or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Display Devices › Flat Panels General and OLED Technology › AKAI plasma at COSTCO
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

AKAI plasma at COSTCO - Page 2  

post #31 of 853
This looks *very* tempting --
post #32 of 853
Quote:
Originally posted by pcrx
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?
pcrx,

yes. i tried to describe the slottiness of the mount, but a picture is worth 1000 words, so i've added another picture to my page: http://logsoft.com/chris/plasma/

you can see the silver lag screws at the top. the mount allows them to be up to about 18" apart from one another (where I put them). there is also another set of vertical slots, just like those at the edges, barely outboard of the bolts i used. They're about 19.5" apart.

/chris
post #33 of 853
Hey Chris -

I just saw this description on the Costco website:

HDTV Compatibility: 480P, 1080i
(requires optional external HDTV decoder)

Does it do 720p? Anything in the documentation on this?
post #34 of 853
You have a very nice setup. You should be proud of your work!
post #35 of 853
Never mind - Akai's website says:

3 - RCA Component Video - (480i/p,576i/p,720p,1080i)
post #36 of 853
But I think the Costco unit has only 2 component inputs - am I right Chris? This was one thing that had me confused on the actual model number.
post #37 of 853
Chrisinboston - Your set up looks beautiful - really like a million bucks. You seemed to do it so effortlessly too. Congratulations and keep us posted on how you are liking the Akai.
post #38 of 853
Quote:
Originally posted by marchristensen
But I think the Costco unit has only 2 component inputs - am I right Chris? This was one thing that had me confused on the actual model number.
yes, two component inputs, one vga, one svideo, one composite. pip mode only works if you're using component2 or vga, so i presume that component1, svideo and composite are tied together somehow.

/chris
post #39 of 853
What is the Picture Quality like?
post #40 of 853
What is the Picture Quality like?
post #41 of 853
Quote:
Originally posted by marchristensen
Chrisinboston - Your set up looks beautiful - really like a million bucks. You seemed to do it so effortlessly too. Congratulations and keep us posted on how you are liking the Akai.
thanks.

effortless? heh. i don't know about that. true, this weekend's work took just about 30 minutes, but you should have seen me in august of 2001, two days before the drywall went up...

there wasn't recessed power outlets, component video, svideo, serial and ethernet jacks, speaker wire and 4x4 studs in that wall by accident! :-) my walls are full of:
- 1000 feet of belden 1506a (component video, svideo, composite)
- 500 feet of commscope rg6qs
- 1000 feet of berk-tek lanmark 1000 cl3 (ethenet and serial)
- 500 feet of commscope cl3 copper/copper rg59 (line audio)
- 500 feet monster 14ga cl3 (speaker wire)

i had to time things very carefully to get all that cable in after the electrical inspection and before the drywall contractor... it was a real freakshow, but totally worth it.

in other news, i watched a dvd last night, and am totally satisfied with the pq of the akai. basic cable (analog) through tivo looks like hell, but that's clearly not the panel's fault. the film was "high crimes" (thumbs down) 2.35:1. i watched it using my non-progressive scan yamaha dvd changer. it looked great. i'm planning to do a comparison with a progressive scan player sometime this week.

/chris
post #42 of 853
I know this isnt the best "looking" movie for PQ but Minority Report has some very wierd "film noir" graininess and very bright and dark scenes....might be a good one to try out.
:)

Plus it is a great movie!
post #43 of 853
Chris - The initial installation sounds like an adventure - but you seem to have everything in the wall that you might need for the foreseeable future. You're scaring me - how bad is "hell" - is anyone in your house complaining about the picture quality of SD TV? It's pretty much all I have available and thanks to Cablevision it's all that will be available for a while. They are talking about digital SD, which I am not sure is not much of an improvement. So is the SD Tivo watchable - I will be in big trouble if I spend 3K for a TV with worse quality than my crappy old CRT. Please, qualify your assessment of SD TV. Thanks.
post #44 of 853
i guess SD tivo isn't worse on the akai than it is on my 27" tube... but you can sure see the shortcomings in the signal. it *is* disapponting. if i get further away from the screen (approximate the size of my old tv) it looks pretty much the same.

...but this is *exactly* the reason i bought the screen from costco and not from a mail order dealer or a specialty a/v shop. if i decide i can't stand it, i'll get something else!

i'm planning to live with it, however. my girlfriend hasn't complained (about the picture :-) either.

you could probably ask to demo a videotape on a plasma screen at someplace like circuit ******. ...or even drag your tivo in there and watch your own shows if you have one. ...or buy it from costco to do the audition in your own home!

/chris
post #45 of 853
Hi all,

How are the black's? I've been looking at 42"s and both the SD panny (at CC) and SD Samsung (at BB) had a dark gray that looked a bit yellow/brown compared to the HD panny and an HD sony which had no tint to them. What is the source for this? It could be something that needs a calibration to fix (black level adjustment?) or is it the glass? I haven't checked the Akai yet. Could also be a newer design in the HD's?

Cory
post #46 of 853
Thanks - I'm planning to make purchase on Monday when the coupon goes into effect. Just a few more questions (if you're up for it) -
- What equipment is connected to what input in the Akai?
- How does your receiver fit into this connection scheme?
- Please explain how the PIP works. What are your two sources of video. Where are they connected to?
- Does the documentation say how many hours the Akai is rated at? (How many hours before the pic gets to 1/2 strength?)

I am jazzed at the prospect of finally having a plasma in my house. I have been wanting to do this for months now and am finally swayed by Costco's generous return policy.

Thanks Chris for taking the time to answer all these questions. I probably wouldn't be able to pull myself away from the plasma.
post #47 of 853
component 1 has my yamaha dvd changer. can't remember model #, but it's a couple years old, NO progressive scan. i'll probably move that to component 2 because component 1 appears to be grouped (PIP-wise) with composite and svideo. i like the idea that component 2 appears to be stand-alone.

svideo is plugged to my receiver's "monitor" port. inputs to the receiver are tivo, directv.

i'm not using the receiver (H/K avr 510) for component switching because i have only one component device (the dvd) and i have to switch the panel over to component from svideo manually anyway (no auto source selection on the akai). also, the on screen functionality (volume, etc...) of the receiver doesn't work with the component switching, so there's no reason to use it.

i've got belden 1506a in the walls for component. it's terminated with bnc. bnc wall plate pass-thru things. more 1506a with bnc ends run from the wall plates to bnc-rca adaptors on my receiver and panel.

i'm also using 1506a in the walls for svideo, terminating in a dual bnc-svideo adaptor, then svideo wall plate pass thru.

i've never used the pip. i push the button, it says "not available" or something. the manual says only allowed in component 2 or vga mode.

i didn't notice anything about life expectancy in the documentation. the docs are kinda lean.

/chris
post #48 of 853
in other news, i just learned something about component 1 and 2.

component 1 input is *only* for 480i and 480p
component 2 input is *only* for 480p, 720p and 1080i

not behavior that i'd expected, and it's amazing what a little reading of the manual can do :-)

/chris
post #49 of 853
A few more questions (please!)

Can you set settings (brightness, contrast etc.) to 'stick' with each separate input - so if you play a dvd is has the settings you put in for dvd and if you watch tivo it has the settings you put in for tivo. Does it remember these settings each time you watch?

Also does it remember if you were watching in a stretched mode?

Is there a 'shakey' mode that helps prevent burn-in

How many stretch modes are there and how do they look.

Thanks again . . .
post #50 of 853
marchristensen,

i don't think the picture settings stick the way you want. there are 4 (or so) modes to toggle through: standard, dynamic, mild, custom. the brighness, contrast, etc... sliders only appear in 'custom' mode. i haven't done much fooling with the settings (VE disc is in the mail). i'll post an update if it is configurable per-input, like we both hope it is...

remember stretch mode after what kind of event? input change? i dunno, but i think not.

no shakey feature that i've noticed.

stretch modes are:
4:3 (grey bars - non adjustable)
wide (16:9)
panorama (smart stretch)
zoom 1 (might lop the sides from a 2.35:1 dvd)
zoom 2 (might lop the sides to fit a 4:3)
someotherzoom (like zoom 2, but shifted vertically so you can read the cnn ticker)

i've use panorama for television. it's pretty sneaky. less obtrusive than the smartstretch mode on the NEC panels we have around the office.

you can get to all the on screen stuff using the buttons right on the panel. ...it might be worth a trip to sears/costco to fiddle with the samsung/akai inputs.

/chris
post #51 of 853
I too am interested in the Akai. The picture is very clear, bright with high contrast and pleasant despite the glaring overhead warehouse lighting that could not be worse for any soft of monitor viewing. Makes me wonder what the panel might look like in a nice, darkened room.

I called the Akai distributor who is local to me in Santa Monica to ask what they knew about the PDP 4290. They were in a bit of disarray and I think there was miscommunication about when Costco would begin to promote the product. Either Costco got out ahead of Akai or Akai fell behind. They had no tech data available as of two days ago for the display. They did refer me to Samsung customer service, but they were unable to cross reference the Akai number to a Samsung number and referred me back to Akai after apparently trying their best to help. I think all of this confusion is being remedied as I write this.

A word of caution. I saw the monitor. It is truly a monitor in every sense of the word. From what I can tell, it displays just what is input into its terminals. It has no tuner or any other sort of control other than an on/off switch. It has no remote. It has no speakers (but it has an amplifier and speaker outputs). These all appear to be features included on the Samsung version, but not included on the lower priced Akai version. I am inclined, until I learn otherwise, to think that there are minimal or, at best, rudimentary video processing features included such as scaling, line doubling, sensing of picture format, etc. I tend to think all or most of this must be done outboard of the monitor. I saw a 4:3 DVD being displayed on the monitor at a local Costco and it was "stretched" to fit the 16:9 format. Switching the progressive scan switch on the rear of the DVD had no visible effect on the picture displayed as is often the case with monitors that have more intelligence built in (i.e., many monitors will only convert a 4:3 signal to 16:9 format when it senses a progressive signal, but will display a native 4:3 signal in 4:3 mode when it sees an interlaced signal).
post #52 of 853
hi roger.

the akai pdp4290 seems to be a samsung spl4225, as others have reported. two retailers near me carry the samsung, and i can't tell the difference (having owned the akai for 5 days).

indeed, this panel is strictly a monitor, but i don't imagine that's a suprise to most plasma buyers. there's another thread around here discussing that very issue (no tuner included). exceptions seem to be philips and gateway models, and some (costco sampo) that can have a tuner retrofit.

as for controls, perhaps you missed the buttons recessed in the bottom edge of the panel, right side? every panel function that can be twiddled with the remote (there IS a remote) can be twiddled by those buttons as well.

you're right that the panel doesn't have too much smarts in terms of sensing input type. is this functionality a typical feature? based on how common it is to see retail outlets demonstrating complete visual disasters (see other threads for this too), i'd guess that some user intervention must usually be required.

what input was the dvd hooked up to?

click here for the remote (then use your imagination to change "samsung" to "akai"):
http://www.pcstats.com/articleimages...25_remote3.jpg

/chris
post #53 of 853
Hi Chris,

Thanks for the update. I posted my reply in the wee hours after a 15 hr day unraveling an accounting mess and was then chagrined to note later that some of the issues I mentioned had been touched earlier in the thread.

I went over the floor model at Costco with a fine tooth comb, but evidently missed the control buttons. Probably because the unit was "wall-mounted" to a rack and next to a refrig or some large appliance.

I think the DVD feeding the unit was connected by a composite cable because I remember thinking that it still had a very nice picture given the type of feed.

Very pleased to hear yours had a remote. That has been bothering me. Nothing mentioned on either the box (which lists the features of the display) or the www.akaiusa.com web site. At least on Tuesday I finally got a page on the 4290 instead of the 404 errors I had gotten for the previous 3 days for everything on the site including the home page. I called the distributor on Tuesday and the remote issue was on my list of questions, but they knew nothing whatsoever about the unit except its model number, that they were expecting literature to arrive very soon now and that Costco had let the cat out of the bag before they (Akai USA) were able to offer any any customer support. I gathered I was not the first to call them. In all fairness, Akai and Samsung were very friendly and not in a rush to slam the phone down and both suggested I call back later this week. What I would really like to get from one of them is a .pdf copy of the ops manual. Or maybe I will just fill up the car and drive to Santa Monica

My general impression is of a basically sound product with a very nice looking display and, at least some of the features of the Samsung version deleted in order to offer an attractive price (at the least speakers - which are not of much use to you or to me either). It would make sense that something might have been deleted vis a vis the Samsung version to reduce the price. My impression is also of "amateur hour" at its finest in the marketing of this otherwise attractive product, but that is entertaining in its own way.

Of course, the proof of the pudding is . . . and you seem to be very happy - features, performance and price - with what you brought home. A very good sign!

Thanks again for the info.

Roger
post #54 of 853
_________________________________________________________
"nuts, my receiver doesn't do on-screen stuff through the component cables. i didn't know that before"
__________________________________________________________

I am about to buy a tv so I can set up my sony 999ES DVD player. Can someone provide more information about the lack "on screen stuff"

Al
post #55 of 853
Quote:
Originally posted by alvorne
_________________________________________________________
"nuts, my receiver doesn't do on-screen stuff through the component cables. i didn't know that before"
__________________________________________________________

I am about to buy a tv so I can set up my sony 999ES DVD player. Can someone provide more information about the lack "on screen stuff"

Al
the on-screen stuff i was talking about are receiver functions. things like the receiver's volume setting, source selection, surround sound stuff all get displayed on my monitor when i use the receiver for video switching of svideo or composite video. but, when i use the receiver for switching *component* video, nothing but the original source is displayed on the monitor. i'm forced to squint at the receiver's vfd and leds for receiver information.

it doesn't matter what tv or dvd player you use, this is strictly a receiver functionality problem.

/chris
post #56 of 853
Chris - Did you ever get the PIP to work?
Have any of your opinions changed?
post #57 of 853
Quote:
Originally posted by marchristensen
Chris - Did you ever get the PIP to work?
Have any of your opinions changed?
no PIP for me. PIP only works in component 2 or PC mode. I don't have any sources that can drive those modes (yet). real soon now i'll have a progressive dvd player, so i can use PIP (not that i think i'll *ever* use it...)

it still sucks that picture and aspect settings aren't remembered when i change inputs.

/chris
post #58 of 853
I checked out this unit at my local Costco and managed to get the salesperson to get me the owners manual and remote. Its identical, actually exactly a Samsung 4225 with a wall mount included. I played around for a while and finally found the color temperature controls : instead of simply cool, mid and warm this unit has 6 selections. Once it was on warm 2 the picture improved.

I have researched several 842 X 480 42 inch plasmas and am convinced this is solidly in the middle of the pack; better than Gateway and Sampo; worse than Panasonic and Fujitsu but for the money cannot be beat.

Only issue is lack of DVI. I will be buying it next week for our bedroom.

Go to samsungs site and check out the 50 inch plasma (they only have last years 4215 42 inch model) manual on line. Its virtually identical to the Akai manual right down to the picture on the cover.

ChrisinBoston, have you tried any HD material on your unit?
post #59 of 853
Originally posted by RogerBH
Quote:
A word of caution. I saw the monitor. It is truly a monitor in every sense of the word. From what I can tell, it displays just what is input into its terminals. It has no tuner or any other sort of control other than an on/off switch. It has no remote. It has no speakers (but it has an amplifier and speaker outputs). These all appear to be features included on the Samsung version, but not included on the lower priced Akai version
There are two packages:

SPL4225-K = Comes with a pedestal stand
SPL4225-S = Pedestal Stand , speakers and HD tuner.
post #60 of 853
Quote:
it still sucks that picture and aspect settings aren't remembered when i change inputs.
Chris - Would using a programmable remote help this situation. I have been thinking about going that route for my SO.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
This thread is locked  
AVS › AVS Forum › Display Devices › Flat Panels General and OLED Technology › AKAI plasma at COSTCO