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Panasonic PZ81B help please?


Standard Member
Please be patient with me if I ask what seem like stupid questions, and excuse the long post!!!

I am upgrading from a 42" Panasonic panel, and have to buy from comet as it is an insurance replacement. So I went to look at whats available around 50" with an open mind but biased towards panasonic as the panel has been fantastic. Out of the tvs on display the SONY KDL52W4500 and SAMSUNG LE52A656A1FXXU were the most outstanding, and the salesman said that LCDs were much better than plasmas, which were 'on their way out'. Confused again, I came home to do some more research. I also posted on the LCD forum, where I was advised to get the pioneer plasma, but I can't afford it. No-one recommended the samsung, and after reading the 4500 thread, with clouding and rainbow effect, etc. and the higher cost, I have decided to
a - stick within my budget, and
b - go with what I know,
so its the panasonic 50pz81b, hopefully with a price match.

(If anyone can give me their best prices I'd be grateful. My best so far is Crampton and Moore at £1199.00.)

My next problem is the set up. A the mo, as its just a panel, we have the sound through a jvc dvd player with surround sound, and a sky box. Don't know the exact set up as the man of the house did it. We would still like surround sound, obviously. I naively though that I could replace the dvd with a PANASONIC blu ray player but from what I've read its not that easy. (The MOTH says we don't need blu ray as we hardly ever play dvds.) Am I right in thinking the blu ray alone doesnt give surround sound?

I have picked the 81b for the freesat as we wont be able to afford sky hd in the foreseeable future so at least we will get some benefit from HD.

So I would appreciate advice on
a - best prices?
b - if I go blu ray what do I need?
c - do I just stick with my sky and jvc dvd I have now?
d - do I need loads of fancy leads to connect all this kit?

The more I look in to this the more complicated it gets and its doing my head in!!!!!! Please can someone help in simple terms please? Thanks.


Standard Member
I hear you loud and clear.
Bring back the test card & the Magic Roundabout. If GW and Blair had thought as long as we have about our new telly with Iraq the world might be a safer place............Ouch, wrong site.
Come on guys....help us newbies out....please.


Standard Member
Have recently done something very similar:

Has your JVD DVD player got an HDMI output and an optical input? If so it is relatively simple:

Plug satellite cable into the TV, this will allow you to get Freesat (including BBC HD). Can also get non Freesat free to air channels (such as Sky News) using the Other Satellite option on the TV.

You need an HDMI cable to connect DVD to the TV.

You need an optical cable from TV to DVD player for surroundsound from Freesat.

If your DVD player does not have an HDMI cable, then it won't be able to do upscaling of SD DVDs to HD, but the TV is quite adept at doing this anyway, so a SCART cable will suffice. If it doesn't have an optical input, then sound from Freesat will only ever be stereo (which most of it is anyway) and will (I believe) use the same SCART cable.

Personally speaking, I wouldn't worry with a Blu ray player just yet unless you really are a film addict or need to replace the DVD player.
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Standard Member
Thanks for that. Its made things a lot clearer. Just a thought, will I be able to record things on sky+ if I'm watching them on freesat?
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Prominent Member
Thanks for that. Its made things a lot clearer. Just a thought, will I be able to record things on sky+ if I'm watching them on freesat?
You should run an extra cable from the dish to the TV. Then you will still have full SKY+ functions.

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