Display Myths Shattered: How Monitor & HDTV Companies Cook Their Specs

avatar

Brandon Bates

I'll vouch for most of the arguments presented in this article.  On one point I saw something that might be explained differently.  The samsung approach, while admittedly more of a marketing gimmick than anything useful, does head in a direction that has some merit.  While I was at NAB this year I saw a reasearch project that validated something I had wondered about for a few years, that is: Is the standard observer used in color measurements really how everyone sees, or is it an average that might be off significantly.  The general premise is that if we don't see RGB quite the same, then filling in the spectral output with orange, magenta, cyan, etc. other colors (don't really know which ones would make the most difference without looking at the spectral output of a particular display I suppose) may provide for a more "uniform" and accurate display of a particular HUE to all observers.  This is not about expanding gamut, but allowing people to see the same colors within standard gamuts.  A good example might be an orange flower next to a display showing an image of that same orange flower.  If one person calibrated the display to look exactly the same hue as the real flower, would someone else see it the same or would it be slightly off?  Just some info for thought...

avatar

jasionmark

Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Well this article that i've been waited for so long http://www.mmoxe.com/FFXI/ | http://www.mmoxe.com/FFXIV/

avatar

lazygirl

Not all Microsoft Free Network+ study guides 70-680 exam System Administrator training is the same however. At the top of the scale 70-620 are MCITP benefits boot camps. A well run bootcamp can take you from stop to go and ready for your MCITP certification in record time. The only problem with boot camp is the price. They come with a large MCITP certification 70-640 exam for both time and money. If you are interested in devoting time and holding 70-642 dumps on to more of your hard earned money, you should consider the virtual 70-643 practice test boot camp that is Test.

avatar

lazygirl

Fantastic precise info and this is one of the most nice blogs Ive read in a very long time 70-680 70-620 exam 70-640 dumps 70-642 70-643 exam , photo retouching ulcer treatment how to hack facebook account

avatar

MonkeyShine

It's just lovely to know that current user controls are based on a 60 year old model.  Furthermore, I'm glad that I'm being lied to about what control do.  Not that I should be surprised about being lied to about product features at this point (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/Outlook Repair/big-fat-lies-lite/id307414781?mt=8).  Still, good to know I can learn some to counter this marketing mess.  Thanks for the info. 

 

 

avatar

reshhia

The traditional style and design page rank personal computer output a mix of both practice can also be used with regard to freeing a person's imagination around web site format or impression progress likewise. In the past of computer submitting, quite a few common graphic artists relied on laptop or computer experienced development music artists to generate its thoughts by images, and not having to understand the computer system capabilities on their own.
http://www.rushmyessay.com/

avatar

iAMhitek

To Dr. Raymond Soneira:

For the past several months, I have been noticing this very intriguing situation which contradicts our general notion that LCD TVs with white LED backlights are more reliable than those with CCFL backlight technology. The LED-LCD TVs that are in display in showrooms which have been running for a few months manifest lowered brightness and bluish screen as compared to the new units from the box. While the LCD TVs with conventional CCFL backlight have no or very little screen white balance and/or luminance change observed. It appears now that the white LEDs used for the backlight are deteriorating faster than what the manufacturers claimed 50,000 hours plus life span.

Could this be due to the technology implemented? Yellow phospor degradation (bluish screen) and blue LED chip lumens down (lowered brightness) in producing white LEDs (yellow phospor + blue LED = white light).

I hope you can do some investigations on this issue as more and more LCD-LED TVs are coming out in the market.

Thanks again for shattering the myths these manufacturers are doing...........

avatar

Honest Abe

I am curious if the author Dr. Raymond Soneira has thought about establishing a site for review monitors.

I can't even trust the monitor reviews on this site, which recommended the NEC 3090, which costs over $2,000, yet when I read the in-depth review listed below I find thats its not suitable for simply srgb gambit work.

http://www.prad.de/en/monitore/review/2008/review-nec-lcd3090wqxi-part12.html

I'd like to see reviews at least as good as this here!

avatar

iAMhitek

Kudos to you, Dr. Soneira!

 

This article is a big blow to the arrogance of these greedy manufactures claiming  features and numbers that are simply geared to make lots and lots of money from us. Anyone who still refuses to accept the concrete findings of Dr. Soneira is missing the point. As I have read his articles several times already, it is very clear that these manufacturers are simply playing ignorant on their exaggerated claims. Let us all wake up folks. THIS WORLD IS ALL ABOUT MONEY !!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

avatar

johnfull

 

Here's a study of the compromises needed to get both cyan and yellow with RGB:

http://lcd.creol.ucf.edu/publications/2010/JDT%20Cheng%205-primary.pdf

avatar

Pip

First let me say that from a professional point of view using the critique of Sharp's Quattron technology seems justifiable. If the TV wants to make use of an extended gamut while receiving standard gamut material, colors have to be exaggerated.

On the other hand this could be a way to circumvent a typical chicken-or-egg-problem. How to introduce displays with extended gamuts into the mass market if there is no material for them - and why produce material that no one benefits from?

That being said, I don't know if Sharp's use of a yellow subpixel actually means that they change the red and green subpixels in any way. Thus, I don't know if Quattron TVs really widen the gamut, not in the yellow but in the red and green range of the spectrum.

But now to the hidden agenda hypothesis:

I recently learned of the PenTile matrix family, and one of the subpixel arrangements uses RGBW with an additional white subpixel. With this a pixel can appear just as bright as an RGB pixel while the backlight actually is weaker under certain conditions (plus other things that are less relevant to my point).

At least in Germany Sharp advertises the supposedly low power consumption of their AQUOS TVs. The PenTile inventor has been employed by Samsung, so I wonder if the Sharp engineers thought something like this:

"Man, RGBW is a great idea, but now Samsung holds the rights. Oh, I know: Let's try it with RGBY. It works similarly to a certain degree, but it's different from PenTile, so they can't touch us! Ha!"

And because the average consumer doesn't wait 30 minutes until you explained to him how the whole business with subpixels works and whatnot you shout "Better colors, yay!", and to customers who bother to care maybe "lower energy consumption".

I mention that because in the article it sounds like Quattron has no advantage whatsoever and I am not sure if I should agree.

avatar

johnfull

This is a good continuation of the discussion!

The advertisement for Quattron talks about both yellow and cyan being improved.

They show fields of sunflowers and they show tropical seascapes.

That would indicate that the green is deeper and bluer than the 'mixing green' that must

be used to get saturated yellows in the tri-color setup.

This was my point in the gamut expansion. The yellows are very important for fleshtones

and for low-light shadow detail, but the green gamut is very narrow in tricolor and can be

expanded greatly when yellow is used.

The Sharp folks have hit the nail on the head with yellow as their choice. In the early days,

the green was purer, but overall brightness was poor and whites were not very convincing.

It was in 1961 when the NTSC gamut was overthrown in favor of better fleshtones and

brighter pictures with a yellower green. The blue and the green produce most brightness and

a yellower green meant less reliance on red for a white point.

LCDs have none of the limitations, but expectations have all developed based on the yellow green

in use for so many years. Now turquoise/cyan is making a comeback!

avatar

musicvid

"First of all, “dynamic” was left off—it should say “infinite dynamic contrast ratio.” This is then technically correct because the LEDs turn off when an all-black image is present. This results in a division by zero, and produces the infinite result."

This particular bit of hype is not technically correct, but rather is typical of middle-school logic. The answer to "divide by zero" is NOT "infinite," but "undefined" the last time I checked. That's because we don't know whether the answer is zero, one, one million, or infinity. There being no definable quotient, so divide by zero fails the function test.

Of course it really wouldn't look particularly good if the Walmart marketers touted "Undefined Dynamic Contrast Ratio." But then they would be telling the truth . . .

avatar

Taz0

Division by zero is only undefined in elementary arithmetic and algebra, but it is defined in calculus (as long you're not dividing zero by zero): positive infinity and negative infinity.

But even using simple arithmetic, you can see that as you approach a divisor of zero, the number approaches infinity (1/1 = 1, 1/0.5 = 2, 1/0.1 = 10, 1/0.01 = 100, 1/0.000001 = 1000000, etc). So division by an infinitesimal number (epsilon) would yield an infinite number without actually dividing by zero, if that's what's bothering you.

 

avatar

musicvid

A ratio is a linear arithmetic relationship, not calculus, so the rules of "elementary" arithmetic and algebra are the only ones that apply. The tiny bit I know about dual-number theory applies to polynomials, not linear functions.

An infinite number of solutions does not equate to a single solution of infinity. Since 0!=1!=infinity, the output cannot be defined. Flipping the terms produces an output of 0. Furthermore, all real ratios must be positive (>0), so other solutions are extraneous.

The term "infinite ratio" is an equivocation or a fantasy, nothing more

Kind of like the perpetual motion machine I "invented" in seventh grade (when circular logic still gave me all the answers).

avatar

Taz0

My point is: substitute zero for epsilon, and you get infinity. Epsilon and zero are close enough for the purpose of explaining why it's called infinite dynamic contrast. TBH I think you understand the point, you just want to nitpick on the writer's technically inaccurate (but clear and informative) statement.

avatar

musicvid

Both of your points were covered in my response above, which I'm sure you understood. A ratio is linear, not asymptotic.

But let's follow your logic for a minute:

If 13/0 = infinity,

Then 0 x infinity = 13,

And 0 x infinity/13 = 1,

ad nauseum.

Well maybe, but then (0 x infinity) might also equal anything.

Like, 0 x infinity = 0, which is an oxymoron, because it says infinity!=infinity.

Or, 0 x infinity = infinity, which says that 0 = 1.

And how about this old warhorse, with which I regularly torment students:

0 x 1 = 0
0 x 2 = 0

Therefore,

0 x 1 = 0 x 2

Dividing both sides by zero,

0/0 x 1 = 0/0 x 2

Therefore

1 = 2.
(Actually, all it proves is that 0 = 0, but it is sufficient to point out the paradox.)

But, since you conceded that 0/0 fails in calculus theory as well as in arithmetic, I'll take that as sufficient reason to put the discussion to rest.

Best of luck.

avatar

BlazePC

Seeing comments by Raymond and even a few others simply ruined the experience of taking in and digesting this otherwise well written expose.  I suppose it's the wake of the internet, for lack of a better description.  Translated: Educated and experienced engineer transforms to talking head pontificator, turns into defensive butt-hurt blogger (in the comments section following said "otherwise well written expose").  Hopefully my observation is taken in the spirit that it is presented.  It would have come of better if the author just stuck to answering questions & suggested futher reading instead of getting emotional in the comments section.

Coming to the end of both the article and the comment section it seems pretty evident to me that there is a case to made for "digital transport accuracy" and then another, completely diffferent case covering the greater topic of the subjective nature of human eyesight and perception.  Mis-labled functions aside, many of, if not pratically all of, the listed features/settings you've deemed unnecessary do in fact have a perceivable influence on the picture output and therefore real pratical value.  I would counter that your piece is more valuable as an objective viewpoint on the need for standardization coming from a "purists" point of view rather than a presentation of workable solutions for the end user - since it totally omits any relevant content or value with regard to what it boils down to at the end of the day - the vast variance of conditions that contribute to how humans perceive light (similarly to the way they perceive sound) and how these controversial TV settings help the end user adjust to their viewing preferences, beyond the plane of measurement. Put an entirely different way, the buck (measured to spec picture element or attribute) stops at the plane of measurement.  Picture accuracy defined by the content creator and verified at the plane of measurement doesn't usually translate to 1:1 perceived accuracy for all receivers (viewers).  Purity and accuracy from a repeatable point of reference - I get that - but measuring how the human eye converts that information is an entirely different and complicated ball of wax, so things get really messy and subjective.

From a purist standpoint, and being an engineer myself, I understand the underlying theme of this article and it's relative value in that context.  From a pratical standpoint though, I think it fails to offer that much needed guidance that most consumers really need.  It smacks of an all or nothing approach and comes off sort of snooty at times.  Sorry, not meant to be offensive, that's just my perception of it all, especially after reading the tone of comments added by Raymond.

Some food for thought: Assuming tightly controlled calibration equipment and the right source material, measuring color accuracy at the surface plane of a display device (which is an absolute must in establishing & maintaining standards) totally ignores the reality of the subsequent transmission of said light information to the retina (and ultimately the brain) and ALL the post picture plane interactions (alterations) that can and do occur.  Simply put, purist style analysis is only part of the game - and not necessarily half of it.  Internal settings are quite useful in the end user environment because - as designed - they are adjustments.  And adjustments are required to play nice, so to speak, in varied environmental settings and with varying levels of perception.  The mfg's know this and that's why there are all these "sliders and buttons" to play with; people inherently want to dial in their personal preferences, some more than others - and especially with TVs.

In a nutshell, display devices should be built to ever exacting specifications but user controllability IS required to offset environmental factors that ultimately influence the viewing experience - and there's quite a long list of those, like it or not.

avatar

johnfull

I enjoyed the generalizations in the article and agree that there is lots of hype out there.

I'm one who is sensitive to the blue/green or cyan colors in nature and especially in cinema.

For years, movies exaggerated aquamarine colors because they could not be reproduced on TV.

The green of conventional phosphor CRTs is too yellow to mix with blue to produce saturated blue-greens.

LCDs can pick a value of green closer to the mixing point for both yellow and cyan, but the addition of

a yellow pixel allows more of a shift towards emerald green for the green pixel without sacrificing yellow.

I have yet to see the Sharp Quattron and I have a Toshiba with expanded gamut that renders yellows and

cyans both quite well. There is some artifacting in the shadows, though, from too much blue in the green.

If the Quattron is set up properly, it could move the green point significantly to deeper and bluer green

without sacrificing yellow. And shadows could be rendered with yellow instead of green, which tends to

be perceived preferentially in some darker scenes. Like I say, I'll have to see it to believe it.

Making the triangle of gamut into a quadrilateral is not voodoo, though. How it is handled is the question...

avatar

johnfull

Flesh tones are rendered much better with a yellow than with a

green. This was discovered in the early days of NTSC, where

faces would take on a green pallor with the wrong lighting or

the wrong makeup or with the vagaries of signal phase drift.

When the original phosphors were updated, a yellower green

was used to give more brightness and to improve flesh tones.

Good bye to the aqua tones of the 50s, though.

LCD has restored some of the green, but the widest variance

from the ideal is in the green still. With a yellow pigment, the

nose of the gamut triangle can be opened out onto the greens

without giving up the yellows. More brightness, more accuracy

in fleshtones, more lattitude in mixing aqua/teals, richer green.

The human vision has overlaps of all three cone receptors in

the cyan region. It's an important component of the natural

world and should be respected. Powder blue is a poor substitute,

but had come to stand in for decades. I welcome the 4th color

to the grid. It actually allows a compact pixel as opposed to the

wide 3-band pixel. I'll have to see what Sharp has done with

the technology and report back...

avatar

NinjaFresh

Normal
0

false
false
false

MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-parent:"";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-ansi-language:#0400;
mso-fareast-language:#0400;
mso-bidi-language:#0400;}

Normal
0

false
false
false

MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-parent:"";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-ansi-language:#0400;
mso-fareast-language:#0400;
mso-bidi-language:#0400;}

This is a great article vey informative. I work for a pretty big electronics store, my job is to sell television sets, if I was to go around spewing this information I'm more then likely to get a stern talking to because they enjoy pushing larger ticketed items. I learned a lot of great stuff about the color gamut. That will make talking about professional calibration much easier. I had a question about some things though as I haven't worked in this industry for long.

1) I know that you talk about how the actual Hz isn't what the manufactures' say and you go to talk about how you should stay away from 240 Hz. My question is I can a difference between the 240 Hz and the 120 Hz sets. Now is that because they run better processors and such, or is that because it is a placebo effect? I have others who swear they can tell a difference too.

2) I get a lot of flak from people when it comes to HDMI cords. Now I understand that when you buy a cord from a store it is usually grossly inflated due to the low mark up on most Tvs. How much of a difference is there between lets say a Monster 1000 Series  cable and a cheap dollar one off the internet. I would assume that each cable would have a place depending on the application.

Also I joined this site just to comment on this article. I will have to do my best to tell the consumer more about this in order to educate them better. If the word gets out to the consumer then the industry will have to change, or resk the backlash of an angry buyer. Thank you Dr. Soneira. I look forward to more of your articles.

avatar

NinjaFresh

Normal
0

false
false
false

MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-parent:"";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-ansi-language:#0400;
mso-fareast-language:#0400;
mso-bidi-language:#0400;}

Normal
0

false
false
false

MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-parent:"";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-ansi-language:#0400;
mso-fareast-language:#0400;
mso-bidi-language:#0400;}

This is a great article very
very informative. I work for a pretty big electronics store, my job is to sell
television sets, if I was to go around spewing this information I'm more then
likely get a stern talking to because they enjoy pushing larger ticketed items.
I learned a lot of great stuff about the color gamut. That will make talking
about professional calibration much easier. I had a question about some things
though as I haven't worked in this industry for long.

1) I know that you talk about how the actual Hz isn't what the manufactures’
say and you go on to talk about how you should stay away from 240 Hz. My
question is I can tell a difference between the 240 Hz and the 120 Hz sets. Now
is that because they run better processors and such, or is that because it
is a placebo effect? I have others who swear they can tell a difference too.

2) I get a lot of flak from people when it comes to HDMI cords. Now I
understand that when you buy a cord from a store it is usually grossly inflated
due to the low mark up on most TVs. How much of a difference is there between
lets say a Monster 1000 series cable and a cheap dollar one off the internet. I
would assume that each cable would have a place depending on the application.

Also I joined this site just to comment on this article. I will have to do my
best to tell the consumer more about this in order to educate them better. If
the word gets out to the consumer then the industry will have to change, or risk
a backlash. Thank you Dr. Soneira. I look forward to more of your articles.

 

avatar

NinjaFresh

I just wanted to edit this and it just reposted what I just posted. Oh well, humm I don't know why I'm getting the what looks to be source code on my post. Wounder if it has something to do with me using Firefox.

avatar

Seedu

i wish there was a way this entire article could be spammed throughout the entire technogeek world so one spreads to another then to another and then the whole world will be able to read up and learn and stop "DROOLING OVER 1,000,000,000:1 contrast ratios" & "2ms Response time" ... :(

avatar

fred64

Mr. Fred

  1. To calibrate without expense, use any THX movie DVD.  Its low tech, but does better than nothing.  Look for the THX logo (usually on options menu).  The THX logo can be selected and it will go into calibration mode for audio, bightness, contrast, color and more. 
  2. Room light makes a huge difference in picture quality, especially on DLP and LCD TVs.  Different settings are needed for Sunlight than late night.  My TV has 3 picture modes for each input that can save unique adjustment sets.  I used the THX logo to set each for bright sunlight, medium daylight or late night.  Makes a big difference.  
  3. Certain features are needed to improve quality on non 1080P video sources.  Without help, 320 video is horrid, 480 is awful and 720 is just OK on a digital big screen TV.  This article makes it sound like any enhancers are worthless.  Video enhancement of low res sources was one of my big differentiators, when choosing my rig.  I always asked them to show me low res SDTV channels and even took my 8mm video cam to the stores to see how it looked. 

 

avatar

Monstro

I wouldn't really call the xvYCC color space gimmicky or such, nor is using the CIE 1931 color space inferior.  Most other color spaces that use tristimulus values are derived from this space, and it is no less valid than any other...just because you looked at CIE 1976 doesn't make your analysis any more special...I can derive the same values using CIE 1931.

 I would think the future of display technology will be eventually wrapped in xvYCC...a color space that can display ALL colors viewable by the human eye.  For now, it is somewhat gimmicky, only because every link in the chain (display production, transmission, display) must be xvYCC compliant in order to benefit from it.

 As far as Deep Color goes...the science says the human eye can detect about 10 million colors....so anything over that may be overkill...but if you can detect banding, then why not smooth it out even more?

avatar

RaymondSoneira

The 1976 Uniform CIE color coordinate space was established to correct the large flaws in the 1931 version. It's a major improvement - that's why it was invented!!!  Yes, it's very easy to transform from one version to the other. The fact that the newer 1976 color space is UNIFORM is what makes it clearly superior for evaluating color gamuts and color errors. The older 1931 version is so non-uniform that it is useless for evaluating these issues. I am amazed that people are still using it and even more amazed that anyone would be defending or recommending it for this purpose.

If you get an xvYCC display now you are a super early adopter. It's going to take a long time (years) before much mainstream consumer content will be produced with an extended color gamut... and there is a very good chance that the eventual production standard will be different from the current implementation - so it's unlikely to be useful during the lifetime of current HDTVs. This is typical for early adopters, just be aware that you are paying for something that is unlikely to ever work properly...

I'm glad you mentioned Deep Color because it's another misunderstood display technology issue. The banding and false contouring that you generally see in ALL non-CRT displays is produced by irregularities within the displays NOT in the 24-bit images that are transmitted to them. If you display the same images on a high quality CRT you won't see any banding or false contouring. I have produced a number of side-by-side display Shoot-Outs that have demonstrated that. The CRT is entirely analog and free of digital artifacts that produce the banding and false contouring in other display technologies. Deep Color won't correct these artifacts and flaws. The "Digital Granularity" section of my "Display Artifacts and Image Quality" article discusses this issue in quantitative detail. http://www.displaymate.com/ShootOut_Part_3.htm

avatar

Richard Salmon

You certainly are right on use of u'v' rather than xy - it amazes me that so much of the displays (or at any rate the marketing) community use the hugely non-linear xy system. They also use it when calculating the percentages of colour gamut, which is so clearly bananas as to be laughable. u'v' is not toally uniform, but it is about an order of magnitude more linear than xy (and I mean that - some numerically 'identical' colour differences in xy are about 10 times more visible than others).

There is another really serious problem with xvYCC, which is that it is not connected to a standardised colour gamut, therefore there is no way for the producer of the image to know what it will look like on the consumer's display. In other words, it is impossible to colour-control your xvYCC output. That is why no professional user will ever use it, unless it is linked in some way to some new set of primaries (akin to Adobe RGB or the digital cinema P3 primaries). Then you have to be sure that the consumer has those primaries on their display. Thus we will need three versions of each Blu-Ray DVD - one mastered for Rec709/sRGB monitors, one for P3 and one for AdobeRGB. And there won't be much material on which you'll be able to see any difference.

Your mention of false contouring seen on non-CRT displays is also borne out by our experience. If you put 8-bit uncompressed source material side-by-side on both a CRT and a flat panel, you will be really hard pressed to see any countouring on the CRT, but it's common on all but the very best professional flat panels.

avatar

RTB

Thank you Dr. Soneira for cutting through the claptrap. 

This article should be nominated for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism.

avatar

NinjaFresh

Why would you kill such a great robot?

avatar

PeoplePowered

"The following is a list of useless (or near-useless) menu options and
selections from three HDTVs sold by major brands: Black Corrector,
Advanced CE, Clear White, Color Space, Live Color, DRC Mode, DRC
Palette, Dynamic Contrast, xvYCC, Color Matrix, RGB Dynamic Range,
Black Level, Gamma, White Balance, HDMI Black Level, Fresh Contrast,
Fresh Color, Flesh Tone, Eye Care, Digital NR, DNIe, Detail Enhancer,
Edge Enhancer, Real Cinema, Cine Motion, Film Mode, Blue Only Mode."

 

Sorry buddy, but some of those features are useful. Some may not be useful to all, or to all sources - but they can relate just like the motion enhancers to the reference of the consumers.

One that catches my eye is Sony's very own DRC Mode/Palette. Do you even know what it is? It's Sony's HD processor settings which in term, definitely increases picture quality. DRC-MF is otherwise known as Digital Reality Creation - Multi Function. It's not useless - it's probably one of the most important features.

Some of those features provide things as they are advertised. Like Black Corrector, Advanced CE, Cinemotion, Digital NR, Dynamic Contrast, etc. They may not provide ACCURATE results, BUT they still do WHAT they are ADVERTISED as. What is your definition of useless?

/end rant

Thank you. 

avatar

RaymondSoneira

If what you want is accurate picture quality where the HDTV is showing the same picture seen at the production studio then all of these features are useless. That is the point of view that I have clearly stated throughout the article. Professional studio monitors don't have any of these frivolous controls - they don't increase picture quality or accuracy. Now, if what you want is to tinker with the picture for your own amusement, by all means get all of these controls - but once again they are completely unnecessary and wind up decreasing picture quality and accuracy. It's absolutely ridiculous to think that the consumer is needed to perform all of these technical adjustments - they don't have the expertise or instrumentation - and they shouldn't have to because that is the job of the manufacturer. Those controls are there purely as marketing gimmicks. If you read serious HDTV reviews you'll see that they pretty much always turn off all of these features, and if you have your HDTV professionally calibrated they will turn them off for you.

avatar

PeoplePowered

It's not so much of a marketing gimmick (as apposed to Motion Enhancers and 120hz - which you haven't bothered to mention as a gimmick!!)

You must also realize that most consumers do not have access to professional devices nor calibration. Or it costs to much for them. That and most televisions don't always view sources with equal calibration. It's televisions we have, not professional monitors for intensive accurate usage. People may wish to use these settings to get oversaturated colors for god who knows why. Not many of the average consumers care for 100% accuracy. 

SD content, 480p, 720p, 1080i... interlaced and progressive singals and their own respective sources WILL require their own calibration.

SD source is probably way to common. That's why we have all these so called "useless" features to increase psuedo quality

Like I said, that's when DRC comes in handy for low resolution sources - because accuracy is nothing to worry about it in SD. 

All you care for is HD. Yes, good for you because I do as well. Though, HDTV can and will be used for other sources that use lower resolution, and that's when some of these 'useless' features become useful. 

 

Television is not always about 100% accurate calibration. For HD of course I get the point. 

avatar

Spencer Taylor

I made my wife read this, and it was the 1st time she "got" what I was talking to her about, e.g. image quality, deep blacks, etc. For the 1st time, she didn't think I was totally crazy. I recommenf to all the fella's - make your women read this!

avatar

RaymondSoneira

Is your wife willing to post a comment encouraging other women to learn more about buying HDTVs and then helping with the entire HDTV and room setup so it delivers the best picture quality?

Most of the time you hear that women only get involved with HDTVs from a decorating perspective for the living room or bedroom. Here is a great reason why women need to become more involved:

Women are often more sensitive to color accuracy than men (sorry but I need to invoke stereotypes here). HDTVs are now transitioning to become the best way to view the family digital photos. Since you've taken the photos you know exactly how everyone and everything should look. If the color accuracy of the TV is even slightly off then family member's complexions, clothing and other objects will appear wrong. You don't know what the people and objects in a Hollywood or TV set really look like, so there is a wide tolerance for inaccurate color, but there is very little wiggle room in the family photos - because people will get upset if they look wrong on their (or GrandMa's) HDTV. (Note to manufacturers: this is why you need to start making HDTVs with accurate color calibration.)

How to buy the right HDTV is only the first step (and I'm working with the Editors of Maximum PC on some articles on this topic). Step two is also critical and also needs major help from the woman of the house. The entire viewing environment for the HDTV is very important for picture quality, color accuracy and viewing comfort. In particular, finding the best position and height placement for the screen, the viewing distance, the viewing positions in the room, and also controlling the room's ambient lighting are all critical. If you don't do this right then you're throwing away a lot of your HDTVs performance.

 

 

avatar

grush

Thanks for the great article Dr. Soneira. It really opened my eyes to how the manufacturers specs are meaningless.

 I have a few questions and if you could answer them I'd really appreciate it.

 

1. You mentioned how the Sharp Quattron technology was really a marketing ploy. What about the Mitsubishi DLP TV's 6-color technology that adds 3 other colors to RGB? I assume this is a useless scheme also. Am I going to be able to get proper color out of these sets?

 

2. If all these controls and adjustments are useless or possibly a degradation to picture quality. Why are the manufacturers so hot to include them? Are they just trying to market perceived value, because people would be unhappy if they dropped 2k-5k or more on an HDTV with very few controls?

 

3. If it is impossible to make proper picture adjustments without using a quantity of expensive test equipment, what is the normal consumer to do without dropping a bundle to have an ISF certified calibrator come every so often and adjust the TV? With my JVC LCoS set I used a calibration disk, and it certainly seemed to help. Do you have any comments on whether these calibration disks can be worthwhile?

 

Again thank you for a great read and looking forward to your next articles in MPC!

avatar

Spencer Taylor

1. I have a Samsung 61" LCoS LED projection set that is very similar to the Mitsubishi sets. I can tell you I LOVE my TV and that LED projection, IMHO, offers the best cost to benefit ratio.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001415FIG/ref=oss_product

2. Manufacturers put lot's of controls in the TV because they have the ILLUSION of looking important. It's pure marketing. If a TV is calibrated, the only picture control I would think is needed would be to ajust for a "dark room" vs. "brite room" setting.

3. Yes, there is a number of inexpensive, and effective, "calibration" disks out there. I have always used DVE - Digital Video Essentials - and all my friend's do as well. There are Blu-ray (HD) and DVD versions available:
http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Video-Essentials-Basics-Blu-ray/dp/B000V6LST0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1276412527&sr=8-1

avatar

RaymondSoneira

1. Mitsubishi's 6-color HDTVs add Cyan, Magenta and Yellow to the traditional Red, Green and Blue primaries. The goal is to increase the color gamut and also increase image brightness - peak brightness generally decreases as the gamut and color saturation of the primaries increase, so that's why they go to 6 primaries. But if you want to see the same accurate colors seen on the professional Rec.709 monitors at the studios where the content was produced then the color gamut needs to be reduced back down to the Rec.709 standard - the same principle as I discussed for the Quattron, although Mitsubishi is increasing the saturation of all of the primaries not just Yellow.

2. High quality professional studio monitors don't have any of the frivolous controls found in consumer models. They are unnecessary and actually decrease picture quality and accuracy. They are there as marketing gimmicks to make consumers think they are getting something special in a particular model. Unfortunately, if a manufacturer wanted to leave them out enough consumers would believe that something important was missing and would refuse to buy that model - so it's a vicious cycle.

3. Unfortunately there is no easy solution to adjusting and calibrating an HDTV or other display that comes incorrectly calibrated by the manufacturer. Professional calibration with instrumentation is the best, but it generally costs hundreds of dollars to get a trained technician to come to your house. There are both disc and software calibration tools that can help a non-expert consumer adjust their own displays. My company's DisplayMate is one such product. Without instrumentation the calibration has to be visually tweaked, but the end result is definitely a more accurate display.

avatar

wineaux

Please talk to us about the Local Dimming feature found on a few of the really high end LCD's.  Does this feature actually work and accomplish something, or is it just another instance of the Emperor's New Clothes?

 

By the way, it was a FANTASTIC article and I look forward to seeing it put into practical use with MaximumPC's new display reviews as well as other future articles.  Please continue this series and keep putting the pressure on the display manufacturers to come clean about their products.  Heck, would getting a couple of Congressmen involved be enough of a sharp stick to prod the display manuacturers into adopting the standards that you suggest?

 

avatar

RaymondSoneira

Maximum PC magazine has been a great platform for making people aware of all the display spec exaggeration and abuse issues, but the article is going to need more attention from more national press in order to get the ball rolling for accurate display and HDTV specs. I have been pointing out to manufacturers that this is actually in their interests because it will then be easier for them to market new and better displays when the specs are meaningful. My next step is to try to get Walmart behind this issue - they have tremendous market power and it will be great PR and a sales and marketing advantage for them if they publicize that they will only show accurate and meaningful specs to their customers. We'll see what they say...

Local Dimming is a relatively new technology for LCDs that divides the screen into 100 or more regions and then controls the LED backlight intensity for each region separately so that areas with dark content use a dimmer backlight setting and therefore produce a darker black luminance for that region. Sounds great... the problem is that you are trading one artifact (black brightness) for a whole bunch of other artifacts that are more visually objectionable - you get a noticeable patchwork of different black luminance levels, plus halos and blooming around unusually bright objects on darker backgrounds, plus reduced dynamic range within regions. It's expensive and only works during dark content in movies - but with annoying artifacts. Before buying try to watch Dark City, Escape from New York, and Chapter 14 of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which includes the trip through hyperspace. It's a personal preference as to which artifacts bother you the most.

avatar

nfollin

So Basically, since I bought a decent TV (Sony Bravia KDL40v4100) to do stuff through HDMI I should set the output settings on my Xbox and PS3 to RGB and disable all corrections there and on the TV and keep the settings on the TV at factory settings with the display Brightness all the way up for maximum effect.

 

And also that the $300 vizio my older brother has shouldn't even be bothered with.

Also I'm guessing ATI's color control using brightness and contrast to display the color correction curve is the more appropriate term for such adjustments? 

avatar

Pusalieth

First I would like to point out the logic that no one sees for some reason, if you Dr. Raymond Soneira are the one who tests this things for manufacteurs then thats the reason the specs are bad, other wise, what specs would they have to go by, and if they do another test themselves, then why would they pay you anything or use you when they've done it themselves, and third if they did do the latter option for more than one finding for objective testing, then the kinda eliminates the possiblity of them being wrong. Second big issue is if you do all this testing objective, why not list the specs you come up with on a website so no one is fouled any longer, thats supposed to be the reason you wrote this article or helped write it, why have you been holding the information this long, and if there was some sort of conspiracy againnst the consumer how come it hasn't hit big news, or been investigated by a federal agency, because if the manufacteurs are lying its fraud. Third big issue is the Rec. 709 color space, yes it is the color space for tv's, but its implying you can't see yellow because its not in the color space, meaning its not the Rec. 709 and it would be CIE 1931. And fourth big issue is why would any person go through a Ph.D for testing electronics, that would be something Jamie and Adam could do without any engineering degrees to the same compotency, especially at princeton where the tuition is significantly higher. (not disrespecting either Jamie nor Adam, I think they're both very
intelligent, but thats my point, it takes intelligence not degrees)Excuse my english if there are errors in this paragraph statement, and I hope this raises a few eye brows.

avatar

BlazePC

There are some good points (and questions raised) in this posting by Pusalieth and interesting that they seem to have fallen on deaf ears - with no response from author.

avatar

roninnder

I would like to point out that no one else sees your logic because it makes no sense.  You're ranting like a lunatic.

avatar

ezelkow1

You say the color gamut is limited to the srgb gamut, but what about xvycc which offers 1.8x the gamut of rgb and all the other new gamuts that fall under deep color with the hdmi 1.3 spec?  If you have a tv and device that can output them you sure can use that expanded gamut.  Since AVCHD and the ps3 both support it, as long as the item filmed with avchd used xvycc, or the video game on the ps3 was programmed to use the expanded gamut, you should see the difference.

avatar

psybience

I find it odd that on page 2, a picture of specifications from the Sony XEL-1 is shown in order to demonstrate the absurd contrast ratio figures some manufacturers are using. The reason is because, for this particular monitor, a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio is probably true! If you look carefully, this is actually an OLED tv, which is very different to your average LCD tv/monitor. OLED screens, unlike normal LCD screens, do not require a backlight since each pixel is capable of producing it's own light, hence individual pixels can more or less turn off in order to show a true black.

Apart from this, I agree with pretty much everything else the article states.

avatar

RaymondSoneira

You're right - our mistake - thanks for pointing this out. I failed to notice it when I proofed the article. The spec sheet figure on page 2 was the wrong model to use as an example because it's an OLED TV, so it may well have a true contrast ratio that large - I measured a true contrast ratio of 65,415 for the OLED on the Nexus One, but it's from Samsung, and 1,000,000 is certainly possible for an OLED display. It's an amusing piece of bad luck because the spec sheet from any other model would have proved the point.

avatar

JonPhillips

Wow. That is an unfortunate mistake. My bad. We asked our art department to find a spec sheet with an absurdly high dynamic contrast ratio spec, and this is what they came up with. I should have caught this.

avatar

RaymondSoneira

My fundamental point on color gamut is that the display needs to have the identical gamut that was used in producing the content being viewed - whatever that happens to be. Virtually all consumer content is being produced with sRGB/Rec.709 and that is why I recommended that gamut for consumers that watch standard content.

xvYCC is one of many extended color gamuts - and if you have content for it then by all means get a display that supports it. Just be aware of the following issues:

1. As I mentioned in the article the very saturated colors that lie outside of the sRGB/Rec.709 color space are much less common in nature so for most content you will not *NOTICE* much, if any, difference on properly calibrated displays.

2. Games and Demos designed for extended color gamuts will push and exploit the extremes of the gamut for obvious reasons. Enjoy them!

3. For LCDs there is a major downside to extended color gamuts - the color shift with viewing angle is substantially greater for larger color gamuts. I explain why and demonstrate it with measurement data and viewing tests in my LCD-Plasma Shoot-Out article. See Figure 5 and the paragraphs around it for a discussion. http://www.displaymate.com/LCD_Plasma_ShootOut.htm

4. If you get a native xvYCC display it will also need to have a factory calibration for sRGB/Rec.709. Very few manufacturers bother to do this properly for one, let alone two color gamuts. The Sony display that I used as an example in the Quattron side-bar was an xvYCC display that also got the sRGB/Rec.709 gamut exactly right - an impressive rarity.

5. If you get an xvYCC display now you are a super early adopter. It's going to take a long time (years) before much mainstream content will be produced with an extended color gamut... and there is a very good chance that the eventual production standard will be different from the current implementation.

6. While most displays are now plenty bright, be aware that there is generally a brightness penalty for extended color gamuts.

7. Lastly, extended color gamut displays are more expensive... 

avatar

johnfull

"6. While most displays are now plenty bright, be aware that there is generally a brightness penalty for extended color gamuts."

The whole point of the Quattron yellow is to simultaneously extend gamut and brightness.

The green can be greener and more saturated without fear of poor yellows and fleshtones.

This allows mixing with blue without bleaching from the yellow content in the green.

It allows yellow to help flatten the gray scale curve and to brighten the white point.

 

Log in to MaximumPC directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.