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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can't get over it. Went to see the Fujitsu P50 today. It's great, of course -- best green rendition in plasma-dom. Crucial for the night time MLS soccer game being shown on HDNet at the time. Nicely finished, and a I like the remote, too -- fits well in the hand and looks good for silver plastic.


But perpendicular to it was the Mitsubishi PD5010 flat screen 50-incher. I couldn't believe how much BETTER it was. Immediately, one noticed how much sharper it was. You couldn't help it! It was also smoother on motion pans, crucial for sports. Overall, it was far less digital looking, too. CRT-like, in fact.


CINERAMAX has to see this!


It really wasn't hard to discern the image improvement of the Mitsubishi. The differences were plain to see. I checked myself: Other non-videophiles saw the same things I did. The only trade off was the slightly -- I mean slightly -- limey greens compared to the more natural greens of the Fujitsu P50. (But not nearly as limey my 503CMX). In exchange, the colors seemed better saturated on the Mitsubishi (maybe even a touch hot) compared to the Fujitsu. Certainly, this could just be a matter of calibration. But, maybe not.


Anyway, I'm utterly stunned. I mean, it's a Mitsubishi, for #@$& sakes?! Not a Pioneer, not a Panasonic, not a Fujitsu, not a Runco. With the world's ugliest, thick silver bezel.


I keep looking for excuses. Weak leg of the HDNet feed from the store's distribution amp? Seems unlikely, and the salesman, who was more knowledgeable than most, didn't think so either. Wrong settings on the Fujitsu? I played around in the menus but couldn't get it any sharper. RGBHV feed on one vs. component on the other? I didn't check that. Or, maybe I'm losing it and it wasn't a P50, but rather a 5004? I'll double check tomorrow. But even so, the Mitsubishi was better than everything else in the store, too: the other size Fujitsus (42, 61), the Pioneer Elite 50 incher, Sony XBR900, all the Sharp LCDs, etc.


The fly in the ointment, other than the esthetically displeasing thick bezel, is price, unfortunately. List is $12K, and the store was selling it for $9K. I checked web stores, and $9K+ seemed to be the going rate.


So, am I going crazy, or has someone else on this board seen what I've seen and come to the same preliminary conclusion.
 

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PF, coincidently I was in Harveys in Paramus today to look at the 42" Fujitsu. I adjusted the 50" Fujitsu and didn't come to the same conclusion you did. I initially noticed that the Mitsubishi (which was perpendicular to the Fujitsu) was significantly darker. A darker picture will often look somewhat sharper. Once I achieved the same brightness level on both, I found that both looked equally sharp. I believe they have essentially the same resolution, so you wouldn't expect, all other things being equal, for there to be any significant differences in sharpness.


I did find the Mitsubishi reds to be somewhat less orange than the Fujitsu, but I thought the greens on the Fujitsu as well as fleshtones to be truer on the P50. I didn't notice any real differences in the motion artifacts at the time. Both were showing HDNet and an auto racing piece, so there was plenty of motion.


However, all in all, I did find the Mitsubishi impressive. The big missing link was how the Mitsubishi handled SD material. There the AVM of the Fujitsu would probably flex its muscles.


BTW, I'm surprised they gave you the remote to play with, they're usually very reluctant to do that. I generally take my own when I know I want to look at things critically.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ken,


I'm in the store a lot, so they usually leave me completely to my own devices and I know where to find the remotes.


I hear you regarding SD material. I was wondering about that, too -- I didn't get to see how the Mitsubishi handles it, or even DVD. So, a big question mark remains.


I agree that the Mitsubishi's image was darker. So, maybe the Fujitsu was flaring, or something, obscuring lots of detail. But I played around a little in the menus to try to even things out. The Mitsubishi was still unquestionably sharper - a lot sharper, as if the HD feed it was getting was better.


And it wasn't just more detailed than the Fujitsu. It was significantly more detailed than the Pioneer Elite (I own a 503CMX) and Sony XBR900, too. It was very easy to see in head shots, where facial lines and beards were more easily made out. Indeed, there was detail in those shots on the Mitsubishi that simply wasn't there on the other plasmas.


And, if you looked closely, you could also see it in long shots where the small soccer players were better defined and not amorphous tiny blobs. In the aerial long shots of the stadium, the sideline advertisements were also more easily made out, and some of the colorful stadium details were much easier to see. On the Fujitsu and the others, these tended to blend together into a blurry mass, but on the Mitsubishi they had distinct definition.


I'm telling you, there's something going on here. I don't know what, but there's something. I went in to the store just to fall in love with the P50 once more, as I have every time I've seen it. At first, my expectations were heartily confirmed. The P50 looked absolutely wonderful, as it always has. But then, I noticed the Mitsubishi. At first, I discounted what I was seeing. But then I looked again. And again. And much more closely. And I called the salesman over. And others. The Mitsubishi was more detailed.


Don't get me wrong: I still like the Fujitsu. It has a "look" that I find appealing. But I now think, based on this preliminary demo, that the Mitsubishi is the more detailed, better unit. I was all set to replace my 503CMX with the P50 but now I can see I've got new research to do!
 

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I have seen both the Mitsubishi 5010 and the Fujitsu P50, the Mitsubishi uses NEC glass the Fujitsu uses Panasonic glass. I found the SD on both unit to be good but the edge goes to the Fujitsu. The Fujitsu also has better blacks. In fact before I saw the P50 I was going to purchased the 5010 the things that held me back from buying the 5010 was the not so good blacks and the fact you had to purchase a expensive separate unit to make it HDCP compatible. The other factor was the cost of the Mitsubishi. The cheapest price I found either at a B&M store or on the Internet was $800.00 more than the best price I found for the Fujitsu P-50. The Mitsubishi is nice but it not a Fujitsu. I guess you can figure out which one I purchased.
 

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It stands to reason that if both units have essentially the same resolution that they'll appear pretty much the same from a sharpness standpoint. This was pretty much my observation. My feeling is that any significant departures in sharpness between the units would be due either to improper settings on one or a difference in the feeds to the units. I've never really seen units (from any manufacturer) of the same resolution to be significantly different in the area of sharpness.


More significant differences arise in the area of brightness, contrast, black levels, motion handling and color.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmmm...


I speculated that the feeds might have been different somehow because the Mitsubishi had lots more detail and richer color. A trip to Paramus may be in order tomorrow! I'm almost hoping that it turns out that that is the case -- I do so love that Fujitsu. And like Tom Ebaugh, I can get it significantly cheaper.
 

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I have seen the Mitsu near the Fujtisu at a Good Guys and was not favorably impressed by it. It also had a $1000 higher list price, which made it particularly uninterested to evaluated heavily.


Incidentally, it has DVI, but not currently HDCP, fwiw.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Tom Ebaugh
the Mitsubishi uses NEC glass
Are you sure about that-



A few years ago Mitsubishi partnered with CPT (Chunghwa Picture Tubes) of Taiwain to manufacture PDP's. Mits provided the technology and CPT the manufacturing and production lines.
 

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Brucer,

If you compare spec for Mitsubishi 5010, Toshiba 50HP82, (the 50HP81 was Panasonic glass) and Marantz 5020 to NEC you will see they match up completely to the NEC 50MP2, They all three even use the same remotes, they all have the same special features such as the NEC pointer, and etc..

By the way Sony is also using NEC glass.
 

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PF, keep in mind what Rogo said about HDCP, I wasn't aware of that. That may or may not be important to you. BTW, I think you'll find the Paramus folks (at least the guy I spoke with) not particularly willing to give you the remote. If they went back to the original settings on the Fujitsu, you'll notice the Mits will be darker. Your comments about "sharper & richer color" can be very indicative of a unit that's set darker. Any TV's colors will appear richer as you drop the brightness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ken,


I appreciate your tip. The sharpness and detail differences that I saw were not subtle and well beyond the range of a unit's color or sharpness adjustments.


It was like the differences one sees between a good HBO HDTV broadcast and the old Showtime channel mediocre upconverts (before they got religion), or between the current, fabulous PBS, Discovery HD, and Dish Network demo channel programming and middling network sitcom HD broadcasts.


Indeed, the differences were so plain to see that, as I said, I'm beginning to think there was an issue with the signal being fed or the store's distribution amp. There's no way you, or anyone who has commented above, could have missed these differences. They weren't that subtle. There was detail and definition in faces and long shots on the PD5010 that simply wasn't there on the other panels.
 

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"GAMMA" Settings will have a dynamic effect on Picture Quality as well.

You may want to check this out if you can. Keep us informed though.


Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I went to the Harvey store in Paramus, NJ, today to compare what I saw the other day with what Ken Ross observed. HDNet was the broadcast source once again.


Surprise, surprise! I found, as he did, that the Fujitsu in Paramus looked better than the Mitsubishi in that store. There was a bit more detail and consequently the image was noticeably smoother and less digital looking. Everything just popped better on the Paramus Fujitsu, too. In contrast, some details on the Mitsubishi had that "pasty," blurred look you sometimes see in lower resolution images. This is completely the opposite of the conclusion I came to the day before.


So, what are we to make of all this? Beats me! While the improvement in the picture quality I observed on the Fujitsu in Paramus today wasn't as dramatic as what I saw the the other day with the Mitsubishi, there was no question that it was just a bit better. Truthfully, it's not as if this is merely a matter of opinion, either. These differences are easily observable, especially in the first demo where the Mitsubishi was several orders of magnitude better the Fujitsu. And I'm not talking about colors, or tint, or sharpness control settings which can be subjective matters of taste. I refer strictly to SIGNIFICANT increased detail in the images that is readily observed (for example: beard stubble that cannot be seen in one image, but can be distinctly discerned in the other; background signs and lettering that is readable vs. ones that are completely illegible; images in motion that are distinct and well defined vs. ones that are blurred; etc.).


I can only conclude that there's something going on with the signal feeding each plasma in each store. Perhaps the better looking unit is the one that gets the feed from the distribution amp first. Or the signal cables are of unequal lengths and the distribution amp is "sensitive to this. Or, perhaps one unit is being fed HD via RGBHV while the other is being fed via component interconnects.


Of this, though, I am certain: Given a decent HD signal, the Mitsubishi is competitive in performance, if not price, with the very best 50-inch plasmas on the market. In the store I first saw it in, it was the best plasma in the store by a wide, wide margin. But I also pity the poor average consumer who walks into a shop hoping to compare plasmas and walk out with the best his hard earned money can buy. Depending on which store this hapless Hal might walk into, that might be a Mitsubishi PD5010; but in another, it would be a Fujitsu P50.


Well, I don't know about you, but I learned much over the course of the past couple of days. For one thing, don't always trust your very own eyes unless you KNOW precisely how the signal chain was created. And, as always, let the consensus of this Forum be your guide lest you jump to an expensive conclusion, as I did.
 

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PF,


So, so true.


I've seen the Panny ED model (the one I own) in the stores look soft, blurred, pasty..everything it is not in my home. I learned early in my plasma forays that I would only judge a plasma in a dedicated set-up, no split feeds, with source material I was familiar with (HD loops and my reference DVDs), with me having control over the picture settings and even, when I can swing it, control over the surrounding lighting. (It's surprising how often I've been able to get away with all this, actually).


Even THEN, I don't feel I've closed the book on what the plasma I'm auditioning can look like. Experience has taught me that, once you get one home, with care you can get it looking better than the best store demos.
 

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I agree with Rich 100%. PF, you can see the perils of plasma shopping now! I have yet to see an in-store setup that made the Fujitsu look as good as I have it looking at home. The 45th street Harveys has their Fujitsu P50 looking so bad, that I can't imagine anyone buying it. The picture is veiled, soft and has subtle interference lines running throught it. Interestingly it is in the same physical location that they formerly had a Runco plasma setup. The Runco also looked hideous in this location. The only conclusion I can come to is that there is something radically wrong with the wiring terminating at that position. Add to this the fact that this store used to have HDNet, HBO & Showtime in HD and now all they seem to be able to receive is Showtime. We all know how often Showtime does NOT have an HD feed on. Making matters worse is the fact that their only additional HD feed is the JVC30K HD VCR. Theirs pixellizes so often that you get a "glimpse" of HD every second or so out of 5. This is a high end store guys!


This emphasizes the importance of visiting several stores where the product of interest is shown. More often than not you will see poor setups that really give you no idea of what the unit is capable of. You can only hope that in your travels you'll see something approximating a decent setup.
 

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This is yet another example of the perils of shopping for plasma displays and related equipment.


Although we all support the notion that one should look before he buys, it is hard to come away from the "look" experience without more questions than answers. One often finds the answers here.


This does give me another opportunity to point out the real value that the forum members here provide. Without them, I for one would be completely lost and would have very likely spent thousands more dollars for significantly less performance. I am extremely grateful to all of the forum contributors for their knowledge and for their willingness to share it.
 

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I like this thread because of its intelligent give and take. So let me drag it down to the street where us hobos live... :)


PF wrote: "Given a decent HD signal, the Mitsubishi is competitive in performance..." I don't doubt that at all. I will add than given a decent HD signal, an ancient Pioneer 502/505 is also a pretty darned good plasma display. Given a decent HD signal, the Gateway is pretty good.


Now, I'm not even hinting they are as good as the Mitsubishi, but I'm noting that a good HD signal and any plasma is a great way to set up a TV viewing experience.


As for distribution amps and systems at stores, they generally suck all around and it's stunning to see some of the junk that goes on even at high-end stores. It's also really too bad. One of the best things about the future in this regard -- and I mean the far-distant future -- is that thin fiber-optic DVI cables will eventually be the distribution systems of choice and they will suffer no signal loss or degradation over thousands of feet.


Mark
 

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keep in mind these are all relative comparisons, two at a time. By comparison, if the Harvey's fujitsu was set up hinky in any way (and I can set mine up in a hincky way!), the Mitsubishi right next to it could look a lot better. Not an absolute value system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by jnug
Although we all support the notion that one should look before he buys, it is hard to come away from the "look" experience without more questions than answers. One often finds the answers here.


This does give me another opportunity to point out the real value that the forum members here provide. Without them, I for one would be completely lost and would have very likely spent thousands more dollars for significantly less performance. I am extremely grateful to all of the forum contributors for their knowledge and for their willingness to share it.
Indeed.


I would also like to point out that quite apparently the Harvey stores in the New York area -- which promote plasma displays perhaps more than any other electronics chain -- have a serious problem with the distribution of their video signals. Depending on which store you go into, any one of three or four different plasma manufacturers' products might look superior to another.


It also helps explain why there are so many non-buying plasma-haters here at AVS, despite the overwhelming number of essentially completely satisfied, over-the-top-happy, actual owners. Some of this is merely envy, of course. But these denigraters of the genre, often say that they saw the highly regarded XYZ brand plasma at ABC store several times and it always looks poor -- therefore they'll never buy a plasma. Now I know why they come to these erroneous conclusions -- and hold on to them so fiercely -- they've seen how bad it is with their very own eyes!
 
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