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Help me decide between Hitachi 42PD3000 & 42PD5300

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Beck_, Oct 12, 2004.

  1. Beck_

    Beck_
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    Could someone help me make this decision...

    I have the chance of either getting a Hitachi 42PD3000 or 42PD5300.

    I know some people dont like Hitachis and some people do... I also know that many of the highstreet magazines gave excellent reviews for these (seems more so for the 3000). The 3000 is last year and the 5300 is this year. I am very keen on the multimedia box being seperate so that I can put the screen on the wall without worrying about wires.

    Hitachi 42PD3000 Is advertised as £2199 from Richer Sounds (not sure if this includes VAT, anyone confirm this?)

    Hitachi 42PD5300 is around £2500 (inc VAT) from various online stores.

    These both come with built in tuner (dont necessary need) and a swivel stand.

    I have the chance of getting either of these from an ebay retailer for around 2k or less (all in). So I am seriously thinking about going for it.

    So my questions are...

    1) Which out of these 2 would you go for?

    2) Apart from the various issues that some ppl have (like buzzing) is there any major flaw with these plasmas that others in the same price range dont have?

    3) What other 42" plasma would you reccomend instead of either of these which will cost around 2k (all in with at least a stand and hopefully a seperate AV box for wall mounting ease)

    4) anything else you may wanna add.

    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. johndon

    johndon
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    I've had both. I've currently got the 5300 as a replacement for the 3000 which buzzed like mad. The tuner box is exactly the same - when I got the new panel, they just plugged it into my existing media box.

    Picture quality so far as I can tell is exactly the same between the two. If you take the time to calibrate the panels properly, DVDs can look stunning (especially with a mid-high end DVD player, I use an Arcam DV79 outputting PAL progressive). The Hitachis are also relatively tolerant of crap signals so Sky also looks pretty good, especially on the higher bit rate channels like Sky One.

    The only real difference is the bezel - on the 3000 it's silver and on the 5300 it's a shiny charcoal colour - I prefer the charcoal.

    As for other panels at around the 2K mark, lots of people on here would recommend the Panasonic 6 series.

    HTH

    John
     
  3. MAW

    MAW
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    What other gear do you have, like sound systems etc? Presumably you have digital TV of some sort? Ignore my retailer handle for a minute, I'm a custom installer more than retailer, this isn't a sales pitch, but I would not touch anything to do with ebay for more money than I could afford to blow on a night out. If your real name is Beckham, go ahead, take a punt. If your occupation is more mundane than England captain I'd be more careful, and buy from a reputable retailer who's address is in the public domain, the price difference is really not that much.
    Plasma wise, the reasons for the questions are that you don't necessarily need a media box to get a single cable to the screen, there are many solutions to do this. If you don't need a TV tuner, don't pay for it. You could look at the panel only Hitachi if you like them, or a (yawn) Panasonic PW6 for a bargain, or 7 for the latest kit, or Pioneer too. An AV surround amp is the key to this, you connect your sources to this, then to the screen. It does your switching of both sound and video, and effectively becomes your media box. You can get component video switching ones, and RGB switching ones. Think about that, will that do the biz for you?
     
  4. Beck_

    Beck_
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    MAW,

    Well heres what I have and will be plugging into it...

    Tivo --> Scart into plasma
    Sky (maybe cable in new house) --> Scart into Tivo
    DVD --> Scart into plasma (may be component or DVI if upgraded)
    Digital/DTS surround system --> Wires into DVD and Tivo (this provides sound for dvd and sky)

    So I would need 2 scarts (or 1 scart and 1 DVI/component once the DVD player is upgraded.)

    If I just look at normal online stores.. why would the Panny 42PWD6 cost around £1700 (inc vat) and the Hitachi 42PD3000/5300 cost around £2500?

    Thats like £800 difference.. So you are saying the 42PWD6 is better than the hitachi and costs £800 less? I realise you get a tuner and stand with the hitachi but still seems like a big difference in price. Would you say the 42PWD6 is better than the above 2 hitachis or not?

    I think the ebay retailer is reputable.. he is selling lots of plasmas and has sold lots.. he has like 700 positive remarks for his profile. He also offers 1 year manufacturer warrenty etc.. plus I would have the protection of using credit card through paypal etc. Anyway this is my risk and not really my dilemna, so lets ignore this for advice sake. :)

    So If you could advise on the above .. then answer this...

    If you only had a budget of around £2k

    Would you buy the hitachi 42PD3000 for around £2k delivered (with the stand and AV box/tuner)... or would you buy the panny 42PWD6 for around £1700+£150 (for stand)+say another £150 for AV box.. total of £2000? Or would you personally buy something else around 2k and if so what?

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  5. ihan

    ihan
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    I demoed the PW6 and the hitachi PD5200 at Sound&Vision in July. I thought the Hitachi gave a more vibrant image, but its black level was nowhere near as dark as the PW6. Since I watch movies late at night with very little ambient lighting, I would have been annoyed staring at the grey screen of the hitachi. For this reason I went for the PW6. My advice would be go to a proper dealer and demo both alongside each other with some of your own discs.
     
  6. MAW

    MAW
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    Ha, you are asking Hitachi's nemesis this question. Personally I hate them, but that is personal, pretty much like ihan I prefer the look of the panasonic, and I can see annoying line flicker with ALIS, but they do have happy customers, don't let my views put you off Hitachi, but the current price of a PW6 might be enough to persuade you. If you have a surround amp, does it switch component video? 3 phono, red blue and green? If so you are already equipped to run a panel, and it's a genuine saving. If you have only low quality switching then you need to upgrade, these days a Yamaha 750 is a good way to go, cheapest video upconverting amp I know of. 2 component inputs and it upconverts from composite and s-video. It's £450, straight off the saving you've made, then there'd be a new DVD and a component video converter for sky/cable/tivo. so it's not an £800 saving, but it's a saving nonetheless, and could be a very tidy install. Have a look at a Hitachi panel for balance, so to speak.
     
  7. Beck_

    Beck_
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    Ok guys.. Thanks for all your advice.. The first couple of replies kinda convinced me to go for a panny (as the majority like these).. so I was looking at the PW6.

    But I was just checking ebay and found a brand spanking new sealed TH42PW7 being auctioned on ebay by a reputable ebay retailer in my town! It had 20 minutes left on the auction too! It was at £1650.. After fighting it out down to the last 10 seconds I finally BOUGHT it for £1800!

    Thats right Im a crazy impulsive crazy person.. please tell me I havnt made a big mistake? Thats a bargain right?

    Just come off phone with them and it will be delivered on Thursday. I havnt ordered a stand or any extra connectivity yet until I decide where Im gunna put it and stuff.

    My heart was racing counting down the last 10 seconds of that auction!!!
     
  8. Beck_

    Beck_
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    okok.. Ive calmed down a little and read what MAW had to say, its gone a little over my head though!

    Not sure what you mean about the amp upconverting video and stuff? Lets pretend Im a total AV noob for just 1 minute. :p

    So... I now have the PW7 plasma screen with the default scart in the back. I plan to connect my tivo to the back of the plasma, scart to scart. I plan to connect my Sky to my tivo, scart to scart. I then plan to connect my sound system (with digi/dts amp) into my tivo using phono leads for simple stereo sound whilst watching sky.

    Lets say I buy a new DVD player with a component connection.. I can then buy 1 extra component connection for the back of my plasma screen.. then plug my dvd into plasma, comp to comp. I will then plug my sound system into my dvd player using the optical cable for digital/dts surround sound whilst watching dvds.

    Now that all sounds straight forward to me.. so please let me know how that sounds to you.. then try and explain what you meant by all the upgrading video etc etc.

    I have a plasma! :clap: :clap:
     
  9. MAW

    MAW
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    Er, sounds awful to me! Have a look at the back of your amp, does it have video inputs and outputs? If not, you'd be up for a new one. If it's only yellow phonos you're still up for a new one.
    Connections for best picture:-
    Sky, enable RGB and widescreen in the menu. Tivo likewise, input and output. The, sky-Tivo with fully wired scart. Tivo-component converter with fully wired scart. Component converter - amp with component cable and stereo audio. DVD to amp with component video cable. Amp to screen with 3 phono-VGA lead, look no video boards! That's saved another £100. The same can be done with a Hitachi incidentally. But you do need an amp that supports component video switching. It will make operating the system a doddle too, especially if the amp has a learning/universal remote. This is one way, it's not the only way. If this looks expensive, you coud use a Pioneer 402 scart switching amp, now that really is easy! You could then go to a scart board on the screen, or use another video converter and connect to the VGA port again. It's not rocket science, just a bit of product knowlege, loads of folks have done this after reading the boards.
    You could sell the scart board to help finance the rest of your system upgrade, or hang onto it, they are useful when setting stuff up, you always get a picture, which you might not with video converters etc as they depend on RGB output. The Yamaha trick of video UPCONVERSION is that you can connect a PS2 or VCR to the amp, and in spite of it not being a component connection you still pump the video to the screen through the one cable.
     
  10. Beck_

    Beck_
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    MAW,

    I think I understand what you are saying now.. you are basically getting me to connect all my inputs (i.e. Tivo & DVD) into an amp through component connection.. Then plug the amp into the plasma using the vga port (does this come on the PW7 by default?)

    Are you saying that doing the above will produce a better picture quality then going straight to the plasma through scart for dvd/tivo?

    Does the amp some how make the picture quality better?

    Or is your method just so that you only have 1 connection into the plasma and it will auto switch to tivo or dvd?

    Basically would the setup I described work as a starting point?

    Ive had a look at my amp and it has 2 video in sockets (a single lead i think) and it has 2 video out sockets (yellow single cable). I need to dig out the instructions to find out exactly what this is. You think this wont be good enough for your suggested setup?

    I always thought that scart connection was decent quality.. And if I have to manually swap between tivo and dvd using the remote then thats no big deal.

    tbh.. the idea of plugging my video inputs into a sound amp seems wierd? I thought I could just do the sound through my amp and connect the video direct to the plasma?

    I need a :beer:
     
  11. MAW

    MAW
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    Yes the VGA comes standard, and yes your config will work out of the box, and yes mine will give better picture quality (the scart is generally reckoned to be 'soft') and yes will give that single cable you were seeking from your media box. OK?
     
  12. Beck_

    Beck_
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    Ok MAW.. You have helped me understand what I need.

    I see that your goal was to help me achieve 1 wire for wall mounting ease.. well I havnt decided yet whether Im gunna hang it above the fireplace in my new house or have it in the corner on a stand. The idea of looking up all the time doesnt sound too clever but until Im in the new place and can see for myself Im not sure.

    I think if I settle for the corner setup.. I will possibly stick to using scart for my tivo and upgrade my dvd to DVI or Component.. then just get the right conection at the back of the plasma and go with that. My sound will be top notch through my sound system and the pic will be top notch through the dvd.. The regular sky tv wont be as good as it can be but Im sure it will be good enough.

    I guess I can upgrade the connectivity later on if I feel my regular tv watching is not upto par.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Isnt the internet a wonderfull thing! :clap: Oh and the people that spend their time replying to noobs in forums too! :smashin:
     

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