Tuesday, January 04, 2005


Plasma screen, RIP

Being a big gadget person with less sense than dollars I have relied on the opinions of others to guide me for a lot of my high end tech purchases. Thank God. Now that I am a little older and have a few product cycles under my belt I am not so quick to jump at the latest. I have watched the HDTV hype and having seen a few HD broadcasts* on Plasma screens, I was all set to jump onto this trend. Circumstances prevented me from getting in on the first round. (I was broke) Then I started to hear bad things about Plasma screens. Specifically, they are prone to wearing down.

My clearing firm bought three 50" Plasma screens in 2001. That was back when they were well over $10k a pop. Part of the screen was used for a financial news broadcast and part was a feed from a financial data service that will remain nameless. (Not because the service did anything wrong, I just figured no company that has content for sale wants that content put on public display) The office manager told me that the part of the screen used for the data feed was wearing out. He said the technician who looked at it said that the screen was not designed for computer use. The data from the financial services did not change very often and that caused the the burnout. Keeping the display on a particular color wears on the screen. That was the first downside I had heard for Plasma screens.

Since I have heard much the same from others and now it looks like the market for big screen, HD is giving up on Plasma. Why? Well, there are a few guys on this site who know a whole lot more than I do about the science. But I can read and this looks like a technology that is a lot more promising. OLED displays have issues with the life of the display as you can see at the bottom of the previous linked to article. Maybe Samsung has a solution. Or maybe OLED's are so cheap to produce lifetime won't matter. Anyway, I will leave this to the scientists. While your at it, how about explaining surface conduction electron emitter display's (SED), also.

Take your time, I won't be moving back to the US until 2006.

*At least, what I thought were HD broadcasts. It is amazing how little those guys selling TV's know about their products.


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