Buying from USA?


Standard Member
Feb 20, 2004
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Hi I'm new to these forums and to Plasma's in general.
I'm off to the Las Vegas for a holiday in a couple of weeks and because the exchange rate on the dollar is so good I'm thinking of buying a plasma screen whilst I'm there and bringing it back with me. What I need to know is what sort of complications am I likely to encounter if I buy in the USA? I know that they run on 110v over there so I'm gonna need to buy a step down transformer if the screen I buy doesn't have a swithchable power rating but what about things like PAL and NTSC is that an issue or is that just a format for CRT? Also if I but one with a built in tuner will it work in the UK? Any info will be appreciated.
I'm from the UK but live in the USA.....I really wouldn't do this. Most of the consumer models are NTSC only, so even if you bypass the built in tuner, you still won't be able to watch SKY, or PAL dvd's. If you're hell bent on buying a plasma over here, try a commercial model (eg Panny) some of these are multi standard (and multivoltage). My suggestion is to stick with buying Ipods, DVD's etc. Just go to Best Buy, I'm sure you'll find loads of AV to spend your money on. and they have a bunch of stores in Vegas

If you want to check out the various US plasma models (consumer & commercial) try this website You're going to need to order from the web if you want a bargain (this one has a good rep)
I was thinking of buying the Panasonic TH42PWD6UY. Not too worried about SKY because I refuse to pay the extortionate subscription fee especially as the only channel I would watch would be SKY 1. The only things I would use it for are my DVD, Video, Xbox and Digital freeview box.

Don't forget to budget another 25% or so of your purchase price to cover VAT and import duty. Gordon needs his cut!

Originally posted by nattcharles
The only things I would use it for are my DVD, Video, Xbox and Digital freeview box.

Out of those sources, the only one that would work on a plasma imported from the US would be the dvd player, and even then you would be restricted to region one disks.

While multi-standard compatibility is commonplace for displays purchased in the UK, in the US most displays only work with NTSC.
id also be concerned about warranty and getting it back without damage! Its not like a projector which you can carry in hand luggage

I bought my first DVD from the US, although about a year earlier I nearly bought a laserdisc player when I was visiting. Prices that you pay are good, but you've also got to consider that you'll have to pay duty, then VAT - even on the duty! Plus, having it shipped over. These do add up.

Check for compatibility. They may be able to run off 230V, some equipment is designed for an international market. But you'll have to really look for PAL compatibility. I honestly don't know if the US screens will be - when I asked about TVs none of them were. No PAL means not being able to watch any UK source material - from VHS to DVD to Freeview etc. Even the X-Box (ie - No Halo!).

What happens if it doesn't work when you get it over hear? Scare story? Nope, my DVD player didn't and I had to fix it!

I'm not saying not to do so, but make sure you do so with your eyes open!

All the best,

Dr John Sim.

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