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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,


I have been reading quite a bit lately here, but I still am confused on some things regarding the Panny 42†Plasma. Could someone please point me in the right direction or answer some of these questions below?


- Does/can the Consumer version come in black?

- Can the consumer version have expansion cards installed (DVI, etc?)

- If the card replaces the component inputs, how do you use a progressive DVD (or do we have to wait for HD-DVD?)

- Can I plug a progressive DVD and a Dish HD6000 receiver (or other) at the same time?

- Do component inputs lock into full mode?

- Is there sound built-in to the monitor? If not, does it have optional speakers?


I will most likely be adding an A/V receiver later that can do component switching if needed (will that work for HD content?), but for the mean time I wanted to check these out. Also, given these requirements above, would a Pioneer or NEC seem to fit better (given that I approve of the picture quality?)


I hope it is ok asking these questions. Please let me know if there are other areas I should look.


Thanks,

David
 

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I can answer a couple of the simple questions even tho i have the "industrial" version.


1. The unit has a small amp for driving external speakers (Left/right audio outputs. You have to supply your own speakers. We have done that since we don't yet have a recvr. Our TV room is rather small, so smallish speakers are quite adequate.


2. I am using a BEV6000 HD sat. recvr. (same as DISH6000) and use the "PC" output on the sat. recvr. to PC in on the plasma for watching HD. That leaves the componet input on the Panny free for the DVD player i haven't purchased yet.

As for watching HD - some here prefer the "PC" others prefer component.

I did buy a good quality video cable - which i had to order online as could only find a basic cable of the type for driving a computer monitor.


...mike
 

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Welcome. I will try to answer some of these. Others (such as Rogo, Oferlaor, etc--I am baiting them) may be able to address all of them.


In the US, the latest consumer version comes in black.


Unclear (to me) if the consumer version will take the DVI card, but I wouldn't count on it.


As for losing the component inputs with the DVI card, I have the same question, but assume one can run the dvd player through the vga input using a breakout cable. Note that running a 1080i signal through the vga input is a problem on some (most?) Panny 42's--there are numerous posts on this topic. It should not be an issue running a 480p signal through vga, but I will let the "experts" comment on that. The advantage I see in the DVI input is being able to run a new Sat settop box through it when the new boxes are available with DVI out. There are other advantages that others can speak to.


Don't know about full mode lock on component (note: some units experience an unintended lock on S-video)--again, numerous posts on this.


I believe both the commercial and consumer models have speaker outputs, and the option of adding side speakers--but obviously any decent surround setup would likely outperform it.
 

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Snidely, when running HD off the BEV, you don't get the lines problem? Or have you not run 1080i.


Dixon, I believe the problem is 1080i only. 480p seems fine through the PC input.


I have heard several times that the DVI card won't work on the consumer version, but I can't confirm this.


The optional Panasonic speakers look good. They are about as good sounding as your typical TV speaker and don't require extra amplification. But, hey, if you want a $5000 TV with 10 cent sound, go for it.


The DVI card is not supposed to be HDCP compliant, so as it stands, satellite set-tops with HDCP might not be supported at all, or might only work for non-HDCP encrypted output.


Mark
 

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Is the DVI option board even available? I recall seeing a link to something about it for models sold in the UK, but that was all. Did I miss this?


--Karl
 

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Regarding the lock with component inputs, it doesn't really do this. But your aspect modes are more limited than they are with a normal video feed. When running 480p, you are limited to 2 modes, full and zoom. Full will leave the widescreen signals untouched, and will stretch 4:3 material horizontally to fill the screen. Note that full mode will not strech 2:35 material vertically to fill the screen. Zoom mode will expand 4:3 to fill the picture, but drop off the top and bottom so that there is no distortion.


As for 480i, I 'think' you get all your aspect modes, but it's been so long since I ran 480i into it from the dvd player that I can't be certain about that. And now I have no dvd player (it was my brother's, but he moved out) so I can't even test it to tell you... But I'm pretty certain about the behaviour of 480p using component.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the valuable input so far!


I just did a silly thing and went to look at the Panny in person. They had the Harlem Globetrotters demo from HDNet on and it looked amazing. Unfortunately, now I HAVE to buy one ;) They didn't have the Pio or the NEC.


I have a few more questions/comments:


rogo - point taken on the speakers. I just wanted something to hold me over until I can get a receiver (this of for a bedroom.) I have a couple old speakers I could probably use - do you just need regualr speaker wire to connect them?


Felgar - So, Anamorphic DVD's work fine in full mode. What happens to Non-Anamorphic? Are they streteched like the 4x3 horizintally, but not vertically? It seems, from what you said, zoom would be used for Non-Anamorphic material. 4x3 is where there is an "issue", is that correct?


Snidely - as rogo asked, are you not having a problem with your BEV and the lines? Are you watching HD? Do you also have it set to run at 1080i? I am not questioning you, just trying to clarify. I think I can tell my HD6000 to run in 1080i and it upconverts regular satellite signals.


So, assuming you can't upgrade to DVI/HDCP, where does that leave me if I am using the HD6000 and a progressive scan DVD? I would assume I can use these fine, but will not be able to use HD-DVD or some other technology that needs DVI/HDCP.


Finally, the place I wanted to buy locally had it for $6999. I don't think I want to spend that much and am considering Dell. Does Dell offer on site service or a good return/exchange program? What other vendors are recommended that provide on-site service with good prices?


Thanks again for all the help and clarifications!


David
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry, another question...


What about getting the commercial version? Does it have the upgradeability to DVI? From what I have read it seems to, but I am a bit confused.


Any other major differences? What about color?
 

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The commercial version definitely offers the DVI upgrade, the consumer version may not. There is no DVI/HDCP upgrade announced or hinted at, though.


The speakers connect with regular speaker wire. Any old speakers will do so long as they don't need a lot of power.


Mark
 

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Rogo -

My BEV6000 only has a choice to send SD (Std. Definition) signals or HD signals out.

You have a choice of using RGB cable (not supplied - i had to buy one) or component - which is supplied. The manual (the BEV manual) didn't seem to indicate one was better than the other. I don't see any way of "defining" the HD signal that goes out.

I haven't watched much HD but don't see any lines - remember i am using the PC (RGB) connection. I will try to use the component hookup to see if there is any difference.


Speakers I am using are of medium quality and work fine in a small room with "regular" speaker wire.


My commercial version, bought a couple months ago, is black.


I bought mine from Paul at Projection One. A lot of people here bought from him last year. Lately, many here have bought from Dell. Dell charges $300-$400 less, but i felt more comfortable dealing with a "person" in case i needed any handholding. Turns out i didn't. I paid about $5500 as i recall including shipping and a desk/table mount.


...mike (I'll be gone until Tuesday - feel free to ask any questions bearing in mind i am not very knowledgeable.
 

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Snidely, you are lucky if you are getting HD signals out via PC without the lines. I hope they are really not there and they never arrive.


Mark
 

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On the question about viewing non-anamorphic (i.e. 4:3) material, one option is to turn off the progressive scan on your DVD player (the loss in resolution is VERY slight on the Panny.) Then you can watch 4:3 movies in "normal" mode, which means true 4:3 with black or gray bars (your choice) on the sides, or in "just" mode, which fills the screen by stretching the material at the sides while leaving the material in center screen normal. For widescreen flicks that are letterboxed into a non-anamorphic 4:3 frame "zoom" usually works best for me, as it usually comes close to filling the screen without stretching or distorting anything. If you choose "zoom" then you can leave the progressive output of your player turned on, since zoom is one of the two modes available with progressive inputs.
 

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Yep, I concur with Spoffo in regards to non-anamorphic material. The "Zoom" mode chops the black bars off on the top and bottom and fills the screen (on 1.77 material).


Unfortunately non-anamorphic material doesn't look as good, merely due to the drop is resolution. It's still not too bad though, after watching DSS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hello again,


Well, I ordered the Panny from Dell today. I got it for $5k with 1 day shipping. Not bad, but I probably could have done better I am sure.


While I am waiting for the unit, I have a couple more questions. If everything goes well and I keep the Panny (assumed), I will most likely get an Onkyo receiver for component switching. However, in the meantime, I would like to test the PC input and the BNC component input.


Does anyone know where I have get the proper cables for these tests locally (i.e. Radio Shack)? Eventually, I want to buy BetterCables that are about 4meters, but I just want some short one's to test until I am sure everything is cool.


Also, is anyone using a Dish 6000 with one of these? I know Mike mentioned the BEV6000, but I just wanted the exact same combo. If so, how does it look? I seem to be reading differing opinions on how well Dish looks on these sets. Unfortunately, I was unable to see this exact setup at the store.


Any ideas?


Thanks again for all the input.


David
 

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I just use a regular 10-foot VGA cable from my local electronics store - something like $30. I don't think there is such a thing as a boutique VGA cable, and if there were, I can't imagine what sort of bogus BS it would claim to justify the price.


Be aware that when you try the VGA input to the Panny for HD, you may have to play with the vertical size adjustment to get rid of horizontal "seams" in the picture. (Details in several previous threads.) Most Panny owners, myself included, have found that by playing with vertical size one click at a time, you can find a sweet spot where these become invisible.
 

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I am quite happy with the Kenwood 5090 receiver which does component switching, so I just run a single component from receiver to the Panny 42", and have all input (component from DVD and S video from cable & vcr) going into the receiver. Have Better Cables (component rec-bnc), and am quite happy with them too. I believe that they offer a satisfaction guarantee, so you might be able to return (check with them).
 
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