AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,488 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll try to make a very long story short: this morning we exchanged our 10 day old Sony XBR910 for a Panny ED plasma...and could not be happier. We liked the Sony, probably the most advanced HD set out there, BUT it had less than stellar picture quality with analog cable signals (though some better than others), took up a lot of space in our small living room, and weighed 200 pounds (making it a huge pain to get behind just to mess with wiring etc.). I REALLY wanted the Sony to work out--had been eagerly anticipating its arrival for months. When the delivery guys took it away and put the plasma in its place it was such a relief to see a bigger size picture take up so much less space--and once we plugged it in and tweaked the setting just a little bit there was also a noticeable improvement in analog cable picture quality (I have no doubt that DVD viewing will be stunning--since this seems to be this sets forte). Maybe it is simply that ED sets handle non-HD signals better (as many forum members have written). So, as long as reliability issues and longevity issues don't become a problem (will keep my fingers crossed, and have yet to decide on an extended warranty--advice?), this was definitely the right move.


So, I want to say thanks to this forum for helping with the decision!


By the way, I just now got back from returning a few cables to the store, and while there went over to see the Panny plasma display--sure enough, it looked awful, much too bright and grainy. Really a shame that so many potential plasma owners are scared off by this (as I was at first, and ended up wasting a lot of time and energy before taking the plunge).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,369 Posts
Pedro2,


Congrats. I've compared the Panny ED plasma to most of the CRT tube sets out there and haven't found a tube set that offers as compelling a movie watching experience as the plasma.


Please report back when you've tweaked it and have watched some DVDs...:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,488 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
On the XBR910 sources we used: no HD material, but I have no doubt we would have been mightily impressed. The practical problem is that HD would actually only be about 10% of our viewing for the next few years (once we get HD next week).


Rich: Your rave reviews of the Panny ED caught my attention from the very beginning, and I obviously should have acted on this sooner rather than later! (I'll say it for you: "I told you so."). Although I doubt I'll get quite the results you're getting, anywhere near that will be just fine. I do wish I could create different custom settings for DVD, analog cable, HD cable--apparently not possible on the consumer version (strange). Also, some of your tweaking suggestions (getting rid of overscan) are apparently not possible on the consumer model either (maybe I'm wrong--I hope so).


A few questions for you, if you don't mind: Our component cable for our Denon 1600 DVD player is ultralink--as I recall, this is what you had before switching to Nordost. So, maybe you recommend against this cable (we can take it back)? Also using a Monster 2500 surge protector/line conditioner--perhaps should upgrade to something else? We were planning on having the XBR910 ISF calibrated, but now not so sure on the plasma--you went this route, then preferred your own adjustments. But maybe some of the ISF tweaks were still worthwhile? It costs $300. We have not done Avia or DVE yet.


Thanks for all your thoughtful input on this forum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
845 Posts
Rich,


Awesome screenshots...I didn't think the ED would look that good. Can you tell me which model Panny ED you bought ?


Thanks,

Ranger
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Pedro2,

It's a shame you didn't get to experience HDTV on your 910...that's what the set is really built for.


Saying analog cable doesn't look good on your hi-definition set is like saying a 1950's phonograph recording doesn't sound good on your new Dolby Digital surround receiver. Analog television is technology that's esentially 50 years old.


Oh well, to each his own. I'm going back downstairs to watch Discovery HD now...mmmm...1080i goodness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,488 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I fully realize the XBR910 is at its best for HD material--and so we didn't fully appreciate its merits. However, in the real world, many people (including myself) want a set that performs well with a variety of material--analog, DVD, HD. Finally came to the realization that for our purposes, a high quality ED plasma is the best compromise available at the moment. And, as has been debated endlessly on this forum, many people apparently can't even tell the difference (or much of a difference anyway) between ED and HD given sufficient viewing distance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,488 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
About 7.5 feet away from a 37 inch screen. This viewing distance was the main reason we went for the 37 rather than 42 inch set. The viewing distance from the XBR910 was about 6 feet, which seemed just perfect for that 34 inch screen size.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,495 Posts
Pedro2,

What you've read is true. If your viewing distance is more than about 9 feet, HD will look great. We have a Panny ED plasma that we watch from about 11 feet and HD actually looks terrific.


-Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,369 Posts
Pedro,


Sorry to have helped suck you into the plasma thing ;)


I'm not too insane about testing cables, although I've tested a few. The Ultralink are no doubt pretty good cables - I've got a lot of Ultralink in my set-up still (I can't afford, nor am I terribly inclined to re-cable my set-up with boutique-priced cables). I tried the Nordost component cables and the difference over the Ultralink, if there was one, didn't seem as distinct as the S-Video cable. So I didn't buy the Nordost component cables.


I haven't fooled with power conditioners/surge protectors much in my AV set-up. I have a Panamax 500 conditioner (sold to me along with my custom install) and haven't done any testing as to what it may or may not be doing for the system (too many damned plugs to undo and redo...I'm too lazy).


I don't know about the Monster stuff (although I hear good things about their top-of-the-line model). I do hear a lot of good things regarding the Richard Gray Power Company items when used with plasmas (supposedly visibly reduces picture noise and lowers black levels).


Best of luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,369 Posts
Ranger,


I have the Panasonic THPWD4UY. That model is about 1 1/2 years old, and has since been replaced by the 5UY and now the 6UY. I have yet to see a 6UY, but the 5UY seems pretty much identical in picture quality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,488 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, Rich. Will stick with the basic power conditioner for now--the Richard Gray thing is very pricy (but maybe later...).


Just put in the 5th Element DVD--WOW. Only problem: can't figure out how to get it to fill the whole screen. Do I have to set something somewhere telling the TV and/or the DVD player what aspect ratio to use??!!


On viewing distance: I am assuming the 37 inch set looks better at our 7.5 foot viewing distance than the 42 inch set would have. I can see the appeal of a bigger picture--maybe years from now when the 37incher goes to the bedroom and are in a different place we'll go bigger!


Can't wait for HD cable to be installed...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,201 Posts
Quote:
Just put in the 5th Element DVD--WOW. Only problem: can't figure out how to get it to fill the whole screen. Do I have to set something somewhere telling the TV and/or the DVD player what aspect ratio to use??!!


Fifth Element is 2.35:1 . The only way to fill the whole screen is to use "zoom".


Quote:
On viewing distance: I am assuming the 37 inch set looks better at our 7.5 foot viewing distance than the 42 inch set would have. I can see the appeal of a bigger picture--maybe years from now when the 37incher goes to the bedroom and are in a different place we'll go bigger!
Yup. Because of the smaller pixels. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,488 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks, Glauco. I now remember your earlier posts on the viewing distance issue, which were helpful. Also, perhaps one could argue that the gap between HD and ED picture quality narrows as one goes to a smaller screen size: i.e. the difference is more visible on a 50 inch screen, less visible on a 42 inch screen, and even less noticeable on a 37 incher. I haven't tested this but it would seem to make sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,201 Posts
Pedro2,


I had both the 42" and 37" in my house for about two weeks (Long story :D ).

Sitting at 7 feet (My viewing distance), there was no comparison on how much better the PQ on the 37" was against the 42".

I had to be 10 feet away from the 42" to get the same smooth picture on the 37" at 7 feet.


:)



The Pixels on the 42" ED start to disappear at 8 feet. PQ is excellent at 10 feet

The Pixels on the 37" ED start to disappear at 5 feet. PQ is excellent at 6.5 feet



_____________________________________
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,488 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well then, I'm all the more happy with my 37inch screen size choice! Regardless of PQ it is also a better fit for our small living room anyway...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,488 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Oh so happy with the new Panny plasma...then last night part of the screen (about five inches of screen on the right side, from top to bottom) turned a different shade of gray from the rest of the screen. Very noticeable. And then after a few hours, it disappeared! Weird. Sound familiar to anyone? That extended warranty is looking better all the time...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,488 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
As I posted on a different thread, the screen problem apparently fixed itself, at least for now...


One more observation comparing this set to the 34XBR910: the "just" stretch mode on the panny plasma, in my experience, is much better than the best stretch mode option on the Sony CRT. I don't know how Panasonic did it, but they manage to create a stretch mode that does not visibly distort on the edges as much and even the ticker at the bottom of ESPN and CNN doesn't get partly cut off like on the Sony XBR. So, for those of you who watch a lot of 4:3 material in stretch mode, this is an additional consideration on the Panny set.


Buying a set of Definitive Technology "Mythos" speakers to go with the plasma...should be good fit for the plasma. The center channel can fit right in front of the set without blocking any of the picture. (we're not wall mounting, at least not yet).
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top