Many people may have heard that plasma TVs do not last as long as other televisions such as the LCD. This may have been true at one time, as most early plasma televisions from 1999 and early 2000 have already been shipped off to the electronics graveyard. However, the models available now would have the equivalent longevity of an LCD, though there may be some variation among the different brands and models.
These days the lifespan of a plasma TV is quite good. As technology advances, better televisions will be produced that will last even longer. The majority of plasma TV manufacturers give an estimated lifespan of around 60,000 hours. With normal viewing, that would be around 20 to 25 years before the screen begins to noticeably fade. This is a new level of performance that reflects the many improvements made to the technology. A few years ago, the lifespan of a plasma TV was only around 30,000 to 40,000 hours.
These increases to their lifespan are thanks to several new technologies that have been utilized by the manufacturers. For instance, there is the pixel orbiter. It can quickly swap the color of adjacent pixels when a static image is being displayed. This simulates a picture change to the television that is practically impossible for the viewer to see and pretty much eliminates burn-in. Another feature searches out pixels that have been turned on for too long and shuts them off for a short period of time. These also prevent burn-in, and by increasing the overall pixel health of the television, will extend its overall lifespan.
A tip for plasma television owners is to watch as many shows as possible in the widescreen format. By doing this you can prevent a quality difference from developing between the pixels used for widescreen and the normal screen mode. Also, you should try to keep brightness levels as low as possible as this takes a lot of the strain off of the pixels and helps lengthen the lifespan. Another suggestion to increase the lifespan of your plasma television is to keep it in a cool, well-ventilated location. This will reduce the amount of work done by the internal cooling components of the television.
Also, you should use the appropriate brightness and contrast levels necessary for viewing. For instance, if you are in a brightly lit room, you may need to view the plasma TV at a higher contrast and brightness level. However, using these higher levels will decrease the lifespan of the unit. If you are in a lower light room, use lower contrast levels as this will extend the lifespan. You should never use the plasma display on 100% contrast. In a room with normal lighting, you should not require a contrast setting of more than 60%.
One thing to keep in mind is that the picture quality of plasma televisions varies greatly between the different manufacturers. Be sure to read several reviews before deciding which one to purchase. Also, remember that despite the many significant advances, plasma televisions still generally cannot replicate the deep blacks that old tubes can. However, the best plasma televisions can produce exceptional quality images, with excellent color and viewing angles.
Plasma televisions provide a large screen for considerably less than a comparable sized LCD television. So even if the plasma television manufacturers were exaggerating the average lifespan of their plasma models, these units are still a great value when compared to an LCD. Unfortunately, the earlier models of plasma televisions have established a reputation of shorter lifespans. However, looking at the newer model plasma televisions, their lifespan is certainly long enough for the average user.