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Pio 434 Newbie Opinions

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Richard QC, Dec 17, 2003.

  1. Richard QC

    Richard QC
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    Having just taken the dip, found a dealer with stock and handed over my 4 grand I thought I'd better post my thoughts on the Pioneer 434 and all the issues discussed over the past few weeks;

    1) Looks fantastic as a piece of kit, more on picture quality later.

    2) Noise;
    i) screen noise, put your ear right up to the back and you can hear a buzzing, just like on most CRTs, sitting 2-3m away nothing, so no problems.
    ii) Fan noise, very slight whirring, some occasional squeaking too as the fan rotates. At 2-3 m away cannot hear whirring only squeaking slightly when everything else is silent, but I can also hear my wall clock ticking so I guess I can't complain at that.

    3) Sound quality, ok, not a real audiophile but of course it needs a surround system for movies etc.

    4) Picture quality, well, varies from very good to bloody awful. I think I have narrowed it down to crap in equals crap on screen. My two major problems are awful artifacted pictures on ITV & BBC from Sky+ and poor resolution of dark/black areas on films. The picture quality on Sky Movies is generally very good, some dark areas just loose all background detail, setting DRE high helps bring the definition up but it also seems to have the effect of making bright areas seem radioactive.
    Watching Corrie from Sky+ feed provides awful mpeg artefacts, the whole thing looks artificial and almost slow motion with horrible pattern effects, so much so that I had to resort to RF with all the noise reduction up high to remove the grain. Now that really bothers me, 4 grand for a Plasma only to make ITV and BBC almost un-watchable. My next thought is to perhaps add a freeview box for terrestrial (which in my opinion should be built in on a brand new 4grand plasma like this) but only if the ITV and BBC signals are of higher quality to allow a watchable picture without the awful effects. Anybody any thoughts on this?
    My other main viewing is cricket, again not so impressed the grass looses its definition and the players glow white, you also can't make out the facial features of the players under the helmets like you can on a CRT screen.
    I haven't tried DVD yet, planning on giving that a go this weekend so I hope that is ok.
    Other problems like black not being quite black are barely noticeable and no problem to me. Not experienced the drop out issue, yes switching is slow but that is of no consequence really.
    I have played with settings matching those used by others on this forum and found some reasonable results

    Overall I have to say I am pretty disappointed, my Plasma which is a replacement for a 36" CRT is in my living room as my main source of TV, yet I now find it not as satisfying watching my favourite programs because I keep thinking about my 4 grand and the 43" screen showing up all the broadcast weaknesses. Oh well hopefully the DVD images will cheer me up!
     
  2. jeroenskie

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    I totally agree,my wife eepes telling me that everybody loks as if they are made from plastic .
    For a dvd picture I think there is still a lot of noice in it .
    Maybe it is my cable that is not good enough BUT I did not have this problem with my loewe Vitros.

    Hope i will get used to it ,but can not imagne :(

    kind regards Jeroen
     
  3. ancientgeek

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    While it's true that you may see problems with the source signal more easily, I'm surprised it's so bad. Are you using s-video or RGB from the sky + box (good), not composite or RF (bad)?

    It's just possible that your dish signal is marginal, and this is producing bigger artifacts. Maybe it was raining heavily when you saw the bad things.

    It's true the blacks aren't very black on Pioneers, but that's offset by the overall brightness in non-blackout viewing.
     
  4. Richard QC

    Richard QC
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    Signal from Sky+ is RGB via Scart. The picture on Sky MOvies is usually pretty good, its just ITV and BBC that are so bad.

    I guess there is simply no escaping when you are sat quite close to 43" of Plasma TV, every little flaw is displayed in all its glory.

    On the plus side the picture shows no signs of flicker and Jaggies on thin narrow lines are completely gone.

    I guess Plasma is just a difference beast that will take a little time getting used to. My old 36" CRT was very bright and black, and showed some artifacts but I guess they just weren't as visible or didn't affect the processing too much as it seems to be on the Pio.

    I think the next step is to try a Freeview box and hope for a better signal quality!
     
  5. Brogan

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    Agree with BBC - that's when I noticed how bad the picture was whilst watching the 10 o'clock news.
    The presenter looked plastic and really unnatural.
    The screen has now been running for some time however and the settings have been tweaked and it's much better.
    It's still very much a case of GIGO out though.

    On another note, I seem to only get this particular problem when watching Stargate on Sky1.
    When there is a close up of Teal'c, his little gold emblem on his forehead seems to jiggle about all over the place - even if his head is still.
    Also, other times the "contents" of the faces seem to move out of sync with the outline of the head.
    It's a bit hard to explain but imaging the contents of the face is made of some thick fluid and the outline of the head is solid.
    When the head moves, it takes a split second for the face to catch up with it and settle into its new place.
    Very strange to see.
     
  6. Billilu

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    I was going to post about this phenomenon today: close-ups of faces where the features move about, or move a split second behind the rest of the head when it moves. I'm glad - or am I? - that someone else has remarked on this. Very noticeable when watching About Schmidt last night on DVD through component/prog scan, but I first noticed it through RGB scart when watching Road To Perdition a few weeks back.

    I'm hoping the problem will be eradicated at the end of this week when my HDMI cable arrives (fingers crossed).

    I must say, though, I don't have the same problems with BBC pictures through Sky Digital highlighted earlier in this thread. Or maybe I don't notice that I have a problem - in which case, I don't have a problem.
     
  7. joys_R_us

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    Be careful assuming that the scart connection is using RGB.

    Make sure you use a full 21 lines scart cable.
    Make sure you put the source to RGB.
    Make sure you put the TV on RGB.

    It is possible that the scart connection reverts to FBAS without you noticing...

    Try other inputs with others cables...
     
  8. Brogan

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    Phew!
    I'm gald about that - I thought my eyes were going funny. :rolleyes:
    The effect is even worse after a few glasses of fermented grape juice...:D
     
  9. STOWITBELOW

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    Thanks to RicardQC for this post, I was hopeing someone could answere a query. I have a 50" Rear projection TV, & aspire to a plasma (I think) I'm happy with the picture for evening viewing - in fact I saw a 50" plasma at someones house and thought my picture quality a lot better. Unfortunatly for daytime viewing the screen is dark, sometimes unwatchable without shuting the curtains. Mrs will not ware this! So I'm thinking of investing in a plasma, but the forum seems full of folk complaining about various problems. I realise they may be perfectionists, but even for a cheap 42", £2k is a lot to spend & be disappointed. I want the big screen & the daytime viewing. Is the cosensous of opinion that a good CRT or lcd (circa 32" 100 Hrz) for normal Tv, & a projector for films etc (I can't have my huge TV & a normal one - I would hope to hide a projector) or a plasma - to do all + they do look v sexy. I've just got Sky+ & despite some issues, the vast majority of the forum users seem to be positive & recommend it (me too). With plasmas, there is a good deal of enthusiasm, but I still remain unclear if people are happy, satisfied, or resigned that having spent so much cash they'll like it. Perahps they could run a poll. Any thoughts?
     
  10. Brogan

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    Overall I'm very pleased with my plasma despite its flaws.

    Plus Points
    Bigger than any CRT TV you can get
    Looks great - very modern and contemporary
    Takes up a lot less room - even more so when you hang it on the wall
    Really comes alive when watching movies - more like a "cinema" experience
    Easier to connect up and integrate to the rest of your gear than a projector (typically long cable runs required for PJ's)

    Minus Points
    Price I suppose although it's only money and you can't take it with you...
    Picture quality on most Sky channels is poor but this is probably due to the physical size of the screen more than anything
    Sport images are bad apparently (I don't watch any)
    Lip sync issues occasionally
    Ghosting/screen burn issues mean you have to be careful with certain channels displaying permanent logos
    The weird "wobbling" phenomenon I have reported on another thread
    It's smaller than a projector...

    Would I take my money back if I could? No way.
    Would i go back to CRT? No way.
    Would I rather have a projector? Perhaps for movies but not for day to day viewing.

    Try it. You might like it...:D
     
  11. Costas

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    ...adding to Brogan's Plus points for the plasma vs CRT:

    - No geometric distortion (very important to me!)
    - Even light output
    - Perfect focus across the entire screen
    - Not affected by magnetic fileds

    The old Sony 32" CRT has been in the bedroom for a year now and this is where it stays...!
     
  12. Richard QC

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    Glad to get some interesting points going here.....just a bit more........

    Had a half day today waiting for Sky+ engineer to come and replace the box, wouldn't record. While he was here I discussed my issues and he was very helpful and measured the signal strengths etc on my feeds which he said was normal and in fact better than a lot he has seen. He did say the signal from ITV on digital satellite is notoriously weak and is badly affected by rain.

    After he went a started playing with a few settings (turned contrast down, DNR up a bit) and the picture seemed to improve on ITV. It was a lovely clear day, blue sky so the signal should be clear as a bell. Just waiting to test it on Corrie and The Bill tonight.

    While waiting for Sky man to come I tested a few DVDs, region 1, 2 and 3 and I am very happy to report the picture is very good, even the dark areas resolve better and this is just from an old cheap LG dvd player running RGB Scart. Again the contrast needed turning down a bit (now set at 24 with Power save off) but on the size of the display I am happy with the picture quality from DVD.

    So thanks again for all your help, any further updates etc will be posted for all to see.

    Would I take my money back?? Well the jury is still out, I must say I am still not 100% happy, 4k is a lot of money and I was hoping for better performance, but then I am still thinking it is hard to blame the plasma when given the right source it will produce good images. I think moving from CRT to Plasma is going to take a bit more getting used to.
     
  13. SimonO

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    Hello Brogan... Your liquid faces sound like classic mpeg compression artifacts... Low bit rate I would imagine..!
     
  14. Brogan

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    Thanks SimonO - that sounds about right as the PQ is evident that it is a low bit rate signal.
     
  15. Jimbo73

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    I notice you say there's some buzzing - just got my Pio 434 and it REALLY buzzes. Sitting 2-3 meters away doesn't help...

    It only seems to happen on lighter scenes. Will it go away or should I call up the warranty people?
     
  16. Ekko Star

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    Although the Pioneer is a fantastic product in technical speak, personally it has never grabbed the attention for me in it's end result. Probably cos it can range from being very good to very awful. It's fair to say what you feed it is incredibly important, however for the most part you are at the mercy of broadcasters.

    A plasma at £4k should be able to handle broadcast material and make a fairly good job at it. Though I don't think Pioneer did themselves any favours with the quality of the analogue tuner on board and they really should have included IDTV on it. I think this has been addressed in the new upcoming range. However having viewed a 434 with a Freeview box simply plugged into it, still doesn't do as good a job as some of the Panasonic offerings.

    IMHO I think the Panasonics are a better all round Plasma for viewing purposes. Strange really cos on spec they are inferior on the most part , but the image they produce really is pleasing on the eye, especially so if you are moving up from CRT for the first time.
     
  17. tradesman

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    the buzzing on plasmas is not very detectable in the big sheds like comet etc as there seems to be a lot of background noise around the plasma displays or is it my imagination.
    I am however slowly going of the idea of plasma tv think it still has far to go may wait till 2006 and see what HDTV brings, probably get a widescreen CRT set to tide me over

    regards tradesman
     
  18. thebigkung

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    Hi,

    This Plasma is very tricky to set-up. I've now got a good set-up but it's screaming out for a higher quality input signal from normal TV. Run the Picture and picture and you can see how good the plasma is when the input signal is playing in a smaller resolution.

    The Clay factor. The flesh tones on this seem to be set too orange, though the background colours look correct. You really have to turn down the colour and tweak the RGB manually to reduce the clay orange colour (I’m not at my set so can't give detail... I'll post later). Also reduce the Mpeg noise reduction to low (off if watching DVD) and remove the Digital noise reduction. as these add to the artificial ness of the picture, smoothing out faces which should have detail. DVD's may look grainer, but, hey, they were shot on film with grain.

    Get a DVE CD, this will help with the set-up.
    Remember, only adjust the set-up in the lighting conditions that you watch the most TV in. Changes in ambient light will affect the picture you are seeing.

    I also agree though that at the price of the plasma, things really should be better set-up better and things like the fan noise really should not be there to even get questioned. I've not head a plasma not buzz yet so you'll have to concede to that one.

    Regards

    Len
     
  19. Ekko Star

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    The negatives can put you off Plasma but that shouldn't really be so. I think it gets drawn to the fact that they are costly things and people expect perfection out of the box. You have to bite the bullet sometime and TBH I'm not sure how far further plasma has to go as it is viewed as an interim technology in many circles.

    The thing is with HDTV is that Sky will be the first to go HDTV in this country I believe. Knowing them they will charge those that want it a premium for it. I certainly don't expect HDTV to become wholesale and readily available in 2006. Broadcasters promise lots of things and in reality are painfully slow to deliver. I am still waiting for a proper and consistent widescreen format to be broadcast and look how long we have been waiting for that ????
     
  20. tradesman

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    posted by eko star

    The thing is with HDTV is that Sky will be the first to go HDTV in this country I believe. Knowing them they will charge those that want it a premium for it.

    just read an article in what satellite "quote" Morgan Stanley the investment bank, suggests sky will charge around £4 a month for the extra HDTV channels if correct that might be the bargain of the century (once you've paid £3000 or more for a 42in plasma,then £4 a month seems cheap) "unquote"

    regards tradesman (still looking)
     
  21. Ekko Star

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    £4 doesn't sound too bad to begin with, but knowing Sky they will indeed rip you off in the end :rolleyes:
     
  22. tradesman

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    no doubt about that Ekko Star m8 :rolleyes:

    regards tradesman
     
  23. Rob

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    The truest quote ever!

    Can you not connect a seperate scaler to a 434? If you connect a freeview box to something like a Lumagen vision and then out (VGA) to the media box? I'm not familiar with the 434, but maybee somebody who has one may have tried it.I would have thought it would give you better video processing than the panel.

    Regards Rob
     

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