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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't think this comparison has been discussed. (sorry if it has)


I was pretty set on the Hitachi 42HDT5x. I like the looks and the seperate A/V box; it makes installation a little easier. But knowing I have the opportunity to get the Panny for a $1000 less has me thinking.


Can anyone comment on the PQ differences? Will the difference in display resolutions make a visual difference when viewing HD content?


I'm assuming the Panny can only be purchased online. Will the Manufacturer's warranty be honored when purchased online from a vendor like Visual Apex or Plasma House?


Thanks!
 

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I was in CC last Monday and was finally able to see six panels, three across and two down, as close as they could be together. The Panasonic 42PA20U was on the bottom in the middle, with a Pio HD version directly above and the Hitachi HD immediately to the right. The rest were Samsung ED and etceteras. All were playing the same feed...CC loop...and I was able to stand as close or as far back as I wanted. To my eye the Panny and the Hitachi were clearly standouts...the comparison of brands quickly boiled down to those two.


I had been trying to decide between the Panny PWD or the PHD

and really wanted to see what the difference is between the HD and the ED as far as PQ. Unfortunately the Panasonic HD was on the endcap which made it difficult if not impossible to compare them directly. I DID confirm everything that I have read here in the Forum and elsewhere, that the ED has some advantages over the HD in PQ depending on source, but that the real deciding factor should be how far you are going to be sitting from the panel. I looked at the Panny ED right next to the Hitachi HD for at least 15 minutes and truthfully I thought at a distance of 7-8' or closer from the screen that the HD picture was noticably better. The Panasonic had better blacks, better contrast and more natural color than the Hitachi to my eye. Beyond that distance I really thought that the ED had a brighter picture and just as much clarity and definition. I clearly preferred the color pallette and the deeper blacks of the Panasonic. The Hitachi had an orange or yellow cast that made the flesh tones unreal. I'm sure that both sets could be better calibrated, but they were close enough so that one could make a subjective judgement. I am now (almost) convinced that because I will be viewing the screen from a distance of 12-16' accross the bedroom, the ED version will actually do a better job for me. This goes against my preconcieved notion that the only way to go is the HD, and that I will be sorry in a few years when all of the programming is HD that I didn't "buy for the future". The "almost" is the hardest thing in the world to get rid of. HD content on the ED screen is so very close to the true HD that it's hard to justify the price difference...it goes back to distance from the screen. Brvheart...in the comparison between Panasonic and Hitachi, the Panasonic picture is a good bit closer to direct view CRT because of the better black levels, and to my eye it has the best picture of any plasma. The Hitachi is close, but side by side the Panasonic is superior. I hope that you get the chance to see them yourself before you order.
 

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One thing that I was told recently that may have some bearing for me...the Hitachi supposedly has a subwoofer out while the Panasonic does not. I thought that it would be nice to be able to use the 2.1 speaker set that I already own from Cambridge Soundworks as a stopgap until I could get a receiver and some real speakers for 5.1 ... your thoughts?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by tomboyter
One thing that I was told recently that may have some bearing for me...the Hitachi supposedly has a subwoofer out while the Panasonic does not. I thought that it would be nice to be able to use the 2.1 speaker set that I already own from Cambridge Soundworks as a stopgap until I could get a receiver and some real speakers for 5.1 ... your thoughts?
Yes, the Hitachi 42HDT55 does have a sub-out. I also considered the commercial Panasonic before deciding on the 42HDT55. IMO, plusses of the Hitachi included:


0) Superb picture quality on both SD and HD signals.


1) Detachable speakers, for the day when I move the 42" into the bedroom and spring for a 50" in the living room. :)


2) Swivel stand included (see 1 above)


3) Highly user-adjustable (color decoder, etc.)


4) Nice form factor


5) Separate media box


6) In home service


7) Reliability


8) Customer service


Regarding the last two points, Panasonic has been getting pretty beat up around here for its head-in-the-sand handling of the shutdown issue. Also, when narrowing down my choices to these two plasmas, I called both companies to get more information. When I called Panasonic, I got voice mail. I left a message. That was several months ago and I've never received a call back. Nice. On the other hand, the Hitachi customer service reps always answer the phone immediately and are very helpful.


I'm happy with my decision to go with the Hitachi. While I do think the Panasonic plasmas have good PQ (especially their excellent black levels), I feel they fall short of the Hitachi in several areas that are important to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think everyone made very good points. If I knew I was going to be watching at 10'+, I know I would get the ED Panny. But the screen door just kills me. I am so sensitive to it. So the question is, do I save $1000 on the Panny? It gets pretty close once you add the shipping and DVI card. If it comes down to a few hundred dollars, I'll probably go with the Hitachi. I really like it..
 
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