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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Or maybe I should be asking something more like: why are there specs for things like refresh-rate and contrast, but no spec for pixel-crawling or color banding? (or are there, and I'm missing it?)

Point being for myself: I'm tight with the dollar. My wife would like a larger screen than our trusty old CRT. Most of the flat panels sported by friends of mine drive me crazy with banding (posterizing gradients, particularly in darker scenes), and areas where the screen just crawls with motion in a static scene. (along with screens too big for the viewing distance, and incorrectly set ratios)(why does everyone look so fat?).

My son dropped off a Toshiba 42HP66 last week, which he replaced due to an intermittent issue. I watched it some while it was working, and the color banding and crawling pixels drove me nuts. So I'm contemplating getting something better, instead of fixing this one, just to be disgusted with it...

Plasma would seem to fit the bill, as most watching is movies in a darkened room.

Are there certain brands which handle these issues better than others?
Recomendations for the used market in the 42" range?

(sorry for the ramble)
Joe
 

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Most newer products are better about banding. Plasma has a greater tendency to have noisy looking blacks and dark areas due to activation noise. LCDs have different artifacts. Much of what you likely see is also related to upconverting analog and low resolution signals, which will look bad on any set. Better displays and processors handle conversions better but a low resolution signal will never look like a true HD source.
 
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If your talking about what I think your talking about, what was the source of the media? I've noticed Comcast (stuck with Mpeg2) has horrible compression that causes a lot of nasty issues with the background and white lines flickering about. Throw in a quality blu-ray, and the picture should be a lot cleaner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh, source I was seeing the crawl on the Toshiba was OTA DTV - didn't really pick it up bad later last evening using Directv - gradient banding still evident. I was actually running the Tosh side by side with the CRT. Sometimes the Tosh looked better - sometimes not.
 

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Almost any TV you buy will have a relatively inaccurate white balance and ok at best color reproduction. Unfortunately most entry to mid level TVs give you poor controls to fight these issues.

I have been calibrating TVs (ISF) for about 6 months now and I've found that among the common brands available Samsung, LG, Sharp (most of them), and the Panasonic VT30 offer the best image after calibration.

The issues you are describing should be manageable with a little tweaking. First your dynamic range. Can you see detail in bright white and deep black? This could be as simple as setting contrast/bright properly.

Do you have enough color or too little/too much? Color control should help with that. if you get an LG or Samsung they provide a 'blue only mode' so you can get the color/tint mix very very close.

Turn all the TV's branded "enhancements" off. Like contrast enhancer, mpeg noise reduction, auto-motion/cinema smooth... etc. All those functions tend to cause more problems then they solve.

At this point your TV image should be fairly clean.

Now for CMS (color management) and accurate white balance (how white are your whites? Or are they blue/red or GOD FORBID GREEN!) you will want some test equipment or to hire someone who has that equipment. Like an ISF tech.

Good luck and IMO CRT is still a great picture.
 
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