In the fifties, the old black and white cabinet television sets were considered the latest in technology.
The appearance of smaller, cathode ray tube colour television sets was a vast innovation, but the new sets were bulky and took up almost as much space as the old cabinets.
While colour was an improvement, the picture wasn't always very clear.
The introduction of plasma television revolutionized the entire industry.
In 1996, the US government mandated that TV stations begin to broadcast in digital format.
This made possible the introduction of plasma television sets.
Digital television (DTV) has vastly improved picture quality and has made it possible for more channels to be broadcast using the same amount of space.
Mass production of plasma monitors has made them affordable to the vast majority of consumers.
Plasma monitors are far more convenient than the old television sets.
The monitors are usually only 6 inches thick and have a wider screen than ever.
The size of plasma monitor is continuously growing, the largest one being 15 feet tall and 11 feet wide.
The old television sets were sensitive to light and glare and showed the best pictures in a darkened room.
The pictures shown on the new plasma sets do not become washed out nor do they suffer from annoying glare.
Instead, their coulor range and clarity is far superior to anything offered in the past.
The reason plasma television offers improved viewing that it entails an entirely new technology.
Within the plasma monitor, there are thousands of cells called pixels.
These pixels contain xenon, neon and helium gasses and are coated in phosphor atoms.
The pixels are red, green and blue.
These colors combine to produce all other available colors.
The color pixels are located between two sheets of glass.
When the television is turned on, free radicals are discharged into the cells and turn into ions.
When these ions bind together, plasma is formed.
The gasses within the pixels send out ultraviolet light which illuminates each pixel.
This process brings the plasma image to the screen.
Consumers have embraced plasma television sets for their high quality and ability to save space.
The new monitors can be set on a counter or mounted to a wall.
The new pictures being transmitted are superior in colour and have a higher contrast ratio of dark and light colors, allowing for better viewing.
Although consumers love their new plasma television sets, they have remained concerned over the high consumption of energy required to run them.
They are expensive to use at a time when consumers are looking for energy efficiency instead of energy waste.
These problems may be a thing of the past as a new generation of plasma television sets are in the process of being introduced.
The 2008 Consumer Electronics Show launched a new plasma display capable of greater energy efficiency.
Through improved design, these new sets use only half as much energy as the current sets.
This will amount to considerable energy savings.
The new generation of plasma television sets is thinner, provides even better quality viewing and will be offered in a wireless version for easy installation.
Consumers are enjoying the age of improved television viewing.
As prices of the plasma televisions fall, the demand for plasma TVs will be greater than ever.