It's easy to be instantly drawn to a plasma TV screen, especially one that is displaying full HDTV programming. The visual beauty is amazing. And plasma TVs tend to be among the lower cost thin screen technologies that are available today. But there are a few problems inherent to the design and you should at least be aware of them before making a buying decision.
The first is that plasma TVs use inert gases that are illuminated to display colors on the screen. The way that this is accomplished makes for very high contrast, vivid images on the screen, but it also can be affected by high altitudes. If you live above 6,000 - 7,000 feet above sea level, you should know that plasma TVs have to work much harder to produce the same image than they would at lower altitudes. This may not cause an immediate problem, but over time the monitor wears out much faster due to the extra work load. So if you happen to live in high altitudes, just bear this in mind when buying a plasma TV.
The second problem that plasma TVs can exhibit is a susceptibility to screen burn-in. This happens whenever any static image stays on the screen for a very long time and is still faintly visible even when the image changes. It is said to have been "burned-in" to the screen, and can be very irritating to see a ghost pattern still visible as you watch TV. The easy way to avoid this problem with older plasma screens is to make sure that you don't leave the TV on when you are not watching it, and especially when pausing a video game for a very long time. Thankfully though, newer plasma screen TVs have technology built in to address this problem that subtly shifts the image to surrounding pixels as you watch and essentially keeps the image moving although your eye does not detect it.
The third plasma TV problem that we will discuss is the heat it generates as it runs. Plasma screens often cause so much heat inside the unit that manufacturers usually install a fan to cool it down while operating. This actually works very well, but on some models the noise that the fan makes can become an annoyance. So listen for this problem carefully before you buy.
None of these problems are major enough to say that you shouldn't buy a plasma screen TV, but they should be understood beforehand so you can use the equipment properly, and choose the right plasma TV when you buy.
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