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Digiboxes and Pioneer 43MXE-1

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by superann, Aug 1, 2004.

  1. superann

    superann
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    Hi. Can you help me with some advice on the following (sorry, there are several questions)? We're thinking of getting a plasma screen, but we live in a poor reception area. So before buying anything else, we got a digibox (Mitsubishi Black Diamond) just to see if we could pick up digital TV signals at all.

    Happily we can, so now we've looked at some plasma screens and were
    very impressed by a Pioneer 43" TV. But the salesman said that if we wanted to use our own amplifier and speakers it would be better to get the 43MXE-1 plasma display. Can the digibox be connected to a 43MXE-1? And would we need any extra hardware to do that?

    Would a more expensive tuner (either separate or built into the display) be better than the digibox at working with weak signals? There's a stand of trees across the road that interfere with our analogue reception, and the darn things keep growing!

    Does anyone know what the expected screen life of the Pioneer 43-inch?

    Sorry if some of these are stupid questions, but all this is new to me.

    Thanks in advance

    Superann
     
  2. Joe Fernand

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    superann

    The 43MXE1 is a Display monitor - as long as the output from your source device is Composite, S-Video, YUV or RGB Component video you can connect it to the display and get an image.

    Being a Monitor designed for the Professional market the Display can be fussy about the quality of the signal its being sent - both in electrical terms and Picture Quality.

    Most Freeview boxes will have a SCART output and the majority will have the option of Composite (not recommended) and RGB - if you want the optimum picture set the Freeview to RGB and use a JS Technology RGB2VGA or RGB2YUV converter between the Freeview and the Display (or Video Switcher or AV Receiver*).

    *You may want to consider pre switching your sources ahead of the Display and only having one Input to the Display - this simplifies operation as you don't then have to mess about with multiple remotes.

    You can also look at the NetGem iPlay Freeview receiver that has YUV via SCART so doesn't require a converter.

    Once you start to 'expand' the video signal to fill a 43" screen you want to ensure your sending it as high a quality picture as possible - most folk on these Forums use Freeview or SKY or similar. Have a local installer advise on a suitable aerial installation if your worried about the trees messing up your Freeview signal.

    With the 43MXE1 your looking at 30,000 hours+ to reach Half Life of the phosphors if you use them with a Peak White video signal - use the Display with regular video signals and have the Displays ISF Calibrated and your looking at possibly doubling that figure; and the Display is still very usable even at Half Brightness.

    Drop me a note if you require further infomation on the MXE1 Displays.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  3. Loafer316

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    Hi Joe

    I currently have a NTL box and a Netgem Freeview box. I can connect the Netgem via the componant input on the denon, but would i notice a big difference in quality by running the RGB from the cable box to a RGB2VGA convertor rather than RGB2YUV ? obviously it would be easier to switch using the amp...but i'm not overly fussed...more concerned about pic quality. Oh yeah this will be going into the 43MXE1 you sent me! :hiya:

    Raman
     
  4. MAW

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    Loafer, the difference is not huge between the VGA and YUV converters, it's said the VGA one has the edge, but you'll need to have some friends round with beards and woolly jumpers to really describe the differences. The ease of use bit is negated simply, with a universal remote control capable of macros. Then you'd never notic you are changing inputs on the screen and the denon.
    Superann, what a forward thinking salesman you met! It is rare to find a plasma sales person willing to do more than play the safe option, perhaps you would share your stunning find with the forum members?
     
  5. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello Raman

    The RGB2VGA is slightly sharper than converting the RGB2YUV - for simplicity many folk are happy to give away that last 2% to make life easier with an all YUV set up but the perfectionist in you will want the RGB2VGA (which are in stock :))

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  6. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    MAW

    Any particular brand of woolly jumpers - don't want to get one that produces too much static or is too reflective do we :)

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  7. Loafer316

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    :laugh: @ joe and MAW

    thxs guys! will prob go for the RGB2VGA then...joe i'll chat to you soon.
     
  8. MAW

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    I think the diamond pattern mens cardy in acrylic from M&S should do nicely, but your description was pretty simple and doesn't really qualify. I've stared at the 2 side by side on several occasions, and decided that the one I prefer varies according to what's on TV, and I really can't be bothered.... I now use an iscan HD and have none in my personal system.
     
  9. superann

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    Joe,
    Many thanks for your advice. Checked the digibox to try to find out what the output was. It's definitely a SCART though the specs page in the instructions doesn't say if it's RGB--but we looked up the specs on the internet and they say "TV scart (with RGB support)". Does that make it definitely RGB?

    You advise using an RGB2VGA or RGB2YUV converter. Could you say in not-too-technical language what the advantage would be over just connecting the display direct to the digibox?

    Thanks too for the reassurance about the screen life!

    MAW, when I said in my original post that the salesman had mentioned using a display monitor instead of a full-scale TV, that wasn't the same salesman as demonstrated the Pioneer TV to us :)

    Superann
     
  10. mseabroo

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    diamond pattern mens cardy in acrylic !!!
    Hum expect we'll be seeing a lot of moir patterning across those, irrespective of feed :devil:
     
  11. Joe Fernand

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    superann

    It sounds like you have a fairly standard box - switchable between RGB or Composite video Out via SCART.

    The problem when connecting a SCART RGB 'consumer' device to one of the MXE1 displays is that the displays are expecting a decent quality signal and many Set Top Digibox produce a far from 'on spec' signal.

    The RGB2VGA Converter:
    The Plasma Display works best with RGB + Horizontal and Vertical syncs - whereas your Digibox is outputting RGB + Composite sync; and whilst the display can and should work with the RGB+C signal they often don't see a clean enough sync signal on the Composite line and report 'No Signal' and you get a lovely blank screen.

    The RGB2YUV Converter:
    RGB and SCART are not universal signal or connector types and as most AV Receivers don't switch RGB Component video its useful to be able to convert RGB to YUV Component video which is compatible with a huge array of AV Receivers.

    If you have a DVD player with YUV Component out plus a Set Top with its RGB out converted to YUV you can now think in terms of having a single YUV cable from the AV Receiver to your Display (which is YUV compatible) and pre select (switch) everything (audio and video) in the AV Receiver - which makes life much easier for many as you don't have to switch audio in the AV Receiver plus Video in the Plasma (assuming multiple signal types wired to the Plasma).

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  12. AV Junky

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    Hello Superann

    MAW has probably retired to bed now, after an evening of large screen viewing :smashin:

    I'll give you a quick response to keep you going:

    The MXE doesn't actually come with a SCART socket on it. Comes fitted as standard with computer-style inputs (VGA and DVI), and you can then specify one of two terminal boards to be fitted before purchase. This board has standard video connections on it, including a component input. No actual scart on this model. Hence it's a choice of either converting the RGB signal from the SCART into VGA or component (as advised in the earlier posts).

    You might also want to consider whether aspect-ratio switching is important to you (i.e. switching between normal and WS pictures, according to the programme you're watching). If, like me, you can't stand watching a 4:3 picture in 'stretchy-vision', then you might also like to consider adding an aspect-ratio switching gizmo. There's a sticky thread at the top of this forum, where you can buy one for < £100.

    HTH
     
  13. AV Junky

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    Apologies Joe for jumping in here. Thought you'd have retired by now too. Are you not getting the 'stern look' from the missus yet? ;)
     
  14. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    No she just heads off to bed - doesn't even bother to ask these days :)

    I'm 'Dad' a lot of the time during the day so burning the midnight Oil is pretty much the norm - plus I can actually start to catch up on LAST weeks mail box now that the phone has stopped ringing.

    Best regards

    Joe

    PS Its not my thread so the more the merrier I say - everyone's input is relevant and there's plenty I learn from these threads too.
     
  15. hornydragon

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    My Bad Sorry mate! :hiya:
    I personally think that if you have an amp with component switching i prefer the convienience,amp on DVD does DVD, amp on TV does TV (sky/freeview etc) job done, and i had bad experience with a VGA socket on a plasma so i am now scared of them (not to put you off.....) Also find that keeping it free for PC use is good as laptops and plasmas can be a great source of family entertainment.
    That said RGB>YUV is more expensive than RGB>VGA
     
  16. superann

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    Joe, AVJunky, and HornyDragon(!),
    Thanks for the advice and explanations. It sounds like we won't know for sure if the digibox would work with the 43MXE-1 until we get the display home. We live in an area where the BBC reckon we shouldn't be able to get reception at all, and as mentioned earlier we have some big trees over the road that interfere with the analogue signal. So we were really pleased to discover that the digibox worked, and provided a much better TV picture than we'd ever had before. However, just occasionally it momentarily pauses, which is a bit worrying.

    We've got the digibox on sale or return for 7 days, so we could take it back tomorrow (last day) if we had to. Is there some other digibox that would be more likely to cope with a weak transmitted signal and provide the the sync stuff that the display needs? (Ours is a Mitsubishi BD65DSF, bought from Richer Sounds, but we've found it's actually a Vestel DVB810 made in Turkey.) Or is there some other solution? Joe-you mentioned a Netgem as having more suitable outputs, but is it better from the weak signal point of view too? (Couldn't find much info on the web about it.) Or--as we may have to go back there anyway--would a Pioneer DBR-TF100 from Richer Sounds be a better bet?

    Again sorry if any (or all) of these are silly questions!

    Superann
     
  17. hornydragon

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    Nokia 221T is good in weak signal ares, and Netgem is good havoing compoent outs, Saves £150 for a converter!
     
  18. MAW

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    Netgem is noticeably poor in weak signal areas, and is aslo strangely dependent on it's position in the AV rack, and what is next to it. Keep it on the top shelf, and away from your amp (big transformers I think). They work at my house and office, with 28 and 29% signal strength showing. But ch 5 breaks up in the eves sometimes. But they will save you £140 for a converter, you just need a special scart to make them work. The weak signal thing, your existing one might not be good, netgem might not be worse. Joe and I have certain arrangements, if you are buying stuff from him I could maybe lend you a netgem to try. If you fancied that you'd best get rid of the existing one anyway. As Horny says, the nokia is a good weak signal box, but will cost you more as you need a converter. Netgem also ha built in web browsing/media file playback from a PC, which is kind of fun.
     
  19. Rob

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    I use a Nokia 221 T with my newly aquired MXE-1.

    I can't get the panel to accept an RGB output. At the moment all I've tried is a scart to RGB + composite sync and it won't lock on. The same is true if I try it with a Lumagen HDP scaler, which should accept this signal, so I'm using composite untill I can try a scart to RGBHV lead, or try a converter, although I wouldn't have thought I would have needed one.

    Rob.
     
  20. hornydragon

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    pioneer has S-video output,
    Joe, MAW would an SDi modded freeview box work? anyone tried one???
     
  21. MAW

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    Think this box is an odd case, RGsB, ie sync on green. Could be wrong, but worth a shot.
     
  22. superann

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    Many thanks to Joe, MAW, and everyone else who chipped in with advice and info. It's been very useful, and although it's all much more complicated than we realised :confused: we think we know now where we're heading.

    We had to take the original Mitsubishi digibox back to Richer Sounds, because the reception wasn't really up to scratch, so we'll have to choose something else with better connectivity and sensitivity. We'll definitely be sticking with the idea of buying the 43MXE-1, and we'll be upgrading our aerial. We also need an A/V receiver and a DVD player, but I'll probably ask about those on their own forums.

    Thanks again, folks! :)
     
  23. Joe Fernand

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    superann

    Don't run away just yet - we all pay with complete systems on a daily basis so fire away with any questions; its worth looking at what Video and Audio qualities any potential AV Receiver may have [the Audio only brigade wont understand some of the Video intricacies :)].

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  24. Rob

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    I should have a sync filter arriving in a few days. this should sort out the problem between the Nokia & MXE-1/ Lumagen. I'll post my findings once I've had a chance to try it out.

    Rob.
     

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