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Where is the difference between plasma displays?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs Forum' started by cmoore, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. cmoore

    cmoore
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    I have been researching plasma as much as I can prior to buying my first display. Having read so much and seen a few displays I have to consider the PW6 from Panansonic vs the Pioneer 434. Still waiting to see HDMI (hopefully this month) as this will help plus could solve the 'Which DVD player question too'. Digging deaper I can't dismiss the Fujitsu panel that Seven Oaks recommend nor the NEC from Audio T.

    Just read another thread here that triggered this latest quest for information that was talking about external video processing compared to the new Fujitsu system.

    Anyway the question:
    What are the different components of a plasma and how significant are they????

    I have heard plasma glass mentioned - is that just the glass on the front or is that the gas bit too? If just the glass then what does this contribute? From some posts I would guess contrast is a possibility.
    Then there seems to be the video processing. This I feel (if it exists) could be really important. In this bag would be how the display handles analogue inputs such as component. Then how important would that be if I used DVI or HDMI? With the digital variants is progressive scan important still? If not then I could choose a different DVD player and get an external video processor and scaler.

    I hope this makes sense to somone and if so please shed some light on this for me.

    Thanks for any thoughts contributed,

    Chris.
     
  2. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Main differences are the quality of components used.
    Plasma's have no gas its GaAs semi conductor that emits photons of a certain wave length (colour) depending on the doping of the GaAs. the size of this semiconduxtor (tiny blocks of red, green, blue, and balck) that limits resolution (physical resolution of the screen). Noise that efffects PQ comes from the video processing circuits that where the main difference is, it also comes from the source so the less noise in transmission the less on screen. A perfect match is hard to find and many sources are far below what the screen can do. DVD is good but still limited, so really it comes down to a trade off between budget and quality, the more connections, HDMI, DVI YUV etc the better flexibility and future expand a bility you will get.

    Hope this helps and doesnt baffle you too much.
     
  3. cmoore

    cmoore
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  4. cmoore

    cmoore
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    Ok let me refine the question a little:

    The source signal has to be scaled to the native resolution of the panel and if needs be converted from analogue to digital.

    As far as I understand this is done by the panel itself (media box or interface card depending on make). So based on the computing world surely the best way to feed the screen is via a source of the native resolution.
    Therefore the question is - how good are the panels at performing these tasks? How worth while would it be to buy an external box to do this and just feed the plasma via the vga input?

    The secondary question has to be - is this an area significant to picture quality?

    Chris.
     
  5. cmoore

    cmoore
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    Been investigating ISF calibration as well and low and behold there has been a lot of input from Gordon of Covergent AV.

    On their site there is an interesting bit about external scalers (remembering its a sales thing too).
    http://www.convergent-av.co.uk/lumagen.html

    Will try to speak to Gordon and others to see if its worth it. This might mean not buying the Pioneer 868 for HDMI or Arcam DV88+ as maybe a cheap dvd player is better allowing the external box to do the processing???

    Even more confused now! Need to find answers soon because as soon as the shops have the 434 and 868 in stock with HDMI leads I will be coming home with one!
     
  6. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    cmoore

    In reverse order:

    Shops with 434HDE and DV868AVI in stock - that gives you plenty of time to do a bit more research then; dont plan on seeing that combination 'in stock' until around Feb04 if Pioneers current sales figures are true.

    The video chain - consider your potential Plasma Screen as the last component in a chain of video processing; Source, Switching, Deinterlacing, Scaling and Display,

    Most PlasmaTV and Plasma Display products have some form of all of the above built in.

    There is also a fairly healthy third party market for more upmarket and refined Switchers, Deinterlacing and Scaling and most will easily outperform what is provided within a PlasmaTV or Plasma Display; that doesn't necessarily mean you will want or have to purchase any of these third party products but at least you know you can usually 'upgrade' your system if the budget and inclination allows (assuming you get a decent Display to begin with).

    HDMI is not a new video standard its a new connectivity standard that on the one hand promises an 'on paper' cleaner signal path over analogue RGB and YUV Component video but as in all thing Digital there will be good and bad HDMI implementations.

    The main driver for HDMI is to enable much tougher copy protection prevention via HDCP.

    Plasma Glass - is the actual glass panel that includes the pixel structure; its not the bit on the front that you can touch; that's an anti reflective protective barrier that protects the glass panel and reduces RF and IR emissions; the front panel also contributes to the 'look' of the display as the latest models all use a darker front filter to improve on contrast ratios.

    If you look closely at a Plasma Screen with the power on or off you will see the Glass panel sitting about 5-10mm behind the front filter.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  7. cmoore

    cmoore
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    Excellent information Joe, thanks.

    Your last bit about the glass is interesting as I seem to remember Fujitsu using Panansonic glass and therefore if the PW6 is good then it means the new Fujitsu screens are really going to be worth a look.

    My local dealer has one 434 on display in Reading and Bracknell and initially had one spare to sell. They believe they will be getting the 868 by the end of the month, although not sure about the HDMI cables.

    So is the DVD player still important then with the video processing in the screen?
     

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