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Hitachi 42PMA400E-my experience

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Bruce123, Apr 14, 2003.

  1. Bruce123

    Bruce123
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    I have just finished setting up my brothers Hitachi 42PMA400E plasma screen purchased from Nexnix a couple of weeks ago and thought I would pass on my comments and observations for the benefit of other forum members.

    The screens primary use is for Sky which is connected via a JS RGB to component converter box. Also connected is a PS2 and DVD player both using s-video switched via a Denon 3803 which up-converts the signals to component.

    I was also able to use the Avia set up disc supplied by Piero on the forum power buys.

    The factory default settings were quite frightening with the contrast set to maximum (interestingly the default power saving setting is 63 and we finished with a setting of just 34) but after an hours tweaking I have to say the overall picture is magnificent.
    I have never seen Sky appear so crystal clear with the screen producing an almost 3D image. Skin tones in particular appeared natural, something I fail to achieve on my own RPTv and PJ. The images from his DVD are even better.

    My previous experiences are restricted to viewings in various retail outlets and without doubt this display produces the best images I have seen from this type of screen.
    Couple this with the fact the model is in the budget price range, at under £3k inc wall mount, I think my brother has something of a bargain.
    I had read that the fans used to cool this model had caused some concern for other users and with no sound being produced from the speakers and if you stand within 6 feet they can be made out, just. Of course as soon as any sound is produced from the viewing material the fan noise is irrelevant.
    I have no hesitation in recemmending both this screen and the company, Nexnix, who supplied it. Well worth an audition if you are in this end of the market.
    I hope this helps someone.

    Bruce
     
  2. steve36

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    Bruce,
    I am pleased you are happy with your purchase, but must ask if the SKY Digital picture looks as good as you expected.
    I have seen many plasmas showing DVD, even the cheapest look good with monsters inc, but put SKY through and everything changes.
    Do you think that the edges round SKY are as sharp as you would expect, also have you noticed any artifacts. Mind you, some allowance must be made for the variable bit range on the SKY channels.
    Anyway, enjoy your purchase, one day I'll find one to view near the midlands/north.

    Steve.
     
  3. Bruce123

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    Steve, I have to say that I have not noticed much in the way of artifacts. The pictures produced from Sky are variable channel to channel. For example Sky News looks clean and sharp, like BBC infact, whereas Paramount can appear quite grainy. Nevertheless overall the pictures are better than I expected or indeed have seen on any screen approaching this size. If you get the chance check one out.
    Good luck.

    Bruce
     
  4. Blu-rayx

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    hi,


    the new Hitachi 42MPA400E reviewed in this months H C C got best buy.

    PICTURE ****1/2

    FEATURES *****

    OVERALL ****1/2

    if the fan noise is not too loud this could be the plasma for me :)


    dvd :smoke:
     
  5. Dave777

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    I saw this screen a few months ago with some of the forum members at Nexnix. I didn't have much time, but what I saw was a great picture. BUT the fan noise was an issue for me. I found it too loud and could be heard over the other 3 plasmas on in a large room.

    There was talk then of Hitachi finding a way to make them quieter.

    Does anyone know more?

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  6. datanet

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    I asked Nexnix about a fan mod a few weeks ago, but they didn't seem to think anything was in the pipeline now. In honesty I think they're there until a new model changes the airflow or something.
    I've had mine (PMA400) for over 4 months now and I'm well happy with it. I bought a Denon 3803 receiver instead of the tuner box, combine this with a freeview or Sky box and I think you get quite a nice solution. The amp will take in composite, S-Video or component and output as component- and you get a very good quality AV amp into the bargain (and for under £3K total!).
    Bought mine from Nexnix too, they do seem to have time for their customers- both before and after purchase.

    Chris
     
  7. Joel

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    Bruce123: After all your hours of tweaking, it would be very nice to know what your picture settings settled at.

    Joel
     
  8. wattsj

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    BUMPED.

    Hi Bruce,

    I'm getting my 400E this week, what are your brothers picture settings ?

    Jay
     
  9. Triggaaar

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    NexNix should have the Hitachi with one of the fans disabled now (by the factory) - call them to check, and see if its made enough difference.

    Mike
     
  10. Bruce123

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    Hi Joel and WattsJ sorry for the delay I've been away.

    Here are the settings we settled on using the Avia set up disc.

    Contrast...................................35
    Brightness................................+3
    Colour......................................+2
    Tint..........................................-10
    Sharpness...............................+3

    The rest of the settings were left at Factory default

    Picture......................Normal
    Contrast mode ........Dynamic
    Black Stretch............Low
    LTI............................Low
    CTI...........................Low
    YNR..........................Low
    BNR..........................Low
    3d Comb..................On
    Film Mode................On
    Gamma....................2.2
    Line INTP.................Off
    Colour Temp............Cool

    Hope this is of some help to you both.

    Bruce
     
  11. wattsj

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    Hi Bruce,

    Thanx for the reply.

    One question, do I need the Avia disk to use these settings or can I program them directly on the 400e ?

    Jay

    PS Sorry, one last question, what deal did your brother get from NexNix (price\warranty) ?
     
  12. Darren Blake

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    After considering a 42PD3000 for a while, I have now decided to get either a 42PMA400 or a CMP4202. This is partly because I don't want to be tied to the short cable that links the media box and the 42PD3000 screen.

    Can anyone tell me the difference between the CMP4202 and the 42PMA400, because the spec appear almost identical on the Hitachi Digital Media website? The CMP4202 may have even more life-extension features than the PMA400, and that suits me because I will be doing a lot of computuing on it. Apart from that, they look the same.

    QED have the CMP4202 for just under £2845 inc VAT.
     
  13. chrise

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    According to the technical specs the CMP4202 has no component input but has two fifteen pin computer inputs instead of one on the 42PMA400.
     
  14. Bruce123

    Bruce123
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    Wattsj you will not need the Avia disc to enter any setting changes. I hope you are pleased with the results.
    As for price he got the screen, wall mount, a Denon 3803, a JS RGB to Component converter and two 1.5m component leads for £3700 inc delivery and damn fine service. Not bad I thought.

    Let me know how you get on.

    Bruce
     
  15. wattsj

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    Hi Bruce,

    Well, I went down to NexNix yesterday and demo'd the 400e and was quite dissapointed with the PQ when watching Sky.
    When connected using RGB I thought it was very blocky and pixelated. I was told this was because the 400e has loads of on-board wizardry and tends to over process the picture. When he switched it to composite it improved a fair bit (he said that a less quality connection is sometimes better for watching Sky) but nowhere near as good as the Panny 5 on the next wall which when watching Sky was smooth and very clear.
    DVD was very good as expected but as we watch Sky 90 % of the time it's really put me off + the wife said that she wouldn't be happy with it.
    What's really confusing me is that in your original post you say the PQ on sky was 'crystal clear', was that on the 400e in NexNix or on your brothers screen? Did he take a gamble on the screen being better at his home when connected to Sky ?
    I went to NexNix clutching my VISA card ready to buy the 400e and came away very confused !

    Jay :confused:
     
  16. ncpl

    ncpl
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    Wattsj,
    I saw the same thing a few months back at Nex. I also heard the same thing about using composite which just went against the grain. I just thought that all the Sky shots looked bad. It was far better on the Panny and Pio.
    Shame cos the price was good...but, then maybe that's why the price was good....the screen is not over processing with wizardry, it's just got lesser quality components inside. Given it is the same ALIS panel as the Fuji, the Fuji was infinitely better PQ on SKY...but then it costs about £1500 more.

    You pays your money.......blah blah blah
     
  17. Bruce123

    Bruce123
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    Wattsj I am sorry to hear you were disappointed with the quality of the image. Without any doubt the picture on my brothers screen is far better to that produced at the shop. I have not noticed any of the problems to which you refer on his display. IMO his is the best image I have seen for Sky (although I have not seen any others set up properly in a domestic environment). I will try the composite connection though just for the hell of it.

    To be honest I don't think the screens in the shop are shown off to their best. Out of all available my brother preferred the 400E at the time which is why he bought it. He is delighted with his purchase and at the end of the day that is what is important. I still think that for the money he has done well.

    Good luck with your continued search.

    Bruce
     
  18. RossC

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    I left Nex in a similar confused state - and hence see the seperate thread about the Sony as an alternative, and my views on the three. I guess what I'd really like is a combination of the units - Pioneer detail (assume they showed you their stars test on the opening credits of star wars) with the Panasoinc black levels and the Hitachi price....any thoughts on that Sony?
     
  19. john kelly

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    did anyone buy the june 2003 magazine, it reviewd the hitachi 42pma400e, i am thinking of buying one and missed this magazine, can anyone e-mail me the review.

    e-mail address johnkellyryan@ntlworld.com:hiya:
     
  20. cynicaltaf

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    Like others here, I have nothing but praise for the PMA400 PQ. I have NTL rather than SKY, but on a good channel (the digital processing quality seems to vary a LOT between channels) the picture is superb. I see no sign of the 'over-processing' mentioned earlier from the panel itself. Having spent many hours checking the quality between composite, s-video, RGB (from DVD direct into the Component/Composite plugs), as well as the output from an RGB to S-video/Composite convertor, then I cannot see how anyone can recommend composite over higher quality inputs. There is a significant loss of detail, and increased edge artifacts to text, etc. when using lower quality signal sources. However, this also tends to make pixellated, poorly processed or bandwidth-limited sources look better!

    However, at the moment I have a problem connecting all my kit and intend to get a AVR-3803 receiver to replace my ancient Sony. I want to avoid having to buy RGB-Component convertors for everything, so would like to use the ability to connect RGB directly to the Hitachi. As this requires Video1 to simultaneously carry a composite signal of the source for sync separation, I am unsure if the upconversion of the 3803 will make this difficult. But this would allow me to connect 2 switched RGB sources (via 3803 component inputs, as long as the composite is switched through simultaneously for that source), as well as use the composite/s-video to component upconversion for the other less important inputs (i.e. VCR).

    Has anyone tried this, or know if it will work before I shell out £700?!

    Thanks.
     
  21. MAW

    MAW
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    You can't use th rgb connection on the Hitachi in that way, it does not have the horizontal synch range to cope. That's why all the talk of YUV converters, it's what you have to do with it. Depending on your setup this may diminish or eliminate it's price advantage.
     
  22. cynicaltaf

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    True, the Hitachi won't accept RGB via the 15-pin HD inputs which require a min 24KHz vertical rate. However as I mentioned, I am connecting the RGB to the component inputs (phonos) which works fine, as long as you supply the composite as well so that the sync signals can be retrieved (unfortunately you don't get RGsB from the NTL box or my Sony DVD). This way I also still get to connect other equipment to the Hitachi s-video input, which normally over-rides the composite input but which can still be used to provide the combined sync.

    So the questions I have concern using the 3803 to handle all sources through a combination of s-video and RBG switching. If the 3803 input is set as component, but with RGB signals, does it also switch the composite signal for the same source to use for the sync, or will the video upconversion facility spoil this plan? For the non-RGB enabled inputs, I could then upconvert to component or just use s-video. As long as the 3803 doesn't mess around too much with the video switching then I think it should work, but it would be great to know if someone had tried this already.

    Thanks.
     
  23. MAW

    MAW
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    Are you sure on that connection? I tried it and it didn't work, but it could have been an iffy STB signal. If you configure the components to accept RGB do they not require the same parameters as the 15-pin?
     
  24. cynicaltaf

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    Maw - I am 100% sure, as I am looking at it working at the moment! As long as you feed RGB into the component phonos, and the composite out from the same equipment into the composite in on the PMA400, then it works fine. I had to make the lead up myself, due to a lack of the correct cables locally, and have tried it on the NTL box and my Sony NS705 DVD. It does not work however if you use the component inputs that are supposedly available on the 15-pin HD input, as these do have the 24KHz min requirement. However at least there is no need for special sync separation circuitry, such as SyncBlaster, or component conversion boxes - the less additional video signal processing the better! I assume there must have been some sort of problem with the cable you tried.

    Now all I have to find is a new AV amp which will switch both component and composite for the same source simultaneously, do upconversion on the other composite/s-video sources and not play around too much with the video signals... I believe that the AVR-3803 might be suitable.

    Cheers.
     
  25. MAW

    MAW
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    Thanks for that info, v. useful! It was a dvd I tried, it may have been synch on G, it happens, and I was aware at the time. I've used both flavours with panasonic and fujitsu screens, and I have cables made for it.
     
  26. MR2Harvey

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    I'm just about to buy this screen and have read this with interest.

    So all I need to do is get a scart to RGB via RCA and Composite via RCA??

    Diasy chain the RGB scart devices and on the last RGB device connect this lead?

    Could I connect this to my NAD T752 amp and also connect the YUV connection from DVD to amp and switch at the amp?


    What is the picture quality like going straight RGB (sync on composite) compared to RGB to YUV converter?


    Cheers



    Harvey
     
  27. ASH1

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    My 400E has two VGA (15pin inputs).
    ASH1
     
  28. ASH1

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    Hi Bruce, thanks for the info on the avia settings. I have a free view box and DVD connected to my 400e. The free view on Video 1 and the DVD on video 2 (component). Being as the picture settings (video 1&2) as independent of each other I take I should set them both up the same?.
    ASH1
     

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