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Pioneer PDP434HDE & Connecting a Windows Media Center

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by jackylad, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. jackylad

    jackylad
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    Hi all,

    Does anyone have any advice regarding which plasma screen would work best with a windows media center?

    I'm looking to buy both bits of kit and really like the idea of having a PC based media center and a plasma to view everything on.

    The plasma I think I want to go for is the Pioneer PDP434HDE. But I'm not sure how I'd connect everything up. The media center will have a DVI output on the graphics card and I'm totally confused about the HDMI & DVI thingy!

    Would this plasma be a good choice as I'll be getting that first then the media center later on, as Alienware www.alienware.com are supposed to be launching a UK version of their Digital Home Systems and I fancy one of them.

    The overall concept that I'm trying to achieve is a single box with all media on and a good screen quality plasma to top it off.


    Any comments or advice would be really appreciated!!!
     
  2. MAW

    MAW
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    Of all the plasmas to start with, here is the 2nd most problematic. What you need is the business version for PC use, the 43MX. Possibly a Panasonic TH42PHD6, with a DVI board. Thye HDE pioneer has a rather limited 'DVI' which will not accept panel native resolution. The MX version or the panasonic are fine. Cheaper too, which can't be bad. The HDE does have a VGA connector, but it's on the front of the media box, so not only are you not making the absolute most of digital formats, but you have a cable in full view, unless you have the AV gear includign PC, inside a cupboard, which sounds a bit hot to me. Personally I'd avoid Hitachi too, owing to difficulties with native resolution.
    For a PC, try nearer home, like www.uvem.com maybe. To use this plasma with no PC, you will need a video board and maybe a freeview box to get TV, so probably still cheaper than the HDE.
     
  3. jackylad

    jackylad
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    Cheers MAW
     
  4. Cerebro

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    MAW, so (what) you are saying (implies) that there is no way to get an all-digital signal with 1:1 pixel mapping on a Pioneer 504HDE? If so, are you 100% sure? And if so, any ideas why Pioneer would make such a decision? To make sure consumers stick to pure DVD vs. HTPC use...?

    Also, is it at all possible to get an image from an HTPC/DVI unit through the Pioneer's HDMI input? And if so, do you know how?

    Thanks
     
  5. joys_R_us

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    Does the MX version have a HDCP feature on DVI ? (or a HDMI ?)
     
  6. MAW

    MAW
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    Cerebro, 1:1 by digital is totally impossible, a much talked of issue. And to compond the bumhole factor, no the MX versions do not comply with HDCP standards, so you are stuck in the middle so to speak. VGA on a HDE looks lovely, but the cable in the front of the media box is not a permanent solution for most people. Panasonic have a DVI suitable for HTPC's but not so suitable for HDMI in spite of HDCP compliance. Joe, myself and probably a few others are working/experimenting with these problems, I have a iscan HD and a DVI equipped panasonic to play with. Pioneer see the MX as a commercial only plasma, and do not think anyone would want a PC connected to their screen at home, so complied with the minimum spec for HDMI on the HDE's digital input. HDMI being a video interface, and plasmas being computer monitors, the 2 are not well matched. A reason why I live up to my avatar on the subject of digital video.
     
  7. Cerebro

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    Actually, I talked to Pioneer (Sweden) today and they confirmed (if there is such a word in a field where everyone seems to provide a new version on the truth :rolleyes: ) my suspicions that the HDMI input on the Pio PDP HDE:s are "video inputs", i.e. they are restricted to video signals, resolutions and refresh rates. To me, that sound an awful waste. Here is a top-of-the-line screen with the theoretical possibilities of getting an all-digital, 1:1 pixel mapping image at 1280x768 and they restrict it by their own implementation!!?? Why?

    joys_R_us: Have no experience whatsoever with the MX version. Sorry.
     
  8. Cerebro

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    MAW, when you say that digital 1:1 pixel mapping is impossible, you mean that it is impossible on the Pioneer HDE displays, right? Because provided you have a plasma monitor (vs. plasma _display_) with a DVI input, you should, using custom resolutions, be able to get an all-digital 1:1 pixel-mapped image from your HTPC and the DVI input, or am I missing something..?

    To me, it seems that HDMI/HDCP ony provide real benefits to the producers and not to the consumers, which the former wants everybody to believe. I'd be glad to be proven wrong...
     
  9. MAW

    MAW
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    Exactly, it's the digital input on the HDE which does not allow the natural resolotion to be input, the HDMI spec does not include these resolutions. Stupid, annoying, certainly. It's a hollywood copy protection scheme dressed up to be 'better for consumers'. Like a tart in a ballgown, so to speak.
     
  10. Cerebro

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    I was afraid you'd say that...

    And I guess there has been failed attempts to exploit the DVI++-input on the display itself (one of the two system connections)? Hope is the last thing to leave man...
     
  11. MAW

    MAW
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    The DVI on the display just looks like one, the screen won't stay turned on without the media box.
     
  12. mikeycrawford

    mikeycrawford
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    Has anyone managed to display 1280x768 @ 70Hz from a PC via the VGA input on a 504HDE?. I can get the PC and the display to work 1280x768 @56Hz and the picture is fantastic, rock steady, but when I try and feed it the 70Hz signal, the picture looks much poorer (the screen thinks the signal is 1024x768 @ 70Hz for some reason, although it still shows 1280 pixels across). No amount of fiddling with the settings can get it looking as good as it does at 56Hz.

    But at 56Hz a DVD playing through WinDVD Platinum doesn't look as good as it does when the PC is set to 70Hz or 75Hz (albeit I have to drop down to 1024x768 res for this, which causes issues with the aspect ratio of the DVD).

    If someone can cofirm theyhave had it working then I know it must be my powerstrip settings.

    Ta

    Mike
     

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