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About Redmist

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  1. The new Pioneer plasmas might put the cat amongst the pigeons. The blacks are even better than SXRD from all reports. Plasma might once again become the display of choice just when it looked like LCD might take over.
  2. As much as I like my DLP, they can't compete with SXRD...except maybe on price.
  3. 70" is a good size for 3.5m. Anything less won't really do justice to 1080 2.35:1 movies. Even if the picture quality was slightly worse I'd recommend the bigger display, but luckily the SXRDs have top notch picture quality (once you get them set up well) so if you've got the room, it's a no-brainer.
  4. There's lots of alternatives to MCE. None of them have a decent WAF though.
  5. Obviously you need a VGA input to feed them 100Hz. They take a 50Hz signal via composite, s-video etc and double it internally. My only experience is with Metz & Loewe 100Hz TVs btw.
  6. Most 100Hz CRT TVs can only accept a 100Hz Interlaced signal. They can usually only accept either 576p@50Hz or 576i@100Hz. I even ran one at 720i @ 86Hz which was surprisingly good for PC gaming but a bit laughable by modern plasma & LCD standards. The reason for 100Hz TVs is that the phosphors in CRT TVs lose their light output constantly and need to be refreshed. If you do it twice per frame, flicker is greatly reduced.
  7. I'm still yet to see a 'Made in China' electronic product that has lasted more than 3 years - regardless of the badge. I know that electronic products are designed to fail just outside of waranty but Chinese manufacturing has not proven itself yet. Anyone who's dealt with one of the big electronics companies over warranty issues in recent years will know that it's like trying to get blood from a stone. If failures were rare they wouldn't have any problem honouring their warranties. Instead, they come up with any excuse under the sun to avoid coughing up. I've been in contact with lots of Sony, Panasonic, Samsung etc products in recent years that have shown very poor reliability. They've all had one thing in common - 'Made in China' Only time will tell, but personally I'd go out of my way to avoid ANY expensive product that's made in China. Recent history shows that the name of the parent company has little bearing on the quality of the end product.
  8. Well, you can't hang them on a wall, they don't look as bright or vivid in a showroom and you need to replace the bulbs occasionally so maybe average Joe perceives them to be an outdated technology. That's my guess anyway. Luckily none of those things matter one iota to me.
  9. I personally use a Media Centre but that's only because I have the skill to make one from the ground up that's extremely compact, quiet and stable. I've also got enough knowledge of video, deinterlacing, codecs and software like Powerstrip to set it up properly. I'm also good at resisting the urge to tinker so that when it's working well, it stays that way....though I do keep a backup of my entire installation that I can restore in a matter of minutes if everything goes pear-shaped. My system is pretty stable though and I don't think I've missed any recordings yet. It seems to 'wake-up' reliably. If it's not your hobby then a PVR is a much better option. To be honest, if it wasn't for Windows Media Center 2005 (Rollup2) and the spiffy Microsoft remote, I wouldn't even contemplate a media centre. Once you've got it setup well, most wives would probably find it easier to use than a PVR.
  10. I know where you're coming from. Every time I walk into a showroom and browse around the various displays, there's nothing that really impresses me. Every single display on the market today seems to have at least one major shortcoming that's a deal breaker for me. As others have said, I'm not sure if I'll be satisfied until SED makes an appearance. With plasma and LCD it seems to be a case of which one I hate least rather than which one I like best. When I bought my CRT 10 years ago, I just walked into a shop, saw a picture that blew me away and I handed over the cash. I just don't feel compelled to do that at this moment in time.
  11. Plasma Pros ======== Natural colour reproduction High contrast Black blacks Uniform colours when viewing off axis Clear, sharp motion (no blur) Relatively inexpensive for large sizes like 50" Plasma Cons ======== Limited sizes (i.e. large sizes only) Limited resolutions (e.g. 1366x768 for 50") (May increase in future) Slightly susceptible to image retention LCD Pros ====== Available in a very wide variety of sizes/resolutions (e.g. 24" 1920x1080) Good brightness Good sharpness (Great for PC use) Inexpensive in small sizes LCD Cons ======= Blacks are a bit too grey Poor contrast Unnatural looking colour graduations Picture colour/contrast changes when viewing off axis Motion blur Average power consumption is roughly similar for both technologies (Plasma uses a lot of power in bright scenes and not much power in dark scenes. LCD is constant) This is only a rough summary of the two technologies - there's a lot of variation between models and there are also a lot of other factors. The bottom line is that both are great and if you're looking for about 40-42" size it just comes down to what particular model you personally like the look of. The main thing I look for is that the display is capable of 50Hz (preferably at native res via a PC for HTPC use) Displays that convert 50Hz material to 60Hz make me sick and shouldn't be sold here IMO.
  12. My DVD player has 3 settings - PAL, NTSC, PAL60. I use PAL60 as it shows PAL DVDs at 576i@50Hz and my NTSC DVDs at 480i@60Hz. If I use NTSC, I have to adjust the colour on my display but PAL60 is the same as PAL as far as colour goes. If I set my DVD player to just PAL, I get small stutters on NTSC DVDs. (Even worse than 3:2 pulldown stutters)
  13. Like I said, I doubt anyone who's seen true HD would make such an outrageous claim. I've shown a few 'average joes' a 720p recording of ABC's Planet Earth on my HD plasma and their jaw almost always hits the floor...and Planet Earth isn't even a patch on some of the 1080p movie trailers I've got on my PC as far as quality and detail goes.
  14. Well, none of Foxtel's boxes have a DVI or HDMI output so they're analogue but Foxtel's picture quality is so poor that it doesn't really make much difference anyway. With a $3000 budget you could possibly get a Hitachi 42" High Def if you bargain hard - great picture quality and an attractive black casing. If you go for SD you could probably take your pick of quite a few brands.