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Understanding plasma screens

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by hi-de-hi, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. hi-de-hi

    hi-de-hi
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    Hi there,

    I appreciate that you guys may be going over old ground here but I've done my best to scour this forum and the entire web for the information I need - to no avail!

    I had a Hitachi pma400e for 4 months when it went in for repair for a loud buzzing sound coming from the transformer. After two weeks of waiting for parts Richer Sounds - who have been superb throughout I might add - replaced it for a new screen. Excellent. 3 weeks in, this screen has the same problem - loud buzzing when the screen has a large amount of light colours.

    Given the extremely poor customer service I have received from the Hitachi UK customer service dept and the fact that now two plasma screens have gone the same way I have lost my faith in Hitachi somewhat.

    Again, credit to Richer Sounds, they have taken this screen off me and asked me to choose another.

    That’s the history out of the way - now I'm really confused.

    In choosing a new screen I've looked into technical specs as much as I can...
    * Interlaced vs Progressive scan
    - My source is a sky satellite box going through a NAD L75 amp then through to the TV

    * higher resolution vs lower (ie, pana has 700ish by 400ish - Hitachi had 1024 x 1024, pioneer 1024 x 760ish???)
    * HDMI vs DVI vs normal plasma?!

    Richer sounds don't seem to have a huge choice now that I know a little more about them. Lots under 2.5k but not a great deal amount of higher end gear - aside from a 50" pioneer!

    Could somebody help me throw some light on what’s important when buying one of these.

    Many thanks in advance,

    Regards

    Simon
     
  2. nealgs

    nealgs
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    think RS are doing the 500E model now - worth checkin out.

    otherwise, the Panny 6 series can be had for around that.



    Gary
     
  3. hi-de-hi

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    But
    The 500E is a Hitachi - refer to my possibly unreasonable stance of loosing faith in them after having two faulty ones and giving very poor customer service *and* reading about the mysterious ‘Grey Blob’ effect that has troubled a few people on this forum.

    So this is where my confusion starts. The Panasonic TH42PA20 (if this is the ‘series 6’ one) has a much lower resolution than the Hitachi but has a better contrast ratio 4000:1 .

    The Pioneer 433/434 MXE/HDE have different resolutions again (1024 x 700ish), similar contrast ratio to the Hitachi but have much better reviews.

    It's this relationship between resolution and picture quality when coupled with the type of input (interlaced vs. progressive scan) that is confusing me.

    From what I understand, the quality of the picture depends on both the source type (interlaced or progressive) and then how the screen works that signal to make it fit onto its pixels.

    Given my set-up (Sky sat box, Nad L75 Amp/L55 DVD all connected by s-vid leads) what is the best option and, if possible, why. I’m ready for any tech-y answers you have!
     
  4. MAW

    MAW
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    The resolution versus contrast debate is the primary source of argument here. But, several things anyway.

    You can do better than s-video, though with a PW6 it's not a bad choice, works very well on the complete video board, maybe less so with the scart board, they're a bit soft all round. But if you had a complete board, surely that DVD has component video? This would also hold for the Pioneer screeen, the 433MXE would be the one to find. Really it's a straight choice between the Pioneer and the panasonic and clones, like the Fujitsu VHA30, once you have counted Hitachi out. My biggest gripe with Hitachi is quality control and customer service, your experience is not untypical. You need to see an MXE and PW6/VHA30 set up something like yours to judge which you prefer. Where is your holiday camp, we'll send you to the nearest demo dealer.
     
  5. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    Much what MAW said, in addition you need to realise that anything electrical will buzz, and that includes all plasmas. End of story.

    I reckon you need to go and see these screens for yourself both to listen to see if any of them buzz queitly enough for you and whether you personally think the resolution makes a difference. If anything the Panasonic 42PWD6 looks more detailed than the Pioneer 433MXE or 434HDE even though the specification will tell you otherwise....
     
  6. MAW

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    Hi Liam, are you now officially a custom installer?
     
  7. hi-de-hi

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    Thanks Guys. I'm in Southampton - I was wondering where the nearest place would be for me to see them set up. Richer Sounds are doing there very best to demo but they don't have any of the screens that I am now looking at.

    And the buzz!! Oh the buz!!! Both screens had engineers out to them and both were pronounced faulty - the transformer was kaput. Maybe just bad luck(?) but that compounded with the poor service from manufacturer sort of swings it for me!

    So, the Pioneer or the Panasonic. Is it worth looking at the 434mxe rather than the 433. And for that matter, the HDE rather then the MXE.
    (Sorry to ask the question. I just had a quick scan through and couldn't see the answer to that one!)
     
  8. MAW

    MAW
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    You have sky, for 100 or so you could get freeview, why pay £450 for an analogue tuner? Pay it for the black surround if you must, but not for a tuner. The HDE model uses the same glass as the MXE, it has a tinted front screen on the HDE. The new mxe is not yet out, it might be a month, might be more. To see these screens, you'll be needing to go to Horsham most likely, Nexnix
     
  9. hi-de-hi

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    Your help is much appreciated. I may be back with more questions yet (!) - but you've done a cracking job of answering questions I've been searching a week for answers for online!

    Many thanks indeed,

    Regards

    Simon
     

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