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philips 32" dolby digital 616c

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by jerry, Jan 6, 2002.

  1. jerry

    jerry
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    I,m thinking of buying this tv. Are the cordless speakers up to the job? Will I appreciate the Digital side of the Dolby. Anyone out there with practical knowledge living with this tv.
     
  2. mark pearce

    mark pearce
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    Hi Jerry - daunting business picking a new telly, aint it!! My neighbour's just on the same game, as his old one's just gone pop! Worth spending time researching/auditioning as much as poss, I'd say, as a quick trawl around this forum has probably already told you!

    I've looked at quite a few Philips 32PW9616s in shops, but I bought the 28in model (28PW9616). Not sure whether they use tube from same maker, but screen size apart, they're essentially the same set. I picked the 9616 over cheaper Philips sets for the REAL flat tube; 100Hz; FOUR rear scarts and Dolby Digital, plus the cordless rear speakers. (Thought the lack of rear wires might give me decent "surround sound" and also make it easier to sell the idea to 'er indoors!)

    IMHO, if you've got a demanding "hi-fi" ear, the rear cordless speakers that come with the 9616 are really only "toy" speakers, and certainly NOT even approaching the low end of what I would call genuine hi-fi.

    The convenience of no wires trailing around (across!) the lounge is a domestic harrmony 'plus', but you still need the 'master' rear speaker near to a 13A mains socket, plus a wire to connect from the 'active' master speaker (containing the power supply/amp) and the passive slave speaker. So they're not truly cordless. And you can get 'interuptions' in the rear channels if you've got people maving around in the lounge and temporarily blocking the radio frequency link to the rear pair (which can be a trifle annoying!)

    We're not great movie buffs (don't even have a DVD player - yet!) but even so I reckon "decent", hard-wired 5.1 speakers is the way to go if you're after creating the true home cinema experience.

    By all means pick a set with binding post connections for 5.1 speakers, or better still, pick one with 5.1 audio phono plug outputs, and then you can plumb the sound into a 'pukkah' AV amp/reciver and "decent" speakers at some later stage.

    The 9616 more-or-less meets this bill (it has 4.1 phono outputs, I think!, L&R front; L&R rear, plus a sub-woofer, but NO phono for a center spkr, I think I'm right in saying, plus a coaxial digital phono input to pipe in audio direct from your DVD player.

    Hope this answers whether the rear cordless speakers are up to the job. If you're after creating any sort of 'convincing' home cinema set-up, then I'd have to say the answer is "NO". Spend your time & money instead on the picture quality/decent "hi-fi"-quality speakers and the rest of the hook-up.

    Whether you'll "appreciate" the Dolby digital side of things, is more difficult for anyone to say. Depends what your expectations/wallet size etc. are like. What I would say, is that given a decent audio/video source (be it DVD, satellite/cable digital or whatever) a decent film or whatever will definitely be a whole lot more enjoyable with a decent 'all-round' sound set-up. As I say, we're NOT great movie buffs, but even with the limitations of the 9616, a good Star Wars (or whatever your bag is) movie is significantly better with some 5.1 sound.

    BTW, I run the audio L&R front outputs on the back my 9616 through a semi-decent amp, cables and some big front speakers (and she says, "when he says big, he means BIG"!), and leave the 9616 set to look after the center, sub-woofer and L&R rear sounds itself. So although I wouldn't dream of calling my set-up a pukkah 5.1 system, I am at least able to get some decent detail, bass extension and sound staging for the front pair. So I guess I'm cheating a bit and not really judging the 9616 purely on its own capabilities.

    Incidentally, (as you probably already know!) the 32PW9616 lifted loads of plaudits from all the mags/won numerous "TV set of the year" awards etc. when it came out. But I have to say I'm slightly disappointed with the geometry and particularly convergence into the corners on my 28in version. Don't know whether the 28in and 32in use the same tube maker, but I would have thought good geometry and convergence would be easier to achieve on a smaller tube, woudn't you?

    Don't get me wrong, it IS a good picture (as most casual viewers seem to agree), but there do seem to be a few digital artefact "issues" with the 100Hz picture, but my main criticism is that caption lettering is distinctly "fuzzier" the farther you get into the corners. Also if you can get a static single colour screen up (try selecting a switched off AV input, which gives you a nice blue screen), then you can see a distinctly more herring-bone/moire type pattern away from the central oval part of the screen. Maybe that's what you get if you don't buy a Sony!

    None of the reviews/tests etc. I've read (on any set) seem to refer to this, so as many posts to this forum seem to advise : "don't place too much store by reviews in mags, and "listen" mainly to what your eyes are telling you". A lot depends on how "demanding" a viewer you are and what your expectations are. Maybe I'm just expecting a little more than the state-of-the-art can yet deliver!!

    Sorry if this a bit lengthy and hope it helps a bit! And good luck in your quest for the "perfect" TV. Just remember what the guy in the shop where I eventually bought mine from said to me: "There's only one PERFECT picture in this store, and that's the one looking out of the window (at the high-street scene). And d'you know what? He's bloody well right!

    Best regards,
    Mark Pearce (Fleet, N.E. Hampshire) :) :) :)
     
  3. Milhouse

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    I would agree with Mark on the sound side - the rear speakers are pretty toy but are suitable for most people non-audiophiles unless you want to fork out for an AV amp/processor (which I didn't, nor did I want additional cables running around the room). The rear speakers do work and are more than noticeable on DVDs such as Saving Private Ryan.

    In terms of visuals I'd have to say I'm more than happy with my 32PW9616 - I haven't noticed any geometry problems and just checked a blue screen and I have solid colours right across, no noticeable moire. Mind you, I've switched off as many of the picture enhancement features as I can and now only view with double-lines and no 100Hz or natural motion.

    The 4 SCARTS are an absolute joy - I've already filled both RGB sockets with a DVD and TiVo so the remaining two will be handy should I ever get a console or whatever device takes my fancy in the next few years :)
     
  4. mark pearce

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    Greetings Milhouse,

    Interested to read your post, from which I have a couple of questions:

    1. Perhaps I'll have to try turning off/down some of the enhancements like you have, but I'm puzzled (ignorant?) as to what you mean when you say you view yours with "double lines". I think I've come across the term elsewhere on this forum. Can you enlighten me as to what it means, please.

    Also, when you say that you run without 100Hz or natural motion. Unless software is different for the 28in, I wasn't aware that you could turn the 100Hz off! My picture menu offers a choice of 100Hz, Natural Motion or Digital Scan (I think I recall correctly), but unless I've got completely the wrong end of the stick, I wasn't aware that you could turn the 100Hz off, and that the other two were functions IN ADDITION TO the 100Hz.

    2. Also puzzled by your reference to running two of the 4 scarts in RGB mode. My 28PW9616 has AV1 (only) RGB-enabled, AV2 (configurable S-video (Y-C) or standard CVBS), plus the remaining two CVBS only. I presume CVBS is Philips-speak for "standard" Composite Video B? S?). We shouldn't be greedy, I guess, those of us with 4 scarts to play with, but does the 32PW9616 gain over the 28in version in having 2 of the scarts RGB enabled?

    Thanks for your interest and taking the time to post again, and A Happy New Year and happy viewing.

    Mark
     
  5. bill1962

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    Hi Mark,

    I am also thinking of buying this TV (i.e. 32PW9616).
    I had nearly made up my mind, until I read here about the speakers. I was going for the 9616 @ £1630 rather than the Sony KV32FX65s @ £1325, purley because of the promise of fantastic sound. I could not see any differance between the pictures on these.

    BTW as for the RGB Scarts, from What Video & TV Hardware Reviews :

    "Excellent connectivity also includes two RGB Scarts, one for DVD, one for a digibox"

    Cheers,

    Bill
     
  6. Milhouse

    Milhouse
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    Hi Mark

    Yes, it is different software - not sure if size is relevant as this is my second 32PW9616 (my problems with the first set are detailed here) and the software on the second set was different to the first set.

    On the second set I have two additional options - Delta volume which allows me to balance the volume across channels so if BBC1 is louder than all others channels I can turn down the volume on BBC1 relative to the others. The second addtion is "Double Lines", so now in the picture setup section I have: Double Lines, 100 Hz, Digital Scan and finally Natural Motion and I have Double Lines as the selection option since this I felt gave me the best picture. I'm not sure if I actually have 100hz off but I don't have it selected and there is a difference in picture quality (an improvement in my opinion) with it not selected.

    AV1 and AV2 on both my 32PW9616 sets are definately RGB (in addition to other formats, I think S-Video and CVBS) - this is confirmed by the on screen display. The remaining two AV3 and AV4 sockets are component if I recall. Not sure about CVBS - I think it's component video as opposed to composite but someone can no doubt correct me on this!

    Certainly I'm happier with 2 RGB scarts than one as I have two RGB sources (a Sony DVP-NS900 - well OK, this has been refunded due to a fault but it will be replaced at some point) and a TiVo :) I don't understand why modern widescreen TV's are not coming with 3 or 4 SCARTS as standard, and at least 2 of those should be RGB .
     
  7. Milhouse

    Milhouse
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    £1630 for the 32PW9616, Bill? That is very steep - you will be able to get it for significantly less, I picked mine up (the first from Empire Direct and the second from www.hispek.com) for between £1150 and £1190... unfortunately the stand is not supplied as standard and costs about another £120 on top. :( I guess not everyone needs the stand in which case this policy makes sense!
     
  8. bill1962

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    Sorry Milhouse, I should have said IRL£1630 or €2070 or stg£1274 including the stand.
    Good tip about the 2 models. I must check to see if its a 32PW9616/05M or 32PW9616/05R they are selling.
     
  9. jerry

    jerry
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    Hi Mark,
    Thanks for the detailed response. I,m not a hi-fi buff but I do appreciate Dolby Pro-Logic for the separate channels of sound that it offers and with Dolby digital I believe I will get 5 played through a DVD suitably equipped.
    At the moment I have a 5 year old Philips 29" 4 by 3 with DPL which has been absolutely amazing, never missed a beat except for over Xmas I had a"rodent" bite through my rear speaker leads under the floor which sparked off my need (or so I thought) to get another set as I suspected a circuit board or similar had given out within the set.
    Going by the other postings this is quite a subject.
    Because of my satisfaction with Philips to date I haven,t looked too closely at what Sony has to offer or any other manufacturer
    come to that.
    What made people with the 616 buy this particular
    set?
     

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