List of Pros and Cons of Plasma TV

Not every flat screen television is a plasma TV. The size or how wide the television is doesn’t really matter here. Back in 1998 or even in the early years of the twenty-first century, one would have been right calling every flat screen television plasma or plasma TV. Today, a flat screen television regardless of its size can be plasma, LCD or LED.

The first flat screen television was developed leading up to the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998. Plasma is what the screens were. Plasma is effectively a cell that has one pixel of resolution. The flat screens in plasma television have rows of plasma cells. Every cell has red, green and blue phosphors. When powered and having a signal or input, the screen will get lit up by the virtue of every plasma cell getting illuminated. In case of LCD or liquid crystal display, the entire display or screen functions as a unit. Plasma works similar to LED where every cell has its own purpose and the whole screen is the collective output of all the cells.

Plasma television was once a rage. Today, it is passé. It is a thing of the past although some companies like NEC, LG, Runco and Samsung still make them. Panasonic is the largest manufacturer of plasma television right now. But these companies too are slowly abandoning the concept. This tells you that there are serious plasma TV pros and cons with perhaps the cons outweighing the pros.

List of Pros of Plasma TV

1. Width of Screens
Plasma TV changed the world because it paved the way for wider and larger screens that were flat. We could do without the curved displays in CRTs. The curved displays were not bad but they were rather inconvenience for those who weren’t sitting absolutely straight in front. Plasma television screens allowed much wider viewing angles. The picture wouldn’t get curved or warped so to speak. One could see the faces of people or whatever was being shown without any distortion. Even today if you were to test an LCD screen and plasma TV, the viewing angles will be much wider and more effective in plasmas. In the best plasmas, you would have to be at exact right angles of the screen to observe substantial loss of color and contrast.

2. Quick Response Time
Plasma cells need not open and close and there is no component that moves physically, both of which are applicable in case of LCD television. Hence, the plasma cells need very little time to react to the input and of course electricity. The images change very rapidly, without any lapse or generation loss. Panasonic plasmas have a response time of only 0.01 ms in the latest models. In comparison, LCD television typically has a response time of 4 ms to 8 ms.

3. Effective Balancing of Black/Contrast Levels
Every plasma cell needs an input to glow. If there is some part of the image that is dark and doesn’t have much of an input for the plasma cell to get illuminated and highlight the particular color and in adequate resolution, then the plasma cell remains the least responsive. This allows the screen to have very rich and natural dark colors or patches. This is helpful because you can get better contrast or black level response. With other screens, there is ambient light and even the natural surface of the screen tends to cast a certain hazy hue which is not what the image has.

4. Uniformly Well Lit
Every plasma cell functions independently. One cell doesn’t cast any kind of impact on another so the entire screen appears to be uniformly well lit. The uniform illumination prevents some parts of the screen appearing brighter or darker than others.

List of Cons of Plasma TV

1. Not Energy Efficient
Plasma television screens need more power than other technologies available today. The energy standards of most countries are becoming more stringent. If you want impeccably energy efficient devices then plasma television would not be on your list of preferred appliances.

2. Poor Balance of Natural Colors
Plasma cells have a problem with finding the right balance of the natural colors. Although many brands have resolved this problem and you may not be able to spot the slight variations, still the issue remains a plaguing problem.

3. Shadows due to Image Retention
Plasma cells tend to suffer from image retention. Any plasma cell or cells that are consistently displaying the same image such as the logos of channels or any specific program information for days, weeks and months will cast a shadow for the specific image or text, lines or just an impression on the screen.

4. Fizzy Images with Brightness Issues
Plasma cells not getting enough electricity will create frizzy images. They may appear odd and there can be skin tones. Plasma television screens have issues with brightness, especially with images that are darker than usual.