Newbie Questions



Fellow members, this is my first post and more importantly my first plunge into Plasmas.

I have a few newbie question so please excuse if they sound stupid:

I currently have a 36" Sony CRT and have most devices ie DVD, SKY etc connected with the optical lead.

I am interested in the Panny TH42PW6B as it seems a favourite and the most cost effective according to these informative forums.

My confusion lies in the connections required for the Plasma - as said i have a Sony DVD, SKY Digital and a Sony DTS AMP with a B&W speaker set up front and back.

I realise that the Panny I am looking at is screen only - what do I need to connect everything up to the screen ?

I am looking at getting the best quality picture without going mad on price - please also bear in mind that I only have knowledge of Scart and digital leads and there seems to be mention of various connector / converter boards required for the Screen.

Please help

Many Thanks



what's your budget on top of the screen cost (assuming PWD6 = £2200) ?

A Lumagen ( £800ish ) or an iScan (£500 or less) or a BriteView (£230ish) for video processing unit is an option

Or for £100ish get a JS Scart-PlasmaVGA convertor and run the Sky into the 15pin VGA input, and get the "6Y" input board as your purchase option (which gives SVideo and Component) and run the Sony DVD into the component inputs



Thanks for your response,

I can get the screen for £2k so can spend another £600 on bits.

What is video processing ? What does it give me ? Is it something that takes the signal say from Sky then converts it something else before sending it to the Panny ?

I now realise that I need 2 boards for the Panny as you have mentioned 1 x Scart and 1 x Component.

If I bought the PA20 would it not come with the boards I require ?

Also where is the cheapest place to buy the acessories you have mentioned ?




You mention a Lumagen and an iScan in your post above..

Are these really worth the £680 (Lumagen) or £380 (iScan) difference compared to the 120 quid JS Plasma vga convertor? How much better are these on Sky images?

I am considering the JS unit as well you see and want to make sure im doing the right thing to connect my Sky+ up to the Panny 6.

As you can imagine its hard enough work getting the missus to agree to me spending £120 just on a convertor.. never mind £800 :D :eek:

Also for Omar,
I have uploaded these to my webspace, hope they might be useful for you, as I am in the same position as you also considering the Panny 6...

Fact Sheet

Also a link to the JS Unit (version 2 - which now seems even better with its gold connections!!)


As you can see Omar the factsheet shows the 'Optional Terminal Boards' that are available (there is also a scart one that dont seem to be on there). The JS convertor mentioned above converts your sky scart connection to a vga output which would be connected to the vga socket that is standard on the back of the panel. Doing it this way I personally would need the component board to hook up my dvd player as well.
I assume that I can link my xbox through the 2nd scart socket on the sky box and the rgb will pass through to the JS as well (can anyone confirm this? lol)

PS: This was my first post - Hi everyone :hiya:



Thanks very much for posting all that info, there seems many different ways to connect up the same equipment, whether using Scart or the JS converter or even the component board.

The thing that puzzles me is I would like to know what would give the best quality. Why would anyone use a converter rather than the scart board that can be plugged direct into the screen.

As I know you can buy the scart terminal board for around £120 and plug direct or buy the JS product (also £120) then plug into the on board VGA terminal, but which is best ?

Also when connecting the DVD is it best to use the component board using only one cable ie Video feed (as I have an optical cable going from the DVD direct to the AMP) or use the composite board with S-Video connection ? Which would give the better quality ?

I hope someone can answer these question !!:confused:

Once again thanks for the info.

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello all

As you say 101 ways to make a mess of connecting up your video system.

Do keep in mind that the most obvious signal route is not always the best - that's sort of why this Forum exists I guess.

If your going for a TH-42PWD6BX (Charcoal) or TH-42PW6B (Silver) Plasma Display you have a great foundation to build your system around.

The Panasonic Displays have one 'built in' video input (HD15 VGA socket) and Three 'Expansion' slots on the Chassis that take the optional Video cards.

You have various options for using the HD15 and Expansion slots to best optimise your video signals.

A. If you have all 'Same Type' Video signals (YUV Component) you could pre wire all of your video signals to a suitable AV Receiver and have one output from the AV Receiver to the Plasma via the HD15 input.

B. If you have 'Different Type' Video signals (Composite, S-Video and YUV) you could use one of the new breed of AV Receivers (£800+) from the likes of Denon, Pioneer, Marantz etc that have Video Up-Conversion on board - these will take a variety of input video signals and output them all on a single YUV Component video out and again direct to the HD15 input on the Plasma display.

If Option A or Option B are attractive to you and you have any sources that output RGB Component video not YUV Component video then one of the JS Technology RGB2YUV converters between the RGB source and the YUV inputs on your AV Receiver is required.

C. You can additionally (or as an alternative to) pre switching on your AV Receiver employ an external Video Processor to better Optimise your various video signals for display on your Plasma or Projector.

Your sources will in the main output PAL or NTSC Interlaced video and your Plasma has in-built processing to convert this to a signal best viewed on the Display - the processing in the Plasma is good but not the best and given more budget you can employ the likes of an iScanUltra, iScanHD or Lumagen Vision, DVI, HDP etc (there are others) to give you higher quality and more user controllable Video processing (though this all costs more money and not just the obvious money - you may require more cables and additional hardware such as an Audio Delay).

D. Panasonic have a range of Expansion boards that enable you to Directly connect most video sources to the Display so these are the most obvious choice - though going this route means you can spend a fair few quid on the expansion boards (money that many Home Theatre customers would rather put towards a decent AV Receiver as described in B) and as your switching Inputs on the Plasma you (and the family) have another Remote to constantly juggle with when watching the TV.

Whilst video via SCART can be 'quite' good and carry RGB Component signals from a suitably equipped source many have found the Panasonic SCART input board produces too soft a picture compared to using one of the JS Technology RGB2YUV or RGB2VGA converters.

Go get the etch-a-sketch out and draw up your connectivity options and think through how you will 'use' and control the system and what budget you have to make all this happen and then you will arrive at the best set-up for you.

Best regards



Active Member
I bought the PW6 with component/comp board, JS RGB to component conv. and scart board as the former wasn't in stock and I couldn't wait to try it out.
Hooked it all through the scart and Sky is softer whilst my 757 is quite stunning.
The component board arrived, fitted it and fired up the 757 still great but doh! didn't fit my RGB to component converter for Sky, I must have been ill.
I will give it a try soon, especially as it will negate input changes on the plasma.


Excellent reply there Joe!

I was really just wondering if its 'worth' spending £500-800 on a video processor for use with this Panasonic model.

How much better is the image compared to say using DVD direct with component, and Sky images through a JS RGB to Plasma VGA convertor?

As you can appreciate for people in my position who can 'just about' afford to get a plasma. Its quite frustrating to be reading that I need to spend this extra lump of money in order to get the 'best possible' picture from it, not to mention convincing the other half!!! :laugh:

I guess I'd like to hear from people who have had the opportunity to compare the images with and without additional processing, obviously its going to be better but is it worth the extra money?


The trouble with reading this forum is you get the impression your picture will be pants if you don't have a scaler/PC/ latest conversion gadget etc etc. Most ordinary folks don't notice that the picture is not 'perfect' cos nobody sets up their TV properly, so no comparison. With basic connections like using component video from a DVD and RGB into scart, and setting 16:9 on your sky box it will look great. The last few % is what we are talking about. A JS converter is an improvement over the scart board, Dr Sim does it better than Panasonic. The VGA unit I find to be a marginal better bet than YUV. But YUV is convenient if your AV amp can switch this. S-video can also give very good results, and some sky boxes come with s-video out so it's cheap to implement, and gets you up and running immediately. From there, many people just do a little experimenting with borrowed converters etc. But if you spend too much time worrying about all this you'll be as sad as us lot.

Bernard Barnett

Novice Member
Hear hear! That's the second time I've agreed with Maw in the last two days - worrying! Omar, if you're really serious about "the best possible picture without going mad on price", you're better off sticking with CRT. Why are you thinking of changing?


Previously Liam @ Prog AV
you're better off sticking with CRT. Why are you thinking of changing?
Probably the same reason everyone else does - plasmas look cool :cool: :thumbsup:

Omar - if you're gonna have to pay for the Scart board then might just as well pay for the JS Tech plasma-VGA converter although IIRC you will lose auto-widescreen adjustment (but gain a better picture). And you got it - a component board for DVD and run all your audio into the amp. Job done.

With your left over from £600 make sure you get yourself some nice cables (signal and mains if enough in the pot) and maybe a tasty learning remote control to make your life a little easier!!!


Originally posted by Bernard Barnett
Hear hear! That's the second time I've agreed with Maw in the last two days - worrying! Omar, if you're really serious about "the best possible picture without going mad on price", you're better off sticking with CRT. Why are you thinking of changing?
Hi thanks for the info, I wanted a bigger screen and I have not seen any quality 42" CRT's plus CRT's are monsters in size !!!!

WHat I have purchased is this:-

Panny 6
Scart Board for anything I may add later

I am using the component connections on my AV receiver to connect everthing up.

So component out from DVD to AV receiver
JS-RGB-YUV from Sky to AV receiver
And finally I have bought some ZEN cables(I think) to connect AV to Plamsa VGA

What do you think ?


This sounds fine Omar, as long as you are having a component board fitted in your plasma as well as the scart board.



I a using a cable to go from the component out on the AV Receiver to VGA input already built in on Plasma



Novice Member
Simply put, the RGB to Plasma VGA unit will still give you the sharpest possible picture to the plasma screen. RGB to Component is slightly softer, but still better than other options.

For the newbies, I created a Plasma Interfacing Guide, which you can download from my website (Technical section). It gives you an idea how each part should go in.

Hope this helps.

All the best,

Dr John Sim.



And thanks for the infor John, BTW what is your website ??


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