F A Q' S         (Frequently Asked Questions)

Here you will find some answers to your most common questions.

Most probably, by the time you finished researching on Plasma TV sets, you have ended up with a couple of questions related to use, technology and even fictions you might have heard or read about.We therefore thought of taking a look at most of the commonly asked questions 'would-be' and 'proud new' owners would normally ask about plasma display panels.








What is the expected lifetime of a plasma TV?

Probably, the greatest myth about plasma displays is that they only last two to three years. The truth is that present day plasma display panels have an expected half-lifetime of anything between 30,000hrs and 60,000hrs, which is substantially more than that of a traditional CRT TV. Well, 30,000hrs at some 6hours per day every single day of the year corresponds to over 12 yrs of use!

Note that by half-lifetime, we mean that the display brightness will gradually fall to half its original value at the end of the specified period of time. By this time, the image brightness would be too dim for normal viewing and the display panel will have to be replaced.




What are 'Dead Pixels' and do plasma display panels suffer from dead pixels - in a similar manner to LCD displays?

Though rare, plasma display panels do suffer from occasional dead pixels. Dead pixels are pixels that malfunction and that show up as either a colored speck of light in case of a damaged sub-pixel, a black spot i.e. a pixel that remains always off, or a permanent always on white spot of light. Dead pixels are most easily seen when an area of the screen is all one bright color, or white. A single dead pixel is not terribly noticeable; but as the set ages, more pixels may die.

Generally warranties on plasma display panels vary from one to five years (depending on brand and model), and most exclude:

  • Dead Pixels - unless there’s more of them than the manufacturer deems acceptable

  • Burn-in

  • Heat-related problems

When it comes to the dead pixels issue, return policies from manufacturers vary depending on the actual number of bad pixels and their placement. The presence of bad pixels does not automatically qualify a unit as defective, but the unit may always be returned to the manufacturer for evaluation. Every occurrence is most often treated on a case by case basis.  

The number of dead pixels that’ll be covered by the warranty isn’t always stated, and varies between manufactures. Some warranties are vague in this respect, using phrases like “within normal commercial tolerance” to describe pixel failure.

Luckily, some manufactures are realizing that what may be acceptable to their quality control standards, need not necessarily be so to the end customer; for this purpose, there is a shift among manufacturers towards a 'zero bad pixel' warranty - among these one finds Samsung and Viewsonic.

Keep in mind however that this is still not the norm with most manufacturers. Our suggestion is that you should get informed before you buy - it is important that you get an understanding of the manufacturer’s pixel policy before you buy a plasma screen to avoid disappointment later. (Download our Free! Dead Pixel Tester)

Should I go for an Annual Service contract?

Another great fiction about plasma TVs is that they need to be re-charged or re-filled to extend their lifetime. No one can re-charge or re-fill the gas in a plasma TV, nor can anyone fix a dead pixel on your plasma screen.

What most of the 3-year Television Service Plans advertised online do is to make the necessary arrangements for the repair of a faulty unit and pay the bill for you if the failure occurs within the 3-year period since your purchase - restrictions apply. This means that in the case of a plasma TV, the repairs will only apply to the electronics inside but not the plasma display panel since plasma panels can neither be repaired, nor recharged or refilled with gas.

What causes creak-like noises to be emitted from some plasma display?

As the operating temperature of the display panel changes, the cabinet expands or shrinks slightly. There is no need for alarm here; this is not a problem.