: Wierd picture distortion on 40" Sony LCD

2008-01-05, 08:54 PM
A month ago, I replaced our old 27" Sony CRT with a new 1080p Sony KDL40W3000 LCD. As part of the deal, the TV came with a Sony BDPS-300 Blu-ray player.

While I'm extremely impressed with the TV overall, I'm occasionally noticing some very odd glitches or artifacts in the picture.

Probably the most annoying involves certain scenes containing human faces. I'm not entirely sure how to describe it, but it's kind of like a tracer effect when the face moves. If a head turns onscreen, it's almost like part of the face (cheeks, nose, eyebrows, etc.) will lag behind just a fraction of a second. When the head stops moving, it takes a fraction of a second again for some of the face "parts" to come to rest in their proper position.

I was thinking maybe it's motion blur, but isn't that just an issue with fast moving sports, like soccer balls or hockey pucks? Faces don't really move that fast. Or do they?

Second, in some scenes, objects seem to jump around or shake ever so slightly. Strange thing is, it's not the entire picture that's shaking - just certain objects in the picture.

For example, a person in the right half of the screen might be rock solid, yet a house on the left of the screen may be shaking up and down ever so slightly. Even stranger, another object in the background might be shaking left and right. I've also seen vertical lines on an object that is supposed to be stationary become distorted and move around in a wave-like motion.

Some final points:

Blu-ray (either 1080/60p or 1080/24p) is probably the worst for this, but I've also noticed the face distortion on 480i SD cable TV, as well as on 480p from a different Sony DVD player.

This is all very subtle. My wife doesn't notice anything odd unless I specifically point it out to her. Sometimes I have to replay a scene once or twice before she’ll see it.

I can’t believe this is normal, but it also doesn’t seem like the TV is defective: the picture is absolutely perfect about 97% of the time. It almost seems like an intermittent glitch caused by poorly interfacing components, but everything is Sony, brand new, and connected with HDMI cables, so that shouldn’t be a problem. I’m beginning to wonder if these are artifacts that are present in the source, but that I never noticed before on my smaller, less revealing TV.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

2008-01-05, 11:17 PM
What are your picture settings? Have you played around with the settings or are they all untouched? Don't use the "Vivid" setting.

Does it happen in "Cinema" mode? Make sure all the advanced settings like noise reduction, detail enhancer, edge enhancer, etc are all turned off (for testing) and sharpness is turned down.

Have you tried different cables?

If everything checks out, I'd call the 1-800 number in your manual and get someone in to have a look at your set.

2008-01-05, 11:46 PM
I think we are describing the same thing (albeit different TV's)


2008-01-06, 12:37 AM
A proper setup of the TV may help with your "Jello heads" (yes, that's the technical term) and perhaps with your shaking - perhaps one of the auto settings like edge enhancments are causing this.

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=76161 TV Setup

Also, please read the following post useful for newbies to the forum:


2008-01-06, 12:48 AM
The TV's picture setting is on Cinema. I bought the Digital Video Essentials set up disc a few weeks ago, but when I ran through the basic set-up, all of the factory Cinema settings seemed to be already bang on. I ended up not changing anything.

The only thing I found odd was the sharpness control. Judging by the DVE test pattern, the TV's sharpness appeared to be set a little too high. However, when I tried to adjust it, it didn't seem to have any effect on the test pattern. Whether I set the sharpness to 0 or 100, the test pattern looked the same.

I live an hour out of town, so not sure how feasable it would be to get someone to come in and have a look at the set. I think for now I'll try to find a Blu-ray or DVD with some really bad scenes, then take it into the city to watch them on another TV to see how it compares.

I did try this with a DVD on our 19" Sony TV and DVD player in the bedroom and noticed the same effects, although they wouldn't have been noticeable on the smaller screen if I hadn't been specifically looking for them.

Thanks for the link, Atomsmasher. I've done lots of searching to find similar complaints, but without some good key words to describe the issue, I haven't had much luck. I was starting to worry that maybe I should have bought a 120Hz set, but it seems (hopefully) that's not the problem.

I just spent a few hours watching SD on cable (no cable box - just straight through the coax), and the weird facial distortion is definitely there on SD. Again, it's very subtle - mostly just a sense that moving faces appear unnatural.

2008-01-06, 12:53 AM
Thanks, sleemo and 57.

When I looked at the settings a couple of weeks ago, I'm pretty sure all the auto settings like noise reduction, detail enhancer, edge enhancer, etc. were switched off, but I'll double check tomorrow.

2008-01-10, 01:35 AM

I went back to check all the settings yesterday, and confirmed that everything was set to off - except for the noise reduction, which was on low.

When I turned the noise reduction off (on all three inputs), I was happy to find the problem had disappeared on both Blu-ray and DVD! Some of the worse-quality SD channels still look a little strange sometimes, but that could just be inherent in the source. Anyway, it's not like I expect SD to look perfect in the first place.

Now I'm wondering why the manufacturers give us all these extra picture "enhancement" settings in the first place? From what I've read on the net in the past couple of days, it seems the expert consensus is just to leave all that stuff switched off completely. If it's just going to add artifacts to the picture, why would anyone bother?

2008-01-10, 07:51 AM
I think the manual tells you what it's used for. If I remember right, it'd be used for SD through coax or antenna. Something that has a lot of noise in the broadcast. BD or DVD wouldn't.

2008-01-11, 11:03 AM
After much reading and experimenting, these are the recommended settings to minimize blurring/smearing on Sony LCD's:

Brightness: at least 45
Noise Reduction: off
Black Corrector: off (this is the biggest offender when console gaming)

The remaining settings do not contribute to this issue.

2008-01-27, 08:18 PM
FWIW, I had the exact same issue as described by luckydog, with my new Samsung LNT4042HX/XAC. As a matter of fact, I got here by searching for specifically this issue! It was very distracting, esp. 480i SD cable. Solely turning off Digital NR fixed it for me too.