Plasma display

A plasma display panel (PDP) is a type of flat panel display that uses small cells containing plasma; ionized gas that responds to electric fields.

Until about 2007, plasma displays were commonly used in larger televisions (30 inches (76 cm) and larger). Since then, they have lost nearly all market share due to competition from low-cost LCD displays and more expensive but high-contrast OLED flat-panel displays. Manufacturing of plasma displays for the United States retail market ended in 2014, and manufacturing for the Chinese market was expected to end in 2016.[1][2]

General characteristics

Plasma displays are bright (1,000 lux or higher for the module), have a wide color gamut, and can be produced in fairly large sizes—up to 3.8 metres (150 in) diagonally. They had a very low-luminance "dark-room" black level compared with the lighter grey of the unilluminated parts of an LCD screen. (As plasma panels are locally lit and do not require a backlight, blacks are blacker on plasmas and greyer on LCDs.)[3] LED-backlit LCD televisions have been developed to reduce this distinction. The display panel itself is about 6 cm (2.4 in) thick, generally allowing the device's total thickness (including electronics) to be less than 10 cm (3.9 in). Power consumption varies greatly with picture content, with bright scenes drawing significantly more power than darker ones – this is also true for CRTs as well as modern LCDs where LED backlight brightness is adjusted dynamically. The plasma that illuminates the screen can reach a temperature of at least 1200 °C (2200 °F). Typical power consumption is 400 watts for a 127 cm (50 in) screen. Most screens are set to "shop" mode by default, which draws at least twice the power (around 500–700 watts) of a "home" setting of less extreme brightness.[4] The lifetime of the latest generation of plasma displays is estimated at 100,000 hours of actual display time, or 27 years at 10 hours per day. This is the estimated time over which maximum picture brightness degrades to half the original value.[5]

Plasma screens are made out of glass. This may cause glare from reflected objects in the viewing area. Currently, plasma panels cannot be economically manufactured in screen sizes smaller than 82 centimetres (32 in). Although a few companies have been able to make plasma enhanced-definition televisions (EDTV) this small, even fewer have made 32 inch plasma HDTVs. With the trend toward large-screen television technology, the 32 inch screen size is rapidly disappearing. Though considered bulky and thick compared with their LCD counterparts, some sets such as Panasonic's Z1 and Samsung's B860 series are as slim as 2.5 cm (1 in) thick making them comparable to LCDs in this respect.

Competing display technologies include cathode ray tube (CRT), organic light-emitting diode (OLED), AMLCD, Digital Light Processing DLP, SED-tv, LED display, field emission display (FED), and quantum dot display (QLED).

Plasma display advantages and disadvantages

Advantages

  • Capable of producing deeper blacks allowing for a superior contrast ratio.[6][7][8]
  • As they use the same or similar phosphors as are used in CRT displays, plasma's color reproduction is very similar to that of CRTs.
  • Wider viewing angles than those of LCD; images do not suffer from degradation at less than straight ahead angles like LCDs. LCDs using IPS technology have the widest angles, but they do not equal the range of plasma primarily due to "IPS glow", a generally whitish haze that appears due to the nature of the IPS pixel design.[6][7]
  • Less visible motion blur, thanks in large part to very high refresh rates and a faster response time, contributing to superior performance when displaying content with significant amounts of rapid motion.[6][7][9][10]
  • Superior uniformity. LCD panel backlights nearly always produce uneven brightness levels, although this is not always noticeable. High-end computer monitors have technologies to try to compensate for the uniformity problem.[11][12]
  • Unaffected by clouding from the polishing process. Some LCD panel types, like IPS, require a polishing process that can introduce a haze usually referred to as "clouding".[13]
  • Less expensive for the buyer per square inch than LCD, particularly when equivalent performance is considered.[14]

Disadvantages

  • Earlier generation displays were more susceptible to screen burn-in and image retention. Recent models have a pixel orbiter that moves the entire picture slower than is noticeable to the human eye, which reduces the effect of burn-in but does not prevent it.[15]
  • Due to the bistable nature of the color and intensity generating method, some people will notice that plasma displays have a shimmering or flickering effect with a number of hues, intensities and dither patterns.
  • Earlier generation displays (circa 2006 and prior) had phosphors that lost luminosity over time, resulting in gradual decline of absolute image brightness. Newer models have advertised lifespans exceeding 100,000 hours, far longer than older CRTs.[5][8]
  • Uses more electrical power, on average, than an LCD TV using a LED backlight. Older CCFL backlights for LCD panels used quite a bit more power, and older plasma TVs used quite a bit more power than recent models.[16][17]
  • Does not work as well at high altitudes above 6,500 feet (2,000 meters)[18] due to pressure differential between the gases inside the screen and the air pressure at altitude. It may cause a buzzing noise. Manufacturers rate their screens to indicate the altitude parameters.[18]
  • For those who wish to listen to AM radio, or are amateur radio operators (hams) or shortwave listeners (SWL), the radio frequency interference (RFI) from these devices can be irritating or disabling.[19]
  • Plasma displays are generally heavier than LCD and may require more careful handling such as being kept upright.

Native plasma television resolutions

Fixed-pixel displays such as plasma TVs scale the video image of each incoming signal to the native resolution of the display panel. The most common native resolutions for plasma display panels are 853×480 (EDTV), 1,366×768 or 1920×1080 (HDTV). As a result, picture quality varies depending on the performance of the video scaling processor and the upscaling and downscaling algorithms used by each display manufacturer.[20][21]

Enhanced-definition plasma television

Early plasma televisions were enhanced-definition (ED) with a native resolution of 840×480 (discontinued) or 853×480, and down-scaled their incoming High-definition video signals to match their native display resolution.[22]

ED resolutions

The following ED resolutions were common prior to the introduction of HD displays, but have long been phased out in favor of HD displays, as well as because the overall pixel count in ED displays is lower than the pixel count on SD PAL displays (853×480 vs 720×576, respectively).

  • 840×480p
  • 853×480p

High-definition plasma television

Early high-definition (HD) plasma displays had a resolution of 1024x1024 and were alternate lighting of surfaces (ALiS) panels made by Fujitsu/Hitachi.[23][24] These were interlaced displays, with non-square pixels.[25]

Modern HDTV plasma televisions usually have a resolution of 1,024×768 found on many 42 inch plasma screens, 1280×768, 1,366×768 found on 50 in, 60 in, and 65 in plasma screens, or 1920×1080 found in plasma screen sizes from 42 inch to 103 inch. These displays are usually progressive displays, with non-square pixels, and will up-scale and de-interlace their incoming standard-definition signals to match their native display resolution. 1024×768 resolution requires that 720p content be downscaled in one direction and upscaled in the other.[26][27]

Design

Plasma-lamp 2
Ionized gases such as the ones shown here are confined to millions of tiny individual compartments across the face of a plasma display, to collectively form a visual image.
Plasma-display-composition
Composition of plasma display panel

A panel of a plasma display typically comprises millions of tiny compartments in between two panels of glass. These compartments, or "bulbs" or "cells", hold a mixture of noble gases and a minuscule amount of another gas (e.g., mercury vapor). Just as in the fluorescent lamps over an office desk, when a high voltage is applied across the cell, the gas in the cells forms a plasma. With flow of electricity (electrons), some of the electrons strike mercury particles as the electrons move through the plasma, momentarily increasing the energy level of the atom until the excess energy is shed. Mercury sheds the energy as ultraviolet (UV) photons. The UV photons then strike phosphor that is painted on the inside of the cell. When the UV photon strikes a phosphor molecule, it momentarily raises the energy level of an outer orbit electron in the phosphor molecule, moving the electron from a stable to an unstable state; the electron then sheds the excess energy as a photon at a lower energy level than UV light; the lower energy photons are mostly in the infrared range but about 40% are in the visible light range. Thus the input energy is converted to mostly infrared but also as visible light. The screen heats up to between 30 and 41 °C (86 and 106 °F) during operation. Depending on the phosphors used, different colors of visible light can be achieved. Each pixel in a plasma display is made up of three cells comprising the primary colors of visible light. Varying the voltage of the signals to the cells thus allows different perceived colors.

The long electrodes are stripes of electrically conducting material that also lies between the glass plates in front of and behind the cells. The "address electrodes" sit behind the cells, along the rear glass plate, and can be opaque. The transparent display electrodes are mounted in front of the cell, along the front glass plate. As can be seen in the illustration, the electrodes are covered by an insulating protective layer.[28]

Control circuitry charges the electrodes that cross paths at a cell, creating a voltage difference between front and back. Some of the atoms in the gas of a cell then lose electrons and become ionized, which creates an electrically conducting plasma of atoms, free electrons, and ions. The collisions of the flowing electrons in the plasma with the inert gas atoms leads to light emission; such light-emitting plasmas are known as glow discharges.[29][30][31]

Spectrum of Plasma Display(Hitachi 42PMA500) en
Relative spectral power of Red, Green and Blue phosphors of a common plasma display. The units of spectral power are simply raw sensor values (with a linear response at specific wavelengths).

In a monochrome plasma panel, the gas is mostly neon, and the color is the characteristic orange of a neon-filled lamp (or sign). Once a glow discharge has been initiated in a cell, it can be maintained by applying a low-level voltage between all the horizontal and vertical electrodes–even after the ionizing voltage is removed. To erase a cell all voltage is removed from a pair of electrodes. This type of panel has inherent memory. A small amount of nitrogen is added to the neon to increase hysteresis. In color panels, the back of each cell is coated with a phosphor. The ultraviolet photons emitted by the plasma excite these phosphors, which give off visible light with colors determined by the phosphor materials. This aspect is comparable to fluorescent lamps and to the neon signs that use colored phosphors.

Every pixel is made up of three separate subpixel cells, each with different colored phosphors. One subpixel has a red light phosphor, one subpixel has a green light phosphor and one subpixel has a blue light phosphor. These colors blend together to create the overall color of the pixel, the same as a triad of a shadow mask CRT or color LCD. Plasma panels use pulse-width modulation (PWM) to control brightness: by varying the pulses of current flowing through the different cells thousands of times per second, the control system can increase or decrease the intensity of each subpixel color to create billions of different combinations of red, green and blue. In this way, the control system can produce most of the visible colors. Plasma displays use the same phosphors as CRTs, which accounts for the extremely accurate color reproduction when viewing television or computer video images (which use an RGB color system designed for CRT displays).

Plasma displays are different from liquid crystal displays (LCDs), another lightweight flat-screen display using very different technology. LCDs may use one or two large fluorescent lamps as a backlight source, but the different colors are controlled by LCD units, which in effect behave as gates that allow or block light through red, green, or blue filters on the front of the LCD panel.[6][32][33]

Contrast ratio

Contrast ratio is the difference between the brightest and darkest parts of an image, measured in discrete steps, at any given moment. Generally, the higher the contrast ratio, the more realistic the image is (though the "realism" of an image depends on many factors including color accuracy, luminance linearity, and spatial linearity.) Contrast ratios for plasma displays are often advertised as high as 5,000,000:1.[34] On the surface, this is a significant advantage of plasma over most other current display technologies, a notable exception being organic light-emitting diode. Although there are no industry-wide guidelines for reporting contrast ratio, most manufacturers follow either the ANSI standard or perform a full-on-full-off test. The ANSI standard uses a checkered test pattern whereby the darkest blacks and the lightest whites are simultaneously measured, yielding the most accurate "real-world" ratings. In contrast, a full-on-full-off test measures the ratio using a pure black screen and a pure white screen, which gives higher values but does not represent a typical viewing scenario. Some displays, using many different technologies, have some "leakage" of light, through either optical or electronic means, from lit pixels to adjacent pixels so that dark pixels that are near bright ones appear less dark than they do during a full-off display. Manufacturers can further artificially improve the reported contrast ratio by increasing the contrast and brightness settings to achieve the highest test values. However, a contrast ratio generated by this method is misleading, as content would be essentially unwatchable at such settings.[35][36][37]

Each cell on a plasma display must be precharged before it is lit, otherwise the cell would not respond quickly enough. This precharging means the cells cannot achieve a true black,, whereas an LED backlit LCD panel can actually turn off parts of the backlight, in "spots" or "patches" (this technique, however, does not prevent the large accumulated passive light of adjacent lamps, and the reflection media, from returning values from within the panel). Some manufacturers have reduced the precharge and the associated background glow, to the point where black levels on modern plasmas are starting to become close to some high-end CRTs Sony and Mitsubishi produced before ten years before the comparable plasma displays. It is important to note that plasma displays were developed for ten more years than CRTs; it is almost certain that if CRTs had been developed for as long as plasma displays were, the contrast on CRTs would have been far better than contrast on the plasma displays. With an LCD, black pixels are generated by a light polarization method; many panels are unable to completely block the underlying backlight. More recent LCD panels using LED illumination can automatically reduce the backlighting on darker scenes, though this method cannot be used in high-contrast scenes, leaving some light showing from black parts of an image with bright parts, such as (at the extreme) a solid black screen with one fine intense bright line. This is called a "halo" effect which has been minimized on newer LED-backlit LCDs with local dimming. Edgelit models cannot compete with this as the light is reflected via a light guide to distribute the light behind the panel.[6][7][8]

Screen burn-in

Plasma burn-in at DFW airport
An example of a plasma display that has suffered severe burn-in from static text

Image burn-in occurs on CRTs and plasma panels when the same picture is displayed for long periods. This causes the phosphors to overheat, losing some of their luminosity and producing a "shadow" image that is visible with the power off. Burn-in is especially a problem on plasma panels because they run hotter than CRTs. Early plasma televisions were plagued by burn-in, making it impossible to use video games or anything else that displayed static images.

Plasma displays also exhibit another image retention issue which is sometimes confused with screen burn-in damage. In this mode, when a group of pixels are run at high brightness (when displaying white, for example) for an extended period, a charge build-up in the pixel structure occurs and a ghost image can be seen. However, unlike burn-in, this charge build-up is transient and self-corrects after the image condition that caused the effect has been removed and a long enough period has passed (with the display either off or on).

Plasma manufacturers have tried various ways of reducing burn-in such as using gray pillarboxes, pixel orbiters and image washing routines, but none to date have eliminated the problem and all plasma manufacturers continue to exclude burn-in from their warranties.[8][38]

Environmental impact

Plasma screens use significantly more energy than CRT and LCD screens. [39] To reduce the energy consumption, new technologies are also being found.[40]

History

Platovterm1981
Plasma displays were first used in PLATO computer terminals. This PLATO V model illustrates the display's monochromatic orange glow seen in 1981.[41]

In 1936, Kálmán Tihanyi, a Hungarian engineer, described the principle of "plasma television" and conceived the first flat-panel display system.[42][43]

The monochrome plasma video display was co-invented in 1964 at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign by Donald Bitzer, H. Gene Slottow, and graduate student Robert Willson for the PLATO Computer System.[44][45] The original neon orange monochrome Digivue display panels built by glass producer Owens-Illinois were very popular in the early 1970s because they were rugged and needed neither memory nor circuitry to refresh the images.[46] A long period of sales decline occurred in the late 1970s because semiconductor memory made CRT displays cheaper than the 2500 USD 512 x 512 PLATO plasma displays.[47] Nonetheless, the plasma displays' relatively large screen size and 1 inch thickness made them suitable for high-profile placement in lobbies and stock exchanges.

Burroughs Corporation, a maker of adding machines and computers, developed the Panaplex display in the early 1970s. The Panaplex display, generically referred to as a gas-discharge or gas-plasma display,[48] uses the same technology as later plasma video displays, but began life as seven-segment display for use in adding machines. They became popular for their bright orange luminous look and found nearly ubiquitous use in cash registers, calculators, pinball machines, aircraft avionics such as radios, navigational instruments, and stormscopes; test equipment such as frequency counters and multimeters; and generally anything that previously used nixie tube or numitron displays with a high digit-count throughout the late 1970s and into the 1990s. These displays remained popular until LEDs gained popularity because of their low-current draw and module-flexibility, but are still found in some applications where their high-brightness is desired, such as pinball machines and avionics. Pinball displays started with six- and seven-digit seven-segment displays and later evolved into 16-segment alphanumeric displays, and later into 128x32 dot-matrix displays in 1990, which are still used today.

1983

In 1983, IBM introduced a 19 inches (48 cm) orange-on-black monochrome display (model 3290 'information panel') which was able to show up to four simultaneous IBM 3270 terminal sessions. Due to heavy competition from monochrome LCDs, in 1987 IBM planned to shut down its factory in upstate New York, the largest plasma plant in the world, in favor of manufacturing mainframe computers.[49] Dr. Larry F. Weber, a University of Illinois ECE PhD (in plasma display research) and staff scientist working at CERL (home of the PLATO System) co-founded a startup company Plasmaco with Stephen Globus, as well as James Kehoe, who was the IBM plant manager, and bought the plant from IBM. Weber stayed in Urbana as CTO until 1990, then moved to upstate New York to work at Plasmaco.

1990s

1992

In 1992, Fujitsu introduced the world's first 21-inch (53 cm) full-color display. It was a hybrid, the plasma display created at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories.

1994

In 1994, Weber demonstrated a color plasma display at an industry convention in San Jose. Panasonic Corporation began a joint development project with Plasmaco, which led in 1996 to the purchase of Plasmaco, its color AC technology, and its American factory.

1995

In 1995, Fujitsu introduced the first 42-inch (107 cm) plasma display;[50][51] it had 852x480 resolution and was progressively scanned.[52] Also in 1997, Philips introduced a 42-inch (107 cm) display, with 852x480 resolution. It was the only plasma to be displayed to the retail public in four Sears locations in the US. The price was US$14,999 and included in-home installation. Later in 1997, Pioneer started selling their first plasma television to the public, and others followed.

2000s

2006–2009

Evolution of 21st century plasma displays
Average plasma displays have become one quarter the thickness from 2006 to 2011

In late 2006, analysts noted that LCDs overtook plasmas, particularly in the 40-inch (1.0 m) and above segment where plasma had previously gained market share.[53] Another industry trend is the consolidation of manufacturers of plasma displays, with around 50 brands available but only five manufacturers. In the first quarter of 2008, a comparison of worldwide TV sales breaks down to 22.1 million for direct-view CRT, 21.1 million for LCD, 2.8 million for Plasma, and 0.1 million for rear-projection.[54]

Until the early 2000s, plasma displays were the most popular choice for HDTV flat panel display as they had many benefits over LCDs. Beyond plasma's deeper blacks, increased contrast, faster response time, greater color spectrum, and wider viewing angle; they were also much bigger than LCDs, and it was believed that LCDs were suited only to smaller sized televisions. However, improvements in VLSI fabrication have since narrowed the technological gap. The increased size, lower weight, falling prices, and often lower electrical power consumption of LCDs made them competitive with plasma television sets.

Screen sizes have increased since the introduction of plasma displays. The largest plasma video display in the world at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, was a 150 inches (380 cm) unit manufactured by Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic) standing 6 ft (180 cm) tall by 11 ft (330 cm) wide.[55][56]

2010s

At the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Panasonic introduced their 152" 2160p 3D plasma. In 2010 Panasonic shipped 19.1 million plasma TV panels.[57]

In 2010, the shipments of plasma TVs reached 18.2 million units globally.[58] Since that time, shipments of plasma TVs have declined substantially. This decline has been attributed to the competition from liquid crystal (LCD) televisions, whose prices have fallen more rapidly than those of the plasma TVs.[59] In late 2013, Panasonic announced that they would stop producing plasma TVs from March 2014 onwards.[60] In 2014, LG and Samsung discontinued plasma TV production as well,[61][62] effectively killing the technology, probably because of lowering demand.

Notable display manufacturers

Most have discontinued doing so, but at one time or another all of these companies have produced plasma displays:

Panasonic was the biggest plasma display manufacturer until 2013, when it decided to discontinue plasma production. In the following months, Samsung and LG also ceased production of plasma sets. Panasonic, Samsung and LG were the last plasma manufacturers for the U.S. retail market.

See also

References

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External links

Alternate lighting of surfaces

Alternate lighting of surfaces (ALiS) is type of plasma display technology jointly developed by Fujitsu and Hitachi in 1999. Alternate lighting of surfaces uses an interlaced scanning method rather than a progressive one. This technique allows native lower resolution plasma display panels to display at higher resolutions. This technique also helps in prolonging panel life and power consumption reductions.

California Electronic Waste Recycling Act

The Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003 (2003 Cal ALS 526) (EWRA) is a California law to reduce the use of certain hazardous substances in certain electronic products sold in the state. The act was signed into law September 2003.

All CRT, LCD, and plasma display devices contained in televisions, computers, and other electronic equipment with a screen size over 4 in (10 cm) measured diagonally are covered by the act. After January 1, 2007, these devices may not contain greater than the allowed concentrations of any of these four materials (by weight):

cadmium : 0.01%

hexavalent chromium : 0.1%

lead : 0.1%

mercury : 0.1%The Act also requires retailers to collect an Electronic Waste Recycling Fee (effective January 1, 2005) from consumers who purchase covered devices.

Comparison of display technology

This is a comparison of various properties of different display technologies.

Display resolution

The display resolution or display modes of a digital television, computer monitor or display device is the number of distinct pixels in each dimension that can be displayed. It can be an ambiguous term especially as the displayed resolution is controlled by different factors in cathode ray tube (CRT) displays, flat-panel displays (including liquid-crystal displays) and projection displays using fixed picture-element (pixel) arrays.

It is usually quoted as width × height, with the units in pixels: for example, "1024 × 768" means the width is 1024 pixels and the height is 768 pixels. This example would normally be spoken as "ten twenty-four by seven sixty-eight" or "ten twenty-four by seven six eight".

One use of the term "display resolution" applies to fixed-pixel-array displays such as plasma display panels (PDP), liquid-crystal displays (LCD), Digital Light Processing (DLP) projectors, OLED displays, and similar technologies, and is simply the physical number of columns and rows of pixels creating the display (e.g. 1920 × 1080). A consequence of having a fixed-grid display is that, for multi-format video inputs, all displays need a "scaling engine" (a digital video processor that includes a memory array) to match the incoming picture format to the display.

For device displays such as phones, tablets, monitors and televisions, the use of the word resolution as defined above is a misnomer, though common. The term "display resolution" is usually used to mean pixel dimensions, the number of pixels in each dimension (e.g. 1920 × 1080), which does not tell anything about the pixel density of the display on which the image is actually formed: resolution properly refers to the pixel density, the number of pixels per unit distance or area, not total number of pixels. In digital measurement, the display resolution would be given in pixels per inch (PPI). In analog measurement, if the screen is 10 inches high, then the horizontal resolution is measured across a square 10 inches wide. For television standards, this is typically stated as "lines horizontal resolution, per picture height"; for example, analog NTSC TVs can typically display about 340 lines of "per picture height" horizontal resolution from over-the-air sources, which is equivalent to about 440 total lines of actual picture information from left edge to right edge.

Donald Bitzer

Donald L. Bitzer (born January 1, 1934) is an American electrical engineer and computer scientist. He was the co-inventor of the plasma display, is largely regarded as the "father of PLATO", and has made a career of improving classroom productivity by using computer and telecommunications technologies.

He received three degrees in electrical engineering (B.S., 1955; M.S., 1956; Ph.D., 1960) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.Bitzer holds patents for inventions including the plasma-display panel, the binary-weighted solenoid, a high-quality modem, and new satellite communications techniques. The creation of the PLATO computer system, the first system to combine graphics and touch-sensitive screens, is the hallmark of his efforts.

Bitzer co-invented the flat plasma display panel in 1964. Originally invented as an educational aid to help students working in front of computers for long periods of time, plasma screens do not flicker and are a significant advance in television technology. The display was also a way of overcoming the limited memory of the computer systems being used. In 1973 the National Academy of Engineering presented Bitzer with the Vladimir K. Zworykin Award, which honors the inventor of the iconoscope. The invention won the Industrial Research 100 Award in 1966.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering since 1974, Bitzer was designated a National Associate by the National Academies in 2002. In October the same year, he was awarded an Emmy by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his efforts in advancing television technology. He is also a Computer Society Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a member of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Following several decades on the faculty of UIUC's College of Engineering, Bitzer is currently a Distinguished University Research Professor of Computer Science at North Carolina State University.

Dot matrix

A dot matrix is a 2-dimensional patterned array, used to represent characters, symbols and images. Every type of modern technology uses dot matrices for display of information, including mobile phones, televisions, and printers. They are also used in textiles with sewing, knitting, and weaving.

An alternate form of information display using lines and curves is known as a vector display, was used with early computing devices such as air traffic control radar displays and pen-based plotters but is no longer used. Electronic vector displays were typically monochrome only, and either don't fill in the interiors of closed vector shapes, or shape-filling is slow, time-consuming, and often non-uniform, as on pen-based plotters.

In printers, the dots are usually the darkened areas of the paper. In displays, the dots may light up, as in an LED, CRT, or plasma display, or darken, as in an LCD.

Flat-panel display

Flat-panel displays are electronic viewing technologies used to enable people to see content (still images, moving images, text, or other visual material) in a range of entertainment, consumer electronics, personal computer, and mobile devices, and many types of medical, transportation and industrial equipment. They are far lighter and thinner than traditional cathode ray tube (CRT) television sets and video displays and are usually less than 10 centimetres (3.9 in) thick. Flat-panel displays can be divided into two display device categories: volatile and static. Volatile displays require that pixels be periodically electronically refreshed to retain their state (e.g., liquid-crystal displays (LCD)). A volatile display only shows an image when it has battery or AC mains power. Static flat-panel displays rely on materials whose color states are bistable (e.g., e-book reader tablets from Sony), and as such, flat-panel displays retain the text or images on the screen even when the power is off. As of 2016, flat-panel displays have almost completely replaced old CRT displays. In many 2010-era applications, specifically small portable devices such as laptops, mobile phones, smartphones, digital cameras, camcorders, point-and-shoot cameras, and pocket video cameras, any display disadvantages of flat-panels (as compared with CRTs) are made up for by portability advantages (thinness and lightweightness).

Most 2010s-era flat-panel displays use LCD and/or LED technologies. Most LCD screens are back-lit as color filters are used to display colors. Flat-panel displays are thin and lightweight and provide better linearity and they are capable of higher resolution than typical consumer-grade TVs from earlier eras. The highest resolution for consumer-grade CRT TVs was 1080i; in contrast, many flat-panels can display 1080p or even 4K resolution. As of 2016, some devices that use flat-panels, such as tablet computers, smartphones and, less commonly, laptops, use touchscreens, a feature that enables users to select onscreen icons or trigger actions (e.g., playing a digital video) by touching the screen. Many touchscreen-enabled devices can display a virtual QWERTY or numeric keyboard on the screen, to enable the user to type words or numbers.

A multifunctional monitor (MFM) is a flat-panel display that has additional video inputs (more than a typical LCD monitor) and is designed to be used with a variety of external video sources, such as VGA input, HDMI input from a VHS VCR or video game console and, in some cases, a USB input or card reader for viewing digital photos). In many instances, an MFM also includes a TV tuner, making it similar to a LCD TV that offers computer connectivity.

H. Gene Slottow

Hiram Gene Slottow (1921–1989) was a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. He was the co-inventor of the plasma display.After completing his bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Chicago, he completed MS in electrical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University and PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. He was a professor of electrical engineering at Illinois from 1968 to 1986. He was also employed as an electrical engineer at the Coordinated Sciences Laboratory and the Computer-Based Education Research Laboratory from 1968 to 1986.He won the 2003 Emmy Award in Technical Achievement for the invention of the plasma display. In 2013, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

History of display technology

Electrically operated display devices have developed from electromechanical systems for display of text, up to all-electronic devices capable of full-motion 3D color graphic displays. Electromagnetic devices, using a solenoid coil to control a visible flag or flap, were the earliest type, and were used for text displays such as stock market prices and arrival/departure display times. The cathode ray tube was the workhorse of text and video display technology for several decades until being displaced by plasma, liquid crystal (LCD) and solid-state devices such as LEDs and OLEDs. With the advent of microprocessors and microelectronic devices, many more individual picture elements ("pixels") could be incorporated into one display device, allowing graphic displays and video.

Image persistence

Image persistence, or image retention, is the LCD and plasma display equivalent of screen burn. Unlike screen burn, the effects are usually temporary and often times not visible without close inspection. Plasma displays experiencing severe image persistence can result in screen burn-in instead.

Image persistence can occur as easily as having something remain unchanged on the screen in the same location for a duration of even 10 minutes, such as a web page or document. Minor cases of image persistence are generally only visible when looking at darker areas on the screen, and usually invisible to the eye during ordinary computer use.

Kunio Nakamura

Kunio Nakamura (中村 邦夫, Nakamura Kunio, born July 5, 1939) is a Japanese businessman. He served as the president of Panasonic from 2000 to 2005 and assumed the position of chairman on June 28, 2006. Even though he is widely regarded as having reformed the company, he created a crisis in the mid-2000s for focusing on plasma display panels (PDPs) instead of medium liquid crystal TVs (LCDs).At the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Panasonic introduced their 152" 2160p 3D plasma. In 2010 Panasonic shipped 19.1 million plasma TV panels.

In 2010, shipments of plasma TVs reached 18.2 million units worldwide. Since then shipments have declined substantially; the decline has been attributed to competition from liquid crystal (LCD) televisions, whose prices have fallen more rapidly than those of the plasma TVs. In late 2013, Panasonic announced that they would stop producing plasma TVs in March 2014 onwards. In 2014, LG and Samsung discontinued plasma TV production as well, effectively killing the technology, probably because of falling demand.

Large-screen television technology

Large-screen television technology developed rapidly in the late 1990s and 2000s. Various thin screen technologies are being developed, but only the liquid crystal display (LCD), plasma display (PDP) and Digital Light Processing (DLP) have been released on the public market. These technologies have almost completely displaced cathode ray tubes (CRT) in television sales, due to the necessary bulkiness of cathode ray tubes. However, recently released technologies like organic light-emitting diode (OLED) and not-yet released technologies like surface-conduction electron-emitter display (SED) or field emission display (FED) are making their way to replace the first flat screen technologies in picture quality. The diagonal screen size of a CRT television is limited to about 40 inches because of the size requirements of the cathode ray tube, which fires three beams of electrons onto the screen, creating a viewable image. A larger screen size requires a longer tube, making a CRT television with a large screen (50 to 80 inches) unrealistic because of size. The aforementioned technologies can produce large-screen televisions that are much thinner.

Larry F. Weber

Larry F. Weber, is an American electrical engineer and businessman.

Weber has devoted his 30-year professional career to the advancement and promotion of plasma displays. He was a founder of Plasmaco, Inc. in 1987 with Stephen Globus and James Kehoe, and since then has held various positions at the company. In 1996, when Plasmaco was acquired by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd, he was named president and CEO. Prior to establishing Plasmaco, Dr. Weber studied under Donald Bitzer and was a research associate professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he directed the Plasma Display Research Group after receiving BS, MS and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering. He has been selected to receive the prestigious Society for Information Display (SID) Karl Ferdinand Braun Prize. The award was presented to Dr. Weber on May 15, at the 2000 SID International Symposium in Long Beach, CA. Dr. Weber is receiving the award “For pioneering contributions to Plasma Display Panel technology and its commercialization”. Each year, SID presents the Karl Ferdinand Braun Prize to one individual worldwide, in recognition of outstanding technical achievement in, or contribution to, display technology. The award is the highest honor awarded by the society, and the recipient is selected based on the recommendation of the SID Honors and Awards Committee.Dr. Weber has published 40 papers and holds 13 patents on plasma displays, including one for the energy recovery sustain circuit used in all current color PDP products manufactured worldwide. He is a recognized leader in the display community, serving on several SID committees and was General Chairman of the 1988 International Display Research Conference. In 1990 Dr. Weber was elected a SID Fellow. He has received numerous awards for his work on plasma displays including SID's Special Recognition Award in 1982 and again 1995.The Plasmaco name was dropped in 2004 and is currently known as Panasonic Plasma Display Laboratory of America (PPDLA). Larry Weber, while not with the company any longer, is still working towards developing plasma TV improvements. Panasonic has also announced the closure of the original factory where all of Larry's developments took place. The plant on South St in Highland New York has stopped all development and manufacture of plasma displays.

List of years in home video

This page indexes the individual year in home video pages. Some years are annotated with a significant event as a reference point.

Neon sign

In the signage industry, neon signs are electric signs lighted by long luminous gas-discharge tubes that contain rarefied neon or other gases. They are the most common use for neon lighting, which was first demonstrated in a modern form in December 1910 by Georges Claude at the Paris Motor Show. While they are used worldwide, neon signs were popular in the United States from about 1920–1960. The installations in Times Square, many originally designed by Douglas Leigh, were famed, and there were nearly 2,000 small shops producing neon signs by 1940. In addition to signage, neon lighting is used frequently by artists and architects, and (in a modified form) in plasma display panels and televisions. The signage industry has declined in the past several decades, and cities are now concerned with preserving and restoring their antique neon signs.

Pioneer Corporation

Pioneer Corporation (パイオニア株式会社, Paionia Kabushiki-kaisha) commonly referred to as Pioneer, is a Japanese multinational corporation based in Tokyo, Japan, that specializes in digital entertainment products. The company was founded by Nozomu Matsumoto in 1938 in Tokyo as a radio and speaker repair shop, and its current president is Susumu Kotani.

Pioneer played a role in the development of interactive cable TV, the Laser Disc player, the first automotive Compact Disc player, the first detachable face car stereo, Supertuner technology, DVD and DVD recording, plasma display (branded as Kuro), and Organic LED display (OLED). The company works with optical disc and display technology and software products and is also a manufacturer. Sharp Corporation took a 14% stake in Pioneer in 2007, which has been reduced to 9%, but Sharp still remains the largest shareholder of Pioneer Corporation, followed by Honda Motor Co., Ltd. who owns roughly 4% of Pioneer shares following a memorandum between the two companies in 2010 to strengthen business ties.

In March 2010, Pioneer stopped producing televisions as announced on 12 February 2009. On June 25, 2009, Sharp Corporation agreed to form a joint venture on their optical business to be called Pioneer Digital Design and Manufacturing Corporation. In September 2014, Pioneer agreed to sell Pioneer Home Electronics (Home A/V) to Onkyo, and in March 2015, Pioneer sold its DJ equipment business division to KKR, which resulted in the establishment of Pioneer DJ as a separate entity, independent of Pioneer.

Pioneer Kuro

Kuro was the brand name that Pioneer Corporation used for its line of high-definition plasma televisions. "Kuro" means black in Japanese.

At the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show, Pioneer unveiled its "Ultimate Black" Kuro. The Kuro's plasma technology reduces light emissions from black areas of the screen to such a degree that at its maximum brightness, the contrast ratio was considered “almost infinite”. Hard-core home theater enthusiasts and home cinema aficionados stated that the Kuro was the only HDTV to achieve the "true black". Reviewers said that the Kuro represented the best-in-class technology, as its images were the most vibrant and colorful of any HDTV at the time, whether LCD, LED-LCD, or plasma. Sony had unveiled the XEL-1 OLED display which has even better contrast than the Kuro including darker blacks; however at that stage OLED technology was still plagued by reliability and lifespan issues.Despite being critically acclaimed, the Kuro was commercially unsuccessful. Plasma TVs had peaked in popularity from 2004 to 2006 and had been steadily losing ground to LCD TVs ever since. Pioneer was particularly hurt by this shift as the Kuro was positioned as a premium HDTV, being generally more expensive than the mass market Panasonic Viera plasma, while other plasma display manufacturers like Samsung and LG had demoted their plasmas to the low end. There were no Kuros to compete at the mainstream or low-end segments, which were dominated by LCDs.Pioneer announced in February 2009 that they would exit the TV business by March 2010 to concentrate on car and audio/visual systems. Pioneer has since sold many of the Kuro's patents to Panasonic, the only other significant television manufacturer that concentrated on plasmas, and many of the latest Panasonic Viera plasma panels utilize the Kuro's technologies.In October 2013, Panasonic announced that it would stop producing plasma display TVs, closing the plasma panel production factory in December 2013 and ending sales in March 2014. Plasma displays have been losing market share every year to LCDs, and Panasonic has been posting losses and cutting jobs in the last few years. Plasma TV technology was slow to make the transition from 720p to 1080p, and did not reach 4K when major manufacturers discontinued production.Despite the discontinuation of production, used Kuro TVs still had cult following on the secondary market.

Toshiba T3100

T3100 was a laptop manufactured by Toshiba and released in 1986. It featured a 10 MB hard drive, 8 MHz Intel 80286 CPU and a black & orange 9.6" gas-plasma display with a resolution of 640x400 pixels.The laptop had for the time a special high-resolution 640 x 400 display mode which is similar to and partially compatible with the Olivetti/AT&T 6300 graphics. There's a single proprietary expansion slot for 1200 bit/s modem, expansion chassis for 5x 8-bit ISA cards, Ethernet NIC, 2400 bit/s modem, and a 1 MB memory card (thus 3.6 MB in max total). The base model had 1MB of memory, which could be upgraded to 5MB.

Toshiba T3100 was not a true portable, because it needed an external power source in all except the last version.

Five versions existed:

The T3100/20 was essentially the same as the base T3100 but with a larger hard drive (20 MB instead of 10 MB).

The T3100e had a 12 MHz 80286 CPU (switchable to 6 MHz, 1 MB RAM and a 20 MB hard drive.

The T3100e/40 was the same as the T3100e, but with a larger 40 MB hard drive.

The T3100SX had a 16 MHz i386SX CPU, 1 MB RAM and a 40 MB or 80 MB hard drive, a VGA 640x480x16 shade black & orange gas plasma display or black & white LC, and also included an internal rechargeable battery, for true portability.In Japan, the Japanese version of T3100 was marketed as J-3100.

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