Plasma displays use individual cells of gas to generate light. This technology is similar to what you would find in a fluorescent lamp, but with much more control over the light output.
Each cell can be controlled independently, allowing for great contrast and deep blacks. Plasma TVs have been around for many years, but have not gained much traction in the market for a variety of reasons.
The major problem with plasma displays is burn-in. If an image remains on the screen long enough, it can permanently damage the phosphors inside each plasma cell, causing a ghost image that cannot be removed no matter how hard you try.
This phenomenon was first reported during flights of military aircraft with radar screens that were left on overnight; sometimes the pilots would wake up with images still visible on their screens despite being turned off hours earlier. Plasma TVs are susceptible to this effect as well if static images are displayed for long periods of time (such as when paused games).
Last modified: August 11, 2022