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What's so good about a plasma TV then? Well, you already know that a big flat screen will look sooo cool in your living room, and then there's the crisp picture quality and the fact that a plasma TV is normally less than a few inches deep, so they won't take up much room. Below we give a few more reasons and answer FAQs about plasma TVs, along with links to some of the best plasma TV sites in the UK.
A plasma TV offers a large, flat, bright, sharp, flicker-free display that produces life-like colours.
A plasma TV is normally only a few inches deep, so doesn't need as much space as a CRT television of the same screen size. It can also be wall-mounted, so you can use one to display your digital photos as art!
A plasma TV has a wide viewing angle and there is little glare, so the whole family can get a great view from wherever they're sitting (no more fighting for the best armchair in front of the TV!)
Power consumption of a plasma TV is much lower than a conventional TV.
Unlike old CRT TVs, a plasma TV is not susceptible to electromagnetic interference, so there's no picture interference if one is placed near to large speakers.
TV Tuner - Some plasma TVs are monitors alone and don't have a TV Tuner. The best plasma TVs will either have an inbuilt TV tuner, or a separate multimedia box which contains the TV tuner. To receive the existing analogue TV signal, the plasma TV will need to have an analogue TV tuner. If you wish to receive digital Freeview, it will require a digital TV tuner. If you have already bought a Freeview box, then the plasma itself would not need a digital TV tuner, because you could connect your Freeview box to it via a Scart lead.
Ensure your plasma TV operates quietly. Some plasma TVs need fans for cooling purposes, so make sure these aren't too noisy. Many plasma TVs are now designed so that they don't need a fan.
A new plasma TV may come with its own speakers that attach either side of the screen. These are usually of good quality and are suitable for listening in Nicam stereo.
A plasma TV may not have a built in amplifier for sound, in which case it will have to be used in conjunction will an external amplifier unit. Many will want a surround sound audio experience and will use their plasma as part of a multiple-speaker home cinema system.
Compare the contrast ratio with other plasma screens. A ratio above 1000:1 is respectable.
Compare the peak panel brightness with other plasma screens.
The inputs can be located either on the plasma screen itself, or in a separate multimedia box which connects to the plasma TV.
At least 3 Scart sockets, with at least one being RGB compatible, for connecting a DVD player, Freeview box etc.
RF In for connecting an aerial cable carrying an analogue TV signal.
15-pin VGA input for connecting a PC.
Component Video Inputs - The highest quality method of transferring the video signal to a plasma TV. The unit will have three RCA phono jacks which are colour-coded green, blue, and red and labelled either Y, Pb, Pr or Y, B-Y, R-Y or Y, Cb, Cr. You would connect a DVD player to the plasma TV using a three-wire component video cable.
S-Video Input - receives the video signal from VCRs, computers, DVD players, digital camcorders etc.
Stereo Audio In Sockets - receive the audio from a VCR or DVD player etc.
Common Interface Slot - This is required for viewing Pay TV channels (satellite or Top Up TV) and accepts a Conditional Access Module, which in turn accepts the relevant smart card.
You can expect a plasma TV to last for approximately ten years.
Screen size is measured across the diagonal. Plasma screens up to 50in across are now common.
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