When Was the First Plasma TV Invented

When was the plasma TV invented? The technology, which involves a flat plasma display panel that contains tiny pockets held in between two pieces of glass, seems like a relatively new development. However, plasma technology actually has a history that is more than four decades old.

The 1960s
The plasma display screen was invented in 1964 by two University of Illinois professors, Donald Bitzer and Gene Slottow. The display panels were designed to help people work longer in front of the computer, as the plasma video display did not flicker and refreshed quickly. In the late 1960s, an electrical engineering student named Larry Weber improved upon the plasma display concept and worked with the original inventors to fine-tune it. He filed over a dozen patents for variations of the plasma display technology, with some still being used today.

Application In The 1970s
The plasma display screens were incorporated into adding machines, computer screens, pinball machines, navigational instruments and cash machines from the 1970s to the early 1990s. Many people might remember the orange screens appearing on these kinds of electronic items, as plasma displays dominated during the 1970s and 1980s.

The 1980s And 1990s
LCD displays began to gain in popularity in the 1980s, as they used less power. The competition between the two technologies forced even more improvements in plasma technology. In 1987, the IBM company sold its plasma display manufacturing plant to a small company called Plasmaco, founded by Larry Weber, Stephen Globus and James Kehoe. Using color plasma display technology perfected in Japan, Plasmaco paired up with Panasonic to manufacture color plasma displays in the United States. Color plasma TV technology quickly dominated the industry, with companies like Fujitsu, Philips and Pioneer producing plasma televisions in the late 1990s.

Plasma TVs Today
The plasma flat screen TV was the high-tech television of choice, but LCD technology began closing the gap in the early 2000s. In 2006, LCD televisions outsold plasma TVs for the first time. The improvements in LCD technology resulted in lighter display screens, cheaper TV sets and less electricity used.

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