NOTE: I already know that Plasma TVs have been discontinued from the consumer market since 2015, this post is for archival purposes.
Plasma TVs are type of flat panel TVs based on flourescent technology. The tech is simple to understand, each glowing dot on your TV screen is a tiny fluorescent bulb containing burning gas and there are millions. The gas used is usually xenon or neon.
Plasma TVs are not without their issues anyway. Forget the fact that they are usually brighter than LED and LCD types, let’s find out why smart buyers aren’t buying them anymore and why smart TV companies don’t use the technology anymore.
1. SCREEN REFLECTION:
Flatscreen TVs have this annoying way of reflecting things in your room, including whatever that is sitting directly opposite the screen. But for plasma screens, it is even more annoying. The situation can be frustrating when there is a light source or an open window behind you. And even more irritating when the screen is filled with dark images. Things could brighten up if the scene is brightly coloured. Some people may just see the annoyingly reflection of themselves on the TV, a few others might be able to manage it. It is your choice. But there is a solution though: Try closing up your curtains and blinds to cut down on the reflection.
Plasma screens are known to consume more power than other flat screen types, and in a peculiar way too. It’s power consumption depends largely on the kind of image shown on the screen. Brighter scenes consume more power than darker scenes. So if you watch a lot of horror movies filled with scenes of the night, then your electricity bill may not be too high.
3. BURN OUT
Screen burnout. Oh! I can manage others, but this is the main reason plasma TVs will not rule the market anytime soon. Screen burnout is phenomenon that affects plasma screens a lot. Your screen tends to retain an image permanently. Normally, when you turn off your screen, a ghostly ‘left-over’ of the last image viewed may show on your screen. This should go away with time. But in extreme cases, this problem could be permanent and the only solution is to change the screen. Even when you turn on the screen, and you’re showing another image, this same burnout image will still leave its evil trail.
Plasma screen burnouts or burn-in usually happens when you leave a static image showing on your screen for a long time(an hour is enough to wreck your screen). Maybe an image from a paused movie. Or a particular logo/sign that is displayed by your favourite TV channel at the same point.
Well… Except you won’t be too careless, you might not run into such issues.
As a general guideline:
- Keep brightness and contrast around 50%. Avoid dynamic, auto, ultra bright or vivid settings.
- Don’t keep static images for longer than 1 hour
- If a channel has static logos, change the channel now and again (but advert breaks may do this for you as the the logos will disappear for a few minutes).
- Use a screen saver when using the screen as a computer monitor.
4. HEAVIER THAN NORMAL
Plasma screens generally do have a weight problem. Maybe due to the fluorescent tubes, but it is surprising that a plasma TV weighs almost twice a LED screen and about 1.5 times heavier than an LCD screen. Shouldn’t be a problem, but I wouldn’t like you to be caught unawares when you’re mounting the stuff on a wall.
Some people claim Plasma TV sets don’t last long… That’s totally not true. Plasma TVs have a life span of about 60,000+ hours. Meaning that if you watch your TV for 10 hours daily. It will last for well over 20 years. And even at that it will still be watchable. The life span is simply the time it takes to lose half of its brightness. I don’t know about you, but by then, I would be ready to move ahead to a newer model.
So, that’s it! Plasma TVs are surely cool. So cool, you would be stunned by the high definition and super quality. But, meehn! I’ve used one before, I have experienced the inconvenience of burnout first hand, I don’t intend to buy another one again. Not until the technology receives a major shakover. So my advice is: think and buy wisely!
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