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All I want is a demo ... PDP43XDE v's 42PD7200v's TH42PV500 ... please

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by dram, May 22, 2005.

  1. dram

    dram
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    First of all, sorry for the text, I'm a frustrated consumer !!!!

    I have a simple requirement: I'd like a 42" HD Ready Plasma TV, but I'd like a decent demo first if I may ... please ... and no, I dont want £500 cover. I fear I may be too demanding in my requirements.

    I think my choices are quite straightforward, its a shame that I can't arrange a straightforward test drive to match my simple requirement. Either the prospective retailer doesn't have it, won't have it or doesn't know what to do with it if they did.

    Pioneer PDP43XDE:
    Plenty of places to see one on demo, excellent picture, good reviews, plenty of price options. I like this one, but I'd like to see a (slightly) cheaper benchmark before taking the 3k leap of faith, might be able to get a better DVD player if I did. The better half might approve if I could demonstrate consideration of cost before selection !!! :)

    Hitachi 42PD7200:
    Department Store had one, but no demo was available as it was on window display. I did look but only out of courtesy, Man U v Arsenal on terrestrial TV through a plate glass window on a busy afternoon in town is not what I'm looking for as a demo. No stock available, therefore no price matching discussions allowed (a subject of various other threads).

    High Street Electrical had one, but alas no DVI, HDMI or High Def video source, however they seemed quite pleased offering Sir a demo of Stuart Little through a £70 DVD player, and a high quality £100 (yes £100) scart cable (nuff said). Amusingly a member of the public thought I was the Store Manager and wanted to purchase an MP3 player from me, opportunity lost says me !!!

    Local Hi-Fi specialist will order one for a purchase, but dont hold stock for demos. Extremely helpful though despite this.

    Panasonic TH42PV500:
    The Panasonic tour was in High Street Electricals car park displaying all the new models, except the PV500 series, available in the Panasonic store near me from Tuesday ... aargh!!!

    Comments welcome ... especially if they identify dealers in Scotland who can demo any two of my three options with something better than a 3" animated mouse through a £100 Scart cable and a £70 DVD player from behind a plate glass window. :mad:
     
  2. sharper

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    The trouble with demos IMHO are they differ so much due to setup variation you might as well not bother.

    Talk to people on here you wont go far wrong.:clap:
     
  3. theo cupier

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    dram

    I sort of agree with sharper.

    Saw the Pio, Hitachi and Panny PE50 at John Lewis in High Wycombe a few weeks ago (playing Monsters Inc via RGB scart off a split feed, surprise surprise).

    Initially the Panny looked shocking - worst of the 3 - but even after a couple of basic picture changes via the remote (just changing brightness & contrast) it perked up no end.

    To actually find somewhere which will give you the time to see all 3, with the connections you want, in a way that lends itself to comparison, and with a decently callibrated screen feels like asking for the impossible (even accounting for the fact that screens need 200+ hours before they are really run in and worth full callibration)

    I know Hornydragon and Piers did some side-by-side tests a while ago, but I don't know if that sort of facility is ever going to be available to 'average' punters with a booking, let alone walking in off the street. If anyone can prove me wrong, I'd love to hear it too.
     
  4. stormorbit

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    Dram,
    I am in Fife, Just bought the Pioneer PDP435 XDE and hey let me assure you, you can't go wrong! The New PDP435 XDE is simple fantastic, the picture quality in shops like Comet and Currys is pretty poor as all the TV's run off one ariel but back home the picture quality is simple superb. Don't worry too much about buying one locally, thats what I wanted to do to start with but the price difference was too attractive to ignore. I bought mine from Beyondtelevision.com. (Based in Bolton) I ordered it on Monday at 12.30pm it arrived the next morning at 10.30am! (under 24 hours!) They also offer a 2 year guarantee although they don't state it on their site. The price is £2548.00 which is about as low as it's going to get and I looked everywhere.
    It looks stunning and has the huge advantage of having the media box seperate from the Plasma screen so if anything does go wrong all you have to do is return the media box rather than the big screen. The Panasonic PV500 I am sure will be excellent but I still think the Pioneer is the winner!
    _____________________________
    Ross - West Wemyss Fife
     
  5. voxmagna

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    dram, At the top end of the consumer HD plasma range you probably wouldn't be disappointed by either. The problem is the picture quality will be optimised for the expected market need. Each plasma panel is intrinsically bound to the electronics doing the conversions and scaling. Some conversions may look better than others if you know what to look for. Reference source material will have been used by the manufacturers and their processing will optimise for these. For most non-experts, correct contrast, brightness and colour and a lack of 'odd effects' are probably the limit. But a Freeview/Sky programme could have all of these wrong at the same time! Incidentally, football currently transmitted is about the most difficult and demanding to show well on a big screen, so why do you think Sky are keen to launch HD?

    I saw many HD panels before they were launched as consumer products, some of the best performers on HD were poor at displaying low bit rate MPEG like Freeview, whereas some SD only panels looked better. The variability in default setup 'out of the box' can be considerable so don't write off a panel if the colour at first shows a difference.

    Decide what you will be watching most as a source, assume it's not good and then see if the panel has any tricks in the setup to give a good picture. These don't come without a side effect, but you decide if the improvement looks good to you. Manufacturers understand the MPEG display issues and will try to get the best out of a generally poor source. If you can't get a demo with a HDMI DvD source, take some still camera pics of 3Mpix or above, along on the right card media.
     
  6. dram

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    I definitely agree that most shop demos are set-up limited thus rendering a demo somewhat pointless, hence my point on the DVD Scart attempts at High Street Electrical.

    I saw the Pioneer in three specialist shops with a mixture of SD DVD and Hi Def material and was very impressed, but it would be good to see the competion also ... due diligence and all that good stuff. Its just a shame that the specialists can't hold more stock, forcing us out into the wilderness of the high street electrical.

    I bought my Denon-3802 and Kef Pods a few years back on a booked session at a specialist so I'll still continue to try before I buy ... bearing in mind the comments sourced from the AV forums of course.

    Good call on the camera demo. I've got a 6MP Canon, so I'll generate some bright and colourfuls along with a couple of dark and moody's.

    I'm under no illusions, but I'd like to think that whitegood retailers would make more of an effort to demo ... instead of just shifting units on a Saturday afternoon.
     
  7. MAW

    MAW
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    The trouble with demos is that all too often, you go to endless trouble to show the customer exactly what they want, and armed with this knowlege they go and buy one from all the w's.cheapestpricethisweek dot com. This is why all the specialist retailers don't demo 'box sale' products. I only demo 'custom install' products, there is simply no future in taking hours with a customer if you then have to price match to get the sale, making £25 on the deal. We make next to nothing on all plasma sales these days, I earn money with setting up complex AV systems outside the competence of most owners. You want to demo some serious screens, scalers, etc, come to me, or AV sales, Joe at TMF, we will all fall over ourselves to help. You'll have to put up with a split feed at Currys if you want a 'consumer TV'.
     
  8. sharper

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    I could not agree more, the ramifications of this are hitting the high streets hard. But why bother with wasters?
     
  9. MAW

    MAW
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    Why bother with them? Because you never know who they are. I differentiate by not bothering with demos of consumer equipment. It's never as good as a bespoke system anyway.
     
  10. alliwant

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    all this kind of goes in the face of all those threads that say lets your eyes decide? As yet i have not been able to see a demo of the viera running the dvb?? :(
     
  11. MAW

    MAW
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    Not really, all I'm saying is if you are keen enought to want a proper demo of your kit, then probably you should not be looking at consumer TVs anyway. Pop in to currys, and buy the one you like.
     
  12. dram

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    Maw, your feedback is interesting re: buying a consumer plasma.

    Most of what you read both on the forums and magazines is Pioneer this, Panasonic that, so I'm interested what you would suggest as an alternative.

    Like I said originally, I want a "future proof" system in the 37"-42" screen size. Don't need speakers as I have a seperates.

    Where would you point me?
     
  13. MAW

    MAW
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    HD ready is the problem at the moment. The Fujitsu HHA40 is HD ready, and meant to be very good, I have not seen one run. Future proofing is also a mixed term. Commonly we'd say anything with HDCP digital compatibility at 720p/50Hz. Actually this is not enough. All the panel only type screens have various apparently fatal flaws, all of which can be got around, except frame rate conversion judder on Panasonics. Pioneer and Panasonic make fine screens, both TV and panel only types, they have just shot themselves in both feet on this exact issue. The net is a wonderful resource, but retail wise, it's happened across the board, not just AV kit. Internet shops can have no stock, no premises, often no phone number even! It's distorted the whole buying/selling relationship. Don't get me wrong, I'm not actually bitching about it, it does not affect me very much. It must hit folks like Currys pretty hard though. I guess this forum does me out of more paying business than the rest of the net! But I learn here too, so all's fair.
    Given your existing kit, I'd have a good look at the PHD7 panny and the MXE1 Pioneer, with a scaler in both cases. You might spend a bit more, not huge, your picture will be noticeably better, and you will get some service out of your dealer.
     
  14. Sulis

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    What else would need for full future-proofing? Native resolution at 50MHz, I s'pose. 1080p as well... Holographic display would be a given, as would telepathic remote control... :)
     
  15. JeffLaws1

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    You spelt telepathic remote control wrong, its spelt WIFE :D
     
  16. MAW

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    Quite right Jeff! 1080p is the one I was thinking of. Native at some multiple of 25 is nice, indeed. The talk on the hi def forum is that HD-DVD is 1080p/60 Gulp! That's one hell of a bandwidth!
     
  17. dram

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    Maw, had a quick look on the MXE1 and PHD7. Pricing seems to be in the 2-2.5k mark which is less than the consumer screens that most of the threads scream about. So why does the world scream so loudly about the others?

    Do I understand you right: buy a decent screen and let an upgradable box of tricks (the scaler) do the rest of the work?

    Don't know much about scalers. Do they supplement or remove the need for an external media box? How much do they retail at?

    ... telepathic remote controls indeed, how basic. Surely you would rather have an integrated empathetic system that adjusted your armchair, delivered a beer, selected your channel of choice and cut down nuisance noise to suit your mood.
     
  18. JeffLaws1

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    All spells wife to me, properly trained and able to keep the kids occupied whilst delivering the appropriate chilled beverage in the most silent manor possible.

    Defective models should be hit with a large wooden object to ensure CE compliance and changed every 6 years to ensure optimum performance in all areas.
     
  19. Sulis

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    That would be your big house in the country, off the beaten track, right?... :)
     
  20. MAW

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    dram, you seem to have your head around things, scalers start around £750 for quality kit, They do rplace completely the media box, can incorporate lip sync correction, chroma bug correction, SDI video inputs, VGA or DVI output. It gives you huge flexibility. No overscan any more, but picture always fills the screen, assuming it's 16:9 of course.
     
  21. JeffLaws1

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    How did you guess?
     
  22. llg

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    finally today at my store got a full high def demostration to show on my pv500 courtesy of a japaneses stb and a rec-pot hdd. it has come direct from panasonic themsleves and been shipped from japan. part of it has been converted to uk standard (plug one of the main menus). so in my store i can actually show a true high def picture not a dvd upscalled threw hdmi. and iv got to say the picture is very impressive. the sharpness,rendering and colour management are superb.
     
  23. SimonMallion

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    I think there must be a glitch in the Matrix, I am sure I have read this before :rotfl: :D
     
  24. MAW

    MAW
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    BTW do you demo XDE's and PD7200s as well?
     

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