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How do I maximise SD quality with a 50" plasma (507?)

GarethG

Active Member
I am going to buy a 50" plasma in the coming months. The Pioneer 507 is my current favorite.

The vast majority of my viewing will be freeview and rented DVDs so probably not initially going to Sky HD or HD DVD.

How can I maximise the quality of normal DVDs and freeview for this screen?

Should I use a DVD player or Receiver with upscaling/converting (sorry don't know the difference!) -put all sources through one of these, use them both separately, or use the plasma to do the work itself?

Sorry if being thick and have done a search but got myself confused!

Sorry if not clear but am happy to buy a DVD player and receiver/amp to assist -probably max budget of £1200 (total for both)
 

MartinCollinson

Active Member
Hi Gareth

I have the same panel and am delighted with it. PQ is excellent from HD and SD sources - though some of the SD channels are better than others depending on the bitrate they broadcast at.

First bit of advice is to get it set up to decent settings as soon as you turn it on. The ones it comes out of the box have contrast and brightness way too high which not only spoils the picture but gives risk of retention and screen burn.

There are some good settings in the FAQ section of this forum or PM me for the ones I am using. You can adjust to your eyes from these starting points. You could also use a set up DVD disk or splash out on a professional ISF set up.

Having done that the answer to your question IMO is to let the 507 do all the upscaling as the processer in the panel will be a lot better at this than just about any upscaling DVD player you can buy.

Just get a good quality standard DVD player/recorder and plug it into the 507 with a decent quality scart and away you go.

I don't use the freeview tuner in the 507 myself - I feed it from a Sky HD box but other users report excellent results using the 507 tuner.

Good luck and good choice!
 

pjskel

Well-known Member
Your best bet is to visit a specialist dealer and look at the options, and see if they make any case for themselves.
Most people would just run with the DVD player they have now and feed it into the Component input with Progressive Scan mode enabled.
Others would buy an HDMI equipped one and either let it run fully digital 576p or 720p/1080i/p into the panel.
I don't believe the output of a DVD player upscaled will look better than the TV doing the upscaling itself - others argue that the scalar in the player may be better than the TV's. I don't think so, and it's only when you spend £500+ on an external scalar often used with projector based systems, that you get something better.

Not knowing your total budget, but if it's reasonable, then you would be well advised to wait and see what transpires in the next two months with respect to the new 8 series Pioneers, and the Full HD Panasonic 50PZ700.
At that point, you'll be buying into the latest products rather than an outgoing one, and in Pioneer's case, they will be reverting to the media box they had in the 5 & 6 series, but dropped for an all-in-one approach on the current 7 series.
This was preferred by the installers and customers since it was one cable to be buried in the wall, and everything connects to the media unit.
 

GarethG

Active Member
Thanks Martin,
Out of interest what distance are you viewing SD on your 507?
 

MartinCollinson

Active Member
Thanks Martin,
Out of interest what distance are you viewing SD on your 507?

It depends what seat you are sitting in. We have a corner install with a double arm wall bracket - the closest seat would be about 8 feet which is great for HD but a little close for SD I would say. Furthest seats away would be about 13ft and SD looks best from anything between 10ft and 13ft.

On some channels like BBC and Channel 5 the SD quality is excellent to the point where it is hard to tell from HD on occasions. Other channels like ITV output rubbish bitrates and it shows up.
 

GarethG

Active Member
reading the replies i am thinking that i should get an ok dvd player _not worrying too much about its upscaling ability>

Also thinking that maybe the higher range receivers such as sony higher model are not worth it if the plasma can upscale adequately?
 

damo_in_sale

Well-known Member
Get a Panasonic 50PHD9 (£1330 on forum powerbuy) and get a video processor to go with it. Checl out the video processing forum.

Damo
 

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