Plasma in Steps Page 8

PANASONIC TH-42PX50U PHILIPS 50PF9830A FUJITSU P55XHA40US
Color temperature Standard/Warm setting before/after calibration Personal/Warm setting before/after calibration -3000K setting before/after calibration
Low window (30 IRE) 6,155 K/ 6,589 K 5,818 K/ 6,478 K 7,174 K/ 6,765 K
High window (80 IRE) 6,380 K/ 6,592 K 5,941 K/ 6,557 K 6,691 K/ 6,523 K
Brightness (after calibration) 35.3 ftL 35.3 ftL 36.8 ftL

Each TV measured relatively close to the 6,500-K NTSC grayscale standard with one of its color-temperature presets selected - Warm on the Panasonic and Philips, -3000K on the Fujitsu. But the Panasonic also displayed a strong greenish bias that was visible with both movies and TV. All three sets needed service-level calibration to get their measurements closer to spec. (Calibration needs to be performed by a qualified technician, so discuss it with your dealer before purchase, or call the Imaging Science Foundation at 561-997-9073.) After calibration, grayscale tracking on the Panasonic was excellent, measuring ±75 K. The Fujitsu's performance was better than average at ±250 K, while the Philips's performance was around average at ±500 K.

As usual, color-decoder error varied between the TVs. The Panasonic's measured error on both its HDMI and component-video inputs was minimal at -5% for red and green. At +10%, the Philips tended to push red, forcing me to back off on color saturation in the regular user menu to compensate. The Fujitsu showed almost no error in the red channel, and its -10% green depression could be corrected using the Color Focus adjustment.

Picture overscan, which defines the loss of picture information behind the edges of the frame, averaged around 3% for the digital and component-video inputs on all three sets. The Fujitsu's picture size and position controls will let you knock that back to zero if desired. The Fujitsu and Philips both have enough pixels on their screens to display 720p-format HDTV programs at maximum resolution. On the Panasonic, however, the panel's lower pixel count means that 720p programs looked slightly soft compared with the other sets. Both the Philips and Fujitsu emitted a faint buzzing noise during normal viewing, although I noticed it only when the audio was muted.

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