Like any other television, in order to be able to watch your new plasma, you will need cables to hook it up. Unlike your standard television though, you can’t use the cheap cables or it will completely defeat the purpose. Cheap cables will affect picture quality & sound & will put you back to square one, you will wonder why you bought the new TV in the first place as it will look much like your old one did.
Here are some of the newer video connections, all of which are digital. Through a high-end digital connection, DVD and satellite signals will look and sound as good as your plasma television is capable of reproducing them.
The so-called “digital trinity” includes:
Digital Visual Interface (DVI): This connector passes an uncompressed video signal from HDTV receivers and other source devices to your plasma display. You will find DVI connections on most 2004 HD plasma monitors and integrated HD plasma TVs, as well as some high-end DVD players, newer PCs, and HD satellite receivers.
Note: There are two types of DVI interfaces: DVI-I and DVI-D. DVI-I is capable of making both digital and analog connections, while DVI-D is strictly digital. If you want to connect two pieces of equipment, both of which support DVI connections, going with a DVI-D cable ensures you’ll be using a digital connection rather than an analog one.
High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI): HDMI takes DVI another step by adding up to eight channels of digital audio to DVI’s digital video. HDMI is full ’backwards compatible’ with DVI. That is, you connect a DVI-enabled satellite receiver, say, to your brand-new HDMI-enabled plasma monitor (without getting the digital audio, of course). This way, your plasma TV remains compatible with ‘older’ DVI-only equipment
EEE 1394 (a k a FireWire and iLink): IEEE 1394 is another digital connection, which transmits video signals in a compressed form — so they can be recorded. This type of connection is perhaps best known for digital audio use, particularly as a way to load MP3s onto an iPod. Nevertheless, IEE 1394 has found its way onto the backs of some DTVs, notably those manufactured by Mitsubishi.
When running your cables, always use the least length possible. Over 18 feet will require custom cabling; you will likely have to have this made. When you measure for this, make sure you account for distance as well as how much will be hidden behind the wall (if this will be the case).