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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone done a comparison of the Panny 42PD3 vs. the NEC 42MP3? I am on the fence between these two models and if there's a thread in which they are both discussed, it would be helpful. I did some quick searching but did not come up with any direct comparisons.


Thanks,


Jonathan
 

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Yes, both are good. Panny (you are comparing the industrial panny with consumer NEC, BTW) is slightly better in PQ. However, it has some flaws (do a search) - buzzing, S-Video lock and HD issues with VGA input (all minor issues!).


NEC has cruder sizing controls, less black levels and lots more inputs (e.g., 2 composite, 2 component, DVI). It usually costs less than the *consumer* Panny ($500 less, last time I checked).


That's about it.
 

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Just to defend Panasonic screens from observations:


1. Buzzing. Limited to a small number of screens, and Panasonic will fix them - I'm told it was a small number of screen that were affected by this.


2. S-Video Lock is on the PD4 series and not the PD3, and again from what I can tell limited to a few screens. Panasonic will support you if you have a problem.



NEC MP3 has serious problems with accepting RGB video input. Depending on the RGB source it may not lock to the sync, and may also show a dark or banded picture. As far as I can tell, there's not much you can do to fix this either - NEC won't help.


While the Panasonic may be the industrial version, I'd say it's more friendly than the NEC. From my observations of the plasma screen industry, I wouldn't even think twice about buying the Panasonic.


All the best,


Dr John Sim.
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Do a search for stuff that Alan Maher posted on his MP3

He had both side by side and wrote up a pretty good description of differences.

If I have time I'll look it up but I can't right now.
 

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In defense of the NEC, I currently have one and have had NO problems with RGB video input. I have my DVD player hooked up to it currently and the picture is fine. When I first hooked up my player via RGB, the picture was a bit dark and banded, as stated by Symanski, but this was all resolved by changing one of the options for the RGB input. You must specify the type of image you are sending over the input (ie a computer image vs motion video). The default was for a connection to a pc, so when I first hooked up the DVD player, I was quite unhappy. The RGB connection on the display is not "plug and play". Perhaps I have just been "lucky" with my display, but I have been completely happy with the RGB use on the display, as well as the display's performance in general. I am not bagging on the Panny, as I have been very impressed with the ones I have seen. I just think the NEC is a very good unit as well. (hence why I purchased one).
 

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When you get the NEC screen working, it can be very good. However, one of my trade customers did a side by side comparison between the NEC and Panasonic screen. He had a Digital TV system and DVD player.


The DVD was fine on both the NEC and Panasonic, but the NEC showed a dark picture for Digital TV. This has also been repeated with other Digital TV systems.


I talked with NEC in the UK and they decided that since only some manufacturers did work, the fault lay with the digital TV boxes and not the screen. They ignored that over six million of these digital TV boxes were being used without problems, and other plasma screen work fine.


Therefore, based upon this I'd recommend the Panasonic (or even the Fujitsu) before the NEC. One person even bought a Sky + system because he normal Sky refused to work with the NEC in RGB! And that was *after* getting help from both myself and NEC.


All the best,


Dr John Sim.
 

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Symanski,

Did you try adjusting the "RGB Select" option under the "Options" menu on the NEC? I have used a few different devices connected via RGB now, and I have had NO trouble with any of them. I'm not saying that a problem doesn't exist, but I have not seen one, and it isn't like it took a lot to get the set working for me (just an option change). I also havn't found NEC tech support the most helpful when I have dealt with them (they simply quoted the instruction manual to me). I definitely disagree with the lower opinion of NEC you have (although I do think the Panny has a slightly superior picture from the little I have seen of it). I definitely think the NEC is worth considering. That is of course, just my opinion though.
 

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Brory,

the owners of the MP3 screen that I've talked with have been very happy with it's picture quality and other aspects. However, the problem of inputing RGB still remains. I'm sure that these owners have been told to adjust various inputs etc. by NEC. In all respects, NEC have been very helpful, but not to the point of comming up with a solution to this problem. While your system works, it may not with another source. Therefore, I point out that there is an issue with this. There is a chance, and it might be a small one, but I heard of several people with NEC screen all having this problem.


Anyway, the initator, Baseline, is in the USA and won't have an RGB source! RGB is mainly for Europe.


Baseline - Ignore everthing about RGB. You'll be more concerned with YUV (component) video. I am not aware of any issues with YUV input.


All the best,


Dr John Sim.
 

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Here's one link to one of Alan Mahers comparative posts:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0&pagenumber=3


Notwithstanding the RGB issue for UK users, the consensus from MP3 owners on this forum seems to be that this is one of the best 42 inchers. There are a lot of happy panny and MP3 owners here so I guess you can't go wrong with either and it really may come down to connectivity options available on each unit.


The only thing that Alan did mention that may be worth mentioning was that, out of the box, the MP3 was not as good as it could have been and it improved a lot after ISF calibration. However, no one else has posted similar observations since.
 

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Guys, Symansky's talking about RGBs (not RGBHV), which is a European standard.


I've been too lazy to get a SCART breakout cable and test this problem myself. I suppose it's possible for this to be a problem.


Symansky, have you tried fiddling around with the settings in the hidden service menus on the NEC? I know that the S1/S2 issue (i.e., SVideo locking because of DC signal) also exists on the NEC MP2 and MP3, but there's a secret service menu command to ignore it! There are plenty of options there we couldn't figure out what they're supposed to do...


Also, when you say "dark picture", isn't this problem resolved by simply calibrating the screen (i.e., changing picture settings)?


BTW, I'm not putting the Panasonic down. I think it's hands-down the best 42" plasma out there. It does have it's flaws (just as all other plasmas do). Right now, there's no single plasma screen that has the best picture, the most inputs & no problems what-so-ever....
 

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Ofer,

you're right there isn't one shining example of perfection in plasma screens. However, we can normally get close somehow, typically it starts with a Panasonic badge or a clone of. (it's Attack of the Clones week)


The feedback I have on MP3 and NEC screen in general is from people from UK/Europe - some tend to come to me after having problems trying some other method recommended from NEC. I haven't been on site, but the people sending the feedback are quite reliable.


The main test was a trade customer was able to have an NEC and Panasonic screen side by side. Panasonic displayed both the Digital TV and DVD without any problems, the NEC showed a dark picture with the Digital TV box, but was fine with the DVD. Therefore, as stated it depends on the source equipment. Adjusting brightness didn't resolve this problem, from memory it made it worse as there wasn't enough dynamic resolution to show a good picture and all other inputs were then too bright.


And there's other problems with the NEC in that it can't sync with certain Digital TV boxes either. The people that I'm getting feedback from are also in contact with NEC - they've even had several screens from NEC! While I can't say for sure, I don't think they would have been into any "secret service" menu. And why should they with a brand new plasma screen?


Add to this that NEC have been involved with this and haven't been able to solve the problems. Infact, they've stated to me personally that they're not going to solve the problem.


I think for anybody in UK/Europe this is a factor that should be considered. For the USA/Canada, ingore this thread as you won't be using an RGB source (we have this as a video standard and is different to that from a PC). And if you're in the UK/Europe and want to connect via the US component video (YUV), S-Video or composite, then this is fine.


All the best,


Dr John Sim.
 

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Hey John,


Still, it's possible that the service menu could resolve it. Whereas the Panasonic people have to clip a component on an SMT board for DC reduction, the NEC has it programmed in the secret service menu. I had a problem with a flickering image (due to the built-in settings of the MP2). Going into the service menu (someone on this forum sent me the instructions, local NEC distributor refused to help!) resolved it for me. This is not a problem on the MP3.


I suppose it's a matter of opinion - the Panasonic doesn't even have an RGBs input. So, you're really comparing your own RGBs->RGBHV converter to NEC's. I could have told you myself that yours would win out...


The problem you're describing could be traced to many things. It could be because the voltage levels on the Digiboxes are lower than the standard, or that the NEC box is interpreting them wrong.


Generally speaking, I doubt users of this forum would encounter this issue often (just as the 1080i issue on the Panny's RGB inputs is a rare and largely unnoticed issue).


OK, we've beat this issue to death... :)
 

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Ofer,

agreed, we've beat this one to death and it's time to give it a good send off!


Both screens are very good, but both have niggles. You may not come across them, but if you do you're stuck.


I don't like recommending entering service menus. You can screw things up, but with the right instruction, you can get results.


Perhaps if plasma manufacturers would allow an advanced menu, many problems could be solved. That, and a reset button!


All the best,


Dr John Sim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for everyone's assistance. You guys are great and the pointers helped me make an informed decision. I have decided to go with the Panasonic. I have a quick question for those of you who know the 42" Panasonic plasma unit... Is the VGA connector on the unit itself male or female?


Thanks,


Jonathan
 
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