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Panasonic PHD8 versus PV-500

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Pattaya Dave, Oct 22, 2005.

  1. Pattaya Dave

    Pattaya Dave
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    I am tired of reading post after post from people stating that the PHD8 is better, has a better picture than the PV-500. Aren't both of these Plasmas based on generation 8 electronics? Have any of you who claim that the PHD8 is better that the PV-500 removed the back cover of both units and compared electronics? I would venture to guess that they both share the same high quality electronics. Yeah, the PV-500 has tuners and speakers, but can anyone show evidence that Panasonic has skimped on the other electronics within the PV-500 to make it inferior to the PHD8? For example, I've read the following quotes from Liam, quote, “This plasma gives a better picture than the PV500 and is better for PC use by far.” “No, I mean the PHD8 gives a better picture than the PV500 and is more suited to PC use. It is Panasonic's more commercially oriented screen and far more suitable for higher-end installs and PC work.” Is the PHD8 truly better than the PV-500 just because it is the commercial model or is it just a cheaper substitute due to the lack of tuners and built-in speakers?

    Others post, a PHD8 and scaler gives you the best picture available, better than that of the PV-500. This is all well and good. Where do these scalers come from? They obviously don't come from Panasonic. So, some of us are saying that Panasonic builds the best Plasma display (PHD8), bar none, but to get a great picture, you have to purchase a scaler from another (European) manufacturer. If we compared Panasonic products alone, would the PHD8 still outperform the PV-500? I truly agree that the Panasonic commercial panel models such as the PHD8 look better than the PV-500, however I have yet to see anyone present any evidence that a stand alone PHD8 will provide a better picture than a PV-500. I am open to any factual data that can be provided by forum members that will confirm that a stand alone PHD8 is a better model than that of the PV-500.
     
  2. avman69

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    Dave the panasonic panel brigade will be along soon to enlighten you, of the terrible mistake youve made buying a pv500 when you couldve bought the holy grail of plasmas the phd8. You'll hear all about how the different processing seriously effects picture quality & how much more flexible owning a panel is, & of how much easier it is to calibrate etc etc.

    Now i own a 42pv500 that i got for 2k with free del, as you know that includes everything 3 scarts, 1 component, 1 hdmi, etc.
    A phd8 is 2100, but when you want to have a similair amout of connectivity at the back, this price does go upto roughly 2.5k inc del.
    ironically making the stripped down commercial panel more expensive than its tv counterpart!

    Having seen both panels in action, i have to say if your really nitpicking the phd8 just edges the pv500 for overall pq, but if you ask me do i think its 500 pound better the answer is a resounding no!! 50 pounds better maybe!!
     
  3. NWhiteley

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    out of the box, the pv500 is probably better value for money, as it has all the connections required for the average joe (not saying that YOU are an average joe), and a pq that most people will be more than happy with. but, once the connection boards have been added to the PHD8 and it is calibrated and set up correctly, then the PHD8 leaps ahead of its retail counterpart. not to mention, the pv500 is butt ugly (in my eyes anyways ;) ) the extra outlay is fully justified... thats why i bought one :thumbsup:

    the panels in the 2 screens i think are different. the pv500 has 2 separate processors running 1 half each, which has caused a problem with some panels (the constrast can vary between them), were as the PHD8 only has one, so doesnt suffer from this problem
     
  4. kenji-san

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    one benefit with the panel IS that it's more flexible, regarding picture adjustment etc. I sold a 42pe50 (same picture adjustments as the 42pv500) because i was unable to do geometry adjustments on the component input.
    So all my 480 input signals had 5 cm borders on each side, and there was nothing i could do about it. On the pwd or phd, this would've been resolved within 5 seconds of adjustment. When paying this kind of money for a tv, a picture distortion of this scale was just to much to live with.
    Although i think i'm of the minority to have experienced this kind of bad geometry pre-adjustments, it's still but one of many potential situations one could come across with the pv500 where more flexible picture control would be wished for.

    Regarding the 500 pound extra, it's all relative as to what kind of connections you'd want to use.
    And, looking in the long term (given that you want to keep the panel for 5+ years), i'd say the panel advantages vs the extra price DOES pay off.
     
  5. avman69

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    its comments like the panel version leaps ahead of its tv counterpart for pq that makes me laugh, it makes new members feel like theres this huge difference, when its more like the phd8 sticks its neck out in a photo finish!!

    As far as asthethics go its down to the individual, no point in saying that because the panel has a thinner bezel it looks soo much better, i mean my wife on seeing the panel commented that the poor matt finish of the panel bezel smacked of cheapness compared to the piano gloss effect finish of the pv500. I personally feel that the pv500 on its matching ped stand looks like a more expensive product than its panel counterpart, but if i was wall mounting then i would personally pick the phd8.
     
  6. NWhiteley

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    so it makes you laugh then?????

    have you seen a PHD8 set up correctly? no? i have, and its amazing. far better than a mates PV500
     
  7. Rahmorak

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    Or it could be that you are less discriminating than some members?

    If someone sees a big difference, and someone sees virtually no difference they can both be right. We all see things differently and we all have our own opinions.
    If you don't think it is worth the extra investment, great you saved yourself some money, but that doesn't mean others shouldn't promote what they see as a better option.
     
  8. Pattaya Dave

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    I appreciate all those who posted to my thread. I'm still not convinced that the PHD8 is technically built superior to the PV-500 since little technical data has been presented here, however NWhiteley did bring up one technical difference between the two models. NWhiteley states above that the PV-500's screen in split in half, run by two separate processors where as the PHD8 uses a single processor for the entire screen. I don't particularly doubt his statement, but it makes little sense to me that Panasonic would develop two separate brand new generation 8 top of the line high definition models, but use two different means to process video signals to the screen. It doesn't sound cost effective to me. NWhiteley, where can I read about how Panasonic processes signals to their screens?

    I purchased the TH50-PV500M model here in Thailand. It doesn't use scart inputs. It has 2 component inputs, 1 HDMI and one S-Video input. I haven't mentioned anywhere in my thread about actual picture comparison between the PHD8 and PV-500 because I know of no retail or reseller who sells the panels in Thailand. I did once see a P7 Panasonic model displayed in a local hospital, however it was hooked up to a local feed whereby the picture quality was not that good. I agree with those stating that the panels look better on the wall than the PV-500 series. I had previously bought a Philips 50" panel model with a small silver bezel that looked great, but I just couldn't accept the picture quality (black levels mostly) and back to the store it went. Can anyone else provide technical differences between the PHD8 and PV-500 that would substantiate claims that it provides the better picture quality?

    Thanks,
     
  9. Mep

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    Dave, remember that Panasonic commercial and consumer are two seperate divisions so your logic doesn't necessarily apply.
     
  10. Pattaya Dave

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    Thanks Mep,

    That's something I wasn't aware of therefore I couldn't consider it. I guess I can understand now how some models could be configured differently. I know that most professional series notebook computers are generally configured differently than those of their consumer brethren, however that doesn't necessarily translate into better models, only more expensive. In the case of Panasonic plasmas, it surprises me that their commercial panels aren't heavily marked up in price over their consumer models. In my experience, commercial products are marked up so high that they are affordable to purchase by the general consumer and aren't meant to be. In the case of the Panasonic plasma panels, they just may very well be the best value out there for those building a dedicated home theater system. For those normal viewers who are just replacing their old CRT for a brand new television, the PV-500 is their alternative.
     
  11. NikB

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    I was always lead to believe that the PHD screens ran 2 processors not the other way round. Therefore they should be technically superior. This is why colour banding is not usually visible on the PHD screens.
     
  12. Mep

    Mep
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    actually they do, which is why you have more PiP, PoP, etc options with the 'D' models
     
  13. nicke20

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    urm imho the phd8 looks nicer on the wall :)
     
  14. NWhiteley

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  15. Pattaya Dave

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    Does anyone have a link to the technical data that states that the PV-500 screen is split in half and run by two processors and that the PHD8 has a single processor for the entire screen? The above link didn't answer this question.
     
  16. pwood

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    Built in freeview tuner PQ is stunning on pv500 probably down to being built in this is not a feature of the Phd8 and one which I find very useful when I just wanna catch up on the news wih a bit of sound. Panel may give slightly better picture but then how many here have compared like for like ie ISF'd 500 and ISF'd Phd8. Before anyone starts i know 500 is a pure B to set up but that does not mean its impossible.

    As for the styling I ( everyone I know ) am mistified as to how 500 can be called ugly. I agree that if you are wall mounting then a panel is less bulky but then the Pioneer 436 makes even more sense (lighter!) with the media box allowing for easier connectivety in the future especially for those who need to plaster in the cables before hand.
     
  17. Gordon @ Convergent AV

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    If you want a technical difference then I believe the PV500 has no film detection on it's de-interlacing circuit. Whereas the PHD8 does (at least for 60Hz material). I have not had chance to check one with 50Hz material. This is a SIGNIFICANT difference if you watch any material on TV that was originally sourced from a progressively captured image (ie film).

    IMHO if you have a PV500 you would want to use a prog scan DVD player or even better an off board scaler if you really want to see what it is capable of. JMHO....

    Gordon
     
  18. rudy

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    Have'nt read this thread from beginning. Does the PHD8 have any of the problems of the pv500?
     
  19. Swa

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    On a german site a user wrote that the upper black bar was brighter than the lower bar. He asked if this can be adjusted. My first assumption was that there could be two processors at work, just like the pv500 :( .
    The contrast problem of the pv500 is also been seen on the phd8 (see the avsforum). It looks like there is not that much difference between these two models?

    I am also very interested in the differences between the pv500 and the phd8. But what I have read so far, is that technically there isn't that much different.
     
  20. pwood

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    This is a SIGNIFICANT difference if you watch any material on TV that was originally sourced from a progressively captured image (ie film).

    Gordon excuse my ignorance but what exactly would be the difference and will it be redressed if I use a prog scan DVD player. I have been using my Es10 in interlaced as I noticed that the line test patterns on DVE showed up a more stable picture with prog set to off as with it set on the lines flickered a lot!
     
  21. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    You can't use stationary test patterns for judging the performance of moving image de-initerlacing imho. You're DVD player is using a non-optimal method for de-interlacing the stationary image but it may be much better with moving images. The easiest piece of material to use is the first scene in Insurrection (Star Trek). It's not hard to do properly but it shouuld show up what goes wrong if you don't do correct thing.

    If a device cannot work out whether the original material was originally captured progressively then it cannot reconstitute the original frames for scaling. The result will be less resolution on screen and undoubtedly a host of jaggie de-niterlacing artefacts. All these can be seen easily if you play the above clip on an A/B loop.

    You should remember that alot of material we see on TV originated from film. It's not just DVD's that benefit from this feature.

    Gordon
     
  22. MAW

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    What you are all asking is something like ' Is my dad's Denon mini system as good as the 2805/2910 combo, and why' It's the difference between a separates system and a music centre. They may share a few chips, connectors etc, but that's where it stops. The 2805 has a bucket load of features that no HC in a box has, audio delay, speaker distances, crossover frequency adjustment, assignable digital audio inputs, assignable component video inputs, etc. This is just the same with the PV500/PHD argument. The PV puts together a bunch of decent components in a way suitable for many people, easy to use, no rocket science involved. The PHD required expert setup, or at least advice, and can be precisely configured and calibrated to suit anyone. If it's not for you, no problem, you'll be happy with the PV500. If you are on a mission to attain home cinema nirvana, then you'll likely never be totally happy with the PV500. Calibration is a pain in the ass, the 2 TV tuners are nothing but an nuisance if you already have sky+ or PVR freeview, speakers are no use if you are OK with using a quality surround system for your TV watching, and believe me, once you are used to that kind of sound quality, the sound of any TV speakers can make you retch. Yes, it's all a bit esoteric, yes, we are a bunch of geeks, and yes, we are happy to be so, and rest secure in the knowlege of the superiority of our setups. It is better, at huge cost in thought, design of the system, component matching etc. Not huge actual cost wise if you do it right, and assuming you'd want surround sound anyway.
     
  23. rudy

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    Does it have the same bugs as the pv500? sorry to repeat. Obviously no problems with whistling speakers...
     
  24. MAW

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    None of the same ones, just a few little ones all of it's own!
     
  25. Pattaya Dave

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    I started this thread to obtain the technical differences between the PHD8 and the PV-500 in order to understand the reasons why so many members of this forum claim the PHD8 to be superior and in some cases "significantly" superior to that of the PV-500. I too, would have preferred a panel Plasma, not necessarily because it is better, but because of its size, shape, looks and versatility, however I could not locate the Panasonic panel models in any of the retail or reseller stores in Thailand. As much as I would have preferred a panel (PHD8) over my 50" PV-500, as I prefer separates in all of my equipment both audio and video, none of these factors speak of the quality of the internal components of either model.. Maw's statement, "What you are all asking is something like ' Is my dad's Denon mini system as good as the 2805/2910 combo, and why' It's the difference between a separates system and a music centre" is an insult to me and all others who have posted to this thread. Does he think of us as Plasma owners of simple minds? Maw, do you really theoretically equate the PV-500 to the Denon mini system and and the PHD8 to that of a good combo unit such as the 2805/2910 or separates? Wouldn't you agree that there is a huge price gap between that of a Denon mini system and a good Denon combo or separates? I own a higher end Yamaha amplifier, the DSP-AZ1. I know for a fact that Yamaha makes a lower end model that claims to put out the same power (watts) per channel as that of mine, however in reserve power capability, sonic quality, and features, it does not compare favorably to my own. I'm sure you could make the same comparison with Denon equipment. The price will be substantially different between the low end model and the higher end model. This is not the case of the PV-500 and the PHD8 as the prices are very closely related so I think we could come up with a better example for comparison that that of a Denon mini system and a 2805/2910 combo, don't you think? My first Plasma was a Philip's panel and it didn't compare favorable to either the PV-500 or PHD8 so I got rid of it.

    I'll give the edge to the PHD8 when it comes to size, shape, looks, user defined input connections and finally the availability of more settings and adjustment capability through internal software. However, I have yet to see any evidence of it's technical superiority and quality of internal parts. Also, I don't consider the fact that the PHD8 requires expert setup (calibration), or at least expert advice to a plus for purchase consideration.
     
  26. Gordon @ Convergent AV

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    Dave: Both devices benefit from expert setup and calibration. The difference is that the PHD8 has better advanced calibration facilities so end result should be superior.

    Gordon
     
  27. MAW

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    Flounces off, stage left! Some of the home cinema in a box type things use top end chipsets etc, my point was that even with lots of the same components, same transformers in the amp, same chipsets in the DVD, a separates system always wins because of all those extra 'pro' features. These are usually the sort of thing that scares off those who want the simple life. It's just the usual simple trade off, easy to use consumer product, or carefully planned component matching and skilled/at least well informed installation, complex setup etc. No need to be insulted, certainly none intended. Expert advice is not a drawback, it costs nothing. Calibration is what I'd term a desirable extra, that applies to both TV and panel. The panel is much easier for Gordon/Piers to work with, though not in Thailand, unless you are volunteering to pay expenses, when I'm sure either of them will be on the next flight!
     
  28. NikB

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    Sorry to play devil's advocate but the original question still hasn't actually been answered. What specifically makes the PHD8 better than the PV500 in terms of pic quality. Ignoring the menus etc, is it that the PHD8 has a better scaler? better processing?
     
  29. mattliley

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    Well, you know what? The PV500 DOES have 2 scalers. one working on the top half and one working on the bottom... Oh, and i'd like to say that the PV500's contrast is measured on full screen output unlike the pioneer... You can't really measure contrast on a 6 inch by 6 inch section of the screen can you?
     
  30. Pattaya Dave

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    Gordon, I truly understand and agree with your analogy. I also understand that the PV-500 and the PHD8 are primarily designed for difference audiences even though purchasers of the PHD8 tend to come from a broader audience. My contention remains that internally both models are designed and manufactured, in some areas with different parts, but are of the same level of quality.

    And Maw, I guess that "insulted" may have been a little far reaching, but I really didn't like your initial comparison, extremely too broad ranged as compared to the slight quality and price differences between the PV-500 and PHD8. I think you might agree that "Separates" don't have the reputation of quality over integrated components as they once did. Actually, in my experience, the higher end the component (audio gear) the less switches (bells and whistles) they have. To get the necessary features that provide the bells and whistles that we want, we have to buy additional specialized component equipment to provide those features. The Panasonic Panel PHD8 is only a single component. I'm sure it is a great screen, but for it to reach it's full potential even after calibration, other component equipment must be purchased. Components such as scalers are almost mentioned exclusively with panels. The PV-500 is more of an integrated unit with it's separate tuners and speakers, however if we disregard the different software that allows for better calibration of the PHD8, aren't the screens basically the same?

    Speaking of calibration and proper setup, do you feel that most of the business firms with which the panels are designed for in the first place, pay that much attention to proper setup and calibration in their boardrooms? Do they really benefit from the advantages of the panels or do they purchase them because of the size, looks and cheaper cost? I personally think that the Home Theater User places much more emphasis on this capability and opts for the ultimate setup. The hospital near my home has installed Panasonic PW7 panels and after viewing these screens, I would doubt that little was done beyond the installation and the typcial user onscreen adjustments.

    Anyway, thanks all for your posts. This has been an interesting discussion.
     

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