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A few quick plasma questions

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs Forum' started by john_p, Oct 11, 2003.

  1. john_p

    john_p
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    New to the world of plasma's!

    After going to the What Hi-Fi show and being amazed by the picture quality of a DVD on a well set up system, I'm thinking of getting a plasma TV to replace a very old CRT TV.

    I could probably stretch to a 43" one but I'm a bit worried this might be too big for my sitting room - any recommended room size / screen size ratios ?

    I really, really hate seeing picture artefacts / MPEG effects, is this unavoidable with Sky+ on a plasma?

    How long does it take for screen burn to become a problem ? So many channels now have bright white logos, are we talking hours, days, weeks?

    I take it a plasma 'monitor' is the same as a plasma 'tv' except without a tuner box, which apart from teletext is redundant if I have Sky+. If I buy the former then I might just be able to make it a legitimate business expense ;) Do I still get a selection of inputs enough to connect up a DVD player / PS2 / Sky+ box in the best way possible? (RGB?)

    Finally where can I look at a selection of well set up plasma screens, perhaps also RP/CRT TV's for balance - somewhere near to W London ?

    Thanks
    John
     
  2. jont

    jont
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    John

    Glad to hear you are thinking of joining the club ;-)

    I guess the majority of plasma on the forum are 42" in a variety of room sizes ... mainly due to that being the most available size for a few years ... you can get 36/37" if you feel that that is too big ... how far away are you from the set ?

    With regards to artefacts, etc it does depend on what channel tyou watch on sky ... the most popular channels & films have a much higher bitrate ... I can't say that I have seen excessive (or unwatchable) artefacts on my sky/plasma setup ...

    Screenburn can be an issue if you have the same channel on for hundreds of hours at a time ... just changing channel as if a normal tv shouldn't be a problem ... some plasmas have built-in screen savers which you can run that sweep a white band across the screen to refresh any pixels ...

    Depending on the plasma you buy you will generally get a range of inputs built in or available in plug-in modules ... from component / rgb scart / s-video / composite as well as SVGA/VGA for that all important business-use computer connection ;-) ...

    If you have a suitable amplifier you can connect all your devices to that and then hook the output to the plasma ... or be prepared for wire-city otherwise !!

    Not sure about good demo locations ... Harrods/selfridges are often quoted as having a numvber of screens on display that you can 'browse' ... someone will probably be along soon with some better dealer recommendations ...

    rgds

    Jon
     
  3. nathan_silly

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    Just make sure you demo CRT RP's in a darkened room, not Currys/Dixons, as the showrooms are too bright, not setup properly, not converged, etc.

    For comparsion, a 42" Plasma is £3000, and a 42" CRT RP is £1100. A 50" Plasma is £5500, 57" CRT RP is £1700.:laugh: oh don't forget Plasma desktop stand- another £175, tuner box- £400, wall mount- £400, speakers- £250. Taking you for ride man.
     
  4. SimonO

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    If RPTV's are so good, why do so many people choose to spend more on plasmas..?
     
  5. Dutch

    Dutch
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    ...and why does Nathan frequent this forum when he has no interest in plasmas? :p

    Steve
     
  6. danny-p

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    HMMMMMMMMMM???
     
  7. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    nathan_silly

    What if john_p doesn't live in a 'darkened room'? and if he did why not get a projector; saves buying four big slabs of particle board and a mirror and is much bigger than a Plasma or RPTV.

    Best regards

    Joe

    PS You'll not sell many wall mounts at £400 - most are sub £200 :)
     
  8. nathan_silly

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    Lifestyle statement.


    ...


    Because the guy asked about CRT RP's:rolleyes:
     
  9. cerebros

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    Probably becuase if you see them in the showroom, chances are the plasma will look far better, due to a) slightly better factory settings, and b) the fact that RPTV's need the aforementioned darkened room and a bit of setting up to look good. plus you have to be within the right viewing angle and height.

    I doubt many people except those who own RPTV's have actually seen them set-up properly - I've certainly never seen one that has been set-up properly. Most people's experience is probably the usual badly converged or screen burnt set in the pub the landlord turns on for England games on Sky.

    I'm sure if Dixons/Currys/Comet actually had proper demo rooms with RPTV's set-up in them, more people would buy them, but they don't, so they don't (if you follow).
     
  10. SimonO

    SimonO
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    People don't buy RPTV's because they are the size of a elephant...
     
  11. john_p

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    Uh oh looks like I've started something here ;)

    The reason for my comment about looking at a RP/CRT tv is really because it's the only point of reference I have in terms of quality.

    The plasmas I've seen up to now have all been in offices, bars etc and whether it's because I'm too close or they have not been set up right, they have always looked a bit rubbish (visible MPEG artefacts, bleeding colours, jerky movement etc[1]) and I don't want to buy one if they are all like that. Hence the requirement for a shop which has done all the careful setup.

    I take Nathan's point about viewing under bright shop lights which make things look different to how they'd be in my sitting room - irrespective of the display method concerned.

    [1] not all caused by plasmas I guess but if it shows them up more than a CRT I might find too annoying to live with
     
  12. rolandrat

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    Its simple, I've had 2 RPTV's they where great, I cannot knock them one single bit, and yes nowadays they are the bargain of the century.
    Problems is, is that I'm fed up of the big lump in the corner, plain and simple, and I fancy a change.
    Thats why I'm buying a plasma.
     
  13. Bob Todd

    Bob Todd
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    I know what you mean.
     
  14. NeilMcRae

    NeilMcRae
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    John_P [from bm3w? :)]

    You can get some good advice from the guys on this forum but in terms of picture and sound issues, everyone has different ears and different eyes. Go spend some time at a good quality dealer and let them demo some setups to you. Liam has a great demo room in Kent. There are a couple of guys in TCR in London that will let you fiddle with the screen if you are confident. I went into a place in TCR and made them hook a Panasonic TH-42PWD6 with a gamecube and progressive DVD source and Sky to see what it all looked like. Sky is really only a issue on the lower bandwidth channels where you will get artifacts but these can be lessened if you buy a better scaler such as the ISCAN Ultra, or even as I have, Zinwell Briteview as it makes a staggering difference in the quality, but obviously adds more cost. Also I was worred about the size of the screen but its a total non-issue your eyes get used to the size quickly get the biggest you can afford.

    In my view the Panasonic is the best screen money can buy at the moment but avoid the tuner box, the new Pioneers are likely to change this so if you like Pioneer then I'd suggest waiting until their new screens are out. But please- go view them properly setup.

    The only negative thing with newer screens and this includes some RPTV's is that lightguns don't work with them. Oh why doesn't some tefal head make a light gun that works with a plasma screen :)

    btw John_P if it is you from BM3W drop me a PM happy for you to come down and have a look at my plasma setup.


    Cheers,
    Neil.
     
  15. Joe Fernand

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    John_p

    The problem with Plasma (and any other display device) you view in a Pub, Club or even a larger retail chain are many:

    1. Its most likely been installed by someone who's getting paid by the hour and wants in and out as quickly as possible and is mostly considering if it's securely fitted to the wall or ceiling mount.

    2. Its most likely on the end of an RF Video distribution system.

    3. Its most likely on full contrast and brightness.

    Its not just a matter of getting the plasma set up correctly you need a decent input signal to begin with - hence Neil's advice on possibly budgeting for an external video processor to give your Digibox signal a bit of help.

    With a 43" PlasmaTV or Plasma Display you can easily sit 9' back and not feel overpowered by the image - its a bit startling the first time you fire it up but after a few days you do get used to living with a big screen.

    The choice of PlasmaTV vs. Plasma Display has been pretty simple up until now - the Display models usually offered better video processing and in some respects were more flexible in terms of inputs; even though they dont have SCART sockets. many systems actually use a suitable AV Amp as the video switch and not the Plasma.

    And then along came Pioneer with the NEW 04 HDE PlasmaTV models - though if you dont need the 'features' of the HDE the Pioneer MXE and Panasonic PWD6 Display models are still excellent bits of kit and a fair few quid cheaper than the PlasmaTV.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  16. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Neil

    I do know a Tefal Head and we do know how to make a light gun that will work on Plasma - though it seems strange that none of the big manufacturers are working on this.

    Any pointers as to who we should be researching (or talking too) before wasting a lot of time and energy on this idea.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  17. NeilMcRae

    NeilMcRae
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    Joe, excellent, I'll see if I can stir any interest with a few people
    I know.

    Regards,
    Neil.
     
  18. GreenBhoy

    GreenBhoy
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    I am most interested...

    I can't play HOTD2 on my plasma at the moment... :mad:

    GreenBhoy

    PS Neil - you have mail...
     
  19. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn
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    Hi John

    Are you prepared to drive your plasma from a PC? If so then that opens up a set of extra options in terms of connecting your sources via RGB, and using dScaler to perform all sorts of image processing magic for you - see www.pluggedin.tv/sweetspot for more info.

    Otherwise then as others have pointed out you can pay extra for a 'consumer' model plasma with the connections etc all built in.

    hope this helps
     
  20. john_p

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    Neil, yes 'tis me :hiya:

    David, is your card a PC-based iScan ultra / Zinwell briteview equivalent ? I'm probably going to steer clear of a PC based setup, I really hate noisy PC's and one in my living room would drive me mad.

    Just to confirm, am I correct in thinking that the best picture with a Plasma TV (with Sky+ and a Progressive-scan DVD player) would be obtained by;

    RGB (SCART) output from Sky+, optionally a scan doubler (iScan ultra etc), then via converter to VGA 15-pin
    and
    RGB (SCART) progressive scan from DVD player, direct to SCART input on Plasma ?

    Do monitor-only plasma's only have a VGA input? If so, how can you manage more than one source at a time, if you want to avoid using say an amp as a switchbox, which only has composite video ?

    Thanks :smashin:
     
  21. Easy2BCheesy

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    In the vast majority of cases, you don't get progressive scan from RGB SCART, it's component, VGA or DVI.
     
  22. NeilMcRae

    NeilMcRae
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    Point 1: I would try and demo Sky direct to the plasma and Sky through a scaler as above. But you will connect to the Plasma as either VGA, DVI or component [YUV].

    Point 2: It will be YUV [component] usually. A few players have DVI and VGA also now.

    John, most plasmas have completely different inputs, some are totally configurable like the Panny 6.

    The panny 6 can either be a plasma TV or a plasma monitor if you buy or don't buy the tuner. As standard it comes with a VGA port, but if you use the tuner you lose the use of the VGA port.

    The Panny 6 tuner has 1 RGB SCART, 1 YUV Socket OR another RGB SCART and 1 composite/Svideo SCART and also front composite and Svideo ports. Tuner isa big box and is silver only :(

    The panny 6 can have a multitude of different ports from YUV, to SCART, to composite/svideo and DVI, you can also chop and change what you want. On the panny 6 I have I've got onboard VGA, another VGA socket running in YUV mode and a YUV socket.

    I have netgen iplayer via YUV to the YUV port, 5 of consoles via a switcher to a VGA port in YUV mode and Dreamcast/PC to the VGA port in RGB mode.

    Regards,
    Neil.
     
  23. john_p

    john_p
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    Ah ok.

    Wouldn't bother with the tuner box then, I guess it's redundant with Sky+ (except for good old teletext)

    Looking at the specs for the Panasonic 6 on av-sales they advertise the max res as 852x480 with a 4000:1 contrast ratio. As opposed to say the (newer?) Pioneer 433 which supports 1024x768 with 1000:1.

    So is the extra resolution any use, if you only want to watch TV/DVD? I don't think I'd ever use it as a PC monitor. That's a big difference in contrast ratio, is it really noticable?
     
  24. David PluggedIn

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    Hi John
    Our solution is HTPC based, so yes you are correct that if you want a near silent solution then you need to specify your PC carefully or buy a pre-built PC from an HTPC specialist, so as always it is a balance between the flexibility of an HTPC versus the convenience of a standalone solution.

    As Neil pointed out, the key thing to do is to get demos, and make sure the units are connected in the same configuration that you intend to use yourself.

    Have fun!
     

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