Friday, June 13, 2014

Why does our new plasma HDTV have a lower quality/grainy picture?


We just got a 50" Samsung HPT5064 plasma HDTV and a lot of channels (non-HD) seem to have a grainy or low quality picture. Is there some setting we should change? Is this common for larger screens? We went from a 23" CRT TV to this so all of it is fairly new to me.
As someone asked, Comcast is our cable provider and they did provide us with an HD box.

Also, we're sitting probably around 10-12 feet from the television.

SD TV does not look good on an HDTV. On my 40", I have to sit about 8" back for it to look good, and my set was well rated for SD display. How good or bad it looks depends on the input signal's quality. A 50" widescreen has a picture height equivalent to a 41" standard TV. When you blow-up analog TV that was never designed for displays that large, right away you have a problem. On top of that, in order to be displayed on an HDTV, the signal has to be deinterlaced and up-scaled to the native resolution of the set. This processing introduces artifacts. Non-up-converted DVDs should look pretty good. That;'s as good as you can get from SD material. If from about 10", your picture isn't acceptable, then you may want to look for a set that's better rated for SD.

What to get, Plasma or LCD?


Not sure what to purchase, new 3D Plasma HDTV or a 3D LED LCD HDTV?

Whether to get a plasma or led based lcd depends on your picture quality demands, budget, power requirements and design requirements.

Picture Quality: Plasma generates a picture by lighting a phosphor, where lcd's filter white light with a membrane. This gives plasma the edge in picture quality because the pixels generate the colors themselves. Also 3d is best on a plasma, since 3d cuts refresh rate by 50%.

LCD's often suffer from flash-lighting or clouding and make blacks look washed out. This is most noticeable on edge lit lcd's where the lights are in the corner of the screen. If you prefer LED for it's brightness and crispness you should definitely try to go for a local dimming LED tv. These tv's put the leds at the back of the screen and are able to shut off or dim in parts of the screen that are darker. These are a bit more expensive because they have 1300 leds opposed to 400 on edge lit tv's, but LG offers nice tv's that are based on local dimming that are affordable.

Viewing angle is best on plasma, edge lit led has horrible viewing angles, local dimming led's are better ( definitely with IPS panels ) but plasma wins here.

With regards to motion handling, plasma is still the best. LCD's got better and offer different Hz's to make the picture look smoother. (usually 120 or 240hz, higher uses a scanning backlight) Plasma uses a 600hz subfield drive system.

Plasmacells generate better colors in my opinion, but since they aren't able to completely shut off they will still leave a bit of a glow. Blacks are generally better than on lcd tv's, but there are local dimming sets that are actually beating plasma's now in terms of black level(~0.02ftl opposed to ~0.04ftl on newest plasma's). Plasma's are always better in shadow detail though because they offer per pixel control, where as a local dimming led has to cut the screen in small zones creating some spillover of light.

Budget: Plasma's offer more bang for the buck than led tv's, definately with regards to local dimming. A good 50" plasma tv is 1000-1500 dollars. A local dimming set is 1500-2000$. Edge lit lcd's generally suck. (Except samsung's top line with micro dimming plus) In the lower price segment you have more options with LED sets than in plasma, and cheap plasma's are often only 720p sets (1024x768 or 1366x768 resolution).

Power: Led tv's consume less power. Edge lit tv's use the least power.(around 100W) Then local dimming.(100-150W) Then plasma(250W average, a plasma uses less power on a dark screen). A plasma will cost you 30$ a year more on power on average.

Design: LED tv's generally look thinner and have better design. Plasma's got better though, and Samsung has introduced plasma's with an inch thinner bezel now for 2011.

I hope with this information you can make the right choice for you. If picture quality is the most important I personally prefer plasma but local dimming led's are also very good and some people prefer them. If powerconsumption or design is leading LED is the way to go. 2 recommended sets coming out around april: LG's LW7700 series for led based lcd or the Samsung D6500 plasma. They are both 3d enabled sets with active shutter glasses.

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