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Plasma HDTVs: 3 Basic Questions

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Anonymous
September 5, 2004 11:01:55 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Oh wise ones,

I have been researching 50" Plasma Flat Panel HDTVs (you have to have
fun once in a while, right?). Well I still can't figure out the
answers to 3 key questions.

(1) TUNERS. It appears that some HDTV models come with a "tuner" and
some do not (e.g., the Samsung PPM50H3 does not). QUESTION: If a
model does NOT some with a built in tuner, what is it able to do?
Anything? I don't get it. For instance, if I plug my Cable TV into
an HDTV without a tuner, will it work or not? Also, how much does a
tuner cost and what does it do? (I don't care about HDTV content yet,
for the time being I just want to plug in my CableTV and know that it
will work).

(2) Burn-In and Regular TV. The users' manuals for some models (e.g.,
Samsung P5071) explicitly say on Page 1 that you *should not* watch
regular TV on the screen more than 5% of the week unless your unit has
the ability to expand the the regular image to fit the whole screen.
The reason appears to be that regular TV requires black bars to be
shown on the sides due to the size of wide screen HDTV, and that these
black bars "burn in." QUESTION: How do I tell which HDTVs have the
ability to expand normal TV to the screen in this fastion, and which
do not? I don't want to spend a fortune on an HDTV and then be forced
to watch regular TV less than 5% of the week. This seems absurd.

(3) DVD and DVI. Would a DVI DVD player like the "V Bravo D2" work
with an HDTV that has HDCP protection in its DVI port?

Any guidance on any of these topics is greatly appreciated.
Anonymous
September 6, 2004 3:25:44 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

cchabot wrote:
>
> Oh wise ones,
>
> I have been researching 50" Plasma Flat Panel HDTVs (you have to have
> fun once in a while, right?). Well I still can't figure out the
> answers to 3 key questions.
>
> (1) TUNERS. It appears that some HDTV models come with a "tuner" and
> some do not (e.g., the Samsung PPM50H3 does not). QUESTION: If a
> model does NOT some with a built in tuner, what is it able to do?
> Anything? I don't get it. For instance, if I plug my Cable TV into
> an HDTV without a tuner, will it work or not? Also, how much does a
> tuner cost and what does it do? (I don't care about HDTV content yet,
> for the time being I just want to plug in my CableTV and know that it
> will work).

Remember, there are 3 or 4 types of TV Tuners and combination
offerings that may offer more than 1 type TV Tuner....

There is the common analog TV Tuner that all TVs & HDTV have.
Your Cable TV Box will pass these Analog TV signals

There are OTA (Over the Air antenna) Digital Tuners required
for Digital & HD TV signal reception. This is what
is being mandated by FCC now for HDTV sets larger than 36".

THere are Cable QAM Set top boxes (tuner/receivers) that
both pass Cable Digital Signals & descramble Cable Programs
too.. Some Local HDTV/Digital TV Station channels
remain unscrambled....

Then there are the Dish/Satellite Tuner Boxes the receive
and decode Digital/HD Satellite signals...

A new HD TV Set like the Sony 34XBR960 CRT had 4 tuners
included in $2200 price: 2 Analog tuners, 1 Digital
Tuner, 1 QAM Cable Tuner plus the Cable Card Option...
This QAM tuner gets local Cable Stations.. but does
not descramble the Cable 'pay features'...
>
> (2) Burn-In and Regular TV. The users' manuals for some models (e.g.,
> Samsung P5071) explicitly say on Page 1 that you *should not* watch
> regular TV on the screen more than 5% of the week unless your unit has
> the ability to expand the the regular image to fit the whole screen.
> The reason appears to be that regular TV requires black bars to be
> shown on the sides due to the size of wide screen HDTV, and that these
> black bars "burn in." QUESTION: How do I tell which HDTVs have the
> ability to expand normal TV to the screen in this fastion, and which
> do not? I don't want to spend a fortune on an HDTV and then be forced
> to watch regular TV less than 5% of the week. This seems absurd.


Most if not all HDTVs have the the ability to Stretch or Zoom
a 4:3 Picture to fill the screen... The one kicker that
may not be expandable is a 4:3 picture upconverted to 16:9
HD signal... Here the black bars 'could' burn the display.
Note: Gray bars are less harmful than Black bars....
HD 4:3 upconvert has Black bars, Std Def 4:3 has Gray Bars.
>
> (3) DVD and DVI. Would a DVI DVD player like the "V Bravo D2" work
> with an HDTV that has HDCP protection in its DVI port?

Digital or HDTV connection cables can include component(video only),
DVI(video only) or HDMI(both Video & audio)..
We are talking about 2 features here...
How many digital HD Input port does 'your HDTV' have..
And copy protection 'bits' are not quite operational yet...


>
> Any guidance on any of these topics is greatly appreciated.

A Fourth Plasma Bridge question you did not cross yet is:

EDTV vs HDTV... Plasmas below $4500 are EDTV (480p res),
and Plasma sets above $4600 should be HDTV (1080i res).
This is a ballpark statement on Cost vs Resolution detail...
480p is NOT HDTV quality !! Its DVD quality as
there are essentially no HDTV DVD systems available to
date....

Note also Plasmas are both difficult & expensive to repair.!!
You should/must get an Extended Warranty to cover expenses..
Anonymous
September 6, 2004 3:58:13 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

cchabot wrote:
> Oh wise ones,
>
> I have been researching 50" Plasma Flat Panel HDTVs (you have to have
> fun once in a while, right?). Well I still can't figure out the
> answers to 3 key questions.
>
> (1) TUNERS. It appears that some HDTV models come with a "tuner" and
> some do not (e.g., the Samsung PPM50H3 does not). QUESTION: If a
> model does NOT some with a built in tuner, what is it able to do?
> Anything? I don't get it. For instance, if I plug my Cable TV into
> an HDTV without a tuner, will it work or not? Also, how much does a
> tuner cost and what does it do? (I don't care about HDTV content yet,
> for the time being I just want to plug in my CableTV and know that it
> will work).

Welcome to the age of digital TV. It is a lot more complicated than
the age of analog. First, there are now two types of Over-The-Air (OTA)
tuners (in the US): NTSC = old familiar analog standard first
established in the 1940s; ATSC = new digital broadcast standard defined
in the 1990s. However, digital broadcast does not always mean HDTV. Only
the primetime or network stuff will generally be HDTV; the rest will be
SD ( standard definition with multiple sub channels).

To get HD via cable, you need to either get a HD Set Top Box (STB)
(assuming your cable company has HD options) or hook up via a Cable Card
slot, but cable card is very new and has limits. In the old days, to
hook up to a cable system w/o a STB, you used the cable ready connector,
not your OTA antenna coax connector.

There are numerous websites and resources on this, try
http://www.avsforum.com/hdtvfaq/HDTV-FAQ.htm as a starter. Or google.


> (2) Burn-In and Regular TV. The users' manuals for some models (e.g.,
> Samsung P5071) explicitly say on Page 1 that you *should not* watch
> regular TV on the screen more than 5% of the week unless your unit has
> the ability to expand the the regular image to fit the whole screen.
> The reason appears to be that regular TV requires black bars to be
> shown on the sides due to the size of wide screen HDTV, and that these
> black bars "burn in." QUESTION: How do I tell which HDTVs have the
> ability to expand normal TV to the screen in this fastion, and which
> do not? I don't want to spend a fortune on an HDTV and then be forced
> to watch regular TV less than 5% of the week. This seems absurd.

Yes, one drawback with plasmas is the concern of burn-in. AFAIK,
virtually all HD sets off some sort of stretch and zoom mode options. Go
to the makers website and look at the specs and if still unsure,
download the manuals which most of them post on-line. You will find a
range of opinions on how prone plasmas are to burn-in. Many plasma
owners who have had them for years have had no problem. But if you get a
plasma, the consensus advice is to turn down the brightness and
calibrate your set, as most plasmas come set in what is called torch
mode to make them look brighter in the brightly lite store.

The good news on plasmas is that there have been significant price
cuts recently. If you are willing to do some reading, try www.avsforum.com.
Related resources
Anonymous
September 6, 2004 1:17:28 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Dennis Mayer wrote:

>
> cchabot wrote:
>
>
> A Fourth Plasma Bridge question you did not cross yet is:
>
> EDTV vs HDTV... Plasmas below $4500 are EDTV (480p res),
> and Plasma sets above $4600 should be HDTV (1080i res).
> This is a ballpark statement on Cost vs Resolution detail...
> 480p is NOT HDTV quality !! Its DVD quality as
> there are essentially no HDTV DVD systems available to
> date....

To make matters worse, there are a number of plasmas being sold as HDTVs
even though they have considerably fewer than 1 million pixels. Some are
even being called True HDTV, though there native resolution is 1024x768.
If you are going to purchase a plasma HDTV make sure it has at least
1280x720 as its native resolution.

> Note also Plasmas are both difficult & expensive to repair.!!
> You should/must get an Extended Warranty to cover expenses..

Though the price of an extended warranty on some plasma displays is more
than the cost of a CRT RPTV.

Matthew

--
Thermodynamics and/or Golf for dummies: There is a game
You can't win
You can't break even
You can't get out of the game
Anonymous
September 6, 2004 10:14:49 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Answers to your questions:

1. "HDTV tunner" refers to digital tunner for recieving over-the-air
High Definition content. If you intend go with a subcription based
service this isn't important (although it is nice to be able to switch
over and watch HD over the air and some HD channels won't be carried
by your cable provider). All HDTVs have multiple inputs, you be
hooking the cable box up using component cables.

Another thing to note, you'll need a High Definition cable box to
recieve HD content. Contact you cable company to see what price
difference to expect in your monthly service change.

2. Burn-in is a real problem for Plasmas, they are actually the most
prone to burn-in next to CRT Rear-projection sets. Burn-in is caused
by uneven phospher wear, sets that burn phospher (CRT direct-view, CRT
rear-projection and Plasma) have short life spans 8-15 years depending
on use. The big disadvantage of Plasma is that is very expensive
technology. Look at DLP rear-projection (Samsung), LCoS (Liquid
Crystal on Silcon) and LCD (Sony Grand Wega) all of which will have a
much longer lifespan than a Plasma set at comparable cost.

3. Not sure about this one.






polaris@onebox.com (cchabot) wrote in message news:<e6f6f810.0409051801.4778e95e@posting.google.com>...
> Oh wise ones,
>
> I have been researching 50" Plasma Flat Panel HDTVs (you have to have
> fun once in a while, right?). Well I still can't figure out the
> answers to 3 key questions.
>
> (1) TUNERS. It appears that some HDTV models come with a "tuner" and
> some do not (e.g., the Samsung PPM50H3 does not). QUESTION: If a
> model does NOT some with a built in tuner, what is it able to do?
> Anything? I don't get it. For instance, if I plug my Cable TV into
> an HDTV without a tuner, will it work or not? Also, how much does a
> tuner cost and what does it do? (I don't care about HDTV content yet,
> for the time being I just want to plug in my CableTV and know that it
> will work).
>
> (2) Burn-In and Regular TV. The users' manuals for some models (e.g.,
> Samsung P5071) explicitly say on Page 1 that you *should not* watch
> regular TV on the screen more than 5% of the week unless your unit has
> the ability to expand the the regular image to fit the whole screen.
> The reason appears to be that regular TV requires black bars to be
> shown on the sides due to the size of wide screen HDTV, and that these
> black bars "burn in." QUESTION: How do I tell which HDTVs have the
> ability to expand normal TV to the screen in this fastion, and which
> do not? I don't want to spend a fortune on an HDTV and then be forced
> to watch regular TV less than 5% of the week. This seems absurd.
>
> (3) DVD and DVI. Would a DVI DVD player like the "V Bravo D2" work
> with an HDTV that has HDCP protection in its DVI port?
>
> Any guidance on any of these topics is greatly appreciated.
September 8, 2004 7:07:51 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

In article <d4e30081.0409061714.192d7b32@posting.google.com>,
jmason@funnydelight.co.uk (JamesMason) wrote:

> 2. Burn-in is a real problem for Plasmas, they are actually the most
> prone to burn-in next to CRT Rear-projection sets. Burn-in is caused
> by uneven phospher wear, sets that burn phospher (CRT direct-view, CRT
> rear-projection and Plasma) have short life spans 8-15 years depending
> on use. The big disadvantage of Plasma is that is very expensive
> technology. Look at DLP rear-projection (Samsung), LCoS (Liquid
> Crystal on Silcon) and LCD (Sony Grand Wega) all of which will have a
> much longer lifespan than a Plasma set at comparable cost.

You forgot to mention that a good plasma set has the very best picture
in the given size range. For many, that more than makes up for the
negatives. And my plasma has absolutely no hint of burn in after two
years of use.
Anonymous
September 8, 2004 10:29:31 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Sammy wrote:
>
> You forgot to mention that a good plasma set has the very best picture
> in the given size range. For many, that more than makes up for the
> negatives. And my plasma has absolutely no hint of burn in after two
> years of use.

That assessment is pretty subjective. PDPs still have serious
weaknesses, though the very best are approaching what (very much
cheaper) CRTs projectors can do, though with better geometry and lack of
convergence error.

If sharpness, geometry and convergence are all you care about in picture
quality, PDPs a great. If depth of detail, especially in dark scenes,
good rendition of film, resolution and reduced use of scalars are more
important to you, then CRTs are a better choice.

Of course, dollar for dollar, there are better choices in fixed pixel
displays than PDPs. Take a look at the new JVC LCoS display.

Matthew

--
Thermodynamics and/or Golf for dummies: There is a game
You can't win
You can't break even
You can't get out of the game
!