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Pick of the Pios

2041 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Mean Joe
I'm looking at purchasing a 50" plasma. I like the Pioneer models for their combination of bright screens, good PQ, features, and reputation.

The problem I'm having is deciding between the various models. I've put together the following summary in an effort to help me make a decision. I'm hoping that the great folks on the board can add to (or correct) the list, and help me (and others) make an informed decision.

Consumer models

5045HD - replaced by the 5050

5050HD - current model just released this month

5051HD - Best Buy version of the 5050. Also comes with wall mount.

1010HD Elite - Monitor only Elite version, no media box, stand or speakers

1120HD Elite - current Elite version

Commercial model

503CMX - old commercial version

504CMX - current commercial version

Consumer Pio models generally have a separate media box, detachable speakers, stand and tuner. Warranty is 1 year in home. The Elite series comes with a 2 year warranty, and adds gold plated connectors and an ISF menu. They also have the Elite Badge.

Commercial models have a 1 year carry-in warranty, no speakers, stand, or tuner. They also require the addition of a card or blade for the required connections (component, DVI, etc.). This may help future proof them somewhat?

Some people have complained that the Elite plasmas have an annoying buzz that is audible from their listening positions. This seems to vary from one unit to the next. There are several threads on this.

The consumer and commercial models are available through sponsors on this board. You can check the Pioneer website for authorize resellers. Pioneer will only honor the warranty from authorized resellers. The Elite series is only available from select retailers.

Pricing - we aren't allowed to discuss that on this board. I believe we are allowed to discuss generalities. The commercial models and consumer models seem to be about the same price when you factor in the required blades. The Elite models carry a list price premium of approximately $2K.

Decision - I'm currently leaning toward the new 5050. I'm told it is essentially the same panel as the 1120 Elite and is significantly less. I see no advantage to the comercial model unless you can get it for a "significant" discount from the 5050 with the blades you need.

Comments are welcomed.
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After finally deciding that Pioneer was the brand I wanted to purchase I waffled between getting the 5045 and 5050.

The 5050 is using the same plasma panel as the 1120 which has some pros and cons - the pros being a slight improvement in PQ with the "first surface pure color filter" and the cons being more plasma noise. I have visited a couple of different B&M establishments that carry the 1120 and I have not heard "buzzing" or plasma noise that I would consider excessive or unacceptable. I'd be lying if I said that I am not concerned with folks that have reported "buzzing" problems with their 1120 units, but I would have to think if this is really a major design flaw that Pioneer would not have proliferated use of the same plasma panel to their next generation of 50" consumer units.

I am sure that some of the changes made to the 5050 have been made to reduce manufacturing costs - but that can be said for most consumer electronic products - afterall faster, better , cheaper is what drives new technology offerings. Having said I have decided that the slight technology improvements in PQ of the 5050 vs. the 5045 outweigh any cost reduction efforts that could be perceived as lower build quality.

I have placed an order for a 5050 unit this week and will be anxiously waiting for its arrival

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Good Choice BWL. I think that the Pioneer is the best way to go in my opinion. As far as the noise is concerned, I could not hear it myself when I checked them out. I played around with some options and never really noticed a difference between it and the noise of the previous Pioneer. It doesn’t seem to be a big enough problem to keep people away from them, that’s for sure. We got a number of the Pioneer 50'' models in a couple of days ago and they have been going very quickly. It is definitely worth a try. TV Authority is offering their Perfect pixel program on these new models to our AVS buddies.
I picked up the 4340 a few weeks back. I LOVE IT!!!

I finally heard the "high pitch" buzzing and the "loud" fan noise in the media receiver. It took me actually trying to listen for it while standing next to the plasma to finally hear it.

The buzz seems to come out of the top vents. NOT A BIG DEAL. I never heard it until I went right up to the plasma and tried to hear it.

As for the media fan. You know the "humming" sound your refrigerator makes when it's on? Like in the far distance you can slightly hear a constant huuuuuuuummmmmmmmm. But barely becasue it blends in, kind of like white noise. That is what the media receiver sounds like. Not bothersome at all. In fact, it is only noticeable when all sound is off. Even then it's just a hum of noise. Similar to a computer fan.

I would not worry about the buzz or media receiver hum.

Just my opinion.
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I think the 5050 is an excellent choice. I have the 1120 and it is an amazing set -- a few bells and whistles in addition to the 5050 (mainly ISF calibration). Either way, a strong choice.

My only comment is to let you know that the panel "buzz" IS REAL and IS ANNOYING at times (mainly low volume scenes with high contrast). The cause is associated with the latest generation single pane of glass . . . which the 5050 also has. HOWEVER, as I posted on another thread, there supposedly is a fix -- Tweeter is sending someone to take care of mine soon hopefully. It also appears that some of the 1120s with later build dates (after December '04) may not have the buzz issue. If that is the case, then I imagine that the "fix" already would be in with the 5050 and the buzz should not be an issue.

As for the media receiver fan noise -- it's also loud, but not an issue so long as it is in a cabinet.

Will provide an update on the "buzz fix" on the "Pioneer Elite Pro-1120HD What is all the Buzz" thread.
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I also think the 5050 is an excellent choice. I went to BB, & even though it's noisy in BB, I did not hear any noise from about 6 to 8 inches away. So as previous poster said buzz might be fixed.
I'm curious to know if anyone thinks the Elite 1120HD is worth the premium over the new 5050HD?
I got the 504CMX with Pioneer card a few weeks ago. It is great!. No buzz!
Has anyone seen both a 504CMX and a 5050/1120HD that can comment on the PQ differences?
Mean Joe,

Do you know what they are doing to fix it? Seeing as Pioneer acknowledged the buzz I figured that it was irreparable, otherwise they would have fixed it before it was released. A fix for that would be great. That is the only downfall of this panel.
Originally posted by [email protected]
Mean Joe,

Do you know what they are doing to fix it? Seeing as Pioneer acknowledged the buzz I figured that it was irreparable, otherwise they would have fixed it before it was released. A fix for that would be great. That is the only downfall of this panel.
Still trading phone messages with the Tweeter contractors who are supposed to "fix" it. No information yet on what the fix could be. I'm more than a bit skeptical, but excited as well. Will update as soon as I have anything definitive (most likely on the primary Pio Elite Buzz thread) .
I received my PDP-5050HD plasma yesterday and am happy to report that the unit has no "buzz". The only thing that I can hear when the plasma is off is the media receiver fan (which others have commented on being a bit noisey). Under normal viewing conditions - sitting 10 ft from the panel - I do not hear anything from the media receiver or plasma that would distract from the audio experience.

I can not comment too much on PQ yet because I have not spent any time with calibration and I am still feeding my plasma standard cable. I am able to pick up some local HD broadcasts though (which I did not think I would be able to unless I had digital cable) and the picture from those stations is pretty impressive.

So far so good!
Originally posted by [email protected]
Mean Joe,

Do you know what they are doing to fix it? Seeing as Pioneer acknowledged the buzz I figured that it was irreparable, otherwise they would have fixed it before it was released. A fix for that would be great. That is the only downfall of this panel.
Please see my recent posts on the "Pioneer Elite Pro-1120HD What is all the Buzz" thread for updates on the "fiz" for the buzz.
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