Pioneer 50", but what next?


Novice Member
OK, I'm unable to sleep as the Pioneer 503MXE should arrive in the morning! As this has happened much quicker than intended, I have yet to research the rest of the setup.

Main use will be DVD and PC (DIVX playback rather than games). I have recently moved and live in a very poor area for TV reception and can't receive CH5 at all, even with a freeview box. The house has a dish and is also cabled for NTL, but I haven't yet chosen between the two. Is one better than the other for plasma connectivity?

I have a JVC XV-N33 DVD and a samsung SV-655B VCR. The DVD stereo audio out is connected to a NAD C350 Amp and Eltax LR6.5 floor standing speakers. So, nothing special there then!

I'm after advice on completing the setup now. As I've already overspent on the plasma (I was looking at 42" before), I can't go overboard on the rest. Any suggestions on an Amp/speaker and possibly DVD package to complete the setup? The living room is about 25 feet long, plasma one end & settee the other!

Limited research has uncovered the following from Peter Tyson (

Marantz SR4400B, Marantz DV4300B & Tannoy FX5.1 @ £500 or
Marantz SR4400B, Marantz DV4300B & Mordaunt Short Premiere Plus @ £650

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.:zonked:


if i was to be completely honest i'd start with what you've got and wait till you've freed up a little bit more of a budget to give you're sound a chance against you're amazing picture. First change i'd make is for a decent DVD player, and then build up over months ahead.


Standard Member
As you are already planning to use PC with the screen this would be by far the best value-for-money source for both DVD and music. Sell the other bits and get good sound and video cards.

Add a satellite TV card and your TV is sorted as well.


Novice Member
Just a note,

if you want serious sound in your 25feet! long living room, btw how wide? Anyway, it sounds like a big room, you need more than a Marantz 4400 level.

So, as they say, try and sell some of the stuff, and build up step by step. It's difficult to prioritise your purchase, this I let others push. Here is some stuff to have a think about.

If you intend to use HTPC a lot, then agree with Branxx, a decent videocard - e.g. Sapphire 9600xt 128mb - £105, Powerstrip softw $29.95 (£17) - pwstrip and a dvd player software, see here which one, probably Theatertek - hometheaterhifi are essentials.

Or you could buy a dvd player which has DVI output and Divx enabled, e.g. Yamakawa AV365 or Momitsu V880 both around £140, very popular, even among MXE owners.

Regarding the choice between satellite and cable, I can't help you.

Speakers- such a big romm has a lot of air to fill, best would be a good 7.1 set up or at least a 6.1 :smoke: to maximise your experience. The Tannoy FX will struggle, others can perhaps confirm what kind of level is acceptable. Actually how loud would you like to play?

Amps - Marantz 7400 is a 7.1 amp with DPLIIx, loads of power and quality, both music and movies, and below £500. Also the new Yamaha 650 & 750 which has all the latest features see here - - regarding price, they are new, so it might take a while before the big discounting will appear, maybe in a couple of months.

If you prefer below £300, then Pioneer 912 £300, Marantz 5400 £267 are amps with good power - this generation of amps does have 6.1, but not DPLIIx.

Anyway, its just my initial suggestions, others will come up with others or agree, but hopefully we all can help you to build up a set up you can enjoy many years. :)



Novice Member
Woot, it's just arrived:clap: Big box, but I've got to go to work so unpacking will have to wait.

Thanks for the comments so far.... I forgot to ask about 'running in' I've read a little about turning factory settings down in other threads, and trying to avoid static images to minimise screen burn. What sort of time scale are we looking at with this model?

The room is 11 feet wide (long & narrow)

I'm not sure I intend to pursue the PC route any more than watching stuff I can't get any other way:nono: The fans are too noisy and it's not that attractive. But I haven't really tried a DVD yet this way - I'll fire up PowerDVD or WinDVD and see how it compares. I had a cheap Trust sound/spealer package (5.1) so I'll dig that out again.

If I'm honest a separates systems would be preferable though so keep the suggestions coming.:smashin:

Marantz SR5400 looked a better choice at a reasonable price. How about the Mordaunt Short Premiere Plus as these were a bit more expensive than the Tannoy FX5.1 setup?

Last thing for now - VCR to plasma? The Samsung only has SCART. What is the best way to convert this for the Pioneer?

Thanks again - there's a wealth of info here...I just wish I had more time:rolleyes:


Well-known Member
Hi Katnap,

Congratulations on your new MXE - I'm sure you'll both be very happy! ;) Regarding running in, set the plasma to "power control: mode 2" in the main option menu. I know it looks rather dull and gloomy, but it will help prevent burn-in for the first 100 hours or so. After that, you can calibrate it with THX Optimiser which is included on certain (mainly Fox) DVDs, or use a dedicated disc like DVE or AVIA. As for connecting your Samsung VCR, you will need a Scart to composite lead - just use the provided phono-BNC adapter to connect it to the PDA-5002 card. Hope this helps.



Novice Member
Regarding running in, set the plasma to "power control: mode 2" in the main option menu
I've had a good look for 'mode 2', but can't find it! I found a technical manual on an Australian website and downloaded the pdf files, but there's nearly 200 pages and rotating each one through 180 degrees is hard work;)

I've manually set contrast & brightness to -12 for now.


Well-known Member

To set mode 2, press menu, then option, then select either mode 1, mode 2 or standard.



Novice Member
Thanks Dutch - I didn't equate 'Power Control' as the way to turn down contrast & brightness. Just set it to mode 2 and I see what you mean about the 'dull & gloomy' bit!! Roll on 100 hours :) I've grabbed a copy of Avia and will look forward to calibration...DVDs lined up ready to go, just need the amp & speakers now. Thanks again :)

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