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Plasma TV choice for 42"-50"?

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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 OFFLINE   WaltS



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Posted March 14 2004 - 06:39 AM

I was interested if there was a concensus on which model of Plasma TV with some concern for budget is best in the 42"-50" range. Is true HDTV resolution really necessary or should that not be compromised?

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   DaveGTP



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Posted March 14 2004 - 12:37 PM

The consensus reached by the avsforum.com plasma forum (best source for plasma info) is that, beyond 8 ft, the difference between HD and ED 42" is either not detectable, or negligible. And generally normal NTSC standard def stuff looks better due to less upscaling to ED.

The "best" budget plasma would probably be the commercial Panasonic 42" ED model TH-42PWD6UY (available at very reliable e-tailers for about $2800). Provided you have a sound system (the commercial model has no speakers). They take a while to get, though, since they are backordered - they are very very popular amongst those who have done their research, and the e-tailers can't get them fast enough to satisfy the demand.

The newer Akai and Samsung models have gotten some good feedback, but blacks aren't as good as the Pannys. There's a ED NEC commercial model that has also received praise (I believe based on the Panny glass).

The Pannys also have a very good NTSC scaler than many of the budget plasmas.

Just don't snatch up one of the ALiS-based plasmas (the gateway, daewoo, etc) unless you are on a REALLY tight budget.
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#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Mort Corey

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Posted March 15 2004 - 07:35 AM

All the 50" displays (that I've seen anyway) are HD resolution. The 42" units are ED or HD, Alis and non Alis. When I was auditioning new screens I saw a noticeable difference (contrary to popular opinion) in PQ between ED and HD units when viewed at a measured eight feet.....YEMV (your eyes may vary Posted Image ).....especially on an HD feed. Recommend you SEE as many units in as many locations as possible before plunking down you money.

Commercial units generally come sans tuner, stand/mounting hardware, speakers and "in home" warranty service. If any of those features are important to you, suggest you look at consumer units.

I had my choice narrowed down between Panasonic, Pioneer and Fujitsu panels and finally decided to purchase the Fujitsu......howsomeever, when I went into the dealer to make my purchase they had the new(er) JVC 42" HD panel that out performed (IMO) all the previous contenders in PQ....as a bonus it was less expensive. Best AV purchase I've ever made.


#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Steve_L_B


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Posted March 16 2004 - 06:31 AM

The eight foot number that is often recited is considered to be the threshold at which the differences between HD and ED may become noticeable, especially with regards to to pixel structure being visible. At ten feet, most consider the difference to be so small as to not justify the $1500+ price difference. Additionally, in the case of the Panasonic ED and HD models, the ED display is generally considered to be superior with SD and DVD sources.


#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Jeffrey_Jones


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Posted March 16 2004 - 10:40 AM

I just recently purchased a Plasma and I spent a ton of time researching. For me this represents a huge investment so keeping buyers remorse to a minimum was a must have requirement.

I spent a lot of time looking at the Panny ED and HD and for me the decision to go HD was pretty easy (although I didn't buy the Panny). I could see the pixel structure of the ED even from 8-10 feet away and the added resolution of the HD was very apparent to me from that same distance when viewing HD material. On DVDs it was much less noticeable but I still preferred the HD. I agree, the ED is a little better with standard definition material but not enough to be a huge factor in my decision.

I ended up buying the new NEC 42XM2/S (a silver model just released for the consumer market). It is an HD Plasma with a native resolution of 1024x768. NEC makes their own glass...it is not sourced from Panasonic. As far as I know the NEC glass is also used in the Sony XBR950 plasmas as well as the JVC mentioned earlier in this post.

Deciding between NEC and Panasonic was an extremely difficult decision for me. So why did I pick the NEC?

As I said, I wanted an HD ready plasma and as controversial as this statement is I just couldn't get the ED Panasonic without feeling like I was settling.

Price was an important factor. I was able to get the HD NEC with all the inputs that I need for much less then I could find the HD Panasonic similarly equipped.

The video input section was a big issue for me. I really like the out-of-the box input selection of the NEC vs. the Panasonic. The flexibility and future proof argument in favor of Panasonic's blade concept didn't have much influence. I've heard too many complaints of compatibility issues with the Panasonic DVI blade and I don't trust Panasonic to maintain backwards compatibility as they add new capabilities to future plasmas. This could come back and bite me in the butt at some point but I think I made the right call.

I really wanted a consumer oriented Plasma with an in-home warranty. The NEC consumer model is extremely flexible, provides total control over all aspects of picture control that I care about and has all the inputs I want where I want them. Well almost where I want them...putting them on the side is a little stupid in my opinion. The consumer Panasonic looks fantastic but I couldn't get over the lack of control options, the lack of native 720P support and the VGA input on the front of the panel. Small issues for some...huge issues for me. In addition I just don't need the speakers or the tuner and didn't want to pay for them.

The NEC has a reputation for working much better as a computer display then the Panasonic and while this isn't an immediate issue for me I do plan on taking advantage of this in the near future.

The biggest problem with the NEC is that you cannot find one in any stores to look at before you buy. They haven't been selling to the consumer market for long and are only available in most areas from online vendors. Based on peer reviews and careful analysis of other sets that use the NEC glass I went with the NEC. I bought mine from Dell (have to call...it's not on their site) so if I made a huge mistake I can always eat the shipping costs and return the TV.

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Bill Will

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Posted March 16 2004 - 11:24 AM

I always thought that JVC's & Panasonic's were the same? seeing Panasonic owns JVC. Am I wrong on this?

#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Gabriel_Lam



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Posted March 16 2004 - 12:17 PM

You're correct, Panasonic and JVC are owned by the same parent company.
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#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Jeffrey_Jones


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Posted March 16 2004 - 12:18 PM


I think you are right about JVC using Panasonic glass...my mistake. I just checked their specs and the contrast ratio they have listed is the same as the coorosponding Panasonic. The 42 and 50 XBR950 use the NEC glass...I think a few other companies do as well (Marantz and Loewe are suspected) but I don't think they are using the latest generation glass.