What is a plasma TV? Or rather, what was it? When the flat screen TV revolution got off to a good start at the turn of the last century, it was plasma technology that brought the charge into the home, making the dream of the flat screen come true.

As is the case with most emerging consumer electronics technologies, the first family plasma televisions were truly expensive and their performance was compromised in many ways. But to be fair, the moment service customers saw a Fujitsu, Panasonic or Pioneer plasma TV next to their big old CRT TV, the desire to upgrade was inescapable.

The technology is based on midget cells filled with ionized gases; when the cell is subjected to an electrical charge, the gases transform into plasma. The process results in a discharge of light (and heat), so that 3 cells that have phosphors of different colors (one red, one green and one blue) can be used to make a pixel of a screen.

Plasma has been a dead technology for a few years now, and today's OLED TVs are seen as a sort of spiritual successor., although the latent technologies are quite different. Plus, How different are they and why did OLED perform better than its predecessor?

OLED vs Plasma: An Overview

First of all, a bit of history. Today, OLED is the quintessential TV technology. It uses organic light-transmitting diodes to create images, just as with plasma TVs, the technology has its drawbacks and benefits. However, users only need to take a look at the very sleek and slim profiles of OLED TVs to locate them deeply desirable. After all, if you want a flat screen TV, Wouldn't you like the flattest on the market?

In its simplest form, an OLED screen consists of a layer of organic molecules (which can generate light) sandwiched between layers of voltage conductors. For their part, these are sandwiched between a glass or plastic joint. Send an electrical charge through the conductors and the organic matter will generate light. So, by adding a color filter layer, the individual molecules can be called red, green or blue, marching like pixels on the screen.

Panasonic plasma TV

What did plasma screens do differently? (Image credit: Panasonic)

Plasma works somewhat differently, but with some of the same advantages as traditional LCD (or CRT) screens. Since plasma powers its individual pixels, it's possible to turn off a pixel entirely, meaning plasma screens can display true black in the areas of the screen that need to be, just like OLED. Combine this with a partially high maximum brightness and plasma screens are capable of managing extensive contrasts. On top of this, since plasma TVs have a high refresh rate, movement on the screen is generally smooth and engaging.

However, there are some drawbacks. Plasma technology is, relatively speaking, ineffective. It hurts in 2 ways. First, just like an old lamp, a lot of heat is generated as well as light; Plasma TVs get noticeably hot when they've been running for a while, which isn't very reassuring for service customers. And because of this inefficiency, they consume quite a bit of energy. Although there is no day or night difference between the energy consumption of a plasma TV and an OLED equivalent, there are 2 ways to do it: Plasma requires more power than other TV technologies and is therefore more expensive to use.

The demands of plasma technology mean that screens are also heavy. They require a metal back and glass up front, so you can say goodbye to hanging a huge plasma screen on a bulkhead. In addition to this, that glass screen means plasma tvs can be really reflective; they are not shimmering to see them in shimmering conditions.

OLED vs plasma: what does organic led do better?


LG C1 OLED TV (two thousand twenty-one) (Image credit: LG)

One of the most powerful assets of OLED technology is the thinness of the screens. As long as you ignore the one part of the TV that houses each and every one of the precise electronic components, OLED TVs are pretty much preternaturally thin, and in the showroom, that matters a lot.

like plasma, OLED controls your image pixel by pixel. So, the moment a pixel is not on, it is off and therefore black. Therefore, OLED offers deep blacks and high contrast, thanks to its reasonably high maximum brightness levels. However, in contrast to plasma TVs, it doesn't consume a lot of power to light its pixels, nor does it produce noticeable heat while in operation.

OLED also does not require a glass screen. This means that it is lighter than plasma, less reflective and offers considerably wider viewing angles. As such, people who aren't fortunate enough to be sitting directly in front of the screen will still have a decent view.

It is the “Or” (organic) part of the OLED that creates the perceived setbacks for this technology. since uses organic materials, the performance of OLED screens is likely to degrade over time; the most fatalistic estimates estimate that an OLED TV is only good for "only" about 35 hours. Look, it's been another ten years or so, if you look at it 10 hours a day.

By the same token, screen burn-in, when the TV holds a suggested image on its screen even when it's not displayed, isn't the ultimate factor some people want you to weigh in on. Yes, if you leave an OLED TV flipped to a sports channel, the static part of the picture (the channel ID, surely) could 'burn in' on the screen. But virtually all OLED TVs have built-in software to prevent this from happening, even if it only means shifting the picture a few pixels at a time.

OLED is better than plasma?

Panasonic JZ2000 OLED TV

Panasonic OLED TVs show the company was right to leave plasma behind (Image credit: Panasonic)

The short answer is yes.' EITHERLED consumes less power and produces brighter images with a wider viewing angle. These days, it has even become cheaper than plasma technology to the point where it finally became a viable alternative for users in XNUMX.

However, It's clear that plasma technology has democratized flat-panel TVs to the point where every single household has one, for which we're grateful to plasma even in its absence.

Evidently today's "advice" is tomorrow's "stale" advice. Feel free to explore your OLED options, but be sure to check out our Mini led and Micro led guides while you're at it. Who knows? In a few years, we could be discussing each and every way these new technologies have conquered OLED as technology of choice.

Today's best 45-inch OLED TV deals



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