12 Most Common Problems With Plasma TVs (Explained)

Are you facing issues with your Plasma TV? Plasma TVs can have problems that range in severity from simple DIY fixes to permanent issues that are irreversible.

Here are 12 issues that Plasma TVs can experience that will help you understand your TV.

1. Screen Reflections on Plasma TV

Let’s face it: Plasma TVs are reflection magnets.

It can be annoying, as reflections mean you’ll see parts of your room on your screen, especially when the image on the screen dark. What could have been a realistic thriller scene gets spoiled by the reflection!

While many TV manufacturers have added an anti-reflection screen, not all Plasma TVs have this feature.

So, how do you resolve this?

  • Reflections are caused by light in the room. Excess lights can affect picture quality on the screen, which will ruin the viewing experience.
  • Thus, you need to remove light sources that affect your TV, which will then eliminate reflections.

But not everyone can make a completely dark environment for their TV viewing.

  • So you need to find a sweet spot for your TV that won’t generate reflections on your Plasma TV’s screen.
  • Ideally, keep it away from windows, especially when the sun is up.
  • It won’t be the best fix, but it can reduce reflections.

2. Plasma TVs consumes more power

Plasma TVs consume more power than LED or LCD TVs. That was the trade-off for better picture quality during the heydays of Plasma TVs.

And while the power it consumes isn’t massively more than LED or LCDs, it becomes apparent if you have the TV on round the clock.

Notably, the amount of energy that Plasma TVs consume is also affected by the content on the screen.

  • For example, if you’re watching content that has mostly dark or dim imagery, the Plasma TV consumes less power.
  • Meanwhile, if you have your Plasma TV playing bright, high-color children’s shows, it will consume more power.
  • To consume less power, be sure to turn off the TV when it’s not in use. And remember, even when in standby mode, it’s still using power.

If you play video games, you should not leave your game on pause for extended periods because the TV still uses power and will be exposed to another problem.

Which brings us to . . .

3. Permanent Image Retention

Yet another problem you need to deal with Plasma TVs is Permanent Image Retention.

Plasma TVs are notorious for this issue.

So, what is Permanent Image Retention? Permanent Image Retention, also known as Burn-in, is the ghost-like image you see on your screen after turning off the TV. This issue is common among Plasma TVs and even the modern OLED.

Why does Burn-in happen?

  • Burn-in happens due to issues with phosphors in the display.
  • Your TV faces the greatest risk of Burn-in when you leave a contrasting image, such as a bright and dark color, on the screen for extended periods.
  • As dark elements in an image will have fewer pixels on, and brighter parts will be lit, the phosphors in the display will be unbalanced due to these contrasts.
  • Burn-in also happens when an image is left on the screen for too long. That’s why you need to rotate content regularly to avoid having a part of an image imprinted on the screen.
  • Video games may also contribute to image retention, particularly games with a fixed interface on the screen.

The damage from burn-in is permanent, and it will be hard to replace the plasma display.

When that happens, it’s recommended to get a new TV, due to the impracticality or the repairs.

With the risks of burn-in, Plasma TVs are not recommended for use as computer monitors due to the icons and interfaces of your software.

Aside from rotating content regularly, other suggestions to prevent burn-in are:

  • Maintaining the brightness and contrast at 50 percent.
  • Avoid presets such as dynamic or vivid, as they’re unnecessary for home use.
  • If a program has static logos, consider changing channels after a certain number of minutes to refresh the screen.
  • Turn on the screensaver if you need to use a Plasma TV as a computer monitor.

4. Plasma TVs have green trails on the screen

You may notice green trails in fast-paced scenes in movies or graphics-intensive video games.

This issue is called Phosphor Trails.

  • Phosphor trails happen an area on a screen moves from bright to dark very quickly.
  • Green trails appear as phosphors change color on the screen.
  • As green is the slowest color to change, it gets left behind when colors transition fast.

While not everyone notices this, sharp eyes may find this issue a nuisance.

Phosphor trails may be reduced by lowering the screen’s contrast or adding ambient lighting in the room.

5. Plasma TVs are heavy

Plasma TVs are heavier than other TVs.

While it’s not a problem if you have the TV on a console, but it may become a problem when mounting to the wall.

If you plan to do a wall mount for your Plasma TV, you need an appropriate setup that can handle the weight.

6. Pixels are stuck on the Plasma TV

You may notice a red, green, or blue pixel stuck on the screen despite an image refresh.

These pixels that failed to refresh can be annoying, especially if the pixel sticks out like a sore thumb, thanks to the contrasting background.

To fix this issue, you can use a program called JScreen Fix.

  • You need to run this app using your computer, which will create bursts of colored static.
  • The bursts will try to refresh the pixels that are stuck on the screen.

7. Plasma TV has a blue blob on the screen

There are instances when you find neon blue spots that don’t look normal on the TV.

It’s been dubbed the blue blob.

Many think that a blue blob is a death knell and the screen will need to be replaced, but the truth is you don’t need to.

  • The blue blob issue comes from a badly calibrated voltage regulator.
  • The fix is relatively easy for any certified repair person.
  • It won’t take long to fix, and it’s an inexpensive repair.

It might look easy to fix, but anyone not trained to repair this flaw is at risk of high voltage electric shock. So, it’s best not to repair it yourself unless you are trained for it.

8. Plasma TV has no picture  

So your Plasma TV is blank after years of use. And chances are if your Plasma TV goes blank, it’s most likely out of warranty.

To fix this, you can try rebooting the Plasma TV.

  • Unplug it from the power source and let it rest for a few minutes.
  • Then restart the TV and see if the picture returns.
  • If there is still no picture, you will need to have a technician figure out which part needs replacement.

9. Plasma TV has sound but no picture

A plasma TV with sound but no picture is usually caused by either of the following:

  • A blown fuse
  • A damaged Y Sustain/SC Board

These problems need a qualified technician to diagnose, as you may face electrical shock risks when doing it yourself.

10. Plasma TV is not as bright as before

You might notice that your Plasma TV isn’t as bright as it was when it was brand new.

The first thing you should do is adjust the brightness and see if it was accidentally lower than your preferred settings.

But if it still lacks brightness even when the brightness setting is all the way up, it means that your Plasma TV has reached its half-life.

  • Plasma TVs have a half-life spanning between 30,000 and 60,000 hours.
  • Once it reaches half-life, the screen won’t be as bright as it was before.
  • The actual half-life depends on usage. If you use your Plasma TV at intense settings and for prolonged durations, you are likely to reach the half-life earlier.

And unfortunately, once you reach the half-life, it’s irreversible.

At this point, it might be time to retire that TV.

11. Plasma TV pixelates

Another common issue is pixelation on Plasma TVs.

Usually, this issue is rooted in an issue with the input ports of your TV.

Try checking other devices to if they have the same issue and adjust the screen resolution.

12. Plasma TV has a sunburst pattern on the screen

If you’ve encountered rings with a burst of color on your screen, it means that your screen is not fully flat.

This happens when pressure is applied to the screen, or it has sustained some sort of impact damage.

That is why it’s important to know how to position your TV, to avoid such damages.

General Pros and Cons of Plasma TVs

Plasma TVs have better contrast ratios than LCD TVs

Plasma TVs have an improved balance of light and dark compared to LCD TVs. That means blacks are sharper, and colors are vivid.

Plasma TVs have more superior color accuracy and saturation

Compared to LCD TVs, you can get better colors that come out more realistic on the screen. It was quite advanced for its time, and it made a big difference in bringing out the best in your content.

Plasma TVs are good for video games

Plasma TVs have low input lag and better motion tracking.

As video games are all about spontaneous movements, Plasma TVs can adapt to the movement on video games, thanks to Sub Field Drive Technology.

That means you can play video games with fewer problems with the graphics.

For more information, check out our article Are Plasma TVs Good For Gaming?.

General Cons of Plasma TVs

  • Plasma TVs are prone to burn-in
  • Plasma TVs don’t get bright like LCD TVs, and they work best in the dark.
  • Plasma TVs invite more reflections and glare
  • Plasma TVs emit more heat than LCD TVs
  • Plasma TVs don’t have 4k resolutions 

Final Thoughts

As Plasma TVs have been discontinued for five years now, the tips listed should help you get extra mileage out of your TV.

And while not all problems that Plasma TVs encounter have solutions, the points listed should help you understand how your TV works.

For more information on Plasma TVs, check out our article How Long Do Plasma TVs Last?

 

Sources:

Plasma TV Problems

Plasma TV Problems – What Are the Issues with Plasma TVs?

The Difference Between an LCD TV and a Plasma TV

 

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