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Connect a Pioneer Elite Plasma screen to a Raspberry Pi


I recently found a Pioneer Elite 43" plasma display (Model # PRO-435PU) at a thrift store for $20! It seemed to power on properly, and I was eager to try connecting something to it.

The screen did not have any standard video input connectors on it. Instead, it featured a 'black' (custom serial) connector, and a 'white' (DVI-D digital video) connector. This is probably why nobody else at the thrift store bought this plasma display before I got there, despite it being in excellent condition.

Apparently these screens originally came with a proprietary media receiver unit, to which you connected all of your standard analog and digital video cables. There are a few of the media receivers available for sale online, but they cost far more than I paid for the screen, and most don't even include the equally expensive proprietary cables needed to connect them to the plasma display.

I set about trying to get the display working as-is, using a Raspberry Pi connected directly to it in order to test video modes and refresh rates to find out what worked.

I tried many different sets of display settings to get the display working using the DVI-D connector, but the only settings which made the display work properly were : 1024 pixels wide x 768 pixels high, with a refresh rate of 75 Hz.

On a Raspberry Pi, you can configure those display settings by editing the /boot/config.txt file. Just add these entries at the bottom of the file :

hdmi_group=2
hdmi_mode=18

The DVI video is a little bit noisy when shown on this display, but otherwise looks fine. I am still experimenting with some of the Raspberry Pi video output settings in order to see if that helps minimize that.

It would be great if I could get this display to work at 1080p resolution using the DVI-D connector, but I am sure I can find something interesting to do with a 43" screen like this one, even if it only displays DVI video at a resolution of 1024x768.

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