Sony PFM-42B2 - any good for the money!

Discussion in 'Sony TVs Forum' started by papa_flump, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. papa_flump

    papa_flump
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    Definitly not a tech.... when it comes to plasma's, however I always thought the Sony PFM-series was one of the best looking plasma's around... is the performance really that bad? here's the info on the seller website...

    1024 x 1024 pixel resolution this stylish monitor is just 3 3/8 inches and weighs 62.9 pounds. Featuring a "layout free" design for horizontal or vertical viewing flexibility; a built-in scan converter that accepts a wide range of SDTV, DTV, and HDTV signals.

    http://www.plasmadomain.com/sony_PFM-32C1_42B2_50C1.pdf

    you will see that Sony state that the 42" has the 1024 x 1024 resolution as well as accept signals from HDTV, DTV & RGB computer signals up to UXGA resolution.

    This is where my little knowledge comes into play...
    The monitor comes with the two 15 pin D-sub RGB/YUV inputs as standard, the video board supplied with the model I am looking at only has 1x composite in & 1x composite out + 1x Y/C in,

    The only further video boards available for this model include..

    1. Component inputs & Control-S input/output
    2. Analog Composite input (D4) + Analog Composite (pin Jack) + Y/C input + + Control-S input/output
    3. Composite input + Composite output + Y/C input + Control-S input/output

    Even if this screen is good value (£1850) with 2 year sony warrenty, my problem looks like the lack of connectivity! is there a solution? a single feed to plasma media type box would appear to be the answer... do they exist on their own?

    any advice (even if it's stay clear of this model) is greatly welcome... Cheers
     
  2. lewiswlawrence

    lewiswlawrence
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    I have one of these screens. At the time of purchase I already had a home cinema set up with a set top box, so wasn't worried about the lack of tuners or speakers. Some people would bemoan the lack of input options, particularly the missing component signal feeds. But performance was good using s-video or composite. I had both set up from my DVD player and toggling between them with an identical source there was no visible difference in the picture. A view numerous visiting sceptics had to share when they saw it done.

    When I purchased the screen it was eventually intent to use it with a HTPC, and indeed what I do now. The screen works well for that, because with 1024 x 1024 it is pretty high resolution, few screens on the market, and certainly not for a similar price, provide as many pixels. Additionally the analogue receiver in the display is HDTV ready, meaning that if it is possible to get a source for hi-def pictures they look fantastic, with the screen “downsizing” slightly if necessary. There are some HDTV sample files available for download from Microsoft (and you can buy DVD media with full films on), and they really do look fantastic on this screen. That said. If all you plan on using it for is watching TV/DVD, there is no point paying extra for better resolution, just get one of the high street screens that are a good bit cheaper and will have a tuner etc on board.

    One thing to remember is that this screen was originally engineered as a display for use in public areas. That is why the screen has a “square” resolution, to allow landscape or portrait orientation. As such, it isn’t engineered to be as quiet as a screen designed for use in the home environment. There are different guidelines for the amount of decibels they can produce.

    The place I bought mine from: -
    http://www.plasma-clearance.co.uk/
    Actually offer a display “rental” facility for conferences and the like. If you are serious about owning one, it might be worth talking to them and see if you could rent one for a week or so, see how you like it. Speaking from experience, moving up to a bigger screen really highlights the problems with the quality of some broadcasts.
     
  3. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    1024 x 1024 is a hitachi ALIS panel (sony dont make PDP) have a search.........
     
  4. papa_flump

    papa_flump
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    Thanks for the info... reading more about ALIS... the pro's & con's I believe that the majority's view is that technology has moved on. A shame because having had Sony CRT tv's all my working life I have never had reason to complain, also I still think the PFM-424B design is superbly simplistic & understated, (IMHO) far more pleasing on the eye than the Panny's & Pio's.

    Anyway if it won't perform... then I will move on...here's a snippet from the official brocure...

    PFM-424B with a resolution of 852 x 1024 ? then it goes oin the specify 1024 x 1024 !!!

    I take it that the 50" PFM-50C1 will be ALIS too?

    Thanks again
     
  5. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    NO the 50 will probably NEC or Samsung glass Alis comes in 32", 37" 42" and 55" sizes (55" vbeing e-Alis) ALis isnt crap but it can be a bit funny, whats more important to? what it looks like turned on or OFF???
     
  6. papa_flump

    papa_flump
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    horneydragon, you really seem to know your stuff :rolleyes:

    although I do like the look of the sony... it's the wife I really have to please.. you see we brought a 36 crt less than two years ago, before we moved house and now all I get is ... 'but that one's no very old!' so the sony, she also likes the look of... & at £1850 I might get away with it. but only if it will stand up to the quality... our neighbour has a 42" hitachi.. got great reviews, but can look quite 'blocky!!'

    If you have a spare 5 mins I really would appreciate your views on the pdf brocure and jargon that sony has crammed in. As I said earlier my main concern is the connection problem. the supplied video card is not that good in first thoughts.

    The kit I will be running through will be some pretty basic stuff... pioneer NS-DV99 & Sky (not plus) mainly, the odd singstar game on the ps2, that's about it really. I have seen on various posts 'JS' boxes... would I need one?

    Thanks again... really ;)
     
  7. lewiswlawrence

    lewiswlawrence
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    When I purchased the screen, the guys I was buying it from were very knowledgeable, and explained that there are actually a few 42” plasma screens that have the same “glass” in them. Possibly it is made by Hitachi, I can’t be sure. But the screen I bought is a Sony product, and I suspect in addition to the housing etc Sony do produce the other hardware involved (signal processing etc). In regards to that, I feel this is a good product. Particularly the progressive scan, which worked well with the signal from the digi-box.

    I first saw one of these screens on sale in a computer store in Houston, in October 2004, it was $2,800 or so plus tax etc, which at the time was about £1,900. They had it hooked up as a demo system playing the high def video samples from the Microsoft site, watching those was when I decided I would really like to own a plasma screen. The image quality was jaw dropping. While the glass technically cannot display full detail for all the HDTV signals, it can handle input signals in all the formats, and really does a good job of downsizing them.

    As it happened shortly after I saw that screen my TV at home (8 year old 28” 4:3 Nicam stereo) gave up the ghost and after considering importing a plasma screen from the states I found one here for a similar price to what I could do that for. For the money, it was the best I could do at the time, and I am still pleased with it.

    My advice is still to try and hire/borrow a screen for a week and try it with your own kit before you buy one. That is the only way you will be sure about what inputs you need etc and if you will be happy with the screen in your room. They make a somewhat imposing piece of furniture. They also require a fair bit of tweaking to display right, almost invariably arriving with very high brightness and contrast settings.
     
  8. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Well there are only 5 manufacturers currently making PDP glass Matsush!ta (panasonic, JVC parent company) Hitachi (were in joint venture with Fujitsu), Pioneer (who have just bough NEC PDP) Samsung and LG so anything elkse uses 3rd party Glass... (ALis and e-Alis are only made by hitachi) and only alis 42" screens have 1024x1024 res (there is deabte over these figures) Of this i can be sure......

    The Sony looks like a commercial unit plain Silver PDP there is loads of choice in this style, Pioneer/NEC, Panny, Hitachi/Fujitsu, SAMSUNG, Brand X and lots more... I suggest you shelve the SONY idea work out what you want, and have a read of this: http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=154292
     
  9. lewiswlawrence

    lewiswlawrence
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    I read your response on resolutions in another thread. Whatever the "true" resolution of this screen, I do know that it handles VGA input well, and is able to display pretty much whatever you ask of it. Adjusting how things look as required, and remaining workable even when having to scale a lot from a setting of 1600x900 on the PC.

    That is the reason I plumped for this screen, few others at a similar price offer this functionality/resolution. But as I already said, if all you will be using the screen for is TV/DVD there is no point getting the higher resolution.
     

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