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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a summary of what I have been using to date and why I bought the Panny yesterday.


I have owned the Costco Pioneer PDP-4310 for about a month. It actually is a very nice unit (a close relative of the 433CMX) with terrific PQ right out of the box. A good deal at 4.69K considering it comes with stand and speakers and is backed up by Costco's 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. Its only serious flaw is that it non-upgradeable. It comes with a video card that does not include DVI. It will not accept a PDA-5002 or alternative according to Pioneer. It has a remote that would not provide access to the DVI input. It is POSSIBLE it could actually be made to support a 5002 by buying a card and a 433CMX remote, although I don't believe anyone has done that experiment. Actually, it is hard to fathom why Pio would hide possible upgradeability, so I rather doubt it could be. Other minor issues are some banding - really rare but can be expected with certain content, such as the expanse of blue ocean at some points in Coral Reef (DVD) and some darker scenes.


I bought the Panny from VisualApex yesterday, in-stock for immediate delivery. Got the DVI-HDCP card. With the stand and an extended warranty it will be about the same cost as the Costco Pio. What I am expecting is the same stunning PQ with improvements in black levels and probably less banding due to increased color shade reproduction. I see many statements that banding is inherent in plasma display technology. However, my background in computer graphics hardware tells me this is a color depth issue. So, the Panny 6UY should be better than the Pio or Panasonic has some crow to eat.


I should add that I have seen another PQ issue that I have not seen anyone mention here. it is a well known problem with computer graphics hardware. This has to do with transparency. Computer graphics cards have 3 color channels and a fourth transparency or "alpha" channel. If the total bits available to render color and handle levels of transparency is limited, you may see a mess of purple and green speckles in things such as the fog or car exhaust as it overlays the background as the card does not have enough bits available to display all the shades necessary and it must "dither" the colors. I'm not exactly clear on how the 8 or 10-bit color processing with plasma displays is rated - I assume that is bits per channel. What about alpha? If it is 10 bits per channel and for alpha, then then fog should not be an issue. Actually 8 bits per should have been fine. Anyway, the color dithering I have seen in some fog scenes with the PIO should, in theory, be alleviated with the Panny's 10-bit color processing or I will be greatly disappointed.


I have not been able to view these exact models side-by-side, and I have been generally astonished by the PQ of the Pio I have, with the exceptions noted above. When the Panny arrives in a few days, I will get to do a direct head-to-head for anyone interested. If the Panny does not deliver notable improvements over the Costco Pio, then I will probably do an experiment with the Coscto unit to verify whether it truly is not upgradeable. If it turns out it is upgradeable, someone may get a nice deal on a Panny HD unit taken for a brief test-ride. Sure, I could have done this experiment first, but I am banking on the the Panny PQ winning anyway.


Oh, I went for the HD rather than the ED because the Pio HD has spoiled me. I can stand up close and marvel at the detail and lack of pixel grate. I debated this internally because I agree the ED PQ can be fabulous. I plan to do some HTPC and I think the 1024x768 native resolution may work better. However, it is hard to justify the extra $1400 for HD versus ED overall.


Look forward to the head-to-head report this weekend.


Bill
 

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Bill, do you happen to know if a subwoofer can be plugged into this display? I am considering the ED version and have a two speaker & sub from Cambridge soundworks that I am hoping will work until I can get a receiver and speakers to fill the room. Thanks. TB
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by tomboyter
Bill, do you happen to know if a subwoofer can be plugged into this display? I am considering the ED version and have a two speaker & sub from Cambridge soundworks that I am hoping will work until I can get a receiver and speakers to fill the room. Thanks. TB
There is no sub-out, just R&L. Not sure what plasma might have such an output.


Here is the owner's manual for the Panny commercial panels.

ftp://ftp.panasonic.com/pub/panason...TH-6.Series.pdf


Bill
 

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you know what you should do? its ghetto but it will work, you get a y splitter, and but it either on the left or right channel audio out on the PDP. then you set your crossovers accordingly, and you should be able to use it.
 

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I think you will like your choice. Mine shows up from Visual Apex sometime tom. if this darn weather clears up in the DC area.


I spent hours in stores looking at plasmas, panny, pio, etc. I bought the consumer HD panny from best buy a few weeks ago...but is going back. I don’t need the speakers, the curve on the bottom makes it a pain to wall mount, the SD/pc card slots wont be used, and it does not take a 740p component signal.


I almost forgot the commercial version is $1300 cheaper then what I paid for the consumer version on sale with an additional 10% discount, and that doesn't count the savings from sales tax which covers the shipping.


I got the HD since I sit fairly close to the plasma and I am fairly sensitive to crts, lcds, etc when work on the computer all day.


Now if my bettercables show up on the same day I will be set....


btw - what was your thinking on the extended warranty? I did not get one since my credit card tacks on another year. I think I can add one in the first few weeks if I change my mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by endyii
I almost forgot the commercial version is $1300 cheaper then what I paid for the consumer version on sale with an additional 10% discount, and that doesn't count the savings from sales tax which covers the shipping.
The difference is much smaller when you factor in the stand and DVI card and price them both online. My calculations show only $180 difference for the HD panels. But I'd rather not have the speakers and tuner. Also, the consumer HD panel seems affected adversely by the big glass plate over the front. Finally the commercial panel has direct access to a few more tweaks in the menu, as well as 720p support like you mentioned.

Quote:
btw - what was your thinking on the extended warranty? I did not get one since my credit card tacks on another year. I think I can add one in the first few weeks if I change my mind.
Holy Cow, I wasn't thinking at all. I actually charged it to the wrong card! I have Amex and didn't use it. To tell the truth I didn't purchase the extended coverage yet. I was going to call VisualApex and ask them to add a couple of years coverage, but I will try to get them to credit my original card and charge it to Amex instead. Thanks for bringing this up. I generally avoid extended warranties, but plasmas seem to have fair potential for early failure. It would be nice if you could have the extended coverage kick in after the Amex extra year. Anyway, I will probably do as you were thinking, if I can get the charge changed.


Bill
 

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I ended up adding the 4 year coverage to my TH-42PHD6UY from VisualApex. I debated long and hard, but the breakdown made it worthwhile to go to the extra couple of years IMO.


Breaking down the cost annually...

Year 1 - $200

Year 2 - $200

Year 3 - $100

Year 4 - $100


If I'm going to spend $400 for 2 years, I figured I might as well spend 50% and double my coverage.


Obviously GE-Zurich is pricing it to get people to sign up for the full 4 years. I know that generally the extended warranties amount to a sucker bet. After spending so much on a display, I want the reassurance that it'll be working in 5 years. I don't want to drop another large sum of money in 1 or 2 years if my plasma dies. I'll probably end up upgrading and putting the 6UY in my bedroom in a few years, but at least I know it'll work then.
 

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Just received the plasma display about 30 mins ago. No dents, dings or scrapes on the box or the plasma itself. Did not have time to fire it up since I needed to get back to work.


Just looking at it compared to the consumer version in my house, the commercial version is the best choice. I like the minimalist look. We have a really small living room and it should keep the "its so large" comments down from my wife. Though I have been catching her watching Discovery HD alot on the other plasma the last two weeks.


Plus it has some nice heavy duty handles on the back for lifting, that the consumer does not.


I also looked on the back to found a January 2004 manufacture date. They sure do manufacture them and get them to the US pretty quick.


Cant wait to mount sucker tonight....


So far I give Visual Apex a big thumbs up.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by endyii
Just received the plasma display about 30 mins ago. No dents, dings or scrapes on the box or the plasma itself. Did not have time to fire it up since I needed to get back to work.


Just looking at it compared to the consumer version in my house, the commercial version is the best choice. I like the minimalist look. We have a really small living room and it should keep the "its so large" comments down from my wife. Though I have been catching her watching Discovery HD alot on the other plasma the last two weeks.


Plus it has some nice heavy duty handles on the back for lifting, that the consumer does not.


I also looked on the back to found a January 2004 manufacture date. They sure do manufacture them and get them to the US pretty quick.


Cant wait to mount sucker tonight....


So far I give Visual Apex a big thumbs up.
quick question, where was it built at...?

did it say China?


right now im within days of pulling the trigger on either the Pana 42 or the 50 HD ones... (really slim chance i just buy myself the headache of the GWIII), but right now the top candidates are the pana 42 or 50 :) but...


the one you just ordered and got.. where was it built at? thanks! whee! i may be joining team Plasma soon unless my visit to CC tonight convinces me to get a Pio or a NEC or something else :confused:
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by endyii
I will check tonight when I get home. But from what I understand final assembly is done in Japan on the Panasonics.
ya-ya, i'm hoping so too.. but i forgot where i read it

*i do a ton of searches and read a billion threads and posts a day during this entire period, sigh*


but someone mentioned that the latest batch of panasonics may be made in China, i think someone had received one and it said China..


since you ordered from V.A. which is the company i'm looking at as well (plasma concepts is oos), i might as well ask what you got since chances are, mine will be the same when/if i place my order
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by GooglyBear
...

but someone mentioned that the latest batch of panasonics may be made in China, i think someone had received one and it said China..


...
I think most of them since November 2003 come out of the Chinese factory - but assembled in Japan. I may be wrong, of course, but I haven't heard of anyone who has reported a "Made in China" sticker on a recently delivered 6UY (or consumer model for that matter).


I wonder what the threshhold is for the "Made in XXX" sticker - that is, if I imported 95% of the components to build a computer and assembled it here in the states, can I sell it with a "Made in the USA" sticker on it?
 

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endyii, any updates? :p
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by endyii
Its mounted on the wall and up and running. Looks good.


It says manufactured in Japan, build Jan. 2004.
awesome! thanks muchly :D
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by akelley


I wonder what the threshhold is for the "Made in XXX" sticker - that is, if I imported 95% of the components to build a computer and assembled it here in the states, can I sell it with a "Made in the USA" sticker on it?
While I don't know what percentage of parts that can be imported for plasma TV's, I can tell you the following.


International trade is very specific in what percentage of parts must be from the home country for a product to be labeled "Made In XXX". In addition, supplies can be imported which are needed to build specific parts. If the part is assembled in the home country then the part is not considered an import.


The percentage is different for each country and for each industry or product. With the home country trying to keep the percentage of imports as low as possible in order to add jobs to the home economy.


I know this is not a complete answer, but it gives you an idea of how the market works.


Jim
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Shark73


With the home country trying to keep the percentage of imports as low as possible in order to add jobs to the home economy.


Jim
Since when do companies care about adding jobs to the local economy? It's all about profit. If they can maintain quality while reducing cost - they will do it.
 
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