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New Panny Plasma Questions - ( Joe? )

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by KBDVD, Oct 27, 2002.

  1. KBDVD

    KBDVD
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    Hi All,

    I hope these justify a new thread, I think they do as I couldn't find the answers elsewhere!...Joe Fernand are you out there?

    I have owned an NEC 42MP2 for the last 18 months, (& an NEC 4210W before that ) and I've been very happy with both of them. :)

    Two things now make me think it might be the right time for a change:

    The superior 3000:1 contrast ratio & resultant "Blacker" blacks that have been generated by all the Panasonic models since their 3rd generaton, and now, the introduction of a Higher Resolution 42" model in their 5th generation screens.

    I'll direct these questions to Joe as I know he is well placed to have been able to perform "side by side" comparisons, but I would welcome input from everyone!

    OPTIMUM PLASMA RESOLUTIONS

    What do you believe will be the optimum resolution for HD DVD?

    I'm thinking about "native resolutions" and the requirement or otherwise, of the screen to "up convert" an incoming signal. I assume the current VGA 852 x 480 resolution of my NEC 42MP2 and the TH-42PWD5BX would be insufficent to get the best from a HD DVD signal?

    So, do you think that the XGA 1024 x 768 resolution of the TH-42PHD5BX or the XGA 1366 x 768 resolution of the 50" TH-50PHD5BX will be the closest fit?

    Are both of these "True" XGA resolutions?

    What will be the effect on picture quality for the less accurate fit?

    I'm also looking for an answer to this question when it's applied to the use of "PROGRESSIVE" & "INTERLACED" signals from our current DVD players? Is 852 x 480 still the optimum resolution for both of these?

    I do not currently own a DVD player that outputs a Progressive signal, but I may invest in one in the future if I give up waiting for HD DVD, so what is the best resolution for these?

    Are the Higher resolution XGA models less suitable for our current DVD players? I believe I'm right in saying that that they are effectively "over specified" and would need to "up convert" the resolution of a normal Component signal? What do they do to a Progressive signal? Does their internal scaling take over?

    ps: I think I read somewhere that the Progressive output from Sony's DVP-S9000ES was not suitable for my NEC 42MP2? Is this true? Why? Would I have to use the Interlaced Component signal from this player? Does this apply to all Progressive players when linked to the NEC 42MP2?...Anyone know?

    SINGLE SCAN v DUEL SCAN

    ( Thanks go to aRCaM for highlighting this issue! I certainly wasn't aware of it prior to his post. Though I'd like us all to try to keep the emotion out of the discussion this time! )

    The old thread on this subject closed prior to Joe coming back with his findings on any possible "visible" impact of this change in the way that the image is produced on the Plasma screen. What's the story Joe?....does it make a visible difference?...are there consequences such as "flicker" as some people have reported? Does this make the 4th generation standard resolution TH-42PWD4BX ( duel scan ) a better purchase than the 5th generation standard resolution TH-42PWD5BX ( single scan )? If yes, is this to the extent that it makes the new higher resolution TH-42PHD5BX ( which I believe is still duel scan ) the better bet from the current 5th generation 42" models? Is this change a result of attempted cost savings at Panasonic or a supposed improvement? Could it even be an attempt to resolve the noise problems that appear to plague so many owners?

    BRIGHTNESS

    One specific question. The old 50" TH-50PHD30BX model had a 500 cd/m brightness right? So, Why has the new 50" TH-50PHD5BX model now got a quoted 300 cd/m brightness? This seems like a substantial reduction in the new model, Is this "visible" in a side by side comparison? I believe both models are duel scan, and that the resolution of the new model is the same as the old one, so whats the reason for this reduction in brightness? Does this make the newer model inferior? Joe, on your Media Factory site, the older model currently retails at £6,330.50 while the newer model is for sale @ £6,243.28, ie: LESS! Whats the story here?

    Also, generally speaking, do the differences in brightness across the 42" range, ie: 4th v 5th generation, & standard 5th gen v HD 5th gen, actualy amount to a "hill of beans" when watching in a darkened room as is always the case when I use my screen?

    THE NOISE / BUZZ / HUM ISSUE

    What's your stance on this Joe? Have you experienced it? If yes, is it present on the 5th generation models too? Is it across the range on all sizes including the 50" models? Does the Single Scanning of the new TH-42PWD5BX model have any effect on the noise?

    So, lots of questions! Any answers?

    ( ps: Joe, fyi, it would appear that on the Media Factory web site, you've "cut & pasted" some of the older 50" models specs into the newer 50" models details as there is still a reference to the 30BX at the end of the 5BX's information, I think you might want to remove this? )

    Best Regards,
    KBDVD.
     
  2. gringottsdirect

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    It definitely flickers .
    Take a look yourself...
     
  3. steelej

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    I don;t see any flicker on mine, As far as I knew plasma screens don;t scan like normal TV's so you shouldn't see any flicker.

    Also the 5th Gen does Buzz, it;s not too bad but some people are more sensative to it than others, as far as the dual/single thing, I really don;t think it makes any difference. There have been several improvements made on the 5th Gen, but do a search, it was Joe that highlighted what the differences were.

    John.
     
  4. KBDVD

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    If like me you are awaiting Joe's response to some of these questions, please be advised that he has PM'd me to say that he will post his response on Monday 4th November.

    Thanks Joe!

    Best Regards,
    KBDVD.
     
  5. Liam @ Prog AV

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    Thats one long post you've got there KBDVD so I think i'll leave Joe to post a full reply (especially considering there is the risk of setting off another does it or doesn't it flicker and/or buzz thread that could go on forever ;) )

    But, I am quite interested in peoples comments on the resolution bit. Mainly because while it seems good practice to try and support HD resolution as best you can, i'm still of the opinion that the 42 PWD5 looks better with video than the 42 PHD5, even though the difference in resolution is huge. While I can appreciate that the smaller pixels of the 42 PHD5 are quite a factor in this (smaller hence less light passes through) could it be a case of its not what you've got it's what you do with it ?!? What do you lot reckon?
     
  6. Gordon @ Convergent AV

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    I'm not Joe but here are a few of my thoughts if you'd like.

    HD-DVD. No standards set but lets presume they manage to record in one of the two preferred ATSC HDTV specs. They would be 1280 x 720P or 1920 x 1080I. So the ideal spec would be 1920 x 1080. Of course there are no such plasma's so you'll be waiting a bit. In the meantime 1280 x 720 or greater would be nice.

    As it stands with standard definition 852/3 x 480 will result in downconversion for PAL material. This may or may not be visible in comparison with other devices of higher resolution. There may be other issues to consider rather than just how many pixels are on the panel.


    Light output: As it stands the light output of the current plasma's like the 42" Panasonics are NUTS. Far too bright for realworld use in darkened room. Just wearing them out and hurting your eyes at those levels. I've found that turning them down and using Cinema mode or trying to emulate it innormal mode gives a less fatiguing, very enjoyable and watchable image.

    Look forward to hearing Joe's views on all those other questions.

    Gordon
     
  7. ijwoo1

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    Agreed, it certainly flickers. I cant say whether this more so than the 4th gen but the 5th definitely flickers. Having said that though, no more than a standard CRT TV IMHO.

    5th gen also buzzes but is again acceptable IMHO.
     
  8. MysT

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    KBDVD..

    Just a quick comment, for 1080i stuff you really want 1000+ vertical lines, this is the magic number where HD becomes truely stunning!

    Cheers... chris.
     
  9. reggs

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    There's some good info on the resolution stuff here:

    http://www.plasmatvbuyingguide.com/plasmatvreviews/panasonic-th42pwd5uy-review.html

    Had my 5 series since Monday and haven't personally noticed 'any' flicker. I wonder if this would alter with the input?

    My Panasonic 36" PG50 100Hz (CRT) which was a year old when I sold it recently, seemed to give a very similar picture quality, but I would say that the plasma looks sharper and more focused.
    I would also say the 5 buzzes about twice as loundly as a normal widescreen CRT TV, i.e. It is barely audible in a silent room.

    One thing that has become very apparent, is the black quality. Black is jet black now and there's no blooming on the brightest setting (Dynamic). My brother who just bought a rear projection Tosh, comments on the black quality whenever he sees my screen.
     
  10. ijwoo1

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    I've had a closer look at mine now and flicker is most noticeable when looking at light/bright areas, a big area of white for example flickers noticeably even from straight on but darker areas only flicker if you view using your peripheral vision.

    This is perhaps because the human eye is more susceptible to flicker when viewing bright things, in the same way that your peripheral vision is more sensitive. Then again it could just be a "feature" of plasma.

    I don't want to sound negative here because I'm more than happy with mine.

    I should also say that this is when viewing terrestrial TV via the TUPTA600 tuner. I'll check out other sources and inputs at some point.
     
  11. Joe Fernand

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    KBDVD

    Finally getting some time to post a couple of 'quick' replies - the tail end of last month was definitely the busiest month for plasma sales so far (a quick note of warning for all those 'I want one for Christmas' customers - none of the Plasma manufacturers appear ready for the general up swing in plasma sales that's occurring at present!).

    01. New Plasma - first off as always if you can actually 'view' the display you intend to purchase its a far better way of making a judgement call on which display to upgrade to.

    02. Optimum plasma resolution - as Gordon indicates this one (like so many other video standards questions) is still up in the air until new standards are set and manufacturers of software and broadcasters start to work with these new standards.

    I find many customers purchasing displays in the last couple of months have one eye to future changes to software and broadcasting and do prefer to get a higher resolution display in 'preparation' for any changes that may occur within the life of their new display.

    03. Higher Resolution vs. Lower Resolution - Panasonic and Pioneer (our two main brands) both advocate that their higher resolution displays are probably best viewed as PC displays with Panasonic advocating that the lower resolution PWD display makes a better job of scaling conventional video sources to fill the 852x480 screen than the PHD does of up-scaling to fill the 1024x768 display - its not night and day but does hold true.

    Then again send a 1024x768 PC signal into the PHD Panasonic and its a real eye opener - now we start to think about external video processing to up convert those 'standard' video signals to 1024x768 and what potential these higher resolution displays hold for the 'tweakers' out there in Home Cinema land (possibly Gordon can jump in here as he gets to play with video processors and CRT projectors more often than I do).

    Its also worth noting that for those with a more flexible budget Pioneer (and others) will launch new higher quality plug in graphics cards for the MXE range of displays early next year - they wont be cheap (£1k+) but for those wanting to push there system they do offer a great upgrade step until such times as we have higher resolution broadcasts and software.

    We also now have quite a few customers using the higher resolution displays with very high quality PC's set to output DVD's at the native resolution of their displays - which on 'standard' DVD's produces fantastic results.

    04. We sold about one 50" display for every four 42" display last year and all of the 50" models are up-scaling to fill HD displays - I have had nothing but positive feedback from our 50" display customers and in the past months the Pioneer 433MXE has become our number one display and again nothing but very positive feedback (in fact I'd say that nearly every 433MXE customer has commented that one unexpected ' bonus' has been how this display handles S-Video and Composite signals).

    I'm sure the argument holds true that the PWD (852x480) Panasonic display still has the best on board processor to match its native panel resolution and the signal stored on current DVD technology but what it lacks is the ability to adapt to new technology and or possibly benefit from the use of a new improved on-board or external scaler to the same degree as the higher resolution displays now available in the 42/43" market.

    05. Panasonic 42" vs. Pioneer 43" HD displays - the Pioneer is outselling the Panasonic for a few simple reasons:

    Cost - its significantly less expensive.
    Connectivity - the PDA-5002 video card makes Panasonics connectivity options look stupid.
    DVI - Pioneer seem t o have put more time and thought into this input.
    Noise - Panasonics fans are on all the time - Pioneers are temperature controlled.
    Upgrades - Pioneer and others will launch new higher quality video cards early in 2003.

    The Panasonic still has the ability to go 'blacker' than the Pioneer but overall the Pioneer is the favoured all round 'package'.

    06. Single Scan vs. Dual Scan Panasonic displays - as can be read all over this forum the jury is very much still out on 'flicker' being an issue with the new Single Scan displays. It is also worth noting that as many have pointed out you do not require the full 'brightness' most of these displays can achieve when using the displays in a Home Cinema set-up - that being the case it is possible to switch a 5 Series Panasonic into a Dual Scan mode with reduced light output and I guess no flicker (I've not had a chance to try this yet!).

    Also as we were not sitting on any 4 Series dem stock when the new 5 Series displays arrived it has been very difficult to view the two systems side by side - I am trying to get a 4 Series dem unit from Panasonic to do a side by side though.

    The PHD Panasonic display is a Dual Scan display.

    Is Single Scan a cost saving - I guess so; though Panasonic say they spend the same on producing a 5 Series as they did a 4 series as the new phosphors and video processor on the 5 Series cost more than the 4 Series. (some would even argue that the short lived 3 Series Panasonic was better than the 4 Series!!!).

    The Single Scan vs. Dual Scan is not related to making the displays any quieter - though the 5 Series displays do seem to be slightly less noisy that the 4 Series.

    07. Panasonic Brightness - the old and new 50" models have the same brightness levels. There are two brightness levels that the manufacturers use:

    Panel - the 'naked' glass plasma panel with no filters between the panel and the light meter.
    Set - the glass panel measured as an assembled plasma display as you and I view it at home with its various glare and RF filters in place (the set figure is the one to go with and in the case of the Panasonic 50" displays its 300cd).

    08 Panasonic Buzz - the 'buzz is only really an issue on the PWD models as they dont have fans so any noise the power supply and regulators produce is evident when you are at the rear of the display.

    As has been reported elsewhere on the forum some panels do buzz louder than others and it also seems that the buzz can be amplified 'or be more noticeable' in some rooms or some mounting configurations.

    09. Our web site - thanks for the feedback; I think I better get out the Dreamweaver book of words and get a few updates sorted this week.

    10. Panasonic Chunky Side speakers - I think this was also raised a few months ago when the new 5 Series display were first announced.

    The dimensions of the side mount speakers for the 5 Series PHD 50" display are - 104x724x89mm; that's 4mm wider per speaker than the 4 Series models.

    I dont have any info on the Silver displays to hand so will need to do a bit more digging to confirm the speaker dimensions.

    11. Silver vs. Charcoal - maybe current owners can jump in here as they will have more first hand experience of this than I do. For me the Silver bezels are a distraction when viewing these displays and though they are 'dulled' down they tend to pick up stray light. Any input from owners of Silver displays!

    The Silver displays do seem to bring about domestic harmony though as they do tend to be far more acceptable to the 'interior Designers' in many households!!!.

    Trust some of this helps.

    Joe

    PS How the other half live - working all afternoon, Tuesday, to reconfigure a system that already includes a Digibox, a Pro Scan DVD player, an X-Box (US), and X-Box (UK), a PSONE, an N64, a Game Cube and now a PS2 and whilst I had the system in bits (as it was all to be rearranged in its cabinet to change the current 'un-tidy' look) the EIGHT year old 'owner' of the system (which includes a 50" Pioneer HDE) comes into the room and asks if I can power up the DVD so he can retrieve his favourite DVD movie of the moment so he can go watch it in the car when on the way to pick up big sister from School with Mum!!!!
     
  12. sapper

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    HI Joe,

    Thank you for a very informative post.

    You have also help me make my decision as to what Im going to buy.

    Probably order it today., and get killed by her indoors. Not becasue I cant buy it, but we are not necessary ready to have it yet! Requires a fundamental change to the living room, to make it work, properly.

    Adrian
     
  13. Jon Weaver

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    Joe, with regards to this comment

    that being the case it is possible to switch a 5 Series Panasonic into a Dual Scan mode with reduced light output and I guess no flicker

    Do you have any info as to 'how'?

    I am a bit confused about this.. People are saying that the 'single scan' mode was implimented due to cost saving.. But if its possible to switch it to 'dual scan' mode, then this means that the Series 5 is still capable of dual scan. How can this have reduced cost?

    Whilst I don't really worry too much about the flickering.. If switching it to 'dual scan' could improve things, I am sure many would like to try (including me).

    Any info on this would be appreciated

    Jon
     
  14. KBDVD

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    Joe,

    Thanks very much for your detailed response.

    I've two outstanding querys.

    1. Did you look at the link to the Panasonic site?

    I took the picture to illustrate the screen without it's speakers!

    Is this not the case? If this illustration is in fact the screen with it's optional speakers attached, does that mean that there is effectively no visible frame at all to the sides of the screen when the speakers arn't used?

    Having just had another look, I'm sure they look like a wide frame & not the optional speakers.

    2. Can you confirm that the TH-50PHD5BX is the same as the old 30BX in appearance? & why's it cheaper?

    Best Regards,
    KBDVD.

    ps: Youv'e probably detected that I'm potentialy interested in a 50" Panasonic Plasma purchase in the near future!
     
  15. Rob100

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    Joe,

    I too am grateful for this informative post.

    I have been researching my forthcoming plasma purchase for the last couple of weeks and I was looking at the TH-42PW5B, but I have been seriously struggling trying to work out how I'd connect all my stuff to it with compromising quality. I have looked at JS boxes, but still there's not enough inputs :-( I did (for a while) consider the tuner box (for the scarts), but I beleive that:

    1) Although still present on the display, the VGA socket is disabled when you fit the terminal board for the tuner?

    2) Progressive scan via the component terminals (on the tuner) will not work?

    Could you please confirm the above.

    This got me last night looking at the Pioneer 433MXE and PDA-5002.

    Can you confirm that with the PDA-5002 installed, that ALL inputs still function?

    Are you suggesting that the Pioneer handles composite and s-video sources better than the Panasonic?

    Thanks in advance for your time.

    Rob.
     
  16. Joe Fernand

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    01. The TH-50PHD5BX units that we have supplied so far have all had the same bezel as last years model (Charcoal border on all sides).

    The picture on the Panasonic web site of the TH-50PHW5B looks like there is no Silver border to the left or right hand edges (I'm sure that picture is taken with speakers on) - I have not supplied one of these units as yet so I cant confirm one way or another I'm afraid.

    02. Question - Why is the new 5 Series 50" display less expensive than the 4 Series display? Answer - Have you seen the price of the Pioneer PDP-503MXE?

    Its simple a matter of trying to keep competitive in today's busy market - remember the majority of displays are still supplied into the Corporate market and Panasonic have not been selling many 50" displays at the old price.

    Trust this helps.

    Joe
     
  17. Joe Fernand

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    Rob100

    Panasonic Plasma Display:
    Not actually laid hands on the new tuner as yet but I can confirm that with the Tuner terminal board fitted to the display the VGA port on the display is disabled and you need to connect your PC to the VGA socket on the tuner.

    No info to hand on the Progressive Scan (or lack of it) on the YPbPr inputs on the tuner - will try and find out tomorrow.

    Pioneer Plasma Display:
    One of the advantages the Pioneer displays have over the Panasonic displays is on the input configuration - the Pioneer MXE models fitted with the PDA-5002 board give you:

    01. VGA port - RGBHV or YPbPr.
    02. BNC x1 - Composite video in.
    03. 4 Pin mini Din - S-Video in.
    04. BNC x5 - RGBHV or YPbPr.
    05. DVI - Digital RGB

    Plus an RS232 port and all ports are active and selectable from the remote.

    As to how the Pioneer handles Composite and S-Video its simply a comment I have had back from just about every customer with one of the MXE displays - most had envisaged that they were consigning their VHS, Laserdisc etc to the bin and many have also sneaked a games console into the system - 'just to try it out you know as we dont really play games!!!'

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  18. Rob100

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    Originally posted by Joe Fernand

    ...but I can confirm that with the Tuner terminal board fitted to the display the VGA port on the display is disabled and you need to connect your PC to the VGA socket on the tuner.

    Now I am confused - I didn't think there was a VGA socket on the tuner :confused:

    No info to hand on the Progressive Scan (or lack of it) on the YPbPr inputs on the tuner - will try and find out tomorrow.

    Thanks.

    01. VGA port - RGBHV or YPbPr.
    02. BNC x1 - Composite video in.
    03. 4 Pin mini Din - S-Video in.
    04. BNC x5 - RGBHV or YPbPr.
    05. DVI - Digital RGB

    Plus an RS232 port and all ports are active and selectable from the remote.

    That sounds much more like what I need. What can I do with the RS232 port?

    'just to try it out you know as we dont really play games!!!'

    Me neither :D

    Thanks for the reply. Where in the UK are you based? I am in Norfolk and trying to find a dealer around here with a wide selection of displays who know what they are talking about is a little tricky...

    Rob.
     
  19. joys_R_us

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    There is definitely no PC monitor input (VGA ?) on the PT-600.

    Don't know if anyone at Panasonic really uses their own products at home...

    They really make it difficult to become a customer of their products.
     
  20. KBDVD

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    Joe,

    I guess I just sort of assumed that you'd know the answer to the frame style question, but seeing as how you don't have access to the consumer versions of the Panasonic screens I suppose you are forced to draw your conclusions from looking at pictures like the rest of us. At least that is, until someone can tell us the answer one way or the other from first hand experience. Anyone?

    http://www.panasonic.co.uk/product/plasmadisplaytv/

    Having had yet another look I really can't make up my mind what to think? For the sake of discussion I'll stay with the theory that the illustration is an accurate representation of the screen having wider side frames until someone can inform us otherwise. If my memory serves me right, I believe that the very first generation of Panasonic Plasma screens had wide side frames very similar to this. If this is the case, in my opinion, the new style is "butt ugly" and a definate turn off as far as I'm concerned! What do the rest of you think?

    Best Regards,
    KBDVD.
     
  21. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello all

    Panasonic TU-600 and PC input - confusion reigns supreme with the Panasonic instruction manual for the Tuner terminal board. The instructions say 'The PC in connector is disabled when a tuner is connected to the display. Use the connector on the TUNER/RECEIVER.'

    I'll get info today from Panasonic UK and report back ASAP.

    RS232 - connect up a PC to the display and with the relevant software (and some understanding of what you may be getting up to in there) you can control the display from your PC. We also use the RS232 port when controlling displays within automation systems from Crestron and AMX.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  22. mikeq

    mikeq
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    maybe the speakers overlap the edge of the frame, as a method securing the speakers to the display. Giving the appearance of having no side frame if you removed the speakers, but the side frame is just underneath the speaker? maybe...

    Mike
     
  23. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello all

    Got some info back re the various questions on the TU600 Tuner:

    PC Input - due to EC emissions conformity the PC input is disconnected on the UK/Euro Tuner. The circuitry is in there (so I'm told) its just disabled and the VGA socket not fitted to the chassis.

    PC Input - there is a workaround that involves getting into the 26 pin cable that connects the Tuner to the Tuner terminal board and adding a 'switch' to the core that opens and closes the VGA port on the plasma display - if you can control that you can still go in on the VGA port on the display.

    YPbPr - the Tuner is merely pass through for Component signals so though I have not tried it I cant see that it is going to have any detrimental affect on Progressive can signals.

    Best regards

    Joe

    PS joys_R_us - only the ones that get freebies!
     

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