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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys.

I'm kinda new around here. I have been reading through tons of posts and trying to learn the pro's and con's of plasmas. I think the time has come for me to take the plunge and I need some expert help.


So I am pretty sure that I want a 42" but cant really decide which one. I HAVE used the search but havent found this exact question asked (or maybe I just didnt search for the right thing:rolleyes: ).


85% of the time we watch DirecTV or something Tivoed (is that a word?) on the Sony SAT-60. It is being piped through my Pioneer Elite receiver using S-video. The other 15+% of the time, we are watching DVD's. We have a Panasonic Progressive Scan DVD player (sorry, dont remember the model. Gaming (PS2) will be VERY minimum.


So we are basically looking at a 42" that is around the 3-4k mark that will work best for us. Not too interested in all kinds of crazy imputs or DVI inputs. Just basically for normal use, but with a KILLER picture. I have been looking at the Panny's and Pioneer's, but there are SOOOO many models, my head is spinning.


I would appreciate it if you could all chime in and let me know your take on the subject.


Thanks for the help!


Anthony
 

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Welcome to the can of worms you just opened. :)

Actually, for the price range, you can probably limit your search to about 3 or 4 units. Panny ED, Pio 433, Hitachi, and maybe Fuji. There are some other budget models by Sampo and a few others but they're not really up to snuff with the others.


After that, your best bet will be to try and find brick and mortar stores in your area that have the various models. You can read a million reviews, but you're the only one that can say which looks best to you. I'm personally planning on the Panny ED model as I think it has the best bang for the buck right now (you can get them under 4k pretty easily). The Pio model is HD rather than ED for a little less than 1k more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply.

I was planning on taking some trips to stores to see for myself, but I want to narrow things down a bit and see if there are some that arent up to par with others.


Anyone else????
 

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Happy to help you narrow, but Moebius really did that for you already.


Basically, if you want a quality 42" plasma for under $4k, then you are looking at Panasonic or Pioneer (I don't know anything about the Hitachi that Moebius referred to - that's not a bad thing, it just means that I shouldn't talk about it, good or bad). The Fujitsu, my personal favorite, cannot be purchased from an authorized dealer for under $4k - AFAIK.


There is a TON, and I mean a TON of information on both the Panny and Pio on this site. More than anything, read as many posts as you can to get a feel for the many differing opinions around here and then go and see for yourself.


Most plasmas in your price range are not "true" HDTV, but that should only be a small part of your decision. I have seen HD signal on the SD Panny and Fuji, and they looked spectacular! Also, don't let price be the main factor either. You can pick up a cheap Sampo, Gateway and others (below $3000), but you really do get what you pay for and the quality of these displays is usually lacking compared to the slightly more expensive ones.


Finally, and I don't think that this is stressed enough on this board, do not expect your SD satellite picture to look like DVD or HD. There are many people who are genuinely surprised when their new $4000 plasma shows a lesser picture than their 15 year old CRT. Some are better than others, but for the most part SD satellite and cable are crap. When you go to look at displays, try to find some places that will show you a regular satellite or cable feed. The stores love to show DVDs and HD (of course), but the real test is how satisfied you are with the picture from a regular SD source.


Have fun and read as many posts as possible. Your question is probably the most discussed topic on this board.
 

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I remember talking the magnolia hifi guys to hook up the standard sat feed to the plasmas they have. The did not want to do it at first, and I insisted many times - and when their backs finally broke they hooked it up like I had discovered their achillies heel.


HA HA!!


Anyway, the Panasonic handled the SD material best - to my eyes - so I ended up with that model, and have been loving it ever since.


With the PQ and experience so enhanced on DVD's, you may find yourself watching movies more than you think you will - because now you have much more of a "theater" experience at home.


My sattelite experience is that it is as good as my old 27" set 80% of the time, better 10% of the time, and some channels are just worse than ever. BUT, the key is that the channels we watch the most fall into the 80% and better categories. That helped make the decision.
 

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I own a Pioneer PDP-433CMX so I'll admit that I'm biased right off. It is a 43 inch model and it's surprising how much square area that extra inch adds to the picture size. The resolution on the 433CMX (1024 X 768) makes it a true high definition plasma monitor as opposed to a SD monitor. This was important to me because I plan to watch as much high definition TV as is broad-casted - especially sports, which are totally jaw droppingly sensational in HiDef. I also own a HD front projector (the Sony HS-10) which I use almost exclusively to watch DVDs on, so I don't watch too many DVDs on the plasma.


Before I bought, I compared the 433CMX to the SD Panny, the HD Panny, a 42 inch ALIS panel Hitachi, a Philips 42, a Sony 42. and gave a cursory look at the Gateway and Akai plasmas. I liked the punchy colors and sharp picture image of the Pioneer the best. The other thing that was important to me was the fact that the card (PDA-5002) in the Pioneer could be upgraded to provide HDCP compliance (a good future proofing measure when DVI-HDCP gets implemented).


All that being said, I liked both Pannys and the Hitachi. I was especially impressed with the picture quality of the Panny SD plasma. Bottom line, the Pioneer, Panasonic, and Hitachi stood out from all the other plasma displays that I evaluated.


I know for a fact that the Pioneer PDP-433CMX can be purchased with the PDA 5002 card, including shipping for less than 4,000. That would put it within $500 of the Panny SD model and at least $1,000 to $1,500 less than the Panny HD model
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by aghanati


85% of the time we watch DirecTV or something Tivoed (is that a word?) on the Sony SAT-60. It is being piped through my Pioneer Elite receiver using S-video. The other 15+% of the time, we are watching DVD's. We have a Panasonic Progressive Scan DVD player (sorry, dont remember the model. Gaming (PS2) will be VERY minimum.


So we are basically looking at a 42" that is around the 3-4k mark that will work best for us. Not too interested in all kinds of crazy imputs or DVI inputs. Just basically for normal use, but with a KILLER picture. I have been looking at the Panny's and Pioneer's, but there are SOOOO many models, my head is spinning.
Well it sounds like you have no intention of using an HDTV source which means you'd save $ by buying something with ED resolution. Since your source is primarily DTV and DVD you need to consider which monitors do the best job of upscaling your source to its resolution. I would say (at least with T-60) that this requires the old eyeball test.


So if I were you, I would take the T-60 (with select recordings already on it) around during your shopping. The Panny ED panels look stunning with a DVD, but I have yet to see Direct TV source on them. NEC 42 inch ED panels are decent deals also. I have a Toshiba 42" HD panel (re-badged NEC) and I believe it has the best upscaling, bar none, among HD panels
 
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