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Finally bitten the bullet!

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by garfy, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. garfy

    Standard Member

    Oct 28, 2003
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    Have found this forum fantastic over the past few months as Ive been researching and deciding what to do, finaly came down to the Hitachi 55PMA550.

    Ive followed the threads re the Fujitsu 50" 40US, but couldnt quite push my budget that far, and at 3.5k all in the Hitachi seemed the best bet, the size is definitely an issue as it looks great floating on my extension wall with all the cables plastered in the wall. (might put a piccie up if anyones interested)

    Please no comments ... should have got this or that, as the deed is done now!

    Anyway, my next questions are:

    Currently running direct off sky on composite, and a cheap DVD player on s-video, switching through a Denon 3802 amp. All crappy sources basically, so my next steps are to get some sources and configure the set up to do the screen justice ... so any help of the following would be appreciated.

    1 - Should I be switching signals through AV amp or will it be distorting signal?

    2 - What is a scaler, what can I do to improve picture on normal sky or freeview viewing. I have read about the JS RGB-VGA converter but Im not sure I understand the issues / whats going on. Whats my best bet to do something for sky viewing?

    3 - What DVD source to buy. Basicaly I am limited to DVI / Component / svid / composite / VGA as thats all I ran into the wall when I built my extension. What DVD will do this panel justice over DVI? Is it worth a HDMI - DVI converter, as Ive seen this discussed, but figure I might just as well go with a DVI player.

    4 - How can I demo some HD source material through a PC? Whats sort of graphics card will I need, what spec machine etc, will it work as I know the Hitachi is limited in its HD support. Can someone explain in simple terms (Im no expert), exactly whether I can expect it to be OK with HD in future, e.g. Sky HD when it arrives, or a HD DVD player? Not too worried if Im limited, as I can see me really having much HD source material, got a pretty big DVD collection now, and cant see me updating them all! Would be fun to try it though!!!!

    5 - Anyone else got the 55 Hitachi and any tips etc. Currently running it on low brightness / contrast. Is this improtant, how long keep it up etc, as Im itching to whack it up and dazzle the in-laws!

    Anyway .... thanks for all the info, and hopefuly thanks in advance for any help.

    For the record .... Im well happy! :clap:

  2. Piers

    Active Member

    Dec 11, 2002
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    The 3802 won't "distort" the sources but going direct to the plasma is usually the best bet unless you are wanting the upscaling facilities of the receiver.

    A scaler is an external video processing device - exactly what it does depends on the model - the good ones scale the incoming signal to match the resolution of the display panel, enable changes to be made to all the picture set-up parameters and in the case of the Lumagen range also allow calibrators such as myself to set the greyscale really accurately across the whole scale, not just at one or two points - result, stunning picture quality from a good plasma.

    The JS Tech converters are very good but not in the same league as the good scalers - it all comes down to money in the end! If you are really feeding a _composite_ output from your Sky box you should be reading up about these converters or better still about scalers. The PQ from composite is dire.

    You are well confused about HDMI / DVI converters! DVI and HDMI can be regarded as one and the same assuming the DVI input has HDCP and that you aren't trying to send audio over this cable. The converters only come into play when your plasma / scaler / DVD doesn't have the one you want, then you use a converter!

    HTPC I will leave to the experts to answer. Minefield so far as I am concerned - done well it is great but far too many that I have seen haven't been that great.

    HD is stunning, come and see it here if you are anywhere near the Midlands. What the cost will be for the Sky version remains to be seen, how much of the output will be in HD remains to be seen.

    I haven't worked on the Hitachi 55 yet but keeping contrast at a sensible level for the first 100 or so hours is usually good advice, then set it up with a calibration DVD (AVIA or Digital Video Essentials) or better still get the pros in for an ISF calibration : )

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