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To reduce the low gray-level contours on a PDP, previous research has focused on error diffusion and dithering methods. Yet these error diffusion methods generate a look-up table based on the assumption that the output luminance levels of a PDP increase uniformly, when in reality they do not. Therefore, such methods are unable to effectively reduce low gray-level contours. Accordingly, the current paper proposes an error diffusion method based on the actual emission characteristics of a PDP, enabling effective reduction of low gray-level contours. In addition, a 9-subfield system is applied to improve the low gray-level expression in a PDP. Simulation results confirm that the proposed method can suppress low gray-level contours more effectively than conventional methods.