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Old 11-08-2012, 04:48 AM   #1
Axonn
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Default 24p Cinematic Playback: 96 Hz vs 48 Hz. Why care?

Short question: why should I care? ::- ). Faster image updates I suppose. 48 Hz would not allow for 30 FPS in 3D, right?

Reason I'm asking:

http://shop.panasonic.com/compare/?i...Nbr=TC-P65ST50

Trying to decide between Panasonic VT 50 and ST 50.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:22 AM   #2
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The main idea behind 96hz, from what I understand, is to reduce/eliminate artifacts in 24p movies, and 2D 24fps movies in particular, making the films look even smoother and more film-like. Most films are shot in 24fps, and from what I've read, most movie theaters show each frame twice, thus giving the movies a 48hz refresh rate (so you get fewer artifacts, but still have that nice 24fps film-look). So for current movies, the ST50 at 48hz would be fine. For VT50, I've read that the 96hz can actually cause more flicker due to brighter sub-fields, although you get fewer or zero artifacts as a result of the television showing each frame 4 times, for 4:4 pulldown. Some people have also said that 96hz produces slightly better blacks, as well as reducing ghosting in 3D.

So bottom line is, 96hz is supposed to help with image judder. I haven't seen anyone raving about it like it's a huge leap forward or anything, so for a thousand-dollar price difference, I'd suggest finding somewhere to see them in person and compare if you're really concerned about it. I think the dual-core processor in the VT50 is mostly for the Internet apps, but you can just get a WDTV Live Streaming player for $89 on Amazon and not even worry about that. If you're concerned with having the "best" TV and don't mind paying extra, the VT50 is technically the better unit. It has a more configurable calibration mode, a different bezel (and I think the glass is supposed to be less reflective or something), and Infinite Black Pro, and some other fairly minor stuff.

The cheapest I see the ST50 going for is $2250 on Abe's, and $2950 for the VT50, so it looks like the lowest you could get online is a $700 price difference. That's a pretty hefty fee for the addition of 96hz and a few other small tweaks. I'd go with the ST50 myself
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:22 AM   #3
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Its not the 48hz mode on the ST50 that you use (except for 3D, which is the same mode recommended on the VT50 by CNET when it comes to 3D). The ST50 (and GT50 and VT50) have a new way of doing pulldown in their 60hz mode that works better overall than the 96Hz mode (with the aforementioned flicker):

Quote:
Both the 60Hz and the 96Hz mode handled 1080p/24 sources properly in my test, and this year I didn't notice any extra false-contouring artifacts when setting the TV in 96Hz mode. I did detect slight flicker in 96Hz in bright areas, for example the clouds over Brooklyn in "I Am Legend" (24:49).

I did notice some artifacts from 1080p/24 sources in 60Hz mode. On the "Digital Video Essentials" test Blu-ray we noticed shifting lines and minor instability in the downtown Philadelphia buildings during an upward-facing pan. I didn't see any similar issues during other program material, but assume they might crop up. In any case I still prefer the flicker-free 60Hz mode.
http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-t...5118304-2.html

Bottom line, the 96Hz mode isn't worth buying the VT50 over the ST50. In fact CNET is very upfront about the fact that the ST50 is a really good value this year for that reason.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:28 AM   #4
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Its not the 48hz mode on the ST50 that you use (except for 3D, which is the same mode recommended on the VT50 by CNET when it comes to 3D). The ST50 (and GT50 and VT50) have a new way of doing pulldown in their 60hz mode that works better overall than the 96Hz mode (with the aforementioned flicker):
It sounds like it really boils down to whether you want to deal with artifacts or flicker.

So how does their special 60hz mode actually look? I love 24fps for film, but I absolutely hate the new 120hz soap-opera look that makes all of the 24fps movies look like an episode of COPS.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:56 AM   #5
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Thanks for the valuable info you gave me here guys. I was leaning towards the ST 50. Now there's one more thing besides the 48/96 thing. That's the "Infinite Black Pro" thing which VT has and arguably a better glass. Does it worth it? I am not so sure. LOL @ the "COPS" argument ::- D.

Tomorrow, I'm going to take some images with me on USB sticks (I think this is the best possible comparison) and compare some TVs, including some LED LCDs (I'm not 100% sure I want to go plasma yet, as it feels to me like I might lose a bit on the sharpness side - not sure if it's so super important considering I'm going for 50 inch and I'll be setting 3.5 meters from it).
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:11 AM   #6
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Thanks for the valuable info you gave me here guys. I was leaning towards the ST 50. Now there's one more thing besides the 48/96 thing. That's the "Infinite Black Pro" thing which VT has and arguably a better glass. Does it worth it? I am not so sure. LOL @ the "COPS" argument ::- D.

Tomorrow, I'm going to take some images with me on USB sticks (I think this is the best possible comparison) and compare some TVs, including some LED LCDs (I'm not 100% sure I want to go plasma yet, as it feels to me like I might lose a bit on the sharpness side - not sure if it's so super important considering I'm going for 50 inch and I'll be setting 3.5 meters from it).
First of all, is one of your requirements a flatscreen? My favorite TV I've ever owned is a 60" Mitsubishi DLP (I think about 17" deep). It looks un-freakin'-believably good. The modern rear-projection televisions beat LCD's & Plasma's to my eye (except the Kuro - the Kuro is better at cartoons because of the glossy screen & brightness).

Second, what are your usage requirements? Photos, video games, films, TV shows?

I don't know what your budget is, but LaserVue televisions are supposed to be some of the best TV's available:

http://www.laservuetv.com/

And yeah, on the COPS thing - have you ever seen 120hz in action? It basically takes that nice filmic quality of movies and makes it look like it was shot on a home video camera - it smooths out all the ghosting and just really looks terrible imo. Most people don't realize they can disable it, either.

If you watch a lot of movies (live-action) and want a flatscreen, I'd lean more towards a plasma instead of an LCD. A lot of people buy LCD's for the slimness or for the bright showroom colors, but I've always liked Plasmas better. We use them for HD video conferencing at work because they make people's skin look better.

FWIW, my buddy just picked up a 50" ST50 for a grand and says it's absolutely awesome and has super-black blacks.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:52 AM   #7
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It sounds like it really boils down to whether you want to deal with artifacts or flicker.

So how does their special 60hz mode actually look? I love 24fps for film, but I absolutely hate the new 120hz soap-opera look that makes all of the 24fps movies look like an episode of COPS.
The 60Hz mode looks great. It looks just like my old Samsung Plasma in its 96Hz mode- a very clear Judder-free picture. I am VERY sensitive to 3:2 and I wouldn't have kept the ST50 if that didn't work well. I am thinking it uses blended frames. The artifacts are very minimal.

The 48Hz mode works great with 3D content.

As far as the Soap Opera Effect, that is a setting you can turn off on the ST50.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:58 AM   #8
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Thanks for the valuable info you gave me here guys. I was leaning towards the ST 50. Now there's one more thing besides the 48/96 thing. That's the "Infinite Black Pro" thing which VT has and arguably a better glass. Does it worth it? I am not so sure.
Its not really better glass but a better coating to cut out reflections and light. The ST50 does really well with top-down light (aka the ceiling fan) while the VT50 is superior with direct light (a window behind you in the livingroom facing the TV).

Quote:
Tomorrow, I'm going to take some images with me on USB sticks (I think this is the best possible comparison) and compare some TVs, including some LED LCDs (I'm not 100% sure I want to go plasma yet, as it feels to me like I might lose a bit on the sharpness side - not sure if it's so super important considering I'm going for 50 inch and I'll be setting 3.5 meters from it).
Sitting that far away I would get the largest plasma I could afford. I got my 65 inch ST50 for a 9-10 foot viewing distance.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:23 AM   #9
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You can only really use the 48Hz mode for 3D on the ST50, otherwise the flickering will drive you insane. The Motion Smoother modes is pretty good, so you dont really need 48Hz for normal viewing. The GT50 has almost all the VT50 features, only missing 96Hz and ISFccc. I would go GT50 before VT50, but even then, the only thing I think I would want from the GT50 is the additional shades of gray. ST50 is a pretty good deal.

Just be warned that there can be buzzing on bright scenes.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:05 PM   #10
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I have an ST50 and have been really impressed with its performance in 60Hz mode. I'd be interested to hear an explanation of what they've done to make it look so much better than 3:2.

The 48Hz is basically unwatchable. And mine does buzz in bright scenes.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:57 PM   #11
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The 60Hz mode looks great. It looks just like my old Samsung Plasma in its 96Hz mode- a very clear Judder-free picture. I am VERY sensitive to 3:2 and I wouldn't have kept the ST50 if that didn't work well. I am thinking it uses blended frames. The artifacts are very minimal.
So their 60Hz mode doesn't do the home-camera type of look like 120Hz does? If so, that's pretty dang cool.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:28 PM   #12
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So their 60Hz mode doesn't do the home-camera type of look like 120Hz does? If so, that's pretty dang cool.
It actually does. I set the motion smoother on medium, but when its maxed out it can even make an old tv westerns look like a soap opera.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:42 PM   #13
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If you set the motion smoother to "off," then it creates nice, judder-free motion without the soap opera effect.
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:02 PM   #14
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I have an ST50 and have been really impressed with its performance in 60Hz mode. I'd be interested to hear an explanation of what they've done to make it look so much better than 3:2.
I think they are using blended frames. I used to do that with an old avisynth script.

Normally the frames with 3:2 Pulldown will look like this:

AAABBCCCDDEEEFFGGG

which will result in judder

But with a blended frame you do:

AAxBBCCxDDEExFFGGx (where x is a 50:50 blend of the adjacent Frames)

Unlike interpolation (aka the Soap Opera Effect) that method is not making new frames, it is just blending what is there much like de-interlacing. Artifacts come when the two blended frames are dramatically different which is very rare.

I don't know why all plasma makers don't do this...
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:07 PM   #15
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From Panasonic's site:

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Movie Content with Smooth Playback
3D 24p Cinema Smoother

Enjoy naturally flowing 24p films and familiar TV-like quality. In plasma displays, increasing the number of frames creates smoother images. When reproducing images from a 24p film source, VIERA's 24p cinema smoother function generates smooth, natural-looking images.
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:10 PM   #16
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I would go GT50 before VT50, but even then, the only thing I think I would want from the GT50 is the additional shades of gray.
Many top calibrators swear you can't really see the difference in the shades of gray. Which makes sense when you realize that Blu Ray video only has 219 shades of each color and gray (16-235).

To quote D-Nice, a respected professional calibrator and Panasonic Plasma expert, "I will not be recommending the GT50 over the ST50 for any of my clients or personal friends unless they prefer the aesthetics over the ST50"
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:28 AM   #17
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Kaido: I definitely don't want a CRT. I know they're quality kings in some aspects, but I won't be bombarded by one of those things ::- D.

My requirements are movies & games.

I've been at a shop right now and compared images (because it's very easy to analyze quality) on a Panasonic LED LCD vs Panasonic VT 50. The black on the VT 50 is awesome. Next week I'll go and compare a VT 50 with a ST 50 and see how the blacks are there. I don't expect much of a difference.

I do have one important question for you guys: VT 50 and ST 50 have 8 bits / channel color? That is, "true color", right? I read somewhere that apparently they only handle 6 bits / color. I hope that was wrong.

poofyhairguy: what about side-ways light? In my room, there are windows in the left of the TV. I suppose VT 50 is better (behind window, side window, same thing eh?)

Actually I exaggerated a bit with 3.5 meters. Considering the couch & TV stand, it's probably more like 3 meters. I can't really afford a 65. A 55 though... doable.

What do you mean you're very sensitive to 3:2 ?
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:25 AM   #18
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Kaido: I definitely don't want a CRT. I know they're quality kings in some aspects, but I won't be bombarded by one of those things ::- D.
Not sure if we're on the same page here. The old CRT's were huge boxes with the big electron guns inside. A DLP is basically just a projector inside a box. They're also called "rear projection televisions" because instead of being a front projector (say, mounted on your ceiling projecting onto a screen on the wall), there's a small projector inside the TV that does rear (backwards) projection.

The result is a great picture, huge sizes, and cheap prices. They aren't for everyone (you have to replace the bulb every three to six thousand hours, usually around $99, and although they're tapered, they still stick out about 17 inches). Here's a side view:

http://a248.e.akamai.net/pix.crutchf...o_Profile.jpeg

In short - it won't burn your eyeballs out like a CRT. Not as large as a CRT either, but definitely not as slim as an LCD or Plasma. Most people think it's a flatscreen when they see mine because it has a really thin bezel and it's tapered on the back, so it doesn't look like it has any depth. Random sample picture from google images:

http://performin.homeip.net/hometheater/3.jpg

Picture quality is a big deal to me, and I use my DLP the most out of my projector (home theater), LCD TV (bedroom), and DLP (living room) because it has fantastic picture quality. If you are set on mounting it on a wall, then DLP probably isn't for you, but if you're putting it on a stand or in a corner, they might be worth checking out. FWIW, I really like mine.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:34 AM   #19
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I do have one important question for you guys: VT 50 and ST 50 have 8 bits / channel color? That is, "true color", right? I read somewhere that apparently they only handle 6 bits / color. I hope that was wrong.
There seems to be a bunch of conflicting information about plasmas and color depth. All I know if that this plasma (and my old one) CAN take the full range of color (0-255) if you hook up a HTPC. Also I know many reviewers praise its accurate color (even when compared to the Sharp Elite). I think someone like CNET would mention if color depth was a problem.

Would I use the ST50 as my Photoshop monitor? No way in hell. But I trust compared to other television options that it gives me the best color I can afford.

Quote:
poofyhairguy: what about side-ways light? In my room, there are windows in the left of the TV. I suppose VT 50 is better (behind window, side window, same thing eh?)
Yeah the VT50 will be better in that case. Any case where you might have reflections on the TV from the light source it is better. But you have to consider that the ST50 has the same coating as last year's top VT model so its not far behind.

Quote:
Actually I exaggerated a bit with 3.5 meters. Considering the couch & TV stand, it's probably more like 3 meters. I can't really afford a 65. A 55 though... doable.
I would go with a ST50 (unless the light is that room is REALLY bad) and use the budget to at least move up to the 60 incher.

Quote:
What do you mean you're very sensitive to 3:2 ?
I can easily see judder in panning shots. For me pulldown loses the immersive nature of movies.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:38 AM   #20
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Kaido: nope, we were NOT on the same page. I didn't even know such TVs EXISTED. I never saw them in any shop around here in Stockholm, or maybe I just wasn't paying attention and I thought they're ancient CRTs. And yes, that's why I said I wasn't going to go with a blaster gun ::- D.

I read a bit on the pros and cons of DLP. It's a very interesting technology, which I think we should take in another thread. I created it here:

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthre...7#post34224157

On topic: Kaido, do you know anything about the Plasma displays only having 6 bits per color?

poofyhairguy: you said that the ST50 has the same coating as last year's top VT. The question is: is there another older ST 50 with another, worst coating? Or is the ST 50 a new model, period. In the scenario the ST 50 came in different generation, should I ask about production date?
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:01 PM   #21
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Kaido: nope, we were NOT on the same page. I didn't even know such TVs EXISTED. I never saw them in any shop around here in Stockholm, or maybe I just wasn't paying attention and I thought they're ancient CRTs. And yes, that's why I said I wasn't going to go with a blaster gun ::- D.

I read a bit on the pros and cons of DLP. It's a very interesting technology, which I think we should take in another thread. I created it here:

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthre...7#post34224157

On topic: Kaido, do you know anything about the Plasma displays only having 6 bits per color?

poofyhairguy: you said that the ST50 has the same coating as last year's top VT. The question is: is there another older ST 50 with another, worst coating? Or is the ST 50 a new model, period. In the scenario the ST 50 came in different generation, should I ask about production date?
Yeah, they are pretty cool, but not many stores carry them because most people want something slim they can hang on their wall. But I prefer the picture quality over thinness. I think if I had to choose, the order would go something like this in terms of quality:

1. Mitsubishi LaserVue (better colors & motion handling) or Pioneer Kuro (better blacks)
2. Mitsubishi DLP or Panasonic Viera ST50
3. Anything else

The LaserVue & Kuro are some of the best consumer televisions available, but the price starts at $2700 and goes all the way up to $5500. I have a 60" Mitsubishi DLP, which isn't even sold anymore - they only come in 73", 82" and 92" flavors now. I really like mine a lot. In fact I've read that the Mitsubishi DLP's are pretty close to the LaserVue's in terms of picture quality.

As far as the number of bits in the TV, don't know - doesn't look like it's readily-available information.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:50 AM   #22
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Hm. Thanks for all the help mate. I can't find any of those DLPs in Sweden, but I'm not so big on their cons either. I'm gonna go for the ST 50, probably the 55 inches one.
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