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Just got DirecTV on my ED Plasma- ??'s

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Old 09-24-2005, 07:44 AM   #1  
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Default Just got DirecTV on my ED Plasma- ??'s

Hello All,
I have had my Panasonic TH-42PHD6 ED Plasma for a year, and DirecTV for five years. I love the TV and DirecTV has been very good to me. I had DirecTV put in the HD receiver yesterday and had a few questions. I am currently getting HD on ESPNHD, etc., and the picture is great.

However, I still have the green/blue/red connection NOT going to my TV from the DTV receiver, and I am not using the HDMI. I also want to get local channels from an antenna (which the DTV tech talked me out of getting).

First question:

When I hook the antenna up, how do I get the local Baltimore channels in HD? (I know it is suppose to be Channel 11-1 for HD, but how will that display? How do I get Channel 11-1?)

Second Question:

Will the HDMI connection be a big help for my ED? Why?

Third Question:

Will using thew wires they supplied and getting better audio cables make a big difference?

Any help is much appreciated....Mark
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Old 09-24-2005, 09:32 AM   #2  
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HDTV formats can only be carried over Component, HDMI/DVI, or Firewire.

Composite video & SVideo are limited to 480i SDTV.

Since you've got an EDTV, anything accepted by the set will be converted to 480p for display.
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Old 09-24-2005, 09:46 AM   #3  
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Hello RSawdey,
I do not understand your answer (I am a novice!). Should I bother with the HDMI or the blue/green/red wires or leave it as it is set up? Do I have Component or DVI right now? Thanks for your patience....
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Old 09-24-2005, 11:04 AM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Pel
Hello RSawdey,
I do not understand your answer (I am a novice!). Should I bother with the HDMI or the blue/green/red wires or leave it as it is set up? Do I have Component or DVI right now? Thanks for your patience....
It isn't clear to me what TV set you actually own. You allow for an "ED" in its nomenclature, but I can't find that anywhere for Panasonic TVs. The "ED" would suggest you don't have an HDTV, but the Panasonic TH-42PHD6UY (without the "ED") is indeed a HDTV-ready set (sans receiver).

I'd guess you have an HDTV (based on the "HD" within the model number, in which case you need to use at least component cabling (with composite audio) to carry a HD signal to it. But I'm not sure, because I can't find a link to the model number you indicate.

This is the only decent hit I got running that model nomenclature through Google:
Panasonic TH42PHD6UY specifications
Please let us know if this is indeed your set, and we can proceed from there with more confidence.

In general with re to cabling: the quality of AV cabling is much more important than cabling for speakers. For the latter a run of heavy-gauge copper does pretty much the same job as more exotic (and correspondingly more expensive) connects, but AV signals are more complex and so a jump up in quality does make a difference (well, usually makes a difference over the crap sent to you in the hardware box).

There's a wealth of good AV cabling available these days, but it's not cheap. I buy Monster because I know that stuff works, and also because it's readily available from vendors downtown (e.g., Circuit City, Good Guys). But it's not cheap. There's more costly product out there and cheaper cabling, too. Some of the less-expesive cabling might do as well, but I don't know that for sure as I haven't used it.

For me, I wouldn't go any lower than Monster, especially not in a "test" situation. That is to say, if your AV system won't function properly with Monster connects all around then it's a very safe bet that whatever your problem is has nothing to do with your cables, so then you're free to look elsewhere for a solution. If you use the el-cheapo cables in the hardware box you'll never be sure--plus it's almost guaranteed that this cabling will degrade your signal to one extent or another (as opposed to high-quality cabling), which is why we call it el cheapo.

Please get back to us with precise information regarding the model of the TV you own.
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Old 09-25-2005, 05:54 AM   #5  
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http://www.plasmatvbuyingguide.com/p...uy-review.html

tristanjohn,
Thanks for getting back to me. I have enclosed the closest model I could find to the Panasonic I bought in May of 2004. It is definitely an ED TV with 852*480 pixel layout. (I mistakenly put in the HD model number, it is PWD6, not the HD PHD6, my fault!).

I bought this commercial model and added the Panasonic speakers along side it (it sounds great, I am not a "loud TV guy").

I will take your advice and get the better cables, I an using the ones provided. Even though it is an ED, I can definitely see an improved picture on the HD channels (I have read that the picture is about 20% "less" than an HD).

I do not know what wires that DTV sent me with the receiver (the blue/green/red ones) are for, and should I do the HDMI connection?

Last question; when I add an off air antenna, how do I get my local channels in hi def? I know I can get them (I checked by my zip code), and the tech who installed the receiver said it would say Channel 11-1 instead of channel 11....

Again, thanks for your input and patience.....
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Old 09-25-2005, 01:02 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Pel
http://www.plasmatvbuyingguide.com/p...uy-review.html

tristanjohn,
Thanks for getting back to me. I have enclosed the closest model I could find to the Panasonic I bought in May of 2004. It is definitely an ED TV with 852*480 pixel layout. (I mistakenly put in the HD model number, it is PWD6, not the HD PHD6, my fault!).

I bought this commercial model and added the Panasonic speakers along side it (it sounds great, I am not a "loud TV guy").

I will take your advice and get the better cables, I an using the ones provided. Even though it is an ED, I can definitely see an improved picture on the HD channels (I have read that the picture is about 20% "less" than an HD).

I do not know what wires that DTV sent me with the receiver (the blue/green/red ones) are for, and should I do the HDMI connection?

Last question; when I add an off air antenna, how do I get my local channels in hi def? I know I can get them (I checked by my zip code), and the tech who installed the receiver said it would say Channel 11-1 instead of channel 11....

Again, thanks for your input and patience.....
As you apparently have HDMI INPUT (and DVI according to what I found--that's amazing for a EDTV set when I think on it) you could try the HDMI cable that came with your receiver (I assume you got one in the box) and see how that works--this would save you the trouble of hooking up audio. But you should also try the DVI and component cabling and see if one of those somehow work better. Hell, even try S-video while you're at it, although that's a step down (in theory) from the component video signal. But you never know what will work best with any given unit--depends on circuitry in both receiver and TV, plug-ends, how the winds blow. . . . (This assumes you already have those cables--I wouldn't go out and start buying anything expensive willy nilly. Once you settle on a given connect system, then I'd buy something of quality for that configuration.)

The hit I got on CNET says your unit is HDTV-ready, which isn't really the case, but that's what it says anyway. A user says the same thing, but I don't know. Some people throw the term "HDTV" around pretty loosely, or at least they used to, which tends to cause marketplace confusion. The unit you have will accept a 720p or 1080i signal, but its native resolution won't display that high.

Just a note: I'm kind of suprised people buy into EDTV technology, but apparently many do. You just might consider selling your present TV on E-Bay, for instance, and getting an HDTV instead, which is where it's at, has been at, and will continue to be at . . . until something better rolls along. And don't hold your breath on that. To my mind EDTV was (and I guess still is) an unfortunate compromise presented to the public in the early days of HDTV when the latter sets were priced higher than they were today--and yet you bought your set just a year ago, so there you go.

Otherwise, the reviews I've been able to read seem more or less favorable toward your unit. It seems to be a good one. It won't afford you HD images, but it will play back material in 480p, and that's a definite step up from SDTV. (In fact I'd kinda like to hook your set up to a really good DVD player, like something halfway high--end from Denon or Marantz, and see how good that image might be. Pretty decent, likely.)

I don't know about that figure of some 20% degradation from HD signals/source material, though. That would depend on how well a user's TV displayed 480p. To your eye it might look just as good, to mine it might not. I'd guess most people (even forgiving viewers) could see the difference in detail between 480p and 1080i displayed signals (that assumes a HD signal coming in). On the other hand, SD content displayed on your set might, for all I know, look better than on a TV with 1080i native resolution. Some HDTVs just don't do well with SD material, others do somewhat better according to the feedback out there. (My older Toshiba HDTV does okay, but it's nothing all that great.)

Anyway, try the cables that came with your unit first, then ask yourself if that's good enough. If you want to experiment, go for it. I doubt, however, that HDMI or DVI connects would do much for you over and above component cabling, and the latter comes cheaper.

Note: I almost missed this stuff. The green, blue and red cables are your component connects. Be sure you match those cables with the right-colored holes on your receiver/TV. Also, don't forget your two composite audio cables! As for HDTV OTA, you'll need a HDTV antenna for that running into your TV's receiver. They don't cost all that much. In your case I'd have an installer come out and set it up for you.

Last edited by tristanjohn; 09-25-2005 at 01:18 PM..
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Old 09-25-2005, 02:02 PM   #7  
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You can't use SVideo for anything except 480i. It CAN'T carry HD, or even 480p EDTV.

You'll want to connect your antenna to the DirecTV HD STB, not to the TV.

A 480p EDTV has 407,000 pixels, a 720p HDTV has 922,000. EDTV has less than half the spatial resolution of HDTV, and half the framerate.
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Old 09-25-2005, 02:06 PM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Pel
Hello RSawdey,
I do not understand your answer (I am a novice!). Should I bother with the HDMI or the blue/green/red wires or leave it as it is set up? Do I have Component or DVI right now? Thanks for your patience....
I don't understand WHAT kind of setup you have now... you've just said what you DON'T have! Yes, you NEED to use either Component + audio, or DVI + audio, or HDMI to carry an HDTV signal.
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Old 09-25-2005, 02:06 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSawdey
You can't use SVideo for anything except 480i. It CAN'T carry HD, or even 480p EDTV.

You'll want to connect your antenna to the DirecTV HD STB, not to the TV.

A 480p EDTV has 407,000 pixels, a 720p HDTV has 922,000. EDTV has less than half the spatial resolution of HDTV, and half the framerate.
Point is he can apparently collect those signals, then display them at the set's native resolution, thus the "HDTV-ready" advertising, which I find to be totally bogus.
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Old 09-25-2005, 02:53 PM   #10  
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A 480p EDTV has 407,000 pixels, a 720p HDTV has 922,000. EDTV has less than half the spatial resolution of HDTV, and half the framerate.
Actually, just to be precise so as not to confuse, there are 9 different ATSC EDTV specs. Quantity of pixels range from 307,200 to 337,920. Six are 4:3 aspect ratio. Three are 16:9 aspect ratio. There are three framerates allowed in the EDTV specs, 24fps, 30fps and 60fps. The most common used for displays is the 60fps. Most plasma EDTVs are not built to the ATSC specification. The Panny, for example, is a 853x480 pixel array which yields 409,440 pixels. Other formats are scaled to the native resolution of the display by the internal scaler. For example for one of the 704x480 formats the pixels per line would be scaled up from 704 pixels to 853 pixels and the number of lines would be left unchainged.

The 407,000 pixels was an approximation, I'm sure, so don't get too wrapped up in the exact numbers, just know that EDTV is roughly 1/3 the number of pixels for 720p HDTV.

For more information see: DTV Formats and How That Relates to HDTV

Now when a broadcast 480i/30fps signal is displayed on the EDTV the framerate is at 30fps as RSawdey said.

Last edited by rbinck; 09-25-2005 at 03:00 PM..
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Old 09-25-2005, 05:40 PM   #11  
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Originally Posted by rbinck
Actually, just to be precise so as not to confuse, there are 9 different ATSC EDTV specs. Quantity of pixels range from 307,200 to 337,920. Six are 4:3 aspect ratio. Three are 16:9 aspect ratio. There are three framerates allowed in the EDTV specs, 24fps, 30fps and 60fps. The most common used for displays is the 60fps. Most plasma EDTVs are not built to the ATSC specification. The Panny, for example, is a 853x480 pixel array which yields 409,440 pixels. Other formats are scaled to the native resolution of the display by the internal scaler. For example for one of the 704x480 formats the pixels per line would be scaled up from 704 pixels to 853 pixels and the number of lines would be left unchainged.

The 407,000 pixels was an approximation, I'm sure, so don't get too wrapped up in the exact numbers, just know that EDTV is roughly 1/3 the number of pixels for 720p HDTV.

For more information see: DTV Formats and How That Relates to HDTV

Now when a broadcast 480i/30fps signal is displayed on the EDTV the framerate is at 30fps as RSawdey said.
As I understand it no plasma/lcd TV less than 50 inch can't display a full HD signal anyway so it doesn't really matter. I just bought the new 42 inch Pany 50U EDTV with HDMI. I don't watch many sports, My local stations broadcast Prime Time shows only in HD, though I question if some really are HD. I have a D HD Tivo, lots of HD material there , and SD looks far better on my EDTV than the HD's I watched. Plus $1800. In a few years, or less when the dust has settled I'll bite again. I have read that resolution is a small part of the whole pie. In my case the Pany EDTV works. In same 42 inch screen size I don't think your pixel comparison is correct. Pany lists the 42 HD as 786,432, 50 inch as 1049,088 pixels.

Last edited by sectime; 09-25-2005 at 06:08 PM..
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Old 09-26-2005, 03:39 PM   #12  
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The Panny the original poster was speaking of was not a 42 HD. Yes a 42 HD is 1024x768 pixels which is 786,432 pixels. They also claim it to be a HD display not a ED display.
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Old 09-26-2005, 04:03 PM   #13  
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The 42 is 1024 x 768 = 786,432, and the 50 is 1366 x 768 = 1,049,088. The EDTV is 853 x 480 = 409,440, and the 720p standard is 1280 x 720 = 921,600.
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