How to connect your Plasma TV

A plasma screen is really a computer screen and thus not as easy to connect to your video units as a traditional TV. After a lot of researching and browsing and asking, below I have summarised how to do it.
Ranging from lowest quality to highest these are various video signals that a Plasma TV should handle. Since you have invested in an expensive TV you should really try to use RGB quality or above:

  • Aerial antenna.
  • Composite video. Usually one single cable with yellow connectors
  • S-video lead. Is usually a black lead that actually carries the video information on two separate leads.
  • RGB SCART. Carries the information on 3 separate leads (red, green, blue).
  • (Progressive) Component video. Also carries the video on 3 separate leads but has more bandwidth for the signal due to better use of colour space.
  • DVI. Digital video from a computer

Just do it

  1. Identify which of your video devices can do RGB out. Your digital TV, sky digital, DVD player, PlayStation 2 and Xbox should be able to do this. Your VCR will not
  2. Get enough SCART leads that are fully wired to support RGB and connect the devices to each other, resulting in one SCART
  3. Get the RGB to Plasma VGA converter form The Media Factory. This will convert your SCART contact to a VGA contact with correct synchronisation signal that your Plasma TV needs. Expect a cost of £125
  4. Get a good quality VGA lead. Around £50
  5. Connect the devices that do not support RGB with S-video or composite in the worst case
  6. Use a cheap SCART switcher if some devices lack a second SCART socket

Theoretically you should be able to us a SCART-to-3 or 5 leads converter and plug this into your Plasma TV. The problem is that Plasma TVs require a stronger synchronisation signal than most SCART carry so even if you find a Scart-to-5-RCA lead it does not guarantee success.
My case
One progressive DVD player that connects straight to the Plasmas BNC contacts. Playstation 2 via Sky and a second satellite receiver to a SCART switcher, via the above mentioned RGB to VGA converter and then to Plasmas VGA contact. Composite and S-video leads connected to a video switching amplifier for easy connecting of portable video sources, e.g. camcorder and digital camera.
Update 28/01/04
The comments are now closed. Please post any new questions in the forum.

31 thoughts on “How to connect your Plasma TV”

  1. Hi,
    I currently run my skybox via a 10 metre scart lead to my rgb converter to my plasma screen, this works fine. I connect my dvd player via my skybox then to the plasma, the dvd plays fine for a while then the picture freezes and I lose the sound, I even bypassed the skybox but still the same problem.
    Any ideas, I am very frustrated.
    I use the dvd player on other tvs in the house and it works fine, so there must be a problem between dvd player and the plasma..
    Steve Stubbs

  2. From what you have tested it could be a problem with the RGB output of your DVD (unless you tested the DVD with your other TVs via RGB), a faulty RGB->VGA converter or even problem with the Plasma.
    It would help if you mentioned the brands of DVD, converter and Plasma since certain brands have common problems.
    I am surprised that you loose the sound as well since sound and video are usually two seperate things when it comes to Plasmas.
    Do you connect the sound to an amplifier via a digital connector or do you simply connect the sound to the Plasma?
    I can recommend asking around in (

  3. I connected my playstation2 to plasma. But image will flash shortly(normally less than 0.5sec.). The frequency is about once an hour.
    However, it didn’t happen when played with TV signal or DVD.
    The plasma TV and DVD player is samsung.
    Do you have any idea to fix the problem

  4. Once an hour you say, how many hours of continues playing are you doing? 🙂
    Without knowing HOW you are connecting your ps2 to your plasma it is hard to guess.
    Are you using the plasmas video converter or are you just using a synch blaster cable or do you have a dedicated rgb to vga converter?
    My guess is that it is interference due to low quality cable but I am curious about your set-up.

  5. Hallo,
    could you tell me which type of connection gives the highest quality, P. Scan, S-Video or RGB scart?
    Is it possible that a DVD player not equiped with P-scan (f.i. Sony DVP-NS705V), cannot adequately drive a Plasma TV?
    Thanx in advance.

  6. Hello there Costas,
    theoretically the quality would be in this order (lowest first): S-video, RGB-scart, P.scan (over component video).
    The difference between S-video and RGB-scart might be subjective and it is best to test both to see which gives best result together with the rest of your equipment.
    There is no reason why an non-pscan DVD drive would not drive a Plasma.
    Most plasmas support composite or S-video that can be used as a last resort.
    Better is to use RGB-scart from the DVD-player. You might have to select in menus that you want to output RGB over your scart as composite is the standard.
    Having an RGB signal still does not guarantee a good connection to your plasma as the synch signal might be too weak for the plasma. This can especially occur if you use some kind of “synch blaster” cable that is supposed to separate out the synch signal from the RGB-scart.
    I use a dedicated RGB->VGA converter and have not looked back. Similar converters can be found on the US market, good luck.
    David Kaspar

  7. I have a problem with my plasma….. Whenever there is a drain on electricity in the house ie kettle / dishwasher, a large white block appears across the middle of the plasma making watching unpleasant. I’ve had the electrics checked out and they found nothing wrong.
    Can you help….please?

  8. A bit of topic since this article is about how to connect your various video devices to the Plasma but here is a try:
    Have you contacted the support for the maker of the plasma? They might know why their Plasma would be showing a “large white block” across the screen.
    Try installing surge protection on the socket which the plasma is connected to.
    Last but not least, make sure you have a “Ferrite Coil” at the END of the power cable that connects your plasma to a power socket. This to avoid any disturbance from the 50Hz signal from the power. Do not run your power cable together with the video cables.

  9. Thanks for that. The problem was subsequently found by a Sky engineer when he was connecting Sky Plus. It appears that even with the DVD player disconnected but powered up (one of these all-in-one 5.1 boxes)the inteference existed. It never occured to me to power down the device rather than just remove the composite video lead (hence why trying different DVD players still showed the problem.)
    It now gives me a good excuse to go and buy some more up to date DVD kit. Thanks for your help and sorry if I used the wrong forum for my query.

  10. Good stuff guys.
    Here is a question, I have KiSS 508 with Prog Scan out on the scart, and I want to connect to a Sony PMF 42B2 Plasma. It will have to go into the VGA input as I dont have Component inputs. Any ideas of the best way ??
    All help would be cool.

  11. Hey Tim,
    I hope the KISS player is working out for you. I was a bit tempted by it, mostly due to its Etherhet capability.
    Anyways, your best bet will be RGB to Plasma VGA converter. While it is pricier than a passive cable and requires power, it will deliver a high quality synch signal that will work.
    It supports progessive scan because I am using the converter with progressive scan games on the PS2.
    I am surprised to see that the Sony plasma lacks component input. It has two d-sub inputs instead but that makes it hard to connect a high quality video signal such as component video from a dvd player.

  12. I have a Fujitsu plasma screen, Onkyo AV receiver and a SonyPL2 and are having alot of difficulty connecting the PL2. I can use the basic AV cable supplied with the PL2 and connect via the Video 4 outlet (front of AV receiver) but only get sound. I have also tried using a RGB cable with R/W audio plugs and connecting via the video 3 outlets in the back of the AV recevier. No luck with the picture either. Should I be connecting the SP2 directly to the plasma screen? Thanks!

  13. Hi,
    I have a Philips 32PF9964 plasma which I would like to mount remotely (within 10m) from its tuner box. Please can you recommend the best way to do this. Ideally if I could obtain the pin connections I wondered if I could make my own using good quality screened cables. These could easily be hidden at the moment as the room it will be in is currently under construction. I didn’t really want to install an expensive cable as it won’t be retrievable once we move. Any suggestions would be a great help.

  14. Helen,
    why you are not seeing any picture might be because plasmas generally do not support composite video (one single cable with yellow connector) and the basic PS2 cable is composite and so is the standard setting of the PS2 in the menus.
    Picture is the hard part with Plasmas and first step for you would be to get the PS2 working directly with the Plasma. Once that is working, switching the video through the Onkyo is not difficult
    Consult the manual of your plasma if any connectors are for composite video and if yes then make sure you are connecting the lead to that input.
    Best way of connecting the PS2 to your plasma depends on what connectors your plasma and AV receiver have. Since you did not tell me what models you have I can only guess.
    Best quality is achieved if you get a component video cable for the PS2; it will have five leads: 3 for the video and 2 for sound. Connect all five leads to the Onkyo (if it supports component video switching) and continue with 3 video leads from Onkyo to Plasma.
    Make sure to switch from “composite video” to “component” in you PS2 set-up if you plan to use RGB or “Y/Pb/Pr” video.

  15. I’m considering purchasing a large screen plasma TV but am concerned about problems I’ve heard concerning delamination and/or gas leakage. I’ve been told they are common and very costly to repair. Have you heard any on this?

  16. Hello Lon,
    I did thorough research about plasma TVs before purchasing one and never did I come across “delamination and/or gas leakage”.
    The weaknesses that are usually mentioned with plasma TVs are image burn and brightness degradation.
    Image burn occurs if a static image (e.g. logo or menu) is displayed for a prolonged time. You will then see a ghost image in the place where the static image was for some time. This ghost image will slowly disappear and from my experience this has happened very seldom and is barely visible.
    If the static image is displayed for a really long time (days), there might be permanent burn on the TV where the ghost image will not disappear. Watch out for this when playing games or watching news channels.
    The plasma TV has a certain lifetime stated by the manufacturer. After this time brightness of the screen will be roughly half. I have seen various figures which are brand dependant. I have seen figures of 30,000 hours that will last long even if you watch TV every day for 8 hours. (
    Good luck, you will not regret the buy!

  17. I think if you make sure your Plasma screen saver is set correctly you will have no probs with screen burn.
    On another note, I posed earlier about Scart to VGA connectors. Happy to say Im the proud owner of a powered converter, and its fantastic. expensive but well worth it for a plasma.

  18. Hi,
    recently purchased a pioneer PDP504HDE.
    I am having a problem with some of the SKY channels on it. A number of the channels have a sound and picture lag. i.e the sound is out of sync (picture lags sound).
    Other t.vs around the house with RF connections don’t suffer the same problem when watching SKY.
    As you can imagine Pioneer say it is SKY and SKY say it is Pioneer.
    DVD and Video don’t have a problem

  19. Hi,
    I wonder if you can help. I have recently purchased a Sony Plasma TV which is connected up to Sky, most of the time (not all) when I change channels I hear a loud click (a bit like a power surge noise) which can get very annoying when going through the Channels. I don’t know whether it is connected or not but when setting up the Tv in the first place I found that I have lost the reception of the terrestial channels ITV and Channel 5.

  20. hi, i recently understood that it was possible to play ps2 games in progressive scan such as soul calibur 2. Do i neet to connect via component leads as every time is select it on the menu it remains blank and resumes in normal mode. Is my ps2 not compatible with prog. scan? as it is a year old.

  21. polar1ec,
    you don’t need a component lead, SCART (RGB) is enough.
    I connect my PS2 to the plasma via a scart lead and I have selected component (RGB) in the PS2 menus.
    When I start SC2 it asks me to select between PAL 50Hz, PAL 60Hz and Progressive mode.
    The Getaway also supports progressive mode.
    Make sure you have your PS2 set-up for ‘Component’ instead of ‘Composite’. And connect via a SCART cable.

  22. Hey Richard,
    all Plasma TVs suffer from a bit of lag between picture and sound. I think this is due to the fact that it takes some time for the video processor in the Plasma to generate the picture.
    Certain high-end amps have time delay feature on the sound.
    I have noticed that my Sky box every now and then gets even more out of synch than normally. What seems to help then is to turn it off and on again and it gets better.

  23. hi,
    we recently bought the Techwood 42″ TWP42O5PL plasma, we seem to be having a problem with the picture, we use a “gold” scart cable and it runs RGB, the picture looks like what i can only describe as a watercolour painting, that has been left in the rain, it looks all blurred and out of focus until it catches up with the image,
    I also cant find any information anywhere about this model, i must add that when you watch a DVD the picture is almost perfect…(yamaha DVD System)
    kind regards Jakki

  24. i have a customer with three BenQ 46w plasma screens, he wishes to watch the output from a sky digibox on all three at the same time. the video leads are 20m , 12m & 7m in length. we have tried a “cheap” video splitter but we are haveing problems with pictures going black &white or 2″ lines running vertically along the screen with lighter and darker parts of the image in them.this happens on one screen then the next until all three display the same. switch off all screens, repower then a delay of up to 5 hours then the same again. What is the best way to connect ? and what type/brand of video splitter ? we have one other screen connect by a 40m lead from the video scart on the digibox and it works fine. only the three from the splitter cause us issues

  25. Hi,
    I am about to have a Panasonic 42 PWD6 delivered with the TUTP 600 tuner box and a card that connects this to the screen (Scart). The Tuner box output is RGB. Will this deliver the best picture, or should I get something else that would enhance it? I see from the notes above about RGB to Plasmas VGA convertor?

  26. hi
    I recently bought the techwood plasma and cannot find out any information regarding its origins. the manual that came with it was written by a 5 year old chimpanzee with dellusions of grandure.
    seriously, the screen it self is amazing. i just would like to know a little more about who actually manufactured it and some proper technical information for the future
    Steve Parker

  27. Hi,
    I have just discovered (after 2 hours of frustrated helpline experience) that powered scart leads connected to Sky+ boxes prevent you from booking Box Office Movies.
    My supplyer apogised and told me that this should have been pointed out when I bought it. He has suggested that I just return to an set up to get around the problem.
    Is this the only/best alternative?
    Kind regards,
    Nigel Rolf

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