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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Newbie here. I have a few questions:


1. I watched some normal cable tv channels at a friend's place w/ 50" Plasma. He has a Pioneer PDP-503MX (1024x768 native) Normal TV is very fuzzy! DVD was great. I wonder why people like Plasma so much? (He does not have line doubler nor DTV)


2. I want to buy the MyHD card and hook up for OTA and cable tv to it. I read MyHD can upconvert to 1080i. Is that the same as having line doubler / Scalar (since it will be more than doubled)? Without knowing much, I think convert to 480p would be best for viewing cable tv because less upconvert and will be progressive?


3. Why the standards 720p, 1080i? I can understand 480i and 480p signals with matching 480 lines plasma tv. But 720p when maps to a 480 lines screen, 1.5 lines of signal has to map to 1 screen line. At 1080, it's 2.25 lines map to 1 line. Why not make things simple by having 480i, 480p, 960p?


4. Simular question to #3. i can understand plasma tv with 480 lines to match 480p. But why there are plasma tv with 768 lines? 768 lines does not match *ANY* of the standard. Therefore you *ALWAYS* lost image quality because of convertion.


5. MyHD card can output progressive from any source signal format. ie, if I feed in cable tv it can output 480p. Does that means there is no need to run dScalar?


6. If I convert a signal using MyHD to output to 480p. That means the plasma tv still has to map the 480p to the native 768 lines. Therefore there is 2 conversion happened. 1st, converted by MyHD. 2nd, converted by the TV. Would it be better to use MyHD to watch signal at computer full screen (which is 1024x768) then feed the computer SVGA direct to plasma? Then there is only 1 conversion and will use the plasma native 1024x768, hence less lost during conversion.


Thanks.
 

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1. When viewing cable programs on the 50" plasma, try backing up far enough (if the room is deep enough) so that the picture occupies an area in your field of vision identical to that of a 19" screen viewed at a distance of 70" - that is the upper limit of what our composite television system, NTSC, was designed to handle. At the corresponding distance from the 50" plasma, the picture looks just fine!


2. Yes.


3 through 6. Look at my reply to current thread "16:9 and 1024*768"
 

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The 503MXE is 1280 x 768, the 433MXE is 1024x768


My viewing distance is about 12'.


Anything from about 8' upwards works, but I wouldn't choose to sit any closer than that.


Mark
 

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Well, if the cable programs are lousy and the dvd is great, what does that tell you about your friend's cable? Seriously, the quality of the signal going into a plasma has a larger effect than scalers, progressive scan dvd players and all the other high end toys (how long does it take to learn to properly pronounce "Faroudja" anyway?) you read about. I would suspect that your friend's basic cable is either being compressed into oblivion by the cable company, or some other combination of wiring and weak singal strength. Digital cable isn't much better, except for the true digital channels, usually the premium HBO, Showtime, etc.


Remember, real friends don't make real friends watch crappy cable to show off their plasmas!
 

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Given the fact that many of us like to watch televisiion and don't have control over the quality of our cable feed, it seems that plasma screens are best suited for DVD/HDTV only.


I, unfortunately, don't have a dedicated home theater space and would need to replace my TV with the plasma. This basic fact has been why I haven't taken the plasma plunge.


Fan noise, burn-in, and even price are secondary. I just want to be able to watch both movies and ordinary TV on the unit without having to watch it from the next room.
 

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While everyone's opinion of what is acceptable quality and what is not varies widely, I'd have to side with the comments about cable signal quality being the major culprit here. If you have standard, analog cable I'm not surprised the PQ was poor. And a scaler is not likely to help too much in that case.


Conversely, I have the same plasma panel mentioned in the originating message of this thread, and for regular TV viewing, I get my signal from DSS satellite. Depending upon the amount of bandwidth allocated for a particular channel, the results can either be okay (watchable, but not great), or amazingly good.


I watched two movies off the satellite last night - one a pay-per-view, and the other an HBO premier. Both were stunningly good. And I do not have a scaler (had a Farougja NRS, but it created more problems than it solved).


So as others have stated, it's all in the signal. And 480i sources can look very good, scaler or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Forgive the misleading I made at the very first post that my friend actually has DirectTV (but not DTV capable yet). I put in cable tv because that's what I have. I was thinking the same as Ajlift that we do not have control of the bandwidth of the channels, so I assume DirectTV and cable is the same for none prime channels like HBO, showtime, etc.


A little comment to Mark Ichiyama, real friends tell you the truth on a $9000 purchase decision unlike a salesperson to show you only HDTV, DVD, and then you go home and be surprised with the cable TV. ;) My friend showed me DVD, best bandwidth channels and worst bandwidth channels, and channels I watch the most. He also has tube TV to show me for comparison.


FujiRich: Yes, I was thinking the line doubler might not help much at screen size 1024x1024 (This is the native res of the plasma I am looking at. It's the 42" Hitachi on Dell). But I am hoping people can tell me, MyHD support 3:2 pull down, then the combination of upconvert to 480p with 3:2 pulldown would help to make normal cable tv look better.


Thanks everyone for the comments. I am hoping I can get DTV over the air. I live in an apartment building, so the direction of my antenna is very limited too.
 

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MyHD is not going to provide you benefits for normal cable TV. A Radeon and dScaler might do that. Might being the key word.


If you can get OTA digital, it will probably blow you away using MyHD.


Do not get the Hitachi plasma please. It is one of the worst choices you can make. The panel is 1024 x 512, by the way, not the silly quoted 1024 x 1024.


Mark
 

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Just to explain the different interpretations of the Fujitsu sourced 1024x1024 glass, because it is confusing.


The glass is interlaced unlike most plasmas which are progressive.


It does really have 1024x1024 dots that it is capable of illuminating, but it can only illuminate half the horizontal lines at a time. It switches between them 60 times/sec so it displays a complete image 30 times/sec.


It is about the only glass around that can display a 1080i source without scaling as it clips a little from the top and bottom rather than scale, but it reduces to an effective 1024x512 when displaying progressive signals.


If you intend to feed it a 1080i signal then it may be a good choice, it becomes much less sensible to select it if you intend to give it a progressive signal as you seem to be intending to do.


Mark
 

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OK, Mr. Taylor (since we have the same first name). I kind of agree with that. The display does shine reasonably brightly with 1080i. I just feel like the 480p plasmas look so damned good with 1080i that it is particular nonsencial to buy an ALiS display -- especially given the price premium it tends to command.


Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks both Mark.


I was wondering when I was reading the ALiS. It gave me the impression that ALiS is doing interlace which doesn't make sense when everyone is trying to get non-interlace. Oh well, thanks for letting me know! So I assume the Sony 1024x1024 ALiS has the same issue.


I don't know where should I post this, maybe both, plasma and projection tv... How is the rear projection LCD compare to plasma? I read the RP LCD will be selling close to tube TV price? ie around $3000-$4000 for 42"? Anywhere I can read about that?
 

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As far as I know, any plasma described as 1024x1024 will be using the Fujitsu glass, so yes they will all be interlaced panels.


Like the other Mark, I wouldn't choose an interlaced plasma myself, my money went to Pioneer.


Once you've soaked up all the knowledge and opinions you'll find around here just go look at these things for yourself since you're the one that has to live with the screen after you've bought it :)


I moved to plasma from a RP set, CRT in my case not LCD. I greatly prefer the much wider viewing angles that I get from plasma and of course the extra space that I've reclaimed now the RP set has been moved out of the main lounge.


Mark
 

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The Panasonic 40" LCD RPTV is now shipping. It is $2850 with free shipping from bestbuy.com. Obviously, that is much more $$$ than a comparable CRT-based RPTV. The same vendor sells Panasonic's widescreen 47" set for $1708, for example.


I will say the Panasonic LCD set is potentially a hot product, but the performance is TBD. I'm going to take a look at one soon, but with Best Buy's limited viewing options, I don't expect to learn too much.


Mark
 
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