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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read through the threads regarding using a plasma screen for computer gaming applications but still have a few questions that I'm hoping some of the plasma gamers can answer:


I'm currently building a custom desk system in my home office. As part of this setup, I want a flat panel display that will attach to an umbilical arm for some flexibility.


I am a hard-core computer gamer (mainly FPS's like Unreal Tournament and flight sims like Falcon 4.0). I'm finally in the position where I can build my dream gaming system and *LOVE* the idea of a large screen display.


First, what are the thoughts on going with a widescreen plasma vs. something like the Hitachi 37" 4:3 (CMP307XU)? Seems to me that I would be taking advantage of the entire screen in a 4:3 scenario and utilizing all of the 1024x768 real estate. Or should I look at the new Sony PFM-32C1 which is 32" but 16:9 and 1024x852?


My thought for staying sub 42" is not only cost (I figure in 4 years or so I'll want to swap it out), but also viewing distance. I'm thinking I'll have it mounted over my desktop and maybe back about 3 feet or so.


I'll have a 15" LCD for day to day use so I don't risk burn-in.


Further, I'll be running this off a GeForce4 Ti4600.....



Thanks for any thoughts you might have on this subject.


Wazoo
 

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I doi not recommend designing polasma for gaming unless you need a big screen =61". In which case it can be designed.


Go for a 30 lcd like the sharp
 

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You're not going to like it.


If you have become used to higher resolution monitors, running greater than 800x600, plasma will dissappoint you. Also, very few games support wide screen play. Quake 3 does, but only 480p.


I play at 1280x1024, so 480p is a huge step down. Although having ALL the eye candy including 4XAA turned on is rather unique. It dod look nice, but my sniping suffered...


I have also played on a few LCD panels, and the ghosting leaves me unsatisfied. I'm sticking with my trusty 19" CRT until the next gen LCDs. Or until games start supporting 720p or above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by AVGeek
You're not going to like it.


If you have become used to higher resolution monitors, running greater than 800x600, plasma will dissappoint you. Also, very few games support wide screen play. Quake 3 does, but only 480p.


I play at 1280x1024, so 480p is a huge step down. Although having ALL the eye candy including 4XAA turned on is rather unique. It dod look nice, but my sniping suffered...


I have also played on a few LCD panels, and the ghosting leaves me unsatisfied. I'm sticking with my trusty 19" CRT until the next gen LCDs. Or until games start supporting 720p or above.
Is this even true on a 1024x768 panel? That's pretty good resolution and what I usually play at for framerate reasons. I've seen other threads on this forum where people say the experience is pretty good.


What res. plasma where you playing on??


Wazoo
 

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A 42" plasma is the business for gaming sessions! I run 1024x768 (squished down) on an Fujitsu ALIS screen, allowing plenty of detail to be displayed and anti aliasing to be performed. What you might lose in absolute detail, you gain in immersive big screen beauty.


It's easy on the eye as you're sitting a decent way away from the screen - I find it much better playing games sat on the couch rather than hunched over a little desk in the corner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by bgladwyn
A 42" plasma is the business for gaming sessions! I run 1024x768 (squished down) on an Fujitsu ALIS screen, allowing plenty of detail to be displayed and anti aliasing to be performed. What you might lose in absolute detail, you gain in immersive big screen beauty.


It's easy on the eye as you're sitting a decent way away from the screen - I find it much better playing games sat on the couch rather than hunched over a little desk in the corner.
bgladwyn,


How far away are you sitting? My situation is that for flight sims I have some serious controllers which are not conducive for "couch play". I will, in all likelihood, need to be at a desk, albeit I can design it to be 3 feet back or so.


Also.... what are your thoughts on screen size re: 16:9 vs. 4:3? Would not a 4:3 like the Hitachi eliminate the "squished down" issue?


Thanks for the info!


Wazoo
 

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I'm using a wireless keyboard & mouse and USB steering wheel and pedals.


For web browsing and console games I'm sitting about 12ft away on that couch, but for driving games I'm about 5ft back from the screen (yet to purchase a USB extension cable...). I don't have any problems with pixel structure at that sort of distance.


A 4:3 screen would eliminate the squashed picture affect. Mine is a multipurpose screen however and I wouldn't want to lose the ability to run in widescreen. I run the desktop at a custom 16:9 resolution, console games play in 16:9 and TV comes through in 16:9 too. The only time I have to hit a standard computer resolution is for some PC games and then I stretch them anyway - but I can see that might be a problem with a flight sim!


If you're exclusively going to use it with 4:3 sources and you save money by getting a 4:3 screen, then maybe that's the best for you. I'd stick with 16:9 because of its versatility.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by bgladwyn
I'm using a wireless keyboard & mouse and USB steering wheel and pedals.


For web browsing and console games I'm sitting about 12ft away on that couch, but for driving games I'm about 5ft back from the screen (yet to purchase a USB extension cable...). I don't have any problems with pixel structure at that sort of distance.


A 4:3 screen would eliminate the squashed picture affect. Mine is a multipurpose screen however and I wouldn't want to lose the ability to run in widescreen. I run the desktop at a custom 16:9 resolution, console games play in 16:9 and TV comes through in 16:9 too. The only time I have to hit a standard computer resolution is for some PC games and then I stretch them anyway - but I can see that might be a problem with a flight sim!


If you're exclusively going to use it with 4:3 sources and you save money by getting a 4:3 screen, then maybe that's the best for you. I'd stick with 16:9 because of its versatility.
You're either on the east-coast.... or had a touch of insomnia like myself as I thought I was the only one up now! ;)


I would be using it exclusively for a gaming monitor on my PC which is why I'm leaning towards 4:3 (not cheap though.... online in the six thousands for 37"). I'm thinking about a flat panel 15" for day-to-day desktop work, and then using a KVM to switch to the plasma for gaming. I'd probably be about four feet back - hopefully not too close for gaming.


How's the quality overall? Does it look great? How goofy does the stretching effect look? Is it real noticable?


Sony, as I mentioned, also has a 32" 1024x852 16:9 - Size is nice for my app but I'm afraid the stretch will look strange going from 768 to 852.... or maybe I won't notice it much.


What graphics card do you use?


Wazoo
 

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As it happens, we recently had your "Internet" installed here in The Rest Of The World ;)


Here goes with some dumb answers which only count for me, looking at my screen:


How's the quality overall?

Does it look great?

Good and yes (in my opinion).


How goofy does the stretching effect look?

Not goofy at all, but then I mainly play driving games, which don't tend to involve much rotation... unless I'm getting out of my depth.


Is it real noticable?

Not really noticeable at all, but then I mainly play driving games etc. etc. etc.


Looks like I'm going to have to resort to a default piece of advice. Find your self a local reseller for the screen(s) you're interested in and get yourself a demo. Seeing is believing with these things.


...and I'm running off a Radeon AIW 7500.
 

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I love playing games on my screen. Although it's only 848x480, I run it with 6x anti-aliasing which removes the jaggies almost completely.


I have to agree with AVgeek that sniping is more difficult when you're running at a "such" low resolution, but for normal gameplay it's very good.


With regards to 16:9 games, almost ANY game I play supports the special resolution. So that's no problem anymore.

Within a couple of weeks I'm off with the DVI-option, and that'll put me in nirvana :D


(system specs in profile)
 

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Wazoo, I don't think you'll be disappointed if you have a high end video card. Even if you run 852x480, you could run high levels of anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering, and LOD, which should produce excellent visuals. I know that I have some X-box titles on my plasma and even at 480p they look unbelievable.


However, I would be considered about burn-in. A flight simulator is going to look great, but that cockpit overlay could be a problem. I have a PS2 running through a DVDO and out to the plasma, and after a couple of hours of FFX, I could see afterimage around the status bar indicators when I was done. Didn't last, but over time that could be an issue.


There is almost no agreement on burn-in except that it is a risk and you have to take precautions. Do a search on burn-in and you'll find a zillion posts with lots of good advice.


Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by bgladwyn
As it happens, we recently had your "Internet" installed here in The Rest Of The World ;)


Here goes with some dumb answers which only count for me, looking at my screen:


How's the quality overall?

Does it look great?

Good and yes (in my opinion).


How goofy does the stretching effect look?

Not goofy at all, but then I mainly play driving games, which don't tend to involve much rotation... unless I'm getting out of my depth.


Is it real noticable?

Not really noticeable at all, but then I mainly play driving games etc. etc. etc.


Looks like I'm going to have to resort to a default piece of advice. Find your self a local reseller for the screen(s) you're interested in and get yourself a demo. Seeing is believing with these things.


...and I'm running off a Radeon AIW 7500.
Thanks for the input. I'm gonna have to find a dealer in the Orange County area that has some plasmas and drag my rig down to test them out.


I'm glad to hear from people who actually use them for gaming applications on a PC.... gives me some hope. :)


Wazoo
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Esben
I love playing games on my screen. Although it's only 848x480, I run it with 6x anti-aliasing which removes the jaggies almost completely.


I have to agree with AVgeek that sniping is more difficult when you're running at a "such" low resolution, but for normal gameplay it's very good.


With regards to 16:9 games, almost ANY game I play supports the special resolution. So that's no problem anymore.

Within a couple of weeks I'm off with the DVI-option, and that'll put me in nirvana :D


(system specs in profile)
So... lemme ask you something: If a panel is 1024x1024 16:9, seems the max standard res. is 1024x768. Does this mean than several hundred vertical pixels go unused? Does this also mean that 1024 horizontal covers the entire width of the panel, so if you ran it in a 4:3 mode with gray bars, you would not actually be using the full 1024 pixels on the horizontal but something less?


Also... what are the advantages of DVI? My GeForce4 has DVi output. Is there an advantage to using it with a plasma that has a DVI input?


Can I assume that to actually run a game in 16:9, the game *itself* must be written to support it? I.e. Nvidia can not built it into the native driver so any game can use it (kinda like an API)....


Lastly, have you messed with a program called Powerstrip? I know the HTPC crowd utilizes it but I'm not too familiar with it. I *think* it allows you to tweak resolution output.... but might only be for playing DVD's etc.


Thanks a ton! I'm excited about the gaming prospects....


Wazoo
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by billharris4
Wazoo, I don't think you'll be disappointed if you have a high end video card. Even if you run 852x480, you could run high levels of anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering, and LOD, which should produce excellent visuals. I know that I have some X-box titles on my plasma and even at 480p they look unbelievable.


However, I would be considered about burn-in. A flight simulator is going to look great, but that cockpit overlay could be a problem. I have a PS2 running through a DVDO and out to the plasma, and after a couple of hours of FFX, I could see afterimage around the status bar indicators when I was done. Didn't last, but over time that could be an issue.


There is almost no agreement on burn-in except that it is a risk and you have to take precautions. Do a search on burn-in and you'll find a zillion posts with lots of good advice.


Enjoy!
Bill,


Thanks for the heads-up re: burn-in. From what I have read, seems to be an issue with a static image that stays on-screen without movement. The way I fly (exclusively combat), I'm *constantly* switching views to check-six, scan for S.A.M.'s etc., so I'm going under the assumption that the cockpit overlay is usually on the screen uninterrupted for no longer than 3 minutes at a time.


Can I ask what a "DVDO" is? I know I'm gonna kick myself when you explain it.... ;)


Wazoo
 

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Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Aliens Vs Predator 2 support 1360x768 - both these games allow custom resolutions to be defined. These were the only two I have tested, but I guess games similar to those should also support custom resolutions. (if I remember correctly, RTCW uses the Q3 engine, so perhaps you should check your config files).


Results on a 50" fujitsu 5002 are spectacular... (1:1 pixel mapping)


Now if DVI input was fixed on the fujitsu...

Only Matrox and Pixel Pefect can drive the fujitsus at near-native rate of 1360x768 with 1:1 pixel mapping using DVI.

Hopefully the new Matrox card will also be able to drive this display at native rate (or near) with 1:1 pixel mapping over DVI.


All the best,


Ventolin
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Ventolin
Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Aliens Vs Predator 2 support 1360x768 - both these games allow custom resolutions to be defined. These were the only two I have tested, but I guess games similar to those should also support custom resolutions. (if I remember correctly, RTCW uses the Q3 engine, so perhaps you should check your config files).


Results on a 50" fujitsu 5002 are spectacular... (1:1 pixel mapping)


Now if DVI input was fixed on the fujitsu...

Only Matrox and Pixel Pefect can drive the fujitsus at near-native rate of 1360x768 with 1:1 pixel mapping using DVI.

Hopefully the new Matrox card will also be able to drive this display at native rate (or near) with 1:1 pixel mapping over DVI.


All the best,


Ventolin
Wow! That must look incredible!


I'm still a newbie to this stuff.... can you explain what "1:1 pixel mapping" is? Also.... can I assume that the newest Geforce4 Ti4600 cards can handle the plasmas???


TIA,

Wazoo
 

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"So... lemme ask you something: If a panel is 1024x1024 16:9, seems the max standard res. is 1024x768. Does this mean than several hundred vertical pixels go unused? Does this also mean that 1024 horizontal covers the entire width of the panel, so if you ran it in a 4:3 mode with gray bars, you would not actually be using the full 1024 pixels on the horizontal but something less?"


The panel is actually 1024x512 when run in computer/progressive mode. The 1024 lines are interlaced lines, which mean the lines cannot be shown at the same time.

Normally everything you see on a computer screen is progressive, and if you use the 1024 interlaced lines progressive it gives you 512 lines.


If the computer is running 1024x768 and the screen runs 1024x512 the 768 vertical pixels will be downscaled to 512 pixels. So all the pixels on the panel will still be used, but information in the source picture (from the computer) will be lost. Thus I'd recommend running it in a native resolution instead.

Horizontally, all width and resolution will be displayed.

Vertically, information from the computer signal will be lost since the panel doesn't have enough pixels to show all the information coming from the computer.

"Also... what are the advantages of DVI? My GeForce4 has DVi output. Is there an advantage to using it with a plasma that has a DVI input?"


All in all, information going via DVI will be digital all the way instead of if you'd run it via normal VGA-cable where digital->analog conversion would be necessary. Running it digital will avoid unneccessary digital to analog conversion and the signal coming into the plasma will be better better.


Normally when sending a signal from computer to plasma you would go from digital (VGA-card) to analog (cable) to digital (plasma display).


As you can see the analog conversion is very unnessary and if avoided will yield a better image.


If you want more information about it there's many topics in the HTPC forum and the Plasma forum. If you do a search you'll most likely find it. ;)

"Can I assume that to actually run a game in 16:9, the game *itself* must be written to support it? I.e. Nvidia can not built it into the native driver so any game can use it (kinda like an API)....


The games usually request the supported resolutions via DirectX and the driver then reports back which resolutions are available. In the Nvidia driver you define your custom resolutions which will be seen just as 640x480; 800x600 etc.

Though, some games has their own internal lists of valid resolutions and there you often have to change a configuration file or registry setting to make it run the special resolution.


So resolutionwise almost all recent games support widescreen/special resolutions.

Some games does not give the right aspect ratio back when you set them to 16:9 resolutions, but it's not something I notice.

In 3D-shooters (MOHAA, Q3, RCTW etc.) I haven't noticed it at all (perhaps they do give the right aspect ratio) :)

"Lastly, have you messed with a program called Powerstrip? I know the HTPC crowd utilizes it but I'm not too familiar with it. I *think* it allows you to tweak resolution output.... but might only be for playing DVD's etc."


I have messed a lot with it, but the features I was offered using it could be used directly from the driver, so I don't use it anymore.

Still I'd like to thank Ashley for helping me set the custom resolutions in the driver file for the more recent Detonator drivers (28.32) since they're shown differently than the older ones.

When the resolutions are added in the driver files they show up as any other resolution and that gives kinda "native" support for it.

"I'm still a newbie to this stuff.... can you explain what "1:1 pixel mapping" is? Also.... can I assume that the newest Geforce4 Ti4600 cards can handle the plasmas???"


"1:1 pixel mapping" is when the graphics card in the computer send out one pixel it's shown as 1 pixel on the screen.


So if we take an example, a 15" TFT panel running 1024x768.


From the computer you select 1024x768 as your resolution.


Now the resolutions match each other and if the screen is properly calibrated (when run via VGA) or if it's run digitally (via DVI) it's running 1:1 pixel mapping.


When you run 1:1 pixel mapping you're getting the best out of each pixel from the computer which equals the best possible sharpness.



Your GeForce 4 Ti 4600 should be an excellent choice for running a plasma screen. Most likely you'll be able to run it with a good level of antialiasing as well. I run my Panasonic 42" (848x480) via a Nvidia Quadro 4 700 XGL card and use the maximum possible antialiasing and it's a very nice fit.

Compared to the GeForce 4 cards it's around the same as a GeForce 4 Ti 4200 (64 MB), but the clock speeds are bumped a bit up by me. (290/630):p
 

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I too would be very concerned about ruining a very expensive plasma display from burn-in. If, as you say, you are a hard-core gamer, you probably spend many hours in a game (I've been there =). If you do go down this route, at the very least, make sure you adjust the contrast to a lower value. It should help.


Also, have you seen the new Matrox card coming out? It supports a three display setup. . This would probably more practical. Or, how about three plasma displays? Haha. Kidding...


Here is the original Slashdot article.


Cheers. --Karl
 

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I probably game an average of 4 hours a day on my Pio 503 50" and I have never noticed any burn-in problems yet. If the game supports native res. then I go DVI, if not, then I use whatever res. I want and let the 503 do the scaling thru its VGA input.... fullscreen. That's how I play my Quake2 at least 3 hours a day @1024x760 (I'm one of the top players having played for years with Thresh, Machavelli, Medic and the like.... and I'm 51 yrs old). I think this PERMANENT burn-in issue is way overrated.... no problem here in about a year's use..... I'll sell the thing way before I have any problems I expect.
 
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