Electronics World articles Popular Electronics articles QST articles Radio & TV News articles Radio-Craft articles Radio-Electronics articles Short Wave Craft articles Wireless World articles Google Search of RF Cafe website Sitemap Electronics Equations Mathematics Equations Equations physics Manufacturers & distributors LinkedIn Crosswords Engineering Humor Kirt's Cogitations RF Engineering Quizzes Notable Quotes Calculators Education Engineering Magazine Articles Engineering software RF Cafe Archives Magazine Sponsor RF Cafe Sponsor Links Saturday Evening Post NEETS EW Radar Handbook Microwave Museum About RF Cafe Aegis Power Systems Alliance Test Equipment Centric RF Empower RF ISOTEC Reactel RF Connector Technology San Francisco Circuits Anritsu Amplifier Solutions Anatech Electronics Axiom Test Equipment Conduct RF Copper Mountain Technologies Exodus Advanced Communications Innovative Power Products KR Filters LadyBug Technologies Rigol TotalTemp Technologies Werbel Microwave Windfreak Technologies Wireless Telecom Group Withwave RF Cafe Software Resources Vintage Magazines RF Cafe Software WhoIs entry for RF Cafe.com Thank you for visiting RF Cafe!
Anatech Electronics RF Microwave Filters - RF Cafe

Werbel Microwave (power dividers, couplers)

Please Support RF Cafe by purchasing my  ridiculously low−priced products, all of which I created.

RF Cascade Workbook for Excel

RF & Electronics Symbols for Visio

RF & Electronics Symbols for Office

RF & Electronics Stencils for Visio

RF Workbench

T-Shirts, Mugs, Cups, Ball Caps, Mouse Pads

These Are Available for Free

Espresso Engineering Workbook™

Smith Chart™ for Excel

Axiom Test Equipment - RF Cafe

Thin TV Display Panel
January 1973 Popular Electronics

January 1973 Popular Electronics

January 1973 Popular Electronics Cover - RF CafeTable of Contents

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Popular Electronics, published October 1954 - April 1985. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.

Fujitsu 42" Plasma Television - RF CafeAlthough not routinely referred to as plasma displays at the time, the "thin TV displays" reported in this 1973 article in Popular Electronics magazine was one of the first instances of commercially viable schemes. According to Wikipedia, Fujitsu introduced the first full-color plasma display panel (PDP) in 1992 - with a 21" screen - two decades after this device 80x212-pixel monochrome designed by Zenith. I remember seeing the 42" Fujitsu plasma TVs in Best Buy with a $10,000 price tag sometime in the mid 1990s, which jives with Fujitsu's stated plan of selling the first units at around 1 million yen (~$8,800 at today's exchange rate). Prior to the advent of plasma displays, rear-projection screen televisions were the main way to get really large displays. While rear-projection displays suffered from narrow viewing angles, plasma displays suffered from pixel burn-in that gradually reduced contrast to annoyingly low levels. Both options carried a relatively large price tag compared to 25" and 27" CRT televisions.

Thin TV Display Panel

Thin TV Display Panel, January 1973 Popular Electronics - RF Cafe

Zenith device has same apparent resolution as conventional CRT.

Research scientists from Zenith Radio recently unveiled their version of a thin TV display panel whose 5/8" thickness produces a picture that, except for brightness, rivals that of a conventional CRT.

The experimental unit uses a Burroughs "Self-Scan" panel consisting of 80 columns and 212 rows of gas cells, at present producing a red picture due to the neon gas used. At the present state of development, the panel has a peak luminance of 8 foot-lamberts, and a contrast ratio of 40:1.

In operation (see at left), a full line of cells is addressed at the same time and the incoming video is stored in 80 individual capacitors that control the current sources for each column. Modulating these currents produces a wide-range linear gray scale.

Comparison between the thin panel and conventional color receiver - RF Cafe

Comparison between the thin panel and conventional color receiver.

Without the associated electronics, the panel is only 5/8" thick - RF Cafe

Without the associated electronics, the panel is only 5/8" thick.

The illumination time of the full line of gas-discharge cells is 60 microseconds compared to the 100-nanosecond excitation time of each phosphor dot in a color CRT.

In the thin panel, light is emitted from each cell only as long as the current is applied, and there is no persistence.

In the test demonstration, the 5/8" thick panel was 2.4" wide by 6.3" high and the 25" color CRT was masked to show a picture of the same dimensions. The apparent picture resolution was similar as the photos show.

Thin screen TV panel - RF CafeDr. Robert Adler, Zenith vice president of research said, "What we have learned is encouraging. However, there are many problems to be solved before these panels can be considered for product use. The present panel produces a red monochrome picture, and three colors must be produced in the panel. Each column of the display requires a driver which in a commercial unit would mean 1500 separate drivers. This will require IC's that can handle the needed voltage. And, finally, much higher luminance and better power utilization will be required."

The receiver screen is masked to show same area as panel. (Right) Close-up of panel shows excellent resolution.



Posted March 1, 2024
(updated from original post on 10/5/2017)

Axiom Test Equipment - RF Cafe
ConductRF Phased Matched RF Cables - RF Cafe

Amplifier Solutions Corporation (ASC) - RF Cafe

RF Cascade Workbook 2018 by RF Cafe