Plasma advice for the petrified




I'm sure this kind of thing is posted all the time (FAQ needed?) but I'd really appreciate if those of you with lots of patience could share your knowledge :)

I'm basically after a 42" plasma (I would prefer LCD for the lack of issues laid out below, but its just too pricey) for around 2-3k.

It will mainly be used for DVD / Xbox / TV (from a telewest digi box).

However, I keep reading scare stories / problems with plasma including (but not limited to) :

- breakages through bad transit...the transported flat issue
- gas leakage
- burn in
- lifespan
- calibration difficulties (i.e general ease of use)
- general build quality
- dead 'pixels'

It basically all adds up to a massive amount of fear over purchase :)

It is, after all, a large sum of money in anyones book.

Can anyone help reduce my fear? (or add to it if its justified!).

I was kindof hoping to 'treat' the plasma in every day usage as if its just a standard CRT (will be replacing my ageing 28" panasonic tau incidentally) but I'm beginning to wonder if kid gloves are generally required for plasma screens.

I'm not expecting it to last forever but say 5 years is probably a good time span before I'd want to replace it. I'm prone to bounce around accomodation say once a year on average so it could be transported semi regularly.

So if anyone can chime in with experience / wisdom and also offer some good recomendations / deals going at the moment along the way I would forever be indebted.

Thanks for any help and apologies if this turns out to be the 100th time you've answered this kind of question.



Most of your fears are just misinformation, too many visits to Currys perhaps. Transport is your biggest issue, you'll need to keep your packaging, though personally If someone rang me up saying 'do you have a box for a **** plasma' I'd be delighted.... trips to the dump are a way of life, I'm on christian name terms with the guys! All the rest are pretty much old wives tales. Screen burn is the only thing to be aware of, not a big problem, if your screen is burnt with your console, you have probably fried your brain and your eyes.


Well-known Member
Probably the most important thing to check is dead pixels, but probably no more than with LCD anyway. Some places actually do a dead pixel check when you buy a plasma. Remember the tolerance level for a replacement is around 5 dead pixels!


Distinguished Member
Hi eztiger welcome to the forums :)

These are questions that get asked quite a lot but i know its difficult to search and find all the answers without reading a lot of threads.

I`m no expert on Plasma`s but i am a Plasma owner which i suppose gives me some knowledge plus when you`ve been a member of the forums for a while you pick up and learn most things.

Here are my thoughts:

1)Plasma`s are delicate things and can be damaged if not transported correctly, They do need to be kept upright when being shipped, Though i`ve only ever heard of two Plasma`s arriving damaged on delivery.

Obviously if this happened it would be the problem of the dealer and not the buyer and would just be exchanged, One thing to remember is to make sure you check the unit on delivery preferably while the delivery driver is still there ! And as mentioned above keep the packaging if you are going to transport it regularly.

2)Gas leakage would only occur normally if the unit was damaged as above, Plasma screens are sealed units so they also don`t need re gassing (another common misconception) !

3)Plasma screens like CRT tv`s can suffer from screen burn and some do seem more susceptible than others, As long as you use common sense when viewing you shouldn`t have a problem ie: Don`t allow bright static images to be displayed for excessive periods of time, If playing console games take a break after a couple of hours or so and also set the contrast and brightness to reasonable levels (Normally out of the box they are set to very high levels !)

4)Life span of the latest screens is quoted at 50,000 to 60,000 hours far more than CRT`s so this isn`t really an issue.

5)Most Plasma screens have very similar adjustments to normal TV`s, Some are designed as a complete unit just like TV where as others are purely screens that you add to.
There are some very useful thread on Plasma calibration if you do a search.

6)The build quality is normally very high though like anything you buy you can get problems, Just remember on a forum like this people normally only post when they have a problem not when they don`t ;)
Also if you look at the CRT tv forum you would never buy another set again !

7)Dead pixels can happen, Though again i`ve only ever heard of two screens that have had dead pixels on here, I think some of the retailers/suppliers on here would be able to tell you more about this ( From memory i think the Hitachi plasma`s seemed to be more prone with there ALIS panels ?) though i could be wrong.

So plasma`s like anything are not perfect and when i bought mine i had similar reservations, But i bit the bullet and i can say its one of the best things i`ve purchased the picture is superb and the space it free`s up in the room is amazing.

Get yourself dowm to a dealer who can offer a demo of a selection of screens and enjoy :)


Another point with regards to packaging. My screen came with a "tilt indicator" on the side of the box which shows if the package has been on its side at all. I would suggest you reject any package that has been mishandled this way.

As far as PQ is concerned, I felt I was looking out for every known flaw in plasmas before I bought. Within a week of using the unit all thoughts of this have gone away. I just sit back and enjoy the kind of cinematic experience no current CRT could ever give.


First of all thanks everyone for the replies and comments so far, greatly appreciated!

I fortunately havn't been suckered in by the comet / currys sales techniques but there does seem to be an awful lot of conflicting information about plasmas out ther...however the opinions of people in here count for a lot more than random mumblings on other web sites!

From what you're all saying things sound good and I'm kindof glad thats the case. The transportation issue is a bit worrysome but by the sound sof it just being careful (which you should be anyway!) will be fine.

I'm in Edinburgh, I'm not sure really what the best local shop would be. Perhaps hifi corner.



Hi Mrs Brethy here, just wanted to add a note from a "normal" tv watcher, we have three kids and the tv is on pretty much constantly! but we are more than happy with the performance and picture quality of the 42PD5000 it seems to cope with Cbeebies and fox kids fine, we just have to remember to get rid of as many on screen logos as possible. Also have to agree with Carlos we've gained a lot of space in the living room and don't regret buying the plasma for a second:D


Mrs Brethy,

I am thinking for a 42PD5000 as well. It seems that you are pleased with it but I need some help with the following issues:

1) Any buzzing from the screen?
2) How is SKY quality on the screen?
3) Does the high ALIS resolution of the panel creates any 'noise' or harshness of the picture?
4) Does it realy have a green tint and gray blacks?


Hi Charly, I'll try to answer your questions but please bear in mind I am no techie and purely view the plasma as a tele:D

1. I cannot hear any buzzing when watching tv, if you turn the sound off and put your ear to the plasma there is a faint humming but you cannot normally hear it and it doesn't present a problem. ( think I am right in saying that it doesn't have a fan).

2. We watch all tv through sky (sky box is our tuner) and I am perfectly happy with the picture.

3. We've got contrast and brightness turned right down and all I can say is the picture looks brilliant to my untrained eye.

4. Again all I can say is the blacks look black to me:D haven't noticed any green?. We've just bought the DVE dvd so we are trying to get our heads round that at the moment!.

Hope this helps, but I am by no means an expert and just look upon the plasma as a very big beautiful tele:D


Well-known Member
I can give you a non-expert's perspective since we went from having a mono Sanyo 25 inch CRT to a plasma just over 2 years ago. I appreciate your concerns - we too were petrified and the plasmas cost a lot more then. We have a Panasonic pwd4 that is similar in many respects to the pwd6 model that is so popular over the last year. This can be had for under 3k which makes it a bargain. The other main contenders in the cheaper regions are Hitachis but I don't have a lot of experience there - best to judge for yourself. The main points are:

1. The plasma is the single best thing we ever bought, apart from the house its in. Movies in particular look completely different. And it is very easy to use, and has been reliable (as are most). Colours look wonderful and the sheer size of the damn thing gives you a real cinema feel.
2. You need a surround sound to do it justice but they can be very reasonable nowadays
3. You don't need a tuner for cable or satellite so there's no point paying extra for a separate or inbuilt one.
4. The signal from satellite (and I guess cable) to the plasma looks terrible when connected directly so you need to improve it. Rather than using an analogue tuner, we got the JS technology RGB-to-plasma VGA (a little over £100 I think) and it does a really good job and most stations look great. DVDs still look better than satellite of course.
5. Having the plasma on the wall allows you to sit wherever you want instead of everyone facing into a corner, and saves an unbelievable amount of space.
6. Once you have a plasma, pictures on even good CRTs look very dull and lifeless. And too small.
Hope this helps.


Thanks for that Mrs Brethy, I think I will go for the 42pd500 finally.

I had a look of the Panasonic and I found it a bit 'grainy'.

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