It seems like just yesterday when plasma displays dominated the market. From the late 1990s to the early 2000s, countless display devices were powered by plasma technology. Plasma is a type of display technology that, as the name suggests, contains plasma. It uses plasma-based cells that respond to electricity, thus creating visible images.

In more recent years, however, plasma displays become increasingly less common. Companies in the United States, for instance, stopped manufacturing them in 2014. Just two years later, companies in China followed suit. No matter where you shop, you probably won’t find any new plasma displays for sale. So, why aren’t plasma displays still around?

The Cost

One of the reasons why plasma displays are no longer around is the cost. When compared to newer display technologies — specifically liquid-crystal display (LCD) — plasma displays cost more to produce. With their high cost of production, they typically come with a higher retail and wholesale price as well. LCD displays cost less to produce. As such, they are less expensive than plasma displays.

The Weight

While plasma is considered a flat-panel display technology, plasma displays are heavier than LCDs. They weigh noticeably more than LCDs. Because of their heavy weight, plasma displays aren’t particularly mobile, nor are they are easy to lift or move. Along with the cost, the weight is plasma displays is one more reason why they are no longer produced.

Washed-Out Colors

There’s a difference in image quality between plasma displays and LCD displays. LCD displays, specifically, have stronger and deeper colors. Plasma displays, on the other hand, tend to suffer from washed-out colors. Washed-out colors are usually the result of shades of black being displayed. If a plasma display features an image with a dark gray color, for instance, all other colors will have a washed-out appearance. LCD displays don’t suffer from washed-out colors. They have stronger and deeper colors that provide higher-quality images.

Response Time

Plasma displays have a longer response time than LCDs. All displays have a response time. Response time is a specification that refers to the time it takes a display device to change its pixels. It’s usually measured in milliseconds, such as 5 milliseconds or 10 milliseconds. With that said, plasma displays almost always have a longer response time than LCDs. It will take a plasma display a longer period of time to change its pixels, resulting in a longer response time than that of an LCD display.