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Plasma burn in?


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#626 Messiahknot

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 12:22 AM

Wondering if anyone could give me any advice ;) .

First time plasma owner here, and a cautious one at that. I got a 50" Panasonic V20 just over two weeks ago, and have adhered to a casual 'break-in' period, keeping letterboxed material to a minimum and 16:9 overscan active. Even if this period isn't necessarily needed anymore (so I've read), I figured it couldn't hurt. Now that the TV has had a good run-in, I've got a few questions about what people recommend in regards to safe usage. I've heard and read so many differing things I'm totally confused.

1. I have a large DVD collection, some of which are 4:3 full-frame. 4:3 letterbox and open-matte full-frame aren't a problem obviously as there are already handy zooming choices for each, but standard full-frame needs to be played pillarboxed to be displayed correctly and without distortion. My upscaling player (Toshiba XDE) outputs all 1080p signals at 16:9, so basically the TV has to handle any necessary changes to the aspect ratio. Previously had a Samsung LCD, so it wasn't a problem enabling 4:3 mode. Am I able to do the same safely with the plasma? I've heard both yes and no answers.

2. Further, I noticed that when 4:3 mode is enabled, you get grey bars instead of black. I found a menu called Side Bars, with 'off, low, medium and high' available from memory. When changed to off it makes the area black again. Is it safe to do so? I've been told the screen will age unevenly if used, as no gas is active when set to off, but also that its only a problem if left in this mode for hours on end. Is it okay to do so?

3. Is it okay to turn off 16:9 overscan (1x1 pixel mode for those who don't know)? I find the added clarity it brings with both upscaled DVD and BD is quite beneficial.

Any help would be greatly appreciated ^_^ .

#627 jsmith

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 12:49 PM

Wondering if anyone could give me any advice ;) .

First time plasma owner here, and a cautious one at that. I got a 50" Panasonic V20 just over two weeks ago, and have adhered to a casual 'break-in' period, keeping letterboxed material to a minimum and 16:9 overscan active. Even if this period isn't necessarily needed anymore (so I've read), I figured it couldn't hurt. Now that the TV has had a good run-in, I've got a few questions about what people recommend in regards to safe usage. I've heard and read so many differing things I'm totally confused.

1. I have a large DVD collection, some of which are 4:3 full-frame. 4:3 letterbox and open-matte full-frame aren't a problem obviously as there are already handy zooming choices for each, but standard full-frame needs to be played pillarboxed to be displayed correctly and without distortion. My upscaling player (Toshiba XDE) outputs all 1080p signals at 16:9, so basically the TV has to handle any necessary changes to the aspect ratio. Previously had a Samsung LCD, so it wasn't a problem enabling 4:3 mode. Am I able to do the same safely with the plasma? I've heard both yes and no answers.

2. Further, I noticed that when 4:3 mode is enabled, you get grey bars instead of black. I found a menu called Side Bars, with 'off, low, medium and high' available from memory. When changed to off it makes the area black again. Is it safe to do so? I've been told the screen will age unevenly if used, as no gas is active when set to off, but also that its only a problem if left in this mode for hours on end. Is it okay to do so?

3. Is it okay to turn off 16:9 overscan (1x1 pixel mode for those who don't know)? I find the added clarity it brings with both upscaled DVD and BD is quite beneficial.

Any help would be greatly appreciated ^_^ .

A few hours for a film here and there will be fine mate, no problem on a new set... especially with realistic contrast and brightness settings rather than retina burning settings.

JSmith :ninja:

#628 Owen

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 10:03 AM

Wondering if anyone could give me any advice ;) .

First time plasma owner here, and a cautious one at that. I got a 50" Panasonic V20 just over two weeks ago, and have adhered to a casual 'break-in' period, keeping letterboxed material to a minimum and 16:9 overscan active. Even if this period isn't necessarily needed anymore (so I've read), I figured it couldn't hurt. Now that the TV has had a good run-in, I've got a few questions about what people recommend in regards to safe usage. I've heard and read so many differing things I'm totally confused.

1. I have a large DVD collection, some of which are 4:3 full-frame. 4:3 letterbox and open-matte full-frame aren't a problem obviously as there are already handy zooming choices for each, but standard full-frame needs to be played pillarboxed to be displayed correctly and without distortion. My upscaling player (Toshiba XDE) outputs all 1080p signals at 16:9, so basically the TV has to handle any necessary changes to the aspect ratio. Previously had a Samsung LCD, so it wasn't a problem enabling 4:3 mode. Am I able to do the same safely with the plasma? I've heard both yes and no answers.

2. Further, I noticed that when 4:3 mode is enabled, you get grey bars instead of black. I found a menu called Side Bars, with 'off, low, medium and high' available from memory. When changed to off it makes the area black again. Is it safe to do so? I've been told the screen will age unevenly if used, as no gas is active when set to off, but also that its only a problem if left in this mode for hours on end. Is it okay to do so?

3. Is it okay to turn off 16:9 overscan (1x1 pixel mode for those who don't know)? I find the added clarity it brings with both upscaled DVD and BD is quite beneficial.

Any help would be greatly appreciated ^_^ .



The Contrast control adjusts peak brightness (important to burn in) while the “Brightness” control adjusts black level and is therefore irrelevant to “burn in” risk.

Plasma TV's are no more susceptible to burn in than CRT TV's, risk is determined by light output so the higher the contrast control setting the greater the risk.

Unless you need to run 90% plus contrast settings and display a particular aspect ratio like 4:3 for a large proportion of the time I would not be worried about burn in. The lower the contrast setting the less you need to worry and in most viewing environments 90% is very high and hard on the eyes.

Overscan makes the picture bigger and a bigger picture will look softer up close. If you step back so the picture looks the same size as 1:1 there should be no loss of clarity, if there is the TV is not scaling very well. Unlike for PC use 1:1 pixel mapping is not important for video as video has no detail at the single pixel level.
Disabling overscan is not practical for TV due to edge artefacts.

#629 Messiahknot

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 01:45 AM

The Contrast control adjusts peak brightness (important to burn in) while the “Brightness” control adjusts black level and is therefore irrelevant to “burn in” risk.

Plasma TV's are no more susceptible to burn in than CRT TV's, risk is determined by light output so the higher the contrast control setting the greater the risk.

Unless you need to run 90% plus contrast settings and display a particular aspect ratio like 4:3 for a large proportion of the time I would not be worried about burn in. The lower the contrast setting the less you need to worry and in most viewing environments 90% is very high and hard on the eyes.

Overscan makes the picture bigger and a bigger picture will look softer up close. If you step back so the picture looks the same size as 1:1 there should be no loss of clarity, if there is the TV is not scaling very well. Unlike for PC use 1:1 pixel mapping is not important for video as video has no detail at the single pixel level.
Disabling overscan is not practical for TV due to edge artefacts.



Thanks for the reply guys ;) .

I've got my set pretty much on the standards it came with as default. I have all my inputs on 'True Cinema' mode, which is supposedly the renamed THX setting from the UK models. Contrast was at 50 in that setting, so just left it at that. I'm guessing its a safe parameter as the manufacturer surely wouldn't put it at an unsuitable level. I guess that from what you say, I've got nothing to worry about than :). Thanks for putting my mind at ease. I watched the Psycho Legacy doco earlier, which is 4:3, and had the TV on 4:3 mode with side bars off the entire runtime to no ill effect. Extremely pleased about that.

In regards to Overscan, I'm a little confused. I was always under the impression 1x1 pixel/overscan off is always preferable in terms of PQ, even for video, as it provides a clearer image and more picture information. For instance, I watched a widescreen film the other day, with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 - a very common aspect ratio. A widescreen TV has a physical dimension of 1.76, right? Therefore, the picture should have had slight bars at the top and bottom as its wider than the TVs viewing area. With overscan on it didn't, but when disabled, the bars appeared, and there was more picture information at the sides (not test-patterns/buzz, but actual image). That was on an upscaled DVD. I played the Avatar BD (1.78:1) on it too, with the same result - ie slight bars when overscan was disabled, but more picture at the sides.

I'm not trying to be a smart-arse, but again, doesn't 1x1 (overscan off) improve the overall picture?

#630 Owen

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 10:46 PM

On a good TV overscan should not degrade the picture, it just makes the image a little larger and cuts of the edges to remove unwanted edge artefacts common in TV programs, for DVD and Bluray its not requires so you can turn overscan off.
The problem is that turning overscan on and off depending on the source is a pain so its easier to just leave it on and forget about it, the loss of a small proportion of the picture is not significant and TV programs are produced with the expectation the display will overscan anyway.

In the end its up to the user to decide what suits their viewing habits. Wy wife complains if I disable overscan on her TV due to the rubbish on the bottom of the picture and she is not alone, most consumers would complain if overscan was not provided on their TV and consider it defective.

Ideally overscan should be adjustable so we could use just enough to clean up the edges. For those who use a HTPC as their video source adjustable overscan is relatively simple to achieve.

#631 jsmith

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 10:31 AM

Thanks for the reply guys ;) .

In regards to Overscan, I'm a little confused. I was always under the impression 1x1 pixel/overscan off is always preferable in terms of PQ, even for video, as it provides a clearer image and more picture information. For instance, I watched a widescreen film the other day, with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 - a very common aspect ratio. A widescreen TV has a physical dimension of 1.76, right? Therefore, the picture should have had slight bars at the top and bottom as its wider than the TVs viewing area. With overscan on it didn't, but when disabled, the bars appeared, and there was more picture information at the sides (not test-patterns/buzz, but actual image). That was on an upscaled DVD. I played the Avatar BD (1.78:1) on it too, with the same result - ie slight bars when overscan was disabled, but more picture at the sides.

I'm not trying to be a smart-arse, but again, doesn't 1x1 (overscan off) improve the overall picture?

If you want to see the "whole" picture as you described then overscan should be off... off for DVD/BD's (unless you'd like to get rid of part of the black bars as you discussed at the expense of the sides) and on for FTA DTV (to ensure transmission info is cut off). If your panel is receiving a 1080p signal, overscan off will mean there is no scaling at all by the panel. I think this provides a better picture to my eyes... Some panels allow overscan to be on for one input and off for another, so there is no need to switch it on and off.

JSmith :ninja:

#632 Owen

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 06:49 PM

The problem is that inputs like free to air TV and Foxtel/Austar have a mixture of content, some needs overscan and some doesn't so we have to turn overscan on and off on a program by program basis even without changing input.

Scaling is not the evil people seem to think it is. For compressed digital video scaling is beneficial as it helps reduce the visibility of compression artefacts and thereby improves “quality”. The lower the quality of the source the greater the benefit from scaling.

#633 jsmith

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 12:03 PM

The problem is that inputs like free to air TV and Foxtel/Austar have a mixture of content, some needs overscan and some doesn't so we have to turn overscan on and off on a program by program basis even without changing input.

Scaling is not the evil people seem to think it is.

Yup they sure do, so on for FTA DTV/Foxtel and off for BD/DVD/PC etc. :)

Your quite right about scaling (I feel de ja vu :blink: ), however 576i upscaled to 1080p whilst looking better if a blocky source, doesn't look as clear when overscanned or "zoomed" onto a 1080p panel. High quality scalers such as HQV Reon and ABT overscan or "zoom" better than the more basic scalers found in panels.

JSmith :ninja:

#634 Owen

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 09:46 PM

Yup they sure do, so on for FTA DTV/Foxtel and off for BD/DVD/PC etc. :)


Yes, that's the best and most practical setup.


Your quite right about scaling (I feel de ja vu :blink: ), however 576i upscaled to 1080p whilst looking better if a blocky source, doesn't look as clear when overscanned or "zoomed" onto a 1080p panel. High quality scalers such as HQV Reon and ABT overscan or "zoom" better than the more basic scalers found in panels.


The picture looks softer when overscaned because its bigger, not because the scaling has degraded it, that's the point I wanted to get across. A larger TV without overscan or scaling will also look softer than a smaller one for the same reason. Using a bit of extra sharpening helps correct the difference but even the best scaler cant do much (unless its using sharpening tricks) because scaling is not the problem on good quality TV's, especially Samsungs which have excellent scaling.

Its interesting that when you take high quality Bluray source and scale it down by about the same amount that overscan scales it up (5 to 10%) and display it on a 1080 TV you get a smaller picture with black bars on all sides but the picture will be sharper, even though its scaled down and is using less pixels.
A smaller picture is sharper and bigger picture is softer all else being equal.

Having said all that, overscan makes very little difference to the way a picture looks in my experience and very few people would be able to pick the difference in a double blind test, I know I cant. Any difference that small is not worth worrying about IMHO and I don't.

For those who don't sit close enough to their TV to see its native pixel resolution (most people) overscan and the larger picture it creates will reveal more detail due to the larger image.

#635 jsmith

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 09:35 AM

The picture looks softer when overscaned because its bigger...

A smaller picture is sharper and bigger picture is softer all else being equal.


I agree entirely, so I'm sure we have answered the persons query now as he wanted the sharpest and clearest picture.

Having said all that, overscan makes very little difference to the way a picture looks in my experience and very few people would be able to pick the difference in a double blind test, I know I cant. Any difference that small is not worth worrying about IMHO and I don't.


Well that depends on where you sit as you mentioned, but I notice a reasonable difference when I compare the internal tuner (auto overscan) to an external HD STB set to 1:1... I note this could be down to differences in the tuner also, but is likely more to do with the overscan IMO.

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#636 tsteele

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 12:52 PM

I haven't read through this thread, but thought I'd mention I saw a Samsung PS58C7000 I think it was in Myers today, with a image burnt into the panel. At first I thought it was something reflecting from the glass, but discovered it was in the display and not part of what was showing. I thought most of the newer Plasmas from what I have read were supposed to stop this from happening, and that model is not that old as far as I am aware.

#637 Owen

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 08:39 PM

Read through the tread. What you observed was almost certainly IR (Image Retention) not burn in.

Image retention (temporary) and burn in (permanent) will always be possible (and almost inevitable) on any phosphor based display (CRT and Plasma) if high contrast settings are used and static images are left on screen for days. Normal use is not a problem.

#638 larry

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 12:45 PM

spam reported

#639 mcduck

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 03:06 PM

do any of you here play games on your new plasmas?
what are the new ones like when, and i quote ' i leave it on pause for half an hour or so?'
i said ' turn the tv off '
it's basically come down to the biggest decent tv for the money and the 40 inch lcd vs a 51 inch plasma

#640 50MXE20

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 04:56 PM

do any of you here play games on your new plasmas?
what are the new ones like when, and i quote ' i leave it on pause for half an hour or so?'
i said ' turn the tv off '
it's basically come down to the biggest decent tv for the money and the 40 inch lcd vs a 51 inch plasma

Plasma for me.

Burn in or retention?

Not the same thing.

Have never seen either.

#641 Void

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 05:16 PM

I've currently got a Wii connected to the main plasma (Panasonic 09 model)
Very occasionally I will see image retention on the blank screen when I change source but it goes as soon as an image replaces it (ie, the pixels change). No worse than when the wife leaves the PVR on pause and I see temporary IR of the status display...again its' gone immediately on a screen refresh.

IR has never been an issue or concern for me, having said that i'm about to get an LCD specifially for gaming (only because I want the kids playing games in the family not on the main system).

#642 mcduck

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 07:43 PM

we have an LCD for gaming
the Plasma for movies and tv although i do have the PS3 hooked up just in case
he wanted an LCD for gaming but also wants a tv at least a 50 inch
he's agreed to go plasma if it's ok for the occasional bout of gaming, he does most of his on the PC but is taking one of the 360's with him

#643 Riv39

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 12:38 PM

Well quite frankly I'm shocked, after being what I believed to be very careful, after 11mths my Panasonic Thp54v20a has what I would call significant IR noticeable in an all black screen caused by the menu on my WDTV media player. The WD is used extensively by my kids almost on a daily basis but the menu is never left on for more than a couple of mins although last night it might have been on for about 5-10min and that's when I noticed it. It was there again this morning when I checked.

I note with disspair a disclaimer in the owners manual on IR but it also states that the panel will automatically dim if a static image is present for more than a couple of minutes to prevent IR. I'm sorry but I'm confused, the panel has never dimmed from what I can tell and the WDTV box has a screen saver that comes on eventually anyway.

Ideas anyone, is this temporary or parmanent and what can be done to reduce this or does it just dissapear?

Edit: I don't have a PC connected so screenfix is not an easy option.

Edited by Riv39, 27 September 2011 - 12:40 PM.


#644 diesel

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 10:01 PM

It'll disappear with some full screen content like a movie etc, but because the menu on the WDTV is used so often, it means that it's probably more likely that the pixels in that area have more static use than the rest of the screen. It'll come and go with constant use of the WDTV menu IMO.

#645 Riv39

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 11:16 PM

It'll disappear with some full screen content like a movie etc, but because the menu on the WDTV is used so often, it means that it's probably more likely that the pixels in that area have more static use than the rest of the screen. It'll come and go with constant use of the WDTV menu IMO.

Thanks diesel, on closer inspection it was actually the Sony Blue Ray player menu (same as a PS3 menu) not the WDTV that caused the problem. I just checked the TV and the IR is gone from last night with a new one from the PS2.

It would seem that this is normal and will come and go as you say and there is always going to be a bit of image retention for static menus and game scores etc.

I also checked the contrast and it is still where I set it 11mths ago at 60% on all inputs so should be safe.