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2010 VALUE ELECTRONICS FLAT PANEL SHOOTOUT Print E-mail
Written by Kevin Miller   
Tuesday, 14 September 2010

 

calibrationshootouttest.jpgFor the third year running, TweakTV has supported Value Electronics, whom we thank for this opportunity, in their annual flat panel shootout. This year we calibrated, measured, and tabulated data on six of the industry’s leading Flat panel TVs: Two of the top plasma panels, the Samsung PN58C8000, and the Panasonic TC-P58VT25, and four of the top LCD panels, the Samsung UN55C8000 3D Edge lit LED backlit LCD, LG 55LX9500 3D Direct array LED backlit LCD, the Sharp LC-60LE925UN 3D Edge lit LED backlit LCD, and the Sony KDL-55NX810 3D Edge lit LED backlit LCD.

We measured Black level, Contrast Ratio, Grayscale tracking, Gamma, and Color gamut using SpectraCal’s excellent CalMAN Pro software on all the panels and tabulated the results, which are in printable PDF format.

Of course, all of the panels were put on a level playing field. They were all professionally calibrated by Ed Johnson, Dewayne Davis (known on AVS Forum as D-Nice), and myself, using our respective state-of-the-art test equipment and software. In addition to grayscale calibration, CMS (Color Management Systems) calibration was also performed on the four of the six panels that provided that setup feature to get their primary and secondary colors as close to the Rec 709 specifications as possible.

starsofshootout.jpg

 We tested the four most important performance parameters in video to the human eye. Here are these parameters and their definitions listed in descending order of importance:  
  1. Contrast Ratio: Dynamic Range in video or the range from the panel’s ability to produce black to peak white or how low the black level measures on the display, and how bright it is capable of. Since all of the displays were calibrated to produce a peak light output of 35 fTL (Footlamberts) black level is definitely the most important element here.
 
  1. Color Saturation or how much color there is in the picture. This is directly related to the accuracy of the color decoding. We discovered in the evaluation process that, in fact, none of the panels were correctly decoding HD to the Rec 709 matrix.
 
  1. Colorimetry or how accurate is the color. This entails accurate color decoding, good grayscale tracking or how well the grayscale measures from just above black to 100% white, and finally the accuracy of the Color Space or how close it measures to the Rec 709 specifications for Red, Green, Blue, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow the primary and secondary colors in video.
 
  1. Resolution: While all the panels are technically 1080p resolution, the current industry standard, not all of them handle all HD signals correctly. We used the Silicon Optix HQV Blu-ray test disc to test for 1080i video and film resolution loss to determine how well the panels de-interlace 1080i HD sources from standard broadcasts like Cable and Satellite for both program material created in HD video, and with material (Movies mainly) transferred from film to video. We also used the Spears & Munsil Blu-ray test disc to test 24p performance. In both these areas, most of the panels passed all of our tests.
    The results of the vote on the picture quality from the audience on Sunday evening are below: (reports will pop up in a separate window).   1. Panasonic TC-P58VT25 3D Plasma (Pre / Post / Quick Review)                          2. Samsung PN58C8000 3D Plasma    (Pre / Post )                           3. LG 55LX9500  (Pre / Post ) 4. Sony KDL-55NX810 (Pre / Post ) 5. Samsung UN55C8000  (Pre / Post ) 6. Sharp LC-60LE925UN  (Pre / Post )  

It is interesting to note that, if you look at the test results carefully, you will see that the LG Full Array LED Backlit LED panel measured the best in every parameter, yet visually the Panasonic definitely had a much better perceived contrast ratio, which is probably the main reason the audience picked it as the winner. I also voted it to win for that and other reasons. While the grayscale on the LG measured so impressively after calibration watching scenes from the excellent transfer of “Sin City” on Blu-ray the black and white looked distinctly yellowish green. This was also plainly visible to all in attendance when we put up a reverse gray step pattern to look at the entire grayscale. We guessed that it might be caused by some kind of filter or a film in between the glass that improves off axis viewing.

2010 shootout checkered.jpg

  I was impressed by the support we received from both the manufacturers, and the industry press. Twice and Residential Systems both ran Value Electronics’s press release announcing the event. Panasonic, Sony, LG, and Samsung all sent representatives from their respective companies. In fact, Panasonic and Sony both had senior level engineers at the event.   We had a few surprises for this year’s event. Joel Silver of the ISF joined us for a short presentation via Skype, and Joe Kane of JKP (Joe Kane Productions) provided us with some new test material that he has yet to release on Blu-ray that gave us the opportunity to demonstrate how to test signal processing, and color decoding among other performance parameters. Also, we had the pleasure to view on that same disc rarely seen footage of one of the earliest 720p HD broadcasts from ABC; Monday Night Football from November of 1998 the first year of HDTV broadcasts in America.  

It was no surprise to me that a plasma panel would take first place in the shootout as even the best LED backlit LCD panels still fall short in some areas of performance. Plasma also provides a cleaner more artifact free 3D viewing experience. Please view the video , give us your feedback here or on our forum , and feel free to ask questions.    

Archive

2009 Value Electronics Shoot Out results on TweakTV

2008 Value Electronics Shoot Out Video (recorded)

Comments
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thehdtvman - KRP 500M   | Registered | 2010-09-15 13:41:37
How does this compare to the Pioneer KRP-500M? If it went head to head, what would win?
MemeSue - LG   | Registered | 2010-09-15 13:42:24
LG panel looks impressive. Is the entire LCD category starting to catch up with plasmas?
TVstud - 3D and Thin are where it is at   | Registered | 2010-09-15 13:44:59
Whoa. I get this all when it comes to picture quality, but 3D and THIN are in. The plasmas are still thick and the picture quality is not THAT much better
pologuy - re: 3D and Thin are where it i   | 174.102.228.5 | 2010-09-15 16:08:53
TVstud wrote:
Whoa. I get this all when it comes to picture quality, but 3D and THIN are in. The plasmas are still thick and the picture quality is not THAT much better


As has been stated, I don't watch my TV from the side, I watch it from the front...

And the picture quality of plasma (as far as the Panasonic VT25) is better than LCD.

Of course this is my opinion. :)
TVstud - re: re: 3D and Thin are where   | Registered | 2010-09-15 17:44:18
pologuy wrote:
TVstud wrote:
Whoa. I get this all when it comes to picture quality, but 3D and THIN are in. The plasmas are still thick and the picture quality is not THAT much better


As has been stated, I don't watch my TV from the side, I watch it from the front...

And the picture quality of plasma (as far as the Panasonic VT25) is better than LCD.

Of course this is my opinion. :)


But when you walk into a room and the TV is on the wall and the entire profile is exposed, it does make a difference. It is PQ guys against the overall TV guys. PQ guys will take a CRT if it performs better than anything else. Just two different schools. The post gamma curves on the LG pretty impressive. I will pay $2,000 more for that. Love you Plasma loyalists. You will never , ever go away. :)
pologuy   | 174.102.228.5 | 2010-09-16 00:29:32
The Samsung Plasma in the shootout is 1.4 inches wide; your LG LCD/LED was the same at 1.4; and the Sony LCD/LED was 2 inches wide - so I guess I don't understand where you get LCD/LED is all THAT much thinner.

And yes, until they can make LCD/LED look more natural, with REAL looking colors and not something you would see in a cartoon or more akin to the new LED Christmas lights - I, and a lot of others, will be "plasma loyalists".:)

And the fact that the top two, and only, TVs in the shootout were plasmas tells you something.
kevinmiller   | Super Administrator | 2010-09-16 08:18:02
Hi All,

That would be 1.4 and 2 inches thin not wide!

There is no question that the best plasma outperforms the best LED backlit LCD panels.

I don't understand how one could care more about the way the panel looks hanging on the wall than the picture it produces.

The Pioneer KRP series plasmas are still the reigning Kings of flat panel Picture Quality.
Johnny B. - Thanks Kevin   | 170.28.221.3 | 2010-09-16 08:41:02
Great job with the shootout.
TVstud - re:   | Registered | 2010-09-16 09:38:19
Kevin Miller wrote:
Hi All,



I don't understand how one could care more about the way the panel looks hanging on the wall than the picture it produces.

The Pioneer KRP series plasmas are still the reigning Kings of flat panel Picture Quality.


Kevin, first of all, great job on the shoot out and great job with with content. CNET does a good job with reviews, but this head to head of the best is awesome (except the Sharp). Top end Vizio could be there IMHO. With all due respect, you are a picture quality guy. Some people enjoy the art of the design even when the TV is off. This plays in big. It could be the black bezel of the KUROS or the silver front of the C8000 or the thinness of the 9000. The 9000 may have poor PQ, but it is super sleek. Let us be honest, plasmas are the best when it comes to PQ, but this window will close soon. The LG is amazing.

I throw in the towel. Keep up the great work. Dave K picked this up on his CNET blog btw.
kevinmiller   | Super Administrator | 2010-09-17 08:52:10
Hey TVstud,

Thanks for the kind words. I do agree that the design is important as well. I sure like the way my KRP500M looks!
TVstud - re:   | Registered | 2010-09-17 09:35:35
Kevin Miller wrote:
Hey TVstud,

Thanks for the kind words. I do agree that the design is important as well. I sure like the way my KRP500M looks!


It has a shiny black bezel. Is that so special? (with all due respect)
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Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 October 2010 )
 
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