Plasma Burn In? What It Is...

Plasma Burn In? You CAN Prevent It, and YOU can Fix It!

First, some facts:

There is always the chance of an image being retained or burning itself into a plasma display panel or screen by having a static menu type picture on the screen for a long time.

Meaning, the screen of a Plasma TV will unevenly age if it is left on with a static image for a long time.

By this, I mean a picture that is unmoving on the screen like a game menu screen, or similar.

Uneven aging or screen burn exists in any other phosphor-based display also for example, CRT TV or rear projection TV with CRTs.

  • ...The good news?
  • Many manufacturers have created new flat panel types that prevent image retention or plasma burn-in.

    They have introduced features that reduce its occurrence.

    Also the phosphors are much tougher now and difficult to burn.

    Pixel shifting where the image is moved automatically on the screen, and other automatic features reduce burn.

  • ...More Good News!
  • You can prevent or reduce the likelihood of "Image Retention", also called Plasma Burn In by giving your new TV a "running in" period.

    This can help to optimize the screen brightness and lifespan during the critical first 6 weeks or so.

    Plasma TV sets are more susceptible to retention of the brightest areas during this period.

    As you probably know, TV sets on display in stores are set for high brightness and contrast.

    At home, it is probably darker, so especially at night, you can reduce the settings to a comfortable level.

    You may even want to calibrate your set which will set it up for optimal picture quality.

    Many DVD's are sold with a THX calibration feature in the menu, and others have different kinds of picture setup programs.

    They are all good! Most of them tell you what to do!

    ...BUT!...If you want a quick fix fast!

    Basically, just do the following to get into the ballpark:

    Get your manual or just grab your remote and:

  • Go to picture menu: Set picture mode to 'Standard'
  • Set the display to full screen or 16:9 widescreen
  • Change the programme you are viewing from time to time
  • You may need to enter the display mode on each of your devices, for example, in your Converter Box Or STB and your DVD player, etc to change their output to wide screen also..

    And inside your menu system there may be a section that has a "screen wipe" or an "All White" setting in there.

    Just enable that, and watch the image retention or screen burn disappear.

    Don't leave it like that though. Consult your manual for the proper use of this setting

    Remember! The scrolling logos and station watermarks can be retained on screen or burn in if they are left on for hours, or horrors...even DAYS!

    I've seen a case of Plasma burn in recently, the 4:3 image was burnt in, so the edges were brighter.

    ...Admittedly it is a 5 year old set, with a cheaper brand name, in a hotel with a Game type menu on it.

    Still, be careful with new sets, we don't know how they will handle these things long term..

    Avoid any static images like video games, computer screens, DVD title screens, channel numbers, etc etc during your 6 week running in time.

    After the six week run-in period, and during the next six months:

    ...Do all the things above, but don't panic too much:

    Just don't let things like menus from DVD's and so on be on the screen for too many hours and Your Plasma will survive Plasma burn in and last for years.

    After six months, your panel should also be more resistant to image retention.

    For more info about LCD vs Plasma HDTV, go to HDTV Battleground: LCD vs Plasma

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