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Plasmated!

Wharfedale Diamond 12 Series

thevortex

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People knowing me will finally breathe a sigh of relief. Why, you ask? For the longest time I stayed away from these LCD or Plasma TVs purely because I did not like the way cricket action was shown in these panels. The CRT TV was the best for me in this area.

But last week I caved in, went out and got myself a Panasonic Plasma C4210D - 42 inch Plasma TV. Does that mean I am absolutely happy with the way cricket is shown here? Not entirely. But if there is one thing I have learnt while pursuing this hobby of ours it is that if you are not ready to make conscious and considered compromises then that is the surest way to disappointment and ultimately frustration.

In my case that compromise was that movies (of which I see at least 2 in a week) looked absolutely, lip-smackingly wonderful and bewitching on this TV.

About the actual decision - this was not the kind of decision that took me months like when I had to decide on my music system. I went to the shop and bought what I liked. While i had seen the LG PQ60 and 70 Plasmas and the Samsung B450 Plasmas earlier, on the day of my purchase I only had a choice between a Panasonic Plasma or an LG. Hands down I picked the Panasonic. Thanks to the cordiality of the owner of the Abirami Audio/Video store owner I was able to take a demo of the Panasonic C42 in total darkness with material:

1) From an Airtel Digital TV (composite out)
2) HD content (from a Blu Ray Player)
3) Content from my laptop (via HDMI at a resolution of 1920*1080)

Suffice it to say that I was very impressed at the quality of the whites and blacks produced. Earlier on I had decided not to buy a Full HD TV because it has to serve my purpose of watching a lot of cricket in SD quality as also working well with movies. From previous experience I had ascertained that viewing a Blu Ray on a 720p TV (HD Ready) is not a sea change from viewing it in a 1080p (Full HD) TV. But the reverse is not true. Watching low resolution content on a Full HD TV can be a true eyesore and a huge let down not to mention.

I have seen the PV8 (although only in store conditions) but I figure that the higher contrast ratio of the new C42 makes it a bit more alluring in terms of picture. Plus I heard from the owner of the store that image burn in in the newer line of TVs has been reduced to a great extent.

HD Ready or Full HD?

Even low resolution content from my laptop looked brilliant on the Plasma and I was pleasantly surprised by another aspect. While the TV is branded as HD ready (supporting only 720p), when driven through the HDMI port of a laptop or a computer supporting this resolution, the TV gladly displays Full HD resolution. Yes, sir, that was a pleasant shock to me. While the Panasonic personnel who came to our home later on did not have a clue when I showed this to them (nor did their service supervisor back at the office who we called up), I found out from the internet that resolutions of upto 1920*1080 are supported via HDMI when the refresh rates are set at 25, 30 or 60 hz. (I am using 60 hz).

And as people may be aware I am using my HTPC as my primary source (although that is set to change with the introduction of a DAC in the near future) it gives me a fulfilling feeling that I have a Full HD TV for the price of a HD Ready TV - for whatever it is worth :).

Note about image burn-in:

The personnel from Panasonic were very categorical in their assessment that there would be no image burn-in in this Plasma and that these are a thing of the past even with static logos displayed in the Tata Sky channels. I trusted them and watched a few IPL matches on the TV. Subsequently I noticed the SET Max logo along with the 'LIVE' symbol being show on the right top corner of the screen when I had a blank screen up and running. Immediately I switched the TV to a staple diet of movies from the HTPC and the PS3. Long story short, the logo is now not visible at all. And the resolution is that Tata Sky viewing on this TV (or at least cricket) will be done only after 200 hours of break-in.

The problem with me watching cricket is that I tend not to change channels in between overs. :)

Finally I must thank Venkat for directing me to go to Abirami Audio/Video where I got good service in an amiable setting.
 

teky

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Vortex - Congrats on your purchase.

One clarification though - When you meant the Panel displaying 1080p in the OSD even though it's a 720p panel. I've read similar stories on Internet and it was the TV doing some downscaling etc and it's not true 1080p :confused:
 

psychotropic

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Welcome to the plasma club :) i was just thinking recnetly......plasma is like the tubes.....or the vinyl......of flat panel displays.....the fans of the format love it to bits and believe that LCD (like SS or CDs) doesn't do things as well as plasma, now matter how hard they try.....the other camp constantly emphasies that LCD (like SS or CDs) can do anything that plasmas can....and even better.....:) and the twain shall never meet.

I think it's a good decision to pick a Panny plasma. I own a Samsung plasma and in terms of display they're as good as Panasonic in the budget ranges, but in terms of support for the format and for their 3 year warranty, i think Panasonic makes a compelling case for itself. Congratulations and enjoy it. And I think once by the end of this year HD broadcasts start.....you'll start loving cricket on your plasma as well...
 

thevortex

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Teky - I would not obviously know if the panel is doing some sort of downscaling. All I can see is what it shows on the screen OSD as '1080p Input'. And it is showing all my desktop icons and pictures in Full HD format - as in relative positioning that I have observed with my previous Dell LCD monitor.
 

teky

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I'm no expert here - But if the native resolution of the Panel is 720p it can't display 1080p. I think it's down scaling the input and displaying in it's native resolution, But however on the OSD it's showing what input it's getting instead of what it's displaying.
 

avidyarthy

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And how much were you hit for ?

I have postponed this buy .... but would surely settle for a Plasma. Am forgetting the model of the Panasonic, but think it was a 42 C10 ..... best price offered in Delhi a month ago was 35 K with no freebies.
 

dinyaar

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Congratulations on the plasma vortex.

I am still not parting with my old CRT for exactly the same reasons as u mentioned. Its a 29" Sony and it works well for me at my home.

Hope U are following all the IPL action, on & off the field:D

Cheers
DK
 

thevortex

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Teky - I did some digging up on the internet and I believe in the case of Panasonic Plasmas they offer this feature of going Full HD at lower refresh rates. I do not have the links with me though. So you might want to check up on this. If I do manage to come up with the same links I will send them to you. In fact I would love to know more about this as it provides not a little delight to the viewer.

Psychotropic - pun or not, I think you may have hit the nail right on the head. :) You might say with a Plasma TV and a valve amp, the cycle is complete for me. Give me a NOS DAC and that will be bliss ;).

Avidyarthy - I got it for Rs. 41,500. But then I am no great bargainer. :)
 

thevortex

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Yes, Dinyaar - been a long time since we had a cricket chat :).

Have been watching most of the IPL action - despite it being mediocre many a time. About the off field action, I can only heave a sigh of relief that perhaps when the next IPL comes around, Mr. Modi may not be the chairman and the omnipotent entity that he is right now. I will tell you one thing I am mortally dreading - the IPL closing ceremony! :)

The dread is that despite it, in all probability, being a horror show, I would still end up watching it. One of those inevitable things. Only good thing is I can then shred it to pieces in an article on my blog site :).
 

murali_n

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Hai Vortex,

Congrats on your purchase.

I had a Demo of the latest Panasonic Plasma while looking out for a LCD. They were great . The contrast ratio was in the order of 200000:1. The picture was perfect.

I finally settled down for Samsung 32 inch LCD from price & performance point of view.

N.Murali
 

srinisundar

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Congrats Bala for joining the Plasma club..:clapping:

It is good to start an thread instead of Model / brand owners club.. Plasma owners thread...:) War will begin... Forum is going in slow mood so something like this stuff will make busy..

I am not eligible for plama or LCD TV owners club:cool: Still in love with CRT..
 
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anm

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congrats!

the resolution (number of pixels) is fixed on your TV. The higher resolution signals are indeed down scaled. TV accepts those signals instead of saying "can't display".
My panasonic 720p pj too accepts 1080p 24 signals - but the native resolution is 720p only
 
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thevortex

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So what I see is a downscaled version of 1080p? So 1920*1080 is being fit into 1366*768? Somehow the image is not distorted.

The normal refresh rate of the TV is 100 Hz and at this rate it can only display 1366*768. At 60 Hz it can display 1920*1080 (or a scaled version thereof). If somebody can tell me how this exactly works, that would be great.

On an aside, I am glad there are still a few people who like CRTs and the way games are presented in those TVs.
 

mahiruha

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Hi vortex,
congratulation for getting that new television. Enjoy the IPL. Atleast you have a decent enough team to support no such luck for me.:)
How is Wii coming along in that TV?
Thanks.
 

thevortex

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Mahiruha - I absolutely do not support the Chennai Super Kings. :) In fact I have tired of convincing people about this all the time. I believe there is nothing regional about this tournament at all. After all when you think about it how many Bengalis play for Kolkata or how many Tamilians play for the Chennai Super Kings??

Plus I view the IPL pretty much dispassionately. Some would even say with a jaundiced eye :). I love watching cricket, but definitely I prefer Tests or even ODI's over the IPL.
 

thevortex

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Oops - forgot to add, my Wii is not even connected to the TV. Right now, its the PS3 which has me enthralled :)
 

KonfuSed

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Congrats theVortex on your purchase. About the image retention I would say, Don't worry at all. I've used my TV during those burn in hours also at high contrast and all and no issue at all with any permanent bad effect. There is some Temporary image burn in but it goes after sometime anyway. But if you want to be cautious then it's good thing anyway.
About the 1080p support, as anm said, it downscales the resolution to native 720p resolution and you won't see any kind of distortion for that. That's how the HD-ready TV's work.
 

Dushie

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Congratulations on your purchase and welcome to the club. Nice to see you picking up a plasma finally.
 

decibels

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dear avidyarthi,
could u kindly let me know where in delhi did u find the 42C10 for 35k? i would like to buy one right away at this price but honestly i have visited so many stores and the lowest quote was 41k
 
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