Is a Plasma resolution of 852x480 really enough?

Jon Weaver

Distinguished Member
This is my last question about this.. I promise.

I have concerns about buying a Plasma with only 480 lines.

As PAL and NTSC are 625/525 lines, I don't see how a Plasma can truely reproduce the original source.

Its just seems like there arn't enought lines.

Hopefully it isn't as simple as this, but I am concerned about spending so much money on a device, unable to display a true PAL/NTSC source.


Senior Moderator
Moving to plasma displays.


Standard Member
PAL is 576 visible lines out of 625 total scan lines
NTSC is 480 visible lines out of 525 total scan lines.

Guess the spec for most plasmas was dreamt up in America...

Most plasmas have very decent rescalers though and PAL will look fine, although a 1024x576 screen ought to look beautiful.



Active Member
Plasma screens process the 570 interlaced lines to a 480 progressive scanned display. I've asked some very technical people about this and was assured that there isn't any problem.

All the best,

Dr John Sim.


Active Member
I too was concerned about this in relation to buying either the HD or SD series 5 panasonic, but wonder whether the high resolution panel with 768 lines will really give a noticably better picture?

Presumably with a PAL signal, the internal processing either has to scale down the image by 16.7% for the SD panel, or it has to add 33.3% to it on an HD panel. Neither sounds like it will give the best possible picture. I tried a quick experiment with a paint program and rescaled an image of 576 pixels to both 480 and 768 and the 480 pixel picture seemed to have the smoother edges and look better overall. Not sure if this really proves anything but I imagine a picture of 576 alternating black and white line would look a mess on both of them.

Has anyone actually checked if a region 1 DVD looks better on plasma than the equivalent region 2? If there is no perceivable difference then I guess the scaling is quite good and given that general PAL broadcasting is not up to DVD quality I don't think anything will really be lost by using the lower res panel.

My personal feeling at the moment is to go for the SD 480 line panel and start buying region 1 DVD's to get the best possible picture. Sky and terrestrial TV (and VHS) are going to be poor by comparison anyway, so won't reveal any limitations of the lower resolution and any high definition broadcasts are so far off that even the new HD panasonic will be out of date by the time we see them. The only possible downside I can see is if I decide to connect my PC to it at a later date.



Standard Member

MikeE, i agree with you alough the low sd panels are suited to ntsc, pal looks fine even if its scaled down but i was in the same way of thinking as your expiriment but what yourve got to remember is the panel size is the same sd or hd there both either 42 or 50 so theres just more pixels in the same area but as you say whether or not it will make a huge diffrence or not is to be seen;)


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