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Old 25-12-2009, 06:25 PM   #31
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LCD & Plasma FAQs

http://www.hdtv.ca/plasma_lcd_projector/index.php
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Old 30-12-2009, 11:31 AM   #32
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Calibration:

http://www.youtube.com/v/D-l1AFroyO4...&fs=1&border=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="445" height="364"></embed></object>&fs=1" /> http://www.youtube.com/v/D-l1AFroyO4...&fs=1&border=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="445" height="364"></embed></object>&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350" allowfullscreen="true">
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Old 20-03-2010, 05:53 PM   #33
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1.3a is good enough for HDMI and 3D

http://www.cedia.com.au/index.cfm/pa..._detail/id/217


Comments were put together by CEDIA members David Meyer (Kordz) & Michael Heiss
3D WILL run through existing HDMI cables. However we do believe that 3D will ‘up the ante’ in terms of quality of cable, but from a bandwidth perspective, nothing changes... yet. Virtually all currently deployed HDMI over 5m in length (generally) are NOT High Speed, rather Standard Speed certification level, but with sufficient headroom to enable 1080p operation. Note that these cables are only certified to 720p/1080i (provided they are certified at all!), and used without compliance to 1080p level. Most installers don’t really care about certified performance, just “whether it will work” – unfortunate, but fact. This will however become more of an issue moving forward.
1. 3D from Blu-ray has been mandated at an initial maximum of 1080p/24 per eye, meaning effectively 1080p/48 combined data rate – less than the current 2D standard of 1080p/60. So if the HDMI cable supports 1080p/60 fine now, it will also support 3D from Blu-ray no problem. Note: it is insufficient to talk resolution without referencing frame rate as it does not otherwise define the data rate. Gaming has been defined under the new specification 1.4a (out just last week) that 720p/60 per eye be supported, but gamers will likely want 1080p in due course. When this happens I predict that we’ll see gaming go to 1080p/60 per eye, meaning nearly 9.0Gbps – DEFINITELY High Speed and nothing less – currently cables that support 1080p/60 in 2D, but without High Speed certification, will NOT support 1080p/60 in 3D. In the meantime though, support for such high res/frame rate has not been made mandatory, and is merely speculative.
2. It is NOT necessary to upgrade to a so-called “HDMI 1.4” cable to enable 3D support. Also, any cable which is referred to by the manufacturer as “HDMI 1.4” is in fact non-compliant due to its breach of the HDMI Logo & Trademark guidelines. So, should you care if a cable is simply mislabelled? Absolutely! Labelling the cable in a compliant manner is the easy part; making the cable to perform in a compliant manner is actually the really hard part. If a manufacturer can’t get the small stuff right, how can they be trusted with the big stuff?
3. For broadcast, the HDMI 1.4a specification mandates support for 720p & 1080i @ 50/59.94/60 refresh rates (NOT 1080p at all), using “over and under” and “side by side” 3D formats. This means both left and right eye images share the same frame, keeping bandwidth the same as current 2D equivalents, but effectively halving the resulting resolution per eye when displayed on screen. Bottom line, Standard Speed HDMI is fine for broadcast
4. So will HD Set top boxes need to be HDMI 1.4 compliant to handle 3D? This all depends on whether the set top box will have any requirement to know that an incoming broadcast signal is 3D, and flag it as such. If so, then firmware will need to be upgraded, effectively changing the device to HDMI 1.4a compliance (I suspect this will be the case). If it’s just a slave and throughputs the signal passively, with the broadcaster flagging the content for a display to recognize it as 3D and do its thing, then the boxes wouldn’t need an upgrade and 1.3 spec is fine (highlyunlikely). Either way there will not be any hardware change, at least not specifically for the 3D feature. That is, it is expected that all devices will require 1.4a compliance to support 3D, but that does not mean having to buy all new devices – some will simply be firmware upgraded. Sony are already offering this with some of their Blu-ray players.

As for HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC), this is an optional extra feature of both devices and cables, with the latter requiring the additional label “...with Ethernet” on cables. As Michael says, HEC is not used at all for 3D – this is absolutely true. The Audio Return Channel will use the HEC for best results, but can also still work in “Single Line” mode through cables without the Ethernet Channel. So choosing a HDMI cable with Ethernet Channel opens up support for distribution of Ethernet over HDMI, and the most robust operation of Audio Return Channel. It is NOT required for 3D.

So, suffice to say that HDMI cables that currently support 1080p/60 can continue to be used for 3D from all sources, but with new installations, upgrading to true certified High Speed will certainly give a far superior degree of “future proofing”, especially when considering where gaming is likely to go.

We hope this helps answer some of the mysteries out in the industry.
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:07 PM   #34
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Using that calibration disc

For the average consumer who takes a new LCD or plasma TV out of the box, what is the best way to set it up for home use? What is the name of the DVD used for adjusting and fine tuning?

http://blog.ultimateavmag.com/scottw...ut_of_the_box/


Most buyers of a new TV simply take it out of the box, turn it on, and leave it at that. Unfortunately, they probably aren't seeing the best image quality the set is capable of—most likely, it's too bright and too blue, the whites are clipped, and the blacks are crushed.
The good news is that it's relatively easy to improve the picture dramatically. If the TV complies with Energy Star 3.0 energy-saving guidelines, the first time it is powered up, a message will likely appear on the screen asking if it's going to be in a home or retail environment. Select "Home," which typically sets the picture controls so that the TV is not in its so-called "torch" mode—as bright and blue as possible to attract attention on a showroom floor. Remember that your home is nothing like a retail environment, so the optimum settings are completely different. (In a few cases, selecting "Home" puts the TV in its torch mode anyway, so be sure to follow the steps outlined here in any event.)
Next, open the TV's picture menu, find the Picture Mode control, and select Movie, Cinema, or similarly named setting. This further refines the picture controls to produce the most accurate image possible—that is, the color of gray is as close to neutral as possible, with little or no bias toward red, green, or blue, and the white level is not maxed out, which usually leads to white clipping.
To verify that the color of gray is as neutral as possible, find the control called Color Temperature or Color Tone, which might be in an Advanced submenu. This control has settings labeled Cool, Normal or Standard, and Warm—in some sets, such as those from Sony and Samsung, there are two Cool and two Warm settings. Make sure this control is set to Warm (or Warm2 in a Sony or Samsung set). Most often, the Warm setting produces the most neutral color of gray, which is technically called the grayscale.
If your TV is THX certified, one Picture Mode setting will be labeled "THX," which is generally the most accurate preset mode. In my reviews of such sets, I've found the THX mode to be reasonably accurate, but I was able to get it even closer with some additional tweaking. In most cases, however, the THX mode prevents you from adjusting the picture controls, so if you want to take the next steps as described below, you'll need to select the Movie or Cinema picture mode and make sure the color temperature is set to Warm.
You can call it quits at this point, and the picture will be a lot better than if you had simply taken the TV out of the box and watched with its default settings. But it can be better still. If you want to take the next step, you need a setup disc, which typically costs around $25 to $35—my favorites are HD Benchmark and Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics on Blu-ray and HDTV Calibration Wizard on DVD. (Digital Video Essentials on DVD is more comprehensive, but the menu system is very confusing for consumers.) I especially like HDTV Calibration Wizard for consumers because it guides you through the process step by step. To illustrate the following procedure, I'll use screen shots from HD Benchmark.
One last point before we get into it—try to perform this procedure in the same lighting conditions you will be using to watch the TV. Ideally, you should use subdued or no lighting, but if that's not practical, use whatever lighting will be present while watching, which will affect how you perceive the image.

If you're not using HDTV Calibration Wizard, call up a test pattern called PLUGE—if there's more than one, select the Low PLUGE. Find the Brightness control in the TV's picture menu and raise it's value until you see several dark vertical stripes—one will be darker than the background and one will be lighter. The background is technically called "video black," the darkest stripe is said to be "below black," and the lighter stripe is said to be "above black." (In the PLUGE Low pattern from HD Benchmark shown here, there are four stripes—the two on the left are below black, and the two on the right are above black. Also, there's a faint checkerboard pattern in the background. The image above is intentionally misadjusted so you can see the below-black stripes.)
Reduce the Brightness control until the below-black stripe just disappears. In the PLUGE Low pattern from HD Benchmark, both below-black stripes should not be visible, and the checkerboard pattern should be just barely visible. In some cases, you might not see the below-black stripe at all because the TV or player clips anything below video black. If so, reduce the Brightness control until the above-black stripe is barely visible.

Next, find a test pattern called Contrast or Clipping. This pattern has sections that are above the level called "video white." Unlike black, you want to be able to see above video white—officially, there isn't supposed to be anything above video white, but real program material sometimes does include such information, so my philosophy is to set the TV so it can display this information. Find the TV's Contrast control (sometimes called Picture) and increase it until the above-white part of the pattern looks solid white—it might well look this way at the default setting—then lower it until the above-white areas are just visible.
In the Clipping pattern from HD Benchmark shown above, the white rectangle in the upper left quadrant is the one to look at—it consists of two squares, each with concentric areas of above-white information. At the correct setting, you should be able to see all of these areas as distinct from the others. Ignore the colored squares.
Before moving on, go back and check the PLUGE pattern again to make sure the Brightness is still set correctly. The Brightness and Contrast controls often interact, so you might have to go back and forth a couple of times to get them both right. These are the two most important controls to set properly in order to see the best possible picture on your new TV.
The next step is to set the Color (sometimes called Saturation) and Tint (sometimes called Hue) controls, but these are not as important for a couple of reasons. First, in most modern TVs, they are pretty close to correct out of the box. Second, they often require you to use a blue filter to set them while displaying a test pattern called Color Bars. Most setup discs come with a blue filter, but these filters are notoriously inaccurate, especially with LCD TVs, and they often lead to incorrect settings. Some TVs provide a so-called "blue-only" mode, which disables the red and green colors, making it easy to set the Color and Tint controls accurately, but most don't.

If your TV doesn't offer a blue-only mode, I recommend just leaving the Color and Tint controls at their default settings, which are probably fine. If your TV does have a blue-only mode and you want to make sure they are set correctly, display the Color Bars test pattern and engage this mode, then raise and lower the Color control while looking at the pattern; you will see some bars and other areas of the image appear to change in brightness relative to each other. Set the Color control so these areas are the same brightness. Repeat this process with the Tint control, which will cause different bars to vary in brightness. As with Contrast and Brightness, Color and Tint are interactive, so you might need to tweak them a couple of times before you're done.

The last step is setting the Sharpness control. Display a test pattern called Sharpness and increase the Sharpness control until you see white borders around the black lines on a gray background. Then, decrease the Sharpness control until these white borders disappear. In many sets, the best Sharpness setting is its minimum value. This is as far as consumers can go, and it will dramatically improve the picture quality of any new TV. If you want to go the extra mile, you must have a qualified technician perform a grayscale calibration, which requires some serious training and expensive equipment, so such a calibration typically costs several hundred dollars. But it will probably further improve the picture, and you will be assured that the TV is producing the best picture it possibly can.
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Old 19-05-2010, 10:42 PM   #35
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Display Myths Shattered: How Monitor & HDTV Companies Cook Their Specs

A very useful article before you buy that LCD / LED TV with the fancy specs instead of a plasma.

How not to buy into the specs and marketing:


Display Myths Shattered: How Monitor & HDTV Companies Cook Their Specs

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/fea...red?page=0%2C0
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:58 PM   #36
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Calibration discs

Too many discs can add confusion to new buyers and newbies to HT.

Firstly, understand the controls on your TV, amp or speakers. Go through the basic terms like speaker placement, SPL meters, color, brightness, contrast etc first before you venture further. Then you will need to see if you use your TV in 2 settings – day and night. Then you may need to use 2 different settings for each light condition.

For video, the main thing is optimising your settings to give you the best picture quality (PQ) and similarly for sound, the ideal setting to make you feel part of the sound.

For video, it should have the basic brightness, colour, contrast and tint sections, then it may have test screens to centre the picture, and further tests of alignment, bleed, interlacing etc, but the first few should be present.

Good test discs also have realistic scenes after test screens to show what real skin tones look like.

Discs should be easy to navigate, understand and also have explanations for each section.

Sound testing can be done after basic setting up of the speakers, measuring their distances and also using the built in auto-EQ functions like Audyssey, YPAO, MACC etc first.

There should be a sound sweep through all the speakers, and not all discs cover 7.1 channels, so take note. Then there should be a frequency sweep from low to high, and there should be enough breaks between each frequency and each of sufficient duration (or you can advance the section) so you can take readings.



First the free:

Tests screens on TV:
Sure it is in SDTV and depends on your reception, but it is a good start.

Few things come free, but the THX labelled discs all come with basic color and sound calibration, which can be very useful.
http://www.hometheatermag.com/advicefromtheexperts/407cali/

Radio:

The BBC male voice is an excellent test of how natural your centre speaker sounds, does it really sound like someone is in front of you? And when you use the 7 channel stereo mode, do all the voices reach your ears at the same time?

Life – BBC

On Disc 1 there is a setup for Hi Def tune up which is as simple as you can imagine and IMO, excellent and even better than some of those fancy AVIA or DVE discs!


Those that cost $$:
http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-6463_7-5085739-3.html#3

Sound and Vision Calibration DVD –
Simple with many explanations, good for beginners.


Joe Kane’s DVE- available in BR and DVD.

Oldie and goodie, covers most of what is needed but the ease of use isn’t too great, especially for beginners.

AVIA - available in BR and DVD.

Newer version of an old hit – comprehensive and pretty easy for newbies – good for mid to high level users.

The Spears & Munsil High Definition Benchmark Blu-ray Edition

If you bought a Oppo BD 83, this comes free and is good for beginners to mid – level.


HD HQV Benchmark Blu-Ray Disc
http://www.hdtvsupply.com/hqv-benchmark.html

This is a mid to high level test disc, but it is not too hard to use.

Last edited by petetherock; 06-11-2010 at 01:07 PM..
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Old 06-11-2010, 01:06 PM   #37
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Taking your first steps into Hi Def?

Getting a new Blu Ray player?

Then take note of these steps:



- what is your viewing distance?

Take some time to read the thread above on this and if you sit pretty far away from the tiny 40", say > 2m then you are not really using the full benefits of a Full HD tv.

- what is your viewing diet?

If you are trying out BR, then the majority of your viewing will still be free to air channels which can be as bad as VCD quality. Then that Full HD LCD will only make it worse. Otherwise sit closer to enjoy full HD and move back for SD TV.

- Are you watching BR solely?

I use a HD Ready 50" plasma for SD TV at 3m. The images are great.
I use a Full HD 50" plasma for all my BR at 2.3m. The details are awesome. Sit any further and you won't appreciate the details. If you use it at the same distance for SD TV, it will be too close.

So a compromise is needed. I don't think many of our members use their single TV in the hall for all Hi Def viewing. So where you place your chair is important as a halfway point to allow you to appreciate Hi Def whilst not making Channel 5 look bad.

YMMV... but don't follow blindly and upgrade to a new Full HD TV for nothing.

Also the video chips / scalers will differ. If you watch BR on a Full HD TV, you won't want any processing - use the "Direct" mode.

I have previously posted in this thread on scalers & video chips, it will be worth your while to read it and explore.

Cheap Full HD TVs will have lousy video chips, so if you need the video processing, then it matters. It gets used in SD TV, DVDs, your ripped to hard disk videos, and even for PC work. There is no free lunch, and going cheap will mean compromise somewhere.

Choose wisely instead of listening to those who recommend Full HD blindly.

Let your eyes be the final judge.
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Old 12-12-2010, 04:49 PM   #38
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HDMI:

This is an excellent link:
http://www.hdmi.org/learningcenter/kb.aspx?c=7#49

Note that the terms 1.3 and 1.4 are no longer in use, so beware if someone is trying hard to sell you a cable based on this.

There is only "Standard" or "High Speed".

The main difference is the former is good up to 1080i.
Q. What is the difference between a “Standard” HDMI cable and a “High-Speed” HDMI cable?
Recently, HDMI Licensing, LLC announced that cables would be tested as Standard or High-Speed cables.

Standard (or “category 1”) HDMI cables have been tested to perform at speeds of 75Mhz or up to 2.25Gbps, which is the equivalent of a 720p/1080i signal.
High Speed (or “category 2”) HDMI cables have been tested to perform at speeds of 340Mhz or up to 10.2Gbps, which is the highest bandwidth currently available over an HDMI cable and can successfully handle 1080p signals including those at increased color depths and/or increased refresh rates from the Source. High-Speed cables are also able to accommodate higher resolution displays, such as WQXGA cinema monitors (resolution of 2560 x 1600).
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Old 11-06-2011, 03:01 PM   #39
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[Article] HardwareZone's HDTV Buying Guide Essentials

Unknown to many, buying a television for your home involves more preparation work than anticipated. With our HDTV Buying Guide Essentials, you can now equip yourself with the necessary knowledge to make the right purchase instead of regretting an impulsive buy later.




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Old 05-02-2012, 09:35 PM   #40
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[Article] HardwareZone's 3D TV Buying Guide Essentials

Should you go with active or passive? With a multitude of 3D TV technologies and models available in the market, it isn't easy to decide on the right television type with TV manufacturers clamoring to offer the best 3D experience in the industry. Not to worry though, for we're here to help.



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Old 05-02-2012, 09:37 PM   #41
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[Video] Your Guide to Smart TVs

What exactly is a Smart TV and what makes them smart? In this video episode, we'll get down to that by taking a look at various implementations of this growing Smart TV platform from LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony to better understand and manage your expectations.



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Old 23-04-2012, 02:20 AM   #42
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[Article] The Smart TV Buying Guide Essentials

Scouting for a new Smart TV? Worry not, for HardwareZone's technical guidance is on hand to help you make an educated choice with that next Smart TV purchase. We cover the A to Z of what you need to know of Smart TVs and handy tips to get you going.



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[Article] Smart TV Buying Guide: Buy Smart!

Smart TVs aren't a new fad, but they've settled in as a de-facto feature with many mid-range and premium models in the market today. Refer to our buying guide to gain some practical insight into these smart displays and what's required before you splurge on one!



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Old 07-05-2012, 08:05 PM   #44
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Just sharing some thoughts on buying big ticket items. To many, putting a few thousand down takes careful deliberation, and the last thing you want is a lemon...
With the advent of the lemon law soon, we can expect some protection from errant vendors. However, it pays to do some homework on the various sellers.

Most new items will either work well - majority of cases or you can have a defective set, in which case you want to try and get a replacement. This should not be too hard technically. But herein lies the issues with the smaller vendors. They are more nimble, and can offer very competitive prices, and deliver the goods soon after their come onto the market or even before.

But in situations like that, when you need a replacement, this is when it pays to go to a big vendor. They offer a 7 day one to one return policy for defective panels, and this is vital when you get something that is defective.

So kudos to HN, BD and other big vendors, in giving a no questions asked return policy, even ahead of the lemon law. At most, they will ask you to contact the repair crew to verify that there is an issue with the TV, then they will work to get a new one into your hands.

Bravo and IMO, stick to the trusted vendors, who may charge a little more, and get the extended warranty, for those instances of trouble.

Extended Warranties:

Also do note that not all warranties are the same. Each of the vendors offer an extended warranty, which essentially covers the period after the warranty from the makers run out. In most TVs, it is three years from the makers, then another two from the sellers. You can also get AIG or an insurance company to provide such a service.

However it is important to check the finer details. Most will cover repair costs. But when the set is found to be beyond repair, then this is what differentiates the sheep from the lambs. Some will replace the spoilt set with a new one if it os beyond repair. Others only refund you a percentage of the cost, whereas others will give you a new set from the current range. So the costs are different and you should examine the fine print carefully.
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Old 16-08-2012, 08:27 AM   #45
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Pete's Write: TV - buying advice for a limited budget
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