1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Newbie help - HDTV - the 'right' time to buy

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by theo cupier, Dec 25, 2004.

  1. theo cupier

    theo cupier
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,649
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Amersham, Bucks
    Ratings:
    +113
    I was reading a thread in the LCD forum about HDTV and it set me wondering.

    I've got a mediocre 28in widescreen CRT and a decent STEREO hi fi.

    I'm itching to do 2 things:
    1. Upgrade to Surround sound, with something like an Arcam AVR300
    2. replace the CRT with a plasma - probably a Viera, based on my reading to date.

    In an ideal world, I'd throw money at both now and then re-do the screen in a few years, but life with 3 young children isn't like that...

    The impression I'm getting is that I should seriously consider NOT switching screens yet, especially if I do not expect to be able to change again in 2-4 years. Am I reading this right? Should I sort out my sound and wait for a certain standard of HDTV to arrive in a couple of years?

    If I did upgrade the screen soon (eg tube going pop) would the vieras be the best model? They seem to get excellent reviews for 'here and now' technology but don't seem very 'future friendly' in terms of resolution and HD inputs (especially the 37in). Are there better 'good now AND future ready' screens on the market with an equivalent purchase price in the 37-42in arena? If so, how ready are they?
     
  2. grahamtriggs

    grahamtriggs
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Messages:
    779
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +33
    Do you really want/need the looks of the Viera? Even if you stayed Panasonic, with a PW7 you'll save money and get more connection options - possibly even a bit of future proofing if they really do bring out a new revision of the HDMI board.

    That depends on how you expect to see yourself upgrading the system in the future. HD-DVD, Blu-Ray and Sky's HDTV services will be around in that timeframe. If you plan on using any of those, and plan to do so before being ready to replace the screen, then you need to get a screen now that at least has full DVI-HDCP or HDMI support (all resolutions, at 50 and 60hz).

    If you don't know, but would like the option, then you need the DVI/HDMI input. If you don't care and are prepared to buy a new screen before getting HD DVD/TV, then it doesn't really matter what you buy.

    The 42" Viera is no better than the 37" for future proofing, and it's an expensive way to buy a plasma if you are going to have seperate amp/speakers.

    If you want future-proofing, there are really only two or three viable options - the LG at the cheap end (42PX11 or 42PX12 - the 12 is higher resolution), or the Pioneer at the expensive end. The NEC may also be an option.

    The Panasonic's are another good choice, but unless they produce a new revision of the HDMI card for the PW7/PHD7, they can't be considered future-proof. It's your choice if that is an issue for you or not.
     
  3. hornydragon

    hornydragon
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    28,293
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Somewhere near the M4 most of the time......
    Ratings:
    +1,215
    biggest issue is will you adpot HD as soon as it is available? 2-3 years toime... IF so then you will probably end-up upgrading again then... so wait... OR get a great plasma now and enjoy it and change in 5-6 years when HD is cheaper and more available...
     
  4. Ekko Star

    Ekko Star
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2002
    Messages:
    6,065
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +374
    Agree with Horny. Seeing as your only running a "mediocre 28" widescreen CRT" even in todays age & current technology, do you think you will then be a 1st gen adopter on the HD trail when it generally comes out AND be prepared to pay for it ?

    You have many choices of screen, either buy something mediocre at the £1300 end or upto circa £3500 for quality. As to the future no one knows exactly since it is the future. You also therefore have the choice of not buying anything until things settle down in which case you could be waiting upto 5 years. But will your 28" serve you out that long ?
     
  5. theo cupier

    theo cupier
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,649
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Amersham, Bucks
    Ratings:
    +113
    Good to see I'm not the only person in the world whose thoughts turn to AV on Christmas Day!

    In my defense on the current CRT, it was bought in a huge rush because my old set went 'pop' the day before an England match in World Cup 2002. Classic error!

    Thanks for the replies - to respond to some of the points raised (and ask more questions):
    1. Looks ON the screen are more important than looks around it. It's probably going to be wall mounted, so it doesn't need a beautifully designed £500 stand etc.
    2. Is a mid-range plasma actually going to give me a better picture than a 'mediocre' CRT based on current technology?
    3. Screen resolution, is it fair to say that more is better, in terms of HD-ready? My guess would be that if your screen only has 852 x 480 like the Vieras, then even if Panny were to magically produce DVI-HDCP or HDMI inputs you're not going to get much benefit. Is this right, is there ANYTHING to be gained from a low-res screen with DVI-HDCP or HDMI inputs?
    4. Do the higer res plasmas scale to cope with current resolutions, or am I putting money in the future at the expense of quality today?

    I wouldn't say I'm a hugely early adapter in these things (that's why I have a 4 year old CRT and Stereo!). I think if I were convinced I could buy a plasma which was not going to be a retrograde step on my current CRT quality and which would last 5+ years, including some of the next steps of technical advance, then I would probably bite...

    Finally, can anyone point me to reviews of the 42px12, since they seem to be thin on the ground? Is this the best answer to my 'good Plasma for now and a few steps forward?
     
  6. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Messages:
    9,748
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Ratings:
    +270
    I think that people who expect HDTV to be competitively priced with today's plasmas are going to be severely disappointed. A good quality plasma will still run rings around any 28" CRT TV (especially one that's a bit long in the tooth).
     
  7. theo cupier

    theo cupier
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,649
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Amersham, Bucks
    Ratings:
    +113
    Nick - do I read you correctly in interpreting your comments as 'don't buy a plasma today on the basis it will be HDTV ready'? Or are you saying that lower priced plasmas will not do HDTV well?

    Is something like the RZ42PX12 not worth looking at as a 'good' screen for now which will also survive the early iterations of HDTV? My budget is unlikely to stretch above £2K, so am I better off buying for the now and buying again in a few years? I can get the LG for about £1800, which would suit me but if it is not a good set for now and will look bad in the HDTV world then it seems false economy.
     
  8. grahamtriggs

    grahamtriggs
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Messages:
    779
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +33
    Are you talking about the sets, or the service? Because the sets already exist, and are already priced competitively. And it's only the sheer stupidity / ignorance of the likes of Panasonic that we can't say more sets are HDTV ready, over one minor technicality that turns out to be rather crucial.
     
  9. grahamtriggs

    grahamtriggs
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Messages:
    779
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +33
    It's not quite that straightforward. There are points in favour of pretty much any plasma, and there are points against any plasma - regardless of price/quality. A lot of it depends on the source - if you have any problems there, they will be far more obvious on a 42" screen than a 28" one.

    Yes high res plasmas scale to cope with current resolutions, but depending on the quality of the scaling, the results with current material will vary.

    Yes high res will get more out of high res material than a low res screen. But there will still be benefits to having a high res feed. Current digital formats aren't perfect, even with their 'limited' resolution, there are many artefacts from the compression schemes used. Downscaled HD images will (probably) show far less of these artefacts.

    I haven't seen any reviews for the 42px12, but out of the two that I saw for the 42px11, one had quite a few innaccuracies (not just a difference opinion). Judge with your own eyes, not someone elses. I don't know of anywhere that has a demo of the px12, buy I do know Harrod's has the PY10 on display - which is a virtually identical set, apart from the overall styling.
     
  10. grahamtriggs

    grahamtriggs
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Messages:
    779
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +33
    Being the 1st adopter has nothing to do with it. Even if you don't buy in to HDTV / HD-DVD for 6 or 7 years, are you prepared to buy a new screen at that time? Just because you are/might be, not everyone else is.

    And even if he doesn't buy a plasma now, doesn't mean he has to wait 5 years to buy one. HDTV will be here inside two, and by then we will know what screens are compatible and have more choice in those screens. It's a quite valid approach to wait two years, and then buy a set known to be HDTV ready (and presumably with high res), but not buy into HDTV itself for another 2 or 3 years.
     
  11. Ekko Star

    Ekko Star
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2002
    Messages:
    6,065
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +374
    within two posts followed by....

    What exactly are you trying to say without contradicting yourself ?
     
  12. theo cupier

    theo cupier
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,649
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Amersham, Bucks
    Ratings:
    +113
    OK - thanks again everyone...

    I guess it boils down to the following points:
    1. Plasmas exist now, at various levels in the market, which will be compatible with HDTV of 'tomorrow' but not necessarily 'next week' (because that's too far ahead to speak confidently about specs etc)
    2. Plasmas exist now which will are not compatible with some of the next advances, but which none the less will give a great picture now and for several years

    Questions arising:
    a. Within my budget (£2K), if I buy from group 1, am I able to get worthwhile low definition quality AND HD quality? Or should I stick to a screen from group 2 and look again in a few years for a HDTV set?

    ie

    If you were working with my budget would you concentrate on LD or get something HD-ready?

    b. Are there screens in either camp which beat the RZ42PX12 (group 1 -since the RZ42PY10 is a little over this range) or viera (group 2)?

    c. if the RZ42PY10 / PX12 is worthy of serious consideration, has anyone found it for sale anywhere other than 247electrical?
     
  13. Ekko Star

    Ekko Star
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2002
    Messages:
    6,065
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +374
    Well your train of thought is certainly on the right tracks, however nothing is as clear cut as choice 1 or 2.

    How many future proofed products of yesteryear actually survive the onslaught of technology ? History is a great lesson on that one.

    You need to go demo, because you might narrow your choice down to a particular model and price and on demo realise it's complete crap. If you demo first you may then decide to accomodate any compromises you may have to make against the screen that you like. :thumbsup:
     
  14. grahamtriggs

    grahamtriggs
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Messages:
    779
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +33
    Look at it this way - the LG's (PX11 std res or PX12 hi res) are very competitively priced (particularly the PX12)... the Pioneer can be had for a couple of hundred more than the PHD7, so it's still priced reasonably in relation to the competition.

    I like the picture of the LG, doesn't mean everyone else has to. And even if you did, it's not necessarily the right choice of screen for certain types of installation.

    Whilst the Pioneer is 'competitively' priced, it's still expensive.

    And even though we know of no technical reason why these sets shouldn't work with HDTV/HD-DVD - and in fact, the compatability can be proven as much as possible with existing devices today - we can't *prove* that they work with SkyHD / HD-DVD until we actually have those devices to test. It *should* work, but there is always a slim chance that there may be a compatability issue.

    If you wait two years, you get more choice, *proof* that the sets work with SkyHD / HD-DVD, and cheaper prices - but you don't actually have to buy into SkyHD / HD-DVD at the same time.

    Yes, they are different approaches - that doesn't mean that both can't be viable. It depends on who you are. It depends on how necessary it is you buy a new screen now. It depends on how much you spend and when you can afford to replace. And so on.

    The point is that everything is being presented in black & white terms - buy for now, replace when you buy HDTV. Buy only when you buy HDTV. But these are not the only approaches. It's not up to you (or I) to force everybody into one or two little pigeonholes.

    For anyone concerned about HDTV, there is more than one (and more than two, or even three) ways of looking at the current situation. I don't tell people what they should do - I tell them what they can do, and it's up to them to decide what works for them.
     
  15. grahamtriggs

    grahamtriggs
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Messages:
    779
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +33
    For once, I mostly agree.

    The comments about futureproofing are a little overstated though - in every possible way that we can test existing sets - ie. R2 DVDs output at 720p/1080i @ 50hz over HDMI and DVI-HDCP - then there are existing sets that do work. We just can't absolutely 100% guarantee that the forthcoming devices won't suffer a compatability problem - but it's far more likely than not that they will work OK.

    But you do need to go and demo. You know what the options are, and any one of them could potentially be suitable for you - you can't rules any one of them out (or in) based on a few opinions posted here. Sure, Panasonic will get the majority of votes round here, but you don't have to look to hard to find people proclaiming any of the other major players to be the best. There is always an element of personal opinion.

    BTW, if you are looking at the 42" Viera as your 'group 2' option, you can *not* get it within your budget. But you can get the PW6/PW7 which is identical/better picture quality at or below £2K.
     
  16. Lizzard

    Lizzard
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0

    You work for LG?
     
  17. grahamtriggs

    grahamtriggs
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Messages:
    779
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +33
    I have absolutely no affiliation with the manufacture, retail, advertising, etc. of electronics / electrical goods.

    My interest in AV is purely that of consumer / hobbiest / enthusiast.

    And how would you even get to such a statement from what you quoted of my post (ignoring that you already know I own an LG plasma)?

    The first part could equally apply to Pioneer. Or Samsung. Or NEC?

    The second part was intentionally meant to include the likes of Sony, Philips, Hitachi, Pioneer - all of whom are clearly championed by some forum members.

    And the last part is a perfectly valid/reasonable statement, but stays solely within the field of Panasonic components - although other options do exist.
     
  18. theo cupier

    theo cupier
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,649
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Amersham, Bucks
    Ratings:
    +113
    So, what should I add to a shortlist to demo, alongside the 42PX12 / 42PY10 as a HDTV (DVI-HDCP or HDMI input, higher res) set?

    Does the Panny PW6 stay in my price range (£2K) by the time one adds all the 'boxes' that need to go with it?
     
  19. Stephen Wilde

    Stephen Wilde
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    Messages:
    1,810
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +93
    Buy a screen you like now. There are many discounted items on the market which will be far better than your 28"crt.
    Get what you can then afford in a couple of years when the market has settled down and put your present purchase in the bedroom or give it to the kids so that they don't compete for the one you always wanted.
     
  20. Ekko Star

    Ekko Star
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2002
    Messages:
    6,065
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +374
    Depends on what boxes you are willing to add ? But going this PW6/7 is a very popular approach not only on these forums but generally.

    Very simple reason for it's popularity as it's one of the best value and QUALITY approaches you can take to a modular set up, especially with enthusiasts around here.

    It's not about brands around here but about quality of product and the quality of image it can knock out. Sony's hence don't get much of a look in on these forums since they use cheap Korean sourced glass aka Samsung.

    The Panasonic and Pioneers always come out tops for the simple reason that they are tried tested and they deliver in spades. You can always find a bargain elsewhere but you will probably end up continually comparing it to these panels. They are the bench mark products.

    One other thing is that moving up form a 28" to a 42" plasma is that, that kind of screen is imposing in anyones room. It makes sense that it looks as nice as it can within it's surroundings as well. There are some ugly brutes out there so watch out !

    Go demo for yourself all the products and make your own mind up. :thumbsup:
     
  21. hornydragon

    hornydragon
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    28,293
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Somewhere near the M4 most of the time......
    Ratings:
    +1,215
    I havebnt seen a pretty looking 28" WS set under £2k but 42"Panels there are plenty of sexy units
     
  22. theo cupier

    theo cupier
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,649
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Amersham, Bucks
    Ratings:
    +113
    Current thinking is that I will try and demo off the Panny PW6 vs LG RZ42PX12 and maybe the Hitachi 42PD5200.

    The LG and hit seem to have the benefit of higher res screens, which (in my novice mind at present) would suggest I can get more out of them in the - allegedly - imminent HDTV world. But ultimately if the Panny looks great now, why shoot yourself in the foot seems to be the message.

    out of interest, are any of these going to be overkill with a Technics SD220 DVD?

    All I've got to do then is sort out an AV amp (Arcam AVR300, hopefully) and a centre speaker and Bob is my uncle. Oh, and move house so that I can wall mount in a sensible place! Fingers crossed that a 1930s chimney breast will support it!
     
  23. hornydragon

    hornydragon
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    28,293
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Somewhere near the M4 most of the time......
    Ratings:
    +1,215
    BINGO and as soon as you get it you will want to upgrade everytihg AV you own mate......
     
  24. peezee

    peezee
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    The remaining questions and unknowns about the future expected "HDTV" are so numerous and basic that I'm now trying to almost ignore it altogether... Here's a non exhaustive list:

    1/ Exactly which formats will be used? Will 720p50 be the only one? or will it be predominant, beside 1080i50 as well as 60Hz (US based Hd DVDs an HDTV) formats?

    2/ Will the HD STB's from Sky and others include VGA/YUV output as well? Will these outputs be allowed to pass HD video or is it *definitely* not going to happen (i.e. HD only via digital connection)

    3/ In case HD will be available via DVi-HDCP/HDMI only, isn't the STB (or HD DVD player) going to allow to switch b/w 720p50 and 1080i50 for the same channel? (In which case the 720p50 issue goes away)

    4/ Who will start broadcasting real HDTV video w/ 5.1 audio? By when? how much will it cost? How much content will there really be initially? Based on all this, am I really going to want to jump on the HDTV bandwagon as soon as available?

    5/ How much compression is Sky going to apply to HDTV streams? Is it going to be nearly as bad as the current SD video? In which case, why bother getting an expensive HD plasma screen when all details will be lost in compression (or lost in translation if you prefer :D ) ...?

    6/ By the time Sky and other start HD broadcast, won't I be able to find on the market reasonably priced converters that will allow me to convert virtually any HD format to another (like HD Scalers do today, but at a cost). And what about these should-be-forbidden DVi-HDCP to VGA converters one can buy today for 250$...?

    7/ and the list goes on and on...

    Since we have no clue today on most of these open questions, I can't see how one can seriously think that he/she can make an educated choice on a plasma TV for the next 7-8 years...

    I'd rather get a good and "cheap" SD glass today and get prepared for a new exciting round of research in 2-3 yrs from now, once HDTV and HD-DVD/BluRay have clearly set the final standards and complying flat screens are fully available on the market (say 1280x720 glasses with 2-3 HDMI inputs :smoke: ) - at a price well inferior to what one has to pay today for a "surely-probably-eventually fully HDTV compatible" HD display... :rolleyes:
     
  25. hornydragon

    hornydragon
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    28,293
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Somewhere near the M4 most of the time......
    Ratings:
    +1,215
    well said peezee, have you made a decisioin yet?
     
  26. peezee

    peezee
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Yes => :suicide:







    Well, not yet though... :D Got a cheap offer for a w-e in London "for e/o year shopping" valid until e/o January including Eurotrain and one night in hotel, and seriously considering taking on the offer... Obviously have a very precise idea as to what kind of shopping I'd be doing there (though no specific on which store(s) I should pay a visit to)... :)
     

Share This Page

Loading...