I wish I could say I had some clever reason for reviewing two nearly identical plasmas. Perhaps there was, but it's lost to me now. A few months ago, Panasonic asked me if I wanted to review the TH-50PZ700U, so I said sure. Then, a month or so later, they asked me if I wanted to review the TH-42PZ700U, so I said sure. It's not all magic here, folks. Sometimes this kind of excitement just happens.
Well, all the parts are in, and it's time to build the beast. If you missed it, check out last month's GearWorks for all the doodahs and pieces for this all-new HTPC. If you're using this as a guide on how to build your own HTPC, let me give a few tips to start.
Released just last week, DVDO’s iScan VP50Pro is the first THX Certified scaler. It also has HDMI 1.3, and will accept and spit out just about every resolution you can imagine. Along with deinterlacing of 1080i and below, there is also mosquito noise reduction, detail enhancements, and just about every other goody you’d expect from a scaler. It’s $3,500.
Mitsubishi announced the HC6000, an update of the HC5000. They seem to have addressed all the issues we had with the 5000, such as the slow iris, and tiny menu size, but kept the things we liked, like the HQV processing and the low price. In fact, that got a bit lower, the HC6000 is “under $4000” and should be available in the middle of October.
Planar, the biggest company you’ve never heard of, has really hit the ground running at CEDIA this year. Fresh off their purchase of the fabled Runco brand, Planar showed off several new 1080p projectors.
It’s $999, has HQV processing, plays Blu-ray and HD DVD. What else do you need to know? Oh, the model number probably. BD-UP5000. Look for it before the end of the year. What a coincidence it’s the same price as the product in the post below…
Here’s a better pic of the Sharp BD player, the BD-HP20U, that I talked about many posts below. Turns out the “10 seconds on” is not exactly true, that’s if the player is already on and ready to go. From what they were telling me, it will still turn on quickly from off, but not that quickly.
Pioneer let loose a new Blu-ray player, the BDP-95FD. It’s part of their Elite line, and has the usual 1080p/24 output and HDMI 1.3. What’s different is that it will actually output the bitstream of Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD High Resolution and DTS-HD Master Audio. Up until now, even the HDMI 1.3 BD and HD DVD players all converted these formats to PCM before outputting them digitally. Look for it in October for around $1000.