Width issues

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs Forum' started by AllenConquest, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. AllenConquest

    AllenConquest
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    This is my first post, so please be gentle ...

    I'm still trying to decide what screen to get, but I'm now leaning towards a plasma. I have a recess in my wall that would suit a wall mount display really well. I'll be sitting at a distance of 8-10 feet, so from browsing the forum I think a 42" would be best.

    I like the look of the Hitatchi 42PD7500 but the unit is a fraction too wide. I see that the speakers are detachable. Does that mean I can take them off and mount them under the display, or would I need to get a sound system?

    My main requirements are Freeview built in and ability to connect HTPC. Any other suggestions that might suit my needs ?

    Thanks,

    Allen
     
  2. MAW

    MAW
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    For HTPC stay clear of ANY integrated TV, none will be entirely satisfactory. This is a digital display, you must address each pixel with the PC output, or the image will be less than sharp. This is impossible with the Hitachi, and Pioneer and Panasonic freeview TVs have other problems with PCs. You need a panel, like the Panasonic TH42PHD8, or the Pioneer 42MXE10. Get a separate freeview box, perhaps a Topfield TF5800 PVR, which outputs component video. It's cheap to connect. But maybe a good alternative might be a freeview card in the PC?
    You will need a sound system, but surely you were going to do that anyway. With just a freeview box maybe and a PC in your system, you won't need any fancy pants video switching, you can choose on sound quality and price alone. If you are currently strapped for cash, a pair of stereo speakers, almost anything, can be powered from the speaker terminals on the plasma.
     
  3. AllenConquest

    AllenConquest
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    Can you elaborate on why the current crop of plasma TV are no good for connecting to a HTPC. Surely I can output at whatever resolution is required for the panel to get a 1:1 pixel mapping (via DVI or DVI-HDMI) ?

    I've already got a Freeview card in my HTPC, but wanted another one in the TV so I can watch one channel while recording another (without putting yet another card in the HTPC, I'll put a dvb-s card in there instead)

    I'm looking at the Logitech Z-5500 speakers, what do you think of them ?

    Cheers,

    Allen
     
  4. MAW

    MAW
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    You can't get native res into a Hitachi, full stop. The VGA ports are very restricted in refresh rates, often no 50Hz, which you will need to avoid frame rate conversion judder. No HDMI port supports any panel native res, so VGA is what you've got. Trust me on this, I do it for a living. Pioneer VGA is limited to 56Hz minimum, with some odd internal manipulation, Panasonic is better, but none of them are easy to pixel map to. Panels are designed for this, and pixel mapping is easily possible at all sorts of refresh rates on both digital and analogue ports. Logitech speakers, well they ain't exactly hi fi, but they'll certainly do the job, and both the speakers and amp are small, though if they are the ones I'm thinking of, my wife would throw a total wobbler over the sub!!
     
  5. AllenConquest

    AllenConquest
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    What about the TH42PX60? Is the problem the refresh rate? This TV has a resolution of 1024x768.
     
  6. MAW

    MAW
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    You can do native on VGA on this screen. Adjusting position/size is a pain, it's best to avoid them. Just how much hassle can it be to run an external freeview box?
     
  7. AllenConquest

    AllenConquest
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    Just another controller, another box to switch on (and take up sapce). Not so user friendly for a 4 year-old.

    So, if you had the choice would you go for the Panasonic or Pioneer? To me the Pioneer looks a better bet, but I bow to your greater experience in these matters :) Also, where is a good place to get one ?

    I've seen some people complaining because 1024x768 means that it doesn't have square pixels and can make a computer output look stretched. Would an LCD panel be better for hooking to an HTPC (although a 42" LCD might not be too good).

    Cheers,

    Allen

    PS I really appreciate you help on this. It's my first look at a flat panel and I want to try and make the write choice.
     
  8. AllenConquest

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    Well I've been reading a few more threads and it seems that the 42MXE10 is the best for connect from a HTPC via DVI @50Hz, so I'm pretty convinced of that now. Obviously I'd like to see one before buying, do you know of anywhere in London (or nearby) that would be able to demo one ?

    On the audio front, I've taken on-board your comment about the Z-5500. Can you recommend another setup at around the £200 mark ? Ideally I'd want to be able to connect via digital coax from my HTPC, and also by able to connect things like VHS player and PS3 (when it arrives).

    Cheers,

    Allen
     
  9. AllenConquest

    AllenConquest
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    Would anyone else like to give their opinion of which is the best panel to connect to a PC?

    Cheers,

    Allen
     
  10. g852

    g852
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    LCD perhaps....:rolleyes:
     
  11. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    if HD doesnt interest you the Pio 43MXE1 for £1400 is great VFM a tad fragile but great PQ for the money dont go for the 42 its a rebadged NEC and its pants! just ask MAW
     
  12. Oli

    Oli
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    Hmm I didn't realise there were so many problems with Plasma TVs and displaying for HTPCs? I was hoping to get a PD7200 or a PX60, but should I just opt for a panel now???

    The PHD8 is right at the edge of my price range though, with the HDMI, component video inputs and stand it comes to £1800+!
     
  13. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    well worth the money if your serious about HTPC use tho
     
  14. Oli

    Oli
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    I guess a sensible option would be to get the standard TV + stand, then buy the boards later when I need them, I can't see myself needing an HDMI board for a few months yet!
     
  15. Oli

    Oli
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    Sorry another q.. will a TY42MT6T fit the PHD8?
     
  16. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    what is a TY42MT6T?
     
  17. MAW

    MAW
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    TY42TM6T isn't that the 6 series scart? It works.
     
  18. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    is it? its not the six series tuner interface board is it?

    Nope MAW is right its the scart board for 6/7 series and works
     
  19. MAW

    MAW
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    Whaddya mean I'm right? Did you ever doubt it?
     
  20. Oli

    Oli
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    Yes sorry, I've only been into computers for too long and i've got far too used to using such references and expecting people to be that geeky that they know what i mean :rotfl:

    One thing that confused me, the HDMI board, surely I don't need that to display high res stuff through the PC?
     
  21. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    no not unless your planning on an HDCP output ie blu-ray/HD-DVD :D even then DVi will do it, but for now VGA is fine mate
     
  22. Oli

    Oli
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    Is there any news on HD drives ie blu-ray/HD-DVD available for the PC? I can't remember now how long it took for DVD-Rom drives to come out after commercial players
     
  23. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    they are due out in a Sony desktop next month and the Tosh Qosimo G30 laptop so i guess ot long!
     
  24. Oli

    Oli
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    blimey!

    sod the format debate then, i can have both :D
     
  25. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    sorry they are blu-ray i think not dual drives!
    search for "G30" there are links to proposed specs
     
  26. AllenConquest

    AllenConquest
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    I guess everyone one this part of the forum is a plasma convert. Can someone please give me a level-headed review of why plasma is better than LCD for displaying output from an HTPC. Especially when I can't see any plasmas that have a proper 16:9 resolution. I don't call 1024x768 a HTPC friendly widescreen resolution. Why does no-one do a 1280x720 panel ?
     
  27. MAW

    MAW
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    You may be right, Allen, there are some decent-ish 40" LCD panels. NEC do one which could fit the bill. They do have a slower response time, and due to inherent characteristics of LCD, they do not deliver the contrast and black levels of even the weaker plasmas. But they do have loads of pixels, and are true 16:9 in both shape and pixel count. Maybe it could come down to just how much use is with actual PC content, where aspect ratio matters, and how much is video playback, where your software can compensate for the aspect distortion.
     
  28. AllenConquest

    AllenConquest
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    Which NEC one were you refering too. What is your opinion of the new Sony Brava range ?

    Allen
     
  29. MAW

    MAW
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    Multisync 4010. The bravias are good LCD TVs, no proper PC connectivity still.
     
  30. AllenConquest

    AllenConquest
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    Where do you find out the connectivity for the Sony display. I went to their website but the so-called "technical specifications" didn't have much as all. It has HDMI, but is there a restriction on frequency ?

    Allen
     

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