Ok Which Plasma for under £4000


Prominent Member
Feb 5, 2004
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Ok advice please - which plasma would be best.

I am looking for a plasma capable of displaying hi-definition for future proof it, also good for pal sources........ hence i guess would rather one that did not erase lines from a pal horizontal source.

The picture quality will be the most important.

I do not need a tuner as such as have a digi-box and will use that as the tuner source. My use will be mainly for digi sources and dvd.

Speakers I do not need as will use an Av system.

Ideally would like to spend as little as possible. Oh scree size woudl be anywher from 37 inch to 42.

Ideally too I would not like many wires running to the screen - which is where a switching box may be a good idea (but none have digital tuners)

Any suggestions:
I kind of thought of the:
pioneer - but think it is a bit pricey esp as tuner is redundant
panasonic - but it looses horiz res so i guess is not the best here
Hitachi 5000 series - waiting to see what this does but looks good if it has the hidef capable picture/sound interface.
philips - seems dated compared to the rest.

If i opted say for a hitachi hd plasma monitor or another hi def montior any suggestions about the best way of switching sources and will this give as good a quality a picture as using a media box separately.

Also how about automatically adjusting screen size as crt tvs do eg when watching 4:3 souces instead of 16:9 - how is this tackled?


The pioneer business model, the MXE is for you then. No tuner, but good input options on the screen. Component video switching would give you a 1 cable connection from your av amp to the screen, or possibly an external swich, I think joe at tmf does them. It's just like the HDE but with a silver bezel and an ordinary DVI input, no HDMI.
If I purchased the plasma without an HDMI would this not limit its future proofing?

Also what is the best way to connect my digibox, dvd players etc - i guess this will require a switching box of some sort - any suggestions?

Also how about picture format - a crt auto switichs between sources 4:3, 16:9 and a quasi format in between - do the media boxes do this or does one have to change such manually.

pioneer 434hde sounds about right. or wait for the new mxe model.

the 434hde can be set for widescreen flagging
HDMI, a future format from hollywood might restrict 'dvd' playback to hdmi devices as currently they are copy secure, not for long I shouldn't think mind you! HDMI is about copy protection, and IMHO has some way to go to beat the best analogue output players, and certainly HCPC's are still out of sight ahead. Aspect switching, read the sticky at the top of the page.... Avoiding the hateful media box can only be a good thing in my view, none currently offer a digital tuner, and all are quite restrictive on connections. The HDE pioneer box has a shared port for HDMI component and 2nd RGB scart. So on your 4k telly you get 1 rgb scart, 1 s-video scart, and one component/HDMI/RGB scart. Shocking really. Monitor type plasmas give you the opportunity to choose your own inputs. A 433MXE with this gives you VGA, DVI, 4 x component video, s-video and composite video for about 3.6k. Just a av amp with up-conversion, like the Denon 3803 will give you 2 x component and 5 x s-video connections, and just 1 cable, a component video, to the plasma.
Which analog players do u think are better than a hdmi/dvi>>hdmi connection. admittedly dvi can wash the colour out but once tweaked is a much better picture. My A11 via the 434s hdmi connection is awesome and quite an improvement over component(same with HT1000 PJ)
The A11 for one, but then it might not be on that plasma, they've put their energy into the HDMI on the HDE, it's why I hate them so much, that and the stupid shared input, the naff analogue tuner, the stupid lack of discrete remote codes and the inability to put native res PC on it apaert from a lead in the front panel. Apart from that I quite like it...

I do know what u mean. its why i decided to get a PJ and keep my old panny. itll be the next gen or the gen after that will be worth buying as hdmi should have a grip by then and a few quirks sorted
maybe. But as I said, it's actually not about image quality, that's just a smokescreen for much more nefarious machinations. But it's much better than just any component connection, or scart. It's not specifically the HDMI I take issue with on the HDE plasmas, they could have genuinely been really good. Pioneer went and spoiled it with some naff implementation and that hideous shared input. Is there anyone here who has one who only has 1 RGB device and 1 HDMI or component device? My system comprises much more than that, and I take little notice of mine as I have to do it all day for others... I could do much more at home, which would result in a 4k tv which I had to continually plug and unplug stuff from, and play around in the setup menu as well.
I have a denon 3802 amp - i guess i am not using the connections to its full - any suggestions on the wiring

I have 2 dvd players - 1 pioneer dv535 and 1 656 - both have rgb capable scarts ( the 656 2)

1 digi- box
1 vcr - though hardly use it

I want to connect all of these preferably to the plasma using 1 cable - component if it is......

For what it's worth, I use RGB for my digibox on Input 1 and RGB for my DVD player on Input 3. That's all. When I upgrade the DVD player, I will use either component or HDMI on Input 3.

So to answer your question there's at least one person here...

That's not to say that I don't think your criticisms are valid. They are, but I must admit the shared input doesn't bother me at all.

Fair enough, you have only 1 digibox, I and many others have 2, no game console etc. You are tha man they must have designed it for. Just not very far sighted for todays entertainment culture. Back on topic, don't think the 3802 offers video up-conversion. You might like to take a look at that video switch, and either use it to send RGB and sync on composite, ie scart, or possibly convert this to component video with a JS box at the output stage. The MXE plasma will accept RGB and sync as an input though. This is the high quality way, a decent scart switch would be cheaper, and the same choice applies for the signal to the plasma.
On the subject of MXE I noticed today that the display model in Selfridges in Manchetser is being "cleared", at £2500 I think it was.
Might be worth a look if anyone was after one.
It's potentially a good deal but depends on hours and what they've shown, be a shame to buy a burnt one. You have to be an ignorant b******d to do that, but then selfridges should probably do that, ie sell fridges, not plasmas. Caveat emptor.

The Pioneer PDP-433MXE is supplied with the PDA-5002 video card which has a non HDCP DVI input - for Video and PC.

You can replace this card with an Aurora Multimedia Card that adds HDCP via DVI and a much higher quality scaler but does cost around £600.00 - if we can ever get them from the new Euro distributor!!!

Best regards

Don't even think about Samsung's PS42P3S you will deeply regret it.
Have to agree with much of what has been said here, basically that is if you want ultimate quality then to forget the 'media adaptors' that come with plasma TVs, instead go for the business monitor versions instead, and you can then choose your own components. Its much like buying a seperates system in the world of hi-fi, not as integrated as an all in one system but much better performance.

also i've got to agree with MAW on HDMI !!

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