Thanks for considering a Samsung plasma. I'm sorry to hear that you're having this issue, however, and I'd definitely recommend that you consult your retailer (in the event an exchange is necessary) and work with them locally to solve the issue.
1. This doesn't sound normal to me, particularly at low settings. Break-In periods for TVs are a bit(!) of a thing-of-the-past, but when I see people say that they're taking the time to care for their set and still experience this issue, that indicates that the issue is probably not of your doing.
2. The way you're describing the scenario, the image retention shouldn't be happening as quickly, or as long as "under 5 minutes".
3. Yes, but you'll want to watch a few hours of full screen images to compensate. The manual specifies a timeframe, such as 5% of the viewing time per week should be limited to partial screen images without stretching or zooming.
I would definitely discuss the issue with your retailer. It's better that you get this addressed quickly, as how you describe this doesn't sound like normal operation.
Best of luck, and keep me posted.
I recently purchased the Samsung 50" Plasma in the Subject (3 days ago). After setting it up and viewing DVD's and HD cable I am absolutely thrilled with the picture quality. I had done a lot of research on plasmas vs lcd/led before making the purchase and decided that plasmas were the best bang for the buck, and the samsungs seemed to have the best picture in the stores. I understand from researching that it is wise to break in Plasmas for at least the first 200 hours. So, I have dialed down the contrast/brightness and various other color settings based on recommendations online for the break in period. I have also run the break-in DVD for about 15 hours so far. Now, to the problem: I was very disappointed to see how quickly I noticed Image retention on this TV. For example with the low settings implemented I watched ESPN for under 5 minutes. After switching to a blank feed, I could very clearly see the ESPN logo and even the score of the game. I know that image retention is part of having a plasma, but I was shocked to see it happen so quickly (after only 5 minutes of viewing). It did disappear after playing other content, or the break in DVD for about 10 minutes. However, I still have some questions:
1) Is this scenario normal for these TV?s or is it possible that I have a faulty unit.
2) After the ?break-in? period is this something that will not happen as often
3) I know that during the break in period you are supposed to limit static images. However, am I ok to watch a football game (4 hours) on espn this weekend? Without having to worry about permanent burn-in?
Thank you very much for any/help or advice. I love this TV, and am willing to take the time to break it in properly. But if I have a faulty unit, I would like to exchange it for a new one, while I still can.