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Sharp P50 Series - More confused than ever!

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by sim01, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. sim01

    sim01
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    I need some help unscrambling the techno speak so that we can buy the right LCD tv for us. We were looking at the Panasonic TX32LXD500 - it looked good and the reviews were universally positive. Now the Sharp P50 Series has hit the magazines (haven't seen it for sale yet). It looks good and the advertising says all the right things for us, but is it true?

    We don't use Sky or any other digital tv. We just watch the standard 5 broadcast channels and DVDs. We may wish to use a freeview box in future, and HD capability would be useful, but not a necessity. The 32" P50 blurb says that the 960x540 resolution is designed specifically to enhance standard broadcasts and DVDs (i.e. our main requirements) and will give a better response to these sources than a 1366x768 resolution screen. Can this be true?
     
  2. Rob1698

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    Compared to low-end 1366x768 screens, maybe. The scaler could damage the picture more than enhance it.
    But high-end screens have scalers that really enhance the picture (Philips Pixel Plus 2 for example) and screens like this cannot do that.

    While the screen can display HDTV it will of course not offer the improved resolution. A better screen will, although 1920x1080 would be required for optimal results.
     
  3. jobseeker

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    If Sharp can't back up the claim they've got a problem really, haven't they? I'm waiting on a 37" one of these so they'd better be right. The 32's are in the shops now so you should be able to compare, though shop displays are are notoriously poor and inconsistent. That's why I've ordered online and if I don't like how it performs in my system and with what i view I'll send it back. You're certainly exactly the market it's been designed to capture. As you say, it's all for nought unless it really does give a noticeable difference with routine broadcasts - it's these via a standard aerial that LCD and Plasma TV's find it so hard to give a decent picture on.
     
  4. TarMoo

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    I saw a 32in P50 the other day. The picture was very clear and I thought at the time would make a good LCD "telly". DVD play looked very clear. This set can be had for under £850 on the internet so is very good value for anyone without HD or PC connectivity requirements.

    Personally I would like to keep a new TV for at least 5 years, and I expect High Definition BBC/ITV broadcasts to be the norm by 2010, so a HD ready TV made be more appropriate in the longer term.
     
  5. sim01

    sim01
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    Given the investment Sharp have made it was also my view that there must be something behind the claims. However just because the technology is plausible it doesn't mean the screen is good. It's good to know that they are available now, but since shop set-ups are so poor I guess the only way to know is to buy on the understanding that it can be taken back if it doesn't perform as expected.
     
  6. sim01

    sim01
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    One more thought. If we did use freeview, does that mean that the higher resolution screens would be better?
     
  7. jobseeker

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    I personally don't think hi-def tv broadcasts are worth worrying about on a screen under 42", probably 50" really unless you're watching from a few feet away. A good PAL picture is absolutely fine for me. I certainly will not pay any premium for hi-def TV. If broadcast tv goes that way eventually for free, all the current freeview receivers will be useless anyway and I think we're looking at 5 years for that. By then, these tv's we're buying now will be way outdated whether they're 'HD Ready' or not. In my experience, a higher definition screen (i.e. 720, 768 or 1080) most certainly does not automatically mean a better picture. There's much more to it than that.
     
  8. Tomdale

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    Are you saying then that my Sharp LC26GA5E which is not 'HD' Ready is not worth returning for a 'HD' Ready TV such as the Samsun LR2641BDX?
     
  9. jobseeker

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    Ask five people and you'll get 5 different answers to that one. All you can do is compare the extra cost to you and decide if your picture improvements are worth it. They wouldn't be to me. There will always be a better set as soon as you've bought one, but that doesn't mean upgrading automatically justifies the cost - it's a very personal call. I'm more into music and when i think what I've spent pursuing ever better sound (the cables for one of my systems were in excess of £2000 alone !) I could have bought much more music and enjoyed that instead!
     
  10. pjskel

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    Nope, Freeview as NTL Digital is still only SD at 576i (625i minus teletext, PDC, etc), so the higher res displays are no better off with Freeview as they are with NTL analog or your OTA (over the air) analog reception via the rooftop aerial.

    These sets are fine mainly, but will come into their own when HD starts becoming more prevelant via Sky+ and others (eventually), and pre-recorded discs/players.
     
  11. Contact

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    I'd really look closely at a like for like demonstration. While I like Sharp's smaller LCD range and that they have one of the best Technical Support department's in the World (you'd have trouble finding a single worker there that doesn't know their models down to the tiniest detail), they've just always been under the mark of being the same peak as some of the other big companies.

    Their pictures are always bright, colourful and have good LCD specs in reaction rate and viewing angle from early on. They've just never for me been particularly... well, sharp. The detail has always seemed lower, comparing from analogue TV to progressive DVD. Whether they only come into their own on HD is one thing, but I'm unsure whether that would be the case. I do know a lot of people on this Forum love Sharp, and there's no doubt a lot of those people also know their stuff.

    My main advice sim01 is that for an LCD, at the very minimum you should have Freeview for watching normal stations. Just to get a little jump in picture clarity and a widescreen format (most of the time). Also, look into the JVC LT32DS6 for another option, it's a very impressive set.
     
  12. Faust

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    I too have been puzzled by the HD Ready claims for the Sharp P50 series. Just what will this panel display in relation to the normal HD Ready panels i.e. what will be missing on the P50?
     
  13. Dune

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    That is what I keep thinking. We could really do with a new TV now. My old Panny 21 inch crt is on the way out. The tuner went last year so I just bought a freeview box and now the tube is starting to go!

    However if I shell out £1500 on a Panny 500 LCD and when watching TV it looks horrible because the high res panel shows up the broadcasts I will get no end of grief from the wife!

    Then again if I bought a P50 which looked great there is no way the wife would believe me that we needed to upgrade to a full res HD set in five years if the set was still working well and giving a good picture.

    TV's in our house are viewed as something you only change if they go bust so I tend to think I need a future proof set so I can enjoy HD when available but I can see where Sharp are coming from with their "PAL ready" LCD's.

    What is needed is a comparative review of a Panny 500 v a Sharp P50 with respect to SD performance.

    If the Panny 500 (or any other HD LCD set) has sorted the normal off-air problems then surely the P50 has no future?

    Thinking about it isn't the Philips 9986 supposed to be king of handling current SD off-air broadcasts?

    Dave
     
  14. Dune

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    Nothing as far as I am aware. The HD signal will be scaled down by the set to match the panel resolution. So it can take a HD signal over a HDMI connector and downscale it. All the other none-HD LCD's do not have a HDMI connector so can't deal with a HD signal in the same way.

    It isn't considered true HD because it does not have a panel resolution of at least 720 vertically.

    However many sets that are labelled as true HD sets but will still be scaling in some way. For example the Panny 500 42 inch plasma is 1024x768.

    I think the 37 inch is 1024x720 (not 768) so with that model there is just some horizontal scaling to do but it still qualifies as a true HD set due to the vertical resolution of 720.

    Dave
     
  15. mr-monday

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    Why the P50 is HD Ready (sort of )

    The P50's vertical screen resolution is 540. If displaying 1080i material only very simple converion is needed to (halve it ) to get it on the panel.

    I suppose their theory is (as with hi-fi) the less you mess around with the picture, the better it'll look.

    For 720p it's a again a simple converion- it's a factor of 3/4's. How good all this works in practice, I don't know, but it's a novel idea. One poster on here said that 720p on the P50 looked better than the Samsung LE41BD, which is true HD.

    I've not seen the panel in the flesh yet so I'm reserving judgement.
     
  16. Dune

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    Don't you mean 540?

    Dave
     
  17. mr-monday

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    duh! I did mean 540. I've edited it now!
     
  18. scrapbook

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    What PC resolution can you get on these panels? According to Sharp website PC input is via HDMI.

    I am assuming the quality will be poor becuase of the limited resolution.
     
  19. mr-monday

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    Yeah, I wouldn't have thought these screens are ideal for PC use.
     
  20. mr-monday

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    Well I took a look at the 32" P50 in Currys today. Despite awful feed (quality and content) it looked really good.
     
  21. neilmcl

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    Is it just me or does anyone else think that the remote for this TV is awful. It looks like something you would use to swat a fly or something.
     
  22. pjskel

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    Is it long and slender, widening towards the top? If so, it's the same as the GD1 Titanium's. It's not bad in use. Just be thankful it's not the same as their HR400 DVD recorder's - that is pretty poor design.
     
  23. g60stu

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    I bought the 26" version of this Sharp TV today.

    This is one of the first LCD screens (at a sensible price) where I've considered the picture to be acceptable. I'm quite fussy - give me a good old 50Hz CRT tele anytime!! :D

    I was very impressed with the picture from analogue terrestrial reception. Picture through a freeview box was good too (obviously you can see all those horrible MPEG artefacts, but at a sensible viewing distance the picture is definately acceptable to me and much better than some of the other LCD junk that I've seen). DVD playback looked great too. I'm sold on the whole 960x540 resolution thing. I've been waiting for an LCD that doesn't destroy the original picture, and this seems like the answer. As far as HD goes, I just think it's too early to be bothered about it. The prices on LCD Tv's is likely to plummet as time goes on and I reckon they'll soon be throw away items. All of my viewing is with standard def TV and I don't expect that to change for a long time. When the time is right, then I'll consider the HD options.

    Now for a real grumble..... after only 2hrs of having the TV on, it switched itself off. Looks like it's knackered!! The standby light just flashes on/off. If I disconnect the mains and reconnect it then as soon as I turn on the TV (red light goes green), it switches itself off. I've tried everything, including a full factory system reset.

    Back to the shop tomorrow. :thumbsdow
    Hopefully, this is a one off duffer TV and a replacement will work fine.....

    Stuart
     
  24. jobseeker

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    I hope your problem's a one off, cos I've got two of these arriving on 31 August !! I'll keep my fingers crossed. I was getting a 37" but I've decided to hang on and see how these two 26" ones go on first. Bit of a beggar when you've six tv's in the house, all of which need replacing. Still, patience is a virtue.
     
  25. Tomdale

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    I have the Sharp LC26GA5 which also has a power problem but only on powering up the unit. Sometimes when I switch it on it takes 1 or more attempts to power up properly - on/off/on.off.

    Once its on its fime - the engineer came out last week and replaced two chips but it did not solve the problem. A completely new poer unit is expected this week.
     
  26. craynerd

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    SIm01 --- P50 v Panny500

    I have been puzzling over this for the last 3 weeks. I seem to be in an identical situation to you, and realise that channels 1-5 need to be on top form for the mrs!

    The sharp P50 is certainly good value for money, the romote really sucks but the picture is pretty damn good. Line it up with the pannylxd500 and the quality is damn similar, but i do think the price of the panny pays off and certainly with a dvd playing. BUT for an extra £500-600 is it really worth it for an additional HD. Well do you use sky, you said in your origonal message you didnt (like myself), BBC arent planning anything until 2010 (and by then cheaper and better HD units will be out!) and HD DVDs will be out soon ( BUT at around £25 a pop, and seeing the unbelievable quality of a normal dvd on the panny, i dont think thats worth the added money for the HD). So is HD really worth it yet, in my view no, i`ve neither the money nor need for it and in my opinion won`t want it until 2010 ++ (more like 2012), well 2012 i`m sure to have had my 60k hours of lcd display in which time i`ll need a new telly!

    SO the question stands, do i want £500 for a better quality (i think the panny is much better built and IN MY OPINION looks better), a bit better picture and a true HD connection! my answer is NO.......but..would you pay £100 extra for the panasonic quality, the nice design and in my opinion a slightly better picture.....YES,.......



    lol, so i`ve opted for neither, and im ordering the panasonic LXD50 !!!, and no body better change my mind, or i`ll get angry lol
     
  27. DangerMouse!

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    Hi g60stu,

    Can you please tell me where you got your 26" as I can't find anyone who has any in stock, everyone has told me mid next month.

    Thks,
    DM
     
  28. Faust

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    Well if you have opted for the Panny then you will be pleased to know that you have in fact bought a Sharp - yes that's right, Sharp make the panels for Panasonics LCD range. Now I am a fan of Panasonic products, but even I have to admit that the Panny LCD range is pretty naff style wise, let's face it when they were handing out looks in the LCD department the Panny sisters certainly joined the wrong queue, the surround is far to thick and heavy, it adds nothing to the looks and makes the beast wider than it need be.
     
  29. jobseeker

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    Dangermouse - my two 26" P50's are arriving courtesy of Empire Direct on 31 August. They were in stock last friday, as was the 37".
     
  30. scrapbook

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    Sharp make the panels, everything else is Panasonic. There are hell of a lot of manufacturers that use the Sharp panels, but the difference is quality can be mind boggling.
     

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