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post #1 of 6 Old 07-12-2014, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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U.K vs U.S

Hello everyone,

Firstly I would like to say Hi I have just joined the forums. Secondly apologies, I am a complete technology moron.
I really need some good advice but in the simplest form due to my stupidity.
I am from the U.K and my wife is moving here from the U.S. She has a Panasonic plasma hdtv model tc-p55gt50. is this compatible and will it work in the U.K. I have been getting conflicting advice. Some say no due to PAL vs NTSC, others say that doesn't matter now both countries are digital. I have cable t.v with virgin media. I have called them twice first time said yes the t.v will work second time they said no it wouldn't. I understand that the voltage is different as are the hz in the U.K. If i got a voltage step down adapter would that suffice?. If it won't work with cable t.v will it work if connected to apple t.v?

I am totally confused and can't seem to find conclusive yes or no answer. Sorry for my lack of knowledge and again sorry if this post has already been covered, I just wanted an up to date answer as things move on quite fast and the t.v is less than a year old. I did search the forum here first before posting but couldn't find anything relating to this t.v and the question I have.

Thanks Steve
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-12-2014, 11:23 PM
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it may be easier to sell it, and buy a UK model instead of shipping anyway. look into what freight charges are on that.


sorry, I can't clarify if the NA gt50 supports PAL or not.
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-13-2014, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevecurran00 View Post
....I am from the U.K and my wife is moving here from the U.S. She has a Panasonic plasma hdtv model tc-p55gt50. is this compatible and will it work in the U.K. I have been getting conflicting advice. Some say no due to PAL vs NTSC, others say that doesn't matter now both countries are digital. I have cable t.v with virgin media. I have called them twice first time said yes the t.v will work second time they said no it wouldn't. I understand that the voltage is different as are the hz in the U.K. If i got a voltage step down adapter would that suffice?. If it won't work with cable t.v will it work if connected to apple t.v?

I am totally confused and can't seem to find conclusive yes or no answer. Sorry for my lack of knowledge and again sorry if this post has already been covered, I just wanted an up to date answer as things move on quite fast and the t.v is less than a year old. I did search the forum here first before posting but couldn't find anything relating to this t.v and the question I have.
The issue is not with HDMI connected devices (which should all work just fine), the big issue is getting the TV to work on a 50hz system. This topic has come up a number of times here and so far nobody has come back and said that they were able to get their US-spec 120v/60hz TV to work on Europe's 240v/50hz grid despite using a European-spec step down voltage converter. The only one i remember coming back to update said his Plasma would not display a picture. An Air Force officer friend of mine got transferred to Germany a few years ago shipped all his US electronic devices to the base and bought a big voltage converter like the ones the other enlisted men are using there. He said it worked his shaver and DVD player ok, but his Sony XBR LCD TV's screen would display a "scrambled" image (his description) and was unwatchable. He also said many of the other guys had the same problem, but some of their US TVs did work.

I think the most likely cause of some devices and TV working with the voltage converter while others do not has to be because of the hertz thing. Some devices (like a shaver or DVD player or even some LCD TVs) are dual-rated for 50/60hz, while other items (like a Panasonic Plasma and my friend's Sony LCD TV) is rated only for 60hz. I don't know if the voltage converters sold in the UK are also capable of converting 50hz to the necessary 60hz, but back when i was helping my friend find one with this ability i didn't come up with any at all (i even searched all over the UK-based AV Forums). The converters seem to just convert the voltage only, but not the hertz (i don't know if that's even possible).

Akso, the US-spec Panasonic ATSC/QAM tuner will not work in the UK as it's not compatible with your broadcast system. The UK Panasonics actually have two tuners (one for antenna and one for cable) while ours only has one tuner.

I would check with local A/V experts in the UK as they're more likely to know of a voltage converter that will also convert hertz - lots of people in Europe and parts of South America use voltage converters for various US devices but we don't use these here in the USA so i don't think anyone here at AVS will know of such a device. Here's a link to the UK-based AV Forums - surely someone on that forum can give you some definitive answers on the subject, and can hopefully direct you to a converter that has been confirmed to work on a 60hz TV.

http://www.avforums.com/categories/home-av-forums.495/

http://www.avforums.com/forums/tvs.104/

http://www.avforums.com/forums/plasma-tvs.82/





-

Randy
Sony 55W800B, Panasonic TC-P55ST60, TiVo Series3 & Premiere, TWC Cisco 8742HDC DVR, Onkyo TX-SR333 AVR, URC MX-780, R40, MX-450, MX-500 Remotes.
Pic of My A/V setup - http://cdn.avsforum.com/f/f1/900x900..._Img_4867.jpeg
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-13-2014, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post
I think the most likely cause of some devices and TV working with the voltage converter while others do not has to be because of the hertz thing. Some devices (like a shaver or DVD player or even some LCD TVs) are dual-rated for 50/60hz, while other items (like a Panasonic Plasma and my friend's Sony LCD TV) is rated only for 60hz. I don't know if the voltage converters sold in the UK are also capable of converting 50hz to the necessary 60hz, but back when i was helping my friend find one with this ability i didn't come up with any at all (i even searched all over the UK-based AV Forums). The converters seem to just convert the voltage only, but not the hertz (i don't know if that's even possible).

-
Randy - whether the set locks to 50Hz video sources is not related to the mains frequency, if it doesn't work it is likely to be that the HDMI inputs don't lock to a 50Hz HDMI signal. So it is a "Hertz thing" - but not the mains power supply, but instead the input stages. You are right that some power supplies don't work optimally at the wrong frequency - but because Japan runs with both 50Hz and 60Hz 110V - maybe 100V? - power you're usually fine with 230->110 step-down transformers that work at 110V 50Hz. HOWEVER you do need to make sure that you have a step-down transformer that is rated correctly for the power consumption of your equipment. In fact one thing that famously causes problems is electric clocks if they are line-frequency locked. They'll run very slow in Europe! (Which is why some have a 50/60 switch on the back)

I work in the broadcast industry in the UK, and when I've worked on shows in the US (which we usually try to shoot at 1080/50i to avoid conversion in the UK), we have to take great care to ensure that in-vision monitors are going to lock to our 50Hz sources (even though they are plugged in to US mains supplies!) I did a show in Hawaii 2 years ago (live to the UK) and we found that a Chinese no-brand LCD was fine locking to 1080/50i (i.e. UK frame rates) but Sony and Panasonic models wouldn't work at all... (You can imagine me in Walmart with my laptop outputting 1080/50i ;-) )

I posted a much fuller answer in the OPs alternative thread.

Bottom line. European HDTVs will lock to all frequencies (50 and 60Hz) as it is mandated under European licensing that both 50 and 60Hz are supported. In the US there is no requirement for 50Hz compatibility, and so many mainstream US-specific models don't support 50Hz. 50Hz input compatibility is required for connection to European set-top boxes for cable, satellite and OTA, as well as for European DVD players. Whilst you can get frame rate converters - their quality is pretty low. If you care enough about picture quality to have an HDTV, you'll want something better.

I'd recommend buying a set in Europe, secure in the knowledge that it will work (subject to mains power conversion if needed) back in the US with US set-top boxes with few problems (though it won't have an OTA / Cable ATSC tuner in it)

Last edited by sneals2000; 07-13-2014 at 02:11 PM.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-13-2014, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevecurran00 View Post
Hello everyone,

Firstly I would like to say Hi I have just joined the forums. Secondly apologies, I am a complete technology moron.
I really need some good advice but in the simplest form due to my stupidity.
I am from the U.K and my wife is moving here from the U.S. She has a Panasonic plasma hdtv model tc-p55gt50. is this compatible and will it work in the U.K. I have been getting conflicting advice. Some say no due to PAL vs NTSC, others say that doesn't matter now both countries are digital. I have cable t.v with virgin media. I have called them twice first time said yes the t.v will work second time they said no it wouldn't. I understand that the voltage is different as are the hz in the U.K. If i got a voltage step down adapter would that suffice?. If it won't work with cable t.v will it work if connected to apple t.v?

I am totally confused and can't seem to find conclusive yes or no answer. Sorry for my lack of knowledge and again sorry if this post has already been covered, I just wanted an up to date answer as things move on quite fast and the t.v is less than a year old. I did search the forum here first before posting but couldn't find anything relating to this t.v and the question I have.

Thanks Steve
Steve

Your Virgin media box is very unlikely to output 1080/60i. (Very few European boxes do.) Even if it did the 10Hz judder caused would be pretty nasty. (The BBC / Sky News channel tickers look horrid at 60Hz.)

If your plasma doesn't accept a 50Hz input you won't be able to use it with Sky, Freesat, Freeview, Virgin media sources (you may find a Dreambox will work). You could still use it with PS3, Xbox 360, Blu-ray players (but not for 50Hz releases like the BBC's recent stuff) but not for TV.

My expectation is that it may not be 50Hz compatible (if your wife is PC savvy she may be able to connect it to the HDMI output of a laptop and see what frame rates are reported to be supported. If you don't see 25 or 50 then you're out of luck) and I'd always suggest you're better off selling it in the US and buying a European model (which will work back in the US should that be a requirement further down the line)
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-18-2014, 03:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post
Steve

Your Virgin media box is very unlikely to output 1080/60i. (Very few European boxes do.) Even if it did the 10Hz judder caused would be pretty nasty. (The BBC / Sky News channel tickers look horrid at 60Hz.)

If your plasma doesn't accept a 50Hz input you won't be able to use it with Sky, Freesat, Freeview, Virgin media sources (you may find a Dreambox will work). You could still use it with PS3, Xbox 360, Blu-ray players (but not for 50Hz releases like the BBC's recent stuff) but not for TV.

My expectation is that it may not be 50Hz compatible (if your wife is PC savvy she may be able to connect it to the HDMI output of a laptop and see what frame rates are reported to be supported. If you don't see 25 or 50 then you're out of luck) and I'd always suggest you're better off selling it in the US and buying a European model (which will work back in the US should that be a requirement further down the line)
Thanks very much everyone that took the time to answer. The answers you gave were very informative, and are in line with the other digging I have done. My wife is in the Air Force so the shipping cost wasn't really a problem, it was the fact she spent a lot on the T.V less than a year ago we are happy with it and we didn't want to lose money by selling it second hand and then buying another one over in the U.K.

I think that however is the best option. If we do ship it over and it works all good, however I think the combination of the Hz issue and the different signals frame rates and picture issues etc it is best not to risk it. After all no one will buy it over here if it doesn't work and we would have to trash a perfectly good T.V as we wouldn't pay to ship it back to the U.S to sell, just wouldn't be cost effective.

The answers got here and the research we have done have led us to conclude the best way forward is to sell the T.V in the U.S and buy a new one over in the U.K. At least that way we would be able to take it back to the U.S if we moved back.

Thanks again for your help everyone, appreciate it.
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