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Launch of the Plasma-TV FAQ


General Questions

What is the Sky code for controlling the Pioneer 435 / 436 / 505 / 506 with the Sky remote?
The code is 0194. For instructions on how to apply the code - see here.

I want to display photos on my Pioneer using the Home Gallery option. What do I need to do?
First, you need an XDE and not an FDE as the receiver box for the XDE is the one with the right slot for the PCMCIA card reader you need to buy.

Second, buy and insert a PCMCIA type-2 card adapter that functions as a memory card reader into the receiver box. The PCMCIA card reader must support the memory card media your camera can use In other words if your digital camera uses SmartMedia, buy a PCMCIA device that you can put the SmartMedia card into. These are some recommendations (but this isn´t an exclusive list):

Third, you need to insert the card into the PCMCIA reader and use the Home Gallery feature. However, remember that there are minimum and maximum pixel sizes the plasma can display. Taking full 5MP or 7MP resolution photos and trying to display them just won´t work; these would probably be displayed as JPG thumbnails with an exclamation mark sign The best bet is to shrink your photos to a max resolution of 4.3MP (i.e. a max of 2400 x 1800) on the card before you try to display them.

More here from Pioneer

What about if I have a fault with my power supply (i.e. a loud bang and the screen going dead or similar)?
This should be replaced free of charge under a lifetime warranty*. Some people outside of the UK have complained of faulty power supply problems.
* This info could be wrong!!!

How do the aspect ratios work - the manual isn´t clear?
FULL is normal 16:9 whereas WIDE stretches 4:3 sources to 16:9 size, but progressively stretches the picture (i.e. stretches less in the middle but more to the sides) and zooms in a little bit.

Why when I select 720p in my DVD player connected via HDMI does my Pioneer say 750p in the info banner? Same with 1080i showing 1125i? Same with 576i showing 625i?
You´re not getting extra resolution, this relates to the hidden lines of data that are being added to the number.

There is a GREY side mask in 4:3 mode. Can you explain why the side mask bars are grey?
The grey side bars prevent image retention and screen burn. If the side bars were black (i.e. no burn at all) there would be uneven wear across the screen and you would end up with the 4:3 section having more wear and hence more burn than the edges
If you want a worse idea, try changing from FIXED (i.e. grey) to AUTO in the menus. This will replicate an inch wide strip from either side of the 4:3 picture in monochrome continually to the edge of the screen

If I have a plasma with one HDMI input (like the 505XDE) - how can I get more HDMI inputs?
Buy an HDMI switch or an AV amplifier/receiver that has HDMI inputs and an output to the screen.

Is there any danger to the panel if I clean it with different types of cloth?
Yes you can scratch it. On "piano black" screens this is noticable. To make sure that this never happens, get a MicroFibre cloth (like the one made by 3M) from Tescos (or similar), costing less than £5. Most folk seem to replace the supplied cloth with one of these. Use the cloth dry. Washing the cloth regularly to get rid of dirt, is all that seems to be needed. You could also go with Monster cleaning solution and the like if you really wanted to, but the following comes straight from the manual:
Cleaning the surface of the screen and the glossy surface of the front cabinet.
  • When cleaning the surface of the screen or the glossy surface of the front cabinet, gently wipe it with a dry soft cloth; the supplied cleaning cloth or other similar cloths (e.g. cotton and flannel). If you use a dusty or hard cloth or if you rub the screen hard, the surface of the product will be scratched.
  • If you clean the surface of the screen with a wet cloth, water droplets on the surface may enter into the product, resulting in malfunction.

And the following comes from the little pink A5 leaflet that comes with the screens now:
Wash the cleaning cloth provided by diluting a natural detergent to about 1% and wash thoroughly. Rinse cleaning cloth with water so that none of the detergent remains in the cloth. Allow cloth to dry before use. Although the cloth´s colour may fade, its performance will not. You can order replacement cloths from your dealer, or purchase a commercially-available lens cleaning cloth.

And from Jeffers01:
I work for a company that makes antiglare coatings for displays. What is often the case is that the coating works by creating a nano structure in the surface. This is effectively a very fine textured finish. What happens is that any type of residue (especially oil from fingers) fills in this nano texture and is very difficult to remove from the bottom of the pits´. Microfibre cloths have fibres that are so fine they can reach down into this texture and absorb the oil. Therefore you can imagine that any houshold cleaner that may leave a residue of, say, silicone (to give a nice shine) will clog up the nano texture. This has the obvious visual effect but also destroys the antiglare property until it is removed. ´Plasmawipes´ contain a gentle solvent that, combined with a good cloth, will dissolve/remove the residue (without replacing it with other rubbish!). Be careful not to rub too hard or you may do physical damage that is permanent.

If we go on any further on this topic, it will end up being the saddest question in the FAQ if it isn´t already.

Occasionally my screen clicks - is this a problem?
This appears to be thermal expansion/contraction of components and depends on heating in the room. Consensus is this isn´t a problem.

I can hear some small noises from my plasma/receiver - is this normal?
From page 8 of the PDP506XDE manual:
Radio interference
While this product meets the required specifications, it emits a small amount of noise. If you place such equipment as an AM radio, personal computer, and VCR close to this product, that equipment may be interfered. If this happens, place that equipment far enough from this product.

Plasma Display driving sound The screen of the Plasma Display is composed of extremely fine pixels and these pixels emit light according to received video signals. This principle may make you hear buzz sound or electrical circuit hamming from the Plasma Display.

Also note that the rotation speed of the cooling fan motor increases when the ambient temperature of the Media Receiver becomes high. You may hear the sound of the fan motor at that time.

I can hear a very annoying ringing/buzzing background sound when my panel is on - what can I do?
This sounds like (no pun intended) it is the coils resonating. You may need a new power supply. Contact Pioneer.

Can I change the input names from INPUT1, INPUT2, INPUT3, etc.
Not as far as we can tell.

I have an analogue and a digital tuner in my Pioneer receiver box but can´t get Free to Air Digital TV channels (e.g. Freeview in the UK) to work at all. Normal analogue TV works fine (i.e. channels 1 to 5 in the UK), but tuning to Freeview gives me 0% on all frequencies, and thus can´t find any channels. What am I doing wrong?
If you can only get analogue channels only, then your cabling is almost certainly wrong. Check the manual for wiring of the antenna - this is an easy step to get wrong without checking that page.
On boxes with a digital tuner, there is an RF in for the digital + an RF-out to the analogue-RF-in for analogue as well. Do not plug your aerial feed straight into the analogue RF input Put the RF lead into the digital RF-input then from the digital RF-output wire another lead to the analog RF-input.

Can you clarify how Picture-in-Picture (PiP)works?
PiP is all about displaying two pictures side by side (Left and Right) on the screen, or displaying one image full size, and one very small in the bottom right corner of the screen. PiP tends to work on the following combinations:
  • Analogue TV and Digital TV
  • Analogue TV (or Digital TV) and any external source e.g. inputs 1-5 or PC

Can I do Picture-in-Picture (PiP) with two external sources?
It is possible to get round this and use PiP with TWO external sources, by essentially "tricking" the TV into thinking Input1 is one of the internal sources. You do this by setting Input1 as Analogue TV and then can use PiP with any other external input and DTV together, but not with another Analogue TV channel.
To set this up, one of the sources has to be INPUT1, and the other doesn´t matter. Do the following:
  • Plug a picture source into INPUT1 and show a programme
  • Go into HOME MENU => SETUP => ANALOGUE TV SETUP => (password normally 1234) => MANUAL ADJUST => PROGRAMME ENTRY => (choose a programme number say 99 or 01 or whatever) => and then make sure that DECODER is set to INPUT1. Leave everything else the same. Name the channel with a label if you wish.

Every time you choose 99 (or whatever you chose) you get the picture from your device at input 1. This is the internal part of the splitscreen. For the other part of the splitscreen you can choose any other external input.
Do this by pressing the Splitscreen button (probably just below and left of button 0 on the remote) and then use the button to the next of it to swap the split screens. Then you can choose one of the other input sources for the image if you wish by pressing the input source button.

I get this error "Aerial short circuited turn off DC and check cables" - what can I do?
Turn off the Aerial power in the settings menu.

Where can I find my serial numbers?
The serial numbers for registration & support for most panels can be found both on the screen (rear and top) and - if you have one - on the media receiver box (rear and inside silver front panel).

16:9 non-anamorphic (letterboxed) DVDs don´t show up properly. The picture sits in the middle of the display, with black bands all round.
This is normal. The only way that you can fill a 16:9 screen with a non-anamorphic 4:3 image without distorting it completely is to zoom it, cropping the top and bottom. But when displaying HDMI sources the screen doesn´t support zoom modes. So just stop using HDMI for letterboxed 4:3 material.

I NEED MORE HELP! Is there anywhere else that has other useful FAQ information that might help me further?
Some FAQ answers are available via Pioneer Customer Services here.

Can my plasma system display 1080P signals?
The following models can display 1080P signals.

PDP-436XDE, FDE, RXE and SXE - 1080P @ 24Htz
PDP-506XDE and FDE - 1080P @ 24Htz

PDP-5000EX - 1080P @ 24Htz, 50Htz and 60Htz

PDP-50MXE1,10,11, 43MXE1,10,11 - 1080P @ 24htz, 50Htz and 60Htz via component on the PDA-5003 or PDA-5004 cards, and via DVI-D but only with the addition of the PDA-5003 or PDA-5004 cards (These are needed for the system to handle HDCP signalling).

PDP-427XD, 4270XD, 507XD and 607XD - 1080P @ 24Htz

PDP-428XD, 4280XD, 508XD, 5080XD, LX508D, LX5080D, LX608D, LX6080D - 1080P @ 24Htz, 50Htz and 60Htz

Extra Info

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