Plasma Televisions: The End of an Era?

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When plasma TVs first hit the market in the early 2000s, they were considered the next-generation in technology that would eventually replace the large and heavy cathode ray TVs of that era. LCD TVs also entered the market and proved to be a formidable competitor.

While many industry analysts have argued that plasma technology offered better features than LCD, such as faster refresh rates and better viewing angles, they were more difficult to mass-produce smaller screens at higher resolution rates. LCD technology continued to significantly improve with both resolution and refresh rates, which led to LCD technology’s greater acceptance in the world of consumer electronics. Manufacturers soon found that it was more beneficial to their bottom-line to produce LCD TVs, which were less expensive to mass-produce and in higher demand.

Due to the overwhelming popularity of LCD televisions over the past several years, the demand for plasma televisions has dropped. As a result, most manufacturers have ceased production. Samsung SDI recently announced that they are ending production of plasma  televisions this November. Meanwhile, LG Electronics will remain as the only manufacturer that will still produce televisions with plasma technology, provided there is a consumer demand according to a recent announcement from the company.

What’s Next for TVs?

New display technologies such as the organic light emitting diode (OLED) screen are expected to eventually replace the LCD screen. The OLED screen is more energy efficient and thinner than existing LCD screens. The new generation of Ultra High Definition (UHD) TVs utilizes the OLED screen and provides a minimum resolution of 2,160 pixels. This surpasses the current maximum resolution of 1080 pixels provided by full high definition LCD TVs.

As demand continues for clearer and more realistic displays, TV manufacturers will continue to develop and adopt new technologies to meet consumer demand.