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Plasma TV Care 101

By Christine Peppler

Many thousands of people purchase their first plasma screen TV each year. They invest a significant amount of money to obtain a plasma screen which offers top of the line color accuracy, vibrancy, and clarity to enhance their family's viewing experience. Once the television is delivered however, it's important for plasma buyers to take the time to become familiar with the proper care of the screen to assure many years of trouble free viewing enjoyment. Plasma screens aren’t really “high maintenance” but observing a few tips offered here can extend the life of the screen.

  • Provide a solid foundation: Be sure the plasma screen is placed (or mounted) in an area where it will not be “knocked around” or will accidentally fall.
  • Let it breathe: Plasma screens generate a lot of heat which can speed the demise of the electrical components of the unit. Be sure the TV has enough open space around it. The manufacturer will provide venting guidelines.
  • Stay dry: Exposure to excessive humidity, spills, or condensation due to rapid changes in temperature can destroy electrical components and cause corrosion.
  • Tone it down: Rooms with lower ambient light require less brightness. Brightness levels that are set too high will prematurely age the phosphor lining of the plasma screen.
  • Keep it cool: As alluded to above, plasma screens require a cool environment, due primarily to the heat they generate. Outdoor placement of a plasma screen is a no-no due to the exposure to heat, humidity, other moisture, and dirt.
  • Use a little "elbow grease"- but not too much: Keep the screen clean with the proper tools. Manufacturers seldom recommend strong cleaners. Most often a micro fiber cloth is recommended which is effective in ridding the screen of dust and finger prints. When more aggressive cleaning is necessary cleaners specifically made for plasma or PC screens (anti-static cleaners) are used but should never be sprayed directly on the screen. The cleaner should be applied to the cloth. Use of paper towels, Kleenex, or any other abrasive type cloths should be avoided as they can damage the anti-glare coating.
  • Don't get burnt: Although anti-burn in technology has advanced greatly over the years, it is best to avoid leaving static images on the screen. This means that images should not be paused on the screen for extended periods of time and stations which present a static block/image on the screen should be viewed on a limited basis as well. Hooking your PC up to a plasma screen is also inadvisable as they are often used to display static images.
  • Help your plasma TV weather the storm: This is just common sense; use a surge protector.
  • Prevent pre-mature aging: The final word of caution; turn plasma screens off when not in use. This can help avoid accidental burn in, reduce heat, and help to avoid decreased brightness/pre-mature aging.

Christine Peppler shares information on home entertainment and home electronics products, including plasma televisions, on her website at: http://www.homemedias.info.

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