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Entry Level Plasma

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Redrob, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. Redrob

    Redrob
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    Hi All,
    I am new to Plasma & this forum (it's great by the way) :thumbsup:
    I am about to purchase an entry level plasma (because of budget) & am considering either the LG MZ42PZ44 or Vision PM-4230. Both of which I can pick up for £1730ish inc. vat with Wall Mount & Speakers. Has anyone any views on these they would like to share with a newbie, or would you advise spending more top get better quality??

    Thanks in advance.

    Redrob :)
     
  2. Dr Pumpstain

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    I am in the same position as you. check out www.pricerunner.co.uk (if you haven't already). I think the Samsung PS42V4SX looks the best at around that price range and the LG unit seems to get poor reviews from a few sites I have seen. However I am told that the Panasonic TH-42PW6 is the best at just over the £2k mark which isn't that far from your budget. MAW is the most helpful user on this site if you can get more experienced advice...good luck!
     
  3. MAW

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    Nice of you to say, kind Dr. The PW6 is available at under 2k in fact, from several places I could name, except they are my competition. But I can tell you their links are just above this message. For the extra £250 it must be worth it.
     
  4. junpit

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    I can only speak from my own experience.

    Personally I like my ALIS panel. Its a 42PD3000 and has a stated resolution of 1024x1024. People on here will tell you that its interlaced and not a true progressive display.

    I don't want to put down the pannies. They are good plasmas. From a PQ perspective another hitachi (like the PD5200) would be a good buy. It supports 1080i and 720p HD and they look fantastic.

    Go and have a look at an hitachi plasma. They sell themselves on PQ.
     
  5. Apnomis

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    You can get the PW6 for £1969.99 including delivery with either a component/s-video board or SCART board depending where you go. Add to the the £125 tilting wall mount from the excellent AV-Sales (see powerbuys) then in real terms you aint that much over budget. Add to that it's compatiblility with future HD formats and the facts it's regarded as one of the best Plasma's you can get you'll have to be a loonatic to not spend the extra £300!!!

    Think about it £1700, £300, £1700, £300! It's a no brainer! IMO if you can't afford an extra £300 for a huge performance boost and future proofing then you can't afford to get a plasma IMO...

    At the end of the day you get screens that are worth £1700 for £1700, the Panny is £1970 and last weekend I was in Superfi Manchester and their main Plasma in their demo room is the exact same one for £3995!!!!

    So do you get the £1700 plasma or pay an extra £300 for a £4000 plasma? You tell me... ;)
     
  6. MAW

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    My point exactly, and well put. It's a steal for that money, simply not worth passing up.
     
  7. aylmera

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    Following up on all the above advice, and dismissing the likes of comet and dixons, and trying a specialist dealer, i decided to visit the nexnix site. They have a TH-42PWD6 for the price of 1968, with a choice of either a TY-42TM6TB Scart 21pin RGB or TY-42TM6Y Component/Composite/S-video Terminal boards. Now this is where it gets confusing, i just want the plasma to view mainly dvds and analogue tv. So what extras/components will i need.

    The benefit of somewhere like comet is that the plasma already come with everything you need, without having to add on scart sockets etc. Which makes it alot easier for someone as clueless as me!!!

    Any help will be greatly appreciated

    Thanks
     
  8. MAW

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    Right, do you get freeview where you live? The PW6 has no tuner, this is the cheapest, and in fact the best way to get TV. You could get it with a scart board, and connect your DVD to scart 2 on the freeview box, or for a PQ improvement, get a deal with no board, instead have a JS RGB to VGA converter, that works well. Course you have no sound yet, you have a stereo, HC system, anything like that? If not, the fitted plasma side speakers might look nice, but IMHO are a bit of a waste of cash. You'd do better buying a pair of stereo speakers you like, and connecting them to the speaker terminals on the plasma. Choose the same make of freeview and DVD, and with a bit of luck you will still have only 1 remote. The best route is with surround sound clearly. My PM is busted, but you can email me if you like, maybe have a chat? Lots of options, it's not simple, but results will be spectacular compared to a korean thingy, and we are not talking wheelbarrows of cash here.
     
  9. aylmera

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    Thanks for the information. I enquired about freeview in the area that i live in and they said it was available but i may need to upgrade my ariel. Would the scart board that you mentioned allow me to watch analogue tv and dvd. Also, is that scart board the only other component that i would need to go with the basic plasma monitor (not including the sound/speakers etc)

    Thanks for your time
     
  10. MAW

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    You could watch analogue via a VCR, not too bad from an S-VHS recorder, but still pants compared to a cheap freeview box, and look at the functionality you could add with a PVR, like a pace or Humax. The scart will get you up and running, but the scart input, whilst 99% of cats say their owners are quite happy with it, some of the retentive persons hanging out on AV forums swear it can be improved on by the JS VGA converter. (I am one, how sad is that) As it's £20 more than a scart board, and replaces it in the sceme of things, you don't need a board at all if you have one, as long as all your devices are RGB capable, ie no VCR's. This sounds poor till you see a VCR on a plasma, and realise they are in fact pants. Read the 1st bit again, especially the PVR part. Then when, note the when, you upgrade to a full-on AV system with a decent amp etc, the self same VGA port can be reconigured to accept YUV video from a progressive scan DVD player, and you swap the VGA converter for a YUV converter in the classifieds. Then you can switch high quality video with the amp, and your system will be smooth as a baby's bottom.
     
  11. aylmera

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    Thanks again. Not being able to watch VCR is not an issue as i dont even own one now. I like the idea of a JS VGA converter. So, assuming i am able to use freeview, all i basically need is the plasma monitor and the JS VGA converter (ignoring the sound issue again). Is this right?, or is there other components that i would need. Also, what would you estimate the overall price to be for the whole set-up.

    Thanks for this advice i really appreciate this
     
  12. MAW

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    I'm not supposed to quote you I don't think, click my user name and email me, and I'll give you a list, freeview inc, that will have you contentedly watching.
     
  13. cricket

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    Compatibility with future HD Formats? Not High Res. But still an excellent screen
     
  14. hornydragon

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    compatible with but not able toget the best from the source. but is worth doing as it will still look better! buying from comet you dont get everything you need they just do more package deals, a tuner and side speakers are avaulable for the panny but add and extra few hundred quid extra for which you can get a basic surround sound amp, for sound consider the pioneer VCS 301 or 402 amp which has 3 scart inputs and one output and will switch video so toy add freeview box and amp with some suitable speakers and for the price of the panny tuner you get 5.1 and video switching using the supplied scart board.http://www.pioneer.co.uk/uk/product_detail.jsp?product_id=8389&taxonomy_id=62-98 or http://www.pioneer.co.uk/uk/product_detail.jsp?product_id=3790&taxonomy_id=62-98
    and http://www.canton.de/www/index.php4?pg_id=14,30,moviecd1,2,en or even http://www.mission.co.uk/product/fs1/fs1av.htm
     
  15. MAW

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    And there's nothing to stop you proceeding with plan A, and feeding the amp output into a JS converter, I do this often, using a YUV converter for long runs sometimes. The 301 amp and 464 DVD are available as a package, keeping the cost down. The 301 remote can switch the panny on and off too, and of course operate the DVD. Smart, huh?
     
  16. Apnomis

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    Sounds like MAW has you sorted there. Another thing to consider though if you go for that nexnix deal is that the Component/S-Video board is a very good board with a whole host of connections to help future proof yourself. If you don't have/want a VCR and only want the screen for TV/DVD then there isn't much point in getting the Scart input, which is also quite a cheap input compared to the component dual board one and can often be picked up cheap on eBay and occasionally the classifieds.

    If you can get a Freeview box with S-Video output then you could connect that to the dual board which leaves you with a choice of RGB (for example using a Scart to RGB cable) or the preferred method of Component, assuming your DVD player can output that. It also has a composite connection if in future you need to connect any composite items in future - VCR, Digi Cam, Amp Setup menu etc etc. Doing it that way would save the added expense of getting a JS converter, but either method would work.

    Again the only thing Scart still has going for it is the auto aspect switching, and like MAW says the PQ is no where near as bad as people make out. And considering up until a few posts ago you would of been happy with analogue TV I'm guessing you're not after bleeding every ounce of quality out of your system, so for ease you may like the Scart, but the component board is a better board connection wise.

    What are you thinking about doing for your sound? Made any decisions yet?
     
  17. Apnomis

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    Yes compatibility, the PW6 is "compatibile" with far more frequencies than many home screens at the price, it is "compatible" of scaling and displaying both 1080i and 720p formats and not displaying "Frequency Out Of Range" that some screens would.

    There is a difference between being compatible with HD formats and being an HD-TV...

    And as mentioned, I've seen a HD signal scaled down on my PW6 and the PQ was stunning, it wipes the floor with my current NTL picture (although it's by no means a crap picture) and could also put some of my older DVD's to shame.

    I don't know about you but after what I'm used to I'll be more than happy with DVD quality TV for a good few years after HD-TV launches over here. And I'll have long upgraded before HD-TV becomes the norm in the UK.

    You can't ask for more future proofed than that really can you? Unless of course you're willing to pay the premium for the HD version of the screen, though I personally think there is little point for most people just yet...
     
  18. bossc@

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    And speaking from mine, the 42PD3000 lasted approximately a week in our house last June because of its PQ, the lack of definable image settings, the terrible ability to display blacks and its strange way of stretching the sides of an image to fill the screen on 4:3 (first spotted when watching an interview and the people at the sides had a fat leg each) - anyway, this was replaced with a PW5 and the image as far as I'm concerned is far beyond what the Hitachi could display. Horses for courses I suppose but dont simply look at the spec, resolution etc and make up your mind on that basis.


    There are plenty of happy owners on both sides of the camp and good luck to the Hitachi owners who like their panel, but personally and after owning both then I would always pick the Panasonic over the Hitachi.
     
  19. Apnomis

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    That is not a bug that is supposed to be a useful feature! It is also something that is standard in the Panasonic Auto mode of all the Panny models (including my old Panny CRT widescreen TV)

    The mode is called "Just" it works on the basis that the majority of the time the main action is in the centre of the screen. As such the centre is the least stretched of the picture, with the sides stretched more as you get nearer the edge. I personally think it works very well, as it makes 4:3 images look far less stretched at 16:9 in the large majority of cases. It is also good as it is not recommended that you view a 4:3 image on a plasma for an extended period of time.

    In the Panny you get go into your setup and change the 4:3 display mode to either 4:3 or Just. That way when the Panasonic auto mode is auto switching depending on the picture it's receiving it will switch to either 4:3 or Just when a 4:3 image is detected, depending on your preference...
     
  20. bossc@

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    I realise that but the implementation on the Hitachi made it very obvious what the panel was doing. Never noticed it on any other screen I've had but like the transformer buzz that the Hitachi also had - once noticed its difficult to ignore.


    Think I also put this explanation in one of my posts a year ago. Personally I use zoom and I never said anything about watching 4:3 for any extended period of time. And again, the implentation of the panel made the function unwatchable for me but among the host of other issues with the 42PD3000, this was probably a minor one.

    Never found the need as I use a JS Tech RGB2VGA converter so have lost this mode anyway - not that I would ever use it.

    Either way - I know that a lot of people love the Hitachi panels but I simply was not one of them. The lack of picture settings (3 factory settings that were all way to bright and unchangeable, 1 user definable that i had to fiddle with every time I swapped from DVD to cable) I thought was a pain. I wan't that impressed with the PQ no matter how much I tried. Watching TV with the lights down showed how poorly the panel handled black for example

    Again, I know alot of people were happy with Hitachi, the same goes for Panasonic and also for Pioneer. I suppose for any panel, no matter what make, for every pro - theres a con. I just happened to find to many cons on the Hitachi which made it a poor choice for me. Too many people quote resolution on the ALIS as a plus point - I dont quite see why. I'll put my 480 line SD panel fed a good PS signal up against the interlaced 1024 lines of the Hitachi anyday.
     
  21. Apnomis

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    Don't take offense m8, I've heard the many faults the Hitachi screens have, personally I wouldn't touch one with a big stick. I was just pointing out that the reason for what you were describing was a Just mode, I appreciate it may have been badly done in the Hitachi screen. I was just pointing out that I like using it as it's not recommended you view in 4:3, I personally prefer it to zooming, but again I'm just stating my personal preference. I wasn't having a dig at you :)
     
  22. MAW

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    As you both seem to be panny fans, it'd be difficult to fall out!As for not touching with a big stick, neither would I, and my extended warranty firm no longer covers them. I wonder how long JL will go on selling them before noticing the return rate.

    On the resolution front, it actually makes less difference than you'd think. I have a std Panasonic at present, cos I'm playing with the DVI board, and find it very satisfactory, but normally use a true HD projector. It makes a difference at 8ft across
     
  23. bossc@

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    I'll apologise for that. Been up all night with a 4 week old :eek: and not really my diplomatic self I'm afraid. I must admit, I've just reread it and if it was someone aiming that at me, I'd probably be banned from the forums for the response :suicide:
     
  24. DonMaico

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    Maw - are you suggesting that freeview provides better poictures than Sky? surely it depends on where you live though doesnt it?
     
  25. MAW

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    Freeview has slightly better bitrates than sky on some channels, but that's not the reason for that suggestion. He was asking for analogue, I never recommend that. And freeview is just a small-ish 1 off cost, not a regular comittment, so unless you want sport or movies, get freeview.
     
  26. DonMaico

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    reception in my area is,apparently, not good ( SE). When you say analogue are you refering to BBC 1,2 ITV etc. I though freeview was a digital format??
     
  27. MAW

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    Ah, west sussex. That is a problem county, and where I was born (no connection) Freeview is digital, and is not connected to poor analogue signals. You might have good freeview, even with lousy analogue. Check www.freeview.co.uk there is a postcode checker, and a bit of info to sort you out about what freeview is and what's on.
     
  28. DonMaico

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    Thanks for the link. Wonder why West sussex is deemed a problem and are their any plans to correct it? One of the main resons we changed to Sky is the atmospherics here are so bad they make analogue reception unwatchable.Annoying really because I am no fan of Murdochs empire and dont particularly want to subscribe to hundreds of channels of total c**p! Only watch the rugby on Sky.
     
  29. machinehead

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    good evening my name is machinehead,this is my first post,an excellent website.i'm thinking of buying a plasma soon as usual the first presedence is cash.i fancied the LG until i read the reviews.so i think i'll go for the panasonic.i have european digital.[rotating dish],which i recieve thousands of free channels.it's always a better option if you are struggling with freeview or if your picture from 28 e is marred by some bushes or trees.another advantage is that a lot of the german channels are in dolby digital.an ideal way to test out your brand new av reciever!!.looking forward to becoming a regular on here.
    regards machinehead
     

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