Sunday, February 11, 2007
There's also the problem of cost. While Plasma screens have a much higher upper limit in screen size than LCD screens, they tend to cost a lot more for any given size than LCD screens do, and manufacturers are getting better at producing larger LCD screens. The lower cost of LCD screens combined with the facts that they're getting bigger and that there's an upper limit on the size of a screen that consumers can use and are willing to pay for, all combine to make Plasma screens less cost effective to consumers.
In fact, LCD screens are one of the main causes for the decline in popularity among Plasma screen TV's. Besides the benefits listed above: no hum above six thousand feet, lower cost, increasing size, and a better picture in a wider range of light levels; LCD screens are making other advances that are negating a lot of the advantages that were previously enjoyed by Plasma screens. One problem that has traditionally plagued LCD screens is the fact that because they rely on microscopic crystals to change shape as different voltages are applied to them, any delay in the movement of the crystals can cause blurring on the screen. While this improved drastically with the invention of transparent film transistor displays, it has still been an issue for screens that display extremely fast moving objects. Because Plasma screen displays rely on tiny pockets of gas that glow when an electrical current is applied to them, they can react much more quickly than the crystals in an LCD display and aren't subject to the visible defects that an LCD screen is. Unfortunately for Plasma screens, newer LCD screens have crystals that can react to changes in voltage much more quickly than the older models so that if they produce any blurring at all, it's barely noticeable to the human eye.
What it really comes down to is that despite a recent drop in price, Plasma screen TVs still cost too much compared to LCD screens to remain competitive given the recent advances in LCD screens.
There is also another technology on the horizon that could spell imminent death for the Plasma screen display. This new technology is called Laser TV, and it's based on Digital Light Processing technology, but has a number of advantages. Because the lasers used in a Laser TV screen can focus light more precisely than the mercury lamps used in DLP displays, Laser TV screens can be much thinner with dimensions comparable to Plasma screens and LCD screens. The fact that Laser TVs are lighter and likely to be at least as affordable as Plasma screen TV's may just eliminate the Plasma screen altogether.