When the term "plasma" was used exclusively in scientific circles. Today this word is used much more often, because "plasma" is called a large flat panel display, whose principle of action is based precisely on this physical process.
Since their introduction on the market, such TVs have immediately attracted interest. If conventional devices were only matched to a screen size of 32 inches, then plasma immediately made a request for 42.
Even users far from physics were attracted by the small thickness of the case of such TVs and their large dimensions. This is what allowed plasmas to take a stable place in the market.
In conventional TVs, the image is drawn line by line by 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 coverage and the peculiarities of our vision.
However, the eye manages to notice the uneven glow of the screen or flickering. In the case of plasma, each point or cell is an independently luminous element, representing a microkinescope.
The outer part at such a point is also covered with the same phosphor. And it is not the electron beam that makes it glow, but the plasma discharge in the gas and the ultraviolet light emitted at the same time.
Let the cells not glow at the same time, but such an algorithm is chosen in which the flickering will be invisible. The complexity of the technology explains why there are so few plasma manufacturers in the world and the initially high price of such devices.
Today, LCD TVs (or LCDs) are becoming more widespread on the market, which have noticeably shaken the position of plasmas, and many myths around plasma panels have contributed to this.
Plasma panels require maintenance or complete replacement every few years. This myth was born from the fact that many people have a poor idea of how the panel works. As in the case of a car, many people use it, but they have little idea of what is inside. This gap is exploited by unscrupulous buyers who insist on purchasing an additional warranty. The calculation is simple - if the buyer has already paid a fairly large amount for the panel, then he will probably be able to spend several hundred dollars for an additional service that protects the purchase. In the case of an expensive purchase, a guarantee against mechanical damage may be reasonable, but most sellers simply take advantage of buyers' fears by selling "additional" guarantees. There is another trick to be told. Sellers often assure that there are ionized gases inside the plasma, which need to be replenished periodically. This statement is false. It is not possible to change the phosphor after every 3000 hours of viewing. And who will agree to do this, because you have to change the entire glass display? Any manufacturer will tell you that replacing the entire plasma panel will be much easier and cheaper than just one screen.
It is better to choose a high definition (HD) plasma display than an enhanced definition (ED) display. This statement is incorrect, most likely it came about thanks to manufacturers who are profitable to promote their more expensive high-resolution products. Sellers are also interested in this by replicating this myth. The HD panel is indeed more expensive than the ED. The reason is that the resolution is achieved by increasing the number of pixels. More pixels - more cost. However, often, even visually, you can determine that such a waste is unnecessary. Marking does not mean that other parameters responsible for the picture quality - contrast, transcoding and interpolation - will be better for this device. Usually, the picture quality of both ED and HD panels depends directly on the build quality. So it turns out that a good ED panel from a quality manufacturer will give a better image than an HD panel from an unknown brand. Do not forget that the quality of the input signal also has a direct impact on the image. Standard video on high definition panels will not produce a better picture than on high definition panels. When purchasing an HD panel, consider how often you plan to watch HD video when receiving high definition signals. If the panel is planned to be used also for working with computer graphics, then HD panels will be the ideal choice, displaying the maximum number of pixels. In the case of working with DVD, cable or satellite TV, it is quite possible to be content with an ED panel.
Plasma panels are extremely short-lived. This myth is the most persistent about this technique. Meanwhile, it is impossible to name with certainty the exact service life of a particular plasma panel. It is safe to say that usually the service life is at least 10 years. To calculate the effective life of the plasma, the period for which its brightness decreases by half from the moment of the start of operation is calculated. Manufacturers suggest measuring the effective lifespan until the image becomes so dim that it will cause noticeable distortion in picture quality. Then the panel will need to be replaced. Today, on most plasma panels, manufacturers define this period at 30 thousand hours, which is 10 years, subject to 8 hours of TV viewing every day. The most advanced models have a resource of 100 thousand hours, which is almost twice the life of LCD TVs. Isn't that durability? And the mechanical protection of the surface of the plasma panel is much stronger than that of the liquid crystal panel. After all, heavy-duty glass is more reliable than film. Therefore, in the case of a plasma panel, you should not be afraid that a child will damage the screen by throwing a toy or a remote control at it. And glass care is much easier - just wipe it with a soft cloth.
Buying a good plasma panel is an extremely expensive undertaking. This myth contains two false statements at once. Regarding prices, it is worth noting that in the mid-90s, prices for plasma panels were indeed measured in thousands of dollars, with essentially no upper limit. However, a lot has changed since then. The improvement of the production process became possible due to the increased demand, much more suitable products began to be released, which led to a decrease in prices to an already acceptable level. A large panel with better characteristics can be purchased for only a fraction of the amount that had to be paid recently for such a device. This is also explained by the fact that today 90% of the panels coming off the assembly line are suitable for sale. In 1999, this figure was 50%, and at the beginning of 90% - 20%. Today in the US, only 1% of Japanese plasma panels have any defects. However, the recent drop in plasma prices does not mean that prices will continue to decline rapidly in the future. The fall in prices is projected to become more moderate, in line with the decline in overall value. Is it worth waiting six months or a year to save a couple hundred dollars? In addition, old models are being replaced by new, improved ones, respectively, in the interests of manufacturers to maintain a certain price level. In general, by 2007, the percentage of defects in plasma panels, despite their high production, was quite low, less than 1%. So today such products are the most affordable and reliable for the average buyer.
Plasma displays are instantly tuned to their best. It should be understood that many manufacturers of household appliances put such settings in their products by default in order to compensate for the overabundance of illumination, which is observed in stores selling household appliances. In most apartments, however, the environment is completely different, so it is worth checking a number of factory settings and choosing the ones that are most suitable for your environment. There are even special video discs with texts that allow you to make manual adjustments as efficiently as possible. It is recommended to use a set from Joe Kane Productions, which allows you to go through the entire procedure step by step, while explaining all the questions that arise. A properly calibrated technique will produce an image with deeper blacks and natural colors.
Installing your own plasma panel is pretty easy. The love of plasma was fueled by Philips' advertising campaign with the slogan "Change your life for the better". They used just such products, and from there came the stereotype about their easy installation. Meanwhile, in this matter, it is better to trust the professionals, since the collapse of a poorly installed structure, led by expensive equipment, is fraught with significant financial losses. Remember, the miser pays twice! And the significant dimensions of the panels entail weight. Will it be easy to hang a bulky TV weighing 50-70 kilograms on the wall yourself?
Plasma panels emit 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 emit some ultraviolet radiation, but it extends as much as 3 centimeters from the screen. How many people watch TV at this distance? The pixels in the plasma are illuminated, and the radiation is contained within them. In contrast, CRT televisions use an electron gun to fire electrons on the screen to cause the phosphor 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 either case, you should not worry - CRT TVs, like plasma TVs, comply with the television radiation standard adopted in the United States in 1969.
Plasma panels burn out very quickly. Burnout or retention of the image is the result of damage to pixels in which the phosphor has aged earlier than usual. Such dots glow less brightly than those around them. The damaged pixel "remembered" the color information that it constantly received, which made it constantly burn in one color. In practice, such color information can also get into the glass of the screen, if the image is constantly held, then this will happen. If the phosphor is damaged, the pixels can no longer work in the previous mode. Burnout usually occurs in places where the image is static - the logo of channels, within the framework of Internet programs. As a result, the burnout of plasma panels should not be a worrying reason for users. After all, due attention will avoid such problems with plasma panels. Only temporary tarnishing is possible, which is not a serious problem. And manufacturers are increasingly introducing burnout protection mechanisms into plasma. Ultimately, the source of the problem is consumer inattention to what and for how long a TV of this class is shown.
A plasma panel is an unusually fragile thing. Sellers often warn about the fragility of the panels and the need to handle them carefully. While this sounds fair, don't be intimidated by it. Any thing can be broken, if only as a result of careless handling. In the case of plasma, it easily moves between borders without any problems. If such screens were fragile, how would it be possible to transport them around the world? The panel can also be put on the floor, but it is not worth transporting it in this form.
Plasma TVs consume a lot of electricity. Once upon a time, the level of luminescence of pixels on the screen directly depended on the strength of the current supplied 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 so much ultraviolet radiation, due to the use of a more advanced gas "ignition" system, the brightness of the pixels with the same amount of energy has at least doubled. Accordingly, the energy consumption has been significantly reduced. As a result, the electricity consumption of the latest plasma models is already lower than that of LCD TVs of the same diagonal. Manufacturers equip models with a light control mode, with a small amount of light, the device itself adapts to the environment, reducing power consumption.
Plasma can be viewed only in dim light. This myth arose from the fact that in daylight, the image on an LCD TV will always be brighter. But this is just a feature of the technology, because in an LCD device a lamp glows behind the screen, and in a plasma device - the pixels themselves. The first plasma models did noticeably differ for the worse in terms of brightness and contrast in a lit room. However, modern models of such panels already have a noticeably higher static contrast. If earlier the figure of 2000: 1 was considered a record, today 30,000: 1 is the norm. By itself, the contrast already increases the brightness of the screen even in daylight. Moreover, manufacturers are constantly improving technologies for the transmission of shades and light transitions, in addition, special anti-reflective filters are used.
Plasma TVs are environmentally harmful. In the production of devices of the first generations, such heavy metals as mercury and lead were used. This was a problem, although the weight fraction of these metals in conventional CRT TVs significantly exceeded those of plasmas. And in LCD TVs, mercury is used in backlights. However, manufacturers today are increasingly abandoning the use of lead and mercury in plasma TVs. Ditching metals only at Panasonic has reduced the annual industrial use of lead by 280 tons.
Plasma TVs are yesterday. This myth is a consequence of the significant growth in LCD TV sales and the refusal of some companies to produce plasma at all. However, today we are witnessing a new stage in the evolution of plasma panel technology. It is a TV of this class that has unique advantages. And 480 Hertz technology, which guarantees unsurpassed clarity and smoothness of images in dynamic scenes, and ultra-thin profiles of the devices. The crown of the creation of the manufacturers was a 150-inch TV with dimensions of 4 by 2 meters.
Plasma TVs are noisy and hot. This statement concerns the noise from cooling fans trying to lower the plasma temperature. Previously, such TVs had up to five fans, but still it was impossible to touch the back of the plasma with your hand. However, the use of new technologies has made it possible to significantly reduce the heating of TVs, which means that they can switch to fanless cooling systems. As a result, the noise does not exceed that of conventional TVs, and the operating temperature is within the acceptable range of 30-40 ° C.