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Is plasma TV "burn in" anything to worry about?

by videoguy17 / October 15, 2009 12:45 AM PDT

Just yesterday our family bought our first flat panel TV. Its a 42 inch Insignia Plasma (made by the same company as Samsung is what I was told by the people at best buy).

I've heard you should be careful about "burn in" on a plasma tv for the first 200 hours of use and not put the contrast on the tv above 50. But I've heard from other sources that "anti burn in features" in TVs will prevent this, and it is not necessary.

Do I need to worry about burn in on my new tv? Should I keep the contrast low, even though the picture looks much better on a contrast setting around 70 or 80?

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Yes, but...
by Pepe7 / October 15, 2009 1:06 AM PDT

..the name brand HDTVs emply technologies to help combat this. It's still prudent to be wary of static images during the break in period just to be on the safe side. Although some of the BB house brand panels may be manufactured by Samsung/LG, etc., they may not all have the same technologies to prevent burn in or IR (image retention). There are some helpful threads on burn in, as well as links to break in DVDs you can make to speed up the phosphor wear process per se. Check out the plasma sub-forum @ AVS forums.


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It does have
by videoguy17 / October 15, 2009 2:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes, but...

Yes, it does have a burn in prevention feature that is turned on..I believe it is suppose to make sure no pixel stays a single color longer than 2 minutes?

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by Pepe7 / October 15, 2009 4:49 AM PDT
In reply to: It does have

It may still be effective to keep contrast modest and avoid static images for extended periods of time. I'd also look into the break in DVD. FWIW, I set up a friend's HDTV to run the DVD while he was at work.

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Take care
by WildClay / October 15, 2009 7:25 AM PDT

As others have noted try to keep the contrast levels lower during the break in period.

I don't actually know of anyone that has has image retention of an actual image but I did see an older plasma set that had left/right lines where the 4:3 picture crops to, so during burn in perhaps the worst thing you can do is watch with anything less that the full screen, even if you have to use the "evil" zoom initially to keep the screen full.

That said, about 100 hours in to my burn in time I set up to record a Twilite Zone marathon and got distracted and it ended up on the screen, 4:3 for 6 hours and I had not even the slightest burn in lines from the 4:3 cropped picture.

Since then I have watched many non-16:9 wide screen movies that have top and bottom bars and again no burn in issues at all.

Bottom line these days seems to be, keep/ the contrast reasonable for 100-200 hours and you are pretty much good to go.

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Latest technology has eradicated Plasma burn
by mtrunz / October 16, 2009 2:19 PM PDT
In reply to: Take care

WildClay hit the nail on the head when he mentioned seeing image retention on an older set but not on recent models. If you buy a cheap no name Chinese knock off that uses old technology I would play it safe and take the precautions mentioned here by WildClay but the circuitry employed on today's name brand plasma sets has eliminated any chance of burn in or image retention. Simply put, you'd be more likely to get image retention on your tube set than you would on plasma sets using the today's technology. There are still so many misconceptions about plasma TV. This is just another example of misinformation being passed along. That being said, it's always good to see consumers get educated and you can't do that without asking a few questions. Contrary to what some may may tell you, there are no dumb questions. The only dumb questions are the ones you don't ask so keep on asking!

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Burn in
by ericwb123 / July 21, 2012 3:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Take care
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Don't worry
by 3rdalbum / October 16, 2009 8:47 PM PDT

You don't need to worry about burn-in if you've bought an actual brand-name plasma TV. These days, burn-in is as much as myth as "regassing" or "cancer-causing radiation".

You shouldn't buy any non-brand-name consumer electronics, full-stop, but even with third-rate brands I've never seen burn-in. Never. I knew someone who'd been in the industry longer than I had, and they had seen burn-in on a rear-projection TV but that's as close as I've ever been to the problem.

So, plasmas don't need to have the gas replenished, they don't use as much power as a fridge, they don't give you cancer and they don't get burn-in.

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by bigbyronWSC / November 19, 2009 6:59 AM PST
In reply to: Don't worry

This helped me so much! I was worried about getting the Plasma but after reading this I'm not worried anymore. Going to go get it tomorrow! Thanks guys!

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It can still happen.
by bb-15 / January 24, 2010 3:43 PM PST

My newest Panasonic 50 inch plasma (TC-P50S1) has a slight image retention problem. I also own another 50 inch plasma by Panasonic (TH-50PX75U) and have not had an image retention problem with this older model. I followed the break in recommendations (full screen moving images for the first 100 hours) for both TVs. I also never use the Vivid setting.

The image retention for the new plasma are slight ring images which can be seen pretty easily when the screen goes black or when there is a single pale color. How did this happen? The new TV had over 200 hours of use and so I thought that it was safe to play games. My son is a huge fan of Dragon Age Origins and during the recent holiday break he probably played that game on this TV for over a hundred hours.

Yesterday I noticed the slight ring images on the TV when he turned off the game and there was a black screen. I noticed that these matched circular maps and other displays in the Dragon Age game. I immediately have been playing hours of full-screen moving images on the TV hoping to wash away the static images. So far, the images remain. I'll continue doing my full screen moving image treatment.

Anyway, slight image retention can happen with a new plasma TV if a person plays the same computer game almost exclusively on the TV for couple of weeks.

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IR is not the same as permanent burn in
by Pepe7 / January 24, 2010 11:53 PM PST
In reply to: It can still happen.

Do the research.

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by bb-15 / January 25, 2010 5:42 AM PST

From Pepe7 "IR is not the same as permanent burn in". 1. I did not use the term "burn in". Why? Because the term image retention/persistence is used by many manufacturers. From the Plasma Display Coalition website which includes Panasonic as a sponsor. "The issue of image retention, otherwise popularly known as ?burn-in?, is of concern to any potential buyer of a plasma TV." From wikipedia; "Image persistence is the LCD and plasma display equivalent of screen burn." The OP and others are not using the more technical term, image persistence/retention. 2. From Pepe7 "Do the research." I have done some. There was a study on the Plasma Display Coalition site which I already referenced, and here is more research from the following article; "Test Results - After the 48-hour test, all LCD and microdisplay rear projection televisions scored a "1", as there was no indication of any image retention after the test period. Plasma, on the other hand, did show clear signs of image retention, with all displays scoring a "5" after 48-hours of displaying the video game menu. However, after running a movie loop on each plasma display for 24 hours, ISF testers could not perceive the previously retained images while watching video on the plasmas after the 24 hour "fix". As such, plasma's image retention score went back down to a "1"." What this tells us imo; - A. That plasma TVs are more prone to image retention than LCD TVs. - B. If a plasma TV is used exclusively for hardcore gaming (one game, 48 hours straght), this plasma TV must have (sometimes several hours) moving full screen images displayed (for several hours) to remove the image retention. This IR will not go away while the TV is off or while the same computer game is played.

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by Dan Filice / January 25, 2010 12:04 PM PST
In reply to: FYI

Correct bb-15, which is why I am happy with my P.O.S. TV's (SXRD rear-projection and standard LCD TV). I like Plasmas, but I noticed exactly what you describe on my friends $5000 58" Panny Plasma, and if this happened to my TV, I would not be able to sleep at night. Just knowing that this issue was even possible would drive me nuts.

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Same issue re-hashed
by Pepe7 / January 25, 2010 11:27 PM PST
In reply to: FYI

Are you arguing over semantics, or what's really involved in real-world terms here?

Did you abuse the relatively new PDP by letting your son play video games with extended periods of intense/static images? Yes. Was there permanent damage? Luckily, no. Can the built-in technology assist in removing transient IR? Yes. There's nothing really new involved here, just the same old discussion. Fact: the newer plasmas handle such issues much, much better than the older ones.

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To Pepe7
by bb-15 / January 26, 2010 1:03 AM PST
In reply to: Same issue re-hashed

From Pepe7;"are you arguing over semantics, or what's really involved in real-world terms here?" I am using the terms (image retention/persistence) which are used by Panasonic (as per their manuals) and technical websites I mentioned. - From Pepe7;"Did you abuse the relatively new PDP by letting your son play video games with extended periods of intense/static images? Yes." 1. My comments were in context of this thread. As posted by 3rdalbum; "These days, burn-in is as much as myth as "regassing" or "cancer-causing radiation"." My response was that "burn-in " or the technical term "image retention/persistence" can still happen. 2. Now you are accusing me of "abuse" of my plasma TV. A. As I wrote, I did the recommended (by several websites) 100 hour break in period period. B. But if you are saying that playing one computer game exclusively on a broken in plasma TV is "abuse", then this is information for people to know. I don't believe it's abuse. It is a problem imo which people can address from my experience and as per some of the websites I mentioned. - From Pepe7;Was there permanent damage? Luckily, no. Luck had nothing to do with it. I was monitoring the TV and I took action as soon as I saw the problem. It is that action which I'm informing people of. * By my playing full screen TV images overnight, it pretty much washes out the IR created by the computer game being played during the day. So, because I am informed, I was able to take care of the problem.

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Video games on TVs
by Dan Filice / January 26, 2010 2:29 AM PST
In reply to: To Pepe7

Wow, some of you ought to have my two sons spend time with you for a month or so and see how their "normal" TV use affects your TVs. A weekend with 5+ hours of game play per day is normal in our household. Just try telling my two sons to limit the hours they play games on our TVs because they may cause image retention or whatever you want ot call it. Yeah, right. That would go over like a fart in a submarine.

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[OT] 5 hours??!!
by Pepe7 / January 26, 2010 5:50 AM PST
In reply to: Video games on TVs

You have to admit that's approaching couch potato status for someone under 18. Sorry, but as a parent, you're taking the easy route IMHO.

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To Dan; kids and Video games on TVs
by bb-15 / January 26, 2010 12:34 PM PST
In reply to: Video games on TVs
"A weekend with 5+ hours of game play per day is normal in our household." - Yup, that's my experience too. Tonight my son again started up Dragon Age Origins. * To recap what we're doing to protect our Plasma TV (with a new hint). - Break in a plasma the first 100 hours with full screen moving video. - After this, if a kid insists on hours with one game, check for ghost images. If you see them, turn the TV on, overnight if you have to, with hours full screen moving images until the ghost images are gone. - And a new idea; when a kid plays their game, use the button which changes the screen to Zoom, 4:3, Full, etc. every half hour or so to move the stationary game images to slightly different locations. * Doing all of this has allowed my son to continue to play his game for hours while removing image retention and preventing permanent damage.
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Alternative for kids & break-in
by Pepe7 / January 26, 2010 11:12 PM PST

Grab a cheap LCD on sale at Costco or Target and let the kids have at it instead of having to worry about the primary HDTV in the house. After that marathon gaming session, push the kids outside for some fresh air Wink For future plasma break-ins, you might consider utilizing the break-in DVD that's free to download/burn (.iso file). I've set it up to run on friend's new PDPs for upwards of one week straight during the day when they were at work or out of town. The were well over 200 hours of break in time in less than 2 weeks.

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by Pepe7 / January 26, 2010 2:59 AM PST
In reply to: To Pepe7

I'm glad the discussion is about semantics and not about what you are seeing on your HDTV. Panasonic has unfortunately chosen unwisely to lump the two terms together synonymously. In many internet discussion forums (and sometimes even heavily consulted but incomplete sources such as CR) the terms are used and implied to mean the same thing, albeit incorrectly. Burn in is correctly used as a permanent type of damage to one's PDP. Image Retention & Image Persistence are better used as monikers to describe the transient phenomenon that is not any type of permanent damage to a PDP. Keep in mind that this mysterious '100 hour break in period' isn't always cut and dry in the sense that you will not necessarily witness a certain display behave in a particular way after that point. There aren't many arguments to suggest that even after that point the phosphors won't still continue to age and/or settle. Again, there's really nothing new in this discussion- you see it re-hashed in other places.

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Burn-In can happen on any TV
by Dan Filice / January 26, 2010 5:33 AM PST
In reply to: Good

If you work in a broadcast facility where, for the past zillion years, they used CRT tube monitors, you will see most of them have burn-in because have pre-set templates or lower-third titles up day-in and day-out. It can happen to any TV if an image or logo is left on for days or weeks. I know we home consumers don't do this, but I just bring it up to illustrate that burn-in can happen to any set.

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Absolutely correct
by Pepe7 / January 26, 2010 5:55 AM PST

It can and does sometimes happen to HDTVs, as it did on old CRTs showing the news-ticker (etc.) 24/7. I just don't want folks to get any sort of notion in their heads that they should be avoiding the current plasma models that deal with it very well compared to their older cousins.

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Dragon Age Origins Image retention or screen burn?
by HMCastrejon / May 8, 2012 4:09 PM PDT
In reply to: It can still happen.

Hello! I have a Samsung 64D8000 and I honestly used it from the start in torch mode since the manual stated that the anti IR tools would be enough with this new model (no need to break in or not use torch mode according to them of course...). However, after perhaps reaching the first 50 hour mark (playing only 3d blu rays mostly) I began playing dragon age origins, just like your son, and it was almost the only thing the set was used for for about a month...then, I even began playing the downloadable content as well as the awekening expansion...again, I played the game almost exclusively (just watched a few blu ray movies every now and then in between).

Yesterday, when I totally finished the game, while playing the Matrix Releaded blu ray, in a almost all white scene I noticed something odd, so I stop it and put on an all white photo, and I indeed notices 4 vertical rings on the left side of the tv, barely noticeable (you have to pay attention to see them, but they are there), they are of course, the rings where the characters faces appeared in the game... Also, a little bit more noticeable is a bigger ring on the upper right side of the TV, guess what, precisely where the game s map was...

I have obviously began using the Scrolling tool for 2 hours now...So my question or question to you is: Since you had kind of the same problem from the same source (dragon age) under pretty much the same circumstances (almost the only thing fed to the TV for weeks), could you please tell me if the rings ever washed out? if so, are they 100% not visible now? and also, how did you get rid of them? (in detail if its not too much to ask, any help with this would be very very appreciated...)

I honestly fear that the rings will not go away, after two straight hours using the scrolling tool, the rings just seem to "strong" for the scrolling tool to ever get rid of them...of course its been only 2 hours, out of probably 8 or 10 hours that this will take to erase but I am starting to get really nervous this is not an Image retention issue only, but a permanent burn in in my almost brand new, very expensive TV )= )

Thanks a lot in advance for your help

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Static content is never a good idea
by Pepe7 / May 9, 2012 12:52 AM PDT

Sorry to hear that ;(. Regardless of what the manufacturer says, it's never a good idea to *not* vary the type of material being viewed on a plasma. Gaming over long periods with static images is included as potentially risky behavior unfortunately. I *still* recommend break in since it so easy to do with the DVDs you can create on your own. Running it overnight/while at work greatly speeds up this process. You can get to 100 hours plus in less than a week.

That said, I would try a few things. First, two hours may not be enough for a pixel orbiter to remove IR. Let it run at least overnight. Second, you can try utilizing one of the tools that are freely downloadable from sites such as AVS forum to see if that helps get rid of it, provided it's not permanent damage. I will try to find you a link if it's still in my bookmarks. In the meantime, also run through the following entire thread @ AVS to see if anyone else has reported similar experiences with your model-

My gut feeling says this may be permanent damage, but I have not worked with that line of Samsung plasma personally. I will cross my fingers for you that this is indeed IR that will go away with more time.

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