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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've seen a couple of plasma units (in the $14000 range) in stores and I'm really surprised at the, to me, ordinary looking picture quality. They seem like simply wide Sony tube TV's...nothing like the sharpness and smoothness available on a rear projection TV of similar size screen. The units were driven by DVDs, so it can't be a bad cable TV feed or something. What gives? Are plasma superior to RPJ TVs, and if so why can't I see it?:confused:
 

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Check out the Panasonic 42" with DVD. A local store has 5 plasmas (Sony, Sharp, and Panny 42's and 50's) on a wall and the 42" Panny bests them all for sharpness and color clarity.


Not having to scale the video makes a very good picture :).
 

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Things look different to different people, I guess. I for one, when I looked at the HDTVs in the stores, was amazed at the dramatically superior picture quality of the plasmas versus the RPTVs. I have continually heard that the true videophile believes the RPTV to have superior PQ, but I always figured that was in a darkened window, calibrated and all that. In the showrooms (many), the RPTVs always look significantly inferior to the plasma. IMHO. I got the Pioneer 1000HD, have it in a room with a lot of natural and ambient light, and love it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Maybe that's it. Like ordinary tube TV's, plasma looks better when there's lots of ambient light around. But to me, that's not a good idea. Like movie theatres, I think you need to create a room for watching HDTV that has very little light---either an interior room, or like mine, one with lots of shades you pull down if you want to watch TV during the daylight hours. I bought a bunch of those cheap Wallmart pulldown roller shades--one for each window. And my Toshiba 65x81 rear projector gives spectacular movies on HDTV and often even DVD.... I think we all need to accept the fact that good quality video requires dark rooms!!:)
 

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I think that is the critical point, if you can create a room where light can be totally controlled at any time that you wish to watch something, and very low light levels will be acceptable to everyone involved then I wouldn't dream of using a plasma, I'd put in a projection system.


For a lot of people though that just isn't possible and that's where plasma fits in.


I guess the ideal is to use both of course as some people here have done.


Mark
 

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era,


It's a matter of taste. Many people don't like RPTV, or have problems with lighting, so they can't use RPTV or projectors.


In my house, the only place I can put the TV on is oposite a huge window. It's so wide (I'd like to strangle the guy who designed our house) there's on way to put a curtain there that would reduce lighting.


Instead, we have an electric roll down curtain - but that blocks out light in portions (i.e., if you put it half way down, you get half very bright window and half total dark). There is no way a projector can be used in the room, unless the room is darkened. There is also not enough room for an RPTV because of the room's logistics (I wouldn't want one, which is probably why the rooms logistics look the way they do).


My kids are home alot, so there's no way to darken the room every time they want to watch a DVD (which happens alot, I'm a sucker for buying them movies, particularly animation).


Anyway, a plasma is ideal for me - not too thick, so I can put alot more stuff there, no problems with lighting.


Of course, there's much to be desired, some projectors still produce a bigger image for a similar cost.
 

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CRT projectors create a canopy of electromagnetic radiation above the viewing area.


High lumen output single lens projectors can BURN a 1 microscopic permanent dark spot on your eyes (retinal burn) believe me I know , courtesy of carelessly repeatedly looking into a 3 chip dlp .


I can only tell the damage when looking at a bright full white wall, holding a piece of paper up close, it looks like a baby gnat. flyng in front of you.


Really the 61" plasma is the most Feng Shui Compliant of all large screen displays.


A lot of you may laugh, but this is one advantage of plasma.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I started this thread and I'm reversing what I said. I do see why people like plasma (aside from the really cool name of the technology--which sounds like a whole new state of matter).


I went down again and looked at the Elite plasma display ($14999) and this time they were showing a CBS HDTV feed. It was pretty stunning, and equal to my HDTV rear projector (though the screen is quite a bit smaller than 65"... The Elite looked grand, though...so perhaps the limitations I saw before are only visible when you're looking at an old-style NTSC signal from satellite or cable...:cool:
 

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A lot of the plasmas I've seen in chain stores seem to be poorly displayed: S-vid or composite cabling, questionable video feed quality, not even setup via Avia/VE, etc. Result--jaggies, poor colors, greys not blacks.


The few that I've seen correctly setup most always took my breath away. . . Particularly skin tones and water scenes.


Still saving pennies. . .
 

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regular SD channels from direct tv are highly watchable on the Fujitsu 5002 when you feed it 1080I from the Zenith DTV-1080 receiver. The zenith does a fine job of upscaling without deinterlacing which the fujitsu then does.
 

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The last place I went to even had all but one of its plasmas chain fed via a composite feed. The one that was on its own was an Hitachi which looked crappie. When I looked round the back of it to see connections, it was hooked via a £4.95 ($7) tackie comes with factory plastic lead! I asked the assistant how they expected to sell equipment when it was all so direly 'setup'? He said no one in store knew how to and so that was that. Mind, they also had RPTVs erected 10 feet up 'for effect' - that being you couldn't hardly see the image due to light glare.

So long story short, shoppers rarely ever get to see decent set ups, unless they can find an, usually, expensive specialist dealer - and then trip off online to buy.


P.S. thanks for the mental image Cineramax...NOT!!!!
 

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I've recently had similar viewing experiences in-store.


My personal hate is when they arrange rows of screens low down and so close together that you can't stand at a proper viewing distance and are forced to examine plasmas from about 2' away on your knees :)


Mark
 

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It still amazes me to see how many of the electronics chain stores put absolutely little or no effort into setting up their displays properly.


I often see Plasmas (and RPTV) that look ten times worse than what they're capable of displaying. Many potential buyers with little or no experience see a very high price, a really poor picture and quickly walk away.


I don't ever expect to find knowledgable sales people in these types of stores, but a little bit of the basics goes a long way!


H
 

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Well, I don't think we should give the shops too much credit as to display the units with an non-representative image. In most cases they show animation and images with high colors and contrast. The image will almost always look good if for example Bugs or Antz are shown...


Actually, the Achilles heel of the plasma units seems to be the lack of real blacks. I know Panasonic has decent blacks, but far from satisfactory when paying 5-10.000 USD for the display! The lack of black takes away the three dimensionality that is apparent on CRT and some DLP units.


I reccommend all to view a plasma in total darkness and with movies that you like and will be viewing at home, that is if you are using the display for home theater use. If it is just an expensive TV to show off to your neighbors, don't bother, you will most probably be very happy anyway!


I purchased a Pioneer 433HD based on a demo in a shop. The image looked very good on Bugs and Gladiator, and the black were seemingly very decent... When I got home, the experience was a totally other. The "blacks" were grey in such extent that most dark movies are at the border of "non-watchable". I am a very disappointed and hope other videophiles do not end up in the same situation... The colors are excellent, though... As a normal TV, the unit is very good...
 

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Jon,

Very good advice, I'm just sorry it came as the result of your negative experience. I can imagine watching a sci fi movie with the "deep grays" of space. In looking at the Fujitsu 50", I was very impressed with the blacks, but it is true all the lights were not out at the dealer. This is probably something we should insist on, even if it means coming back around closing time if they're reluctant to do it during normal hours. I certainly kill all my lights when watching HD.
 

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I think this matter of lighting does get over-looked too often.


I will not ever be watching my plasma in darkness, which is why I am installing a plasma.


If I could set-up a room for total blackout whenever I wanted to watch then I'd be using a projector system.


In an ideal world, have both of course as some people do, plasma on the wall, and motorised screen to drop down in front of it.


I can certainly understand people who wish to watch in complete darkness being unhappy with plasma, but then I'd never really thought of using a plasma like that anyway.


Mark
 

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Using the rs 232 you can preset the Fujitsu 50 to give perfect black levels at any given viewing environment condition.


To achieve total darkness you have to bypass all gamma settings and set it at Gamma setting=static (where it behaves more like a Panasonic).


That is the beauty of this product. Whomever tells you that you must have one specific lighting condition over the other, in order to enjoy large screens , is undergoing some serious limited thinking.


And let's face it! Sitting in cavernous lighting conditions for any semi extended period of time diminishes the natural production of seratonin in the brain.


Ask anyone owning a dedicated home theater about their experiences of loneliness, boredom, and depression, caused by sitting in an empty home theater regularly. Conversely having a full house may give a feeling of exhilaration.


But a full house can be achieved in a Media Room without having to shut down the lights and forcing a specific social behaviour down your guest throats.


Another negative of the dedicated home theater is that it tends to be plyed LOUDER than the media room. In a way is a control trip to own a home theater. A crime to which I have been a party to.


As we get past these 61" inchers into 76" and 87" plasmas I see the basic design of Home Theater totally overhauled. That is our mission at Grove Plasma anyways.


Not to mention that any CRT technology emits X-rays. With the extended longevity afforded us by new medicine, why would you expose yourself so foolishly? There is an alternative now the High Performance 61" plasma.


Again unless some outstanding projection system design , in most residences with 8-9 foot ceiling heights, if you use a high lumen single lens projector you are foolishly exposing yourself to retinal damage.


I have always been a big proponent of asvnced projection systems. I now have backtracked 180 degrees. Projection should only be done in high ceiling environments for screens wider than 12 feet, where stadium like seating can be arranged and where a PIT prevents anyone from walking into the light path.


I will post an analysis of how surprisingly Feng Shui compliant one technology is over the other two. It is very comforting for plasma owners to know, that this technology is in harmony with common ancient wisdom.


On the subject of selling plasmas in a store.


I think a store should educate itself on the plasmas, then choose the best one , and stick to it. He who goes to look at plasmas side by side will not get out of it what he expects. Once you understand how difficult is to mainatin one plasma looking good in just about any program content, you will understand the foolhardiness of setting side by side comparisons.


In the long run it is doing the client a much better service to just know how to keep the plasma singing with any source.


Even in our store we are going to sell off both demo 5002's and just stick to the 6101. Do one thing and do it well!


To fully understand a plasma and maximise it's image is a FULL TIME JOB.


When I sell a system I teach my customers how to make just about any image LOOK GOOD through gamma and sharpnees control.


It is very rewarding to have a newbie client go at it and find his own preferred Gamma setting and sharpness control for a specific program (ie the cooking channel DTV).
 

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Peter,

Two questions. First, what is the RS 232? Second, how do you find the PQ of the 61" Fujitsu vs. the 50" (in particular, the blacks)? I'm surprised that you'll be discontinuing selling the 50" unit since this was the best looking plasma I've ever seen! I saw the 61" Runco (I'm not sure if that's a rebadged Fujitsu), and although the picture was impressive, I didn't think the blacks approached the 50" Fujitsu.
 

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Hi Ken:


Rs 232 control of the Fujitsu plasmas via xantech irrs232 http://www.xantech.com/newprod/irs232.htm


blackbox remote allows you to dial in picture presets that take advantage of the Fujitsu's 5 gamma settings to optimise for program and lighting conditions. It is really cool.


The 61" we are "confident" that will be just 7-10% less dynamic than the 5002, after all the Marantz has the same glass and looks good on HD.


Our 61"s are not in yet. Soon. Being 50% larger than the 50", is extremely appealing to us. We wish it was a 72".


The runco 61" has me thoroughly unimpressed. I doubt it, strike that, I am sure it is not a Fujitsu.


With the AVM procezor's deinterlacing and multiple gamma settings on board fed by the zenith on 1080i, I think this will be the setup to beat.


We sure hope so, as we have been selling them by demoing the 5002. And promising only 5% less punch with 50% size increase.


We will be fine I am sure.


But i'll report soon...


50" is too small to compete with projection. 61" gives anything under 11 feet wide a run for it's money. Unless you are a cave dweller.:)
 

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CINERAMAX, I think you should change your nick to Grass Hopper, or is that Glass Hopper?!!! As one who embraces all that went before with that which shall be.
 
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