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Calibration advice for Pana TH-42PV500A


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In general 720P is widely considered better than 1080i on most current HDTVs, we've had a fair bit of discussion about this on the forums here.

I wouldn't buy any upscaling DVD player, Blu-Ray/HDDVD players will upscale 'legacy' DVDs so best wait for those to drop in price.

Upscaling is also something which can often be pointless if the scaler on the TV is quite good. If the scaler on the new Pana is as good as it's meant to be, I doubt any entry level upscaling DVD players would do that much of a better job.

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No worries, it looks like it's a group effort now which is great :blink:

I think my HDMI settings are now final, and pretty much:

DVI->HDMI (HD STB)

Mode: Standard

Contrast: 78

Brightness: 43

Color: 40

Sharpness: 9

Color Temp: Standard

Color Management: Off

MPEG NR: Off

Color Matrix: HD

Ch Color Set: Middle

Component (DVD)

Mode: Standard

Contrast: 78

Brightness: 35

Color: 58

Sharpness: 9

Color Temp: Standard

Color Management: Off

D.PNR: Off

MPEG NR: Off

Color Matrix: HD

Ch Color Set: Middle

Hello Persian,

If I haven't already thanked you, thanks for all the hard work calibrating AND sharing the results with all the pana owners.

Now, don't shoot me. I have been using your very early settings for quite a while, and been thrilled with the results. I decided to try your latest settings and though I agree the picture was very natural, it was also pretty bland and boring.

Below are my settings (based on PI's earliest settings and then tweaked a bit to taste). The colours are really vibrant and breathtaking. Guys, give them a go and let me know what you think. Would love your thoughts and suggestions.

HDMI->HDMI (HD STB)

Mode: Standard

Contrast: 77

Brightness: 50

Color: 55

Sharpness: 17

Color Temp: Standard

Color Management: Off

MPEG NR: Off

Color Matrix: HD

Ch Color Set: Middle

Cheers,

Typhoon

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Actually it's funny because I have been very unhappy with my recent efforts as well. Something about the picture just wasn't right, either for HDMI or Component. Tonight was the last straw as I was watching Terminator 2 on DVD (via Component) and no matter how hard I tried it didn't look right, the way I remembered it on my old CRT.

So I tried something completely different - I lowered the Brightness drastically on both sources as a last ditch attempt. And lo and behold, I found the key to all the color, sharpness, image 'grain' and general image quality problems!

Basically it seems that at higher brightnesses, you can't calibrate the color no matter how hard you try because the reds are just too oversaturated, and this affect skin tones etc. So to get skin tones and reds right, you wind up sucking the life out of the image. Plus I personally found I had to lower sharpness to reduce visible grain.

Lowering Brightness fixed all that. I then found I could easily adjust Color and Sharpness to perfect levels, and now the image looks almost identical to a CRT - rich, dark and sharp and surprisingly detailed. I know it sounds like I'm ranting but I really suggest people give these settings a try (at least as a starting point). Note they may only work for you if you're using Color Matrix = HD on each source:

DVI->HDMI (HD STB)

Mode: Standard

Contrast: 78

Brightness: 29

Color: 37

Sharpness: 20

Color Temp: Standard

Color Management: Off

MPEG NR: Off

Color Matrix: HD

Ch Color Set: Middle

Component (DVD)

Mode: Standard

Contrast: 78

Brightness: 29

Color: 63

Sharpness: 20

Color Temp: Standard

Color Management: Off

D.PNR: Off

MPEG NR: Off

Color Matrix: HD

Ch Color Set: Middle

So the bottom line is it looks like 78 Contrast and 29 Brightness are the sweet spot, and I'd wager they should be for most people. The Color and Sharpness can be set to taste, and reds look perfect, so do skin tones.

All I can say is "wow", and I can't believe it took me this long to work it out. Everything revolves around Brightness on these sets, and with the brightness set too high, there's no way you can ever calibrate the set properly.

I tried a range of DVDs and flicked through all the digital channels and the above settings are perfect for me. Give them a try and make sure to allow your eyes to adjust to the lower brightness, as initially it's a real shock, but think of it as comparing to CRT, not to the glarey Plasmas you see in stores :blink:

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Hi Persian :D

The new settings sound really great. I'll try them tonight.

I played with my Brightness last night and came to the exact same conclusion as you, and ended up lowering that and increasing sharpness as well.

Great minds think alike :blink:

The only difference is the colour. Mine is slightly above 50 now.

Like I said, I'll give yours a go, and I have a feeling these could be the ones!

Have a great day. My goodness you are an early starter!

Cheers,

Typhoon.

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I think it might be better when the trickery is done at the source (DVD) than the destination (TV). That seems to be the general feeling I've gotten from the forum. I ain't no expert though!

Hang on! - I just bought the pana hd and the pioneer 696. I was intending to hook up the dvd via hdmi to the telly. If, as the manual says I will only get progressive scan via component, should I hook up via component or leave it with hdmi? What's the general consensus?

Hang on! - I just bought the pana hd and the pioneer 696. I was intending to hook up the dvd via hdmi to the telly. If, as the manual says I will only get progressive scan via component, should I hook up via component or leave it with hdmi? What's the general consensus?

Crap, I mean UPSCALING, not progressive. Less scotch, more research...

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Actually it's funny because I have been very unhappy with my recent efforts as well. Something about the picture just wasn't right, either for HDMI or Component. Tonight was the last straw as I was watching Terminator 2 on DVD (via Component) and no matter how hard I tried it didn't look right, the way I remembered it on my old CRT.

So I tried something completely different - I lowered the Brightness drastically on both sources as a last ditch attempt. And lo and behold, I found the key to all the color, sharpness, image 'grain' and general image quality problems!

Basically it seems that at higher brightnesses, you can't calibrate the color no matter how hard you try because the reds are just too oversaturated, and this affect skin tones etc. So to get skin tones and reds right, you wind up sucking the life out of the image. Plus I personally found I had to lower sharpness to reduce visible grain.

Lowering Brightness fixed all that. I then found I could easily adjust Color and Sharpness to perfect levels, and now the image looks almost identical to a CRT - rich, dark and sharp and surprisingly detailed. I know it sounds like I'm ranting but I really suggest people give these settings a try (at least as a starting point). Note they may only work for you if you're using Color Matrix = HD on each source:

DVI->HDMI (HD STB)

Mode: Standard

Contrast: 78

Brightness: 29

Color: 37

Sharpness: 20

Color Temp: Standard

Color Management: Off

MPEG NR: Off

Color Matrix: HD

Ch Color Set: Middle

Component (DVD)

Mode: Standard

Contrast: 78

Brightness: 29

Color: 63

Sharpness: 20

Color Temp: Standard

Color Management: Off

D.PNR: Off

MPEG NR: Off

Color Matrix: HD

Ch Color Set: Middle

So the bottom line is it looks like 78 Contrast and 29 Brightness are the sweet spot, and I'd wager they should be for most people. The Color and Sharpness can be set to taste, and reds look perfect, so do skin tones.

All I can say is "wow", and I can't believe it took me this long to work it out. Everything revolves around Brightness on these sets, and with the brightness set too high, there's no way you can ever calibrate the set properly.

I tried a range of DVDs and flicked through all the digital channels and the above settings are perfect for me. Give them a try and make sure to allow your eyes to adjust to the lower brightness, as initially it's a real shock, but think of it as comparing to CRT, not to the glarey Plasmas you see in stores :blink:

silly question..... when I opened the options menu, "colour matrix" was greyed out, and set to SD.... can this only be changed with STBs that are HD, or am I missing something here ??

cheers...

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silly question..... when I opened the options menu, "colour matrix" was greyed out, and set to SD.... can this only be changed with STBs that are HD, or am I missing something here ??

cheers...

Yes, you need a HD input to enable the HD option. However, if you have an SD STB with component connection, you might be able to switch it to HD. I have my DVD connected via component and I can switch it to HD.

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Yes, you need a HD input to enable the HD option. However, if you have an SD STB with component connection, you might be able to switch it to HD. I have my DVD connected via component and I can switch it to HD.

Ahh, no worries - thanks for the info. I was looking at the settings for a foxtel digilat input, over component. Methinks that foxtel would not qualify for the HD colour matrix (but then again, would I want to switch it on?)

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Can each individual COMPONENT Input be separetly configured differently from each other? I've just returned my SONIQ ( no need to throw rotten fruit or vegetables peoples ) for a full refund and will be getting the 42" HD Pana. It's just that on the Soniq if you adjusted settings on one of the COMPONENT inputs its also adjusted it for the other.

One other quick one.. Will fox IQ look better on the SD or HD Viera? I'm torn between Great BLU-RAY when it comes out and normal Foxtel viewing.

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Can each individual COMPONENT Input be separetly configured differently from each other? I've just returned my SONIQ ( no need to throw rotten fruit or vegetables peoples ) for a full refund and will be getting the 42" HD Pana. It's just that on the Soniq if you adjusted settings on one of the COMPONENT inputs its also adjusted it for the other.

Yes, you can adjust the setting separately from each input.

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In general 720P is widely considered better than 1080i on most current HDTVs, we've had a fair bit of discussion about this on the forums here.

Could you give me a link to the thread? i tried the search function but can't find it... :blink:

Im new to HD, just got my 42pv60A with a toshiba STB, and i have it set on 1080i, cant decide whether to have it at 720p or 1080i?

Mode: Standard

Contrast: 78

Brightness: 29

Color: 37

Sharpness: 20

Color Temp: Standard

Color Management: Off

MPEG NR: Off

Color Matrix: HD

Ch Color Set: Middle

i used these settings and picture quality is very good, i am impressed, dont have much time to muck around with the settings but i think u've got them perfect

still looking for a dvd player to match w/ hdmi.divx, any suggestions?

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Hi,

I'm about to purchase the 50PV60A and I was looking at the unit while waiting the the sales guy to get me a quote. I noticed that in some scenes the higher speed motion was quite jerky compared to the other plasmas off the same feed. The show was Great Outdoors on 7HD fed through component input. I'll be using HDMI input with either a Topfield 7000 or LG 5100.

The question I have is this going to be an inherrent problem or will adjusting the picture settings as per PI's postings clear this up? The jerkiness compared to the new Philips 42 inch plasma (not sure what model) was very pronounced and as I love watching AFL the quality of high speed action is important to me. Any input from other 50PV60A owners would be greatly appreciated as I don't want to spend a whole lot of money on something that won't fit the bill.

Any opinions of the choice of STB would also be appreciated.

Great work from PI with the settings BTW.

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Sorry to bump the thread but is anyone with a Panasonic 60A or 50A type plasma able to answer my above query on the "judder" and whether changing the picture/calibration settings will fix this?

How well does the Panny handle fast moving sports?

Thanks in advance.

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Sorry to bump the thread but is anyone with a Panasonic 60A or 50A type plasma able to answer my above query on the "judder" and whether changing the picture/calibration settings will fix this?

How well does the Panny handle fast moving sports?

Thanks in advance.

I've had no problems with fast moving sports (eg AFL) on my 60A, especially with Freo winning 6 in a row.

Go Freo.

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I've had no problems with fast moving sports (eg AFL) on my 60A, especially with Freo winning 6 in a row.

Go Freo.

Cheers. I've been trying to coincide my instore visits with an AFL game on the telly to see it in action but alas have not been successful so far. Are you using PI's settings?

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I've had no problems with fast moving sports (eg AFL) on my 60A, especially with Freo winning 6 in a row.

Go Freo.

Cheers. I've been trying to coincide my instore visits with an AFL game on the telly to see it in action but alas have not been successful so far. Are you using PI's settings?
I think he was making a joke!! (Not lost on us Freo supporters!).
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I havent had any problems, been using my own settings, will look to play around with them after I've run the tv in a bit more, although I am happy with how it displays currently.

Winners are grinners arent they Lyle!! (not that we have had much to grin about in all these years!)

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Well being a Collingwood supporter I doubt I'll be seeing too much September action on my (hopefully) newly purchased Panny anyway.... :blink:

Thanks for your positive feedback.

When purchasing has anyone tried asking the sales guy whether you can put in your own settings and check the picture? I was thinking of taking in PI's settings and seeing if they'll let me apply them and check out the picture. Doesn't seem an unreasonable request on a $4,000+ purchase. Can only ask I guess...

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Well being a Collingwood supporter I doubt I'll be seeing too much September action on my (hopefully) newly purchased Panny anyway.... :blink:

Thanks for your positive feedback.

When purchasing has anyone tried asking the sales guy whether you can put in your own settings and check the picture? I was thinking of taking in PI's settings and seeing if they'll let me apply them and check out the picture. Doesn't seem an unreasonable request on a $4,000+ purchase. Can only ask I guess...

Yes, they will let you do it. They will hover though.....

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  • 3 weeks later...
Well being a Collingwood supporter I doubt I'll be seeing too much September action on my (hopefully) newly purchased Panny anyway.... :D

Thanks for your positive feedback.

When purchasing has anyone tried asking the sales guy whether you can put in your own settings and check the picture? I was thinking of taking in PI's settings and seeing if they'll let me apply them and check out the picture. Doesn't seem an unreasonable request on a $4,000+ purchase. Can only ask I guess...

and it'll likely be a waste of time. Store lighting will never help you judge what a panel will look like in your home, add to that the quality of their source, the connection method etc.. It's really not possible to tell what it will be like until you get it home. What you can see in store is other factors. Motion on panning scenes is probably the most relevant. This is why I ended up with the Panny, left the others for dead. Black levels were the second concern. If a panel can't produce black and can't produce smooth motion, nothing you can do at home is going to help you achieve a great pic. If the motion is good and the black is good (and you can only tell by comparing to the other sets nearby under the same conditions), then the rest will come with tweaking at home. If you're asking for the remote for the set your interested in, ask for the remote for 2-3 other major brands as well. Try and tweak them all to setting you like. By the end you'll know whcich one is the set for you.

PI has done a nice job with his settings. I've ended up at roughly the same place after several months of tweaking. The only other thing I have noticed (with 50pv500a), is that the reds seem overdriven. I have lowered red output via the service menu but his does not help achieve the desired result. It adversely affects every other colour. Unfortunately red isn't overdriven, the panel just has a red shift which you can't adjust out via service menu.

The best solution I found was going to the cool setting rather than standard. this lessens the effect of the over-saturated reds. Coupled with the lesser brightness and greater colour control you can get a really sweet image.

I've noticed many people with colour settings in excess of 40. this just is simply too high for me. I find colour between 25-35 is correct for natural skin tones (dependant on the input and source), not forgetting that personal prefference also comes into play. One of the better ways to adjust it is to take all colour out of you image. Adjust the contrast/brightness for detail in "black and white" and then add the colour until the desired saturation levels are reached.

The inputs play a big part as well. I use a HTPC and found that over HDMI I had far less useful control over the blacks/brightness and contrast than I do via analog (VGA). HDMI tented to be too black (if that makes any sense). Over bright whites and over dark darks.

Another major affect on PQ with the PC was the output resolution. Using 720@50p output from the PC resulted in woeful motion judder (possible from the internal scaler). Yesterday I changed to VGA and tweaked the output res to a native 1:1 mapping at 1368x768@60p. The resultant image is breathtaking. HD is so clear I could step into it. I know it's not something you can do without and external scaler but worth a mention given the nature of this thread..

I'm seriously considering seeing a doctor regarding my need to tweak settings :blink:

Cheers,

Arkay.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I'm seriously considering seeing a doctor regarding my need to tweak settings :blink:

Cheers,

Arkay.

lol - I told PI that tweaking is a disease. :P I have come to the painful conclusion that there is NO "perfect" setting because when one setting looks ideal when playing back one DVD, the next DVD looks like crap -despite using the same settings. So there is a natural temptation to tweak. There are way too many parameters affecting the PQ. One thing though, re the HD Pana Viera, if you playback an excellent source - it is unbelievable! Goes to show how many badly mastered DVDs there are out there. What is concerning is that some of the so-called HD DVDs have looked like crap. Bad master = bad PQ. Oh well, back to tweaking some more! :D

cheers,

Silkman

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  • 1 month later...

Hello everyone, this is my first post.

Thanks for this thread; I am finding it very useful, as I bought a new Panasonic TH-42PX600A during the week. Its my first Plasma, so it is all rather new to me - to be honest I am a bit surprised at how sensitive the system is, and how bad it can look depending upon the program source and the settings present in the panel at the time. so many variables! But, I suppose that is the nature of these things.

On the other hand though - Wow - adjusting the settings to PI's recommendations made a great difference for viewing DVDs using my old Yamaha DVD player connected via component. This is the sort of quality I was hoping to be able to achieve with this unit.

It is a bit on and off with DVB broadcasts from the built in tuner though - the quality seems to vary so much - on one supposedly HD source it looks great, but change channel to another HD source and it looks too grainy, or too many artifacts etc.

Anyway, I was wondering how to get the exact setting value adjustments using the menu system. All I see are vague bar graph sliders with no increment numbers - where am I going wrong here? or are the numbers in the settings detailed here just based on an estimate of the position of the control?

That is assuming the 600A has the same menu system as the 60V..

thanks alot again for all of the information here.

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