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HP Plasma and LCD TVs - Frequently Asked Questions about Plasma and LCD TVs

This document pertains to HP Plasma and LCD Entertainment Displays.
The following sections provide general information about your Plasma and LCD Entertainment Displays as well as TV viewing and picture troubleshooting information.

General Questions

What is the difference between a Plasma TV and an LCD TV?
A plasma screen is an array of cells or pixels, each composed of three subcells that produce colored light (red, green, and blue). Electricity excites the gas in the cells, causing them to glow and produce the images you see on the screen. Plasma technology allows TVs to be quite thin and wall-mountable, compared to cathode ray tube (CRT) displays. Plasma TVs limit distortion around the screen edges, are brighter than liquid crystal displays (LCDs), permit a wide viewing angle (up to 160 degrees), and are not affected by magnetic fields. One disadvantage of plasma TVs is their susceptibility to image retention.
An LCD (liquid crystal display) is composed of a liquid crystal solution placed between two sheets of transparent polarizing material. When electrified, the crystals align to block light shining through the screen and cause colored images to be shown on the display. LCD TVs are thin and lightweight and can be mounted on a wall, have high brightness, but have a smaller viewing angle than plasma displays.
What is the difference between flat panel and flat screen?
Flat panel refers to displays whose case and screen are flat. For example, they are essentially shaped much like a large book, turned on its long side. Nearly all modern flat-panel displays use LCD technologies.
Flat screen displays are basically the same as the CRT (cathode ray tube) displays you usually see with desktop PCs, but with the glass screen being perfectly flat. Most CRTs have a slightly curved glass display.
How do I prevent image retention on a plasma TV?
A plasma TV illuminates phosphor to display images, much like a conventional CRT television. Viewing stationary images for extended periods of time results in uneven aging of the phosphor, causing images to permanently appear on the screen. Permanent image retention can be avoided by taking some basic precautions. Refer to HP Plasma and LCD Entertainment Displays - Maintaining Your TVs for information on preventing image retention.
What is an HD-ready TV?
HP HD-ready TV sets have a high-resolution screen that can show HD content. However, HP HD-Ready TV sets do not have a built-in HD receiver/decoder that can receive HD television signals using an antenna. A separate HD receiver must be purchased separately in order to receive HD signals from antenna, cable, or satellite broadcasts.
What is HDCP?
HDCP stands for High Definition Content Protocol and is a form of copy protection scheme to prevent the copying of the digital Video signal. HDCP enables a secure connection between devices before the signal is displayed.
If you cannot view high-definition video on your TV, most likely the source device is not HDCP compliant.
What are the different signal formats for digital TVs?
There are 18 standard digital TV signal formats. Each one provides a different picture quality. Digital TV formats are named using a number followed by either progressive (p) or interlaced (i). The letter refers to the way the TV uses the signals to create the picture:
  • Progressive (p) scanning presents all the horizontal lines of the picture in one frame. This provides a sharper picture to the eye and looks much better than an interlaced image of the same resolution.
  • Interlaced (i) means that the picture appears in two segments: every other horizontal line of the picture is displayed in one frame, and the other half of the horizontal lines are drawn in the next frame of the picture. This works because it happens so fast that the eye is deceived into believing that only one picture is being shown.
The number refers to the number of lines of resolution, and generally the higher the number, the better the picture. For example, with digital TV (DTV) there are two progressive formats for broadcasters to choose from: 480p and 720p. A 480p image is much sharper than a regular TV broadcast, although it is only considered a DTV signal and not a true high definition signal. 720p has 720 horizontal scan lines and is considered to be true HDTV. 720p can rival a 1080i picture, which is 1080 horizontal scan lines displayed as an interlaced image. This is because of the sharper and more accurate (progressive) 720p picture, even though 1080i picture has many more scan lines and a much higher resolution.
What is an aspect ratio?
The aspect ratio describes the relationship of screen width to screen height. Standard TV signals are based on the aspect ratio of 4:3 (4 units wide by 3 units high). HDTV signals are based on the aspect ratio of 16:9, making the image 33% wider than a normal TV and allows viewing TV and movies as if you were watching them in a theater.
In addition, many DVDs look better on the wide-screen display because most movies made in the last 50 years were filmed in an aspect ratio of either 1.85:1 (very close to 16:9, which is equal to 1.78:1) or 2.35:1 (even wider than 16:9).
What is the difference between PIP-1 and PIP-2?
On certain TV models, there are two basic picture-in-picture (PIP) types: PIP-1 tuner models require that you connect a VCR or other video component to provide the source for your second picture. PIP-2 tuner models have two built-in TV tuners, so you can watch two shows at once using only the TV.
Why does the outside surface of the TV case scratch easily?
HP TVs ship with a protective film coating to protect the TV during shipment and setup. If you have not yet removed the protective film, remove the film.
How do I clean my plasma and LCD TV?
Depending on your TV type, you should refer to HP Plasma and LCD Entertainment Displays - Maintaining Your TVs for information on cleaning your television.
Can I connect a digital TV to my PC?
Yes, you can use your TV as a display device for a PC. If your PC comes with a composite or s-video connection, you can connect most types of TVs to your PC. For higher quality images, such as those from a PC monitor, your TV and PC may be able to use one the following connection scenarios:
  • DVI-D (29-pin) input: Connect a digital video cable for digital input signals from a PC monitor connector, or from a digital cable or satellite receiver set-top box.
    If your TV has an HDMI connector, you can also use a DVI-to-HDMI converter, an HDMI cable, and audio cable(s). Connect the adapter to the DVI connection on the PC and then connect the HDMI and audio cables.
  • VGA, a D-sub (15-pin) input: Connect an analog cable for input signals from a PC monitor connector.
  • Component input: Connect using component cables (Y, PR, PB) and Audio cables.

Viewing Questions

I do not hear sound or see a picture.
Check to see if the TV power cord is plugged into a power outlet and that the TV has an input signal. Or, try another channel in case of station trouble.
I see a picture but hear no sound.
Check to see if the volume set at the minimum. Verify that Mute mode is not set. Check the speaker connection. Check all audio inputs.
Make sure the Audio settings are enabled in the OSD. Some TV models mute the display speakers when Variable is selected as the option controlling the type of output to an external sound system.
I get a poor picture using an antenna, composite, or s-video video inputs.
Check the following: Improper control setting. Local interference. Cable interconnections. Antenna input impedance level is not correct. Adjust picture control as needed. Be sure that all connections are secure. Try another location for the TV.
I get a poor picture with RGB signal input.
Check the following: Improper control setting. Incorrect pin connections on the connector. Adjust picture controls as needed. Check pin assignments and connections.
Nothing appears on the screen and I have an external device controlling the TV.
Verify that the external device or PC power is turned on. Check to see whether the source component is connected. Check the power management function. Is it in the standby mode? Connect the source to the TV. Operate the external device or PC (move the mouse, or press a key).

Picture quality questions

Check the following if you are having TV picture problems.
Part of the picture is cut off or the picture is not centered.
Check the position adjustment settings and adjust the screen settings accordingly.
The picture image is too large or too small.
Press the Aspect button on the remote control and adjust properly.
The picture is unstable.
Verify that the external device or PC resolution setting is correct. Adjust to the appropriate resolution.

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