Computer to Plasma Connection - Please Help

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Pete Austin, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. Pete Austin

    Pete Austin Agent

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    Greetings all. I have finally succumb to the fact that research can only get you so far and sooner or later you need to ask people who have hands-on experience. I am looking to purchase a new plasma television. The brand and options considerations for this purchase both take a back seat to the fact that I need a plasma that can occasionally double as a monitor for my computer at a minimum resolution of 1024x768 without any extra modification. Actually, the higher the resolution that is possible the better but from what I understand, plasma monitors rarely display a vertical resolution of higher than 768. A business associate of mine just purchased a 42-inch Sony plasma and tried to run a computer signal to it using a DVI cable between the two. While the picture was incredibly sharp and clear, the maximum resolution that he could achieve was 640x480. Now, even after finding a television that matches my needs I still have no idea which connection I should be using. My computer naturally has both VGA and DVI outputs, and converter boxes that convert VGA to component are also available, so the question is; given that I have the input options of VGA, DVI, and Component at the TV, which one will produce the sharpest picture at the best resolution? I have run my computer display out to a TV in the past using S-Video and the results were god-aweful. I need a clear sharp picture. Another way to present my situation would be with the following situations. Which is the best solution?

    1.)Computer (VGA-out) -> Plasma TV (VGA-in)
    2.)Computer (VGA-out) -> VGA-Component Converter Box -> Plama TV (Component-in)
    3.)Computer (DVI-out) -> Plasma TV (DVI-in)

    Thank for any comments / suggestions. Also, I my entire post is erroneous and this cannot be done on a plasma, would a LCD TV/monitor be a better option?
     
  2. Chad B

    Chad B Stunt Coordinator

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    I have to admit I don't have hands on experience with your situation, but going by general home theater knowledge, I'd be inclined to suggest options 1 or 3. There might not be substantial quality differences between the two, since plasmas are not fully digital display devices like DLP's are.
    Your business associate might have been using an Enhanced Definition plasma, which has lower resolution than a High Def one. In fact, most 42" plasmas are ED and can only display 480 lines of vertical resolution. When you get into the bigger plasmas (50" or larger), the capability is more commonly 768 or 720. So, when making your decision, be sure to only look at plasmas that are capable of 768 lines.
    A word of caution, though- plasmas are very prone to burn in from stationary images. Personally, I don't know if I'd feel comfortable using an expensive plasma as a computer monitor, although I might be in the minority here. LCD and DLP do not suffer from burn in.
     
  3. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    DVI to DVI would be the best solution for you.
     
  4. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    What do you mean this statement?
     
  5. Chad B

    Chad B Stunt Coordinator

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    I can't remember which magazine it was in, maybe Widescreen Review, TPV, or SGHT, but I was reading an article on DVI connections a few months ago. According to it, plasmas are not 100% digital display devices. In other words, even if it is getting a digital signal from a DVI connection, a plasma still has to convert the signal to analog before displaying it. Same with LCD and CRT. However, both plasmas and LCD's have digital circuitry built into them (their scalers). That is why they are sometimes, not entirely correctly, referred to as digital displays. DLP technology is, however, entirely digital.
    I'm going by memory, so I hope I'm relaying the article's information correctly.
     
  6. Pete Austin

    Pete Austin Agent

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    Chad, thank you for presenting the option of DLP TV's. I had not thought of that earlier but you hit the nail on the head. In researching DLP I discovered that

    "DLP has the impressive ability to display both television pictures and computer images with a level of detail, color and clarity that has never before been offered for the home theater."

    That quote was taken from Mitsubishi's website. Upon further research it is apparent that DLP televisions were indeed designed to handle VGA signals as every television that I have looked at offers both DVI-in and VGA-in ports. DLP by Texas Instruments natively supports 1280x720 and I have seen specs that state a maximum PC resolution of XGA (1024x768). I don't know how they explain the descrepancy in vertical resolution but it appears that I can run the resolution I need to. I was looking at the entirely wrong technology. Thanks again Chad, and everyone else who chimed in. I have found the answer to my predicament.
     
  7. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Um, not so certain.
     
  8. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    DLP's are truly digital. Mirrors on the DMD are only on or off, x amount of times per second. LCD's, LCOS/DILA, and Plasmas are analog at the output end.
     

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