What 42" Plasma in SA? Help!



Hi All
Have been reading this forum in depth for the past week, trying to decide what 42" Plasma to buy. I am in South Africa where choice and info is a little limited and prices are high.... (very high)

After ploughing through AVForums and having a look at some instore... I have narrowed it down to 3. (All 3 are roughly the same price). Your guidance would be greatly appreciated here. (especially as it has been impossible to view side by side.. and all look pretty decent and highly regarded)

a: Panasonic 42pw7 (the forums most talked about. Due in SA next week!)
b: Hitachi PMA 500 (been around for a bit from what i can gather but rated?)
c: Sony PFM-42X1 (wxga, very colourful, seems good value as it is HD)
d: Have seen the Pioneer 43 panel but is far too expensive here.. so rule that out!

It will be used for viewing DVD and satellite TV initially, but obviously do not want to replace in a few years time so futureproofing as much as poss is a bonus. (FYI all these panels are all the equiv of £3000 each.. so pretty much double UK). Gonna take the plunge this weekend if you guys can help me out, would really appreciate it. I can asure you that your advice will not be in vain!

Thanks loads in advance


Established Member
Hello Tim

Being an ex South African myself (lived here for the last 4 years) I feel obliged to offer some assistance to a fellow countryman.

I have owned my Panasonic PW6 for the last 2 weeks. (after deliberating on what to buy for the last 9 months) I was dead set on a Pioneer XDE435, but after travelling a 360 mile round trip I came away with the above, and saved myself almost half the cost of an XDE.

With the money I saved, bought a Yamaha AV receiver, Mordaunt Short surround speakers and a Panasonic recordable DVD player, along with an adapter for sat. viewing and cables, and still had some change! :)

There, I've said it, go for the Panasonic PW6. As long as you can find a decent dealer over there with back up, I don't think you'll regret it.

Just remember that the PW7 is a 'screen only', hence the reason for using a decent dealer, to assist you in your set up and 'bits' required for a decent set up.

By the way, what are the prices in Rands? :eek:
P.S. I see S.A. lost the test (1st time in 40 years !!) :(

Cheers, and have a Castle for me :smashin: (Believe it or not, you can buy Castle here !) :clap:



Established Member
Timsa, have you ever considered buying from someone like Liam @ ProgressiveAV or AV-Sales, to name a few? I don't know what the customs duty and VAT will be like for importing from the UK, but it should work out cheaper (I think). :)

Most people here swear by the companies I mentioned.


SA customs are a nightmare.... with huge duties and import restrictions so its a no-no. Not to mention the danger of singly shipping one of these things. You should have seen the state of my car when I brought that here!

Seems everyone loves the Panasonic (which i had actually decided on.. the new 7), but yesterday found out about and saw the sony XP1 and also had some guy in an AV shop raving about their PMA 500 Hitachi.

So all of that sort of through me.... Really like the idea of Sony being a newish model and higher res for the same money! Hence the reason for my confusion. Also the Hitachi guy was determined that his was a fantastic machine! aaaaargh! (and of course everyone rating the Pana so highly).

Just want the most bang for my buck as they say out here!
I only emigrated from the UK 6 months ago so bloody wish I had thought about it then!

Has anyone gfot any experience / knowledge of the sony... it looked damn nice and very colourful in the shop and the specs on paper are impressive.

(PS: Had a Castlefor you Howard ;) )
The prices in Rands are.. Pana R27000, Sony R28000, Hitachi R30000 (all plus stand except for Hitachi that comes with)


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