Akai PDP5073TM - reviews ?!? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 50 Old 07-05-2006, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey,
the local Costco (Canada) now has a Akai 50" HD (PDP5073TM) plasma for sale at a good price. Does anyone know anything about it? Supposebly it uses a LG panel but that's all I know. Specs are here: http://www.akaiusa.com/products_deta...ctno=PDP5073TM

It's a bit short on the inputs but I can live with that.

Any thoughts? Let me know,
Mike
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post #2 of 50 Old 07-05-2006, 01:05 PM
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Never liked Akai. All it reminds me of "you get what you pay for".
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post #3 of 50 Old 07-05-2006, 06:13 PM
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Futureshop used to sell a rebranded Akai DLP. it was called Viore. The worst TV for returns/defectives we've ever seen at FS. I avoided ever selling them, as i would avoid anything with an akai/viore name. Horribly made products.
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post #4 of 50 Old 07-06-2006, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the all the info.

I'm a bit concerned by the fact that I haven't seen any reviews on it. I'm also a bit concerned of getting a 'no-name' but that being said, I've read the panel and components inside of it are labelled LG and it appears to a rebadge of their 50" plasma which I'm more comfortable with.

Also I really like the idea of buying it at Costco with there unbeatable exchange/return policy.
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post #5 of 50 Old 07-06-2006, 06:38 AM
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Well I understand. LG is a good brand and Akai use to be a very respectable brand of Audio equipment. You can also try it out and see. I agree though that no reviews is not a positive sign.
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post #6 of 50 Old 07-06-2006, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TulsaCoker View Post

Never liked Akai. All it reminds me of "you get what you pay for".

Exactly. I work at a Sam's Club and we get these back all the time.
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post #7 of 50 Old 07-10-2006, 09:53 AM
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I purchased this TV yesterday from Costco. Initial setup was very easy, and the pictures looks really good. Haven't had much time to play with it yet, although I can say that it uses a LG PDP50x3 panel (looking through the back grill).
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post #8 of 50 Old 07-10-2006, 01:46 PM
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One problem with third tier TV makers are in the inside components and longevity. While good first tier manufacturer sets are more expensive. they typically last longer and the color reproduction and brightness stays longer.
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post #9 of 50 Old 07-10-2006, 02:39 PM
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I've looked at this panel several times already at Costco. I don't think it's very good, to be honest. I tweaked the settings as much as I could in the store but the image just wasn't clear/sharp. They were running a HD feed via components. Cheap it is, but I don't think it's worth it. You're better off looking at the Pio 4214 they have, but even that panel has issues.
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post #10 of 50 Old 07-10-2006, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TulsaCoker View Post

Never liked Akai. All it reminds me of "you get what you pay for".

Not if you do your research...

Akai does not really make anything, they buy surplus parts and stuff they can get cheap from other manufacturers, put it together and call it there own... A lot of time the product ends up sub-par.. but if you do your research you can end up with an awesome TV way under market price for a similar brand name model.

I have the Akai PDP4273M (42in HD Plasma), which is essentially all hitachi parts.. I have been enjoying it for over 6 months now with not one problem and an amazing picture that is probably 90% the quality of competing sets that cost 50-100% more.. The detail and clarity of this plasma is amazing, the only thing that is not amazing is the black level detail, which is really a minimal issue after spending some time calibrating the set.

I have also heard many horror stories having to do with 'big brand' names..

So basically, I would say not to buy a TV based on the manufacturer name alone, buy it based on research and real world consumer reviews.

my 2 cents anyways.
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post #11 of 50 Old 07-10-2006, 07:34 PM
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I just got back from the local Costco, because I wanted to take a look at the Akai unit. And you know what? I think it's actually not too bad, considering the price point. They had a HD feed going, and it compared pretty well next to the Philips (not good). The others are 42". And the thing is huge!

micheldb, let me know if you do buy it. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Hopefully it doesn't have the issues of the model previous (noisy fans). The policy of Costco really is unbeatable. I have to return the Sony plasma that I got from them!
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post #12 of 50 Old 07-11-2006, 09:11 AM
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I can tell you that the fan on mine is whisper quiet, i don't hear it unless i put my ear up to it. I've been playing around with it a bit, and so far, i can't get it to go to 1366x768 resolution (as the TV is advertised as), but auto scales to 1280x720. The TV then displays the resolution onscreen (it shows 1280x720) and it looks really good. When tweaking it, compared to the philips 42" Plasma (at Costco). The picture on the Akai looked just as good.. So far I have no complaints at all, except the remote looks like something that would come with a $200 TV at Walmart. Oh well, $2000 for a HD 50" Plasma, you can't go wrong!
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post #13 of 50 Old 07-11-2006, 09:40 AM
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wiebe,

That's strange. I did hear about the previous model having issues on scaling via component (of the two comp. inputs, only 1 accepted HD signals). What is your input source? Is the source scaling out properly? Do you get a black border all the way around when viewing 16:9 HD/DVD material? This is really important to me, because I do a lot of both. The philips I saw wasn't so hot in certain angles. It seemed pretty fuzzy at times due to the glass/filter. How long have you had yours? Does it have any quirks? I'd love to hear more about it, as I'm thinking of buying this as a secondary.
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post #14 of 50 Old 07-11-2006, 12:11 PM
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I've only had this since sunday, so i'm still playing with it heavily. I bought a hdmi to dvi cable today so once i get home i'll test it out and see. And no, there are no black borders around it (I have only used a PC as a source so far), it scales to the full TV size, No quirks so far, we'll see!
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post #15 of 50 Old 07-11-2006, 11:10 PM
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wiebe,

1 more question for you: the panel does come with a built-in tuner right? Meaning I can plug the cable directly from wall to panel without a settop box right? Or do I still need a stb? I thought I saw it on the box, but can't recall for sure. thnx.
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post #16 of 50 Old 07-12-2006, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mooshoo View Post

wiebe,

1 more question for you: the panel does come with a built-in tuner right? Meaning I can plug the cable directly from wall to panel without a settop box right? Or do I still need a stb? I thought I saw it on the box, but can't recall for sure. thnx.

I believe the specs say no tuner however it's not a very big issue since you'll probably want to use a HD stb anyway.
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post #17 of 50 Old 07-12-2006, 09:02 AM
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This TV doesn't have a tuner. The akai model that costco sold previous to this did have a tuner though. Yes, plugging cable into this thing wouldn't do it justice anyway, so it wasn't an issue for me (plus i'm running media centre and everything goes through my PC anyway)
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post #18 of 50 Old 07-12-2006, 11:55 AM
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OK, so that means that going from the wall directly to tv won't work then, right? If that's so, then it means that I have to get annother stb!
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post #19 of 50 Old 07-12-2006, 01:59 PM
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yup, you'll need a digital stb for this tv
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post #20 of 50 Old 07-13-2006, 02:38 PM
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wiebe,

are you getting HD through shaw now? how does it look? are you using any high definition/upscaled sources at all? thnx! if all goes well, i'm gonna go ahead and buy it. the box looks friggin' huge though....
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post #21 of 50 Old 07-14-2006, 03:34 PM
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post #22 of 50 Old 07-16-2006, 12:01 PM
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I have hd through expressvu. Looks really great! At the moment, I'm not using any upscaled sources, but once I get my cables I ordered (can't stomach paying $150 for a hdmi-dvi cable at futureshop when you can get one online for $10) I'll play around with it some more
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post #23 of 50 Old 07-19-2006, 12:41 PM
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I decided to go and buy it. It was the last one they had in stock (they started off with like 17 of them). I'm glad that I bought it too. It looked completely different when I got done setting it up in the room. At first I almost had a panic attack when I was switching through the component inputs (all had upscaled material going through it) and saw that Comp. 1 wasn't working right. It took 20 minutes, then I realized that I had accidentally swapped the Blue with Green comp. cables! All is well now. Coming from 37 inch Alis panel I was pretty impressed with the Black levels on this panel (the Alis would flicker during dark/white transitions). And the sucker is HUGE. I had to move the couch and coffee table back like another 10 feet. I want to watch all my DVDs over again with the new real estate!

What settings are you guys using for the break-in period? I got too excited and already started calibrating it, but I do have the brightness and contrast turned way down. Even so, Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan was very dark. Also, do you know if the monitor has user setting memory for individual inputs?
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post #24 of 50 Old 07-20-2006, 11:09 AM
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post #25 of 50 Old 07-20-2006, 09:51 PM
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I just bought this unit today at Costco and I'm really unhappy with it.

The SD picture quality is atrocious (Shaw Digital Cable) to the point of being almost unwatchable, but my biggest concern is that I can't fill the screen with the picture. It has 2 settings, 4:3 and Full. The Full setting displays at 4:3 with black bands on either side, and 4:3 is more like 3:3 with everything tall and skinny, and extra black bands on the sides. I've used both HDMI cable and Component video cable with identical results.

Only HD widescreen broadcasts actually fill the screen like they are supposed to, but virtually every other widescreen broadcast (while 16:9) has black bands all the way around the image, and from what I can tell there is no way to change it.

I played around with the 42" PDP4273M in the store more than this one, assuming they were the same and since there were other 42" units on either side for comparison. Then at the last minute, I decided to buy the 50" even though the store model had only displayed DVD output. My mistake for sure, but the 42" has 5 different picture size options and seemed to do everything I would expect it to do with regard to picture resizing. This thing only has 2 and I find them very lacking.

One very annoying trait was discovered when watching an HD newscast and the display kept switching from full widescreen, to 4:3 with the side bands whenever the image went away from the studio. I'll assume that this is the way things work when the image being broadcast isn't HD, but I also assume that most sets will auto-switch for size and the difference would be almost imperceptible to the viewer.

Perhaps somebody would be so kind as to confirm or correct my assumptions, and hopefully there is something about the set that I'm missing with regard to filling the screen with the picture (even if it is a stretched SD 4:3). If there isn't some way to make it do what I expect, then it's going back on the weekend, and I'll give the PDP4273 a shot...
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post #26 of 50 Old 07-20-2006, 11:20 PM
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To be honest, anytime you're inputing SD quality source onto a 50 inch screen, it's going to look pretty iffy unless you spend another $2,000 and get a panel that has the proper engines/drivers. Also, frankly I think Shaw's cable service is crap to begin with. Even their normal digital channels suck. I haven't had issues with the black going all the way around the picture though. Are you sure it's not the source? If I remember correctly, if the input is 480, then you should be able to cycle through 2-3 different picture formats (4;3, 16:9, full, and pano). Dunno. Most of my material is either DVD, HD DVD, Network, or console gaming. Also, most panels when it receives a higher resolution input will only allow you to switch 2 different picture formats (full, zoom).

Our costco just started getting the 42s in. I chose not to get it because I know that it's using an ALiS panel, which I've had bad experience with in the past (flicker, and can't do black at all). The 50" panel is stripped, hardly any features at all. But if you input good sources, you'll get good results.
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post #27 of 50 Old 07-21-2006, 10:52 AM
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I don't use the TV to resize the picture at all (I don't actually know anyone who does it this way). Use your shaw box to size the picture the way you want it, (this works GREAT with bell). Haven't used shaw before though, so i'm not sure. SD source on this TV with bell is alright. I totally agree with mooshoo - input good source, get good results, this TV is pretty barebones in features
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post #28 of 50 Old 07-22-2006, 12:17 PM
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wiebe,

i'm trying to figure out what the "Phase" function, Adaptive Lumen control are. The Phase is suppose to work with Component only, but I have no clue what it does. Do you? Same with the Adaptive Lumen function. The manual was pretty vague with that. btw, have you found the ideal screen settings yet?
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post #29 of 50 Old 07-24-2006, 09:53 AM
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Phase and pixel clock are controls used to sync a signal with a PC. It should only be valid on a VGA input. The display with automatically adjust the phase upon sync as well with no user intervention required. Adaptive lumen sounds like a peak white limiter is all. lumen = luminance (brightness or black and white portion of your video signal). Most plasmas have a white limiter so they're not driven too hard. It could also be a dynamic contrast control. The latter is undesirable and affects picture calibration negatively.
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post #30 of 50 Old 07-24-2006, 12:30 PM
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xcalibur,

most interesting. according to the manual, it says that the Phase is adjustable ONLY with the component input side. i'm aware of the clock/phase function in the VGA input. what's really odd is that the manual also says, verbatim, "sharpens things'. i have no clue what the heck they're talking about.

i haven't messed with the lumen control, except for once, and it turned the picture pretty dark.
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