Looking for 42in Plasma TV Please help

Im putting in an home theater system in a family room closet 8 feet long 2 ft deep . I will be taking off the doors and want to put a 42 in plasma in the center. The Lcd and dlp are nice but when your off center it fades. I will be sitting back about 9FT . Im looking for the best plasma for about 6000 HD Thanks
Demo the Panasonic, Pioneer, and Fujitsu.

And join the plasma addicts here:


Yes, it will become an addiction...you've been warned!
Isnt it the Plasma screens that Buzz?

I was in soundtrack the other day, and i was checking out all of the plasma screens and man, it sounded like a damn bee-hive.

I might be "bass ackwards" on this, but i think the best way to go is LCD, because the LCD screens dont Buzz and they also hit darker levels of black, while Plasma never gets darker than a real dark grey.

The plasma's sure are slick, but when you hit a quiet part of the movie, that buzzing will sound as loud as a bug-zapper.

if you are looking for something 60 inches across, you gotta go with a LCD, cause i dont think philips has finished its 60 lcd panel factory.

Either way, next time you are checking these out, listen for the buzz.
Definately check out the Hitachi plasmas. They make many of the other brand plasmas too but keep the best for themselves. They are knockout.
At 9feet, you will be hapy with just about anything available. the bigger question is what you are going to use as your DAC(digital/audio converter). If you are planning to use the DAC that comes with the plasma screen, understand that the whole world is in chaos. Satellite and DVDs are about to come out with high definition quality feeds that might contain certain copy protected signals. it is a bit like macrovision on High Definition. So, if you plan to use the DVI input on your plasma which means you will be using the screen's DAC, be sure that it has the copy protected circuits. Otherwise, your picture will be a bit degraded. If you are simply using the screen as a monitor, which means your DAC preceeds the screen, I don't believe this will be a problem. anyway, be aware of this process as many current models lack the processor and you might find yourself redundant before you know it.

another thing, do searches on plasma screens on the internet and you will find some good deals. Chech out the Plasma Depot, amoung others.
First of all, check out www.plasmatvbuyingguide.com (plasma tv buying guide.com) to educate yourself. I spent countless hours on there, and I have owned a 42" Panasonic for about 6 months.

LCD is supposed to last longer than plasma. However, it has not reached 42" size or larger due to brightness issue as a result of a single light bulb, which is replaceable. Plasma can resolve the brightness issue. However, it has problem with achieving blackness. Darkness level on plasma cannot be like a tube TV. However, Panasonic has achieved the best blackness level based on my research 6 months ago. Technologies may have changed for other brands. Do your research. Unlike light bulb of LCD screen, plasma gas cannot be recharged. Plasma life is about 20K-30K hours of watching TV. If I watch 11 hours of TV/day, that would last me ~ 5 years minimum, based on conservative calculation, which amasses about 20K hours. By then, I ought to purchase new TV. As far as the buzz noise, it can be due to the fan noise since plasma consumes lots of power and generates lots of heat. Panasonic is considered to consume least power in its class, i.e. average about 280-300w (which is equivalent to a HOT 300w halogen lamp). Others consume up to 500w. Since Panasonic consumes relative little heat, it does not have a fan. Thus, there is no fan noise. I don't know what it's like to own a plasma in Arizona in the summer since I live near coastal area of Los Angeles. However, it will keep you cozy in the winter.

By this summer, Panasonic should have released new plama panel with Digital Video Interface (DVI) port. With DVI, signals can be processed pure digitally, which is at High Definition signal or ~ 1280 dpi. However, a 42" HD panel w/ such high resolution costs almost twice as much as a 42" EDTV plasma (native resolution is 480 dpi). If you decide to purchase an EDTV panel (480 dpi), DVI port does not help b/c signals has to derez (deresolution) from HD 1280 down to ED 480 dpi.

You should always look at the signals and resolution of source and target. If you use cable for signals, get EDTV w/o DVI to save $. If you use Dish or Direct TV w/ regular standard free decoder, get EDTV b/c signals from such satellite dish provider often come at maximum 480 dpi or less. Those satellite dish companies often try to squeeze as much programs through as much as possible, signals has to be compromised in order to push many programs through, meaning it is less than 480 dpi. If you want the best, get HD plasma w/ DVI port & HD decoder. HD plasma is very expensive. HD decoder is still very expensive ($500-$700/ unit depending mostly on how fast it can change channel). Since most satellite programs currently do not broadcast in HD signals, you probably will get standard satellite dish decoder to process at a max rate of 480dpi. Matching signals are the best since there will be no conversion. Converting up or down is not optimal. Try to keep native resolution matched. For example, get EDTV 480dpi w/ standard free decoder for satellite dish broadcast mostly at 480 dpi for most programs. Don't get HD plasma and get standard 480dpi decoder. You will waste your $ for not spending wisely.

To improve plasma resoln', use component cable for video and power conditioner to minimize noise on plasma screen. I have seen improvement on my part. All I can say is that I saw T3, Matrix Reload, and Italian Job in theater -- I didn't like any of them b/c giant theater screen is so blurry compared to plasma. When you magnified so big from a little 35mm film, things will get blurry. As far as cinemic sound, that's what Audiogon is for. Personally, I like to watch new release on DVD more than to watch new release in theater.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, neither do I b/c it's 1 AM right now. JK. Just ask more.
My comments are a little off target with the user's initial question, but I just thought I'd mention that I saw TV ads for Gateway's 42inch plasma for a mere $2,499. It seems like such a great price point. I hadn't really considered a plasma at prior pricepoints, but it's getting mightly tempting.

Also, I'd recommend waiting a litte to get the plasma (even about two months) because the CEDIA show is taking place in early September and that's where manufacturers come out with the latest plasmas, as well as other video gear. So prices typically go down and technology goes up following the show. Just a thought. Also, if you do go for a plasma with DVI input, my understanding is that the picture is jaw-droppingly good on DVD, but you are quite restricted in the DVD player you can use. I believe you can only use a "Bravo" DVD player made by V.Inc.(which is very cheap, but looks, and likely sonics are below par) - believe it or not it's the only player on the market now with DVI out, or you would need a Home Theatre PC with a video card with DVI output - preferably a high-end Radeon Card (I heard issues with the nVidia DVI). Good luck in the search.
Gateway 42" plasma is actually made by Sampo. They just slap the brand on. Brightness ratio is not as bright as that of Panasonic (3000:1 even though a somewhat unreal number). Moreover, blackness level is far from par of Panasonic. It's grey.

If you want the best value, I spot an AKAI 42" plasma on sale at Costco during the last week of August. This silver EDTV unit comes w/ 2 matching side speakers (15watt ea). It has not 1 but 2 built-in TV tuners, meaning it can do split screen. My brother-in-law needs this feature b/c he is a sport fan. It has DVI port. It has table stand like most others. Brightness is only 1200:1, and I could see the greyish blackness. The price was $2700 for all those features.

I saw a 42" EDTV Panasonic on sale for $3400 at the Good Guys. Unfortunately, it was an open box. I highly recommend Audiogon member not to buy any open-box plasma unit b/c pixel burns in quickly. I have seen recommendation not to pause a DVD player for more than 90 seconds on plasma.

DVI is best used for HD plasma (1080i) w/ HD decoder that comes w/ such port. One would be looking at pure digital signal being processed w/o being converted to analog and derez. HD plasma and good HD decoder are still very expensive. Many satellite & free NTSC programs are currently not broadcast in HD signals. Therefore, signals often have to be derez if HD panel is used. Might as well get EDTV w/ standard satellite decoder to best match signals. The ideal goal is not to covert any signal up or down. If your EDTV plasma does not have DVI port, don't get the DVI card b/c I have seen forum on Panasonic official website that such card does not improve the resolution. If you decide to get EDTV, you probably save yourself some $ buy getting an older version w/o DVI port. If you have EDTV unit (480i), get progressive DVD player which will give 480i resolution. If you have 1080i HD plasma, it will be limited by the output of progressive DVD player. There are many reasons why I do not encourage people to get any HD unit as FTC signals are not standardized yet.

Unclejeff was right about DVI with copy protection. With digital signals, they have fire wall for protection. You can't copy programs broadcast in HD signals. Those programs can be from free NTSC, HD Net, HD Discovery, or Pay Per View. He was also right about Plasma Depot. It was listed as one of the trust-worthy Internet businesses by Plasma TV Buying Guide.com. Check out such website. There are many other trustworthy-rated Internet dealers. Pick one closest to you, and make sure to spend extra to get White Glove certified delivery group. No UPS, DHL, or FedEx. The glass and screen are very expensive.

My intention is not to shoot any body down. These are info which I found from doing research. I am just sharing these info with Audiogon members. The buyer is the ultimate decision maker. Cash was my biggest factor b/c it's costly to be labeled early adaptor. Buy whatever makes you happy. That's what counts.

A the above post by you is pure poetry. Sell said!
Just pure opinion from doing research. I forgot that Htsteve has $6K to spend. 42" HD unit costs around $6K + S&H. If there's no money left, he can charge a Sony HD decoder for $700 + few more $ for good cables.

"For a beautiful picture, it's priceless. For everything else, it's Master Card." Citicards.
Thanks for the advice. I went to Andersons TV and saw the Panasonic 42PA20u/P . It was a 2004 model and it blew everything they had in plasmas away including the HD models from Panasonic Sony Pioneer and Fujitsu. Retail price was 4400.00. It had a sony HD decorder, Like I said it was stunning. Since the tech. in this field is changing so fast I think this is a good bet. Please give me your info on this . Would this be the best decorder for this since I really do not know that much about them and what cables should I use. thank you very much for your info Steve
This new unit is much better than what I have. Mine is an old model that is replaced by this model. This new model has 2 more S-video inputs, 2 more component inputs, built-in NTSC, closed caption, scalable P-I-P, brighter ratio, over billion colors, alarm clock, DVI port, and speakers. Mine has none of the mentioned. On top of that, the retail on this new unit is $500 less than the old unit. What a deal! I wished that I had waited. The only thing about this unit is that it does not accept 720i signal. ABC network broadcast some programs in 720i mode. You can use standard satellite decoder box to scale down to 480i, or up to 1080i if it's a HD decoder. The new unit accepts either resolution.

For a better deal, check out www.justsayelectronic.com., which is a Deal Time Certified Dealer. From the Panasonic HDTV discussion, a very knowledgeable person on such web site has bought a Sony TV from them. Justsayelectronic.com listed the new Pana unit for $3200 + $200 S&H. The $200 S&H sounds seems like a standard fee of White Gloves. Call them to verify.

Do more research on regarding such unit on Panasonic.com, avsforum.com, & plasmatvbuyingguide.com

As far as cable, I am not familiar with DVI cable. All my video cables are from IXOS (England). Not your best, but better than Monster Cable in terms of price for similar performance, if not better.
I found the plasma you cited for $3,799 at the following link:
I can't vounch for this or other sellers though, but just thought I'd pass on the link as it's a good chunk cheaper that the one you were looking at. Best of luck
There was a typo. Justsayelectronics.com. I forgot the letter s. Anyhow, the price I just check is $3359. The older model, which I have, is about $300 less. My recommendation is to go w/ the new model since so much more features are offered. My model is just a display. The new model is a TV.
I have been eyeing on plasma for a while. I consistently see plasmahouse.com to have the lowest price, it's also a dealtime certified dealer. It sells the Panny for less than $3200, that's a great deal and almost the same price as the pro model.
Gateway. I have one in my bedroom set up and love it. I could have spent $2000.00 more and the plasma would not have been any better.You will need good power cables interconnects and a good power con or plant like the PS Audio 300.
Gateway 42" unit is currently offered for $2700. For few hundred bucks extra as Semi saw on plasma house.com, I said the new Panasonic model is totally worth it. Cost is the major factor, but not the only factor. One must look at brightness ratio, blackness intensity (as closed to the cathod-ray tube TV as possible), DVI ports, number of component video ports (to accomodate DVD and HD decoder), number of S-video ports (VCRs), number of composite video (video game & camcorder), native resolution, other signal capabilities (1080,720,480), built-in tuner, closed caption, P-I-P feature for sport fan, clock, alarm, and speakers. Most old units are just pure display panel, which rely on decoder box for TV tuner, and AVR or amp-preamp system w/ external speakers setup. Moreover, they don't have that many video inputs available to accomodates all those typical gears in a typical household.

Panasonic new model is more like the current conventional TV -- only better, i.e brighter, clearer due to over billion colors and better resolution capability, and darker like a true tube TV w/ speakers. B/c my current old Pana unit does not have its own speakers, I have to watch regular TV shows in stereo mode w/ two huge speakers, which is somewhat overkilled. Every time the commercials come on, they are loud. I wished that I had traditional small TV speakers for regular TV shows so that I could use those big speakers to watch HT movies only. In my case, I have no choice but to use my amp and processor all the time to drive my speakers just to watch TV shows. These units together can really generate some heat. My electrical bills are substantially higher. My current Panasonic unit is considered to be consumped the least energy in its class. That is why it does not have a fan like other 42" models, which can have loud fan noise, depending the distance between the viewer and the panel. Regardless, the wattage is the average power consumption is 300 watt, which is like a hot halogen lamp. In my case, I have 6 low-votage recess lights, warm plasma panel, and all the audio gears. In the winter, it's cozy, but in the summer, it's hot. As a result, I have my AC on all the time, thus, explaining the higher electrical bill as a consequence of getting a display panel only. And I live near the coastal area in California. Just to share with you all my ownership experience regarding the display only unit. On the plus side, every TV shows sound awesome, incuding boring CNN news. heh heh heh

I don't know if there's any subliminal message in those LOUD TV commercials, but my wife shops more than before and my kids demand more toys than ever. Disclaimer: this could be just a bias guy thing on intepretation.
Thanks for all your advice Im still up in the air. I have been to a couple of high end stores and they all like the Fujitsu HD models Does any one have one of these units and can you please comment on this.
Umm, this may be off base, but with a 2 foot deep closet why don't you go rear projection TV and save about $3000. Get a top of the line RPTV with built in HDTV, or external, your pick, and if you want the "I hung it on the wall" look, just frame in across the bottom of the TV-- you'll only see the screen. I won't tell anybody it's not plasma if you won't, and you'll get way better blacks without pixelization or as many motion artifacts- no buzzing or fans, either. Just a thought.
Samsung DLP off axis looks great. Best picture for the money.. I have sold lotsa plasma tvs and lotsa DLP.. I would buy the dlp because you cannot burn it in, great off axis very good in bright light fits my budget.. new lamp ='s new tv..all are hd by nature..Personally you will be ahead of the depreciation curve.. There will be something better than both of these in the next 3 yrs.Tom
I've been looking at plasmas due to space limitations, but I have to admit that the RP HDTVs I saw yesterday knocked me out. And cost at best buy for a 50-60" 16:9 was about $2200-2400.00! So if you have the room, Pmkalby is on the money.

I am just as confused as you are. Perhaps if you can answer these few questions, may be you will have a sense of direction which you want to go.

1) "What do I want?" EDTV or HDTV. You mentioned Panasonic EDTV and Fujitsu HDTV. What would dictate such outcome? Money? Resolution?

2) Once you have decided whether it's EDTV or HDTV, the next question is manufacturer? "Will it be Panasonic, Fujitsu, Mitsubishi, Pioneer, or Sony?" If it's EDTV, I like Panasonic. If it's HDTV, any is good for me personally.
3) "What features are important for me?" 3:2 pull down, types and number of video inputs, P-I-P, speakers, closed caption, clock, ...

4) "Have I done my research on other websites for professional reviews?" Look for ownership experience, but don't look for personal reviews b/c those reviews have bias due to limited ownership. If I own more than one brand of plasma, I can tell you which one I like best. Unfortunately, I only own one brand. The only way to compare apple for apple is to compare all technical information, such as resolution, features, and others, ect...

5) "Am I still w/in my budget, or do I have to trim something to make this purchase possible?"

One thing for sure is that whatever decision you make after having done your research, I'm sure that you will be very happy w/ it. I notice that most plasma owners are happy with their choices. Nicknapster is happy with his Gateway. I am happy w/ my Panasonic. Sony loyal customers will be happy with their Sony. What can I say? Perhaps you can do more research on other websites to figure out your personal best bang for the buck.
I have kooked long and hard to find the best for the buck and the Panasonic EDTV wins . I looked at EDTV and HDTV side by side and I really can not tell much difference. The HDTV had a little richer colors but not much for the price difference. Please reply thanks
HDTV plasma looks sharper if it receives HD signals from HD decoder currently costing from $600-$900, depending on how fast it can change channel as the primary costly feature. Add the price of HDTV, HD decoder, well insulated component video cable, well insulated digital audio cable from HD decoder box, and power conditioner to get good no-snow images. If the price difference is still small, I would go with HDTV even though FTC signals are yet to be standardized.

EDTV plasma looks better if it receives Enhanced Digital signals, which is widely broadcast on satellite dish. Ideal digital signal for EDTV is 480. Satellite dish may feed 480i or less, depending on the number of programs it wants to squeeze through. Digital receivers are currently offered for free with 2 years contract with either Dish or Direct TV. I recommend Direct TV. Just get power conditioner and a good S-video cable to go w/ free digital decoder . Total the price to see if the difference is still small. You should get all digital channels. If you said Panasonic EDTV wins, there is only one new model that I know. If you use terrestial HD decoder with this new Panasonic model, you won't get certain programs on ABC network b/c broadcast signal are in 720. In such case, have the decoder derez down to 480, and you should be good. Good luck.
I agree with theaudiotweak. Samsung's DLP TV is the way to go. Plasma TVs are filled with a gas that WILL leak out over a ten year period. After that the TV is dead and nothing can revive it. The reason why plasma TV repair plans cost $1000 dollars a year is because of the high likelihood that the gas will leak out sooner. Rear projection TVs are less costly to buy and maintain, but are darker, have a narrower viewing area and are much, much bigger than Plasma TVs.

DLP TVs are much less expensive than a Plasma TV, but with the same brightness and viewing area. DLPs can sit on top of a table because they have no bulky base and are half as deep as a rear projection TV. DLPs have no gas to leak out. If the picture goes bad, simply replace the light bulb.

With all the hoopla over Plasma TVs and Rear Projection TVs, few realize the potential of the Samsung DLP TV. Over time the DLPs will probably win the HDTV war. In the meantime, a lot of people are making costly mistakes rushing into the HDTV game.
I'm not a lawyer, but I have to use the lawyer's response, "It depends."

So far I have not owned any TV and have not known any one to own a TV more than 10 years even though those units are in working condition. Because technology improves and changes rapidly, old TVs are ill in comparision. That's a fact. To exacerbate the matter, natural age diminishes the quality of the picture. Even my poor visions could tell the difference in image quality between a 25" console and a HDTV unit. Moreover, it is human nature to relentlessly pursue for something better. The adage states," The grass is greener on the other side... And we gotta keep up w/ the Jones." Most of us probably upgraded to a 50" projector TV that comes w/ a universal remote control when the old 25" console that came with the old clicker were still working. It's tough to own a 25" console when TV commercials, Sunday ads, and electronic stores display nothing but big screens. Furthermore, it's even tougher to go into electronic stores to purchase a new universal remote control to replace an old clicker yet to resist the temptation of big screen as one would see consumers taking turns to park their trucks in front of the store to load their new-purchased big screens. As a consumer, the purchase power often increases over time while the price of technology from yesterday drops at the speed of gravity. Given the inverse relationship, it is very tough to resist the big screen TVs, which the Jones already own 4 units in their house.

Therefore, it depends on the personal preference. DLP may be the way to go for some. For others, 10 years can be a long time for those who are labeled as "early adaptor." Redwoodgarden is right on the fact that the "early adaptors" will have to pay their price, and I mean the world PRICE as in ka-ching!

I think that the person, who started this thread, is ready for a new THX A/V Receiver w/ DVI ports for some digital signals feeding into his EDTV plasma panel as he is tired of the old stereo receiver and the 25" TV console. I wonder what the HT in front of the name Steve stands for?
Just to let you know I had a Sim Titan, Ead Sig. Aeriel 10Ts center sub and surrounds,Vidikron Crystal 1 Projector . I listen 90% music 10% movies. I went to the stereo show in SF.and heard the Legend Von Gaylord system . I sold my HT system bought the Legend system . I spent 2 hours listening to this system and was just amazed at how good it sounded and everybody the came into the room was just floored. I have friends come over and there jaw just drops . We have a closet in the family room that has doors on it . The stereo is in it and a Sony 27in TV We want to take the doors off and put a entertament system in it
There are alternative to the Samsung DLP projector, Sony and Panasonic both make RPTV using LCD that are substaintially lighter and smaller than CRT based RPTV. Sony is more expensive, but Panasonic is less than Samsung. If you have room for RPTV, CRT is king followed by LCD. DLP can't compete with LCD in image quality.
Semi.. I sold the Samsung Dlp the Sony Lcd and the Panasonic Lcd. In the store we could not sell the Lcd units when sitting mear the Dlp..In this case the Samsung is clearly better..Tom
I saw the Sony DLP ,Samsung, and Fujitsu at the stereo show and was pretty impressed . Any comments on these units. Does anybody own one of these units. The price is much cheaper and includes speakers and tuner. It would have to be HD.50in. Thanks you guys have been a great help.
Since every body "was just floored" with your audio gears, why not extend that effect with your video gears. I vote for the new Panasonic EDTV plasma as it has the speakers, tunerS, and PIP, features which you just mentioned. Moreover, that unit is way within your budget. With such awesome audio gears like yours, you shouldn't use those Panasonic built-in TV speakers. Try watching shows on EDTV plasma in stereo mode with your gears. Better yet, try watching movies w/ your gears. You'll never step into theater again. :< )
check out plasma vs dlp on www.avsforum.com