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Advice re purchase of Philips new 32" or 36" pw9617 (pixel plus)

Discussion in 'TVs' started by dr snuggles, Apr 24, 2002.

  1. dr snuggles

    dr snuggles
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    Hi, i'm new to this forum so please bare with me! I am about to purchase a new 32 or 36" widescreen! I am prepared to spend between £1200 and £1500! I have been very impressed by recent reviews re the philips pw9617 (pixel plus) series! Can anyone advise if this set is actually as good as the mags state? Also are there any other issues about this set that I should be wary of? Reading several pages on this forum have (thankfully) made me aware of the variants in tube issues (cyber or panasonic), could someone please clarify how can i discern between the two tubes and which is the best to have?
    Oh and by the way this is a great forum!!!! Well done!!!!
    cheers in advance,
    dr snuggles....
     
  2. spikeyboyo

    spikeyboyo
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    Hi - im in the same positions as you - was just about ready to part with my cash (£1700 best local shop price i have found - not gonna do mail order on this type of purchase) for the 36" P+ set only to read this thread:

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=35278

    Which has got me wondering what the problems are with the Pana tube - if any - and if i should hold off ordering for a month or two.


    Spike
     
  3. dr snuggles

    dr snuggles
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    Hey Spike!
    Sorry i've taken so long to reply! Apparently you can tell by looking down the front right side of the grills on the 9617, to see if it is a panasonic tube or a philips (cyber) tube! Stay away from the panasonic tube! i will be checking mine thoroughly when i go to sound and vision in may!
    I believe that the 36" version of the 9617 has a different serial number, can you clarify this, also would the picture quality be even more superior on a 36" version!
    cheers
    dr snuggles
     
  4. Zacabeb

    Zacabeb
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    It all comes down to no picture tube being perfect, large tubes being especially problematic and manufacturers using different approaches in their tubes. Philips and Panasonic have quite different flaws.

    Philips have chosen to flatten the inner surface almost completely in their Cybertube. They have kept a very slight curvature to compensate for an optical illusion at viewing distance, where a completely flat surface would appear to bulge inwards.

    Philips are also using a curved shadow mask inside their tubes, together with a technique called Gun Pitch Modulation. This deflects the electron beam twice, in such a way that it is first pulled to the side and then re-aimed towards its destination. That way, the angle at which it strikes the screen is straighter, which allows for several advantages with regard to focus and convergence. The purity and uniformity on the Philips tubes is usually best-in-class.

    MDDG (Panasonic) are using a compromise, which involves flattening the inner surface horizontally as much as is possible without running into too many problems. The vertical curvature we know from regular tubes is retained completely. The outer face of the glass is then flattened. This method is referred to as 'thick wedge' by Philips and is something they have actively ridiculed!!!

    The thick wedge method and the absence of GPM in the Panasonic tubes means it is essentially a traditional picture tube, pushed beyond traditional limits at the cost of stability. Focal uniformity is not quite as good as in the Philips tubes. Many of the Panasonic tubes exhibit problems with shadow mask doming, giving colored patches. This in combination with the thick wedge causes the edges of the screen to darken. It also means the screen never gets a fully flat appearance at normal viewing distance, unless you sit at dead center.

    Panasonic has made very good regular picture tubes in the past, but they so wanted to be the second kid on the block to flatten their tubes (after Sony). That's why they rushed things by using these 'cheats'. The one thing about the Panasonic tube that is admirable is its relatively fine dot pitch, giving higher sharpness if and when the image is in focus. For the 32PW9617 that is meaningless, for the dot pitch is still not as fine as that in the new Cybertube HD - the one Philips promised to put in.

    The dot pitches are as follows on the tubes:

    MDDG Flatline Wide Super Pigment Plus
    aka Quintrix F
    0.67mm (center), estimated ~1.00mm (edge)

    LG.Philips Cybertube HD:
    aka RealFlat Blackline-S
    0.57mm (center), 0.85mm (edge)

    So the definition of the proper Cybertube HD is slightly higher at center, and even more so near the edge. The Panasonic tube is marketed as standard definition, and the Philips Cybertube HD as high definition.

    In effect, that means you will either get a standard definition or high definition tube depending on chance. And I assume there are cheaper lottery tickets than a £1,500 TV.
     
  5. Ludae

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    Well done Zacabeb, an excellent and concise expaination of the salient differences between the Panasonic and Philips CRT technologies.

    :)

    Although I am a bit of a fan of Philips innovation and the enthusiasm and expertise of their research scientists, I do take issue with the marketing peoples' stance on the significance to the customer of such important components as the picture tube.

    I also do not feel comfortable with their gilding the lily somewhat when it comes to advertising Pixel Plus. I can appreciate that in the consumer market it often comes down to a numbers game, i.e. if one product has the number 100 in its feature list then it must seem more worthy of consideration than the product with 50 in its feature list. Therefore Philips are hiding the fact that Pixel Plus is a 75Hz mode and not 100Hz.

    It is true that it is based upon technology that has stemmed from the evolution of 100Hz development but nonetheless they have allowed the literature to suggest the TV is purely 100Hz.

    I am drafting a detailed letter to Trading Standard to see what they have to say on the matter as well as to Philips (not the UK office).
     
  6. dr snuggles

    dr snuggles
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    So, when i eventually go to pick up my pixel plus tv (32 pw9617), is there any way i can tell which is the high definition tube and which isn't!
    Zacabeb, which tube or company do you prefer? Also why are all of the top mags raving so much about this new technology, surely the picture quality must be exceptional?
    Oh, thanks for an excellent and informative post!
    cheers in advance..
    dr snuggles......
     
  7. Zacabeb

    Zacabeb
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    It seems you will get the MDDG (Panasonic) tube. What I learned today is that Philips are not using the new Cybertube HD yet in the 32PW9617 since their tube production is not sufficient.

    I prefer the Cybertube over the MDDG tube because the Cybertube is flatter and does not suffer from the same amount of vignette and moiré as the MDDG tube. I do not know how the new Cybertube HD will look compared to the old one, but I can not imagine it being lesser.

    The only thing you can do is to check the TV out for yourself thoroughly and see if the inner curvature of the tube bothers you. Otherwise you might have to wait for an eternity before Philips start using the Cybertube HD in the 32PW9617. Then again, perhaps they may start using them soon. Who's to know?

    It is a damn shame the tubes are so different in appearance. If they were not, this whole thing would not have been much of an issue and we could all rest peacefully at night. Maybe we should blame Panasonic for cheating and putting flat glass onto a regular tube.

    Myself I'll be keeping my 9616 until the day I find the 9617 has a Cybertube. I see no reason to replace my 32PW9616 with the current 32PW9617.

    Magazines are not bothered by the curvature in the MDDG tubes because they have spent years and years reviewing TV's that have anything from curved to fishbowl shaped screens. They may not put the demand on a flat tube to be truly flat; so long as it is at least flatter than a regular tube they're happy. And the MDDG tube is quite sharp, maybe sharper than the old Cybertube.
     
  8. nictry

    nictry
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    Hey guys, I am also new to the forum and found it invaluable in providing me with info on which 36" to look at, originally I had planned the Tosh ZP18 etc. but the reviews here pointed me at the black bars and after a thorough review in a store they were really noticable and would have annoyed me no end. I eventually tracked down a 36" Pixel Plus as I had seen the 32" and read the review in HE this month and thought this had to be the one!!!!

    How wrong could I be, the 36" PP is awful, the quality of the image on any of the picture modes available PP, 100 etc. was very blurry on anything fast moving and just watch the parasailing scene at the beginning of JP3 to see how thick the line becomes with the blurred image!

    I have ended up buying the old 36PW9525 because after visually testing all the older and latest models the picture on this just looks so clear and precise, (I know there will be people that disagree but my only comment is please ensure you view the PP set before you spend lots of money as you may eb surprised by it's quality)

    Good luck
     
  9. dr snuggles

    dr snuggles
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    I have now decided to go to the store and buy (in my humble opinion) the best looking 32"tv i can find!
    I will pick one of four tvs:
    1. philips pw329617
    2. pansonic pl 10 32"
    3. Panasonic pb 3650
    4. sony 32dx100u

    Does anyone care to debate which would be the best?

    cheers
    dr snuggles
     
  10. AndyFox

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    So you choose 1 of 3 Panasonics and a Sony ;-)

    I personally like the 32DX100 as a 2nd for the Panasonic ( whoops I mean Philips ) PW9617/9607

    Andy
     

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