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New Panny plasma, HORRIBLE SD and red lines in HD

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Old 09-27-2009, 04:17 PM   #1  
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Default New Panny plasma, HORRIBLE SD and red lines in HD

Just picked up a new panny 54" plasma, TC-54PS14 from Costco.

Plugged it in with the cable box which is an explorer 8300hdc with a HDMI cable. Nice thick new cable, decent one.

Turned the tv on, almost vomited at the quality of SD. Just shockingly worse than our crt. I know that it's not going to be as good, but it looks HORRIBLE>

So then, I switch to HD and get RED Horizontal bars across the screen, middle right with a tiny flicker on the left side too. Each bar is about 6" long, and there are about 8 of them above and below each other, beside each other composing approximate 20% of the screen. Each line is made up of these tiny vertical lines.

Here's the thing, when I tried it on our old sd tv, I see the same bars on hd channels....but sd looks fine.

I contacted Comcast as I had no sound either, they resolve this but were unable to get the picture cleaned up. They reset the box etc.

Comcast also informed me that they do not broadcast in 1080p? What is the purpose of a 1080p tv then? I know that the feed coming to comcast is most likely 1080i but I know there are some programs that run 1080p occasionally right?

I tried several HDMI slows and component cables.

Even if I try to ignore the red lines, the HD quality is not that hot. It appears that 720p looks better than 1080i.

If this is the case, wouldn't the 720p tv of the same size (actually 1" larger) look the exact same unless I'm running a blue ray...of which I will rarely do

I'm thinkng cable box....is this possible? Should I request a specific box or is there anything...

Thanks.

Signed,
A EXTREMELY frustrated new Plasma owner with a massive headache.

P.S. Comcast VS Directv? Anyone?
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Old 09-27-2009, 04:45 PM   #2  
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Sounds like a cable problem not your Plasma TV that is for sure. I have the same TV just bought it also. The picture with my Dish network & DTV satellite receivers is incredible. I don't have cable but my friend does with his Samsung LCD and it looks bad compared to my HD stuff. But that could be his TV also. Also as far as HDMI cables go it does not matter if it is a $200 rip off Monster cable or a $5 Monoprice cable. digital is digital that is not the problem. How does your Blu-Ray player look? Also what are your settings on your TV? Make sure to put your picture contrast down to 50% or below for 200 hours for break in.
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Old 09-27-2009, 05:47 PM   #3  
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Sounds like a cable problem not your Plasma TV that is for sure. I have the same TV just bought it also. The picture with my Dish network & DTV satellite receivers is incredible. I don't have cable but my friend does with his Samsung LCD and it looks bad compared to my HD stuff. But that could be his TV also. Also as far as HDMI cables go it does not matter if it is a $200 rip off Monster cable or a $5 Monoprice cable. digital is digital that is not the problem. How does your Blu-Ray player look? Also what are your settings on your TV? Make sure to put your picture contrast down to 50% or below for 200 hours for break in.
Yes I have the settings on default which is very low. The picture looks pretty bad in sd. So bad that if we swap this cable box and see no improvement it will go back. Very dull lifeless, colorless, fuzzy images. Not sure why I don't hear others complaining about sd lately...everyone I see looks horrible. I figured they had things setup wrong and that my tv would be better, as I would hook the thing up correctly.

OH well

Lets hope it's the box. Half tempted to make an HD tv antenna to check it out.

Also thinking of getting dtv, I know sd was better in sd on our crt so maybe in hd it would be even better than Comcast. Comcast's service is so poor. Signals very low , overloaded routers etc. Just can't imagine what they are thinking when they advertise 'more hd' channels etc

Anything else I can try?
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Old 09-27-2009, 05:55 PM   #4  
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Yes I have the settings on default which is very low. The picture looks pretty bad in sd. So bad that if we swap this cable box and see no improvement it will go back. Very dull lifeless, colorless, fuzzy images. Not sure why I don't hear others complaining about sd lately...everyone I see looks horrible. I figured they had things setup wrong and that my tv would be better, as I would hook the thing up correctly.

OH well

Lets hope it's the box. Half tempted to make an HD tv antenna to check it out.

Also thinking of getting dtv, I know sd was better in sd on our crt so maybe in hd it would be even better than Comcast. Comcast's service is so poor. Signals very low , overloaded routers etc. Just can't imagine what they are thinking when they advertise 'more hd' channels etc

Anything else I can try?
Sorry to hear about your new tv but I agree that it is probably cable related. Directv is much better than cable and I know this from experience as the cheapskate in me tried to save a buck and swapped to Time Warner. That lasted one whole day, then I switched back. I don't care if they give it away I'll never go back.
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Old 09-27-2009, 06:04 PM   #5  
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If you had the red lines on HD signals with your CRT I would assume your CRT was HD also. That would lead me to believe that it is a cable issue, but it could also be the HDTV is defective, but it is a long shot.

Try adjusting the picture settings to what I have in my "SETTINGS" link in my signature and see if that helps! The display model you bought is a very nice display so I would say it is either defective, your cable box is set up wrong, or your TV settings are wrong.

FYI. SD signals were only designed to look good on 27" screens or smaller. Although my 50" Panasonic plasma does a better job with SD channels than any other HD display I have had in my home (9 so far), it is not going to look as crisp and clean as a SD signal would look on a 50"+ display.
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Old 09-27-2009, 08:30 PM   #6  
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No our crt was not HD. That's why I thought, ok those red lines are because its capturing an hd feed or something and the tv can't handle it. But, same thing on the panny

Also, we are noticing a very annoying green cast on EVERYTHING, especially blacks. I then SUDDENLY remembered, my last tv that I purchased was a panasonic super black...it had a green cast on it 20+ years ago and I took it back for a Sony. Colors are STILL great on the Sony.

Could this also be related to our issue? They are sending someone out *cough, laugh* on weds to scratch their head and do what we did - call a tech support person that will tell me and I quote "I don't really known nothing about hd stuff, just want I types in the box and what it tells me to tell you"

I'm not joking, that was Comcasts tech support. They DID get me into the sound settings though so that was cool. Not sure why HDMI was disabled.

It shows 1080i, the tv shows 1080i...the picture is...a bit better than our Sony 32", but ALOT better than the panny sd.

Then...

I started flipping channels, and found HBO. My Myself and Irene was on. And I suddenly noticed how much more crisp it looked. Everything was still WAY too green but it looked very crisp.

So is Comcast dumbing down the general tv channels to save bandwidth? We have an old infrastructure here, clicking on things takes forever and all the menus are super old. They say they can't upgrade it to what people just over the next town have because we have an old infrastructure.

I'm concerned I won't be able to get Directv. We have a 3 story townhouse with a 40 foot tree behind us. If the sat signal comes in from high above, then we would be ok, but from what I remember you have to point it just over the horizon, and even if it clears the tree it will possibly be obscured by a hill.

The people across the street without trees have directtv, but I see NOONE on my side with it. Making me a bit worried as I don't want to be stuck with comcast.

Does anyone have that dish pointer website handy?

And thanks for any tips. Oh and any idea on the color or what till this red lines issues resolves to figure it out?
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:00 PM   #7  
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Since your TV has a QAM tuner, unhook the cable from the cable box, and plug it directly in to your TV. perform an "autoscan" and see if you are getting any signal in the clear. this could take any where from 5 to 20 minutes. You will not get any encrypted channels (HBO,ESPN,etc.) but if your local cable company has any in the clear channels (ABC,CBS,Etc.) these will show up as digital like 6.1,,8.1,,etc. If they do show up with the same red lines,,me would say the TV either is way out of tune,,,or bad. If they show up in HD glory,,,it be the cable box.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:07 PM   #8  
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broadcast signals are almost always either 720p or 1080i the point of having a 1080p set my good man is that you have nearly 2 times the number of pixels within your display than a 720/1080i set with which to render the images.....if the Panny is still hooked up via HDMI and the box says it is disabled I would suggest enabling it...If hooked up with Componant (red,green,blue) make certain the blue cable is not hooked into the green output & green into blue, this is a common mistake and will not display the colors accurately..
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:09 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sincraft View Post
No our crt was not HD. That's why I thought, ok those red lines are because its capturing an hd feed or something and the tv can't handle it. But, same thing on the panny

Also, we are noticing a very annoying green cast on EVERYTHING, especially blacks. I then SUDDENLY remembered, my last tv that I purchased was a panasonic super black...it had a green cast on it 20+ years ago and I took it back for a Sony. Colors are STILL great on the Sony.

Could this also be related to our issue? They are sending someone out *cough, laugh* on weds to scratch their head and do what we did - call a tech support person that will tell me and I quote "I don't really known nothing about hd stuff, just want I types in the box and what it tells me to tell you"

I'm not joking, that was Comcasts tech support. They DID get me into the sound settings though so that was cool. Not sure why HDMI was disabled.

It shows 1080i, the tv shows 1080i...the picture is...a bit better than our Sony 32", but ALOT better than the panny sd.

Then...

I started flipping channels, and found HBO. My Myself and Irene was on. And I suddenly noticed how much more crisp it looked. Everything was still WAY too green but it looked very crisp.

So is Comcast dumbing down the general tv channels to save bandwidth? We have an old infrastructure here, clicking on things takes forever and all the menus are super old. They say they can't upgrade it to what people just over the next town have because we have an old infrastructure.

I'm concerned I won't be able to get Directv. We have a 3 story townhouse with a 40 foot tree behind us. If the sat signal comes in from high above, then we would be ok, but from what I remember you have to point it just over the horizon, and even if it clears the tree it will possibly be obscured by a hill.

The people across the street without trees have directtv, but I see NOONE on my side with it. Making me a bit worried as I don't want to be stuck with comcast.

Does anyone have that dish pointer website handy?

And thanks for any tips. Oh and any idea on the color or what till this red lines issues resolves to figure it out?
This sounds like an issue with the cable box and/or the connection being used. Many of these cable boxes do not work properly with HDMI or DVI connections on the boxes. Try component (red/green/blue) for the video and red/white for the audio and see if that solves the issue.

Did you try the settings I have a link to in my signature like I suggested? Also remember that you have to adjust the settings for each input as they have a memory setting.

Please post all your picture settings (including the second page of settings) so we can see if that is the problem.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:16 PM   #10  
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Make sure the sharpness is at 50 (that would be 0 on every other brand of TV.). That will help with the SD picture a bit.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:53 PM   #11  
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yes I checked the settings, everything is just a minor tweak or obvious setting that won't even touch this issue of the red bars.


Image of the red bars.

I did as someone mentioned and plugged the coax directly into the tv. It scanned, found like 80 analog and 30 digital. I surfed and found that some stations showed up full screen, some showed with gray bars on the sides, and others showed in letterbox. Odd, when we had it hooked up to the box it didn't do this.
I did manage to find some 'hd' stations but the programming did not appear to be in hd.
At any rate, no red bars on any station..

Why am I seeing such different sizing on different stations? Does the cable box automatically size this for us prior to plugging the coax directly into the tv.

I know the cable from the box outside to the inside of the house is small, not like the thick cable I used to run throughout the house. Don't know if this matters much.

So take a look at that image and tell me what you think. I'm going to go watch borat now on some of the worst sd quality I've seen since my grandfather had rabbit ears

Thanks for the input guys, it has been at the very least, helpful enough to keep me from going bonkers over this until I resolve it.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:54 PM   #12  
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ok it said I can only post images after 5 or more post so, ....look below..

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2455/...64551dc3_b.jpg

Oh btw I'd like to add if I didn't already. For those on the fence about this tv, if I can work out the green cast issue, the red bars issue, and somehow resolve my HORRIBLE sd picture quality issue, this is a great tv for the price I was very very surprised to see (or hear) how good the speakers were on this. At 30 it was too loud.....too loud on a flatscreens built ins??? YES! Finally they figure out how to get decent sound out of a flatscreen.

I wonder how many people take these tvs back because they dont know where to go to find out what tweaking they need to do to get an acceptable picture?

Last edited by sincraft; 09-27-2009 at 10:58 PM..
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:10 AM   #13  
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Originally Posted by pappylap View Post
broadcast signals are almost always either 720p or 1080i the point of having a 1080p set my good man is that you have nearly 2 times the number of pixels within your display than a 720/1080i set with which to render the images.....if the Panny is still hooked up via HDMI and the box says it is disabled I would suggest enabling it...If hooked up with Componant (red,green,blue) make certain the blue cable is not hooked into the green output & green into blue, this is a common mistake and will not display the colors accurately..
I thought the difference between 1080i and 1080p was the scan rates not pixel count? It takes a 1080i signal two times to scan one full frame while 1080p signal takes one time to scan one full frame, please correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:42 AM   #14  
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ok it said I can only post images after 5 or more post so, ....look below..

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2455/...64551dc3_b.jpg

Oh btw I'd like to add if I didn't already. For those on the fence about this tv, if I can work out the green cast issue, the red bars issue, and somehow resolve my HORRIBLE sd picture quality issue, this is a great tv for the price I was very very surprised to see (or hear) how good the speakers were on this. At 30 it was too loud.....too loud on a flatscreens built ins??? YES! Finally they figure out how to get decent sound out of a flatscreen.

I wonder how many people take these tvs back because they dont know where to go to find out what tweaking they need to do to get an acceptable picture?

You think the SD channels look bad on your plasma... You should see them on a DLP or LCD alot worse. I have the same TV as you and my SD channels look very good. Almost as good as on my 42" CRT. I would try a different coax cable from your cable provider. What does a DVD look like or a Blu-Ray? Does it have the same issues?
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:36 AM   #15  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sincraft View Post
ok it said I can only post images after 5 or more post so, ....look below..

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2455/...64551dc3_b.jpg

Oh btw I'd like to add if I didn't already. For those on the fence about this tv, if I can work out the green cast issue, the red bars issue, and somehow resolve my HORRIBLE sd picture quality issue, this is a great tv for the price I was very very surprised to see (or hear) how good the speakers were on this. At 30 it was too loud.....too loud on a flatscreens built ins??? YES! Finally they figure out how to get decent sound out of a flatscreen.

I wonder how many people take these tvs back because they dont know where to go to find out what tweaking they need to do to get an acceptable picture?
I do not see ANY "green cast" in that pic. I do see the red pixels so that leads me to believe that you do not have a strong signal since they went away when you removed the cable STB out of the chain. So I would have them test the signal strength coming into the house. This often does not show up with SD signals because the data size is much smaller compared to HD signals so it would not be noticeable if the signal strength is enough for SD but not enough for HD.

It seems apparent this is NOT a HDTV issue but rather an issue with the cable system IMO based on what we know right now.

Can you please try using component cables with the cable STB and also try using MY settings to confirm this?
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