Gas Plasma Displays
overview of plasma displays
technology is a new way to build video and computer monitors.
Essentially plasma units have the brightness and look of a CRT
monitor, but they offer a much larger image and are thin enough
and light enough to hang on any wall. This combination makes them
ideal where lighting conditions would favor a monitor, but audience
size indicates a projector. Like LCD displays, plasma monitors
do not exhibit the distortion and loss of clarity in the corners
inherent to CRTs.
plasma monitors work?
work much like CRT monitors, but instead of using a single CRT
surface coated with phosphors, they use a flat, lightweight surface
covered with a matrix of millions of tiny glass bubbles, each
having a phosphor coating. These phospors are caused to glow in
the correct pattern to create an image. (click
the advantages of plasma?
have several advantages over CRT-based monitors:
and lightweight: at only 4" - 6" thick and about
60-100 lbs., they’re easy to hang on any wall.
bright: less sensitive to ambient light than most LCD
projectors, plasma monitors have the brightness and contrast
of CRT-based sets.
viewing cone: ideal when your room is wide and people
may view the monitor from farther off-axis than normal.
and distortion-free: unaffected by magnetic fields; useful
in many applications where CRT monitors or LCD and CRT projectors
are problematic. Entire image always in perfect focus, not
just in the center, but all the way to the corners.
and feel: plasma somehow looks different--better--than
monitors and projectors alike. It's hard to quantify that
difference, but most people would say they have more depth
and warmth than other types media. They look very, very good.
What are the disadvantages
This new technology
has several disadvantages worth mentioning.
plasma is expensive. For that reason alone, plasma is not
for everyone. But prices are coming down, as they do for most
susceptible to burn-in than CRT monitors. It's not a good
medium on which to display a company logo for two or three
hours at a time. But with the appropriate precautions, and
in some situations a screen saver, you should not expect problems.
restrictions: plasma is subject to the same type of resolution
problems as LCD or DLP projectors. You'll get the best images
when the resolution of your source matches the "true" resolution
of the monitor. But, as with LCD, the monitors will incorporate
compression or expansion circuitry to automatically resize
other resolution sources to match their native resolution,
and most people will be very happy with the result. Still,
if sharpness is critical for your application and you'll be
using a variety of computer sources, you may be better off
with a CRT-based unit.
travel well: plasma is not portable. These monitors weigh
60 - 100 pounds and they don't do well if you drop them. If
you want to travel with a plasma monitor, plan to invest in
a good shipping case.
other rumored "problem" with plasma that turns out not
to be true. It has been said by some that plasma units do not
have a long lifespan. Actually, the estimated life span for plasma
monitors (according to Sony) is about 30,000 hours-- which translates
to approximately 15 years at 8 hours a day, 5 days a week (comparable,
or maybe a bit better, than a CRT-based monitor).
image, courtesy of Fujitsu General America, Inc.