Question Am I mad to want to buy an old 720p plasma? 42" Kuro or Panny?

killerhertz

Standard Member
Casual lurker here - and I hope this post doesn't come over all noob, but a bit of help/guidance in the right direction would be appreciated.

So here's the deal…. I've been using a Panasonic TH-PWD6 for about 5 years now (purchased from a forum member here), and it's been great. Bullet proof really. SD performance is fantastic. It also performs great with 720p pushed through the DVI card with my PS3 and Freesat, despite being only an SD panel. My xbox 360 works best at 480p but still looks good. Overall though, the blacks could be a bit blacker, and the colours could be slightly truer on certain material.

However, keep messing around swapping leads, and faffing with switch boxes is starting to annoy me, Plus my son has now got an Xbox One and the PWD6 doesn't accept the 1080p output, and the 720p downscaled from it doesn't quite come up to scratch somehow. Lately I've gotten that feeling of the upgrade bug. Am I missing out?

We've mainly been watching SD on freeview. I rarely get time to watch films, but do on occasion - either what is showing live or from a DVD. I don't own any BluRays, but I know that 1080p though my PS3 on the right replacement screen would be stunning.

However, we've started to use streaming services a bit, and there's plenty of HD content on there now, and as we mainly watch BBC or Channel 4, the HD broadcasts we'd potentially use a lot too.

The big problem is plasma. I've been spoilt, The Panny has been utterly fantastic. Using a Humax freeview box into a JS technology VGA converter, we've had great viewing for years.

When I go into Currys or such like, it seems all the TV's want to burn the retinas out of my skull with their over saturated colours and sharpness. We do own a Samsung 32 and LG 32 LED Smart TVs for bedroom use, and they're fine in there, but they've taken ages to set a natural picture I'm happy with. Plus when I watch them, I tend to see the faults like the uneven backlight. I don't think I could bear that on a main TV that I would own for many years to come.

The last time I seriously thought about buying new was a few years ago, when Plasmas sat side by side with LCD and LED, and I preferred the plasma picture every time. Plus, in our living room we have sofas on the opposite side wall and the screen is in the middle, that means we usually watch from between 30 and 45 degree angles. It does seem, with OLED still developing, and I have no interest in 4K either, a solid used plasma is the way to go.

So I'm looking to the second hand market. And here's where my dilemma starts….

I love my Panasonic so would be keen to have the same, though I know the older Pioneers are worth a look too. My maximum screen size is 42, and I don't really want to drop to a 37 as we're so used to the 42 now.

I did a lot of reading up, and I thought that something like a Panasonic 42 TX-P42GT30B or VT30B would suit as a minimum. Maybe an ST50B depending on price. They're all regularly available on ebay, around £200 to £300, so the biggest problem is a seller having one close to me here in Kent to view and collect.

I found one with viewings available prior to BIN or bidding, so I travelled 70 miles (about my limit) to see a P42GT30B. I had cash in my pocket and was expecting to be blown away, by a well reviewed set and *product of the year 2011*.

However I was not. The upscaled SD looked awful, really soft and muddy. No better than the LED sets that I've been turning my nose up at. The 1080i HD channels didn't look overly impressive either. Quite noisy I thought. I spent about 30 minutes messing around in the menus trying to tweak the picture settings to something I thought looked good to my eye. But I just couldn't get there. I thanked him for his time, and didn't purchase. But still…. I'm sensing something could be better here for me.

So am I crazy now for looking at two really old panels??? Or should I give a VT30B or newer screen a look? Without regular BluRay viewing, is 1080p really for me? I wonder if the only area I'd miss out out on is gaming resolution - though I'm a casual gamer rather than hardcore.

The first panel, is pretty much a direct replacement for my PWD6 - a Panasonic TH42PH9BS. I know this is just a monitor, but it's what I'm used to already. The DVI card from my existing panel appears that it will also fit in. It's a 1024x768 panel so I know I'm looking at 720p feeds, but I figure the upscale of SD will still look pretty good, and the 1080i should downscale better than my existing PWD6.

The main problem on the PH9BS seems to be again the lack of inputs (thought I could get around this by adding a new HDMI amp at some point) and I've read that it's a bit laggy and could have problems with lip sync. The panel has a built in audio delay for it's own speakers but no line out. I'm concerned that this could be an issue, and also might not be best for gaming. But can be picked up cheap, £75 to £150

Or, a Pioneer Kuro PDP-4280XD or 428XD?
This has inputs galore, extremely well reviewed for its time, and despite it being a 720p panel, a great head to head challenger for native 1080p screens. The reviews say the SD upscaling is excellent as well. Throw in the fact that it can be had on ebay for around £150 - £200 and it doesn't seem bad. It also accepts 1080p signal and downscales well, so the Xbox One could be a reality. Most screens have been well looked after by the owners, whereas the Panasonic is a commercial workhorse panel.

But ultimately, how will they compare to a 2012/2013 Pioneer ST/GT/VT plasma, and to my existing PWD6. It's tough having to drive miles to buy one, and I won't bid blind until I've seen one working.

Can any owners of the PH9BS monitors or of the Kuro 428 series TV add any input to my quest?

Am I mad to consider such an old technology 720p screen in this day and age, or should I really look for a younger screen and put up with soft SD pictures.

If any PWD6 owners have taken the upgrade path, where did you jump?

Likewise if you have a Kuro for sale in the Kent area fire me a message ;-)

Thanks for reading.
 

Daimo B

Standard Member
Slight OT, but I'm in Kent, and I've got a similar thing, I've got a Panasonic TH-42PH9BS monitor only screen with a 720 HDMI port card inside. Its faultless, always powered off when not in use, it worked great on my PS3, Bluerays still are viewed really well, and whenever I watch motorsport or rugby, the image never blurs and its been faultless.

If your interested as a cheap replacement, drop me a message. I connected it to a Onkyo TX-SR674ES Amp (also up for sale) but if you've already got kit then its not needed.

Drop me a message if your interested. I really would keep it but due to a rebuild of downstairs and relocation of my TV, I can't use it anymore (its wall mounted, I've got the mount) so its currently sat in my bedroom covered up.
 

ldoodle

Distinguished Member
In answer to the thread title, I'd say "no".

I'm a very happy owner of a near-9 year old Panasonic Pro series 42", 720p/1080i display. When I compare it to much more recent and modern friend's and family sets, that are Full HD 1080p, mine still kicks their asses.

Do it!

I'm dreading the day mine fails. But hopefully by then 4K OLED will be acceptable price-wise (and display only models so no TV tuner, Smart stuff etc.).
 

Mikeyd1963

Active Member
Casual lurker here - and I hope this post doesn't come over all noob, but a bit of help/guidance in the right direction would be appreciated.

So here's the deal…. I've been using a Panasonic TH-PWD6 for about 5 years now (purchased from a forum member here), and it's been great. Bullet proof really. SD performance is fantastic. It also performs great with 720p pushed through the DVI card with my PS3 and Freesat, despite being only an SD panel. My xbox 360 works best at 480p but still looks good. Overall though, the blacks could be a bit blacker, and the colours could be slightly truer on certain material.

However, keep messing around swapping leads, and faffing with switch boxes is starting to annoy me, Plus my son has now got an Xbox One and the PWD6 doesn't accept the 1080p output, and the 720p downscaled from it doesn't quite come up to scratch somehow. Lately I've gotten that feeling of the upgrade bug. Am I missing out?

We've mainly been watching SD on freeview. I rarely get time to watch films, but do on occasion - either what is showing live or from a DVD. I don't own any BluRays, but I know that 1080p though my PS3 on the right replacement screen would be stunning.

However, we've started to use streaming services a bit, and there's plenty of HD content on there now, and as we mainly watch BBC or Channel 4, the HD broadcasts we'd potentially use a lot too.

The big problem is plasma. I've been spoilt, The Panny has been utterly fantastic. Using a Humax freeview box into a JS technology VGA converter, we've had great viewing for years.

When I go into Currys or such like, it seems all the TV's want to burn the retinas out of my skull with their over saturated colours and sharpness. We do own a Samsung 32 and LG 32 LED Smart TVs for bedroom use, and they're fine in there, but they've taken ages to set a natural picture I'm happy with. Plus when I watch them, I tend to see the faults like the uneven backlight. I don't think I could bear that on a main TV that I would own for many years to come.

The last time I seriously thought about buying new was a few years ago, when Plasmas sat side by side with LCD and LED, and I preferred the plasma picture every time. Plus, in our living room we have sofas on the opposite side wall and the screen is in the middle, that means we usually watch from between 30 and 45 degree angles. It does seem, with OLED still developing, and I have no interest in 4K either, a solid used plasma is the way to go.

So I'm looking to the second hand market. And here's where my dilemma starts….

I love my Panasonic so would be keen to have the same, though I know the older Pioneers are worth a look too. My maximum screen size is 42, and I don't really want to drop to a 37 as we're so used to the 42 now.

I did a lot of reading up, and I thought that something like a Panasonic 42 TX-P42GT30B or VT30B would suit as a minimum. Maybe an ST50B depending on price. They're all regularly available on ebay, around £200 to £300, so the biggest problem is a seller having one close to me here in Kent to view and collect.

I found one with viewings available prior to BIN or bidding, so I travelled 70 miles (about my limit) to see a P42GT30B. I had cash in my pocket and was expecting to be blown away, by a well reviewed set and *product of the year 2011*.

However I was not. The upscaled SD looked awful, really soft and muddy. No better than the LED sets that I've been turning my nose up at. The 1080i HD channels didn't look overly impressive either. Quite noisy I thought. I spent about 30 minutes messing around in the menus trying to tweak the picture settings to something I thought looked good to my eye. But I just couldn't get there. I thanked him for his time, and didn't purchase. But still…. I'm sensing something could be better here for me.

So am I crazy now for looking at two really old panels??? Or should I give a VT30B or newer screen a look? Without regular BluRay viewing, is 1080p really for me? I wonder if the only area I'd miss out out on is gaming resolution - though I'm a casual gamer rather than hardcore.

The first panel, is pretty much a direct replacement for my PWD6 - a Panasonic TH42PH9BS. I know this is just a monitor, but it's what I'm used to already. The DVI card from my existing panel appears that it will also fit in. It's a 1024x768 panel so I know I'm looking at 720p feeds, but I figure the upscale of SD will still look pretty good, and the 1080i should downscale better than my existing PWD6.

The main problem on the PH9BS seems to be again the lack of inputs (thought I could get around this by adding a new HDMI amp at some point) and I've read that it's a bit laggy and could have problems with lip sync. The panel has a built in audio delay for it's own speakers but no line out. I'm concerned that this could be an issue, and also might not be best for gaming. But can be picked up cheap, £75 to £150

Or, a Pioneer Kuro PDP-4280XD or 428XD?
This has inputs galore, extremely well reviewed for its time, and despite it being a 720p panel, a great head to head challenger for native 1080p screens. The reviews say the SD upscaling is excellent as well. Throw in the fact that it can be had on ebay for around £150 - £200 and it doesn't seem bad. It also accepts 1080p signal and downscales well, so the Xbox One could be a reality. Most screens have been well looked after by the owners, whereas the Panasonic is a commercial workhorse panel.

But ultimately, how will they compare to a 2012/2013 Pioneer ST/GT/VT plasma, and to my existing PWD6. It's tough having to drive miles to buy one, and I won't bid blind until I've seen one working.

Can any owners of the PH9BS monitors or of the Kuro 428 series TV add any input to my quest?

Am I mad to consider such an old technology 720p screen in this day and age, or should I really look for a younger screen and put up with soft SD pictures.

If any PWD6 owners have taken the upgrade path, where did you jump?

Likewise if you have a Kuro for sale in the Kent area fire me a message ;-)

Thanks for reading.
 

Mikeyd1963

Active Member
Just to let you know I will have a
Pioneer 436XDE Kuro for sale soon.

Mike
 

killerhertz

Standard Member
Following up on my own post, in case any other PWD6 owners find themselves in the same quandry. I bought a PH9 panel at a fraction of the price that a decent 42 LED would have cost me, and I'm very pleased with it indeed. The SD performance isn't too bad (much better than the 1080p set I looked at) and for HD and gaming it is fantastic. The fact that it dropped straight into the same space my PWD6 fitted was a bonus. For an old panel, it really holds it own against the current crop of LED's and I know I made the right choice. Hopefully it'll last me until OLED's are competitive.

With the money I saved on buying new, I was able to pick up a customer returned Sony DN-1050 Amp to handle all my HDMI in and outs from Richer Sounds for just £235. By the time I've sold the old PWD6, the blades, my previous amp, DVD and speakers, the upgrade will have hardly cost me anything.

All in all, a worthwhile excercise, and I have rid the upgrade demons from me for the forseeable future.
 

ldoodle

Distinguished Member
The PH9 is a great panel. My brother got the PH10 a year later and I don't think it is as good as the PH9.
 

SteveAWOL

Distinguished Member
I'm in a similar quandary as the OP.

I've got a TH-37PX80B in the living room which I purchased from John Lewis about 7 years ago and it has provided the family with many hours of loyal service but I now have got the itch to upgrade to something a tad bigger; a 42" set or maybe even 46" if I get one with an ultra-thin bezel.

However my household still mostly watches standard definition (from Virgin Media) so I need a set that can match the PX80' SD performance but the LED-backlit-LCD screens I've seen appear to be optimised for 1080 and 4K content; we do occasionally watch the HD channels / streaming or Blu-Rays but those sources probably make up less than 30% of viewing.

I noticed a couple of used TH-42PX80 and KURO PDP-428XD sets listed locally on eBay which have tempted me but I can't help thinking that spending a couple of hundred quid on a telly that is as old as the one I've already got is crazy... and the moment I do so a 42/46" OLED telly for under a grand will be released!
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
The main thing I find that makes watching SD on even a 4K set is good calibration. I have a Panasonic 42" GT20 TV with 1080P panel and when correctly calibrated and all the useless processing turned off, SD is quite watchable, even close to.

We are soon to upgrade and move the TV to another room, to be replaced with a 4K 48" TV. I will also calibrate this and fully expect the SD picture to be just as pleasant on the eye. I calibrated the brother in law's 40" 4K TV and it went from bloomin awful to very good on SD and 1080i Sky material. Even the 4K demo stuff was much improved.

Whatever you get, a calibration is well worth while, even if you just do brightness and contrast and forget about grey scale. With older TVs however, just copying another set's settings probably will not work, as the older panels tend to be much less consistent.
 

Queens Pawn

Active Member
I'm in a similar quandary as the OP.

I've got a TH-37PX80B in the living room which I purchased from John Lewis about 7 years ago and it has provided the family with many hours of loyal service but I now have got the itch to upgrade to something a tad bigger; a 42" set or maybe even 46" if I get one with an ultra-thin bezel.

I still use my PX80 as the main TV and probably will until it dies (I hope so soon :) )

I also inherited a 40" 720p samsung LCD from the same era recently. It is unbelievably bad in comparison. But the TV that replaced it - A £400 43" 2015 samsung LCD is - I dare to say it - is pretty much on par with the px80.
 

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