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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all. Long time listener, first time poster.


I'm in the market for a HD Plasma. I had myself sold on a Pioneer Elite Pro800 HD Plasma. My father purchased a Pro1000 50" and I think it looks amazing in his set up. I talked to a friend of mine who recommend that before I run off and purchase a Pioneer, I should look at a Panasonic. I did a little research, read a ton of wonderful reviews about Panasonics, so I decide a trip to the nearest Ultimate Electronics/Best Buy is in order to do a little comparison shopping. I spent a good 45 minutes looking at the Panasonics. They had three of last years consumer 42" models, the ED, the HD and the ED with speakers and a stand. As I compared them to the Samsung plasma sitting next to the Panisonics, I noted that the HD Samsung looked sharper and more detailed than the HD Panasonic. (Not that the Samsung didn't have all sorts of its own issues - there was so much artifacting on the picture on the Samsung that is was distracting and made the unit a weaker performer than the Panasonic -- no matter the sharper image.) I also asked the guy to rotate between a HDTV source, a DVD source and a NTSC source. On each setting the Panasonic has a solid picture with no artifacting, but the image always looked a little soft - like the sharp lines had been smudged just a little. What I mean by that is that back in the early days of TV, it was not uncommon for TV camera to shoot scenes with women in them through a filter or a screen to soften up the image on the TV. I had the distinct impression that the Panasonics reproduced that kind of an effect. In addition to a Samsung, there was a 50" Pioneer Elite beneath the Pannies. It looked good and a tad bit sharper. Not much, but a little bit. IN fact, I notices less artifacting on the Panasonic than on the Elite!


So here is my question(s)? Am I crazy? The Pannies are getting rave reviews everywhere on the net, with a number of people saying that they are the best screens on the market right now. Could the softness I was detecting in the Pannies be a function of the setup, or is that a trait of the screen that others have noticed? I'm thinking of going out again this weekend to a different store to see if I notice the same thing, but I would love some feedback from the forum on whether I should be looking at the Pannies.


By the way, is there a noticeable difference between the 5UY and the 6UY? The screens I saw were the consumer versions of the 5UY.


Much thanks in advance.


Matt
 

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Thought I was alone out here. I went to a local store and compared the Fujitsu with the Panasonic with a couple of friends. I was amazed at the clarity of the Fujitsu compared to the Panasonic. The difference was especially striking watching HDnet. The panasonic looked like heay gauze in front of the lens. My freinds loved it for the softer film like quality. I get the same quality if I take off my glasses. The only major problem I say with the Fujitsu was artifacts in near black areas watching HBO HD. I figure this must all be because panasonic makes inferior electronics. I'm think a good scaler will make the new Panasonic shine. Hope I'm right because Fujitsu's price fixing stratgy is unacceptable. I can spend 1500 on a scaler and still end up paying less. That coupled with the new Panasonic using the pioneer technique in the cell structure should make the new 6uy's accceptable. I now that many will disagree with my impression, but I can not emphasize enough that before you buy, compare side by side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was afraid I was the only one. Are there any owners of the 5UYs of the 6 UY's that could share their impressions? I have the bug and want to purchase something soon (i.e. now!), and I could really use the feed back.


Matt
 

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I can bet those Panny Plasmas had all of their settings out of whack. As far as Panasonic making inferior electronics, I do not know what you are talking about. They produce many electronics for other brands like Denon or Yamaha.
 

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Matt,


Everybody see's things differently. I learned that no matter what TV you buy, ultimately it depends how you setup the TV at home. When you go to the store, you can't just rely on the looks alone. Alot of people who set the TV's up don't care, because they make like 7-10 hour.


Plus most people who rave about the Panny, like the price and picture for it. Sure the Pioneer may look better, but are you going to spend another 1000-3000 more for like 10% increase in Picture quality.


Comparing Side to Side is great for the intial purchase, but the question is are you going to be happy at home (is the Wife happy). When I got my Hitachi 42hdt50, I was worried at first, because everybody talked about the Panny. But when I brought it home and hooked it up, it was my baby. Plus eventually my eyes get used to the TV and then everything else starts to look crappy.
 

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Welcome to the forum Matt.

You are not crazy but (no offense) I think your thread title is misleading. You like the Pro1000HD and noticed less artifacting on the panny than the Elite. It does not sound like there is much wrong with the panny PQ that you see except for one thing. What you don't like is what is probably the screen door effect that is due to rib structure being visible to you at a certain distance. The distance at which this causes problems for people varies but most people have posted that screen door is not visible on ED plasmas at 8 feet or greater and on HD plasmas at 6 feet or greater. How close were you to the displays? Some people find it so distracting that they simply cannot stand the picture whatever distance they are. Do a search for Gary Cornell for a view point from such a person. He actually went from an ALiS plasma to a series 4 ED panny back to an ALiS plasma for this very reason. It sounds like you may have similar levels of discomfort with screen door as he does. In which case you have to go with your eyes and not with what others on this forum say.


Having said that you also say that you would love some feedback on whether you should be looking at the panasonics. How much reading of this forum have you done? There has been a wealth of positive posts on the latest pannys in the last month or so. Again, these should not persuade you to change your mind but they are there for reference.

Finally, no one has reported on the PQ differences between the 5 and 6 series pannies - this may mean that there are no appreciable differences or that no one has had a chance to compare them properly yet. You do know the other differences such as DVI/HDCP though don't you?
 

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I hereby decree: none of you are crazy.


I own a Panasonic ED plasma and I have seen Panasonics in the store display something like the fuzziness or smudginess described here. It always sort of baffled me, especially given that I'd encounter a Panasonic plasma that looked sharp and beautiful in one store, and soft in another. Of course I've also seen other plasma brands display the same problems too.


It's the set-up. Believe me. There's a whole bunch of ways these stores manage to screw up the image: bad picture settings, splitting the feed among many displays often makes for a fuzzier, noisier image, improper set-up of plasma to source (aspect ratios being off between plasma/DVD player), poor cable signals, and dirty power. That's quite a gauntlet of carelessness any plasma has to survive.


When I got my Panasonic ED plasma home and simply plugged it in to my DVD player and HD box, it was sharp as a tack, displaying none of the smeariness I saw in the stores.


As far as the Panny HD models, I've seen the big 50" countless times and it's rarely looked soft. It definitely is as sharp as the Fujitsu (they use the same glass). The 42" Panny HD model also has always looked sharp as hell with Hi-Def in the high-end stores near me. But the first two times I demoed the 42" HD model with DVDs, at two different stores, I was disappointed, finding the image too soft. Yet, the third time, in a dedicated set-up, in it's own room with no split feeds, the image was spectacular - it was wonderfully sharp, smooth and detailed...like it became another plasma!


As well, the electronics in the Panasonic brand are stellar. Panasonic has always been renowned for perhaps the smoothest image you can get, and their electronics are part of the reason they also achieve the deepest black levels on the market. The Panasonic scalers, especially in the Panny ED model, are very well regarded too: I've never seen an ED model scale NTSC, DVD and Hi-Def signals with such perfection.


So, as someone who has compared almost every plasma out there, I can say unequivocally that the Panny plasmas are quite capable of looking at least as sharp as any other brand, and that the stores often screw up the image. (The Pioneer HD models can add the *appearance* of a slightly sharper image than the Panny HD models...but in close examination I've found this to be due to the punchier Pioneer image, which gives the impression of more dilineated image outlines).


For just these type of questions, I took screen shots of movie images on my Panny ED plasma, to show how clean the image is. Click the link below my name.
 

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Thanks for all the great info. I think I need to clarify "I figure this must all be because Panasonic makes inferior electronics. " statement. I wrote this in the context of the comparison of the two models knowing they had the same glass, and yet the picture quality seemed strikingly inferior.


I apologize. I'm truely truely sorry. I make a complete and total retraction. I will henceforth cease and desisit all slanderous comments. I intendeded no malice, and my statements were in no way based on fact.:)
 

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Nothing comes between me and my Panasonc 5UY!


Picture is beautiful. Handles SD superbly. Handles HD excellently. I have no complaints (well, it could be a 50"...)


Everyone who visits my house are stunned by the clarity and quality.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by obe
Thanks for all the great info. I think I need to clarify "I figure this must all be because Panasonic makes inferior electronics. " statement. I wrote this in the context of the comparison of the two models knowing they had the same glass, and yet the picture quality seemed strikingly inferior.


I apologize. I'm truely truely sorry. I make a complete and total retraction. I will henceforth cease and desisit all slanderous comments. I intendeded no malice, and my statements were in no way based on fact.:)
Please post 500 times:


"I will not slander Panasonic any more. I was naughty to do so."


:D


On a side note, it's been said a thousand times before, but "It's all in the eye of the beholder. You go with what looks good to you."
 

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Don't make judgment by looking at one display at one store. The set up is critical! At my local BB they were feeding the new ED Panny with daisy chained composite signals and of course it looks awful. Go to the higher end stores like Tweeters with dedicated rooms that simulate living rooms or studies and you will see some better pictures (out of the box , uncalibrated). When you get one home and do some minor adjustment you will get an even better picture!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone. I really appreciate all the input.


What I take away from all that is that I owe it to the PY to go look at them in a different store with a different setup. I was really thinking that it was a drawback that the other stores I know of that would likely carry a PY do not have a "Plasma wall" where I could look at the PYs and compare them next to other units. I think that what I need to look at is a PY along and all by itself.


Divvy - Sorry if my title was misleading - not my intention at all. You are right I could see that the PY was the superior picture, but for the sharpness issue. I guess that was what I was getting hung up on. I don't think, however, that it was the screen door effect that was bothering me. For starters, I was looking at the PY and the other plasma from anywhere between 7 to 20 feet away. I've seen screen door effects on projection LCD units and was aghast that someone would by such an expensive TV that looked like that. Also, I have read a little about the differences that a DVI input can make on picture quality. What I don't know anything about, however, is when some folks are talking about Pios, is about the card that you use with the Pio. Any good FAQs on that.


Rich - I am glad to hear your comments. It makes me think that I need to know more about the PY setup. Your description of the PYs is exactly what I had seen on this board and in other places. Those pictures are impressive. You have given me a reason to go back and look again.


I'm off tomorrow to a few different stores to see what other setups I can see. I will report back to the group when I get back.


Thanks again to everyone for their input.


Matt
 

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Matt,


As a Panasonic owner, I can guarantee you that the picture you saw in Ultimate Electronics/Best Buy does not do the Panny justice. I was able to view one in a dedicated theater room before I bought mine and I was sold on it immediately. The Panasonic plasma has superior black levels compared to the Pioneer, but it's not quite as bright and punchy as the Pio. Once you have it set up in your home and calibrated properly, however, you will never have a single complaint about the picture. I went from a Sony XBR 36" direct-view tube which provided a great picture and I was hesitant about the plasma being able to provide the same pleasing picture. All my fears were alleviated with the Panasonic and I haven't regretted my plasma purchase for a second. If there's one piece of advice I can give to anyone looking for a new plasma, it's "do not judge a panel based on the set-up in electronics stores like Circuit City, Best Buy and Ultimate Electronics". They don't calibrate their panels and in some cases they try to make the more expensive panels look better than the lesser priced ones. I don't think you can go wrong with Panasonic, Pioneer or Fujitsu as they're the best plasmas on the market right now. For me, I just preferred the picture of the Panasonic and at the price I paid, it was a no-brainer. Good luck in your search.
 

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In the New FAQ there is info on the different Pioneer cards.


I at least hope you have figured out not to buy the Pro800 but the commercial 433cmx. Otherwise, Panasonic vs. Pioneer it is all about Panasonic having deeper blacks and Pioneer having richer colors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I at least hope you have figured out not to buy the Pro800 but the commercial 433cmx. Otherwise, Panasonic vs. Pioneer it is all about Panasonic having deeper blacks and Pioneer having richer colors.


---


I spent all day shopping. I figures that a couple of people would get a kick out of some of the things that happened, so I'll replay a couple of hi-lights for you.


First, I went to one high end store and all they had were 50 inch sets. Nice if you can afford it, but I only have the space for a 42 inch unit. While there I am talking to a sales rep about why they do not carry Pannys, a guy who happens to be standing nearby tells me that he owns a 42 inch Panny HD, the 5UY. So I spent the next ten minutes talking to this guy about his set. He tells me that when configured using Aria, it looks as good as anything hanging on the wall in front of us. Plus, when I ask the sales guy if the Fujitsu I am looking as has a DVI input, he stammers out a I don't know. The Panny owner, surprise, surprise, knows the answer. Intersting that the people that buy and own the plasma know about ten times a much as the sales reps trying to push them.


Second store I saw a Panny (Consumer version that is the counterpart to the 5uy) that looked great and sharp. Now I see what everyone was talking about. As a matter of personal preference, I think that the Pioneers seemed a little more vibrant. The guy in the store let me play with both units, so I had a chance to adjust the picture and all that. I could make the Pioneer non-Elite model look almost as good as the Elite model. Which, of course, raises a whole bunch of new questions for me - but I'll get to that below. This was probably the best set up I have seen since I started looking.


Third store, I walked in and the place looked like it was in the middle of remodeling. I met the owner, a nice guy who tells me that he is getting out of the plasma business because he think that all of the plasmas that have been purchased over the last five years and going to start failing in the next five years and he doesn't want to have to deal with irate customers that spent $10,000 on a plasma that may soon have 20-30 dead pixels in it. Very strange. He thinks the future is LCD and is headed that way.


Other than the fact that all of this gave me "tired head," it is making me look at Pioneers again. Chris - do you know if the electronics in the Pio Elite and the Pio non-elite models are the same? The glass looks the same. When I had been asking about Pios at different stores, I heard two different stories. Some folks would tell me that the Elite and the non-Elite models are exactly the same - the difference is simply in the packaging. (For that matter - are the consumer and commercial models different but for packaging?) Others sales reps tell me that the non-Elite unit did not have as good of a converter (I think he meant the scaler card - I'm not sure) and that there were a lot more returns on the non-Elite pioneers. I'll do a little more looking around, but any info that anyone has on the Pioneers would be much appreciated.


I think I am probably going with either a Panny or a Pio. Thoughts?


Matt


not I actually made it out shopping today and looked at a number of good looking Pannys. ictures on both units myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I did notice a difference. That Panny, in addition to having blacker blacks generally had a darker picture. When whites appeared on the Pio, they almost glowed (not in a bad way, and not in an overbearing, hey that's too bright way). As I mentioned, I was able to play with the settings, and when I "Normalized" the Panny, I noticed an immediate difference. I thought that the settings on the Panny were off and they were. Even when I normalized them, however, the Panny was still a little darker. I'm going back tomorrow to look again, this time with the wife - so I should have a better look on my second go round.


By the way, I know what the Brightness, Color, Tint and Sharpness controls do - what does the picture control do on the Panny?


Any other thoughts on whether the Pio or the Panny are the way to go?


One more question - are there connection issues with the Panny? I know that if you want a DVI input you have to buy and use a new card - does that limit the other connections you have? If I want to hook up a DVD, a HD box, and a TIVO/XBOX - will there be any limitations with the Panny? Waht about the Pio.


Matt
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Matt Cleaves
By the way, I know what the Brightness, Color, Tint and Sharpness controls do - what does the picture control do on the Panny?
Contrast

Quote:
Any other thoughts on whether the Pio or the Panny are the way to go?
You decide. :D


Quote:
One more question - are there connection issues with the Panny? I know that if you want a DVI input you have to buy and use a new card - does that limit the other connections you have? If I want to hook up a DVD, a HD box, and a TIVO/XBOX - will there be any limitations with the Panny?
Assuming that you want a Industrial (Commercial) Display.



There are four possible inputs on the Industrial (Commercial) Models:


(1) Free Slot


(1) S-Video/Composite*


(1) Component / RGB


(1) Component / VGA - The DB-15 input can be configurated to accept Component.



* The S-Video/Composite inputs on Panasonic Plasmas are shared. You have to use either one. With both cables connected S-Video disables Composite
 

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Matt,


First of all, I just wanted to let you know that the guy who told you all the plasmas will be failing in the next 5 years is a complete idiot. I don't know what kind of store he runs, but I'd advise you not to buy from someone who is so misinformed. If the plasma doesn't have any dead pixels out of the box, chances are it's not going to have any at all. Also, Panasonics are well-known for not having problems with dead or stuck pixels while it has been more of an issue with Pioneer panels over the years. On a side note, personally I don't think LCD technology is anywhere near that of plasma. Have you ever seen the black levels on LCD? It's nowhere near black, but more like a glowing dark blue. LCDs look great with bright, colorful images, but when it comes to dark scenes they're an absolute mess. Now, back to the Panasonic vs. Pioneer choice. I think you'll get plenty of responses to this thread from both sides saying one is better than the other, but I really don't think you can go wrong with either one. Panasonic and Pioneer(along with Fujitsu) make the best panels on the market today and everything else is in a lower class. Philips, Hitachi, Samsung, Zenith, Toshiba, Sampo, Daewoo and even Sony are all inferior to the "big 3". When choosing between Panasonic and Pioneer, the best advice I can give you is this--if you're using the plasma in a completely dark dedicated theater room go with the Panasonic, but if it will be in a family room/living room type area with ambient light get the Pioneer. The Pioneer's weaker black levels would be very distracting in a completely dark room which is why the Panasonic is the choice for that type of environment. However, the added brigtness and punchiness of the Pioneer makes it a better choice for a room with some light in it. I have a completely dark media room so I bought the Panasonic because of its' superior black levels and I haven't regretted my purchase for a single second. Like I said before, you can't go wrong with either Panny or Pio and I think you'll find that no matter which one you buy it will look 10 times better in your home than it does in the stores. Good luck!
 
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