How A Plasma TV Works (A Quick Simple Guide)

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How plasma TV works

What is plasma and what can it do?

A plasma is a gas. It is made up of an equal number of positively and negatively charged electrons
which means it has no actual electrical charge. However if you supply an electrical current to one of
these plasmas then it becomes positively charged and produces light.


A phosphor is a coloured substance coated to the screen. On a plasma screen they are either Red,
Green or Blue. Light from the electrically charged plasma causes the phosphor to produce a colour,
Red, Green or Blue depending upon the colour of the phosphor.

Sub pixels are phosphors

Red, green and blue phosphors, known as sub pixels, are lit in the manner described above. It is the
combination of the three colours at varying intensities, caused by varying electrical currents, that
can produce any colour.


A pixel is made of 3 sub pixels(phosphors), It is the dot you can actually see if you look close to the
screen. Combinations of dots (pixels) make a picture and when redrawn very quickly these makes
the moving picture that we see.

Controlling the pixels

There is a lattice of circuits (one for each sub pixel phosphor) that can be accessed individually one
after the other with a current of varying voltage. The circuits connect to electrodes which fire the
plasma to light each individual sub pixel phosphor at the required intensity. The sub pixels then
light the pixel at the precise colour required. This happens very rapidly (around 60 times a second for every sub pixel!!!) creating the stunning images
that we see on the screen.
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