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Too many choices :confused:

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Jason_B, May 24, 2003.

  1. Jason_B

    Jason_B
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    Hi

    I've been hovering around in this forum for quite a while now, reading threads with interest, but I'm still no closer to a decision

    I've just spent all day trawling around various shops looking at plasmas with the intent to buy this week. I have shortlisted 3 models after today

    Hitachi PD42300 (£3800 from local dealer)

    Sony KE42TS2 (£4399.99 from Sony Centre 30 months interest free being offered) will also PX my 32" CRT for £400

    Panasonic TH 42PW5B (£4000 - 10% until end of month + 16 months interest free) will also PX 32"CRT for £280

    I took the same dvd from demo to demo, and found it looked pretty good in al of them, with possibly the Panasonic being slightly better than the others) and am finding it hard to make a decision. I'm aware there are better deals via internet, but would rather buy locally at this stage, in case problems arise. I was thinking of using Joe at the Media factory, Scotland, but am worried about delivery etc as I live the other end of the country in Devon

    As I write this the Sony has risen to the top of the shopping list(only just ahead of the Panasonic) I thought the picture was very good, it's a brand name which i've never had problems with, and it has an intergrated tuner etc. to make it user friendly, IMO i think the deal is quite good.(It was also the girlfriends favorite!!) rouble is all 3 looked very good

    I'm put off by the Panasonic a little bit as there's too many models number being banded around, and I'm not sure which is which..... :confused:

    I would really appreciate any comments / experiences on these models to try and aid my decision. (for example, the Panasonic looks good, but how much more do I need to spend for it to become a useable TV?, do I need a tuner? Cables etc. I'm trying to look for a bottom line figure of what it's likely to cost to get the best out of it.

    Having read various threads, it would appear that the Panasonic is a popular choice with forum members, but I would really like to hear from anyone who has taken the plunge with the Sony

    In fact any advice or tips on buying would be useful at this stage....I must have one soon, but dont want to part with £4000 only to find I got sucked into a good deal rather than the best Plasma.

    This has so far been the hardest decision in all my AV purchases to date

    I look forward to you comments........

    Thanking you in advance

    Jason
     
  2. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    What are you going to using the plasma with because a few metres of componet cable an RGB>VGA converter a new Prog Scan DVD etc could easily add £1000 toi the price of the screen. Also are using Sky or Freeveiw etc.
     
  3. kenny.c

    kenny.c
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    If you mean the Hitachi 42pd3000e I can recommend it. I to looked at the Panny panels and didnt think they were worth the extra cash. The shop were i got my Hitachi from in the end had the Panny w5 side by side and IMHO thought the Hitachi gave the better picture on DVD and terestrial.

    Some people on this forum have commented on buzzing from the Hitachi panel but im yet to come across this.

    Im sure many people will suggest you get yourself to a shop somewhere who has all the screens you are considering so you can compair them back to back. Alot of plasma buying ive found is down to personnel preferances, so pay ya cash and make ya choice.
     
  4. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Jason_B

    Panasonic are out to confuse us all - and once web masters and grey importers get hold of spec sheets and start abbreviating model numbers it gets doubly confusing.

    Panasonic 5 Series 42" offerings are as follows:

    01. TH-42PW5B - Silver bezel - 852x480 pixels - with RCA terminal board for Composite, S-Video and Component video.

    02. TU-PTA600B - External Tuner/Switcher box for above (if the tuner is being used the RCA Terminal board is replaced with the Tuner terminal board).

    03. TH-42PWD5BX - Charcoal bezel - 852x480 pixels - with BNC terminal board for Composite, S-Video and Component video.

    04. TH-42PHD5BX - Charcoal bezel - 1024x768 pixels - with BNC terminal board for Composite, S-Video and Component video.

    The TH-42PW5B (Silver) and TH-42PWD5BX (Charcoal) are very similar beasts with only minor differences - though for me the Charcoal bezel is a better screen surround than the Silver offering.

    I tend not to use the External Tuner unit as most of our customers dont require an analogue tuner and look for better ways of switching video inputs and like to have the option to use a PC with the display (which gets a bit fiddly when the tuner is attached).

    A TH-42PWD5BX + RGB converter and a set of Component video cables will typically cost you £3.5K and add in a pedestal stand or wall mount for just under £200 and your well within your £4k budget.

    I'd put the Panasonic display head and shoulders above the Hitachi and Sony offerings - try a few discs with lots of movement and contrasting edges and see how well the Panasonic processes the motion and edge detail.

    Maybe a trip to the frozen north is in order - and if your a surfer you could always try out the waves around Edinburgh!

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  5. Jason_B

    Jason_B
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    Thanks for your replies.

    KennyC
    Unfortunately coming from Sunny Devon, there aren't any retailers, that I'm aware of, that can show a side by side comparison. One retailer (part of a national chain), even wanted £50 to demo, which I would get back if I bought from them! I chose not to take them up on the offer. I'm glad you are pleased with your Hitachi. It was top of my list before I went out for some demo's yesterday, but am now more confused than ever over which one to go for.

    HornyDragon
    Good point, forgot to mention what I was hoping to connect :-
    Sky (not Sky+ yet)
    DVD (not prog scan yet but maybe next upgrade after plasma)
    VHS (not used very much)
    PC

    Ideally I'd like as few cables to the screen as possible, but am willing to cut a big hole in my plasterboard to hide them.

    Joe
    Many thanks for the advise, It sounds like the Panasonic shop were just as confused as me on the model numbers, as they told me the TH-42PW5B was the high res model. I probably would have tried to demo the Pioneer 43", but haven't found anyone locally who has one on display yet. I will PM or email you direct about popping up to visit. It sounds like it might be well worth it.

    I have to admit i did really like the Sony, but there seems to be a lack of Sony owners on this forum, and that would suggest that the people in the know have choosen to stay away from this brand for now.

    Thanks again for all the advice so far.

    regards

    Jason
     
  6. Jason_B

    Jason_B
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    One other question please....

    I was confused by all the Panasonic Model numbers until Joe's reply, but I've also come across the same with Hitachi..

    What is the difference between the 42PD3000E and the C42PD3000 ?

    Mant thanks

    Jason
     
  7. chrise

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    Think they are one and the same. Hitachi only list the 42PD3000 on their website and the manual is multilanguage suggesting it is a pan European model. The screen is labelled as 42PD3000E which is what HCC reviewed it as.
     
  8. Jason_B

    Jason_B
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    Thanks chrise
     
  9. Joel

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    Jason_B:

    I have the Hitachi 42PD3000, and I am one of the persons commenting on the noise level in another thread. After putting the plasma ON the brick wall instead on 15 cm away from it, I don't have any problems at all with the noise.

    If you are interested in the Sony, I would be very cautious for any noise from the fan in the screen. In a store setting, you may not hear it at all due to all the other machines, but what about when you bring it home? The Hitachi screen does not have any fans. According to the Hitachi technician I have spoken to, nor does the tuner box.

    Picturewise, I am more comfortable with the Hitachi than any of the other. In many respects, this is a matter of taste. My taste said I should buy the Hitachi, and all the ravings from UK HI-FI press certainly didn't make that decision harder. I appreciate that I don't need to buy a new PS PAL dvd player, since the screen itself has this function. I also like that the auto-mode on the picture aspect ratio stretches out the left and right hande edges more than the picture in the middle. The result is that when you look at a regular 4:3 broadcast, it looks almost as a real 16:9 picture. None of the settings on my one year old 32" CRT from Panasonic does this. I don't know if Panny's plasmas have the same functions as their CRT's, but it's worth mentioning.

    Connectionwise, I favour having a separate tuner box like the one on the Hitachi. That way I don't need to drill a giant hole in the wall where I must run the connected cables. This can easily be connected to the tuner stowed away somewhere. The wide range of different connections is also comforting.

    As you can read, I am recommending the Hitachi, after having looked at all the screens on the market as of March this year, and decided that I thought it to be the best for me. Since most of the people on this forum seem to be either Panasonic or Pioneer owners, chances are that those are the brands many will recommend. It doesn't necessarily have to mean that they are the best, though.

    Good luck with your purchase!

    Joel
     
  10. Bernard Barnett

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    Jason, I have the 32-inch version of the Sony you're considering. I am very pleased with it, even though it - and in my view any plasma - can't quite match the picture quality of a top-class CRT. Cybersoga, a very knowledgeable member of these forums, also has one - if he doesn't pick up this thread you could try sending him a PM. The reasons I went for it, after looking at most of the others, were: 1 - I've never had anything but long, trouble-free and excellent service from Sony products (admittedly unlike quite a few of the members here); 2 - with all respect to Joe, I don't consider there's an awful lot of difference between any of the contenders once you've got them set up properly (again I know this is a minority view); 3 - I like the fact that you can use it just like an ordinary TV and plug all your stuff directly into it (no expensive add-ons, though I think it's not quite so simple if you want to connect your PC); 4 - it's very elegant on its stand. The fan noise on mine is inaudible and I believe somebody who's got a 42-inch said he couldn't hear his either (suggest you do a search). However, its big disadvantage for anyone contemplating wall-mounting is that to avoid crushing all those scarts and component cables there would have to be three or four inches clearance - not exactly flat against the wall! If this is what you want to do with it, I'd suggest you look elsewhere.
     
  11. wilber

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    Gotta agree with Bernard re perceived video quality differences. I've trailed round the local dealers looking at different screens and when's all said and done, when set up properly, they all look good - sure in in a b test it may be possible to spot differences, but we are talking small amounts.

    I've gone for the Hitachi - It looks good, the pictures cracking and its cheap
     
  12. Jason_B

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    Hi Joel

    Many thanks for your reply. I found it very helpful. I'm going back to have another look at the Hitachi this weekend, with the view to ordering one.

    Hi Bernard & Wilber

    Thanks for your comments too. One of the reason I was interested in the Sony, is because I too have had their equipment for years, all trouble free except for one tv which the Sony Centre bent over backwards to help me with.

    Having had another two visits to see the Sony, I'm sure now that it's not the set for me. I really like the idea of having a media box to connect everything to, and only 1 cable to the panel

    Thanks again to all of you who have replied. I will post my choice of purchase as soon as I have a set on order :)

    regards

    Jason
     
  13. Bernard Barnett

    Bernard Barnett
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    Good luck from a fellow Devonian! (Now exiled to Bucks.)
     
  14. Joel

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    Any time Jason_B. Good luck with you purchase.

    Joel
     

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