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Final word on HDMI/HDCP/Scalers so that I can order a plasma!?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Loada, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. Loada

    Loada
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    On the back of the Sky HD revelations, my plasma buying has been halted in it's tracks whilst I take stock of the new developments. My requirements are to run Sky+ (then SkyHD when it turns up), DVD and XBox and I want the BEST picture quality from all the sources. My current plasma choice was 42PHD7 to use a scaler (Lumagen HDP?) and use the scaler as a switcher. With the HDCP issue with SkyHD rearing it's head, I want to ensure that the panel I get will be totally compatible and I'll be able to run 720p/1080i @50hz (SkyHD?) without any problems but also get the best Sky+ and DVD pictures.

    I'm now not sure how to connect the scaler - originally, I toyed with the idea of VGA but that won't work with HDCP so we're left with a HDMI board. However, from various posts in this forum, it appears the Pana may have "issues" with the HDMI @50hz and then there's the scaling to the native res of the panel (1024x768)?

    I'm probably in the same boat as many others here in that I'm just really fedup with trawling though endless posts and frustratingly noone ever seems to come to any conclusion one way or the other. I realise that the forum "experts" (you know who you all are!) are battling with this stuff day-by-day (how do you keep your sanity!??) and I'd just like a bit of help so that I buy the "right" kit. We're talking a sizeable chunk of money here...

    I never had this problem buying a 28" CRT :laugh:
     
  2. Leigh_1973

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    Tell me about it, all i had to worry about with buying my CRT was did it have enough RGB scart inputs!! :laugh:
     
  3. wyerd

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    What about all those Sky customers who've bought a "Sky" plasma as advertised in the Sky Mag? Are they in the same boat? (I'm not one of them)
     
  4. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    Unfortunately the simple answer is there is nothing that does everything. Either wait and have no flat panel, or prepare to pay a premium for having one now but either not having it being 100% compatible with as yet uncertain future formats, being prepared to relocate it to the bedroom and buying another one when you get your Sky HD box in a few years time, or not buying a Panasonic (HD issues) or Pioneer (no HDCP)!!

    And you would have had loads of problems buying a 28" CRT if you were a forum visitor/member when you bought it!!! ;) A few years ago rather than High Def and HDCP and digital, it was this new fangled DVD thing (will it work, how is macrovision implemented, do I need a dolby digital TV), freeview tuners (how can I buy an analogue TV when it will be obsolete in X years), 100Hz, convergence on big panels, and of course nobody was gonna buy a TV that didn't have component inputs and progressive scan. (which many still do not).

    NEC will do 720p @ 50Hz via DVI (tested with Lumagen last week) but not 1024 x 768 @ 50Hz (same as panny in other words except better HD compliancy despite what the pdf says). Hitachi plasmas and Fujitsu's with DVI do too iirc (although again I think they will only do 60Hz NR).
     
  5. Loada

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    Slightly offtopic(ally), I think Sky's HDCP announcements probably have far-reaching effects for anyone with a plasma, one way or the other. I'm "lucky" I suppose in the fact that I haven't bought yet and I'm trying to make the best-informed purchase I can given the information that I have available - it's not foolproof (and knowing Sky, things will probably change) but if I'm trying to cover all my bases with the help of the knowledgeable people on these forums (of which there are many!).
     
  6. MAW

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    NEC are not widely noticed by forum members, but there are some cracking prices out there, distributors ring me up every day to sell NEC. The SD panels I rather like, but have to say the XGA ones are not very exciting.
     
  7. leedsfireman

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    I may be right in saying that a Pio 434 will be Sky HD compatible. It has HDMI HDCP compatible & will accept 720p @ 50hz.
     
  8. Sulis

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    ^^ Yes, I've always admired the picture on public NEC displays. But they're a lot more than the Pannys, with only a better choice of inbuilt inputs to show for it. Or have I missed something?
     
  9. MAW

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    Yes, Sulis you have missed the price. Not allowed to quote on forum, but they are good value.
    Andy, you smug er, Pioneer owner? Your screen is skyHD compatible, just not what some of us are after. With HD it'll be super, not quite so with everything else in my experience. And we'll make others work by the time we've really got HDTV
     
  10. Family Guy

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    I had serious problems trying to install an NEC plasma in a friends house a little while ago. It wouldn't recognise the signal from a JS RGB to component converter...so had to convert it to svideo instead...looked awful IMO...

    I've only ever seen one Pioneer up and running in my adventures as an av install engineer...it was fed RGB scart and was without doubt the worst picture I had seen on any TV, ever!! (My opinion, of course...). I actually thought I'd broken it!! I was informed by my boss that they always look like that...;)
     
  11. MAW

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    And it really was RGB wasn't it! We'd spent about 2.5 hours, Karl and I, to get it that good. That's why I'm not their loyalest fan.
     
  12. hutchys

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    MAW and Family Guy
    I am considering the NEC 42 XM3 and the Panny PHD7. I have heard good reports from other forums and from Liam on here what was so bad about the NEC that you didnt like? and is the PHD7 that much better than the NEC I would appreciate your views.
    Thanks
    Jim
     
  13. MAW

    MAW
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    The XM3 lacks the pizzaz of the panasonic, just a bit flat in comparison, and some visible banding. The plus side includes working HDTV support now, no trusting to luck
     
  14. hutchys

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    Thanks MAW
    but Liam via PM thinks the NEC colours are better than the PHD7 the blacks are slightly down but not be much I think this as always boils down to personal opinions. I would be running either of these with an Iscan HD would that have you seen either screen in use with this?
    Jim
     
  15. MAW

    MAW
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    :D Sitting beside a PHD7 with an iscan HD right now. Raw sex, mate. I don't usually disagree with Liam, even though he's a young whipper snapper, but on this I'd have to. Of course, as Liam well knows, colour isn't everything. His car is a lovely colour, but it's an Alfa, need I say more?
     
  16. Pottsy

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    Well I've got Fifth Gear on mine... Still looks good though.
     
  17. MAW

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    LOL! An excellent misquote. Eminem is on mine currently, though I do know a man, a client in fact, should the need arise.... On second thoughts, lets not go there.
     
  18. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    Hey Alfa's aren't too different from Panasonics. The starter motor / power supply will likely fail when you least want it to. But at least you are safe in the knowledge that Alfa/Panasonic will take as long as possible to do the simplest repair and will usually have run out of loan replacement cars/plasmas to tide you over in the meantime. Leaving you highly frustrated and staring at a blank space on your driveway/wall until the car/plasma gets back to you 10 days after promised :D But istwas still worth it!!!

    After spending a weekend with one (Ooh Matron!) I have found myself wanting for an NEC now. I prefer the way it handles black detail with more delicacy than the Panny, and like the Pio seems a picture aimed more at looking real than looking filmic if you know what I mean. Better black than the Pioneer but not near the Panasonic, Pioneer still processes the best and has the livliest picture/colour but at quite a sacrifice to black levels. I did spot some quite obvious banding on Once Upon a Time in Mexico - you could increase or decrease the banding quite significantly using just the contrast and brightness controls, shame you couldn't get rid of it. I was saying to Hutchy the other day, it's hard to not want the Panasonic with it giving such a slick picture - the pizzazz of a high contrast image with deep blacks - but in comparison it still felt moody to me (5 and 6 series, not played with 7). I prefer the punchier picture - but probably because I live in a Victorian house with 10' high windows all along one wall :laugh:
     

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