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Panasonic 32PD30 or Philips 32PW9618

Discussion in 'TVs' started by arthurwatt, Oct 28, 2003.

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  1. arthurwatt

    arthurwatt
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    I have decided to upgrade my old Sony to a new widescreen television. The television will be used for watching Sky digital (with sports) and the odd DVD.

    After reading most of the AV mags for the last few months I decided to choose the Panasonic PD30 or the Philips 9618. The two have a comparable price. I selected these two since they seem to have the best image processing reviews.

    I have been to the showroom and saw DVD playback on both sets. The PD30 looked nice, but the 9618 was outstanding.

    I have been unable to find a store which can show me a Sky digital feed on both televisions. John Lewis were able to display some freeview on both TVs and both pictures looked pants (compared to the old Sony 23")

    Which televison would be best with a Sky digital feed?

    Does anyone have any strong recommendations one way or the other?
     
  2. bazzae123

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    Hi arthurwatt,

    Welcome to the mad world of buying a new TV. I might be able to help you out on this one. I just sent back my PD30 because of what I would say is poor reception on Sky through RGB. If you do a search on this forum you will see that a lot of people are having the same problems with ALL the RGB inputs on the PD30. I even went and brought a Sky+ box but the RGB noise problem was the same. I could try the S-video but, and this is where I might be able to help you, I've just ordered a 32PW9528 which should have the same visual content as the 9616. The set arrives tomorrow so if you give it a day or so I can let you know what its like compared to the PD30.

    Bazza
     
  3. blindlemon

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    Unfortunately, these days, it seems that the potential picture quality of a TV and it's actual performance when delivered to your home are not necessarily the same thing :(

    My impressions are:-

    Philips p+ sets are potentially excellent, but suffer from the current use of old, cheap, Panasonic tubes, cheap anciliary electronics and poor QC. See the thread about Philips p+ problems and Black Bars etc. for info on this. I had a Philips p+ set (9527) with a Philips tube and loved it (apart from the black bars) - but it died with a blown tube after 11 months, which, apparently, is not uncommon.

    Panasonic xxPD30 sets are potentially as good as the Philips p+ from a PQ point of view when fed through component inputs. The tubes are excellent, although the naturalness of colour rendition may not be up to a Philips set with a Philips tube. The anciliary electronics and build quality of the PD30 is, IMO, better than any current Philips set, but, like Philips, they also suffer horribly from poor QC - so the number of duff sets delivered to your door is high.

    I am currently awaiting a replacement for my defective PD30 and will post further when it arrives.
     
  4. golden

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    Why not the new Sony KV-32HQ100?
     
  5. blindlemon

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    Because it's not available? :)

    I went into a Sony centre the other day and they'd not heard of it. Apparently it's not likely to be out here until Feb 2004.
     
  6. Anastie

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    I have a 36" PD30 and I am very pleased with it. Yes RGB through sky is lousy so I switch the digibox to pal and the picture is very very good. My m8 has a p+ but I think mine has better Pq.
     
  7. arthurwatt

    arthurwatt
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    Thanks for the feedback everybody.

    One thing I have not seen is the progressive DVD playback of the PD30. I did compare RBG non progressive playback in the shop and the Philips was definitely better (as the mags say). I was intending to buy a Panasonic DMR-E60 DVD recorder which dosen't do progressive scan output. If I was assured that the Panasonic PD30 component DVD playback was as good as the Philips 9618 then I would definitely buy the PD30.

    If I opt for the PD30 should I go for a progressive scan DVD player? I have seen reasonalbly priced progressive DVD players which get good reviews (Harman Kardon DVD 25).
     
  8. quadophile

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    Whatever TV you buy or have go for the Progressive Scan DVD player. You can audition the Philips DVD 963SA or if you have budget constraints you can even check the Philips DVD 763SA which has been favorably reveiwed elsewhere.
     
  9. bazzae123

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    arthurwatt m8,

    This is what I did and I would suggest to anybody to do the same. Go to a shop that is prepared to exchange the set if your not happy. Then try a couple of sets at home and let your eyes make up there own mind. Forget all the Mag write ups because believe me once you start to see the differences in picture quality you'll wonder what TV's the authors were looking at when they wrote their articles. My local Hughes store agreed to let me try three different sets if I wanted to. I tried the PF2 and set it back. Tried three PD30's and they all went back due to already reported faults and now I'm on a Philips 32PW9528. If you really want to know which one I liked and will most probably be keeping, and this is purely based on picture quality from Sky and DVD, is the Philips. To me the colours are by far the most natural and some of the pictures on Sky are unbelievably clean and sharp. I've spent most of this week going through my DVD collection and comparing from memory certain scenes against the PF2 and PD30 and the P+ is far the best for colour reproduction and sharpness, and get this, this is using S-video from the DVD as I need RGB for my more viewed equipment. Now the P+ is not all roses as I have noticed the halo effect on certain sources with low bit rates but the problem is I've spent so much time looking at TV's and the various faults that I now find it hard to watch any TV without analysing every detail. Also, the way the P+ changes the way some films looks takes a little getting used to but it can look stunning. I need to learn just to sit back and enjoy. Believe me, if you get into this "which one is better" your go mad, and the wife wont be to happy either. Just try a couple of different sets and you'll know when the right one arrives. Obviously, don't take my word on the p+ or any of the other this is my own preference, just try some different makes for yourself. By the way, I sacrificed my 5 year warranty from RS to do this but I think it was worth it.
     
  10. Jan20

    Jan20
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    Bazza

    Where did you get the Philips from?
    I can only see it in Comet, haven't found it anywhere online. Obviously don't want to spend the outrageous high street price.
     
  11. bazzae123

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    Hi Jan20,

    I got mine from Comet on line with a free DVD and surround kit. Same price as the listed TV on its own and the delivery was free.
    http://www.comet.co.uk/comet/html/cache/453_119555.html
    If you look on the site and scroll down to the bottom of the page and you'll see the same TV packaged with the DVD and surround kit for the same price. I got it on line as part of my experiment so that if I didn't like it I had 7 days to return it.
    I emailed Philips about the lack of information on there web site and was informed that the spec for this TV was exclusively for the Dixon's group.

    Spec here http://www.p4c.philips.com/

    Bazza
     
  12. Jan20

    Jan20
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    Thanks for that Bazza

    I've been into Comet and think the picture is better than all the others in the store. Is it as good as it first appears?
     
  13. bazzae123

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    I personally think its better than the PD30 and PF2 as I've tried both at home on trials. Sky and DVD are absolutely brilliant with colours that are the most true to life than the others. The picture is by far the sharpest of them all. Like all these 100Hz sets put a poor signal in and the TV does show it up for what's it worth. I don't think the analogue tuner is as good as the PD30 but I don't watch it that much. If I want to watch BBC I do it through Sky. The sound is very good. I have seen some halo effects but mainly on high contrast scenes and without much movement in them. I have until Monday to decide whether to keep it or not but I don't know what else to try and its becoming a bit to much of a obsession now and I need to draw the line somewhere.

    Bazza
     
  14. jdg

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    I must say, that I prefer the panny over the p+.
    Yes, the p+ picture is very colorfull, but it looks way too artificial and pixelated for me!

    The panny looks absolutely awesome with my denon 2800 dvd and superb with my digital box! I can recommend it a 100%
     
  15. zAndy1

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    Got my PD30 today and I have to say it's blown me away, the PQ is fantastic! No problems I've seen so far, great geometry, fantastic colour, great looking set, overall very pleased with my choice and would definitely recommend.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  16. arthurwatt

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    Greetings zAndy

    I have purchased the Philips 963SA. Have you tried the 963SA progressive DVD playback with your PD30? I am going to take Bazza's advice to try out both sets.

    The main reason didn't go for the PD30 striaght away was because the DVD playback on the Philips blew me away.

    Cheers

    Arthur
     
  17. quadophile

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    You did the right thing its a fine piece of gear for the money.

    Happy Listening!
     
  18. Chester

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    Bazza,

    Would you say the Philips 32PW9527 is the same spec as the 9528?

    I've noticed that manufacturers are getting into bed with retail outlets quite a bit recently. My dad's just got a Dixons Group only Tosh. Whilst it's very good, I had a look on the web later and found a similar model number with exactly the same look and specs. Whilst it's impossible for me to confirm that the two were the same thing with the smallest of difference in detail (or perhaps just the model number !?!), I'm a bit concerned that this is retail's 'get out clause' for not comparing with web outlets. Not that web/retail outlets should be compared for price because that's just rediculous.

    Look forward to your thoughts.
     
  19. bazzae123

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    I haven't seen the spec for the 9527 but I got the 9528 as I was led to believe that the Halo effect was rectified on these sets. I hadn't seen the 9527 set at all so I can't say how bad the halo effect was on this set but it was defiantly still on the 9528 and it drove me mad in the end. All input sources showed it. The other effect that I noticed was on fast moving objects is they would loose all detail and appear as a series or lines just like scan lines. For instance a persons face if it moved quickly would just be made up of lines and you wouldn't see the eyes nose etc. This was rare but it was present. I even saw the halo effect in the film "Shrek" and that's a cartoon. Apart form that the picture was very sharp and clean with good colours. The sound from this TV is exceptional.

    Bazza:suicide:
     
  20. Bradford Blade

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    Sorry Lemon, for replying to this over a fortnight after posting, but I was interested in your points on the PD30 tube. I was informed by the manager of the local Panasonic shop (himself a pretty clued up AV enthusiast) that the PD30's tube is actually a Japanese High Definition tube, sent over to Wales and assembled here. If this is actually fact, it might explain why the PQ differs to what our European eyes are used to seeing?

    Anyway, I can't understand why Panny are so lax at their QC:confused:

    What's your replacement like? Better worse?

    Best regards,

    LAGAVULIN
     
  21. TweakFreak

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    @ arthurwatt
    I've been playing with my new 32PD30 for week now. My findings so far are:

    Good news! On all currently shipped PD30 there are no problems with progressive input. Test with the Philips 963SA shows no white bar and similar DVD picture position on scart RGB, component/progressive and component/interlaced inputs.

    Picture geometry is not perfect. Mine was trapezoid on left side of the screen. Service menu controls at disposal assure that any geometry problem can be sorted. It took me more than two hours of adjusting but now I have near perfect geometry in all aspect modes. Keep in mind that usually you have to spoil geometry with one control to achieve perfection applying another control. In my case, I had to make picture symmetrically trapezoid on both sides of the screen (what was not instance) and than apply the trapezoid correction.

    The dirty screen effect is very slightly present. In my case it can be ignored. I believe that this is a screen 'feature' resulting from design or manufacturing process imperfections.

    To my surprise, the best picture is achieved through the interlaced component input. It has substantially more detail and 3D effect than pure progressive. Shortest description of the DVD picture on TX-32PD30 feed with Philips 963SA is: breathtaking. You will really enjoy with this combination. I've checked all the previously mentioned problems and can't find any problem with this particular combination.

    Aerial and digital satellite TV are another story. High tube resolution and Acuity processing reveal and emphasise any existing picture noise or compression. Looking from distance of 9 feet everything looks pleasing.

    TweakFreak
     
  22. blindlemon

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    You say 'very slightly' present. I know this is difficult to quantify/describe - but how 'slight' is it in your case?

    On my 36PD30 I can see the "dirty mark" effect on many light coloured static scenes if I look for it, and it becomes very obvious as soon as there's a horizontal pan - snow scenes, in particular, are terrible. I can also see the discolouration at both bottom corners on about 50% of light scenes. :thumbsdow

    Now this, to me, is NOT acceptable. Are you saying your set is better than this - or are you just willing to be more forgiving of 'design or manufacturing process imperfections' on a £2k TV?
     
  23. blindlemon

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    Haven't got it yet. I'll post as soon as I have seen it - but I intend to be at home when it's delivered and reject it immediately if it's obviously worse than my present set.

    TweakFreak's post is encouraging, I hope...
     
  24. EuropeanBaron

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    I've got to say that the 32" PD30 I've got is amazing on prog scan DVD. I've not actually tried it on interlaced component yet as I am just blown away by the detail and stability of the picture.

    However, I find NTL digital very noisy through RGB. Again I've not yet tried composite to see if it's any better but I will this week.

    Off air pictures are pretty appalling, but then again, so is my ariel :(.

    Geometry as supplied was poor, but fixable through service menu.

    The picture seems overly red to me - can anyone advise on the colour controls on the service menu? I'm a bit wary of changing them too much as I don't really know what I'm doing.

    Also, I think I'll be rearranging my lounge to sit a little further from the screen. I'm currently about 7 feet away from the screen, and can see 100Hz artfacts such as shimmering around movement, but from the doorway (a couple of feet further away) these are not really noticeable.

    I'm not sure if my telly's got a slight dirty screen problem or not. I cannot decide if it is shimmering on pans or the dreaded dirty marks.

    I think I'm going to keep the set as it has potentially excellent pictures, but it is taking a lot more "work" than I expected to achieve them.
     
  25. Bradford Blade

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    Having the 36" PD30, I too am extremely impressed by Prog. Scan playback [especially R1 NTSC stuff - watched X2 at the weekend and was blown away!]. I've tried in on interlaced, but like you say, Prog. Scan has the awesome detail and stability that interlaced doesn't.

    Yeah, my geometry was pretty bad too, but tweeking in the service menu has fixed all that:clap: As for the "overly red pic, in the service menu, find the 'High' and 'Low' Colour adjustments, reduce both reds by about 5-10, and increase the blues by about 3-5. That should do it.

    And the dirty screen thing, I can't see anything (lucky me, eh?). Using a 70% and 100% amplitude white screen from my set up DVD there's nothing:confused:

    Finally, I know what ya mean about having to work to get it right. Strictly speaking, we shouldn't be having to tweek our sets through the service menu to get the pic looking right, but we don't live in a perfect world, and IMHO I actually appreciate having the ability to chop & change the pic to my - more-or-less - exact requirements:D

    Best wishes,

    LAGAVULIN
     
  26. Bradford Blade

    Bradford Blade
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    Too right Lemon! Hope it's better though, my serial no. batch is 3550XXX, so if yours is higher, you might be in luck (better not speak too soon though :suicide: )

    BTW, the tube IS made in Japan. Get a torch and shine it through the vent on the top right side of the telly and there should be a white label visible on the inside of the set...(I know, I should find better things to do with my time :laugh: )

    Anyway, let us know how things go mate,

    Keeping my fingers crossed for ya!

    LAGAVULIN
     
  27. TweakFreak

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    blindlemon,

    I’ll try to quantify this infamous dirty screen effect on my 32PD30. It seems to me there are two reasons for this dirty screen effect. I’ll cal first one static and the other one dynamic.

    Static is caused by inability of screen to produce uniformly bright colour over the entire screen area. Looking at test picture from "Nokia monitor test" (PC programme for testing monitors, with ATI Radeon 9700 TV-out to S-VHS input on PD30) I can find some areas which look like dirty as the are slightly less bright. I’m not talking about colour patches as colour is right, only less intense. Let say brightness of these small areas is 95% intensity of the rest screen area (measured by my subjective eye, not with some instrument). Panning picture can sometimes reveal those areas.

    Most noticeable dirty screen effect is produced, IMO, by Acuity digital processing. That’s the one I call dynamic. As you said, it’s most obvious on low contrast scenes with panning picture. I believe that in this case Acuity processing is not "smart" enough and as result picture looks like dirty and this can be seen over the entire screen, even the areas where static test picture looks very clean. This led me to conclusion that Acuity should be blamed for the dirty screen effect.

    Back to the battlefield. What I see on various sources?

    TV: live broadcasts from the studio show beautiful picture with no dirty screen effect at all. On the other hand, CNN news with shoots of Middle East (everything is white/grey with NTSC signal converted to PAL) exhibit horrible dirty screen effect. The rest is in between.

    DVD: high quality sources, like LOTR extended edition, make me happy. I have to force my self to find slightly visible dirty screen on some scenes. Low quality mastered DVD’s reveal dirty screen effect.
    To compare with your 36PD30 I don’t have any visible discolouration on light scenes. Before writing this post have looked at Ice Age DVD (snow scenes) and there was no visible dirty screen effect.

    Why does our experience with PD30 differ? I was lucky enough to get slightly better set, not a perfect one, just better. A quest for perfect TV looks to me as a quest for Holly grail and I don’t think anybody will find either. So my decision is to squeeze with tweaking maximum from the PD30 and live (happy ?) with smaller imperfections.

    Another possibility why I’m having nice picture: if my assumption about Acuity producing dynamic dirty screen effect is correct, than maybe pairing Philips 963SA with PD30 was pure lack. This particular model is equipped with 13 bit DAC and is known for very fine contrast grade picture with lot of detail, even in the darkest scenes. So Acuity doesn’t get confused with low contrast scenes. Hm, maybe.

    TweakFreak
     
  28. blindlemon

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    TweakFreak,

    I'm sure my dirty screen isn't produced by Acuity processing. The discoloured area (dirty mark) is there all the time - even in the pure cyan sub-geomagnetic adjust screen in the service menu.

    It shows as a pinkish/grey arc about 4-5 inches wide covering abojut 80% of the height of the screen midway between centre and the right hand edge. I'm pretty sure it's a tube yoke setup error as it looks a bit like tube magnetisation and moves very slightly when I change the sub-geomagnetic setting - but never goes away. It's actually quite faint, and sometimes you can't see it at all, especially on scenes where the underlying colour is simliar to and darker than itself. However, on snow scenes, beach scenes, soccer etc., when the camera pans horizontally you'd have to be blind not to see it. :rolleyes:

    The discolouration in the bottom corners looks more like magnetisation and is affected by the sub-geomagnetic setting too - if I like I can have a blue top-right corner, or a very yellow bottom-left one.... or vice-versa.... but never all of them the correct colour at the same time :mad:
     
  29. bazzae123

    bazzae123
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    blindlemon M8,

    It sounds like the problem I had with all three of mine. I had the arc on both sides of the screen and it would appear that if you could stretch the screen outwards to make it bigger I'm sure the two arcs would meet to form a circle. I took my Avia disk to every shop in town that had a PD30 and tried them all. The arc effect was on ALL of them along with the variations in colour when displaying a purely single colour screen. As you know I gave up in the end. I now have a Loewe with a nice clean picture but I still miss the extra resolution of more pixels. Without it I see the line structure now.

    Bazza
     
  30. EuropeanBaron

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    Thanks Lagavulin.

    So have I got this right then?.....

    If I raise both the high and low setting for I increase the overall level of that colour on all pictures. The opposite if I reduce it.
    If I raise the upper and reduce the lower, the range of that colour will be higher but I also reduce the "resolution" of colour changes i.e. a 10% increase in red will be more visible than a 10% increase if the difference between high and low is less.

    Are there maximum and minimum values I should adhere to ?

    Thanks in advance.
     

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