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Author Topic: Optimizing plasma displays  (Read 25307 times)
Rik Wang
Posts: 8833

« on: February 26, 2006, 06:52:11 AM »

Plasma displays normally include very good scalers, which allow them to be "compatible" with high definition signals: 1080i and 720p. More than other display types, plasma marketing can be very confusing. To keep it simple, think of there being only 4 types of panels:

1. WVGA: 852x480, usually labelled EDTV
2. ALIS: 1024x512, but usually marketed at its interlaced equivalent of 1024x1024
3. XGA: 1024x768, usually marketed as HD plasma because it can resolve 720 progressive lines
4. WXGA: 1366x768, also marketed as HD because it can resolve 1280x720 natively; some will even accept 1080p and scale that to the native resolution

*All* of these plasmas can be "compatible" with 1080i and 720p, if they're designed to recognize the incoming signal and scale it to the native resolution. The difference between them isn't in the signals they are compatible with, but what they scale it to. As a general rule when connecting a display to a PC you want to avoid scaling altogether and configure the PC for the plasma's native resolution.

1. WVGA: if 852x480 is not available, shoot for 848x480 or 856x480
2. ALIS: these are nice for CE devices but ill-suited for HTPCs; shoot for 1024x512 (although some people prefer 1024x576)
3. XGA: 1024x768, but because these plasmas have non-square pixels, many people prefer a bit of scaling and use 1280x768, 1360x768 or 1368x768 instead to get a better widescreen aspect ratio
4. WXGA: if 1366x768 isn't available, shoot for 1360x768 or 1368x768

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