[Tig] Panasonic 20Series Plasma

Carl Skaff carl at stopp.se
Tue Nov 23 10:10:34 GMT 2010

Hi All
I asked some stuff about the 12 vs 20 Series Panasonic Plasmas before...

I now have had a 20 Series 50" here on Demo for a day now and wanted to
share my experience of it:

Overall it seems like a very nice "TV". Really good blacks (compared to any
LCD) and without fiddling too much with any settings it looks fairly similar
to our Grade-Monitor (Eizo ColorEdge CG232) in contrast/gamma/whitebalance.

So enough about the good stuff since you can read all that on Panasonic's

The bad things we noticed were:

Looking at a "Staircase",  the different gray patches was different in
color, some a bit pink and others a bit green.
And when grading that Staircase you could see it clearly because when I made
the image darker one gray area that used be one color and then gets darker
clearly turned into another color (just to be clear, we are not talking
massive color-tints of coarse, my mom would see the difference, but any good
colorist should, if sober)

*Auto level adjustment
As some other people pointed out before, these new Plasmas are working hard
to reduce the powerconsumption. I'm no expert on how it is done or why, but
I'll explain my experience of it in my own words. I had a black frame with a
2% ghost... that looked fine, but when I then graded the image to be
brighter by lifting the Blacks slowly and in a constant speed... then I
could see a very nasty effect on the Plasma... it was as if the Plasma was
trying to counter-correct and adjust the level.
Imagine this, instead of it going steady brighter in one step at a time...
it takes two steps up and then one down, then two up and one down etc etc
(roughly explained, and when I say "one step" I don't mean a camera Stop)

This is a weird thing. It seems like the monitor is some how clipping the
black and or colors before it should be clipped... I know it's not a good
explanation, but I can't find better words for it.
It's as if the monitor is showing some solarization effects for example in
the blacks when adjusting the black/gamma. And we have seen it on some
colors as well.
And the weird thing is that some "settings" gives more or less of this
effect. Having the Plasma set to "MONITOR" gives a lot of the effect, while
if set to "NORMAL" it was a lot less... (although NORMAL had some other
downside, see below)

I noticed that the Plasma "flickers" a bit too much. It seems like different
people notice it differently. Fo me I could see the flickering in the
peripheral but not where my focus-point is... while other colorist sees the
flickering all the time but less flickering when you stare are at a specific
For example having a white area on the left side of the picture and black on
the right... then if I looked the dark side I would see the white on the
other side (which is in my peripheral viewing), and when I turn my head/eyes
to focus on the white part that I saw was flickering... it now doesn't
flicker! Although for other colorist they still see it Flicker when the
stare at it BUT it does flicker less.
We noticed that this could be decreased if setting the Plasma to "MONITOR"
instead of "NORMAL". And if turning the Contrast up to max it got a lot

If standing with your nose pressed against the glass... then you can clearly
see a lot of noise. But from normal distance, even as close as two meter you
barley see it.
So I wouldn't consider the noise as a problem.

So to summarize:
The Clipping effect is a problem, and the GrayScale-Tracking together with
the AutoLevelAdjusting causes a big problem when it comes to using it as a
main and only ColorGrading monitor. The flickering can be a problem but time
will tell if it is. The Noise I don't consider to of any problem.

If anyone have any other opinions, disagree or even agree... feel free to


Carl Skaff
Head of Telecine
phone: +46 8 50 70 35 00
fax:     +46 8 32 77 22

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