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Panel only vs Plasma TV

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by NewToyForXmas, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. NewToyForXmas

    NewToyForXmas
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    Hi, I've been looking at PV500 and PD7200 plasma's but it's recently come to my attention that as I will be getting Sky+, that I could go the panel only route.

    What are the advantages of doing this? And what are the drawbacks? Is it going to make things more complicated for me - I'm not an AV guru, by any stretch of the imagination!

    Does look like it might be a lot cheaper - but how much will all the other stuff to make it work cost? And what is a good screen only?
     
  2. philipb

    philipb
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    I really only have experience of Pio plasmas, but here the monitor screen has better PQ because the media box attached to the TV models does degrade the signal to some extent.

    At the very least you would need to get a SCART to VGA or component converter to hook up the Sky box to the plasma (cost about £80 or £100+ respectively), or I think in the case of the Pannies there is a SCART enabled video board you can fit which may be included in the cost of the Panel.

    Or you can splash big money on scalers etc to get ultimate PQ - budget £1000+ for a decent model.

    You need to try to see them at work though - you may well not consider the picture improvement worth the extra hassle.

    And BTW - the monitor screens may well not be HD capable - ie accept a HDCP signal. If you plan to go HD eventually you may be better off opting for a TV model.
     
  3. Pat Marcus

    Pat Marcus
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    The Panasonic is a very good screen, irrespective of the fact that it has tuners built in. There are plenty of happy owners on this forum.
    The pio 435xde is excellent, too and contains tuners. The hitachi 7200 has garnered much popular press though Ive personally yet to actually see one. Im not sure whether it is a screen or TV.
    I chose a screen rather than a TV because I already have a freeview box and wanted all the money to be spent on the electronics and the picture, and simply didnt need one.
     
  4. NewToyForXmas

    NewToyForXmas
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    I have the Panasonic E500 Hard drive recorder - would I cable Sky+ into gthe E500 and then attach the E500 to the screen? How would I attach it to the panel? Would I also cable my PS2 / xBox through the E500 too? The E500 has 5.1 outputs - does this attach directly to speakers or does it need to go to an amp and then to speakers? It would be great if the E500 could solve all the connectivity issues. Would I get a problem with lip syncing that I have read about on other threads?
     
  5. Piers

    Piers
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    As others have said, the panel rather than TV route is feasible and doesn't need to be complicated and may well give you a better picture quality, but it takes more effort!

    How you attach your Sky + depends very much on the panel / plasma TV you decide to buy. The plasma TVs typically have a media box which usually have scart connections. The Panasonic media box should be avoided. The Pioneer ones are relatively OK.

    If you go down the panel route (which I would advise) then you are looking at converter boxes to change the output of your Sky + box to the best type of input for the panel (the one exception that I have seen is the Fujitsu XHA40 which seems to thrive on an S-video input which Sky + can supply). The J S Technology converters do the business (but you need to check that they work with your chosen panel).

    Lip sync may be a problem - it is to me - an amp with global audio delay is essential to me.

    High def should be considered. It is coming, it gives big picture quality improvements, from Sky it may be expensive (who knows?) and Blue Ray DVD will be here in due course. Sky say their set top box will allow HDTV over component connections, but for how long? - if you want to be future proof you really need an HDMI input or a DVI input with HDCP - apologies, you said you weren't an AV guru and I have given you a load of techie stuff in this paragraph.

    I doubt it will be cheaper than the PV500 or the PD7200 but given a fair bit of effort you will get a better picture.
     
  6. Mep

    Mep
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    apart from anything else...where is the fun in buying something that does everything in one box...you gotta add bits, change bits, tweak bits.......that's the enjoyment...
     
  7. NewToyForXmas

    NewToyForXmas
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    The panel route is growing in appeal - but what panels are HD-ready? The panel route also sounds better for wall mounting as I am guessing that there are relatively few cables to the panel itself - probably just the power and whatever is connecting the convertor to the screen.

    How much is it likely to cost to avoid the lip sync problems - are amps with global audio delays pricey?

    I'd really like to have a proper in-store chat with someone about this really, but unfortunately my budget is going to force me to choose a vendor based on price rather than service / expertise.
     
  8. philipb

    philipb
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    Panels with a resolution of at least 1024x768 are HiDef.
    As far as taking a HDCP HD signal is concerned (from a DVD player or, eventually, a Sky+ box) I suspect most (all) of them are not HD ready in the official sense. But Sky+ will at least start with analogue (non HDCP) HD signals via component, and you can always insert a DVI to VGA converter in the path to handle any DVI/HDMI HDCP signals (see threads on the High Definition forum for relevant kit).

    Piers has summed it up well. My suggestion would be -

    Pio or Panny HD display (I have the Pio 43MXE1 which I think is the best you can buy). Take the SCART RGB out from the Sky box into the E500 (nice box :smashin: ), then out to a JS Tech SCART to VGA converter, then into the VGA input on the plasma. If you get the 43MXE1 set it to FRC mode 2 for judder free PAL pictures at 50Hz :)

    Later if you get a Sky+ HD box you can use either the component analogue output or the HDMI via one of the boxes I mentioned above.

    And BTW, budget for a calibration of the display by Piers - well worth it to get maximum PQ from your investment.

    What is your budget if you don't mind me asking?
     
  9. NewToyForXmas

    NewToyForXmas
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    Thanks for the advice - this is slowly beginning to make sense.

    My budget is about £2,000, although I could stretch a little bit for the right reasons. The Panny was £2,300 so that would be about my limit.

    Do panels have sound built in, or would you suggest I use my Pioneer NS-DV55 DVD/Home cinema all in one again or buy a new component set up? I was tempted by components to be honest as the NS-DV55 route seemed a little clumsy to me and I also don't see the point in having 2 DVD players in my install. Can some amps double up as the switching box that you refer to?
     
  10. Mep

    Mep
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    the panny panels have an amp built in which are ok for driving small stereo speakers but ideally you should go the 5.1 route of seperate av amp/reciever and speaker package.
     
  11. NewToyForXmas

    NewToyForXmas
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    Is the 43MXE1 HD ready? It seems to have the right resolution and has DVI input so it seems it might be.
     
  12. philipb

    philipb
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    For sound, use your home cinema system. Always better than the panels' own sound.

    The 43MXE1 is not HD ready in the "Comet" sense, ie the DVI input will not take a HDCP digital signal from a DVD player or Sky+ when it starts next year. But then as I said I suspect that none of the monitor plasmas can do that. I thnk that if Sky+ HiDef, and maybe HiDef DVD, is going to be a priority for you in the near future then I would be tempted to go for the TV panels - as has been said the Pio 433 XDE is awesome but expensive. Or maybe think LCD - £2k will get you a great LCD which will be ready for HiDef when it comes.

    sorry to add another option to the mix. :rolleyes:
     

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