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Plasma Queries

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Dean, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. Dean

    Dean
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    Although I am knowledgable on audio AV, I am not too familiar with plasma screens yet. My sister got a Sony KE32TS2 and I was really impressed with it. I need to upgrade my TV so I am thinking about getting the 42 inch version.

    What I wanted to know is the key things to look out for, I know contrast ratio is very important for depth of feild but what about pixels? Does a screen with higher number of pixels make the picture better? Lastly, connectivity, I want to connect using scart. I noticed the KE32TS2 has 3 scarts at the back, do most plasmas offer this as I am sure with some plasmas there are some weird and complicated ways of connecting it. Cheers for the advice.
     
  2. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    Dean,

    There are essentially 3 different ways Plasma connections are handled:

    1. Integrated Plasma TV: The Sony falls in this category. It has a built in (analog) tuner, and built in connections. These types of sets generally have several SCARTS, and may have other connections (e.g. component video).

    2. Plasma Display with matching tuner box: This is similar to option 1, except that the tuner and all connections are in a separate tuner box. Some Plasmas are sold with the tuner box; with others it is an option if you have it or not. The tuner box generally has the same assortment of SCARTS and connections as the intergrated TV.

    3. Plasma Display only. In this option, the display does not have a tuner. In the case of the Panasonic PW6 (what I have), it comes with only a VGA port in its most basic form (this port can take a PC connection, or component video). But you can add optional modules to give other connections - I have added both an RGB SCART (which I use for Freeview Digital TV) and a component board (which I use for DVD). Note you can buy an optional tuner for the PW6 (so it can be option 2 or 3).

    Option 3 takes a bit more thought in terms of what connections you need. Either option 1 or 2 will give you a variety of connections as part of the package.

    Mark
     
  3. MAW

    MAW
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    Option 1 and 2 currently offer only analogue tuning, the format has 3-5 years of life in it according to HM government, then they switch it off. There's nothing beyond the wit of man in connecting a panel only type, nothing 'weird' and you then don't have to pay a grand over the top for the sony name on a hitachi panel. (Sony don't make plasma) My recommendation, get a panel, a freeview box, sound of your choice, and be much happier and more future proofed.
     
  4. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    I agree, that's that I did (and MAW, you were one of the most helpful on this forum to me in making the decisions!). No additional tuner or speakers I didn't need.
    Mark
     
  5. MAW

    MAW
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    Nice to be appreciated, thanks. I'm less popular with the folks who buy tuners. It's a kind of confidence thing. Scart looks easy, get a picture quickly. But it's not really any more straightforward. Could be about to change a bit though, Pioneer have a new range of AV amps that switch RGB scart! That'll enable tune owners to have 4 RGB devices connected to 1 scart on their tuner.
     
  6. Bernard Barnett

    Bernard Barnett
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    I do think we should be careful about spreading misinformation. The Sony is not a rebadged Hitachi. The glass for both is made by Fujitsu and the innards are considerably different. Maw is correct in stating that you always pay extra for the Sony name. In the realm of surmise, I'm willing to bet a large sum of money that UK analogue transmission will outlast most if not all of the kit we're currently using.
     
  7. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    You are probably right that analogue will take longer to kill off than the goverment plans state...but regardless, if you have digital why would you want/need an analogue tuner? Especially when the bulk of digital broadcasts are widescreen, and analog is not.

    That being said, it is not a reason in itself not to get a plasma with the tuner built in - it is just one factor.
    Mark
     
  8. MAW

    MAW
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    Ha-hm, to quote a brilliant program not broadcast in widescreen, The hitachi glass in the hitachi plasma and the fujitsu glass in the fujistsu panel are one and the same, indeed, if you ask fujitsu they claim to make it, if you ask hitachi, they claim to make it. They are development partners. The glass was developed for retail and airport type diplays, meant to offer extra brightness for daylight viewing and increased resistance to screenburn. Certainly the 1st is true, check some recent threads about the 2nd! It was never originally envisaged for domestic use, and was a sales flop in relative terms, due to cost, in the commercial area. It's ended up with the likes of us lot in the form of philips, Sony, Hitachi, fujitsu to name a few. So it is correct to name it Hitachi, just as much as Fujitsu, it's just hitachi make a directly competing product, which Fujitsu do not.

    As to point 2, analogue switch off. The last time the government sold some radio bandwidth, the commercial world went crazy, and they got in 1 go the entire annual budget for the NHS. Now, I have a small inside line on the thinking direction at least, and the thinking is, 'we are desperate for the cash'. Freeview take up has exceeded all expectations, now do your own deducing. Original target for switch off was 2007, later moved to 2009.
     
  9. Bernard Barnett

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    Maw, there is no justifying the "Sony name on a Hitachi panel" assertion. Please let's not present prejudice as fact.
     
  10. MAW

    MAW
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    Let me guess, you have a sony.
     
  11. Moe

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    MAW...The Government is under absolutely no illusion that analogue switch off,and the bandwidth released,will generate much cash.The 3G auction was a one -off...with the telecoms companies suffering badly over the inflated prices they paid.
    There is no announcement on switch off...there has never been a date of 2007 or 2009..and there has never been any shifting of possible target dates.
    Please let's stick to the facts.
    Despite Freeviews' success,there are still 50% (12 million) of homes to be converted.This does not take into consideration secondiary or tertiary displays and recording devices.
     
  12. MAW

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    I stand by my assertions. Analogue switch off has a time schedule, and has had since the start of On Digital. And BTW Bernard, what's wrong with Hitachi that makes you dislike the association. The screens are well liked here, many staunch supporters, and they are very reasonably priced, and share their most important component exactly with the Sony. By secondary and tertiary devices, you are meaning cable and sky digital boxes. I have no information on how many of these there are, must be a few million out of the remaining 50% on non-freeview. I do not think the analogue switch off is a good idea, don't get me wrong. The figures for who can actually get freeview are inaccurate to start with, so much remains to be done before there is a moral case for it, but governments have been known to almost sell their souls to the devil inthe past. The temptation must be great, even though I am fully aware that the prices obtained last time were commercially unrealistic, and they are unlikely to do quite as well again.
     
  13. Dean

    Dean
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    Hi everyone and thanks for all your replies. It is interesting as I had this discussion with my brother,who pointed out that Hitachi use their screens in most plasmas. But I was under the impression this was 'just' the screen, the KE42TS2 should still be different with its WEGA technology etc? As you can tell from my set-up, I do like Sony, and importantly I noticed the Sony KE32TS2 is, as always with Sony, very user friendly via onsreen menu - not to mention killer looks.

    But when I do buy a plasma I am not in any particular band wagon , and will also consider Hitachi, Pioneer, Panasonic, Fujisu etc. I need a monitor only, as I can receive freeview with my Nokia Digibox and I don't need any speakers. As my DVD player has no component video the plasma must have a few scart sockets.

    One question though, a tuner box for a scart - how exactly does it get send to the TV? I am interested as if it is obviously wireless it might be better as if wall-mounted, then there will be no wires hanging from behind the plasma from my system. Cheers.
     
  14. Moe

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    MAW...I repeat;there is no announcement of analogue switch off date.Should the Government decide to switch off,it will make an announcement at that time.The only 'target' that has been announced is 2010..subject to some criteria announced in 1999 having been achieved.
    I am not talking about cable or Sky as secondary or tertiary displays.I am talking about TV's and VCR's,which are not yet converted (bedrooms/kitchens etc).The 50% of homes already converted includes cable and Sky.Only 2 million Freeview conversions are included in that 50%.
    Coverage is an issue that will not be fully resolved until switchover happens.Only when (if?) analogue is switched off, will the power of DTT transmissions be alllowed to increase to their fullest potential.
     
  15. MAW

    MAW
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    No wireless boxes, too much bandwidth for anything at reasonable cost. That's why we spend so much time burying cables, as well as aruing about government policy. I'm all argued out now guys, but I'll ask my contact if he's willing to be quoted.
     
  16. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    Dean,

    You will need at least one cable going to the screen (as well as the power cable) - I know of no wireless connection.

    If you only want one cable (plus power) to the screen, then you need an amp or switching box which you can connect your freeview, DVD, etc to - and have that connect to the screen. Or do it by daisy chaining all the kit.

    Alternately, you can have multiple cables running to the screen. I have a RGB SCART for my Freeview (with VCR hung off this), and a component for my DVD. But my screen is on a stand, so I don't mind having 2 cables.

    For wall mounting, most people put them in the wall, or hide them in some other way.

    Mark
     
  17. Dean

    Dean
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    Mark, thanks a lot for that, I understand the connectivity now properly. I am still not sure whether to wall mount or not, as it is gonna be in the bedroom and my wall isn't that thick, though it looks pretty sturdy. But then again if I get a full stand option it will allow somewhere to put my centre speaker without having to buy a seperate speaker stand for it. Have to wait and see.. cheers.
     
  18. hornydragon

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    Fujiysu do the VHA and HHA consumer models, HHA being one of the first HD screens available, do suffer banding though
     
  19. MAW

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    Dean, an install I often do for folks with plasterboard walls is to put a sheet of 'handy andy' MDF on a couple of bearers screwed to the wall, resting on the floor, the same width as the glass rack for the gear. Stick the wall mount right at the top, saw it to the right watching height for yourself, paint/paper to match the wall. Now put the gear on the rack, hang the plasma, mark every cable entry/exit. Take it all down, drill the MDF wherever a cable enters or leaves the gear, feed the cables through, mount it all again and connect. A low power flourescent behind the panel is said to help your PQ, we are all inclined to watch in the dark in our bedrooms late, and plasmas are way too bright for this. Besides, it looks cool.

    BTW folks, this is not 'concrete announced facts', but a statement of intent, and policy direction.
    GOOD PROGRESS TOWARDS GOVERNMENT SWITCHOVER TARGETS, SAYS JOINT BBC AND ITC REPORT
    Link to news release
    Note this refers to a 'target' which is what I have endeavoured to make clear, clearly not clearly enough! My nearest and dearest will be sacked if she doesn't meet her government targets, (nothing to do with broadcasting) it's the same in all departments I'd bet.
     
  20. jason t

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    maw when you going to come round and do mine then:D :D
     
  21. MAW

    MAW
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    Jason, if you're serious, any time you say, might not be me, I have men for that. In addition to above freeview stuff,

    Switching to digital : the Government's commitments to consumers


    The Government is committed to ensuring that terrestrial analogue broadcasting signals are maintained until:

    Everyone who can currently get the main public service broadcasting channels in analogue form (BBC 1 and 2, ITV, Channel 4/S4C and Channel 5) can receive them on digital systems;
    Switching to digital is an affordable option for the vast majority of people;
    As a target indicator of affordability, 95 % of consumers have access to digital equipment.
    When the Government first announced these criteria in September 1999, we said that digital television switchover could start to happen as early as 2006 and be completed by 2010 and we remain convinced that this is achievable.

    I personally remain convinced they are serious.
     
  22. Dean

    Dean
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    MAW thanks for all that info, yes that would seem a neat and tidy suggestion. Have to find a suitable plasma, part of me is inclined to wait a bit when newer, and even better equipped plasmas come round. Also, what this thing about some of Pioneer's HD plasmas? Would that outperform the KE42TS2?
     
  23. MAW

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    IMHO the pioneer is among the best plasmas on the market, and pioneer have made a public commitment to 'be the best' and sell the most. For you, i'd suspect a panasonic PW6 would fit the bill nicely, at about 3k, with scart board. If you wanted you could have 2 scart boards, but Pioneer might help you here, their 301 and 501 AV amps have 4 RGB capable scarts, and a scart output to the monitor. How useful.
     
  24. Dean

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    Yeah, I've been looking closely at the Panny 42PW6 as it also comes in black. I'd prefer black as it would match the rest of my system.
     
  25. MAW

    MAW
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    Cheaper again in black too. Spec is identical, except you have to check what if any video card it comes with. A scart card is about £130 if you have to buy one, and it's not that easy. I'd not want to part with one separate from a plasma.
     
  26. TheBoingoBandit

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    WEGA is not a technology, just a name for a range of TVs, bit like saying Walkman or HandyCam.



    If you need a monitor only, why are you considering paying extra for a sony with speakers, analogue tuner and that also needs a special cable for use as a PC monitor?



    As for resolution, I often find that high resolution screens often looks worse on TV pictures.
     
  27. Dean

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    If the Sony came in black I would be tempted to get it based on what I've seen of the 32 inch model, it's simply a fantastic plasma which I liked immediately - granted it's a bit pricey but I've seen the price drop a bit recently. You're right though, I just need a mointor so don't need to spend extra and have been looking at Hitachi, Panny, Fujitsu and Pioneer. And without the Sony name I might get a better price with those
     
  28. Bernard Barnett

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    Dean, you should disqualify the Sony if you're considering wall mounting as it simply isn't suitable. Because of the built-in tuner etc it's quite deep and by the time you've got your scarts in it would stick out considerably. Also, whatever plasma you get, please don't expect it to outperform the best of the CRT sets, on TV programmes at any rate. Good hunting!
     
  29. MAW

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    Well spotted, I had forgotten the Sony is so desk orientated.
     
  30. Moe

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    Thank you, MAW, for confirming precisely what I said.Please note that the indicator for affordability only covers one digital receiving device per household..which means any other devices in that household may not necessarily have been converted;but they will not count as a measure of affordabilty...hence the real concern over all the secondiary/tertiary devices that 'may' be rendered inoperable at the time of switchover.

    Amen to that little debate.

    :)
     

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