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Philips 32PW9509 vs Panasonic 32PD50 (pretty long)

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by Goggleyes, Jan 18, 2005.

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  1. Goggleyes

    Goggleyes
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    Hi Guys,

    I tend to think we've been rather hard on the old Philips 32PW9509.

    I worked myself up to the stage where I had decided that, replacement of mine with a Panasonic 32PD50 was the only solution.

    Anyway, before I let rip at the retailed, I thought I'd better go along to my local Panasonic shop to give the 32PD50 a bit of a workout.

    Took my Pace Twins (digital recorder) along, which is full of short off-air clips that illustrated the apparent shortcomings of the Philips, together with the odd full length film recording.

    Here are the results of my half-hour trial:

    Geometry:
    32PD50 significantly worse that the Philips. The various menus used by the Twins all had an irregular trapezoidal shape. On the Philips the geometry is much better
    vertical lines in particular.

    Also, I have noticed on my Philips that the image is slightly compressed toward the top of the screen. In the case of the Panasonic, the opposite was true, the image became expanded toward the top and by a greater degree than the Philips was compressed.

    Power supply regulation:
    32PD50 was very poor. Again, simply moving the cursor up and down a menu on the Twins caused the menu's grid to bow in and out quite significantly. This is also apparent on the Philips, but not as bad.

    Picture Judder with certain material:
    I've noticed that digitally broadcast material has a really poor juddery quality. Eg. 'Judge John Deed', 'Shameless', 'Sea of Souls', 'SG-1'. This appears to be down to the quality of the master recording and not simply a result of the broadcast bit-rate. In fact, you can see the same effect upon switching over to analogue and watching the same channel. This proves it's down to the master 'tape'. Anybody shed further light on this?

    Unfortunately the Pixel Plus processing seems to make the effect worse.

    32PD50 (in Acuity 75Hz mode) seems to exaggerate this judder effect less than the Philips.


    Overall Picture Quality:
    Excluding the material mentioned above, the picture quality of the Philips was quite a bit better. Obviously, I didn't have time to tweak the Panasonic for optimum performance with the Twins, (via RGB) so I might not be doing it justice. However, watching the 32PD50 with good
    (and familiar) source material does allow you to appreciate all that Pixel Plus manages to achieve. The Philips provides fantastic fluidity of movement, which appears a little
    odd at first, but once you've got use to it, nothing else will do. 32PD50 even in Acuity mode cannot compete.

    Even relatively static shots are better on the Philips. At the beginning of Terminator 3, there is a close up of a (naked - oo-er) Terminator, leering at you through the screen.
    This still makes the hairs stand-up on the back of my neck with the Philips, but again, on the Panasonic it just looked like a TV picture typically does, fine, but nothing special.

    Also, I noticed what looked like, a horizontal line of interference toward the bottom of the screen on the Panasonic from time to time. You would have thought this was on the source material, but I knew it wasn't - strange.

    Panasonic also seemed more prone to show the blockiness of digital material, though this could have been down to a lack of tweaking.

    Specific Philips picture problems:

    - Dark banding
    The Philips suffers from 2 wide dark bands either side of the screen. These are only really visible during very dark scenes, but can be annoying.

    - Light vertical banding
    Again there are a couple of fairly subtle light bands toward the centre of the screen which can be visible when the camera moves horizontally over a fairly static scene. Football being the classic case where these can be seen. Again, this can be irritating.

    It might be my imagination, but viewing a football clip on the Panasonic I thought I could see some thin vertical lines scattered about - not as bad as the Philips though!

    - Edge Trailing
    Pixel Plus certainly doesn't flatter poor quality source material. You have to be prepared to move
    from PP2 to Movie Plus or even 100Hz with some of the stuff that's bunged out. The Panasonic would seem to offers more primitive processing, but ironically this could be an advantage with some programme material.

    - Ghosting
    There is a ghost line to the right of objects. I've seen this on Loewe TV's too. Forgot to check on the Pana.

    Sound Quality:
    Panasonic seems quite good as opposed to the Philips which is awful using any of the preset configurations. However, once you have found the 'Graphic Equaliser' sweet-spot settings, the Philips is pretty reasonable. See my next post re: 9509 settings.


    Overall:

    So, after my little comparison exercise, I decided to keep the Philips, it's certainly not perfect, but for the off-air stuff that I tend to watch, which doesn't include football, I'd have to say that it has the potential to better the Panasonic by quite a margin.

    If you watch a lot of football, or want to use component input then perhaps the Panasonic is a better bet. But remember, with RGB and a good quality source the Philips can be blistering, so don't discount it.

    I can now see why the various mags say the 32PW9509 beats the 32PD50 when all is considered.

    Regards
     
  2. spocktra

    spocktra
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    I doubt the phillips would be better with dvd.The pd range is the best picture i have seen with dvd by quite some margin.Agreed with digital feed they are poor.Hence why i got shot of my pd30.
     
  3. spinout

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    Hi All,

    Just spentthe weekend playing with my fathers Philips 32pw9618. I had the option of buying one of these or a pw9509 or a Panny PD50 (which is what I got).

    Very interesting to compare the two. The following is my 10ps worther...

    Pixel plus looks amazing but more 'obvious' than accuity and in many ways more artificial. Maybe you would get used to it but I found it distracted me a bit - in particular I was watching 'high plains drifter' on freeview and it gave an almost 3d quality which, whilst astonishing, also looked a bit false. The PD50 seemed more 'natural'?

    I also noticed a lot more digital effects around moving objects on PP.

    In summay: I'm pleased with my choice. Picture quality on DVD probably better on the PD50. On broadcast pictures, I think pixel plus is a fantastic bit of technology but I don't think it is the finished article yet (what it gives with one hand it takes with the other). Difficult to choose, but on the whole I think the Panny is easier to live with. Other than that, the PD50 looks much nicer and looks smaller.

    As I said, just my 10p..
     
  4. Goggleyes

    Goggleyes
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    Hi,

    It always comes to a matter of personal choice. All I would remind others is that I really, really wanted to buy the Panasonic, especially after reading their lovely brochure "explaining" Acuity processing and the SR tube. However, it just could not provide the solidity of image provided by the Philips. Never expected my final verdict.

    You mention 'High Plains Drifter'; I've seen loads of low-quality broadcasts and would admit that the Philips doesn't like them. However, with a good transmission its very good. 'Tribe' last night was stunning.

    PS. I keep sharpness at zero. Pushing it up does initially look impressive, but it's just not realistic - this is what leads to the excessive 3D effect.

    Cheers
     

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