AKAI plasma at COSTCO - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 853 Old 01-05-2003, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Just saw a circular that COSTCO has AKAI Plasma. Anybody knows what glass AKAI uses ?

Andrey
(ex-systems engineer)
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post #2 of 853 Old 01-05-2003, 12:04 PM
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It must be the Akai PDP-4290. And that's a rebadged Samsung SPL-4225k.

http://www.akaiusa.com/products/pdp4290.htm

http://www.samsungusa.com/cgi-bin/na...od_id=SPL4225K
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post #3 of 853 Old 01-06-2003, 04:32 PM
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Glauco BruZZi is correct, it is the Akai PDP-4290.

A wall mount is included. The costco item no. is 622616
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post #4 of 853 Old 01-06-2003, 06:37 PM
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Anyone have a review of the Akai/Samsung unit? The return policy of Costco and the included mount is a good deal, if the PQ is okay.
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post #5 of 853 Old 01-07-2003, 04:07 PM
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It is indeed the 4290 -- they have them on the floor at my local Costco.

Can't find any reviews -- anyone who has any knowledge of this unit please share!
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post #6 of 853 Old 01-07-2003, 04:43 PM
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I had a chance to see the Sansung SPL-4225 couple times at J&R (www.jandr.com)and liked the PQ. Well, at least with HD demo programming.
The colors were very bright and vivid like the Pioneer Displays. And the black levels was very good either.
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post #7 of 853 Old 01-08-2003, 01:55 PM
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Saw this unit at our local COSTCO today. I don't have a trained eye and am not sure what to look for, but I thought the picture was very good. Wish I could find a review.
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post #8 of 853 Old 01-08-2003, 05:08 PM
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Anyone know where I could get a tabletop stand for this model? Is there a decent temporary solution for standing this thing up? I will be mounting it on the wall of my new apartment in about 8 months if I end up getting it.

Jeff
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post #9 of 853 Old 01-08-2003, 09:43 PM
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The Costco here in Fremont, CA has three 42" plasmas on the floor...the Akai, a Daewoo (?), and a Sampo. The Akai wasn't fired-up so I can't vouch for its picture quality. The Sampo is grainy compared to the Pios and Panisonics.

Looks like plasmas are becoming more and more mainstream.

Chris
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post #10 of 853 Old 01-09-2003, 05:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by deelirious
Anyone know where I could get a tabletop stand for this model?

Jeff
Others have reported that the akai comes with a wall mount, but the costco website says: feature, blah, feature, "and an included pedestal table stand"

given the simplicity and low profile of the wooden cleat mount described in other threads, i hope the site is correct. ...but i have a little more faith in folks on this board.

i've now looked at photos of both the akai and samsung mentioned at the top of this thread. is this akai *really* the same unit (sticker engineering), or just a similair unit in the same chassis, perhaps with different electronics?

/chris
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post #11 of 853 Old 01-09-2003, 05:38 AM
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The Costco where I saw this unit said "wall mount included", nothing about a table top stand.
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post #12 of 853 Old 01-09-2003, 06:57 AM
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The Akai I saw did not have a signal. The black level of the monitor when it was off was a dark grey. Does that indicate anything?
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post #13 of 853 Old 01-09-2003, 07:06 AM
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852 x 480 only so this will not do 720p or 1080i (HDTV) native but this is an awesome price and maybe a sign that overall plasma's will begin to become a more viable option for us budget challenged techno addicts.

Hopelessly addicted to HDTV and lost deep in the woods of Charlton, MA - Rich
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post #14 of 853 Old 01-10-2003, 10:07 PM
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I don't see the AKAI posted to costco.com yet so perhaps the table mount reference was for another plasma model sold there?

The display had the wall mount attached to the metal shelving at the end of an aisle. You had to look hard to see that it was the included bracket.

There was no picture on the AKAI display I saw at East Hanover NJ, just a blue "go video" logo which looked very good.
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post #15 of 853 Old 01-11-2003, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by tfinan
I don't see the AKAI posted to costco.com yet so perhaps the table mount reference was for another plasma model sold there?
Nope, it was definitely the akai/samsung model in question. It specifically said pdp4290 at the bottom of the page, and had the distinctive samsung "chin" below the frame for the glass. I found it by plugging "akai" (no quotes) in the search box at the top left of costco's front page.

The akai wasn't on the site when this thread first appeared.

It showed up a few couple days later.

Yesterday (friday) morning, the costco search function was broken.

This morning, the akai is gone again. i dunno what's up with that.

btw, the photo of the unit on costco's page was *not* one of the stock photos from akai.com, and it did *not* show a table stand.

Can anybody tell how interested i am in this model? :-)

/chris
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post #16 of 853 Old 01-11-2003, 08:52 AM
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Costco
At Costco, I did note that the AKAI box included the Costco part number. Perhaps this is a special bundling only available at COSTCO.

While I think you may be able to get the coupon part buying now(and retruning in a week for the lower price), part of the cost savings is a mail-in rebate, and you may get stuck with a receipt outside the proper date range.

Samsung
On the Samsung, their Samsung website indicates Best buy and Sears are dealers. So this may be another place to see the display in action.

The Samsung website lists the part number for the table stand for the 4225. If the rears of the units are configured similarly, perhaps that part could be used with the Costco unit. For more details see,
http://www.samsungusa.com/SamsungUSA...9/spl4225k.pdf

Amazon.com has a gallery of shots for the Samsung SPL4225K on their website, including from the rear. Perhaps these can help in confirming that this is the same as the Costco unit.

Reviews
See Samsung SPL4225 Tantus 42 inch Plasma Display Review here:
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1309

Another model Samsung SPK-4215, was review last year at this site:
http://www.*******************.com/p...ma-review.html

AKAI
It is difficult to find much on the AKAI. There is a very old review (12/98) on a dp-w4200 which might part of the same family, but that is just a guess based on the model numbers
http://*********-entertainment.co.uk..._printrev.html
review
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post #17 of 853 Old 01-11-2003, 10:13 AM
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thanks for your thoughts, tfinan.

i've seen the 4225M (i think it was M) at sears... the sticker with the part number was on the back. it looked fine to my eyeballs, but i'm no critic.

best buy in my area only has philips plasma, but cambridge soundworks does carry the 4225...

i'm headed out to make the big purchase in an hour or so! i figure that if costco leaves me high and dry wrt the rebates/savings, i'll just bring the whole thing back in a couple months. there will almost certainly be something i like better by then, so if they won't honor the better price, they can have it back :)

/chris
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post #18 of 853 Old 01-11-2003, 06:14 PM
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Chris - please let us know what you think. I'm giving serious thought to this, but recently compared some ED v HD sets in showrooms and really thought you could tell a marked difference, which makes me a little reluctant to pick up this set.

On the other hand, at that price it might be a good stopgap for a year or so until the market settles down, then I can buy what I *really* want and move the Akai to my bedroom or something.
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post #19 of 853 Old 01-11-2003, 08:13 PM
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I took a picture of the box for the AKAI so you can see what you get from Costco.

Akai box -shot 1

Akai box -shot 2

Wall mount included, speakers and table stand will be options available from Costco per the box.

There wasn't a display model at the store I visited today but 6 boxes were visible in stock.
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post #20 of 853 Old 01-11-2003, 09:52 PM
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hi folks.

well, it's done! i bought the costco akai!

i don't feel qualified to comment on picture quality. i don't have a progressive scan dvd player, and the only dvd on hand is "ghostbusters" ... certainly not an ideal test environment. i'll be borrowing a progressive scan player and a handful of dvds tomorrow.

some initial thoughts:

nuts, my receiver doesn't do on-screen stuff through the component cables. i didn't know that before.

this panel doesn't automagically choose the best input like my old tv did, so i've gotta keep the panel remote available.

the costco nearest my house had a bunch in stock, but wouldn't put them out until jan 20. i had to go to my backup costco. the service desk guy there suggested that i buy another on the 20th, then return it with today's receipt. that's my plan, but i'm gonna buy the other one in tax-free new hampshire.

the wall mount puts the unit 2.25 inches from the wall. more than i'd like, but probably better for cooling on this fanless model? my alternate plan was to use sections of tongue and groove hardwood flooring (one on the wall, one on the panel) as a mount. i may still do this after some time.

my viewing habits: 95% tivo, 5% dvd.

no table stand, in spite of what the costco web page used to say.

any specific questions, post 'em here.

/chris
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post #21 of 853 Old 01-12-2003, 05:33 AM
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Please post any further comments on the picture quality. What does your family say when watching Tivo - just generally speaking, is it a good picture? Does the quality change on different channels.

Did it work well right out of the box?

What did you do for sound and how did you set that up?

The wall mount is fixed - right?

What does the documentation say about service - sign says in-house - what do you do if you have a problem (other than return to Costco.)

You really have a good point about waiting for the market to settle down. I have been seriously considering a plasma since the Gateway came out in November, and every few weeks I seem to change my mind based on new information. At the end of the day, this will be a good solution, if it is a watch-able picture, so please let us know what you think.

As an aside, I visited my local Costco and saw the set running Starwars with a progressive scan DVD player. Picture looked OK to me. Credits looked horrible - very shakey. I did notice the screen-door effect when looking very very closely at the screen.

Many thanks.
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post #22 of 853 Old 01-12-2003, 07:48 AM
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One thing to keep in mind on the shaky "Star Wars" picture -- my Costco had this running the "Ice Age" *pan and scan* DVD in stretch mode, so the picture was inherently distorted. I'd say there's a goodo chance that might have been what you were seeing.

At Best Buy yesterday they had the Samsung (clone of the Akai, or vice-versa) running around the corner from the HD Philips, and I could tell the difference. I didn't think the Samsung had the jaw-dropping quality the HD sets have in comparison. On the other hand, the Akai is cheap and available, and I haven't seen anything to suggest that a complete solution is going to be available anytime real soon for less than six grand.
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post #23 of 853 Old 01-12-2003, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by marchristensen

Did it work well right out of the box?

What did you do for sound and how did you set that up?

The wall mount is fixed - right?

What does the documentation say about service - sign says in-house - what do you do if you have a problem (other than return to Costco.)

if it is a watch-able picture, so please let us know what you think.
out of the box, the picture was crazy bright. contrast at 100%. there are several pre-set picture modes, then "custom" mode where the picture controls show up.

fixed? not sure what that means. i've got it mounted parallel to the wall, but it's got several tilting positions.

in-home 1 year service.

yeah, it's watchable... a better signal would probably be the biggest improvement, but i watch a lot of SD stuff.

/chris
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post #24 of 853 Old 01-12-2003, 10:49 PM
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The only reason I'd be purchasing this thing from Costco is that I trust them a whole lot better than some fly-by-night company online. I'd pay $700 or so more for a Panasonic, but I don't trust an internet company I've never heard of on a purchase this big. That and the fact that I live in Hawaii. Still, I need a table top stand if this will be a go. Has anyone seen the stand in Costco? Price?
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post #25 of 853 Old 01-13-2003, 09:03 AM
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i forgot to mention...

i'd previously reported that the pictures of the akai plasma on the costco website showed the distinctive samsung "chin" below the panel's frame.

no such chin appears on my monitor. it must be part of the table stand, not part of the panel itself.

here are a couple shots of my panel:
http://logsoft.com/chris/plasma/

oh, and the akai is back on costco's site now. the description has been edited to say that it includes a wall mount and not a table stand.

the picture on costco's site has not changed. the chin is still there.

in other news, PIP mode is only available if your main display window is showing component2 input or vga input. kind of a bummer if you planned to use svideo and PIP a component or VGA signal. also, there's no PIP swap function.

/chris
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post #26 of 853 Old 01-13-2003, 11:01 AM
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Chris, That set up looks nice! How hard was it to wall mount the unit? Is the wall mount removeable? And I'm curious what kind of speakers you're using.

thanks,
Jeff
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post #27 of 853 Old 01-13-2003, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by deelirious
Chris, That set up looks nice! How hard was it to wall mount the unit? Is the wall mount removeable? And I'm curious what kind of speakers you're using.
Hi Jeff.

Thanks for the compliment. I'm pretty pleased with the result.

Wall mounting was no problem. Directly behind the panel are two 4x4 (yes, 4x4) studs 16" apart. The mount is a big rectangle with slotted bolt holes all around its perimiter, and two beefy tilting arms, hinged at the bottom. Each arm has two keyhole slots (top and bottom).

There are four mounting pucks that bolt to the back of the panel. Imagine this: Stack two quarters, then a dime, then 4 more quarters. Drill a hole through the whole stack and counter-sink it. That's what the pucks look like. the skinny area (the dime) engages the keyhole slot in the mount.

My speakers are Boston Acoustics Designer VRi series: http://www.bostonacoustics.com/Serie...ID=49&SpecID=2

Pictured are two 560 and a 553. There's also a pair of 565 in the ceiling for surround, and wiring for another 565 for when i get a 6.1 decoder.

I've also got a pair of NHT subwoofers: http://www.onecall.com/About_0000100...9_0_28_0_0.htm
One is on the wall over the bar, other is in the right wall, behind the couch.

I chose the BA stuff because I had a connection for a good deal, and the NHT because it was the only readily available in-wall unit that I could find.

/chris
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post #28 of 853 Old 01-13-2003, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by deelirious
Chris, That set up looks nice! How hard was it to wall mount the unit? Is the wall mount removeable? And I'm curious what kind of speakers you're using.
Hi Jeff. Thanks for the compliment.

Wall mounting was no problem. The mount is a large rectangle with slotted bolt holes around its whole perimeter. It has two beefy tilting arms (hinged at the bottom) that the panel attaches to. Each arm has a keyhole slot at the top and at the bottom.

I've got two 4x4 (yes, 4x4) studs 16" apart centered behind the panel. I just ran 5/16" x 3" lag screws into the 4x4s.

There are 4 mounting pucks that bolt to the back of the panel. Imagine this: stack two quarters. add a dime. stack 4 more quarters on top. Drill and countersink the stack. ...That's what the pucks look like. The skinny part (dime) engages the keyhole slot on the tilting arms.

Sure, the mount is removable, but it'll leave holes in my wall...

The speakers are Boston Acoustics Designer VRi series:
http://www.bostonacoustics.com/Serie...ID=49&SpecID=2

Pictured are a pair of 560 and a 553. There's also a pair of 565 in the ceiling, and wiring for a third, when i get a 6.1 decoder.

Also, there are a pair of NHT ASW8 subwoofers:
http://www.audioreview.com/Subwoofer...1_2741crx.aspx

One is above the bar, the other is in the right wall behind the couch.

I chose the BA stuff because I had a connection for a good deal, and the NHT because it was the only readily available product for the job of which I was aware.

/chris
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post #29 of 853 Old 01-13-2003, 12:54 PM
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Aaack!

I got some kind of "server timeout" error from my browser the first time... I checked the thread, didn't see it, typed it all again... now there are two.

Ugh. I really appreciate these forums, and don't want to be a complainer. Is there someplace I can make a donation to help these guys buy some more horsepower?

/chris
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post #30 of 853 Old 01-13-2003, 03:40 PM
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Does the wall mount have a multitude of holes to allo for a cetered mounting even iff the studs are not exactly "centered" where you want the TV?
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