Pio at Costco - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 406 Old 01-11-2005, 09:35 PM
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Cool, thanx Ross. If I go w/ the Costco model, I don't get the MR, so that may be a deal breaker. hmmm . . .
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post #92 of 406 Old 01-12-2005, 07:36 AM
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Both of these units look like they would be ready for the new Aurora TVP500F card. That would give you a total of 3 HDMI, 2 rgb/component, 1 s-video, 1 analog video, 1 NTSC tuner, and 1 FM tuner. That should be close to enough.
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post #93 of 406 Old 01-12-2005, 07:54 AM
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The Aurora has 2 HDMI inputs which would make a total of 3 for the Pio. Is there room for 2 expansion boards on the Pio or do you have to remove the 5004?

Also, if installed, would these new inputs be part of the Pio's inputs (like input 5,6,7, etc.) or are they accessed differently only thru the Aurora's remote?

It seems that this board would replace the need for an HDMI switcher. Wonder what the MSRP is on this device?
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post #94 of 406 Old 01-12-2005, 08:45 AM
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I now have both the 4310 and the 4312 from Costco. My initial observation makes me lean towards the 4310 as having a better picture but I have NOT yet compared them side-by-side (which I'll do tonight after I get an HDMI cable).

The 4312 used out of the box seems to have a little more color saturation than the 4310 (which, by the way, was essentially properly "tuned" according to my Avia DVD). I haven't yet checked the tuning (color, tint, contrast, etc.) with Avia on the 4310. And I seem to notice color "banding" more with the 4312 (but I'll know more after my side-by-side tonight).
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post #95 of 406 Old 01-12-2005, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Charlie,
did you buy the 50"? Could you give a review of pq and other things?
Also what does the manual about the inputs say, about upgrading, switching cards...

Thanks

Matt
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post #96 of 406 Old 01-12-2005, 10:25 AM
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Matt,

Sorry for the lack of detail in the previous post. I was responding to Ron's post asking if the 4312 had an HDMI port, so I did not mention that I bought the 4312.

I am not really sure that I am qualified to give a review :confused: It was an impulse buy and I had no prior knowledge of this unit when I bought it. I just knew that it was a Pioneer 43" HD and the price was under my magic number by $1. So my wife and I made a quick decision and we took it home.

The panel itself is a 4304. After reading the observations that it might be a Costco only package containing a re-badged 434CMX, HDMI port, 5004 video card, speakers and a stand - I did some checking around on the Pioneer site. While the panel might be a re-badged 434CMX, the packaging is certainly different.

The controls on the panel are on the lower right front of the bezel and not the side.

The 4304 remote is different also. It has an AV Format button that cycles through several preset display settings (Dynamic, Standard, Movie, Sports, Games and User). The remote does not have the Point/Zoom button nor does the panel have this capability that I can tell (no loss).

The menus look pretty much the same although I cannot say that I have compared them in detail.

Picture quality is incredible when viewing HD material. SD material is so-so but I have a lot of experimenting to do yet. I have a Samsung SIR-TS160 providing the D*, ATSC and NTSC. It is connected via a DVI-HDMI cable and is set to output 1080i. I briefly tried 720p but did not notice much difference in either HD or SD material. DVD in 480p is also excellent. But my only experience with HD to this point has been my 3 year old Toshiba 36HFX74 36" tube so my opinions on PQ need to be taken as such.

I have not seen anything in the manual regarding the cards and changing them. There are two cards - One with the VGA and HDMI and the other with the composite, S-Video and component which certainly appears to be a 5004 card. It would only be an assumption on my part that this display could use any of the cards that the 434CMX could use - but it sure seems that way.

Overall we are very happy with it. But I need to spend some quality time with it and take a stab at calibration and experiment some more with the the best way to configure the TS160.

If I can answer anything else, let me know.

Charlie
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post #97 of 406 Old 01-12-2005, 11:24 AM
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Charlie - how about banding issues or problems with blending of colors in fog scenes, shots of walls, or faces? If you have Pirates of the Carribbean DVD or Master and Commander, check the fog scenes, or watch HD programming and look for closeups of faces or a scene that has a large wall in it.

I hope Costco in OC has this monitor - PM me with the price if you would.
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post #98 of 406 Old 01-12-2005, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Count me as somewhat of a newbie, but how badly do plasmas suffer from banding?
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post #99 of 406 Old 01-12-2005, 12:43 PM
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The Vizio 42" plasma from Costco and the JVC 42" Plasma from costco both had horrible banding. The 4310 had little to no banding that I could tell. The 4312 seems to have a little bit but I'll do a side-by-side tonight to see if I'm just imagining it.
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post #100 of 406 Old 01-12-2005, 01:59 PM
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I do have Pirates of the Caribbean (well my wife does anyway). I'll try and check out the fog scenes for color banding.
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post #101 of 406 Old 01-12-2005, 02:21 PM
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A friend of mine just ordered the Optoma 50" HD Plasma that Costco carries. However, with the $1,000 off coupon that just came out this set is close to the same price. I told him I would ask around here how this set compares to the Optoma and if it is worth the extra $$$, so he could possibly cancel his order and get this set. So what do you guys think he should do?
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post #102 of 406 Old 01-12-2005, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by x-spyder-x
Count me as somewhat of a newbie, but how badly do plasmas suffer from banding?
Once you have a panel that can display 8 bits per colour or more (many are 10) any banding you see is more likely an artifact of the source material (e.g., the DVD) than the panel itself... HD and DVD maxes out at 8 bits per colour, and depending on how much the DVD encoding engineer leans on the "compress" lever, you might have a lot of banding or very little.

I have seen some scenes on my display that have terrible banding (e.g., the glow around Gandalf's staff when the Fellowship first get sealed into Moria) and scenes that have phenomenal gradients (e.g., underwater shots from the PBS HD program Oceans Alive).

Garbage in, Garbage out.
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post #103 of 406 Old 01-12-2005, 05:10 PM
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BTW:
Costco has no 50"'s in the stores, you can only purchase them online. I was considering buying the Optoma 50" until I saw the, uh, little piece of paper redeemable for money off, making the Optoma and Pio close in price. I'm bummed because the deals on the 43/42 " Pio and Vizio are great, and the 50" Pio is still pretty expensive, but I can't give up that much real estate by shrinking to 43 after having a 61" Sammy for so long. I may have to wait this frenzy out and see if the 50" drops some more.
~Joel
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post #104 of 406 Old 01-12-2005, 07:05 PM
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I did the Pirates of the Caribbean test from very close distance and did not see any banding in the fog scenes. At times there are compression artifacts in the fog that look a little suspicious but the fog is basically comprised of very smooth shades of grey with no perceptible banding between shades.

My wife also looked for it and could not see any.

HD material has not a hint of any banding.

Again, I am no expert but this is what I see.

Charlie
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post #105 of 406 Old 01-12-2005, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jbailey895
BTW:
Costco has no 50"'s in the stores, you can only purchase them online. I was considering buying the Optoma 50" until I saw the, uh, little piece of paper redeemable for money off, making the Optoma and Pio close in price. I'm bummed because the deals on the 43/42 " Pio and Vizio are great, and the 50" Pio is still pretty expensive, but I can't give up that much real estate by shrinking to 43 after having a 61" Sammy for so long. I may have to wait this frenzy out and see if the 50" drops some more.
~Joel
Smart move. Waiting for a bit.
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post #106 of 406 Old 01-12-2005, 07:40 PM
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Just did a side-by-side of the 4310 (aka 4300) and 4312 (aka 4304). The picture seems VERY comparable. I couldn't literally see them both simultaneously, but flipped back and forth with the same content. I still have some work to get them dialed the "same" (color, tint, contrast, etc.) but they seem very comparable.
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post #107 of 406 Old 01-12-2005, 09:08 PM
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I went to Costco tonight to check out the Pioneer 4312 - very disappointed, and I wonder if it had a bad connection or something. Any action shot the pixels would get grainy and you'd see them separate. Overall, the picture looked grainy as well, compared to the JVC next to it and even the Panny ED unit. I will check out another one at a different Costco tomorrow, but I'm not sure how much of the grainy picture I can attribute to the signal coming in as they were all on the same signal and it was using the factory cables. False contouring was definitely present as well, particularly on scenes of the sky, and overall it didn't look as sharp - now I wonder if I tone down the sharpness just a little on mine if some of the false contouring will go away too.
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post #108 of 406 Old 01-12-2005, 09:14 PM
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I just also saw one tonight at Costco next to an ED Panasonic 42 and the Pio 43 looked much better. I saw no problems similar to what you are describing. The picture (even during action scenes) were pretty darn good.

Considering the price, I may have to buy one in the next couple of days.
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post #109 of 406 Old 01-12-2005, 09:59 PM
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Charley,

Thanks for your review of the 4312.

Do you (or anyone else who has the plasma) know if it has discrete codes for the different inputs? i.e. can you change from input 1 to 2 or 3 etc. directly by pressing only one remote button (without cycling through all the inputs to get to the input that you want)?
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post #110 of 406 Old 01-12-2005, 10:29 PM
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It didn't seem right to me - It was probably the worst HD picture I've seen, so I figure it must be something with the connection or cables. It was as if the refresh rate was 1/2 speed. They didn't have the remote there so I couldn't mess with it, and the problem with Costco displays is that you can't change the feed unless it is one of those hooked up to a DVD. Tomorrow I check it out at another location. Only 3 left at my Costco, so I need to act fast if this is to be the one I exchange for.

Anyone know if Costco would have a problem with me returning the screen without a box? I know some of you have returned them...
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post #111 of 406 Old 01-13-2005, 07:21 AM
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The inputs definitely have discrete remote codes. Each input is a separate button on the remote. It is not a single button that cycles through the inputs.
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post #112 of 406 Old 01-13-2005, 07:35 AM
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I am guessing Costco does not employ any AV experts to setup and calibrate those in store displays. It is probably the same guys that put together the BBQ's ;)

On the other hand, the Corona Ca. store display was pretty darn good. The 4312 was right next to the Panny 42 ED and they both looked excellent. The 4312 clearly had the edge though, regardless of being extremely close up or from a distance. If memory serves, the content was Discovery HD Theater.

My Costco also only had three which is why I jumped on it without knowing exactly what I was getting. There were clearly several other folks in the store at the same time that seemed very interested. Once we got it home we left it boxed until we scoured the web for any info, of which there was not much other than those talking about here. So with that, we unboxed it and set it up and I am very pleased with the purchase.
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post #113 of 406 Old 01-13-2005, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
BTW:
Costco has no 50"'s in the stores, you can only purchase them online. I was considering buying the Optoma 50" until I saw the, uh, little piece of paper redeemable for money off, making the Optoma and Pio close in price. I'm bummed because the deals on the 43/42 " Pio and Vizio are great, and the 50" Pio is still pretty expensive, but I can't give up that much real estate by shrinking to 43 after having a 61" Sammy for so long. I may have to wait this frenzy out and see if the 50" drops some more.
~Joel
Not true. I was there last night and they had a Sony 50" plasma.
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post #114 of 406 Old 01-13-2005, 08:18 AM
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I believe the reference was to the Pioneer 50" that will be $$$$ off next week at costco.com only. Not a generic reference to any 50".

[MSRP ONLY]
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post #115 of 406 Old 01-13-2005, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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So, without starting a flame fest, what are people's overall impression of the deal on the 50". Is it truly worth it, or are there two many questions surrounding this set. What other options are people considering, especially that Panasonic is issuing a replacement s-video board. Personally, I was trying to decide btw the 50 pio and the NEC, but have been stuck in analysis paralysis...:rolleyes:
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post #116 of 406 Old 01-13-2005, 09:08 AM
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i bought the pio 4312...i will set it up friday probably and have a review for you...i also have a pioneer elite 910 hd...so i will compare the 2 for you as well.
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post #117 of 406 Old 01-13-2005, 10:02 AM
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I bought the 4312. Very impressed. I have had Voom and an X1 projector for past 7 months so have experience with HD/SD, etc. HD is fantastic,.. I had considered ED units because HD on the X1 is pretty good, but am glad I went with 1024x768. SD is better than expected, given what SD is.
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post #118 of 406 Old 01-13-2005, 10:17 AM
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My wife had a weak moment last weekend and decided we needed a flat panel, so we went to Costco and saw the 4312.

It looked fantastic on display, so for the price I bought on a whim.

It definitely lacks contrast detail, but the colors are rich and vibrant, and HD looks wonderful.

The one HDMI port works great with HDMI-->DVI. I see no banding, but some pixelization on SD which I attribute to compression. A good SD channel looks really good though through S-Video, and DVD through component is spot on.

I just wish it had better contrast, but other than that it is a great monitor, although I'm no expert and have nothing to compare it to. What would be better for under $3k?
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post #119 of 406 Old 01-13-2005, 04:43 PM
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jf1,

Have you already calibrated the 4312 with Avia or something similar? I just borrowed a friend's Avia and will calibrate tonight. I have already done so on our 4310 which was very close to "correct" out of the box.

The 4312 "defaults" seem quite a bit different than the 4310 "defaults". If I remember right, the color temp was set a lot higher and it seems like the color richness is a tad too much. Again, I'll know more after tonight when I calibrate.
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post #120 of 406 Old 01-13-2005, 05:10 PM
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I noticed that 1800plasmas has lowered the price on the Pio 50" again. Maybe to the point where Costco isn't such a great deal anymore, unless Costco is including the speakers that are pictured on their website.

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