In regards to your question about using plasma screens as computer
monitors, the short answer is "yes". Actually, the thin plasma
monitors are made in much the same way as the large plasma-based
televisions - with a few differences.
In order to get the best quality image out of your PC onto a plasma
screen, you're going to want a plasma screen that natively supports
either VGA and/or DVI inputs. This means that the makers of the set
had PC connectivity in mind when designing the unit. You can purchase
all sorts of VGA to component/composite adapters to plug into standard
television inputs, but you're just not going to enjoy the same
quality. For the best quality, DVI (digital video interface) is the
way to go. Your high quality PC plasma monitors will all contain DVI
inputs as well. Now, in order to plug into the DVI input, you're going
to have to have a video card in your PC that has a DVI output. Most
newer cards from both NVIDIA and ATI come with both standard VGA and
DVI inputs both. If you have an older card, odds are you'll need an
upgrade to enjoy the digital output.
Once you have the input/ouput situated, all it takes is a cable to
hook it up and you'll be enjoying your PC in true digital plasma
quality. Of course, the quality will depend on the capabilities of
your video card and/or television's tuner. Because the images are
handled in different ways, it's hard to say whether or not the quality
is the "same" as television. The resolution will be the same, but
because you're used to looking at moving images designed for
lower-resolutions and not at stagnant text and such you'll have to
judge for yourself. Theoretically, the quality should be the same as
for television content displayed at the same resolution. The next
thing you need to consider is the "resolution" of the screen when it's
broadcast onto the plasma tv. Most plasma screens have an aspect ratio
of 16:9 which is wider than standard PC monitors. Also, standard
television programs (non-HDTV) are shown at a relatively low
resolution when compared to that of computer screens. With plasma
screens, you will most likely have an HD (high-definition) compatible
set which is capable of displaying higher resolutions (up to
1366x768). Most people run their desktops at either 800x600 or
1024x768. Since plasma's are wider, you can expect to run at 852x480
or maybe even 1024x768 (fitted). Most video cards with DVI outputs are
designed to handle these "odd" resolution settings.
To sum it all up, yes you can hook up a PC to a plasma screen
television. Some monitor makers (like Viewsonic) are now even starting
to make television set hybrids since the two are becoming more and
more alike. Just remember that you'll want a DVI input on the TV and
DVI output on the video card. Be sure to check the TV to see what
maximum resolution it can display so that you can get the sharpest
image. I've included the link to an interesting website about plasma
displays at the end of this answer. I hope that helps to answer your
question. Please don't hesitate to ask for clarification should you
need futher assistance on this question -- I'll be happy to do futher
research if necessary. Thanks!
Plasma TV Buying Guide
Lots of Reviews, Tips, FAQs, Prices and More on Plasma-based products.
Plasma TV Display Comparisions (Resolution/Price)
Request for Answer Clarification by
22 Oct 2002 15:23 PDT
There is more to this than I thought. However, you brought me up to
speed in regard to hooking up to a computer.
I am planning to run stock charts during the day when the market is
I have a subscription to eSignal, and eSignal runs as many charts as I
want from the Internet, to the computer in real time,
But, did you see the comments posted to my question, in regard to
burning the plasma screen in just a few minutes?
I am still in a learning curve, before I spend the money.
However, you answered my basic question, and I give you 5 stars, for a
Clarification of Answer by
23 Oct 2002 07:25 PDT
Owain is correct, screen burn-in definitely something that should be
considered when hooking up a computer to a plasma screen television.
Plasma's suffer burn-in faster than just about any other form of
television set, so they must be treated very carefully when it comes
to static images. Some television sets (I saw a couple from Pioneer
and Fujitsu) are starting to include features that help reduce the
chance of burn-in by having the images inversed every so often,
slightly rotating the images gradually, screen orbiting, etc. I would
probably try and find a television that has those types of features if
you're buying something new. Also, you'll want to take measures
yourself, like setting a screensaver to activate at a fast rate (like
2-5 minutes max) and/or having your screen invert the colors every
minute or two if you're looking at static graphs all day long. The
last thing you want to do is burn-in your new $10000 plasma tv.
Good luck with your new Plasma TV purchase!