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  • Plasma TVs often form the centerpiece of a home entertainment system, especially large plasma TVs...

    10/05/2011

Plasma TVs


Plasma TVs: Buying Guide

Plasma TVs often form the centerpiece of a home entertainment system, especially large plasma TVs that are 40-inch and above. Although LCD TVs have gained in popularity, HD plasma TVs continue to thrive due to fantastic picture quality and low price. Discover how plasma TVs operate and the pros and cons of buying a plasma TV.

Beginning
Ever since Pioneer and other manufacturers started selling them in 1997, plasma TVs have become ubiquitous in homes where the best visual quality is demanded. Today’s high-definition plasma TVs offer superlative images that can do justice to Blu-ray and other high-definition sources .

Composition
A plasma TV consists of millions of compartmentalized cells between two panels of glass. Each cell is filled with inert gases such as neon and xenon. When a voltage is applied buy electrodes across the cell, the gases form a plasma, emitting light.

Colour schemes
Each pixel in a plasma TV consists of three cells comprising the primary colours of red, green and blue. These colours are created by coating the back of each cell with a phosphor. Different colours can therefore be created by applying the voltage and illuminating the cells.

Screen differences
Plasma TVs are considered to have darker black levels than LCDs as they have a better contrast ratio. However, plasmas TVs are inferior to LED back lit TVs in this regard as the cells of a plasma TV has to pre-charged before illuminating rendering them unable to render a true black, while an LED LCD can have pixels switched off altogether.

Drawbacks of sensitive screens
Plasma TVs can also suffer from screen burn-in damage when the same picture is displayed for a long time on the screen. This can cause the phosphors to overheat, resulting in a permanent ‘shadow image’. Burn-in cannot be repaired and, although many attempts have been made to solve this problem, all plasma manufacturers exclude ‘burn-in’ from their warranties.

Picture quality
While plasma TVs are not as efficient as LCD TVs, they offer superior picture quality with brighter colours, darker blacks and less motion blur due to their high refresh rates and faster response times.

Viewing capacities
They also offer a much wider viewing angle. However, the latest LED LCDs claw back some of that advantage thanks to their superior technology, although they are significantly more expensive.

Cheap plasma TVs are a relatively economical way to enjoy great high-definition pictures, but watch out for extra power consumption.

 
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