Please help! Should I get the Panasonic PW6 or wait a couple more years

Discussion in 'Panasonic TVs Forum' started by TeresaTT, Oct 3, 2004.

  1. TeresaTT

    TeresaTT
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    I'm really undecided as to what to do. Ever since I saw the first plasmas in Currys I wanted one. Now the PW6 can be got for less than 2k I'm extremely tempted. I really want to see my favourite movies on a big screen in my own home.

    However, the majority of my viewing will be Telewest cable via TiVo. I've read such mixed reports about TiVo picture quality on plasmas. Some people say it's great, some say it's acceptable and some say it's terrible. I really want a plasma now, but I'm worried that I'll spend all that money and find my normal TV viewing unwatchable. Taking my TiVo to a demo isn't very practical. The plasma would be replacing a Loewe Xelos 32" CRT. This has excellent picture quality, but TiVo can be quite poor on the very compressed channels.

    Should I take a risk and get the PW6? I know that it's up to me to decide, but I'd welcome any opinions.
     
  2. SKA.face

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    LOL,i'm in the same boat as you as i also have the Loewe Xelos,and was thinking of the PW7 as it is Silver,but not sure if it's a good as the PE30,which is dirt cheap from Germany to Spain,decisions eh!
     
  3. Tony8377

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    From what I gather the problem with Tivo is that even at Best quality the resolution of Tivo is only 576x480 however if you know what you are doing it can be upped to 720x576. See my longer explanation in the Panny PW7 arriving tomorrow thread.
     
  4. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    PW7 will be better but is different to PE30 which is UK only model not Available in Germany, Spain or elsewhere in mainland Europe IT IS UK EXCLUSIVE either you want TV or a plasma panel neither will be as good PQ wise from same distance as the LOEWE.................................... its up to you but please do not expect to get a PE30 for under £2k from germany or spain cause they dont get them they get the similar PA30.
     
  5. TeresaTT

    TeresaTT
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    So the TiVo vertical resolution is the same and the horizontal one is much smaller. Doesn't that correspond to the TiVo resolution being one for a 4:3 image, whereas the plasma horizontal resolution is much higher to accomodate the widescreen? So is the TiVo picture quality only particularly bad on 16:9 stretched pictures. I know that a lot of people don't mind watching fat people and just leave their plasmas in wide mode. This means that all 4:3 material will be watched stretched. When I set my crt to wide on a poor quality 4:3 channel it looks really awful. Is this what people are experiencing with their plasmas?

    I always watch 4:3 programmes in 4:3 and intend to do so on the plasma, so will I have less of a quality problem? Anamorphic widescreen transmissions look great on my crt in wide mode and I hope that such images would not suffer too much by being stretched on the plasma.
     
  6. Tony8377

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    I'm only a novice at this but this is what I think. Tivo resolution will always be in a 4:3 format because its an analogue source. Upping it to 720x576 will increase the resolution by 25% and will require less upscaling by the plasma and retain more of the original data. The other problem (and I believe this is the main cause of a poor blury picture) is that to save space it uses a relatively low bit rate thus increasing motion blur and digital artifacts becuase it is not catching all the information. But once again you can up the bit rates from standard 5960000 bits/second to 9000000 bits/second, this gives a 50% increase in the bit rates and this is supposed to get rid of all motion blur (that isn't already in the original broadcast). I think it is more the low bitrates that cause the bad picture as opposed to the resoltuion. Also I think the only reason that a widescreen picture will give a poorer picture is that you are watching a bigger picture and therefore any bad picture areas will also be increased. I have been watching Tivo on Best Quality all weekend and I am surprisingly happy with it - not perfect but very watchable (has to be in Best Quality though). Once I have upgraded the settings on Wednesday i will post again to see if I think it is worth doing the upgrade.
     
  7. TeresaTT

    TeresaTT
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    Thanks for the reply Tony8377. I'm very glad and releived to hear that you found your TiVo quite watchable at best quality. I record everything at best on my TiVo as I have plenty of room on my 120GB hard drive. I will be very interested to hear about your findings after you have upgraded.

    I am prepared to take a modest drop in broadcast TV quality for a good, bigger picture for movies. I intend to replace my Yamaha DSP-A2 amp with a Denon 3805 and use it's component up converting and switching for my DVD, S-VHS video and XBox. My DVD has component out and PAL progressive scan. I will try connecting TiVo via a scart on the PW6 to preserve auto widescreen switching. If the picture is too poor, I will either try upping the TiVo resolution and bit rate or an RGB to VGA converter with an aspect ratio switcher, depending on the outcome of your upgrade.

    My TiVo is far too essential to my viewing habits and so everything else has to work around it. I dread the day when it will give up the ghost and I have to try to find a suitable replacement.

    I am going to have to decide very quickly about the PW6 as the stocks will probably run out soon and I may have to order before you've tried out your new hard disk. I'm on the verge of ordering one.
     
  8. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    TIvo res being 4:3 is due to it being analogue (analogue WS is available and has been for a while) but due to settings in Tivo Software as the UK machines are all getting on a bit it seems to leave far less room for improvement....... Can you up the recording bitrate on Tivo? If so set to max and work down with a plasma you as much quality as you can hold on to...
     
  9. TeresaTT

    TeresaTT
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    hornydragon, as Tony8377 has found out, it is possible to increase the bit rate on TiVo, but TiVo needs to be modified in order to do this. I have already upgraded the hard drive in my TiVo and I could install a network card and do the updates myself. However, I'm worried that I might kill my TiVo, particularly as it's not that easy to replace it. Tony8377's option of buying a premodified hard drive sounds like an easier route to take.
     
  10. Tony8377

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    Easiest way would be to send your hard drive to someone for them to add the Tivoweb to your hard drive and get them to do the updates - that way you don't need to buy a new modified hard drive at around £95 and they will test it all for you. Shouldn't break your Tivo as its only amendments to the hard drive (no network card needed if someone else does it) which can be replaced in 24 hours from ebay (as I'm sure you know).

    I know what you mean about Tivo being essential - When I first tried it with my Plasma on pre-recorded Medium & High I was horrified.
     
  11. TeresaTT

    TeresaTT
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    Yes, but I'd have to live without my TiVo for a few days, unless I can find the original 40GB drive somewhere.

    I'm looking at Turbonet and I'm starting to get interested. I'm a bit of a techie and I love tinkering, it's just finding the time and risking damage to my precious TiVo. I build my own PC's and I used to write programmes under UNIX, so I ought to be able to figure it out.
     
  12. Tony8377

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    Sounds like you would have no problems doing this yourself and you can always post on the other forum if you run into problems. Once set up there are loads of other programs for Tivo such as automoatic program buffering (adds a few minutes before and after each program to guarantee you don't miss the start and end provided there are no conflicts) daily or weekly email showing you all the programs that will and wont be recorded and any conflicts, quick and easy season pass adjustments etc. Apart from the 4:3 issue Tivo is still very very upgradeable by the enthusiast and there are loads of them out there (much more so than Sky + and without any of the errors).
     
  13. Andy C

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    It's very simple proceedure...

    1. Connect your TiVo drive to your PC.
    2. If you wish, make a backup of the software on to a partition in your pc (must be Fat32).
    3. Run the network card driver installer and set network preferences. Here you can also set it to download listings over the net, rather than the phone line.
    4. Put the drive back in the TiVo along with the network card.
    5. You'll now have telnet & ftp access to install TivoWeb and many other handy hacks, such as automatic start & end padding!
    Once TivoWeb web is installed, you can simply edit the mode (resolution) and bitrate fields in the Resource Editor.

    It's all quite safe, quick and painless. :)


    Andy.
     
  14. TeresaTT

    TeresaTT
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    After looking at the TiVo Community forums I've decided that I'm going to buy myself a TiVo serial cable and get hacking. It only costs about a tenner but I'll have to remove the hard drive and attach it to my PC and follow a load of instructions. I'll install TiVoWeb and have some fun (if I can get it all to work).

    I'll probably be ordering a PWD6 tomorrow. I just hope they have some left.
     
  15. TeresaTT

    TeresaTT
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    Thanks for the info Andy C. I'm going to try the serial link first because it's a lot cheaper and physically easier to install. It would be a bit difficult to run a network cable from my TiVo to my pc/router. I have a wireless lan but I don't know how reliable the signal is where my TiVo is positioned. I do have a laptop, so it should be convenient enough for occasional use.
     
  16. SKA.face

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    Oh, thanxs for that Hornydragon I could see they had a slight letter change,I thought they were the same but for different countries,so thanxs for the clarification on that,just one more question if I may, the PW6/7 are they just for the UK too?I see they are listed on Panasonic UK web site but not on Pansonics main page,also not seen any for sale in Germany or for me here in Spain,making it just for the UK,which would be a shame.
     
  17. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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  18. SKA.face

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    Sorry if I can pick your brains again HD,so if it's a Plasma TV,it shows terresterial analouge TV in Spanish as standard with speakers,if it's a panel it just the basic panel,no analouge TV,no speakers,but could watch sky digital,DVDs through my speakers with no problems.Having less toys what about picture quality? is the PW6 better than the PE 30 ? So I could keep the Loewe for terresterial.

    Thanks for help as I haven't a clue on these toys yet.
     
  19. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    correct............ you can still use PW6/7 for terrestrial tho a ProV or ProV+ should giuve you spanish TV so its either all in one TV or a display with source components you want and sound quality you desire
     
  20. SKA.face

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    Thanxs for your help HD again,do you think that there is much difference though in the picture between the two Panasonics?,I prefer the sleeker looks of the PW6,but if the picture is more or less the same,I'll take the PE30,as its cheap as chips (within reason) and easily avaliable here, and I "think" the difference between the UK model and the european one is, one has a analouge tuner and the other digital,TBH I couldn't care for spanish TV but have others to think of.
     
  21. Leigh_1973

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    AFAIK they use the same panel, so are basically the same thing, with the exception of the speakers, tuner etc.
     
  22. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Video processing is different as the PA30 (euro model) and PE30 use the Acuity Chassis from Panny CRT TV's hence why you get a lot more inputs on the veira than the PW6/7 if you like the look of the PA30 it wont dissapoint..... as easy to use as any "normal" TV and much sexier
     
  23. TeresaTT

    TeresaTT
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    I've taken the plunge and ordered a PWD6. My local dealer has it in, but he's missing the scart board, so I'll probably have to wait until tomorrow to get it. I'm pretty excited and I don't think I'll get a wink of sleep tonight.

    I've decided to upgrade my TiVo and already have my two 120GB preconfigured drives from Pacelink. All I have to do is swap my current drive with these two and connect my laptop using the serial cable that Pacelink provided with the drives. All the software is already on the drives, so I should have all the extra TiVoWeb features available including the ability to increase the bitrate. That's provided I can get the laptop set up so that it can connect via the serial link. First I have to watch the remaining recorded programmes on the old hard drive.
     
  24. TeresaTT

    TeresaTT
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    My PWD6 has arrived, but I have to wait until my husband gets home from work this evening until I can set it up. It's too big for me on my own. I'm dying to see it.

    However, it's only come with a component board. My supplier left me with a scart to component cable. Can I connect my TiVo to the component using this lead as I see that the component board is labelled Component/RGB? The scart won't arrive until next week. At least I'll be able to connect my DVD player via component.
     
  25. t0by

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    Ordered "Today, 12:57 PM"
    Delivered "Today, 04:41 PM"

    Now that's service for you... ;-)
     
  26. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    not sure if you can use scart to component lead with Tivo (dont use Tivo) get DVD up and running You'll be blown away
     
  27. Tony8377

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    I tried to connect my VCR up to the plasma via the VCR scart input on the TiVo however I can't get a picture on the Plasma when watching video but do get sound via the TiVo. Am I correct in thinking that this is because the Video Scart Input on TiVo is only composite? I only want this to watch the very occasional program when there is a conflict so not bothered about the picture quality just want some picture and don't want to have to pay out for a quintro.

    Also I got my upgraded hard drive today and am just watching the last program and will install tonight. Will let you know what I think.
     
  28. SKA.face

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    Thankyou for the input HD things are clearer now,and at Euro price seems abit of a steal for the PA30,so I think I'll go for one of thoes.Sorry TeresaTurnTable,lol,for stealing your thread!.
     
  29. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Odd one this not having experience with Tivo doesnt help try VCR direct to scart on plasma and see if that works
     
  30. Tony8377

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    Thanks HD, I'll try that.
     

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