HD TV / BluRay - what am I missing?

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  • boo 24 Sep 2012 16:53:01 11,604 posts
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    I must be missing something.
    We've got a Panasonic plasma tv - it's about 4 years old, but came plastered with all the 'HD ready' stickers. And last Christmas we bought a Panasonic Bluray/HDD.

    Hooked it up with a decent HDMI cable, put a Bluray disc in, and...

    Colour me underwhelmed.

    I've only got a few Bluray's. Star Wars, and just picked up The Avengers.

    In the shop, Blurays look razor sharp and 10lb of awesome in a 5lb bag.

    On our TV, it just looks like a regular DVD.

    Is there some secret option I should be switching on in the TV settings? Or is Bluray just not all that?

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  • kalel 24 Sep 2012 16:56:07 83,875 posts
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    I'm going for 'your tv is much shitter than the ones you've seen in the shops'.

    Or you may have developed eye aids.

    Or it could be that the ones in the shops all had their settings set to ultra ultra high and then stuck on a Pixar film.
  • Buztafen 24 Sep 2012 16:57:50 15,957 posts
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    What Panasonic TV is it and what model Bluray player? Have you messed around with the settings on your tv? There's a lot of special settings that sound awesome to have turned on which can actually make stuff look worse.

    In what way does it look underwhelming? Colours not popping? Motion too smooth/artificial or not smooth enough? Blacks not deep enough? What are you looking for?
  • neilka 24 Sep 2012 16:59:24 14,942 posts
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    "HD Ready" means it's probably only a 720p TV, while you've been looking at 1080p TVs in the shops.
  • Buztafen 24 Sep 2012 17:02:28 15,957 posts
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    Probably, need the model number to confirm. It may just not be a very good TV as kal said and 720p which means its messing about with the picture squishing it down.

    Edited by Buztafen at 17:02:46 24-09-2012
  • KayJay 24 Sep 2012 17:21:30 5,287 posts
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    Try this...

    AV Forums Picture Perfect Campaign
  • boo 24 Sep 2012 17:24:46 11,604 posts
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    Maybe it's the 720p thing.
    It was a decent TV when we bought it - 2000, and got plenty of good write up's in the AV magazines.

    I'll google it now. It's a Panasonic TH-37PV500B.

    Edited by boo at 17:27:12 24-09-2012

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  • mrpon 24 Sep 2012 17:26:22 27,645 posts
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    37", there's your problem.

    Give yourself 5 or gig, you're worth it.

  • Deleted user 24 September 2012 17:26:30
    Have to say I find the picture quality of blu-rays isnt always much better than DVD a lot of the time. Depends what your watching and how much effort has been made with the transfer.

    The sound however can be awesome and much improved from DVD but you only really reap the benefit of that if you have a surround sound system.
  • kalel 24 Sep 2012 17:31:46 83,875 posts
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    That is a reasonably old TV. I'm guessing it was end-of-line if you picked it up four years ago as that's more like a six or seven year old model.

    It shouldn't be shit, but a six year old 37" 720p plasma is not going to compare to what's around today.
  • boo 24 Sep 2012 17:38:47 11,604 posts
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    Fair enough.
    Cheers for all that. We're planning on moving next spring, and what does a new house need?
    A new TV!

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  • masterson 24 Sep 2012 17:39:15 179 posts
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    1024x720, so not "full fat" 720P and not 16:9 aspect ratio (so rectangular pixels / scalin aplenty). Nothing wrong with all that - I'm sure it's lovely for DVDs etc, but it has about as third as many pixels as the Tellys you'll likely see in stores.
  • Dougs 24 Sep 2012 17:40:09 64,910 posts
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    Sounds like a great excuse for a new telly imo. FWIW, my 5 year old Panny Plasma (TH-37PX80B) still looks great but is starting to show its age a touch
  • KayJay 24 Sep 2012 17:40:14 5,287 posts
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    He should be able to still get a decent picture out of it though.

    Does it have a 1:1 pixel mapping option in the menu?
    It's called "Just Scan" on the Samsungs, something different on LG's and probably something else on the Panny.

    Is the BluRay player trying to pump out to high a resolution? I assume it'll be limited to 720p if that's all the TV can do.

    Although that looks like an unusual horizontal resolution of 1024!?
  • Blakester 24 Sep 2012 17:41:06 3,348 posts
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    In my experience there's a gulf in quality between TV's from 3-4 years ago and the ones in stores today.

    We went from a top of the range Sony Bravia 1080p set, bought in 2008, to last years top of the range Samsung model, and it honestly felt as though we were seeing HD for the first time. The Sony just lacked the sharpness and colour punch of the Samsung, which considering its lack of width is amazing.

    A lot depends on the source material as well. Some Blu-rays have ridiculously poor transfers so are barely an improvement over the DVD. Hugo is a good example of a great live-action transfer.

    When you can't see the angles on the wall you're in trouble.

  • mrpon 24 Sep 2012 17:42:55 27,645 posts
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    Don't you work for JL boo? What's wrong with you man?!

    Give yourself 5 or gig, you're worth it.

  • kalel 24 Sep 2012 17:47:28 83,875 posts
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    Dougs wrote:
    Sounds like a great excuse for a new telly imo. FWIW, my 5 year old Panny Plasma (TH-37PX80B) still looks great but is starting to show its age a touch
    Think my Kuro is just starting to not still be the best TV around now. Too long enough, but my parents just got the very latest top of the range Panny plasma and it does look better, although it's aso fucking massive which probably helps.

    I want OLED to get a fucking move on. It's supposed to be standard tech by now. WTF happened?
  • boo 24 Sep 2012 18:34:40 11,604 posts
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    mrpon wrote:
    Don't you work for JL boo? What's wrong with you man?!
    :o)

    I do!

    So, just for argument's sake, if I happened to be considering a new TV, what do the panel recommend these days?

    LCD, LED, or plasma?

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  • FWB 24 Sep 2012 18:38:28 41,978 posts
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    I know feck all about these TVs but if you do get a proper HD setup it is pretty damn amazing. Amazing I tells ya.

    I have been told two things on a number of occasions... plasma for the best quality, but it really needs to be 42inches or above.


    Ohh and if you watch sports, make sure you check them out on the TV in the shop. You can get some really blurry motion on the cheaper ones.

    Edited by FWB at 18:39:19 24-09-2012
  • Armoured_Bear 24 Sep 2012 18:40:44 8,748 posts
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    The current Panasonic Plasmas are stunning, if you have sensitive ears beware of fan noise though.

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  • FWB 24 Sep 2012 18:43:07 41,978 posts
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    Ohh yes, I have a Panasonic. Can't wait for my course to finish so I can play Borderlands 2 on the baby. I actually have to have it in storage else I'd do even less work than I do now.
  • Dougs 24 Sep 2012 18:44:05 64,910 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    Dougs wrote:
    Sounds like a great excuse for a new telly imo. FWIW, my 5 year old Panny Plasma (TH-37PX80B) still looks great but is starting to show its age a touch
    Think my Kuro is just starting to not still be the best TV around now. Too long enough, but my parents just got the very latest top of the range Panny plasma and it does look better, although it's aso fucking massive which probably helps.

    I want OLED to get a fucking move on. It's supposed to be standard tech by now. WTF happened?
    Production costs still high I think.

    Mine was never top of the range. Just good value at the time. Tried to make a case for a new one, no dice!
  • kalel 24 Sep 2012 18:47:55 83,875 posts
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    It's really more complicated than just choosing between LED, LCD or plasma. Any of those three might be the right choice depending on how you want to use it, and how much you want to spend.
  • grey_matters 24 Sep 2012 18:48:12 3,384 posts
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    boo wrote:
    Fair enough.
    Cheers for all that. We're planning on moving next spring, and what does a new house need?
    A new TV!
    And a new projector! 1080p projector and a bog standard TV is the way of the future (and also the present, and a bit of the past).

    Edit: In fact if your new place doesn't have a decent wall for a projector, you can consider yourself a failure. Sorry.

    Edited by grey_matters at 18:52:42 24-09-2012
  • Dougs 24 Sep 2012 19:39:28 64,910 posts
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    rodpad wrote:
    Already been said, but deary me....1024 x 720

    That's not HD, nor are the pixels square. Awful television.
    All of the earlier Panny Plasma were the same. Mine is, but I don't notice it as it does some clever jiggery pokery behind the scenes. It was far better than others at the time at the same price point, especially the LCDs. Horrific motion blur.
  • Rhythm 25 Sep 2012 08:50:10 2,375 posts
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    1024 x 720 should still look plenty fine, especially on a 37" set, where 1080P is pretty meaningless.

    What distance are you viewing it from, Boo? With a 37" set you need to be closer than about 12 feet if you want to really be able to tell the difference between SD and HD
  • Rhythm 25 Sep 2012 08:51:41 2,375 posts
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    Goodfella wrote:
    @boo

    LED is the way to go.

    If you're on a budget get a plasma. LCD is last resort.
    You do realise that LED is still LCD, yes (so poor motion control and viewing angles abound) and that side-lit LED screens are utter tosh (prime case of style over substance)?
  • UncleLou Moderator 25 Sep 2012 08:59:42 35,172 posts
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    This is almost off-topic at this point, but I have to admit that I usually have trouble spotting a difference between an upscaled DVD and a Blu-ray from my viewing distance on a 42" full HD TV. The difference is crystal clear when I am close (where Blu-rays look razor-sharp, and DVD's look like a mess), but not from 3m away.
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