Read these 12 Pros and Cons of a Plasma TV Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Plasma TV tips and hundreds of other topics.
Since the operation of a plasma screen television relies on the burning of gasses, the units tend to generate heat. Normally, this heat production causes very few problems. However, if a plasma screen television is left on for an extended period of time, the unit can grow quite hot. In the presence of unusual environmental circumstances, such as temperatures higher than 90 degrees Fahrenheit or high altitude, this high-heat production can be exacerbated. While the heat generated is not enough to run the risk of fire, it is enough to shorten the life of the plasma screen television, and possibly damage some of its electronic components.
As a plasma screen television produces images, it uses electricity to burn xenon and neon gas in order to illuminate phosphors. Because of this, many people believe that the gas will run out over time. The notion of having to “recharge” your plasma screen television is a myth. The amount of gases consumed in normal use is miniscule, and they will last throughout the normal life of the screen.
When buying a plasma screen television, you can be sure that you are purchasing a product that produces the sharpest image possible. Since plasma screen televisions are on the forefront of television technology, there are no other systems that display greater resolution. This is especially true of larger plasma screen televisions. Plasma screen televisions over 50 inches have massive amounts of pixels. The amount is so large that HDTV signals can be displayed at their true size, producing the sharpest pictures on the history of television.
Unlike projectors or CRT televisions, plasma screen television image quality does not suffer in ambient light. No matter how bright a room is the image on a plasma screen television will remain bright and visible. This is due to the uniform brightness quality generated by the plasma screen. Since you don't have to turn the lights off to get a clearer picture, plasma screen televisions are useful not only in the home, but also as displays within public spaces. They are also useful for applications that require well-lit environments, such as classrooms, business meetings, and video conferencing.
Plasma screen televisions are very upgradeable. Since a plasma screen television is essentially a very high quality monitor, it doesn't hold back the rest of your home theatre system. You can upgrade speakers, tuners, receivers, amplifiers, and computer systems without fear of leaving your plasma screen television behind. Additionally, most name brand plasma screen televisions have upgradeable video cards. This means that as display standards change, you can purchase a new card from your manufacturer to take advantage of newer display technologies.
One disadvantage of plasma screen televisions that critics often point out is that the relative life of the television is lower than that of most CRT televisions. With current technology, most plasma screen televisions have between 20,000 and 60,000 hours of viewing time before they need to be replaced. There are two things that temper this information. First, plasma screen technology is new and improving, and newer televisions will have greater operational hours. Second, the tests used to predict the number of hours that a television is operational must be put on to relative terms. After all, 20,000 hours of operation means 4 hours of television each day for almost 14 years.
One of the major advantages of plasma screen televisions is that they are very light and very thin compared to CRT televisions. Unfortunately, they are not the lightest and thinnest televisions on the market today. LCD televisions tend to be both lighter and thinner, making them a better choice for certain installation situations. Plasma screen televisions still have many advantages over LCD televisions, in terms of image quality and brightness. Still, it is important to keep in mind that they are not the lightest and cheapest option.
Plasma screen televisions tend to weigh significantly less than other television displays. This is due primarily to their small size. The lightness of plasma screen televisions allows greater flexibility in their application. They can be easily mounted or placed on any surface. Traditional CRT televisions usually remain stationary, but plasma screen televisions can be easily moved from place to place or swiveled to accommodate a greater range of viewing.
If you leave a plasma screen television on for too long while it is displaying a single image, the television can suffer from “burn in”. Burn in occurs when an image is permanently etched on to the screen of the television, leaving a pale “ghost” of that image no matter what is displayed on screen. This burn in is a major disadvantage of plasma screen televisions, one that isn't shared by LCD televisions. You don't have to worry about burn in if you use your plasma screen television for normal television, DVD, and occasional computer use. Plasma screen televisions that suffer burn in are often found in corporate settings, where a single image, or a single channel with a news ticker, can burn in to the screen.
One major strike against plasma screen televisions is that they are very fragile. Granted, most large, heavy electronic devices are fragile. However, plasma screen televisions, depend on their large plasma screens to operate, and if it is damaged, the entire unit often needs to be replaced. Also, the flat shape of the unit makes it more prone to damage. If it is leaned against a wall or placed on its side for an extended period of time, the unit's picture quality can be permanently altered.
One specific downside of plasma screen televisions occurs only at high altitude. The central component of the television, the screen itself, is a pressurized sandwich of glass and gas. During normal television operation, the gas within expands and contracts as the televisions electrical matrix activates it. This expansion and contraction is very slight, and isn't noticeable at all at normal air pressure. At higher altitude, where the air pressure is lower, the expansion is more noticeable and creates a vibration throughout the screen. This vibration creates a noticeable buzzing sound.
Currently, the greatest disadvantage that plasma screen televisions have is their price. Even the smallest of screens costs at least $2,000. The largest screens may cost as much as $20,000. Some argue that the cost is outweighed by the benefits that plasma screen televisions provide. Still, with advances in technology, prices for plasma screen televisions should decrease over time.