120/240 Hz LCD Problems Exposed

November 5th, 2009 · 31 Comments · Blu-ray Players, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, Product Reviews, Reference Materials

By HD Guru
Video Edited by Al Caudullo/Article Edited by Michael Fremer

All display technologies combine a variety of strengths and weaknesses. Whether its excess power consumption, limited viewing angle or washed out black levels, over time, engineers work to address the weaknesses while reinforcing the strengths. For example, liquid crystal displays once suffered from blurring when reproducing rapidly moving objects or people. The problem seemed inherent to the technology.

Tests conducted by HD GURU demonstrated how, in the presence of motion, 1080 lines of resolution (per frame height) dropped to 320 lines or less on displays featuring 60 Hz refresh rates, which was long the standard.

By speeding up the refresh rate from 60 Hz to either 120 Hz or 240 Hz, set makers reduced or virtually eliminated motion blur. LCD set manufacturers accomplished this using a new circuit called ME/MC (motion estimation/motion compensation) that activates when the display kicks up the refresh rate to 120 or 240 Hz.

Few technological improvements come without associated costs and as new 120/240Hz LCDs appeared, many reviewers complained that while the activation of the ME/MC circuit effectively reduced motion blur, it was accompanied by noticeable image degradation that made movies appear like videos, caused in part by a diminution or elimination of film grain. Reviewers invented colorful descriptors like “soap opera effect” or “video effect” to describe what they saw.

Using test patterns on a new test disc that can, for the first time, clearly demonstrate the ME/MC circuit’s image degradation, the HD Guru tested five leading LCD HDTV brands (Vizio, Samsung, Sony, Sharp and LG). Each manufacturer employs a trademarked name such as Motion Flo (Sony) and Auto Motion Plus (Samsung) for its respective ME/ME processing circuit.

The test disc is the Spears & Munsil Blu-ray . The “moving wedge” test pattern, recorded at 1080p/24 Hz and played back via a Blu-ray player, consists of a vertical and horizontal wedge pattern made up of slightly converging alternating black and white lines. We tested ten models from the five brands, first shutting off the ME/MC circuit while playing the content at 60 Hz and again after engaging the circuit.

We also tested a pair of plasma sets: Pioneer’s Elite Kuro (PRO-141FD) and Panasonic’s TC-P54Z1, engaging the 60 Hz and 72 Hz modes on the Pioneer as well as the 60 Hz and 96 Hz modes on the Panasonic. Regardless of setting, neither produced the picture degrading artifacts seen on all of the 120/240Hz LCDs with ME/MC engaged. See the Panasonic’s image on the accompanying video.

What We See

Minimal amounts of moire should appear on the moving Wedge Patterns, with the individual black and white lines viewable from one end of the wedge to the other. Some displays did a better job than others (with the ME/MC circuit “Off”) due to signal processing and the given display’s bandwidth. Activating the ME/MC circuit created some nasty artifacts. The wedge distorted, showing flashing blobs that momentarily obliterated the black and white lines as the wedge moved up and down or right and left. This translates to a loss of fine detail such as film grain and overall image alteration.

Why This Occurs

Why does ME/MC produce these deleterious results? Using movie content, for example, the circuit takes the actual film frames that occur 24 times per second and creates synthesized artificial frames between the real ones. The ME/MC chip guesses and reproduces what the created frames should look like. Unfortunately, sometimes the circuit guesses wrong and mis-interpolates the motion present.

In addition, it appears that none of the ME/MC chips available to set makers are capable of processing all of the data within the original film frames needed to produce artifact-free synthesized ones. Therefore, to achieve image consistency, the LCD panel must degrade the actual frame’s image quality to match that of the synthesized frame, which is why the test pattern shows the degradation.

ME/MC Benefits

Artifacts aside, 120 Hz and 240 Hz LCDs produce noticeably smoother motion than do 60Hz sets, or plasma displays for that matter. You will easily notice the smoother wedge movement. Some LCD set owners consider the loss of fine detail a worthwhile tradeoff to get the ME/MC circuit’s smooth presentation.

Alternatives

Currently, prospective flat screen buyers have two alternatives. If LCD is your preference but you wish to avoid the ME/MC circuit’s artifacts, most LCD sets offer a turn off option. The trade-off is lower motion resolution. If you want a feature like LED edge or back lighting, 120 Hz or higher is your only choice as these features are only present on the higher refresh rate sets.The second alternative is to opt for a plasma set. The Panasonic G, V and Z models tested by HD GURU all reproduce full motion resolution HD without the use of artifact-producing ME/MC circuits.

A Final Note

We made the video contained within this article on a Kodak Zx1 at 720p/60 resolution. The footage was edited and uploaded to the servers. Due to limitations of the camera, the need for compression and the upload/download process, the images seen should be taken as a demonstration of the presence (or lack) of image artifacts and not as an exact reproduction of what would be observed in person. We invite and encourage readers to obtain a copy of the Spears & Munsil test disc and perform these tests on your own display or one that you are contemplating purchasing at a willing local retailer.

Have a question for the HD Guru? HD GURU|Email

Copyright ©2009 HD Guru Inc. All rights reserved. HDGURU is a registered trademark. The content and photos within may not be distributed electronically or copied mechanically without specific written permission. The content within is based upon information provided to the editor, which is believed to be reliable. Data within is subject to change. HD GURU is not responsible for errors or omissions

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31 Comments so far ↓

  • led

    Mе hа agгadаdo bаѕtаnte esta paginа
    que titulas 120/240 Hz LCD Ρгоblems Εxρoѕeԁ |
    HD Guгu .

  • Hal

    I have been fighting signal variation ranging over 95% with occasional drops to 15% and loss of picture
    Antenna year old Winegard 7xxx, new RG6 cable, CM7777 booster, Pan TC-L42U30. About 42 air miles fro, Milwaukees transmitters, antenna about 30/ off ground on rooftop, metal roof. There is a county law center 2 miles away, about 4 microwave radio towers all about 6 miles away.

    Is this what we have to put up with with Digital?

    We had a Samsung set that generally dud better than the Pan, but received less channels on an LG
    (the LG trial did not have best antenna orientation. There is also pixelation (blocks) sometimes. Had one of thee affected channels RF 18 go bad today drop to 15%. All connections have been checked.

    Who is this digital switch supposed to help?

  • Pavel

    Of course there is a difference, that’s the whole point. The 120/240 Hz technologies are SUPPOSED to do what you call “soap opera effect”. Actually is there is no “video effect”, only “film effect”. “Video effect” is simply a lack of “film efect”. While video is in general worse than film, it’s superior in representing motion. That’s why film upconverted to 120Hz looks more like video. The reason why some people recognize the lack of film effect as a flaw is that they believe it’s supposed to be there.

  • jigolo

    This seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? Most LCD screen technologies are slower to respond than plasma screens, hence the visible difference in this regard. Digital television -could- have gone to a higher frame rate at standard pre-digital TV resolution, and I suspect it would produce pleasing results. (Think of super slow-motion playback of football plays, and then speed it back up to real time.)

  • danny

    which is better a 1080 120 or a 1080 240. is there thta much differnce and should you buy lcd or led.

  • travesti

    I really don’t care what Tech my TV is built on, I have one requirement. This comes from my Audio Background and researching speakers…
    For Recording audio, you want Full Range, Flat Response. Meaning the speakers have the full range capability of the expected input, and they do not affect the signal.

  • Steve Mullen

    A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT TOPIC:
    From reading past HD GURU articles, I understand that the nature of an HDTV’s deinterlacer determines whether, each 1/60th second, 540-lines or 1080-lines are sent to a plasma, LCD, or DLP panel.

    But, I’ve not read any explanation of WHY all the 60Hz LCDs HD GURU has tested, the following HD GURU finding is true: “Tests conducted by HD GURU demonstrated how, in the presence of motion, 1080-lines of resolution (per frame height) dropped to 320-lines or less on displays featuring 60Hz refresh rates, which was long the standard.”

    1) Why do 60Hz LCD panels display half of what would be “expected.”

    a) Expensive LCDs with, I assume, a good deinterlacer: 50% of 1080-lines measure about 660-lines.

    b) Cheap LCDs with, I assume, a poor deinterlacer: 50% of 540-lines measure about 330-lines.

    HD GURU has also reported a Samsung LED-based HDTV, when ME/MC (motion estimation/motion compensation) is turned-off — measured resolution drops back to about 660-lines.

    AS SOMEONE POSTED: “turning on AMP things change, but for me, and for everyone who had see HD content in my set, everyone can tell that image detail had improved greatly, i cannot see any image degradation at all, only when I turn AMP off picture looks worse, and I´m only talking about detail.”

    This would seem to indicate that there is “something” about LCD panels that allows only half of the lines sent from the deinterlacer to actually be displayed EACH time the panel is refreshed. I’ve studied LCD technology and I can’t find anything that would explain how each refresh (1/60th second) of an LCD panel would display half of what a plasma or DLP can display each refresh. (This would imply an inherent problem with LCD technology.)

    HD GURU further states: “By speeding up the refresh rate from 60Hz to either 120Hz or 240Hz, set makers reduced or virtually eliminated motion blur.”

    It seems everyone claim it’s the 2X/4X/8X rate that reduces motion blur — assuming motion blur from LCDs is “real,” if I believe it is the ability of LEDs to quickly turn-on and turn-off that really reduces motion blur. (This Dynamic LED mode is separate from ME/MC on/off in the Samsung.) The brief “on” time mimics the behavior of plasma displays.

    In fact, a 120Hz refresh-rate is dependent on the panel having a fast 8ms update time which ITSELF minimizes motion blur. (Panels that run at 480Hz have a 2ms update time which is near plasma times.)

    If I’m correct on both points, the real function of the interpolated frames is to increase average brightness since brief “on” times would cause these HDTVs to look too dim. In short, the marketing is backwards: high-refresh rates compensate for the actual motion blur reduction technologies.

    2) Many folks are upset about how 120Hz “destroys” the look of film. First, as I understand it, there are several ways 24p is converted to 120Hz; some HDTVs keep 2-3 pulldown (60Hz with pulldown) is doubled to 120Hz — while other HDTVs repeat each film frame 5-times. (Only the latter eliminates the undesired look of pulldown. This distinction seems to be lost in most of these discussions!)

    Unfortunately, in my opinion, the very high 120Hz refresh-rate — verses film’s 48Hz — does create a “video” look. (Which is why 100Hz PAL TVs make film look like a bit like video.)

    The solution would seem to be to turn-off ME/MC when watching 24p film or video. (The video will, of course, still contain pull-down.) However, from reading the HD GURU tests, as soon as an HDTV is switched 60Hz — resolution under motion drops in half which is definitely not what is wanted. Which brings us back to the first question. What is it about LCD displays that prevents displaying 1080-lines when running at 60Hz?

    There are two other questions:

    The real solution to good looking film presentation is to operate an LCD at 72Hz because it would allow pulldown to be removed and yet have a refresh rate that mimics a three-bladed film projector shutter. This would NOT require an interpolator as each frame would simply be repeated twice — after the first presentation. Which in turn would eliminate ME/MC artifacts.

    5) Are there any LCD HDTVs that offer 72Hz for 24p and 120Hz for 30p and 60i? (There is at least one plasma that does this.)

    If, for some reason, 1080-line LCDs panels can only present half a 1080-line frame, then it would imply 96Hz might be needed so there would be three repeats — after the first presentation. Unfortunately, 96Hz is really too high — which means the best solution is to get LCD panels to display 1080-lines on EACH update.

    The Samsung interpolator must be able to generate 1080-lines to match the real frame on either side. Yet HD GURU reports, “In addition, it appears that none of the ME/MC chips available to set makers are capable of processing all of the data within the original film frames needed to produce artifact-free synthesized ones. Therefore, to achieve image consistency, the LCD panel must degrade the actual frame’s image quality to match that of the synthesized frame, which is why the test pattern shows the degradation.” This would imply that at 120Hz HDTVs should show less resolution at 120Hz than at 60Hz.

    6) Is HD GURU saying that the interpolator generates 1080-lines, but each frame is full of artifacts? Or, is HD GURU claiming the interpolated frame has lower resolution — which conflicts with the measurement of nearly 1080-lines from the Samsung.

    PS1: Of course, for those who think 24p is “old-fashioned” ME/MC will be seen as an advantage. But as long as films are being made at 24fps I’m not interested in trying to “fix” an industry problem in my HDTV.

    PS2: “If the source material was recorded on film, the frame rate is 24fps. If it’s from videotape or a video camera, the frame rate is 30fps.” Simply not true. HD VIDEO is often 24p and interlaced video has a FIELD rate of 50 or 60. This is why 50i and 60i are so smooth. Motion blur is a function of shutter-speed which can, and often is, set independently of frame-rate.

  • realist

    plasmas and LCDs both look great to me in dark rooms. LCDs look great to me in brighter rooms. I was indifferent until I compared 45 pounds of plastic LCD vs. 100 pounds of glass plasma in the earthquake-prone zone I live in. LCD won. no regrets.

  • Richard Milward

    If the source material was recorded on film, the frame rate is 24fps. If it’s from videotape or a video camera, the frame rate is 30fps. At either rate, motion blur will be apparent. If the source has a higher frame rate (like a videogame through a good display card in a PC), and if the monitor can handle that rate, there will be less motion blur. This seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? Most LCD screen technologies are slower to respond than plasma screens, hence the visible difference in this regard. Digital television -could- have gone to a higher frame rate at standard pre-digital TV resolution, and I suspect it would produce pleasing results. (Think of super slow-motion playback of football plays, and then speed it back up to real time.)

  • Michael Norris

    I have the Panasonic TC-P54V10 and am very happy
    with it. I went into the menu where its supposed to say 96hz and it doesn’t. I phoned the store where
    I bought my machine and they said it would be running
    at 96hz. I believe I have a choice of 48, 60 or 96 hz. I have a TV savy friend and he assures me that it
    should be running at 96hz. I don’t know why I can’t go into the menu and see 96hz where the hz ratios
    are put??
    Can you suggest a way of making sure it’s running
    at 96 hz?? Michael

  • su

    I sure could use some help. I am trying to make my final decesion on my tv purchase. This has been months coming. I have it downt he the Panasonic Plasma TCP50G15 and the sharp LED 700u series. I just can not committ to the final decesion. Which is the best picture and sound. Also I do not want a glossy screem due to windows in the room. Would appreciate any help in makeing this final decesion.
    Confused. Su

  • Online Full Free

    @Oat07

    What good are the black levels on LCD/LED TVs when they *always* have screen uniformity issues? Plasma displays black, just black without any clouds or flashlights. Dark scenes on LCD/LED TVs are just distracting, period.

  • Jigolo

    Funny how @ full motion you can only really enjoy a bluray on a plasma … but Sony only sells LCDs.
    Hurry Up OLED!

  • annonoi

    @Oat07

    What good are the black levels on LCD/LED TVs when they *always* have screen uniformity issues? Plasma displays black, just black without any clouds or flashlights. Dark scenes on LCD/LED TVs are just distracting, period.

  • patsim

    Hi!

    When I go through the shopping stores looking at LCD/Plasma TVs, I allways wander why is it that TV manufacturers insist in “motion estimation”, “motion compensation” and “image improvement filters”… and would like to sugest another path to get the best image in your TV products!

    In my opinion, poor image quality (artifacts and bluring) only appears when viewing analog tv signals, compared to the same signal whatched on a CRT TV; or when viewing digital video that was improperly converted from its analog source.

    I think that ME/MC (motion estimation/motion compensation) and other “image improvment filters” almost allways degrade the image instead of improving image, because ME/MC/”image
    improvement” seems to take place on improperly deinterlaced video and/or improperly converted video/film to digital from its analoge video source, and therefore these methods
    will add noise to the original image witch will result in image artifacts and/or bluring.

    To get the best image, LCD/Plasma TV manufacturers should concentrate their effords on good analog to digital tv signal convertion and proper deinterlacing methods (see http://www.100fps.com/).

    Things like 24p should be adressed only when converting film from tape to digital format, TVs shoudn’t do anything about 24p.
    When converting TV video signal to digital, proper resolution should be adopted according to its analog source characteristics…

    “All analogue sources output 576 active lines per frame (PAL) or 480 active lines per frame (NTSC). Capture devices process line by line into pixels, so one line becomes one row of pixels. Because of this, only two vertical sizes are suitable for capturing: full and half: 576 and 288 (PAL) or 480 and 240 (NTSC). Any other size will cause the device to cap all lines anyway and resize them afterwards. Since vertical resizing by capping devices in general gives very ugly results you should not do this. When you cap at half vertical size, capping devices just discard every second field. (Note: the official NTSC vertical resolution is 486, but all capture devices crop this to 480 lines.)”
    -in guides from http://www.doom9.org (see http://www.doom9.org/capture/introduction.html)

    So to convert analog TV signal to digital and mantain its original 4:3 aspect ratio, the folowing resolutions shoud be adopted:
    PAL: 768×576
    NTSC: 640×480
    it should be properly deinterlaced (see http://www.100fps.com/) and only than should it be rescaled to the LCD/Plasma native resolution.

    Hoping to see LCD/Plasma TVs with better image quality in the future,
    Best Regards

  • patsim

    In my opinion ME/MC (motion estimation/motion compensation) and other “image improvment filters” almost allways degrade the image instead of improving the image, because ME/MC/”image improvement” seems to take place on improperly deinterlaced video and/or improperly converted to digital from its analoge video source and therefore these methods will add noise to the original image witch will result in image artifacts and/or bluring.
    Poor image quality only appears when viewing analog tv signals, compared to the same signal whatched on a CRT TV; or when viewing digital video that was improperly converted from their analog source.
    To get the best image, LCD/Plasma TV manufacturers should concentrate their effords on good analog to digital tv signal convertion and proper deinterlacing methods (see http://www.100fps.com/).
    Things like 24p should be adressed only when converting film from tape to digital format, TVs shoudn’t do anything about 24p.

  • Jigolo

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the $115 Kodak Zx1 has more aliasing and moire than all of these sets put together. Why don’t you run a motion resolution test on that camera, I think you will be disappointed. Showing any movies from such a low quality source only weakens your point.

  • Bob

    Motion Estimation and Compensation?!?! No thanks, I want my TV to display the SOURCE ONLY! All LCD introduce artifacts and modify the source in order to try and produce an HD Signal under motion.

    I really don’t care what Tech my TV is built on, I have one requirement. This comes from my Audio Background and researching speakers…
    For Recording audio, you want Full Range, Flat Response. Meaning the speakers have the full range capability of the expected input, and they do not affect the signal.

    Now apply this to TVs… I wanted Full Range (1080 Under full motion) and Flat Response.(No Signal Processing Artifacts)

    To achieve this on an LCD, i have to turn ME/MC off. Even the best 240, will produce 320lines without special processing!
    That isn’t full range at all… 320/1080 lines is
    less than 30% of the input signal.

    Most people are used to this(320 lines) and won’t noticed… By 4 me, like Steven above, I can see the blur on the best 120/240 screens. Right next to any Pany Plasma your eyes will notice. And no it isn’t the source.

    I just want my TV do display all the signal from my source without modifying it. With ME/MC off, no LCD is even an HDTV under full motion!

    Funny how @ full motion you can only really enjoy a bluray on a plasma … but Sony only sells LCDs.
    Hurry Up OLED!

  • Steven

    Interesting. I can see motion blur on LCDs. Even high-end LCDs with 120 settings on and off there is a blur there that isn’t on plasmas displaying the same material.

    Most reviewers of TVs don’t take room lighting into consideration because they assume people who are caring about video performance care enough to dim their lights when watching movies.

  • Oat07

    @Miguel Pereira
    I totally agree with you. The HD spec should have included room for higher frame rates. This would have at least given studios the option.

    @Plasma vs Samsung
    This is exactly what I am complaining about. The specs for most LCD panels are distorted and dishonest, but so are plasma specs (600hz sub fields). Plasma tech has its own set of problem, but most plasma fans ignore this. Image retention, high power use and poor bright lit room performance are the main ones that are missed. Also, people should really stop mentioning black levels when LED LCDs are concerned. The blacks on these display rival the Panasonic plasma (read cnet review of LG LH90 and Samsung LED LCD).

    When I was shopping for a new TV, I thought plasma was the display for all people no matter what your room conditions were or setup. According to most plasma fans, LCDs are just garbage and plasmas can do no wrong. I say they are behind on the times and have missed out on advances in display tech. Even ISF calibrators are surprised and impressed by how well newer mid/high level LCD perform and its only going to get better.

    My advice to the consumer is please give each tech a shot and decide for yourself. Get a list together of the pros and cons of each tech and audition them in your home. This will allow you to decide if you can live with the shortcomings of each tech. Cnet and PCmag offer pretty fair and balanced reviews of displays. Cnet is especially good because they compare the competing displays and technologies. HDGuru on the other hand, appears to hate LCD panels and often post articles like the one above. I wished they would at least give the same attention to plasma problems so that the average consumer can form an honest opinion.

  • Noirist

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the $115 Kodak Zx1 has more aliasing and moire than all of these sets put together. Why don’t you run a motion resolution test on that camera, I think you will be disappointed. Showing any movies from such a low quality source only weakens your point.

  • Miguel Pereira

    I have a samsung 46A756, so, it´s a 120Hz set, I have to disagree with mose things, 120Hz and Auto Motion Plus are two diferent thing, we can play a 24p film in a 120Hz set without turning on AMP, them, each frame of film should be repeated 5 times per cicle (5×24=120) to mach refresh rate of tv, this dosen´t distort picture quality or fine detail comparing this 120Hz set to an 60Hz one, turnig on AMP things change, but for me, and for everyone who had see HD content in my set, everyone can tell that image detail had improved greatly, i canot see any image degradation at all, only whem I turn AMP of picture look worst, and I´m only talking about detail, not motion, of course, motion is the reason for what AMP was created, and it does a really great job. AMP is not perfect, far from it, some times it messed up, others can´t hold steady, but advantages are greater that problems, a more powerfull, dedicated processor should be used for this funtion only, to try overcome his disavantages, but what really should change is how films are made, I hate 24P, why still filming 24 fps? now movie industry, using digital cameras don´t have to worry about const of film, information can be stored in HD no need to keept at minimun frames shooted per second, don´t tell me that it losses the feeling of the movie, them to keep the feeling movies should be black and white too. thins evolve, framerate of movies should evolve too. these thays we are looking films like transformes 2 with hiper realistic CG effects presented in a slideshow like sttutering 24fps, why? what´s the point? this is why tv manufatures have to come out with these motion compensation things, and don´t think they only exist for compensate LCDs lack of motion resolution, Plasmas has motion compensation too, even projectors. I´m not 100% happy whit AMP, it have flaws, but, for now it is the only way to solve the big flaw of all the movies. Sorry for my english =p

  • Parched

    As 24pfser says, turn off the MC/ME but enable the 5:5 pull down. Looks just like the theater. In fact I love the fact I can pick out individual frames (when you pan you get the same judder you get in the theater). To me, that is the biggest improvement when I went to a 120hz set. Closer to theater experience. A 60hz tv you just get a wierd 2-3 pulldown effect. 120 and 240 give you film effect.

  • 24fpser

    Let us not forget the main reason for 120hz.. because 60fps and 24fps go into it evenly. 60fps is 2:2 and 24fps is 5:5. 240hz TV sets allow for the screen to refresh twice as fast *But* it wont change the fact that it still allows perfect 24fps (now 10:10 cadence).

    Turn ME/MC off.. done. The simple solution to this is to turn ME/MC off.. end of discussion.

  • Plasma vs Samsung

    LED, LCD, Plasma, 120hz, 240hz, 600hz,1080p, 720p Dynamic contrast, native contrast, panel life, lamp life, viewing angle, color spectrum, response time, billions of colors vs millions… A LOT to know! Don’t forget BFI or interpolation lol.

    LCDs are brighter and tends to attract the average person to the LCD, but LCD does not mean better. Especially with all the over hype specs! 240hz come on.. Why would you enable 240hz (or 240 frames when watching a blu-ray movie) 24hz or frames is the right way to watch it, and plus you won’t feel so sick! Do you really get blur with a blu-ray player? If you are your probally using composite cables and have no idea what a hdmi cord is nor are you set at a 720p or 1080p signal.

    Don’t pass on a good plasma like a Panasonic. Price is right, (cheaper than low end Vizio’s) Specs that can’t be matched and you can actually witness.

    600hz subfield processing (they do not change the frame rate like LCD!) you acutually get a true smooth image without the unrealistic movement like 120 hz or 240hz. Did someone trick you and sell you a 120hz set that uses BFI! LOL sucker!

    100,000 hour panel life rating compared to most lcds at a 50,000 hour lamp life. (hmm will last twice as long, like my basement tube t.v. that is 35 years old)

    Super high contrast, blacks are black, defined not grey or pixelated. Infinite Dynamic contrast super high native. If you don’t know the difference look it up, don’t get fooled by LCD’s tricking you with Dynamic know your Native.

    Plasmas like Panasonic can display Billions of colors compared to millions of colors like a Vizio lcd. Yes a lcd looks brighter and makes green almost neon super green, but I would rather settle for color accuarcy and go with a t.v. that displays the true color of grass.

    Plasmas like Panasonic have a better view angle, you do not loose color and contrast like you would with a Vizio when viewing from a angle. Consider this does everyone watching tv in your familyroom are viewing the screen straight on? Probally not, get a tv with a glass panel or a Samsung LCD that has a ultra clear panel for a better viewing angle. Worried about glare? Thats not so much an issue anymore with anti-glare coatings on plasmas displays. You will get less glare on a plasma compared to any tube t.v. Why would one shine a light on any tv. If you shine a light directly on a LCD do you know what happens? Try it… I would go for little glare than having light or reflection shine on a lcd screen.

    Now there are some really nice LCDs like Samsung but don’t rule out a good Plasma that won’t break the bank.

    42″ 720p Panasonic Plasma retails for about $550 compared to a crap 42″ 1080p 240hz Vizio at $900. Are you really gonna argue now about it only being a 720p set? IT’s a 42″ you do not need a 1080p set at that size unless your tv is being used as a computer monitor for the majority of the time. THERE ARE BETTER 60HZ 720P LCDS STILL ON THE MARKET COMPARED TO SOME JUNK 240HZ 1080P VIZIOS. Don’t beleive me, have someone set up a test for you. Without you knowing have them put a 720p set next to a 1080p set of the same brand and size, infact use a Vizio for this test, you will not see a difference in detail (which resolution is).

    Hey don’t forget Plasma’s perform better is standard def compared to a LCD. Not everything you watch is in HD and most people are to cheap to pay for a HD package. Why bother to get a HD tv anyways, tube tv’s still look better than LCD’s when watching in STANDARD def (480i)

    “But Plamas use more energy” shut up. I will send you that nickel you would save for using your LCD. Infact ofset that cost and unplug your toaster you cheap SOB!

  • etype2

    Adam:
    Yes. Mid to high end LCD’s including 2 plasmas and a Sony studio monitor CRT.

    The complete test link: http://www.displaymate.com/LCD_Response_Time_ShootOut.htm

    The author of this test is not a marketing guy. He is a research scientist with a career that spans physics, computer science, and television system design. Dr. Soneira obtained his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Princeton University, spent 5 years as a Long-Term Member of the world famous Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, another 5 years as a Principal Investigator in the Computer Systems Research Laboratory at AT&T Bell Laboratories, and has also designed, tested, and installed color television broadcast equipment for the CBS Television Network Engineering and Development Department. He has authored over 35 research articles in scientific journals in physics and computer science, including Scientific American.

  • Wes Sokolosky

    This effect, making film based material look like video based material is very real, and easily observable when comparing the same material on mid-high end lcds and on any level plasma. The plasmas simply look like a film source; the lcds like a video source. Try this a your local BB. It is not subtle.

    Coming from a DLP rear projector, I can certainly tolerate some loss of motion resolution if necessary, but I do want film to look like film.

    Wes

  • Bob

    I can’t believe people claim they can’t see motion blur on say a 65″ Aquos. These are nice TVs, but the blur is bad… I watched a hockey clip at BB with an 120 Aquos next to a Panasonic G10.

    I thought 120htz LCD were good enough not to notice much difference next to a plasma, but the sticks blurred like mad and the puck really streaked when I saw a hockey clip at BB. No only that, the motion was distracting on the Aquos vs the G10.

    The signal wasn’t the greatest, but the blur was obvious and a could see more of the compression on the plasma, as the image is sharper. This would push most to the LCDs, because it “looks better” as the compression is smoothed by the blur.

    Don’t get me wrong, the Aquos looked great, almost better when the scenes were slow… but at full motion, especially with Hockey (fast black on white) its really bad. I was with a buddy that loves LCDs and he was blown away awsell. It’s only when you see it side by side that you can really notice it.

    Don’t let the marketing/sales guys fool you, plasma’s are the only HDTV. The 20 year old CRT that I just gave away can do 320 lines!

  • Adam

    Were they using mid-to-high end sets? I can see blur on some sets in stores. It gets ridiculous on some cheap sets. On displaymate’s side, sometimes I have to do something I’d normally never do to see it and it’s certainly not on a high-end set like a 65″ Aquos.

  • Oat07

    I agree with the original poster, but I have a different problem. Why is it that no sites post info like this for plasmas? For example, I considered plasmas before purchasing my LG LED LCD, but I could not get past how the image would wash out in well lit rooms. For some reason the media is so in love with plasma that I cannot find honest answers to some of my problems with the technology. No one is during lighting test to see at which light level the image on some (not all) plasmas degrade. LCD reviews on the other hand always have the degrees of picture degradation when viewed off angle. This is just wrong. If you read most plasma reviews you would think that all plasmas, no matter how cheap they are, will beat every LCD on the market.

    If you don’t take the time to evaluate both technologies yourself, you will be selling yourself short. I currently prefer LCD technology because I can view it under all lighting conditions and local dimming gives me blacks that are better than all but the top tear plasmas.

  • etype2

    It appears that motion enhancing systems degrade the image instead of improving the image. In a simple test like this one, it is easy for the eye to pick up the distortion.

    In my last comment elsewhere on your site, I provided a link in which a extensive, scientific, controlled test was run over months where dozens of professionals, jounalists,videophiles, etc; were invited to give their opinions.

    It turns out that with complex live or recorded video, the human brain can not process motion blur. In fact, when there was motion blur, it turned to be from the source and not the display.

    I hope this small potion will be acceptable from the test…

    ” The conclusions from everyone that participated in the Shoot-Out were consistent across the board and will likely surprise most consumers: there was essentially no visually detectable motion blur on any of the LCD HDTVs in all of the extensive live video content that we assembled. When people thought they saw motion blur, with only a handful of minor exceptions, the blur was either in the source video or a temporary visual illusion that disappeared when the segments in question were reviewed. Unlike the moving test patterns and moving photographs, the eye is unable to detect the blur in live video because the images are much more dynamic and complex, and undoubtedly because of the way the brain processes and extracts essential information from visual images. The results were identical for all of the LCD HDTVs, regardless of whether they had 60 or 120 Hz refresh rates, strobed LED backlighting, or advanced motion enhancement processing. ”

    This conclusion supports what I have been commenting in your column over the past 4 years, I simply can not see motion blur on my calibrated Sharp 65 inch Aquos LCD. It dose not have the motion enhancing circuit. I became fustrated when I read all this talk about motion blur. Where is the beef? I have been around the block a few times having owned at one time or another the various display devices, beginning in the early 60′s.

    I suppose it is there, if you freeze a frame of live video, it will be there, but I can’t decern it nor could the professionals see it during live video in the test. If this still bothers you that it is there but you can’t see it, then get a plasma.

    The full test can be found in the link at the bottom of the comments in your last column.

    Thank you.

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