: "Picture" settings help

2010-03-24, 04:37 PM
I recently purchased a Panasonic 50S1. Can someone lead me to a good explanation for exactly what the different picture settings do? I have searched and can't find anything. If I manually adjust the brightness/contrast/colour to the same values, the various picture settings still appear different. What exactly is going on? I'm assuming that the differences are somewhere in the service menu but I'd like to better understand exactly how this works. I'm also curious as to why the sharpness setting seems to have no effect on HD programing.

2010-03-24, 05:35 PM
See the links in the following FAQ where the videos explain what the various settings do. The FAQ itself also has some explanations, as will the various setup DVDs:


The sharpness setting does have an effect, but you need to know what to look for - usually an increased "halo" around objects/lettering as sharpness increases. Setup DVDs have a sharpness test pattern (and other test patterns). Setting sharpness is actually counter-intuitive for most people, because the best picture is usually achieved at a relatively low sharpness setting.

The various picture modes have their own "background" influences, so a 50 or 100 setting in one picture mode means nothing for another picture mode. You'll also notice that some settings are greyed out or not allowed, or not accessible in certain modes.

2010-03-25, 11:49 AM
Thanks 57, I appreciate the response. :)

I played around with the sharpness after reading and watching your links and now I "get it".

I'm interested in learning about the background influences you mentioned. I'm sure this is something that can't be answered easily in a few short sentences but perhaps you can point me in the right direction. You're quite good at that!


2010-03-25, 12:24 PM
I'm interested in learning about the background influences you mentioned.This refers to the fact that some picture modes have certain settings that are unique to that mode. For example:

- Vivid mode, may have a higher contrast level, even if the contrast is set to 100 (out of 100) on another picture mode - say Custom, Standard, Movie, etc.

- Custom will allow for Warm colour setting while Vivid may not.

- The Vivid mode may have much more edge enhancement, which you cannot even turn off, so you end up with lots of halo that you can't get rid of, even if you lower the sharpness in Vivid mode.

These are just some of the things that I've noticed in my travels and will depend on the make/model of the TV in question.

2010-03-28, 08:18 PM
I see, that makes sense. I don't like the look of Vivid at all no matter what I do with it. Using Custom for general viewing and Cinema for most movies. Thanks again 57.

2010-03-28, 10:27 PM
I just finished optimizing a Panasonic Plasma in the Custom mode. Even though the Picture (contast) setting was in the 60's, it was brighter than the Movie mode default with the contrast at 100...

2010-03-30, 08:48 AM
I calibrated my 50S1 to about 35ftL on Cinema / Warm. Very bright and color and gray scale tracking is accurate across the range, except at very low end. Panasonic Plasma are a weird beast when it comes to how much light they put out, it seems Cinema is very limited, however Custom and Vivid can put so much light that you can use suntan with it. I tried calibrating the Custom at Warm, but couldn't get the tracking across the range right, and the picture just didn't "seem right". It looked good, but every once in a while a scene or a whole show would look off.

BTW: Sharpness setting has a negligeable effect when using HDMI with HD source, but does have an effect on SD input and all analog input regardless of HD/SD source.

Mike Osadciw
2010-03-30, 04:26 PM

The reason why different picture modes look different than each other even when they are all set the same is because of their setup values which really aren't adjustable on most sets (eg. can't increase contrast in service menu in THX mode on Panasonic sets to match that of "standard" mode). Many image settings are "offsets" of others when the TV was designed which is why sometimes changing grayscale in one mode may affect the other. Manufacturers do not always design a TV with image control settings universally accross all picture modes. While this may bother some, at other times it's done to ensure no bad image processing happens to picture modes designed to deliver less-altered images.

Sharpness setting has a negligeable effect when using HDMI with HD source, but does have an effect on SD input and all analog input regardless of HD/SD source.

It has an effect on both HD and SD. Panasonic sharpness is defaulted to 75: there is excessive edge outlining (bright white line) in both the horizontal and vertical direction with a single pixel-width line from a video generator.