Panel only or complete TV? Can anyone advise?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs Forum' started by andrewkay, Nov 5, 2005.

  1. andrewkay

    andrewkay
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    Hi Guys

    About to take the plunge and buy a 42in Plasma. My main dilemma is about the choice between a panel only type set up or a complete TV. I am guessing that there is no 'right way' and that there will be enthusiasts for both options.

    Can anyone point me to a thread or place where this has already been debated, or if not, can you tell me the pros and cons. I want to try and get an obejective view of the arguments before I decide.

    I am a hi-fi "buff" getting into this for the first time, and I am not freaked out by the prospect of cabling, extra boxes etc but the shops have very little information on Panel options being heavily biased towards complete TV solutions.

    Our TV watching is varied family viewing, for my own part I am interested mostly in watching DVDs

    Andy

    Postscript : As I type this question, I realise that I am leaning towards a panel only solution. This is because my experiece with hi-fi tells me that separates are always better, but that that B&O looks good! Does the same principle apply to Plasma TVs?
     
  2. don-tucker

    don-tucker
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    Andy
    All I can say is that I choose the panel option and have had a bit of fun getting to the stage of being happy with the picture and sound,trying different options.There were times when I thought I had done the wrong thing but now I am so pleased and it gave me a sense of achievement.
    Hope this helps a little bit.
    Don
     
  3. Tosty

    Tosty
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    Hi Andrew,

    Being in the same situation as you I've just plumped for a panel, Panny 42PHD8 from AV-sales due next week hopefully. The real question for me was could I make it family friendly? My experience is that as soon as you opt for a panel rather than a "telly" you immediately need a learning remote, unless you are prepared to use 1 remote for the panel, another to control the volume (from amp say) and a third to operate the playing device (dvd, sky etc.). Three remotes is not family friendly in my house, so I've bought a Harmony 885 from dabs.com. Certainly from reading these forums, the panels are regarded as giving a better picture and more connection options than just a tv. Being a hi-fi buff, I assume you have the problem of obtaining sound with the panel sorted? If you can wait that long I'll post my "experiences" and wife acceptance factor of it all, when it arrives end of next week. I'm still debating whether I made the right decision myself! I am however convinced that it will be the best quality I can afford. Whether it all works nicely (family friendly) or not, well, I'll let you know!
     
  4. andrewkay

    andrewkay
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    Thanks for input, I am currently (perhaps innocently) assuming that the system will be controlled by a video switching AV AMP. Remote from AMP will control volume and source. Assuming that Panel based solution will not required remote for panel in this case.

    Have not even got onto question of remotes from DVD, Freeview etc etc etc. Yikes! Learning remote seems to be best option.

    Andy
     
  5. Tosty

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    That's my understanding too. You connect the amp to 1 input on the panel (vga port with suitable cable) and have no need to use the panel remote at all. Having said that, that assumes that all sources connect happily to the av amp.
     
  6. MAW

    MAW
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    A video upconverting amp with a learning remote is what you seek for your panel only plasma, and a nice PVR freeview box. Topfield is the obvious choice as it has YUV output, saves you buying a converter. That, with a Denon or Onkyo amp and DVD would give you a clean, simple system with 1 remote.
     
  7. don-tucker

    don-tucker
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    What I've done is connect the ntl and audio to the VGA input(standard on Panasonic panels) via a JS converter box,as that is what we view most.Then the rest via a scart switcher into a scart input board (extra)on the panel.You could use the switcher through the JS converter but I wanted a more direct route for the satalite.
    Don
     
  8. MAW

    MAW
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    That's a good way picture wise, (and NTL needs all the help it can get!) and if you want just stereo from the panel for TV, most installs of the 'panel and AV amp' approach run their surround all the time, if you want stereo there's a button on the amp remote for that. You sound will be much better for it, you can never listen to TV speakers again. The 6 O'clock news intro is a good demo for pro logic 2, and if you are concerned about eastenders, don't be, it will be 95% from the centre speaker.
     
  9. don-tucker

    don-tucker
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    Maw
    I do use my AV amp but only in stereo as I have a problem with to much bass from my Bose speaker system,anyway I burnt the panel amp out,past posts,I think the prob. of the bass is the amp or so Bose told me.
    Don
     
  10. MAW

    MAW
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    Yeah, well, Bose, need we say more? They can't take the output from a conventional amp. There is no mid range, so the bass cuts in suddenly. Bose's own amps compensate for this a bit. Not a big bose fan, as you can tell. Was it the bose system that burned out the panel amp?
     
  11. don-tucker

    don-tucker
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    You are dead right MAW ,the thing about Bose is the small speakers,I am using a Panasonic AV reciever SA-XR10 , do you think thats the problem?Don't laugh but I have teatowels stuffed in the bass outlets and running on stereo so it's acceptable,perhaps I should get a better amp,any suggestions?
    As regards the burnt out amp on the panel,it was my fault,I've allready been b******d over that in past threads so enough said.
    Don
     
  12. MAW

    MAW
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    Ultimately, Don, your system would be better for a sound and switching overhaul, yes. Ditch the bose (ebay) get a YUV switching amp, better small speakers, gallo? several others, they are just no.1 at the moment.
     
  13. don-tucker

    don-tucker
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    Sorry to take advantage of you MAW but what is a YUV switching amp.?
     
  14. Mep

    Mep
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    Don. just in case MAW is not around, I think he just means an AVR that has several component inputs and component output to the panel
     
  15. don-tucker

    don-tucker
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    He's gone to watch Wales beat the All Blacks.
     
  16. Mep

    Mep
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    we'll see :)
     
  17. MAW

    MAW
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    Nah, just Tescos, Mep has filled in very nicely, the current mide range amps have 3 in, 1 out, for set top box, DVD and a console, and composite and s-video inputs are upconverted to component also.
     
  18. andrewkay

    andrewkay
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    Yes, I would also like to know what a YUV amp is. Was not planning to use the speakers in the Panel at all, as MAW suggested, audio will always be from the surround system.


    BTW I use Anthony Gallo Nucleus speakers with their sub for my home computer. It has to be said they are wonderful pc speakers. Coupled to an old Primare Amp.

    Wondered about the 5in Gallo spheres for my AV system, failing which the Tannoy or B&W satellites. Never liked the Bose.

    Is a scaler needed (or recommended) in a Panel only system?

    Thanks for the input guys.
    Andy
     
  19. Mep

    Mep
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    Andy, se my and MAW's comments above
     
  20. MAW

    MAW
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    The A'Divas are excellent, YUV is another name for component video. Scalers, a complex subject, again see a demo, a 42" is usually fine without one unless you are up your own bottom about picture quality, mep has 2 x 42" panels as you see in his sig, but no scaler. He's happy I believe. Others will tell you plasmas are all crap, nowhere near their beloved CRT TV's, usually on the strength of a 20 min demo in Currys. I use a scaler, but then if my PQ was no good I'd never sell a screen would I! Primarily it's for demo, I'm not actually that fussy myself, though it's very nice... Basically the scaler takes the input from your source, sky, freeview, whatever, and re-sizes the moving image to the native resolution of your panel. That's a tough job BTW. The panel does have it's own technology to do this, just not as good as £1200 worth of specialist electronics. Whether to or not, that's your call.
     
  21. don-tucker

    don-tucker
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    Any one want a nice Bose system,it'll be on e-bay unless I can get a better amp, like a NAD T750,any comments.
    Don
     
  22. Mep

    Mep
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    yes I'm very happy without a scaler for now, had one demo'd on my PW7 and it certainly didn't make £1200 worth difference......I suspect though that it would make a bigger difference with my PHD8.
     

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