Difference between HDTV and Plasma
A plasma television screen together with the emerging HDTV technology makes
for a great combination that can enhance the viewing experience of any movie or television show. When compared with
standard television, the difference is quite remarkable and well worth the additional expense that HDTV technology
brings with it.
What may come as a surprise though, is the difference in price tags between what appears to be two identical
looking plasma TVs. Indeed, that price discrepancy can be upwards of $1000 between a regular plasma television and
an HDTV ready plasma television from the same manufacturer. A plasma television unit bearing the HDTV badge will
cost about a thousand dollars more, but is this money well spent.
All plasma displays contain a set number of pixels or picture elements, with which they generate on screen
images. The exact number of pixels depends on the size of the TV screen as well as its native resolution. The
native resolution of a given plasma TV is the total number of pixels comprising its display element.
Everything viewed on a plasma television will be converted to its native resolution. In other words, the video
content is forced to fit onto the screen, a process known up conversion or down conversion. All video content
viewed on a plasma television, whether it is regular programming or high definition will have its own
Say for example that a plasma television has a native pixel resolution of 1024 x 768 and you are watching a DVD
in progressive scan. The internal processing of the plasma is up converting the DVD video signal to match its own
native pixel resolution. This naturally places a premium value on plasma displays that do the best job.
If the incoming video source has a higher resolution than the native pixel resolution of your display, there
will be some degree of detail and sharpness loss in the conversion. There is approximately a 20% improvement in the
picture quality when HD content is displayed on an HDTV plasma television when compared with lower resolution, non
HDTV plasma televisions, when viewing two plasma televisions by the same manufacturer.
However, if the incoming video source, such as broadcast TV, has a lower resolution than your plasma screen
native resolution, then the lower resolution plasma may perform better than the HDTV plasma.
In this scenario it is quite possible that a person could actually pay a higher price for a plasma with higher
resolution and yet video quality is not as good as its less expensive counterpart. This occurs because the higher
resolution plasma must do extreme up converting of the incoming signal to match its native pixel resolution.
There can also be a substantial difference between brands. For example, a regular Pioneer plasma screen may have
a better picture with the same incoming DVD than an HDTV from Vizio because the Pioneer build quality is
The lesson to be learned is that consumers need to be brand conscious when deciding which plasma television to
purchase. Consumers need to educate themselves about high definition television and regular plasma television in
order to purchase the correct product that will best meet their needs.
One of the deciding factors will be whether the extra cost of the HDTV is actually worth it when all features
are taken into account.
HDTV Plasma Television Articles