What to Buy?





I am about to make my first plasma purchase, but I am quite confused by all the techno babble in the specs. Basically, I don't want to spend more than 3K if possible and I am looking for a 42in panel.

I have looked a the Hitachi 42PD3000, Sony KE42Ts2E and Philips 42PF9965 (although that is a bit more than 3K).

I want to order asap but I need some help deciding. Can you give me the benefit of your experience? Which plasma would you recommend within my price range?

There are quite a few model in the sub £3000 bracket nowadays.

Check out nexnix or avsales for Panasonic deals, do a search of the Plasma forum threads for peoples thoughts on the Hitachi models.

The Sony and Philips models have a few fans here from reading the threads, but mostly people have Hitachi/Pioneer/Panasonic/Fujitsu and NEC with others having Techwood/Samsung/LG units.

For your cash look at the Hitachi/Panasonic and maybe even the Pioneer 433MXE model (think that can be got for around £3000 or so now)

some links:
Pioneer 433MXE

Hitachi 42PD5000

Hitachi 42PMA500E

Fujitsu P42VHA30ES

Panasonic TH42PWD6

Special Offers - quite a few models in here

nealgs, looks like you are a Pioneer 433 owner.
Can you, or someonelse if necessary, tell us what the 43*** model differences are, and the benefits? Are we about to see replacements for any of these?
Pioneer PDP-433HDE (separate box ?) £2999
Pioneer PDP-433MXEV (including video card pda-5002) £3399
Pioneer PDP-434HDE (separate box ?) £3899

38H21543 - the 433MXE is a display panel only (i.e. no tuner included) mostly associated as being a commercial Plasma panel, whereas the HDE panels are those associated as being a consumer model and have a separate tuner box.

The 434HDE is the current replacement for the 433HDE whilst as yet there is no 434MXE available, although it is due sometime this year.

Not 100% sure of the differences between the HDE and MXE, although IIRC Progressive PAL was not available on the 433HDE but was on the 433MXE

Also IIRC the 434HDE is HDCP compliant with the 433 models not being

Thanks for the advice. I think I'm going to go for the Hitachi as it comes with a stand and speakers and has a better resolution on paper than the panasonic. Or am I being misled by the numbers here?

Also, I notice you mentioned the 42pd5000, which appears to be a new model. It's more expensive, mainly because it doesn't come with the speakers and stand, which I would have to buy separately. But is it worth the extra? I can't see what the difference is.

I'm confused and full of trepedation!

I think you are being confused a little by the numbers. I viewed the Panny6 alongside the Hitachi, and found the Hitachi had nowhere close to the image quality of the Panny, even though the definition was much higher.

A lot of people on the forum prefer the Hitachi to the Panny, though.

I would definitely advise going to view both of them, and decide on the basis of that, rather than the specification.
Look into the Fujitsu P42VHA30! It's just come out, has all the main connections, uses the fantastic Panasonic glass (less likely to suffer screen burn and also the blacks are much better than any Hitachi)and can be bought for £2500 inc.VAT.
It's a fantastic screen!
Oh yeah! Comes with a 2 year warranty (1 year onsite and 1 year RTB).
jimhutch - if you have a AV amp/Reciever and associated speaker etup for sound, then no real need to buy the Plasma speakers anyway

good luck with your choice, and don't forget, Plasma choosing is a very personal thing, what's good for the goose ain't always good for the gander (and all that :) )

make sure you have demo of your options if possible side by side

Good evening! :boring:

Well I managed to get into Richer Sounds today and view the Hitachi 42PD5000. I must say I was extremely disapointed with it. The colours were garish and the picture was far to dark. The sales chap agreed and thought it may have been the JVC DVD player's fault. Also, the DVD was a copy with a few fingerprints on it - don't know if this would make a lot of difference though. Of course, it could be down to how the unit was set up.

More worrying was the fact that I could see the faded image of the DVD's main menu on the screen while the film was playing. Is this normal with plasmas? How about those of you who have bought this model.....are you happy? Is there a lot of necessary tweaking to get the best picture out of this or any other plasma?

I viewed it alongside a Panny TH42PA20, which was a much better picture with the same DVD but a different player attached. I believe this model is the same as the PW6 but with speakers. Am I right?

Needless to say I'm more confused than ever. It's between the Hitachi 42PD5000 and the Panny PW6. Tell me what to buy oh wise ones!! :laugh:
jimhutch, as I've posted elsewhere I've been disappointed with the new Hitachi plasma series as well - however, you also need to know that the factory settings are total cr*p and you do need to play with picture settings to find out that ultimately these screens aren't as bad as they first look - but they aren't impressive either imho!

Most notably with the default settings the picture is indeed too dark, there is ZERO detail in the shades/dark areas, contrast is too high (set to 100% !! :rolleyes: ), colours are way too saturated, etc... Unfortunately some of the defects I found never went away even when adjusting all possible settings I could find...

Do a search on this forum for more details and actual settings. And make sure you're able to see a well adjusted 42PD5200 screen before making any decision, let you be the only judge in the end. :)
:smoke: Well I've taken the plunge. It was between the Hitachi PD5000 and the Panny PW6 all the way, but as usual a last minute impulse won the day. I settled on the Fijitsu P42VHA30
from www.portables.co.uk

The Fuji has the panny glass, a two year warranty and looks great. When you add in the cost of an RGB/Component board and extended warranty for the PW6 the price is about the same for both screens so it was down to personal taste in the end.

I ordered the VHA £2294 + delivery £30 + Fuji glass table top stand £195 all + VAT = £2960.

The guy at portables was very helpful and informative and never rushed me. He said the screen would be delivered on Thursday, but it could have been delivered tomorrow if I'd rang a little earlier. So I'll let you know if they can meet their promises and how good the screen is.

Interestingly, he said they'd bought about 50 of these in from Fujitsu who gave them a good deal as they are soon to stop making them in their current format. The replacement will have a Samsung screen from next month and may suffer accordingly. Not sure about that, but thought I would pass it on if anyone's thinking of buying one soon.

This forum is great for highlighting the different options out there and people's experiences of them. I'll be back! :smashin:
Well, it came today as promised. The VHA30 and the Fuji Glass Stand were despatched from different locations so they arrived by two carriers. Not bad for an order placed on Tuesday afternoon. I know I shouldn't be impressed when a supplier meets it's promises but I have had experience of Currys web service in the past :zonked:

I'm pretty impressed with the panel. It's the best picture I've seen at this price range on my various travels to the shops. It doesn't seem to suffer from the noisy/grainy picture I've seen on some other models. Looks nice too.

I'll post a picture when I get my sound system. Having to use the speakers off my 5 yr old hi-fi at the moment!
Originally posted by jimhutch
I'm pretty impressed with the panel. It's the best picture I've seen at this price range on my various travels to the shops. It doesn't seem to suffer from the noisy/grainy picture I've seen on some other models. Looks nice too.

What other plasmas in the higher price ranges would you say have better PQ? How does it perform with TV?
I am about to buy one aswell and would greatly appreciate your opinions.

I'm a complete novice so take my advice with a pinch of salt :cool:, but I also liked the Pioneer 433. Unfortunately, it was just 300-400 quid more than I wanted to pay, which is significant when I have paid approx 500 for stands and another 600 allocated for sound. You've got to draw the line somewhere haven't you.

The Pioneer was really sharp though. It has a higher resolution and brightness rating than the Fuji and is 43in I believe.

I'm really happy with the Fuji though. As I said it's the best I've seen in it's price range.

When you say TV I assume you mean analogue? I don't have this option so I don't know but SKY+ looks good.

Jim...give us an update on how you are getting allong with the VHA30.


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