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Pioneer HDE Vs MXE

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs Forum' started by TheBigApple, Dec 26, 2002.

  1. TheBigApple

    TheBigApple
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    I'm on the verge of buying a plasma TV, narrowed it down to the Pioneer 503HDE and the 503MXE.
    Having read through various threads it sees that the newer model lacks something called progresive scan, which leads me to some questions.

    1.What exactly does progresive scan do to a picture.

    2.Does it benefit from any other equipment i.e DVD,Sky etc.

    3.Has anyone seen the difference in picture quality and is it really that noticable.

    4.I've read the MXE doesn't come with a tuner or scarts,so do I have to use a VCR to get TV pictures,where do you connect DVD,Sky,games console etc.

    If anyone owns any of these two plasmas I would be greatful of any other input as to ease of use,problems or minor irritations they have experienced

    Many thanks
     
  2. BigH

    BigH
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    Hi,

    I am in a similar position however my choice is eithe the Panasonic TH50PHW5B or Pioneer PDP-503HDE. The HDE does support progressive scanning - chack out the Pioneer website link http://www.pioneer.co.uk/uk/product_detail.jsp?product_id=481&taxonomy_id=62-63

    Right now my money is on the Panasonic having viewed both devices, my only dilema is whether to but the tuner or another device to do the video management.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. JimmyMc

    JimmyMc
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    Might be wrong, but I *think* the HDE only supports NTSC Progressive scan.. it's the MXE that supports PAL Progressive..

    I'm having the same problem choosing between the Panny and Pioneer.. I'm edging slowly towards the Pioneer.. for the connectivity and the higher res.. as soon as someone replies to my post I hope to make my mind up!

    I wonder if there'll be a plasma January sale somewhere - if anyone comes across one.. let us all know!!

    JimmyMc
     
  4. BigH

    BigH
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    Jimmy,

    you mention that the HDE has higher res, I'm curious as the Panny is 1366x768 vs 1280x768 for the HDE. The PC support for both goes upto native XGA with the HDE having some extended XGA what ever that means!! Connectivity on the Panny (assuming you have the expensive tuner option) is also pretty good. I have not seen the manual for the HDE so I can't compare directly.

    Do you have any other comments/observations?
     
  5. JimmyMc

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    Oops.. you may well be right.. I was talking about the 433 models.. I'm afraid I don't know about the 50-inchers.. The main connectivity problem I was thinking of is that you can't use S-Vid at the same time as composite which is what I'd need with my current setup (DVD is S-vid and VCR is composite) - but to be honest.. I'm thinking about upgrading my DVD player at the same time to something with component!!

    Talk about a minefield when it comes to plasmas!
     
  6. TheBigApple

    TheBigApple
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    Your not wrong there.

    I'm also looking at the Panasonic models now as a lot of people on this forum give it a good rating, apart from some apparant noise.

    Still does anyone have any answers to my questions?

    I've been reading through the different threads again and am now also confused about HD. I know it won't be available for a while, but it would be nice to know if any plasma already has the facility to display HD.



    :confused:
     
  7. MarkTaylor

    MarkTaylor
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    Some answers for you :)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    1.What exactly does progresive scan do to a picture.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Almost all plasma's are inherently progressive devices (except those using Fujitsu ALiS glass 1024x1024). This means that unlike a normal TV they produce the entire image in a single pass rather than producing every other line then returning to fill in the gaps. This is usually perceived as producing a virtually flicker free image.

    The real question is really where do you let the de-interlacing happen, in the plasma or elsewhere ?

    Current models of the HDE are only able to accept a progressive NTSC signal as far as I am aware, so with these there is no choice but to let the plasma do the de-interlacing for PAL signals. The MXE can accept a PAL Progressive signal.

    Some will say it is better to do the de-interlacing as early as possible in the signal chain, so the use of a DVD player with a PAL progressive output would be preferred, but this will noly work with the MXE, not the HDE.

    Others will say that the quality of the de-interlacing is more important so they will choose to use an external video processor to handle it, but once again if the output is PAL progressive then you have to choose the MXE not the HDE.

    If you are happy to let the plasma do the de-interlacing for DVD signals then either the HDE or the MXE will be fine.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2.Does it benefit from any other equipment i.e DVD,Sky etc.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As mentioned above, a DVD player with Progressive PAL and NTSC outputs will often be held to produce a better quality image.

    Sky will always output an interlaced signal so the only real question there is the way you connect Sky to the plasma. Most standard Sky receivers only output RGB via SCART so you will have to do some conversion if you get the MXE as it does not handle SCART connectors directly, but the HDE does.

    Sky+ has an S-Video connector which both the MXE and the HDE can handle.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3.Has anyone seen the difference in picture quality and is it really that noticable.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yes, I've auditioned both the HDE and the MXE in the same room and for me the differences were very noticable. The quality of the image on the MXE was visibly superior to the HDE and even more so when being fed with a PAL Progressive signal. This was using relatively high end DVD equipment though.

    The most obvious part of the image that was improved was the detail in the darker areas of the picture which was very noticably improved on the MXE.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    4.I've read the MXE doesn't come with a tuner or scarts,so do I have to use a VCR to get TV pictures,where do you connect DVD,Sky,games console etc.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I use Sky+ via S-Video to provide all my TV signals and I do not use a VCR at all. My DVD has component outputs which can connect directly to the plasma. You can also get component cables for a number of games consoles these days as well, the MXE offers two component inputs so one for the DVD and one for the console.

    If you do need to convert from SCART then consider one of JS's boxes : http://www.rgbtosvideo.com/

    Some people do have success using cheaper cable based alternatives, but they do not seem to give good results with all sources and displays.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If anyone owns any of these two plasmas I would be greatful of any other input as to ease of use,problems or minor irritations they have experienced
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For me the choice was initially made on the image quality, but even with that out of the way I found the MXE much easier to install since the HDE has a fixed length pre-terminated cable that has to run between the screen and the media box which would have made the hidden cable installation that I did much harder to achieve.

    The MXE has a dark coloured frame as standard, but I was able to order mine with a silver frame like the HDE.

    The other major difference is that the HDE offers no possiblility of upgrading other than by replacing the media box which is not currently an option. The MXE uses a replacable card to handle the video processing and there are already a small number of third party alternatives with more on the way.

    Mark
     
  8. JimmyMc

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    Hi Mark..

    You mentioned that most plasmas are inherently progressive EXCEPT those using the Fujitsu ALis glass - I'm currently looking at the new Hitachi which uses that very screen.. what does this mean for me, that it won't accept a PAL progressive signal from my DVD player? (looking at the Philips 963A)..

    I was looking at the Pioneer.. no-one anywhere near me has an MXE to demo though so it's out of the question unless I can find one to look at.. I saw the HDE in action and it was awful compared to the Hitachi..

    More confusion reigns..
     
  9. TheBigApple

    TheBigApple
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    Mark

    Thanks for the info:)
     
  10. saggio

    saggio
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    Mark
    where did you find the MXE? seem a pretty rare thing these days..
    Also, was the silver frame an aftermarket thing or a Pioneer supply?
    Tjanks, Saggio
     
  11. MarkTaylor

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    My MXE was supplied from Pioneer with the silver frame, factory original, not after-market.

    The MXE is no more hard to find that it has ever been, you won't see it in normal retail outlets as it is a business product, some B & M retails can order it for you but they will not normally keep a demo model around.

    People like Joe Fernand (www.tmfsolutions.co.uk) and other similar companies are the best places to demo and buy an MXE.

    JimmyMc; the ALiS glass has very much fallen from favor in recent months and it is not to be found on any of the current new generation plasma's, even those from Fujitsu.

    If you feed it a progressive signal the effective resolution is only 1024x512, it is only with interlaced signals that it really is able to operate at it's full potential and in particular with a 1080i signal that is not usually available in the UK. In the USA it is a sensible purchase if you intend to feed it at 1080i but over here I would not be inclined to buy it myself.

    The reason it is good with 1080i is that it crops a little off the top and bottom of the image then displays it without any scaling at all which results in a very good image.

    I would expect that most of the demo's you've seen so far were with interlaced signals which will make the ALiS glass look better, compared side by side with a progressive signal and it'll probably not look as good. But of course if you watch a lot of non-DVD material then that is mostly what you'll be watching so it may still suit you.

    Mark
     
  12. Paden

    Paden
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    Mark
    Is the silver surround generally available at present?
    Also with the variety of connections possible on the MXE are there any preferred ones to use?
    Like RGB was the best option on most CRT's.
    Cheers, Paul
     
  13. saggio

    saggio
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    Mark, you said

    --------------------------------------------
    ....but once again if the output is PAL progressive then you have to choose the MXE not the HDE
    -------------------------------------------

    but I have read elsewhere in this forum that the MXE will not handle PAL progressive. Maybe I misunderstood.

    Also does the MXE have a VGA input for direct connection to a PC?

    Thank you, Saggio
     
  14. MarkTaylor

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    It is the HDE that does not handle PAL Progressive signals at the moment, the MXE handles them just fine.

    I've been driving my 503MXE with PAL progressive from my Arcam DV27 since I first got it :)

    The MXE with the PDA-5002 card offers both a DVI and a VGA input for PC's.

    The VGA input can also be configure as a second component input if you prefer.

    Mark
     
  15. MarkTaylor

    MarkTaylor
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    The information that I had on the silver frame at the time was that it was available in limited quantities so it could affect delivery time, but beyond that you'd have to ask your retailer.

    The preferred connection type is generally considered to be component.

    Mark
     
  16. TheBigApple

    TheBigApple
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    Well I now have a Pioneer 433HDE sitting in my living room :)

    After viewing the 503HDE, it looked a bit too grainy from the distance I would be viewing it from.

    The only minor niggle I have is that blacks look very dark grey compared to my Philips CRT, no matter how much I adjust the settings, but I've just watched Spiderman and have to say that once I got into the film I didn't notice as the size of the picture had me in awe.

    Thanks for all the help guys



    :)
     

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