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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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I realize this may be an apples and oranges comparison but any comments on choosing between the RCA 38" direct view 16X9 set vs. the new Panasonic 42" set? The plasma is obviously more than twice the price and I realize this. My signal sources right now consists of crappy analog cable TV and DVD via a Sony 9000ES. I think the DVD's would be fine on either set, but which of the two would be the least forgiving of an analog cable signal? Any other general comments would be helpful. Waving! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/eek.gif http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/eek.gif http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/eek.gif



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COBRA


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Besides the obvious differences in size, weight, and price, I'd think the plasma would still suffer in regards to black level compared to any CRT. They've made enormous improvements in Plasma black levels in the last few years, but IMO, the Pioneer 505 is the only one that really comes close in this department, and it's about $12k on the 'net.


Also, I don't know if the Panny is a 768X1280 or a 480X720 plasma "engine". If it's the 480 version, you'll likely get a better image out of the RCA on HD sources. As to cable, I'd say that depends on the set's internal line doublers, and I haven't seen the Panny plasma.


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Cobra,


I haven't seen the panasonic but I do own the RCA. Until all quality issues have been resolved, I'd stay away from the RCA. It's a great set at a great price--if you can avoid the lemons. Unfortunately, the lemon seems to be the norm rather than the exception. The picture anomalies are too distracting for me to enjoy the viewing experience. Once I'm convinced that RCA has got a handle on these problems, then I'll have my set replaced.


If price is a major factor in your decision, you may want to wait with me.


JediMastr


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

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I own the direct view Proscan version. I am debating whether to buy the Panasonic 42".


I have enjoyed the Proscan.


I may go for the new RCA 50" LCOS. Has anyone seen this?
 

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Go take a critical look at the Panny plasma - - well adjusted, with a really good source (hard to find in most retail locations) - and it will just blow you away relative to any direct view or RPTV.


No problem at all with black level or contrast. And the detail and richness of color on HD material are astonishing. If you haven't checked it out, there's been a holy war running for months in the plasma forum between people who've seen it, most of whom say it's by far the best HD picture available in that size and "true believers" who haven't actually seenit, and just can't accept that a screen with 752x480 pixels could produce a great looking HD picture.


With regard to the original question about how good it would be for crappy signals, I don't know. I've watched REALLY crappy stuff on mine (20 year old OTA VHS tape recorded in EP) and all that noise provokes some fairly ugly effects on the plasma. On plain old analog cable or over-compressed stuff from DTV, it looks pretty good in 4:3 with gray bars, but on some pictures the stretch modes just emphasize the lack of detail in the source.


On the other hand, DVDs from a good, but non-progressive Sony look fabulous via the component inputs. Almost as good as HD.


[This message has been edited by Spoffo (edited 08-15-2001).]
 

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dkeller_NC is under the misconception that Plasmas are still in the $12K range, in fact Cobra, the new Panasonic model just introduced (PT-42PD3) can be found on the 'net for only $7K.


That's a lot more reasonable than just a year ago.


I saw the new Panny displayed at a Harvey's store with a non-progressive DVD player playing a music concert disc and the picture quality just blew me away. I agree with Spoffo, it looked just like HD.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by JediMastr:
Cobra,


I haven't seen the panasonic but I do own the RCA. Until all quality issues have been resolved, I'd stay away from the RCA. It's a great set at a great price--if you can avoid the lemons. Unfortunately, the lemon seems to be the norm rather than the exception. The picture anomalies are too distracting for me to enjoy the viewing experience. Once I'm convinced that RCA has got a handle on these problems, then I'll have my set replaced.


JediMastr

Hello JediMastr.


Is it a known fact that RCA is working on getting the bugs out of the 38 incher?


The RCA is my best choice for a number of reasons but I can'd risk getting a deffective unit as I live in Venezuela.


Should I wait or consider other brands?


Thanks in advance.


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"dkeller_NC is under the misconception that Plasmas are still in the $12K range, in fact Cobra, the new Panasonic model just introduced (PT-42PD3) can be found on the 'net for only $7K."


You should have read my post a little more closely - I'm well aware that 480 displays can be had in the $5-$8k range, sometimes cheaper. The $12k figure is for the Pioneer plasma, which is a true HD display with 768X1280 pixels. The list on this display is $17k.


As far as a 480 plasma "blowing away" any direct-view or RPTV, I'd take that advice with a large salt-lick. The 480 Fujitsu plasma engines (which other companies, such as Panasonic, OEM) really don't have very good black levels, especially compared to a well-adjusted HD RPTV. And yes, I have seen and compared some of the 480 Fujitsu engines to both RPTVs and direct-views.


While the display is very crisp and sharp, it suffers compared to an HD RPTV in terms of resolution, which I've tested with rez patterns. To decide, I'd urge you to get your dealer to display a difficult scene on both the plasma and a good RPTV - something like "Dark City", "Batman", or the warehouse-robbery scenes in "Heat".


In general, you'll find that savvy dealers demo plasmas with animated material, which looks fabulous. When you get to dark video material, however, the world is gray instead of black...


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(1) The old Pioneer 50" can be had below $10K online, not $12K.


(2) Blacks you want? Try a Panasonic, not a Fujitsu. The Panasonic does gorgeous blacks and fabulous contrast. Dkeller, you really need to see a Panasonic before you go off about blacks on plasma.


(3) The Panasonic can be had for about $5200 + stand + DTC 100... $6K... The RCA 38" can be had for $2500ish. So the ratio is slightly more than 2:1.


(4) As for "true HD", who knows? I am not sure that downconverting 1080i to 720p/768p on the Pioneer is gonna look better/sharper than the 480p of the Panasonic. Resolution, as the rants go here, is a very misleading statistic.


Mark

 

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proufo,


To be honest I have no idea what RCA's doing about these 'bugs' in their sets--other than replacing them with new sets that have the same bugs!!! A few people have had their sets replaced a number of times and still aren't satisfied. I live out in the country, and from what I've read, no RCA service tech is gonna come out here to look at my set. So, before I take it to them, I want to be reasonably certain it'll be worth the effort. Supposedly there are some sets out there that don't have any of the bugs described in these HT forums. I'll give it a month, then I'll contact RCA and start playing the replacement game--think I can beat the record for replacements??? Honestly, if I were you, I'd go with a more reliable brand.


Good Luck!!!


JediMastr


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Go for the Panasonic Plasma, Cobra. You'll save the extra $$ by avoiding the cost of physical therapy for the back injury you'll incur trying to move the RCA around to plug in the cables. Plus you'll avoid the frustration of being without TV while the RCA is being recalled or repaired.


Resolution and blacks are outstanding on the Panny. If you haven't seen it, you can't rightfully disparage it! Once you've seen it, you'll join the ranks of supporters.
 

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Panasonic do not OEM the Fujistu panels. Panasonic has some key patented technology that really (I have seen it) has licked the black problem. The now defunct Etown did a review of the latest 42" plasmas (including the ALIS panels) and voted the Panasonic the best even going as far to say that the image was as good as their reference monitor. A Princeton 32" HD ready CRT direct view set. I know it is hard to believe that any plasma can be as good as an direct view CRT but this is what Panasonic (and no one else - not even Pioneer) has managed to do. If any one has doubts and still wants to voice them then IMO it would certainly help if they did a search on the Plasma forum for the "holy war" that has been going on for a few months about just how good this panel is. Even at 720X480. Also do a search for the Elite Pro comparison (albeit subjective) but someone on the Plasma forum owns an ISF'd Elite and a Pana 42" and prefers the picture of the plasma.


Cobra, it would appear that asking for a comparison in this forum wont be as useful as the posting you have been doing on the plasma forum. There are still some prejudices that appear to be still around.


I am currently saving for a 50" Panasonic plasma as this will give me an excellent HD picture (with slightly less contrast ratio than the best plasma - the Pana 42") but it also fits in with the modernist Italian furniture (Cassina, Cappelini, etc.) in my NYC loft. This is a big factor in my decision and as far as I am concerned is one of the most important reasons for getting a plasma as they are so expensive - why not save your money and get an RPTV or CRT? Afterall most plasma installations I have seen look awful with awful furniture and it seems a shame to spend all that money on a set that is in a space that would happily accommodate an RPTV. For the record all my gear will be hidden this with the plasma on top: http://www.altobellihouse.com/largeD...cfm?ProdID=447

with a broadly similar look for the rest of the living space.

What I'm trying to say is that, because of the cost and the fact that the price/performance ratio is not in the favor of plasmas, it would appear that the aesthetics of the unit itself are the biggest reason to buy a plasma. IMO if you are going to simply place the unit in an entertainment unit that would accommodate a CRT quite happily then I would save the money and buy a CRT. It seems a shame to waste money on a plasma if the rest of your decor does not match the aesthetic standards. However, if space is at a premium, as it often is in NYC apts, then a plasma is also a good bet.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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Well Divy....I realize your kind of new around here, but I do appreciate your input. However, I have never had anyone make such a purchase decision based so largely on the aesthetics of one's New York Loft Italian Furniture Decor! That's a new one even for this forum. . . ha ha. I do appreciate your input though.


To all those who posted their comments, I do appreciate all the points of view. One thing is for sure . . . folks sure do get passionate for their positions. Thanks to all of you and I'll let you know what I decided to do . . . Waving!
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COBRA


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Hello to all and thanks to jedimastr for the info.


I looked at the new Panasonic plasmas in their WWW site and conceptually and unseen, I'd say that getting a display that can only provide 480 vertical is a waste for HDTV.


I have a question: The larger Panny plasma has more pixels, 768 in the vertical dimension. When displaying 720p material, does it display them on-to-one http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif and leave some pixels of in the bottom and the top or does it do digital conversion http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif just to get 48 more pixels in vertical size?


Many thanks in advance and regards.


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Hi Cobra

Actually I think I am "older" than you. I have been lurking for a long time, taking in all the info and not really posting much. Even when I first registered I didn't post for a while as most questions can be answered by searching the forums and reading current threads.


However, my main point is the price/performance ratio. Why buy a plasma unless the picture is untouchable by any other means? As much as I like the picture of the Panasonic 42" I know that there are much cheaper alternatives with which I can get as good a picture. I have enough space to accommodate the largest monster RPTV but I am choosing not to. Why buy Italian furniture/clothes/shoes (for example) when I can go to Ikea/Walmart/Payless? Each representative item from each category will do the prescribed job as well as from any other source surely?


I would wager that the major reason for buying plasma is the aesthetics of the unit for the reason I keep putting forth: There are much cheaper alternatives that are as good. I am still somewhat puzzled as to why ppl buy plasmas, especially the ones with awful blacks (Sony and Fujitsu) unless it is all about the wow factor of the unit itself. So what I was trying to do, to try and help you in your decision making process, was to try and get you to zero in on why you even want a plasma in the first place? Is the picture of the 42" plasma that much better than your 56" RPTV? Are you disappointed with the limitations of RPTVs? Is that why you are considering a CRT? Do you need the space? Do you simply like the "look" of a plasma, the thinness etc.? I can't see how a plasma can be worth a few thousand over a good enough alternative unless you are willing to pay for the aesthetics, but that's just me.
 

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I agonized a long time between a Panny 34 Tau 16:9 and a Panny PWD3 42 Plasma- bought the plasma for $6000.00- best decision- no regrets. What is wrong with a little Wow factor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi Divy:


In response to your last post, let me try and field some of the points you made. You first indicated that you believed you were "older" than me? I sort of fail to see the logic in such an odd comment, but I'm beginning to think you probably are! Quite a bit older in fact, and I'm nearly 50! Anyway, I won't hold it against you but I still fail to see what either of our ages has to do with a thread about set selections. Maybe us 40+ year old guys just aren't as sharp as you "older" guys . . . LOL. Buy hey Divy, we're working on it!


You also say that you are puzzled as to why people buy plasmas when perfectly otherwise good sets can be purchased for less money. Well, people buy Lexus when a Toyota will take you from point A to point B just as well I suppose. Do you think it could simply be something as simple as personal preference?


You then stated that you believe most people simply buy plasma for the aesthetics of matching furniture! Try this on . . . Some people buy plasmas sets simply because they like the picture plasma displays! Hey...what a concept! Do you think that is at all possible? Of course being the youngster that I am, I could be all wrong!
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COBRA


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Cobra


I'm sure Divvy was refering to being registered (older) before you were. He's been registered since Feb 2001 and you've been since July 2001. He even goes so far as to say he has been lurking and taking in all the info and not posting much. Relax people! Lets keep helping each other.


BTW Cobra did you get my PM the other day or am I too young (26) for some help. LOL
 
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