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3DTV: Why plasma is better

Most currently available flat-panel TVs use one of two different display technologies: LCD or plasma.

But many LCD TVs are not capable of displaying full HD, and because of the slower pixel response times of LCD screens, there are a number of good reasons to go for plasma – especially when it comes to displaying 3D content.

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LCD screens work by sandwiching a layer of liquid crystal between two polarising filters. When a voltage is applied to the liquid crystal in each of the screen's pixels, the crystal 'twists', causing it to bend the light shining through from the screen's backlight.

Because the polarising filter at the front of the screen only lets through light from certain angles, this causes the pixel to turn 'on' or 'off'.

The down side to using LCD technology is the time it takes the liquid crystal to twist and untwist. This is called the 'response time' of the screen, and LCD's slow response times can cause fast-moving action to appear blurred and muddy.

For 3D, that's fatal. In order to create a convincing 3D image, it's vital to switch cleanly from one image to the next so that each eye only sees what it's supposed to. Panasonic's TX-P50VT20B and TX-P42VT20B Full HD 3D TVs use NeoPDP plasma display technology to provide an immersive 3D experience.

Each pixel in a plasma display is made up of tiny red, green and blue dots – the primary colours of light. The intensity of each of these coloured dots can be minutely varied to create a vast array of realistic colours.

Each of the tiny dots contains gas or 'plasma', and works like a tiny fluorescent light. When a voltage is applied to the cell, positively and negatively charged particles in the gas rush around. And when they collide with each other, they produce light.

The benefit of this technology is that the gas cells light up almost instantaneously, providing much faster response than is typically possible from LCD displays.

And because the intensity of each red, green or blue cell can be minutely adjusted, plasma displays can create a much more lifelike array of colours than LCD displays.

Panasonic's NeoPDP plasma technology produces a picture that's over four times as bright as previous generations of plasma screen, and boast an ultra-high native contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1, giving you rich black tones and bright highlights.

It also incorporates Panasonic's exclusive 600Hz Intelligent Frame Creation Pro technology. For every frame of a 60Hz HD TV picture, Panasonic's NeoPDP display technology sends 10 tiny pulses to the individual pixels on screen, creating a smoother, flicker-free image for superb clarity. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.