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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: NFG's new plasma TV and retro games
I finally caved and bought a new plasma TV.  Fifty inches of astonishing clarity at a price I could justify, and wow, it makes digital TV (which I've enjoyed since moving to Australia 4 years ago) look amazing.  The Xbox 360 looks astonishing as well, with HDMI at the TV's native resolution of 1033 x 720.  It doesn't have 15kHz RGB/SCART inputs, but based on its handling of non-interlaced signals, I don't think I'm really missing it.

Put simply, this TV handles non-interlaced signals, but it makes them very ugly when upscaling for display.  To illustrate this, I hooked up Vampire Savior using Capcom's CPS Changer.  The problem seems to be in its application of de-interlacing to an already non-interlaced signal.  It doesn't just double up the rows, it seems to try and apply some horizontal logic as well, which completely fails on a static screen. 

Check out this Capcom logo.  Top is an emulated screenshot, where I tripled the size and offset every third row by one pixel, and applied 0.6 gaussian blur.  The bottom is a TV screenshot.  Except for vertical lines (the P) it looks just about accurate. 

[Image: /grafx/games/plasma-Capcom-2.png]

Check out the close-up view of the C:

[Image: /grafx/games/plasma-Capcom.png]

Finally, here's the Q-sound logo.  The upscaling does a really good job of maintaining horizontal detail, but totally fails to preserve the vertical clarity. 

[Image: /grafx/games/plasma-Qsound.png]

Interestingly the TV does a beautiful job with interlaced signals most of the time.  Games like Internal Section (PS1) and Frequency (PS2) look gorgeous.  Strangely it absolutely failed to make Mushihimesama look good.  The best way I can describe it is 'revolting' but I think the PS2's internal upscaling was rubbish anyway, scaling the yoko image by ~50%.


To play older games, I've decided that the Xbox is the way to go.  Unlike my last TV (A TEAC CRT) this Panasonic does a beautiful job with component video, and playing mednafen (SNES, MD, PCE) at 720p is just glorious.  Yoshi's Island has pixels that are about 1cm square, but ultra-clear and I can choose the scaling mechanism of choice (I stick to plain old pixel scaling).

Note that sitting too close to a large TV while playing Yoshi's Island WILL make you motion sick in a very short time!


My ultimate goal is to hook up a media PC of some sort for emulation.  DVI -> HDMI is cheap and easy, and unlike the xbox, 720p movies should be playable.  Considering either an Acer Revo, or a proper PC in a small case...  Given my experience with onboard soundchip lag (Hello Realtek!) I may stick to a real PC...

Your experiences and suggestions are welcomed.  =)
BLEARGH
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Member since Sep 2008 · 5 posts · Location: Munich, Germany
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and offset every third row by one pixel,
why ? did you ever see such an effect on a nicely working CRT ? I would expect this from a CRT-based TV with a soon-to-fail sync interpretation.
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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I was trying to replicate the effect of the plasma TV, not a CRT.  The goal was to replicate what the plasma was doing with its broken deinterlacing/motion compensation.  I wanted to understand what the TV was doing.  I'm not really there, but I think I have a workable starting point.  =)
BLEARGH
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User title: Nao Oikawa says, "Time for a wank!"
Member since May 2008 · 4 posts · Location: Washington, US
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The introduction of HDTVs and their substandard scalers have clearly blown the doors off of Provenfactington's Law.
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Member since Jul 2009 · 1 post · Location: Romania
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In reply to post #1
Quote by NFG on 2009-05-28, 11:07:
Your experiences and suggestions are welcomed.  =)
Hi. What I recommend you is a LED TV. The picture quality, although noticeably better than your standard LCD TVis not the most impressive part of it. The film showing on the LED TV was not an action film with fast moving images, it was a normal kind of everyday film, but boy can you notice the difference. Good luck!
This post was edited 3 times, last on 2009-08-11, 22:50 by green1706.
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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An LED TV is just an LCD TV with a better backlight.  All of the inherent problems with LCD's speed and scaling still exist, and though they claim darker blacks, my experience with side-lit LED displays suggests that this is a negligible effect, if it exists at all.  You're still lighting the whole panel, where plasma lights one pixel at a time.
BLEARGH
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