Monday, October 29, 2007

What Are Plasma Televisions?

What are Plasma televisions?

Televisions previous to the Plasma TV explosion used the (CRT) cathode ray tube to give users the ability to watch television. CRT televisions works by shooting out a beam of negative charged particles called electrons into a large glass tube. These negative electrons

For the past 75 years, the vast majority of televisions have been built around the same technology, the cathode ray tube (CRT). In a CRT television, a gun fires a beam of electrons (negatively-charged particles) inside a large glass tube. The electrons illuminate phosphor atoms inside the tube (screen), this allows the TV picture to be produced by illuminating different areas of the phosphor coating, this is what gives you the CRT television.

Now welcome to the new face of television, Plasma TV. Plasma has taken the home theater market by storm because of their amazing picture quality and very thin design. The idea of plasma display panels began in 1964 at the University of Illinois. The first displays were very primitive using only points of light created in the laboratory. As time went on digital processing, and other technology, made vivid plasma displays a reality.

Plasma televisions use a much different type of technology thatn CRT models, they use something called pixels. Using a video signal the pixels on the flat screen light up with a high-energy beam of electrons that are separated into the 3 primary colors, red, green and blue. From the illuminated fluorescent lights pixels you get the full color spectrum that produces a full range of colors that give you the image on the screen. Each pixel on the screen has three fluorescent lights in it, a green, red and a blue fluorescent light. Each fluorescent light in the pixel can produce 16 million colors, giving you amazing colors and overall picture quality that you can't finder in regular CRT televisions.

Another feature that you can't find in CRT TVs is the widescreen design found on Plasma televisions. The (16:9) aspect ratio is the same dimensions used in movie theaters. This feature gives Plasma flat screen high definition television models a cinematic feel, that is great for watching feature films, concerts, Monday Night Football or anything else you can imagine.

And unlike conventional television models, there are no scan lines on plasma televisions, so the picture is much sharper. The viewing angle is far superior than CRT, there is 170 degree viewing angle so you can basically watch the TV from any area in the room. As I mentioned before Plasma Tvs are very thin, only 3.3 inches in width. This makes them perfect for hanging on your wall, freeing up space in your home. Just like a picture frame, you can now hang your television on your wall!

So who manufacturers these thin TV displays? You can choose from numerous brand names which I'm sure you are familiar with such as, Sony, Sharp, Hitachi and Samsung to name a few. Plasma isn't the only technology available if you are a HDTV buff, you should also check out LCD televisions and rear projection TVs.

And if you want to find a cheap plasma TV, check out the discount deals available through internet, particularly and Those 2 online merchants are trusted and can offer not only new, but used and refurbished models for even bigger savings.

Chris Vorelli is a successful writer with info plasma tv reviews . Find information on Sony plasma TV, Pioneer, Samsung plasma TV models and more. Find reviews on models such as the Pioneer pdp-4350hd, and the Panasonic th-50phd8uk.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Plasma Television or an LCD TV Set Which is better

A Plasma HDTV or a LCD Television Is this your dilemma? This is a rather difficult and complicated comparison between two technologies that process the image in a totally different manner.

This article highlights the pros and cons of plasma versus LCD as applicable to a television display. It also presents a set of guidelines to help you determine where either of these two flat panel display technologies fit best.

Plasma or LCD Which type of display is right for you?

Though both LCD and plasma displays come in the form of slim flat panel displays, yet from a technology perspective, these two flat panel displays process the image in a totally different manner.

Plasma uses a matrix of tiny gas plasma cells that are charged by precise electrical voltages to emit light and hence to create the picture image. Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) panels - work by trapping a liquid crystal solution between two sheets of polarized glass. When an electric current is passed through the liquid crystals, they change the polarization of the light passing through them in response to the electric voltage as a result of which, more or less light is able to pass through the polarized glass on the face of the display.

It is not the scope of this article to go into the actual details of how these different display technologies process the image after all, what really matters is not what is going behind the screen but rather how these different display technologies perform as a television screen. At the same time, it is worth taking note that it is these same differences that gives each of these display technologies, its strengths and weaknesses, and that therefore renders one more suitable than the other in certain circumstances.

The list below highlights the most important differences between these two flat panel display technologies:

Size: For the time being, collision between plasma television and LCD TV occur in the 40 to 50 inch screen range. In reality, LCD TVs top out at around 45 meaning that for bigger screen sizes, a plasma display is your only real option if what you are after is a direct-view TV system. On the other hand, at the smaller end of spectrum, namely 15 to 36 TVs, LCD is the way to go if what you want is something stylish and slim (at under 4-inches in depth).

Picture Quality, Contrast and Color Saturation: Both plasma and the latest TFT-LCD flat panel displays are capable of producing excellent picture quality with bright, crisp clear images.

However, plasma flat panel displays are more suitable for basic home theater usage than LCD. The gas cell structure within a plasma display is such that there is no light leaking between adjacent cells (or pixels). This renders plasma displays capable of displaying deeper blacks hence better contrast and detail in television and movie scenes where lots of dark and light content is shown simultaneously.

In comparison, the nature of LCD technology where a backlight shines through the LCD layer means that it is hard for it to achieve true blacks (i.e. true absence of light) as there is always some light leakage from adjacent pixels.

This does not mean that LCD panel s are not suitable as TV screens; todays LCD TV sets make use of extreme high contrast panels that are capable of displaying deeper blacks, yet the latest plasma TV sets still have a slight edge over LCD when it comes to contrast levels.

The situation is somewhat similar when it comes to color saturation. Again, it is the different display structure between LCD and plasma that is the reason behind the difference between the two technologies in this respect, and though both are capable of handling color in an exceptional manner, yet plasma displays still lead in this respect - producing more accurate and vibrant colors.

Plasma Television sets like their CRT TV counterpart - typically have better viewing angles than LCD. The viewing angle represents how far one can sit on either side of the screen away from the center, without experiencing significant deterioration in picture quality mainly as a result of color shifts and reduced contrast.

Though recent developments in LCD technology means that this is less of an issue with some of the latest LCD TV sets boosting a viewing angle of 160 to 170 degrees vertically and horizontally, yet it is always best to check. The tendency especially with cheaper sets is that the deterioration in picture quality is more accentuated with LCD than with plasma displays.

Burn-In: As with all phosphor-based displays, plasma displays are prone to burn-in, or image retention. Screen burn-in occurs when an image is left for too long on the screen resulting in a ghost of the image burned on the screen. Surely, keeping the brightness and contrast levels down will help reduce the risk of burn-in.

While some brands of plasma displays are more prone than others to burn-in, yet in general, plasma screens are more prone to suffer permanent burn-in during their first 200 hours of use; the reason being that fresh phosphors burn more intensely as they are ignited.

Technically speaking, burn-in is the result of a damaged pixel, whose phosphors has been prematurely aged and therefore glows less intensely than those of surrounding pixels. The presence of a static image for more than half-an-hour is enough to cause temporary burn-in; temporary burn-in or image ghosting, should not be cause for alarm as normally this will wash out after several hours of use.

Worst still is the prolonged presentation of static displays, such as the use of black or gray bars to view a 4:3 picture in its original format on a wide screen display; this will result in a permanent burn-in. Once permanent burn-in occurs, the damaged phosphors cannot produce the same levels of light output as the other phosphors around them do.
In these circumstances, an LCD display may be a better choice.

Viewing distance:
It seems that the pixel size and shape of an LCD panel renders a smoother picture than an equivalently sized plasma panel for the same pixel count.

This means that even if your viewing distance falls within the recommended distance of approximately twice the screen width, if this is less than at least nine feet, most probably you will be better off with an LCD TV.

Life-time: The rare gases used in plasma display panels have a life and will fade over use. Earlier plasma TV sets had a quoted half-lifetime of between 20,000hrs, following which the image brightness will fall to half its original value. However, the latest plasma displays can boost anything between 30,000 and 60,000 hours. On the other hand, LCD displays have a guaranteed lifetime of between 50,000hrs and 60,000 hours. This degradation in image brightness takes place gradually over time.

Now, the average household in the US replaces their TV set every 7 years. Taking a conservative figure of 30,000 hours for either technology, this corresponds to well over 6hrs usage a day - every day - for over a period of 14 years! In other words, both plasma and LCD displays are extremely stable and reliable devices. This means that life-time should not be an issue with either display technology.

At the same time, keep in mind that there is no way to re-generate the gases in a plasma display or to repair any dead pixels in an LCD display the only option in such circumstances will be to replace the display.

Response: Some LCD panels especially on older generation models - had a tendency to blur images particularly during fast moving scenes in movies and sports. However, recent advancement in LCD technology means that response times are such that there is no noticeable difference in performance between LCD and plasma TV sets in this regard.

Power requirements: The advantage here goes to LCD panels as these consume less electricity. Estimates show that the use of LCD panels can result in some 30% power savings for the same screen size than plasma display.

Price: Price is always a big issue when it comes to choosing your TV display. Although prices online vary considerably, yet LCD TV sets tend to be more expensive than Plasma Televisions. The main reason behind this price gap is that the production process for plasma technology still supports a better yield and thus carries a pricing advantage especially at the large screen end of the market.

This contrasts heavily with LCD display technology where an estimate 30 to 40 per cent of all manufactured panels will have to be discarded as a result of defects leading to what are known as 'bad-pixels'.

Making the Choice:

There is a market for both plasma and LCD displays - Plasma gives you a bigger screen for your dollar, deeper blacks, but then LCD do not suffer from burn-in and at the smaller end of the market (less than 40-inch screen size), LCD is your only way forward if you want something slim and stylish.

It is all a question of knowing what are the advantages and limitations of each with respect to your specific needs.

Editor & publisher of - a comprehensive home theater guide to home theater systems, product reviews and home theater design.
This article is an excerpt from a series of guides appearing under the Plasma Television section of the site.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

How Do Plasma Televisions Work?

Plasma TVs have been one of the most popular home entertainment solutions on the market for several years. They offer outstanding resolution and a quality picture and are usually capable of displaying HDTV signals, allowing you to watch all of your favourite HDTV programs. Compared to rear projection TVs, plasma technology offers some of the best viewing angles- no need to fight over the best seat anymore- and offer uniform screen brightness.

But how does plasma technology work? It's pretty simple. Some form of inert gas- say Xenon, for example, is inserted between two plates, which are held together, between which are over two million pixels, capable of producing a mind-boggling array of colors. The gas is then energized by a charge which turns it into a viscous substance, creating an ultraviolet light, which allows each pixel to display the appropriate color. Unlike rear-projection TVs, each pixel in a plasma display contains red, blue, and green phosphors, there is no need for a cathode-ray tube. In traditional TVs, the cathode-ray tube, or CRT, fires electrodes to the screen, where they excite phosphor atoms causing them to light up, thus creating a picture. The CRT is bulky and is responsible for the box-shape of traditional televisions. For example, if you want to increase the size of the screen in a CRT, you must also create a larger cathode-ray tube, therefore making the whole TV that much bigger- and bulky.

One drawback to plasma technology is the inability to recharge each individual pixel. Each pixel is an independently sealed entity, as is the plasma display panel and the gas, so if a pixel, or a group of pixels, fail or darken, the entire panel unit must be replaced.

Fortunately, however, you can expect your plasma display to last at least 60,000 hours of playing time, before the pixels begin to darken. So, in layman's terms, if you watch your TV for four hours a day, you can expect the panel to last around eighteen years.

Plasma technology has greatly increased the quality of home entertainment, ushering in a new era of television technology.

Tom Ace is the founder of Plasma tv Resources a website providing information on plasma televisions.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Wholesale Plasma Television Guide

You've finally made the decision to purchase that wholesale plasma television that you have been dreaming of, but you don't want to spend a lot of money. What do you do? Here's a simple, straightforward guide to buying your plasma television at wholesale prices.

There are many advantages to owning a wholesale plasma television. They have great resolution and incredible colour definition. You can finally enjoy that big game or your favourite film on a larger than life screen. But buying one costs a fortune, right. It doesn't have to, if you know the right places- and when- to shop. The first thing that you should do is to check out your local chain television stores, like Best Buys or Circuit City, and see what their prices are. If they are too high for your budget, you might want to sign up to receive their sales fliers, so that you know when they will be on sale.

If you don't want to wait for a sale price to purchase your plasma television, you could check to see if there are any outlet stores in your area. Before you say that you don't want to purchase a refurb- wait. Yes, many outlet stores stock home entertainment equipment which has been returned and repaired, before making its way to the sales floor once more. However, many name brand shops also maintain outlet stores that sell 'dented and scratched' models, at unbelievably low wholesale prices. You can sometimes find great plasma TVs for up to 75% off and they come with a money back guarantee, so you can be sure that if it doesn't meet your standards, you can get your money back.

However, if a 'dented and scratched' model is not for you, try getting some price comparisons online. There are many reputable sites that offer wholesale plasma television comparisons for plasma televisions, like Nextag and Just type the make and model into the search engine on their sites, and you will see a side by side comparisons of prices.

All you have to do is decide which one you want!

Tom Ace is the founder of Plasma tv Resources a website providing information on plasma televisions

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

How to buy a plasma television set

Most people think that all you have to do to purchase a new plasma television set is to walk into a shop, look around, and purchase the first set that catches your attention. This is how you're supposed to do it, right? Wrong! Buying a television, whether it has a plasma monitor or a LCD monitor, takes careful planning.

The first step in finding your dream plasma television set is to measure the space where you plan to put it. This will help you to decide which size set to buy and will also help to guide your budget. Remember to measure your car, too- there's nothing more frustrating than picking out and purchasing that perfect plasma television set, if you can't fit it into the car to get it home!

If you're going to splash out and completely redecorate your home entertainment room, you should think about contacting a home installer, to get some tips and ideas before contracting the work. Remember to take into consideration things which might affect your view of the TV, such as lighting, windows, and other parts of the room which could possibly cause a reflection or obstruction of the display.

Once you've thought about where you're going to put your new plasma television set- and how you're going to get it home- you now need to think about what sort accessories you'll need. Will you be using it in conjunction with your camcorder? Will you need to purchase a set of external speakers, or will you be hooking the television set up to your stereo? If so, remember to check that the monitor or set has an AV-hook up. Having the hook up in the front of the TV will make it more convenient to attach your camcorder or gaming system.

Finally, you should consider the television set's overall picture quality and ease of use. Take the time to sit and watch the set in the store, to get an idea of how you'll feel watching it at home.

With a little preparation, you'll find the plasma TV set that is just right for you and your home.

Tom Ace is the founder of Plasma tv Resources a website providing information on plasma televisions.

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Friday, October 5, 2007

Why You Should Buy A Plasma Television

The plasma television has many advantages and benefits for you and your entertainment needs and wants. The plasma tv gives you incredible picture quality, it has a sleek design, and it is HDTV compatible.

Plasmas provide sharper images and more vibrant colors. You can display both HDTV and DTV signals as well as computer signals such as XGA, SVGA, and VGA.

Plasmas Superior to Both CRT's and LCD

Plasma screen televisions provide sharp, clear pictures, plus no image distortion. CRTs can't match this. Plasma tvs have brighter pictures and provide a better viewing angle at 160 degrees, than LCDs. For the best technology in display panels, choose plasma technology.

High Resolution

Plasma display televisions have higher resolution than most standard TV sets. They are able to display full HDTV and DTV signals as well as XGA, SVGA, and VGA signals from a computer. If a plasma has a resolution of 1024x1024 it can display images from 1080i and 720i HDTV resolution, plus 480i and 480p HD signals.

Flat Screen

Plasma display televisions have screens that are completely flat. There is no distortion of the image even at the edges and corners. Plus to increase your viewing fun, the flat plasma screen tv provides an amazing 160-degree viewing area.

Ultra Thin Design Saves Space

Plasma televisions can hang on almost any wall. You can even hang them from your ceiling. Other advantages of plasma screen tvs are high ambient light tolerance, distortion free images, entirely digital techology, not affected by magnetism, and can be attached to a ceiling or wall, or used as a freestanding fixture.

Jeremy Hier Find out about the top plasma televisions by reading our reviews at

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