Big screen TV made from plasma
(CNN) -- Calling all home theater buffs -- are you one of those people that must have the latest and greatest high-tech gadget? Well, this week's Technofile could make you the big boy on the block—literally!
CNN correspondent Bruce Burkhardt spoke to Nippon Electronics Company Vice President Bob Hana in front of the world's largest plasma screen television. The 61-inch monster retails for a bargain basement price of $20,000.
Q: So explain to me, what is plasma TV?
A: The plasma display monitor is actually a technology that differs from normal cathode-ray tube (CRT) sort of tube technology and liquid crystal display (LCD). Inside this particular display are millions of small little bubbles, (with) plasma inside, and each one of them is individually excited electronically to create a spectrum of color.
Q: What is plasma? Is there a quick definition of that? We throw that word around but help me understand what plasma is.
A: It's a gas... and by exciting that gas and putting phosphorus you are actually able to create colors.
Q: What makes it better?
A: You can get plasma in a very large format. Where CRT tubes really get too weighty, too cumbersome, in a large screen format, this one weighs about 135 pounds.
Q: Which also explains why it's thin.
A: Very thin, it's less than five inches in depth, so you get the advantage of depth, you get the advantage of weight, it's a very large screen, as well as angle of view -- this technology you can see as well off-axis as you can see on-axis.
Q: Is NEC the only one doing this plasma technology in television and monitors right now?
A: No, we are one of the few that actually manufacture and own the core technology, we are the only one manufacturing in this screen size though.
Q: I would love to have this for my family room, how much would that set me back?
A: The 61-inch retails for $20,000 -- a year ago, it was $27,000, so the price is coming down. Part of our responsibility is to get that cost down further and to expand the market and make it a more affordable technology.
Q: Any new technology starts way high. What other features does this have?
A: The primary market is in the business sector, in the commercial areas (for) video-conferencing in larger screens, and dynamic signage into the public display -- so airport signage, flight information systems, retail stores where people are running advertising.
Q: It appeals to these markets because you can get into additional size without a lot of weight?
A: It allows them to customize their message; it allows them to give a more dynamic message instead of a static paper sign. Quite frankly, the sex appeal, the thinness, the high-tech draws people's attention more closely then just a regular television monitor.
Q: That is an amazing picture, can you give me a fair analysis, is that the high definition TV is that the monitor?
A: The right answer is both!
Q: What are we looking at here Bob?
A: We are actually looking at the split screen feature where you are able to put video source on one side here. We have the Spiderman game as well as a computer source.
Q: So you could have a power point presentation over here. How easy is it to go kind of back and forth?
A: Very much like a picture in picture technology, where you can size it, you can move it around a little bit, here you can see we've made the data larger.
Q: This is the largest plasma monitor?
A: The world's largest plasma monitor at 61 inch!
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