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Plasmas With HDMI?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Rasczak, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    I a have been half-heartedly looking around for a new Plasma for a few months but really want the new unit to have an HDMI connection if not two (for DVD player and any future Sky HD/DVD recorder).

    However the only model I can find with HDMI input is the Pioneer PDP-434HDE or it's bigger brother. These are unsuitable to me for a few reasons: black level for one and the fact the HDMI 'shares' a connection with the component input another!

    So that seems to leave me with no current options!?! Does anyone know (or suspect) whether the Panasonic 7 series is likely to have HDMI? Having a look a AV Sales ( www.av-sales.co.uk ) it appears not :eek: What about from the other Plasma 'heavyweights' such as Fujitsu, Hitachi or Samsung? Anyone know/suspect anything is coming up?

    With a whole host of DVD players/recorders from the likes of Panasonic, Denon, Pioneer and Toshiba all with HDMI output sockets it seems amazing that there is only one Plasma available that can use them!
     
  2. robbo24.

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    I am also intending to buy a plasma screen in the next 6 months, having seen the difference that DVI feed makes on my projector compared to component, it will be high up on my list of required features, next to HD capability and black levels / contrast.
     
  3. Joe Fernand

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    Rasczak

    Pioneer 04HDE PlasmaTV - not much you can do about the Black Level; though I have to say I don't find it the problem some folk perceive from a demo.

    Pioneer 05HDE PlasmaTV - still to get the full SP on the revised units due in September; I believe the HDMI and YUV will be on separate Inputs (on some of the Media Box's).

    Panasonic 6 Series Plasma Display - you can already input HDMI as the Optional DVI card is HDCP complaint; all you require is an HDMI to DVI cable..

    Panasonic 7 Series Plasma Display - no info as yet on HDMI being added to the Input card Options; I suspect they are more likely to stick with DVI (with HDCP).

    Multiple HDMI - we already have DVI-D switchers that are HDCP complaint and I have a new prototype 'Home Theatre' freindly DVI switcher with Digital Audio switcher arriving this week (which should also work for HDMI).

    There are so few HDMI sources around your unlikely to see Displays or TV's with more than one DVI or HDMI input for a while yet - and keep in mind HDMI as fitted is not full spec HDMI; you wont see full spec HDMI (Digital Video + Digital Multichannel Audio) for a while yet.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  4. Rasczak

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    Joe, many thanks for the informative reply. I will certainly give the Pioneer's a full trial before I make my mind up.

    Can I just raise the issue of the Panasonic series with the DVI (HDCP complaint) card? This would actually suite me perfectly as I don't need any audio going to my plasma. However I understood their were 'issues' feeding video signals to the Panasonic plasmas through the DVI? I need to be able to feed both PAL and NTSC sources, interlaced and progressive to the plasma. For a degree of future proofing I would also like to be able to feed a High Def signal to the plasma.
     
  5. Costas

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    Rasczak,
    I will accept and respect personal taste for everything.... however, please check and convince yourself. Personally, I find it quite misleading when again and again in this forum people talk about the blacks on Panasonic being better than Pioneer...

    What is a blacker black? It does not necessarily mean it is more true black or natural.

    Regarding the HDMI selection, I would not let the shared input stop me from buying the 434HDE.
     
  6. wandersen

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    The DVI input on the Hitachi Plasmas is also HDCP compliant, and therefore will accept HDMI with an HDMI > DVI lead.
     
  7. Triggaaar

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    I think it is truer. If you got a quality video camera linked to each display, filmed someone in black clothes next to the displays, I think the blacks would be more accurately recorded on the Panny.
    Or more simply, put something black next to the displays, and the blacks on the Panny will be a closer match.
    I think I'd prefer a Pioneer though, for other reasons.
     
  8. Rob

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    The debate continues :boring:

    I auditioned the two together (Panny & Pio) and found that the black level was slightly better on the panny, however the overall picure on the pioneer was more vibrant.

    On viewing the same scene on both ( a daylight scene from Knights tale I think) , the pioneer looked sunny and bright, as it should, but the Panasonc looked overcast, and no ammount of tweaking seemd to fix it. The black level thing has been done to death. The best thing to do, as always is view for yourself, but look at a broad range of stuff that you are likely to want to see. (not just U-571!)
     
  9. Rasczak

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    Apologies to all - I didn't mean to kick off the 'black levels argument'. When buying any new Plasma (etc) the only way to decide what model you want is to fully audition all candidates. I will do this - but right here, right now I would like to keep my options open.

    However can I confirm (or not) whether a DVI HDCP compliant input will accept all relevant signals from an HDMI equipped player? Several threads I've seen seem to suggest, for example, the Pioneer 868 with HDMI is incompatible with teh Panny DVI when viewing PAL? Can anyone confirm/expand upon this?
     
  10. MAW

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    This is true for 576p, there is a slight problem with the Panasonic DVI. However, it will, I think, accept 720p? You could use this setting with the Pioneer player. Now to really start the fireworks off again, you are probably still better off with a good analogue player at this price level. Maybe not with the Pioneer, but the cynical amongst us would argue that Pioneer nobbled the YUV to make the HDMI look streets ahead, same with the 868 player. So, if you want a 434, get the 868, if you want a Panny, get a Denon or maybe an Arcam player. You could always upgrade to DVI later with the panasonic. If you are really intent on the finest possible picture, what you need is a scaler, not an HDMI DVD player.
     
  11. iipboss

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    I have heard that SDI or HDMI it doesn't make much difference as there are convertors and you are unlikely to use the ausio signal anyway?
     
  12. MAW

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    Well, theyre both digital formats, but SDI is not limited by any specification, unlike HDMI
     
  13. Triggaaar

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    The 'problem' with the panny is just a limitation. At 50Hz, it will only accept 576, so you can't 1:1 pixel map at 50Hz (PAL). The only way to pixel map the HD Panny with PAL signals would be to convert the frame rate - and this can cause motion artefacts etc.
     
  14. kheraha

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    I'm currently using a Hitachi 42PD5100 being fed via its DVI input by a Pioneer 868, as well as via the component input. Forgive the ignorance, but this is a pretty confusing issue. I can only get 576p into the Hitachi, any higher and the screen goes blank - am I doing something wrong? Also, I cant see much difference between the Component and DVI fed signals - should I? To be honest I'm more than a bit bemused by this and none of the manuals help either.......I previously had a Cambridge Audio 540 Azur DVD player hooked up to the plasma and felt its picture output was actually better than the Pioneer.
     
  15. Joe Fernand

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    Rasczak

    The Panasonic TH-42TY6DB DVI input card will accept the following HDCP on Non HDCP Video signals:

    525 (480)/60P
    625 (575)/50P
    750 (720)/60P
    1,125 (1080)/60i

    You can also input a select range of PC signals - all at 60Hz; these include:

    1366x768 - Native Resolution of the TH-50PHD6
    1024x768 - Native Resolution of the TH-42PHD6
    852x480 - Native Resolution of the TH-42PWD6

    Its then down to you to ensure your DVI or HDMI source outputs one, some or all of these signals; there are no hard and fast rules about what anything must or must not send/accept (though there are written standards for HDMI signals - these define the minimum requirements for an HDMI Output talking to an HDMI Input - see http://www.hdmi.org).

    Keep in mind HDMI and DVI are connectivity standards - they do not guarantee the signal they are carrying is worth the effort of outputting and inputting over a digital signal path.

    You can send garbage over HDMI just as easily as you can send a 'broadcast' quality signal over HDMI.

    You need to look at the strengths and weaknesses of all components of a given signal chain and as MAW points out you can often achieve superior images over Analogue YUV or RGB with some combinations of equipment.

    Keep in mind also that whilst you can Input a given range of signal types and refresh rates the display may in fact convert all incoming signals to its own 'native' refresh rate - this can introduce motion and other artefacts. The FRC mode in the new Pioneer MXE1 Displays is the best I've seen so far at not messing up 50Hz input signals.

    I'd suggest either the Panasonic TH-42PHD6BX (with DVI card) or the Pioneer 43MXE1 for a good quality HD compatible Display and possibly also a Lumagen or similar SD to HD video processor for your HD and non HD video processing.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  16. MAW

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    My remark about 'limited' by HDMI is really not that HDMI is limited, just it's interpretation often is, Pioneer, for one, have stuck totally to the minimum spec for HDMI in on the HDE panels. The only signals it accepts are the ones listed on hdmi.org Panasonic do provide other resolutions, but it's not HDMI cos it doesn't accept all of the hdmi spec frequencies. More useful for a plasma, less useful for video signals, and I'm sure that 575 was a mistake! Wonder if I can get my iscan HD to put out 575p at 50HZ?

    Kheraha, you have come up against exactly what I was angling at, the 868 is born to partner the HDE plasma. I have also seen them looking less than impressive even via HDMI/DVI on other panels. I have not looked at the spec for Hitachi's DVI, you can bet your last dollar that it will say 576p at 50Hz, 1024/768 at 60HZ, and a few others, but not 720p going on your experience. What I'd love to try is 1024x1024 at 50 and 60HZ. The difficulty with Hitachi is it already has a pre set refresh rate at 'dual 30HZ' due to the alis panel, so 60Hz is 'native', and 50 hz is a struggle of some sort. Nobody seems exactly sure what goes on inside your screen, one of the great mysteries of our time.
     
  17. Joe Fernand

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    khereaha

    As you say mighty confusing - especially so as the 'drive' to Digital Nirvana is being driven by the marketing departments of the hardware manufacturers - whereas in reality its all about Hollywood's needs for Digital Copy Protection not Image quality!

    So you have a 42" PlasmaTV that has 1024 x1024 Pixels (back to this later) and the ability to accept Interlaced or Progressive Video and Data signals via Analogue and Digital Inputs.

    Your DVD Player has the ability to Pre Process and Scale PAL and NTSC Interlaced signals from a DVD and Output Interlaced or Progressive Analogue or Digital video at Native or Scaled (720P/1080i) resolutions.

    As your PlasmaTV is an ALIS device its inherently an Interlaced display so whilst you can Input a Progressive signal the Display has to re convert the full frames of the Progressive signal back to two fields to display it as an Interlaced image - for this reason I'd think of your TV in terms of 1024x512 Pixels (not 1024x0124) when matching it to an incoming video signal.

    01. You have a DVD player that can read a disc, decode it, convert Interlaced Fields to Progressive Frames and if required scale the Video signal to pre set resolutions (none of which actually match the pixel count or refresh rate of your PlasmaTV) and then Output in a variety of Analogue and Digital signal formats.

    02. You then have a PlasmaTV that accepts a wide range of Analogue and Digital video signals in Interlaced or Progressive format and includes a video engine to scale, process and Deinterlace incoming signals to match the TV's internal electronics.

    03. That gives you a 1:200 (or so) chance of getting it right straight out the box I guess :)

    I'd start by outputting Interlaced Non Scaled PAL and NTSC from your DVD player via Analogue and Digital and them move to Progressive and then on to the 'scaled' 720P/1080i Options and 'calibrate' the Display for each Signal (on Analogue and Digital) using AVIA or DVE (or similar).

    Once you've set all of those signal combinations between the DVD and your TV you can then make an assessment as to which is the best combination for you.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  18. Rasczak

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    Joe - and everyone else who has contributed - thanks very much for your help. I'll now trial plasmas from Pioneer and Panasonic.
     
  19. Chris5

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    Hi Joe,

    On the assumption I have an 868ai that can not be changed (for political reasons), the best connection for me would therefore be HDMI.

    What is the best cost-effective addon that I could buy to use with the new 50" MXE1 panel? I assume the new (not yet available to buy?) lumigen HDP would also be suitable as well?

    Cheers! Chris
     
  20. NaTT

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    Chris,hope I can help here but in truth I'm here looking for the answer to this one.......
    your HDMI player is by default therefore sending the piccy with HDCP with the pioneer mxe's don't have dvi cards with HDCP licensing on them (yet) and so you'd get no picture.
     
  21. MAW

    MAW
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    You can't use the digital output of an 868 at all with the MX series. The scaler is also able to detect HDCP, and with an HDCP source, you need an HDCP input. You have a serious mis match. You will have to use component video as far as I can see.
    Joe may have better info on aftermarket cards, but AFAIK they are strong on promises, and have yet to actually deliver.
     
  22. NaTT

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    so Pioneer sell a range of plasmas that except HDCP signals, but they're TVs with no chance of improving the configuration...
    they also sell a range of plasma monitors with DVI inputs that are only any use for inputs from PCs (not DVI enabled DVDs players or HDMI ones as these are nearly all now HDCP enabled)

    Panny have stumped the licence for HDCP on their DVI input but it's flawed in other ways that the pioneer isn't on picture quality....

    Argh :eek: How does one go about spending £3K in the right place?
     
  23. Joe Fernand

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    Hello all

    NaTT - keep in mind the Pioneer MXE1 models are aimed at the Corporate market where HDCP is a non issue (for now).

    The Pioneer HDE models are built for general consumption; not for us anoraks - just look at Panasonic Vieira TV's with no support for 720P; just as HD on SKY makes itself known.

    I believe Panasonic will continue to provide HDCP via DVI on the 7 Series Displays due for launch later this year; though no info as yet on an HDMI Input card.

    The best all digital option for now is a modified DVD or SKY+ (V1) with SDI output and a Lumagen (or other) Video Processor with SDI In and DVI out - SDI is not copy protected and as your 'only' needing the player to read the disc and have a decent Digital clock your 'donor' player need not be too expensive.

    I just got off the phone to Aurora Multimedia and there Euro distributor is just about to take delivery of his first EXP4 Adapter cards - these let you fit the older G3 (03MXE) Aurora cards inside the expansion slot on the G4 (MXE1) Displays.

    The Aurora A304-HDCP card (available now) can be used in an 03MXE or an MXE1 Display; though this is not a truly all digital affair as the A304 card does have an analogue conversion at one stage in the signal path.

    The Aurora TVP-500F card (with 2 x HDMI (HDCP) Inputs) - is all Digital and is now in final stages of production; I believe Prototypes are already out with distributors.

    I should have pricing for the Aurora kit in the next week.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  24. Chris5

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    Thanks Joe, Natt & Maw, I was aware of all the techical issues involved, I guess Joe has answered my question (wait for the TVP-500F).

    I read somewhere in one of the mags that Panasonic were bringing out a HDMI DVD player, that implies that Series 7 will probably have HDMI as well. I guess I'll probably wait for the PIO 505HDX in the autumn though if I can keep my cool.

    Cheers!
     
  25. bobbypunk

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    Panasonic are releasing DVDS97 in september i think. It will start life at about £400 though from what i've been told. For £400 I just hope it's not the only feature on it!
    From what I understood a bad player with HDMI will still be a bad player!
     
  26. Joe Fernand

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    Chris5

    Also do please keep in mind Panasonic Consumer and Panasonic Business systems may be related but operate in different markets with different product planning.

    The 7 Series Displays are aimed at the Corporate Market not the Consumer market and wont pay much attention to an HDMI player being released by the Consumer Division or not.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  27. stiltskin

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    well the new viera plasma series just released in Japan does in fact have HDMI and uses the 7 series panel. So I guess it doesn't matter whether the business version, which will be virtually identical anyway, uses HDMI or not.
    Another interesting thing I noticed on the Japanese Panasonic site is that the new Viera 7 series 37" panel displays 1024 by 720.
    Hopefully false contouring, one of if not the worst trait of plasma screens, will be practically non existent on the 7 series and I think anyone who can wait for them will be glad they did.
     
  28. Joe Fernand

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    stiltskin

    I don't follow your logic - the Viera Line are Consumer TV's; and as you say in Japan they have been announced with the NEW 7 Series pixel array and an HDMI input (HDMI is aimed at the Consumer market not the Corporate market).

    Having HDMI is no guarantee of better internal video processing over a non HDMI model - and as we have seen with other brands HDMI is a Video Input so can be limiting for those who want to use an external video processor or HTPC; with no Native Resolution via HDMI available.

    Mostly we (TMF) supply the Panasonic Display models and the 7 Series Displays will be launched in the UK late September and these too will incorporate the 7 Series Pixel array - though like the current 6 Series Displays they will retain the plug in video card slots for various Video Input boards (which does not include HDMI on the 6 Series line up).

    If you want a Panasonic Display with little or no false contouring you can already achieve that with the TH-42PHD6BX - the HD units are quite different to the lower cost SD units in this respect.

    In terms of being identical this is just not so - take a current Viera, PWD6 and a PHD6 and input a range of video signals from various sources and you will see three different renditions of the video signal.

    The Video processing within each screen is probably the single biggest differentiator - that's way many of us choose to use an external video processor and not rely on what's under the skin of any Plasma Display or PlasmaTV; and also why the PWD4 from 2001 does not suffer the false contouring you see in PWD5 and PWD6 models (the PWD4 had a much more expensive video processor on board and used the same dual drive pixel driver circuit as the current PHD6).

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  29. stiltskin

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    Its just that Rasczak original question asked whether the new 7 series panels would have HDMI or not because he would really like any plasma he buys to accept HDMI from one of the new dvd players offering it. Clearly he is not asking from a corperate viewpoint.
    You mentioned that " The 7 Series Displays are aimed at the Corporate Market not the Consumer market and wont pay much attention to an HDMI player being released by the Consumer Division or not." but this is not strictly true since the PX300 lineup are 7 series displays and are directly aimed at the consumer market.
    I agree the PHD6 is an excellent display and does a good job of reducing the solarization but I guess it's only logical to expect that the 7 series will be even better.
    Rasczak doesn't mention external video processors but I take your point that a higher quality picture could be obtained using one over the standard on board processor. This might be reason for some to choose a business product over a consumer one, however I'm not sure HDMI necessarily excludes native resolution input. That would be up to the manufacturer. It's simply a way to allow a direct digital connection while preventing copying material and including audio. HDMI may not be a guarantee of better internal processing but it is a guarantee of direct digital. Less D/A conversion can only be a good thing. An external processor may offer even greater picture quality but many consumers are more interested in a user friendly, plug and play solution.
    There is no Viera PWD6. I guess you mean either the business model PWD6 or the Viera 42PE30B. Yes they are completely different to the PHD6 because they both share 852 by 480 SD panels while the PHD6 is HD, so a direct comparison of picture quality wouldn't be fair.
    The correct counterpart for the PHD6 would have been the PHW6 HD consumer model and the comparable model for the new PHD7 will be the PX300 (will almost certainly have a different model number when released in England). I doubt very much whether there will be a vast difference in the internal scalers and motion software between the domestic and business models. Panasonic like every manafacturer wants economies of scale. It doesn't make sense to produce two or three different chips when one will do the job and the majority of consumers, be they business or private wouldn't know the difference.

    cheers
     
  30. Joe Fernand

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    stiltskin

    I think we need a better way to describe some of these Panasonic products - as you say both the Consumer (PlasmaTV) and Corporate (Plasma Display) products are currently using Series 6 'Glass' and some time soon here in the UK we will see Series 7 PlasmaTV and Plasma Display products using Series 7 glass.

    HDMI is a Consumer Video standard and so far most (if not all) Displays have stuck to the 'accepted' signals types as outlined at http://www.hdmi.org which results in very few, if any, screens that offer Native Resolution (1:1 Pixel mapping) via HDMI. So whilst you have an all digital signal path you still rely on the Display rescaling the Input signal - which is not so good.

    I'm positive Rasczak's original question is about the Panasonic 7 Series Plasma Display products not a Series 7 PlasmaTV product and as before its not certain that Panasonic Business Systems will include an HDMI Input board in the options for the Series 7 Plasma Displays.

    You can already input an HDMI Source into a Series 6 Plasma Display via the Optional DVI Input card (which is HDCP compatible) - though you are very limited as to what signals will work with it.

    I never expect anything 'Logical' when new products are being launched - if your assumptions were true then the Standard Definition (PWD) Series 5 and Series 6 Plasma Display should be better than the Series 4 model - which they are not as Panasonic took a cost saving decision to introduce 'Single' Drive over 'Dual' Drive technology to drive the pixel array which results in much more banding/posterising in these newer products over the older product.

    Its not having more or less pixels in a PWD6 and a PHD6 Plasma Display that makes for more or less visible artefacts its the fact that the PHD6 has the superior driver technology and doesn't do half as much 'processing' of the incoming video signal that makes the biggest difference.

    Here in the UK Panasonic Consumer DON'T Import the Higher Definition TH-42PHW6 (they obviously don't see HD as an Issue in the Consumer market) - also I suspect this year may be the year Panasonic Consumer ditch the 'Consumer' (Silver Bezel) versions of the Plasma Display products and only offer PlasmaTV (Viera) in the Consumer Channel.

    As far as 'Consumers' and plug and go compatibility via HDMI that's a long way off - other than a handful of DVD players its not possible at this time to get a Digibox, VCR, DVR, Camcorder, PC etc with HDMI.

    I suspect the order of preference (forgetting about plug and play and the wow factor of a 'sexy' outer case) for the next twelve months will, as far as video reproduction goes, be PHD7, PWD7 and Viera (Series 7) - and whilst there are now HD Viera models in Japan I doubt we will see them in Europe for a while (haven't Panasonic Consumer UK announced the 2005 DVD product line-up and the HDMI equiped players are all SD with no on-board scaling to 720P).

    Best regards

    Joe
     

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