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A question of resolution

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs Forum' started by Ian Cox, Aug 20, 2003.

  1. Ian Cox

    Ian Cox

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    There have been loads of posts lately about resolution and plasma screens, especially the pros and cons between 852 x 480 and 1024 x 768 screens. Well today I went to AV-Sales to demo the Panasonic PWD6 and the Pioneer 433MXE, both 42” models. Now I have built a dedicated home cinema PC to use with my eventual plasma purchase, which has a Radeon 9000 graphics card and Theatertek as the software DVD player which I took along so I could use this on both screens. So after watching various DVD’s and digital TV (PC has a nebula TV card) on both here are my conclusions.

    First of all I tried the Panny connected via analogue RGB. I set Powerstrip to 856 x 480 but the Panny did not like it and the image would not centre properly, not sure why this was? So instead of messing around I upped the resolution to 1024 x 768 and let the Panny scale the image, which it did fine. Looking at the Windows desktop there was a bit of ghosting and it looked a bit fuzzy but when I looked at it from a distance it was fine and it would be OK for web browsing but not for writing word documents. But seeing as this is to be used for watching DVD’s and TV I popped in The Two Towers and sat back. The most impressive thing about the Panny is the blacks, they are nearly as good as a CRT TV and give the image a very filmic quality. The image overall was very 3D, had loads of detail, was very smooth, no judder on pans at all and overall just perfect. Also the internal scaler in the Panny is very impressive and there were no scaling artefacts to be seen anywhere, at this point I was very impressed! I then tried some TV material, which again was very good but of course not as impressive as DVD, which you would expect.

    Next I tried the Pioneer. The PC was again set to 1024 x 768 via DVI so the Pioneer was not doing any scaling at all, was a pure digital input and was 1:1 pixel matched, unlike the Panny. The first thing that struck me were the blacks, well compared to the Panny they are a bit grey and you do notice this. Because of this the Pioneer does not have the same smooth filmic quality that the Panny has. There is loads of detail on the Pioneer but I would not say that it was any better than the Panny which surprised me, seeing as it has all that extra resolution. Also on pans there was a fair amount of judder which I thought was surprising seeing as there were none at all on the Panny, not too sure why this was? Also the Pioneer is quite a bit brighter than the Panny which to my eyes was a bad thing as it looked too much like a PC display and not enough like a TV display and made the image look to harsh.

    So after a very useful morning I am going to purchase the Panasonic, it just wins hands down for me as a DVD and TV display, that’s not to say the Pioneer is rubbish because it is not but the Panny is better. Before I got there this morning I thought I would buy the Pioneer because of the extra resolution, especially using it with a HCPC but all the extra resolution in the world does not count for much if everything else is not right to your eyes. So if you are thinking of buying a Plasma go and demo first as you may find you end up with a different screen to what you thought you would buy. :lesson:

    Also I would like to say a big thanks to Andy at AV-Sales, it was a very useful morning and your hospitality was first class :smashin:. And to anybody else who is going to buy a plasma or any piece of HC equipment go to a independent retailer like AV-Sales or Joe at the media factory as you get great service and you know you will get the right product for you.
  2. lmccauley

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    Oct 24, 2000
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    Very good advice. I went to see Joe, thinking I'd probably prefer the extra detail of the Pioneer, but coming away and buying a Panasonic because of the blacks. Other people have posted the opposite. It all comes down to personal preference which can only be discovered by getting a demo from someone who provides good service.


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