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Impulse buy on Hitachi 42PMA-400E. Now what?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by kyber, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. kyber

    kyber
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    I ordered a 42PMA-400E on a whim yesterday (Satursday) for £2499 from Richer Sounds. Not sure how this compares with the 42PD3000 and others. They promised they would have mine in stock on Tuesday for me to collect.

    They had a demo unit set up. My wife and I actually visited them at very short notice to pick up a new amp for our 10 year old daughter. She had been unwell and the Technics amp I gave her some time ago kept playing up so we decided to just nip off and buy a replacement to cheer her up. Found nearest Richer Sounds to be Stock-on-Trent and arrived 15 minutes before closing time.

    Whilst waiting for the salesman to get the amp we chose from the stock room my wife and I stood looking at the one plasma they had on show. They changed the DVD for us so we could see some alternative material. Very impressive. Much better than what we had seen when we had compared screen 12 months earlier. We just nodded at each other and I turned to the salesman and said "I'd like one of these as well please." Talk about stunned.

    I do keep reasonably up to date with home cinema technology and vaguely recalled that this was a decent model and felt the price was pretty good (plus there price guarentees against stores and the web gave me confidence) but still this is not my usual approach to such investments. I had not gone to the store with the intention of buying a plasma, we have not discussed in for months, I had not done a lot of recent research.

    I have my fingers crossed that I have not made a mistake. Time will tell and I guess I will deserve everything I get but I am optimistic.

    This will replace a Toshiba 36" TV. We already have a basic Optomo projector (which we are very happy with) but wanted to lose the telly for something slimmer. Given all the activity in the market, we had anticipated waiting another 12 months before looking at what was available. The image on the demo unit was so impressive though that we just went ahead. We do not care if there are better beasts out therer and if we could get more for our money as we liked what we saw. I note that the 500E is now appearing but as the Hitachi site was broken yesterday have no idea in what way this differs from the 400.

    We already have a Denon AV amp with component switching, a Quintro scart switcher, and a SCART RGB to Component convertor so I do not anticiipate any problems connecting the beast up.

    I note that it does not have its own tuner. We mostly watch freeview channels anyway so do not see this as a problem. The TIVO uses the freeview box though so if we want to watch a different live broadcast at the same time as the TIVO is recording, we will need to have either another freeview box or a seperate tuner. Perhaps time to break the not so old Nicam VCR out of storage and use the tuner in that).

    One thing we did not buy at the same time is any kind of stand as we wanted to think about this aspect for a while and also we assumed that there would be plenty of third party options to choose from. This does not seem to be the case though from my initial searches. The basic stand is for table top use. Not sure what the point of buying a thin screen is if you are then going to put it onto a thick bit of furniture. The floor standers mostly seem very tall and office orientated (as well as expensive). Perhaps it will be easiest to get a chippy to knock up a suitable stand that it can be fixed to using a wall bracket.

    We are wondering about moving things around in the TV lounge so that the plasma can go on the chimmney breast (providing the temperature stays below 90 degreee c - this is I believe the safe working guide) but this gives us a problem with the centre speaker for the surround system. We have an all Mission (MS5) solution with 8 speakers (sub, 2x back, 2x side, 2x floor standers, centre) and rhe centre speaker is fairly deep). How well do speakers cope with heat? Maybe we will need to forget solid fuel heating and insert the speaker into the chimney breast. I assume that there are shallower centre speakers around but we liked the sound from this speaker and it is of course well matched with the others speakers.

    Suggestions on the above would be appreciated. (Take stupidity at not thinking about this properly as read but feel freel to point out if you think that I have made a serious mistake buying this particular unit.)

    Fingers crossed for Tuesday.

    Stuart
     
  2. Galaxy

    Galaxy
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  3. kyber

    kyber
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    Oh, I see I am not the only one buying these. Excuse my not finding the other entries before posting this. Found guidance on building own stand excellent. Happy to receive other feedback.

    In particular, what exactly is the difference between the 500E and the 400E I have ordered?
     
  4. MR2Harvey

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    Ther differences are:-

    1. Better brightness level up for 1000 to 1100

    2. More inputs including DVI and RGB scart.

    3. Fanless.

    Don't think there are any more other than subtle changes in design.


    Had my 400E from richersounds for a couple of months and think it's great!!
     
  5. Galaxy

    Galaxy
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    Kyber,

    I wouldnt loose sleep over the 400E as oppossed to the 500E unless its the inputs you really need, with the video board (not tuner) it adds 4 composite, 2 "S", 2 component, 2 RGB inputs in addition to the exisiting computer inputs, one of which will accept RGB from a SKY box anyway.
    The recommended way to connect to the 400E is from Sky RGB to the component and composite for sync, and the DVD direct to the HD15 computer input using component from the DVD, assuming your DVD has component out of course?

    I dont think the screen is very different although the advertising blurb says things like "new generation" "latest technology" etc, but as suspected probably just crap!

    You will be very happy with your 400E....a week before I bought the 500E I had already bought a 400e but the deal fell through.

    Of course when I get something that utilises HDMI I will be able to use it on the 500E so I get something out of it I suppose, and of course the audio inputs to each video input help the family use the 500E easier thats for sure, much like a normal TV in that respect, as we never used the terrestrial tuner in our old TV since installing Sky many years ago, and BSB before that, and dont get me started on BSB......now that was ahead of its time,,,sorta like the BETA vs VHS war.......LOL

    Best regards David
     
  6. kyber

    kyber
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    Many thanks to all. I find that slight cloud at the back of my mind considerably eased.

    David - would you clarify the HDMI comment please. I understand the the 400E supports HDTV are you saying that in addition the 500E supports the HDMI interface (and if so is this just the old video standard or will it also support audio - not that the latter is a big issue wth a monitor, just curious). ... or alternatively have I got things completely confused.

    Regards,

    Stuart
     
  7. Galaxy

    Galaxy
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    Well according to the promotional leaflet the DVI input RGB1 is HDMI compliant and also accepts audio, now this seems to indicate that it is the newer HDMI-2 standard, whether this is correct or not will have to wait until clarifcation from Hitachi is sought as there is very little info in the manual I got with the screen!

    Best regards David
     
  8. kyber

    kyber
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    Looking on the web this morning to check some details, I noticed that the price of the unit I paid for on Saturday has dropped by £200. They are of course going to credit me with the reduction when I collect the unit (tomorrow hopefully).

    A decent price difference from the 500E. I do not need the extra connections and the improvements sound minimal so I happy with the screen at this reduced price.
     
  9. Bren

    Bren
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    I am going to Richer Sounds today to get one.I have been looking at the LG they had too.They are both the same price so should i go for the Hitachi?
     
  10. Galaxy

    Galaxy
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    er..hate to break this to you kyber, but £2347 is what I payed for the 500E with video board......a one off deal though...sorry.
    I am now obviously actually pleased my original deal for a 400E fell through so dramatically (thats another story!) and pure fluke came along and came gave me the oportunity for the 500E at that price. Although its practically the same apart from all the added connections as far as I can see.
    Sit back and enjoy your when you get it running, it really does give a great piccy, RGB from digibox into component with CVBS for sync, and DVD component into HD15 connection.

    Best regards David
     
  11. Galaxy

    Galaxy
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    Definately go for the Hitachi Bren!
     

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