Fireplaces, Upconversion, Kuro Settings
I have a flat screen on a mantelpiece shelf leaning against the chimney of our fireplace. I've been hesitant to use the fireplace because the flat screen lies against the chimney. Will lighting a fire affect the TV?
It should not affect the TVif your fireplace is not well insulated, you've got bigger problems than a hot TV. However, placing a flat screen over a fireplace poses a serious ergonomic problem. If you mount the panel over the fireplace, you'll have to crane your neck upward to watch it, which will get very uncomfortable in a hurry. To make matters worse, your TV is leaning against the chimney, which means it's facing slightly upward. If it's an LCD TV, this will make the picture looked washed out because you're not looking at it straight on.
I strongly recommend that you mount the panel elsewhere so the center of the screen is at eye height when seated. Otherwise, you'll never make it through a 2-hour movie without getting a crick in your neck.
I'm wondering if it's possible to upconvert the standard-def signal coming from my cable company to 720p or 1080p. Do you know of a way to do this? I'm trying to avoid paying extra for an HD set-top box and paying extra for HD broadcasts. One more thing, my over-the-air HD is good but limit to only three or four channels.
Actually, all HDTVs do this automatically. When they get a standard-def signal, they upconvert it to their native resolution, be it 720p, 768p, or 1080p. However, what you see in this case is not high definitionit is upconverted SD, which is softer and less detailed than true HD.
The only way to see true HD is with a true HD signal. Just look at your over-the-air (OTA) HD signal to see what I mean. Since you only get three or four OTA HD channels, it would behoove you to spend the dough and get an HD set-top box and HD service. In my view, the difference in picture quality is definitely worth it.
I just bought the Pioneer Kuro PDP-5020FD plasma. Which settings should I use for this TV? Would you recommend the Optimum setting or the Movie mode? Does using Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics on Blu-ray make a big difference in getting the settings just right?
I would not use the Optimum mode, which dynamically changes the picture settings according to the overall brightness of the image and the ambient light in the room. I prefer to set up a TV manually and leave it be. The 5020FD's Movie mode is closest to correct, so I would start there and see how it looks.
Using DVE: HD Basics does help get the basic picture settings just right, and I strongly recommend that all HDTV owners use it or another setup disc to adjust the picture controls. Start by selecting the Movie mode, which has the best color temperature, then adjust its picture controls with DVE: HD Basics.
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