Plasma Panels



When the term “plasma” was used exclusively in academia. Today, this word is used much more often, because “plasma” is called large flat displays, whose principle of operation is based precisely on this physical process.

Since the advent of the market, such TVs immediately attracted interest. If conventional devices were only selected to fit the screen in 32 inches, then the plasma immediately made an application for 42.


Even remote from physics users attracted the small thickness of the body of such TVs and their large size. This is what allowed plasmas to take a stable place in the market.

In conventional TVs, an image is drawn line by line with one electron beam on a screen covered with a phosphor. That is, at each moment of time only one point glows, and the picture is formed due to the inertia of the coating and the features of our vision.

However, the eye has time to note an uneven glow of the screen or flicker. In the case of plasma, each point or cell is an independently luminous element, representing a micro-kinescope.

The outer part of such a point is also covered with the same phosphor. And it is not the electron beam that makes it shine, but the plasma discharge in the gas and the ultraviolet light emitted.

Let the cells simultaneously do not shine, however, an algorithm is chosen in which flickering will be invisible. The complexity of the technology and explains why there are so few producers of plasmas in the world and a high initial price for such devices.

Today LCD TVs (or LCDs) are gaining popularity on the market, which have significantly weakened the position of the plasma, and many myths around plasma panels contributed to this.

Plasma panels require maintenance or a complete replacement every few years.

This myth was born of the fact that many people have a bad idea of ​​the mechanism of the panel. As in the case of the car, many use it, but they do not know very well what is inside. This gap is used by unscrupulous buyers who insistently offer to purchase an additional guarantee. The calculation is simple – if the buyer has already laid out a fairly large amount for the panel, then for sure he will be able to spend several hundred dollars for an additional service that protects the purchase. In the case of an expensive purchase, the warranty against mechanical damage may be reasonable, but for the most part, sellers simply take advantage of buyer’s fears by selling “additional” guarantees. It is necessary to tell about another trick. Vendors often assure that there are ionized gases inside the plasma, which must be replenished periodically. This statement is a lie. It is impossible to change the phosphor every 3000 hours of viewing. And who will agree to go for it, because you have to change the entire glass display? Any manufacturer will say that the entire plasma panel will be replaced much easier and cheaper than the screen alone.

It is better to choose a plasma panel with high definition (HD) than a panel with high definition (ED).

This statement is incorrect, it seems to have come about thanks to manufacturers who are profitable to promote their more expensive products with high resolution. Sellers are also interested in this, replicating this myth. The HD panel is really more expensive than the ED. The reason lies in the fact that the resolution is achieved by increasing the number of pixels. More pixels are more expensive. However, it is often even visually possible to determine that such a waste is not necessary. The marking does not mean that other parameters responsible for picture quality – contrast, transcoding and interpolation, will be better for this device. Typically, the picture quality of both ED and HD panels depends directly on the quality of the assembly. So it turns out that a good ED panel from a quality manufacturer will give a better image than a HD panel from an unknown brand.Do not forget that the quality of the input signal also has a direct effect on the image. The standard video signal on the panels with high definition will not give a better picture than on the panels with increased clarity. Buying an HD panel, think about how often you plan to watch HD video, receiving high-definition signals. If the panel is planned to be used also for working with computer graphics, then HD panels will be an ideal choice, displaying the maximum number of pixels. In the case of working with DVD, cable or satellite TV, you can be satisfied with ED panel.

Plasma panels are extremely short-lived.

This myth is the most persistent about this technique. Meanwhile, it is impossible to say with certainty the exact service life of a particular plasma panel. With confidence, it can be argued that usually the service life is at least 10 years. To calculate the effective life of the plasma, calculate the time period for which its brightness is reduced by half since the start of operation. Manufacturers propose to measure the effective lifetime until the moment when the image becomes so dim that it will lead to noticeable distortions in the quality of the picture. That’s when the panel will need to be replaced. Today, on most plasma panels manufacturers define this period of 30 thousand hours, which is 10 years, provided daily 8-hour viewing of the TV. The most advanced models have a resource of 100 thousand hours, which is almost double the resource of LCD TVs. Is this not a durability? And the mechanical protection of the surface of the plasma panel is much stronger than that of the liquid crystal. After all, heavy-duty glass is more reliable than a film. Therefore, in the case of a plasma panel, do not be afraid that the child will damage the screen by throwing a toy or remote into it. And care for the glass is much easier – just wipe it with a soft cloth.

Acquiring a good plasma panel is an extremely costly exercise.

There are two incorrect statements in this myth. Regarding prices, it is worth noting that in the mid-90’s prices for plasma panels were actually measured in thousands of dollars, without actually having the upper limit. However, much has changed since then. The improvement of the production process became possible due to the increased demand, many more products became available, which led to a drop in prices to an already acceptable level. A larger panel with the best characteristics can be purchased only for a fraction of the amount that had to be given recently for such a device. This is due to the fact that today 90% of the panels coming off the assembly line are suitable for sale. In 1999, this indicator was 50%, and in the beginning 90% – 20%. Today in the US, only 1% of Japanese plasma panels have any defects. But the drop in plasma prices that has been observed recently does not mean that in the future prices will continue to fall as rapidly. It is predicted that the fall in prices will become more moderate, consistent with a decrease in the total cost. Is it worth to wait six months or a year to save a couple hundred dollars? In addition, the old models are replaced by new, improved, respectively, in the interest of producers to maintain a certain level of prices. In general, by 2007, the percentage of rejects in plasma panels, despite their high production, was quite low, less than 1%. So it is today that such products are the most accessible and reliable for the average buyer.

The plasma panels are immediately tuned in the best way.

It is worthwhile to understand that many manufacturers of home appliances lay down in their products by default such settings to compensate for the excess of illumination that is observed in stores selling household appliances. In most of the apartments there is a completely different situation, so you should check a number of factory settings and choose the ones that are most suitable for your situation.There are even special video discs with texts that allow you to make manual adjustments as qualitatively as possible. It is recommended to use the kit from the company Joe Kane Productions, which allows you to go through the entire procedure step by step, explaining all the issues that arise. A properly calibrated technique will give an image with deeper shades of black and natural colors.

It’s quite easy to install a self-contained plasma panel.

Love for plasma was spurred by the Philips advertising campaign with the slogan “Let’s change the life for the better.” There was used just such a product, and from there came a stereotype about their easy installation. Meanwhile, it is better to trust professionals in this matter, since the collapse of an unqualified installation, led by expensive equipment, is fraught with significant financial losses. Remember, miser pays twice! Yes, and the considerable dimensions of the panels entail weight. Is it easy to hang yourself on the wall bulky TV weighing 50-70 pounds?

Plasma panels radiate a lot.

According to this myth, such panels are almost dangerously radioactive. In fact, a conventional CRT monitor emits more radiation than a plasma panel. It does spread a bit of ultraviolet radiation, but it extends as far as 3 centimeters from the screen. How many people watch TV at this distance? Pixels in the plasma are illuminated, and the radiation is enclosed within them. In TVs with the CRT, an electron gun is used, which fires the screen with electrons to cause phosphors to glow. This is what leads to the emission of small portions of radiation at a distance of up to 30 centimeters from the screen. But in both cases one should not worry – CRT TVs, like plasma panels, comply with the standard on television radiation, adopted in the US in 1969.

Plasma panels burn out very quickly.

Burnout or image retention is the result of damage to pixels in which the phosphor has grown older than usual. Such points glow less brightly in comparison with others. A damaged pixel “remembered” that color information, which he constantly received, which made it burn constantly with one color. In practice, such color information can get into the screen glass, if the image is constantly held, it will happen. In case of damage to the phosphor, the pixels can no longer operate in the same mode. Usually burnout occurs in places where the image is static – the logo of channels, the Internet programs. As a result, burning out plasma panels should not be an alarming reason for users. After all, due attention will avoid such problems with plasma panels. Perhaps only a temporary tarnish, which is not a serious problem. Yes, and manufacturers are increasingly laying in the plasma mechanisms of protection from burnout. In the final analysis, the source of the problems is the consumer’s inattention to what and how long television of this class shows.

Plasma panel is an unusually fragile thing.

Sellers often warn about the fragility of panels and the need for careful handling. Although this sounds fair, do not be afraid of it. Any thing can be broken, at least as a result of careless handling of it. In the case of plasma, it easily moves between boundaries without any problems. If such screens would be fragile, how would they be transported around the world? The panel can be put on the floor, only to transport it in this form is not worth it.

Plasma TVs consume a lot of electricity.

Once upon a time, the level of glow of pixels on the screen was directly dependent on the current applied to each cell. Accordingly, a large amount of energy was required for a bright image.However, today higher quality phosphors are used, which do not require much UV light, due to the use of a more advanced gas ignition system, the brightness of the pixels with the same amount of energy has increased at least twice. Accordingly, significantly reduced energy consumption. As a consequence, the consumption of electricity in the most recent plasma models is already less than for LCD TVs of the same diagonal. Manufacturers equip models with light control mode, with a small amount of light, the device adapts itself to the environment, reducing power consumption.

You can watch the plasma only with muted light.

This myth arose from the fact that in daylight the image on the LCD TV will always be brighter. But this is just a feature of the technology, because the LCD device glows behind the screen, and in the plasma – the pixels themselves. The first models of plasmas really differed markedly in terms of brightness and contrast in the illuminated room. However, modern models of such panels already have a noticeably greater static contrast. If before the record was considered an indicator in 2000: 1, today the norm is 30000: 1. By itself, the contrast already increases the brightness of the screen even in daylight. Moreover, manufacturers are constantly improving the technology of transmission of shades and light transitions, in addition, special anti-glare filters are used.

Plasma TVs are environmentally harmful.

In the production of first-generation devices, heavy metals such as mercury and lead were used. This was a problem, although the weight fraction of these metals in conventional TV sets with a kinescope significantly exceeded the plasma indices. Yes, and in LCD TVs, backlight lamps use mercury. However, today, manufacturers are increasingly abandoning the use of lead and mercury in plasma TVs. The abandonment of metals only at Panasonic allowed to reduce the annual industrial use of lead by 280 tons.


Plasma TVs – yesterday.

This myth was the result of a significant increase in sales of LCD TVs and the refusal of some companies to produce plasmas in general. However, just today a new stage in the evolution of the technology of plasma panels is observed. It is the TV of this class that has unique advantages. And the technology of 480 Hertz, which guarantees unrivaled clarity and smoothness of the image in dynamic scenes, and ultra-thin profiles of devices. The crown of the creation of manufacturers was a 150-inch TV with dimensions of 4 by 2 meters.

Plasma TVs are very noisy and hot.

This statement affects the noise from cooling fans that try to lower the temperature of the plasma. Previously, these TVs had up to five fans, and the hand still could not touch the back of the plasma. However, the use of new technologies has made it possible to significantly reduce the heating of televisions, and hence to switch to fanless cooling systems. As a result, the noise does not exceed that of conventional televisions, and the operating temperature is in a quite acceptable range of 30-40 ° C.



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