EDTV vs HDTV--Plasma

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Mac, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. Mac

    Mac Agent

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    I am looking at getting a new tv for my family room and I would like a Plasma. The HDTV plasma's are to rich for my blood, so I have been concentrating on the EDTV's. I would like a little info on the differences btwn the two and Ihave a few questions. First let me explain my home setup: I have an HDTV setup in my basement and reveive over the air HDTV and Directv HDTV. SO I have the potential to receive a HDTV feed to and EDTV. Questions:

    Would I be able to receive HDTV signal into a Plasma EDTV, and if so how inferior would it be to a normal HDTV?

    Would I be able to play progressive scan DVD's in 480P?

    What Plasma EDTV would you recommend to me if at all--I would not want to go bigger than 42 inches and not smaller than 34 inches--would want widescreen.

    Thanks!!

    Mac
     
  2. Luke_Y

    Luke_Y Second Unit

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    The Panasonic ED plasma is very highly recomended, prob. the best ED pannel.
     
  3. David Parrish

    David Parrish Stunt Coordinator

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    Instead of a resolution limit, what is your monetary limit? Who knows, maybe you CAN afford an HDTV Plasma.

    The biggest difference between the two is pixel count. HD plasmas have more and they offer finer detail. To see how much this will affect you, measure the seating distance in your room from TV to your viewing spot. Then go to a store, stand that distance away from a couple of plasmas, and see what the difference is between the two levels as far as pixelization of the image and detail.

    Aside from pixel count, a HDTV plasma is likely to have a better contrast ratio and possibly better hardware for converting images to the TV's native resolution.
     
  4. Jason GT

    Jason GT Second Unit

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    I am anything but a plasma expert, but since nobody has really answered two of your questions:

    Would I be able to receive HDTV signal into a Plasma EDTV, and if so how inferior would it be to a normal HDTV?

    I do know that there are some EDTV plasmas that can accept an HD signal (720p/1080i) and downconvert it. I do NOT know if this sort of feature is common. As for its inferiority? This is a hard question to answer (it's subjective). Basically you'll be going from HD quality to DVD quality.

    Would I be able to play progressive scan DVD's in 480P?

    Yes, with a caveat. EDTV is 480p. I am not absolutely sure that all ED plasmas are 480-line displays (they may be slightly more). However, plasmas are, like all digital displays, inherently progressive devices.
     
  5. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

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    "Aside from pixel count, a HDTV plasma is likely to have a better contrast ratio and possibly better hardware for converting images to the TV's native resolution. "

    David, it's actually the opposite. ED panels are easier to make high contrast than the HD panels. For instance, in the 42" size the HD plasma's denser pixel structure necessitates smaller pixels, which actually means reduced light output. This was easy to see when comparing the ED and HD Panasonic plasmas (and the ED plasma is rated 4000:1 contrast ratio, vs the HD panel's 3000:1 - inflated marketing numbers to be sure, but they still tell the same tale).

    Also, HD plasmas struggle more with scaling (converting the image to the native resolution) than ED plasmas. In effect their higher pixel count is a tougher demand on their scalers. The HD panels shine with Hi-Def images, but will almost always show more artifacts with other signals (like DVD and regular NTSC). When choosing an HD plasma, examining the scaler's performance with the variety of signals you are going to watch is very important, as many leave a lot to be desired.

    And that's coming from a plasma fanatic! [​IMG]
     
  6. David Parrish

    David Parrish Stunt Coordinator

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    Rich is probably right as I am not a Plasma fanatic.

    With respect to contrast, I was merely refering to numbers I had seen with Gateway's plasmas. Their 42" EDTV has a 600:1 ratio and the HDTV version has a 1000:1 ratio.

    With respect to scalers, I was thinking back to an article I read a few days ago that stated one of the big perks you get with a more expensive Plasma is a better scaler. That article was comparing HDTVs, though, so it goes to reason that a plasma with fewer pixels( EDTV) and the same scaler would have fewer artifacts.
     
  7. Steve_L_B

    Steve_L_B Stunt Coordinator

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    In addition to what Rich stated, consider your viewing distance. My wife and I compared the Panny 42" ED and HD displays and found that at about 10 feet, we could barely tell the difference with HD sources. HD looks great on the ED panel at this distance and we definitely preferred the ED display with SD and DVD sources. If you are going to be closer than 8 feet, then the HD display will probably look a little better (less pixelated).

    -Steve
     
  8. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    Steve's comments are right on the mark - the general majority of people say that you can't tell the difference on a 42" beyond 8 ft. And that there is less scaling going on for lower-def sources (480p progressive DVDs, etc), so ED has a little bit of an edge when it comes to DVD watchin'.

    Just do yourself a favor and get a Panny over a cheap Gateway.
     
  9. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    check the plasma section on avsforum.com. this has been discussed several times. the commercial edtv panny model is what get's recommended the most on avsforum. must be something to it as it's back-ordered for several month. the general consensus seems to be that at seating distances of 8' and over, the edtv / hdtv pixel differences become negligible. your mileage may vary however.

    kevin t
     

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