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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw the Panasonic DLP at Sound Advice and was really impressed with it compared to the Pioneer Elites and Mits RPTV's. At $13,000 it was every bit as 3 times the picture quality as it's competition sitting side by side on the showroom floor. Since it was only a 52 inch screen it really didn't show the window screen artifact but it was nice to see every image edge very sharply defined with no convergence problems. The closest monitor in price was the Plasma flat panel and it was nowhere near the resolution as the Pasasonic DLP.

While I did see this monitor at NAB it was hard to impress me not being side by side others in a showroom floor environment. Unfortunately, its price is putting it out of mind for the typical customer shopping for an expensive RPTV style HDTV monitor. The good thing is customers can now see what HDTV does look like in a well converged sharp moniitor with excellent resolution approaching that of 1080i signal. Too bad the store can't seem to keep the Pioneer Elites and the Mits RPTV's converged.




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Don Landis

Home Theater Pics at: www.scubatech.com Last updated 3/25/01
 

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I saw the one at Laserland in San Jose a few days ago, and the black level was horrible -- so much so that I didn't really look at any positives that this display might have had.


Did you notice any problems with black level, or was mine just out of whack? All the other displays at Laserland looked to be reasonably well set up, but I'm always disappointed with the "feel" of RPTVs; the reflective coating and weird "looking into a lightbulb" whites get me every time.


I'm also always pleasantly surprised at the picture on modern direct-view sets. Too bad they're so big and heavy for the size.


Front projectors are gorgeous, but you need a dark room, which I don't have.


How come the perfect display device hasn't been invented yet? http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Alex
 

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For about the same price, the Panasonic 50 inch plasma looks much better with the same resolution and blacks similar to a direct view set.

Charles
 

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Don,

I too was initially impressed with the Panny DLP. They had a HD loop of a Yankee game. That picture was extremely impressive. HOWEVER, when I saw exactly the same set about a month later, it was showing The Perfect Storm in HD on HBO. Having seen this same movie on my setup I was familar with what to look for. The Panny was very disappointing here since low contrast scenes took on an almost "solarized" look. I've heard a few other people comment about this type of effect with low contrast scenes. I'm not sure what's going on here, but it may simply be the infancy of this technology.


Alexander,

I agreed 100% with you regarding the "feel" of RPTVs. That was until I saw the Zenith HDTV. This was the first set I saw that looked exactly like a 64" direct view HDTV (just not as bright). There was and is no indication of that light bulb effect you described with whites which had also turned me off to this type of technology for so long. When looking for HD RPTVs look at all brands and be certain that the contrast & brightness are not pumped too high. You will be shocked at was this technology (which is quite mature) can produce. I would be very hessitant to invest in the newer technologies at this point in their infancy. I believe that DLP WILL become the technology of choice once it has matured.
 

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The black levels are definitely the achilles heel of the Panasonic DLP. The worst case for this monitor is a very dark room showing a dark, low contrast scene. However, if the monitor is adjusted reasonably, it's not "horrible", it's just not great. Adding a back light and adjusting the contrast using a dark scene makes a big difference. If you do a quick contrast adjustment using AVIA or a bright scene, you probably have not set it for best overall results. If you adjust it on a dark scene where you can really see the difference, you will end up with a setting that works just as well for the bright scenes, and noticibly better for the dark scenes (still not perfect). If you have space constraints and a bright room, this is a great monitor. I haven't compared it against the new 50" plasma monitor, but it had a much better picture than the 42" plasma when I was looking last year (better resolution and no screen door effect). At that time, the plasmas were also substantially more expensive; given current prices, the 50" plasma might be a good alternative. There apparently is a new DLP chip out with improved black levels, but I'm not sure that it has been incorpoated in any shipping product at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The display I saw was in a subdued room lighting, not nearly as dark as my HT with FPTV as this was on the open store floor. The blacks I saw were quite dark and not an issue for me so maybe they had the brightness control turned back. IMO, the setup was good.


Also, I'm not saying that this Panasonic DLP was the best monitor I've ever seen, it was just the best that this store has carried and was a welcomed surprise to see HDTV with clear detail and not needing a convergence tweak as is the case with all their other HDTVs. The Plasmas just did not have the same level of detail as the DLP and IMO, don't compare. They are nice monitors but the DLP I saw was better.


BTW- The best picture quality of any monitor in any environment has been the JVC DILA. When my ECP-4000 dies, I will be looking closely at this technology, rather than a 9" CRT. That's my thinking -present day.


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Don Landis

Home Theater Pics at: www.scubatech.com Last updated 3/25/01
 

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The Panasonic DLP RP and plasma are both essentially 720p displays, but with some significant differences. Black levels on the newer Panasonic plasmas are significantly better than any other plasmas, except for the new Toshiba and Fujitsu 50 inchers that use panasonic glass. This gives their image a 'direct view' quality, even in a dark room, and increased gray levels that almost eliminate banding and posterization artifacts. The plasma cell structure is more noticeable up close than the DLP screen effect on the 52 inch DLP RP, but the plasma is free of those odd rainbow DLP artifacts and the beaminess characteristic of RPs. I suspect that DLP chip improvements will soon fix the black level and rainbow problems, but RP's will remain beamy compared to FPs, plasmas, or direct views.

Charles
 

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In the 9 months I've had the Panasonic DLP, there is only a single occasion when I thought I saw the dreaded rainbow effect. Maybe I'm in the group that just doesn't see this effect, but in any event, it hasn't been an issue for me. I'm sure I'd be bothered by the "beaminess" if I only understood what it meant. : )
 

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Don,


I bought the Panny DLP at Sound Advice. HD is stunning but everything else (all NTSC) is below my standard which until recently has been 4:3 direct view. I've been reading on the forum for about 8 months and the DLP fit all my HT issues. The biggest was limited space in my custom cabinets - the DLP fit perfectly. The picture in the showroom was stunning. Even the evening news (OTA feed from Sound Advice's roof ) the picture was tolerable. I took a couple of DVD's over and was impressed. I even took my laptop in plugged her into the VGA port and played my home DV through my firewire connection to the laptop. Looked OK so my decision was to buy.


Got her home, hooked up my HD STB, good ole AT&T cable, and new progressive scan DVD (Yamaha). Results: DVD = awesome, although the DVD/DLP combo was so good any imperfection in the DVD glared. Mostly, I was very pleased (remember I was coming off 4:3 letterbox). Next, DirectTV again pleased but I watch alot of golf and the DLP really crashes in my opinion on the detail level in many shades of color - for example a golf course. Theres alot of greens (colors not putting surfaces) on the golf course; instead of a nice saturation of diffents hues you get serious blotches of one shade - it turned me off instantly. I don't know how resolution translates into number of colors (being the newbie that I am) but it looks like a computer display with less than 16 bit color. No pixelation but no definition across hues.


Was watching the US Open tennis matches and the detail in black and white (ie the net) was so bad it looked like an invisible net (no grid). This I noticed while Troy Janda the only ISF tuner in the area was watching. I asked him if he thought it was even worth it (my $500) to tune the set. He honestly and thankfully said no. He didn't think that the detail would ever get to point that I would be pleased. I asked him if he would like to play around with it just to learn the technology but he declined. I've got AVIA on order so I may play with it before the Toshiba gets in and get back with the group if anyone's interested.


Anyway I have a Toshiba 57HX81 on order (10/11 due date) - I'll save 10 grand and get a better picture for at least 50% of what I watch. Randy Warren at Sound Advice told me, up front, that there was a 60 day in home audition. If I didn't like it I could return the DLP for a full refund. He's standing by his promise. I'm paying more but you can't get that kind of service on the net. Long live local showrooms!
 

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acourvil,

By beaminess, I mean the way brightness falls off rapidly as one gets off axis for a RP--CRT, DLP, or LCD. Some do no notice the DLP rainbow effect and I it does not bother me much on the Panny or Mitsu DLP RPs. However, the DLP RP black level problem is VERY annoying for me just as it is with most FPs and Plasmas other than Panny. I'm a 'direct view' guy--I currently use a Sony 34HD1--and the only large displays I've seen that I like are the Panny 42/50 Plasmas that have vivid images with good contrast range in bright or dark rooms without the minor geometry and convergence errors of most direct views. Other than cost, which is coming down fast, the main problems I see with plasma are screen burn in and the need to scale evey source to panel resolution.

Charles
 

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So you mean change in brightness as viewing angle widens? Interesting. I think that's actually one of the strong points of the Panasonic DLP. You can view quite well from very wide angles; much better than the CRT RPTVs or LCDs I've seen.


I guess I should get out and check out the new 50" Panasonic plasma. Sounds like a great set.
 

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Victor- You must be the one the salesman was referring to when he commented that the install technician acted kind of ignorant about the DLP. Anyway, you have to be happy or SA will accept it back.

I did not look at any SD programming on it. Only DVD and sencore loop demo. We tried to connect HDNet but the sat feed cable was dead and their DA amp closet was locked so no go on connecting DirecTV to it at that location.

I'm not sure what channel you tried to get at home on your cable for Golf but I hope you were not judging by the color purity on "The Golf Channel" They have the worst quality standards of any channel. Much of their aired programming is on 3/4Umatic. Hopefully you were looking at ESPN. They do mostly betacam SP source. The only problem you will have with the analog RPTV's will be the issue of convergence, same as I have with FPTV CRT's. Then also the issue of burn in on 4/3 AR SD programming. But, like you said $10,000 difference is a chunk of change. I think there are more certified ISF techs in the area but they are hard to find. Frankly, I wasn't impressed with some of them and their understanding of the HDTV technology anyway. I think the real thrust of the average ISF tech is in adjusting CRT projector systems anyway.


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Don Landis

Home Theater Pics at: www.scubatech.com Last updated 3/25/01
 

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I thought a Mitsu 55907 looked much better than the adjacent $13,000 Panasonic DLP. The Mitsu had almost a 3D look to it, due to great contrast and deep blacks, whereas the Panasonic DLP's picture looked flat. The resolution appeared to be about the same.



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