If you're one of the many people replacing an unwieldy tube-based TV with plasma technology, you'll want to take a look at what goes on behind the screen
The process begins with the manufacturing of thin glass sheets. Plasma display-panel makers normally cut six 42-in. glass panels and four 50-in. panels from a large mother-glass-sheet. TV makers use the whole glass sheet to make a mammoth panel measuring bigger than 100 inches.
In a plasma display panel, two glass sheets sandwich a gas that turns electric signals into glowing plasma to produce visible light. High electric voltage is applied through "bus electrodes" and "sustain electrodes" to create plasma. On top of the back glass substrate, red, green, and blue phosphorescent chemicals coat divided chambers to generate different colors.
An address electrode serves as a light switch. Plasma generates ultra-violet light that stimulates phosphorescent chemicals to produce different colors of visible light. Unlike in an LCD panel, no back light is needed in a plasma display device.Engineers operate robots through computers to print phosphorescent chemicals on the back substrate of a plasma display panel.
Printed circuit boards are added to the plasma display panels to make the modules that are then sent to TV makers. Printed circuits are used to send a signal to each pixel.
Workers package plasma display modules to place them in boxes before sending them to TV manufacturers who add TV signal receivers, speakers, control panels, and covers to make sets.
Members at the quality control unit check image quality of plasma TVs.
Flat panel plasmas and LCDs vie for a spot at home, as the new era of high-definition home theater finally arrives.