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Received New Pioneer 434 HDE yesterday!

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Tacitus, Oct 26, 2003.

  1. Tacitus

    Tacitus
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    I took delivery of the Pioneer 434HDE yesterday. I have to say it is one fantastic plasma. Even my mother-in-law thinks it is gorgeous. The pictures particularly with DVD are cinema like and sent shivers down my spine the first time I saw them. The menus are intuitive and simple to operate. I am absolutely made up with my decision to buy this over the Panny 6.

    However I am a mere amateur in the home cinema world and I need some advice from the experts in connecting this beast up to my Arcam AV8 processor and to a Telewest Pace D4000 digital cable box. I am told that I should put the video signal into the AV8 so I can use its on screen displays and its switching capabilities. Unfortunately the Pace only has the following connections available:

    Scart 1 (VCR): composite video in/out; RGB in
    Scart 2 (TV): composite video out; RGB out
    Antenna (RF input)
    TV (RF output)


    I need some advice on the best connections to use where picture quality is the highest priority. As far as I can tell I have two options:

    1.) Connect an "RGB only" scart to scart from the Telewest box directly to the Plasma, and somehow get a video and audio feed into the AV8 processor. I am not sure what the best way is to do this?? I have been advised that I may need to have a special cable made up.

    or

    2.) Buy a JS Electronics RGB Scart to Component (YUV) video box (including a pair of audio phonos) which enables me to connect component leads to the AV8 and a second set of component leads into scart 3 of the plasma. This obviously gives me the AV8 on-screen menu and switching capabilities as well as a progressive scan capability (I assume - not sure of this last). The issue with this of course is that when I receive the Pioneer 868 Avi DVD player with HDMI connections in two weeks time I will have to manually switch between component and HDMI via the menu system since they both will share the input 3 connection, which is a pain but not a show stopper. However what I am really worried about is would I receive an inferior picture with all of these connections?

    What would you guys recommend??

    Are there any tweeks I should be making to the plasma which will improve it picture quality?

    And finally out of curiousity why would Pace create a scart connection in a cable box for "RGB in" (why not another "RGB out")?

    I would greatly appreciate your help and advice in this matter and thank you for your time in reading this rather lengthy post.

    Cheers
    Michael
     
  2. MAW

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    RGB in is for scart pass through, you can daisy chain scart devices and feed the signal through suitably equipped components, like the sky box. In your case, with that DVD player coming, I'd just scart it to the plasma box, enable rgb and be happy. There are a couple of threads on exactly the issue you've come up against, there is no sensible way round it. Connect a phono pair from sky to amp for pro logic surround.
     
  3. Jasonjo

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    Tacitus,

    I will be in a very similar position to you when (if??!!) I get my 434HDE...this is what Joe @ TMF recommended re connectivity:

    In order to get sound from NTL you have two options, if you have an STB with phono stereo out, then use these to connect to your amp. If not, then you should be able to get a scart lead with two phono "break out" leads to carry the separate autio signal.

    From what I believe you will always get an inferior picture routing through the amp - it is just whether you can notice it, give it a try and see which you prefer I guess...

    Cheers

    JJ
     
  4. AVWotcha

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    Don't bother with routing the Pace box through the AV Amp. Not worth the bother. Just plug the RGB out (Scart 2) on the Pace box into Input 1. Also connect a couple of Phonos from the pace box to you AV amp for the audio.

    You VCR will connect on Scart 1 on the Pace box. The Pace box should take care of all audio and video signals from the VCR when you want to play back a video tape.

    You'll also need to RF up the whole lot i.e. RF->Pace->VCR->Plasma box
     
  5. MAW

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    Jason has spotted that you have a pace 4000 with no phonos. If you have no VCR you could get a scart-2phono lead, or most likely 3 phono and ignore the yellow, stick this in the VCR scart and connect to the AV amp that way. If you have a vcr, you'll have to use an audio breakout lead. Don't spend a fortune, you'll be sick of the vcr in a couple of weeks.
     
  6. Joe Fernand

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    Hello all

    Just to say anyone in the same position we can provide high quality SCART (fully wired) to SCART (RGB+C) and 2RCA for stereo audio - just need to let us know what length of cable before we 'Y' it.

    Another option being to take a fully wired SCART to the R04 Media box and then fixed line audio out from the R04 back to your AV Amp.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  7. Tacitus

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    Thanks very much guys for your advice it is very much appreciated. This is a great web site, and people are really kind to offer their advice.

    As far as the issue goes I am currently working with Jo to find the right solution :D .

    One of the issues I am having with the 434 is that the cable pictures for sports are pretty aweful most of the time- they seem to blur alot and seem to have alot of artefacts on the plasma. I may have to invest in a line doubler or something to get a better quality picture. I have to say I didn't expect this, I thought the pictures would be better. Right now I am running a scart from the digibox straight to the plasma scart input 1, and have set the menu to RGB so I don't know why the quality is dubious.

    Anyways I will let you know whichever solution Jo chooses for me and how well it works.

    Cheers
    Michael
     
  8. joys_R_us

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    A linedoubler won't help much. The media box of the Pio is quite good. As you have connected via RGB either your digibox or the source signals are crappy... I guess the latter being the case.

    How are other cable programs ? (are they all bad ?)
     
  9. Jasonjo

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    Tacitus,

    I am really interested in your findings as the major thing holding me back on buying the plasma is that I am worried about normal TV viewing with my NTL box. I do watch DVD's/Xbox gaming quite a bit, but also spend a fair bit of time watching NTL...how do you find the picture with normal channels (i.e. BBC1, ITV, CH4, Five, Music Channels) as I am not too fussed about sports stuff...

    I was hoping RGB to media box would be quite good...:(

    Sounds like a good idea and means people should be able to use their existing investiment in a good scart and phono interconnects rather than buying a new Y cable (sorry Joe, not trying to loose you business ;) )

    JJ
     
  10. Jasonjo

    Jasonjo
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    Tacitus???
     
  11. Tacitus

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    JasonJo, I don't want to influence you too much because I am not an expert like some folks on here - but I have to say as far as television pictures go I am pretty disappointed right now.

    ITV appears to be the best quality in terms of picture and is comparable to a CRT, but I find with the other channels the picture is less than average. For instance when I watched the news tonight on BBC1 the skin tone on the faces looked like people were wearing tons of makeup or plastic masks - it just did not look natural to me at all. I have spent the last couple of days trying different settings to get things right but I'm not succeeding.

    It could be the quality of the scart, although I spent forty quid on buying a monstor scart from Currys, which I know isn't the best, but must be better than alot of them. I will still hold judgement hoping to find the magic bullet.

    I was influenced into buying this plasma because 1.) the comments of people on this board 2.) I wanted a bigger picture for movies and 3.) I saw it at the HiFi show in Manchester hooked up to the 868Avi DVD player via HDMI and thought the DVD playing (Gladiator) was the best I had ever seen (CRT or plasma). I ordered it right there and then - perhaps a bit impulsive on my part.

    I still think its a beautiful plasma and the DVD pictures are pretty good. This is probably a problem with the poor signals from Cable Digital as the quality varies from station to station. However I never noticed this on my 32" Sony CRT, and actually thought the pictures pretty good. Since I pay Telewest some 120 quid each month I think I will get them in to try swapping the Pace box for something better - or cancel with them and go somewheres else.

    At the end of the day Caveat Emptor. However I am still hopeful I will arrive at the quality I require and that a solution will be found because I still believe this is the best plasma on the market. But at this minute as I type this, I kind of wish I had opted for a 36in CRT and waited a few years for Plasma to get even better. I am sorry I have been so negative tonight, but its been a long day:rolleyes: I hope this helps.

    Cheers
    Michael
     
  12. MAW

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    Being the resident paranoid android, I have never believed the 434 to be the giant leap fwd people seem to expect. The demo I saw from Pioneer was a HD source, from a PC via DVI I understand. I can make any good plasma look like that with a UVEM. The one I've seen running analogue RGB was not really noticeably different from the 433HDE, though side by side I might have changed my mind. Have you tried turning off RGB? It sounds like sacrilege I know, but the 433 often looks better on composite or S-video, as the internal processing does more for these signals. The Panasonic tuner box even mentions this in the handbook. This is why the MXE so often looks better, it's more open to good treatment. It's also another reson why I don't like integrated TV plasmas, the number of threads with exactly this complaint is amazing.
     
  13. loonatic

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    I had a 433HDE and found myself in a similar situation as Tacitus.

    I could never get a picture I was happy with from my Sky+ box.

    DVDs could look great with well mastered recent titles but older titles could, and did, look awfull.

    The use of an external scaler such as an iScan Ultra *could* improve things for you. My old 433HDE could not accept a PAL progressive input so this was not really an option.

    I would suggest that you maybe give one of these a try. But bear in mind it will introduce the dreaded lip-sync problem which I for one find distracting.

    The thing is why should you have to spend another £450 for the Ultra plus another £150 for an RGB-YUV adapter just to get a watachable image on a £4000 TV which is what Pioneer sell this set as...not a monitor.

    I currently have a Sony 30" LCD which I use with an iScan Ultra and on most channels this produces a decent picture. The lower rate channels still look bad but then they look bad on my 28" CRT as well.

    For the money though I still think that a top of the range 36" CRT is hard to beat...if you've got the room...along with a PJ for films.

    IMHO plasmas/LCDs will not realy start to shine until we get HDTV if that ever arrives in a usefull package....until such time they are best suited to DVD playback and even then they require a decent prog-scan player.

    Cheers, Lee
     
  14. MAW

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    This is all what I find too. I don't watch live sport, which is the main culprit for poor picture, but the west wing is shocking, and I have a scaler. There are devices to take out the lip synch problem, just another couple of hundred....
     
  15. Joe Fernand

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    Hello all

    Just a quick post for now - too much paperwork do get through this week.

    So finally fired up the PDP-434HDE night and have to report that with my Digibox it is very different to the PDP-433HDE it replaces.

    Its not perfect (not sure anything ever will be with the SKY signals) but certainly football and other low bit rate channels look a whole let better - the lines on the pitch are solid, the Subbuteo size players on wide shots are more distinct with minimal blocking around their edges and grass nearly looks like grass!

    Running the panel with minimal back lighting even the 'Cinema' settings are too hot and without using any set up disc a few quick tweaks to the Contrast and Brightness makes for a much more pleasant image - if you drop the contrast you get rid of the 'colour by numbers' look on skin tones.

    Even the SKY 'RED' logo's on SKY Sports and SKY News have definition and no dot crawl - the edges are slightly soft but way better than the harsh edges with twitter you can get on most displays; in fact it looks like I have an iScan in circuit with the Chroma filter switched on!

    I watched the last 30 mins of the Man Utd vs. Leeds Utd match and it was so much better than football has ever been on the 03 HDE.

    A quick glance at SKY news and again much better - even the images in SKY's Picture in Picture frames look in focus; and ticker tape is much more stable and sharp.

    Not had a chance to hook up the DVD as yet but so far a big thumbs up - though you will have to play with the set-up menu.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  16. Rob.Screene

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    Tacitus,
    Did you try routing Component video through the Arcam amp? Did you see the on-screen graphics via Component?

    Sounds like as well as dropping the colour saturation, at least one of you need to get the panel ISF greyscale calibrated to see what the defacto colour settings need to be. Might be £250 very well spent.

    cheers,
    Rob.
     
  17. Tacitus

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    Thanks for the tips. I talked to Joe about calibrating the plasma and he suggested I wait for a few weeks to let the plasma settle down. But it is definitly on my hit list. I haven't tried the component video path yet because I am still trying to suss out the best solution. Joe is going to hook up a Lumigen scaler to the 434 later today and will let me know if that will provide significant improvement. I am hoping so! At the end of the day this may just be me getting the setting wrong or having connected naf cables - boy I didn't know this stuff was so complex!!

    Cheers
    Michael
     
  18. Tacitus

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    Thanks for the tips. I talked to Joe about calibrating the plasma and he suggested I wait for a few weeks to let the plasma settle down. But it is definitly on my hit list. I haven't tried the component video path yet because I am still trying to suss out the best solution. Joe is going to hook up a Lumigen scaler to the 434 later today and will let me know if that will provide significant improvement. I am hoping so! At the end of the day this may just be me getting the setting wrong or having connected naf cables - boy I didn't know this stuff was so complex!!

    Cheers
    Michael
     
  19. Costas

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    Tacitus and rest of friends,

    I just got my 434 this afternoon also replacing a 433. I still need to calibrate it and fine tune it but in addition to everyone else's comment I like to point out that this is DEFINITELY a much better screen picture for all sources (analog TV, terrestrial freeview, free-to air quality (non sky) satellite receivers, S-VHS VCRs, PCs and of course DVD). I do not have cable receivers and I cannot make a direct comparison for Tacitus. However, Tacitus, based on everything you described so far, I think you have either not reached a good set up or your cable is significantly inferior than other sources.

    Also as mentioned we have suffered with the sports but football is so much better with the 434. I am convinced that the improvement is due to the media all digital conversion receiver that helps with all input video sources.

    I will provide some more details in a few days but I am definitely happy with this upgrade.....
     
  20. Tacitus

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    Well, I have to say I have had a big breakthrough tonight. Somebody today told me that you have to set the scart at the back of the Telewest box via a software menu to RGB. Its hidden in the depths of Telewests menu system. Anyways I finally found it only to discover it was already set to RGB so I was gutted. However I also noticed it was set to 4:3 so I changed it to wide screen, and miracle of miracles all my problems disappeared. I now have a set of cable digital pictures which are pretty damn good! It just goes to show how the simplest of things can trip you up. I would not say the picture are perfect yet, but I now know what I can do to improve things. I have a Telewest engineer coming out tomorrow and I won't let him leave my house until everything is perfect on the Telewest side, I have my shotgun already lined up. Anyways once again thanks for all the help and suggestion you guys have given me. Its much appreciated!!!

    Cheers
    Michael
     
  21. Jasonjo

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    Tacitus,

    Great news - keep us posted if the other advice helps...

    JJ
     
  22. joys_R_us

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    Thx, this is very relieving. I will be ordering mine the next days...

    But i would like to know if I can order the Pio 501 AV-receiver or if I need to go up to AX3 or Denon 3803 to have control of the lip synch issues.

    Hey, do you experience any lip synch effects with your 434 ??

    I would appreciate any feedback from the new owners..

    (if they could part themselves from the new love :rolleyes: )
     
  23. Costas

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    Definitely no noticeable lipsynch issues with my 434 set up... even using the slightly older Denon 3801...
     
  24. Brogan

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    Maybe this is a stupid question but.....

    I'm just looking at the options for hooking up my kit to the R04E media receiver which I believe is common to the 434 and 504?

    Anyway, I'm probably going to use the Input3 HDMI socket for the DVD player (if I can get a cable :rolleyes:), the Input3 RGB scart socket for sky+ and the Input3 component sockets for my PS2.

    Now I may be overlooking the obvious here but I can't see how to connect the audio L/R from the PS2 to the media receiver.
    There are L/R audio inputs on the front of the receiver behind a flap but they are assigned to Input4.
    Surely I wouldn't have to plug the PS2 cable into 2 separate inputs to get audio and video?
    Not to mention the fact that the system would have to be capable of using one input for video and another for audio.

    Anyone shed any light on this?
     
  25. joys_R_us

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    No no no,

    take input 1 (SCART RGB) for sky, input 3 (HDMI) for DVD.

    Don't know which connections are available for PS2 but try to use input 2 (Scart AV or S.video). If u have to use component, then u would have to switch input 3 signal type (cumbersome). There is also a slight chance (risk) that component input won't work as long as the HDMI connector is in place (but really not sure about this just a slight fear...)

    Re. audio u always have to stick with ONE input for both the audio and video. To get audio in input 3 u would need an RCA-> scart adapter (shouldn't be problem)

    Have fun !
     
  26. Brogan

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    Well pointed out - I hadn't realised that Input1 scart was also RGB so I will utilise that for Sky+...:blush:

    That still leaves the problem of the PS2 though.
    Scart AV is no good as picture quality will be rubbish.
    S-video on Input4 is also out as the input is on the front of the media receiver behind a flap so it will look very messy.
    I suppose I could use the S-video on Input2 but I will need a S-video2scart adaptor for that.

    Ideally though I'd like to use the best format available which is the component input on Input3 and I just don't see how I can get audio using this method. I don't have a problem with switching inputs - it's only a few buttons fer gawds sake...
    It seems a bit odd to have component video inputs available but no audio...

    And I would be very surprised (amazed even) if the HDMI connector being in place prohibits you from using the other inputs available on Input3.
     
  27. SimonO

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    Input 3 (don't start me off again..!)... They are effectively shared so you can run video into the component input and audio through the SCART... As Joe says, if you want audio to an external amp, just use the audio out...

    I think the PS2 component cable has L/R audio which you could plug into a SCART adapter...

    I would assume that when you enable HDMI, the SCART and component will be disabled but you would have to confirm...
     
  28. Brogan

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    Yes - I've just checked the 2 page HDMI document and it clearly shows the same piece of equipment being connected simultaneously via the HDMI port and the scart socket for "analogue audio only".

    So I guess in theory for the PS2 I could utilise the component video inputs and a phono2scart adaptor for the L/R audio, as you suggest.
    Seems an odd way of doing things and will only be possible if this RGB scart socket is free (presumably that won't be the case for a lot of people).
     
  29. MAW

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    You could pass the PS2 audio through the sky box. Same adapter needed, no unplugging. BTW Simon, I've emptied my pm box..
     
  30. Brogan

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    Not if Sky is connected to Input1 and PS2 is connected to Input3.
     

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