Solarization... Common To Plasma TV ?
Ways To Detect Solarization Before You Buy A HDTV.....also called the posterization effect.
To describe what this effect looks like if you have not seen it before, it's best to describe an area where it is used as a "feature"
You can use the "Solarize" effect yourself, you may have already used a digital camera with this effect for editing pictures.
Also, you may apply this effect to a picture in graphics editing software, or you may have seen it used in cartoons.
Look at these.. Top pic is Normal, Bottom is minor Solarization...
Look at the arms, faces, white areas (shirts), wall in background and grass areas...
Faces look like sunburn victims...
...Top Is Normal picture.
...Bottom picture is Solarization.
If you still have no clue what I am on about, just try this...
Go to your desktop, right click, select properties, settings, color quality, and change it to 256 color.
Your desktop picture will take on some of the features of a solarized image, look for areas where the colors look false.
Although it is a little rough. And not really accurate.
You will see the effect better if you have good quality photo of someone, look at the skin tone.
What you are trying to see is the wrong coloration effect that solarization causes.
Other common picture problems, explained here...
10 Bit Panels vs 8 Bit Panels.. What To Look For...
Plasma TV problems? Recognize them
Before You Buy...
Game lag or HDTV lag is a misunderstood concept
It's Not Good..
Take a look at a picture in a color junk mail or color newspaper ad, one for a discount warehouse or similar.
Find a picture of a face, especially notice any ad that shows a "sunburnt" effect on the persons face.
This is what you are looking for, the solarizing effect is most noticeable on faces.
Solarization: A phenomenon in photography in which the image recorded on a negative or on a photographic print is wholly or partially reversed in tone. (From Wikipedia)
The brighter spots in the picture are easier to notice as the solarized areas, especially next to black or dark areas.
Especially noticeable on a face lit by bright lights or in sunlight.. Look for the shiny areas...
If you can see this effect on a Plasma HDTV set or an LCD HDTV live..
I guarantee you will remember it.
However, this is not always the fault of the panel. This can be an artifact caused by the signal, whether it is a poor quality TV transmission, DVD player or other source.
How to know for sure?
You need to ask the sales person to put on a DVD of known quality, if you can, get one to bring along yourself.
A movie that you have seen, knowing what you know now, will make it so much easier to notice if the set in question has a problem with the solarization effect.
Many forums and expert sites suggest viewing Apollo 13, but you can also use Terminator 2 or Pirates of the Caribbean which has the THX calibration utility in the menu area.
Many DVD discs available now have this handy item on the disc menu.
Just follow the instructions on the THX menu, (You can simply ignore the Blue screen section) and you will be able to calibrate your TV and that alone is worth much more than the movie cost.
You will want to look more closely at pictures on all the HDTV models you look at after you read this article.
Remember, if you can see the problem and it bothers you, leave the set in the store!
A good quality Plasma or LCD well set up (with quality input signals) can be very impressive and can be really enjoyable to watch.
Bear in mind, many people have put up with an old school CRT TV set with convergence (color alignment) errors, weird color, burnt picture tubes and contrast and brightness trouble for years.
Frequently Asked Questions!
Is Plasma Solarization and HDTV solarization Common?
It was back when SDTV sets were around that posterization was common, especially TV sets marked with HD ready, REALLY solarized..
HD Ready Meaning, Not Really HD, but almost!
The Graphics processor as a lot to do with producing a solarized tv picture, also the panel type.
For instance, a lot of very cheap no name brand lcd tv sets have 8 bit or even (GASP) 6 bit processing which produce a shockingly poor picture.
See here for more.. 8 Bit vs 10 bit processing [Opens new window...]
HDTV 101 at Amazon...Hi Def TV 101
Return To Home From Solarization