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The road to Plasma Nirvana

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by t0by, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. t0by

    t0by
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    Right, thanks to some sound advice from some of you guys, I have decided to ditch the idea of trying to do something with the JVC unit that I can get cheap through work. I want a plasma and I want to do it properly. Being the newbie that I am to all this, I grabbed myself a copy of What Hi-Fi and there are a couple of plasma reviews recently.

    In their Ultimate Guide 2004, they put the Pioneer PDP-434HDE on top, then in a supertest in the July edition they ditch it in favour of the Panny TH-42PE30B.

    From the threads that I have read on this forum, I have heard lots of good things about the "Panny PW6" and "Panny TH-42PWD6". Are these the same thing?

    I can't afford the Pioneer box (lovely as it would be) so that is out of the question, so I am thinking more seriously about one of the Panny's.

    Main question is, what's the diff between the TH-42PE30B (which What Hi-Fi rate so very highly) and the Panny PW6/Panny TH-42PWD6?

    I just need to run a DVD player (will prob u/g to a Pioneer DV-565A - any comments?) via component, freeview (soon to be Sky) via SCART, video (prob SCART), PS2 (via whatever).

    Thanks for any help you can offer.

    Toby
     
  2. Orlando

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    Yes the PW6 and the TH-42PW6 are the same unit, just abbreviated.
    This unit is a monitor only plasma, which you can get plug in modules for in order to choose what connections you require. It has no tuner and would have to have Sky etc plugged into it to watch TV.
    It is essentially the same screen as the PE30, but has a few more picture tweeks in the more complex menu.
    Many choose this model as it is easier to hang on the wall as it has a physically smaller surround.
    The PE 30 on the other hand has built in speakers, built in anolouge and digital tuners ( i.e a free view box built in). It also sports three scart sockets and a component input. It also to many is a more attractive unit, with a stylish floor stand available.
    This route is suited more to the person who wants a dirrest TV replacement, with all the user friendliness of a conventional TV.
    Resolutions and picture quality are the same.
     
  3. Fat Tony

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    Hi Toby,

    Most people on these forums seem to be going for either the Panny or the Pioneer, but the Panny gets you into the 42" plasma market at lower cost.

    On the Panasonics:

    The TH-42PW6B is the silver, so called 'consumer', model. The charcoal TH-42PWD6 is pretty much the same screen, but sells a little cheaper (and also has a few more advanced 'tweaks', although I'm going by what I have seen on these forums). Both require input boards to be fitted (there are plenty of options). There is a great amount of picture control and upgradeability. I think it also looks better than model below as it has a nice slim picture frame.

    The TH-42PE30B is the real consumer model - a TV. It has plenty of scart inputs, includes a digital tuner and speakers ... you can simply swith it on and watch TV (kids & wife friendly). My understanding is that the actual plasma display is the same as the one from the PW6 range. The unit has a larger frame, which I personally do not like.

    Do a search on these forums ... there is plenty here, you just need to devote a good few hours!

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. Fat Tony

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    Orlando, looks like we doubled-up, luckily I agree with most you have said! :smashin:

    Regarding the component on the PE30 - this will give th best possible picture from a DVD player with progressive scan (worth getting), BUT am I right in that the input is a pull-down panel on the front :eek: of the TV? If so, that alone would be the deciding factor for me! :rotfl:

    On DVD players with progressive scan - there is plenty of very good choice starting from as low as £80. See the DVD Players forum.
     
  5. Orlando

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    Well would you look at that both Fat Tony and myself have given the exact same answer to your question, however we obviously both prefer the opposite model.
    You pays your money and take your choice.
     
  6. MAW

    MAW
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    The magazines seem to prefer the integrated TV models. Most forum members and all pro installers prefer monitor panels. They have more tweaks, and all the components you add are individually upgradeable. The Vieras are not compatible with 720p component video, which is a deciding factor for me, sky could easily choose this for HDTV in 2006, and HD-DVD is likely to be this format. There is no digital connection either. The 434's digital connection is much discussed, and unfortunately slightly nobbled. Tuner is for flat earthers only.
     
  7. Orlando

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    Fat tony, no the component connection is on the rear of the panel with the scart leads.
     
  8. zedzed

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    MAW - when you say the Viera is "not compatible" with 720p. Do you mean it won't display it at all? (or just that it's not HD and so it will "down scale" and show a lower quality image?)

    ZedZed
     
  9. MAW

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    It won't display it at all, gives a no signal or 'out of range' message, can't remember.
     
  10. carlton

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    I wish they would decide what format hd-dvd will be so it will be easier making a choice over which plasma to buy.:rolleyes:
     
  11. Apnomis

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    Speaking of HD formats in the back of my PW6 manual it lists the following scanning formats:

    525 (480) / 60i . 60p, 625 (575) / 50i . 50p, 750 (720) / 60p . 50p, 1125 (1080) / 60i . 50i . 24p . 24sF .... SMPTE274M, 1250 (1080) / 50i

    I knew it was compatible with 720p, which was also the deciding future proofing factor for me, but does this also mean it's compatible with the alternate possible HDTV format 1080i? If so even better! I saw a DVD sample of 1080i that was down converted to a normal DVD format and the quality was amazing so I have no problem the downconverted quality because it's hundreds of times better than current quality.

    Speaking of none compatible plasmas what happens to them? Do they go in the bin or can some sort of converter (scaler?) be used to allow the screen to display it?
     
  12. zedzed

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    Re: 720P

    Oh. So the Viera isn't the "consumer" version of the PW6 (PWD6)? I thought it was - so I'd been ignoring any "Veira" chat on future compatibility.

    Anyways .... well done Apnomis on getting the best price ont he PW6 ... looks like I missed out and it's going to cost me £100+ more :-(
     
  13. hornydragon

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    Consumer model silver bezel, Commercial Charcoal. Veira is integrated TV version, Plasma TV opposed to PW6 plasma monitor.
     
  14. zedzed

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    Thanks Horny.

    I'm confused though. I thought that that PW6 (or PWD6) would display 720p pictures.

    But MAWs post says the Viera won't even display a 720p signal on a Viera. So ... the PW6(D) can't be the same screen as the Viera (consumer) model ??????

    ZedZed

    p.s. Sorry if that sounds daft ..... I've had a few drinks his evening ;-)
     
  15. MAW

    MAW
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    Just some electronic differences, the glass is the same. Hence the PW6, PHW6 being favoured by the custom installers, it's flexible, fwd thinking, you can make them do anything, hide all the cables, and specify the video boards according to the customer requirements.
     
  16. zedzed

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    Thanks MAW. You know ... i don't know where I'd be without these forums :)

    ZedZed
     
  17. Apnomis

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    So re my post above does that mean the PW6 does 1080i too, everyone goes on about how good it is that the PW6 can do 720p but never seem to mention 1080i, but the specs seem to suggest differently?
     
  18. MAW

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    Yes it can, via component or VGA inputs. There is a restriction, it can't do multi picture or digital zoom if it's @50Hz, not a total bummer there!
     
  19. hornydragon

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    Accepting a signal and displaying it are two different things. I think it will down scale 1080i and display it at 720. as the hi def panel is 1366 x 720 SD panel is 852 x 480 so everything gets scaled to 480 vertical res anyway!
     
  20. Apnomis

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    That's all I wanted to know! As long as I don't see a black screen with frequency out of range in 2 years time that's all I care about! As I said I've seen a 1080i film scaled down to DVD standard (520 summet I think it was) and the picture was amazing, better than a regular DVD I thought. So even scaled down if it can make my TV channels DVD quality I'll be more than happy with the improvement, and HDTV is progressive too isn't it?
     
  21. hornydragon

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    720p is 1080i is not the clue is in the letter.
     
  22. t0by

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    I think I have decided that I am going to go with the Panny PW6. Next thing is, any advice on where, or where not, to buy it from? Cheapest I have found it is £1970 from Let's Go Digital.

    Thanks, guys...
     
  23. zedzed

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    Toby - that price is without any input boards (just the standard VGA connector).

    Digital Direct (http://www.digital-point.co.uk/model.asp?ID=511) do it for a bit more but with a Scart board fitted. (which costs about £100-ish)

    Remember - always compare like with like :)

    ZedZed
     
  24. MAW

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    They seem a together bunch, that stand won't fit! Their price is nothing special, I'm sure that rather nearer here you'll find just as good a deal price wise, and some customer service as well.
     
  25. hornydragon

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    I would just like to advise people against cutting corners a £2k purchase! its just not worth it!!!!!!
    Spending £100 extra or so to one from a reputabvle dealer who knows what they are doing and can advise you directly, diagnose problems and offer backup is well worth it!
     
  26. Apnomis

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    I used Digital Point to buy mine and found their customer service to be exemplary. They promply replied to my e-mails (when I was enquiring about my screen they replied within hours and were quick to assure me they had been in business for over 20 years). They also rang me to confirm delivery time, which happened to be a Saturday at no extra charge. When they arrived they unpacked it and let me inspect it before I signed for it. The packaging also had a sensor attached to it that would of turned red had the box been dropped or heavily handled.

    When I bought from them though the offer was £1969.99 with the component/s-video dual board which was the cheapest price out there.

    The website by the way is the website for the Electro Centre in Birmingham, they are not just an internet only outfit.

    So let's not be overly harsh on retailers that you've never had experience with shall we? It's a little unreasonable to call them unreputable if you haven't even had dealings with them. Indeed I told my brother-in-law to try AV-Sales last week and he thought they looked a little unreputable compared to the likes of Superfi, what's the saying... don't judge a book by it's cover?

    BTW the other deal that came close when I was looking was from PCR Direct, they also had the PW6 for £1969.99 but that was with a Scart board, they have since increased their price too. I'm not sure there is anywhere left that do it for under £2000 with a free terminal board, looks like I got in just in time...
     
  27. t0by

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    One other thing I wanted to check was around warranty. I called one place last week (AV-Sales, I think) and the guy was warning me to be careful about this. He mentioned that Euro sourced models, although they may be cheaper, may only come with a return to base warranty rather than a loan/exchange warranty.

    Any comments or advice on this important area, guys?

    Thanks again.
     
  28. zedzed

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    From what I gather plasma problems tend to be "non-trivial". So - if anything goes wrong (and you only have a RTB warranty) then there's the potential you'll be without your plasma for weeks.

    You get nothing free though - so expect a "loan/exchange" warranty to mean the price is a wee bit higher. You pay your money - you take your choice (as my old dad always says!).

    ZedZed
     
  29. Apnomis

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    That is one of the first things I checked when I got mine from Digital Point, they assured me that it was a full UK model and not a grey import. Be careful of imported models as you may loose warranty, or have to post it back to the country of origin!!! Also I could be wrong but there could be a difference with the PWD6's warranty as it's a commercial model.

    What is sometimes the case is that the consumer models (PW6) have a warranty where the engineer will come out to your home, fixes it or takes it away and brings it back (not sure about loaning you a screen in the mean time), whereas some commericial models (PWD6) are a RTB warranty type where you have to send your screen to them off your own back and wait for them to repair/replace and courier it back to you. As I say I'm not sure if this is Panasonic's policy, but I've seen it before.

    Also check your credit card offers extended warranty. Mine does (Nationwide) and I now have a very comprehensive cover for the second year for free. I also have the option of buying extra at the end of the period (should I decide in two years that I want to keep it or put the money towards a new one), the cost would be £450 for a further 3 years, in other words it'll be 5 years for £450 should I decide to keep it and buy the extra, which is probably the cheapest you can get unless you go to JL...
     
  30. MAW

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    All wrong I'm afraid. You never have to send a product sourced in the EC back to it's country of origin, and having dealt with EU imports and UK sourced screens with warranty, I can tell you there is zero difference. Panasonic never have a loan screen available, amd for some problems they will RTB it, and some are repaired on site, nothing to do with where it came from. It's actually cheaper for them to fix it on site where possible, the courier costs plus workshop/engineer time must be huge. But just now it's hard to find an import, the europeans are buying here, not vice versa!
     

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