Final word on digital (DVI, HDMI HDCP) inputs on Pio, Panny Plasmas?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs Forum' started by calvinhobbes, Oct 4, 2004.

  1. calvinhobbes

    calvinhobbes
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    Dear All

    I've been trawling through the forums really trying to understand the various digital input capabilities of the Pios and Pannys. So far as I understand it, ALL the Pios and Panny's can only do one BUT NOT BOTH of
    (a) Accept native resolution through digital sources (important for PC and Video scaler use)
    (b) Accept HDCP-compliant DVI input (important for most DVI-equipped DVD players).

    BUT, at the same time, some expert members such as Gordon appear to imply (pls accept my apologies if I'm mis-stating), that it may be possible to get things working.

    For the purposes of helping all of us who are stuck in a quandry because they want to use both PC, Sky and DVD on their plasmas: Is there a final word on (i) whether this description is true and (i) how big a problem (a) or (b) really are?

    Pannys:
    42PW6 = Only (b) - HDCP compliant but not native resolution
    50PW6 = Only (b)
    42PHD6 = Only (b)
    50PHD6 = Only (b)
    42PW7 = Only (b)
    50PW7 = Does anyone know?
    42PHD7 = Does anyone know?
    50PHD7 = Does anyone know?

    Pioneers:
    434HDE = Only (b) - HDCP compliant but not native resolution
    504HDE = Only (b)
    43MXE1 = Only (a) - native resolution accepted but not HDCP compliant
    50MXE1 = Only (a)
    435HDE/XDE = Does anyone know?
    505HDE/XDE = Does anyone know?

    Cheers
     
  2. NonPayingMember

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    All above are both a and b. The issue with native resolution is that it is limited to 60hz, not that it isn't possible. This isn't really too bad so long as your processor/HCPC is up to it but the ultimate would be to have 50hz and 75hz options for Pal.

    You missed off the Vieras... which do nothing digitally (except tune into freeview).
    I would assume 435/505HDE is the same story as the 434/504HDE.

    I'm preparing my flameproof coat here, but, while it's very advisable to know exactly what each plasma can and cannot do digitally so as not to be mislead/misguided by specifications and lazy retailers, also beware that digital isn't always best. An analogue component connection at 720p is barely distinguishable from a DVI signal of the same resolution on a Panasonic plasma (haven't had chance to test anything else). Once heavily interrogated you can see the differences. But, if you prefer the look of a different plasma but are put off by it not having HDCP DVI or HDMI, don't be! Get the plasma you want and run it analogue rather than getting the plasma you don't want just for the sake of giving it a DVI signal.
     
  3. calvinhobbes

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    Thanks Liam. So what's the issue on the 50Mhz?
     
  4. NonPayingMember

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    It simply doesn't do it!!! Most plasmas up to now only accept native resolution at 60Hz via digital (and many only at 60hz via analogue!)
     
  5. peezee

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    What's mind boggling is that sources manufacturers (DVD players, PVRs, Sat/Cable STBs, ...) and flat screen manufacturers don't seem to care much whether or not:

    1- the sources (sinks) they manufacture are compatible with the majority of sinks (sources)
    2- the sources (sinks) they manufacture fully comply with norms in place

    Ok, might sound aesy on paper, much less so in reality, when your consider things like emerging (read: constantly evolving) standards or development/manuf. costs and competition.

    Nonetheless, and as usual, guess who's left with incompatible high priced hardware...? :rolleyes:

    On a more positive note: I'll try to write a spreadsheet listing commonly found PC and video modes (resolution @ refresh rates), what each mode is used for (PAL DVD, HDTV, PC, etc...), try to get a consensus on it, and from there plug in a few commercially available plasmas to see which screen supports what and how (DVI, HDMI, ...).

    :eek: I must be crazy to even start to commit on doing anything like that... :suicide:
     
  6. calvinhobbes

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    Is there a quality difference between 50mhz and 60mhz? Something to do with PAL?
     
  7. MAW

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    The issue to consider is frame rate conversion. Pal is 25 frames per second. Converting this to 60Hz is a processing problem not easily overcome. That's why we'd all like a 50Hz mode.
    Liam is of course perfectly correct in theory with the panasonics, and 100% on Pioneer DVI, but he omitted to mention that Panasonic's DVI has been known to harbour gremlins. I have 2 customers, for instance, with the same screen (Panny HD6) same video board (DVI) same DVD player (Pioneer 868) and even the same brand of goddam HDMI-DVI cable. One gets a brilliant pivture at 720p and the other doesn't. He gets ZIP! And even more fascinating, neither gets a picture when we swapped the gear around, and both of them got new cables! Swapped back, situation restored to as before. Solution, get very drunk with them both.
     
  8. Jimbo73

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    Just to add my tuppence to this - the Pio 435 XDE spec sheet states 75 and 100Hz support ... :)
     
  9. MAW

    MAW
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    That may be so, but it still won't support native from a PC or scaler at any refresh rate.
     
  10. Mojito

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    What screen was that 50, 42, HD, ED? What did they swap exactly (DVD players, I presume)? What firmware versions were their DVD players? Did they get a picture at 575(575)@50?
     
  11. MAW

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    42HD's. I don't have the firmware versions to hand but both were the same. No picture at [email protected] owing to panasonic only accepting 575 and dvd pushing out 576. Some DVD players work at 575, which solves that issue, but believe me, the digital issue with panasonic is not as simple as it appears.
     
  12. kwijibo

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    so whats the conclusion?

    I think we all need (well I certainly do) a simple guide that says 'if using DVD player this plasma suits best', 'if using scaler /HCPC this plasma suits you best', 'if using sky+ etc etc'

    I will use a HCPC with sky+ scaled through it and want the best screen possible. With the arrival now of the 2 main players new models, which one should I be looking at, or should I go for the trusty MXE1. I will want to go HD as soon as it is available ( and not have to change the screen to make the most of it) so please bear that in mind too
     
  13. NonPayingMember

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    Yeah I have to admit I do just try to avoid using DVI with the Panny unless I really have to!! Gordon mentioned HDCP issues the other week too (IIRC running the DVD player direct produced no image, running it through the Lumagen on bypass worked fine?!?!?!).

    There is still no general conclusion you can draw though, especially given a persons taste for a plasma should take first priority over what else that plasma can do. If a customer of mine wants a digital signal and a Pioneer or NEC we just get an SDI modded DVD player for them and run it through a processor/HCPC to the MXE1 DVI, if they want the same for a Panasonic we either run HDMI-DVI or HCPC and convert to 60Hz, or just run analogue at whatever refresh you like!!
     
  14. 1ofaKind

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    Excuse my foolishness here,

    I have read in the DVD players section that the new Denon 3910 which has scaling abilities only scales up when using HDMI or DVI. So am I right in saying that if you try to scale a R1(NTSC) DVD it will work fine into a DVI connection on a HD Panny 6 but not work if you try to scale a R2(PAL) DVD?

    I am assuming that 7 series will have the same issues with both the DVI board and HDMI boards - I know this is probably unknown until more arrive in the UK.

    If this is the case I would assume that if you want a scaled image you would be better off with say a Arcam 88+ or 89 and then put that through a scaler (and the scaler would output component or DVI/HDMI?).

    It just seems that if you use predominantly DVD and can get a DVD player like say 3910 why not try to uses its abilities to scale than potentially having to spend more for a DVD & Scaler.

    Cheers
     
  15. NonPayingMember

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    1ofakind - if what the pdf file says about the DVI and HDMI cards is true then no the Panasonic will not recognize a PAL disc upconverted to 720p. (the Pioneer MXE will not recognise the signal at all) You don't use a off-board scaler though, you simply run at 576p or 480p HDMI and let the Panasonic scale. I can't imagine there will be much difference at all between the Denon's scaling and the Panasonics, and given the Panny must scale the signal anyway (to the exact res of the plasma), technically you shouldn't be rescaling the image in the DVD player at all since you are only adding to the risk of scaling artefacts by going over the process twice.

    HDTV will still be a problem with the DVI and HDMI cards if 720p material is recorded at 50Hz. But with DVD there is no disadvantage at sending the normal DVD resolution unless the DVD player happens to have a very good scaler
     
  16. Mr. Wilby

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    Pioneer MXE or Pioneer MXE-1?

    I find it hard to believe that the MXE-1 won't handle 720p50... since it specifically has mode2 FRC. Can you clarify?
     
  17. NonPayingMember

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    The MXE1 (and older MXE) do not accept HDCP encrypted signals. So no consumer HDMI or DVI player that wants to keep it's license will work with these panels (Samsung HD935 used to be able to deactivate its HDCP encoding).
     
  18. Mr. Wilby

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    There are plenty of existing DVI upscaling (albeit cheap) players and as far as I understand it, the MXE-1 is definitely capable of handling a 720p50 signal from one of them. Same thing for HTPC.

    Has your experience told otherwise?
     
  19. NonPayingMember

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    those cheapo DVD players do not have HDCP encryption on their DVI signals so would work fine with the MXE. This has nothing to do with resolutions and refresh rates, just high definition copyright protection or HDCP. Anything that started life as a HDMI signal will be HDCP encrypted so will not work. And I'm pretty sure all DVD players with DVI out have to have HDCP to keep the DVD forum happy. Some (cheap) ones may not, but there again some cheapo DVD player companies didn't pay DTS for the rights to supply a DTS signal and are now paying for it through the skin of their teeth!!

    HTPCs do not have HDCP
     
  20. MAW

    MAW
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    More to the point, why on earth would you let a £100 DVD player do your scaling? The MXE has a reasonable scaler built in, much better than the dodgy DVD.
     
  21. Mr. Wilby

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    Yep. Your post was just a bit misleading, since you said:

    but you did not explicitly state HDCP. I guess what you meant was:

    Apologies for labouring the point, but you need to be quite clear when you make postings like this as many people make purchasing decisions based upon opinions in these forums and its hard enough to find out the facts as it is! :)
     
  22. johngsmith

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    Chaps,
    Following threads with great interest, (still confused!) Have a pioneer 434, and just built a HTPC, using ati 9800 with dvi out to HDMI in on the plasma, and cannot get the screen to accept the signal, HDMI input is showing and screen is blank. Checked on pioneer website and this is the comment.

    The HDMI connection on the 4th and 5th generation screens can be used with a DVI to HDMI converter but the DVI signal must include HDCP (Hi Definition Copy Protection) signals.
    Without HDCP the HDMI link will shut down, you can only use a DVI to HDMI converter with DVD players that have DVI outputs and feature HDCP

    If the above is the case how do i get this HDCP signal to be output, tried various configurations of powershift and still no help, hope you guys can.

    John
     
  23. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    No it is not the case. You can send a non HDCP encrypted DVI signal to the HDMI input of the mdeia box as long as you are using resolutions and timings that it recognises. ie video resolutions not PC ones.....

    Gordon
     
  24. johngsmith

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    Thanks Gordon,

    Any suggestions as to what would be the ideal video resolution to select? and does powershift or indeed the ATI adaptor support.
    John
     
  25. MAW

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    Just to clarify that if I may, Gordon (BTW stunning outfit in your new photo) the 434 does not accept XGA native res on it's digital input, 1280x720 is probably the best you can do. Wrong plasma for a HCPC, we bang on endlessly about it, you are not the 1st to fall into this pit.
    And Gordon, we need to speak, I'll ring you as soon as I have time!
     
  26. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Send 1280 x 720 @ 59.94 Hz or 50 Hz if your graphics card can do it. If not download POWERSTRIP and see if that gives you options of SMPTE video timings

    Gordon
     
  27. Gordon @ Convergent AV

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  28. kwijibo

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    Whats the right one?
     
  29. Cerebro

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    I might be biased, since I own a 50" Pioneer HDE display (native resolution 1280x768), but here's my view on the matter:

    I used to view the fact that I couldn't get native pixel mapping on the HDMI input as a problem. Now, I still see it as a bit annoying, but not a real problem in practice. Why?

    1) Using the VGA input lets me do perfect pixel mapping with a VERY good signal quality. I doubt that the corresponding DVI/HDMI signal would be so much better. This is ideal for gaming and other types of multimedia where I want to know excatly where my pixels are. The only problem with this could be that the connector sits on the front of the media box, which is a bit ugly, but since I store it behind frosted glass, this is not visible.

    2) If I need to watch DVD:s or HD material I can use DVI-HDMI at a higher than native resolution that is supported by the HDMI input, say 1080i, adjust PowerStrip and ffdshow (software image scaler) accordingly, and the image will be superb. I'm not an expert, but it seems as if many people regard perfect pixel mapping as the holy grail no matter what. For computer applications with sharp contrasts and mostly still image areas, I agree, but for movies I'm still to be convinced that a 1:1 pixel mapping at 1280x768 is better than 1080i mapped to 1280x768...

    /CBO
     
  30. NonPayingMember

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    :lesson: By gosh I do believe you've got it!!

    I'm scoffed at for suggesting running 720p to a Panasonic rather than native resolution and I'm sworn at if I dare suggest to run something analogue!! But in some cases these are the best ways of doing things.

    Apologies for not being clearer on the MXE1s HDCP problem Mr Wilby, had assumed people had that bit understood from earlier posts. Is bloody confusing though innit!!

    Kwijibo - the "right" plasma for a HCPC is the MXE1 if you're a Pioneer fan and a Panasonic PHD if you're a Panasonic fan! If you go Panasonic you will be better off running analogue than DVI since DVI is limited to 60Hz on the Panasonic.
     

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