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Panasonic 42 inch plasma

Old 01-11-06, 06:05 PM
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Panasonic 42 inch plasma

I've been reading great reviews on the Panasonic plasmas. There's this one which runs around $2200.

Then there's this one which is about $1400.

The main difference I can see is the resolution. For $2200, I get 1024x768 with a contrast ratio of 3000:1
Broadcast Format Supported: 480i (SDTV), 480p (EDTV), 576i, 576p, 720p (HDTV)

For $1400, I get 852x480 with a contrast ratio of 4000:1
Broadcast Format Supported:1080i (HDTV), 480i (SDTV), 480p (EDTV), 720p (HDTV)


I'm very new to all this and I'm just wondering if I'd regret buying the cheaper one. Will the difference in resolution be very noticeable? Anyone have either of these?
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Old 01-11-06, 06:16 PM
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It depends on whether you're going to watch HDTV or HD-DVD on it. The cheaper screen doesn't support their resolution, it will have to downconvert to match the lower 852x480 resolution.
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Old 01-11-06, 06:20 PM
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The cheaper one is not going to look better than a regular TV.
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Old 01-11-06, 06:23 PM
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I think you'd have to sit farther back to watch the cheaper one as well since its pixels will be so large.
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Old 01-11-06, 06:27 PM
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Well, I'd like something that supports HD, even though I may not be using that right away. The specs on the cheaper one show HDTV stats. When watching HD broadcasts on the cheaper one that's downconverting, will the picture still look good? Or are you saying that it would look just like regular digital cable?

Would a regular DVD and regular cable look better on either one in particular?
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Old 01-11-06, 07:53 PM
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I was thinking there was always this debate with the smaller Plasmas on if they by could not be "true HD". But I really can't remember...
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Old 01-11-06, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by monkeyboy
Well, I'd like something that supports HD, even though I may not be using that right away. The specs on the cheaper one show HDTV stats. When watching HD broadcasts on the cheaper one that's downconverting, will the picture still look good? Or are you saying that it would look just like regular digital cable?

Would a regular DVD and regular cable look better on either one in particular?
The cheaper set is an EDTV and will not display true HD. DVDs will look great, but the (relatively) large amount of HD programming that is available (not to mention HD-DVD / Blu-ray) would make me choose the HDTV.
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Old 01-12-06, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by BobDole42
The cheaper set is an EDTV and will not display true HD. DVDs will look great, but the (relatively) large amount of HD programming that is available (not to mention HD-DVD / Blu-ray) would make me choose the HDTV.
Will DVD's look even better with more lines of resolution, or will they look 'blown up'? Or just the same, quality wise?

As far as viewing distance, I'll be looking at about 6 feet.
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Old 01-12-06, 07:23 AM
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If you use an upscaling DVD player, DVDs will look great on the HD set. If you can swing the price difference, I would definitely reccomend the HD set. There is already a lot of HD programming and that is only going to increase. HD-DVD/Blu-ray are also right around the corner.
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Old 01-12-06, 08:48 AM
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I got the Panny 42 EDTV and after tons of research and side by side comparisons to other similar HDTV's I decided to go with the panny. It was side by side with a Toshiba and a Phillips and the Panasonic owned both sets for free in both the DVD and HD source material.

It's a great TV for the price and HD sources look great on it. Do some review searches and you will see that most owners of this TV are very satisfied with its performance.

I have mine hooked up to a Panasonic S77 DVD player via HDMI and I've never been happier.

It may not be a true HD tv but my eyes don't deceive me. I'll buy a 1080P HD set when they come down in price. In the meantime this set suits me just fine.
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Old 01-12-06, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jessecrx
I got the Panny 42 EDTV and after tons of research and side by side comparisons to other similar HDTV's I decided to go with the panny. It was side by side with a Toshiba and a Phillips and the Panasonic owned both sets for free in both the DVD and HD source material.

It's a great TV for the price and HD sources look great on it. Do some review searches and you will see that most owners of this TV are very satisfied with its performance.

I have mine hooked up to a Panasonic S77 DVD player via HDMI and I've never been happier.

It may not be a true HD tv but my eyes don't deceive me. I'll buy a 1080P HD set when they come down in price. In the meantime this set suits me just fine.

Yeah, the reviews have been amazing for both these sets. But then I read something like what the Bus said above, that the cheaper set won't look better than regular tv. Or that the pixels will be larger unless I'm sitting further away. I guess I just need to find a local dealer and check them out.

How far away do you sit from your screen, Jesse?
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Old 01-13-06, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by monkeyboy
Yeah, the reviews have been amazing for both these sets. But then I read something like what the Bus said above, that the cheaper set won't look better than regular tv. Or that the pixels will be larger unless I'm sitting further away. I guess I just need to find a local dealer and check them out.

How far away do you sit from your screen, Jesse?
I sit about 8-10 feet back from my tv. The scaler that the Panasonic has is really good. Maybe if you sit 1-2 feet in front of the tv you can probably see a difference.

I also own a Sony 36 inch CRT HD ready tv and I had them both on at the same time, side by side....and I sat back at the same distance personally I couldn't see a very big difference. Infact I liked the color and the black levels on the Panasonic.

Everytime I have friends over they can't get over the pic quality and I tell them thats its just an EDTV scaling down the HD signal. They like it. I love it and it will suit me just fine until the newer better sets come down in price.

I am a huge DVD junkie too and they look awesome on this set. The stock speakers arent all that great but I dont use them anyway since I have a 7.1 receiver.
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Old 01-16-06, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by jessecrx
Everytime I have friends over they can't get over the pic quality and I tell them thats its just an EDTV scaling down the HD signal. They like it. I love it and it will suit me just fine until the newer better sets come down in price.
Why tell them? I have found that no matter how impressed someone is with PQ, the minute you say "it is not HD", they don't think it is all that great. I stopped telling people that my PJ was not HD and just let the Pic speak for itself and let them think whatever they want to think.
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Old 01-16-06, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by jessecrx
It may not be a true HD tv but my eyes don't deceive me. I'll buy a 1080P HD set when they come down in price. In the meantime this set suits me just fine.
That's ok. The 42" "HD" plasmas aren't true HD, either. They can't seem to make the pixels small enough to fit that many in 42" sets.
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Old 01-16-06, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by jessecrx
I got the Panny 42 EDTV and after tons of research and side by side comparisons to other similar HDTV's I decided to go with the panny. It was side by side with a Toshiba and a Phillips and the Panasonic owned both sets for free in both the DVD and HD source material.

It's a great TV for the price and HD sources look great on it. Do some review searches and you will see that most owners of this TV are very satisfied with its performance.

I have mine hooked up to a Panasonic S77 DVD player via HDMI and I've never been happier.

It may not be a true HD tv but my eyes don't deceive me. I'll buy a 1080P HD set when they come down in price. In the meantime this set suits me just fine.
I did tons of research as well and ended up with the same set. Great price (and it was $1900 at the time), and the picture is fantastic. May upgrade in a few years, but right now, I'm really happy with it. DVDs look great and TV, especially HD content, looks awesome. Recommended.
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Old 01-16-06, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiky
That's ok. The 42" "HD" plasmas aren't true HD, either. They can't seem to make the pixels small enough to fit that many in 42" sets.
I knew there was some issue like that...where were you after post #6!

So in pure technical terms no plasma 42" or smaller can be "true" HD? Does type of display matter (Can a 42" LCD be true HD)?

And I thought I read where the HD "standard" came from, but can't remember now. Is there an association or some other organization that sets the standard?

Last edited by Sdallnct; 01-16-06 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 01-17-06, 11:17 AM
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I was lurking.

LCDs can be 1920x1080 as small as less than an inch. The 2 HD standards are 1280x720 and 1920x1080. Just check out specs on 42" plasmas, the HD models. You'll see they can't achieve either of these resolutions. Something in between would be ok, like the 1366x768 LCDs, but I've never seen a 42" plasma more than 1024 pixels wide. So I assume they have a hard time making the pixels small enough to fit.

This is not to say they don't look good. And most people probably won't notice a difference, even if they are looking for it. They usually sit too far away from a 42", anyway. I haven't sat down to compare a 42" 1280x720 TV and a 42" plasma at (usually) 1024x768, so I don't know if I'd see it, either.
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Old 01-18-06, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiky
I was lurking.


This is not to say they don't look good.
See, I think THAT is the key. You can throw around numbers, letters and whatever else you want, but if it looks good, you enjoy it, that is what matters.

Don't get me wrong, I realize that it does become of game of "I get to get it better". Now that I have been watching a lot of HD on my X1, I'm really unhappy with the PQ on SD thru dish/tivo. And now that I have HD on my X1 and love it, I wonder what a "true" HD PJ would do. But not so much to swap it out, at least until the bulb blows (course now I'm reading that the x1 buld is supposed to last 4000 hours-when I bought mine I'm pretty sure it was rated at 3000, not 4000. So it might be a while).
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Old 01-20-06, 07:55 AM
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Love my Panny EDTV. It blows away any regular tv out there. In fact, I think that this is way better than a lot of HDTVs. DVDs and HD Programs look great! I've had it for over a year, and it truly is one of the best investments I've had. Makes me want to watch my old dvds again, and great for sports game n any HD movie you are interested in. Even today, I do not see much difference between this set and newer model HDs, nothing that would make me want to spend more for these sets.
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Old 01-22-06, 04:54 PM
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Here is a great article on the HD or not HD debate. It takes about projectors but really applies to whatever,

http://www.projectorcentral.com/true_hdtv.htm
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Old 01-22-06, 05:45 PM
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someone on AV Forums just compared the HD and SD panny 42" plasmas side by side.

Said there wasn't enough difference in PQ and detail to justify the HD price.
The HD also has fans in and buzzes. There are also many posts pointing out the horizontal line down the middle of the Panny HD screens which some people find annoying.

So he bought the SD.
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Old 01-25-06, 02:20 PM
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I bought the EDTV version of the Panny 3 years ago and I am still quite happy with the decision. I went to a local store where they had both the HD and ED versions side by side and looked at the same source material and found that after you are 6-8 feet away, the differences are quite negligible. If you are going to be using it as a computer monitor or sitting very close, then you might want to spring for the HD set instead.

One thing to note about the Panasonics- they have exceptional contrast. The cheaper plasmas will look really washed out, especially if they are ina room with a lot of natural light. I thought the Pioneer 43" set had slightly better colors than the Panny, but the contrast was decidedly better with Panasonic.
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Old 01-26-06, 03:38 PM
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I've had the ED Panny for a Couple of years now, and for Hi-Def shows it is outstanding. For the price even when I paid 2100 for it there was no beating.

I know prices have dropped a lot, but still for the average consumer paying 1400 is a lot easier to swallow than 2100.
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