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After staring at the plasma forum for a while, I decided it best to post here. Rather than drop three thousand into my integra or my early bronco to turbo/supercharge them (one , not both :)), I'm entertaining the idea of getting a plasma to use primarly as a monitor for my pc. Its going in my dorm room (read: free rent (scholarship)) where i lounge around on my couch all day. I figure I'll be 3 feet away from it, my head will be 5 or so). Now I know a lot of the 42" are SD which is the reason I picked up a cheap (53" Panasonic rp widescreen). Ive did the front projection thing last year. Just wondering if anyone has any experience. Im still using my 15" monitor from 96 :). The 53" just isnt cool after a few months now. Something in the under 4K range (42" i would assume). Just want to know about PQ and burn in blah blah blah.


Oh btw MythTV is groovy. First time delving that deep into a linux installation, but it went fine after a few attemps (and beers)


Sorry for the rambling.
 

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I have a Win 2000 PC in my office with a dual head VGA output setup to a pair of 18" Compaq LCD flat panel displays as well as an NEC 61MP1 16x9 plasma display. It's a huge display, but for the money it was not worth the purchase. I say that because the 1350x768 native pixel resolution is a bit of a disappointment compared to the 18" 4x3 LCD display(s) with a native resolution of 1280x1024 (each).


After looking at a number of plasma displays and several CRT, DLP, and LCD front projectors over the last year, I would recommend spending a lot less money on a pair of 1280x1024 LCD flat panels *AND* a cheap projector (like the PT AE-300?) That's because I have already noticed the $15K NEC suffer the beginnings of plasma burn-in with all of the long life options enabled. And 768 native scan lines is not that great for such a large image (IMHO). Just my $0.02.
 

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I use the Panasonic 42" SD (4UY) plasma in my "dorm room" (14 sqm). Windows needs to be set up to use it, but then it also works great.
 

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I have a NEC 42MP3 (848x480) and use it for my HTPC, so while I do surf the net and play games on it as well as using it for DVDs, AVIs and MP3s, I don't find myself doing much word processing on it. :) The PQ is amazing, but burn-in is an issue. However, if you are responsible and careful about how you use the plasma screen the issue can be eliminated.


I'm a little more concerned about your viewing distance. 5' seems a little close for a SD panel, it might be alright for an HD model. I watch my plasma from a distance of about 15'; that's not by choice, it's just how the room is laid out. If I view the screen from 5' away I can make out the pixel structure - - you might want to go view some SD and HD panels and determine at which distance you start seeing the pixel grid, that would be a good subjective way to see if 5' is reasonable for you or not. Seeing the pixels may not be too much of a problem in a Windows environment, but it's a dealbreaker for me when viewing DVDs.


Something else to consider, most 42" HD plasmas (if not all?) don't have a square pixel structure even though you get a vertical resolution of 768 pixels. So, either you are stuck with a stretched horizontal aspect ratio in the native resolution, or the desktop can be scaled to the proper aspect ratio but the text will not map pixel-for-pixel, resulting in a reduction of text sharpness.


Oh yeah, and keep yer dorm door locked! ;)
 

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I agree with slikvik.


Antialiasing is essential for gaming at 848x480. If you put it on it looks as if it's running way higher resolution.


Pictures look stunning also.


Work: Don't get much done, but that's more due to me being lazy, than the plasmas fault. Web browsing, email writing, Word etc. all look and work great.


Burn-in is an issue, but mostly temporary burn-in. Of course, if you don't hide your Start menu, you will get punished sooner or later.

I haven't noticed the minimise, maximise and close icons in the upper right corner of windows burn in yet, but you should be carefull about that also.

As you say: "Better safe than sorry!"
 
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