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First plasma purchase....ED or HD choice..


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#1 of 40 Nic.Cross

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Posted August 20 2005 - 04:21 PM

Okay, so I have done tons of research and asked lots of questions at the stores. However, I am still stumped because I cannot find the right answers to the questions. I am hoping to get out of my CRT and into a plasma. I definately want to get a PANNY. The question is the ED or the HD. I have DirectTV, but no HDTV Tivo box for the signal and I do not want to buy one right now as it's like 600.00 or so. So I am going to stick with the digital signal and DVDs. I watch about 20-30 hours of TV a week and there are the DVDs (only widescreen). I will be watching from 5 feet away.

Am I going to see a BIG difference between the two or is the HDTV going to make that big of a difference? I just know that the 720p is not true HD so I figured that waiting and purchasing a 1080p in 5 years will be relativetly cheaper. So it begs the question on the 480p vs 720p? I am far-sighted and wear glasses so I do not know if that is going to make a big difference. I do not have 20/20 with glasses.

Thanks!!

#2 of 40 Page

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Posted August 20 2005 - 04:42 PM

If you're not going to be viewing any HD on the plasma, you'll be fine with an ED, especially the Panny. I have a Panny ED and I use it to watch DVDs and SD TV. No problem. Beautiful picture.

With that said, if you buy an HD set, you'll be giving yourself some level of future-proofing. (I know you said that in five years you'd go HD, but five years is a long time in the electronics game.)

With that said, Panasonic is going to be lowering the prices of their plasmas on August 28th. You may be able to score an HD set for the price you were going to pay for an ED set. If I were you, I'd wait until September 1st to see how it all shakes out. Panasonic also sells excellent business plasmas which don't have speakers and all the perks, but have the same excellent picture as the consumer model but with more varied picture controls. They are also priced lower than the consumer models.

#3 of 40 Nic.Cross

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Posted August 20 2005 - 05:10 PM

I have looked around at both the commerical and consumer versions. I heard that the picture controls on the commercials were limited and the remote was basic. As far as the ED vs HD,

I have found a brand new 8gen ED for 1799 no tax and free ship while the HD is 3099 (need to add CA tax). If I can only hope that the HD will drop to 2299 or less it would be great.


Rumor mill has the price drop only going for about 5bills. Do you think the price drop will apply to business models? If that happens it will drop to less than 2K. Then I would wait for that to happen.,

#4 of 40 Page

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Posted August 21 2005 - 05:21 AM

Sounds like you've been reading the same forums as me. I had understood that the commerical sets had more picture tweakability than the consumer sets. (Check out http://www.avsforum....isplay.php?f=40 to get more info from people who have more expertise than me.) The price drop is supposed to be across the board. Since the 28th of August is almost here, I'd wait a little bit more.

(The price you're getting on the ED set is very good, however. But rest assured that the price will not go up.)

#5 of 40 kahlilJ

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Posted August 22 2005 - 01:09 AM

nic,
have you considered the new philips models? for several months i was interested in getting a panny pd25, but a few months ago they replaced it with the current series.

i am thoroughly disappointed with the features (lack of) on the new model & began looking elsewhere. was curious to know what other models you considered before deciding fully on the panny?

#6 of 40 Nic.Cross

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Posted August 22 2005 - 12:00 PM

Re: KahlilJ

Actually I have not really considered any others except the LG which a sales guy tried to get me to buy. I heard that Panny's were the BEST out there in terms of quality and clarity. Am I wrong? Also they have the best prices. I know that Phillips was the first for Plasmas, but what are the pros and cons of them?

#7 of 40 Garrett Lundy

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Posted August 22 2005 - 01:26 PM

Quote:
With that said, if you buy an HD set, you'll be giving yourself some level of future-proofing.

Not really, because the HD models in 2010 will likely all be 1080P (as opposed to 720), have better black, color, & contrast levels, More digital connections (HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort?) and cost less than they do now!

I say get the ED now and don't worry about HD until high-res DVD and HDTV on cable are market standard.
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#8 of 40 Page

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Posted August 22 2005 - 06:23 PM

Not really, because the HD models in 2010 will likely all be 1080P (as opposed to 720), have better black, color, & contrast levels, More digital connections (HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort?) and cost less than they do now!


The Panasonic models coming out later this year and into next year will have 1080p. Better blacks, color, and contrast levels will most likely only be marginally improved as time goes on. (Only so much can be done with a TV that is on its 8th generation.) DisplayPort--a good possibility for the future. Cost less in 2010--without a doubt!

The word came out today that Panasonic is reducing the price on their plasmas starting this weekend. (Other makers of plasmas would be wise to follow this lead to steal away from the LCD/DLP "onslaught" that is coming this year.) Expect further price reductions as Christmas time gets close and all manufacturers want to sell you a nice and "expensive" digital TV.

Honestly, you should go to a store that has a good HD feed and has the plasmas you are interested in. You be the judge.

From my experience, Panasonic has the best bang for the buck...and the best blacks. Fujitsu has wonderful sets, but they are too high-priced for me. Pioneer's blacks are not as good as Panasonics, but they have very accurate color--they're also too high-priced compared to Panasonics. "Supposedly", the new Pioneers coming out this year will be able to equal or beat the Panasonics in picture quality...and at a reduced price. (Though probably not as low as the Panasonics.) The Pioneers are also supposed to be 1080p sets. All other makers of plasmas, I'd stay away from--they haven't perfected their sets yet. (I'm interested in the new LGs, but the last time I looked at them, they still hadn't improved their mediocre picture yet. I'd also pass on the Philips. And Sony (even though you didn't ask) are getting out of the plasma game and betting on the LCOS sets to win the consumers' cash.)

#9 of 40 RickER

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Posted August 23 2005 - 02:30 AM

I had my eye on a Sony plasma, looked nice to me. I love my Sony 36" XBR. I am a fan of Pioneer too, but the Sony seems to be calling to me, what do you guys think?

#10 of 40 ThomasJames

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Posted August 23 2005 - 05:12 AM

HD material on a ED Panny PD50 Plasma looks absolutely fantastic. Incredibly good. Go for it.

#11 of 40 Nic.Cross

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Posted August 23 2005 - 08:09 AM

well so far I have not heard one bad thing about the Panny EDTV. Seems comperable to the HDTV with a few exceptions.

#12 of 40 Joel...Lane

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Posted August 23 2005 - 09:13 AM

Quote:
I just know that the 720p is not true HD so I figured that waiting and purchasing a 1080p in 5 years will be relativetly cheaper. So it begs the question on the 480p vs 720p?


720p and 1080i are HD. 480p is the max resolution for an ED, which is perfect for DVD's.

Quote:
I say get the ED now and don't worry about HD until high-res DVD and HDTV on cable are market standard.


I agree. It's said all the time on this forum. You could wait your whole life for something better because there will always be something better coming right around the corner. Get it and enjoy it!

#13 of 40 Page

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Posted August 23 2005 - 10:29 AM

I had my eye on a Sony plasma, looked nice to me. I love my Sony 36" XBR. I am a fan of Pioneer too, but the Sony seems to be calling to me, what do you guys think?


I would stay away from the Sonys. (That's me, however.) Sony is exiting the plasmas field. Their current offerings are overpriced and their black levels cannot match the much cheaper Panasonics or the more expensive Fujitsus. (The floating frame on the Sonys is cool, however.)

As far as going ED or HD, if you can't see the difference, then save some bucks and go ED. Panasonic and most companies making plasmas will be leaving behind the ED displays and focusing on HD. (Panasonic is going to only HD plasma displays starting next year.) If you're just watching SD DVDs and SD broadcast TV, then the ED set is a wise choice. (I've had my ED plasma for several years and I've had no complaints. And I sit pretty close to it.) HOWEVER, if I were shopping for my set today, I'd, at least, consider the HD sets because the price is dropping on them this year and if for less than half a grand I could be in HD land...well, that's me. (I'm currently looking for a 65inch HD plasma at a reasonable price to replace my RPTV. If prices continue to drop, I may make it this year or next.)

The wisest thing is to WAIT if you can. Pricing is going to be very competitive in the coming months. (But not so competitive that you should wait more than three months.)

#14 of 40 ThomasJames

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Posted August 23 2005 - 02:01 PM

well so far I have not heard one bad thing about the Panny EDTV. Seems comperable to the HDTV with a few exceptions.
well so far I have not heard one bad thing about the Panny EDTV. Seems comperable to the HDTV with a few exceptions.

Watching HDnet and HDnet movies on the PD50 ED has ruined my appreciation of DVD's. HD material looks so superior on this panel when compared to DVD's, even when using a high quality player.

When I started the search for an HD unit I was absolutely dead set against ED. I thought it was nuts to spend serious money on a enhanced SD set. I had a $3000 budget at the time I purchased the PD50. I was ready to pull the string on an HD panel or RP DLP when I saw the PD50. I obsessively traveled from store to store comparing this panel to true HD units. In every case I could not get over how good 720P and 1080i material looked on it. My final decision was made when I found a store with 14 plasma's mounted in two rows. The PD50 to my eyes was the clear winner at 7/8ft out.

DVD's do look good on the ED Pd50..But HD material blows them away in the PQ department.

#15 of 40 Nic.Cross

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Posted August 24 2005 - 02:28 AM

HOWEVER, if I were shopping for my set today, I'd, at least, consider the HD sets because the price is dropping on them this year and if for less than half a grand I could be in HD land...well, that's me. (I'm currently looking for a 65inch HD plasma at a reasonable price to replace my RPTV. If prices continue to drop, I may make it this year or next.)

I would love to consider it even more if the price comes close to that of the ED. Once again, I am not going to be getting the HD box for DTV. So I do not think I can fully utilize it's full capability. I also know that that 1080 or better will be coming along. Of course there is the diappointment that I could have bought better too. Done that too many times. been doing pretty good about spending that few extra $$$ for the next level, but for plasmas it's not a small jump.

Yes there is something always better coming along, so I hope that I get the better later.

As long as the ED does better than a CRT WEGA that I have for watching TV and DVDs, I will be happy. Can anyone confirm this too??

#16 of 40 James Phung

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Posted August 24 2005 - 02:28 AM

You may be losing the extra detail of HD with an edtv set, but most people don't sit close enough to really notice it IMO. The great color resolution of HD is still very noticeable on many EDTV sets as many edtv plasma and edtv projectors owners (like my Infocus 4805) have come to find out and enjoy. There's more to HD than just resolution, the color resolution is so much greater than DVD.

#17 of 40 Rich Malloy

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Posted August 24 2005 - 07:53 AM

But don't fool yourself into believing that there's only a "very slight" difference between HD and ED. The difference is readily noticeable, even when comparing true HD to 480p upscaled to 1080i/720p. However, given your viewing habits, it may be wise to stick with ED for now. Just don't expect that you'll be getting "near-HD" quality.

Quote:
As long as the ED does better than a CRT WEGA that I have for watching TV and DVDs, I will be happy. Can anyone confirm this too??
I'd rather leave this question to others, as I can't speak directly to this particular comparison, but I don't think the improvement will be very great. Your CRT will almost certainly do a better job rendering deep blacks. Another big consideration is the size of the screen - that is, if the ED plasma screen you're looking to get is very much larger than your current CRT, then you will notice the SD/ED defects to a much greater extent. For example, SD-TV looks very fine on my 20" bedroom TV, but looks horrendous on my 53" monitor.

If you're a fan of televised sports and nature programming, don't even think twice. Go HD. You'll wonder how in the world you ever watched football in SD.
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#18 of 40 kahlilJ

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Posted August 24 2005 - 04:47 PM

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All other makers of plasmas, I'd stay away from--they haven't perfected their sets yet. (I'm interested in the new LGs, but the last time I looked at them, they still hadn't improved their mediocre picture yet. I'd also pass on the Philips.


i'm curious to know why you'd pass on the philips? did you have a bad experience with them? or read some negative stuff about them? or??

also page, you seem to be either well versed about industry info or work for this industry. you've got some really good info. so what's your story? Posted Image

#19 of 40 Page

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Posted August 24 2005 - 05:01 PM

I would love to consider it even more if the price comes close to that of the ED. Once again, I am not going to be getting the HD box for DTV. So I do not think I can fully utilize it's full capability. I also know that that 1080 or better will be coming along. Of course there is the diappointment that I could have bought better too. Done that too many times. been doing pretty good about spending that few extra $$$ for the next level, but for plasmas it's not a small jump.


The prices drops have been announced and further price drops are coming so the jump is, indeed, rather small. These are very substantial price drops. I bought a 42inch ED set jusat a few years back. With the upcoming price drops, I can buy a 50 inch HD set for a lower price than I paid for my ED set. The best bargain looks like it will be the 50 inch HD sets. You really should check out the plasma forum at AVS before purchasing. It might save you some "buyer's remorse."

If you go for an ED set, you'll save quite a bit of money, also. I think that is also a wise path to take. Buy the ED this year and move it to the bedroom in a year or two and then purchase an HD set for your entertainment room. If you're looking for just one set that will get you through five years without suffering "upgradeitis", I'd take a second look at HD sets first.

As far as the Panny plasma being better than the Wega CRT...the Wega will have better blacks, but the Panny plasmas are well-known for having blacks which are very good--"almost" as good as a CRTs. (I have a Pansonic Tau (Panny's version of Sony's Wega) in the same room as my plasma. With the picture dialed in correctly, the plasma gives a sharper and more detailed picture than the Tau. Colors are excellent and the black level is fine.)

Have you gone to some high end stores to check out plasmas? Stores that have the sets calibrated correctly? Before making any buying decisions you should. (You could even go to some stores like Circuit City and Best Buy and get a rough idea of what a plasma can do, but those stores usually have pretty poor feeds and set-ups. You could always bring some DVDs along with you (since that is what you'll be watching mostly) and dial in the set to your preferences if the store lets you.

#20 of 40 Page

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Posted August 24 2005 - 05:22 PM

i'm curious to know why you'd pass on the philips? did you have a bad experience with them? or read some negative stuff about them? or?? also page, you seem to be either well versed about industry info or work for this industry. you've got some really good info. so what's your story?

What I've read and seen of the Philips plasmas. I have a Philips DVD multi-changer and a Philips CD burner. Very good products. I just don't think Philips's strength is in the video game. As I told the other gentleman, check out the AVS plasma forum-- http://www.avsforum....isplay.php?f=40 . The people there know ten times more stuff about plasmas than I do. Lots of long-time owners. (I get a LOT of information from that site. Check out posts by Rogo and R. Harkness.) Ask the members on the forum about the Philips--you'll get some very honest answers.

A friend of mine sells plasmas. (Fujitsu.) He's been in it for years. I used to think the whole idea of plasmas was a little nutty--a TV that runs on plasma gas. And I thought it was crazy because he had to cart these plasmas all over the country and try to sell them to businesses for conventions and stuff like that. Industrial models. And the price was so high I could never envision putting out that sort of cash for a TV. But the picture on these plasmas were always very good. Eventually, Pansonic, Pioneer, Sony, and a bunch of other lesser brands got into the field. And prices got more competitive. Panasonic was always pushing the envelope with better features and lower prices. (In fact, Fujitsu started using Panasonic glass in their plasmas.) Finally, the prices got to a point where I could see investing in a plasma set, so I bought a Panny ED set. Wonderful set with an outstanding picture.

Now, I'm looking to replace my 61 inch CRT and have looked into DLP, LCD, front projection, but the "allure" of that plasma picture keeps bringing me back. (And I'm not a Panasonic fanatic. I just think that they have the best plasmas for the price currently. But in the electronics game, that can always change, of course, so I keep an open mind.)


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