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plasma TV

Plasma TV is a television display technology in which each pixel on the screen is illuminated by a tiny bit of plasma (charged gas). The plasma is encased between two thin sheets of glass.

Plasma displays are generally considered to offer better dark-room viewing and wider viewing angles than LCD. Plasma TVs are available in sizes from 37 inches to over 100 inches, measured diagonally. Plasma can be vulnerable to burn-in, a phenomenon in which faint, permanent "ghosts" appear on displays that have maintained a fixed image for long periods of time. Examples of such images include the bars seen when watching 4:3 video on a widescreen display or the constantly running ticker seen on some shows or channels. Most newer models have burn-in prevention features, but these may not always be 100% effective. However, some plasma TVs also have the ability to remove burn-in should it occur.

Vendors of plasma TVs include Fujitsu, Funai, Gradiente, Lanix, LG, Panasonic, Proscan, Samsung and Sanyo.

Pros: Wide viewing angles. The black-level performance (the intensity of black in the display) compensates for ambient light and sharpens the picture. Excellent picture quality in higher-end models. Not as bulky as rear projection TVs. Wall-mountable. High refresh rate means that the picture is smoother and there is no motion blur. Burn-in is possible but not usually a problem with newer models.

Cons: Consume significantly more power than LCD TV of similar size. Slightly heavier than LCD. Glass screen can reflect light unless treated to be less reflective.

This was last updated in December 2010

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