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Hi guys,


I finally got my new panasonic! So far, I love it. I can't even compare it to the Gateway I had. The TH-42PA20U/P is in a league of it's own.


A few impressions and some questions:


1.) I'm using the built in speakers and do not plan on buying a home theatre set. They sound surprisingly great for built in speakers. I was pretty shocked. They don't sound really tiny and have some bass. I know they don't sound as good as external units would, but for my needs they sound good for both DVD's and Directv.


2.) I tried hooking up Directv through s-video and compared it with the standard composite. I prefer composite. Either way though, I'm still seeing lots of digital artifacts....something which wasn't present in the store. The store was using a HD Directv box with component showing a SD signal like Headline news. I know I'm only using a RCA directv reciever without HD, but is there that big of a difference using a HD box when watching non-HD programs? Some channels look pretty great, while others look washed out. Thats a problem of directv though. Overall though, I'm very pleased with directv output.


3.) I don't like having to cycle through the inputs. But I'll live with that. :)


4.) Progressive dvd using component is excellent. I've put in several movies that I had played over and over on the Gateway and saw scenes which I thought looked washed out on it, jump to life on the Panasonic. Darker scenes actually have some depth to them now! The actual black on this unit, by the way, is fantastic. It is deep and doesn't look like a dark grey. When watching 2:35:1 aspect films, the black bars that are still present don't dull the movie as lightter grey bars did on the gateway.


5.) The plasma was packed EXCELLENT. It took forever to finally get down to it. It was packed in a box within another box. Very nicely done.


6.) And, on to my only little problem: I don't have the dvd calibration discs, so I use the THX optimizer on the terminator 2 DVD. When it comes to the test where you have the 3 black bars, and you are supposed to make the one on the right barely visible, when I try to do that I notice that my brightness on the set isn't uniform. When I turn the bightness up to barely see the bar (which is up to about 40) the top half of the screen(maybe 8 inches of it) becomes MUCH MUCH brighter than the lawer half. The bottom half will be completely black, with NO light shining though the plasma cells and the top part of the screen will have light shining through. If you get really close, it sort of looks like noise. To make the brightness at the top of the screen go away, I have to bring my brightness setting down to 32. I notice this on both component and composite inputs. The composite inputs brightness has to be turned down to around 12 to make it go away. What made me notice it initially was that I was watching a widescreen movie in a dim room and noticed that the top black bar was much lighter than the bottom one. I got up close, saw the noisy lighter bar and looked at the bottom one and saw a bar that was completely black without any light shining though. Is this normal?


I really like this unit! the above problem wouldn't cause me to take it back though. I could live with the set being a little darker to get rid of the problem. But it still bugs me.


I look foward to any help and thoughts!


Thanks!

-Brent
 

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It's funny that you mention the digital artifacts on SD TV - I was just at Best Buy looking at this model and their HD feed looked great. So I asked him to hook up a standard def signal (via coax cable from antenna on their roof) and the picture was really pretty bad (as far as I was concerned). We tried to switch to 4:3 mode to see if that made a difference, and it didn't make much. Other TVs showing the same signal (eg. standard tubes, 20" LCDs all looked fine; so I don't think it was a bad signal per se). We were watching a football game and there was a ton of pixellation all over the field.. I'm curious to know if this is a fixable problem with settings, different input, etc...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by sbrentn




3.) I don't like having to cycle through the inputs. But I'll live with that. :)

I can only help you with #3 - your TV and it's little 37" brother have the exact same settings menus as my 32" Direct View. You can change the settings so all your unused inputs are Skipped when hitting the Input button repeatedly. Get into the menu then move over to the Channels mode and scroll all the way down to OTHER ADJ and enter and look for INPUT LABEL. Once you're in there use the navigation arrow keys highlight an unused input then hit the right arrow key to toggle through the choices. Simply select SKIP and that one will be removed until you enable it again in the future. If you name any of the inputs you'll see them on your screen, but setting them to SKIP keeps them off the screen. I only toggle between two inputs - the rest are disabled and i only activate them when i need them :)
 

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In terms of going directly to a specific input, your TV can do it. Although the commercial version doesn't seem to have discrete input codes, yours definitely does. I don't have this plasma, but in thinking about what I might buy I was checking it out. I found out a previous thread where the discrete codes were listed in Pronto format (search this forum for discrete codes). If you have a learning remote, you can get them. I was ablet to put them into my One for All Cinema 7 and had no problems changing to specific inputs on the display model at Circuit City.


SMK
 
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