is a flat, lightweight surface covered with millions of tiny glass bubbles.
Each bubble contains a gas-like substance, the plasma, and has a phosphor
coating. Think of the bubbles as the pixels.
Now, think of
each pixel-bubble as having three sub-pixels - one red, one green, one blue.
When it is time to display an image signal (RGB or video), a digitally controlled
electric current flows through the flat screen, causing the plasma inside
designated bubbles to give off ultraviolet rays. This light in turn causes
the phosphor coatings to glow the appropriate color making your Plasma TV
provide the best video image anywhere.
Millions of RGB
bubbles glowing and dimming to make a rich, vivid image.
The plasma display
is one of the most exciting consumer electronics products to debut in the
past decade. It's literally changing the shape of television, from the familiar
CRT-type TV's that have been around for 50 years, to a sleek, nearly flat
display that can hang on a wall. These new displays deliver high-definition
television, and they serve both as TV's and computer monitors.
provides information on plasma displays in general so when you're ready to
make a purchase, you'll have enough information to make an informed decision.
Basics of Plasma Displays
This isn't meant
to be a science lesson; we just thought you might want to know how a plasma
technology is a new "emmissive" flat panel display technology which
gives you the rich, accurate color fidelity of conventional Cathode Ray Tube
(CRT) monitors in a large display that is thin enough to hang on the wall.
It's the best way to achieve flat panel displays with excellent image quality
and large screen sizes viewable in any environment. This technology known
as "plasmavision" is an array of cells, known as pixels, which are
composed of 3 sub-pixels, corresponding to the colors red, green and blue.
Gas in a plasma
state is used to react with phosphors in each sub-pixel to produce colored
light (red, green or blue). These phosphors are the same types used in conventional
cathode ray tube (CRT) devices such as televisions and standard computer monitors.
You get the rich, dynamic colors you expect. Each subpixel is individually
controlled by advanced electronics to produce over 16 million different colors.
You get perfect images that are easily viewable in a display that is less
than 6 inches thick.
Step 1: Address electrode causes gas to change to plasma state.
Step 2: Gas in plasma state reacts with phosphors in discharge
Step 3: Reaction causes each subpixel to produce red, green, and blue
Basic plasma display
technology has been around since the 1960's, and works this way: a mixture
of neon and xenon gas fills the space between two parallel sheets of glass,
which contain millions of tiny cells filled with the gas mixture. This mixture
is stimulated by electrical current and is changed into a plasma. As a result,
ultraviolet (UV) light is emitted. Red, blue, and green fluorescent substances
in the cells absorb this UV light, then re-radiate this energy as visible
light to produce the colors and images you see on the screen.
This process creates
a bright, vibrant picture. And since these individual cells are creating light
and color, there's no need for the large cathode ray tubes (CRT's) used in
conventional and projection TV's, and the display can be very thin and relatively
lightweight. Plus, the flat screen eliminates the problem of images bending
at the edge of the picture, as seen in conventional TV's.
Are Not All Alike
are not the same as an LCD screen, like those on laptop PC's or the ones that
you see on commercial jetliners. Among other differences, an LCD screen uses
backlighting for its illumination; plasma displays are self-lit, which produces
a far brighter picture. Nor should the "flat panel TV's" you may
see in stores be confused with a plasma display. These flat panel TV's, like
plasma displays, do have a flat screen, so they don't have the edge distortions
of a conventional curved screen. But their use of CRT's gives them the same
bulky "behinds" of regular TV's, and they cannot offer the same
practical advantages of plasma displays.
This A TV Monitor, Or A Computer Monitor? Yes.
A Plasma Display
is a television monitor, capable of displaying high definition TV, regular
TV, and home video. AND it's a computer monitor, capable of doing everything
a regular computer monitor can do. Just bigger and better.
Here are examples
of how you can use a plasma display and a description of each, where applicable.
TV And Regular TV
Most of the television
we see now is analog TV, based on standards set decades ago (called NTSC,
or National Television System Committee). But you've probably noticed that
more and more shows, particularly sports and prime time shows, are also being
broadcast- actually, simulcast- in high definition. What's the difference
between regular and high definition TV? And, what is digital TV? Since Plasma
Displays reproduce virtually every kind of broadcasting, here's a brief explanation
that will help sort things out.
Digital TV represents
the future of broadcasting, and will ultimately replace analog television,
though not for while. It encompasses standard definition television (SDTV)
and high definition television (HDTV), plus potential data broadcasting capabilities.
SDTV delivers approximately the same resolution as regular analog TV, but
without the annoying snow and ghosting, so the actual picture quality is higher.
HDTV delivers five times the resolution of regular analog TV, with photograph-quality
images that you have to see to believe. Digital TV (both SDTV and HDTV) also
provides broadcasters with the capability of multiple channels of digital
surround sound, so you'll have great audio, to go with great video.
of digital TV is that it allows for a widescreen presentation of "16:9".
This 16:9 (read: 16 by 9) figure is the aspect ratio of the width of your
TV to its height. Most current TV's are 4:3 (think of it as 12:9 reduced to
its lowest common denominator). Comparatively, a 16:9 ratio gives you more
width, more picture, more fun.
And of course,
you can view all of the regular TV shows you're receiving now. A Plasma Display
is ready for all current television and video formats, plus those in the foreseeable
How To Receive
So, how do you
get digital TV? You can receive it off the air, with a UHF antenna and a digital
tuner (both are widely available). Or, you can get it via satellite broadcasting
companies like DIRECTV, DISH Network, and others, and through cable operators
like Time Warner Cable and others. Contact your local cable or satellite operator
for more details.
On DVD, Videotape, Laser Disc, And Camcorder
Movies- in whatever
format you choose- will look better on Plasma Displays. You'll find connections
for all major home video formats on the unit's back panel. And you can set
the screen size and shape to match the type of movie you're watching (more
about that later).
With the screen's
large size and high resolution, video games will reach a new level. Your plasma
display can reproduce games on a multitude of formats, including PC, Mac,
and console-based games like the PlayStation 3 and the XBOX 360.
Use It As
A PC/Mac Monitor
As stated earlier,
the Plasma Display is also a monitor for a PC or Mac. You can use it as the
primary monitor for your desktop computer or connect it to your laptop computer.
Either way, it's able to process signals up to and including 1280 x 768 ("Wide
XGA"), so charts, graphs, the Internet, and full-motion DVD's (movies
or data) will all look clean and crisp. Like any computer monitor, plasma
units allow you to display several personal computer applications simultaneously.
For example, you can run a full-motion DVD from your DVD drive in one window,
the Internet in another, and your personal calendar in a third.
If you want to
connect your laptop computer to the display, all you need is a standard computer
monitor cable, with the 15-pin connector. Connect this cable from your laptop
to Input1 or Input2 of the display, and select the corresponding input with
the display's remote controller. Last, you'll probably need to push the "Laptop
Screen/External Monitor/Both" button on your laptop till an image appears
on the display.
Here's a useful
feature for when you're running a personal computer or laptop as the main
source: let's say you're playing a computer-based video game and want to inspect
a character's darkened room more closely. With the Point Zoom feature, you
can zoom in on nine select areas of the screen for extra focus. Just hit the
Point Zoom button on the display's remote and follow the easy on-screen instructions.
When you're done, hit the same button to zoom back out. This feature is also
useful when playing movies on your personal computer's DVD-ROM/Video drive.
using a personal computer or a TV-based web browser system, plasma displays
are perfect for reproducing the web in your home. And as web sites increase
their use of full-motion graphics, displaying them on a high-quality monitor
will become even more ideal.
Theatre And Speakers
A basic home theatre
system includes a television with at least a 25-inch screen, a surround sound
A/V receiver and at least four speakers, and a video source like a DVD player.
So, where does a Plasma Display fit in? It makes an outstanding centerpiece
for a home theatre system, and when wired to a digital television tuner, DVD
player, THX-capable A/V receiver, and other home theatre components, the result
is a level of entertainment that even the best movie theatres cannot match.
To Consider Before You Shop
Now that you know
more about plasma displays, here are a few factors to consider before you
Of The Display
Have a good idea
of where your new plasma display might best be located: in which room, and
if you will wall-mount it, on which wall. (Read more about installation and
mounting options in these two sections: Shopping for a plasma display and
Delivery and installation.
Since the plasma
display takes up little- or zero- floor space, you don't need a lot of room
for it. Also, because your new plasma display is a highly valuable piece of
merchandise, you'll want it in a position where it can't be disturbed by dogs,
kids, or excited sports fans.
Of Ambient Light
As mentioned earlier,
a Plasma Display performs better than TV's or monitors in bright rooms, so
feel free to position it in a well-lit room. However, for best viewing, you
should avoid placing it so that it faces a large window, or where sunlight
will shine directly onto the screen.
Home Theatre Components
Your plasma display
doesn't have to be in the same room as the rest of your home theatre components;
there are ways to control these components via remote from another room. But
you should consider the relative position of your display and these components,
because they'll need to be connected to one another. If you'd like assistance
in wiring up your system, ask your dealer if this service is offered.
For A Plasma Display:
Ok, we are biased but we think you should buy online. However
follow several rules you have to follow and scams to watch for.
1: DO NOT
BUY FROM A ONLINE AUCTION: !!!! The vast majority of ALL fraud occurs
at Ebay and other auctions. Most dealers on there have never seen a
plasma and for the "the really good deals" you will end up sending
your money to support a Nigerian or Romanians family and never see a
plasma. Also there are several dealers selling overseas models..it may
say it comes with one year warranty..it does ..but you have to send it
to Japan at your cost. Even if it is USA warranty , it can be B stock
or worse..no serial. This is too big a investment to try to save 50 or
a hundred dollars on by buying from a unknown dealer whose total
investment is 5 dollars Also watch out for Yahoo Stores. They can be
set up for 50 dollars and come and go like the wind.
2 : Do
not fall for the best price scam or bait and switch and get nailed
with inflated shipping costs. Several dealers online quote shipping at
150 for ground and 350 for 3 day. Don't fool yourself.. you will get
stuck with the three day charge. You are always outside the discount
shipping area ( even if you live across the street) If you buy from
any online dealer and they try to hit you with surprise charges cancel
the order. Some even hit you days later claiming that it was
shipped 3 day by mistake. Also watch for inflated accessories.
Biggest scam on and offline is overcharging for accessories.
ALWAYS LOOK AT THE FINAL COST OF EVERYTHING TO YOUR HOUSE, NOT THE
INITIAL ADVERTISED PRICE.
3: Every website out there claims to be the
number one source and claims to have 200 years experience. Anyone can
make these claims. Many online dealers have never seen a plasma
and there online experience consists of surfing the net. If you want
to check how long a business has been online, you can search the info
buying guides: Do not be fooled by " impartial buying guides" These
are directly or indirectly related to sites. A common practice is do
set up what appear to be impartial sites and then recommend dealers
who strangely enough all have very similar sites located on the east
coast. and then throw in a few sites that have super high prices to
try to look impartial Don't be fooled, if this was done in in a
magazine they would have to state "paid advertisement" across the top
of each page. Although many legitimate websites have multiple
stores, If they try to mask the connection...keep away.
5: Do not
buy from any online dealer that does not have phone support and make
sure the person who claims to be a specialist knows what they are
talking about. Plasma TV's and projectors can be a confusing subject..
If you want a sales person with no knowledge you can get that at any
the website has a clearly posted return policy and that the product is
shipped insured. Many online sites have a return policy that requires
you to pay shipping back if the unit is faulty or damaged in shipping.
This is unacceptable and gives you a idea of the service you can
they WILL USE YOUR INFO FOR MARKETING. The longer the policy.the more
pressure sales.Do not rush into any purchase and do not allow the
salesperson to give you the
" there is only one left " line. If there is only one left, that means
a new model may be coming out. You have lived for years without a
plasma, a week or two more won't kill you. Commission
salespeople are a very bad sign.
fall for store ratings on Bizrate, Nextag etc. Many stores have huge
number of great ratings mixed with absolutely poor ratings. It is a
common, although highly unethical, practice for many stores to pad
Name plasma screens: There are several legitimate companies who
rebadge plasma screens ( Sony Toshiba, JVC etc) and
provide top notch service and support however there more and
more "no name" products hitting the market ( most from China)
Many are based on obsolete technology and provide little, If any,
support or warranty. If you can afford a plasma, you can afford a good
'In addition to blenders we now make plasma screens"
Of Plasma Displays Over Regular TV's
While at a retail
store, you'll probably see dozens, even hundreds, of other displays and TV's,
and it may become a little overwhelming. Here is a quick list of advantages
of a Plasma Display over conventional CRT-type TV's:
4" thick, and can be hung on a wall
Much larger picture
Higher color accuracy
Brighter images ( 3 to 4 times brighter)
16:9 aspect ratio vs. standard 4:3
Can be used as a monitor for a PC or Mac
Images don't bend at the edge of the screen
Reflections from windows or lights are minimized
Wider viewing angles
Takes up less space (zero, if wall-mounted)
not effected by magnetic fields
Advantages Of Plasma Displays Over Projection Monitors
Like plasma displays, the best rear-projection monitors are great for viewing TV and video. However, a Plasma Display has certain key advantages over rear-projection monitors:
Ideal for any room, even rooms where space may be limited
4" thick, and can be hung on a wall
Can be used as a monitor for a PC or Mac
Higher color accuracy than most PTV's
Brighter images than most PTV's
Better resolution than most PTV's
Wider viewing angles , not stuck sitting in a sweet spot
DLP and LCD rear projectors need bulb replacement every 4 to 5000 hours. They may seem cheaper initially but are vastly more expensive over time.
System Setup and Connections
We know that many people don't like to read operating instruction manuals, but we strongly recommend that you read the one included with your Plasma Display. It will help you with system setup and connections, and tell you how to adjust settings to your exact preferences.
IMPORTANT:Static, non-moving images left on-screen for extended periods of time can
leave a "shadow" on plasma displays (this is true of models from
all manufacturers). For this reason, you can also manually adjust
the brightness level of your display. In addition, you should avoid extended
display of static images. Your operating manual has more information on this.
Plasma vs. LCD
difference between a plasma display and an LCD flat screen, and how do
these differences enter into your decision-making process? Often
"plasma" is used as a general term for thin, flat displays or
monitors, but there are some general differences in the technologies,
as listed below. Overall, LCD is great for displays 30 inches and
smaller, and plasma is ideal where 32-inches or larger display is
needed. They are complementary technologies. LCD has a inherent delay
and will "artifact" moving images on larger LCD's
160 degrees+, typically about 90 degrees vertically
Up to 160 degrees horizontally, typically less
Transmissive (External backlight)
<20ms (video rates)
>20ms (may have image lag at video rates)
Phosphor (Natural TV colors)
Color Filters (Not the same color system as TV)
TV, signage, public display
PC data, PC graphics, desktop use
Majority of above article by Pioneer Electronics., Additional by Avdeals.com