Which Plasma for a HTPC?

wyerd

Active Member
I'm looking to spend about £2500 on a plasma which I'll be hooking up to my HTPC. This will play DVD's, CD's, live & recorded TV via a Nebula DigiTV Freview card. Audio S/PDIF output is via a Sony STR-DB2000 receiver.

Is the Panny 6 the one, or is there an alternative at around the same price?

Cheers,
David.
 

buns

Banned
i dont know the panny would be your choice if you intend to use dvi..... the panny dvi in uses pc gamma not video and as far as i know their is currently no fix

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buns

Banned
I am not a plasma specialist...... but i definitely heard something along those lines. You could just use analogue..... im basically going to do that

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Mr.D

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by buns
i dont know the panny would be your choice if you intend to use dvi..... the panny dvi in uses pc gamma not video and as far as i know their is currently no fix

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Not sure I follow you surely you can either select a 2.2 ( I use 2.5 on my panny 5 series albeit with an analogue RGBHV input) gamma on the display itself.

Or alternatively you can adjust the gamma on the graphics card accordingly. Video footage is around 0.45 . If the response from the graphics card is also linear ( which ideally it should be) you get video material coming out at 0.45 . Setting the overlay gamma to 2.2 should get you correct looking video on a linear display. (effectively you are doing to the signal at the graphics card what would normally happen to it when arrived at the plasma ( which is likely to attempt to mimic a 2.2-2.5 gamma response in most circumstances even if the panel itself has a linear response)

In fact as long as the graphics card is decent enough ( ie hardware gamma such as the radeons have I think/hope) This is quite a good way to do it as the video and desktop should then both look correct....although you could always adjust the desktop gamma seperately anyway...
 

buns

Banned
I dont know the details of it, but ive been advised that there is some problem of some sort..... i think i read it on here so have a search and you might find out better what it is

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MAW

Banned
It wouldn't be 1st choice, but it works. Used as primary display it is not sufficient resolution to display a windows desktop these days, things like the display properties box are too big. I'd choose a xga plasma, or one of the 50" ones. HD panasonic, or a bargain MXE 433 pioneer. That works well on DVI. You may say 'why not use extended desktop? The answer, theatertek wont display on the 2ndary monitor, and all the windows controls run on the primary, so you are caught between a rock and a hard place. The answer with an SD panny is to switch to a higher non native resolution for everything but DVD/TV.
 

wyerd

Active Member
Thanks for your input guys.

I'll be driving the plasma with a Sapphire Radeon 9600 XT Ultimate (Fanless).

For DVD, I'll be running ZoomPlayer.

I'm not interested in the resolution of the Windows desktop as this will never be seen (famous last words).

The budget won't stretch to a 50"..... would be nice.... but not realistic.
 

MAW

Banned
If you never see a desktop, how are you going to start your software? Yes I know x-lobby inthe startup folder, but it just ain't that simple. Believe me I've been there
 

NonPayingMember

Previously Liam @ Prog AV
Definitely consider NEC XM2, bargain price XGA that is very popular over on AVSForum. Although I recently found out official contrast ratio to only be 650:1 :confused: But still gets you round having to negotiate a Panasonic DVI card :p

Pioneer is very good screen but lacking blacks IMO and uses non-HDCP DVI IIRC - no issue for HTPC but if you decide to go for HDMI or DVI deck later on you will be trouble.
 

wyerd

Active Member
I'm looking at spending around £2,500 for a 42" silver. What recommendations are there?

I'll be running Showshifter or myHTPC for LiveTV (Nebula DigiTV), DVD (ZoomPlayer) plus the usual CD jukebox stuff. Connection has to be DVI. Audio will be through an amp so speakers are not needed.
 

CrispyXUK

Well-known Member
you could get a lovely PJ for that money
 

zAndy1

Distinguished Member
You really ought to reconsider that decision, there's nothing like a PJ for watching movies on, plasmas just don't cut it. You could get a very nice 32" widescreen TV and a Sanyo Z2 or Panny AE500 or a themescene h30 and have change left out of that £2500 and believe you me I'd rather have the tv and projector than the plasma. I've had 2 plasmas in my time and I wouldn't have one again, always worrying about logos on the screen etc , especially with kids TV, it's a nightmare! It's nice to have the TV for normal viewing and then be able to watch a film on the big screen. Anyway, up to you at the end of the day but I know what I'd rather spend £2500 on!

Cheers
Andy
 

paulS

Active Member
I've been using a Hitachi 400E for a year via HCPC -
can't fault it.

Go for the 500E now - it's got DVI, and just about every other input you would need.

Paul.
 
M

mikeq

Guest
Hi wyerd,

I have a 42" plasma and for general day-to-day TV watching I wouldn't have anything else.

For movie watching, XBox, PS2 can't beat my panny AE300 projector. I now spend more time watching movies and playing games. Plasma probably gets about 1½ hours use a day.

So if you already have a TV I would seriously consider a PJ.

Mike

p.s. Logos etc are not that much of a worry, I've never had any problems (I used to use it more than 1½ hours a day before I got the PJ)
 

Jules

Distinguished Member
I'm with Andy all the way on this one.

I chewed on the idea of getting a Plasma to replace my TV & projector for ages (kill 2 birds with 1 stone, I thought), but after much deliberation and auditioning, a decided to get a new TV instead and keep the Projector.

Boy am I glad I did.

Both units are far more capable than a Plasma in their prospective roles, both are proven technology, and as others have said.... it may well be the cheaper option too.

However, one man's meat is another man's poison and all that.
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
OK whilst I agree about the superir nature of projectors over plasmas that ain't the question the man was asking.

You've really got two options : do you plan on watching standard definition material (ie dvd digital TV) or do you want to use the plasma for higher def purposes such as ....watching HD or using with higher res computer applications /games.

If you want an SD plasma you won't go wrong with the panasonics and the latest models duer out soon will surely precipitate a price fall on the 6 series.
 
F

fishyuk

Guest
For an HTPC you should really get a WXGA screen to get the full benefit. The Highest res Plasmas are way more than £2,500 and standard Plasma res won't cut it.

For £2500 I'd see how the new high end Philips 32" LCD with DVI and Pixel Plus 2 stacks up. If that is too small then I'd agree with the PTAE500 style suggesttion as you'd have enough money to get a decent screen and probably a 22 widescreen TFT to have for general use (via a DVI to dual DVI box).

I'm still stuck with my old CRT but having borrowed a 29" Samsung LCD for a week then Showshifter via LCD (and DigiTV) was great. The wmvhd demos even better.

My setup is Radeon 9700, Showshifter with a Nebula Card. Out of interest, how are you finding Showshifter DVB with Nebula? I gett very occasional stuttering but the pause feature is completely unreliable at the moment (showshifter put this down as a too small buffer in the nebula drivers). Therefore I switch between Showshifter and DigiTV depending on my requirement.
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by fishyuk
For an HTPC you should really get a WXGA screen to get the full benefit. The Highest res Plasmas are way more than £2,500 and standard Plasma res won't cut it.


No he shouldn't . If he's planning on watching only SD material on it and doing minimal other computer use then an SD looks nice and sharp whilst the higher resolution plasmas are noticable softer.
 

wyerd

Active Member
Cripes..... I thought it would be an easy question!

A PJ is out of the question as it's replacing the TV...( the Mrs wants a fireplace and the TV's in the way. Plasma over the new fireplace etc. etc)

I'd like an HD plasma, but the budget won't stretch that far...yet. It'll be used for watching TV thru the Nebula DigiTV,recordings, DVD's, jukebox, basically an all in one solution..... but, there is some HD video stuff that I'd like to view and the new HD DVDs when they make their way over here.

I'll probably have a look at Nexnix demo room as I live near to them.

Cheers,
David.
 

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