Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by judesalmon, Jan 20, 2003.
Okay, I'm down to these two displays and the Panny has the edge, is this the best idea?
Assuming you've demo'd both, then no point in trying to convince you either way. You have to make up your own mind. As one who went for the 433 I'm well pleased, but so are the Panny buyers. Thing is they're both great screens so there isn't a wrong choice, just the right one for you.
If you're really interested I'm sure any of us who went for the 433 instead of the Panny can tell you why, but it may just confuse you all over again. But if you are still wavering, post again and I'll lay out my reasons.
I'm leaning towards the Panny for the higher contrast ratio mainly; both screens are superb, but on darker scenes the Panny really makes blacks look black. However, as a new buyer I'd like to hear your thoughts.
As a side note I need to connect:
DVD player, Xbox, PS2, Gamecube and Sky Digital
I will chip in with my reasons: after 3 hours spent at NexNix (Horsham) watching the MXE sid-to-side with the WP5 (aslo with the Hitachi and Samsung) I have taken up the MXE.
1) the MXE is way superior with R2 DVDs in terms of details. I have not tried with R1, where someone says that the WP5 is better due to native resolution, but most of my DVD (and Blockbuster's) are R2...
2) True that the WP5's black is "deeper" than the MXE, but also we noticed that it has less grey-scale details: i.e. is either black or nothing. Most of dark-grey" details are lost on the WP%, since they are all black.
3) Hooked to a PC (for games and web surfing) there is no comparison: the higher definition of the MXE is clear. Also the MXE as a DVI input
4) with Digital TV (I use Telewest Cable) the WP5 was superior at the test in Horsham. We attributed it to the less demanding up-scaling required in the WP5 (therefore less computing need). But that was with the MXE hooked up via a not-so-good S-Video link. Now, at home, I have the RGB-to-VGA conversion and the image from the TV box has greatly inproved. It is not as good as DVD, but very watchable.
for more view look at this thread: http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=62548
Judesalmon, like it was said above, if you've demoed both and like the panny go for the panny, All you'll get now is confusing information, people who bought panny's will disagree with pio people on what they feel the panny can't do and then the pio people with disagree with the panny people on what the pio can't do.
I would quit while you were ahead and get the panny.
Ever heard the expression "paralysis by analysis" ?
It applies aptly to most people buying kit around here and we've all done it in our time. Decide. Buy. Enjoy. Don't look back.
Same can be applied to buying the damn things too. Go somewhere that sells them, and has them in stock, beat them with a big stick till they give you a good deal, the buy it before either of you has a change of heart.
After spending a lot of time following this board I too have short listed the panny and the pioneer.
Since I dont have an AVamp (I am not convinced by 5.1) for ease of video connections and video enhancements have decided on a Silicon Images Ultra.
Spoke to a dealer yesterday who strongly advised the pioneer MXE due to
1)its DVI input, ie once the ultra has done a A/D conversion the signal path is purely digital to the phosphors thus giving best possible picture quality possible with plasma.
2) will accept prog pal (which is what sky will be after passing through the Ultra)where the panny only accepts prog NTSC ???
In essence, panny is better if no external scaler used,
Pionner is better if scaler is used
However have yet to demo the Ultra
Via DVI or VGA, progressive is no longer an issue. Worry about that via the component sockets.
?not convinced by 5.1?
I take it you've never watched a movie with a 5.1 soundtrack then!
That puzzled me a bit! The sound is 1/2 the experience. Even a good prologic soundtrack is quite surprising. 'Taken' is a good example, whatever your opinion of the program otherwise.
The Panasonic does just fine with PAL progressive too, it works with my Denon 3800.
I have a good 2 channel system (meridian 596 bi amped with meridian power amps into KEF reference speakers) which gives a sound that has very good imagery and separation of instruments.
The room i have is small and i feel having more speakers will just muddy the sound. Plus when I watch a movie i get involved with the plot, characters the photography and as much as I enjoy good sound and hifi I do not think that the sound is half the experience. Yes I have seen and listened to several 5.1 systems ranging from very poor to very good and when done well it is enjoyable but I would prefer to put the money into good visuals.
However this is a thread about plasmas and I am curious about why progressive is no longer an issue on a DVI or VGA input?
Carl I think he may have been talking about palprog through DVI to Panasonic.
VGA is progressive. Full stop. If it comes from a PC, the term is 'non-interlaced' A plasma is a computer display, and accepts a non-interlaced signal. It is no longer PAL or NTSC, just VGA or DVI, no regions, i'd like to say no silly bu****s but unfortunately 90% of the computers in UK are powered by some very sophisticated but silly software! It always requires bu****ering about with, so there's no getting away from it!
ok thats fine I understand that the DVI or VGA is a progressive signal.
Will a digital signal through the DVI link to the pioneer give a better picture than an analogue signal though VGA to the Panny?
Although the DVI input on the 433 is a key advantage, it's really only useable with a PC input. The Pioneer DVI input will not accept a PAL signal via the DVI output from an Iscan Ultra. So if you are planning on using an Ultra the DVI connection on the 433 is irrelevant for anything other than NTSC material (at least that's my understanding).
I made a mistake on the Panny model number, it should be 42PHD5, the XVGA model rather than the WP5 VGA one.
At first my first choice was the Pio 433HDE, because of the Tuner, but that's no longer an issue. I know that the MXE has the edge, so that's why I narrowed it down to that one.
The Panny PHD5 has a better contrast ratio, which highlights its better handling of blacks.
I'm so confused.
Your not alone in being confused. I too have narrowed the choice to the Panny and the 433MXE. Going off to NexNix tomorrow for a demo using the IScan Ultra. However, unfortunately they haven't got a 42PHD5 to demo (only the 42PW5B) so it's still going to be tough to make a choice.
May end up going on price as the 42PHD5 is over £700 more expensive than the 433MXE and over £1000 more than the 42PW5B.
Then again if I never see the 42PHD5 in action will I always be wondering if I made the right decision.....
Where's my executive decision maker when I need it...
PS Prices - TH-42PHD5 £4253.50 - Ivojo, PDP-433MXE £3519.13 Ivojo and NexNix, TH-42PW5B 3201.88 NexNix
I have been confused to. I was wavering between the highly acclaimed hitachi 42" and the pioneer 433.
But I was informed that the hitachi is not very good at Sky digital signals and the iSCAN Ultra will no improve it much.
I have seen the pioneer 433HD, although I though the picture was more vibrant than many I was slightly disappointed on the upscaling of Sky digital. It appeared to show quite a few artifacts.
I look forward to seeing what your opinion of the pioneer with iSCAN is. (Don't forget to see it with sky digital etc, DVD almost always looks good).
P.S. Ask them if you can buy different coloured bezels yet !
P.P.S. Six months ago I too was considering the pan 42HD, but then found it was impossible to see before purchase, and found on the american format that the HD screens are not generally very good with SD pictures.
A DVI is either there or not. It must be something to do with the iscan if it can't feed a dvi signal to a display, not the display not recognising the video format. DVI is DVI, not pal, ntsc or anything else. The screen won't know the difference. If you find a difference, it is because the iscan can't do the required conversion, not that the screen can't accept it. That is my understanding, and experience. I have not used a iscan ultra so am not able to comment on whether or not this is it's behavior, but it won't be the screen.
To see a difference between analogue and digital, IMHO not with an iscan, unless you can do a perfect pixel map, ie display the native panel resolution. You can do this with a PC, and then there may be a discernable difference. If you allow the panel to do any scaling, you've lost the advantage.
With regards to the IScan Ultra, I quote from page 14 of the manual;
"Note that the standard 480p DVI output format can only be generated from a standard NTSC interlaced scan video signal. The digital output generated from a PAL or SECAM interlaced scan video signal is a digital progressive scan video signal (720x576p or 640x576p)"
This would seem to imply that scaling would be required for any non NTSC source. I'm not sure if the Panny or PIO can scale DVI signals - I guess they can.
However, page 16 of the manual - the trouble shooting section - states;
" A DVI output can only be generated from a standard NTSC interlaced video signal".
If I get the opportunity I'll see if we can try this tomorrow - assuming that NexNix have a suitable cable.
Earlier in the thread saggio implied that there is no DVI input on the Panny. There is a different card to allow DVI input - TY-42M4D/DB but this does not have component input as well. Video inputs for this card are DVI, S-Video, and composite. This won't work for me as I hope to upgrade to a DV88+ (or a DV89 if I can wait a few months) to get progressive scan directly from the DVD to the Plasma.
Steve36 - Yep, I've got a list of tests to do. As 90% of the viewing will be from SKY+ this is one of the most important tests for me.
I've added colour bezels to the list of queries to ask.
With regards to HD screens, the PIO 433MXE has the same resolution as the 42PHD5 so I'm hoping that I can get some feel for the resolution issues by looking at this and just use the 42PW5D to determine grey scale and solarisation issues. I'm probably deluding myself that I'll be able to make a decision on the 42PHD5 having done this but it's the best I can come up with as I too have been unable to find a demo of a 42PHD5 anywhere.
Does anyone know of anywhere I could look at the Panny PHD5 and Pio 433MXE in action near Bournemouth? (I haven't seen the displays since my holiday to the US.)
(All this talk of demo's in Bournemouth reminded me that whilst sunning myself on a beach over New Year I'd wondered to myself about a Winnebago fitted out with various displays and me and the family touring the country doing presentations... either that or organise lots of cheap flights up to Edinburgh!)
Anyway just to throw a few pointers to DJP and others on this thread:
DVI - it seems that this is a new black art that requires an awful lot of patience and no small technical knowledge and spec sheet reading to understand (I also believe that last weeks CES in the States has shown that DVI seems to have gained big acceptance in the US on HD Set Top boxes and the like).
DVI inputs on displays - It does indeed seem that the current video boards in the various displays are signal dependant. The PDA-5002 card as supplied by Pioneer UK will only (for example) accept an NTSC signal from a TAG PSM192 and not a PAL signal from the same device. The 'accepted' signal resolutions and frequencies chosen by Pioneer are 'accepted' PC settings and its just coincidental that one of them happens to correspond to an NTSC video signal.
DVI + Key Digital - the new input card for the Pioneer MXE displays may get around this as Key Digital have there own way of managing the DVI signal being sent to the display; I've not seen the card as yet so it will be February before we can get a hold of one to test this out.
Panasonic TH-42PHD5BX - the higher resolution makes a big difference on PC sources and with the BNC terminal board fitted the display runs a very close second on DVD to the PWD5 display. Here again you could consider adding an external processor to the system with a 1024x768 output - you have to keep in mind I guess that the video card as supplied by Panasonic is only £200. We have supplied a few of the PHD Displays to Home Cinema customers and so far they are all happy to accept any limitations the BNC or RCA board introduces knowing that they can upgrade to a higher resolution external scaler as and when funds allow.
Panasonic TH-42PHD5BX - please keep in mind this display (like the Panasonic 50") has fans on and they run all the time. Also this model does not have the Single Scan technology that some on this board have reported as producing some small amount of flicker. The PHD5 retains the Dual Scan technology of the previous generation 42" Panasonic displays.
Bezels - third party add on Bezels have been around for a while now for most makes and model s- though not readily available in the UK. A slip over design for Pioneer MXE and HDE models is now available in the UK; trouble is they cost around £400. Alternatively you can remove the bezel and have it repainted for far less cash at your local car or bike body shop.
In a few days I hope to shed some more light on the DVI aspect, but by PC. My new work PC will have a DVI card, radeon. We have a lot of plasmas, my pc runs the displays when I'm not 'using' it. We shall see.
Thanks for the feedback regarding DVI and the PHD5 Joe, very useful.
I like the idea of the travelling road show although it might be a tad expensive if you were involved in an accident (heaven forbid).
I had already surmised that the PHD5 might have fans in it but didn't realise that they ran all the time. Posts elsewhere on this board implied that the 50" Panny fans just whoosh at startup and then are only ever heard in extremely hot conditions. I had assumed that the 42PHD5 would be similar.
I'm quite sensitive to fan noise so I'll factor this into the decision.
I'll be interested in the outcome of your DVI investigations MAW. Hopefully, by then I'll have already purchased a Plasma but I can always add DVI at a later stage.
Why don't you guys wait until July, resp. September, when Panasonic will be selling their new displays with integrated tuners, much more inputs etc. The new ones will have DVI input among others as standard.
"The decision process is most of the fun"
I have had my MXE for 3 days now and is connected to a PC with an Asus GeForce4 card via a DVI. The card output 1024x768 @60Hz and the MXE is awsome in dot-by-dot mode.
Only problem is that the 1024x768 is a 4:3 format that is displayed in 16:9 by the MXE using its (in)famous "elongated pixels". Games and web are OK, but you do notice that faces (on photographs) are slightly chubby...
When a source DVI output device and a DVI equipped display device are plugged in together the source interogates the display to find out what resolutions it supports through the DVI interface. If the res you want is not supported it wont work. Also not all display devices, or probably sources for that matter, are speaking the protocol language accurately (or so I am told).
The result is that even when some resolutions are supposed to be supported between products you may still have problems.
Hope this helps a little with the understanding of the issues involved
One of my Glasgow customers has DVI input in his screen (Fujitsu) and a TAG processor. He has two options for connecting up his processor, DVI or component. Component video works fine, but DVI only gives a black & white image for PAL R2 DVDs, R1 NTSC work fine.
I've investigated the DVI specification to see why, but the colour information is not seperated from luminance. So why is he only getting a B&W image? Obviously there is some incompatibilities with DVI that need to be addressed. Perhaps the origins of DVI is the key, it's intended for use by computers rather than in Home Cinemas. And progressive PAL doesn't fit in to any standard PC monitor mode.
As a side line, I heard that copy protection is being added to the DVI specification.
All the best,
Dr John Sim.
Separate names with a comma.