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Topic # 180954 27-Sep-2015 21:15
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Hi Guys,

I'm frustrated with a couple of the bigger retailers trying to up-sell their Ultra HD LED TV "stock" and thought I'd ask for opinions here.

I've just had a refund from Samsung following 18 months of problems with two Samsung LED HD TVs. The most recent being a UA50J5500ASXNZ. I have no issues trying Samsung again as I realize they are a reputable brand and I've probably just been unlucky, but thought I'd use the opportunity to try another brand.

My local Smith City and Noel Leeming both stock the same Panasonic UHD, the Viera TH-50CX700Z. From first glance it looks like a nice TV, but following the Samsung problems I have a little more experience with Smart TV's and have a short list of things I'll need the TV to have - apart from the usual excellent picture and sound quality expected these days.

 

  • We only have satellite (no UHF available), and the Panasonic has both Sat and UHF connections, I understand the Panasonic is FreeViewPlus compatible, but does that mean we won't be able to get the standard FreeView channels via the Sat connection?
  • Can we watch TVNZ OnDemand via the Firefox browser?
  • Is the Screen Mirroring on the Panasonic, compatible with iPhone 6 (iOS 9)?
  • Whats the reliability of Panasonic TV's like these days (had one for over 10 years and it performed without a glitch)
  • Does anyone have experience with Panasonic's TV support?
  • Is the EPG easy to navigate and use (MHEG5)?
Both shops only run the TV's in store demo modes, so I'm not fully able to check the above issues in a live environment - hence why I'm hoping someone here will have one and be able to offer their opinions.

Many thanks

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  Reply # 1395623 28-Sep-2015 10:58
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  • If it has both Sat and UHF connections, then I assume you can plug your dish in and pick up the freeview channels (have you successfully done this in the past, e.g. via your old TV or Freeview box?).
  • FreeviewPlus is the name of the Freeview version of on demand, so you probably won't need to watch TVNZ OnDemand via the browser.Check out the link. Makes it all much easier, I think.
  • I haven't used the FreeviewPlus EPG but the normal guide is the same on all Freeview units. It's easy enough to use, I think.

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  Reply # 1395633 28-Sep-2015 11:19
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If possible prearrange a time with the salesperson, preferably when the shop is quiet, and ask for a proper demonstration of the functions and capabilities you are after. I have found people amenable to this as long as you don't try to do it on a Saturday afternoon when they are really busy. If you pre warn the salesperson about what you want to see, it is up to them to do some homework so they can complete the sale by actually demonstrating it rather than just pointing to it and saying "great picture, eh".

I am a Panasonic TV fan and was impressed when my analogue only Plasma needed a firmware update, and they actually sent someone from Panasonic to install it free of charge. Mind you, I do live in Auckland.

The whole idea of having a satellite tuner in your TV is to be able to connect directly to your dish. As far as I know the Freeview-plus side of things just adds the ability to access the ondemand content from the providers via the internet.
Also, Freeview via satellite will only be SD won't it? Might be interesting to see how good the upscaling to UHD is. Ask them to demonstrate that as well. I suggest trying to watch Prime in the shop so you know the source is SD.




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 1395640 28-Sep-2015 11:39
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Hey thanks for the replies guys, that's probably a reasonable request to have them set it up in the shop during a slow period, though I've asked previously and been told that they can't because no wifi, or external antenna.

That said, the sales guy told me that "unofficially" (and this is good to share on the forums), the shops "can" offer 2 weeks return to give the unit a trial period. He said this is not usually broadcast to all and sundry, but it is something they'd be prepared to do in our case because of the previous problems. I think this would be the best way to see if it works as we need it to with Freeview & FreeViewPlus.

Bazzer: Yes we have a set here now, which is connected to the Sat dish and we're receiving FreeView (not plus). Thanks for the comments about the EPG, I'll let you know about that!

Dingbatt - the upscaling isn't too bad actually, I've not had the opportunity to view side by side, but generally it's acceptable in my opinion (depending on weather conditions of course).

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  Reply # 1395654 28-Sep-2015 11:56
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So you're looking at an Ultra High Def. TV to watch Freeview Satellite and Freeview Plus (Standard definition) content?

I'd drop down the range and look at a Full HD TV.
You're asking a lot from a TV that has over 8 million pixels, to deal with a source that will often be delivering under 500,000 pixels...
Basically, the TV will know where to put 1 out of every 16 pixels... the rest it will have to guess.

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  Reply # 1395668 28-Sep-2015 12:11
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Is the newer freeview + available via satellite?

 

I thought the thinking was that if you can't get UHF freeview then you may not have broadband either.  Not looking to be geographically rude here, but I just didn't think freeview plus boxes were going to come out with satellite freeview as the only source.  I thought they were uhf boxes only.

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  Reply # 1395683 28-Sep-2015 12:24
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Yeah, only built in TV's and one external 'aerial box' are equipped with it
http://www.freeviewnz.tv/get-freeview/approved-products/?categoryId=1

Presumably you could still use the data side of things if you had a TV that was freeview plus enabled?
Would mean switching inputs when you wanted to watch 'normal' TV, back to an external freeview box input.

My parents live in a location with fibre available, but are in the 'shade' of a hill and a limited to satellite freeview/sky only there.  It does happen.  #thestruggleisreal



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  Reply # 1395699 28-Sep-2015 12:29
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Jaxson: Is the newer freeview + available via satellite? I thought the thinking was that if you can't get UHF freeview then you may not have broadband either.  Not looking to be geographically rude here, but I just didn't think freeview plus boxes were going to come out with satellite freeview as the only source.  I thought they were uhf boxes only.

That was my understanding too Jaxson.  Freeview Plus is only available via UHF.

However, there are those of us in the wop wops outside UHF coverage, but we have broadband which is a lot faster than in some parts of the major cities, courtesy of RBI wireless.





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  Reply # 1395701 28-Sep-2015 12:32
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grant_k:
Jaxson: Is the newer freeview + available via satellite? I thought the thinking was that if you can't get UHF freeview then you may not have broadband either.  Not looking to be geographically rude here, but I just didn't think freeview plus boxes were going to come out with satellite freeview as the only source.  I thought they were uhf boxes only.

That was my understanding too Jaxson.  Freeview Plus is only available via UHF.

However, there are those of us in the wop wops outside UHF coverage, but we have broadband which is a lot faster than in some parts of the major cities, courtesy of RBI wireless.


See above, I was editing my post and covered this.  Both typing at once wink



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  Reply # 1395704 28-Sep-2015 12:37
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Dunnersfella: So you're looking at an Ultra High Def. TV to watch Freeview Satellite and Freeview Plus (Standard definition) content?

I'd drop down the range and look at a Full HD TV.
You're asking a lot from a TV that has over 8 million pixels, to deal with a source that will often be delivering under 500,000 pixels...
Basically, the TV will know where to put 1 out of every 16 pixels... the rest it will have to guess.


You make a strong argument - my thinking however is that if we decide to move in the next 2-3 years, we'll have a TV which is capable of accepting a UHD signal via a terrestrial antenna. At present we're stuck with just the satellite, but I'd prefer not be to buying another one if we move. So will the UHD picture be worse than the HD we’re upgrading from if we’re only on Satellite?

Jaxson: Is the newer freeview + available via satellite? I thought the thinking was that if you can't get UHF freeview then you may not have broadband either.  Not looking to be geographically rude here, but I just didn't think freeview plus boxes were going to come out with satellite freeview as the only source.  I thought they were uhf boxes only.


I believe you're correct - only available currently using a UHF antenna - I have Fibre Broadband, and a Dish, so will FreeView continue to work as it is currently? Not too worried about FreeViewPlus, only from the point of view that I may not be able to get any FreeView channels if the TV is only equipped with FV+.

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  Reply # 1395802 28-Sep-2015 14:32
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Freeview presently is not connected to the TV. 

ie there is a dish on your building, which feeds a signal into a freeview decoder box, which then outputs a signal (hopefully over hdmi) out to your TV.

Regardless of having a smart TV or a dumb one, there should be an input on the TV that will accept the signal being provided by your freeview box.


As above though, freeview is broadcast on SD (sht definition) over satellite.  The image won't change much regardless of what type of TV you have.  It won't look much better or much worse.  That whole can't polish a turd thing (despite the mythbusters video to contrary).

Personally I'd buy a full HD TV now, and then buy a better one when you move somewhere else.  Your only source of 4k content is likely to be youtube for the next few years or so.



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  Reply # 1395850 28-Sep-2015 15:27
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Thanks for the input guys, I knew I'd get a better answer here than any retail shop!

I'll let you know if I get any other issues other than whats already been posted.

Cheers

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  Reply # 1395877 28-Sep-2015 16:10
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Reminds me of my experience getting our 1st panel TV Jan 2014

I took along our Samsung Note tablet and couldn't get it to mirror to the Sony [KDL-60R550A] were were considering, in the end we went with a Panasonic Plasma [TH-P60ST60Z] - better picture and viewing angles no risk of LED bleeding etc

Interesting what one learns after buying ones 1st panel, no flash in the browser on the Panasonic [so not possible to view tv on demand] and it seems won't support lightbox or freeviewplus not that I care for those as the TV does have apps for quickflix, youtube and netflix and if all else fails connect a laptop via hdmi 

But yes if you have requirements make sure seeing is believing or checking via the Net someone else has achieved what what want to do









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  Reply # 1395915 28-Sep-2015 17:26
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xlinknz: Reminds me of my experience getting our 1st panel TV Jan 2014


Thanks to the 2 failures, this will now be our 3rd panel TV, so I'm interested to see how this one performs. Just been down to get the Panasonic, so hopefully it'll be 3rd time lucky!



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  Reply # 1396199 28-Sep-2015 23:01
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So you got the Panasonic TH-50CX700Z? I'm really interested in that or the LG 49UF770V for $1455 at Noel Leeming, so slightly cheaper. Kind find a review of either, the UK reviews for the X700 talk about a VA panel but the NZ Panasonic site says IPS. I'll hopefully get a chance to look at both tomorrow. But I might save around $200 and just get the FHD version of one of them, I won't be watching any 4k content for ages. (I want the LG OLED TV, but even at $1000 off it's too much at $4000!).



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  Reply # 1396259 29-Sep-2015 06:58
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So I got the Panasonic yesterday afternoon - lovely looking TV, hooked it up to the Sky box, and then tried to connect to our home speakers - no 1/4 Audio Jack o/p ???? Only optical audio! Darn it!

Next hooked up the ethernet cable to connect to my NAS - all good there, saw the internet & home server straight away. So here we go, lets see what the movie files look like - MP4, M4v, AVI - none of them play!

Hooked up an external 1TB USB Drive - nothing plays from that either, in fact although the USB drive is FAT formatted, it wouldn't even recognize the files (WTF???).

Whats going on?

I checked around the net, and found a post from Dec 2014 advising that Panasonic certainly do play all the usual video formats, but only if the drive has been formatted using the TV? You're kidding!!!

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