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Plasma TVs - Including HDTV and EDTV

When it comes to large but thin screens, Plasma TVs are what most choose. Like LCDs, plasma screens have an array of cells or pixels. Within each of these cells are 3 sub pixels. Gas in a plasma state reacts with this sub cells that produce either the color red, green or blue. When all these pixels are lighted together, they produce the complete video image.

People often mistake Plasma and LCD screens with each other. While they do look similar in size and shape they are different technology. Plasma HDTVs are usually cheaper to build which is why you will usually see larger flat panel screens as Plasma, while smaller screens are LCD. Although Plasma screens can display an amazing video image, they usually are not as brilliant in color as an LCD. But again, LCDs are more expensive.

Plasma TVs will produce a very nice image even at large screen sizes. And the large screen size does not mean they will be thicker. Large Plasma TVs are thin and light enough to attach to a wall or place on just about any similar sized stand. Although not as light as a similar sized LCDs, they are still light enough to be moved around easily.

Like LCD, Plasma TVs work well when attached to a computer. Several name brand computer Manufacture's such as Dell and Gateway are now producing large sized Plasma screens to be shipped with home or media center computers for this very reason. Pure flat LCD and Plasma screens should only be considered if you plan to use your computer with your new HDTV. Not only are they best due to their pixel based resolution, they also are not as prone to screen "burn in" . What this means is that when an image is constantly displayed on a CRT or rear projection television, the image can be permanently burned on the front panel or screen. This is why it is not advised to watch a 4:3 aspect ratio video image on a 16:9 aspect ratio (or wide screen) television at long periods of time. Although flat panel LCD and Plasma screens can also technically be "burned in" they are able to withstand this for longer periods of time. Of course, a screen saver is always recommended to be enabled when displaying your computer output on any monitor or television. Please note that Plasma screens can still be burned in. If you plan to use static images often on your HDTV, I recommend you purchase and LCD panel instead.

Like their LCD counterparts, Plasma TVs are best for viewing high resolution or high definition video. Although they will up convert standard analog television or low resolution DTV, you will see artifacts such as pixelization or blockyness. This is because LCD and Plasma technology are at a fixed or native pixel resolution of around 1280x720 or higher. As this native resolution increases so does the noticeable effects of displaying lower resolution video.

As with LCDs, one of the problems with Plasma screens, is that if a pixel goes bad it can either be permanently turned off or constantly lit. This can cause a noticeable black dot or lit dot on the screen. Repairing these pixels is not possible and if enough go bad, the entire panel will need to be replaced. Fortunately, technology has advanced and that this problem is not as relevant as it was in the earlier generations of Plasma and LCD television sets.

When shopping for a Plasma HDTV, make sure the model you are interested in is pure HDTV. To keep costs low, most Plasma HDTVs for the consumer market are EDTV (Enhanced Definition Television). Which although will generate a very nice image, especially for when displaying from your progressive scan DVD player, they will not produce as much detail on an HDTV signal such as a High Definition enabled CRT.

If cost is not an issue and you would like a large but thin screen, Plasma TVs might just be perfect for you. Although if you can afford it, you may want to consider a similar sized LCD panel. But, you will probably find Plasma screens only at the largest screen sizes.

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What to look for when purchasing an Plasma Screen HDTV

When shopping for an Plasma based HDTV there are few features or specs you will want to look for. These are as follows:

  • HD Tuner Built In - This is a large benefit if you would like to pick up the HDTV signals in the air from your local broadcasters. However, if you will be using a cable or satellite provider, this may not be needed.
  • Downgrading Capability - As with any pure pixel resolution based screen, displaying an image at lower resolution can be undesirable. If you plan to occasionally watch standard analog television, you will want a model that has advanced downgrading capability. However, since your purchasing an HDTV to display high definition video, this may not be a concern to you.
  • Multiple Inputs - As with any thin flat panel HDTVs, space is limited so having multiple video inputs may be a problem. Try to find a model that has enough video inputs for all your devices especially component and DVI inputs.
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More Plasma TV Resources

Amazon.com - Offers one of the largest selections of Plasma HDTV's at the lowest prices. You will also find Home Theater Audio Systems, DVD and VCR Players and Recorders, DVD Movies and everything else you could ever need for your HDTV experience.


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