Friday, January 27, 2006
Get ready for wide-eyed, jaw-dropping friends to stay a little longer when they visit.
Less than a year ago, a good 42-inch Plasma set would cost around four thousand dollars. Now, you can find many of the same models for a thousand dollars off that price, and some are even dropping below two thousand. Many of the sets are a sleek and svelte 4 inches thick; it‚Äôs a piece of art in your living room, even when turned off.
Behind the screen of a plasma TV, there is new and impressive technology at work. The full color flat-panel plasma displays use phosphors to display the picture. Phosphors are materials that emit light when then are excited by energy. There are hundreds of thousands of pixels and they are changing thousand of time per-second.
There are Plasma HDTV‚Äôs and EDTV‚ÄôS and you should know that the difference between HDTV and EDTV is quality. EDTV is better than the old CRT (Cathode ray tube) sets, but it is not HDTV and you will therefore pay less for EDTV. I recommend it if you want the best possible TV experience but aren‚Äôt ready to plunk down three thousand for 40 plus inch set.
The longevity of Plasma televisions has been an issue. The do have finite lifespans, but manufacturers have made the problem almost non-existent. Samsung boasts that their Samsung 50 inch Plasma TV/HDTV/PC Monitor has a life of 60,000 hours and that calculates to a lifespan of 27 years at 6 hours of use a day. Or well over 10 years of life using it over 12 hours a day‚Ä¶ By then, this same set will probably cost a few hundred bucks, or even be obsolete, so longevity is becoming less of an issue.
The new pixel-orbiting technologies have greatly reduced the ‚Äúburn in‚Äù problem: the tendency for stock tickers or other static images to leave a lasting impression on the screen. The excessive heat created by some of the earlier TV‚Äôs is for the most part, solved and the noise (from the fans trying to move the heat away) problems are quickly becoming history. One reviewer remarked of one set, that even one foot away from the screen they could not hear the TV making any extraneous noises. The other criticism of plasma technology was that it couldn‚Äôt produce deep black tones. While DLP and even regular direct-view sets are said to be better than plasma in this area, recent enhancements have taken care of this problem.