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Hitachi 32/42 PD3000 questions & answers

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by zAndy1, Jan 23, 2003.

  1. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Hi all,
    I wanted some questions answering re the Hitachi 32PD3000 (applies to the 42" also I suppose) so I asked the kind folks at nexnix (very helpful!) if they'd see if they could get some answers from Hitachi and this is the result:-

    Q1. I've heard the display doesn't perform best with progressive scan signals but is best fed an interlaced signal instead. This is the exact opposite of other panels e.g. Panasonic that are improved enormously by feeding a progressive scan component signal. Does the ALIS processing give the same results as progressive scan does on other displays i.e. removing of jaggies giving a smoother more filmlike picture? My DVD player uses Faroudja DCDi de-interlacing which is widely regarded as providing significant improvements to picture quality. I feel by the suggestion I'd be better off feeding the Hitachi display an interlaced signal I'm losing that advantage and benefits of that chipset, any comments?

    A. We have our own Progressive Scan chip built into the AVC box so any interlaced signal is converted by this chip to Progressive scan and is then scaled up to 1024 lines and this is used to create a 1024 line interlaced display on the panel. We think that our chip will give superb results from any interlaced source preferably offered at RGB level. For the enthusiast however we have included a Progressive Scan input on the AVC (tuner box)which means the signal does not go through our Progressive Scan process but is sent straight to the panel. This means the customer has the best of both worlds!

    Q2. What has been fixed/fine tuned in the tuner box? I asked this question as I was under the impression Hitachi were working on some sort of fix for a problem but it seems that wasn't the case, anyway...

    A. Not too sure what he means by this but the I2 chip has Dynamic Contrast which automatically monitors the picture content and increases the dynamic range so giving better blacks without reducing brightness. We also have a feature that constantly looks at 3 fields of information and looks for unwanted noise which is then removed. At the same time it uses these 3 fields to look for moving objects and calculate on the interpolated lines where the object should be. This results in much smoother motion. We also have 3/2 pull down which improves the motion quality of NTSC discs.

    Q3. Why does the display subjectively look so bad with an RGB feed from e.g. Sky Digital but look so good with DVD? I don't understand what the difference is to be honest but I've seen the display in a store with Sky Digital material and it didn't look very good with what seemed to be scaling artifacts and combing artifacts visible. Is there any way to improve the quality from Sky and what explanation is there for it being so poor compared to DVD? - I have to say I was only going on what I'd seen in Powerhouse here (not the best viewing conditions granted) and also comments by people on the 42" no tuner box version.

    A. I have seen excellent results with Sky Digital when I presented to UK journalists they said it was the best Sky picture they had seen on any product. One problem maybe the channel they were watching. For best results watch SKY news or BBC News 24 and wait until you see a studio broadcast. If you have the opportunity watch Sky Sports football as this is now mostly broadcast in true widescreen format. RGB should look much better but remember it will also show up the defects of a poor signal. Generally Studio broadcasts on the channels I mentioned use a bandwidth of over 5Mbps but this can drop considerably for out side broadcasts.

    Q4. Is the ALIS processing the latest generation which has apparently improved since early generations? What improvements have been made?

    A. The ALIS processing is the latest version but it basically refers to the system of using separate electrodes for odd and even fields. This results in a vertical resolution of 1024 lines whereas 480 is the best a VGA panel can manage. The 12 chip we have developed makes full use of this by actually creating 1024 lines in the processing. In the previous model we could only create 512 lines in the progressive scan process.

    Hope someone finds that interesting/useful.

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  2. lloydo

    lloydo
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    Andy

    Great post, really informative, due to size issues (mmmmmm) I'm looking at the 37in Panny and now the Hitachi 32 (wish they'd do the 37).

    Went to JL at lunchtime, prices were 2999 for Hitachi 32 and 2934 for Panny 37 with Tuner (no stand).

    I must admit I do have a bit of a mental block at the 3 grand barrier!
     
  3. GadgetObsessed

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    Cheers for posting this. I too have been considering the 32" Hitachi and have had exactly the same concerns regarding PAL progressive and Sky Digital.

    Unfortunately the answers from Hitachi don¡¦t really tell us much. (It was unlikely they would turn around and say ¡§Yes the progressive scan does not work properly and the digital TV display is awful.¡¨)

    The only way to really test the display is to go and see one set up - but there are not many places demoing using Sky Digital and Progressive DVD players. Sevenoaks Sound and Visions branch in Sevenoaks demo plasmas with Freeview and have PAL progressive DVD players in their store so I assume could do this. Unfortunately they do not yet have the Hitachi plasma in stock yet.

    I¡¦m also not sure if the findings of the team that went to Nexnix recently to compare the Panny, Pioneer and Hitachi will directly correspond to the 32¡¨Hitachi. The Hitachi display at Nexnix was the 42¡¨ and that model has the scaling chip built into the display rather than the external box and has a different resolution ¡V 1024x1024 rather than 852x1024.

    In the mean time maybe prusling will invite us all around for a demo of his display. :)
     
  4. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    nexnix are doing the 32" Hitachi for £2596 inc VAT. Pretty good price. I've got my name on one of the batch due next week.

    Andy
     
  5. nwhome

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    John Lewis, Cheadle, had the 32PD3000 on display at £2,500 last weekend...
     
  6. prusling

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    Hi guys,

    You're very welcome to come round for a dem, particularly if someone can bring a progressive (ideally PAL) DVD player to try out! I'm in Woking - PM me if you're interested.

    My own thoughts on the Hitachi response are:

    1) The "Progressive Scan input on the AVC (tuner box)" I assume must be component as well as the VGA? Shame there's no DVI.

    2) There is an option called "Film Mode" which I assume is the 3:2 pull-down. I keep this on all the time, and haven't really noticed any effect, although I haven't looked closely at R1 footage. As an early adopter I'd be very interested if there are improvements released for the tuner box!

    3) I'm still unconvinced by the quality of the NTL Digital signal, although they are right that its very dependent on the source encoding quality. Anyone have a Freeview tuner we could try out?

    4) This sounds promising as I'd assumed from earlier descriptions of ALIS that you'd only end up with 512 lines duplicated (although that's still better than 480!).

    I'm getting a replacement panel on Monday as mine had some odd blemishes (early production example?). I don't know whether I'll get a replacement tuner as well.

    I heard a rumour that Hitachi themselves do an extended warranty - does anyone know whether this is true? I'll call them later to check.

    Cheers, Peter
     
  7. prusling

    prusling
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    Hitachi said that they don't do their own extended warranty, and referred me on to Domestic and General...

    Cheers, Peter
     
  8. Harryson

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    Lloydo,
    Which branch of JL did you see those prices at? And are you sure the panny 37'' price included the tuner?
    Cheers,
    Harry
     
  9. lloydo

    lloydo
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    2939 for 37in Panny plasma + tuner + 5yr warranty in John Lewis Welwyn, double checked yesterday and placed an order.
    Seems excellent value for money.
    Looks like a long wait (4 weeks), hopefully they will contact me tmrw.
    I asked about a stand but the salesman said it came with a stand (bless him), had to explain that it probably didn't, so he said he'd check. JL Bluewater wanted 3700ish for same package (strange pricing at JL)

    Hope this helps.
     
  10. GadgetObsessed

    GadgetObsessed
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    Does anybody know if the Hitachi 32pd3000 will support 1080 input.

    There is a news article on the HCC website saying that there is a company claiming that it will have 1080 broadcasts via satellite across europe from 1 Jan 2004!
     
  11. prusling

    prusling
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    Gary,

    I can't tell for sure; there's no mention of it in the manual, but I've read reviews of other ALIS panels with 1024 resolution which say that they don't scale 1080 at all, but instead lose a few unimportant lines top and bottom. Native resolution display ought to be brilliant!

    I'm taking delivery of an Xcard tomorrow which can generate 1080i out, and I plan try it out on the screen. I'll need some suitable source material as the Xcard apparently won't scale up from DVD resolution, and this wouldn't be a good test anyway. Does anyone have any DIVX MPEG4 encoded material at HD resolution I can try out?

    The other difficulty will be to work out what the panel is doing with the source as at doesn't display the resolution/mode as far as I can tell. It does display the frequency of VGA input so I might be able to check that way (I'm not an expert...)? I should get a good subjective view anyway.

    I'll keep you posted, Peter
     

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