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Panasonic TC P42X1 scaling question

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#1 of 11 OFFLINE   Kolchak



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Posted March 05 2009 - 02:26 AM

Hi, I'd appreciate any thoughts or advise on this issue. I just got the new Panasonic 720p Plasma 42 inch (TC p42x1). It's replacing an old RP Panny that finally bit the dust. I adjusted the settings to allow for the break in period. Is it me or does the TV seems to settle in, almost like a speaker would? The set looks and functions better after a few days than when I first set it up. I have an older Panasonic progressive DVD player that I am running to the TV via component cables. (audio via digital optical to my Yamaha amp). There is no HDMI output on this older unit. The TV's own scaler seems to be doing a very good job. The better I feed it , the better it looks. Nicely restored standard DVDs or newer ones have a very rich color palate, good black levels and a much improved level of sharpness and contrast over the old set. Here's my question. How will getting a new DVD player with upscaling improve my picture? Will merely connecting through an HDMI cable yield a marked improvement and if so can I just get a low line unit so I can play through HDMI. In essence letting the TV's scaler carry the heavy load? I am a little reticent to get a cheap one with poor mechanics... though maybe they are fine. Will getting a better model DVD upscaling player like the OPPO 980H give me picture quality that exceeds what the scaler on the TV can already accomplish on it's own? I'd rather not spend money needlessly but is it just having the HDMI connection that will account for the better quality or are there upscaling players that truly outperform the one that is in the TV. Clearly I am not up on the specs like you guys and I may be under the spell of how good plasma looks, but this new Panny seems to have a very good upscaler in there. I would really welcome your comments and recommendations. Thanks!

#2 of 11 OFFLINE   Gregg Loewen

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Posted March 05 2009 - 07:37 AM

an upscaling DVD player may marginally improve your image. If you want to really improve it...go BluRay (and also use it for upconverting your SD DVDs). The PS3 still kicks A** as a BD player and also does a fantastic job of upconverting SD DVDs.

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#3 of 11 OFFLINE   Steve Schaffer

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Posted March 06 2009 - 11:09 AM

^^^Ditto what Greg said. An upconverting player is only going to be a temporary stopgap on the way to a BD player at this point in time. If you are adamant about getting just an upconverting player get a good one like the Oppo or at least a Sony.
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#4 of 11 OFFLINE   Kolchak



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Posted March 07 2009 - 03:51 AM

Thanks for the input. I haven't found a section that talks about and compares the different current DVD players. What's been folks' experience with the Oppo 980 and other Oppos? Is the Farouja chip all its cracked up to be? How are the Denon's? What are your favorite upcaling DVD players? Mods - feel free to direct that to the apporpriate thread.

#5 of 11 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted March 07 2009 - 04:55 AM

For DVD players, please go take a gander at the Audio/Video area. There are lots of threads on the Oppo, etc.

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#6 of 11 OFFLINE   RomanSohor


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Posted March 09 2009 - 12:39 PM

I just picked up this TV today--- my first truly HD set! I ordered my HDMI cable this afternoon, so right now my BD is connected via Component Cables, so no upconversion for my SD's yet.

I'm watching Roger Rabbit Vista Series right now... can't wait til this movie comes out on BluRay. Love the picture!

I'd also add that "upconvert dvd players" have become such cheap commodities now that the emphasis is now on cheapness, not performance, unless you go specifically for a high end Oppo, Denon, Elite, etc, player... and this doesn't just mean shoddy upconversion, but bad MPEG2 decoding in general - I've demo'd some about 2 years ago, and I swear my 480i Panasonic DVD A120 looked better on component than a lot of the cheap upconverts. I may even connect to the plasma to use for quick showing of shorts before the features on BD Posted Image
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#7 of 11 OFFLINE   Kolchak



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Posted March 11 2009 - 06:18 AM

I find that the upscaling in the set is terrific looking, just on its own. When I feed it a good DVD transfer it is stunning. I'm going for either a Denon or Oppo. When I get it, I'll a/b the picture with my old panasonic progressive still going thru component to see the difference. I've done a bunch of research but the picture on this set (after tweaking) is gonna be tough to beat. I tried to find out what the "scaling chip" was that the set is built with so I could see how it compares with the ones I'm considering. No luck. Will just depend on the old eyeballs, which is what I watch with anyway. If they like it, I like it.

#8 of 11 OFFLINE   curtcs



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Posted March 12 2009 - 06:19 AM

Kolchak, I just purchased one of the TC-P42X1 TVs from PC Connection. It's on back-order but I'm not in a huge rush and got a really good deal on it so I'm willing to wait. Glad to hear you have had a good experience so far and look forward to hearing more about your experience with it. Would it be possible to post your picture settings and/or any tweaks you have done? Thanks, Curtis

#9 of 11 OFFLINE   Kolchak



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Posted March 13 2009 - 10:51 AM

Curtis, FWIW I really believe you should let your own eyes, room lighting, distance and taste come in to play. There is a site that has a lot of calibrating and tweaking info I can recommend but I don't if you are allowed to tout other sites on this forum. This particular Panny is new but you can use info from last year's models as a starting point. Get a stunning remastered DVD that you know well and start it up. Pull up the picture options, scroll down till you find a setting that appeals, and then jot down the factory settings. Go through them and increase or decrease, watch for a while and see what you think. There is no magic group of settings. Don't be afraid to adjust things, you can always set them back. The process will make you appreciate the set all the more. Factory settings tend to be on the too bright, too sharp side. The Cinema and Custom settings have more of a movie feel to me and require less heavy lifting to get in line. Just my two cents, but you can become your own expert. I have what appeals to me but that's just me.

#10 of 11 OFFLINE   curtcs



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Posted March 15 2009 - 12:09 PM


Ok. I'll have to check it out when I get it and see what settings I come up with. It would be interesting to compare notes.

If you wouldn't mind PMing me the website you're talking about that would be great.

Here are the forum rules:

I don't think it would be a problem linking to a site with how-to info on tuning a TV.


#11 of 11 OFFLINE   JeffroNC



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Posted March 18 2009 - 11:22 AM

I have owned this TV for two weeks and all I know is that my Sony progressive scan DVD player makes high quality DVDs look nearly HD. No joke. Component cables and progressive scan are all I have. I think the up conversion inside this TV is better than most "upconverting" DVD players out there. As long as the source material is solid I am totally amazed at how good this thing looks (and suunds!) I own a lot of DVDs that have lots of bonus features on the same disc as the movie and they suffer greatly in bitrate quality. I don't know if an upscaling DVD player could help them. Star Wars Episode I comes to mind and my copy of Minority Report is also really weak. 2-disc DVDs usually are made to avoid the low bit rate that is enforced when sharing space with features. Good buy on the Panny! It is an awesome TV. It has the best scaling circuitry on the market. As many have said, even SD cable signals look quite impressive, but when I find a sweet 720p or 1080i signal my eyes bleed. Enjoy it!

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