Does my plasma really look better after running in, if so, why?

helicon2

Active Member
I recently purchased the Pioneer KRP-500A and must admit that I am extremely happy with it - even the wife is happy with it!

When I first switched it on and for the first week, I thought the SD picture was ok but not great, that was through DTV and Sky (not HD), which was just like i had expected really after seeing loads of flat panels in stores over the last so many years. Also going from 32" up to 50", I suppose I could expect the picture to be not as great.

But now, after around a month, the picture looks superb, almost as good as my old TV, maybe even better. My old TV was no slouch either, Loewe Articos 32, which in my opinion had the best CRT picture around, better than the Panasonic's and Sony's at the time.

Now I know that i've read on these forums that plasma's take around 200 hours to settle in and just wondered if anyone can explain to me technically, but in layman's terms if possible, why this happens?

Or is it that my eyes have just got used to the different picture technology, although this may be a factor, I'm pretty sure it's more than this!

Also I believe because of the differences in technology. LCD's don't really need run in, is this true?
 

ozzzy189

Distinguished Member
All the components inside need 'burn in time', the same as any electronics really. All speaker cables, hi fi separates, mains cables and interconnects, abolutely everything really. Also the plasma cells themselves will need time to reach their optimum i believe.
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
I believe that part of this is down to you getting used to it :)
 

Jim Di Griz

Distinguished Member
Its not just "getting used to it". More to it than that.

I forget the technical reasons why, Im sure someone more knowledgeable could explain though (ive read posts in the forums about this). Perhaps one of the experts could explain?

The SD PQ on my G10 noticeably improved after day 1 - especially during the first couple of weeks. I wasnt the only one to notice it - if it had been just me I would have put it down to "getting used to it" though.
 

petet66

Novice Member
I've always been sceptical of this claim by plasma owners but now two weeks into owning my Panasonci 42" X10 I'm thinking... the picture has got better :)

I'm sure part of that is forgetting how good my CRT was and getting used to the image faults of flat screen TVs (the picture on my son's small CRT is so rich in colour and sharp that it hurts :)) but I've also begun to wonder if there is truth in the running myth.

I posted a similar question on the owner's thread for my TV and people quoted such phrases as "the plasma cells will be warmed up now" (which makes no sense as the TV is off all night so any residual heat will be lost.

It's just gas so I can't see how repeated use would alter the way it reacts. I also remember claims from people in the trade on here who said that soak tests done as part of the manufacturing process these days would negate the need for running in. And why 200 hours?

Then again... I think my TV picture looks better, especially on the poorer quality Sky / Freeview channels so I'd love to see a genuine scientific answer to the whole running in concept.
 

helicon2

Active Member
Thanks for the replies folks.

Don't worry, I'm enjoying my plasma immensely and not worried about it at all. But I really can't get over the fact i'm positive the picture has improved and wondered whether someone could give me some technobabble that I could impress the wife and friends with :). Although no doubt it's partly due to the fact that i'm getting used to it, i'm sure there is an improvement there!

Can anyone impress me with some technospeak?
 

Chelsea_Fan

Novice Member
I don't see how it can improve because the system is so basic in operation.

Each plasma pixel can only display 8 fixed colours because the pixels are digital in nature. So the whole display is just rows and rows of little light sources that are either fully on or fully off (like little torches)

The pixels can't move, the TV can't grow extra pixels and the pixels by nature can't 'go out of focus' and they certainly can't 'suddenly' display more than 8 colours after being run a few hundred hours.

It's an 8 colour digital display (3 bit) on day 1 and it will be an 8 colour digital display until it finally stops working or gets disposed of.

People just get used to the dithered plasma picture and they get better at adjusting it on the control menu.

It may well be that our eyes/brains get better at 'mixing' the colours and we may get better at ignoring the digital artifacts associated with the processing/PWM that is required to get a wider colour palette froom the basic 8 colour pixels.
 
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helicon2

Active Member
I don't see how it can improve because the system is so basic in operation.

Each plasma pixel can only display 8 fixed colours because the pixels are digital in nature. So the whole display is just rows and rows of little light sources that are either fully on or fully off (like little torches)

The pixels can't move, the TV can't grow extra pixels and the pixels by nature can't 'go out of focus' and they certainly can't 'suddenly' display more than 8 colours after being run a few hundred hours.

It's an 8 colour digital display (3 bit) on day 1 and it will be an 8 colour digital display until it finally stops working or gets disposed of.

People just get used to the dithered plasma picture and they get better at adjusting it on the control menu.

It may well be that our eyes/brains get better at 'mixing' the colours and we may get better at ignoring the digital artifacts associated with the processing/PWM that is required to get a wider colour palette froom the basic 8 colour pixels.

You may well be right but why then do people say let plasmas run-in for 200+ hours before doing any professional calibration if the panel doesn't change over time?
 

klythawk

Active Member
and they get better at adjusting it on the control menu.

I totally agree. Having owned a 5090 for 4 months i've tried numerous settings, the first one's being those recommended in ********'s sticky. I'm quite happy now with my latest settings and also convinced that, when i tried the ******** settings recently, the picture was just as dull and drab as it was on the 1st day of owning the set, and i'm sure they wont look any better in another 4 months time. Just my viewing experience. ;)
 

bladedripper

Distinguished Member
You may well be right but why then do people say let plasmas run-in for 200+ hours before doing any professional calibration if the panel doesn't change over time?
They normally say run the tv for a time before calibration to check theres no faults before you hand over your money.:smashin:
 

.stu

Well-known Member
You may well be right but why then do people say let plasmas run-in for 200+ hours before doing any professional calibration if the panel doesn't change over time?

Because most people will believe any old claptrap that they are told, and repeat it as if it was gospel.
 

bladedripper

Distinguished Member
I totally agree. Having owned a 5090 for 4 months i've tried numerous settings, the first one's being those recommended in ********'s sticky. I'm quite happy now with my latest settings and also convinced that, when i tried the ******** settings recently, the picture was just as dull and drab as it was on the 1st day of owning the set, and i'm sure they wont look any better in another 4 months time. Just my viewing experience. ;)
Yes i think most have moved away from the ******** settings,if thats close to calibrated you can keep em.:rotfl:
 

Jim Di Griz

Distinguished Member
They do get better over time though! Havent seen an expert posting in this thread yet but im sure one will explain. And people who have noticed this always say the same thing - only really noticeable on SD viewing, especially over the first couple of weeks. Its not a coincidence in my opinion.

Like I said before, if it was just me who noticed it on the G10, I would put it down to me wanting it to be better. But other people (who couldnt care less trust me!) have noticed too.

If they dont get better...how come people who have no interest in PQ etc whatsoever notice it?

Apparently, colours do 'drift' over time on plasmas too. I remember an expert (one of the moderators I think) posting this a while ago.
 
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bighfishing

Well-known Member
Yes i think most have moved away from the ******** settings,if thats close to calibrated you can keep em.:rotfl:

its the same with the panasonic plasma's, everyone says use cinema and warm settings because its the closest you will get to being calibrated, but i think it just looks dull and washed out, you might as well buy a cheapo supermarket brand lcd if you want that look.
i have had two panasonic plasma's now and i believe the picture quality improved quite a lot on both of them over the first couple of months, i don't think it is just your eyes getting used to them, but i cant explain why.
 

ozzzy189

Distinguished Member
As i said, components still need 'burn in' time. That's the sole reason i believe.
 

petet66

Novice Member
As i said, components still need 'burn in' time. That's the sole reason i believe.
But a digital image being shown by a digital screen - how can that be affected by an analogue variation in a component's electrical performance? With digital signals it eiterh works or it doesn't, you can't have incremental variations.
 

ozzzy189

Distinguished Member
Because all the copper cables do not work at their best straight away, so in turn this affects the electronics. surely ? we all know speaker cables sound best with more than 50 hours burn in, my interconnects took about 100 hours and my linn speakers took about two months ! So i hope you get my point.
 

Chelsea_Fan

Novice Member
The whole 'running in' myth associated with AV gear was almost certainly started by the AV retailers.

Eg the customer returns the item saying it doesn't sound good so the retailer says 'give it 2 weeks to bed in'

That way the retailer doesn't have to give an instant refund and the retailer knows that people adjust to the sound and in time they will convince themselves the system improves in quality through use.

It's a deliberate ploy and it's been around for decades.

It gets perpetuated because the customer believes the system has improved and tells their friends and so the myth spreads.
 

Garion

Novice Member
Erm.....I bought a monitor audio burning in audio cd for my new speakers and amp. Why? Just in case it DOES work. And you know something? Even after putting up with the cynicism from my three children, I get great pleasure from going into my new front room with all my new equipment and playing it. Yes, I know.....
 

pannyfanny

Novice Member
Maybe it's the same phenomenom as "beer goggles"?
:hiya:

If that's the case, sign me up as I've got a fabulous pair that work every time. Well, as long as there is beer.. The goggles on their own are useless..:D
 

S Bibby

Active Member
Hi,
To add to these points I would like to say that CRT TVs have had faults due to convergence which might have been put down to running in by retailers in the past. It is known that larger CRT screens have a directly higher proportion of convergence issues, but some people might have thought that their 32/36 inch CRT TVs were faulty.

In any case, I don't think these issues can by resolved by anyone other than the manufacturer.
 

petet66

Novice Member
Running in speakers I can understand because over time the fabric/cardboard of the speakers will soften with movement (a bit like wearing in the leather on new shoes :)) and so respond more quickly to allow fine detail etc to be heard.

As for the electrons in copper wire loosening up over time..? After you've bought the Eiffel Tower I can get you a cheap deal on some real estate on the moon if you have any spare cash :)

Seriously that's patent nonsense and scientifically impossible. Passing electric current through copper doesn't change it's structure or it would cease to be copper.
 

geese

Member
Dont know about surround speakers and cables....but when it comes to plasma I can see the difference after some hours. More stable and less noisy.....and I have owned 6 different plasma screens from Pio to Panny to Nec's. Heck even my new Denon headphones needs buring in. Go figure.
 

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