Confused.. a little help?



Hi people,

I've been a little slow in getting in the big-screen revolution - so far, just been happy with my 28" direct view TV.

Have been thinking long and hard about plasmas - will be watching about 95% DVD - 5% TV, and will be partnering it with either a Pioneer 868 or a Pioneer 668.

Firstly, will the two DVD players really offer anything different in PQ (don't care about DVD-A, CD playback etc) - their specs seem identical, both are Pal Prg and offer HDMI?? Price difference is about £250!

Secondly, am not sure whether to go for a 42" Panny/43" Pioneer or 50" Panasonic / 50" Pioneer. The money for 50" is stupid, but the thing that is tempting me to save up longer to get a 50" rather than a 42" is the higher number of pixels. Is the increase in the number of pixels going from 42"/43" -> 50" enough to compensate for the loss in quality due to the screen being bigger?

Finally, if HD standards are 1920px across, then am I right in thinking that none of these TVs are really HD standard. I understand that they'll playback HD signals, but won't I need to wait until manufacturers can squeeze more pixels onto the screen in order to get the full benefit of HD res? Or am I being stupid?

A little help... pretty please?
1, if u dont care about cd then get the cheaper one and....
2, put the cash into a 50 inch screen(bigger is better)
3, sorry ive no idea
HD - well, currently as far as I'm aware there's really no sources for HD video (although I think there's one satellite somewhere which I think does, but it's not Sky or Freeview or DVD). So is HD required? It would be nice to have the ability to use this in the future, but you'll also have to consider the resolution of the screens. If it's got fewer pixels than the HD signal, you're not showing the full picture.

Both Panasonic and Pioneer do excellent plasma screens. As for which size to opt for, other than financial considerations, you'll have to consider the viewing room you've got. You don't want to be sitting too close to the screen, but if you've got a larger living space, then 50" is tempting.

Not sure about the DVD players, but since you're going to be viewing these 95% of the time, pick the better one.

All the best,

Dr John Sim.

Pioneer DVD players - the DV686AV and DV-868AVi differ in a fair few fundamentals:

The DV-868AVi has Stereo, 5:1 Digital and Co-axial, Analogue 5:1 outputs for SACD and DVD-A plus i-Link Digital multi channel audio for use with a suitably equipped AV Receiver (VSX-AX5i or 10i).

The DV-668AV has the Stereo, 5:1 Digital and Co-axial plus Analogue 5:1 outputs for SACD and DVD-A but not the i-Link.

The DV-868AVi has a Pioneer Deinterlacer plus a Pioneer Video scaler and can output 480i, 480P, 576i, 576P, 720P and 1080i via YUV or HDMI.

The DV-668AV has a Pioneer Deinterlacer and can output 480P and 576P via YUV or HDMI.

So both are Progressive scan - though the 'Scaled' output of the DV-868AVi may be better with some displays and not having 480i or 576i may be a short coming if in future you wanted to put an additional scaler between the DVD and your Display or Projector.

The DV-868AVi also has a few operational niceties when hooked up via HDMI and i-Link not found on the DV-668AV.

Going Large - all of the Displays on your short list are suitable to view from about 2.8m minimum.

The 50" units will obviously have more visual impact and the increased number of pixels will ensure you don't see a blocky image if you are sitting at the minimum viewing distance.

The quality of the perceived image is affected by much more than just the pixel count and correctly adjusted all of the Display's on your short list can deliver excellent images.

SD vs. HD - if your forward looking and the many industry stories doing the rounds are to believed we will all have HD far sooner than expected; even here in the UK.

Microsoft look like they are about to muscle into the Home Entertainment market big time and once you've seen a High Definition WM9 dem on one of the higher resolutions Displays you'll know where you want to put your money.

True HD - there is not one 'absolute' standard for HD; rather there are a variety of HD resolutions which currently top out at 1920x1080.

Higher resolutions up to about 2250 horizontal lines are also predicted.

All of the Display's you have listed will display 720p and 1080i signals - though with varying degrees of compression or scaling depending on the native resolution of the Display.

HD Sources - currently you can have a Euro1080 Digibox (limited appeal for many), JVC D-VHS (soon to be launched in the UK I believe) and WM9; though there is talk of an agreed standard for a next generation HD DVD standard and new software and players in the next 12 months.

Trust this helps.

Joe, John and Mikedown,

Thank you all - Joe, you're 868v668 was particularly helpful.

Have definitely decided on the 868, but am now not sure whether I should get a plasma (prob 43" 434 Pioneer) or a 36" CRT TV (prob Tosh or Phillips). Will be looking round demo rooms etc., but am just cautious about plasmas for two reasons:

1. Will I be happier with a 36" screen and more money in my pocket.
2. Possible PQ issues of plasma, although this should be a great setup of HDMId 434 with 868!
3. Screen burn (minor issue as long as I'm careful).

These points I'll have to decide for myself I suppose, so thanks for all your help.
A 36" TV doesn't have the same "Wow" factor as a plasma! Picture quality is different from CRT, but that's mainly because everybody has grown up with a CRT TV. It's the same if you looked at front or rear projection solutions, they're all different than CRT. Certainly, go and have a look at plasmas at your local specialist, but also take on board that they may not be demonstrated at their best! Also, you're looking at two of the best manufacturers - Panasonic and Pioneer. The lower end plasmas tend to look as if you've taken cling film and wraped your Panasonic/Pioneer screen up!

Screen burn continues to be a concern for many, but as you say it's a minor issue. General rule of thumb seems to be that you should be careful in the first 100 hours, and afterwards ensure that you've not got static images displayed for extended periods. I've not noticed any burn on mine, and I view a variety of programs.

All the best,

Dr John Sim.

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