Disadvantages of Plasma Television

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Plasma televisions are quite popular in American households because of their flat screens and large sizes. Although they offer the latest technology in television viewing, their disadvantages are manifold, causing most consumers to think twice before buying these once highly-coveted devices.

Plasma televisions, also commonly called flat screen TVs, are very thin, and have sleek display monitors that can be easily mounted on the wall for viewing. Towards the end of the last century, these devices were introduced as the latest technology in the world of television, and they offered amazing features like better picture quality, big sizes, and sleek design. Their display consists of thousands of tiny cells, which are individual glass compartments that are injected with neon-xenon gas, which is suspended in plasma. These cells function in an unified manner, when the interior gases are electrically charged, causing the production of the pictures or images that are visible on the monitors.


Burn-In: Plasma television sets have the potential for burn-in, which is caused due to the use of phosphor technology. Traces of images can be burned into the display if they are static, or if displayed for too long. Burn-in can occur in as less as 20 minutes of static image display. Hence, it’s advisable to constantly change the image on the screen, either by changing the channel, or by turning off the device.

High Price: As these sets have a high quality, and employ the latest technology, they are available at a high price. Though prices are dropping due to advancement in technology and greater availability, one usually pays considerably more for a plasma display as compared to the regular TVs of the same size.

Brightness: They have low levels of brightness. Although technological advances have been made to correct this disadvantage, it still remains a major issue with most users. Viewed in a room with bright sunlight, plasma devices do not bring out the contrast and sharpness that are associated with the advertised good picture quality. Their owners should avoid placing them in rooms that receive direct sunlight.

Shorter Lifespan: Their life span is short as compared to regular television sets. Also, depending on the brand, they have a half-life of 50,000 to 60,000 hours. Half-life refers to screen burns at half the original brightness. Besides this, there aren’t any repair options for fixing a burnt-out tube or back-light.

Fragility: Plasma TVs are very fragile, and the units are highly susceptible to damage. They need extreme care while handling and moving. They need to be shipped by special carriers, and should be mounted by professionals, as even laying their display in a sideways manner can cause adverse damage to it.

Altitude: They don’t perform well at high altitudes. They have natural gases compressed inside, that don’t compress optimally when operated above 6000 feet, thus resulting in poor pixel performance. Basically, the charged gases differ in their pressures in different altitudes.

Other Disadvantages:

  • Not the Lightest or Slimmest: Although they are marketed as the lightest or slimmest displays, they are other technologies like LCD and LED TVs that are available in the same specifications.
  • Screen Size: Their monitors aren’t usually available in less than a 42-inch screen size, hence for anyone looking for a smaller size, the options are limited.
  • Optional Tuner Feature: Most plasma screens do not have in-built tuners, and have to be upgraded by using them with satellite, digital cable, or external HD boxes, and this is quite expensive.

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