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Panasonic SD versus HD

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by RoyH, Oct 19, 2003.

  1. RoyH

    RoyH
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    I posted here just over a month ago looking for feedback on the kit I intended to buy - with some concern, especially regarding SD versus HD decision. Following some initial feedback (both positive and negative) and to cut a long story short, I went ahead and bought: Panasonic TH-42PWD6BX (i.e. Series 6 SD) and other stuff: Pioneer HC-52S - a separates 'package' which included receiver (VSX-C301), DVD player (DV464) and 5.1 speaker set (S-V50S).

    I bought the Plasma (including wall bracket and SCART board) from:

    http://www.digital-point.co.uk/model.asp?ID=511

    and the Pioneer receiver, DVD player (multi-region) and speakers from:

    http://homepages.force9.net/grahama...sh/magic/home_cinema_dvd/pioneerhc52pack.html

    I should say first of all that both the above dealers were extremely helpful and efficient all the way (delivering exactly as agreed) and, based just on my experience at least, I wouldn't hesitate to use either of them again.

    Having actually got the kit at home, there followed a rather frustrating week barely being able to look at the boxes as it hit the fan at work and so I had to spend all my time focusing on that. I then managed to get a week off so set about installing all of the above: embedding/extending/installing cables in dry lining and re-decorating - not a trivial amount of work as anyone who has done the same will know.

    I have a number of pictures telling the installation story in gory detail for anyone who is really interested(?) but the following image (apologies for the low res/quality) shows the final result - I'm no photographer as you can see but I hope you can get the general idea. The fairly thin looking chimney breast isn't actually real and is just for show (my house is only 3 years old) though there was a gas pipe to deal with and I made use of an electrical switch which was intended to be used for a powered-flue: builders assumed gas fires would be installed - can't believe they didn't know people put plasmas there instead these days :) Sockets for power, TV/Stereo FM, telephone, Sky and a box for speaker/scart cables are all wired on the 'chimney breast' (embedded) behind the unit (Ikea Oppli - as I now know to be a very popular choice indeed).

    That's more than enough about the installation so I'll get on to say that although I obviously still cannot 'compare' SD / HD with my setup, I am absolutely delighted with all of the kit I chose. The Panasonic SD plasma is simply stunning on DVD playback and is pretty good via Sky, though with varying quality - as expected I guess, according to their data rate allocation for different channels/programmes. The Panny provides as bright an image as you could possibly want (certainly turned the brightness down a number of notches) with the excellent contrast as advertised. As regards the Panny 6 SD v HD, I feel extremely happy and comfortable with my decision not to spend the extra on the HD - couldn't really afford it in my budget anyway.

    As you may recall from my original post(s), I'm connecting everything RGB (except Video) via the very excellent (IMHO) Pioneer VSX-C301 receiver which makes the connectivity simple but retains good quality. The SCART cable connecting the receiver to the plasma is a Thor with Vivanco Prowire for the rest - except the composite video which just utilises one of the cheap SCART cables I had on previous TV.

    Whilst it was certainly more work to install than I'd expected (though I did also re-decorate the entire lounge), I'm totally thrilled with the system overall - thanks in no small part to the many excellent discussions I've read on this forum over the past couple of years.

    Hope my post wasn't too long/boring for you.

    Cheers,

    Roy
     

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  2. NeilMcRae

    NeilMcRae
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    Looks great mate! Welcome to the club.
     
  3. RoyH

    RoyH
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    Thanks for the [Mancunian type] welcome Neil - maybe you know that Stalybridge is only about 10 miles from Manchester City Centre and we like to call everyone mate :)

    I'm genuinely over the moon with the Panasonic 6 and generally happy to be a plasma-owner at last. There's a lot I don't yet understand about my plasma (and related kit) but I'm hoping to keep up-to-speed with the developing technology now I actually own one.

    One of the more puzzling points I've been wrestling with already is that the manual repeatedly warns of possible after-image problems if 4:3 images are displayed for prolonged periods. As you'll know, on the Panny 6, side panels may be illuminated which apparently prevent (or at least lesson) after-image issues - seems like a good idea. The question I have here is that if 4:3 images cause burn problems do 2.35:1 images (i.e. with black bars top and bottom) also give rise to after-images? I should stress that, so far at least, I've seen no after-image problems whatsoever.

    Cheers,

    Roy
     
  4. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    RoyH

    What the Panasonic manual is stressing about 4:3 images carries for 'letterbox' wide screen images too - dont have black bars on screen for hours and hours; though do keep in mind the dire warnings relating to 4:3 images are mostly aimed at using the Display as a 'digital sign' with a 4:3 signal from a PC 24/7.

    Just keep on using a mixture of full screen and letterbox video material and you'll not have a problem.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  5. tbrar

    tbrar
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    Thats the key really, just vary your viewing habits. Also calibrate settings - namely contrast (most important setting in avoiding screen burn issues) to an acceptable level.

    You can do this with disks such as Avia/Digital Video Essentials or THX Mastered Disks which contain the Optimode Tool, ie Starwars movies, Monsters Inc. Then after 100 hours or so get Gordon (Convergent) to ISF calibrate your panel, highly recommended .:smashin:
     
  6. RoyH

    RoyH
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    Thanks Joe and tbar,

    I'm keen to get Digital Video Essentials out of interest if nothing else though it doesn't appear to be available yet - play.com had it listed for release on 20/10/2003 but are now indicating that it's not available. Other sites indicate that it might be available next week though one supplier claims it has recently been deleted. What's the story with DVE then - will the PAL version be available?

    I did have a quick glance at the THX tool but mainly to compare the 5.1 setup with "The Ultimate DVD Surround Sampler" DVD. I figured I'd have more difficulty getting the sound correctly configured than I actually did. My system is quite symmetrical and evenly spaced so in the event, it was straightforward.

    So far, I've only turned the brightness down on the Plasma with the remainder set as default as I was hoping to have Digital Video Essentials by now. My quick glance at the THX calibration tool showed that at least one of the test patterns wasn't showing as described so I should check this out some more. I took the (probably incorrect) view that it was better to have the contrast set high(ish) with the brightness lower - which is pretty much how I set my preferences for PC displays.

    Cheers,

    Roy
     
  7. tbrar

    tbrar
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    Generally Contrast levels of panels are set way to high in the factory. .:eek: The problem is that High Contrast is the culprit in screen burn issues. I would really look at lowering Contrast from default as soon as possible, as said use the THX Optimode tool for time being. I have the NTSC DVE, I have no idea why the PAL version is not available yet, though like you have it pre-ordered
     

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