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Buying a plasma

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by symphara, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. symphara


    Jul 15, 2004
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    Hi guys and gals,

    I'm finally getting closer to sorting my new house so the big time for the plasma is fast approaching! I had in mind a 50" Pioneer MXE-1, but now I'm not so sure. Therefore your input would be much appreciated!

    My main usage model would be to connect the screen to a computer and watch movies. However, if the screen would have other methods of connection on top of VGA (such as Scart, Component) it would be good, as I have an old VCR using Scart, and would like to see my amp's OSD stuff. This can all be done via capture cards on the computer, but it's more hassle. Regarding TV - quality is relatively not important. It would be regular satellite digital TV, not Freeview. Anyway I watch DVD/DivX stuff 99% of the time, and the PC is more than fine for that.

    HDMI is a minor issue; I don't plan to invest in a DVD player with HDMI output, as in my opinion the PC will beat the image quality anyway. However, if Blu-ray or HD-DVD players come out, HDMI-enabled, and I can't get a computer drive to play the new formats, I might be in a little trouble (or have to use component). So HDMI would be nice for future-proofing, but right now by no means required.

    My options are (all screens are 50"):

    1) MXE-1; have demoed it and it looked very good; I love the 50Hz input at native resolution; native resolution is the rather standard 1280x768 (as opposed to 1366x768), so no trouble with widescreen gaming; main concern here, and why am I having second thoughts - the black levels; I demoed in a bright environment where any issues would not appear. And I couldn't really ask them to turn off the lights!

    2) PHD8; have not demoed this but the PHD7; liked the PHD7, but less than the MXE - no 50Hz, odd resolution (and by odd I mean Counter-Strike will do 1280x768 but not 1366x768...), rather cold colors; I tried a cloud sequence from Top Gun (crap movie) and I didn't quite like the banding, plus the image seemed a little noisy. I trust it could be fixed by tweaking, I didn't change any settings on the panel.

    3) PV500; demoed this, but only with HD feed, of course looked stunning; same refresh and resolution disadvantages as all the Pannys; lots of inputs, which means a cheaper solution as I don't need to buy separate boards and cards. Has HDMI! Don't really like the thick frame, but it's a minor point.

    4) 506XDE; didn't demo, seen the 505, only badly configured, was not allowed to connect my laptop so I couldn't really comment on the quality. It seems that the 506 is the input heaven, looks the best, neater to set up due to external box. Also the most expensive screen, and the PC input is, abysmally, placed on the front.

    Price wise, they're roughly within 500£ of each other (including cards and boards).

    From my price research, it seems that PV500 < MXE1 (with PDA-5004) < PHD8 (with HDMI & component cards) < 506XDE

    Advice, suggestions would be very welcome!


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