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Media for the Message

Jan 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

Plasma manufacturers on house-of-worship applications.

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Why should a house of worship choose plasma technology over other flatpanel displays for their installations?

Baumann: There are a few key benefits to using a plasma display versus an LCD in this type of venue. First, you can get larger plasma screen sizes for less money than comparable LCD displays. Also, plasmas have a high viewing angle, meaning that the picture can be seen easily from virtually any angle. In a house of worship, congregation members are sitting in many different positions in reference to the display's location. Easy viewing with a crystal-clear picture is important for these members, so they can read song lyrics and see videos without trouble.

DeManss: Plasmas have a much faster pixel-response time than LCD, meaning that motion video will appear sharp and clear in motion images, where LCDs tend to blur due to relatively slow response times. Even at 4 milliseconds, the LCD images will blur under certain motion conditions to the extent that even full-HD images in quick motion will appear with sub-SD video-resolution clarity.

There is also longevity to consider. PDPs [plasma display panels] are rated at 60,000 or 100,000 hours, and tend to be more reliable over time. [With] LCDs, while claiming [60,000-hour] durability, these ratings are typically measured in tightly controlled and non-real-world conditions (reduced brightness, running 24/7, etc.) to hide the effects of accelerated aging which occur every time an LCD is turned on or off. Also, as LCDs run at a higher brightness, the typical power supply is designed to maintain the set brightness level by “over driving” the circuits. This will accelerate aging while consuming more power over time.

Hale: Other reasons to choose plasma displays include better color rendition (blacks look black, etc.) and no motion blur on video. Plasma is also power efficient, which is good for houses of worship because it won't cause an increase in the electric bill. These applications should also be careful to select professional plasmas over consumer plasmas or LCD. The professional plasmas are built to be durable and flexible for multiple applications, while consumer plasmas are built to deliver a high-quality picture within a home theater environment.

Holmes: If the application is the display of schedules, events, images, or windowed video for information and signage purposes, then surely plasma should not be used because of the inherent risk of burn-in. However, if the unit is going to be used exclusively for full-screen video, then plasma is the right choice. While the gap is closing quickly, currently plasma technology still provides a better contrast ratio and better color depth than LCD.

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