When is the right time to buy? (Or what's coming that's worth waiting for?)

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs Forum' started by NicolasB, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    It's been said many times that there's always something better on the horizon than is available now, so if you're always waiting for the next "best" thing, you'll never buy anything. But, at the same time, anyone who buys something expensive just a couple of weeks before something far better appears, is going to be kicking himself as a result. :devil:

    Nothing available now seems quite there, yet. I managed (barely! :) ) to resist the temptation to order a Sharp LC37GA3E from Empire Direct for <£2K. I might have succumbed to a 50" 7th generation Pansonic plasma for ~£3.5K if it hadn't been for the lack of 720p/50Hz support. If there were a GA3 or GA4 version of the Sharp LC45GD1E I'd probably buy it, but the "Titanium" version is too expensive for what it is. At the smaller end I'd buy a Dell 2405FPW... if it were HDCP compliant and there weren't any 50Hz worries.

    I know I'm going to want to buy a better display in the next year or so, probably sooner. I think I can manage to keep myself in check up till the point when Sky HD launches, on the grounds that there's not really much point in buying an HD-capable screen if there's no easily available (and legal!) HD source. But, on the other hand, I probably would enjoy having a good, geometry-perfect display even now, especially if it could double up as a computer monitor. :)

    So the question is: of the things likely to arrive in the next 12 months or so, how many of them are worth waiting for? For example:

    Is the 50" Fujitsu 40-series going to be "the one" and nothing else improve on it significantly for another year?

    Are we going to see plasmas with a higher resolution than 1366x768 that are actually affordable?

    Will the 8th generation Panasonic screens be a big step up from the 7th?

    Are we going to see much better 1366x768 LCDs, or as-good-and-cheaper 1920x1080 LCDs? (Will the Sony Qualia 005 be impossibly expensive?)

    When will we see 1920x1080 DLP rear-projection in this country, and how will the picture compare to LCD and plasma?

    How soon will we see SED and its relatives, and how much of a difference will that make?

    In general: what are we expecting, and when?
     
  2. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    45" GA model from sharp will turn up evetually, Panny 8 series will have 50Hz support or panny are sunk! Fujitsu will always be a premium............off the top of my head nicholas you have been looking for telly for 18months+ with 37"/42" Pannys around £1k why not just buy an SD panel and enjoy it for 12-18 moths and wait for something you really really want/can afford to come along........................
     
  3. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Money. :) At the moment I can't really justify spending enough to get a decent HD screen because there is isn't enough HD source material around for me to enjoy it more than my current TV. But at the same time I can't really justify spending anything very much on a non-HD display that I'll be thinking of getting rid of in 12 months time. If I didn't have a TV at all then that would be good advice.

    I would actually have bought a 50" Panasonic plasma, I think, if it weren't for the 720p/50Hz issue! I don't know how much more expensive the 50" Fujitsu screen is going to be.

    It would help if I had some idea of what is coming, when it is coming, and how expensive it's likely to be. I've heard rumours, for example, that Panasonic 8th generation screens might be higher resolution than the 7th gen ones - if so, that might make them worth waiting for.
     
  4. philgreeen

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    I'm in exactly the same position !!! I actually don't mind spending a lot of money on something that will last 5 years or so.. I'm sooooo tempted by the pio 505XDE but am eager to see what the panny 8 will bring ?! ( I REALLY don't like the PC connection on the front of the media box plus the it seems the general opinion is that the panny has better picture)

    You can understand these companies not releasing details of newer models in order to maintain their market share for the current models, but, for anyone a bit more 'choosy' about their equipment it's a painful wait !!!

    There must be someone out there in the know ;)
     
  5. peezee

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    NicolasB, been in a similar situation for several months now (except that I have an even smaller monitor to watch TV and DVD's on right now :eek: ), so understand your POV.

    Been contemplating both SD and HD screens, and while procrastinating I've enjoyed the incredible plasma (and LCD) price drops/freefall, which somehow "compensated" for the frustration of not being able to make a decision and being overly analytical - or just not liking what I was seeing (for the price!).

    Together with price drops, HDTV has gotten in the picture and complicated matters further quite a bit. Only now are we beginning to see flat screens being offered with full HDTV readiness (i.e. with HDCP protected digital input(s) and 50Hz HD support).

    I've already been twice on the verge of pulling the trigger - "funnily" enough what stopped me from doing it was the non availability of the models I had decided upon - namely Panny PWD7 and NEC VR5.

    In the meantime we all learnt about the new range of Panny plasma's, both SD (PA50) and HD (PV500). At this point I think I'm pretty much sold on the following approach: "an SD screen for SDTV, an HD screen for HDTV". IOW:

    a- Buy an SD plasma asap; was about to go for a 37PA30 (2100€ w/ stand) but was discouraged by vendor who told me I'd rather go for a 37PA50 available in 2 weeks. I kind'a like the PA50's design (better than the PA30 anyway), but hate the removal of VGA input by Pana (I use an HCPC as main source) as well as other cuts in that new screen. Willing to wait until PA50's in to check it out, decision on 37PA30 vs 37PA50 right after (about same price).
    <Note: I'prefer a 37PWD6/7 w/ DVI board if it weren't 25% more expensive than 37PA30/50 here :rolleyes:>

    b- HDTV should debut around fall 2005 here - yep, only few months away. In fact I just learnt my cable provider already broadcasts HD1 on their network. TF1 and C+ have started to broadcast footie in HD on Sat for testing. Apparently by spring 2006 we should have about 6 (maybe more) HD channels with sports, movies, nature, etc... So I'll go for a swap around early 2006, sell my PA30/PA50 (EBay, or buy-back program) and purchase an HD Ready plasma then - at this point the 42PV500 is top of the list, by the time I'll want to buy it it should be available at a pretty nice discount. Obviously I'll take the time to choose what's best at that time, but have pretty high expectations on the PV500 (too high?).

    -- End of loong narration -- :blush:
     
  6. Pezerinno

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    Guys just want to chip in, I'm in a similar position (sort of) but can't buy until September. If I'm never going to get Sky is there a point in getting a HD panel? the PW7's are looking increasingly tempted.
     
  7. peezee

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    Actually I'm not 100% sure about the lack of VGA port on the 37PA50, I find contradictory info. on the Net, so if anyone has sure knowledge on whether or not the 37PA50 will have a VGA input and would want to share the info here I'd much appreciate it - thanks. :)
     
  8. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Well, it depends. Two years from now there will likely be a substantial number of films available in HD format on a next-generation laser disc player - most likely either BluRay or HD-DVD. In principle you can get films in HD now by buying a D-Theatre tape machine and the appropriate tapes, but this is pricey and a bit clunky. I'm sure there will be HD cable services. I don't know if there will ever be HD Freeview - probably not for a while, I'd guess.

    You might also find it useful to have a large screen that can be used as a PC monitor - imagine playing games on a 50" plasma. Nice? Or not? Finally there is a certain amount of HD content available for download on the Internet (most of it, it has to be said, illegally).

    Finally, most SD plasma screens are only 480 lines, so if you're watching a 576-line signal (e.g. British TV) then the image is downscaled and loses some detail. This may or may not matter to you.
     
  9. peezee

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    I think it's important to note however that SD TV (100% of what we're getting today) looks better on an *SD* screen than on an HD one. This is true for most plasma screens, though there might be some very rare exceptions.

    Adding a scaler between yr TV source and plasma display significantly improves the situation there, but this is a 800-1000£ additional cost though...
     
  10. MAW

    MAW
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    Another point is that the new HD-DVD players output won't be the same as SkyHD, looks like it will be 720/60, according to what I have read,maybe there will be no region coding, but it will be HDCP of course. I think region coding has been such a failure even the most blinkered studio must see we'd all be better off without it. 720/60 is much much easier to find than the 50Hz version, I can already hear Panasonic and Hitachi owners cheering.
     
  11. Pat Marcus

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    Nicholas, PhilB - Im in the same position too but now that Ive seen one in action, Im pretty set on a Fujitsu 40-series 50". PQ is outstanding but at a premium price. Compatibility at 50 and 60hz is assured and the connectivity well sorted - UK models (the same as US models) are being shipped as standard with HDMI and a non HDCP DVi socket, as well as component. There is no tuner box which is a plus for me and there's no huge black surround panel. At the Bristol show where it was launched almost all manufacturers were showing I-Robot. I thought it was better on component than the Pio XDE 50 was on HDMI. With a HiDef signal (from a DVHS device) it was stunning. Fujitsu were running it direct and not through a scaler. However it's all slightly subjective and the Pio (and panasonic HD) are very fine, too. Full-up retail price is £4995 so expect to pay around £4500. Dealers around the UK, including the retailers that contribute to this site like MAW are waiting to get stock.
     
  12. Bernard Barnett

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    Pricy yes, clunky no. Plug in the machine, connect via component to your (compatible) display, insert the tape and prepare to be amazed! There are around 80 d-vhs movies on offer, something for everyone. It's certainly satisfying my HD craving until BD or HD-DVD comes along.
     
  13. hermanmunster

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    Buy now!! who knows what tomorrow will bring :rolleyes:
     
  14. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    :eek:

    (wince)

    See, if I were spending that kind of money, I'd feel like I ought to be getting 1920x1080. :suicide: :D

    Seriously, though: can anyone confirm or deny the rumour that 8th gen Panasonic plasmas might be higher res than 7th gen? Can anyone comment on the picture quality or likely availability of 1080p DLP sets? And how far away are we from a workable SED display?
     
  15. Pezerinno

    Pezerinno
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    I read the pw8 will be 1366 x 768 res but I can't remeber where I saw this and whether it was fact or just a rumour.

    I'd imagine Sed's at decent sizes are still a fair while off.
     
  16. jschoorl

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    Here are some details about specs and prices from the panasonic site

    TH-50PV500E
    High Definition Panel (1366 x 768 Pixel)
    HDTV-compatable 576i, 720p, 1080i (50, 60 Hz) HDMI connection
    PC-input (VGA) : Yes
    Price: 5,821.56 EUR (9019.00 CHF)

    TH-42PV500E
    High Definition Panel (1024 x 768 Pixel)
    HDTV-kompatibel 576i, 720p, 1080i (50, 60 Hz), HDMI connection
    PC-input (VGA) : Yes
    Price: 3,561.88 EUR (5519.00 CHF)

    TH-42PA50E
    SD Panel (852 x 480 Pixel)
    HDTV-kompatibel 576i, 720p, 1080i (50, 60 Hz), no HDMI connection
    PC-input (VGA) : No
    Price: 2,594.08 EUR (4019.00 CHF)

    TH-37PV500E
    High Definition Panel (1024 x 768 Pixel)
    HDTV-kompatibel 576i, 720p, 1080i (50, 60 Hz), HDMI connection
    PC-input (VGA) : Yes
    Price: 3,239.38 EUR (5019.00 CHF)

    TH-42PA50E
    SD Panel (852 x 480 Pixel)
    HDTV-kompatibel 576i, 720p, 1080i (50, 60 Hz), no HDMI connection
    PC-input (VGA) : No
    Price: 2,271.78 EUR (3519.00 CHF)
     
  17. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Yeah, but I don't think the latest Viera models are actually genuinely 8th generation, though, are they? The electronics are more advanced, but it's 7th generation glass. The previous Viera range was really 6th generation, it wasn't until the commercial screens came out (like the 50PHD7) that we actually saw 7th generation glass for the first time. (Er... I think).

    When asking about possible resolution changes I'm thinking of whatever it is that will come out in the Autumn rather than the current batch.

    My understanding is that Toshiba have already announced they will stop plasma screen production completely in 2007, so that suggests we might see satisactory screens in 2006. (Maybe).
     
  18. Pezerinno

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    Bound to be expensive though.
     
  19. ahin4114

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    About the same time we're likely to see 1920x1080 RP-DLP sets(?)

    I've personally been umming and ahhing for 12 months now, always knowing that something new is coming. After the Bristol show I would have probably been out and bought the 45" Sharp LCD, but I've since found out it won't show 1920x1080 native res from a HTPC.
    I think once they've got that ironed out there isn't anything that it won't do that is going to be needed. It has HDMI, DVI, HDCP, Component, will show HD broadcasts at full res, what else does everyone have on their must-have list?
     
  20. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    My only real objection to the Sharp LC45GD1E is the price. If they had made an LC45GA3E or GA4E, with a similar sort of price reduction compared to the GD1E range as you get with 32" or 37" screens, it would be a very good buy.

    I gather 1920x1080 DLP rear-pro sets will be available in america just a month or two from now - but there's no knowing when we'll get them in this country. :(
     
  21. MattyKHZ

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    TBH there is always something newer to come along. If not ready to use the enhanced functions of a newer model, then why not buy the existing that gets discounted and use to its fullest. When HD does explode everything is probably gonna be at such a cost that unless you have money to burn will need to wait for prices of hardware and media to come down. Isn't Terrestrial not being broadcast in HD until 2007 or something? I'd buy something like a Panasonic or equivalent now, especially if they get even cheaper when the new ones come out and then upgrade in a few years when the HD sets aroudn shoudl eclipse those trickling onto the market place now.

    Innovators of flash harry's always have the toys first but maybe spend over the odds on them. Depends on your financial situation really IMHO.
     
  22. jschoorl

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    According to the Panny site it is a G8 HD panel
     
  23. darrens

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    This thread pretty much sums up how I'm feeling about plasma at the moment. I guess most of us (even the plasma-newbies) buy a fair amount of cutting edge technology so we're all big enough to get over the "I'll just wait for the next big thing" phenomenon.

    But I do think that Sky HD has somewhat thrown the cat among the pigeons for plasma panels. We all want our panels to work with Sky HD next year but everything seems a bit up in the air. Finding a panel with the right resolution, inputs and general HDCP/HDMI compatibility seems a bit of a nightmare.

    As far as I can tell the only solution at the moment is a Pioneer and if you just want a panel without a separate box (no Pio media box, no external scaler) then there's nothing that fits the bill.
     
  24. RobbieTT

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    I get the impression that the market has never been more ready for new screens. The plasma and LCD manufacturers must be licking their lips as the tech guys plumb in extra HDMI and DVI (HDCP) sockets into the new generation of screen.

    I hope we have a blood-bath on price too.
     

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