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Plasma - Still not good enough for me

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Radioactive__Man, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. Radioactive__Man

    Radioactive__Man
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    Having just recieved a small windfall, I thought to myself "time to see about a nice new Plasma", to replace my 3 year old 46WH08B RPTV.

    My Cyrus DVD8 was ready to pick up from my dealer [was in for repair] so I arranged a demo with a 434HDE Pioneer, after some brief research this seemed a good candidate as it was higher definition than the mid range stuff, and I could see how it performed with my own DVD player.

    Sat down in demo room with the missus and the assistant switched it all on stuck in LOTR and left the room. My immediate reaction was how nice the actual look of the Plasma was, then I turned my attention to the PQ of the set, during the day scenes it seemed quite nicely balanced and defined, but during any low light scenes the picture seemed to lose definition. A quick check through the DVD player menus and subsequent fine tuning of the colours etc seemed to improve it a little but I was not impressed.

    Assistant came back in and suggested hooking up an Arcam 79 with HD output. He connected it all up again and sure enough the little area at the top right detected HDI, so all looked OK, re selected the previous scenes and sure enough better definition all round but dark scenes still looked washed out and poorly defined IMO.

    One look at my better half seemed to confirm the lack of enthusiasm we were both feeling at this point, had a brief chat with the assistant regarding anything he might have missed during demo setup, then thanked him politely for his time and left the shop.

    Now I am not going to turn this post into a "RPTV is still the king issue", but I would like to know if this was a genuine reflection on the basic deficiences of current Plasmas.

    I have just finished watching the same film scenes on my own system at home and my findings have been totally confirmed, in that my 3 year old RPTV outputs a much better quality image than what I saw earlier today, quite simply it looks less digitised yet retains bags of detail.

    I really had my heart set on a new screen and the general tidying up of speakers and components that a Plasma screen would allow in our living room, but at this stage I am reluctant to lose the definition and quality I currently have for what is going to be a downgrade in everything but aethetics.

    All comments welcome
     
  2. Ekko Star

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    Hi Radioactive_man. I went from a Panasonic 47PT10 RPJ to a Viera 42PE30.

    The RPJ was based on High-Def CRT tubes and the definition was absolutely top notch.

    TBH you are always going to be dissappointed with Plasma in this respect especially if you are picky on your res.

    However, the Viera does have the most CRT like image of all the Plasma's I have demo'd out there. Plus all the other benefits of size and integral features. The plasma is also a lot brighter and is not restrictive on off-axis viewing. Daylight viewing also detracts little from it and geometry is bang on.

    It's all horses for courses and it's not necessarily the case that the new technology brings with it better quality. It's an alternative that may bridge your requirements.
     
  3. Hodman

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    I've also been looking very closely at the current state of play.
    There is no doubt in my mind that plasma is improving at an extremely fast pace.
    I found that the current 42" Panasonic Viera TH42PE30B has the most consistently good picture quality.
    Even thought it isn't a high res panel.

    Every time I scan the various shop displays, it always stand out as having the most saturated colours, vivid contrast, razor sharp clarity and least artifacts.

    I know exactly what you mean by smudgy details on dark or foggy scenes.
    I've noticed it on countless Plasma across many manufacturers.

    But I've concluded that, althought not perfect, Panasonic does seem ahead of the game in this respect.

    I'm still running an old CRT television and I've decided to hold back a few more months before I take the plunge.
    But it is getting very painful.
     
  4. Radioactive__Man

    Radioactive__Man
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    The Viera was top of my list actually, due to its built in Freeview and integrated TV tuner. But I thought the max resolution of 852 would be a limiting factor if I went for a newer DVD player with HD output.

    The DVD8 is a decent enough player but Cyrus have no plans to upgrade the video outputs like Arcam seem to be doing.
     
  5. Ekko Star

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    On paper the res is the weakness on the Viera.

    In reality though, it handles off-air broadcasts, dvd etc etc so well that it does simply blow away some higher res screens.

    I personally had a long hard look at the Pioneer 434 with it's additional res and HDMI interface. Technically very impressive, but TBH whatever the set up I demo'd including 868 for DVD I just didn't like the picture on the screen. It's all personal opinion but I felt the Viera being fed a component progressive was producing a far better image than what the technically better Pioneer was. For TV, the Pioneer doesn't even come close.

    As I say the Viera does produce the most CRT like image of all the Plasma's by far. A lot of consumers migrating from CRT do prefer it.

    It does have it's limitations being a consumer model, but it is nevertheless an immensely competent and formidably convenient package all round.

    There is a lot of talk about HDTV. But here in the UK broadcasters are not quick off the mark. HDTV will be introduced in 2006 on Sky. That's when it will be first introduced remember, early format. God knows when or if it'll become the norm. Remember we have been promised proper widescreen programming for how many years now ??? A lot of buyers get caught up in future formats and being prepared for them. The thing is you lose track of the here and now that way and of all the plasmas the Panasonics deal with the what's out there now and the immediate future the best. I don't see this changing for quite long time yet, no matter what people say. There are far more basic and important things for Broadcasters to be dealing with rather than HD programming in the next few years. The switch off is most likely to be phased over 2006-2010. In that time digital broadcasts have to come fully upto speed and the the broadcasters have to invest heavily into actually producing HD content. The expense of which combined with the cautious approach to switch off does imply HDTV will not be happening overnight. I would say a good 3-4 years at the very least !

    Either way the Pioneer and the Panasonic are the two best plasmas by far out there. It's just a case of what you prefer.
     
  6. Radioactive__Man

    Radioactive__Man
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    Well a trip to Robert Whytes today has left me totally down :(, I have just landed a hefty wad of cash in the last week and have enough to go and buy a 50" HD Plasma if I want to, but that just smacks of overindulgence :).

    Looked at a 37" and 42" Viera and a 42" Sony Grand Wega RP, the one strange thing is, I am now convinced that a 37" Plasma is more than big enough for my needs having owned a 46" for the last 3 years. I think the "size" thing wears off on you over time.

    The 37" had a nicer image but still looked too pixelated on DVD input. The freeview on the 42" was better than I expected to be honest, but I just cannot bear the thought of constantly comparing the PQ of my RPTV to an expensive Plasma if I take the plunge right now with the current offerings. The Sony RP was even pretty lifeless in comparison to my current 3 year old telly.

    Ah well just have to wait for the 7 series from Panasonic to show up , On that subject, I was in the shop when the Panny supplier was talking to Brian and a little bird told me that the 7 series could be in stock in as little as 2 weeks. So maybe I won't have to wait too long.
     
  7. BAN5HEE

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    Well If you don't like plasma's go for the new 50" SAGEM RPTV. Saw it demo'd at comet with HDMI. Left me gobsmacked. I would buy it if it wasn't for the space issue.
     
  8. Radioactive__Man

    Radioactive__Man
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    My biggest criticism of my RPTV is its bulk and non storage space below, it's PQ cannot be faulted from the day I bought it.

    I really want a Plasma, but there is nothing close to it in PQ other than CRT for me atm. At least nothing I have seen in any demos as yet. So if anyone can recommend a dealer near me who can show me a properly set up Plasma I am more than happy to visit them.

    The Sony looked a good bet as it is very compact and would have sat nicely on a unit big enough to house the rest of my Cyrus kit. But the picture quality although probably better when fed a decent signal does not appear to have moved with technology as much as I had hoped.
     
  9. crusade

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    Sagem is slim, 116cm wide, 90cm high and only 37 cm deep..:) The 37cm is at the bottom, the top half is about plasma thick..

    It doesnt have the huge bulky room below as CRT RPtvs has..its tabletop sized.
     
  10. Jimbo73

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    Why look at plasma only? The latest generation of LCD screens have much improved PQ and dont seem to suffer from the usual plasma traits.

    What about the Phillips 42pf9986 42" LCD screen, or the new Sharp 37"? These are excellent panels and worthy of consideration.
     

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