Home Theatre Plasma TVs

With dropping prices and more technological bang for your buck, plasma televisions are quickly becoming a staple for choices in flat screen televisions.  But when it comes to setting up a home theatre, is a plasma television the right choice for home theatres?

Under general home theatre viewing circumstances, the answer is yes.  Let’s start with circumstances that will rule out the plasma television for home theatres:

  • If you plan on using the television in lighter conditions, such as a living room during the day, the plasma is not always the best choice.
  • If you plan on using the plasma for gaming or computer use, plasma televisions may have screen burn issues, meaning they are more susceptible to getting those unmoving images burned in after very long periods of time.  It’s unusual, but still a possibility.

If you plan on having a dedicated home theatre, or a home theatre where lighting can be controlled, the plasma television may be the best choice.  In dimmer light and darkness, the plasma tv offers a great quality picture.  They also have what’s termed a superior ‘refresh’ rate, meaning fast moving pictures won’t look blurred like they may on LCD screens.

Home theatre purists, those with dedicated home theatres in a completely separate room where lighting can be completely eliminated, will swear by the higher end equipment such as projectors and DLP, as they offer larger sizes.  While the larger screens help the viewer become more immersed in the movie, sometimes the plasma can offer better picture quality.


So if you feel the plasma television is suitable for your home theatre needs, what size should you get?  That will depend not only on your personal preference and budget, but the room size.  Determine how far the home theatre seating will be from the screen, and take it from there:

  • A 42 inch screen is best viewed 99 inches from 720 pixel screens and 66 inches for 1080 pixels;
  • A 50 inch screen is best viewed 118 inches from 720 pixel screens and 79 inches for 1080 pixels;
  • A 55 inch screen is best viewed 130 inches from 720 pixel screens and 86 inches for 1080 pixels;
  • A 60 inch screen is best viewed 141 inches from 720 pixel screens and 94 inches for 1080 pixels; and
  • A 65 inch screen is best viewed 153 inches for 720 pixels and 102 inches for 1080 pixels.



And speaking of 720 pixels vs. 1080 pixels – what does it mean?  A 1080 pixel screen is more crisp than 720 pixels.  The difference is not particularly noticeable.  Also note that many cable companies push their signal in 720 pixels, so it if you pay the extra for the 1080 screen, it may not mean a darn thing.  Eventually, I expect there will be more offerings to take advantage of the 1080 pixels.

Bottom Line

For many home theatre needs, a plasma television is a viable choice for setting up a theatre package.  Add some surround sound, a dimmer switch and blackout curtains – and you have the makings of a home theatre setup.