is a very new one. Therelease of these flat paneled televisions began around 1996. There isnt yet a companywho has come out with a display panel with the contrast and/or color quality of theregular CRT displays. PDPs are hoped to obtain this quality through more advancedresearch, to allow them to lower prices and have them hang on the walls of all homes.This would eliminate the need for TV stands and the extremely heavy, large screenCRT TVs, thus also cutting down on shipping charges for mail order.

PDPs have asomewhat similar function to that of the CRT with the process of exciting Phosphors,to glow and produce an image.Plasma Displays are very unique machines. They combine the large screen of aretro projection monitor, the pixel structure of an LCD panel, and the color-generationsystem of a conventional, CRT-equipped television. Each individual pixel in a plasmadisplay contains red, green, and blue phosphors, along with a series of electrodes. Thestructure somewhat resembles that of a light-emitting diode (LED). (Putman )When voltage is applied to one of the three terminals in an individual pixel, itdischarges through the pixel to a second electrode, ionizing a rare gas (plasma) in theprocess.

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This ionization creates ultraviolet light, which in turn strikes a red, green, orblue phosphor and causes it to glow. Depending on the level of voltage applied and theduration of the charge/discharge cycle, the phosphor will either glow dimly or brightly.(Putman )In theory, each color has 256 levels that can be expressed this way, resulting in a24-bit (16.7 million) color palette.

The use of a third electrode provides faster andmore accurate control of the charge/discharge cycle, which in turn allows for fasterpicture refresh rates. (Putman ) As a result, moving images from video can bedisplayed with picture refresh rates up to 75Hz. For the future of computer monitors,this will be helpful for producing ones that are less painful to the eyes when stared atfor long periods of time. The plasma displays do show off bright colors due to this excited-phosphorsystem which is basically the same way a CRT monitor produces color. But PDPs donot produce the radiation or high voltage produced by the electron beam.

They justhave a small pixel structure which is why they can be manufactured so thin. Because of the thin profile, Plasma Display Panels are manufactured with aconsiderably lighter weight than regular CRT monitors. Although, they are oftenheavier than they look.

A 40 inch plasma display typically weighs about 60-70 pounds.Still, this is a good improvement from the CRTs where a 40inch monitor could weighup to three hundred.At this point, there is a big misconception about PDPs resolution.

All PDPscurrently being marketed in the 33 inch to 42 inch range have a vertical resolution of480 pixels and no more. For 4:3 panels that translates to a resolution of 640×480; for16:9 panels the pixel count is 852×480. Some models have been demonstrated with ahigher resolution (768 vertical pixels), but they are considerably larger – typicallyweighing well over 100 pounds with screens as large as 50 inches diagonal. (Putman )The current 480-pixel limit means that any signal you connect to a PDP witha resolution exceeding 640×480 will be scaled or remapped down in size, resulting inpixel decimation and plenty of dithering.

(Zenger) These remapped images will makethe quality of small text and fine image details, reduce somewhat dramatically. NTSCand VGA computer graphics are the only types of signal that all PDPs are compatibleand work well with. They will be read line for line and pixel for pixel.

This opensplenty of doors in the commercial, industrial, corporate, and consumer retail markets. The PDPs do have many advantages though. Often many big screen TVs have aproblem with the viewing angle.

When one walks to a side of the screen, it usuallyblacks out and they can no longer see a clear picture. Plasma display panels canproduce a very large image and still maintain a 160 degree viewing angle. PDPs alsoare capable of displaying more than 16 million different colors, where as CRTs can onlydisplay about 1 million. Being that PDPs are still a very new technology, the price of them has yet tocome down. PDPs once packaged into a monitor start at least at $10,000 and can rangefrom $15-20,000.

Most PDPs are used in the high end presentation markets, but willeventually move in to the area of public information displays and other mainstreammarkets. VARs may wonder how to convince prospective customers to pay so muchfor plasma displays when large projection screens and outsized CRTs are 10 timescheaper. As with most emerging technologies, the sales cycle may be longer, but themargin potential may be worth it. (Juon)As for most home use, PDPs are not yet up to many peoples standards. They docompare to most big screen TVs, in that the PDPs cons are outweighed by the bigscreens cons. The PDPs, as mentioned before, give the very wide 160 degree viewingangle, and although they lack some contrast PDPs are often still a better choice thanmany of the big screen projection monitors. The large projection monitor itself doesntalways have the best contrast and doesnt have as many color possibilities.

When itcomes to the smaller versions of PDPs or a monitor that will be using signals other thanNTSC or VGA, a CRT or LCD monitor is then the most logical choice. Obviously, as the technology is researched and tested further and further, manyof these problems will be worked out. The same was true with regular CRT displays.They began black and white, and over the years, developed color, interlacing, and soon.

.. Plasma Display panels have already been improved upon. Pixelworks is onecompany that has done so. They have developed an image processor that will enableflat panel display products to deliver unsurpassed image quality (Zenger) regardlessof input source format. It is a very low cost product which requires little to no userintervention, and will set new standards for image quality and ease of use. Thisprocessor allows the panel displays to support input resolutions up to UXGA andHDTV with complete image resizing, frame rate conversion and automatic imageoptimization.

(Zenger) UXGA being the signal for computers with LCD monitors andHDTV – digital television signal. Most signal converters require a number ofcomponents that add up to about $800 per display. This image processor costs lessthan $100 and will offer significantly greater functionality.

Thus is the future of Plasma display panels. They, like any other technology arenot perfect, and will have to be researched further in order to improve on the currentproblems. At some point, it is predicted, that every home currently owning a CRT willbe replaced with the Plasma display panel television that has been perfected. Bibliography:1. Putman, Peter H.The skinny on plasma displays Video Systems (c) 9-1-1998Primedia Company.

2. Nikkei, Christoper. Toshiba develops thin 32-inch CRT. Asia Pulse (c) 3-4-1997Asia Pulse3.

OReilly, Tim Gadgets and Gizmos The Dallas Morning News (c) 8-4-1998.Infonautics Corporation4. Juon, Sarah. Plasma gets new profile Computer Reseller News (c) 10-14-1996 CMPMedia Inc. 5. Zenger, BradPixelworks announces Breakthrough in flat panel display technology.Business Wire.

(c) 1998 Business Wire6. Young, Ross Latest Display Search flat panel dispaly newsletters now on line.Business Wire (c) 1998 Business Wire

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