After you buy a plasma TV it is a good idea to learn how to maintain it so it will last you a long time – after all it is not a cheap gadget that you can change every few months without feeling a sharp pain in your pocket. So just make sure you know where the weaknesses are so you don't abuse your TV in that area. Also it's good to know the truth about some rumors like the one about refilling your plasma TV with gas.
The Recharging Myth
As a plasma screen television produces images, it uses electricity to burn xenon and neon gas in order to illuminate phosphors. Because of this, many people believe that the gas will run out over time. The notion of having to "recharge" your plasma screen television is a myth. The amount of gases consumed in normal use is minuscule, and they will last throughout the normal life of the screen.
Burn-in and Plasma Screen Televisions
If you leave a plasma screen television on for too long while it is displaying a single image, the television can suffer from burn-in . Burn-in occurs when an image is permanently etched on to the screen of the television, leaving a pale "ghost" of that image no matter what is displayed on screen. The burn-in was a major disadvantage of plasma screen televisions, one that wasn't shared by LCD televisions. However, you don't have to worry about burn-in if you have a new model of plasma TV or even if you have an older one and use it for normal television, DVD, and occasional computer use. Plasma screen televisions that suffer from burn-in are often found in corporate settings, where a single image, or a single channel with a news ticker, can burn into the screen.
Preventing Burn-In of Older Plasma Screen Televisions
Burn in will only occur in older plasma screen televisions that display the same image, or the same part of an image, for an extended period of time. Using the screen to display a single image, like a picture, for a long period of time will inevitably cause burn-in if your plasma TV is older than a couple of years. Using the screen as a computer display for long periods of time will cause the desktop of the computer to be burned in to the screen. Also, constantly viewing news programs that have stationary on screen objects (such as news tickers) will cause these objects to burn in to the screen. Most high-end plasma screen televisions have an option called "white wash" that will eliminate a burned in image. Using the white wash will shorten the life of your screen however so don't abuse it.
Maintaining Your Plasma Screen Television
One of the beautiful things about plasma screen televisions is that they require little or no maintenance. There are no gases to recharge or bulbs to replace like it is the case with projectors or DLP TVs. All you have to do is insure that the television is placed within a safe environment and used properly. Make sure that it rests in a clean, cool, and dry space. When you install it make sure you leave enough room around it so air can flow and cool the plasma TV. Clean the screen regularly and don't use chemical solutions for that unless the manufacturer recommends it. Don't leave the television on when its not in use. If you follow these steps, no maintenance will be required and your TV will last you a very long time.