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Plasma display

A type of flat panel display that uses small cells containing plasma: ionized gas that responds to electric fields.

A plasma display panel (PDP) is a type of flat panel display that uses small cells containing plasma: ionized gas that responds to electric fields.

Until about 2007, plasma displays were commonly used in large televisions (30 inches (76 cm) and larger). Since then, they have lost nearly all market share due to competition from low-cost LCDs and more expensive but high-contrast OLED flat-panel displays. Manufacturing of plasma displays for the United States retail market ended in 2014, and manufacturing for the Chinese market ended in 2016.

Plasma displays are bright (1,000 lux or higher for the module), have a wide color gamut, and can be produced in fairly large sizes—up to 3.8 meters (150 in) diagonally. They had a very low luminance "dark-room" black level compared with the lighter grey of the unilluminated parts of an LCD screen. (As plasma panels are locally lit and do not require a backlight, blacks are blacker on plasma and grayer on LCD's.) LED-backlit LCD televisions have been developed to reduce this distinction. The display panel itself is about 6 cm (2.4 in) thick, generally allowing the device's total thickness (including electronics) to be less than 10 cm (3.9 in). Power consumption varies greatly with picture content, with bright scenes drawing significantly more power than darker ones – this is also true for CRTs as well as modern LCDs where LED backlight brightness is adjusted dynamically. The plasma that illuminates the screen can reach a temperature of at least 1200 °C (2200 °F). Typical power consumption is 400 watts for a 127 cm (50 in) screen. Most screens are set to "shop" mode by default, which draws at least twice the power (around 500–700 watts) of a "home" setting of less extreme brightness. The lifetime of the latest generation of plasma displays is estimated at 100,000 hours (11 years) of actual display time, or 27 years at 10 hours per day. This is the estimated time over which maximum picture brightness degrades to half the original value.

Plasma screens are made out of glass, which may result in glare on the screen from nearby light sources. Currently, plasma panels cannot be economically manufactured in screen sizes smaller than 82 centimeters (32 in). Although a few companies have been able to make plasma enhanced-definition televisions (EDTV) this small, even fewer have made 32-inch plasma HDTVs. With the trend toward large-screen television technology, the 32-inch screen size is rapidly disappearing. Though considered bulky and thick compared with their LCD counterparts, some sets such as Panasonic's Z1 and Samsung's B860 series are as slim as 2.5 cm (1 in) thick making them comparable to LCDs in this respect.

Competing display technologies include cathode ray tube (CRT), organic light-emitting diode (OLED), AMLCD, Digital Light Processing DLP, SED-tv, LED display, field emission display (FED), and quantum dot display (QLED).

Advantages

  • Capable of producing deeper blacks allowing for a superior contrast ratio.
  • As they use the same or similar phosphors as are used in CRT displays, plasma's color reproduction is very similar to that of CRTs.
  • Wider viewing angles than those of LCD; images do not suffer from degradation at less than straight ahead angles like LCDs. LCDs using IPS technology have the widest angles, but they do not equal the range of plasma primarily due to "IPS glow", a generally whitish haze that appears due to the nature of the IPS pixel design.
  • Less visible motion blur, thanks in large part to very high refresh rates and faster response time, contributing to superior performance when displaying content with significant amounts of rapid motion.
  • Superior uniformity. LCD panel backlights nearly always produce uneven brightness levels, although this is not always noticeable. High-end computer monitors have technologies to try to compensate for the uniformity problem.
  • Unaffected by clouding from the polishing process. Some LCD panel types, like IPS, require a polishing process that can introduce a haze usually referred to as "clouding".
  • Less expensive for the buyer per square inch than LCD, particularly when equivalent performance is considered.

Disadvantages

  • Earlier generation displays were more susceptible to screen burn-in and image retention. Recent models have a pixel orbiter that moves the entire picture slower than is noticeable to the human eye, which reduces the effect of burn-in but does not prevent it.
  • Due to the bistable nature of the color and intensity generating method, some people will notice that plasma displays have a shimmering or flickering effect with a number of hues, intensities and dither patterns.
  • Earlier generation displays (circa 2006 and prior) had phosphors that lost luminosity over time, resulting in gradual decline of absolute image brightness. Newer models have advertised lifespans exceeding 100,000 hours (11 years), far longer than older CRTs.
  • Uses more electrical power, on average, than an LCD TV using a LED backlight. Older CCFL backlights for LCD panels used quite a bit more power, and older plasma TVs used quite a bit more power than recent models.
  • Does not work as well at high altitudes above 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) due to pressure differential between the gases inside the screen and the air pressure at altitude. It may cause a buzzing noise. Manufacturers rate their screens to indicate the altitude parameters.
  • For those who wish to listen to AM radio, or are amateur radio operators (hams) or shortwave listeners (SWL), the radio frequency interference (RFI) from these devices can be irritating or disabling.
  • Plasma displays are generally heavier than LCD and may require more careful handling such as being kept upright.

Key Terms

angles
cm
crts
lcd
plasma
plasma displays
plasma panels
screen
thick
years

Additional Resources

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Acronymn

PDP

Synonymns

Plasma display
(none found)

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Sources & Credits

Last modified on June 10 2020
Content adapted from Wikipedia
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