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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to purchase a 42" plasma display for my home theater plans. I don't trust the salespeople I've been encountering. So, is there a consensus on the best 42" Plasma display for the money? Any detailed explanation with your opinion will be much welcomed. thanks very much
 

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You do not mention price, and there are two categories of 42's: HD and standard definition. Also, be advised that there are a lot of new entries into the 42" market for which we do not have enough experience to give a good opinion.


The Panasonic 42 is a great buy on a standard definition display and has had the bugs that plagued it last year worked out. With its recent major price decrease, it is hard to defend any objections for a great buy on a name brand piece of equipment. The NEC 42MP3 has 3:2 pull-down, a feature the Panasonic lacks, but the NEC is still at least 20% more in street price. It is widely debated and often noted as inconsenquential whether 3:2 pull-down is a major benefit at the 42" size. Look at the Panasonic's video processing specifications and you will note it is not even close to a direct drive system (i,e., a system without internal video processing assit). For price at this point, it is hard to object to the Panasonic. However, realize that NEC also has, by comparison, incredible warranty service. Pansaonic has far fewer local repair facilities that can either repair or diagnose a problem, and you will usually have to foot the motorfreight back to a service center to do a diagnosis and repair (assuming it is still under the one year warranty).


Pioneer's 433 and NEC's 42MP4 are both exellent HD choices, but cost at least $1500 more (especially the Pioneer) in street dollars to acquire. The Pioneer excels in brightness and contrast, but remember it is a 43" instead of a 42", which is important only if you have a mounting space restriction. The NEC is very new (this month) but is a great choice if you have multiple sources and need the large flexibility offered by NEC's greater number of inputs.


As far as the other higher resolution 42's, there are 3 ALiS panels available: Sony's PFM series is too old (bad color depth/contrast), too expensive and lacks both audio amplification and RCA component inputs (component is instead achieved through the 15 pin connector and gives you slightly poorer quality image than the 3 RCA). Besides, this unit is made by FHP (Fujitsu Hitachi Plasma consortium), so look at either the Fujitsu or Hitachi models. Hitachi has a two year warranty instead of one, which might be important to you. It also was selected for use by none other than McDonald's, and a corporation that has for over twenty years used a complex satellite system to locate future site locations can't be too horribly off the mark, eh?


Best of luck and reply if you have any more questions.
 

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Wow Jeff, your first few posts show that you have a lot of knowledge on this subject. Thank you for taking up the mantle of the official newbie question answerer :D


Unfortunately, so many of the same questions have already been asked that the more informed members of this forum don't even bother to post "do a search" any more. The newbie post then drifts away with no replies unless I (and a coupla others) come along and do the search for them - which I have done on numerous occassions.


You OTOH posted a great summary but I hope you realize that you will have to keep this up now ;), and you are really giving the newbie a fish instead of teaching them to fish - did I get that right?


Thanks again for your informative posts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes I should have mentioned that. Initally DVD, but as soon as Time Warner pulls it's **** together in NYC, then HiDef as well.
 

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I'd wait till the new Panny model that comes out in a month or two. Since you will use it for hi-def and since the Panny is well regarded for its overall PQ but the current model doesn't do hi-def resolution, you'll want to consider that new model alongside the Pio and NEC MP4.
 

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The deinterlacer on the existing Panasonic 42" is phenomenal. It's so good, I had no idea it didn't do 3:2 pulldown (it doesn't? huh? wow!). I seriously can't imagine buying the NEC for home-theater use vs. the Panasonic given it costs more, has no retail dealers, etc.


I am intrigued by the nec NEC 42MP4, but would unequivocally wait another two months to see the new Panasonic. The shootout between those two should be fascinating (add in the Pioneer, too, although my whelm has been low to date on at least the 4030HD).


mark
 

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heheh, zozobar, thanks for taking it so well.


I too am waiting for TWC to deliver digital cable to my location downtown. I know it is all analogue below 80 or whatever and that I need the HD3000 box for the two (count em) HD channels they provide but analogue on my xbr400 is not that bad - this is on a TV with a crappy de-interlacer.

Heard too many horror stories about compression artifacts on sat. so I'm gonna hang on for TWC.


I still like the panny 42" BTW - took my wife to J&R to show her the panny display - 50", 42" and 37" all in the same place. This time all showing a panasonic DVD but the 50" sometimes has an HD tape playing on the new JVC D-VHS deck.


Current thinking (and this is with WAF approval!!! - and I managed to veto a trip to Century 21 with no known consequences) is a 50" on the wall in the living room and the 37" in the master bedroom. Bedroom needs a slight remodel to move a closet door so that I can hang the plasma there instead.


Jeff's advice is important because the XGA panny does skew the choice profoundly if this rez is supremely important for you. Bear in mind that HD content on the 852X480 plasmas can look phenomenal so this particular panny model (if you want a panny) may be the best bet if the price comes down even more due to the launch of the XGA panny. Only really compelling reason IMO to go for XGA 42" is if you want to use it with the computer.
 

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I am actually concerned about computer use on these wide XGA panels. XGA is a 4:3 format and the next Pioneer, Nec and Panasonic all stretch it out oddly. Is there a format called XGA wide that mitigates this? I mean a 1024 x 768 format you can tell your PC about that stretches out the image without distortion.


Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Divvy, Now that I know your in NYC, where did you end up buying all your home theatre stuff. I hope a place where you didn't get atttitude like Stereo Exchange or Harvey. Also, when referring to the Panny, I assume you mean the Panasonic TH-42PWD4UY? Thanks
 

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zozobar,


We have a nice dealer in New York where we purchased our plasmas from through the power-buy late last year.


He is very competitive in price and service. PM me or Ericbee for his credentials.


Best,

MAB
 

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zozobar - take MAB up on his offer but if you are interested on what others have gone thru already (your stereo exchange quip heartens me to know that they have not changed - I'm willing to put money on you having spoken to Israel) take a look at this thread and check out what PF said about some of the stores:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...threadid=47981


Obviously the equipment has changed since the thread was active but I can't see the staff changing much.
 
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