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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks to all the people who post on these forums. The information gathered here has been invaluable in my purchase. I finally bought a Pioneer 503MX with the video card. Thanks once again folks!!


What next? Let me start by saying I have no home theater components what so ever (except an APEX DVD player and a VCR). So I am building my HT setup from scratch. What should I be buying next? From all my reading of this forum, I figured the following list should get me started:


The list of my input sources is

- DVD

- Dish Networks

- Cable

- VCR

- Possibly an HTPC and/or Tivo

- CD Player

- Cassette Tape player (yup I still have these!!)


1) Video component switcher

2) Audio Receiver with Dolby Decoder

3) Speakers

4) HDTV Tuner?

5) Video Scaler?

6) IR Sensor with Pronto?


What would you suggest? Am I missing any important components? What make and models would you buy?


tia.

-g
 

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Well, I don't even have the 503 cmx but I can hazard a guess as to what people might suggest.


First, to take advantage of that wonderful plasma you've now got, you need a decent input source. Above all, a better DVD player should probably be a priority. I myself recently purchased an SDI modded Panasonic DVD RV-30. Even without the modification, a progressive scan DVD player will make good use of your display. With the modification you'll need to consider going the route of either a video processor or a home theater PC. I'm going to be putting together a home theater PC (incidentally, that would be my next purchase after the DVD player).


The actual order of acquisition imho is as follows:


1)better DVD player (you can use the component inputs on the video card to start with)

2) home theater PC with DA conversion onboard and analog outs for speakers (route the VGA out to the VGA in on the 503)

3) Speakers

4) possibly SDI modded satellite tuner (no idea what the options are for Dish receivers)

5) HDTV tuner (I would just get an HD card to put in the HTPC whenever you're ready, that'll at least address your OTA). The HDTV tuner otherwise for your satellite feed but you're talking about only a few channels with Dish or DirecTV, not necessarily worth it.

6) Pronto Remote (you could insert this anywhere in the priority list, this is where it happens to be for me as all of the other things are vitally more important in my opinion)

7) Video component switcher when needed for other devices
 

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Well not knowing your budget -- my very next component would be a video processor which can send native resolution to the Plasma screen


I have the same Plasma that you do and use the Faroudja NRS. This converts my VCR, DirecTV and DVD signals to the native resolution of the Plasma. It makes a HUGE difference in picture quality. Currently if I bought a video processor today I would buy the Leeza -- as it can both take digital input and output a digital signal to the plasma screen.


Basically the goal is to get create a signal which generates the best possible picture to the Plasma.


From Low to High into the Plasma is:

VCR or Cable TV composite

Svideo from Cable TV Box

Component from DVD

Component from DVD Progressive signal

Video Processor to 5 component signal with Native Resolution

Video Processor DVI to DVI on 5002 board

Video Processor able to receive SDI and output DVI to Plasma at Native Resolution


My next area would be the sound system - I tend to be visual and want to see the plasma at its best and then I want the audio system to come up to speed to match


Michael M
 

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How about a HTPC with a DVI out video card? Network the HTPC, get a IR keyboard/mouse, and you'll be surfing the web on your 503. Also, with Dscaler, you'll have a "video processor" that will rival the
 

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Sort out your receiver and speakers next so that you actually have a fully working system.


The receiver that you get will to some extent determine what other switching equipment you need, eg Denon 5803 converts S-Video and composite to Component so reducing connections and the need for other switching boxes, but this may not be the right price point for you.


Once you have been able to view some of your sources on the plasma you can then make up your mind about the need to buy an external scaler or other processor, don't just rush out and get that before you've seen the quality you can get without.


If you plan to use a HTPC then you also have some possibilities to use that instead of an expensive external video processor, lots of advice on that over in the HTPC forum.


Difficult to suggest precise models for your purchases without a budget.


Mark
 

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I agree with Mark. Sort out the audio side now and leave the scalers and HTPC stuff for later. Having said that, a better DVD player should be high on your list IMO.
 

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exactly. My point was, he just spent all of this money on a 'display', why not improve the video going into the thing somewhat. Audio is a definite priority but it's not going to give him the bang for his buck after just buying the 503.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the suggestions!


Well, my budget is abt 10K for the remaining components. Wife willing, I can probably stretch it a bit more to 15 ;).


I guess I will need to get the audio side sorted out first, else I will be watching silent TV :)


Ofer, I so wish I could buy the DVD Recorder. The price point is way too high and I am guessing in 6 months I will have much more choice along with low prices.


-g
 

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haha, I was wondering where you were going to get your sound from ;)


One other thing; after you have finalized all inputs (regardless of whether or not you go for a scaler or HTPC) I would seriously recommend an ISF calibration by someone with the Progressive Labs spectro-thingy that Cliff Plavin developed. By all accounts, it makes a large difference to PQ to have the set properly caribrated with one of these things. Cliff posts under the user name Ghibliss and Gary Merson also has one. Search with their user names in this plasma forum for more details.
 

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What luck would one have doing it themselves with the same equipment?
 

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I understand your point llogan, I just think people should look at the quality they can get after a calibration, before they spend the sort of money involved in a good external processor.


Once they have that sorted they are in a position to evaluate the actual improvement that the processor can give them.


I understand that some of the non-HD cable and satellite signals available in the USA are not all that good, and they will almost certainly benefit from a processor, just have to figure out if they are used often enough to justify the cost.


I feed my Pioneer 503MXE with an Arcam DV27 DVD and an S-Video feed from a digital satellite box (Sky+) converted to component by my Denon 5803.


Frankly the vast majority of the material from the satellite looks absolutely excellent and approaches the quality of PAL progressive from the DV27.


For me an external processor would be a waste of money so I'm very glad that I waited to see what I could achieve without one.


Mark
 

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Yup. I agree with you, I just think that I'm capable of learning whatever it is that I might need to know, probably ridiculously naive in that regard but hey why not try? Anyway, I fully intend to build an HTPC myself to avoid the expense of a Rock or Leeza and I'm going to do that whether I get my display professionally calibrated or not. I think it probably makes a lot of sense to have it done but I'm actually trying to learn some things that I can use to market myself later on anyway. My job, while it pays very well, is anything but secure right now so I make some extra money giving people advice and doing satellite installs on the weekends.


GUPIT - Oh, and if you have NO audio, then obviously get some speakers and a receiver, my goodness!
 

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I can really hardly believe no one is saying HDTV tuner. There is no better input source for this baby than HDTV. Not that I diagree with a good DVD player.


I'll sell you my old Sony HT receiver for $150 if you really need sound, that leaves more money in your budget for important stuff.
 

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If the dude has no audio, I'd say the receiver and speakers take priority over an HDTV tuner.

Quote:
Originally posted by IUnknown
I can really hardly believe no one is saying HDTV tuner. There is no better input source for this baby than HDTV. Not that I diagree with a good DVD player.
 

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llogan,
Quote:
What luck would one have doing it themselves with the same equipment?
I thought you were asking about the CA-1 spectrothingy plasma calibration device. Was I wrong? Did you check out the power buy thread?

I believe that if they are selling this thing to the public and you do seem to have prior experience then doing it yourself should be ok.


Of course, if I have misunderstood what you were talking about then ignore all of that :D
 

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I checked out the thread thanks. I have a message into Jason about a question of mine.
 

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Divvy:


I believe the power buy in question was for the CS-1, which is the new Focus Enhancements CentreStage scaler/processor.
 
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