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How Does Plasma TV Work?

The digital revolution? High def? If these buzzwords and catchphrases seem little more than babbled jargon, then the concept of plasma technology must seem as complicated as long division whilst blindfolded and listening to The Rites of Spring. Well, it doesn't need to be, and this article aims to distill the near future of television technology into 500 words of plain English.

Look at your TV, not at the screen, but at its shape. It is a square box because it contains a cathode ray tube and the bigger the screen size, the further back the traditional TV set needs to stretch in order to accommodate the length of the old style tube. Plasma TV uses pixels instead, each tiny pixel contains three fluorescent lights: red, green, and blue, and these each light-up at a different brightness to mix and create the suitable colour for the desired image.

So where does "plasma" come into it? The plasma is simply the gas inside the system, in this case xenon and neon. When an electrical current is passed into the plasma, the xenon and neon atoms are stimulated enough to release ultraviolet light photons, which can then be converted into visible light photons. The plasma is contained within many tiny cells that are positioned in between a number of electrodes.

At the rear of the system are the "Address Electrodes", positioned horizontally behind each row of cells. In front of the cells are the "Display Electrodes", these are positioned vertically in front of each column of cells. Essentially, when the TV receives the information that it needs to display a certain colour, the electrodes are charged, and at each position the charged electrodes cross, the plasma in the cell then becomes ionized thus lighting the pixel. The electrodes do this thousands of times a second.

So how does the ultraviolet light then become visible? There is an interesting similarity with the traditional CRT televisions and plasma technology here. Your old TV created images by charging phosphor atoms at the front end of the tube. Plasma screens use phosphor too, at the rear of each tiny cell is a layer of phosphor which is charged once the ultraviolet light photons are produced by the stimulated xenon and neon. Simple, huh?

So if you do choose to purchase a plasma TV, or are lucky enough to receive one for Christmas, even if the latest edition of X Factor isn't too stimulating you can still marvel at the genius behind the technological complexity that is projecting Simon Cowell's pearly whites so crisply!

If you are looking for a []cheap LCD TV or a []Plasma TV, and dealtime are a great way to find products online, including product reviews.

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