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Help in understanding plasma screens, HDTV and EDTV

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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted February 20 2005 - 04:57 AM

Here's another post asking about HDTV, thanks for indulging me! I am trying to get my head around the world of HDTV in preparing to purchase a new display, and I'm focusing on a plasma screen. I have been watching standard 4:3 on a 32" CRT. It's dying, so it looks like a good time to jump onto HDTV. I've been reading up on the subject, read posts on the AV forum site and have seen plasma and RPTV at the stores. What I'm trying to get clear in my head is whether it would be better to get into an EDTV or HDTV plasma screen. My viewing habits now and likely over the next few years will be 50-50% DVD of my current standard def DVD's and broadcast TV. Plus some Playstation. I don't see a time when I would get cable or satallite. But I do like the idea of having an HDTV set in anticipation of HD-DVD and to see HDTV over the air broadcast. (With the money saved having never spent on monthly fees for cable, I could spend on the screen) I will try to see a DVD on an HDTV and EDTV plasma screen to compare the picture. What I know is that today's DVD's will be displayed better then what I can see on standard TV. Today's DVD's are of the same resolution as EDTV, so that's the best it can get. But what I'd like to understand is how will the same standard DVD look on an HDTV screen? Will it just look a little fuzzy due to the increased pixels of the screen and do particualr manufacturers have a way to compensate? I know I have to just look and see! I'm reading a lot of good things about Panasonic glass. Any insights appreciated! Nelson

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   RoyGBiv


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Posted February 21 2005 - 04:27 AM

There are many people who believe that because the EDTV plasmas have the same native resolution as DVDs, the DVDs will look superior on an ED display. Then, you have to worry which plasma is better for HD. From what I've seen HD will look excellent on an ED plasma as well. I have a 50" Panasonic plasma, so it is HD (I believe only the 42" come in either flavor), and the picture with both DVDs and HD is spectacular. DVDs do not look "fuzzy" on my display. They look almost as good as HD! If most of your viewing is DVD, the ED set may make more sense. It will be much less expensive. With prices coming down as fast as they have been lately, maybe it would make sense for you to buy an ED plasma now, and in a few years upgrade to HD. OTOH, you may find that your HD viewing on the ED plasma looks so good you don't have to. The only way to know is to look at lots of displays with material you are familiar with and then decide. SMK

#3 of 6 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted February 21 2005 - 08:12 AM

Steven- Thank you for your insights. What model is the 50" Panasonic display, is there only one? I'd like to go and see one. Good to know your DVD's are looking so good! My fear is that the investment in a plasma that's an ED might hinder future HD viewing material. From what I've read on the AVS Forums, sounds like at my roughly 10' viewing distance, it won't matter as most of the time, you can not see the difference on a 42" display, so why not go for an ED. On a 50" display, maybe the same is true. Nelson

#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Mort Corey

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Posted February 21 2005 - 10:16 AM

You really have to go and audition these things in person. My wife could see the screen door effect at a measured seven feet on the ED 42" plasma displays. The HD units did not have the same effect at the same distance. If you decide to go with a 50" display then you'll not have to even consider this question.....they're all HD. Posted Image Take along some software that you're familiar with and have the store demonstrate both displays using the same input device.


#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Allan Jayne

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Posted February 22 2005 - 02:19 AM

ED is really standard definition, just with progressive scan and (hopefully) more horizontal resolution than the run of the mill "analog" TV. You will get full DVD quality when viewing HDTV shows tuned in with an external HDTV set top box but it is still not high definition.

Video hints:

#6 of 6 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted February 22 2005 - 11:04 AM

Thanks Allan and Mort for the additional insights and link. This is all very helpful as I get my head around the world of Plasmas and HDTV! Nelson

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