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Panasonic V20 Black Levels Illustrated

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vramak

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I was requested by one of our members to post pictures comparing Panasonic V20's black levels in the V20 owners thread. I'm posting this info in a new thread as it's probably worthy of a new thread.

Setup: This illustration compares the black levels of Samsung B450 and Panasonic V20. A Vaio LCD monitor and an Inspiron LED monitor are kept for reference. All panels are displaying a black image, fullscreen. ( IMPORTANT: Do not judge LCD TV performance based on the laptop monitors shown here. Laptop monitors have a unique backlighting system and LCD TVs are much better in black level and viewing angle performance. Reiterating, the monitors are kept for reference purpose only. ) For dark room test, the camera (Canon EOS 5D) was set in manual mode with Shutter speed: 2 seconds, Aperture: F4, ISO:100. For daylight test, only the aperture was reduced to F8 to simulate the natural daytime contraction of the iris while the shutter speed and ISO were kept the same. I had rearranged the furniture after I got the V20, so the pictures may not look exactly the same. I've tried my best to keep the conditions uniform.

Now, onto the illustration.

DARK ROOM TEST

Samsung B450

mg7990.jpg


Black levels are quite high and only slightly better than the laptop monitors.

Panasonic V20

mg8918.jpg


Black levels are so deep that the camera (in its current settings) can't capture it. In reality, you won't see the blacks being completely dark like this but you will see a faint glow because the eyes are more sensitive than the camera setting used. Nevertheless, the glow is very faint. If I set the cam to capture the faint glow then the laptop monitors will appear much more milkier.

DAYLIGHT TEST

Samsung B450

mg7994.jpg


The screen is quite reflective and the black levels take a plunge.

Panasonic V20

mg8926.jpg


Screen reflectivity is low and black levels are well retained.

One point that can be derived from this illustration is that not all plasmas have great black levels. The black levels of budget plasmas are probably on par with LCDs priced in the next bracket.
 

bansal98

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Wow. I was under the impression that all plasmas will have somewhat comparable black levels. But this difference is quite revealing. Thanks for posting.
 

WHATSINANAME

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For dark room test, the camera (Canon EOS 5D) was set in manual mode with Shutter speed: 2 seconds, Aperture: F4, ISO:100. For daylight test, only the aperture was reduced to F8 to simulate the natural daytime contraction of the iris while the shutter speed and ISO were kept the same.

It might be fair to also post what picture settings the two TV's were on. Also is this possible to do this for other plasma models (LG, the newer samsungs etc)
 

vramak

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It might be fair to also post what picture settings the two TV's were on. Also is this possible to do this for other plasma models (LG, the newer samsungs etc)


These were the calibrated settings for both TVs and the same settings were used in the tests too -

Samsung B450: brightness:50, contrast:85, cell light:10, gamma:0

Panasonic V20: Contrast: 78 Brightness: 4(-50 to 50 scale) Advanced Settings->Gamma: 2.6

I won't be able to test other TVs because these two are the only HDTV's I've owned. But you can be sure that the black level for all budget plasmas (Pana X20, Sammy C450/C550, LG Pk550 etc. ) will be nearly the same as Sammy B450's. The black levels of high end plasmas (of which Pana V20 is the only one available now in 42" size) will be nearly the same as V20's.
 

WHATSINANAME

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Also are these two sets brand new? If I recall correctly V20 is a new model whereas B450 is 2 years old.

I ask this because plasma black levels get less black with age.


According to Panasonic itself:
Panasonic has confirmed that its plasma TVs reproduce brighter black levels by design as they age, but will not divulge exactly how much brighter after how long. New testing conducted by CNET provides some hints.

Results from two aged Panasonic plasma TVs purchased in 2009 indeed show brighter blacks, and correspondingly reduced picture quality, compared with similar 2009 models with fewer hours.

Source ~ cnet
 

vramak

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Also are these two sets brand new? If I recall correctly V20 is a new model whereas B450 is 2 years old.

I ask this because plasma black levels get less black with age.


According to Panasonic itself:

B450 wasn't exactly brand new; it was found to be a display piece with ~250 hours on it. It did have some burn-in marks (you can see the letterbox bars burned in) but otherwise it was very good and would certainly represent a flawless sample of B450. I returned the B450 mainly because it had burn-in marks from being a display piece. Otherwise it was a very good TV. Obviously not as good as the V20 but it's a very good budget TV. The V20 I have now is brand new.

Rising black levels was a problem ONLY with previous generation Panasonic plasmas. Black levels are not known to rise in any other plasma panel and also not in current generation Panasonic plasmas. G10 is probably the only model in India which would be affected by this problem.
 

frankmehta

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Good stuff. Makes me happier ;-) The 50 inch V20 is still lying unused, save for a few hours that day. I am DYING to shift into my new house and get that damn Dark Knight bluray going ;-)
 

Imrahn

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Thanx for the comparison....but i think the pic showing the B450 vs V20 daylight reflection is not doing justice to the Samsung as viewing angles are way too different.and honestly, a 2010 series Samsung has much better blacks than an 09 model.

The V20 is a good model,but IMHO, still doesnt warrant the extra 50k or 40k wrt a Samsung or LG budget one-maybe in the long run(who knows?) but definitely not from the short stints i have had with them-but again, maybe its just me. :)
 

vramak

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Thanx for the comparison....but i think the pic showing the B450 vs V20 daylight reflection is not doing justice to the Samsung as viewing angles are way too different.and honestly, a 2010 series Samsung has much better blacks than an 09 model.

The V20 is a good model,but IMHO, still doesnt warrant the extra 50k or 40k wrt a Samsung or LG budget one-maybe in the long run(who knows?) but definitely not from the short stints i have had with them-but again, maybe its just me. :)

Trust me, the conditions were more plasma-favorable in the B450 pic. There's more daylight in the V20 pic. Also, because of the lower angle in the V20 pic, more of the light coloured wall faces the V20, which should create worser reflections but it doesn't. You can make out the AC, wardrobe etc. in the B450 pic but the same are not visible in V20 pic. I'm not sure of Sammy's 2010 budget plasmas but specs-wise they are the same as B450 except for a different glass design that, as per specs, reduces internal reflection (ie. image doubling, which is not the same as screen reflectivity). BOTTOMLINE: V20 has much much lower screen reflectivity than B450.
 

WHATSINANAME

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Thanx for the comparison....but i think the pic showing the B450 vs V20 daylight reflection is not doing justice to the Samsung

Now that you mention it, I looked more closely and I think vramak left the window open by mistake when he shot the samsung!:cool:

mg8926.jpg

mg7994.jpg
 

vramak

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Now that you mention it, I looked more closely and I think vramak left the window open by mistake when he shot the samsung!:cool:

View attachment 2804

View attachment 2805

LOL! No. :)

Watch the B450 pic a little more closely. You'll see a bureau with mirror being reflected. That mirror is casting that beam of light on the opposite wall. I had rearranged the furniture after getting V20. I didn't want to rearrange the furniture again just for the sake of this pic. I had mentioned this in my original post too. Forget the mirror, just check how the opposite wall is reflected on the two panels. That should give you an idea about how the reflection levels compare.

I am 100% sure these images are true representations of what I really see and how these panels truly compare. If you wanna be skeptical, please do your own research and if possible try showing solid evidence why what's shown here is wrong. I'm sure you'll understand what I mean then.
 

Imrahn

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Thanx for the clarifications bro....and even more for the time and effort gone into the comparison.There is no doubt whether V20 is better than any other plasma out there or not :) and this just reaffirms it.
 

vramak

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Thanx for the clarifications bro....and even more for the time and effort gone into the comparison.There is no doubt whether V20 is better than any other plasma out there or not :) and this just reaffirms it.

I'm not really sure about that. I know VT20 is better than V20. I don't know if V20 is better than the high end plasmas from Samsung and LG.
 

shredder

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Those black levels are just unbelievable. 2 damn good. There might be other models touted as better, but the V20 leaves nothing to be desired. Your only regret over time might be regarding size - why you did not get a 50 incher.:D
PS: thanks for posting the pics as per request
 

alokbharti

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vramak,

Are you sure you kept v20 powered on in that pic :D.. Its completely invisible.. amazing blacks..can't believe my eyes..
 

vramak

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vramak,

Are you sure you kept v20 powered on in that pic :D.. Its completely invisible.. amazing blacks..can't believe my eyes..

As I warned in the first post, V20 blacks are not so completely invisible like the pic suggests. In reality you'll see a dark gray glow. I had to use the same camera settings used for the B450 pic to make the comparison fair, but that setting wasn't enough to capture the dark gray glow.

is this an imported v20 with infinite black "pro" or indian model?

No, this is the Indian model without the 'pro' filter and THX.
 

alokbharti

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As I warned in the first post, V20 blacks are not so completely invisible like the pic suggests. In reality you'll see a dark gray glow. I had to use the same camera settings used for the B450 pic to make the comparison fair, but that setting wasn't enough to capture the dark gray glow.

chill man.. i was just kidding.. :D
 

shredder

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When people talk about checking the black level of a display they usually suggest playing The Dark Knight (Batman). Try playing Dirty Harry (Clint Eastwood).... I watched that movie recently and noticed that there are a lot of dark shadowy scenes.
 
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