42" Plasma TV 480P Using with HD DVD player


Standard Member
First, I would like to say hello, it's my first post on these forums. I am on this website A LOT reading up on technologies and perspectives and there are some incredibly good insight found on these forums. Saying that, here is my question!:

I own a 42" widescreen Plasma (it's an Akai). The specs say that it's only 480p (EDTV) but the picture is amazing. It actually looks better than quite a few friends' HD 720P tvs I have seen the same size. I'm not just saying this from my own opinion, they whole heartedly agree with me.
When I watch a DVD with component it does NOT look as good as watching an HD channel through Direct TV. I'm using DVI connection from my DTV box.
Why does the DVD not look as good as the HDTV channels when the TV is only a 480P anway (DVDs are native 480p)?
Also, when I use my xbox 360 VGA cable and set the resolution to 1366X768 the TV says it's in that resolution (a little box pops up in the lower right hand corner saying what resolution it is in).
Well, since the TV says it's in 768 (1366x768) and the display is having absolutely no problem showing the picture, does this mean it's actually showing the 768 resolution or is it downscaling it back to 480P? All I know is that my DVD looks much better when I use VGA as appossed to component cables.
Final question: It's proven that my HD channels look superior to my DVDs...why this is, I'm not sure (maybe it's the difference between the DVI and VGA). Saying this, If I were to buy an xbox 360 HD DVD player for this TV, would it look superior to my regular xbox 360 DVD player....even though it's technically only a "480P" TV?
Any gurus out there that have advise, I welcome it! The whole "HD" over "ED" I'm starting to think is a scam...my viewing distance is over 5 feet because it's a big TV...I honestly think it has more to do with contrast ratio that sells the quality of the TV.
(PS...I have a 720 Viewsonic LCD with HDMI but it's only 27"...i like the plasma more because not only does it look good with HD...it looks much better with standard definition programming)


Distinguished Member
The HD channels have higher bandwidth than DVD so that's probably why they look better - it might also not have very good analog processing for component. DVDs are native 480i actually (R1 disks anyway, R2 are 576i)

It's downscaling the xbox signal to 480p, although that might still give a better picture than 852x480 out of the xbox depending on how it filters it.

The HD-DVD player (with HD-DVD media) will look far, far better than DVD playback on the 360

Finally ... the HD thing. imho, At 5feet, a high-end 1080p plasma and even a 1024x768 panel would look noticeably nicer than 480p. 5foot is pretty close. But you can't use an HD LCD as a comparison as it's a completely different beast.


Standard Member
If I'm only sitting 6-7 feet away do you think I would be better off using a Viewsonic 27" 720P/1080I LCD (8ms refresh) for my xbox 360 and HD player instead of my 42" 480P plasma? I have a "pretty" high end audio set up (7.1 Sony reciever with all Polk Audio speakers)

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