Plasma: Is hi-res better?

Jon Weaver

Distinguished Member
I am still considering a Plamsa, and my shortlist is currently either the Toshiba/Panasonic or the Hitachi.

The Hitachi stands out as a clear winner (on paper) because it has 1024x1024 capability.

If resolution was everything, this would be a clear winner, but its seems that the Toshiba (With MUCH lower resolution) is considered better.

How can this be??

Video is only 525/625 lines, but it seems that the Toshiba/Panasonic doesnt' have enough vertical resolution to even display every line.

On theory, the Hitachi should be able to do a better job.


jon the 2nd philips i had was a higher rez plasma and was no where near as good pic as the toshiba, smaller pixels means you could proberly sit closer to it,
but the more pixels the more chance of a few dead ones i think


Well-known Member
Jon, the Hitachi is using the Fujitsu ALiS glass which means that although the 1024x1024 resolution is technically accurate, it only achieves that resolution by displaying an interlaced picture.

As far as I know, all other plasma's display a progressive image.

The ALiS glass is a good choice if you have a 1080i signal available since it can display it without scaling by cuting a little off the top and bottom.

It seems to have been something of a techincal dead-end for Fujitsu since they have not updated the technology and have not used it in any of their recent new releases.


Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor

As your research has suggested its not always the most obvious 'technical' choice that results in the most pleasing images.

The combination of the on-board video scaler and Panasonics plasma glass results in excellent video images on the 4 Series Panasonic displays (and Toshiba clones) - they are maybe a bit lacking in resolution for some PC users (corporate user not those using a PC as a DVD player).

The Hitachi display (which looks like a clone of a Fujitsu - I may be wrong as I dont know the Hitachi line up to well) utilises a technology that has not seen much favour with many video users; though there are some on the forum who disagree and use this type of display in there Home Cinema set up.

If you want a good combination of high resolution panel (1024x768) and a good video scaler and one that can potentially be upgraded then I would consider the new Pioneer PDP-433MXE - a bit more expensive than the other displays you are considering but bang up to date whilst the displays you are looking at are about to be superseded.

If the Pioneer is out with your budget I would grab a 4 Series Panasonic now or await the new 5 Series - though you will probably have to pay a bit of a premium for a 5 Series until they are readily available.

Do a bit more research on the Forum about the pros and cons of going for the 4B (Silver) vs. D4 Charcoal Panasonic (Toshiba) displays.

Best regards


PS Re your other thread about RGB into any of the displays then I would budget for a JS Tech box and a set of cables - whilst it is 'technically' possible to not use one of Johns boxes it is often problematic and with the Panasonic displays gives you real headaches as far as limiting your input options.


Active Member
Originally posted by Joe Fernand
PS Re your other thread about RGB into any of the displays then I would budget for a JS Tech box and a set of cables - whilst it is 'technically' possible to not use one of Johns boxes it is often problematic and with the Panasonic displays gives you real headaches as far as limiting your input options.

With some plasma screens you don't require the Plasma VGA unit, but with one particular make (NEC) even then it's hit or miss if it will work with your digibox. There was a serious incompatiblity with the screens, but they insist that it's a digibox problem!

For the Panasonics, yes you could input RGB without the unit. However, when you do you've limited the number of inputs to one. With the Plasma VGA unit you can have up to two RGB inputs, a component input, and still have the S-Video/Composite input free. It's much more flexible.

Now with the component converter (one customer today ordered another large batch and said the picture was very clear) you can also route via an A/V amplifier. Which again opens up more possiblities on how to hook everything up (and gets over the NEC's problems).

But when you input any video signal into these screens, they've all have to do some processing to the signal. PAL has about 570 display lines. If your screen has 480 lines, some are merged via progress-scan routines. 1024 display lines would have some picture streatched out in a similar way. I've seen various plasmas with 480 lines, including the Panasonic. The Panasonics displays a very good picture and you couldn't say that anything had been "removed", but other screens looked soft. I've yet to have a look at a higher resolution screen to compare.

What you can do is to ensure that the screen has the best signal to start with! But stick to the screens that are talked about in forums likes these, they tend to be the ones that are suited to A/V use.

All the best,

Dr John Sim.


I would totally agree with Joe - the Pioneer 433 MXE is a great choice if you want the combination of resolution and contrast, but for video contrast is so much much more important than resolution.

People get so hung up on resolution, thinking that they're really going to notice that a screen is 852 x 480 when they're watching it. Realistically, you're just not sitting close enough to the screen to notice, apart from which the image is moving so the eye doesn't get enough time to fix on a pixellated curve to pick it up. I'm not saying nobody ever notices, but we've sold a hell of a lot of 852 x 480 plasmas, and nobody's ever come back with a complaint about pixellation.

1024 x 768 or 1024 x 1024 is primarily used by manufacturers to attract the PC user market.


Standard Member
Are plasmas 50 hz or 100hz?? If they are 100hz, don´t they suffer from the same faults as CRT 100hz... smearing, glowing etc or are they somehow immune to this?


Are plasmas 50 hz or 100hz??

Technically Plasma screens are neither - the panel refreshes every pixel depending upon how often it receives a full frame of video. So with a PAL or SECAM signal the screen refreshes every pixel at the same time twenty five times a second. For NTSC or PAL-60 sources the screen refreshes thirty times a second. There is no scanning of the display as with CRT. You shouldn't be able to see a plasma display flickering like a 50Hz CRT, and there shouldn't be any of the digital processing artifacts that a 100Hz CRT can generate. There are a few different problems that can result from the way a Plasma display operates, but not in the same league as the quite noticeable ones from a CRT display.

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