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Panasonic TH52 PW5B - tuner myth?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by N!ck, Dec 10, 2002.

  1. N!ck

    N!ck Guest

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    Hi

    I have received some dubious advice relating to the tuner for the Panasonic plasma:

    1. If the tuner is not used it’s not possible to connect different sources to the RGC Component and SVideo inputs - supposedly the screen will be blank.

    2. The picture on the plasma will be better if the tuner is used, rather than directly connected to the plasma (RGB or SVIdeo)

    Can any one tell me if this is just myth to entice me to by the tuner box as well?

    Does anyone have good experience with the progressive scan tuners on the market?

    :confused: :)
  2. NeilMcRae

    NeilMcRae Member

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    With the video board you have 3 distinctive inputs:
    1 2 3
    VGA / Component/RGB/+H+V / Composite or S-Video.

    So you could connect:

    Your PC to the VGA port
    Your DVD player to the component port using
    and your cable box to the composite port.

    However, the Panny 5 also supports RGB. In order to use RGB you need sync. Either RGsB or RGB+S. To use RGB+S you have to use the composite port and you effectively lose that input.

    component is normally associated with YPrPb and not RGB.

    See this thread:

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=43445

    The tuner box does give you slightly more flexibility but if you have Sky or Cable it doesn't really add much.

    This is what I'm doing:

    VGA<-RGB2PlasmaVGA<->DVD player
    Component [YPrPb] <-Switcher<- GC/PS2/Xbox
    S-video<-RGB2Svideo<-Cable/video

    RGB 2 PlasmaVGA and RGB2Svideo are available from JS Tech at http://www.rgbtosvideo.com/

    The component switcher I'm using is from AudioAuthority.

    Eventually I'll add a component DVD player.

    Regards,
    Neil.
  3. StooMonster

    StooMonster Member

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    I have one of these Receivers (TU-PT600B) and Tuner Terminal Board (TY-42TM5H) installed in my TH-50PHW5B plasma.

    Key reason is there is only one video cable feeding the screen, and lots of useful connections. One of my friends has also purchased the 15m Tuner Connecting Cable (TY-SCP15C03), so he has one very long lead going to his plasma.

    BTW I haven't "tuned" anything in to it, but use the box as a simple video processor; why would you want analogue television anyway?

    TH-50PHW5B is supplied with either RCA Terminal Board (TY-42TM4ZB) or Tuner Terminal Board and Receiver.

    Video Connectors

    RCA Terminal Board
    1. Composite video via RCA
    2. S-video via mini din
    3. Component or RBGHV via RCA
    4. PC RGBHV via VGA

    Tuner Terminal Board and Receiver
    AV1. RGB or Composite via scart
    AV2. S-video or Composite via scart
    AV3. S-video or Composite via mini din and RCA (on front)
    AV4. RGB or S-video or Composite via scart
    AV4C. Component via RCA
    VGA*. PC RGBHV via VGA
    * You have to unplug Receiver from cable to Tuner Terminal Board to allow PC RGB
    AV4 or AV4C is either/or, you cannot have input on both at the same time.

    My setup
    AV1. Sky on RGB via scart
    AV2. AV-amp (and VCR) on S-video via scart
    AV3. camcorder on Composite via RCA (on front)
    AV4C. PAL Progressive DVD player on Component via RCA
    VGA. PC on RGBHV via VGA

    Oh, and games console on RGB via scart, via RGB pass-through on Sky digibox.

    Picture quality is excellent via Tuner and VGA, haven't seen what it's like via RCA Terminal Board.

    If you buy the Tuner setup, you can always purchase the RCA Terminal Board for £80.

    Hope this helps.

    StooMonster
  4. jenwilson

    jenwilson Member

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    Hey Stoomonster!

    Do you know if the Tuner will allow just mode from the AV1/RGB/Sky feed?

    I assume it will allow just mode from the AV4C feed? (as the normal input board does)

    Does the AV1/RGB/Sky feed autoswitch between 4:3 and 16:9 with a widescreen signal through the scart or do you still have to manually change it as per the normal input board?

    Thanks,

    Jen.
  5. Bonzaimaster

    Bonzaimaster Member

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    I would be really interested in finding out the answer to the auto-switiching issue as well. It's the biggest thing putting me off the current range of plasma screens.
  6. StooMonster

    StooMonster Member

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    From the manual...

    Aspect Controls
    Press the ASPECT to move through the seven aspect options: Panasonic Auto, 16:9, 14:9, 4:3, Zoom1, Zoom2, Zoom3.

    <snip> notes on why you should use 'Panasonic Auto', how the setting is individual for each AV input, and how to change manually</snip>

    'WIDE' appears in the top left of the screen if a widescreen identification signal (WSS) is found or a signal is found through the scart socket.

    Panasonic Auto switches to the appropriate 16:9 or 14:9 widescreen ratio.
    'Panasonic Auto' appears in the top left of the screen if black strips above and below the picture are detected.
    Panasonic Auto chooses the best ratio and expands the picture to fill the screen. This process can take several minutes, depending on how dark the picture is.

    Panasonic Auto
    Panasonic Auto determines the best aspect ratio to use to display the picture you are viewing. It does this using a four step process to determine if the picture being viewed is a widescreen picture.

    If Panasonic Auto detects a widescreen signal it switches into the appropriate 16:9 or 14:9 mode. The Panorama (Just) mode is selected if a signal with wide aspect is not present (the screen can not be switched from Panorama mode into 4:3 mode).

    The text shown on the screen indicates how Panasonic Auto determined which ratio to use:
    • Panasonic Auto 'WIDE' appears in the top left of the screen, Panasonic Auto switches to the appropriate 16:9 or 14:9 widescreen ratio.
    • Panasonic Auto 'Panasonic Auto' appears in the top left of the screen. The best picture ratio is chosen and the picture is expanded to fill the screen.

    When in Panasonic Auto mode, if a Letterbox signal is input and these is no Aspect information, the picture is automatically adjusted to Just, Zoom1, or Zoom3.

    So to answer your questions in two words...
    Yes (to Just mode, on all AV inputs)
    Yes (to auto switch to widescreen, on all AV inputs)

    Both of these work just fine, flicking about Sky Digital channels like BBC auto-switches into 16:9 widescreen (and says 'WIDE') whereas Sky One auto-switches to Just mode.

    It also remembers what settings are for which input, e.g. I leave AV4C DVD player on '16:9' and AV1 Sky on 'Panasonic Auto'.

    StooMonster

    Edit...
    PS: This is for the TU-PT600B Receiver and TY-42TM5H Tuner Terminal Board that came pre-installed on my TH-50PHW5B TNR plasma.
  7. jenwilson

    jenwilson Member

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    Yay!

    Thanks Stoomonster, thats just what I wanted to hear!

    Looks like I might be down 3.5K this weekend after all.

    Jen.:D
  8. Bonzaimaster

    Bonzaimaster Member

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    Hi Stoomonster

    Please clarify the following. When you say that "flicking about Sky Digital channels like BBC auto-switches into 16:9 widescreen whereas Sky One auto-switches to Just mode", what exactly is the 'Just' mode? Will it show the Sky One picture in the standard 4:3 format, with black bars on either side of the TV?

    Many thanks for taking the time to answer our queries.
  9. StooMonster

    StooMonster Member

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    Just did a test on Sky Digital through AV1, and these are the settings that 'Panasonic Auto' changed to:
    BBC ONE: 'wide' as it's 16:9 content on 16:9 signal.
    Sky One: 'Just' as 4:3 content on 4:3 signal.
    UK Style: 'Zoom1' as 16:9 content on 4:3 signal.
    * I am sure you know that some stations transmit two channels, one 16:9 and the other 4:3; but others just transmit single 4:3.

    "Just mode" is like "Smart mode" on my old Sony widescreen CRT. It's where you have a 4:3 picture but is displayed so that in the centre of the screen it's 1:1 and then stretches slightly either side of centre and then stretches more at the edges of the screen -- essentially so 4:3 doesn't look distorted on 16:9 display.

    I am not sure if you can make "4:3 mode" (1:1 with bars down each side) display automatically, rather than "Just mode". But you can select it manually. BTW, when in "4:3 mode" the vertical bars are grey not black (which is much better for the plasma, reduces burn in).

    You can manually select "4:3 mode" and leave it on that, and it will still switch to 16:9 when it detects WSS and back to 4:3 when there is no WSS. However, it will not automatically switch into any other ratios.

    Hope this helps, it is pretty cool.

    StooMonster
  10. peteS

    peteS Guest

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    StooMonster

    Great posts - thx for all of your help. Just a quick one - is AV4 (i.e. the one you use for YUV) round the back, or do you have to have cables running into the front of the box for that?

    thx

    pete S
  11. N!ck

    N!ck Guest

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    Thanks to everyone that's provided some information, I certainly understand a lot more that I did several days ago!

    Panasonic have provided the answer to the SVideo/RGB question:

    The screen does not allow the svideo and composite connections to be used simultaneously. However, to use the RGB three phono connection it is necessary to also connect the composite cable.

    The advantage of the tuner box is that it permits the connection of the equipment via the RGB scart to the tuner and the RGB signal is passed to the screen using the proprietory cable supplied with the tuner.

    Here is the full response from Panasonic:

    In response, I would explain that Firstly, RGB and component and composite video are all different signal types. RGB is used in this country for the highest pic quality.

    USA and Japan use component as the equivalent of the RGB system.

    Composite video is a basic video signal which any product outputs and provides the lowest quality picture.

    Our plasma panels cannot use the SVHS and composite video socket at the same time. The SVHS socket disconnects the composite socket signal by the svhs lead insertion.

    RGB signals require a separate SYNCH signal from the composite socket thus RGb and SVHS sockets can not be plugged into at the same time (since the svhs lead insertion has disconnected the composite signal SYNCH reference).


    However, if the DVD player outputs true component (YUV) signals (not rgb) these do not require a SYNCH signal into the composite socket and thus can be used with the SVHS socket connected.
  12. StooMonster

    StooMonster Member

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    AV1, AV2, AV4, and AV4C are on the back; AV3 is on the front.

    Remember that AV4 (RGB scart) and AVC4 (Component RCA) are either/or, you cannot use both.

    StooMonster
  13. StooMonster

    StooMonster Member

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    Nick

    RE: Tuner - the myth explained

    This response from Panasonic sounds more like the RCA Terminal Board (TY-42TM4ZB) than the Tuner Terminal Board (TY-42TM5H) and Receiver (TU-PT600B). I say this because it sounds like they are talking about the connectors on the RCA Terminal Board rather than the scarts on the Receiver ("tuner").

    The "tuner" has three s-video inputs and four composite inputs.

    D o h !

    Just reread your first post...
    Seems like the you got the right response, if you want to use composite and s-video you will have to use the "tuner".

    StooMonster
  14. ShaggyDragon

    ShaggyDragon Guest

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    Thanks for the information StooMonster. Just a couple of questions if anyone can answer them.

    Is there a PDF manual available from Panasonic's website?

    You've said that the VGA input is disabled until the receiver is disconnected. Is it possible to put a switch in there to make it easier to access PC input?

    Is component output from a non-progressive DVD player going to be a lot better than an RGB scart output?

    Basically I have 3 component outputs atm, Sky+ (through conversion box), DVD and X-Box. The only one of these that is progressive HDTV is the X-Box, the other 2 have excellent RGB scart outputs. Using this receiver box would solve a lot of problems as regards component switching. The only fly in the ointment is the PC input removal.

    Sorry for all the questions, but this sounds like it's getting close to what I want to do,

    Andy.
  15. N!ck

    N!ck Guest

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    Thanks for the excellent information StooMonster. You are correct, the problem will only occur if not using the tuner and tuner board.

    Originally, I intended to order the screen without the tuner box - I thought that John Lewis was trying to pull a fast one. But I have to say they gave the rigth advice. I've got to take my hat off to them - great pricing and sensible advice.

    The alternative seems to be to get YUV without upgrading my DVD (Toshiba SD210e with phono type RGB output). I might as well see if I can get some system improvement for the £500 that the tuner box will cost!

    Have you any ideas or do you recommend the tuner box anyway?
  16. StooMonster

    StooMonster Member

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    I've thought about making a switch too. No idea if the 25-pin connector is a standard bit of kit you can buy from Tandy.

    Interlaced component RCA vs interlaced RGB scart: looks the same to me. I have tried both, but as I have a PAL progressive DVD player I use component RCA.

    StooMonster
  17. StooMonster

    StooMonster Member

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    Tuner is great for all the things listed above.

    However, I want to improve my Sky Digital picture with a progressive scan / line-doubler box. e.g. iScan Pro.

    I have sent a question to Panasonic Support asking about progressive RGB.

    Hopefully the Tuner will be able to handle progressive RGB too, but I don't know if it uses Sync on Green or Sync on Composite.

    If I ordered my plasma this week, I would've gone for the RCA Terminal Board version and bought a iScan Ultra instead of the receiver. Although iScan Ultra is £700+VAT rather than £400 inc VAT for Tuner option.

    Don't get me wrong, tuner is excellent and does exactly what it should; but since I saw the difference "progressive" made to DVD I want the same thing on Sky Digital too. :D

    See this other thread for more detail
    Project: How to improve Sky Digital picture on my Panasonic TH-50PHW5B TNR plasma

    StooMonster
  18. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand Active Member Assured Advertiser

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    N!ck

    Going back to your original questions with some 'simple' answers.

    1.0 If you have a Panasonic 5 Series display fitted with the Tuner Terminal Board (TY-42TM5H) you have no alternative but to use the optional TU-PTA600B tuner; there are no video inputs on the display or the tuner terminal card.

    1.1 If you have a Panasonic 5 Series display fitted with either the RCA or BNC terminal boards you have 1 x Composite or 1 x S-Video input + 1 x RGB or 1 x Component (YUV) video input along with a VGA (RGBHV) input.

    1.2 If you have a Panasonic 5 Series display fitted with the DVI terminal board you have 1 x Composite or 1 x S-Video input + 1 x Digital RGB input.

    2.0 The Tuner Improves the Picture - I doubt it; I'd always prefer to connect my kit into the display via the RCA or BNC terminal boards.

    The TU-PTA600B tuner is designed to give you more flexibility when working with 'Consumer' video sources that use SCART input/outputs but I doubt very much if its designed to give you any picture enhancing qualities.

    There are plenty of ways of getting good connectivity and great images into a Panasonic display that dont include the £500 tuner.

    As per Neil's post it is pretty straightforward to convert the RGB+Composite video out from a Digibox (or other SCART RGB source) and connect it through a J S Technology VGA or YUV converter and then into the display. So whilst Panasonic Consumer are correct about using the Composite input with an RGB SCART enabled source the Panasonic Tuner is not the only solution to the problem!

    Shaggy Dragon - once Panasonic release the wiring config it may be possible to add in a switch on the Umbilical cable; though it looks like it will have to be 'mid cable' as the connectors are seemingly none to easy to come by.

    Also please remember that the TU-PTA600B only has a maximum of TWO RGB SCART enabled sockets and that assumes you are not wanting to also connect a Component video signal to Input 04 - if you do want to input Component video then you only have ONE RGB SCART socket on the tuner.

    Best regards

    Joe
  19. sberkett

    sberkett Guest

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    A question rather than answer - I have read that to take advanatge of progressive DVD player signals they need to be connected directly to the panel and NOT through the tuner. Can you connect a progressive DVD player through the component inputs on the panasonic panel and at the same time connect the tuner box?

    (I am looking at the panasonic 37", progressive DVD player, sky box + tuner for analogue signals (for the wifey)). Want to know how to connect and if I need the panny tuner (for connections and broadcast).

    Thx.
  20. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand Active Member Assured Advertiser

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    Sberkett

    Once the Tuner terminal board is fitted to the panel there are NO video inputs on the panel.

    As per StooMonsters post your Progressive input goes into AV4C on the TU600 tuner - and the Tuner passes the YPbPr signal forward to the display (that's assuming you order your system with the tuner).

    So in your potential system NOT including the tuner you could have:

    01. DVD YPbPr > YPbPr in on an RCA terminal board fitted in your display.

    02. SKY RGB > JS Technology RGB2VGA converter > Plasma VGA input (and if you want an analogue tuner you could get a Nokia Mediamaster 221T FTA on an RGB pass through with the SKY Digibox).

    Best regards

    Joe
  21. sberkett

    sberkett Guest

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    Thx for the advice Joe.

    Simon.
  22. sberkett

    sberkett Guest

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    Thx for the advice Joe.

    Simon.
  23. StooMonster

    StooMonster Member

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    I have an Arcam FMJ DV27 PAL Progressive DVD Player attached to the tuner, through the component in (RCA connectors) and it looks fantastic.

    I wanted to connect a second progressive source to tuner (RGB this time), asked Panasonic sales and they said it would work through scart.

    To double check, I asked Panasonic AV technical. Here is their reply...

    Dear Sir

    Sorry to say that the plasma tuner is not capable of supporting progressive signals through any other inputs other than the component AV4 input.

    Regards
    AV Technical


    Oh well, Sky's not that bad through the tuner so I'll have to live with it. No Silicon Image iScan Pro line-doubling for me. :(

    But part of me is now seriously considering replacing Tuner with RCA board. Putting progressive Component direct to plasma, and using iScan Ultra to VGA (as multiple source controller, with built in line-doubler). But that will mean I've wasted £400 on Tuner and would have to pay more than £1000 for iScan Ultra and cables.

    Hrm... perhaps I'll keep the Tuner. It does only have one cable to plasma and have loads of useful connections. :confused:

    StooMonster

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