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MLXXX

Owners' Thread Panasonic Viera Th-p50vt20a

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Bought one from Harris Tech -- last one they had, so got a runout discount. Good news is that its practically silent and works well, and the bad is the limitations of the inbuilt recording functions in the TV. Still, for recording stuff "as you watch it" its great. No loss of quality I can see, so I suspect its recording something like the transport stream.

Was going to order one thru Harris tech but if you got the last one no point. Any one used other HDD successfully?

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Was going to order one thru Harris tech but if you got the last one no point. Any one used other HDD successfully?

I'm using a 2 year old 250gb 2.5" Seagate drive as a PVR drive with no issues. It's powered by the port too.

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There's nothing in that article I find surprising; in fact it is somewhat reassuring that the 2010 sets use a less aggressive ageing adjustment to drive levels than the 2009 Panasonics, that will apparently still ensure reliable firing of the pixels many years into the future. There's a long and detailed thread in the Flat Panel TV Screens > HDTVs part of the forum, Panasonic Plasma Time Bombs?. See for example comments from post #870 onwards.

I haven't seen any posts on AVForum about a cure for the 50Hz television issue I referred to at post #18 (white lines momentarily splitting into different colours in a rapid pan).

Personally I find flicker a pretty significant issue, but I mostly notice it when using my p50vt as a pc monitor, not so much when using it for television or to watch Blu-rays. Cheers.

well finally took a plunge and bought 50VT20A. i loved it at stores but now im blown away by the PQ at home environ. need your advice on the picture setting for break-in period. thanks

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Congrats on your new acquisition.

I am no expert on plasma panel break-in period settings but taking a conservative approach I would avoid the dynamic setting for the viewing mode despite the fact it is the default for showroom display. The screen can get very bright with that setting. I would use normal or cinema or THX.

When using the 3D glasses there is quite a drop in brightness and for my eyes a very slight yellow-green tinting. One option is to reserve "normal" for 3D use and increase the contrast from the default of 50 to say 60. (There's a temptation to use the dynamic setting to get a bright 3D picture especially for sport, but dynamic does tend to squash the brightness detail and lose the shadow detail.)

Alternatively, you could activate advance mode (in previous decades in English this would surely have been described as advanced mode) and then reserve one of the two Professional viewing modes for 3D - a bit of extra contrast and possibly some tweaking of the colour. I haven't bothered to tweak the colour myself.

Edited by MLXXX

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I'm using a 2 year old 250gb 2.5" Seagate drive as a PVR drive with no issues. It's powered by the port too.

Many thanks, will pick something up today.

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Has anyone got into the service menu on a VT20A series? And if so, can the amount of overscan be adjusted?

As you know, the 16:9 overscan setting adds about 2.5% overscan when 'on'. I'd like to reduce that to about 1% which is just sufficient to hide most broadcast nasties and the edges of my component-connected DVR.

Sorry if this is well known -- I did a quick search but was unsure if the results applied to the 2010 models.

Thanks.

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Has anyone got into the service menu on a VT20A series? And if so, can the amount of overscan be adjusted?

As you know, the 16:9 overscan setting adds about 2.5% overscan when 'on'. I'd like to reduce that to about 1% which is just sufficient to hide most broadcast nasties and the edges of my component-connected DVR.

Sorry if this is well known -- I did a quick search but was unsure if the results applied to the 2010 models.

Thanks.

I have been into the service menu, but did not check if you can adjust the overscan. Away from home ATM so can'c check for you. However, while calibrating with my DVE BD, I did notice that my 58VT is spot on to the disc's test pattern overscan. Of course, one think you should remember is that overscan off is the only setting where you get zero scaling of the picture and the correct dot x dot resolution. I have my overscan off for nearly everything and only need to activate it for the occasional side artifacts. C

If component is causing these for you, maybe your best bet would be to invest in another source that does not cause the artifacts???

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Would any one know, or be able to take the TV's (50") measurements for me.

Just its lowest to highest point and its widest to widest point.

Just want to know if I can fit it into my wall unit.

Edited by MdMa

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MdMa, the operating instructions state 1224mm wide, and 810mm high, using the pedestal that comes with the set. A quick check with a metal measuring tape tonight on my own set, perched on its pedestal, confirms these figures. Cheers.

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Would any one know, or be able to take the TV's (50") measurements for me.

Just its lowest to highest point and its widest to widest point.

Just want to know if I can fit it into my wall unit.

The dimensions on the Panasonic website are correct (there are many specs that are wrong, but I have checked the measurements for you):

TH-P50VT20A specifications

You may need the know that the stand (on the 50VT series) is 34 cm in depth in total and the TV sits in the middle of the stand. You also need to know that the TV depth spec includes no connectors but they project (not angled) from a sub-panel that is recessed about 1.5cm into the back panel. The power connector adds a few cm to the depth and is in the centre of the back panel ie not near the AV connectors. In any case you'll need to allow for ventilation which is 10cm from sides and top, and 7cm from the back (according to the TH-P50V20A manual).

Edited by Scott_S

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Excellent guys, much appreciated.

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I am now the proud owner of a 65" VT20A and assuming they are the same as the 50" technically, I wanted to ask anyone who is using an HTPC whether they think the browser window, email window etc are lacking brightness. I have mine set on THX with the colour reduced by 2 clicks. TV, Blu-rays, video clips etc look fantastic, not dull at all. At 100hrs or so I will do the DVE calibration.

Maybe it's just that my previous TV, a Sony SXRD was extremely bright. MLXXX I think you have both sets if I remember correctly.

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I am now the proud owner of a 65" VT20A and assuming they are the same as the 50" technically, I wanted to ask anyone who is using an HTPC whether they think the browser window, email window etc are lacking brightness. I have mine set on THX with the colour reduced by 2 clicks. TV, Blu-rays, video clips etc look fantastic, not dull at all. At 100hrs or so I will do the DVE calibration.

Maybe it's just that my previous TV, a Sony SXRD was extremely bright. MLXXX I think you have both sets if I remember correctly.

Yes I have a 50" VT20A, currently set up on the right hand side of my 60" SXRD. 50" looks much smaller than 60". [Having them side by side gives me web surfing with an extended desktop, web + video, whatever!]

I usually operate my SXRD at a fixed iris (Low) to keep the brightness down, and I too find my VT20A looks quite bright enough used as a pc

monitor with the THX setting. One thing though: I have set the DVI input mode in other settings on the VT20 to "Full" instead of "Normal". With "Normal" I was losing shadow detail and bright whites were getting crushed.

How do you find brightness on your VT20A when 3D mode is activated? I find it drops dramatically with the 50".

Edited by MLXXX

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Yes I have a 50" VT20A, currently set up on the right hand side of my 60" SXRD. 50" looks much smaller than 60". [Having them side by side gives me web surfing with an extended desktop, web + video, whatever!]

I usually operate my SXRD at a fixed iris (Low) to keep the brightness down, and I too find my VT20A looks quite bright enough used as a pc

monitor with the THX setting. One thing though: I have set the DVI input mode in other settings on the VT20 to "Full" instead of "Normal". With "Normal" I was losing shadow detail and bright whites were getting crushed.

How do you find brightness on your VT20A when 3D mode is activated? I find it drops dramatically with the 50".

I used to have the SXRD with the low iris setting but high power as otherwise there was flickering. The desktop was extremely bright. I have all HDMI connection so presumably the DVI setting you mention is not relevant to me.

I am sitting 1m closer than before so am not noticing the disappearance of 5" as much as I expected. I do like not having to wait 30 minutes for the colours to settle.

So far I haven't seen a 3D BD as HN reneged on the deal. So I just ordered Monster House 3D from the UK. Just for curiosity really as I'm not expecting to be excited by 3D.

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I used to have the SXRD with the low iris setting but high power as otherwise there was flickering.
My SXRD shows no flicker for my sensitive to flicker eyes, even at low power, but the magnificent SXRD colour is not quite as satisfying for me at low power. For routine use connected to a PC, I have my SXRD power saving on. This keeps the brightness down to a comfortable level for extended night-time viewing.
I have all HDMI connection so presumably the DVI setting you mention is not relevant to me.

DVI doesn't include audio but I undertand the video uses the same scheme, just a different connector. Blu-ray players output using the video range 16-235 whereas PC video cards will typically use 0 to 255. Could be worth checking whether "DVI Full" gives a better picture on your VT20 for very dark and very brights parts of the picture content coming from a PC.

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My SXRD shows no flicker for my sensitive to flicker eyes, even at low power, but the magnificent SXRD colour is not quite as satisfying for me at low power. For routine use connected to a PC, I have my SXRD power saving on. This keeps the brightness down to a comfortable level for extended night-time viewing.[/color]

DVI doesn't include audio but I undertand the video uses the same scheme, just a different connector. Blu-ray players output using the video range 16-235 whereas PC video cards will typically use 0 to 255. Could be worth checking whether "DVI Full" gives a better picture on your VT20 for very dark and very brights parts of the picture content coming from a PC.

I think the SXRD flickering was due to the lamp nearing the end of its life. Do you think the SXRD colour is better than the Pana? My impression so far is that they are both wonderful but the blacks on the Pana are outstanding. A revelation after the Sony.

I will experiment with the DVI setting, thanks for that. I do have my ATI card set at 0-255 and have adjusted the WMC as well.

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Do you think the SXRD colour is better than the Pana? My impression so far is that they are both wonderful but the blacks on the Pana are outstanding. A revelation after the Sony.

When I first got my 50" VT20 I couldn't help noticing how much deeper the blacks were than with my Sony SXRD.

If I reduce the desktop window size for my 60" SXRD to match the Panasonic 50" screen size I can compare the colour and gamma subjectively. Most of the time, I prefer the SXRD. Although I can notice a blue cast particularly in dark parts of the SXRD picture and although the SXRD picture is slightly softer looking, it seems closer to what I see when I go outside and observe real life.

I have experimented a little with the gamma settings of the Panasonic but for my eyes it still has a dark plasma panel look that emphasises darker parts of a picture. This is what the market must like.

I note that the flicker on your SXRD set occurred with the lamp nearing the end of its useful life. How do you find flicker on your 65" VT20? I purchased my 50" VT20 conscious that flicker could be an issue and I find it definitely is. My SXRD displays a desktop perfectly calm and still. My VT20 produces noticeable flicker (for me and my partner).

Edited by MLXXX

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When I first got my 50" VT20 I couldn't help noticing how much deeper the blacks were than with my Sony SXRD.

If I reduce the desktop window size for my 60" SXRD to match the Panasonic 50" screen size I can compare the colour and gamma subjectively. Most of the time, I prefer the SXRD. Although I can notice a blue cast particularly in dark parts of the SXRD picture and although the SXRD picture is slightly softer looking, it seems closer to what I see when I go outside and observe real life.

I have experimented a little with the gamma settings of the Panasonic but for my eyes it still has a dark plasma panel look that emphasises darker parts of a picture. This is what the market must like.

I note that the flicker on your SXRD set occurred with the lamp nearing the end of its useful life. How do you find flicker on your 65" VT20? I purchased my 50" VT20 conscious that flicker could be an issue and I find it definitely is. My SXRD displays a desktop perfectly calm and still. My VT20 produces noticeable flicker (for me and my partner).

Interesting about the colours. I always thought the SXRD made grass and raw carrots (yes seriously... I watch cooking shows) look artificial, whereas on the Pana they look more realistic. I would love to have the Pana professionally calibrated but as I found with the SXRD people in the country are at a disadvantage.

Regarding flicker with the Pana I have occasionally noticed a "shimmer", not really a flicker, on the white email window but not anywhere else. Definitely no problems on video of any sort, so far. Did I mention I find the Pana seems to be much better with SD material than the Sony was?

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It seems people have very different responses to colour.

Did I mention I find the Pana seems to be much better with SD material than the Sony was?
That's an interesting remark. I find SD disappointing on my SXRD simply because of the inherent lack of intensity and colour resolution of SD. I feed it SD rescaled to 1080p by my HTPC.

Many people have criticized earlier model Panny plasma sets for soft SD performance because of poor rescaling and I have seen a comment that current Sammys beat even current Plasma Pannies in that regard. However, on my 50" VT20, SD has the same sharpness (softness?) on a 576i channel whether through the built-in tuner (i.e. using the Panny's rescaling) or from a 1080p50 desktop (using rescaling by a good quality video card).

Using the built-in tuner, GO! looks fine on my VT20, just a bit soft as it must be with the unusually low resolution transmission format GO! uses. Occasionally I notice that the de-interlacing is not perfect in isolated parts of the picture (comb tooth effect). I have to wonder whether the VT20s have been fully optimised for 50Hz. The de-interlacing should be better.

_____________

My 50" VT20 is currently displaying vertical streaks, which may be retention of the desktop I use (bamboo). I do hope this is just a temporary effect...

Edited by MLXXX

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Hi, I was planning to use an energy saving power board to switch on/off backlights (LED strips). I bought this one from Bunnings:

Jackson Energy Saving Power Board

I used my 50VT20a as the 'master' and connected the LED lights plug pack to the 'slave' socket.

BUT, to my surprise the board never switches off the slave, which according to Jackson means the TV is drawing more than 30W in standby. Even with main power switch on the TV off, the board stays 'on'. Only physically unplugging the TV shuts off the slave.

I've tried the power board on the BDT300 blu-ray player and it worked as expected, although I had to wait a few minutes after the Blu-ray was in stand-by before the slaves dropped off.

The Panasonic specs have two values for standby, 19W and 0.4 W, both well below 30W. But if the board is working as designed, even with the power switch OFF it appears that this TV is drawing more than 30W!

Surely that can't be? I wonder if there's something weird in the TV power supply that's fooling the power board...

BTW I have been in touch with Jackson and they kindly sent me a replacement board (great service) but the result was the same.

I'm now awaiting some cheap IR switched power units to try instead.

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It seems people have very different responses to colour.That's an interesting remark. I find SD disappointing on my SXRD simply because of the inherent lack of intensity and colour resolution of SD. I feed it SD rescaled to 1080p by my HTPC.[/color]

Many people have criticized earlier model Panny plasma sets for soft SD performance because of poor rescaling and I have seen a comment that current Sammys beat even current Plasma Pannies in that regard. However, on my 50" VT20, SD has the same sharpness (softness?) on a 576i channel whether through the built-in tuner (i.e. using the Panny's rescaling) or from a 1080p50 desktop (using rescaling by a good quality video card).

Using the built-in tuner, GO! looks fine on my VT20, just a bit soft as it must be with the unusually low resolution transmission format GO! uses. Occasionally I notice that the de-interlacing is not perfect in isolated parts of the picture (comb tooth effect). I have to wonder whether the VT20s have been fully optimised for 50Hz. The de-interlacing should be better.

_____________

My 50" VT20 is currently displaying vertical streaks, which may be retention of the desktop I use (bamboo). I do hope this is just a temporary effect...

I have my desktop set at 1080p/60hz via the ATI card. The scaling is done by the Pana. And I use the Shark7 codecs which have a function of sharpening Media Center which I find works subtly but effectively. It also sets MC at 0-255.

I haven't even tuned the built-in tuner so I can't compare the two at the moment.

Regarding the DVI setting mentioned earlier, I can find no such setting and am assuming that since I am HDMI all the way the function disappears. Unless I am missing something.

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Regarding the DVI setting mentioned earlier, I can find no such setting and am assuming that since I am HDMI all the way the function disappears. Unless I am missing something.

Sorry, you are right.

Yesterday I updated my old HTPC to an ATI card with DVI and HDMI outputs and as chance would have it connected the Panny HDMI input via HDMI cable and an adaptor to the ATI card's DVI connection. (I connected my SXRD via HDMI cable to the ATI card's HDMI output). A moment ago I swapped the connections around so the Panny set got HDMI "all the way", and now the DVI input range option no longer appears in the Panny options menu.

I have my desktop set at 1080p/60hz via the ATI card. The scaling is done by the Pana.

I don't understand. If the pc desktop is 1080p and the Panny is native 1080p the only scaling the Panny might need to do would be for overscan.

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Sorry, you are right.

Yesterday I updated my old HTPC to an ATI card with DVI and HDMI outputs and as chance would have it connected the Panny HDMI input via HDMI cable and an adaptor to the ATI card's DVI connection. (I connected my SXRD via HDMI cable to the ATI card's HDMI output). A moment ago I swapped the connections around so the Panny set got HDMI "all the way", and now the DVI input range option no longer appears in the Panny options menu.

I don't understand. If the pc desktop is 1080p and the Panny is native 1080p the only scaling the Panny might need to do would be for overscan.

Doesn't SD material have to be upscaled? I have overscan turned off in both ATI and the Panny. Are you playing BDs from the HTPC? And then bitstreaming HD audio via the ATI card? Which ATI drivers are you using? I'm still on 10.8 but wondering whether to go to 10.10.

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Doesn't SD material have to be upscaled? I have overscan turned off in both ATI and the Panny.

Partial and maximised windows on a pc desktop use the same refresh rate and pixel architecture as the desktop.

So Australian FTA interlaced SD run in a maximised media centre window on a pc operating a 1920x1080p60 destop will be:

1. deinterlaced by the pc (possibly using its graphics card)

2. upscaled to 1920x1080p60

There is a mismatch at 2 above between the frame rate of the 50Hz FTA and the frame rate of the desktop. It is usual in these circumstances for horizontally scrolling news flashes to be a little jerky.

In your case where the Pana uses no overscan, it will not need to rescale the 1920x1080p60 it receives from the pc.

Are you playing BDs from the HTPC? And then bitstreaming HD audio via the ATI card? Which ATI drivers are you using? I'm still on 10.8 but wondering whether to go to 10.10.

Am still using the motherboard high definition sound chip to run 5.1 analogue to the AVR. Can play BDs this way using TotalMedia Theatre (my HTPC runs Vista). The purchase of an AVR with HDMI inputs lies ahead. May be a complex decision!

You may get smoother scrolling credits for BDs if you run your desktop at 24Hz.

Can't help re the situation with bitstreaming drivers. That query may possibly fit into some existing thread in Digital TV Tuner Cards & Network Media Players.

Edited by MLXXX

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