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Is there a 50" plasma worth buying at the moment?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Typical Janner, May 1, 2005.

  1. Typical Janner

    Typical Janner
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    I was just about getting to the point of commiting on a 42" screen, when the wife drops the bombshell that she doesn't want a smaller screen than we already have (a 46" Toshiba RPTV). So, after months of reading this forum, everything is up in the air again :rolleyes:

    The trouble is, those extra 8" inches are going to carry quite a price premium, and from the few screens I have already seen, I am worried that the current crop of 50" panels don't offer the same PQ as their smaller relatives (although to be fair, apart from the local Panasonic shop, the only places to view screens locally is Comet and Currys, so the quality of the setup is always a concern). So, am I going to end up spending [a lot] more money on a screen that is going to perform worse?

    HD is not a major consideration, as I don't think we would benefit from it for the forseeable future (based on current viewing preferences and Sky's likely rollout plans).

    The local Panasonic shop currently have the 50" PV30 on offer for £3500. This includes a 3 year warranty, 2 years interest free credit, and the matching cabinet. Having dealt with them many times before, I suspect they could be talked into shaving a little more off the ticket price (and, in any case, many places are offering similar deals on this screent at the moment). But, having seen the screen, I was a little disappointed with it. Yes, it's big, but I didn't think it was as good as some 42" screens I have seen.

    Apart from that, I have managed to see a 50" Sony in Currys. Unfortunately the local Comet is currently closed for a refit (some might argue that this is actually a fortunate thing!), so I couldn't get to see whatever they might have.

    So, what am I asking?

    Well, I guess a little advice from those who have gone before me. I don't (can't!) want to spend too much (£3500-4000 at tops). So, is there a 50" plasma in that price range at the moment that is worth the investment? Is there one that can perform as well as the latest crop of 42" screens?

    All advice and experiences welcome :cool:
     
  2. jiml

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    Out of interest, was the RPTV a DLP? Have you looked at the 50" Samsung DLP TV? As for plasma, measure out a 42" picture size and compare to the 46", your wife may think that the difference is too small to justify spending 2x as much.
     
  3. MAW

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    The price premium is indeed the issue. You can get every bit as good as any 42" with a 50" screen, but it's gonna cost you. A fujitsu XHA40 is a good place to start looking, or any of the monitor only types coupled with a scaler. £1000 on top of the screen price, but it makes a world of difference. Any view on sky HD? You could get within the 4k with a Pioneer 50MXE1 and an iscan HD, which will be superb for all exising material, but you will run into the high definition compatibility issue, and of course you have to get some sound as well, though you might already have this? If not, any 1/2 decent stereo would do it for you till you stump for surround sound. There are a few options like the Pioneer, there is a Hitachi 55" for round about the same money, though it's a bit lacking in punch IMHO. A panasonic 50" is just a tad more, you might prefer the picture, it's simply preference though, not that it is 'better'. If you are a picky person with your picture, I assure you this is where to look, this kind of setup will knock spots off 'TV' integrated plasmas. I assume you have digital TV already, of course?
     
  4. hornydragon

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    there is the odd bal option of Fujitsu P50XHA40ES, Panny PHW7, and as MAW says Pio 50MXE for £4k there is also the 55" Hitachi. The best of the current 50" is the Fujitsu P50XHA40US (note the US)...YOu really need to go to a specialist dealer who knows what they are doing with a panel and scaler... (assuming you have decent source kit and seperate Audio)
     
  5. Marc

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    sounds like you have a cool wife :)
     
  6. Typical Janner

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    I certainly think so :thumbsup:

    Thanks for the thoughts guys.

    To answer a few questions. Yes, we have sky and a decent AV sound system, so integrated sound/tuner is not essential.

    The reason I don't see HD as a signifcant issue for now, is that it's still 18 months away (at least). And when it does arrive, it's only likely to be available on the premium Sky channels (sports and movies). We don't subscribe to these, and I suspect that it will be another couple of years before much HD material makes it onto the regular channels (presuming Sky will want to cash in as much as possible before making it widely available). So, by the time we are likely to be in a position to enjoy HD, any television we buy now will be seriously outdated and ready for replacing anyway (such is the speed of the market).

    I know there are HD sources other than Sky, but again I don't see these as factors at the moment.

    So, for the forseeable future we shall be viewing SD material, and there seem to significant concerns around here that a good SD panel is better at displaying SD than any of the current crop of HD panels. Correct?

    Of course, it would be nice to think that you could spend £4000 and enjoy a degree of future proofing, but I really don't think it is possible at the moment. But, please feel free to correct me if you know different :lease:

    Oh, and nearly forgot ... no, our RPTV isn't DLP. It's an older Toshiba (46WH08B). Have considered the Sagem, but that is not the direction we want to go right now.
     
  7. MAW

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    You can be future proof for £4k, but you can't have ultimate PQ and future proofing... Your call.
     
  8. dilsher

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    the Fujitsu 50XHA40 is really the top dog at present. I am sitting here for second day running amazed at just how good it is at upscaled Sky and DVD (1360x760) But you will need to spend 4.5 for panel. This will be good enuff wiv an extra 250 quid for ISF to get you AV heaven.

    BUT if you want top top PQ???

    Then its another 1k-2k for a magical scaler like my Luamgen HDP...plus SDI modded gear (Philips SDI modded DVD player) if ya want total purity of SD signal thru...plus decent cabling at another 300-400 quid.

    Mate if ya have the dosh - go for it. You wil not regret it one bit. I didn't and I am not rich. Failing htis you could always sell the Wife off? :devil:

    Good luck wotever ya do

    Dil
     
  9. Typical Janner

    Typical Janner
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    And where would I find another one that will insist we need a 50" panel rather than a 42"!!! :cool:

    I guess she must be irreplaceable :eek:
     
  10. MAW

    MAW
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    Dilsher has the top dog setup BUT for not having native res via digital, but he does have future proofing. I'm still completely convinced that a panel with native res from a scaler is the optimal way to go, this can be done on analogue on the Fujitsu, or native with no HDCP at 60Hz not 50 Hz, or non native with HDCP at 50Hz, take your pick. Will nobody ever produce the perfect panel?
     
  11. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    PHW8? I think the Fujitsu has the best combo, Full HDMI support, native DVi and analogue add a scaler on DVi use HDCP stripper if needed, if they had HDCP on DVi it would be perfect..............but its really not an issue and its Picture is impecible (actually the 63" is most impressive) and i would take that over 100% connectivity and 90% PQ any day......

    Women do have a thing about 50"s no idea what but my missus went all weak kneed at the 505 XDE (until it was switched on)
     
  12. MAW

    MAW
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    Horny, no 50Hz native via DVI on the fuji AFAIK, I couldn't make it work, but then I only had about 3 mins at the time...
     
  13. hornydragon

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    I think gordon got a bit further........ poss 75Hz or 1360x768 on HDMI afte rthe Panny 7 series 50HZ none support and Pio lack of HDCP for the MXE (Did that card ever appear?) I think Fujitsu have done really rather well
     
  14. Typical Janner

    Typical Janner
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    It looks like the issue is going to be forced!

    I had put my current RPTV on eBay, just to see if there was any interest. Well, it's now got a bid, so it looks like we could be without a television this time next weel (okay, apart from the smaller LCD in the study :devil: ).

    At the moment, I am leaning towards a sub £2000 42" panel. This will save £2000 on a 50". So, stick the money saved in a bank for a couple of years, and see what it will buy then. The way the market is moving, I suspect it would go a long way towards a 50" screen, which by that time will be fully HD ready (and probably have a few other bells and whistles too). Whatever we get now, can then be either sold or moved into another room.

    So, my three current contenders are (in no particular order):

    1. LG RZ42PX11
    2. Panasonic TH42PE50
    3. Hitachi 42PD7200

    And I now have less than a week to decide which one, and to get it delivered :oops: :mad:
     
  15. dilsher

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    Hey gang

    The Fuji is blisteringly good and Gordy is indeed working up some magic numbers.

    Typiacal mate..

    Your call my man but i just somewhow cant see how you are going to get any satisfaction wiv a 42" after a RPTV 46"..?? And so you are now going for a 2k budget? Well as long as you are happy its temporary and can live wiv it..cool! But I betcha Horny will say get a scaler wiv it to get best PQ ...and I would agree (He was my teacher after all!!!).

    Hmmm...still not sure how you went from a high res. HD ready 50" to those 42" SD models up there on your list. Look forward to your next move...lol!!!

    Once you get used to the size you will really noitce even a one inch difference.

    I may well be moving onto a 63" now I have a 50"...lol!
     
  16. MAW

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    Why stop at 63"? There's another 2" available from Panasonic, which in an 8 series will be tempting, and some monster Korean panels...
     
  17. Rahmorak

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    Funny isn't it how quickly the 50" starts to seem small. ;)
     
  18. Flimber

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    Reports of the Panasonic TH50PV30B being pricematched by JL at £3100 w/stand (and five-year warranty, obviously).

    Mike.
     
  19. dilsher

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    Rah et Horny

    lol..I guess it does but its big enuff for a few years now...I did watch a lot of 50" at mates houses and it is a very good si8ze. 42 is to small and 55+..well really i would be looking at going downt the Projector route to be frank...fancy a 9 foot screen ???

    keep enjoying da 50 Fuji cos PQ is more important than size right! I cant rememeber spending all Bank Holiday - and one more day to go - weekend watching bleedin' Sky and DVDs before...

    Dil :D :thumbsup:
     
  20. Typical Janner

    Typical Janner
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    Do you know who they were pricematching?
     
  21. hornydragon

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    The 50PV30 is an odd ball and not one i would reconmend no 720p on only component input, RGBHV VGA under front flap connectivity is a real issue and completey un furtueproff but its ia 50 with 1366x768 panel for around £3k (pity you can take advantage of the panel due to the poor chassis design) Its ok for a 42" telly but thats about it 50" is serious kit.............
     
  22. Flimber

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    Shop@Panasonic (non-web but apparently UK-Wide stores).
     
  23. hornydragon

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    Frachises who each set their own prices (basically they are just independant retailers)..............SO you need the exact store and for it to meet the JL criteria (within 30 miles is it?)
     
  24. Joe Fernand

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    Typical Janner

    'SD Displays are better at SD than HD' is simply untrue - its possibly a 'truer' statement in the US where an 852x480 pixel array is a better match with 480 line NTSC signals but not here in the UK with our 576 line PAL signals.

    The best of the 50" Displays can look immense fed with the best Broadcasts output on SKY - and equally they will let you know which Channels got the signal compression machine on full tilt.

    The Fujitsu P50XHA40US, Panasonic TH-50PHD7 and Pioneer MXE1 are all fine Displays with different strengths and weaknesses and whilst none of them are truly perfect they do provide a lot of viewing pleasure for the money.

    The Fujitsu's the New Kid on the Block and whilst its taking a bit of time to dial in the optimal settings its certainly proving to be very good - I'm especially impressed with it via S-Video from SKY+; we'll be calibrating our demo unit this week to do a full with/without external processor assessment and to try and finally dial in Native Rate support at 50 and 60Hz via HDMI.

    If your keen to retain some fiscal prudence and your not worried about 'Direct' support for 720P(50) and 1080i(50) via HDMI then I'd go with the 1024x768 Panasonic TH-42PHD7 with suitable Input boards for around £2.5K.

    If you feel like 'upgrading' at any time you can add in a suitable Video Processor - choose carefully and you can add one that makes a good job of converting 720P(50) and 1080i(50) to 720P(60) without messing up the image.

    Best regards

    Joe

    PS The Viera PE30 would not be high on my hit list!
     
  25. dilsher

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    Nice one Joe..look forward to that analysis - now off to watch more Fuji!

    lol..

    dil
     
  26. Orangelo

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    Sorry to jump in this way but I think some of you may hep me... I have always assumed that a 50" 1366x768 display will have a better fill factor than a 42" 1024x1024 set, since the difference in viewing area exceeds the difference in resolution... but that of course assumes that the separation between cells is equal in 42" and 50" and I am not really sure about that, especially considering that the panel structures need to be different as HD 50" panels normally have square pixels and that is not the case with 42" 1024x1024 panels...

    Anyone?
     
  27. hornydragon

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    ALIS screens aka 1024x1024 have the lowest pixel pitch and smallest gap between pixels but even on 1024x768 42" (non-Alis) the gap is very very small. its not large on 852x480 SD (non-Alis) panels.
     
  28. Orangelo

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    Thanks, Hornydragon. I'm really new to this, I know a lot about projectors (well, I like to think I do, at least ;)) but nothing really about plasmas. Do you know of any site where technical information on Plasmas is available?
     
  29. hornydragon

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    manufacturers sites really for info on alis try Fujiitsu-General & Hitachi for others try pioneer and panasomic (panny UK site is useless) or Marshall Brains "how stuff works" or try here.................
     

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