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42PHD8 - What else will I need ??

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by BeelzebubUK, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. BeelzebubUK

    BeelzebubUK
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    After spending the last few weeks waiting for the 436XDE from Pioneer and now I'm not so convinced this is the right screen for me so I'm looking for alternatives in case a good demo puts me off the Pioneer.

    I don't need speakers or a built-in tuner as I'll have Sky+

    The Panny 42PHD8 seems to be very highly regarded so wanted to know what I'd need to get the best out of the bits and pieces I'd want to use with it.


    I'll want to connect the following :

    Sky+ : RGB Scart or S-Video
    Denon 1920 DVD : HDMI or Component
    X-Box : RGB Scart or Component
    PS2 : RGB Scart or Component
    PC : VGA or DVI

    In the future :

    X-Box 360 : Component
    PS3 : HDMI

    So looking at that list I'm probably going to need the following eventually :

    1x Component for X-Box/PS2/X-box 360
    1x S-Video for Sky+
    2x HDMI for DVD and PS3
    1x VGA for PC

    Is this configuration possible on the 42PHD8 ??

    Is there anything else I would need to get the best out of the screen without going totally overboard on cost. I'm sure I've read people talking about a scaler....is this necessary ?

    I don't want to pay any more than £3000 including stand and cables....if it looks like going over that I will ditch the idea and stick with the 436XDE which does have all the connectivity I need.

    Any help appreciated as trying to buy a plasma right now is starting to give me a headache :nono:
     
  2. Saltrock

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    The PHD8 suits you setup just fine.

    It has the VGA port as standard.
    The UK models come with the S-Video/composite card as standard too.
    Buy tha additional HDMI card now to use with your DVD.

    In the future you could either -

    1. Buy the additional HDMI card for the panel to connect the PS3, Use a component - vga cable (as the PHD8 VGA input can be set to component.)

    2. buy a HDMI switch when the PS3 comes out. Buy the additional component card for the panel to input the XBOX360.

    There are other options with different switchboxes, scalers or a new A/V Amp that supports HDMI and/or component switching, but they will push you over budget. I'd personally go for option 2 as option 1 leaves you without a vga port for your PC.

    Alternativly output the PC from DVI to a DVI card in the panel.

    The panel will cost £2191
    Component Board £123
    HDMI Board - £135
    DVI Board - £120

    £2450 with the two boards.

    You can start to look into scalers to improve the whole viewing exp. of the panel but that can be bought later (if at all)

    Hope this helps a little.

    Craig.
     
  3. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    Why not consider this......

    Screen and stand/wall bracket £2125 HERE
    Lumagen DVI scaler £695
    VGA cable £XX.XX

    The go into the Lumagen

    Sky+ S-Video
    DVD - component
    PS3 - component
    PC - VGA Pass through

    That would give you stunning results now and then when you add HD you could add the hdmi board to the screen.
     
  4. BeelzebubUK

    BeelzebubUK
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    So I could use the scaler to connect up pretty much everything using the most appropriate connections and just run everything through the VGA port of the plasma just using a VGA-DVI cable ??

    Then when I upgrade to Sky HD or HD-DVD player just connect the scaler via the DVI to the screens HDMI and connect the Sky HD & DVD to the DVI inputs on the scaler (which would make sense I guess as you've not mentioned using them yet) ?

    Also I'm not sure what you mean by using a VGA passthrough....is that another dongle that converts a PC's VGA output to an s-video or composite connector ?

    Many thanks for both taking the time to reply already.....seems very promising. I like the idea of using a scaler as that gives me one of the features of the Pioneers I really like which is the seperate media box.

    Almost sounds like I'd just be better off getting the HDMI board fitted when I buy the panel and use that instead of the VGA ??
     
  5. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    The reason the hdmi/dvi board is left out for now is it will apparently not take native resolution on the 8 series! So you would have to give it 1280x720 and let the panel scale back to 1024x768, which is not good for a desktop, it will look blurry.

    I believe the lumagen dvi has a vga in on the unit as one of the inputs, when in pass through mode it allows you to do exactly that, pass the signal through without processing it, it just means you can switch to you pc input with the press of a button.
     
  6. neil_darkranger

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    Hi

    I'm in exactly the same situation here, really looking to buy the PHD8 but need to know the best connections to make to it for ultimate PQ from:

    Sky+

    Pio DV575

    gizlaroc - you mention using s-video out for the Sky to scaler, would this give much better PQ than a direct Scart RGB to the diplay?

    Was thinking of a scaler for the future, not sure i can fit one in the budget just yet, but then Sky PQ is my main priority.

    Cheers
     
  7. BeelzebubUK

    BeelzebubUK
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    Doesn't look like the Lumagen has a VGA port at all but the ability to display the PC is not a priority as its only for the odd occasion I want to plug a laptop in or run media that I can't play on anything else.

    I've found a passthrough dongle that uses a USB port for power and converts the VGA of the PC to an S-Video connection so that seems good enough for me.

    So if I was to add a HDMI card to the panel would I be better of using it as the input source from the scaler or just using it as a direct connection from a HD device such as a PS3/Sky HD etc ??

    So will everything from the scaler be sent to the panel as 1280x720 and then the panel scales it down to 1024x768 or does the scaler take everything to 1024x768 before passing it to the panel ?

    Sorry if these are stupid questions....just started looking at all this stuff and its a steep learning curve :lesson:
     
  8. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    Neil, yeah going to through the scaler would be a lot better, you could go into the scaler RGB too btw.

    If you had a scaler you would send the screen 1024x768 and then adjust the size on the panel until it was 1:1 mapped, thus bypassing the cheap and rather inferior scaling and deinterlacing built into the plasma.

    HDMI/DVI seems to be a no go on the 8 series for PC as it wont do 1024x768, I will test it as soon as my panel arrives. So I would not bother with an hdmi input at all if you go the scaler route, just stick to RGBhv.
     
  9. neil_darkranger

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    Thanks gizlaroc, i had read about the improvements that a scaler could get out of the source to screen, just was not sure how it worked. Looks like i will have to seriously consider that option.
    To get the Sky into scaler as RGB, would this require a JS Tech converter or similar? and give even better PQ?

    Cheers again...
     
  10. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    No, you just need a scart to 4 phonos (RGBsync) at a cost of around £20.
     
  11. neil_darkranger

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    Cheers gizlaroc

    and apiologies BeelzebubUK if it seemed i was highjacking your thread, it's was just you were asking the same sort of questions and i didn't think it was good to start yet another thread...
     
  12. manorlodge

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    gizlorac, were can you pick up a Lumagen DVI scaler for £695 ?

    i know gordan was doing a summer offer but its over now and the price has gone up again.

    Thanks in advance m8.
     
  13. spj

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    Hi Guys. 1st post on the site. have to say its a tremendous resource for non-techies like myself, so thanks to all for the highly informative posts, especially this one as I too am considering the PHD8 route. :smashin:

    But have a q on a slightly earlier post from gizarloc... is it the HDMI board that will not take native resolution, or is it the panel itself that has difficulty with this?

    And what difference does this make in any case? e.g. would it be a non-issue if i wasnt going to be hooking up my pc to the panel?
     
  14. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    This is just what I have read so far from people on here who have their screens already and the guys on the av scince forum.
    If you want to go in with a PC then you need to get a DVI board, but it will only do 60Hz (so watching pal films/tv would not be nice), people are having trouble giving the HDMI input native rate, it can be done but you may need to alter the timings with powerstrip.

    The panel can accept it, it is probably more likely to be the EDID info in the hdmi blade that is the problem?


    I am not sure about the Lumagen at £695, have you called any dealers to see if they have any stock left that they can do at that price?
     
  15. Swa

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    If you don't have a scaler like me, and you don't intend to buy one, is the phd8 still the better option compared to the pv500?
    I have a denon 2910, and can connect this with a HDMI (i will have to buy a hdmi board) or I can connect it with a component to vga cable. Will the PQ still be better than on a pv500?

    grtz
     
  16. theo cupier

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    I don't see why the PHD8 shouldn't be the better option (although I may be biased).

    It will still allow you all the options you might want connectivity wise. I think what can put people off is that there's so much choice of how you make the connections they get a kind of paralysis. With the PV500, you get the connections you are given and make do with those. If you need more, you get switching amps, JS switchers or whatever.

    I think that the PHD has more to offer over the PV500 in terms of calibration - I think you can take this a degree further with the PHD8. This means, in theory, that you can make the PHD produce a better picture than the PV500, I think. If you can't afford £700-£1300 for a scaler, £250 or so on an ISF calibration is easier to find and to justify and will improve the PQ.

    I don't know how the internal processing of the two screens compare, which would be another dimension.
     
  17. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    Yeah the picture will still be better, if you are not using a scaler then I would have a go hooking it up hdmi, in theory there should be more greyscale steps than going in analogue because it has 14bit processing. Although your dvd won't have, because there are more colour steps available and more greyscale steps available you may find there is zero banding when going in hdmi/dvi.
     
  18. Swa

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    gizlaroc and theo thanx for your reactions! :thumbsup:

    So if I don't use a scaler and hook it up HDMI I will probably have a better picture on the phd8 compared to the pv500?

    Do I need extra knowledge of calibration/ settings if I go for the phd8 route. I ask this because I don't have this knowledge (apart from what I learn on this forum from people like you). If it is very difficult to get the PQ of the phd8 right, I might go for the pv500.

    So are there any banding, line in the middle or contrast issues with the phd8 like the pv500? If not I think the the phd8 is the winner, I have to bite the bullet sometime because I really want a tv on my wall :D
     
  19. theo cupier

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    I have NO knowledge of calibration or settings either and I've managed to run DVE (even with its menu system) and play around with the contrast / brightness / colour / H size & position / V size & position to get a very satisfactory picture (until ISF time). The only other things seem to be to turn the screen OFF Dynamic and on to Normal (or Cinema) and take it of 'Just' aspect mode and on to 16:9 or 4:3 as appropriate

    My PHD8 has no signs of banding, line or contrast problem that I can see. It DOES look great on the wall. :D
     
  20. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    I think the HD8 is easier to set up and get a good looking image than the PV500 is.
     
  21. Swa

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    Sounds great. I think I will go for it, it seems this plasma doesn't have the (minor?) problems like the pio 436 and pv500.
     

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