LG LCD Issues.

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  • 10-10-2006, 01:43 PM
    wayner86
    LG LCD Issues.
    My folks just picked up a 42" LG LCD. They bought the HDPVR along with it (HD cable box), connected via HDMI. They had me take a look @ it and set it up, because this was clearly a daunting task for them. After it was all said and done we watched a few programs........and im unimpressed with the PQ......it looks blobby and pixelated, as though its receiving HD channels in SD and blowing them up, i've completed the cable box setup wizard......i can't find any settings on the TV that would account for this. The only thing i could think of that would be causeing a degraded picture is the HDMI cable......although im aware that digital signals shouldnt be affected a great deal by a cable.....its all i've come up with. I supplied the cable for them which came with my Panny DVD-S77 so they wouldn't have to fork out an extra $130. Has anyone had a similar experience with this particular brand...or LCD in general? Am i missing something? Any help is greatly appreciated.

    p.s. i tried using component cables just to see the difference....and the picture looked wretched....unbareable to watch, someone reassure me that the HDMI cable isn't causing this.

    Thanks!

    Wayne
  • 10-11-2006, 11:22 AM
    edtyct
    If your parents have the LP1D model, or some variation thereof, the informal consensus is that it looks pretty good with hi rez sources. If that casual assessment is to be trusted at all, the set shouldn't be showing such poor HD images--at least if calibrated, even modestly. If the HDMI and component feeds look similar, the cables are probably not to blame (though you could get yourself another good HDMI cable for considerably less than $130). If you had said that HD programming looks pretty good, but anything short of it doesn't, the problem could easily be chalked up to LG's traditionally poor deinterlacing. But poor HD performance could imply a similar difficulty.

    What resolution have you set the cable box to send, 1080i? If so, try 720p. As I said, LG is not known for the finesse of its signal processing. If the panel is 1366x768, and the cable box is sending 1080i, the TV could be processing only 540 vertical lines of the 1080 total at any one time, thereby softening the image and further degrading it with poor motion compensation. And who knows how well the TV is picking up the 2:3 film sequence? One way to determine whether the LG's deinterlacing and scaling is at fault is to hook up a progressive-scan DVD player--preferably one that scales to something like the LG's native resolution--comparing how films and video look when the player is responsible for the processing and when the TV is responsible for it (by defeating the player's progressive function). If DVDs look better via the external progressive feed, you'll know that the LG is lacking. If you can get your hands on a Toshiba HD DVD player, you can even do this test with hi def material (keep in mind that hi def disks, though not necessarily all of them, will be sharper and crisper than most HD broadcasts).

    Other factors to check are the TV's brightness and contrast levels. If too high, the TV will look bleary and unpleasant, especially given that the black level and greyscale might not be very good, tending toward the foggy and blotchy. For the best results, you should consult a good test disk to get the user controls in order. Proper attention to these parameters could well eliminate some of the disorders. I'd also make sure that no elective picture modes--like noise reduction, color enhancement, etc.--are activated, since they can degrade performance as well. Color temperature is usually best at the warm, standard, or movie setting--as opposed to cool--though it's tough to tell in the abstract, though chances are good that color temperature, at least by itself, is not the culprit. In fact, if the TV is behind the poor performance, the explanation probably involves a combination of elements.

    One last thing to consider: the cable system could be compressing broadcasts to the point of pixellization at times. If the picture clears up with DVD material--all other things being equal--the cable company's bandwidth may be seriously limited.
  • 10-11-2006, 05:04 PM
    ericl
    Quote:

    What resolution have you set the cable box to send, 1080i? If so, try 720p.
    Ed, you've caught my attention here. My cable box is outputting 1080i. I feel like i've explored every menu/setup option on my comcast/motorola hd box, but i have never seen this option. Where is it?
  • 10-11-2006, 05:45 PM
    edtyct
    With the TV on and the STB off, press the menu button on either the remote or the front of the receiver to access the User Settings. The second line will give you the option of toggling between 480p, 720p, or 1080i. The safest HD bet is usually 1080, but for some TVs, 720 may work better. Since the Pioneer that you're reviewing doesn't shortchange resolution when deinterlacing like the LG models do, 1080i may well look better than 720, which can suffer in bread-and-butter scalers because of its relative rarity as a broadcast standard. But it doesn't hurt to compare.
  • 10-11-2006, 08:11 PM
    PeruvianSkies
    Yeah, definitely check to see what the output resolution is and also check where the sharpness level is set. I know of a few people that turned their sharpness up really high thinking it would really get sharp, but it only makes the picture appear more pixelated past a certain threshold.
  • 10-13-2006, 04:18 PM
    wayner86
    Thanks for the help guys, i appreciate it. I tried to switch between 720p and 1080i and it didn't make a difference, or at least a very noticable one. I haven't tried the DVD player test yet but i will once i have some time, i'll hook up my up-converter and try it w/ & w/o the progressive setting, as well as try it in up-convert mode & play around for a bit. As for the cables, i tried to use the supplied component cable against my HDMI that i received with my DVD player. The difference was night and day, the HDMI cable made a very noticable difference over the component. The picture and color was terrible using component. Im starting to wonder if the quality of the cable is to blame so we might bite the bullet and try purchasing a better HDMI cable, although it goes againt everything i've read about cables and digital signals. Hopefully we can remedy this problem without returning the set.

    The set is a LG 42LC2D.

    Wayne
  • 10-13-2006, 04:44 PM
    edtyct
    Unless, an HDMI cable has a distinct flaw, or if it can't handle its own length (unlikely), an expensive HDMI cable (in most people's book, a Monster) shouldn't outperform a well-constructed cheaper one under typical conditions. It is far more likely that there would be a difference between HDMI and component. Usually, HDMI is the winner in such a situation, as in your case, but component is certainly capable of trumping a poorly executed digital connection. You originally wrote that HDMI and component both looked terrible. What happened between now and then to give HDMI the big edge?
  • 10-13-2006, 08:56 PM
    PeruvianSkies
    Not sure if you are able to talk with the people that you purchased it from, but I wouldn't lug that sucker back, i'd have them come and help calibrate and sort out the issue. That sucker should look stunning by now!!!
  • 10-14-2006, 01:04 PM
    wayner86
    Sorry for the confusion ed, i meant that the HDMI had an edge on component to begin with, but HD channels are still not looking HD even with the HDMI cable. And against my advice they went out today and bought...you guessed it, a monster HDMI cable. Still nothing, actually i put on a HD channel w/ the new cable, and it appears as though the horizontal lines are choppy in some shots, and still noticable pixelation all over the screen, my parents aren't as critical as me, but their eyes aren't as good either. I'm still not very impressed at all, less than stunning IMHO, im @ the point now where i don't even have the heart to tell them. I really don't want to suggest lugging the tv back for a new one, but i really don't know what to do at this point. Is there a possibility that there is a malfunctioning component in the tv or HD box? I really dont want to put them through the hassel of buying a HD-DVD player & movie to test this out.

    I just had another look, it appears as though the picture is a little fuzzy its hard to explain the picture is clear with a bit of fuzz to it, not like the absolute clarity of what a HD broadcast should look like.

    Wayne
  • 10-14-2006, 01:23 PM
    edtyct
    Wayne,

    If you've done the tests and tweaks that I suggested (except w/ an HD DVD player), and you still can't get any satisfaction, the set's signal processing may be amiss. Even cable and satellite providers who compress the hell out of their broadcasts still manage to provide HD that is generally watchable, to say the least, and it's highly unlikely that all of your DVDs are sub-par. You could certainly try another cable box, but if your DVDs don't look good either, what's the point? So, my bet is that something's wrong with the set's scaling and deinterlacing (more than just LG's usual compromised processing, which many people wouldn't even notice), though any number of other things could be out of whack--that is, if we've exhausted all of the troubleshooting that we can do.

    Ed
  • 10-16-2006, 12:57 PM
    wayner86
    Just when i thought we had exhausted all options, we contacted the cable company.....and apprently they have been experiencing some "technical difficulties" what ever that should mean. What ever the problem was has been rectified and all is well, we're now saoring the HD skies, and its pretty nice. Thanks for all the help, its very much appreciated!!

    Thanks again!

    Wayne