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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I finally took the plunge and purchased a 42" Panasonic TH-42PDWD4UY. After seeing the Pioneer 503CMX, which was my other choice, I decided that the picture on the Panny was "good enough" and that I'd save the extra ~$3k for a 61" purchase a few years down the road.


So, now that I've got the 42" on order, I have some questions about how best to maximize the picture quality. To frame what types of suggestions I'm looking for, let me say that, with any project, the first 90% is generally achievable at a reasonable cost and with a reasonable amount of effort. The remaining 10% tends to be cost- and time-prohibitive, often costing more and taking longer to complete than the original 90%. So, I'm looking to get to that magic 90% figure -- not the mythical 100% figure. :)


I've searched the forums and have answered a few of my questions, but here's some others: (some of these questions could also be asked in other forums, but I'm asking them here to get specific advice related towards the capabilities and weaknesses of the 42" Panny)

  1. I'm primarily going to watch DirecTV satellite (70%) and view DVD movies (30%). Is the HD version of DirecTV worth the extra money? My understanding is that, currently, there are only a handful of channels (HDNet, HBO, etc.) that are actually broadcast in HDTV, with the bulk of the channels being "regular" DirecTV quality. (my current living situation does not make an OTA antenna practical, so it's DirecTV or nothing at this point.)
  2. Given my usage scenario described above, will a dedicated video processor make that big of an impact? I'm currently planning on buying a Denon DVD-1600 progressive scan DVD player, which has a Faroudja chip, so I'm not sure if a dedicated processor provide that much higher picture quality, especially since the DirecTV signal quality appears to be the limiting factor.
  3. I've seen some folks talk about dedicated component video switching. I was planning on purchasing a receiver that offered component video switching. (my current top candidate is the Denon AVR-2802, though I haven't finalized that yet) Are there significant advantages to having a dedicated device?
  4. Other suggestions? Assume that I've got audio quality covered at the moment. (I don't, but I'm tackling one thing at a time. :))[/list=1]


    Finally, all this is very new to me, so if I've mis-stated something or overlooked something, please let me know. I'm all about learning at this stage. :)
 

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My opinion: Do not buy a video processor. Yes, you can switch component through a well-built current receiver. DirecTV will look good sometimes, bad other times, HDNet is stunning. Consider the HD upgrades and certainly try even an indoor OTA antenna. At least try it, you may find it works.


Mark
 

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When given the option to see HBO's Saturday night premiere in HD or on the regular band, I believe you will feel investing in an HD directv box was worth it. Rogo hit everything else on the head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by rogo
Consider the HD upgrades and certainly try even an indoor OTA antenna.
I love these forums -- I didn't even think an indoor antenna would work. However, after your suggestion otherwise, I poked around in the HDTV Hardware forum and learned a wealth of information about indoor antennas. So, I'll give that a shot.


Thanks for the tip!


--kurt
 

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I might be repeating what Mark suggested, but I am in a similar situation as the original poster (bought my Panny about a month ago).


What I've decided was to get a DirecTV HD receiver (most of them can also decode ATSC signals with an antenna) with a multi-satellite dish (a Sat C LNB ordered for Showtime HD) and an external roof-top antenna for terresterial digital signals in the area (San Jose, CA). The antenna is getting mounted tomorrow morning (yeah!). Of course, I do have a progressive DVD player as well.


After watching HDNet and HBO HD (another one is Showtime HD but you need an addtional Sat C LNB), you really wish that all the channels were in HD. :) Although I don't particularly care for the HDNet's programming (The Mark Cuban Show?), I sometimes watch it for the pure enjoyment of my eyes. :p I am hoping that the addition of the terresterial antenna will relieve my urgent need for more HD contents (for now, at least).


Maybe I am not too picky, but I don't particularly see a need for a video processor. The scaling (upsampling or whatever) from the HD receiver and/or the Panny seems to be fine. What more do I get with one?


Hong.


EDIT: Oh, and I forgot to mention that I also have a Denon 1600. :)
 
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