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Help! XDE vs. FDE

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by J-K, Apr 20, 2005.

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  1. Save the money - get the FDE!

    5.4%
  2. The XDE is worth every extra penny!

    94.6%
  1. J-K

    J-K
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    This is urgent! The wife is actually almost ready to let me buy my plasma, but I need to act quickly, before the wind changes direction!

    I want the XDE [i always want the model with most options!] - but she's trying to save a few quid and get it from John Lewis, so she's trying to get me to buy the FDE!

    I know the XDE is same as FDE, but has picture-in-picture, digital tuner, and multimedia centre - but is it worth the extra money???

    Are the screens the same for both models? Is there any major tech faults with the FDE, and hence they created the XDE?

    Basically - is the XDE worth the extra money over the FDE, and what problems would I face with the FDE?

    If I can decide this by tonight - I might have a plasma by 30th April for the long weekend!! Yippee!!!!

    All help is greatly appreciated! :lease:
     
  2. MAW

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    Well, the digital tuner in the XDE is noticeably better than analogue, but do you have digital TV at all? If you already have sky or something, perhaps she's right. The screens are identical, it's only the media box that's different. No tech problems at all, apart from slight weakness of scart and component inputs, the thing is completely optimised for digital via HDMI. Both have this input. The poll is irrelevant, too dependent on your personal circumstances.
     
  3. Kier

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    The XDE is definitely worth the extra. The direct digital picture from Freeview is fantastic, the remote is much nicer, the PiP features are really useful... don't mess around with the FDE, spend the little extra on the XDE.
     
  4. SPURS1882

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    Did you know that the XDE is cheaper then FDE?
     
  5. Drd

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    Hi J-K,The displays are the same,as you are aware the media boxes differ.As an XDE owner I can only say that I'm delighted with its performance (other than the 15 second warm-up mine seems to require).I've used PIP to watch footy while watching a film too,SWMBO and relatives have been impressed with my home gallery demos using an sd card and adapter (as was I),the digtal tuner gives excellent pictures.I cannot comment on the apparent problems with Sky as I don't use it,and as yet I've not surfed on it.DVD's off a Denon 2910 are stunning.Earlier threads seemed to show XDE owners were happier (or perhaps more vocal) than FDE owners which of course a certain not to be mentioned magazine would say was to be expected given their findings.Overall? You only live once,so go for it!
    Regards
    Ian
     
  6. MPK

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    John Lewis has a price match policy. It's not that straight forward so do a search about it on this forum, but that should save you a few extra quid. Simply tell her that the government has decided to switch off analog TV by as early as 2007 depending on where you live (http://www.netcentral.co.uk/satcure/switchoff.htm). After that the expensive FDE will only make a nice piece of furniture. Obviously, you can also buy a Freeview box and/or Sky/Cable but you don't have to tell her that...
     
  7. J-K

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    Yeah, I know JL will price match, but now need to find the cheapest store that they will match. Do JL match packages or components only? For example - Richer Sounds have the screen only for £2500. JL has screen, speakers and stand for £3000. Would JL price match to 2500, or work out what Richer Sounds charge for the same 5 year guarantee, speakers, stand etc...?

    As for the XDE, it seems overwhelming at the moment, that this is the one to go for. It's also my first choice, but just trying to justify spending about £500/£800 extra for it... The fact that JL probably won't price match Richer Sounds £2500 is going to help loads though! Haha!!

    YID - how is the XDE cheaper than the FDE? Where? The only place i've seen this is on RGBDirect - but thats because their FDE included stand and speakers - where as their XDE is just the screen/tuner. Please, tell me more!

    I am dreaming of spending bank holiday weekend watching the big screen!!
     
  8. MAW

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    Last point is the killer for me, connecting anything but a STB or DVD to the HDMI is desperate, a VGA for a bit of web browsing, I'm beginning to see things the XDE way myself. It's features though, not PQ you are buying for, unless you are going to be reliant on the integrated freeview. If so it's a no brainer, just buy her some flowers and champagne, and hire a soppy movie when it's installed.
     
  9. SPURS1882

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  10. Drd

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    Are there absolutely no happy FDE owners out there??
     
  11. deanym

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    I'm glad I amuse you, to me Laptop connection via the vga was important. HDMI is for my dvd player.

    Oh and sky is better than my feeview as we have to share an aerial in our apartment block.

    PQ is amazing on DVD after ISFing............. so whats your point exactly - spend a further fortune he can't afford on scalers and whatnot?
     
  12. SPURS1882

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    We have one vote for the FDE,

    Out of curiosity, it wasn't your wife was it J-K :D
     
  13. thornton

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    The answer to this hinges a LOT on whether you are SKY based or Freeview based. If you do not use Freeview at all, perhaps because you cannot get it at all, like me, and you have no use for PC inputs, the FDE is the better deal. You might also consider that if Freeview changes digital protocols in the future, particularly for hi-def stuff, it may be MUCH easier to change an external box than to get a new tuner for the XDE.

    The prices are all over the place because they include different items. In checking up on price you need to know:

    1. Does it include speakers, and if so are they the silver/grey ones that sit at the side or underneath, OR the black hinged ones that sit at the side.
    2. Does it include a stand, and is it the table top one or the silly expensive big one with no usable shelf space.
    MOST headline FDE prices appear to include the tt stand and grey speakers, MOST XDE headline prices have neither. If you have an amp and speakers and get an FDE you need to make sure you do not pay for speakers you do not want, unless you want to be able to watch telly in normal (non 5.1) mode.

    A. Watch out for Richer Sounds - if you go in the store they may well try to suggest that the advertised price is only available if you buy their Plasma Care deal, and charge you more if you do not. TOTALLY out of order.

    B. The John Lewis price for the FDE includes a 5Y warranty and you cannot buy it from them for less by asking not to have it. They wanted silly money for an XDE when I asked them.

    C. Some dealers talked garbage about the XDE picture being better.

    D. There are a lot of AV snobs out there who do not take you seriously if you do not get the XDE. So what if you get a black tuner rather than a silver one, if you do not actually need the marginal extra features?

    I looked all over at XDE/FDE prices and configs. Had I got one it would have been an FDE from JL, but I opted to wait for a Panny 37 500 instead.
     
  14. MAW

    MAW
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    Sorry deany, don't follow. I'm not making any points apart from agreeing with you on the laptop connection. If you want a scaler, this is the wrong plasma to start with, too much hassle for not enough gain. Not to mention the money.
     
  15. deanym

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    MAW, my mistake, :eek: you often answer with replies dripping with sarcasm - I thought this was a further occasion, :) but thanks for answering another question for me - I was wondering whether a scaler or the like would be possible with an xde as I was thinking about an SDI modded sky+ box.

    Seems not.........
    PS its Dean! Y is my middle initial!!!
     
  16. MAW

    MAW
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    Ok Dean.... I only drip with sarcasm where it's deserved. Not to you. Your scheme is possible, via VGA or HDMI, you know how much it will cost don't you? Iscan HD+ with SDI mod, £1300. Sky+ sdi modded, £500 with trade in allowance. Seems a lot to me, unless the pursuit of perfection is your game. As Sky HD boxes will be available at Xmas, with digital video connection, 8 months use for £1800 looks poor value to me. You will of course need a HDMI switch box, or a new AV amp to do that for you, but that's going to be cheaper than £1800
     
  17. deanym

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    Thanks MAW,

    Blimey!! Not cheap then!

    Obviously we can predict the future, but do you reckon an hdmi HD sky box would get close to an SDI modded set up? A lot of purists seem to like the sdi and scaler route - I wouldn't class myself as such for movies (maybe stereo) - is this the pinnacle of performance or hdmi reducing the gap?

    Sorry its off topic everyone - I might even start a new thread on it!! :)
     
  18. J-K

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    This is going to ruin any marginal credibility I had ever built on these forums, BUT - I am not OVERLY bothered about picture quality! I mean, the picture should definitely be good, very good. But I can live with it, if it's not the best. From my research - the PQ of the Pio's is not exactly bad, but its arguable that there is probably better... This is something I'm happy to live with... Hence my choice of Pio and not Panny [plus, I prefer the separate tuner, so don't have wires running down the wall].

    To answer some questions:
    1. Yes, I will require speakers, but not necessarily a stand [although leaning this way at the moment, due to plasterboard walls!!!] Out of interest - which are the better speakers to go for?! I do have home cinema unit - but like the option of just flicking on the tv, and having sound right away - rather than having to turn the home cinema unit on too!

    2. Yes - I have Sky+, so will most probably not be using the Freeview. BUT - I do love the idea of using picture-in-picture with Sky on one side, and digital freeview on the other! Again - will have to do to the slaughterboard with the wife and argue why this is worth so much! "God, is one channel not enough for you??? Moan moan moan!" Haha!!

    3. I live in a new Barratt house, and although it's a house, the aerial is still communal. Would I get a better picture through the digital freeview, or my own Sky feed?

    4. LOL, no, the one FDE vote was not my wife! Mind you, it was done by someone called "Thornton" which reminds me of the chocolate company, which reminds me of the wife... Hhhmmm, could she be up to some sly voting tactics? Haha!!

    5. The thing my wife is most concerned about [after price] is after-sales care! Hence her pushing me in the direction of the FDE which is available at John Lewis! I was thinking of getting the XDE from AV-Sales, but trying to convince her they have good after-sales care, but her reply is, "how do you know? Have you ever bought anything from there?! Well then."

    So there ya go, that's where I'm at.

    I've missed my deadline of buying it tonight, but with all this lovely feedback, there is definitely hope for tomorrow! Haha!

    And once it's in - you're all invited over for a beer, and a soppy movie! ;o)
     
  19. MAW

    MAW
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    Good luck J-K, and Dean, digital video is digital video, HDMI is neither better nor worse than SDI, just more difficult to make compatible with everything. You won't have that problem, so sit back and be patient is my advice.
     
  20. MAW

    MAW
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    The SDI route is liked mostly because it is currently the only all digital TV route. It does work well, and it really is plug and play, simple, no settings, no rubbish, no stupid audio add on that's not needed. Dave at plugged in of course is the expert on it, but the real beauty is you don't need to be an expert. A scaler is of use, but limited, with an XDE because you can't eliminate the Pioneer elecronics from the processing path. It will always be doing something, no matter what connection or setting. The ideal is to get your expensive scaler to do all the work, which they do better than on board stuff in any normal plasma TV or display.
     
  21. thornton

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    Just to clear that little one up, I can state categorically that I am nobody's wife! However, I do confess to being a chocolate lover, and the choice of name is a happy coincidence.

    I am a BLOKE, OK??!!!

    I still think this comes down to a question of paying for the extra features of the XDE if and only if you really need them. Friends' experience of Picture in Picture is that it is amusing to show it to people for a bit; then you get bored and do not actually use it. If you really NEED to display a PC screen, then fine. Otherwise it is amusing to show it to people for....... :devil:

    I have not listened to the grey speakers and the black speakers side by side, but subjectively thought the black side-mounted ones were slighyly but not overwhelmingly better.

    You WILL need to get a stand of some sort if you have cardboard walls, and the choice is between the table top and the silly expensive one. The first is usually but not always included with FDE price quotes (it is part of JL deal, that includes the grey speakers).
     
  22. J-K

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    I'm sorry Thornton, I know you're not the wife! Hope no offence was taken! ;o)

    I see exactly what you're saying about PiP and PC Connectivity... I'm hardly ever going to plug the laptop/PC into the screen, so that's probably not going to be a great feature. I do, however, like the PiP and multimedia centre [does it take Sony Memory Sticks anyone?], but again, the question is if it's worth the extra money, and insecurity of buying anywhere apart from John Lewis...

    I have filled in a form with John Lewis - asking them to match Richer Sounds. If they come back to me, and and say YES - they will match Richer Sounds at £2500, but still offer their same package [screen, speakers, stand, 5 year warranty] then I think it'll be the FDE! If, however, they say NO - I shall be lobbying the missus as hard as possible for the XDE, as AV-Sales sell it for about £2800 - and I think I can live with that...

    Thornton - are the grey speakers that JL provide the hinged-one's? Or can I attach them to the side/bottom as I wish? What are the "Long Air Speakers"?

    Does anyone know if AV-Sales will personally install the plasma too, and wire it all up etc? Or is it just sent by courier for me to open and fiddle around with?

    Thanks!
    JK
     
  23. thornton

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    Be careful here.

    1. The Richer web price of about 2500 does NOT include stand or speakers, whereas JL includes grey speakers and table top stand.
    2. If you try to get the 2500 price from Richer they may well say they only do that if you get the care package. That is wht happened to me went I went into their Oxford store.
    3. I think the grey speakers are NOT hinged, but am not absolutely sure. I know the black (side mount only) ones are hinged.
    4. If you take the Richer web ad to JL they will be quite in order to point out that the JL prices includes the speakers, stand and a five year warranty, which, while I do not have the means to do the sums right now, could well be less than RS's price including the same items. They are entitled to work on a strictly like with like basis, and I have found that JL's price match is always reasonable when done on that basis.
    5. When I discussed the XDE with them just a few weeks ago they made it clear then that as the XDE was not one of their regular items they would have to get a quote from Pio and with it not being a regular item PRice Match would not apply. I accepted this point of view and their quote a few days later was indeed too high.
    6. The advantage of Richer is that you can pick out which bits of the FDE package you actually want.
    7. Not only am I not your wife but I do not work for John Lewis either - but I did have extensive discussions with them in High Wycombe, Richer in Oxford and numerous other suppliers when thinking about these two systems.
    8. Give Audio-T in Oxford a call. They had a COMPLETE demo XDE package on sale for 3000 dead a little while ago - it might have gone of course.
    9. EVERYBODY's default is to just deliver. EVERYBODY including JL said they could do some level of installation for a charge, be it heaving the plasma onto its stand or being there for a while calibrating speakers.
    10. My experience of JL price match is totally different from the previous aggrieved writer. If you make sure you go like-with-like with genuine RETAIL suppliers (i.e. not web) in the same general neighbourhood then their deal is genuine.
     
  24. thornton

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    With due deference to the person with JL issues, I cannot dispute someone else's experience - only state my own.

    More important, if you CAN get Richer to supply at the better prices without Plasma Care (this was NOT my experience) then you can probably save 200-250 by going to Richer rather than JL if you do not want extended warranty (I cannot say the exact figure as their web site does not quote the speaker prices as far as I could tell just now) but they are selling non-Pio stands for about £150, which takes the price without speakers or extended warranty to 2650. Note that their web site quotes 3 years' extra Plasma Care at 250, so if you want to do like with like with JL, and ignore the extra year that JL provide, the speakers need to be less than £100 for Richer to win. (All in round figures).

    If you REALLY do NOT want any warranty beyond year 1, here was the best price off pricerunner.co.uk 2 mins ago for an FDE with tt stand and grey speakers. Inc delivery pricerunner quotes them at £2743

    http://www.tvandvideodirect.com/product.php?xProd=1220

    I just noticed that Pricerunner says Richer charge about £70 for del based on what they quote for a raw FDE, so I reckon that on a like with like basis, now allowing for this, JL is definitely better value than Richer, as their price includes del and warranty.

    Seems to me, that if you get an FDE, then
    (a) if you want a long warranty JL is easily best
    (b) if you do not, go for tvandvideodirect.com
    unless anyone has bad experiences with them!!......(If you want the warranty tvandvideo... want over £500 for an extra 2 years! Doh.)

    I just noticed tvandvideodirect are doing the new 42in hidef ready Hitachi for 1999.99, the 42PD7200 to be precise. :clap: That comment will probably bring out the ALIS-haters.
     
  25. J-K

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    Thanks again for all the feedback.

    In all honesty - if I did go for the FDE, and it came down to JL or tvandvideodirect - I'd definitely go to JL, and happily pay the extra £250 for 5 year guarantee, and "big store" peace of mind! Do JL charge for delivery on top mind you?

    The only real internet company i'd buy from is AV-Sales, and that is only because I have heard such good things about them. Has anyone had any BAD experiences with AV-Sales???

    I am still undecided about models though! I am taking in all this good feedback - but still sitting on the fence! I have filled out the JL price match form, asking for their package at £2500 as per Richer Sounds. I should know by end of the week I hope! Thornton - I agree, on a like-for-like basis, JL's price is actually probably the best around! Certainly if you include their 5 year guarantee - I think it'd be hard to beat JL! But I am just hoping JL agree on the grounds that the 5 year guarantee is a freebie! Haha!

    I think it comes down to this:

    1. If JL agree to do their package at £2500 - they will have my business.
    2. If JL don't - back to the drawing board with the XDE from AV-Sales, and seeking the wife's permission!

    More than anything - I don't think my wife is as worried [now] about the price/model - as she is about the reliability of the company we buy it from, and quite rightly so. We're both big on after-sales care, and big believers in Murphy's Laws!!!

    If anyone has glowing references of AV-Sales, especially where things have gone wrong, and been quickly rectified - that might help sway her, and let me get the XDE!

    Diverse - thanks for the advise mate! Will definitely pick up a copy of What Hi-Fi at the airport on my way home [i'm in Ireland right now for work] and see what they have. Also, JL only carry the XDE in the 50" model, which is probably far too big for my living room, and probably a tad too expensive! ;o) I'm not allowed to blow the savings all in one go, you see! Haha!!!

    Ta,
    JK
     
  26. thornton

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    I can find no evidence on web that Richer will do a system including stand and speakers for 2500, so I bet JL says no. My information stated earlier was actually not right in that I see now that price DOES include speakers. (It was not when I first spoke to them) but the stand is still about another 150 on top and del has to be added. JL price DOES include del and warranty. I will be gobsmacked if JL agree. :thumbsup:
     
  27. MAW

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    All that money saved, you'll be able to afford some 'ladies things' while you are in JL.
     
  28. J-K

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    You're quite right! RS charges £2500 for the screen only! Think the stand and speakers are £150 and £250 respectively - making a total of £2900! Plus, if the warranty is £250 as you say - the RS total will come to £3150 - making it entirely not worth it - considering I feel JL is far more reputable!

    I guess I had no idea how far into things that JL will look - so was hoping I might get lucky with a lazy under-writer, who just stamped my form, and gave me the lot for £2500! Haha!!!

    But glad delivery is included, cuz some places can charge up to £100 for it! Mind you, there is a small chance it might fit in the back of the car too?!

    Well, i'll keep you all posted once I hear back from them! Otherwise, fingers crossed for the XDE!!!

    P.S. Just spoke to someone at AV-Sales - they actually don't offer fitting and customisation at all. Only delivery!
     
  29. J-K

    J-K
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    LOL MAW - maybe thats her tactic? I bet they sell the bleedin Prada bag she's after - and she figures we can nip downstairs after getting the plasma, with the money we saved! Oh joy!!!
     
  30. MAW

    MAW
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    I thought AV sales did install? They've asked me if I would do some of their install work once, had a chat with Alastair. Considering how little profit there is in plasma, offering install is our way of actually earning a living out of the whole silly business. It's the fun bit anyway, I don't go much on the endless haggling.
     

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