A plasma display is a computer video display in which each pixel on the screen is illuminated by a tiny bit of plasma or charged gas, somewhat like a tiny neon light. Plasma displays are thinner than cathode ray tube ( CRT ) displays and brighter than liquid crystal displays ( LCD ). Plasma displays are sometimes marketed as "thin-panel" displays and can be used to display either analog video signals or display modes digital computer input.
In addition to the advantage of slimness, a plasma display is flat rather than slightly curved as a CRT display is and therefore free of distortion on the edges of the screen. Unlike many LCD displays, a plasma display offers a very wide viewing angle. Plasma displays come in conventional PC displays sizes and also in sizes up to 60 inches for home theater and high definition television .
IBM built a monochrome plasma display in the 1980s that displayed orange letters against a black screen. Today's displays contain a grid of cells in which gas reacts with phosphors in varying degrees in red, green, or blue subpixels, making it possible to produce over 16 million different colors.