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Sony KDE-P42MRX1 - best plasma tv in the world?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by superpixel, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. superpixel

    superpixel
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    I've been looking at plasma tv's for over 2 years (!) now, keeping a keen eye on every single model & development - on the hunt for the very best picture quality, as I found almost all models disappoint with tv signals (off-air, Freeview and Sky).

    In this time, I dismissed Sony plasmas very quickly - average to very good performance (at best), but at a ridiculous price compared to competing models that was certainly not worth even considering.

    The other day, however, I saw the KDE-P42MRX1 in action in a Sony Centre. What was meant to be a quick stroll through the shop, turned into looking at this plasma for over 2 hours! It was an aerial feed straight into the receiver's Freeview tuner, then I asked for some DVDs to be played too. Quite simply, the picture was stunning, and the best I've ever seen on a plasma. Not slightly, not better in some respects and not others, but INFINITELY better. The picture was so lucid, sharp, rich, with incredible clarity (unlike the Panny's), absolutely no motion effects or pixelation (unlike all the Pioneer's major flaw) and despite a very dark grey instead of true black, the contrast and appearance of dark scenes was streets ahead of anything I've seen. The Freeview picture was better than the DVD picture.

    Note that this is NOT the KDE-P42SX1 or the KE-42MR1. I wouldn't believe what I was writing unless I'd seen it for myself, going by what I'd seen of Sony's before. This is no exaggeration: (on all channels, across a range of material) on this Sony FREEVIEW IS MORE IMPRESSIVE THAN HIGH-DEFINITION ON OTHER MODELS. Ive seen the Pioneer 43" HD models playing D-VHS, and though excellent, its no comparison. I was literally saying 'Wow' in the shop - I couldn't believe it. With my nose up to the screen, the detail and clarity was still in tact, and beyond belief. The freeview runners/menu/guide were beautifully clear, no shadowing, haloing or pixellation - every character renderred beautifully like a PC monitor.

    Sitting next to this model was the KE-P42M1 sharing the exact same signal from the same receiver box. This is the WVGA model whose picture is near-identical and better in some respects to say the Pionner or Panasonic equivalents...yet the KE-P42M1 looked like viewing a PC signal on a CRT TV versus the KDE-P42MRX1 which was like a quality LCD monitor. That's the best way I can describe the utter clarity.

    It comes at a hefty price (£4500 cheapest), but what do others think? Any actual owners? Why isn't this thing raved about? Have I missed something here or am I going blind? I've seen literally every plasma model playing almost every source, and I've definitely seen the best offerings of the highest-regarded models with excellent Freeview feeds. It is the only ever plasma screen I've thought "I would love to own this" to.
     
  2. kevin harrison

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    I have to say I've seen this model alongside others in dixons and in the Sony centre also and agree with you, viewing Sky and freeview on it, the picture was miles better than anything I have seen so far. Football even seemed decent also.
     
  3. cucuz

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    Thats a lot of wonga for a 42" with no digital input ? I think that also makes it incompatible with Sony's Blu Ray as well .
     
  4. MAW

    MAW
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    I've seen it and am not impressed. You need to compare this with £2500 worth of Pioneer or panasonic and £2000 worth of Lumagen scaler for a like for like comparison. IMHO this blows the sony sky high.
     
  5. kevin harrison

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    How does it compare with the Pamasonic or Pioneer without the scaler?
     
  6. MAW

    MAW
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    Maybe not quite as good for Pioneer, not much in it for the panny, but this is a £2k saving. The problem is you can see the sony in a sony centre in any high st, but you can't see the thinking man's equivalent so easily, even Sevenoaks don't do this kind of setup. They will just show you an XDE pioneer and leave it at that. There is a lot more that can be done, many better ways of spending £4.5k, that's the point I'm making here, not specifically trashing the Sony, just it's a hell of a lot of money, for which you could get some serious other options which, whith Sky, will provide an even better picture. And some of the options might well be cheaper. Going the whole hog, the MXE-1, at £2400, and iscan HD at £760, and a SDI kit at £250, and an SDI modded sky box, around £500, I make that cheaper than the sony and I'll put money on it having a better picture.
     
  7. Andywilliams

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    Hi maw
    Iam saving my pennies for maybe around autumn to by a plasma screen it does need to be 37'' though.I dont want to change my receiver(harman kardon avr8500) for one with lyp sync adjustment,So if i brought the dvdo iscan ultra hd for £760 to go with whatever 37'' panasonic screen is available for around £2000 would this be a good combination for all my veiwing sky dvd etc.
    Cheers Gonzo. :)
     
  8. MAW

    MAW
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    It should be very good, you are aware of course that it won't be HD compatible according to sky, but it will be very good with current material.
     
  9. Andywilliams

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    It would be hd with dvd from a suitable player though,Also do you think panasonic will be releasing hd compatible screens by autumn.
    Cheers Gonzo
     
  10. MAW

    MAW
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    No, all HD will be HDCP digital. With your proposed setup you will be able to display the picture, but you will suffer FRC conversion judder. The 8 series, coming in the Autumn, are reputed to fix this. I'm not saying anything beyond this until I see it working myself.
     
  11. Andywilliams

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    Thanks Maw
    So it is wise to wait till autumn as there should be a bit more compatible hardware around.
    Cheers Gonzo.
     
  12. MAW

    MAW
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    Depends how desperate you are. :D Just got a demo NEC42" that does all one could ask. Just evaluating the piccy.
     
  13. superpixel

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    MAW, I find it hard to believe you werent impressed by this Sony. Not even when ignoring price?

    I'm not sure a display plus scaler and modified Sky box count as 'a television', but point taken. I have indeed never seen an external scaler in action, but if the picture would turn out better than the Sony, its something I truly must see. What setup of this type do you own? What setups have you seen like this? Where can I see one?

    I'd be surprised if the picture was significantly better than the Sony, I must say, and us non-thinking types might prefer the simple, attractive option rather than the tweakers route. But I have been surprised before! Don't forget the price premium is also for the brand name, the exquisite design, and due to Sony's old inflated prices which may tumble soon, as their recent US models have (cutting 1/3 off price). I haven't seen the KDE-P50MRX1 with Freeview or Sky, but intend to soon, especially at the better value price of £5500. If it compares to the 42MRX1, I honestly would part with the cash over any other 50" plasma in a flash.

    Why do you say 'youd bet money on' the picture being better? Does this mean you haven't seen the setup you postulate would be superior? Or can you confirm right now that it is better, and if so, in which ways?

    Also, are you saying that the Panasonic without scaler is close to the performance of the Sony? Quite frankly that is nonsense. Twice the price, but most people would instantly say twice the picture. Are you sure you have seen the right model?! I do not exaggerate the difference, the Sony is THAT much better. It blows away any plasma screen I've ever seen.
     
  14. Leerock

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    I must agree with superpixel
    It s a fantastic screen.
    I was blown out the water when I saw it.

    It's raised price is due to it's stylish design though.
     
  15. MAW

    MAW
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    Yes I have the right model, and the setup I run for demo to clients is a Pansonic with a scaler. We aslo offer a Pioneer MXE also with a scaler. No, it's not a plasma TV. No, I have NEVER seen a plasma TV which seriously impressed me, they just can't cut the mustard compared to the 'separates' route, and you don't actually have to spend so much, and in any case most people here run Sky, which throws the Sony into a new light. External scart sources are not so impressive, this is where the scaler solution really strides ahead. The difference will be clear cut with SDI, and it's all available well inside that budget.
     
  16. kevin harrison

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    Martin how much would the Panasonic you recommnded cost with a scaler also?
     
  17. MAW

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    The 37" is just over £2k with the scaler, the HD42 will be £3400 ish, more if you wanted SDI. An SDI sky+ box is about £525, the SDI mod is £250 or so. If you wanted me to do it all, the SDI mod is an hour to install, requires a software upgrade, general pain in the a*** value etc. But it's possible to set all the stuff up before shipping, so it's plug and play out of the box. Makes it easier for DIY, though there's nothing that a person of intelligence and a PC can't do themselves. Just might take a while, and you'd have to read the manual carefully!
     
  18. ben_gb

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    Hi,

    Have any of you who have the Sony KDE-P42MRX1 tried hooking up a PC to the VGA socket?

    If so, can you tell me what the picture is like...do you get the full range of adjustments as with the ordinary TV connections?

    I'm thinking of getting this screen, and I want it to work with my HTPC, which I prefer to connect using VGA, for better quality than s-video.

    Thanks for your comments.

    Regards,
    Ben
     
  19. phillfyspoon

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    Do sony even make there plasma? Arnt they NEC or fujitsu with sony electronics?
     

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