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TH-42PW6 Connection options - advice please!

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs Forum' started by Apnomis, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. Apnomis

    Apnomis
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    Right, I've pretty much talked myself into a Panny 6 plasma.

    I've looked up the prices for a few options but I'm not sure how to connect my system up. At the moment on my current TV I use SCART for everything, although I know that's not a popular method for the home cinema experts on these forums!

    I have the following things to connect to my system, either directly or passing through something else etc. I would be most appreciative of anyone who could advise the best connection method :smashin:

    Pace NTL Cable box (I'm not getting a tuner box so this will be the source of my TV pictures)
    Hitachi VCR
    Denon 2800II
    Pioneer VSX-2011
    Sony PS2

    Now firstly what is the default connections of the PW6 without terminal boards, would it be possible to connect all that without an extra board?

    If I were to buy one of the terminal boards, which would you go for to enable connection of the above?

    What about a Scart switcher (such as the Quintro) and Scart Terminal Board?

    Lastly doesn't the Pioneer do some sort of passthrough of video signals? What connections/cables would I need to connect my equipment to my Pioneer and then my Pioneer to the Panny?

    What I'm after is the cheapest way to connect the above without loosing too much picture quality.

    Any help would be really great :clap: :lease:

    (If you need any more info about the above equipment let me know!)
     
  2. Apnomis

    Apnomis
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    BTW could someone also clarify if the Panny auto-switches from 16:9, Zoom and 4:3?

    I know my current CRT does it, and I know some CRT that don't, and it would drive me mad if it didn't auto-switch and I think it's a really important feature!

    What is the situation with auto-switching and plasma's? Does it just detect a "squashed" or "letterbox" picture and stretch it accordingly to fill the screen like my CRT regardless of how it's connected? Or does it need a specific configuration?

    I would hate to have to choose "wide" when the picture looks "squashed" or "zoom" when the picture is "letterboxed" etc. In fact it's almost enough to put me off again :rolleyes:
     
  3. Apnomis

    Apnomis
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    Ok done a bit of looking around and came across something that got me to thinking. I've found a lot of Scart to VGA, S-Video to VGA, YUV Component to VGA , RGB to VGA cables etc. Some of which are very cheap. I would probably get a £25 one as they seem slightly better quality that the £7.99 ones!!! lol

    But I was wondering if these cables would provide a cheap solution? I could (in my mind at least) plug everything into my Pioneer then plug a £25 cable from the connection in my Pioneer to the default VGA input on the Panny?

    I'm sure purists are screaming at this suggestion, but I'm on a tight budget, it's not everyday you spend £2k on just a screen with nothing else!

    Unless you're going to tell me the picture quality will be so bad I'd be embarrassed to show it off to anyone I don't seen why this would work in the interim at least?

    That only leaves the issue with auto switching, apparently that would only work with a Scart connection? Is that true?
     
  4. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Apnomis

    There's also no sense in spending £2k on a TV and get 80% of its capabilities when spending £2.3K gets you 95%.

    01. TH-42PW6B - has 1 x HD15 socket (RGBHV or YUV) and 3 x Expansion slots. Most suppliers will supply this Display with a SCART Input board pre installed in one of the expansion slots.

    02. Your signals - you have the following signals to contend with:

    Cable Box - Composite or RGB via SCART.
    VCR - Composite via SCART.
    DVD - Composite or RGB via SCART or YUV Component (Interlaced or Progressive) via 3RCA.
    PS2 - Composite or RGB via SCART. (Though you can also get YUV using a suitable after market cable).

    03. AV Receiver - not an ideal Video Switcher in this instance as its not compatible with RGB.

    04. Wide Screen Switching - only SCART Input/Outputs have this ability; so either stick with SCART or A. Use the Plasma remote to manually select the screen format or B. Spend another £100 on an external Aspect Ratio Controller that can control your display via RS232.

    Note: Auto format selection is NOT an option if you use the Progressive YUV out from your DVD player.

    05. Cost effective - if you want to keep the budget down I'd be tempted to stick a B-Tech Quintro on the end of the SCART terminal board and use this for your NTL, PS2 and VCR and a direct connection between the Progressive YUV out from your DVD player and the HD15 Input on the Display.

    I do have to say however that I find the SCART Input too soft on the Panasonic displays and don't generally use that option - though if your budgets tight you may feel its more than adequate to use SCART (for now).

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  5. Apnomis

    Apnomis
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    Please explain what you mean by this, all these terms are very confusing! :suicide:

    I thought RGB was the same as Component (3 connections), My Receiver has component in and out, which I thought was the same as RGB?

    I was trying to avoid the Scart route if possible because I didn't want to spend £230 (Scart Terminal & Quintro) on an inferior connection. I thought from reading these forums Component was the best input?

    Couldn't I use a 3-RCA component to 3-RCA component cable from my DVD to my Receiver, and a RGB Scart to 3-RCA component cable to hook up my Pace box, and then connect my Reciever to the VGA input on the screen with a 3-RCA component to VGA cable?

    On my current system the VCR is fed to the TV via a Scart cable to the Cable box and the PS2 is fed to the pass-through of the VCR via Scart also. So in other words the only things connected to my current TV are my DVD straight to it via Scart and my Cable (with everything else piggy backing off it) via another Scart.

    In my simple mind the only difference between my current setup and new one would be instead of two scart connections going into my TV there will be two Component connections going into my Receiver and a further component connection going from the receiver to the screen.

    This I would of thought given a better picture from my DVD player and Cable box as it is using RGB connections and still get an ok picture from my Video and Cable box via Scart pass-through.

    Would this work or am I way off track? I could then at some point buy a component terminal box which would presumably enhance the picture by going from Component from my Receiver to Component on the screen, instead of converting it to VGA, I would even be prepared to buy the component terminal straight away if you think the quality improvement would be massive.

    As for auto-switching I assume that is out of the question using the above, but I assume it can still be done manually with a Component RGB setup? Then would buying an auto-switcher terminal thingy resolve that problem?

    If all of that makes sense to you (I hope so as it bearly makes sense to me!) then I guess the only two potential things I need are a Component Terminal and an auto-switching terminal?

    Thoughts anyone? :lease:
     
  6. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello Apnomis

    Its very easy to get confused by all of this technology - especially when some terms get misused.

    A Component Video signal is one where the video signal is split into more than one 'component' of the signal (Black, White, Colour, Sync etc).

    So S-Video, RGB and YUV are all Component signals - they simply split the signal up in different ways!

    In the Home Theatre market three core YUV tends to get called Component whilst RGB is called RGB.

    There are various RGB formats - Consumer kit with SCART RGB out are a four core signal with RGB+C (where C is Composite Video) and the sync is 'extracted' from the Composite line.

    Your AV Receiver will be compatible with Composite, S-Video (two core) and YUV Component (3 Core) - but not RGB (4 core); please note a very few AV Receivers can be configured to work with RGB+Composite sync.

    RGB can also be five core RGBHV - where the separated Horizontal and Vertical sync is carried on two lines; this is the norm with a PC Signal and why we sometimes use an RGB2VGA converter to interface SCART RGB+C with an HD15 (VGA) socket.

    RGB and YUV are very similar in quality - there are technical differences but viewing SKY via RGB or YUV is very similar; as per my previous post some YUV devices have the extra processing to convert Interlaced to Progressive; which can be beneficial.

    You cannot get a working solution using a SCART to 3RCA cable for your Digibox to a YUV component input - you require an active signals converter such as the JS Technology RGB2YUV converter plus cables to achieve this format conversion (approx £200 with cables).

    As your VCR only has Composite video out you will require some form of conversion from Composite to YUV or install the Composite/S-Video or SCART board in your Display.

    The optimum solution for you without spending a fortune would be as follows:

    PS2 SCART RGB out to NTL SCART RGB In.

    NTL SCART RGB out via JS Technology RGB2YUV converter into your AV Receiver YUV Input.

    DVD YUV out into the second YUV Input on your AV receiver.

    VCR SCART Composite into AV Receiver Composite Input.

    AV Receiver YUV out to HD15 YUV In on Plasma.

    AV Receiver Composite video out to SCART Composite Video In on plasma.

    Best regards

    Joe

    PS This assumes NTL has two SCART sockets and you understand that your sources are also wired separately to the AV Receiver for Audio.
     
  7. Apnomis

    Apnomis
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    Good God in heaven :eek:

    Thanks for that super reply but I thkn it will take me a couple of weeks to get my head around it :rolleyes:

    I never realised how complicated all this would be :suicide:

    I think I sort of follow your post basically it would be impossible to connect my Cable box via 3-RCA without a signal changer transcoder thingy! Because there are different types of splits.

    But Scart to Phono or S-Video and S-Video to VGA are all composite inputs and would be able to take my VCR and PS2 using composite via the Receiver into the VGA socket. The picture wont be great, but presumably it'll be ok for VCR and PS2 as they aren't great quality to start with.

    Then for the DVD and Cable box I can use the Component inputs, which means the Component cable from the DVD to the Receiver and into the Component terminal board would be a proper signal, not a composite one. But the only way for the cable box to have a proper signal is to by a transcoder, otherwise it would be composite.

    Is that the jist?

    Just say for a minute than I didn't buy the transcoder straight away and instead went from SCART to RCA and on into the component terminal board, would anything be output on the screen at all? Or would it be output but only as a component signal.

    I suppose in the mean time I could output my Cable to a Scart to S-Video cable and use the VGA method, and just have the DVD (which is the important thing really) using the Component connection on it's own.

    This will have everything connected and working on composite, apart from the DVD which would be component. Then eventually if I want to I can get a transcoder to have NTL using component too, which would presumably improve picture.

    One more question, does a Sky Box output component? If I switched to sky then I wouldn't need a transcoder right? Also are there any versions of the NTL box (or likely to be any versions in the future) that use a component connection? I wouldn't want to by a transcoder to find out next month I could order a new NTL box with component outputs! Oh and in the NTL setup menu what does it mean by the signal being Composite or RGB?

    Thanks again! :thumbsup:
     
  8. Apnomis

    Apnomis
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    I think I'm almost there with this!

    NTL - to AV via a RGB2YUV converter
    DVD - to AV via 3-RCA to 3-RCA cable

    AV - to Plasma via Component terminal board 3-RCA to 3-RCA

    Right so far that will work right and give top PQ being as it's a YUV connection?

    So the problem is with the VCR & PS2. From what you've said, presumably my PS2 can be connected to the second SCART connection on my NTL Box and that will then piggy back itself along to the RGB2YUV box and turn into a component signal like the picture from the NTL Box does, right?

    But then what is to become of my VCR? I don't want to fork out £150 on a Scart box just so I can use the VCR, I don't think it cost me that much to start with!!! lol

    Forgive my ignorance but why can't the VCR pass through the NTL Scart and on through the RGB2YUV converter? If that is how it's currently setup and I see my VCR picture via the NTL box Scart then surely the signals are compatible? And if it can do that for the PS2 I'm at a loss why it can't do it for the VCR?

    Actually come to think of it, I need to have my VCR connected to the NTL box because that's where it get's it's picture to record from! I never use the VCR's tuner to record anything, so if I can't have it connected to my NTL box then it would be pointless having it anyway because that's where the picture comes from!

    I really hate how complicated this is getting :suicide:

    I'm not sure how these converters work but if the VCR and PS2 currently can piggy-back through to the NTL Scart that is connected to my TV then surely the converter can convert it?

    Speaking of converters is this one any good:
    http://www.hificables.co.uk/ProductDetails/mcs/productID/10982/groupID/712/categoryID/2400/
     
  9. Joe Fernand

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    Apnomis

    Were making progress!!!

    PS2, NTL and DVD seem to be tied down now.

    Your VCR will have a SCART Composite video Out which is not capable of outputting an RGB signal so it cant be included in the SCART RGB daisy chain 'up-stream' of the RGB2YUV converter.

    You can either forget about the VCR or assuming you have a SCART or Composite video board installed in the Display you can connect the VCR direct to the Display (or via the Composite In/Out on the AV Receiver).

    Operationally this means you will simply select the Composite In on the Display when you want to view the VCR and the YUV In on the Display when you want to view the rest of your sources.

    If you want to use the RGB output from your NTL box you will have to connect it to the VCR using its RF Out - otherwise you would have to limit yourself to Composite video out from the NTL to the Plasma; which will seriously undermine your efforts to get an improved picture quality in your system.

    Personally I'd consider ditching the VCR and if possible getting a NTL box with a Hard Drive (not sure that option exists) or moving over to a DVD Recorder (with Hard Drive) that's fully RGB In/Out compatible.

    Best regards

    Joe

    PS I supply a complete range of cables and converter's to do what you require - or as you've seen there are alternative suppliers on the Forums.
     
  10. Apnomis

    Apnomis
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    Thanks Joe Fernand what's your website, I'll take a look and consider buying a cable or two, it's the least I can do for all the help you've given ;)

    I don't think there is such a thing as NTL+ yet like Sky+ but I could be wrong! It's all expense expense expense isn't it lol. TBH I don't use the VCR that often so can't really justify changing it.

    So the idea is that the PS2 can use RGB Scart and the NTL uses RGB Scart, the VCR though can't join in the fun because it isn't RGB Scart. But do RGB Scart VCR's exist? One would assume you could pick one up nice and cheap now as it's old technology, I would only require a basic one because as I say I don't use it much anymore.

    Last thing then what about the auto-aspect switching side of things? Would one of those third-party gadgets work with the component setup described? Would I still be able to use the manual button in the mean time?

    I've priced up from various places and I've come up with a price of £2245 inc Screen, Wall Mount, Component Terminal and 2-year warranty. Add to that the cost of a auto-aspect switcher if they are worth it, and an extra £80 if people think I should get the JS converter instead of the one listed above.
     
  11. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    no such thing as an RGB VCR you can get an S-video VCR, Personally i would arrange it all slightly differently to Joe, I would use the Amp to switch DVD, ntl, PS2 and VCR (new S-video unit) and connect NTL on YUV Via JS RGB>YUV and fit video and component boards to the plasma
     
  12. Apnomis

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    The problem with my Amp is that the output must be the same as the input, so I can have my DVD and NTL going into the Component Channels, and output to the Component terminal. But if my PS2 and VCR started using the s-video connections then I would need to buy an new terminal for the plasma, because I can't see a way of connecting a S-Video cable to a VGA port!
     
  13. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hornydragon

    You've missed the point - were trying for as low a cost connectivity option as possible; no talk of new VCR's and the like.

    Also do you 'boyos' get different Pioneer kit from what we get in Edinburgh - the VSX-D2011 units we receive only have TWO YUV Inputs :)

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  14. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Apnomis

    As Horny says no Consumer VCR (I know of) has SCART RGB out so your stuck with having to add at least one board to the Display (SCART or Composite/S-Video).

    If moneys tight I'd do without the Auto Aspect Switcher and wait and see how you get on using the Plasma Remote - which gives you all the screen format options you will require for YUV and Composite.

    Personally I only ever supply the JS Technology RGB converters - we've been using then for a long time now and the quality of the kit and the back up and support we get from Dr John (he who designs and manufactures them) is fantastic.

    Keep in mind you will need to budget for cables too - PM me and I'll talk you though what you will require.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  15. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    as low cost as possible will always be a huge struggle! get the screen and the most used board now and get the other next month... you can use S-video for most stuff anyway (until you get the component board!)
    There are other bits you can use. but saving for quality is always a better option than going straight for cheap and regretting it!
     
  16. Apnomis

    Apnomis
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    Guys you are not going to believe this but after all this affort I sat down and had a good think about it and it became clear to me that the best solution all round is to get... a Scart terminal!!!! :blush:

    So the new much easier plan is to:

    DVD direct to Plasma component terminal
    NTL direct to Plasma via RGB Scart
    VCR connected to NTL via Scart as currently
    PS2 connected to VCR as currently

    The only slight thing I could change if I could would have the DVD & PS2 go into the component of the Receiver. But I can't seem to find a YUV component connection cable for the PS2? Only an RGB connection, which isn't the same thing is it?

    Anyway after some shopping around it turns out that it would actually be CHEAPER to get component and scart connections! This is bearing in mind I no longer need a pricy aspect switcher or pricier RGB2YUV convertor and the component terminal is free anyway!

    Total system cost for Screen, Component terminal, Scart terminal and tilt wall mount £2225, and I'm getting a nice IKEA TV cabinet for my AV stuff for £59 too.

    Not a bad deal, and a hell of a lot more practical for the future. But never the less some very valuable leasons were learnt in this thread so thank you! :thumbsup:

    PS anyone know the difference between the TY-42TM6TC and TY-42TM6TB I can't seem to find any info anywhere, but they both seem to be Scart terminal board??? I wouldn't want to get the wrong one! :confused:
     
  17. Joe Fernand

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    Apnomis

    Whilst the SCART board is as you say the 'simple' solution its not necessarily going to deliver the best Picture Quality.

    If your NTL box is to be your main source then I'd strongly recommend you consider using either the JS Technology RGB2YUV or RGB2VGA into the HD15 Plasma Input in preference to using the SCART Board in the display (the SCART Input Board looks way to soft to me - do a search and you'll find a fair few folk have ditched them for a JS Technology converter).

    Personally I use my Digibox much more than my DVD and if I had to make a choice between having YUV out from my DVD player or sticking to RGB from the DVD to enable me NOT to have to use the SCART Input board with my Digibox I'd take RGB from my DVD player.

    Your making a big headache for yourself trying to integrate your VCR into your 'low cost' connectivity solution - forcing the VCR into the mix will compromise the picture quality from you DVD, Digibox and PS2.

    If it were me the VCR would go in a cupboard and Id install a decent quality SCART switch + JS Technology RGB Converter.

    I'd connect the DVD, Digibox and PS2 to the SCART switch (all as RGB) and then either a JS Technology RGB2YUV or RGB2VGA converter between the RGB Out from the SCART switch and the HD15 Input on the Plasma.

    Best regards

    Joe
     

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