Strange phenomenon on Panasonic 32LXD700

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I have had this TV for a couple of weeks now and love it! However, I have noticed something strange a few times now and that is a kind of 'morphing' on people's faces when they nod or shake their head! It's as if one part of their face stays where it is whilst the rest moves! No it's not Joan Rivers or other cosmetically enhanced persons! It doesn't happen all the time though so wonder whether it is more a problem with the broadcast than the TV?
 
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Anonymous

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I've noticed something similar on mine. It's only been obvious once or twice however and it's not an issue that really bothers me much.

Maybe something to do with the 100Hz technology?
 

Andrew Everard

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I think it may well be an encoding problem. It's common practice in video compression to store only those pixels which have changed from frame to frame, rather than all of them, with the result that it looks like some elements of a face in motion seem unnaturally still while the others are moving.

I've noticed it on some old movies on daytime afternoon Freeview TV during testing and also on some of the channels specialising in old movies, and it seems fairly consistent across a range of TVs - well apart from those too soft to show such detail!

I think it's another one you can blame on Freeview...
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks both

Glad to hear it is not the TV's fault. So looks like I will just have to live with it?

Would this encoding problem be seen on Sky as well? Also, re Freeview should this improve once analogue is switched off? Mind you, if they got rid of a lot of the rubbish channels it might help?!
 
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Anonymous

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You would probably notice similar issues on Sky, although probably not quite as bad. Pictures on Sky are usually marginally better than freeview because Sky basically have more room or bandwidth to play with, so they don't have to use quite so much compression as Freeview. Even satellite services have limits though, and Sky wants lots and lots of channels to make revenue from, so they do still use quite a fair amount of compression (so they have space for all those channels). It's this same issue that affects Freeview, now, and even more so when the analogue gets switched off. They want to fit in as many channels as possible, to make as much money as possible, and the picture quality suffers as a result. If it was up to me, their would only be a limited number of channels on Freeview - twenty or so, but they would be much more upmarket - no rip-off quiz channels and shopping channels, and as for picture quality - DVD quality at the absolute least. Actually, despite all the rubbish new channels popping up on Freeview, it's almost certain now that there will be some high-def content on the terrestrial service in the next few years, so maybe quality is beginning to be recognised as something that is important to people, and that people will hopefully demand.
 
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Anonymous

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Many thanks for such an informative reply Benjamin.

I totally agree in that we could do with getting rid of a lot of the rubbishy channels on Freeview and strive for less with more quality. It is so annoying to spend a lot of money on a TV and then be let down by the poor quality broadcasts

May I ask about another 'problem' with this TV rather than start another thread?

I thought my TV may have backlight bleed as I could see a small 'cloud' of light at the top left hand corner on a blank screen and this sometimes showed through on a dark (black) scene.

However, tonight I had more light on in my living room and the blacks on X-Factor were excellent with no light shining through. Also, when I checked the blank screen it was uniform.

So I wonder now was it the backlight compensating for the lack of light in the room and not backlight bleed?

I hope it is as I understand backlight bleed isn't covered by the guarantee and likely to get worse?
 
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Anonymous

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Scotsgirl,

Your original query re the "morphing" is exactly the same problem I've noticed on my 6 week old TX-32LXD700 and I can confirm that it happens on Sky transmissions as well. In fact it is much more noticeable when we watch "The Wire" on the FX channel than on any of the freeview channels. That program has a lot of Afro-American characters in it and it is very noticeable on their faces.

This is my first LCD TV and raises the question in my mind, is this phenomenon noticeable on ALL LCDs or is it a particular problem for our model? I read so may glowing reviews of the TV before I purchased it that I find it hard to believe that it's a problem with this particular range only. Or am I wrong about that?

I confess to feeling slightly disappointed after all the hype I've read about LCDs and this model in particular.
 
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Anonymous

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Yes it would be interesting to know whether this happens on all LCDs or just this model?

It would be very disappointing if it were the latter! It didn't happen on my CRT so not sure why it would on an LCD

I now have what looks like backlight bleed as well and (being very picky now!) can see faint grey lines down the sides on white backgrounds so am quite disappointed as well.

Maybe there is no such thing as a perfect LCD?

I have to say though that when it is good it is very, very good as the colours are so good and the picture is so clear and sharp. If it had been a few hundred pound cheaper probably wouldn't mind so much!
 
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Anonymous

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I think it's all down to quality of input and how the telly copes at preseting it on a larger screen. I've just got a new 32LXD700 too. I've had it about a month and I have seen 1 instance of the morphing you mentioned but that is all so far. I can't remember what I was watching but I'm convinced it's to do with the way the telly is processing a low quality broadcast.

I have been watching Cranford (filmed in hi-def and broadcast by the beeb at a higher bit rate than many of the other channels) and the picture constantly amazes me! From 8 feet away it looks almost hi-def with no visible digital artifatcs at all. Also I have hooked my laptop up to the telly using a monitor cable and downloaded some of the HD showcase stuff from microsoft and a few HD movie trailers and there's no sigh if the digital artifacts that appear while watching SDTV.

Unfortunately, I think those of us who have become "HD-ready" will have to take the rough with the smooth for a while.
 
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Anonymous

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It does seem to be down to the quality of input (again!)

Thankfully the main channels are fine and , as you rightly say, Cranford looks stunning and that's just on SD so imagine it would be breathtaking on HD.

Bascule could you do me a huge favour and check a blank screen at nightime and let me know what it looks like?

The reason I ask is I get a small 'cloud' of slightly brighter light at the top left hand corner of the screen which varys in intensity according to the blacks in each programme and how much black there is in the background.
So I am not sure whether it is backlight bleed; uneven backlight or just poor black levels?

I watched a Men In Black DVD and it was really noticable in that but then it may have been the quality of the film? I haven't watched any more DVDs with black backgrounds yet.

I know I am picking out the bad about this TV but have to say the picture is often stunning and the sound is really good.
It is just the niggly little things which are annoying but if I could get the backlight problem sorted then I would be a very happy bunny. It is a lot to pay for a TV and not to be really happy with it!
 
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Anonymous

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A further update on the "morphing" phenomenon. I was watching a DVD that came with the Sunday Times a few months back - four episodes from the BBC's "The Planets" series first broadcast, I believe, in 1999. The morphing is noticeable on some of the faces in the program.

Now, I know quality-wise this is an old program but it does mean that the problem is not solely confined to old broadcast material but to old DVD recorded material as well. Surely this means it's a display problem. What's the deal here - is the telly too good for the material!!!

Given that the 32-LXD700 had such a large fan base within "What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision" can anyone from the magazine comment on this issue?

Many thanks

kyotee

PS - even more worryingly my wife is adamant that she briefly saw this problem on "Spooks" earlier this week. Now that definitely is not an old program!
 
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Anonymous

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So it is on DVDs as well?!!!

I have seen it quite a few times now and it goes get annoying. I saw it on a 'new ' programme on ITV 1 the other night as well.
Someone who has a Sony sees the same so is it an LCD problem?

I did contact Panasonic about it and they advised that adjusting Picture Noise, AI and Comb Filter might help but not sure what to set this to?

I will go and copy and paste their reply. Be back in a minute!!!
 
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Anonymous

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[quote user="Scotsgirl"]

Bascule could you do me a huge favour and check a blank screen at nightime and let me know what it looks like?
[/quote]
Scotsgirl, Yes, I'll try and do that for you.
 

Clare Newsome

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There is no easy answer, but we can assure you it's not a flaw in the Panasonic - or certainly none of the array of samples we've had at various times through the year.

Most of these problems- including that with the free DVD (notoriously badly produced at ultra-low cost for free distribution) sound more to do with poor source material. And yes, that can include shows on mainstream channels (ITV being a main offender), let alone smaller digital channels like FX.

Another issue could be if your aerial/aerial connection isn't up to scratch (when did any of you last upgrade/check your TV aerial? Are you still using an ancient aerial cable?) - even the best broadcasts can be impaired in this way before they get to your set. It's a particular issue if you live in an area where your signal-strength isn't too high.

Moving onto the sets themselves - do try turning off any picture-enhancing gizmos you've activated, as these can add more problems than they're pupporting to solve: adding a grainy or (ironically) blurring effect for example, in the case of picture-sharpeners.

Finally, you ask 'is there any such thing as a perfect LCD?. The answer is no - they are more prone, for example, to potential motion-blur than the best plasma TVs. But that's not an option at 32in, where the Panasonic is the best you can buy in its price range. It overcomes LCDs inherent flaws more successfully than any other rival.

Hope this helps!
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks for that Clare. What are the picture enhancing gizmos you refer to? Not that I have any!
I have sharpness set to one but should I turn it off?

I got a new aerial and cable so that is not the problem.

This is the reply I got from Panasonic re this matter:-
Thank you for your e-mail enquiry. Firstly, please accept my sincere apologies for the uncharacteristic delay in our response. Due to an unexpected increase in the number of contacts we have recently received, we have been unable to provide as speedy a response as we would normally.

In order to provide you with a full response, I have taken the opportunity to consult with our resident technical support advisors. They have explained that unfortunately this is a limitation of technology caused by a number of factors:

1. Processing speed is only capable of handling a certain level of information. Panasonic however does have one of the fastest response rates of 6 milliseconds

2. Broadcasters on some channels transmit less Bit rate information - and as much information as possible is needed for digital images

This will be more noticeable on fast tracking objects ie football players and will be seen as digitising towards the outer edges of the subject.

Improvements can be made by adjusting the Picture noise, AI and comb filters. Also setting normal rather than dynamic mode and reducing sharpness to 30-40% whilst leaving the contrast or brightness to normal levels. It is advisable to view the screen at a normal viewing distance of at least 3-4 metres as sitting very close to the screen is likely to exacerbate this effect.

I can't see this will make much difference and 3-d Comb is only for analogue. I can't find AI?

Whilst this can be really annoying if you happen to be unfortunate enough to watch a few programmes in the same evening with wobbly faces I would be happy if I could just get rid of the little yellow cloud of light!
 
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Anonymous

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That would be great thanks!

I just can't fathom out whether my TV has backlight bleed;uneven backlight or just poor black levels.

Reports I have seen of backlight bleed mention white 'clouds' but mine is a yellowy orange?

It is not so obvious during the daytime but can be really noticable in some dark scenes in the evening and is really distracting !

Some people say that turning the backlight down can help improve blacks but you have to use the Service Menu for this and not sure whether this would invalidate the warranty?

Sorry for writing about two different topics in the one thread!
 
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Anonymous

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With regard what you describe as backlight bleed I don't have that issue on mine at all. That does sound like a small issue with your TV. How much of an issue I guess depends on how distracting it is!

Just to add to the main topic a little - not all DVDs are made equal. I've been re-watching Buffy Season 2 recently (I'm a geek like that) and the picture quality is terrible! On that I get the issue you're mentioning with some terrible blurring on fast motion scenes. And the colours are rubbish. And in dark scenes the picture is really grainy. So yes, I could say that I see this issue on DVDs but certainly not all DVDs (Season 1 looked great for instance). Incidentally I didn't realise how shoddy the transfer was on this boxset on my old CRT. A shame really.

Another thing to think about when watching some DVDs is that if they're not widescreen then you're probably using the zoom setting for the aspect meaning again you're going to magnify the picture and any problems associated with it.

Hope this adds something.

Thanks,

Steve.
 
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Anonymous

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Glad you don't have this on your TV Steve

It is very distracting on some dark scenes. However, I've been told it can't be backlight bleed as this is white. So goodness knows what it is!

To make things worse my Freeview has gone doolally today. Not sure why?! Happy Days!
 

laserman16

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Yeah I have noticed this "morphing" problem as well. Using a Sony 40W2000. One particular DVD is Road to perdition with Tom Hanks and it happens in a dark scene. Also get it on freeview very occasionally again in dark scenes, also when watching a recording off the hard drive. I tend to put it down lack of data in the video signal. Most DVDs are stunning though, especially more modern releases. Also have to say that most Freeview programs are fine.
 
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Anonymous

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From the description of the "morph" on faces when they nod and in dark scenes on particular discs, it's most probably just MPEG block noise.

MPEG2 compression is not as efficient as the more recent codecs and even using the same codec the resulting image quality will be dependent largely on the authoring of the original material.

There used to be a lot of these issues when DVD first came out. No one was used to DVD authoring and the result was tragic. You can still experience it if you can find very early DVD discs.

It's been forgotten for a while because everyone since then has learned more and got the knack of authoring DVD with more efficiency. Probably the reasons for it becoming an issue again are;

1. Newspapers and magazines desperate to get readership giving away freebie DVD'S. As someone else pointed out, they are usually poorly authored. You get what you pay.

2. New and different technology being used in display devices. Flat screen TV's are great improvement over CRT in the sense that it's reduced a lot of footprint and enabled larger screen sizes to be made.
The increase in screen size, if the viewing distance and the source signal resolution remains constant, will exagerate any flaws inherent in the video image being displayed.
(Picture quality-wise, enerally it is a regress from CRT. The simple reason is it's a fixed pixel device and in the case of PDP's it's colorscale is digital as well. I'll avoid the technical reasons but mention that because of it makes it prone to patchy images maybe a bit like the "morphing" phenomenon from a different reason. The TV in question is LCD so the colorscale, as far as the display panel is concerned, it will be an analogue device and not relevant to this argument.)

So, in short, most probably it's not the TV's fault. Lest assured if you see an awful picture from a DVD with your Panasonic you'll see it on a Sony, Samsung and any other flat large screen TV's. (Also the same with low quality broadcasts)

You may not notice it on a smaller sized CRT screen though. (Because it may stay small enough in viewing size to be unoticeable)

That's exactly why you need high definition signals. Large HD resolution panels are worthless if not counterproductive if you don't feed it HD. What you'll be doing if you don't feed it HD is you are just magnifying junk to fill a large screen. No matter how large you enlarge junk (scale it, convert it, do whatever you like), junk is junk. If you are going to watch standard definition signals , which will be most likely for the majority of people for at least another couple of years, you're better off watching them on you old telly.
 
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Anonymous

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Susanoo said:

"Large HD resolution panels are worthless if not counterproductive if
you don't feed it HD. What you'll be doing if you don't feed it HD is
you are just magnifying junk to fill a large screen. "

Am currently watching "Mission Impossible" on ITV and the morphing problem on Tom Cruise's face is positively comical. It's getting to the stage where I'm looking for it, and finding it, on so many programs. Are we being conned here or what with these "HD Ready" sets? If this is one of the best I shudder to think what the worst is like.

Shame my old CRT Panny was taken down the tip - viewing was a lot less frustrating with it.
 
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Anonymous

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Erm..with thousands of us currently scrabbling through the New Year sales spending hundreds of thousands of pounds to try and bag LCD TVs, shouldn't the fact that a significant amount of the content that will be shown on them may look worse than on traditional CRT sets be A SLIGHTLY BIGGER STORY???!!!

I was aware that some HD ready sets didn't produce great quality when showing "ordinary" terrestrial or even digital content but until reading this thread didn't understand the extent of the problem.

Surely for the average LCD buyer at the moment only a small proportion (10-20%) of their viewing time will be from HD sources? Are we really saying that for the remaining 80% of the time we'll just have to put up with poor quality pictures even though we may have spent in excess of £500 on a class leading screen?

This seems like madness to me and something that should receive far more exposure. Performance from non-HD sources rarely gets much space in the average product review even though that's what most screens will spend the majority of their life showing.

Perhaps this thread just struck a chord with me as

a) I was considring buying the LXD700

b) I been really the enjoying watching The Wire on FX and with a couple of series still to catch up on would be seriously hacked off with the morphing issues

c) I've still got at least half of the Buffy series 2 boxset to get through

Looks like I'm sticking with my CRT then!!!
 
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Anonymous

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[quote user="Billy Bookcase"]

Perhaps this thread just struck a chord with me as

a) I was considring buying the LXD700

b) I been really the enjoying watching The Wire on FX and with a couple of series still to catch up on would be seriously hacked off with the morphing issues

c) I've still got at least half of the Buffy series 2 boxset to get through

Looks like I'm sticking with my CRT then!!!

[/quote]

Actually, it's not quite as bad as all that. It's only a problem for certain channels broadcasting at a lower bit rate. I have replaced a failing CRT (a 24" Philips with 100Hz, £800 11 years ago) with the LXD700 and most of the time the picture is superior. Your Buffy disks should be fine. I have a DVD player hooked up using prog scan component leads and the picture is far better than it was with no digital artifacts visible.
 
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Anonymous

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Don't be put off buying the Panasonic!

I got it to replace a 28" CRT and the SD pictures,at the correct distance, are much better on the LCD. Yes there is the morphing problem on some channels but this is not widespread and most viewing is fine.

Most DVDs, via an upscaling DVD Player, are brilliant! I love this sound on this Tv and it saves getting a separate surround sound system

The only real problem I have is with the backlight and I am hoping to get a replacement because of this.

Bascule, after my TV has been on for a while the most obvious yellow 'cloud' isn't so noticable as the whole screen seems to take on a yellow hue (on a blank screen)and I wondered whether yours does this?
 
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Anonymous

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I am just curious as to whether this 'morphing' can be seen on Plasma as well as LCD

It's really weird as you may not see it for while and then you see it on a few programmes in the same night which is really annoying? I have noticed a bit of judder in some programmes as well and not sure whether is caused by the same thing?
 

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