Would you buy an Plasma EDTV?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Gary Tjia, Mar 19, 2003.

  1. Gary Tjia

    Gary Tjia Stunt Coordinator

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    Plasma EDTVs are dropping in prices and are becoming more affordable. However, I believe they are not able to display anything more than 480.

    With HD broadcasting becoming more available, would you buy a Plasma EDTV over a Plasma HDTV? Isn't there significant difference visibly watching HD programs on a Plasma EDTV vs. a HDTV?

    Please share your thoughts. Thanks.

    Gary
     
  2. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    If you're going to watch primarily DVD and/or SDTV/EDTV sources, then you would actually be better off with a EDTV plasma than a HD one, since you won't introduce scaling artifacts. You'll lose some resolution with HDTV sources, but they'll still look far better than standard broadcast.

    If you're going to watch primarily HDTV, then it would be better to get a set that supports it natively.
     
  3. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    I play a lot of video games (new and old-school) and watch a lot of DVDs. I am not interested in HDTV, as I watch very little TV (maybe a few hours a week). I have my eyes on Plasma EDTVs (not that I can afford one anytime soon). They serve my needs, I don't need HDTV yet. When I can get the Lord of the Rings trilogy on HD-DVD, or a new-gen game system that supports it 100%, I'll start looking for HD. And, from what I hear on the AVS forum, HDTV still looks very good on a 480P Plasma, even if it is not in true HD.
     
  4. John_F

    John_F Stunt Coordinator

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    Wouldn't some scaling be done for an EDTV plasma. Looking at the DVD Faq it says the resolution of DVD is 740X480, and looking at a Panasonic Plasma's specs it says the resoultion is 852X480; So there must be some scaling?

    Also, for High Def plasmas, I thought none of them supported HDTV "natively". Isn't there always some scaling going on since none of the plasmas have the same native resolution as an HDTV signal? For example, a Panasonic 50 inch plasma has 1366x768 resolution and two HDTV resolutions are 1920x1080i and 1280x720P, so isn't some scaling going on (and for the 1080i HDTV signal, some deinterlacing).

    Or is my understanding of "Scaling" wrong?

    Thanks,
    John Flegert
     
  5. John_F

    John_F Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry, I forgot to give my opinion on the original question.

    When comparing plasma displays (I only compared them in stores, not at home), I saw very little difference between a HD and an ED plasma when fed a high def signal. I think the best thing you could do Gary is judge for yourself. I find it very hard to compare sets in the store, they aren't setup very well.

    Would I buy an ED over an HD plasma? Yes.

    That being said, I just placed an order for a 433CMX (1024x768) plasma. My primary priority right now is DVD viewing, but I just want to be ready for when I start watching HDTV.

    I would recommend visiting avsforum, they have a lot of information. If you plan on buying one, check out Dell; They price matched another online retailer for my future set, and I was very happy with the price.

    Regards,
    John Flegert
     
  6. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

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    Gary Tjia,

    I own the Panasonic 42" ED plasma, and have researched and compared various plasmas extensively. Here's my take:

    In most cases of buying a display, there are pluses and minuses to various models, which can make it difficult to choose. In the case of ED plasmas it's not so hard. The Panasonic 5UY is it. It's the king, producing the best ED picture (and even better than many HD displays), and it's going at bargain prices these days.

    So, looking at the Panny ED experience vs HD displays:

    NTSC looks better on the Panny ED than probably any other plasma available. Virtually every owner has been impressed, and relieved, but it's performance with standard SD and cable signals (with allowances that a bigger screen, no matter which you buy, will blow up problems in the source material).

    HD on the Panny ED looks so sharp and clear, it is close enough to the HD models that some can't even see the difference. You definitely do get most of the HD experience with the ED model. However, I can see that the HD models are a bit sharper into the finest background details. The consensus is that the ED model gets you anywhere from %85 to %95 of the quality found in the HD models. You have to see for yourself to decide if the difference is worth it for an HD model.

    DVDS: The Panny ED delivers perhaps the smoothest, sharpest image on DVDs. The HD models need to scale more, which I suppose puts more "pressure" on their scaler to perform well. The smaller pixel pitch of the HD models can make for a smoother picture, that can be viewed from a closer distance than the ED model. Some see the HD DVD image as smoother and more film-like. I see it as a bit softer (blurred among more pixels), while the ED model is sharper, more vivid (although the Pioneer 43" HD plasmas are very sharp and vivid, excepting they do not have the deep blacks of the Panasonic). The ED models, due to larger pixel size, are best viewed from about 8 FT on for the smoothest picture, while the HD models can allow you a couple feet closer. For me, the Panny ED delivers the sharpest, most solid, artifact-free DVD image I've seen from a plasma.

    So, it's a case of "KNOW THYSELF." Decide what source material is most important to you, and see how the plasma in question performs. That said, there does seem a consensus that the Panny ED model is the best bargain around, in terms of it's lowish price and overall picture quality for a variety of sources.

    Here's a link to the Sound And Vision review of 3 plasmas, including the Panny, which address your concerns.

    Sound And Vision PLASMA Review

    Also, here's a look at how my Panasonic ED plasma performs with DVD images. I snapped screen-shots using my digital camera:

    Click Here For QUCK TOUR SCREEN SHOTS GALLERY

    Here's a more extensive gallery of my plasma screen-shots:

    Click Here For FULL FILMS SCREEN SHOTS GALLERY

    - Rich H.
     
  7. Gary Tjia

    Gary Tjia Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you all for your input.

    Rich, you have sold me on getting a EDTV over a HDTV Plasma. My concern was with the HD broadcast programs, but since EDTV can get up to 90% of the picture quality of the HDTV, it is not worthwhile to pay twice as much for a HDTV.

    I am excited about the new Panasonic Plasma EDTV which include DVI and built-in tuner to be available this year! A 42-inch hanging on the wall with a viewing distance of 8 feet should be perfect.

    Gary
     
  8. Gary Tjia

    Gary Tjia Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you all for your input.

    Rich, you have sold me on getting a EDTV over a HDTV Plasma. My concern was with the HD broadcast programs, but since EDTV can get up to 90% of the picture quality of the HDTV, it may not be worthwhile to pay as much as twice for a HDTV.

    I am excited about the new Panasonic Plasma EDTV which include DVI and built-in tuner to be available this year!

    After reading S&V review, I am also impressed with the Sony Plasma. Any idea how reliable is Sony vs. Panasonic Plasma?
    I believe Panasonic claim their Plasma has an average half life of 30,000 hours. What is Sony's claim?

    Gary
     
  9. John_F

    John_F Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Gary. I think you made a wise choice. However,



    "HDTV" isn't necessarily twice as much. Looking at yahoo shopping, the EDTV Panasonic 42PD3 sells for ~$3000. The "HDTV" Pioneer 433cmx can be found for ~$4000.

    Have fun with your decision,
    John
     
  10. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    what does ED TV stand for?
     
  11. Frank_Ber

    Frank_Ber Agent

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  12. Steve_L_B

    Steve_L_B Stunt Coordinator

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    We recently purchased the Panny 42" ED plasma after comparing it to the 42" HD model. The fact is that at our viewing distance of about 9-10 feet, when viewing the HD Net feed, we absolutely could not tell a difference in resolution between the two. However, the ED display was slightly brighter (and I'm not referring to black level) than the HD display.

    As Rich H stated above, at 6-8 feet, the HD display is sharper, so your decision should be based upon your viewing location and habits.

    Steve
     

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