Runco Plasma and LCD

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Mar 4, 2001
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My brother-in-law just got a 50" Runco Plasma. I was impressed with the picture detail and how it's CineWide feature can stretch any SD image into the 16x9 space with (to me) no noticable distortion. Even SD tv channels looked pretty good. Once I found out how much my brother-in-law paid, ouch! Still, the set was amazing. I have searched this and other sites to find out more about Runco plasma and their lcd screens but have not found much useful information. Should I go the Runco route or is there something similar but for less money out there? I know many here like the Elite and Panasonic sets. Can those sets stretch images with little or no distortion like the Runco sets?

Thanks for the help!
 

Alon Goldberg

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Hi Keith - if you are in your brother-in-law's tax bracket, I'd recommend looking at Fujitsu plasma's. The new Fujitsu Aviamo 1080p models were getting rave reviews at CEDIA: http://www.engadgethd.com/2006/09/17...1080p-plasmas/

Runco and Fujitsu have the very best video processing available in plasma's, if money is no object.

Next best would arguably be the Pioneer Elite sets. I've had a chance to audition the new Pioneer Elite PRO-FHD1, and it is truly breathtaking.

The 720p plasma's from Pioneer Elite, Pioneer and Panasonic are all excellent choices as well, though you will need to audition them to determine their video processing capabilities.
 

Alon Goldberg

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Another thought for you.. it may be worth considering purchasing a less pricey plasma such as a Panasonic PX60 Series model, and then purchasing a seperate video processor such as a DVDO iScan VP30. The video processor will give you all of the capabilities you are looking for.
 
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Thank you for the information, Alon. I looked at some Panasonic Plasma's this weekend at several stores and they looked pretty good and the price seem right. Lots of good reviews on this site and others, too. I read that Panasonic has some 1080p plasma screens coming out early next year so I guess I should hold off buying right now unless the prices are prohibitive.

I do not know anyone who has an external scaler so I have not had the chance to see one in action. The DVDO seems interesting, but what about Lumagen and the Runco DHD scaler? Is there a reason you recomend the DVDO model? What is the advantage of DVDO? I tried to understand what I was reading on all the sites about scalers, but most of the tech talk when over my head. Also, will the 1080p screens reveal more flaws and compression in the lower rez formats like DVD and SD on the screen or should I just jump in and get a 720p screen?
 
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Will do, Alon. One last question; since I will be new to the plasma world, should I get the Panasonic consumer model or look into the industrial model (TH-50PH9UK)?

Thanks!
 

Alon Goldberg

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Hi Keith - the TH-50PH9UK is just a monitor.. no tuner, no speakers, extremely limited number of inputs, no unnecessary molding. Basically everything you want, nothing you don't. This is great if you have an external tuner, and don't mind purchasing a blade with HDMI input.

I would typically recommend the PX60 and PX600 consumer series, but I certainly wouldn't discourage the industrial models if they meet your needs.
 

TicoTVA

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I think the Runcos are a little over rated . That and they dont make any thing they just resemble & label. you are totally paying more for label. I dont think the quality of either fujitsu or the runco pictures are significantly better than the pioneer or NEC models. Panasonic and Pioneer both have 1080 plasmas headed to the market.

Check the PDPseries 6070/5070/4270
Panasonic PX60U series not the 600U . NEC XR5A/4A series.
 

RAF

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Keith,

As the author of the post that Alon referred to, let me just add a quick word or two in this thread. External Video Processors offer a lot more flexibility than internal ones (which is one of the main themes of the thread referenced). I used the DVDO video processors in my example because they are the ones that I'm most familiar with. They constantly update the capabilities of their equipment and offer a very liberal "trade up" path when new models come out. The latest DVDO processor -- their VP-50 -- actually has a new design that promises to be very accommodating to firmware updates via RS-232 and similar because Anchor Bay (the DVDO parent company) is sensitive to the needs of its customers wanting the ability to upgrade without repurchasing every time some new algorithm or chip is introduced.

That said, I don't mean to belittle video processors from companies such as Lumagen and others. There are quite a number of very nice video processors on the market with a variety of capabilities, features and price ranges. A lot of this comes down to a "Mercedes vs. BMW" situation with staunch supporters in each camp. The fact that I have recommended a DVDO in no way means that I'm denigrating Lumagen products or others. If you do some research you will probably determine which video processor, if any, best meets your immediate and future needs.
 
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TicoTVA, I have tried to find out when the 1080p Panasonics are coming out but cannot find any dates. Do you know when the 50" model is due in stores and what the MSRP will be?
 
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RAF, thanks for the additional info. I have been reading the DVDO thread at AVS and the VP50 seems like a device I could use and could continue to use for many years. I have read that the VP50 is having some issues with audio with some of the users. Can you shed some light on the audio issue for me?
 

Gregg Loewen

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hi guys

I just wanted to interject something. If getting the Fujitsu plasma DO NOT GET THE DVDO processer. Get a processor that has gray scale controls on it. The Lumagen and the Keydigital units are my recommendations.

Please remember that resolution is only 1 of 4 factors that makes a quality image. The other 3 items are (and in the order if importance):
1. Contrast Ratio
2. Accurately saturated colors
3. Accurate colorimetry
4. Resolution / detail (notice that I am listing this LAST).

Regards

Gregg
 
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Gregg, I am still learning but why would I only be concerned with a grey scale option with the Fujitsu and not the other plasma screens? Why does the DVDO not have this function?

Thanks.
 

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