looks crap. digital panels, especially high res units have a hard
time when 1:1 or 1:2 scaling can not be achieved. the image usually
suffers from double ups of sharp edges or missing eliments. either use a
native res between devices or use an external scaler such as the one in
the panasonic hdtv tuners.

the panel driver can make or break the screen. a good driver will allow
good colour representation (8bit/pixel or 16.7mil colours) a poor driver
usually falls to 6bit or 252thou colours. with plasma panels using PWM
to shade (strobing the pixel instead of dimming) the speed of the driver
  usually is a limitation.

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To play your dvd collection with decent quality on your HD Plasma, you
will now need to buy an Upscaling dvd player like this one.

Re: TV Quality in Shops v Home

The following is simplified:

A very simple answer is that you need an HDTV DVD player with the proper
cabling, that is compatible to the native resolution of your TV. You then
must play program material on the player that is in the HDTV format at the
native standard for your TV set.

Watching HDTV programs from a satellite receiver or from a cable service has
many variables. The main one is the amount of compression that they use. The
higher the compression, the less sharp the images will be. TV distribution
services use as much compression as possible to save space.  When watching
on a small to medium size screen, the image will look a lot sharper than on
a very large screen.

For details and requirements for what you want, it is best to see the dealer
where you bought the set. They will explain what you must do to have the



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