HP PL4260N and PL5060N Owners Thread - AVS Forum

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Plasma Flat Panel Displays

Lumberg's Avatar Lumberg
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04-12-2006 | Posts: 89
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Now that we have a few members who have purchased the new HP PL4260N and PL5060N plasmas, I thought we should go ahead and start a new thread for owners to report their experiences, impressions, settings, pros, cons, problem resolutions, etc....

I know there are other threads on this site related to speculation and general conversation about these two PDP's. Let's try to keep this thread dedicated to personal experience to help both owners and potential buyers alike.

I think some members are getting their sets this week. I look forward to seeing your reviews and comments! I will hopefully be able to do the same very soon
Mike in SF's Avatar Mike in SF
03:33 PM Liked: 10
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04-12-2006 | Posts: 49
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Good idea.

When companies rebrand/OEM plasmas, is it fair to say that the pictures will be the same between the parent set (LG) and it's children (HP, maybe Mitsubishi?), or do companies like HP add any special sauce to differentiate it? Not speaking of cabinets unless they were remarkably ugly or beautiful.
butette's Avatar butette
08:34 PM Liked: 10
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04-12-2006 | Posts: 21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumberg View Post

Now that we have a few members who have purchased the new HP PL4260N and PL5060N plasmas, I thought we should go ahead and start a new thread for owners to report their experiences, impressions, settings, pros, cons, problem resolutions, etc....

I know there are other threads on this site related to speculation and general conversation about these two PDP's. Let's try to keep this thread dedicated to personal experience to help both owners and potential buyers alike.

I think some members are getting their sets this week. I look forward to seeing your reviews and comments! I will hopefully be able to do the same very soon

Got my PL5060N delivered this morning. Some first impression comments:

1. The set looks very nice, even after I attached the dumbo ear speakers. When I have my sound system setup again, I will probably unhook the dumbo ears.
2. The built in analog tuner is terrible, much worse than the one in the Toshiba plasma. Fortunately the HD tuner is very good.
3. I don't know what to look for, but so far I don't see what people refer to as false contouring, or clay face, or anything like that.

I only have OTA HD and an upconvert DVD player signal right now but both look gorgeous on this TV. The one thing I do not understand is the audio. Why is it that when I am on an analog channel, I would get a much fuller/louder sound through the speakers, but when I switch to a HD broadcast or when I watch a DVD, the sonud level is so much lower, not as "full", and I would have to crank the volume up higher to get the same level of volume. It does sound different than the analog channel. When I had the Toshiba TV before it was not that way. Anybody have any idea why ? I will call HP tomorrow to ask them.
dirtydan's Avatar dirtydan
09:28 PM Liked: 10
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04-12-2006 | Posts: 527
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The difference in vol. is a normal thing, it has to do with analog vs digital
Lumberg's Avatar Lumberg
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04-13-2006 | Posts: 89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butette View Post

Got my PL5060N delivered this morning. Some first impression comments:

1. The set looks very nice, even after I attached the dumbo ear speakers. When I have my sound system setup again, I will probably unhook the dumbo ears.
2. The built in analog tuner is terrible, much worse than the one in the Toshiba plasma. Fortunately the HD tuner is very good.
3. I don't know what to look for, but so far I don't see what people refer to as false contouring, or clay face, or anything like that.

I only have OTA HD and an upconvert DVD player signal right now but both look gorgeous on this TV. The one thing I do not understand is the audio. Why is it that when I am on an analog channel, I would get a much fuller/louder sound through the speakers, but when I switch to a HD broadcast or when I watch a DVD, the sonud level is so much lower, not as "full", and I would have to crank the volume up higher to get the same level of volume. It does sound different than the analog channel. When I had the Toshiba TV before it was not that way. Anybody have any idea why ? I will call HP tomorrow to ask them.

Butette,

I have the same difference in volume when switching between SD and HD channels on an LCD. In this case, all of my channels (SD, HD, and OTA HD) are going through an HD TIVO. I'm not sure if the volume difference is a much as you described, but it's noticable and often forces me to turn down the volume when jumping from HD to SD.

Any chance you can post some pics?

Thanks!
VFR's Avatar VFR
07:15 AM Liked: 10
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04-13-2006 | Posts: 1,027
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Isn't it odd that HP published the SERVICE manual on its web site.Its an unbelievable asset to anyone who owns one of these.
sycE46's Avatar sycE46
11:56 PM Liked: 10
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04-13-2006 | Posts: 41
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Any one have pictures of this 50" in their house? I'm debating on this TV. Either save money and get the HP. Or splurge and get the Pioneer.
sycE46's Avatar sycE46
11:57 PM Liked: 10
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04-13-2006 | Posts: 41
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Anyone know what remote codes the HP's use? I want to make sure my Tivo / ReplayTV remotes will work with it.
RandyWalters's Avatar RandyWalters
07:19 AM Liked: 513
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04-14-2006 | Posts: 17,577
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycE46 View Post

Anyone know what remote codes the HP's use? I want to make sure my Tivo / ReplayTV remotes will work with it.

Someone in the other current New HP thread said the trouble shooting section of the PL4260N owners manual says it uses Philips remote codes. Subject to verification.

See Post #23 in this HP Thread

On my HP LC2600N, i tried using codes for various manufacturers in an attempt to get my SA8300HD's remote to operate the HP but so far nothing has worked. Maybe HP learned from the previous generation TVs and aquired supported codes this time.
Lumberg's Avatar Lumberg
02:46 PM Liked: 10
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04-15-2006 | Posts: 89
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Just an FYI - my local BB has both the PL4260N and PL5060N on display. If anyone is considering these sets, you may want to check your BB. Unfortunately, I was alone with my 9 month old daughter who wasn't interested in Dad's attempt to play with the settings.

Asthetics were quite fine IMO. I didn't really think the speakers made the TV look bad at all. I plan on ditching those when my set comes in anyways...but they look fine.

The PQ was tough to judge since my BB had the two sets on an end-cap away from any other plasmas. From what I could tell, the PQ was very good -- despite the fact that BB had the contrast and brightness down a bit too low. This particular end-cap faces the entire store with lots of ambient light. I think PQ would have looked better had the sets been placed along with the other PDP's.

Still looking forward to seeing my own PL4260N soon. The BB experience has me even more excited to get my TV. I was a bit nervous buying something that had no reviews and that I hadn't seen with my own eyes. I could see the PL4260N and PL5060N as soon as I walked in the store and I was almost afraid to walk up to the displays in fear that I would realize my purchase was a bad mistake. I can sleep well tonight!
falsedawn's Avatar falsedawn
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04-16-2006 | Posts: 289
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycE46 View Post

Any one have pictures of this 50" in their house? I'm debating on this TV. Either save money and get the HP. Or splurge and get the Pioneer.

I do, if you can tell me how to upload it to this thread.
tneal's Avatar tneal
03:57 PM Liked: 10
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04-16-2006 | Posts: 91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by falsedawn View Post

I do, if you can tell me how to upload it to this thread.

I'm looking forward to seeing these also.
RandyWalters's Avatar RandyWalters
06:27 PM Liked: 513
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04-16-2006 | Posts: 17,577
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Quote:
Originally Posted by falsedawn View Post

I do, if you can tell me how to upload it to this thread.

You can upload them to your own AVS Photo Gallery then include the link to the pics in your post.

Like This
falsedawn's Avatar falsedawn
11:06 AM Liked: 10
post #14 of 2219
04-17-2006 | Posts: 289
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycE46 View Post

Any one have pictures of this 50" in their house? I'm debating on this TV. Either save money and get the HP. Or splurge and get the Pioneer.

OK, here's one
nclee's Avatar nclee
07:07 AM Liked: 10
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04-19-2006 | Posts: 104
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Any more sighting of this set? For those of you that got the set, could you give more detail as far as brightness, black level, color on the set. Also please give more pictures. Thanks.
Lumberg's Avatar Lumberg
08:34 AM Liked: 10
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04-19-2006 | Posts: 89
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I received my PL4260N yesterday afternoon (got it less than a week after ordering directly from HP). Here are my impressions so far....

PQ is fantastic. I am using an HR10-250 DirecTV DVR connected to the TV via HDMI. When my friend and I first starting watching the HP, we were both amazed at the PQ. We later realized that the HR10-250 was set to 480p output. Once we changed to 720p, we were REALLY amazed. We also tested 1080i output, but IMO there wasn't much difference between 1080i and 720p on the HR10-250.

Colors are very good on this set. I watched recorded versions of CSI Miami (HD), various recordings of Sunrise Earth, and an episode of GetOut filmed in Australia. The HP had fantastic color reproduction without looking over saturated. I personally didn't notice any color pop or push as described in other PDP threads. Skin tones also looked good. Keep in mind that I DID NOT change any settings other than to tone down the brightness and contrast for the 100hr break-in period. This set looks fantastic right out of the box. This was a blessing since my past experience with a 42" LCD required quite a bit of tuning to get a good picture. This was not the case with the HP.

This is my first Plasma and I'm coming from an LCD which I felt had very poor black levels. To me, the HP has great black levels (similar to my 27" Sony CRT), but I can't comment on how it would compare to a Panny, Pioneer, Hitachi, or an NEC PDP. The only thing I can say is that black levels look fine in my home

The OSD is very good. It has a crisp, professional, and logical appearance. This was a major change for me coming from a set that had a very poor OSD. My only complaint may be that the text on the OSD is a bit small but I may be able to change that in the menu somewhere. BTW, the zoom modes work well on this set too.

The remote control is also nice. It does not have a backlight, but that's about the only negative thing I can say about it. The buttons have a good feel and the shape is very ergonomical.

Per my earlier post, the asthetics are, IMO, top notch. Very simple and very clean. The bezel does not reflect light and the HP logo is just the right size. There are some logos printed on the lower right hand side of the bezel, but they are very understated and don't attract any attention.

I'm not using the side speakers, so I can't comment on their sound quality or their appearance when mounted on the set. Per an earlier post, I did see both the 42" and 50" sets at my BA with the side speakers and felt they looked fine.

I really don't hear any fan noise from the set. I checked because other threads mention this as an issue with other brands. I wouldn't say this is an issue with the HP at all. The noise coming from my set is quieter than that of my HR10-250.

I have not watched any DVD's yet. My DVD player is old as the hills and the best output it has is S-Video. It isn't even progressive scan. I plan on buying a new upconverting player soon and will report my findings.

OTA looks fantastic, but keep in mind my antenna is connected to my multi-switch and then to my TIVO. So, I'm not connected directly to the TV's built-in HD OTA tuner. Either way, my local HD channels look fantastic.

One last positive comment -- my friend who helped me unpack and install the PL4260N is an LCD fanatic. He and I always argue about LCD and Plasma. After watching my set last night, I think it's fair to say that he is a plasma convert. His biggest complaint about plasma was the space between the pixels and how visible the pixel grid is on a PDP. Last night was the first time he'd seen a plasma at the proper viewing distance (not from 3 feet at a store display) and he was blown away. He currently has a 37" 1080p display LCD and felt the HP had a much better picture. He's now giving serious consideration to the 50" HP for his basement. I think that's a good testimonial to these displays.

So, is everything perfect? No - nothing is. The TV takes a while to display the picture once you turn it on. Again, I'm new to PDP's. This may be normal. After you press the power button, the screen stays black for a second or two until an HP logo appears along with a message that says "initializing". After another 5-8 seconds, the picture will appear. Again, this may be typical of PDP's and isn't a deal breaker.

When I change between resolutions (480, 720, 1080), the screen turns pinkish and blinks a few times until the next resolution is displayed. My LCD took the same amount of time to switch between resolutions but the screen would turn blue until the next solution was set. On the HP, the video signal stays on the screen while transitioning between resolutions but looks awful in the process. I think this is pretty minor because I don't intend to do this much.

The glare of the screen is pretty bad during the day. I have a large window in front of the TV that faces North. I don't get direct sunlight through this window, but I do get quite a bit of ambient light which reflects off the HP's glass. I know this is common on plasmas and I can't complain too much. Luckily I can sit on a different part of my couch to avoid this glare during the day I really can't use this as a slam against the HP, but it's something to consider for any potential plasma buyer (regardless of the vendor).

I really wish I had two HDMI inputs. I can take the money I saved and either buy an HDMI switch or a new receiver with HDMI switching built-in should this become an issue. For now, I'm going to have to debate on whether to give my HR10-250 or my new DVD player the HDMI port.

I'll try to post some pics tonight. Overall, I'm very happy with this TV so far. Per my earlier comment, I can't say how it would compare to another major brand, but I have no intention on returning this set to find out
apet8464's Avatar apet8464
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04-19-2006 | Posts: 27
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Depending on the model of upconverting DVD you go with, you may be forced to use the HDMI port for the DVD player - at least if you want 720p or 1080i output (though some units have hacks available to disable HDCP and allow HD signals through the component outs). The other option is to just use component out for the DVD and "live" with a 480p signal. I have the RCA DRC8060N, and though there is a noticable difference between 480p and 720p - it's not much, and the difference depends a lot on the content.

Also, you may find that using component with the HR10-250 looks better anyway, as that is the case at my house. In addition, I found that using HDMI with the HR10-250 caused it to flake-out alot, so I elected to use my one and only HDMI port for the DVD player. One disadvantage I have found with that setup is that the zoom features on my set don't work nearly as well when I was using HDMI, but that's probably a limitation of the TV.

Congrats on a successful purchase!
dirtydan's Avatar dirtydan
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There is a setting that lets you select quick start-up, or slower, slower uses less power while in stand-by. Could you comment on sd picture quality?
FlyingGimp's Avatar FlyingGimp
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Lumberg -

Could you record the HDNet Test Pattern and report how far the tv overscans? If you have time doing this over both HDMI and component would be good. I don't see an overscan setting in the service manual, so how bad the default is would be good to know.

Any chance of hooking your PC up and letting us know the results?
Lumberg's Avatar Lumberg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtydan View Post

There is a setting that lets you select quick start-up, or slower, slower uses less power while in stand-by. Could you comment on sd picture quality?

SD looks suprisingly good. My 42" LCD did not cope well with SD. I watched a little bit of The Hunt For Red October on SD (HBO) and was pleasantly suprised at how well it looked. I also sampled TNT a bit but only caught some commercials. PQ on these commercials wasn't great but certainly tolerable. I also watched a little VH1 and found the PQ good there too.

From what I could tell, some stations looked better than others. Overall, I'd say that SD quality is good. I'll need to watch a bit more to give you a better answer. Maybe if I get a chance I'll post some pictures comparing SD and HD versions of the same show (i.e. CSI on 9 and CSI on 9-1).
Lumberg's Avatar Lumberg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingGimp View Post

Lumberg -

Could you record the HDNet Test Pattern and report how far the tv overscans? If you have time doing this over both HDMI and component would be good. I don't see an overscan setting in the service manual, so how bad the default is would be good to know.

Any chance of hooking your PC up and letting us know the results?

I'll try to remember to setup the TIVO to record it tonight and get back to you some time tomorrow on that. I have never used the HDNet test pattern. So, I'm hoping I'll know what to look for

The only PC I'd be in a position to hook-up would be an older Compaq Tablet I just use to surf the web when I'm in my family room -- nothing fancy. I wouldn't expect to get any great results since it doesn't have a robust video processor. Would that work?
shragen's Avatar shragen
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04-19-2006 | Posts: 42
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Does anybody know if they are still using rebranded Pannasonics? I noticed that the numbering equals the new 60u panasonics...
dirtydan's Avatar dirtydan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shragen View Post

Does anybody know if they are still using rebranded Pannasonics? I noticed that the numbering equals the new 60u panasonics...

I have the whole service manual, it is for sure an LG
dirtydan's Avatar dirtydan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumberg View Post

SD looks suprisingly good. My 42" LCD did not cope well with SD. I watched a little bit of The Hunt For Red October on SD (HBO) and was pleasantly suprised at how well it looked. I also sampled TNT a bit but only caught some commercials. PQ on these commercials wasn't great but certainly tolerable. I also watched a little VH1 and found the PQ good there too.

From what I could tell, some stations looked better than others. Overall, I'd say that SD quality is good. I'll need to watch a bit more to give you a better answer. Maybe if I get a chance I'll post some pictures comparing SD and HD versions of the same show (i.e. CSI on 9 and CSI on 9-1).

Thanks for the reply, as to sd pq I have Dishnetwork and even on my Toshiba 4x3 hdtv some of the sd stations leave a lot to be desired, others are what I would call near HD quality, buy the way, I sent you a PM.
FlyingGimp's Avatar FlyingGimp
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04-19-2006 | Posts: 399
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumberg View Post

I'll try to remember to setup the TIVO to record it tonight and get back to you some time tomorrow on that. I have never used the HDNet test pattern. So, I'm hoping I'll know what to look for

The only PC I'd be in a position to hook-up would be an older Compaq Tablet I just use to surf the web when I'm in my family room -- nothing fancy. I wouldn't expect to get any great results since it doesn't have a robust video processor. Would that work?

I think there's a narrator on the HDNet test pattern. I believe it's the resolution test pattern that has the overscan 2,4,6,8 hashmarks on every edge to show what % it's overscanning.

Any computer hooked up to it would be great - just to see how clear or fuzzy the desktop looks, since the set will have to scale to 1024x768 16:9. Try 1366x768 or 1280x720 and see how it looks. You may have to install PowerStrip to get those resolutions.
Lumberg's Avatar Lumberg
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04-19-2006 | Posts: 89
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Here are a few screen shots of my PL4260N. I'm not very good at capturing screen shots accurately. The photo from the movie Constantine is a pretty poor rendition of the actual screen. The flash washes out some of the dark colors and gives the scene a much lighter appearance. My contrast and brightness are both at 47 right now.
dirtydan's Avatar dirtydan
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Where? the pics??
Lumberg's Avatar Lumberg
09:04 PM Liked: 10
post #28 of 2219
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I had no idea there were size limitations. Sorry about that. I really had to shrink these down in order meet the size restrictions.
LL
LL
LL
Lumberg's Avatar Lumberg
09:05 PM Liked: 10
post #29 of 2219
04-19-2006 | Posts: 89
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Here's another....
LL
dirtydan's Avatar dirtydan
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post #30 of 2219
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Very nice, but I didn't see any sign of a flash from your camera..

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