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In need of opinions: new Hitachi plasma

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by ZeFab, Feb 14, 2003.

  1. ZeFab

    ZeFab
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    Hello everyone!

    I have discovered this forum a couple of days ago and I am simply stunned by the number and variety of threads relating to plasma screens. This is a gold mine. As I am a french guy (should I say sorry? :rolleyes: ), I usually visit the french AV forum but PDP are not that popular in France yet.

    So I have a question for you guys: I have the opportunity to buy a Hitachi 42PMA400E for €4,890 (roughly £3,300). This is a very attractive price here compared to the Pana or Pioneer screen that are usually above €6,000.
    What are your opinion on that screen? Reading the forum, I've understood it was a Fuji ALIS screen.

    In a few words: is it good stuff?

    Thanks to all the nice people who will take a minute to drop a few lines. Feel free to answer wether it is a positive opinion, negative view or poetry. Just don't be rude. I know that being french can be somewhat controversial those days...;) ;)
     
  2. Costas

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    Hi there...
    I am actually sure you can import a Pioneer or Panasonic from UK internet suppliers for under £5000. Will that be of interest to you?
    I have not directly evaluated the latest hHitachi offering but on some brief reviews I have seen, it looks like Pio and Panny remain way in front!
     
  3. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    ZeFab

    Just spent the night with a 42PMA400E in place of my usual Pioneer PDP-433HDE (PlasmaTV) and whilst the image quality on the Hitachi is pretty acceptable I could not live with the fan noise this unit produces.

    At anything other than 'full on' volume the fan 'rumble' was annoying - and trying to view/listen in night time mode was just a pain.

    Also the inability to cope with an RGB video signal into the VGA socket makes it slightly limited or more expensive if your mixing RGB and YUV video signals into this unit.

    Even with shipping you could get a Pioneer PDP-433MXE for less than 6000 Euro.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  4. vonhosen

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    If you want a Panasonic try www.richersounds.com . They seem to be bringing in the panel they are selling from mainland Europe as they can't get hold of the UK models because of short supply.

    Perhaps they could re-direct one to you & save themselves some shipping in the process :laugh:
     
  5. ZeFab

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    Thanks for those answers.

    Actually, I have been able to see a pretty long demo of the 42PMA400 vs both the Pioneer 433 and the Pana.
    To be honest, I found that the picture was nicer on the Hitachi: extremely good definition with no artefacts, and very smooth picture. The internal I2 chipset also appeared as good as a traditional Faroudja DCDi chip.

    I must say that I haven't been that much impressed with the Pio (I like the colors though) and the Pana picture is somewhat too dark for me...

    So on a pure picture quality point of view, I would say my vote goes to Hitachi (and on the tag price to! :laugh: )

    However, I was not aware of the noisy fan issue. So I am gonna check that by myself at a hifi store later today.

    As far as connectors are concerned, I want to connect my DVD with a YUV cable, and my satellite receiver either through SVHS or RGB if it is possible. Reading the specs, it appears that both Mini D-Sub 15 connectors are accepting RGB. So did I miss something here?
     
  6. prusling

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    Hi ZeFab,

    I have the 32" plasma TV model with separate AV tuner box (32PD3000), and there is also a 42" model which I believe has a similar (but not identical) panel to the model you mentioned.

    Certainly the 32" model does not have a fan to be noisy, as I assume the airflow in the highly-perforated tuner box allows cool enough operation. There is a buzz from the panel when a lot of light colour occurs in the picture but its quite acceptable and some have said that its less than on other panels such as Pannies.

    After settling in and adjustment I find the picture quality to be really excellent from most sources - the colours are particularly accurate and vibrant, and the resolution is very good. Black levels and numbers of grey levels (256 I think) may not be quite as good as the Pannies, and give a slight lack of black detail and occasional solarisation, but on the whole I'm very pleased with it.

    Cheers, Peter
     
  7. ZeFab

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    So I am a little bit confused now...:confused:

    A friend of mine just told me there was no fan on the 42" Hitachi plasma.

    Do you think there could be one on the monitor (42PMA400E) and not on the TV Version (42PD3000)?
     
  8. Dave777

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    ZeFab, AFAIK there is no fan on the 42PD3000 or 32PD3000 only on the 42PMA400E. The PMA fan was very noticeable when I saw it. The fan is for the screen's processing chip which has moved to the multimedia box on the TV tuner domestic ones and is away from the hot plasma screen and so no longer needs fan cooling.

    Joe, how did you find the picture quality of the Hitachi? I would love an expert's view!

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  9. ZeFab

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    OK. Thanks so much for the clarification...

    So I definitely need to check the noise level by myself...
     
  10. JimmyMc

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    Dave..

    I went and saw the 42PD3000 and just to let you know, 'cos I know you were interested.. the screen IS different - the 'blacks' of the PMA just aren't here.. a lighter black is what I'm seeing.. we also couldn't work out how to change the side bars in 4:3 mode from light grey-to-black..

    Apart from the bars, the light black is still a VERY good picture, but I'm not about to spend and extra grand for a lesser screen, even if there IS no noise..

    I keep meaning to chuck an email to Nexnix asking them to confirm this with Hitachi.. Dorian was most helpful.. (if they can make the black, black again, I'll have one!)

    Cheers, James
     
  11. ncpl

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    So, if the 400e has a noisey fan, then what is the noise level on the equivilant new tuner-less Fuji ? These should be fairly comparable screens, with different internals. Therefore, if folks, as I do, find the H2 panel to be a good one, but noise is an issue, then the Fuji may be the option.
    I think it is bizarre that the two Hitachi's don't share the same performance levels. I found the same with the Pio MXE and HDE, although I'm not sure if the newer Pio made tuner is now closer to the 5002 card.....anyone know ?

    Nick
     
  12. ZeFab

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    I've been able to spend a full hour this afternoon testing the Hitachi (the monitor version, no speakers nor tuner).
    My conclusion is: this screen definitely rocks!!! :D :D

    The presence of a cooling fan on the 42PMA400E is the only dark spot. However, even it is quiet hard to assess how noisy it is in the middle of a big store, it seemed to me the dB level was very low.

    In terms of PQ, it is at the top! I've been able to compare the Hitachi vs Pana 42WD, the Pio 433 as well as a few other PDP (Phillips, NEC...). To me, the Hitachi offers the best contrast and definition on the various DVDs we have tested (YUV input). The desinterlacing chipset is really impressive in action. The Gladiator opening scene has to be seen on this one.

    The other plus is the setup menu: far more detailed than all the other I've been able to see. You can fine tune colorimetry with a lot of precision. Outstanding.

    As I've been able to find a good offer (far below Pio and Pana french prices), I feel "ready to jump". So my assignment for the weekend is pretty simple: "convince my wife!" :kisses: :suicide: :( :thumbsdow
     
  13. JimmyMc

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    Take a listen in a quiet room first - trust me on this one!
     
  14. ZeFab

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    Actually, I had a chat with a HT professional installer at the store. He told me that he had noticed some enormous difference in the noise amplitude from one installation to another and for the same display model.

    He told me he had already installed 10 42PMA400E screens and that for the majority (he mentioned 8 out 10), the fan was hardly noticeable. However for the last two, the noise was awful, close to a PC fan:eek: :mad:
    He also told me that wall-mounted screens tended to be more silent.


    I hope I will be lucky!
     
  15. Dave777

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    James,thanks for the heads up on the blacks and sidebars. If you hear anymore I know you'll let us know.

    ZeFab, the Hitachi that some of us saw at Nexnix was wall mounted and the fan was obtrusive. It was a large room with several wall mounted plasmas and the overriding noise was the Hitachi (the PMA model, and louder than any Panny buzz...LOL). I understand that all models of one particular may vary slightly, but ANY fan at all will rule out a screen for me.


    Cheers

    Dave
     
  16. steve36

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    ncpl,
    Whilst not wishing to interrupt this thread re hitachi's I thought I would respond regarding the fujitsu.
    I have seen the P42HHA10 in harrods. Although it is not the best environment for viewing/listening, the fans did not appear to be active. I have also seen the old 4242 with fans active, they are barely audible. I am very sensitive to this kind of thing, and from more than 3 feet away you would never notice them.
    The only complaint I would make (whilst waiting for the P42HHS with AVM+ to be released), is that I watched a DVD on it and it appeared slightly less sharp than the panny.
    But that said it did appear to contain more overall detail than the panny, so the apparent sharpness difference maybe more an edge distortion.
    Steve.
     
  17. ncpl

    ncpl
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    Thanks Steve.
    I am getting a bit paranoid about the noise issue....I know I am sensitized to it at home.
    Maybe the Hitachi at Nex is one of the 'unlucky' very noisey ones. But, Joe posted earlier that he also found one. So, maybe, the design is actually noisey. What a mad thing to do....spend all the R&D on the picture but make it unwatchable due to noise (Hitachi, are you listening ?)
    I tried to hear if there was noise with the Fuji at 7Oakes but, couldn't here a thing over the shop noise (which wasn't acually that noisey, just more so than a lounge in the evening).
    I understand your views on sharpness and detail, although I couldn't do a side-by-side comparison myself.
    I think there is always a trade-off to be done somewhere e.g. level of black vs details in the black etc.

    Joe, will you get a chance to critique the Fuji anytime soon ?
    (ps, their website is now up-to-date)

    Rgds

    Nick
     
  18. JimmyMc

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    Don't forget that traditionally these plasma monitors are designed and used for exhibitions, seminars, confrences etc etc where the noise of the fans isn't an issue..

    More and more of us want 'em in our homes though so they'd better sit up and take note!!
     
  19. pahos

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    Just spent the night with a 42PMA400E in place of my usual Pioneer PDP-433HDE (PlasmaTV) and whilst the image quality on the Hitachi is pretty acceptable I could not live with the fan noise this unit produces.

    At anything other than 'full on' volume the fan 'rumble' was annoying - and trying to view/listen in night time mode was just a pain.


    G/day mate, i was just observing your comments and its the "preety acceptable" part that makes me wonder ?
    You already own a Pioneer PDP-433HDE and recon the Hitachi 42PMA400E is just a pass in your opinion. Let me fill you in a nice way where you dont say Geeeeee.
    The life span of a Pioneer is around the 10 year mark and the Hitachi is 25 years, thats On. Obviously this is all theoritical but the fact remains that as a new product, many more bugs are being ironed out. Have you checked out the specs on the light it can omit ? Contrast Bright 1000cd/m2 etc. As far as the Fan I personaly had a listen and it was so min. You stated that the volume had to be on high. Maybe the Plasma you checked out could possibly be a outa box failure. Now I dont want to sound too excited but the pic would be the absolute very best by far that I have personaly seen. Remarkable set, put me down for 2.
    Well done Hitachi, you pulled it off with Inventing the automatic alignement with rear projection, and now with this stunning Plasma.
    Ahhhhhh is there anything they Cant Do ???

    Had to give my 5 cents worth...


    :smashin: :smashin: :smashin: :smashin: :smashin:
     
  20. ZeFab

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    Just to keep you posted guys:

    I am ordering my 42PMA400E this monday!!!:D :D :D

    I just can't wait to be tomorrow...


    As far as the "fan issue", I've been able to see two more 42PMA400E in different stores, including one in a real HT situation. It was really hard to notice the fan noise at 3 meters even with SOUND TURNED OFF (no kidding).
    We've done some blind test with people geting in the room and only a few were able to find out the fan noise...

    I've also seen the latest Fujitsu (Stunning!) and the noise level was exactly the same...

    Hope it helps.
     
  21. pahos

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    I've also seen the latest Fujitsu (Stunning!) and the noise level was exactly the same...

    Hope it helps. [/B][/QUOTE]

    Hey dude im about to buy the
    Hitachi 42PMA400E also, but would like to know what is the new model for the Fuji your talking about. Have you checked out the specs ? Lets have a last tour of duty before we buy the Amo. OOoooosssSSSSHHHHH

    :lesson: :lesson: :lesson: :lesson:
     
  22. ZeFab

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    The Fuji is P42HHS10ES...

    The best 42" plasma to me. But one of the most expensive to...
     
  23. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    pahos

    I'll take that as a confirmed order for two units then :) will you require any accessories!!!

    So tech specs:

    Pioneer PDP-433HDE (PlasmaTV)
    Contrast ratio - 1000:1
    Set brightness - 1000 cd/m2*
    Viewing angle 160 degree
    Panel life expectancy - 25,000 hours to half brightness

    Hitachi 42PMA400E (Plasma Display)
    Contrast ratio - 1000:1
    Panel brightness - 1000:1cd/m2
    Set brightness - 350 cd/m2*
    Viewing angle 160 degree
    Panel life expectancy - 30,000 hours to half brightness

    *The SET brightness is the important one that's the actual brightness once the screen has been assembled into its chassis and the front filters in place.

    Hitachi include a Life Extension mode that puts the panel into 60% light output (210 cd/m2) and you reach half life at around 50,000 hours.

    For Home use none of these plasmas is normally required to run at full brightness - unless you live in a glass box.

    PLEASE NOTE ALL MANUFACTURERS RESERVE THE RIGHT TO ALTER THESE SPECS!!!

    As to bugs in a product then I'd have to disagree with you there - for example Pioneer have recently just changed the HDE Tuner box to get around an in life bug, most products benefit from in life changes.

    Pioneer are now on their fourth generation of displays I'd guess they were ahead of the game when it comes to figuring out what goes wrong with a display.

    I find any fan noise is an issue when we are putting displays into customers houses - the plasma I had at home was provided by Hitachi UK's main distributor so hopefully they are not shipping out a faulty unit as an example of there best kit!

    As to the subjective picture you viewed on this display then great that it meets with your approval and seems to be the display for you to purchase - for me viewing it with SKY (which most of our customers do for most of the time) is was OK; nothing to make me think we must stop supplying Pioneer, Panasonic and a couple of the Fujitsu models.

    Just so you dont think I limit my plasma viewing to just the Pioneer HDE I also have Pioneer 402V, 433MXE, 503MXE along with Panasonic 42PWD5 and 50PHD5 units to hand.

    Maybe I'll get the Hitachi back in again and apply my Rose Tinted filters :)

    Best regards

    Joe

    PS I'll have a Fujitsu 42PHHS10 in later this week!
     
  24. pahos

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    All I have to say after reading your 2 cents worth is:
    OMG
    My mommy always told me not to pick on the smaller guy.
    You have given me good info and educated me in some technical respect, thanks for that, im right in the middle of buying a plasma and have an undesirable appetite, im only holding off so that I dont f@#$ up and get a lemon.
    As far as I know (limited) the new Hitachi has a long life span and the picture realy looks the bees knees. (Can actually see the fur)
    I would like to ask you Uncle Joe, what do you think would be a good buy in your opoinion and could you also include not only 42 but a size 50 in with you reccomendation.
    You have been through a few plasma so who better to get the hay from.

    Thanks...:lesson: :lesson: :lesson: :lesson:
     
  25. kaspj

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    Joe,

    Would you be so kind as to post your impressions of the 42PHHS10 (sky and pal progressive scan if possible).

    Thanks.
    JP:smashin:
     
  26. mambasna

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    bought it on spec before christmas, unfortunatley found fan noise too intrusive on quit passages, color and shade contour banding on subtle visuals i.e. when I watched lawrence of arabia. Exchanged it for the panny 42pw5 and found it better on all accounts.

    hope this helps.
     
  27. ncpl

    ncpl
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    That matches what I found today at Nex. I refuse to pay +£1000 to get a Platara just to put the noise to a tuner box, especially as I don't need a tuner, speakers or stand.

    Mambasna, did you go Panny based on similar price range or the actual PQ...i.e was PQ by design or fluke ?

    Rgds

    Nick
     
  28. mambasna

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    had decided on the panny following visits to this forum and other advice and also back to back shop comparisons with Pio/fugi/philips and even the samsung. Difficult to tell in shop environ, what with ambiant noise, differing inputs, setups and all. Saw the Hitachi first time at 7oaks and bought it instead on 'spec', high res plus latest hot off the 'press' so must better or so I thought. . But at home immediately noticed the fan noise and decided there and there I could not leave with that. Also on playing Lawrence of Arabia DVD the colour/contour banding did it too. 7oaks were great, agreed to back to back comparison in my home!. That was when I plumed for the panny:

    no fan or electronic noises
    better contrast and brighter picture
    no contour/colour banding
    sexier looking because slimmer barrel surround

    haven't look back since
     
  29. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello all

    So the Fujitsu P42HHS10 (+ P-SU4H10ES Selector unit) has arrived and hopefully its staying for a week or so - plenty of time to have a play!

    I'll try and find some time tonight to fire it up!

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  30. steve36

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    Joe,
    Thanks for keeping us up to date.
    I like all the perfectionists on this forum have been looking for the perfect plasma for a while now, and was just about to purchase a 4242 when I fell over the early January press release regarding this model.
    I have been awaiting your comments for the last week !
    One question, what do you think about the detail on it. I saw the P42HHA model recently with +4 detail, and although there seemed to be more detail in the blacks the actual edge of objects appeared to be slightly blurred (compared to the current market leader Panasonic series 5).
    I look forward to your views, thanks for all the information you have provided over the last few months.
    Steve.

    P.S. As others have said a sky RGB view would be very interesting.
     

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