What are Plasma TVs? A Postmortem…

Plasma TVs used to be all the rage in affluent homes around the world. Owning one was seen as a sign that you had made it. Today, Plasmas have been reduced to relics, overtaken by newer and better technologies, such as LEDs and LCD. The Chinese, who are the producers of everything these days, decided to pull the plug on them in 2015. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Plasma TVs are dead. They stubbornly cling to life in some homes and on the minds of hard pressed content creators (myself included). However, they are well and truly on their way towards the museum. So, what are plasma TVs and how do they work?

Plasma TV technology

Plasma TVs are a type of television that uses small cells that are filled with plasma, a type of gas that reacts to electricity. Plasma technology is, more or less, similar to what’s in fluorescent light bulbs. Plasma displays have tiny, colored fluorescent light bulbs that get lit up to produce an image. Each of the pixels on the display contains 1 red, 1 blue and 1 green bulbs (tiny), which get combined to produce the entire gamut of light on the screen.

Why did they stop making plasma tvs

There are a number of reasons why they stopped making Plasma TVs;

  • Newer and better technologies emerged in the form of LCDs. These offered better displays at a fraction of the cost of the producing Plasma displays.
  • The world, as already noted, became obsessed with making energy savings. And, in this regard, Plasmas failed to compete. LED backlit LCDs consume less energy than Plasma TVs. To be fair, Plasmas are no energy hogs. However, in the battle for market dominance, the fact that they consume more power became one of their major disadvantages. Never mind that the extra energy translates into only around $2 per month on comparable models.
  • Plasmas weigh way more than LEDs. This became a major point of attack for companies such as LG and Samsung that were at the head of the shift to LCDs. Panasonic, which tried to keep Plasmas going, was rather half heated in it’s efforts. The result was their inevitable demise.

Why were Plasma TVs popular?

Plasmas were, for a long while, the most popular type of TV that could be found on the market. And that was for a reason;

  • They could produce vivid colors and were bright.
  • Plasma technology could be used to manufacture really big television screens.
  • They were able to produce vivid blacks.
  • Plasma TVS have wider viewing angles.


The following are some of the reasons why whatever happened to Plasmas…happened;

  • They could suffer from screen burn.
  • Power consumption was more than LED and LCD TVs.
  • The screens were made of glass, and there was sometimes glare from other sources.
  • They were generally very heavy.

Plasma TVs FAQs

The following are the frequently asked questions about Plasma TVs;

Should I buy a Plasma TV?

Does anyone make plasma TVs? Plasmas, as already noted, are no longer being manufactured. However, what should you do should you find one cheap, perhaps at a yard sale? Are plasma TVs still good? Well, I would advise you against buying it. You are better off buying and LED TV, which has greater energy efficiency.

However, if you are into gaming, you may want to buy a Plasma TV just to enhance the experience. See, Plasmas are really good for gaming. Why? Well, because they produce vivid colors way better than LCDs. And they are easier on the eye; you will not suffer that much eye strain while gaming on a Plasma.

Does anyone sell Plasma TVs anymore?

Plasmas are no longer being manufactured, so you won’t find one being sold in a mainstream shop. However, you may come upon one at an auction or yard sell. So, yes, they are still being sold, but not on the formal market. The ones that you will get today are mainly second had.

Who still makes Plasma TVs 2020?

Nobody still manufactures Plasmas in the year 2020. The last one was manufactured in 2015. So, there you have it! They are still around, but they are no longer being actively manufactured!

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