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  Reply # 1396270 29-Sep-2015 07:38
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Without being rude, I wouldn't use the smart side of a Tv for that sort of thing.
The vibe seems to be that if you don't go Samsung then the smart side of things is rather limited.
For $60 you can slap a chromecast in there for example and use your phone or tablet as the interface. This is getting better as more apps support the chromecast. Fanpass is doing that well now for example.
Something like PS3 media server will farm your files acres your network nice and easily.
I'm kind of old fashioned but the approach above puts all the control back in you hands.

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  Reply # 1396313 29-Sep-2015 08:47
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Hmm, the Panasonic sounds a bit average, still can't find anything about the new NZ LGs. Can get a Samsung 50" UHD for $1999 (http://www.dicksmith.co.nz/led-tv/samsung-60-152cm-ultra-hd-smart-100hz-tv-ua50ju6400-dsnz-ge5111), seems most of the cheaper ones are only 50Hz.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1396324 29-Sep-2015 09:00
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steevg: 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!!!


The optical audio situation can be fixed with a $60-$70 DAC that is powered off one of the TV's USB ports.
Plug the optical port from the TV into the DAC, then an RCA cable from the DAC into your speakers - so not all is lost there.

It's bizarre that none of the video files play.
What version of firmware are you running? My 2 year old Panasonic plays almost everything over the network or via USB.
Have you tried a thumb drive with the files on-board in the root directory?

 

At the same time, what server are you running? The likes of Plex can transcode files to ensure they play on your TV...



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  Reply # 1396346 29-Sep-2015 09:30
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Jaxson:
Yup understand there are a million media players I could hook up to get things working, but I'm trying to get past the multi handset problem, and another media player means another darned remote, more wires, more hassle etc etc. In this day of technology, I kind of expect that most of our technology should be plug and play!

Dunnersfella:
I have a Synology 411+ with 2 x 4TB drives. Formatted as FAT32. Plays fine on the Samsung, Mac's and PC's - just not on the Panasonic. I also hooked up a WD 2TB drive which we've been using as a pure movie file backup - the Media player won't even recognize the files on that!

I'm just about to call Panasonic to see if it's finger trouble! I'll post the response here in a while!

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  Reply # 1396358 29-Sep-2015 09:42
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Dunnersfella: The optical audio situation can be fixed with a $60-$70 DAC that is powered off one of the TV's USB ports.
Plug the optical port from the TV into the DAC, then an RCA cable from the DAC into your speakers - so not all is lost there.


I bought such a device for my parents off eBay, to enable them to output the audio from the Apple TV directly to their amp, enabling them to Airplay Pandora and Spotify through their stereo.

It was around $17 or so with free shipping, if I remember correctly. Would one 3-4 times the cost be better quality?



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  Reply # 1396365 29-Sep-2015 09:52
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OK just called a very helpful guy at Panasonic: I'll summarise the conversation:-

Despite the support guys comments, my personal findings are that Panasonic are less likely to play the multitude of video formats available, without:

1. First formatting external drives to the TV - using the TV's inbuilt formatting facility (no way am I going to do that with 4TB of files on 1 drive and 2 TB on the other)
2. Also ensuring that the contents of the video wrapper conform to those as stated in Panasonic's documentation (in other words, any video files I have will need to be re-encoded to meet those specific encoding settings - that information is on it's way to me later).

The Samsung was really plug and play, plug in the ethernet, and away it goes - see's all of the video formats I have, all the image formats etc etc. The Panasonic is going to be far too "specific" for me to work with, given the amount of different video formats I deal with for both business and socially.

A real shame, the Panasonic is beautiful, nice menu system, easy to navigate etc etc.!

So back to the shop, and back to a Samsung!

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  Reply # 1396393 29-Sep-2015 10:03
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steevg: OK just called a very helpful guy at Panasonic: I'll summarise the conversation:-

Despite the support guys comments, my personal findings are that Panasonic are less likely to play the multitude of video formats available, without:

1. First formatting external drives to the TV - using the TV's inbuilt formatting facility (no way am I going to do that with 4TB of files on 1 drive and 2 TB on the other)
2. Also ensuring that the contents of the video wrapper conform to those as stated in Panasonic's documentation (in other words, any video files I have will need to be re-encoded to meet those specific encoding settings - that information is on it's way to me later).

The Samsung was really plug and play, plug in the ethernet, and away it goes - see's all of the video formats I have, all the image formats etc etc. The Panasonic is going to be far too "specific" for me to work with, given the amount of different video formats I deal with for both business and socially.

A real shame, the Panasonic is beautiful, nice menu system, easy to navigate etc etc.!

So back to the shop, and back to a Samsung!


Wow, you'll return a TV due to its inability to manage content off a USB drive?! Surely its picture quality, usability etc is of more relevance, given the problems you're facing can easily be solved by another device? Totally agree with Jaxon on this. While I get your point about wanting a single product to do all, the reality is that (currently) TVs generally try to do everything and end up doing most of that quite poorly.

We use our supposedly smart TV as a display panel - that's it. The user experience is just so much better using a second and third device (ATV and Mac Mini) to deliver these 'smarts', and this far out-weighs the annoyance of setting up and operating additional devices. When it comes to remotes, that's why god invented learning remotes like the Harmony series.

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  Reply # 1396430 29-Sep-2015 10:34
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jonathan18:
steevg: OK just called a very helpful guy at Panasonic: I'll summarise the conversation:-

Despite the support guys comments, my personal findings are that Panasonic are less likely to play the multitude of video formats available, without:

1. First formatting external drives to the TV - using the TV's inbuilt formatting facility (no way am I going to do that with 4TB of files on 1 drive and 2 TB on the other)
2. Also ensuring that the contents of the video wrapper conform to those as stated in Panasonic's documentation (in other words, any video files I have will need to be re-encoded to meet those specific encoding settings - that information is on it's way to me later).

The Samsung was really plug and play, plug in the ethernet, and away it goes - see's all of the video formats I have, all the image formats etc etc. The Panasonic is going to be far too "specific" for me to work with, given the amount of different video formats I deal with for both business and socially.

A real shame, the Panasonic is beautiful, nice menu system, easy to navigate etc etc.!

So back to the shop, and back to a Samsung!


Wow, you'll return a TV due to its inability to manage content off a USB drive?! Surely its picture quality, usability etc is of more relevance, given the problems you're facing can easily be solved by another device? Totally agree with Jaxon on this. While I get your point about wanting a single product to do all, the reality is that (currently) TVs generally try to do everything and end up doing most of that quite poorly.

We use our supposedly smart TV as a display panel - that's it. The user experience is just so much better using a second and third device (ATV and Mac Mini) to deliver these 'smarts', and this far out-weighs the annoyance of setting up and operating additional devices. When it comes to remotes, that's why god invented learning remotes like the Harmony series.


Totally agree with this.

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  Reply # 1396561 29-Sep-2015 12:39
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jonathan18:
Dunnersfella: The optical audio situation can be fixed with a $60-$70 DAC that is powered off one of the TV's USB ports.
Plug the optical port from the TV into the DAC, then an RCA cable from the DAC into your speakers - so not all is lost there.


I bought such a device for my parents off eBay, to enable them to output the audio from the Apple TV directly to their amp, enabling them to Airplay Pandora and Spotify through their stereo.

It was around $17 or so with free shipping, if I remember correctly. Would one 3-4 times the cost be better quality?


Typically - no.
There is an exception to my mind, I'll stipulate below...
But normally, most people just want the smallest box that keeps on working without any loud *CLACKS*.
Looking for a USB power supply (to run off the TV's USB port) and a tiny form factor so it can be hidden easily... are the keys.

The exception is for owners of Panasonic TV's who want to watch Netflix through a stereo without ARC or a dedicated optical input.

Basically (warning, this is a little convoluted) for the last few years Panasonic 'smart' TV's have had issues playing Netflix audio via the optical port.
What's the issue?
When you watch Netflix on the Panasonic, it natively outputs audio as a Dolby + feed.
Unfortunately, 99% of the budget DAC's you buy do not support Dolby +, so the user either gets no audio, or a loud 'helicopter' sound from the speakers.
To get around this, the user will typically go into the TV menu system and change the audio output system FROM 'Auto' to 'PCM'.
This works perfectly, until the person watching the TV goes onto the next show...
Then the TV defaults the audio back to 'Auto' and the customer gets no sound, or the uber loud 'helicopter' sound.

95% of the end-users won't want to constantly have to dig through the TV menus and change the audio output every time they want to watch Netflix...
Sooooo.
What can be done?
Netflix allegedly blames Panasonic and Panasonic allegedly blames Netflix - and by 'allegedly', this means that there is only internet posturing as to who is to be blamed.
The best result for the customer is to buy a DAC that supports Dolby +, typically the unit made by Geffen... and it's NOT cheap.


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  Reply # 1396616 29-Sep-2015 13:59
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steevg: OK just called a very helpful guy at Panasonic: I'll summarise the conversation:-

Despite the support guys comments, my personal findings are that Panasonic are less likely to play the multitude of video formats available, without:

1. First formatting external drives to the TV - using the TV's inbuilt formatting facility (no way am I going to do that with 4TB of files on 1 drive and 2 TB on the other)
2. Also ensuring that the contents of the video wrapper conform to those as stated in Panasonic's documentation (in other words, any video files I have will need to be re-encoded to meet those specific encoding settings - that information is on it's way to me later).

The Samsung was really plug and play, plug in the ethernet, and away it goes - see's all of the video formats I have, all the image formats etc etc. The Panasonic is going to be far too "specific" for me to work with, given the amount of different video formats I deal with for both business and socially.

A real shame, the Panasonic is beautiful, nice menu system, easy to navigate etc etc.!

So back to the shop, and back to a Samsung!


 

     

  1. My Panasonic Plasma [ST60] plays almost anything I put on a usb stick e.g. MP4, MKV etc
  2. When I tried to record to a USB stick it said invalid device and I discovered I need to use a usb external HDD that is formatted using the TV but I haven't had a need to do that yet i.e. record TV



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  Reply # 1396665 29-Sep-2015 15:26
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Jonathan18: Yep afraid so!

When I buy AV equipment, I look at a number of factors, including picture quality (of course), audio quality (of course), and then everything else which might make life easier. With the Panasonic, the picture quality was great (superb blacks), but I needed to mess around with adapters to connect the audio to my existing setup. Then the problems with the server: I don't have 2 weeks spare to re-encode everything on the server just because Panasonic have decided not to work with the variety of wider video formats which are currently available. I have training videos, support videos, family videos (and the list goes on), and quite simply, apart from the problems I've had with the quality of the previous 2 TV's - Samsung ring all the bells!

I can think of several ways to use other devices to make things work (Apple TV, WD Live, etc etc), but at the end of the day, I'm not the only one using this setup in the house & I need to make life easy for the other users too! If I were on my own with no-one else to consider, maybe things might be different!

I appreciate that for the connoisseurs of AV amongst us (& I include myself as one of those), the Panasonic may actually be the better machine, and if I was starting from scratch without 4TB of video files to re-encode, I'd have stuck with the Panasonic and worked around the issues, and believe me, if this Samsung fails over the next 12 months - that will be a serious consideration.

Anyway, the Samsung is up and running, working with the network, no adapters, no extra remotes, and life goes on!

Appreciate the feedback, and hope my experience might be of use to others on the forums.




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  Reply # 1396679 29-Sep-2015 15:45
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steevg: Jonathan18: Yep afraid so!

When I buy AV equipment, I look at a number of factors, including picture quality (of course), audio quality (of course), and then everything else which might make life easier. With the Panasonic, the picture quality was great (superb blacks), but I needed to mess around with adapters to connect the audio to my existing setup. Then the problems with the server: I don't have 2 weeks spare to re-encode everything on the server just because Panasonic have decided not to work with the variety of wider video formats which are currently available. I have training videos, support videos, family videos (and the list goes on), and quite simply, apart from the problems I've had with the quality of the previous 2 TV's - Samsung ring all the bells!

I can think of several ways to use other devices to make things work (Apple TV, WD Live, etc etc), but at the end of the day, I'm not the only one using this setup in the house & I need to make life easy for the other users too! If I were on my own with no-one else to consider, maybe things might be different!

I appreciate that for the connoisseurs of AV amongst us (& I include myself as one of those), the Panasonic may actually be the better machine, and if I was starting from scratch without 4TB of video files to re-encode, I'd have stuck with the Panasonic and worked around the issues, and believe me, if this Samsung fails over the next 12 months - that will be a serious consideration.

Anyway, the Samsung is up and running, working with the network, no adapters, no extra remotes, and life goes on!

Appreciate the feedback, and hope my experience might be of use to others on the forums.




This reflects my experience of Samsung vs Panasonic.  Samsung TV will play virtually any file I ask it to, off any source.  Panasonic HTIB and BD recorder are extremely fussy and play around 10% of files.  I don't mind fiddling around with external devices, but for ease of use by wife and kids you can't beat a smart TV with a single remote

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  Reply # 1396686 29-Sep-2015 15:55
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steevg: Jonathan18: Yep afraid so!

When I buy AV equipment, I look at a number of factors, including picture quality (of course), audio quality (of course), and then everything else which might make life easier. With the Panasonic, the picture quality was great (superb blacks), but I needed to mess around with adapters to connect the audio to my existing setup. Then the problems with the server: I don't have 2 weeks spare to re-encode everything on the server just because Panasonic have decided not to work with the variety of wider video formats which are currently available. I have training videos, support videos, family videos (and the list goes on), and quite simply, apart from the problems I've had with the quality of the previous 2 TV's - Samsung ring all the bells!

I can think of several ways to use other devices to make things work (Apple TV, WD Live, etc etc), but at the end of the day, I'm not the only one using this setup in the house & I need to make life easy for the other users too! If I were on my own with no-one else to consider, maybe things might be different!

I appreciate that for the connoisseurs of AV amongst us (& I include myself as one of those), the Panasonic may actually be the better machine, and if I was starting from scratch without 4TB of video files to re-encode, I'd have stuck with the Panasonic and worked around the issues, and believe me, if this Samsung fails over the next 12 months - that will be a serious consideration.

Anyway, the Samsung is up and running, working with the network, no adapters, no extra remotes, and life goes on!

Appreciate the feedback, and hope my experience might be of use to others on the forums.





Yes, very useful thanks and you were lucky to get a "free trial" like that!! I'm just wondering whether you also considered the latest Sony smart TVs, such as the Sony KD55X8500C which retails for a discounted price of around $2,700? This TV is an Android / Google-based TV which retailers say has much greater access to internet content (and future potential) than non-Android TVs such as Samsung.

As far as Panasonic products go, the smart network 3D blu-ray disc / DVD player HDD recorder (DMR-PWT550GZ) looks as though it can handle a lot of different video formats, so this might be very useful to accompany a Panasonic TV. In addition, it is designed to be Freeview Plus compatible and can be bought for about $500.

Incidentally, what is the model number of the Samsung TV you purchased, were you interested in a curved TV?

Regards
Fred

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  Reply # 1397020 30-Sep-2015 07:06
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Was the Panasonic cx700 good apart from the media not playing?



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  Reply # 1401990 7-Oct-2015 20:06
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Hi Guys,

Apologies for not following up with the last couple of questions, had a few other issues on my plate just recently.
Answers as follows:

shk292:
steevg: Jonathan18: Yep afraid so!

This reflects my experience of Samsung vs Panasonic.  Samsung TV will play virtually any file I ask it to, off any source.  Panasonic HTIB and BD recorder are extremely fussy and play around 10% of files.  I don't mind fiddling around with external devices, but for ease of use by wife and kids you can't beat a smart TV with a single remote

Totally agree, and I had the same issues with a Panasonic TV many years ago, only played certain file types in the shop., so we went with another brand at the time. Though I've recently been told by the local TV technician that he has on older Panasonic, and it plays just about anything (confused? Yup me too!)


shk292:Yes, very useful thanks and you were lucky to get a "free trial" like that!! I'm just wondering whether you also considered the latest Sony smart TVs, such as the Sony KD55X8500C which retails for a discounted price of around $2,700? This TV is an Android / Google-based TV which retailers say has much greater access to internet content (and future potential) than non-Android TVs such as Samsung.

As far as Panasonic products go, the smart network 3D blu-ray disc / DVD player HDD recorder (DMR-PWT550GZ) looks as though it can handle a lot of different video formats, so this might be very useful to accompany a Panasonic TV. In addition, it is designed to be Freeview Plus compatible and can be bought for about $500.

Incidentally, what is the model number of the Samsung TV you purchased, were you interested in a curved TV?

Regards
Fred

Fred: Yes a nice free trial, and the guys in Noel Leeming Taupo have been excellent to date - not sure how they'd react if I took the Samsung back in a couple of months though!

Yes I did consider the Sony, but not being sure about Android, I really wasn't in a place to start fiddling around only to find more incompatibilities - all that said before I had the issues with the Panasonic! Might have been nice to have tried it though - I hear good things, but had to make a choice!

As I probably mentioned in a previous reply, one of the issues was to be able to view OnDemand, and the guys in the shop said they had no idea if the Sony might be able to do that. With the problems associated with most TV web browsers not being able to use Java/Flash etc, we steered away!

The Samsung we have now is the 50JU6400 - the Ultra High Def version of the one we had all the issues with. Yes we did consider the curved versions, but we asked a few of the guys in the shop about them and a couple had curved models, they all said the reflections was worse on the curved TV's than the flat one's. We saw this when we went in to two different shops in the town and checked them out from a distance. I can't say that everyone would have noticed - unless they'd been made aware - but we certainly saw a difference and decided to stay away from Curved!

Thanks for the info about the Panasonic DVD Recorder, that may be something to consider  . . . . if ( I won't say it!)


ruderger: Was the Panasonic cx700 good apart from the media not playing?


Ruderger: Yes very good indeed! I know this sounds materialistic, but had I been able to have the Samsung and the Panasonic side by side, in a new environment (ie: without the problems associated with file compatibility), I'd have easily gone for the Panasonic.

In my opinion: The Panasonic was a much better build quality, actually felt like a $2k machine rather than all the plastic looks & feel of the Samsung. Also the menu's (for me) looked much much better, than the Samsung - especially when connecting to our internal server. The Samsung's menu's look very cramped, by comparison (those who have one may know what I'm referring to). The Panasonic's menu's were clear, nicely laid out and easy to navigate - though to be fair, there was one more button push on the remote to access the server files.

The blacks on the Panasonic were tremendous - really black, and not that slightly blacky-grey most other TV's have.

I've already made the decision that should the Samsung have more problems within the next 12 months, I'll go back for the Panasonic and probably get an Apple TV (or maybe the Panasonic DVD Fred mentioned), to compliment the setup.

Again, hope this is of interest to other members.


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