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Minardifan

Soniq 106CM Plasma

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It's very odd that you guys mention the black level, because the display model I saw seemed quite bright and had pleasantly deep blacks. This is in comparison with many other plasmas near it (mainly LGs, Pioneers and Panasonics).

The only down side I saw was that the image was not as sharp as the HD plasmas, but that's a given with an SD set. Compared against LG SDs it was actually better IMHO.

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Im starting to wonder if there is different stocks going to different stores?

When the new JB opens at brookvale I will check out their stock. Im sorta in the market for a cheapie plasma (as well as a LCD) cause I need a xmas pressie for the father in law. If this dosent win me big brownie points, dunno what will :blink:

Sould be sub $1500 by xmas i hope. Dont think this is an unreasonable expectation. We didnt think they would hit <2k this quick after all...

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While I haven't seen the Trio I also thought the 42" Soniq had very poor contrast and black levels. I'm not sure how well it was calibrated or whether it was connected via composite but I certainly wouldn't have bought the TV with that demo. 

BTW, I saw it at JB-Hifi Modbury, SA.

:blink: I saw that one running some Star Wars THX demo and thought it looked alright! You're talking about the one set up just inside the front door?

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Im starting to wonder if there is different stocks going to different stores?

When the new JB opens at brookvale I will check out their stock. Im sorta in the market for a cheapie plasma (as well as a LCD) cause I need a xmas pressie for the father in law.  If this dosent win me big brownie points, dunno what will :blink:

Sould be sub $1500 by xmas i hope. Dont think this is an unreasonable expectation. We didnt think they would hit <2k this quick after all...

It's a bit of a worry about the different stocks. On overclockers, it's coming out in the soniq thread that there are two different batches - one batch with scart sockets and one without. Now this could also mean that the soniq badge has been applied to two very different products - one with crapola blacks and one batch that does good blacks!

I could get very nervous about my investment very fast, very soon unless this all gets clarified sooner rather than later!

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Next time someone sees one, report back on what you think but also post what input was being used (i.e. component, composite, etc.), and the source.

What I saw was component input direct from an HD STB running the 10 HD loop, and IQ and blacks looked totally fine to me.

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:blink: I saw that one running some Star Wars THX demo and thought it looked alright! You're talking about the one set up just inside the front door?

That is the one. It was playing an animated movie (I think it was Shark Tale). Usually animated movies look great on plasmas and LCDs but the first thing that hit me were the poor black levels.

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On a plasma I normally set the brightness to 50% and contrast to 100%, and then up the saturation just past 50 to about 60%. This works a treat on the factory Trio (default all 50%)

When I tried this on the sonic plasma I found 100% contrast made the image go oversharp looking, so i backed it to 85% and lowered the brightness below 50% but it all went dark.

Mind u I was doing this bent over cause the friggin sales guy gave me the BS about the remote being 'out the back'. I should have told him i'd buy one, and once he had written up the sales docket, i could say "sorry, i left my wallet /out the back/"  lol

The overclockers forum requires membership, so if u could paste a few choice morsels about how they set them up, the guys here would be much obliged :blink:

PS dont get me wrong. I dont work for DSE. I'd happly reverse my view if I could get the sonic to look better. I did appreciate its black case (I have a thing for black cases. silver however - eek)

OK...cut and pasted from a review by a guy called mxlaser over on overclockers (got his permission first):

SONIQ 42" PLASMA (Samsung PDP & Samsung HDi Scaler) from JB HIFI

Specs:

Cost:

$1998 @ JB HIFI

Contrast Ratio:

10,000:1

Resolution:

852x480

Supported Resolutions:

480i/p / 576i/p / 720p / 1080i

Connections:

DVI / RGB / 2 x Component / RCA / S-Video / 2 x SCART / UHF/VFH

Internal:

Built in Speakers (not detachable) 2 x 7.5w.

Built in Analogue Tuner (Why oh why….)

Misc:

No internal fans (does make a very slight hum in silence)

Black Fascia (Looks awesome.)

Comes with:

PDP (You’d hope so )

Power Cable

2 x Remotes

RCA Cable

S-Video Cable

Batteries

Manual

Stand.

REVIEW

This plasma TV runs virtually silent. It is fan-less and has one of the low power consumption rating. I could not hear the unit running unless very close.

The onscreen graphic user display on this plasma television is excellent and easy to use. There are options available for colour temp adjustment, sharpness, colour, picture, brightness and tint. There is a sound adjustment menu if you are using the built in 7.5 watt speakers that alters the sound for custom, normal, music, movies and speech. For simple speakers they do produce a good mid sound level, and a nice level of bass which is surprising.

The five aspect ratios options include Zoom x1, Zoom x2, Normal, Wide and 14:9. I like to adjust the colour on almost any input signal I'm watching and I found the Soniq’s colour adjustments for red, blue and green to be simple and easy to use.

The PDP has a nice, easy to navigate menu system. It can be a little time consuming for some actions, but generally, the day to day chores are quick and easy. The navigation to select your AV source, for me, is amazing! Previous TV’s and plasma had to cycle through your selections, where this Plasma, you bring up a list, then select it. Very quick and very convenient.

I've tested it with various sources (DVD PLAYER / HDSTB / SDSTB / VCR / XBOX) and using various connections for each, where I could. Where this panel is let down is when using a RCA source. The seem to come out with the most issues (to be expected being RCA) but it to me, is to a point it’s not watch able. However, using the same sources, through S-Video/SCART or component, and its fine.

The inbuilt analogue tuner is IMO a complete waste and I doubt many, if any at all will ever use it.

Both RGB and DVI produce some exceptional images… I can honestly say, they are on par with some HD LG/Panasonic and Samsung panels. Also, component produces to my eye, the best colour images. I don’t quiet know how to explain it, the just seem a little more natural, softer and vibrant through component.

The panel handles fast action, and very dark scenes (action: Ronin & Transporter car chase scenes, and AFL / dark: Doom 3 & some Horror movies) fantastic. Its grey and black tones seem to display very well throughout. Action suffers very little from any blurring or banding in the images during high movement and even quick colour changes. I am thoroughly impressed.

I could not honestly say you would get a PDP of this image quality, build, finish and features for under $3k from any other supplier. Its only price competitors are either the DSE Trio and the Teac 1060 (which I owned) and it beats both hands down. It’s not actually a competition. It’s like putting a Mazda 2 up against an RX-8. The only other screens it may compete with are the emerging 32" LCD's. You will lose out on 10" inchhes of realestate, and IMO a much more natural image, especially for television. Hoever the LCD's do have the benifit of higher resolutions, important if your connection a computer to them. That was of no importance to me and pure image quality and size are the largest factors for me.

You won’t get better PQ, looks and features for this price currently with any other plasma. If your in the market for a sub $3.5k or SD PDP, seriously have a look at one of these before buying something else, or you’ll have buyers remorse once you do see one.

Hope you like my first ever, real review… I won’t be quitting my day job

Image Quality 9/10

Sound Quality 6/10

Features 10/10

Ease of Use 9/10

Value for money 10/10

Overall rating 44/50

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Just bought this TV on the weekend from JB , very pleased with it for the price.

One problem I have is that the remote controls (2 of them) just don't work very well. One minute it works the next is doesn't seem to . You can walk up close to the panel and still no good. The manual says they might not work around bright lights etc , which shouldn't be an issue in my opinion, I have never know remotes not work because of that. My living room is not bright.

Anyway I want to use my home theatre remote control .

Does anybody know what the 4 digit manufacturer code for Soniq TV's is so I can program my remote. Have searched the web . Also tried all the Samsung codes in my Yamaha manual but no luck. Maybe it is the TV sensor rather than the remote.

Any advice ???

Jon

I am Identical with this purchase:

1. Searching for 4 digit codes and

2. The remote sux, it is the worst remote ever, but

The TV is brilliant, I totally agree with the review above. I have matched it with a LG Lst 5100p HD STB, and everything is perfect, I cannot fault it. I am not an expert on Plasma yet, but I am very particular, so I am very pleased with it.

So my questions are this: has anyone else had problems with the remote, if there is one here already it will help for when I chase service.

Cheers

Puttikan

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Image Quality 9/10

wow that doesnt leave much room for improvement, or for comparison between the "brand" models???

from what I have seen of the Soniq panels, I would have to say that rating is somewhat dubious.. although I have probably not seen them at their best (knowing how panels are normally set up in stores, ie badly)...

cheers :blink:

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wow that doesnt leave much room for improvement, or for comparison between the "brand" models???

from what I have seen of the Soniq panels, I would have to say that rating is somewhat dubious.. although I have probably not seen them at their best (knowing how panels are normally set up in stores, ie badly)...

cheers :blink:

Hi

That was actually my review. It was discussed more where it was originally posted (OCAU Forums) however, that PQ was based on comparisons of ONLY other SD sets, and also with price->performance in mind as well. Its not just a be all end all indicative score of overall PQ against the world of plasma's, im not at libiterty to test them all (although i wish i was)

If anyone has any questions feel free to ask.

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Hi

That was actually my review. It was discussed more where it was originally posted (OCAU Forums) however, that PQ was based on comparisons of ONLY other SD sets, and also with price->performance in mind as well. Its not just a be all end all indicative score of overall PQ against the world of plasma's, im not at libiterty to test them all (although i wish i was)

If anyone has any questions feel free to ask.

fair enough dude :blink:

and welcome to this forum!

cheers :P

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Can anyone advise what it’s like running a VCR via composite into the Soniq?

I’ve read its pointless running any composite sources into a plasma, but my VCR doesn’t have Svideo and I aint buying another one.

Im not expecting anything better than what I currently get on my CRT, but will I get worse ? Will a RCA/Svideo adapter improve anything?

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Can anyone advise what it’s like running a VCR via composite into the Soniq? 

I’ve read its pointless running any composite sources into a plasma, but my VCR doesn’t have Svideo and I aint buying another one.

Im not expecting anything better than what I currently get on my CRT, but will I get worse ? Will a RCA/Svideo adapter improve anything?

I haven't got one, but I would expect a 840x480 plasma to perform on composite probably the best out of the flat panel devices

I doubt the adaptor will change the result btw.

PS suggest the way to go in future, save some pennies for a PVR (digital set top box receiver that records to hdisk). There are no name ones going cheap. I think JB has some for like $300?

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cheers,

I had a look at the Soniq again just then, and although the picture was clean, they were playing The Matrix and it was as you stated - grey.

will have to look at third JB store setup and also the trio again.

The VCR is for a tapes I own. Call me nostalgic, I dont have a desire to burn them to disk, nor re purchase as dvd's, I just dont require everything to be in the highest quality format available - I sometimes still use my turntable :blink:

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Can anyone advise what it’s like running a VCR via composite into the Soniq? 

I’ve read its pointless running any composite sources into a plasma, but my VCR doesn’t have Svideo and I aint buying another one.

Im not expecting anything better than what I currently get on my CRT, but will I get worse ? Will a RCA/Svideo adapter improve anything?

VCR has a lower resolution compared to analogue FTA TV so it will look worse than analogue TV viewed on that display. So if you can demo analogue reception on it, it will give you a rough idea.

I can't remember the exact specs but analogue TV has 576 lines (interlaced) and VCR has less -> something like 380 (?). Plus it tends to be a noisier signal as well.

Remeber the old VHS vs Betamax debate... VHS won despite having poorer PQ due to less lines recorded - apparently the killer was that VHS could record an entire baseball game on one tape and Betamax couldn't!

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I scored a brand new vcr at HN for a whole $87. When u consider all the moving parts and that PC DVD burners cost $70, makes me wonder how they charge +$250 for a external dvd burner....... I think we will see prices drop here

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I heard a good one from the sales drone at JB the other day. I guy was looking at the soniq plasma and asked the drone if he could bring the price down a bit. The drone said no as they have 200 people who have already prepaid the entire $2000 and are awaiting delivery - from this particular store!! Has anyone ever paid a 100% deposit on anything!! The display model was sitting on a pile of 5 soniq plasmas so I would be a little upset if i was number 200 in the queue and waiting for mine to arrive..lol

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We should start a thread with 101 best salesmans BS lines :blink:

"I have this one at home, and it's better than anything else"

Notice how the salesmen seem to virtually own the entire store's stock, especially the one item you want to buy?

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For those with remote problems...

For me, it's not actually the remote that's the problem - it's the display!!!

Whenever there's ANY light emitting from the plasma display, all of my remotes are severely distrupted. I've got a Yamaha receiver, Foxtel, VCR etc and they only work from a few feet away when the plasma is on. If I pull out the video source, all the remotes work fine - until the "No Signal" box comes up (ie; light is emiting). I seems odd but the type of light emitted seems to interupt all the IR's....

I can give more details if anyone's interested - has anyone else had similar experiences??

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Just got mine today guys - happy with the picture (had a bunky old 68cm TV before this) but I have 2 'issues'

1. The remote problem listed above

2. The screen is slightly out of alignment in the case (LHS of screen is around 3-4mm lower than the right)

Aside from that - what great value:D

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I heard a good one from the sales drone at JB the other day. I guy was looking at the soniq plasma and asked the drone if he could bring the price down a bit. The drone said no as they have 200 people who have already prepaid the entire $2000 and are awaiting delivery - from this particular store!!  Has anyone ever paid a 100% deposit on anything!!  The display model was sitting on a pile of 5 soniq plasmas so I would be a little upset if i was number 200 in the queue and waiting for mine to arrive..lol

200 people from one store is over the top.(did you even consider that the panels may have been purchased on interest free so paid in full!) Maybe 30-40, not 200, but I can assure you 760 of this plasma unit are in circulation now out of an order of around 1160, and over 700 of them are sold and or commited around Australia. At that rate of takeup, why would they have a need to sell it cheaper to you? More competition is required to force price negotiation IMO.

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It had DVI, VGA, 2xcomponent, RCA, S-video & 2 scarts.

(not sure whats available through scarts)

Is this correct? Mine doesn't have SCART inputs. I was sure the display model in the shop did though. The manual doesn't mention any SCART option, so I figured I was dreaming.

Mine is a model PT42SH. Maybe there's a few variants.

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