Plasma Television was once called by one of its early developers as a “solution looking for a problem.” When the first plasma monitor was developed in 1964, its purpose was to provide a bigger computer monitor. The real advantage of the plasma fired display over the Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) type display was that it seemed that the monitor could be of increased height and width without a corresponding increase in depth. When a CRT screen is enlarged in size, the cathode ray tube must enlarge also. Eliminating the cathode ray tube would allow unlimited expansion of the screen size.
There was not a big demand for large screens at this time. Computer monitors that could fit easily on a desk top in limited space was one thing, but the leap to in-home large screen televisions was a completely different matter. The early attempts to enlarge televisions were rear projection type units that were both expensive, and did not deliver a very clear picture either, and were viewed mostly by the public as rather impractical showpieces of the rich. At this time, large plasma screens were being used in places where they could be mounted on walls, like the screens at the stock market, or in the lobbies of hotels.
Over the years this trend has changed. First, it was proven that the plasma displays were capable of improved image reproduction. Advances in the technology, such as progressive scanning, produced pictures that were vastly superior to what the normal CRT screens could show. The improvement in contrast ratio, and the lack of image distortion when viewed at angles all created the idea in the mind of the consumer that plasma was the future of Television. The move to analog signals, and the increase in the use of High Definition increased plasma’s popularity.
The increase in picture quality, the thin profile of the plasma display, and the ability to maintain quality at larger screen sizes all came together to create today’s current demand for what is commonly called Home Theater. At first, Plasma was the undisputed leader, but recent improvements in LCD units, and the introduction, and massive publicity attached to the newer DLP units have cut into the Plasma lead. Screen sizes continue to increase as the price continues to come down, and the future of Home Theater High Definition Television seems unlimited. It is fairly certain that Plasma will continue to improve and evolve.
Link to Part 1 of this article. Plasma History Part 1
November 12th, 2006 by Plasma Man
One Response to “The History of Plasma Television (Part 2)”
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