Tormenting the Plasma
Urban Legend #1: LCDs won’t burn in - plasmas will and then you’ll have to throw them away.
That’s wrong. The coalition tested sets for image retention and found none. That’s what they said anyway.
But I wouldn’t be doing my job if I wasn’t at least a little skeptical. So I contacted the public relations firm for the PDC. Did they test with video games? Seems like a reasonable test for a reasonable possibility. After all, with Xbox 360, PS3 and Nintendo’s gum box coming out soon, high definition video games might find themselves moving from the old 21” legacy set in the den to the widescreen in the home theater and we need to know.
The answer is: No. It never occurred to them I guess. But at least they did do eight hour of burn testing with checkerboard patterns and color bars and even the Fox News Channel logo. Nothing hurt the sets (although liberal viewers were near comatose after 8 hours of Sean Hannity).
The PDC’s consultants also came to some other conclusions that are too open ended without some hard facts (for which I’ve asked and which I’ll report), but for now, here are their comments.
“No significant phosphor degradation” - All phosphors will degrade in time. CRTs get dimmer with age and have some uncertain (to me) half-life, but it is very safe to say that ten years after you’ve brought your TV home, you’re not seeing the same girl you married. What does the consultant mean by “significant.” Not significantly different than phosphor degradation in CRTs? Or not significantly worse than CRT? Or, as I’d hope, truly insignificant and not in comparison with anything else. We’ll see.
“Image sticking appeared to be a temporary change in cell operating characteristics” – The key word is “temporary.”
“Within 12 hours, none of plasmas showed residual images” – I’m assuming that regular programming was used to return the image to its non-burned state. A white screen like that on my Fujitsu would probably do it much faster. I used to buy dumb terminals (CRTs with circuit board controllers) used for mainframes and you could see the sign-on screens of the companies that owned them etched in place years after they were last powered up.
Plasma, Heal Thyself.