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Panasonic TH42PM50U and TH42PX50u

by dschnarr / October 24, 2005 10:10 AM PDT

I have just purchased the Panasonic TH42PX50U - and am happy with it. But in a recent visit to Costco, saw the TH42PM50U for $900 less. Does anyone know the difference? (I hope there is one).

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Panasonic TH42PM50u Vs. PX
by bejanjoon / October 26, 2005 7:09 AM PDT

I believe the 42PM is just a monitor and does not include a tunner. The TX includes a NTSC and cable tv tunners.

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(NT) (NT) Thanks
by dschnarr / October 26, 2005 11:32 AM PDT
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by johng9210 / November 2, 2005 11:19 AM PST

Panasonic TV .Diff between TH42PM50U and TH42PX50U

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The difference is...
by tenmidgets / November 3, 2005 3:04 AM PST
In reply to: th42pm50u

The PM50U is an EDTV and not HD resolution.

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by jyospe / November 21, 2005 5:31 AM PST
In reply to: The difference is...

What exactly is an EDTV? i saw the tv at costco and it looked very good....and it was only $1700. EDTV is not HDTV? thanks

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Costco TH42PM50U
by bejanjoon / November 21, 2005 8:10 AM PST
In reply to: TH42PM50U--EDTV

EDTV Stands for Enhanced DTV. It has less resolution than HDTV which is usually 1024 by 768 (for a 42'' TV). Those are the Horz./Vertical dots. So if you have a EDTV and a HDTV next to each other you can see the dots on the EDTV and not on the HDTV.
One other caution with regards to the ine at Costco.. It does not have a tunner. Which means you have to rent the tunner from the cable company. So the $1700 is not so hot considering youll either have to by separate HD tunner or rent it.
Hope this helps.

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PM50U is HDTV, not EDTV
by sfbayarea / November 21, 2005 2:15 PM PST
In reply to: The difference is...

at least 50PM50U is. It doesn't have a tuner though comparing to PX50U.

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Costco TH42PM50U
by bejanjoon / November 22, 2005 1:11 AM PST

I actually went to Costco and on the shipping box it says EDTV. I dont have access to the specifications because even Panasonic does not list the PM model. I think this model is specific to Costco.

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42" vs. 50"
by sfbayarea / November 23, 2005 4:23 PM PST
In reply to: Costco TH42PM50U

maybe there is difference between the two sizes, but it doesn't make senes. Below is a copy/paste from Costco website:

[Model TH-50PM50U]

50" HDTV Ready
Plasma TV
Resolution: 1366 x 768
Contrast Ratio: 3000:1

Item # 960600

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42" Vs 50"
by bejanjoon / November 28, 2005 4:02 AM PST
In reply to: 42" vs. 50"

There is a difference. Obviously the 50" will have more dots (resolution) and with that resolution it IS HDTV. But look at the price too. I think the PM model is a Costco model and I cant find reference to it anywhere else. But at a $1700 price tag for the 42" its hard to believe youll br getting a HDTV set, Even though the people who have bought it seem to think so.
I have however seen the picture and its very good.

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it does sound like EDTV price wise.
by sfbayarea / November 28, 2005 12:35 PM PST
In reply to: 42" Vs 50"

$1700 for a 42'' HDTV is VERY realistic in nowdays -- BestBuy lists a Maxent model for $1900 whereas a 42'' Maxent EDTV for $1500.

But all Panasonic HDTVs carry primium prices. It's very UNlikely $1700 is HD. It sounds more like ED for sure.

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42PM vs the 42px
by terrapinball / March 19, 2006 2:05 AM PST

The difference is the Cosco unit is a 480P (DVD quality) set. It does not have an ATSC digital tuner. It can not display HDTV (720p or 1080i). It will bring in NTSC analog signals (480i) and upconvert them to progressive (480p), and it will, with the help of a HD set top box (STB), display digitial 480p resolution from your cable provider. This is a nice quality, but it's not HDTV. The STB can be provided by your cable provider. It must be set to 480p. You won't get a picture if it's set to 720p or 1080i. The TH-42PX42U is a true HDTV plasma set. It has a built in ATSC tuner and is capable of displaying up to 1080i without the addition of a STB. There are also differences in the contract ratio and color abilities. Overall it's a much better set, but the price tells you that too. I hope this helps.

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pannsonic th42pm5ou from costco
by p$mP / December 2, 2005 7:13 AM PST
In reply to: Costco TH42PM50U

i got this plasma tv and it is edtv but hdtv capable i got hdtv signal throught my local cable and it is awsome blows away all the others that were in the store like pioner phillips looks awsome i can't belive it the reason it is that good price cause it dosen't have a tuner but for the price it is cool you can just hook your cable box up to it and get the hd signal i talk to the people at pannsonic it is a new model that is why not much info on it i give it 4 stars

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"i got this plasma tv and it is edtv but hdtv capable"....
by Psych Doc / December 2, 2005 12:20 PM PST


While I' very happy to hear that you're happy with your purchase, an EDTV is not, and never will be capable of HD resolution. It's a simple matter of the number of horozontal and vertical pixels.

That's like saying a Piper Cub is "capable" of being an F-16.

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yah it does
by p$mP / December 2, 2005 11:21 PM PST

go to the costco look at it on the box it says hdtv now if that isn't true then we can sue them right false advertisment i talk to the people at pannsonic they said it is hd capable

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Simple...What Is the "Native Resolution" Of The Set....
by Psych Doc / December 3, 2005 4:25 AM PST
In reply to: yah it does

...In question?

Any lower than 1024x768 and it most certainly IS NOT HD.

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EDTV Confusion "HDTV Ready" "HDTV Capable"
by RoadRunner6 / December 23, 2005 2:53 PM PST

I think there is problem of semantics here.

Technically, I think "HDTV ready" would refer to a HDTV monitor that has a native HD resolution such as 720p or 1080i but does not include a onboard HDTV tuner. Adding an HDTV signal from an HDTV tuner would enable this TV to display an HDTV picture.

"HDTV capable" to me would seem to imply that an EDTV TV can accept and display HD signals, although it would actually downconvert and display the signal at 480p, which is the native resolution of the set.

Perhaps Panasonic and others slightly misuse these terms. What I think they are trying to accomplish here it to inform consumers that EDTV's can in fact input and display HDTV signals from any source as listed in the specifications.

Just because you have HDTV cable or satelite service doesn't mean you have to have an HDTV set. An EDTV such as the TH-42PM50U, will will input these signals and display then at 480p.

Hope this helps.

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You need a lawyer then....
by terrapinball / March 19, 2006 2:13 AM PST
In reply to: yah it does

the 42pm is not a HDTV set. It is and alway will be a 480P set. Even with a STB, you can get the signal from your cable provider for HDTV, but it's only going to display at 480p. Industry standard does not rate this as HDTV. If Cosco is saying otherwise, you are being mislead and so are all the other consumers buying this unit. It's a great set for what it is, and the price is very affordable for what it is.

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by RoadRunner6 / December 2, 2005 4:47 PM PST

The Panasonic TH-42PX50U is an HDTV plasma. The TH-42PD50U (notice the only difference in the model number is a "D" instead of an "X.") is an EDTV plasma. Both of these plasmas have tuners in them.

Apparently, Panasonic is now selling the TH-42PM50U thru Costco (notice it has the letter "M" which stands for monitor). This plasma is an EDTV plasma monitor without the tuner.

Some manufacturers sell special models with slight changes and different model numbers thru discount dealers such as Costco so they don't upset their regular dealers. Panasonic did this several years ago with their DVD players. They had a model 32 (other letters also) that sold thru the audio/video dealers, a model 27 which sold thru Target and a model 22 which sold thru Costco. These were all the same basic unit with only slight differences.

The plasma at Costco does not have a tuner. You can use anything that has a tuner in it or supplies a TV signal, such as a VCR, DVD recorder, cable box, satellite receiver (tuner) or set top box tuner (such as those from LG, Sony and Samsung) to supply the TV signal to the plasma. For people like me who have cable without a cable box, the simplist way is to attach the cable outlet video cable to the VCR and then into the plasma unit. DVD signals go directly into the plamsa.

This model is similar to Panasonic's commercial/industrial line of plasma's that come without a tuner or speakers such as the Panasonic TH-42PWD8UK which is an EDTV plasma. This Costco model appears to be the TH-42PD50U without the tuner, with speakers and a different appearance.

I saw this model tonight at costco but did not have time to check out the specs. It is very nice in appearance and has the speakers below the screen.

EDTV and HDTV are suprisingly close in quality. EDTV plasmas actually look slightly better than HDTV plasmas (from the same manufacturer) when playing progressive scan DVD's. The reason for this is that the progressive scan DVD is at 480p resolution. The native resolution of the EDTV plasma is also exactly 480p (there is no scaling involved). The HDTV's plasma's "scaler" circuitry has to up-convert the 480p signal to either 720p or 1080i (depending on the native resolution of the HDTV plasma). This up-converting process always causes at least a very slight degradation of the signal. For this same reason the EDTV plasma will also display a regular standard TV signal slightly superior to the HDTV plasma.

When fed actual high definition TV signals, only then will the HDTV plasma display a slightly better picture than the EDTV. However, this difference is suprisingly small. Also, it is only evident when viewing at 8-10 feet or closer on equal quality units from the same manufacturer. This is a well kept secret that most casual purchasers and many dealer personnel are not aware of. If you compare plasmas at a dealer make sure you grab the remotes and readjust all the settings to the same values. Don't judge the pictures you see unless you do this.

More important than EDTV versus HDTV is the quality of the glass and circuitry in these units. I would take an EDTV plasma from quality manufacturers such as Panasonic, Hitachi, NEC, Pioneer, JVC, Sony, etc. any day, than an HDTV plasma from brands such as Akai, Norcent, Maxent, Vizio, Sampo and even Samsung and LG. Panasonic is one of the few manufacturers that actually make their own glass and no one makes better. Toshiba plasmas, for example, have Panasonic glass. HP plasmas are actually rebranded Panasonics. If you don't know these secrets stay with the major Japanese name brands.

Presently, an EDTV plasma from a quality brand is definitely a best buy. You don't need High Defitiniton sources which cost extra from your cable or satelite company.

The EDTV will accept any digital signal including high definition signals. It will downconvert any HD signal to its native resolution of 480p. If you supply an actual HD signal to an EDTV plasma you will be stunned at the great picture you will see. Standard TV signals that are sent over cable for example but originate from HD television cameras for network news or the Monday Night Football Game look excellent in 480p.

I own a 42" JVC EDTV plasma and a 37" Panasonic commercial model EDTV. I don't need cable boxes for HDTV, have to pay for HDTV packages and I still get very good to excellent TV signals and superb DVD signals (using HDMI inputs). Finding Nemo is absolutely stunning on both units.

One last thing: plasma is still superior to LCD for several reasons including black levels, color acurracy and off angle viewing. That is a dicussion for another day. The burn-in talk is no longer valid with plasmas (the good brands have burn-in prevention circuitry). Just don't display static images on plasmas.

Hope this all helps.


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by tenmidgets / December 3, 2005 2:21 AM PST

Maxent plasmas also use Panasonic glass and circuits (widely confirmed on AVS foums, and you can see the Matsushita logo on back panel as well). SO in my opinion that is a best buy. EDTV displays are nice, but they are going to be extinct soon and I would rather not have a set that down converts an HD signal. Why do that if you don't have to?

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(NT) Panasonic EDTV
by serotta1 / December 4, 2005 10:26 AM PST
In reply to: Actually...

Sounds like the question is settled, but to note, BJs Wholesale Club advertised the TH-42PM50U as 852x480 resolution, and HDTV compatible. Currently being sold at their stores for $1700.

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Does the Panasonic TH-PM50U admit PAL video signals?
by flml99 / December 6, 2005 2:08 AM PST

I want to buy this model but I want to use it not only here but in Spain (Europe), where as you all know, the video signal is PAL. Is this model compatible with PAL?. Apart from that, any problem to use a power transformer to chance power from 110 to 220? 220 is the power in Spain.

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Panasonic TH-PM50U admit PAL video signals?
by jcrobso / December 8, 2005 6:32 AM PST

If you but it in the USA it will NTSC/ASCT as far as the tuners are concerned. If you get the Panny industrial models they are mutli format, but no tuners. John

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Panasonic Plasma HDTV in Spain
by ricshaw811 / March 22, 2006 4:20 AM PST

Did you get to the bootom of your question? did you move?

I also purchased a TH-37PX60U plasma TV which is a 37" TV and I'm planning to move to Spain too in a couple of months, do you know if CableCard is the solution?

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by rk23 / December 23, 2005 1:30 AM PST

Thanks for your very informative posting. I purchased the Panasonic EDTV (42PM50U) from Costco and agree with your comparison of EDTV vs HDTV. My only question was why you felt that it was unnecessary to pay for HDTV from the cable company. I understand that the regular channels look fine without it, but won't the HDTV channels look even better (and as good on the EDTV as on an HDTV model from 8+ feet away)? Of course, you have to pay for it ($10-$15/month), but if you want to watch HD channels, isn't it the cheapest route for a cable subscriber?

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Reply to rk23
by RoadRunner6 / December 23, 2005 2:20 PM PST
In reply to: HERE'S THE SCOOP

rk23: (I would have replied directly to your e-mail but you did not list your e-mail address)

Where I live, HDTV over cable costs much more, about $40 plus per month. I have "expanded basic cable" which gives A&E, ESPN, Discovery, Travel, Etc. but without the premium movie channels which I don't need. We watch almost all movies on DVD's. Also, I consider no cable box a big plus. HDTV from my cable company requires the premium/cable box package before you can get any of the HDTV programs.

A lot of the supposed "HDTV" over cable channels is "compressed" by varying amounts depending on the channel. A lot of times you are not getting the HDTV signal at "full bandwidth" because the stations are compressing it so they can piggyback regular resolution channels. I know of many people who have great picture quality on their HDTV's on some channels and are quite dissapointed with much of the other HDTV programming.

I do agree with you that you will get a better signal even on your EDTV with a HDTV input signal from the cable company. However, in my case lots of the HDTV programs like sports and network news have HDTV cameras and look very good as non-HDTV signals. So I don't think the extra $40-$50 is woth it in my case.

Please let us know how your new Panasonic looks on DVD's and HDTV cable channels and your general impressions.

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Your opinion on the following?
by jsandek / December 23, 2005 11:27 PM PST

I too saw the panasonic EDTV monitor at Costco yesterday and I am tempted. According to the Charter Cable site FAQs I will need their cable box in order to get HDTV. Your post reminded me that this EDTV does NOT have a tuner. But with the requirement for a cable box, I will likely never be using the tuner, correct? The only use of a tuner I assume is if my location allows me to pick up off the air programming? My primary motivation for moving to a flat panel is an aesthetic one--currently a 32" Sony WEGA will not look right where I prefer to place it. Most of the use of the TV is Cartoon network/VHS tapes/DVDs (3 young children!!). My gut is telling me it will not hurt to wait a little longer as the 2006 models will be out in a couple of months and even if the prices don't continue their downward slide more features will likely be offered. Is EDTV really going away?


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My Opinion
by RoadRunner6 / December 25, 2005 3:07 PM PST


I actually only have standard definition cable without the cable box. I am quite pleased with the quality of our TV signals. We do live in an almost new condo so all the cable wiring is new and top quality. I have two sources for the tuner for my EDTV monitor plasma. One is my DVD recorder which has a tuner and component outputs. The other is my S-VHS VCR which has an S-Video output.

Yes, if you get cable HDTV you have to have the cable company box which would have a tuner in it. So you would not need a built in tuner. Yes, you would have to get a STB (set top box...external tuner...LG makes very good ones) tuner to receive the OTA (over the air) HDTV signal from your local staion. As I mentioned in another post see:

for lots of good info on OTA antennas and local stations that broadcast HD signals in your area. With your address they will tell you what strength antenna you need and the directional pointing info.

I think you will see prices continue to drop. I think the EDTV's will be around for several more years. The EDTV's seem to be running about $600-$1000 less than the HDTV models from the same manufacturer. Just for your info, the Panasonic model with the tuner, TH-42PD50U, is selling at some dealers on sale for only $100 more than the TH-42PM50U at Costco. It has the tuner but is all silver. You might find even better buys on this model just before the new models hit the market.

Another source is the Panasonic commercial model that I have (I actually have the 37" version). The 42" is the TH-42PWD8UK. It is an all black monitor with out tuner, speakers and stand. If you have speakers as I have then all you need to buy is the stand. However, it still runs about $1700 and they are mostly available online from dealers.

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What's the difference b/w the TH-42PD50U and TH-42PWD8UK?
by JasMahar / January 2, 2006 5:46 AM PST
In reply to: My Opinion

RoadRunner6 (or anyone that knows),

Could you please explain the difference b/w the two models mentioned in the subject line? As I understand it:

1. The PD50U comes with a stand, speakers, internal tuner, and is silver in color; and
2. The PWD8UK is only a monitor; thus, it does not have an internal tuner, speakers, or stand, and is black in color.

Does the PWD8UK have any advantages over the PD50U--specifically, is the picture quality any better?

Also, I have a digital tv box so if I bought the PWD8UK could I receive HD broadcasts from, say, ESPN, Discovery, etc. without any additional hardware? However, I would have to buy buy an STB to receive OTA broadcasts, correct?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.

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Here's a Stupid Question
by jopapa / January 2, 2006 11:05 AM PST

I also saw the 42" Panasonic EDTV at Costco and am also very tempted. It was sitting right next to a Philips 42" HDTV plasma that cost $200 more. I thought the Panasonic actually had a sharper image. It also recieved a good write-up in the December '05 Consumer Reports.

I'm confused about tuners, boxes, etc. Right now, we have a cable that plugs right into the back of our 32" Sony TV. There's no cable box. We have a family cable package (i.e., ESPN, Disney, Discovery) and don't intend to get premium stations because we have young kids who can work the remote. If I were to get the Panasonic EDTV, could I simply unplug the cable from my existing set and plug it into the back of the new set? Or is there another step and another cost involved? Also, I have a Bose1-2-3 system. Can I just plug that into the TV and use our existing external speakers? Sorry, but I'm a complete novice.

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