Pioneer PDP-433HDE or Alternatives?? First time Plasma buyer!


Active Member
Right I am new to the forum so haven't had a lot of time to browse the forum fully (I have used the search).

My dad is looking to get a plasma for the main room (24ft x 14ft - Plasma to be wall mounted on the 24ft wall). We currently have buidling work going on for our exstention and will be doing some work in the main room later.

As it is we won't be buying our Plasma until the work is finished (looking at end of January) as we don't want it screwed up by dust/paint or other building stuff.

We have looked at the following:
Panasonic TH-42PW5B
Pioneer PDP-433HDE
Occasional glance a the current Samsung 42" and also the LG 42" (can't remember these model's).

I'm not too much of a tv techie (although I do understand a lot of the stuff) so I would like to know the recommendations of the forum in regards to what is best to buy.

Comments on the Pioneer (and any new models that might be coming out early next year) would be handy as this is our main focus for now.

Price budget is around £4500 Plasma alone, £5000 Plasma, Sound setup etc.

Thanks for ya help in advance :)


Both the Panny and the Pioneer are probably the most popular models and each has its own merits. Having seen the Panny and the Pioneer side by side I prefer the Panny, colours seemed more vibrant but it seems to suffer with an annoying audible and varying pitch buzzing noise when in use (see the forum). At the cheaper end you have the Sammy and the LG. I haven't seen the Sammy but I was quite impressed with the LG, for the price i think its a bit of a bargain. The downside with the LG is it won't accept a progressive scan input only interlaced but that may not be an issue for you. With £5K to burn I'd look at the Panny and the Pioneer


Active Member
I have to say that we are now looking almost entirely at the Panasonic.

The time I have taken to sit and really look over the details and comments from here and other reputable reviews have pushed us very much 99.9% to the Panasonic.


Well-known Member
You should audition the Pioneer 433MXE. It's not an MDE without the tuner - PQ is much better and in the opinion of many of us rivals the Panny. It also has an upgrade path which the Panny does not. Also the MXE is much cheaper than the MDE.


Active Member
Care to elaborate a bit more on that?

What would we "upgrade" on it?

I thought the MXE's were lower spec than the HDE's.

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor

Whilst you are not looking to purchase straight away it would be an idea to at least settle on which type of 'system' you intend to purchase as you should at least be considering the installation of any video, audio and power cables whilst you have the building work going on - rather than having to dig back into your walls once the work is complete.

You have two basic 'system' choices:
Plasma Display - very basic functions, no TV tuner, no SCART input sockets, multiple video inputs direct to the display, RS232 control option, highest quality picture (given a good signal), more revealing of picture defects (given a poor signal).

Plasma TV - usually include an external Media Box for all video connections, SCART input sockets, fixed length (3m) umbilical cables between the Screen and the Media Box (often with large connectors on both ends), optional fixed length (7-10m) umbilical cables, Terrestrial TV tuner, Teletext board, Picture in Picture (two video sources only), more user friendly remote controls (act more like a normal TV), basic picture adjustments, slightly less detailed picture compared to the Display models but less revealing with poorer signals, not always compatible with the highest quality Progressive Scan video signals in the PAL format, poor or no screen saver modes.

As to models and manufacturers I would consider the following:

Plasma Display:
Pioneer PDP-433MXE
Panasonic TH-42PWD5BX (Charcoal)
Panasonic TH-42PW5B (Silver)

Pioneer PDP-433HDE
Panasonic as above plus the optional TU-600B Tuner Box

The LG and Samsung (and Thompson) models mentioned bye others all offer less expensive models but for me they dont produce as good an image as the systems listed above.

What source equipment are you considering as this will help to steer you towards either the PlasmaTV or the Plasma Display models. I'm guessing too that once your Dad has the system installed he's not going to be looking to constantly tweak or upgrade it and will want a simple to use system.

We find many 'non videophile' customers find the simplicity and features of the PlasmaTV models to be preferable to the Plasma Display models and also we get quite a few customers wanting a 'one brand' system with a single remote control to operate the TV, DVD, Amp etc - and dont want a Pronto type remote just a simple 'brand' remote.

I have a Pioneer PDP-433HDE set up at home with SKY+ (a must have product) at the minute (with a Pioneer entry level DVD and Surround sound AMP) and for most visitors to the house this combination (although not absolutely perfect with all SKY channels) is a real winner (I must say though I have never used the Terrestrial TV channels or the Teletext buttons).

Best regards



Active Member
Thanks for the post Joe. I hope I can make our situation a bit clear with these details:

The building work is NOT primarily going on in the room where the Screen (I will say screen so that I don’t confuse between Display/TV Plasma) will be situated. This basically means that if we hide the cable/s in the wall, we will need to “dig in” to put them there.
We have replaced the windows in the main room so there will be a wall plasterer coming to do both our extension and our main room.
(I will get some pictures of the room so you can see exactly what I mean).

We have the following equipment that will be connected to the Screen:

Sky + digibox
LG 3350E DVD (rather old but unlikely to be replaced yet)
Sony VCR
Echostar motorised satellite receiver

We will be buying a proper sound system to go with the Screen priced around £300-£400.


Well-known Member
As ever Joe puts his finger on it.

At the higher end I'd say the choice of Plasma TV is between the Pioneer HDE or the Philips 42". If cash is tight the Samsung is a decent performer.

If you're happy to go for the basic plasma then it has to be either the Panny or the Pioneer MXE - both are great and whichever you buy you won't regret it.

My comment about upgrade path relates to a new board coming out in the new year for the Pioneer, but it will cost ca. £1600. I would welcome Joe's comments on what it will do and value for money.

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