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Which Plasma????

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Deorch, Mar 19, 2003.

  1. Deorch

    Deorch
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    I'm after some help! I'm currently looking to buy a Plasma, 42 inches preferably however am finding problems getting a view over what is the best investment for my money! Having spent a load on magazines and searched the net for reviews etc. I still haven't turned up aclear contender . My limits are 5k on the cost and thats about it...

    The panasonic TH42PW has been mentioned a few times, but Ive been put off by the poor resolution (also the american models appear to be higher??)

    Anybody got a view on the best screen for the spec above? Or does anybody know a good UK review site?

    All help appreciated!

    :D :confused:
     
  2. cjdshaw

    cjdshaw
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    With similar criteria to yours, I've just ordered the Pioneer 433 HDE. It's higher resolution that the Pannasonic, but the black levels aren't quite as good.
    I think the general opinion is that 'best' is very subjective. Find a dealer in your area who know what he's talking about and go and have look. Avoid the big high street chains as they've been known to leave their demo models on analogue terrestrial.
    Also, think about what your particular needs. If you want a HTPC setup, high resolution may be more important than otherwise. Consider what components you have and how you want to connect them up.
    Good luck
     
  3. Deorch

    Deorch
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    Hey thanks CJD

    Im connecting up a Sony DAW800, Tivo and Sky Digital to the set (and the PSX2 when the missus lets me)

    Ive been in a couple of the high street shops but the pictures never seem to reflect the reviews..Ill have to see if theres a specialist in the area. Is the Panny 5 the 52 inch version?

    So many to choose from so little to go on...
     
  4. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Deorch

    Panasonic offer two different resolution 42" displays - in the US, Europe and the UK. The US models have different model numbers but the basic tech specs are very similar.

    In the UK there are the TH-42PWD5BX (Charcoal) and TH-42PW5B (Silver) Standard Definition displays which have an 852 x 480 resolution - low for PC or Mac use but ideal for video from a Digibox or DVD player.

    There is also the TH-42PHD5BX (Charcoal) High Definition display which has an 1024 x 768 resolution - far better with a PC or Mac and whilst requiring a bit more effort from the in-built video processor is also fine with video sources.

    The 'Panny 5' is actually a reference to the complete 5 Series (5th generation) displays - this includes the 37 and 42" Standard Definition (852 x 480) displays and the 42 and 50" High Definition (1024 x 768) displays.

    The Pioneer PDP-433HDE mentioned by cjdshaw is a PlasmaTV model with an external TV Tuner box/video switcher which adds more TV like features to a plasma screen along with SCART type input sockets.

    The Plasma TV models are generally a bit more expensive than the Plasma Display models - but remember that you may require more cabling and or video converters when using a Display such as the Panasonic models you are considering.

    Personally I'd consider the Panasonic TH-42PWD5BX or the Pioneer PDP-433MXE Plasma Display models as the top contenders for your cash - both of these units are well within your £5K budget.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  5. symanski

    symanski
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    PAL TV has about 570 display lines, and most plasma screens have 480 display lines. So how does one fit the 570 in to 480? It's a complex process, but first you've got to understand that the 570 is halfed as you've got an interlaced picture - not all the 570 lines are updated in each scan.

    So you've now got 285 lines to fit in to 480. Much easier! Internal to the screen is circuitry to interpolate the input video to fit in to what the screen can display. Its a sort of progress-scan type process.

    What you can do to help this process is to provide the screen with the cleanest possible signal. So you've got to start from your source using the best it can product and interface it correctly to the screen. It is this interface which will determine the measure of your set up.

    All the best,

    Dr John Sim.
     
  6. Brianjhussey

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    I know very little about this subject, but an article in the April edition of What Video Widescreen Entertainment raves about the Hitachi Platara 42PD3000E.
    Normally, on the subject of plasmas, everyone uses the Panasonic and Pioneer models as reference points.
    I would be interested in views from the likes of Joe Fernand on the Hitachi.

    Brian.
     
  7. Deorch

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    Thanks a lot joe I have to say the letters at the end of the TH42 were very confusing, the panasonic website was of NO use whatsoever....Thats much clearer now thanks.

    And Dr John, thanks for the techincal Input, you learn more every day! So what your basically saying is the quality of the cables in between source and plasma are as important as the plasma itself. One to bear in mind.

    All I got to do is find a local Plasma specialist and I feel equipped to ask the right questions (without appearing a total chump!) (probably)...

    Let you know how I get on.

    Cheers

    D:D
     
  8. symanski

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    Very much so!

    If you don't start with a good signal, how is the screen ever going to perform? Unfortunately, most demos aren't set up properly and you're not really seeing a good comparison between screens.

    Same with when you get your screen home, unless you use the best signals (RGB/Component) to your screen, your not going to get the best out of it. If you've spent several thousand on a screen, an little bit extra on a good quality interface / converter is money well spent.

    All the best,

    Dr John Sim.
     
  9. Deorch

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    Sorry to be a bit thick possibly :confused: But when you say converter you are referring to the cable etc.. and possibly the reciever or is there another type of converter?
     
  10. Dutch

    Dutch
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    Hi Deorch,

    What Dr John is refering to when he says converter, is a small box that can convert the RGB Scart output from a DVD player or Sky digibox, into a signal suitable for a plasma as most don't have Scart sockets fitted. It can be converted to a VGA signal suitable for the usually unused 15 pin VGA socket or 5 BNC input on the plasma. There are also versions that can convert the RGB signal to component video or S-video. See www.rgbtosvideo.com for all the info you require. Hope this helps.

    Steve
     
  11. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    I saw a new Samsung 42inch panel running off a PAL progressive player in Sevenoaks, Reading.

    Lord of the Rings looked good. The very little noise I could just see in the background was probably on the disc (although I didn't notice it when watched on a HTPC/Barco 808s in the past).

    I think it had less pixellation than a Pioneer 433HD<mumble> Denon 3800 PAL progressive DVD combination I saw in the recently, although bviously this wasn't a fair a/b comparison.

    I think the spec sheet mentioned a 1024x1024 native resolution, this might be why?

    This was coping very well with normal light levels, probably as well if not better than a normal crt telly.

    If I was in the market for a Plasma, I'd ensure an a/b/c between the Pioneer, Panasonic and this Samsung, plus the Richer Sounds £2K panel just to be sure it's as limited as some people say! Do they have a working money back guarantee?

    regards,
    Rob.
     
  12. BigH

    BigH
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    The general concensus is that Panasonic and Pioneer (plus the re-badged versions) are the best at present. Your budget of 5K is almost getting you into 50" territory. As mentioned quality of video source is everything, especially with Plasma's when you go up in screen size. Quality cables and video processors will improve image quality especialy if you push sky digital through it. JS convertors are good products, you can also consider video processors such as the ISCAN Ultra, however this is starting to get expensive!! The bottom line is you should look at the entire system and choose carefully.

    Hope that helps.

    Regards BigH
     
  13. Deorch

    Deorch
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    Many thanks guys...Loads of info.

    I think I've settled on the Panny th425bx (high res version if I can find one!)...Im gonna go down the dealers and see what they recommend in terms of setup.

    I think as this is my first foray Ill be getting installation assistance...as I have 10 thumbs Id probably drop the screen trying to fix it to the wall...:eek:

    Let you all know how I get on :smashin:
     
  14. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Deorch

    You may find it pretty difficult to view the High Resolution 42" Panasonic display as not too many 'dealers' will carry this model.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  15. Deorch

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    I suspect you may be right mate, however Im off this weekend a shopping,,who knows what I might bring back
     

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