Thursday, February 8, 2007


PLASMA: Until recently, Plasma's were the best way to get an affordable flat panel into your home. Around 2003-2004, retailers were pushing EDTV plasmas as HD ready, misinforming consumers. Also most current 42" plasmas are NOT true HD. They fall just short of the 720P resolution. The difference is not noticeable, but again fact is fact. If you wanted a true HD resolution, you used to have to get a 50" plasma to attain 720p. Today in 2007, this has changed. 1080p, 42", 50"+ plasmas are on the market and they look good! At the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, 1080p plasmas and LCD were everywhere. Plasmas have caught up with LCD's in the resolution department, and still maintain their benefits over LCD, but this may not be for too long.


  • Slim
  • wall-mountable design
  • Wider viewing angle than LCD screens and better color consistency
  • Until late 2006, plasma was the best suited and most affordable flat-panel TV's of large sizes, particularly 40" and above.
  • Currently cheaper than LCDs per unit of size at larger sizes.
  • Better contrast ratio than LCD, though LCDs are improving rapidly
  • Faster response time than LCD, though LCDs are improving rapidly
  • Able to achieve darker black than LCD, though LCDs are improving (upcoming Dynamic Backlight Switching and OLED technologies)
  • Contains no mercury, unlike the back light of LCDs .

  • Often heavier than LCD panels.
  • PDPs are fragile, making them difficult to ship and install.
  • Expensive compared to CRT and rear-projection technologies, although currently cheaper than LCDs per unit of size at larger sizes.
  • Older panels were notoriously subject to burn-in. Due to improvements in phosphors, the effect in modern PDPs is largely caused by polarization of the gas particles and can often be reversed by leaving the screen on a "snow" or static channel for an hour. Some home theater aficionados claim that, while burn-in is less likely now than in the past, it is still possible in some circumstances. Many plasma televisions have functions (such as "orbiting", in which the image is periodically moved imperceptibly) to minimize the problem. LCDs are not susceptible to permanent burn-in.
  • The display is brightest during its first 2000 hours. Thereafter, the display gradually dims. LCD backlights exhibit dimming as well, but they are replaceable. A plasma display cannot be recharged since the panel is a fixed pixel device with each pixel etched into the glass substrate. However, as the phosphors in a modern panel have a 60,000 hour half-life, most users will never see a plasma reach the end of its life.
  • At higher elevations, usually 6000 ft (1,800 m) or higher, PDPs exhibit noticeable humming or buzzing.
  • Sufferers of the DLP "rainbow effect" may encounter a similar problem with PDPs in high contrast situations. This typically manifests itself as a green flash during sudden changes from white to black.
  • Noticeable reflection especially when viewed in bright rooms.

Recommendation: The Pioneer Pro-FHD1 is the best plasma consumers can currently buy (as of Feb 2007). It resolves FULL 1080p resolution, has excellent black levels, accurate color replication and a good contrast ratio. The bad part is that it will cost you around $8,000 (down from $10,000 2 months ago) and the omission of HDMI 1.3 may be too much for enthusiasts to deal with given the price. Despite this, it is one of, if not THE best flat panel currently available.