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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, This newb needs some help from you veterans.


I have finally decided to get a 42" HDtv for my family room. Can't stand the DLP (I see the rainbows, and feel a flicker), loved the LCOS and could get by the the LCD RP, but finally realized that I need wide viewing angles, given our room. Plasma seems to be the best choice for me, given the viewing angles and ambient lighting. Our family viewing will be 50% SD, 30% DVD, and 20% HD. However, my viewing, which matters more ;-), will have more DVD.


Based on my budget, I have short-listed the Phillips PF9956, the Samsung R4272, and the Panasonic 42PX500. The Panasonic is about US$300-500 more than the other two. Been reading here for a while, but trying to make a decision between these is not easy. I found a strong following for the Panasonic at this forum and at HTF. This is what I have gathered till now, and would love more details.


The Panny has the pluses of deep blacks and great overall PQ. The Sammy has 13 bit processing (debatable if it makes a difference), is cheaper (~$400), 2 yr waranty, and has more inputs. I cannot find any opinions on the Phillips.


The picture quality may be an issue with the Sammy, but I haven't been able to get any confirmed opinion on that. I do not want fake contouring (clay face) - picture quality is important to me. "Not-deep" blacks will NOT be an issue once the plasma is in my house and I do not have any other to compare it to.


Can someone please elaborate more on these or other issues? How bad is the clay-face on Sammy, and on the panny? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Based on many comments here and the strong following for the panny, I bought the 42PX500 yesterday. It is being delivered today.


Now, I'm trying to read up on initial precautions and startup info. Am also trying to decide whether to get an upconverting dvd player or let the PX do the scaling.


Need to do more searching and reading...

Any pointers to links and threads would be much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Spent a few hours yesterday setting up the new Plasma. For now, I have lowered the brightness, contrast, and color to -2, and sharpness to 0. I know that this is probably much softer and overkill for the break-in period, but I don't mind being a little extra careful for the first few hours. I will keep increasing in slowly until the 100 hours mark, and then I might set my optimum levels using Avia or something.


One interesting side-effect of this lowering levels is how good the lo quality signal look, even home-recorded VHS tapes at SLP speeds.


The only regret I'm having is the 42" size; after watching a couple of movies this weekend, I'll decide if I want to up it to the 50 inches.
 

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Thanks for the updates Quant. I bought a 4272 a few weeks ago and it has been one little quirk after another bugging me. Things I have noticed with the 4272:


- Any area that is dark will be black. Period. I think other people in the forums here have referred to the lack of detail in dark areas vs the 50/500U.

- Inability to select an input directly. I have regular TV via coax cable (no HD cable yet, I will be moving soon and don't want to bother with my current cable co), xbox via component, dvd player via component, and pc. It becomes a pain to cycle 4 inputs to get to the one you want, esp since the tv wants to fully check that signal before it lets you move on.

- DNIe. Other people have talked about this and I have started to notice it more and more. I noticed it on day 1 when i used the pc input. When you bring up a menu, the rest of the screen gets dark. Same with my cable box's show info bar, when it is up, the rest of the screen gets darker. Also on tv, if the overall brightness of the image is gradually changing, you can see the tv adjust its brightness abruptly. (experienced users correct me if I am wrong that these things are due to DNIe) Combined with the fact that you can't turn it off, = return to store.

- Posterization/Banding - Something I noticed real early on. 99% of the problem occurs in dark scenes. I think this is more of a function of plasmas in general, as I took a dvd to the store and saw the same problem on $9999 sets. It does seem to be a small amount worse on the 4272. Might just be me.


Bottom line, I talked to my bud that works at the shop and will probably be exchanging for a 500U next week. Unfortunately, they do not have the 500U set up next to the 4272 (or even on the same input system) so I can't compare directly. They did have another Panny (I think a px50U, the sales guy kept bugging me and I forgot to check) set up on that shelf, and the picture seemed a fair amount better, especially in darker areas.


Any further observations between these models? I am assuming you compared some before opting for the panny.


Any experts feel free to correct -- If there is a way to fix these "quirks", it would be nice to not have to return the samsung (I drive a small car, and have to get a friend to carry the tv back and forth)


realjeep
 

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I own a Philips plasma. Model 9630a , a 42 inch unit . Although I have only had it for a week I have to tell you I and the family LOVE it. Has great picture quality and Im not talking just HD but DVD and SD is good to. It comes loaded with connectivity options. And the ambilight feature well thats not a gimmick, it really works. I have had over 20 people over to see the plasma and the ambilight just knocks em out. Everyone agrees it enhances the viewing of any source. I think theres a thread on here you should view about backlighting many users have adapted there panels with it. See the unit in action let your eyes be the judge, whats good for one isnt necesarily good for all.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by realjeep
Thanks for the updates Quant. I bought a 4272 a few weeks ago and it has been one little quirk after another bugging me. Things I have noticed with the 4272:


- Any area that is dark will be black. Period. I think other people in the forums here have referred to the lack of detail in dark areas vs the 50/500U.

- DNIe. Other people have talked about this and I have started to notice it more and more. I noticed it on day 1 when i used the pc input. When you bring up a menu, the rest of the screen gets dark. Same with my cable box's show info bar, when it is up, the rest of the screen gets darker. Also on tv, if the overall brightness of the image is gradually changing, you can see the tv adjust its brightness abruptly. (experienced users correct me if I am wrong that these things are due to DNIe) Combined with the fact that you can't turn it off, = return to store.

- Posterization/Banding - Something I noticed real early on. 99% of the problem occurs in dark scenes. I think this is more of a function of plasmas in general, as I took a dvd to the store and saw the same problem on $9999 sets. It does seem to be a small amount worse on the 4272. Might just be me.


Any further observations between these models? I am assuming you compared some before opting for the panny.

realjeep
That's pretty close to my experiences with the 4252. One thing you might want to try (not that it will fix anything) is to view the DNIe demo, and see if that fixes the majority of the dark / contrast / brightness issues on the side of the screen with DNIe turned off.
 

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I played around a bit with the DNIe demo yesterday on a dvd. After playing with the settings a bit, I think I got the darker things on the non DNIe side to look a little nicer. I still wouldn't say it is as good as the Panny I looked at, but marginally better than with DNIe. It seems that the DNIe demo is a bit misleading. If you have adjusted the settings under standard operation, the non DNIe side looks bad, but all it needs is some contrast and brightness tuning and it looks awesome.


I tried it with tv this morning where I can pull up the yellow "info bar" at the bottom. DNIe side takes crazy brightness hits while the other side does not. I'm not sure how to accurately describe it, but the non DNIe side does seem to "surge" a tiny amount. This may be influenced by the other half of the screen.


I was going to try it with the PC input, but that option becomes unavailable. So DNIe is locked either on or off. I would assume it is off since the PC input is pixel for pixel input; no need for sharpening, etc. However, it has the same dynamic reaction with the brightness when I pull up the Start menu. I am now wondering if this is a function of the tv itself, or perhaps DNIe is enabled on PC, which makes even less sense. Has anyone noticed this behavior with a non-Samsung?
 
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