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please help me choose which plasma to buy

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by chris210972, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. chris210972

    chris210972
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    hi there,
    this is the first time i have the opportunity to buy a plasma screen.
    i've read this forum, what tv etc and i can't make up my mind which screen to buy.

    i have narrowed it down to 4 and really need your help with which one to buy,

    the screens are the following,

    hitachi 42pd5200
    hitachi 42pd5300
    panasonic th37pe30
    sony kdep37xs1

    the size of the screen is not an issue really i was hoping u could advise which is the better.

    is there any other screens better than the above around the 2000 - 2500.00 price???

    thanks in advance
     
  2. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    well you need to go and demo mate but add the 42" panasonic veira to list as well as the 37" you have...but you need to demo
     
  3. peezee

    peezee
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    Yeah, the only really good advice when it comes to actually choosing one specific plasma screen is just that, go see a demo (though unfortunately most retail shops and stores don't do a good job at properly setup'ing demos, but at least it'll get you an idea; best thing would be to find an AV specialist/enthusiast in yr area).

    Just one thing: of all the displays you mention, only the Hitachi PD5200 has a digital input (DVi-HDCP) you can use (in fact I'd recommend the PD5200 over the PD5300 because of that, though the separate media box on the PD5300 is seen as a strong advantage by some).

    Depends on the sources you intend to use though (DVD, TV, ...) and whether or not you're into current or near-future HD sources (upscaled DVDs, Sky HDTV in 2006, HD-DVD/BluRay mid to e/o next year?). If not a concern for you then I guess not having a digital input ain't an issue.
     
  4. grahamtriggs

    grahamtriggs
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    Unless you are connecting a PC to the screen (or deal with a lot of Region 1 / US media), having a digital input on the Hitachi isn't particularly useful, as it does not support the single most important HD format - 720p @ 50hz.
     
  5. peezee

    peezee
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    1080i50 is supported by *all* upscaling DVD players afaik (you can choose b/w 720p50 or 1080i50 at will, provided you're playing a R2 disc, for R1 it's 60Hz so no prob for the Hitachi). It will also be supported in a similar way on future HD-DVD/BluRay players (or so it seems).

    The only unknown at this point is future HDTV from Sat, Cable or ADSL for that matter.

    SkyHD will provide both 720p50 and 1080i50 broadcasts, but no-one can tell today whether or not their HD STB will allow users to switch b/w 720p50 and 1080i50 at will.

    As for Cable or ADSL there hasn't even been any announcement yet in the U.K. (I think anyway). In France some Internet providers (like mine: "Free" and its "freebox" - I know doesn't sound french does it? ;) ) have already announced support for HDTV in 2005, ADSL2+ have started here at 15MBps or better, actually my ADSL line just been upgraded from ADSL to ADSL2+ and since I'm quite near the DSLAM I should be able to have 20Mbps+ of d/l rate, more than enough to get MPEG4 encoded HDTV... :cool:.

    In summary: not having 720p50 support on yr plasma display (but having 1080i50 as well as 720p60 and 1080i60) might not be so dramatic in terms of future HDTV video if you're into that. Thing is, there are still many unknowns, obviously buying a plasma that does support 720p50 via HDMi/DVI-HDCP would remove any concern but again it's unclear today (to me anyway) that not having 720p50 support is a show stopper.
     
  6. chris210972

    chris210972
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    at the present i only have a jvc pro scan dvd player, telewest digi box and a x-box hooked up to my tv.
    i'm not thinking of changing these just yet.
    i've been looking in comet & currys today and i must admit that out of these 4 i prefer the sony (but this is only due to its striking appearence).
    the picture quality on all 4 where pretty naff but thats what u come to expect in these stores.
    so to be honest i'm still no closer to making choice.
    however, my wife likes the look of the sony too so maybe thats the one we'll get.
    anyone got any comments on the sony plasma?
     
  7. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Peezee you lucky lucky man Personally i think HDTV is getting to complex and overly technical too soon in euraope anway not enought people in the UK own displays that will accept 720p or 1080i @50HZ over HDCP compatible DVI or HDMI connections to warrant investing in Subscription TV service that will only output via these standards.
     
  8. peezee

    peezee
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    hornydragon, yes unfortunately still many unknowns as far as the Europe HDTV area is concerned.

    But at least it's good to see that "architectural" changes for supporting HDTV have already been or are being made right now - not tomorrow. I'm referring to HDCam and broadcast equipment, MPEG4 decoders, HD-DVD/BluRay recorders, HD PVR's and STB's, very high bandwidth DSL2+ lines, and the like.

    Last (and least :D ) is the round of announcements we're getting from European governments, working groups and commissions (e.g. EBU, HD Forum), broadcasters and networks alike on an almost weekly basis...

    Back to your point, I would imagine Sky (and others) should understand it'll be easier and faster for them to implement e.g. HD format switching in their STB's rather than ask their customer base to trash their recently purchased expensive flat screen and buy a new one that also supports 720p50, if they want to be able to enjoy SkyHD programs... Let's say I'm kind of "counting on that" to happen, but we shall see... :rolleyes:

    P.S. And btw the fact that they're selling Hitachi PD5200-based plasma (which "only" support 1080i50, not 720p50) as rebadged "Sky plasma" should give them a hint, one would think anyway... :rolleyes:
    Actually, I fail to imagine Sky asking their customers to trash their newly bought "Sky plasma kit" if they are to watch... Sky HD programs, because "SkyHD is incompatible with Sky plasma screens"... :eek: :rolleyes:
     
  9. grahamtriggs

    grahamtriggs
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    It shouldn't have to. Sky's announcement was to have a HDMI port on the STB.

    It should just be as simple as saying if you have HDMI on your display, then it will work - given v1.1 specs anyway.

    HDMI->DVI is an option for those that know what they are doing, but that is a bit more technical.

    A lack of people with compatible displays could be a very real issue, but doesn't necessarily relate to be complex or overly technical.
     
  10. peezee

    peezee
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    grahamtriggs, I would agree with HDragon ("HD" alone is too confusing nowadays :D ) on this. The single term "HDMi" is vastly ignored by the majority of consumers today, let alone when you have to explain to them 50Hs vs 60Hz, HDMi to DVI, frame rate conversion, and what not.

    This will take a bunch of years to resolve. At some point ALL manuf'ed flat screens will have a bunch of HDMi inputs (all *fully compliant* with HDMi 1.1 specs, right Panasonic?) and that will be it, no question asked (just like people used to have questions about "Scart" when it first came out but don't anymore). And hopefully they'll ALL have a 1280x720 or 1920x1080 native resolution too, that will solve another set of questions too... :clap:
     
  11. grahamtriggs

    grahamtriggs
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    Fair point, but you are depending on the quality of the scaling in the source device. If you have a good DVD player - ie. Denon 2910/3910 - then the scaling should be pretty good. Wouldn't necessary leave the scaling up to a £150-200 DVD player.

    HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players will come in a variety of flavours - some will have good scaling, others less so - so you could choose one to suit the display.

    Even if scaling is supported in Sky's HD STB, I wouldn't expect it to be particularly good (commercially they would be looking to keep the costs down) - and you won't get to choose from a variety of implementations.

    IMHO, you would be better served buying a dedicated scaler and routing all sources through it.
     
  12. peezee

    peezee
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    Graham, you seem to assume that all HD source material will be encoded as 720p, therefore that the only way to get 1080i would be thru scaling and interlacing (and questioning the quality of the required scaling operation). And I'm not sure at all this is a correct assumption...
    In fact, right now the ONLY HDTV available in Europe happens to be... 1080i50 based. Not to say that it won't change in the future, but what exactly are you basing that assumption on?
     
  13. grahamtriggs

    grahamtriggs
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    What I was saying is that 'HDMI' should be the 'Scart' of tomorrow. With the 1.1 specifications, there should not be any display on the market that implements HDMI, without accepting 720p and 1080i @ 50hz.

    Frame rate conversions, etc. shouldn't be of any concern to the end users, because they should just be able to say - do I have HDMI? Yes - it works. No - it doesn't.

    In fact, HDMI *should* be easier for users than the current situation. Do you have SCART? Is it RGB enabled? Can I use S-Video over SCART? Optical / coaxial lead for audio connection?

    In the ideal scenario, HDMI is a one stop shop. HDMI from STB or DVD to AV amp. HDMI from AV amp to screen. And never any questions about what it supports - all you need to know is, is it v1.1?

    As has been said, the specifications are already such that any v1.1 HDMI port *must* have all the support we need for the UK market, yet the manufacturers have managed to turn it into a farce.
     
  14. grahamtriggs

    grahamtriggs
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    Sky's stated intentions, which state that the majority of their content will be broadcast as 720p. That is their preferred resolution. The platform supports 1080i, if the broadcaster chooses to use it - but unless Sky change their plans, they won't be using it.

    Scaling may not be an issue with HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, but I did say that you would have a choice of devices - so if scaling was important, you would probably be able to buy one with good scaling. And if it isn't, it doesn't matter.
     
  15. peezee

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    graham, I think we mainly agree on HDMi, fact is today we're far from being in the ideal situation you're describing, hence my statement that it'll take years before HDTV will not require detailed technical discussions anymore... ;)

    As for 720p50 and SkyHD, I'll just quote my previous sentence (sorry, but... :blush: )
    which tells me there's a good possibility that Sky will add 720p50 to 1080i50 switching/conversion as a design requirement for their future STB's (if they haven't already done so btw). In which case no expensive add'l scaler required (unless STB internal conversion sucks) - thank you. :D

    P.S. Btw I just realised this is NOT a thread about HDTV specifically so I'd suggest we stop right here - and eventually continue in a more appropriate topic (and at a later date Im afraid :) ). Agree?
     

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