Popularity of an Plasma HDTV is greatest among the sophisticated elite, buffs of home theater, and hardcore football fans. In the TV spectrum you will find these mostly at the higher definition end. Normal TV sets cannot give the same brightness as these. The black parts of the picture look much blacker. Ghosting cannot be found here, which implies that the response time is much better.
The viewing angle is also much wider than normal LCD TV sets. So more people can sit in a wider circle around the TV and still enjoy the picture clearly. For LCD, if you stand on the side, either to the left or right, the picture will look washed out. This will not happen here.
Now, LCDs are matching the plasma sets with their brightness, color representation and response times. However, they are no match for the deeper black levels while showing moving scenes. A moving scene means a scene where there are many objects with vast difference in color. A good example of this is a picture of a day with people and buildings. Parts of the scene would be lighter than the other. People and buildings would have deeper shades of black depending on whether they were in the shade or in the dark.
For an LCD, all picture elements are lit sideways. Therefore, deep black is not possible to show. Some cheap TVs will make the black look like deep gray. Plasma sets do not face any problems of this nature.
Because of the illumination technology used, these displays will have much brighter displays. They invariably have much higher brightness and contrast ratio. Here, contrast ratios can be as high as one million to one. What this means is that the brightest point on the picture could be one million times more bright than the least bright point. Very few LCD can match this.
Very large screens could be made with plasma technology and this is the biggest advantage, since very thin materials can be utilized. Since the pixels are all lighted individually, very bright images are possible. This makes the picture clarity also very good from large angles.
There is only one drawback for the plasma HDTV, like the Panasonic VIERA 50 inch model. These TVs are very expensive. Yet, as there is progress of technology, with newer discoveries being made, the rates are likely to fall. Anyway, the day of the CRT TV is fast approaching its end, and we may not see these space occupying and cumbersome TVs again.