PannnY TH-42PW mythology ?? & demo !!

Discussion in 'General TV Discussions Forum' started by jackal2513, Jul 23, 2002.

  1. jackal2513

    jackal2513
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    Me again,

    well i went to look at 36" crt's and to be honest a) they aren't big enough b) im just way too reluctant to have something so big & heavy in my house, way too imposing.

    It was then that I saw the TH42. Boy, have plasmas improved ! As said, its very much a see it & have to buy it product. Love the framed symmetrical design as well. Anyways, i went back to teh shops today and compared it with 4 or 5 other plasmas including

    a) the fujitsu (very soft and real nasty vertical banding)
    b) sony b1 (awful, dire, abhorrent)
    c) 2 hitachis both of which had far too much noise and not as clear
    d) the toshiba which although a panasonic seemed a little soft

    I was very impressed with the TH42. Nice blacks (although you do seem to loose detail in the blacks), clean image with a lack of noise, very sharp image comparable to CRT. Watched a bit of gladiator and also some TV channels through it which were actually quite good. DVD wasn't even rigged via component & it still looked impressive to me.

    So conclusion is i have to have one. Currently trying to find the cheapest price in the Uk and balance that with somewhere that is reputable who I can return it to if it breaks and also who will possibly offer me some sort of credit (preferably 0% apr).

    Only problem is that i am getting different things said to me by different people and heres where i could use some help:

    1) i have found the black TH42 at £3,512.08 all in including vat and delivery from http://www.ivojo.co.uk/. Thing is the chap there says that the black panny (TH-42PWD4) is the non-domestic version (supplied by a different branch of panasonic) and therefore cheaper than the silver framed Panasonic TH-42PW4B. He said that I may get RF interference with the black one when sited at home with other components as it has no electronics to cancel that out. However, a chap in a shop up tottenham coourt road said that thats nonsense and they are the same and he is very keen to sell me a black one. The guy at ivojo.com is trying to steer me onto teh silver one esp. as its £3,916.28 his price. DOES ANYONE KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT THE BLACK vs THE SILVER (Panasonic TH-42PWD4 vs Panasonic TH-42PW4B) ????

    2) another chap told me that the component in on the TH42 has 5 plugs instead of 3 (two stabilisers or somthing ??) so i will not be able to plug my DVD player straight in (would need a £150 special cable) and that the best way is via the tuner (which he wants to sell me extra for 500 quid). I have a toshiba 210 dvd player with component out and a sky digibox. Reading this site before I was thinking that the dvd would plug straight into the component of teh plasma and the digibox would go into the S-video using a custom lead that takes the rgb feed and converts to S-video. DOES ANYONE KNOW THE TRUTH BEHIND ALL THIS AND HOW I WOULD CONNECT MY DVD & DIGIBOX. I obviously dont want to buy a tuner if I don't have to.

    3) Also, how does sound work with this plasma. Does it have any dolby capabililties or would I have to run all my sound separately through a decoder and amplifier.



    hope that you can help me - its quite a big purchase & i want to be 100% sure of everything. Also, if anyone knows a big reputable place where to buy at good prce and possibly with 0% apr.


    regards




    Rich
     
  2. jackal2513

    jackal2513
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    more research:

    seems that the black one IS the one to get


    silver one does not

    a) allow access to the service menu for changing reds blus greens etc... (anything else in eth service menu ??)

    b) no access to dvi card

    c) no screensaver option
     
  3. codlord

    codlord
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    1) Regarding the ins and outs of different models I would have a word with Joe Fernand at The Media Factory:
    07831 595 828 http://www.tmfsolutions.co.uk
    he helped me out no end with my questions and service was excellent. I got the Tosh 42" which is a rebadged panny and only comes in the silver frame. It has screensaver options and allows rgb colour changes etc.

    2) There are two types of component input and as far as I know the panasonics (my Tosh has) have 5 inputs to accomomodate both, you can use either
    R G B H-Sync V-Sync
    OR
    Pr Pb Y
    so you should have no problem connecting your DVD player.

    3) This (and most plasmas) only have optional stereo speakers with no surround sound capability. You are much better off using seperate speakers with an amp or surround receiver etc.
     
  4. ajb

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    Hi

    I have the Toshiba.

    1. I presume it does have a service menu. Quite why any ordinary home user would want to play in there is beyond me though.

    2. If DVI is a requirement then yes, you'll have to go for the charcoal Panny. However, what on earth do you want DVI for? The only possible DVD player with it is a Tag that costs 5k and I can recommend DVD thru component as being amazing in any case. If its for PC connection then, I suppose it is a reasonable request...

    3. There is a screensaver option on the menus.

    Hope this helps
    Andrew
     
  5. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    The Silver versions are different to black commercial ones in that they have lower IR and rf emissions. The reality is that you are not going to find this a problem.

    The black versions 5 bnc component input can be configured for RGBHV or YPrPb as stated already.

    The black version has user adjustable red and blue drives and cut-offs relative to green. The Silver one doesn't.

    I would advise against a tuner box

    The service menu is accessible in both models to do accurate greyscale calibration and set up of other controls for optimum picture quality and longevity. The reason you may want to do this...or have it done for you...is that the factory defaults are not accurate for playpack of PAL and NTSC material. None of the colour temperatures accurately track the specified colour of grey.

    Hope this is of use....oh and I would speak with Joe at Media Factory too!

    Gordon
     
  6. jont

    jont
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    The main difference between the black and silver pannys is that the black panny has a different input board to the silver ...

    ie it has RGBHV inputs using 'professional' bnc sockets as oppose to the RGB 'phono-type' sockets on the silver ...

    this isn't a problem as you get made an rgb phono>bnc lead or use 3 phono>bnc connectors from Maplin (£1.99 each) ... either way you would set your dvd player to sync on green and your away !!

    If you want DVI then you can get a DVI board to replace the bnc one but AFAIK you cant replace the one in the silver ...

    The screensaver and service menus make setting and keeping a black in tip top condition much easier ...

    One of the sponsors of this forum (see rotating ad at the top of the page) does a very good price on the panny as does Joe at the Media Factory ...

    Hope this helps ...

    I use the component inputs for my dvd player, the VGA inputs for my sky+ and PS2 and the s-video for the onscreen setup stuiff from my amp and any odd stuff like dvcam, digital cmaera, etc ...

    More than happy with mine

    rgds

    Jon
     
  7. browellm

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    Hi, I have nothing to add on the technical front, but I am also thinking about taking the plunge on the charcoal (non consumer)version. The 0% apr thing is foremost in my mind too - techtronics.com are doing 2 years 0%, 20% deposit, but the purchase price is £3268+vat, so about £400 more than the cheapest quoted so far. Depends on wether you would pay more interest than that on a credit card etc etc.

    Also, the interest deal is through Panasonic Finance, so I assume any authorised dealer can offer this. Confirm someone?

    Oh, also I don't have sky at the moment (gasp!), so I was going to use the tuner on my video for the telly. I assume that I won't be able to get any teletext functionality this way. Could someone confirm please.
     
  8. Nike

    Nike
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    I have a panny & for the small amount of TV I watch use a composite feed from my Sony VHS.
    (Not half as bad as I was expecting BTW)

    With this set-up I don't have teletext - don't know if any VCRs do have a teletext decoder.

    Was thinking of getting an S-VHS deck to improve PQ a bit, but think I'll wait & see what happens on the 'digital recorder' front.
     
  9. Mikey K

    Mikey K
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    Best way I could find was a price match with Joe on the TH42 using a cheque from an RBS Avanta credit card that has 0% to next year.

    I have a yamaha AV Amp which I use the S-video switching on and have no problems with the S Video locking others have encountered. The DV2800 goes in on 10 metre component cables supplied by Joe (works a treat and cost £40).

    I have an S-VHS VCR which I use for TV. I will add Sky at some point and either put it through the AV Amp or in on the VGA port.

    One thing I found very usefull is A Pronto remote control. Using the macros it will control everything.

    Only moan I have is some power supply hum from the TH42 but it is only evident on really quite passages or when only the TH42 is on!?

    I have not noticed the lip sync problem mentioned elsewhere when using the TH42 with the DV2800.

    So I am well please!
     
  10. browellm

    browellm
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  11. jont

    jont
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    Yes ... but you'll need to use either a keene cable or john sims box to get the rgb out of the scart and into the vga on the panny ...

    Jon
     
  12. browellm

    browellm
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    Fantastic, thanks. Yes, I'd assumed that an RGB -> VGA convertor would be a constant in all of this.

    BTW, the Pace DTT box seems ideal for what I want, are there any gotchas I should look out for (quality etc.)?
     
  13. symanski

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    You should look to use the RGB to Plasma VGA box with the Pace DTT box. Avoid the Grundig version as it doesn't support RGB, you'd be limited to composite. Composite is equivalent to normal TV broadcasts in a good signal area. RGB is far far superior.

    As for above statement about 3 vs 5 input connectors, you've been miss led here. Three would be for component video, such as what you have from your DVD player. 5 input would be RGB with the H&V timing information, which you can get from the RGB to Plasma VGA box.

    However, the advice that Joe (TMF Solutions), Gordon (Convergent AV), and Ken (Ivojo) offer is as good as you'll get anywhere, if not the absolute best. As plasma / A/V retailers and installers, they've more experience of such set ups than anybody else here. If Gordon says to avoid the tuner box, avoid the tuner box.

    All the best,

    Dr John Sim.
     
  14. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    I've just finished an installation with one of John's RGB/vga boxes, a PACE freetoair box and a 42" Plasma.

    5core cable was burried in wall for connection between each device. BNC's had been pre-terminated at Plasma end. I bought a cheap VGA lead to hack up to get HD15 attched to bare wire end at VGA box. Picture ended up magenta.....it wasn't a miswiring problem. All pins were correct....I tried a second PACE box with same result. So I ordered a very high quality HD15 to 5 bare wire like I would use for a CRT graphics projector installation. I then removed the Maplins special VGA and stuck it in place...bingo! Perfect. So moral is to use what you knwo works....cheao isn't always better unfortunately...

    On subject of the PACE box. In this installation it receives indipendant channels well but all BBC broadcasts suffer blocking and break up. This was resolved by checking aeirial downlead connection in wall socket and flying lead to unit. Poor connections caused enought loss of signal to cause picture problems so don't skimp there either...


    Lastly the wee PACE box has no other outputs other than the captive Scart lead coming out the back. So if you aren't using a RGB to VGA box then you'll need to get some form of scart adaptor to get audio out to your amp and picture to amp or plasma via composite.


    Hope this is all of use.

    Gordon
     
  15. symanski

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    Hi Gordon,

    I know why you butchered the 15-pin lead - it's a real pain to assemble 15-High density connectors. I've done a few, but now buy in stock. Excellent quality, but without the custom build fee.

    Pace box is really nifty. For anyone who's not seen one, it's the size of two VHS cassettes with a lead going from it which plugs directly into the SCART on your TV. It's got RGB output, so the picture quality is very good. I've been told that the Grundig version doesn't have RGB, so for anyone here I'd advise to avoid.

    All you do is sit the Pace box on top if your TV, plug in the power to the end of the captive lead, and plug it into your SCART input. You'll have to go to the menu settings to enable RGB output though.

    If you're using the Pace DTT with the RGB to Plasma VGA unit, you'll have to set the Pace to RGB output before plugging in to the Plasma VGA unit, otherwise you'll only get a black picture (the most common support question!).

    All the best,

    John Sim.
     
  16. MartinN

    MartinN
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    ....and watch out for pressing stray buttons on your remote. I don't know if it affects the pace fta box but on the ITV-boxes there is a button that causes box to switch out of rgb mode - i.e. Your screen goes blank.

    I was slightly ****ed at the time and had the remote upside down (it was dark to be fair!) :D
     
  17. steve-j

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    Gordon (or anyone else with a dislike for the Panasonic tuner box!),

    Can I ask exactly why you (and numerous others) do not reccomend the Panasonic Tuner box? I know there is already a small thread about this but it doesn't really seem to answer the question.

    I want to purchase a plasma to replace my existing TV. I have an OK video projector for film viewing so the plasma will only really be used for Tv viewing, casual video gaming (hopefully not enough to damage the screen) and watching DVD extras. Only occasionally will I use it to watch films (when I can't be bothered firing up the projector, closing the curtains etc.)

    I currently have NTL digital for watching TV. The Panasonic tuner box looks appealing becasue:
    1. It adds connectivity (my current TV has the NTL box, DVD player, Games console)
    2. I can get teletext throught the analogue tuner (something NTL don't offer)
    3. The demos of plasma panels I have seen in the shops seem to flicker slightly when used without the tuner box
    4. Only one connection to the panel rather than lots

    Not having some sort of tuner box has really put me off purchasing a plasma screen. To be honest I think that the Panasonic Tuner box is one the weakest available; others like the Phillips have a lot more connectivity and features (such as split screen). But the Panasonic panel is the best available at the moment.

    -Steve
     
  18. browellm

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    OK, so now it's starting to penetrate my thick skull, but please bear with me. If I use John Sim's vga convertor there is only one scart input. How do I connect my DVD player to the display as well? Is this via the component input situated on the terminal board on the Panny? Is this as good as going through John's box first?

    Also, if I want to through a VCR into the equation as well, things are going to get very messy :confused: . What is the tidiest solution that let's me record one channel while viewing another?
    - I have a horrible feeling the answer is going to be Sky+ :(

    Sorry if these questions have been dealt with before, I'm just trying to get the answers in a single, coherent place.
     
  19. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    SteveJ:
    I dislike the tuner box as it is hard to control reliably from Pronto's and I don't think it's very good at turning everything in to RGBHV. If you want Teletext and added conectivity of the unit then those are good reasons to buy one. For those with no requirement for these features I would suggest putting the money towards some more cables instead.

    BROWELLM:

    Use Johns box and go direct to PC input. Feed DVD either by YPrPb or RGBHV (using another John Sim box) to the terminal board of the plasma.
    Feed VCR direct to composite input

    Buy SkyPlus to watch one Sky channel while recording another.

    Gordon
     
  20. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    steve-j:

    The best of the PlasmaTV contenders is the Pioneer PDP-433HDE. The picture, like all of these systems, is slightly compromised by the processing and bandwidth of the Video circuitry in the Media Box but as a direct replacement for a CRT TV with all of the user features you are after the Pioneer is still a very good system. Also worth noting the Pioneer has a whole bunch of pre sets to choose from when switching between games, terrestrial, movies etc so its hard to judge it on any one source in a shop.

    As per Gordon's input the Panasonic TU-PTA300B external tuner that you can mate with any of the Panasonic plasma displays is just to costly, cumbersome and to a greater degree gets in the way of the video processing.

    If you need an analogue TV tuner and can live without Teletext there are a couple of low cost units you can look at - we have used the Scan-Com XGA Theatre 400 and the AverMEDIA TV box. Both of these hook into your VGA port and also offer Composite and S-Video input and processing.

    Browellm:

    Also worth noting that the SKY+ box is a fairly good RGB switch into the bargain. You can plug a second (DVD player) and third (Games console) RGB input into the SKY+ box and then the SKY+ into Dr Johns converter and that way you only require one converter for multiple RGB sources.

    And just to clarify Gordon's point on hooking in your DVD player -
    If its Component video it goes straight into the plasma panel on three of the five BNC connectors on the BNC Terminal board.

    If the DVD is RGB you can, as Gordon suggests and no doubt Dr John agrees with :), give the DVD player its own RGB converter and hook it to the plasma on either the VGA socket or as RGBHV into the five BNC connectors on the BNC terminal board.

    Or as above use the SKY+ as an RGB switch and just have one RGB converter (sorry Dr John).

    Or if you don't want to use a SKY+ you can use a B-Tech Quattro+ SCART switch (c£100) which gives you multiple (3) RGB inputs (Input three could be one of the FREE to air set-top boxes) and then the output from the B-Tech goes to your single RGB converter and then into the panel.

    NOTES : Just to clarify for you the five BNC connectors on the BNC terminal board are set-up using the on-screen menu on the plasma display - you can set this input up to be either Component Video (3 x BNC) or RGBHV (5 x BNC).

    The VGA input and the RGBHV inputs are pretty much identical - hence Gordon's reasoning for using two of Dr Johns converters into the panel and keeping your sources on separate inputs and only doing switching on the plasma panel.

    All a bit complicated to write out but fairly simple in practice and the B-Tech and SKY+ are both RC so you can use a Pronto to make the whole lot work pretty smoothly.

    Trust this helps.

    Regards

    Joe
     

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