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Most plasma televisions need a break-in period when they are brand new. They usually require a little special care during the first few weeks of their life. Taking a few simple precautions will help ensure you get the most from your plasma television purchase. Here are a few tips to follow when you begin watching your brand new plasma TV.

1. Turn down the brightness and contrast. You can reduce the brightness and contrast, and still have great picture quality, by making sure to position your television out of direct sunlight. If the display settings are set on vivid mode, change the setting to standard. Most plasmas come with vivid mode as the factory setting.

2. Don’t use your new plasma for displaying a video game system for the first 100 hours or so. Video games tend to have static graphics which can cause plasma burn in the early weeks of use.

3. While watching television, try to avoid channels that have static graphic logos. At the very least, don’t watch these types of channels for long periods of time. Many premium channels and news programs have logos that never leave the screen. Switch to a different station from time to time.

4. Be sure to turn off your plasma television when not in use. Simply because of fact that they use plasma for display, plasma televisions have a set life expectancy. You can refer to your owners manual to find out how many hours of enjoyment you can expect from your plasma. The less use they receive, they longer they will last.

This is basically all you need to do to prepare your new plasma for many years of viewing. After the break-in period, it is much harder for a plasma screen to burn. You can change the display settings to whatever suits you best, and begin playing video games as well. Just use common sense and don’t leave video games unattended for hours at a time.

I use my own plasma for playing video games all the time, but I always turn it off if I have to leave it for a while. I do this most often when I don’t have a save point and want to leave the game system running.

Ghosting is normal, while plasma burn is not. Ghosting is a brief picture imprint left over from a previous screen. This fades away quickly. Plasma burn does not fade away, and can be permanent. A picture or graphic is actually burned right into the screen.

If you find that your plasma television has somehow developed a picture burn, there is a trick that you can try at home, before calling a repair technician or taking it for service. Just watching a movie can sometimes take care of light picture burn.

If that doesn’t handle the problem, try tuning the tv to a white fuzzy channel, leave it turned on, and let it sit undisturbed for 24 hours. A VHF or UHF channel that you can’t receive works well for this. More often than not, the television will correct itself.

I did the math and found that if only used 6 hours per day, my plasma television is expected to last for 33 years.

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