What Is a Plasma Screen Television?

A “plasma display panel” is a flat panel display screen on certain large television sets. Plasma screen tvs are often confused with liquid crystal display or LCD tvs, but the two are not the same item. Plasma screen televisions are large televisions (32″ and over) which houses a “plasma” mixture between two glass screen. The plasma is created when an “inert mixture of noble gases” is charged electrically. (Note that noble gases are gases which are odorless, colorless, contain one single atom and therefore have a low chemical reactivity.) When these gases are charged, a plasma is created which emits light, due to phosphors in the gas being agitated.

Advantages And Disadvantages To Owning A Plasma Screen TV?

Plasma screen televisions tend to have brighter color backgrounds than liquid crystal displays. The brilliance of the plasma display does erode over time, though the erosion is so long as to be a non-factor. It’s estimated that a plasma screen television’s brilliance will fade to half over 100,000 hours of viewing – which translates to 10 hours a day, every day, for 27 years. It should be noted that this is a fade and not failure of the product, and therefore a 27-year old plasma screen television should still be watchable and more brilliant than most non-LCD or non-plasma tvs on the market today. of course, there’s no telling what technology tvs will be made with in 27 years, but they’re likely to make LCD tvs and plasma screen tvs look like old black-and-white tv sets.


One drawback to the plasma screen tv set is the danger of “phosphor burn-in”. The prolonged display of certain bright graphics on your television screen can cause a permanent bright (ghostlike) image to burn itself into the plasma screen display. As you can imagine, this makes for an extremely annoying condition that many television viewers will find unacceptable. Especially if you have text burned into your plasma screen display, it will look a little like someone has sprayed graffiti on your television screen. This is fairly rare, but if you tend to freeze frame and then forget and walk away from your television, you might not want a plasma screen television set.

Another problem is when a certain cluster of pixels get stuck on or off on your plasma screen television display. This typically happens when you run the pixels at a higher brightness scale. When you change to another view, these bright pixels will remain on and produce a similar ghost image. This condition is more temporary than the phosphor burn-in, but you’re likely to panic and think you have the much worse burn-in condition. With the hot pixels, the effect will likely go away after a period of time. To combat the issues of phosphor burn-in, general fading issues or defective pixels, plasma screen television manufacturers have devised various technologies and solutions such as “image washing” functions, pixel orbiters or gray pillarboxes (gray instead of black shaded portions of the screen like letterboxes on the bottom during widescreen displays).

Is Buying A Plasma Screen TV Worth It?

If you’re considering the purchase of a plasma screen tv, you probably have the disposable cash to play around with your tv-watching toys. Of course, even if you have the money to spend somewhere (probably) between $900 and $6,000 on a huge plasma screen television, you don’t want the thing breaking within the first six months. The whole point of buying a more expensive product is to get a better watching experience – not a faded screen or a plasma screen display with ghost images on it.

Plasma screen television technology is still an emerging technology. The manufacturers may work out the kinks and be producing perfected, streamlined copies of the plasma screen televisions they are producing now. Or they might find that the image burn-in effects will never be solved and move on to another television technology in a few years. Who knows, maybe my earlier prediction comes true and some new technology comes along that makes both LCD screens and plasma screens obsolete in a few years.

There are still enough kinks in the plasma screen televisions that I wouldn’t personally buy one. But there’s no doubt that plasma screen display technology provides the brightest, clearest picture on the television market today. If you enjoy being an early adopter and impresses your friends and neighbors with all the cools technological toys and gadgets you own, then I would suggest you do some research and buy the biggest and best plasma screen television set you can find.