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Pioneer 503CMX for $5880. Nowhere near the fantasy price of a couple days ago, but after a reality check perusal of many of the threads on this forum, I went for it. Reducing it by the CA sales tax amount, makes it as if I bought locally for $5431. Rationalization, I know, but still...


ok, questions: what's the model number of the basic table top stand I can use for this thing, and where's a good place to buy it?


Dell says it ships with a video card included, can anyone confirm that it ships with the PDA5002 card or is a cheapo mfg card that I have to upgrade? (the sales chump had no idea)


*second guessing mode on* A couple of other comments indicate that the Pio plasmas may be "too" bright (something I noticed in Circuit City recently) but I assumed the brightness could be adjusted down, is this true or (as stated elsewhere) does toning down the brilliance of the color really screw up the image? *second guessing mode off*


Calibration -- what is the best method of calibrating the set? Do plasmas need "convergence" or other adjustments or is it all based on personal preference? Is there a DVD available to assist in gettinbg correct settings?


comments: this was a tough deal to negotiate, even at this not so spectacular price. Dell is harsh, and the sales guys are young, impatient and generally non-helpful. Just shy of rude. Guy I ordered with had problems getting it in the system (had to give him my card number three times) but by the end of the call acted like it was my fault and basically hung up on me. ugh.


But, all things considered I think I did ok, I especially like that the Pio is available for about $2k less than the best price I could swing for the Panny. btw, I want to thank all the folks on this forum, I have learned a TON of information recently, gracias to all of you people, you're a godsend :)


thank you all..


Veech
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Veech
Pioneer 503CMX for $5880. Nowhere near the fantasy price of a couple days ago, but after a reality check perusal of many of the threads on this forum, I went for it. Reducing it by the CA sales tax amount, makes it as if I bought locally for $5431. Rationalization, I know, but still...
Welcome to the gang; I don't think you'll regret it.

Quote:
Originally posted by Veech
Dell says it ships with a video card included, can anyone confirm that it ships with the PDA5002 card or is a cheapo mfg card that I have to upgrade? (the sales chump had no idea)
Yup, the Dell package ships with the 5002 card, which is fine. The 'wide' mode is a real marvel at stretching 4:3 to 16:9 without it looking too distorted (much better than the crap you see on plasmas in airports). The card's scalar/de-interlacer is ok, but of course it's not as perfect as I get from my external Leeza (which was $4k by itself, so that's not too surprising). Decent quality digital sdtv looks quite good without any special processing; and a good dvd progressive component signal looks great. And of course, 1080i hdtv looks absolutely stunning.

Quote:
Originally posted by Veech
*second guessing mode on* A couple of other comments indicate that the Pio plasmas may be "too" bright (something I noticed in Circuit City recently) but I assumed the brightness could be adjusted down, is this true or (as stated elsewhere) does toning down the brilliance of the color really screw up the image? *second guessing mode off*
Don't worry, no need to second guess on that account. Yes, the unit ships a bit brighter than ideal (both aesthetically and in terms of panel life). You'll want to crank down the contrast a bit. You can do that from the normal setup menu -- you don't need to go into the 'integrator' menu and it certainly doesn't screw up the image or the color!

Quote:
Originally posted by Veech
Calibration -- what is the best method of calibrating the set? Do plasmas need "convergence" or other adjustments or is it all based on personal preference? Is there a DVD available to assist in gettinbg correct settings?
Your plasma won't need any convergence or geometrical calibration (a pixel is a pixel and it is where it is, so these monitors are inherently perfect geometrically), but if you want to get the best out of your panel you really should have it ISF calibrated. You can do an approximation using the AVIA DVD, but there is no way that you can use that approach to perfectly calibrate the monitor for grey scale levels; you need someone with special equipment (very very expensive equipment -- in the order of $10,000) to do that correctly. You should be able to find someone to calibrate for a couple of hundred dollars -- well worth it (and fascinating as well). But you should let the unit get broken in first before you have it calibrated (maybe 50 hours or so? -- ask whoever will calibrate it for his advice). Some people just leave the unit the way it comes out of the box (other than turning down the contrast), but I think the majority do end up getting professional calibration.

Quote:
Originally posted by Veech
comments: this was a tough deal to negotiate, even at this not so spectacular price. Dell is harsh, and the sales guys are young, impatient and generally non-helpful. Just shy of rude. Guy I ordered with had problems getting it in the system (had to give him my card number three times) but by the end of the call acted like it was my fault and basically hung up on me. ugh.
Sorry to hear about that experience. My experience with Dell was absolutely terrific -- very courteous, aim to please and they delivered fast (but my guy, like yours, didn't really know what he was selling).


Enjoy!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by norreiznap
I don't have a lot of info for you since I too am waiting for my PIO from Dell. But take a look at this url http://www.*******************.com/p...eerplasma.html


The reviewer describes some of the basic settings he is using which he found worked well.


Good luck.
Note that the reviewer in that post says the monitor doesn't allow for much adjustment. That's not true. The reviewer was only fooling around with the regular setup menu; apparantly he didn't realize that there is a very detailed 'integrator' service menu that can be accessed if you know how (do a search on 503cmx and service menu or integrator menu and you will see how to do it). When you set things up properly, you end up setting everything in the usual setup menu to 0, since you use the integrator menu to set the basic levels for contrast, brightness, etc. If you do a search, you can find what settings people have set in the intergrator menu.
 
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