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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can someone suggest which 42" plasmas I should I should consider?


I'd like an ED both for budgetary reasons and because my kids will mostly be watching SDTV (Nick, Cartoon Network, Disney) for the near future, and I don't see a huge enough difference with HD or DVD to justify the price of an HD set for my needs right now.


Normally I'd jump on the Panny 42PD50 but it lacks a Cable Card slot. My neighbor has the same Comcast HD cable service and box that I would be getting, and the PQ is noticeably better when he bypasses the box and connect the cable directly to the TV.


It looks like I have to (perish the thought) look outside of Panasonic.


Can anyone recommend a 42" EDTV that has a Cable Card slot?
 

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It doesn't have a cable card slot but I'd be remiss if I didn't recommend the NEC 42VR5. IMO it is one of the best plasmas available, HD or ED. The internal processor is only matched by plasmas costing thousands more. It also has a best in industry 3 year warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out. I still haven't found an ED set with a Cable Card slot.


It's ironic that the $700 or so price difference between ED & HD isn't worth it to me for the better resolution, but I may have to bite the bullet and pay it just to get a Cable Card slot. The difference to me (between cable box and Cable Card) was that dramatic.
 

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I'm in exactly the same boat. Have you looked at the Samsung SPR4232? It has a cable card and is priced at nearly the same price.


I looked at the Samsung SPR4232 and the Panasonic TH-42PD50U side by side and thought the panny was clearer and had better sound.


I also haven't found another plasma in this price range with a cable card but was almost tempted to buy the Panasonic and deal with a cable box. Alternatively, the Dell W4200 is about $600 more and is HDTV equiped with some good reviews recently.


decisions......
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not sure if it applies to to the model you mention, but on this board I have repeatedly come across complaints about how poorly Samsung handles SD, especially exhibiting the "clay face" problem. Since we'll be watching a lot of SD I didn't even look at Samsung. Perhaps the SPAR4232 doesn't have that problem. There are plenty of places near me that carry Samsung so I will check it out.
 

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Do you need a TV set or a monitor? Or is there no preference?


Check out the Zenith Z42PX2D at BB. If you are fortunate they will have it on the same side of the aisle as the PD50U. Enter the Menu and adjust it to mimic the Panny (which is always set on Torch Mode and very high Sharpness levels but has no on-set Menu button...you will need a Panny remote to check the settings and BB usually doesn't have them available). If the PD50U PQ is 100% then the Z42 is 95% or more. It's that close. And it has a complete Service Menu you can enter and adjust which the Panny lacks.


I bought one July 31 and while I am still considering exchange/upgrade options during the 30 day return window, nothing seems to make enough sense to justify doing it. SD through CableCard ranges from Good to Excellent depending on provider and channel. Some of the DTV 480i channels look darn near HD. DVD is excellent and HD is like looking through a window.


See if the Z42 doesn't fit the bill. It will look even better in-house, I promise. Same can be said of every ED-HD out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks. To be honest I normally wouldn't consider a Zenith since I considered it a lower-end brand. But the specs look very good. If they do indeed have it at the local BB it should be easy for me to take a look at.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonBH
Thanks. To be honest I normally wouldn't consider a Zenith since I considered it a lower-end brand. But the specs look very good. If they do indeed have it at the local BB it should be easy for me to take a look at.
I agree with Clarkebar .. the Zenith Z42PX2D is worth a look .. I've had one for 300+ hours and couldn't be happier .. I've also accessed the Service Menu and fine tweaked the pic .. it's amazing what this thing has feature wise for the $$.

PQ is top notch .. right up there with the Pannys IMO .. just stunning.


Let us know what you think after comparing to the PD50 .. I'd like to see more user reviews on this PDP.


peace,


uncle b0n3
 

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I'll weigh in here, too. I've had my Zenith up and running now for just over 100 hours, and I love it. The picture quality is awesome, and the feature set can't be beat for the money. Something about the PD50 bothered me from the first time I looked at it. I noticed an awful lot of "jaggies" around text, and SDE was way too evident for my liking. I figured I would just have to wait for prices to come down on HD, since what was supposed to be the best moderately priced ED just didn't quite make me feel like I would feel good about looking at it every day for several years.


Then I read about the Zenith, and went down for a side by side comparison at BB. I personally found that I preferred the picture on the Zenith over the Panny. The colors and blacks were every bit as good, and SDE was much less noticeable, making for a smoother, richer picture IMO. HD programming on this set is just breathtaking -- especially the IMAX films on INHD channel. I do not feel like we compromised one bit with the picture in buying this set, and now I feel like I'm in no hurry and can wait comfortably for prices on SEDs to become reasonable, probably in 2 to 3 years.


I highly recommend this set.
 

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Wow the Zenith Z42PX2D looks like a great set and a great price! I downloaded the Spec sheet PDF from the Zenith site and this thing has a ton of great features. Had i seen this back when i was considering the Samsung SP-R4232 and the Panny 42PD50U ED sets i probaby would have put the Zenith at the top of my list. I consider Zenith to be of similar build quality than Samsung which is to say acceptable. For the price this Zenith ED is unbeatable.


It's moot anyway since i ended up with an HD panel instead . . . . .
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters
Wow the Zenith Z42PX2D looks like a great set and a great price! I downloaded the Spec sheet PDF from the Zenith site and this thing has a ton of great features. Had i seen this back when i was considering the Samsung SP-R4232 and the Panny 42PD50U ED sets i probaby would have put the Zenith at the top of my list. I consider Zenith to be of similar build quality than Samsung which is to say acceptable. For the price this Zenith ED is unbeatable.


It's moot anyway since i ended up with an HD panel instead . . . . .
I am thinking about getting the Zenith Z42PX2D as well! I know it has a Cable Card Slot but I was wondering if this antenna input can work with OTA HDTV?


Can anybody confirm this?


Thanks!
 

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Yes...dual RF inputs one for Cable, one for OTA. I verified it a while back waiting for CableCard installment. Used a Terk Set-top which I subsequently returned. Didn't really need it with this set as simple straight cable connection still delivered all of the OTA content through Comcast in my area anyway.


Check it out...and let me reiterate, it even has the all-important Service Menu which some of us have already entered to tweak a few things. :) I can't be happy with a set that doesn't offer one...even the brilliant Panny's. It's one thing to limit feature sets and connectivity per model series but to limit the Service menu adjustment as well?


Surely Panny will correct this with the next generation.
 

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Justs picked up the Samsung SPR4212 from Costco. It's an EDTV and has the cable-Card slot as well. Still chekcing it out but price was about $300 less than CC has the Panny 42PD50U for this week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ejunior2: Once you get it set up, please let me know how it handles YD. As I said in an earlier post, I didn't consider Samsung since well be doing a lot of SD viewing and I hear that recent Samsungs don't do SD very well. (Worse than Panny, Pio, NEC, Hitachi, etc.). Apparently there is some image processing that Samsung uses in some models. If you think your new set does SD as well as the other brands mentioned I'll put Samsung back on my list.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonBH
ejunior2: Once you get it set up, please let me know how it handles YD. As I said in an earlier post, I didn't consider Samsung since well be doing a lot of SD viewing and I hear that recent Samsungs don't do SD very well. (Worse than Panny, Pio, NEC, Hitachi, etc.). Apparently there is some image processing that Samsung uses in some models. If you think your new set does SD as well as the other brands mentioned I'll put Samsung back on my list.
I only had time last night to watch some stuff I had Tivo's at low quality last night. It was watchable but not the greatest. But to be fair the Sci-Fi channel through Adelphia looks bad on my old tube TV as well.


Being Monday and all I thought I'd try watching some football in HD and SD and see how it does. Fox has "Prisonbreak' starting tonight so I'll see how it hadles that as well.
 

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I bought the 4231 set and returned it to Sams a week later. I had lots of clayface images in skin tones. Low light scenes where the worst. DVD also had false contouring and even some HD. Sports however in HD were stunning! I watched some football and baseball that was as good as a panny I thought. The set is loaded with features too, svga,2 tuner input, ota guide, pip, etc. I really wish i could have kept it! I got the 42" ED Panny which has a much better SD pic..........but almost no features that a 2k TV should have.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonBH
ejunior2: Once you get it set up, please let me know how it handles YD. As I said in an earlier post, I didn't consider Samsung since well be doing a lot of SD viewing and I hear that recent Samsungs don't do SD very well. (Worse than Panny, Pio, NEC, Hitachi, etc.). Apparently there is some image processing that Samsung uses in some models. If you think your new set does SD as well as the other brands mentioned I'll put Samsung back on my list.
Samsung SPR4212 (Costco)

Ok - Did some more playing with it last night. Here's was I viewed and my impressions.


Cable (Adelphia) hooked directly into the set - Watched NFL football and other SD channels. While the PQ wasn't the greatest it WAS totally watchable. Other channels viewed all had similar PQ. I compared this with was was output via Component and s_video from the Motorola STB and they were about equal. :eek:


I than hooked up the STB again and compared the HD feed from ABC football at 480P - 1080i. All looked amazing! :eek: Was really hard to go back to SD but I muddled through. There is definitely a hit going back to SD in PQ but again it was watchable. 1080i was the best HD feed from the STB which surprized me since this is an ED set.


Next up was SW Ep V via DVD 480p. The picture again was amazing. I never realized how fake some of the props in Star Wars looked. Painted cardboard and all. But, picture was awesome for me and my 9 year agrees. :p


Next I watched a Tivo's episode of 'Rescue Me'. This looked MUCH better than the Sci-Fi channel recorded stuff I viewed earlier. My guess is it's a better signal from FX thru the cable. Dark scenes lost some detail but the set has great blacks. Played around a bit with the settings and turning down the brightness helps the SD PQ. Again SD was totally watchable. :rolleyes:


Recorded the HD feed of 'PrisonBreak'. Not sure what the resolution is in the STB but PQ was very good via component cable. :cool:


This wasn't a very scientific test but hope it helps. At this point I think I may have to purchase the Panny 42PD50U and set them up side-by-side to see for myself if the panny is any better. I think I'll have to run through my Avia disk and see how that looks.
 

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Like I said I had the 4212 AND LOVED the HD and LOVED the features but.......... Put in Jerasic Park III if you have it and watch the plane crash scences. Look at the face shadows....the people look like manaquins! When I got the Pany this went away.....and so did all THE NICE FEATURES of the Sammy! In case you have not noticed I really wanted to keep the 4212 but could not live with all the false contouring. Maybe my set had a problem,,,,doubt it since so many people stated this was normal for a SAMMY.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
ejunior2: Thanks for sharing the results. Still not sure what I'll do. But if I go for the Sammy I'll get it from a local B&M with a good return/exchange policy.
 

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I got my 4212 at Sams. When I returned it a week later they where very helpful.....made me feel bad that I couldn't buy a replacement there! They told me they will take returns up to 1 year.
 
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