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Converting HDE to MXE

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by RedRose, Dec 13, 2002.

  1. RedRose

    RedRose
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    Does anyoe know if/how these two Pioneer 50" screens differ apart from one having a tuner. I hear that the HDE is 8 bit and the MXE is 10 bit. Is all the processing done on the slot-in card? If so, could I take an HDE model and fit an MXE's card and hey presto, or is there more to it than that. I can get a good deal on an HDE so I thought this might be worth a try.
    All this assumes that the picture on the MXE is better than the HDE. If anyone knows different then let me know.
    Thanks.
     
  2. The Huss

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    Redrose

    Bearer of bad news!

    The HDE doesn't have a card slot (neither the screen nor the media box). All it has is the media box with various (lots) of inputs and a single output directly to the screen.

    As for PQ? The specs for the MXE outshine the HDE in areas and, from what I've seen from various posts here, the PQ is better.

    I haven't compared them side by side myself though.

    What the HDE is though is a versatile piece of kit more akin to a v. big TV - with straight forward functionality such as channel select, teletext, split screen, freeze frame, sleep timer etc.

    Ideal for the non techy...like me!

    regards

    huss
     
  3. KBDVD

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    Hi RedRose,

    Reading between the lines of your post can I assume that you are considering handing back your Panny to Sound & Vision?

    If so, can I enquire as to why?

    I have decided to go for the TH50PHW5B but have I maybe missed something that would apply to this model too?

    Best Regards,
    KBDVD.
     
  4. RedRose

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    Thanks Huss. That is indeed a bit of a pain. I also heard that the HDE doesn't accept PAL progressive, although I'm not certain. What about connecting a PC via a 15 pin VGA input?

    KBDVD: Hi, yes I'm currently exploring my options with S&V who, to be fair, are being very helpful at the moment. It's this damned buzzing. Everything else is top drawer, but the PSU's buzzing is not what I expect from a £5K piece of kit. I am told by just about everyone that the Pioneers are virtually silent. S&V have already swapped it once, but I'm afraid the replacement was just the same as the first one. This is not S&V's fault and I don't want to alienate them, but I intend to get fitness for purpose.
     
  5. Joe Fernand

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    RedRose

    The video processing on an HDE is all undertaken within the R03 Media Box (8-Bit, 256 Grey Scale, 16.7 million colours) the video processing on an MXE is carried out on a slot in card - the standard card being the PDA-5002 (10-bit, 832 grey scale, 576 million colours).

    The Component inputs on the R03 Media Box are NOT PAL progressive compatible - whilst the Component inputs on the PDA-5002 are PAL and NTSC progressive scan compatible.

    The HDE models require that the R03 Media Box is connected to the screen as the R03 has the 'brains' of the system - even though the IR pickup is on the screen.

    The R03 attaches to the screen on a two headed 'umbilical' cable - that has a DVI type connector for the video signals and a separate multi pin connector for the comms.

    I have heard of one guy in the states that ran a DVI input into the HDE screen and kept the Media Box attached on the comms port to enable basic systems functions (on/off etc) - but that sound nuts!

    The MXE (with PDA-5002) is less expensive than the HDE so your dealer should be able to get you a 'deal' on either model.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  6. keyser

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    How much is the price difference between the MXE and the HDE?

    Do they both have the same features(invert mode, wobble etc.) to protect screen burn in?

    Does the HDE have a comb filter and not the MXE?
     
  7. RedRose

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    The fix for the buzzing Panny was easy. I swapped it for a Pioneer 503MXE!
    After some very good TLC from Sound and Vision Bolton I decided that, for me, the buzzing on my Panny 50HD30 was intolerable. Now, before anybody decides to do the same please bear in mind that this was a problem to me. My wife and daughter were not bothered by it. Maybe my ears are too sensitive for my own good, but there it is.
    If I was being honest (and I always am :eek: ) I would have to say that the Panny's picture is better. However, the small drop in PQ was preferable to the buzz; but this may not be the case with you.
    The MXE is, by all the comments I have read so far, a very close second to the Panasonic and comes with more connection options, 10bit video processing (there is a difference on colour gradients) and even a little pair of feet so you don't have to decide on wall/table mount immediately.
    I must pay credit to the people at Sound and Vision (Bolton) for their superb service and a very refreshing attitude to customer service. They are probably the best company I have ever dealt with in retail. That's what you get when the shop owner works in the shop.
    I bought the Panny on condition that it would not be buzzy. Within two days of getting it I contacted them and gave them the bad news. They could not have been more understanding and reasonable.
    I don't expected the Pioneer to be delivered before Christmas, but I am now happy to have done the deed. It is much quieter. Oh, and BTW, it is silver.
    Anybody shopping for any plasma should give S&V a try. Their prices are probably the lowest in Britain and they seem to be under the impression that if customers are treated well they will come back and also tell their friends. I am not connected with them in any way, I just think they deserve a pat on the back.
     
  8. keyser

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    RedRose,

    you say that the pioneer has 10 bit processing. Do you know what the panasonic´s have.. they have much more shades of grey(colour gradients).
     
  9. CarlB

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    The Panasonic model 5's also have 10bit video processing, it is the model 4 that only offer 8bit.
     
  10. RedRose

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    Agreed. The screen I had was the TH50PHW30 which is the same technology generation as the 43inch "4" series, so it has 8 bit. The 50inch 5series Panny is now available but costs more than the 503MXE and still has a repuatation for buzzing.
     
  11. KBDVD

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    Hi All,

    I'm now in a position to comment on the Buzz/ Fan noise issue as I've become the proud owner of a TH-50PHW5BX 50" Panny!

    After 1 weeks use I can state that the panel emits a buzz. This is however, inaudible when the soundtrack of a movie is being played at even its lowest level. In a totaly quiet room you can hear the buzz, but so what?

    The same statement is true for fan noise.

    In light of the above, in my experience so far, the above two issues are non-issues as far as I'm concerened. Maybe I've just been very lucky, and maybe time will change things, but for now I can state that should the buzz & fan noise levels remain at there present level then I'm very happy!

    As for PQ!....WOW!

    Upgrading from a Native rate (for R1 DVD) 853 x 480 NEC 42mp2, I was concerned that the scaling of R1 DVD images to my new panels native 1366 x 768 resolution may betray some visible anomalies. I needn't have worried! The panel does a wonderful job and, probably just down to the increased image size, I'm spotting small details that I never saw before.

    Black levels are of course fantastic.

    All in all, I'm a very happy shopper!

    Best Regards,
    KBDVD.
     
  12. keyser

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    KBDVD,

    have you seen the HD panasonic and the SD side by side for a comparism. How big is the difference with SD and HD material?
     
  13. KBDVD

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    Hi keyser,

    How's the weather in Iceland?

    I decided long ago that my next Plasma purchase would be a Panasonic. This was purely down to what my eyes tell me!

    Without wishing to offend any Pioneer owners, in my opinion the Panasonic displays look less "textured" & less "processed". To my eyes it's like looking at a processed 100hz picture (Pioneer) against a cleaner 50hz picture (Panasonic). I don't see any flicker on the 5 series Panny's but then again, funnily enough, using my above analogy, I never see flicker on my Sony 50hz CRT TV, and I always see artifacts on 100hz sets.

    As I had also decided to go 50" I only had to decide between the old 30 model and the newer 5 model as no standard resolution panel exists in this size. The 10 bit video processing, 3:2 pulldown, increased grey scale steps and easy future upgradability of the terminal board all made me decide upon the newer 5 model in the end.

    Had I have been going 42" I would still have probably decided to go down the HD route as I have one eye on HD-DVD, which I'm convinced will become a market reality within the next two years, and the other on D-Theatre which I may experiment with in 2003.

    Having now seen standard Region 1 DVD being scaled by my panel to it's 1366 x 768 format I can assuredly say that there is no significant degredation being introduced by the panel and as such, I'm glad to report that IMHO, opting for a High resolution panel now will not mean that you end up with a poor relation to the standard definition panel with our present DVD's.

    The final benefit of my HD panel is that I can now sit much closer to the panel and see no pixel structure! This is a real plus point and a major advantage given that this is a 50" screen and my old screen was a 42", the combination of the larger screen size and the ability to sit closer means that I'm now able to experience a much more cinematic experience as the screen fills a much larger area of my field of vision!.....Thinking about this, if I had realised in advance that this improvement would be as marked as it is, I would have bought this screen on this strength alone. It is of course magnified for me as I've gone 50" but will still hold true for the 42" HD display over the 42" SD panel.

    I'm sure that once HD-DVD becomes a reality there will be many Standard resolution panel owners that will regret not having gone down the HD route when faced with the choice now.

    It may be extremely awkward given your geographical location to get to see any side by side demo's, therefore I know people's opinons will be very important to you, but be careful, everyone's eyes are different and what works for me may not work for you! To borrow from the words of Morpheus: "no one can tell you what the Picture Quality is, you have to find out for yourself!"

    Best Regards,
    KBDVD.
     
  14. keyser

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    KBDVD,

    Thanks, the weather here is fine. But it started freezing yesterday, we actually had the warmest december ever. And you are right on the button about not beying able to see the displays here, don´t even think there is a single 5th gen panny here, at least none that I know of.


    What do you mean by "easy future upgradability of the terminal board". I thought the panny wasn´t uppgrader friendly at all, it doesn´t even have a DVI input that supports the full resolution of the panel(so their useless!) and they aren´t HDCP uppgradable. I think that fact is the single fact that keeps me from buying the panny, and I also have to hear how bad this buzzing is before I buy.
     
  15. KBDVD

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    Hi keyser,

    Nothing in life is ever certain!

    This includes how HD-DVD will come to market, ie it may or may not employ a direct digital output of some description and this may or may not be via DVI or SDI or Firewire or even the latest connector (who's name escapes me).

    As the Panasonic input board is modular and removable on the 5 series and not on the older 30 model, this for me, made the 5 series the most "future proofed" of my two options.

    This may or may not prove signifcant when HD-DVD is launched. I would like to think that if and when a standard digital output becomes properly established for HD-DVD, at this time, either Panasonic or a 3rd party may produce a replacement terminal board that will fit the bill.

    I agree that the present DVI option doesn't "cut the mustard" but this doesn't presently concern me as for now, I'm quite content to use the RCA component input board. How many DVD players currently sport a DVI output?

    As for the buzz issue, I can only re-state that in my experience so far, for me at least, this isn't an issue at all!

    Best Regards,
    KBDVD.
     
  16. Dutch

    Dutch
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    Hi,

    When we finally get an HD-DVD standard, hopefully within the next 2 to 3 years, I think the only HD output will be HDMI (that's the one you couldn't remember Keith - too much sherry trifle?:p ). We may still get an analogue component output but expect it to only offer 480/576p. HDMI will be compatible with DVI connections but only those of an HDCP flavour unfortunately :( . Keith, after reading the AVS forums, I wouldn't bet on Panasonic bringing out a future DVI-HDCP or HDMI terminal board for it's older generation displays, or even allowing a third party manufacturer to do one. At least Pioneer have allowed Key Digital and Aurora to produce cards for their CMX/MXE displays. The future's bright, the future's Pioneer...:) :)

    Steve
     
  17. keyser

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    I don´t know too much about the HD issue, and I don´t think any HD material will come to europe for a few years. But I´m guessing that allt he next gen. consoles will support DVI.

    BUT to get the best PQ out of the current SD DVD´s you will want a full digital path, an SDI modded DVD player(no DVD player that I know of has DVI outputs, and that would be illegal wouldn´t it. But the aSimilator will have one and ofcourse HTPC´s) and a scaler with DVI outputs, and therefore have no D/A step. But this option is not an option with the Panasonics.
     
  18. KBDVD

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    Hi Dutch / keyser,

    HDMI, yeah that's the one! Thanks Dutch.

    All I can say Dutch is that I obviously hope your wrong!

    What is being said on the AVS forums to create the impression that Panasonic will be unwilling to produce or allow others to produce, an interchangeable Digital terminal board in the future?

    I would think that their current position, ie, doing nothing and sitting on the fence is understandable. They have got their non HDCP DVI board out there now which is obviously aimed at PC users, so why offer anything else yet?

    If I were them I'd wait to see how HD-DVD and it's chosen mandatory connections shake down before producing boards that may otherwise prove to be redundant in the long run. I remain optimistic that once HD-DVD is established along with it's connections, my panel will have a terminal board made available to utilise it.

    I think I'm right in saying the only current D-Theatre player, the JVC HM-DH30000 utilises analogue component outputs for its 720p/1080i signal. This would seem to indicate to me that once Hollywood is sufficiently happy that a reasonably robust copy protection system is in place, they will not stipulate that analogue outputs must be limited to 480/576p. It would seem logical to expect the same degree of copy protection to form part of the HD-DVD standard so why should Hollywood treat HD-DVD any differently to D-Theatre?

    keyser, I think your timescale is too long. I confidently expect HD-DVD to have launched in the US by the end of 2004, ie, 2 years from now. I actualy don't give a monkey's how long it takes to get to Europe (if ever) as I shall obtain US hardware and software as soon as it is available. (Along with just about everyone else on these forums no doubt!)

    I think it highly likely that one form or other of Digital video output will form part of the standard but as to which one this will be, well your guess is as good as mine? As long as HD-DVD players are backwards compatible with DVD than this should mean that you will get a digital video path to your DVD's at this time too!

    keyser, quoting from your post: "But the aSimilator will have one and ofcourse HTPC´s) and a scaler with DVI outputs, and therefore have no D/A step. But this option is not an option with the Panasonics." I'm afraid I've no idea what an "aSimilator" is or "what option is not an option with the Panasonics?" Would you please clarify.

    Best Regards,
    KBDVD.
     
  19. Dutch

    Dutch
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    Hi Keith,

    The post on the avsforum regarding possible future DVI-HDCP terminal boards was in the "Panasonic DVI+HDCP" thread started on 19/12. Hopefully Panasonic will do the business for you loyal Panny guys - maybe more news at the CES in January. Sorry for going rather off-topic in this thread :)

    Steve
     
  20. keyser

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    KBDVD,

    as I said I don´t know anything about the HD issue, but I recall reading somehwhere that DVI will be the used connection when HD DVD arrive, will future HD player even have an D/A step in the picture? Will the HD signal from future HD dvd´s be similar to D-Theater the signal be "bigger", I know that certain connecter types like SDI and Firewall just can´t carry all the signal of these DVD´s, can analog components do it?
    Maybe the copyright issues are more strict on future DVD HD because more people have DVD and they are easier and probably cheaper to copy??

    The aSimilator is a deinterlacer/scaler/dvd player from immersive ( http://www.immersiveinc.com ) that has a DVI-D output and therefore a fully digital DVD path. And a SDI modded DVD player or a HTPC with DVI out also would have a DVD picture without a D/A step. But using this and getting the most out of standard DVD´s is not an option with the panasonics because they don´t have proper DVI (or SDI) inputs.
     
  21. KBDVD

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    Thanks Dutch / keyser,

    I remain confident that once "real world" players (DVD or HD-DVD) come to market that offer a HDCP DVI or HDMI output, then Panasonic shall offer a matching input terminal board for their panels.

    After all, if their competitors, especially Pioneer, are offering this then it will be commercial suicide for them not to! They may not particularly want to do this, but as ever, the market and their customers (you & I) will dictate their ultimate course of action.

    So for now keyser I agree, it's not an option on the Panasonic panels, but I firmly believe that it will be at the appropriate time.

    ps. Dutch, the poster on the AVS forums who was quoting the Panasonic scource for the "no HDCP DVI terminal board option" is going to follow this up at CES in January as there now seems to be a view that Panasonics stance on this may have recently changed ........ we shall have to wait and see!

    Best Regards,
    KBDVD.
     
  22. keyser

    keyser
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    It wouldn´t hurt to also have SDI inputs would it.
     
  23. Dutch

    Dutch
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    Hi Keyser,

    The new Key Digital card for the Pioneer MXE includes SDI aswell as DVI-HDCP.

    Steve
     
  24. keyser

    keyser
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    Dutch,

    yes I know, and I would be getting a Pioneer if I were satisfied with the black levels. It´s a shame that Panasonics can´t have the Pio features, or the Pio better blacks.
     
  25. saggio

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    The Pio 433MXE does not have a component input, even with the PDA-5002 video card. It only has RGB input (via a 15pin VGA or a 5x BNC).

    Is this correct?
     
  26. MattB

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    I don't know where you got that idea, Saggio, the Pio 433MXE accepts Component (and RGB) on both the BNC and VGA inputs. Try that on a Panasonic!
     
  27. saggio

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    Thank you MattB.
    While I now see the Component spec.s within the 15 Pin VGA on the MXE manual, there is no reference whatsoever to Cr/Y/Cb in the BNC connectors....
    Have you actually got it connected to a Component source via the BNCs ? and do you have to set the input type (RGB or Component) with the remote?
     
  28. MattB

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    Hi Saggio,
    My 433MXE is driven by a Tag DVD32FLR with PSM192 module. So the BNC inputs receive progressive PAL or NTSC component video depending on the source.

    When an appropriate input signal is present you set RGB or Component via the remote control. If you get it wong, you simply see either a very green or very magenta tinted picture.

    The PDA-5002 manual describes inputs 1 and 2 (VGA, BNC respectively) on page 32 with a common table, indicating that they are functionally identical (both have 4:3, FULL, ZOOM, WIDE modes available).
     
  29. saggio

    saggio
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    thank you MattB
    I am still undecided between the Pio 433MXE and the Panny 5. Seems to be a question of High Definition (Pio) versus Picture Quality / Contrast (Panny). I will be using an Arcam DV88plus as the player.

    How have you connected your sat/cable? do you use a JS box (SCART to VGA)?
     
  30. MattB

    MattB
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    I wanted the 768 line resolution for 2 reasons;

    1) I could never quite reconcile myself to the idea of displaying Palprog 576 lines on a 480 line display (although I must admit that in practice there does not appear to be a problem)

    2) I have a hidden PC connected by DVI to the monitor and it looks awesome. Imagine visitor's reactions when you go from TV watching to an immaculate PC display with one button press!

    I really can't comment on PQ as that is a very personal thing. It does not help that the MXE plasmas are nigh on impossible to audition - mine was bought blind but after a years reading AVSForum and feedback from probably the first owner on this forum (thanks SJ)

    I have $ky (Grundig) connected via S-Video direct and through the TAG deinterlacer. Both look fine (any artifacts are from $ky compression rather than the plasma - proved by running side-by-side with my old analogue CRT tv for the first few days)

    I have also connected RGB direct to the plasma (no need for the JS box if you are prepared to go inside the $ky box:devil:) this offered such a small improvement over S-Video I did not pursue it.
     

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