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Plasma Burn in & Prevention tips (white wash)

by jrett / December 28, 2005 12:44 AM PST

I just bought a new LG plasma, and am really paranoid about burn in.....should I be concerned about watching wide screen movies (with bars on top) and playing video games?

It has a 'white wash' function.... how long do you use this for? 5 seconds at a time?
Any advice would be great.


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Plasma Burn in & Prevention tips (white wash)
by jcrobso / December 28, 2005 2:30 AM PST

Todays plasma TVs do not have a problems with burnin.
It takes many hours of the same image on the screen to cause brunin.
If you play video games for 24hours a day, 7days a week for several months you might have a problem.
Only use the "white wash" when necessary. Just going to a full screen mode and watching for a couple of hours should handle most problems. John

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by jrett / December 28, 2005 4:45 AM PST

I feel better.

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Hitachi won't replace 3 month old Plasma - burned screen!!
by tacomasailor / January 17, 2006 4:34 AM PST

We have a Hitachi 42HDF52 plasma TV - bought new Sept 15, 2005.

The 4:3 aspect section now has a very distinct pink cast to it. This problem was first noticeable as a very faint pink tinge in early December when the TV was only 10 weeks old. At that time Hitachi phone support told us this was not burn in and they wanted a service tech to look at it. Now their tech came to the house and said it is burn in. Hitachi says they will not warranty the problem.

The image behind the pink is perfect. The center of the screen looks like you are looking thru a piece of transparent light plastic. The image brightness is slightly less than the border area but the image quality is the same.

When viewing a full screen solid white image the 4:3 section appears pink. When the image is blue, e.g. sky, the 4:3 section is purple, if the image is green, e.g. football field, the 4:3 section is brown.

This pink color is apparent even when there is no video signal fed to the tuner, e.g. when the system is searching for a source. The pink appears with all video sources, e.g. component, S-video, DVI, whether they come from Comcast, DVD, or off the air.

The size of the pink area does not change when changing aspect ratios.

The border area (outside the 4:3 center) is a little brighter than the center but has no pink overcast or tinge. The only time you do not see the pink tinge is when watching 4:3 with either gray or black borders. Then the center image looks normal. This may just be due to the lack of something for the eye to compare the center to.

This problem began less than ten weeks after we purchased the TV and is getting progressively worse, i.e. the pink is getting pinker.

We see no retained image, no logos, no crawls at the bottom, no kind of residual image anywhere on the screen. It is just PINK in the center.

We have never used the TV to play games and have been very careful to not allow static images. We channel surf constantly and switch channels whenever a commercial appears.

Hitachi says the pink tint is burn in caused by watching 4:3 apsect ratio images for more than 2 hours a day. They say that one can only watch 4:3 images for 15% of the time.

We do watch 16:9 full screen images two to four hours a day. We have left full screen 16:9 movies playing for 20 hours solid but the pink center remains.

I have talked to many video store employees and managers - they all say what you do - 'burnin is thing of the past for plasma' - yet here we have a TV that Hitachi says was burned in less than eight weeks use.

Do you still think burnin does not occur??

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That's A Defective Panel, Not Burn-In....
by Psych Doc / January 17, 2006 4:56 AM PST

...And you say their own technician said it was "burn-in?"


Either way, you should get a brand new set, no questions asked. Tell them you'll dispute the charge on your credit card (you still can, I believe) and make a complaint IN WRITING to the Better Business Bureau and your State's Dept of Consumer Affairs. Ask to speak to a supervisor in Hitachi's Customer Service Dept. and keep careful records of when you called, who you spoke to, about what, etc.

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Just a thought
by paulieboy / January 22, 2006 9:51 AM PST

According to VISA (Hope you purchased it using a VISA CARD) the offer a 3year warranty for electronics item that was purchased on their card. But clearly I think that they should have repaired it or even better to replace it. I had my eyes on that TV almost bought it. But even though this is a one in a million, I will never buy it.

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Defective plasma
by norlfolkcentral / January 23, 2006 9:58 AM PST

This set should be returned. Most states have an
"Implied Warranty Law" enforced by AG's division of
Consumer's Affairs. In Massachusetts you're entitled
to your choice of 1.) replacement, 2.) repair, or 3.)
a total refund. Basically, this means your purchase
must perform as advertised for 'reasonable' period of
time. Your Hitachi certainly did not do that.
Look into your state's consumer laws.
Give 'em Hell. take care.

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Hitachi 42" HDTV - Pink screen - Hitachi's response
by tacomasailor / January 19, 2006 3:15 PM PST

You can see a nice picture of our pink screen at:

I have posted here before about our 4-month old Hitachi 42HDF52 plasma TV ? (new Sept 15, 2005) that has a pink screen in the 4:3 section. I have talked with Hitachi about this problem many times. They sent a technician to the house to look at the TV. He says the pink is due to ?burn in.?

I escalated this problem to Hitachi Customer Relations who told me after an hour of discussion that they have to go by what the technician says and WILL NOT warranty the problem.

Here is an update about our discussions:

Hitachi?s definition of:
-burn-in: ?we can?t describe it in words but we know it when we see it? ? that is a literal quote. Additionally they said ?Only Hitachi can determine if the TV is burned? ? another literal quote
- static image ? ?the vertical black or gray bars on sides of a 4:3 image.?

- I pointed out that there is no residual image on the screen when powered off. The screen is perfectly uniform with no power. They said that in a Plasma TV the lack of a permanent image does not mean the lack of burn-in.

- I offered to hire (at my expense) an independent plasma TV expert to arbitrate. I assured Hitachi that they could have an absolute right to refuse the individual. I told them we both had to agree that the technician was independent and knowledgeable. Hitachi say ?NO ? we will only listen to our technicians.?

- The customer service representative did concede that he knows of no 42HDF52 ever being burned by any type of abuse.

-I also told Hitachi Customer Service we always use their screen saver. Their only response was that ?the screen saver is no assurance the TV will not be burned if you leave a static image.? To which I replied we have never left a static image on the screen. They said ?yes you did ? the vertical black or gray bars in 4:3 aspect are static images that will burn the TV.?

The image found at was taken with a Canon IS-90 digital camera. The signal fed to the Hitachi screen was a solid white display (a blank page in a PowerPoint slide show) coming from an HP computer in 1024x768 32-bit color. The connection was RGB.

Here are some details about the ?pink screen?

When viewing a full screen solid white image the 4:3 section appears pink. When the image is blue, e.g. sky, the 4:3 section is purple, if the image is green, e.g. football field, the 4:3 section is brown. The image behind the pink is perfect. The center of the screen looks like you are looking thru a piece of transparent light plastic.

The vertical borders outside the 4:3 center section are perfect ? regardless of what the 4:3 section looks like.

There is NO retained image or any visible difference in any part of the screen when the display is turned off. There is no grayed-out image anywhere on the screen at any time when powered on with a signal present. When the TV is powered on but there is no signal present, e.g. while searching for a signal, the 4:3 center of the screen is a muddy reddish brown and the 4:3 vertical border areas are a deep gray color.

When watching a Warren Miller video with skiers on a solid white slope with a bright blue sky ? the color is perfect in the vertical borders area but the sky is purple and the snow looks like Pepto-Bismol in the 4:3 section.

The pink appears with all video sources, e.g. component, S-video, DVI, whether they come from Comcast, DVD, or off the air.

The size of the pink area does not change when changing aspect ratios.

Problems I have with Hitachi:

Definition of Burn-in ? I asked for a quantifiable, measurable definition of burn-in. Hitachi told me that only an engineer or service technician can define burn-in and only those two types of person could understand the definition. I mentioned that I started working on digital circuits in 1974 and have worked with and taught classes in all forms of computer technology since 1969. I asked to speak with a person qualified to give me a definition of burn-in and they refused. They finally said ?only OUR service technician can tell if the TV is burned and it does not matter if you know the definition.?

The Hitachi Limited Warranty item J excludes from warranty coverage ?image burned caused by excessive display of static images.? That is an exact quote of the only reference in the warranty to burn-in.

Hitachi agrees that their service manual describes burn-in as ?the brightness of the phosphor will be degraded to such an extent that stationary images would burn-in that part of the screen as grayed-out images.? I told them there are no grayed- out images anywhere on the screen, rather the screen is PINK.

Their response was that grayed-out images are only one form of burn-in. They said burn-in could appear as many other problems: changes in color, decrease in brightness, lack of color.

I then asked how the 4:3 section was burned if as they claim the vertical gray or black bars on a 4:3 image are the static image that should be burned yet those areas of the screen are perfect in color, brightness, and sharpness.

I discussed the inconsistency of their saying the black bars receive no voltage and also calling those black bars static images. How can a lack of voltage cause burn-in. Their response was that ?we don?t understand that but I?ll talk to an engineer.?

Five minutes later they came back on the line and told me that ?the static image is the 4:3 section of the TV and that is what is being burned.? I asked how can a dynamic TV show be considered a static image. Their response was ?because that is what we meant by static image.?

They then told me that the problem was that with the vertical black bars on the 4:3 image, I said we had gray bars, they said ?that makes little difference ? the problem is still that all the screen voltage that should be spread across the entire screen is being concentrated in the 4:3 section ? thus over exciting the gas and burning the screen. Burning in this case is a rapid aging of the phosphors due to too much voltage thus using up their finite life?

They then emphasized that the pink color is due to uneven rapid aging. So ? I asked if in normal aging the pixels would turn pink. They said ?of course not but they did in your case.?

I pointed out that expected plasma screen life is at least 35,000 hours and the fact that we had used the TV for only 100 days. If we watched TV 10 hours a day then we had used only 1000 hours of the life (~2.9%). I acknowledged that the screen life is non-linear and they age more rapidly when new. So we had used maybe 10% of the screen?s life in the first 100 days.

Their response was back to ?too much voltage in the center section with 4:3 aspect ratio over-excites the phosphors and causes them to rapidly age.?

I asked why they offered a feature, 4:3 aspect ratio, with the knowledge that it will rapidly damage the screen. Their answer was that ?customers want the feature and we warn them not to use it.?

They pointed out what the manual says about 4:3 Standard ?use this mode for only 15% of your total viewing time to prevent uneven aging of the phosphors.?

I asked how to limit the time to 15% in a day. Assuming we watch only HD full screen signals we will see about 17 minutes per hour of commercials. About 75% of the Comcast commercials, even on HD channels, are provided in a 4:3 aspect with black borders. That means about 21% of the viewing time will be commercials that the 42HDF52 can only display in 4:3 black borders unless we use the remote to change the aspect ratio.

The normal vertical gray 4:3 borders that the 42HDF52 generates are not available because Comcast sends the vertical black bars as part of a 16:9 image ? or that is how Comcast explains it to me.

Hitachi agrees there is no way to cause the 42HDF52 TV to automatically go from 16:9 Standard to 4:3 expanded when a 4:3 commercial comes on. They say WE MUST manually use the remote and change the aspect ratio when a 4:3 commercial appears on the screen. They said a customer who does watch all commercials in 4:3 is in violation of the warranty.

The customer service rep admits no 42HDF52 has come back with burn-in but they are sure ours has been burned and will not repair it under warranty.

I visited the Renton/Tacoma Washington BestBuy, Fryes, Video Only, CompuUSA, Circuit City stores to learn more about burn-in. Between all the stores they have had a total of 2 burned Plasmas in the last two years.

Video Only sold us the TV. When I showed them the image I posted here they agreed that it did not look like burn-in and they said no 42HDF52 had ever been burned that they were aware of. Circuit City also sells the 42HDF52 and has never seen a burned-in image.

We played a three hour HD DVD movie in 16:9 for 20 hours straight. It made no difference to the pink.

Is Hitachi correct in their definition of burn-in, static image, only use 4:3 15% of the time and manually switch aspect ratios during commercials?

Is it possible that watching 4:3 aspect ratio for more than an hour a day will ruin a $2,300 TV?

Most important ? does the lack of a retained image on the screen with no power conclusively prove there is no burn-in?

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Is Plasma ready for the masses??/ I will never buy Hitachi
by techfiend / January 22, 2006 5:16 PM PST

I cant imagine throwing 3-4k down for a Tv this inconsistent. I have a microdisplay 52" LCD. It has a great picture with no rainbow, no burn in, and great blacks. avoiding the falls of most other TVs
Hitachi is completly at fault in this situation. Go up the food chain till you get through to a supervisor. At this point I would get a refund and a panasonic (if you still want a plasma)

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Same pink screen problem in 2008 on 42hdx99
by gizarm / May 28, 2008 11:03 PM PDT

The exact same problem described in your post has occurred on my Director's series Hitachi 42hdx99 (new Nov 2006). I got the same response from Hitachi- your problem. I was just curious if you had any success with Hitachi in resolving the issue.

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Same Problem
by gtrumpower / July 25, 2008 11:49 PM PDT

I have a Hitachi 42 plasma and have the same problem after 18 months of normal use. I even asked Hitachi if I could by the LCD at cost. No luck! I was told by the HHGreg sales person that Plasmas do not have problems. They pushed me into getting the extended warrenty since I was concerned. Of course, now I know it does not cover it.

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(NT) white washhI THERE
by xlxmarkyboyxlx / December 4, 2010 8:00 PM PST
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by xlxmarkyboyxlx / December 4, 2010 8:02 PM PST

Hi there
i feel the need to take issue with your reply
i have recently bought (3 months ago) my son a 42" LG plasma tv & ps3, and already it has the ps3 logo burnt into the screen - and he is only allowed on it for 1 hour a day.
i have now white wash facility on this tv so am stuck
be careful what you advise people as your information is incorrect!

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by BONSPEED / December 28, 2005 10:03 AM PST


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it doesnt prevent
by masterying01 / December 28, 2005 6:29 PM PST
In reply to: WHITE WASH

there is are still burn in problems with plasmas. its just a lot harder to cause them. white wash basically sets the pixels to a neutral color to try to "reset" them. a neutral color is still a color so if you go crazy with white can definitely burn in the white wash color...its just that you most likely will not notice it.

like the previous poster stated...unless you plan on leaving a static image on the tv for a few days straight, you dont have to worry about it.

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by jrett / December 29, 2005 1:03 AM PST
In reply to: it doesnt prevent

Thanks guys.

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by bevillan / May 28, 2008 11:59 PM PDT

I don't mean to be a negative nancy, but plasma tech is one of the TV techs that has a large disparity between the elite brands and the bargain brands. I like plasma, but I'd only stick to Panasonic or Pioneer for that tech.

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plasma burn-in
by ns387241 / July 26, 2008 1:09 AM PDT
In reply to: plasma

I agree to an extent. I have never seen anything worse than minor retention on modern LG panels, but Panasonic and Pioneer will always retain less, last longer and perform better.

But before I just go off and say you should have bought this or that, let me actually answer the qestion at hand.

Plasmas are prone to image retention, not because of the nature of the set, but fr several Changeable factors that I will list here:
1. Operating Temperature
2. Pictorial settings
3. ISF Calibration/Break in
4. Power mode
5. Orbiter
6. Whitewash and other extreme measures.

Operating temperature means if I were to stick a thermometer into the panel, it would be the temperature it read. The LOWER the operating temperature, the better. Operating temperature is affected mainly by picture settings and power mode, which I will get to defining later. Just know that the lower the operating temp, the more resistant your set it to retention.

Pictorial settings are the most significant thing one can to to keep operating temp low. By using my recommended settings for the Pioneer PDP-5010FD, for example, operating temp went from 126F to 79F. There were no service menu functions involved with those settings. Make i a piontwith your panel to keep color temp low (warm), contrast about 50%, as well as brightness (less than 50% if you can help it). Color I usually keep at 30% or so, but it depends on the panel. I tend to keep all contrast and brightness enhancer modes turned OFF. Most panels come set for the showroom, with settings overdramatized. This causes a rise in operating temperature, which increases the risk of retention. The best Picture settings come from an ISFccc calibration, which can only be done by an ISF-certified professional. Be prepped to spend $250-$350USD on that service depending on your location.

ISFccc calibration drastically improves display abilities performance-wise, power consumption-wise and opertaing temperature-wise. and ISFccc calibratin will have your set looking the very best it can in the environment it's in (keeping in mind that a cool, pitch black environment is best for these sets). This is basically taking more drastic measures than simply using my recommnded settings. I professionally ISFccc calibrate sets in my free time, so my recommeded dark-room settings are usually as accurate as they get.

Power consumption greatly affects how well a plasma can resist retention. more power consumption equals less of an ability to resist retention. a Simple thing to do would be to set the power saving mode on your set. This way, the set consumes less power losin just the slightest amount of brightness (model dependant). Try it on your set(s) to see what kind of pictorial difference it makes. Again, the ISFccc calibration will also save power, so combining the two is usually Ideal, so long as you let your calibrater know beforehand that you'd like it set with the energy saver mode turned on.

Picture orbiters will move the picture unnoticibly 1-4 pixels, simply to prvent the information (RGB) from sitting on one pixel for too long. In movies, for example, there may be one particular area of the screen that has more of one color than other parts of the screen for the entire lngth of the film. The orbiter prevents retention in this way. Also, newscasting logod and gaming icons can also be left unretained if the orbiter is set. Basically, set your orbiter to ON. If it has more than one mode (like on the LG moedls), set it to the most extreme mode to prevent retention.

From my research and years of experience developing and calibrating/working on plasmas, I have found the whitewash or screen savers to be saved as a last desperate measure, for retention that does not simply go away with the next programme you watch. This IS NOT something you should be doing on a consistant basis, as a whitewash usually consists of a pure white screen, or a black screen with a white bar scrolling. white is the colour that takes the most energy to create, so yur set will be consuming huge amounts of power (maximum rated power in wattage is located on back of panel, and YES, it will consume that) and your set will rum extremely hot (I clocked 210F on my Pioneer 5080, whicj usually runs at 77F). Again, DO NOT use whitewash on a consitant basis, as you jeapordize the life and performance of your set!

I hope this helps, as it has taken about fifteen years to gather the development research and actual lab experiments.

Best of luck,

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Reasonable Paranoia is OK...
by WildClay / December 6, 2010 7:12 AM PST

I have a Panasonic Plasma, 50" I got last year and as I went through the manual it cautioned about burn in for the first 50 hours of operation, but gave no specifics.

So I called Panasonics Consierge <sp> service I was entitled to with the set and no matter how I asked the question they refused to give a clear answer, my question was roughly how much time does a static picture need to be on there to cause burn in, just ball park, 6 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, I evenm said tell me 15 minutes if you are scared of not knowing, no dice.

Having seen other places discuss the topic I kept my contrast a little lower for the first 50 hours then tuned it up.

I have never found watching 3-4 hours of 4:3 to leave any lines or box area's where the bars were and now I don't really even think about it, but for the burn in period I did worry and went through the old process and treated it like one of the older sets you needed to that with. Can't see that it would hurt to take it easy for 50 hours.

It just bugged me that they would not give any hard answers, so I went extra careful.

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