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Plasma choice Panasonic TH50PHW5B or Pioneer PDP-503MXE

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by nhk, Dec 30, 2002.

  1. nhk

    nhk
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    I am looking for some impartial advice on which of these Plasma monitors to consider. I am new to the whole concept.

    The retailer (home cinema installer) will do either but recommends the Pioneer even though the Panasonic has better contrast. From what I see in the forums the panasonic gets goos reviews. Question is which is the more reliable of the two.

    Pioneer also offers on-site repairs.

    The specific question I have is:

    1. Is the panasonic technology a more advanced (later) version?
    2. Does the extra resolution of the Panasonic tranlate into a better picture.
    3. The brightness of the Panasonic is less than the Pioneer - does this make it less suitable for a daylight environment.

    I guess I cannot go wrong with either but would not like to feel that the retailer is steering me into a product that will be replaced soon.
     
  2. sharon

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    Hi nhk

    I went to a lot of effort to compare the Panasonic and Pioneer 50" in the same environment. My thoughts on your questions...

    1. Reliability: I think it's too early to say, but there seems to be reported cases of pixel dropout on the Panasonics than the Pioneer.

    2. In theory yes the Panasonic uses a more advanced technology. This seems quite evident when comparing the 42" Panasonic and Pioneer, however when it comes to 50" the difference isn't so great, the Panasonic offers better contrast but doesn't seem to offer the same clarity of picture.

    3. Yes the Panasonic's greater resolution translates to a better picture when driven by either a PC or composite video, anything else and the Pioneer picture seems better.

    4. Having seen them both in the same daylight, despite the better contrast/brightness, the Pioneer offers a better picture (could this be the glass?)

    So in short, I found the Panasonic a better 42" display (and bought one) but the situation was reversed when it came to 50" - I'd go for the Pioneer. Has anybody else found the same?

    Sharon
     
  3. sharon

    sharon
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    3. Yes the Panasonic's greater resolution translates to a better picture when driven by either a PC or composite video, anything else and the Pioneer picture seems better.

    Oops sorry I meant component not composite here...

    Sharon
     
  4. steelej

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    I don;t agree about the pixel dropout on the Panny being more then the Pioneer, on the AvSfoums all you hear are people talking about their 50" Pioneers with dead pixels. I've yet to hear anyone complain about dead pixels on Panasonics.

    John.
     
  5. delta

    delta
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    I'm a Pioneer fan, but in this case I say the Panasonic wins hands down. I have one and I am delighted with it. Estimated life is 30,000 hours, which is an average 15 years of use!
     
  6. Laingy

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    have the panasonic for about 1 year, no pixel problems, and the picture is fantastic with sky or dvd
     
  7. nhk

    nhk
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    Thanks for the prompt reply.

    I was tending to lean to the Pioneer - probably salesman pressure but may have to reconsider the Panasonic.

    What about this buzzing noise that people talk about on the Panasonic - is it real or isolated cases.

    In any event - thanks for the help. Still find it hard to make a decision though.
     
  8. sharon

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    Not aware of any buzzing noise on my Panasonic, or on the 50" version when I tested it....

    Sharon
     
  9. BigH

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    I have been going through the identical process and have decided on the 50" Panasonic. The deciding factor is personal, both have excellent pictures, however I felt the Panny was subjectively better especially when dealing with lower grade sources ie VCR, Sky. I also feel the Panny is a later design and certainly offers better contrast.

    My final decision was whether to buy the tuner or not, again after much deliberation I have decided not to buy and interface directly, this also leaves the door open for de-interlacing packages in the future if I am not so happy with the Sky and VCR images.

    I should have mine by the end of the week, I can't wait!!
     
  10. KBDVD

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    Hi BigH,

    I've had my TH-50PHW5BX for 2 weeks and am still being amazed by the images I'm getting from it!

    This is one fantastic screen and I guarantee you'll love it!

    I use it for DVD via Component from my interlaced player output, and I too decided against the tuner option.

    If your interested after a fair degree of experimentation with the settings in the picture menu, these are the settings that I'm currently running with.

    COMPONENT INPUT: 16:9

    PICTURE MODE: NORMAL

    CONTRAST: -10

    BRIGHTNESS: -25

    COLOUR: 0

    TINT: 0

    SHARPNESS: 10

    WHITE BAL: NORMAL

    ADVANCED: OFF


    Best Regards,
    KBDVD.
     
  11. MarkTaylor

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    Impartial advice is hard to find around here :)

    If you are buying through an installer then I would take advantage of the fact that the screen is probably part of a larger deal and sipulate that you will only accept a screen that is free from any defects like stuck or dead pixels.

    Make that a clear requirement up front and preferably in writing.

    My own experience with the choice you have is that if you will be mostly watching under conditions of controlled lighting then the Panasonic is probably the best choice since it does out perform the Pioneer in subdued lighting conditions with regard to black levels.

    If you will be frequently watching in daylight or if you prefer strong background lighting in the evenings then I would suggest the Pioneer since it is better able to handle the bright surroundings.

    On a general point, the MXE delivers a better picture than the HDE version so if you are making comparisons based on demo's do ensure that you are comparing the right versions.

    Only other consideration is that Pioneer are committed to providing upgrades via the card slot on the screen and have allowed third-party providers to do the same, it is not clear at this point if Panasonic will be doing the same and they are certainly not allowing thrid-party companies to produce cards either.

    I don't thing you'll be dissapointed with either choice but I'd consider the lighting conditions as a key factor in your decision.

    Mark
     
  12. StoneGhost

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  13. nhk

    nhk
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  14. MarkTaylor

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    StoneGhost; first on the 'commercial' screen point, the actual part that matters regarding the emissions of the screen is if it is Claas A or Class B.

    Class A is for business use, Class B for home use, both the MXE and the HDE are Class B devices. This is not necessarily true for all commercial models from other makers.

    Regarding the 'dead' / 'Stuck' pixel issue; have a hunt around the board for more comments and info, but in short, all the plasma makers specify a limit on the number of flaws that are considered acceptable. They mostly work to a limit of around 99.999% active sub-pixels.

    You need to decide if you can live with the possibility of a stuck or dead pixel or two and then decide how you want to buy. If you can't contemplate being happy without a perfect screen then stipulate that when buying and accept that you may not be able to buy at the cheapest locations with that additional stipulation.

    Fact is that most screens these days don't seem to suffer, but the makers are not able to ensure 100% yeilds so the risk is still there so accept it, or handle it with your retailer, but do make it clear up front as the warranty will not help later on.

    Mark
     
  15. StoneGhost

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    Thank you Mark

    I will certainly stipulate that i will not accept any dead pixels.

    Regarding the MXE though, I read that it is a class A product in the Wedgwood plasma screen comparison chart downloaded from www.plasmascreens.co.uk although i suppose it could be a typo.


    Regards
     
  16. pilbeam_mp62

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    Why is no-one talking about the Sharp 50 " which is supposedly IDENTICAL to the Pioneer and is £800 cheaper !! ??

    (and it comes with a stand, a tuner, and speakers)

    I had no response to my earlier post - maybe I am the only person who knows this ;-)

    What is the catch ??

    Regards
    Kelvin
     
  17. BigH

    BigH
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    Hi KBDVD,

    pleased to hear about the positive experience from the 5B, is it run in yet!

    Thanks for the settings, I will certainly give them a try. My final hook up choice involves the JS RGB to VGA converter which will handle Sky and my DVD, with a S Video connection for my SVHS VCR.

    I am considering buying the IScan Ultra, however I will buy this on my next visit to the US late January(can get it for £600!!).

    One question, I have been told that the RCA card can handle only one signal type at anyone time from the choice of composite, component and SVideo, can you confirm this?

    Should have the system this Friday, not long now!!!

    All the best.

    BigH.
     
  18. KBDVD

    KBDVD
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    Hi BigH,

    My screen is probably not yet fully run in but I'm giving it plenty of opportunities!

    Composite & S-Video are an either / or situation but the Component input operates independently from these two. In relation to your proposed set up this means that you will have the 5 RCA Component / RGB input spare for later use. (HD-DVD / D-Theatre?)

    Best Regards,
    KBDVD.
     
  19. BigH

    BigH
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    Hi KBDVD,

    thanks for the info, it's better than I thought. From what you have said it sounds feasable to do the following:

    VCR connected via SVideo (RCA card)
    DVD/SKY via JS RGB to componet video (RCA card)

    Are these two inputs then switcable from the remote?

    My reasons for changing is to do with the JS box, the RGB/component box can be reused with the IScan Ultra, whereas the RGB/VGA can't.

    Regards,
     
  20. KBDVD

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    Hi BigH,

    Yes mate, these two & the VGA (PC) input are all switchable via the remote. :)

    Best Regards,
    KBDVD.
     
  21. BigH

    BigH
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    KBDVD - Magic!!!

    Just in time, as I will finalising my order first thing in the morning!

    The other added bonus is that it leaves the VGA free for my PC!

    It gets better and better.

    I will let you know the result when it's all together.


    All the best - BigH.

    By the way, any recommendations for RCA cables for the component video hook-up?
     
  22. KBDVD

    KBDVD
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    Hi BigH,

    I decided to spend out on a decent set of component cables and purchased a 1m set of QED Qunex SR-CV1 component video cables for £110, and very nice they are too!

    Here's a link: http://www.qed.co.uk/cables/av/qunex_cvc.html

    Best Regards,
    KBDVD.
     
  23. saggio

    saggio
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    StoneGhost,
    it is a typo. Pioneer web site (goto the FAQ section) confirms that it is a "B" class.
     
  24. StoneGhost

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    Thank you Saggio!!

    that's almost made my mind up for me!!

    Regards
     

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