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Panasonic 7 Series - DVI or HDMI - Which Digital Connection?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Rasczak, Oct 9, 2004.

  1. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    I appreciate this is a well discussed issue so please forgive me for returning to it. I have been reading this fourm extensively in preparation for purchase of a new Plasma. Obviously, given their reviews and reputation here, Panasonic models are in the running. However I am having trouble deciding between a DVI or HDMI input. First I should point out a few points:
    - I am not interested in getting sound to the Plasma (all sound is piped to the Amp regardless of source)
    - I am not concerned about Sky HD (I will use component as I don't watch much TV - only DVDs)
    - I am not interest in long cable runs (the DVI/HDMI-DVI cable will only need to be about 1m long).
    - I am not concerned about HD DVD as I will replace the Plasma by then anyway
    - 99% of the screens use will be for watching DVDs (50% Region 1, 50% %Region 2)

    DVI Board
    From what I can gather the following video modes are supported by the DVI board:
    525 (480) 60Hz Progressive
    625 (575) 50Hz Progressive
    750 (720) 60Hz Progressive
    1,125 (1,080) 60Hz Interlaced
    I assume then it can take a progressive scan NTSC or PAL picture (but not interlaced) - provided it conforms exactly to the above? Just out of interest what DVD players do users of the Panny DVI have paired with it? I assume that models that 'upscale' PAL are incompatible unless you disable that feature or convert to 60Hz (which obviously can introduce a flicker). And, as I understand it, do the Pioneer models have to be ruled out due to 576 line output?

    HDMI Board
    Information on the HDMI board seems a little sketchy. From what I can gather the only confirmed video resolution is 625 (575) 50Hz Progressive! That MUST be incorrect? I notice in the manuals it states the connection is HDMI v1.1 compatible. As has been pointed out on another thread this means it should support a wide range of video resolutions. Has anybody actually hooked up an HDMI player: a Denon or Arcam perhaps? I assume (as for the DVI connection) the Pioneer 576 output will prevent it working.


    All in all it seems quite disappointing to me that the DVI and (presumably) the HDMI boards are so restrictive. That said though if it does all it is required to then what does it matter? I suppose my core questions from this thread are:
    - Given that it seems whatever both connections will only accept a progressive signal does this present any problems?
    - Given it does have a proven track record is there a good reason for NOT going for the DVI option?
    - What DVD players (in the sub-£1000 bracket) are best to pair with these screens/boards?

    Many thanks
     
  2. ianh64

    ianh64
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    Personally I wouldn't worry about whether you go for DVI or HDMI as long as it is DVI + HDCP. HDMI is a superset standard of DVI and includes HDCP as standard. HDMI is more video orientated than DVI, which has its roots in the PC world. HDMI also specifies a minumum standard, there are many more resolutions that can be used than those specified, but ultimately it will come down to what is supported by the display and what is supported by the source, and choosing all components that support the resolutions that you want to see irrespective of whether this is DVI or HDMI. HDMI, also has other benefits over DVI, other than audio that you have touched on (still very much in its infancy), HDMI supports control signals to allow one piece of equipment to control another or pass remote control commands via the HDMI cable. In addition, HDMI can be 'daisy chained' a bit like SCART or hub configured, unlike DVI which is point to point. However, for a display, it is probably pretty much immaterial at present whether it is DVI+HDCP or HDMI if you are not using display audio.

    I personally use a HDMI equipped DVD player/scaler (Meridian G98) to a DVI-I+HDCP equipped screen (Loewe Xelos) and had initial fun and games getting it to work with CP material. However, once I realised that it was initially dependant on what order the kit was powered up from cold (there was a preamble of HDCP data that was not being exchanged in a timely manner) everything has been fine at 720p, 1080i and 1024x768.

    -Ian
     
  3. kirakira

    kirakira
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    Check out my thread regarding DVI

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=155574

    At least the standard TH-50/42/65PHD7 (JP model) supports the same res supported by 6th gen (i.e. NR, all 60Hz HDTV modes and 50Hz 525) so I'd say stick with DVI since its essentially bit for bit the same as HDMI minus control signals and audio (but who uses Plasma speakers anyway).
     
  4. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Yeah - that is the conclusion I am rapidly coming to. What DVD player do you have paired with the DVI board? Do you have any issues getting the correct aspect ratio displayed?
     
  5. kirakira

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    Well I have nothing at the moment but my TH-50PHD7AY is being pre-ordered and so is my Denon 2910. Unforunately I live in Australia and we get treated like 3rd class citizens by everyone (banana republic, can't help it) so none of the product is coming here anytime soon (Denon 2910 end of this month, 7AY, err Panasonic Australia doesn't even have a part number for the damn thing!! but DEC04/JAN05).

    I think Denon 2910 can display proper 4:3 aspect ratio via the squeeze function (but you cannot zoom to fill the screen). Of course the plasma cannot scale any digital input signals.

    I think UK gets things a lot faster than we do so I'm not the best guy for this sort of stuff lol.
     
  6. Chris5

    Chris5
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    Hi KiraKira, its a shame you can't get someone in the uk to export one to you. I guess it's 'trust' thing.
     
  7. gammmmo

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    kirakira, I too am giving serious consideration to a high-def Panny paired with the 2910 - I've read your (and Rasczak's) description of which display formats seem to be supported by the DVI+HDMI cards and think I understand what is being said. Can I assume then that the upscaling to 720p feature of the 2910 with PAL DVDs will not work with the Panny via DVI/HDMI but will through component?

    Anyone - HDTV is reputedly on its way here in 2006 although we don't know whether this will be 1080i or 720p. Are the new Sky boxes likely to have a digital connection? If so, given the supported formats cited for the DVI/HDMI cards, does this not mean they would be incompatible with such a digital connection too? :confused:
     

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