Which 50" Panel (not your usual questions)

timmorris

Novice Member
I currently have a 42" Panasonic PW3 which I'm happy with but it doesn't do HD. I really want to look at a 65" panel but from what I've seen they aren't up to snuff yet, and I'd rather wait until we can buy 1080 native resolution panels with 2nd or 3rd generation software.

In the meantime I'd like to buy a 50" panel with 2 HDMI inputs - one for DVD and one for Sky HD - I don't want to use a switchbox as I want to have it ISF calibrated for each individual input. I also don't want a media-box. Is there a panel out there that will do the job? Do the professional panels use the same glass and display software? If I have a look at (say) the domestic Panasonic and Pioneer models at my local HiFi emporium, prefer the Panasoinc PV500 and ask them to orderthe PHD-8 will I get the same piece of glass?

Is there any disadvantage in the fact that the Panasonic cannot display 1080i 50Hz?

Tim
 

MAW

Banned
The panasonic can do 1080i/50Hz, and the pro panel is the one you want, you can put 2 hdmi cards in it if you must. I'd speak to Gordon before shelling out on how necesary this is. The panasonic has a 'per signal' memory for settings, you can use different ones for 576i and 576p for instance, so sky and DVD into 1 component is not a problem. There might be a wicked wease to solve your problem, trouble is we don't know yet about skyHD and HD-DVD. The PHD8 is a different animal to the PV500, better in many ways, not worse in any apart from lack of scart sockets. You should see a PHD in action 1st, and also bear in mind your local hoi fi emporium might not have a Panny commercial account, and may be unable to obtain a PHD at anything like a competitive price.
 

timmorris

Novice Member
Thanks,

What you say makes sense. At the end of the day I'm going to be buying a decent DVD player and probably (I'm borrowing one for a couple of weeks first) a G68J from them so if I have to go elsewhere for a panel so be it - I've got a 561 but I'm really keen to try room correction in my open plan minimalist room - I spoke to Des Ford at Meridian today and he offered to talk me through editing a filter to suit my room as he reckons the wizard won't cut it for my style of room.

Forgive me but why don't the Panny specs mention 1080i?

Would you agree with my premise regarding larger panels?

Tim
 

MAW

Banned
All 50" and over are better with a video scaler, another box... A panasonic 65 with a scaler is really OK, but of course will dig a deep hole in your wallet, even thought the price has plummetted on the 8 series 65. You'd want something like the Lumagen HDP Pro to go with it. Ideally you would use one with the 50 too, but there you could probably try without, see ow you felt. Clearly image quality is important to you, to go to such lengths. The scaler is the obvious place to make a big difference.
 

philgreeen

Standard Member
I recently purchased the 50" PHD8 with a lumagen Pro scaler.... the results are stunning ! Can thoroughly recommend this setup.....
 

timmorris

Novice Member
If I were to use the Lumagen, are the adjustments sufficient to allow ISF calibration? It looks like it, but as I'm not a calibration expert I'd like an answer from someone that is.

I can see that upscaling everything to 1080p is going to be an advantage, and I should imagine that it would allow me to keep my Arcam DV-88 rather than upgrade to a new DVD player. Has anyone compared an older DVD player using component to say a current Denon with HDMI output?

Tim
 

Piers

Active Member
The Lumagen is an ISF calibrator's dream machine. Separate memories per input, per source resolution and per output resolution, plus the ability to adjust red, green, blue and luma at 11 points on the greyscale and to correct chroma errors etc etc.
 

timmorris

Novice Member
It just gets better and better.

Although I don't doubt your opinions and I am a fan of Panasonic panels rather than tellys (I've got a PW3). What alternatives should I look at?

I should imagine the Pio 506 XDE/MXE are it's main competition, am I right?

I've only once in 20 years not bought the piece of kit which was at the top of my shortlist, but I always audition at least two pieces of equipment before writing the cheque!

Tim
 

MAW

Banned
The serious competition is from the Pioneer PDP50MXE11, and the Fujitsu P50XHA40US. Each has advantages. If I were to choose a 50 knowing I was not going to have a scaler, it would swing the argument away from the Pioneer (they do love their digital inputs) and in favour of the Fujitsu, which has the next best processing to an external scaler. The Panasonic, lots of folks have them both with and without scalers.
 

o27

Novice Member
But regarding the Panny - how much of a real world problem is it that it doesnt support native res at 50Hz? Is it enough of a problem to choose the Pioneer and loosing out of some of the black level?
 

MAW

Banned
Only way to find out is to have a look, see which 'problem' is best for you. I'd trade the black levels, but that's just me. It's not that I especially mind the FRC, but I must have pixel mapping. It's soooo easy with an MXE too, you can't actually get it wrong. There are some menu settings, then just set the res on your PC and Bang, it's done. The Pana you need test patterns, and 30 mins fiddling with size/position. Superb when done though. BTW I actually have the panasonic on my wall. Why? dunno, it just happened.
 

timmorris

Novice Member
Thanks for all the replies - if I understand the specs correctly for what I want the Lumagen Pro scaler won't give me any advantage over and above the Vision HDP. I'm not worried about looks, I'll put it on the floor behind the stack and use the IR blaster on the Squeezebox to control it.

I went to pick up some Audiolab amps from Unilet in New Malden today (I've been going there for 20 years since I bought an AT-110E cartridge to upgrade a horrible JVC turntable I bought from Laskys - I was 18, I didn't know any better!). They very kindly boxed up their demo G68J which is sitting in my stack as we speak, and I'll be on the phone to Des at Meridian tomorrow!

They are going to speak to Gordon regarding getting hold of a demo Lumagen (the ISF calibrator is already having wet dreams, you were right!) and speaking to Panasonic retail to find out how they go about getting hold of a PHD8 - other customers have enquired recently so the enquiry came at the right time.

I'm going to take my DV88 in and compare it feeding the Lumagen to one of the Denon players with an HDMI output - anyone care to guess as to what the result will be?

Thanks once again for all the replies, I haven't bought anything since 2001 - I'm starting to get excited again.

I know it's a bit off topic, but my initial thoughts on the G68 is that it is an improvement on the 561 even before I've configured room correction - I tried Face Off this evening (my nephew has nicked my copy of Gladiator) and it certainly seemed to have more "punch" I'll see how it sounds when playing back FLAC encoded CD tracks from the Squeezebox.
 

MAW

Banned
Tell them to give me a ring if they like, it won't be economic for them to open a panasonic commercial account. I'm about 8 miles from them.
Tim, I don't know how much you've thought about what you want, just some thoughts here. The HDP comes with just DVI. This is fine, you can use 720p, or native at 60Hz. A fair number of Panasonic owners go for the Pro because it comes with analogue outputs too. Now digital, unlike you may have been told, is not the be all and end all, the analogues on the PHD8 are a class act. Quite a few people use both connections. They are future proofed with the DVI, but with their current sources, particularly yours (thought of having the player SDI modded?) they may be better off with native res on analogue at 50Hz, pixel mapped. The fall back for HD is there either at 60Hz native (HD-DVD) or 50Hz 720p (sky) or indeed 50Hz native on analogue with anything you can output on analogue from your sources. You may find it advantageous to deal with someone already familiar with the kit.
 

timmorris

Novice Member
Your PM mailbox is full!
 

timmorris

Novice Member
email sent
 

MAW

Banned
You'll find my phone no. on my web site, I'm out on an install. Luckily I've just fixed their network and wireless. I've got no outgoing email, not on my own ISP
 

timmorris

Novice Member
Martin,

I believe David from Unilet (he's the ISF calibrator) has been in touch with you. Thanks very much for all your help and advice, as I said on the phone I'm really impressed with the way you didn't try to nick the business for yourself. They do get asked for PHD's from time to time. Perhaps that's a way to increase your volumes a touch.

Thanks for all your help, providing the dem goes as well as I think you've saved me a whole load of cash, PLUS I'll end up getting a picture that will do the sound coming out of the G68 justice, and if Sky do launch HD on the 1st of April I'll have all the kit in place just in time...

I'm playing around with room correction profiles at the moment - they really do work!

Tim
 

timmorris

Novice Member
This is a third date we've had from them so you never know...

Tim
 

timmorris

Novice Member
I've got a Sky HD install booked for 29th of May and had a visit from Martin (MAW) today complete with 50" PHD 8 and HD Pro scaler. The combination is fantastic - truly film like and the pixels aren't visible even from close up (a friend came along whose sofa is 2m away from the wall he wants to mount his on, he was convinced a 42" would be for him but he ordered a 50" today). The picture with Sky SD is better than DVD from mr Arcam DV-88 on the PW3 panel.

I'm now the proud owner of a Panasonic 50" panel - Martin even loaned me his HDP scaler while I wait for Gordon to get stock of the HDQ. If you are looking to buy some kit or have a custom install done in the Surrey area you could do a lot worse than go to Martin. His knowledge is fantastic, and he's very accomodating.

Tim
 

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