Question Removing Outer Protective Panel Long-term?

David Jones Locker

Novice Member
Greetings all,

First post, so please go easy - though you seem like a well-informed, courteous, likeable lot. 😉

The outer glass/plastic (I've read it's technically polycarbonate) protective outer panel of my c.2010 Panasonic S20 plasma (TX-P42S20B) has become stained and scratched over 10 years of pretty persistent use. It also has a blotch near the bottom where one of the filter layers (presumably tinted AR) has been rubbed away after being too eagerly cleaned, with too abrasive a cloth. It also has old gaffer tape residue along the bottom edge (don't ask) that won't easily come off without likely causing similar damage

I've removed the screws and dissembled the unit easily enough to happily, but predictably, find the surprisingly thick and heavy panel (only subsequently reading it was designed to withstand hurling kids toys at a force of four joules) simply pops out.

Using a quick 1080p Sky Cinema/Virgin V6 stream of Gladiator for reference, what's surprised me even more, is how tinted this panel is and how much brighter, richer and improved the contrast and colour temperature of the picture is without it. Granted, that since said tint is obviously designed to help with black levels, the darker aspects of darker scenes do tend to look better with the panel on - though the richer temperature of brighter shades in any given scene helps balance this argument up. Indeed, the only real noticeable impact on black levels is on the thick framing of wider aspect ratios, at the top and bottom. In medium and brighter scenes, however, the bare PDP without the other panel produces far better images overall with the attributes I've already stated above.

Was this generation of plasma from Panasonic known for having a particularly dark-tinted outer panel? And, thus, is the PDP itself being driven harder and brighter to compensate, than it would be without it?

I also realise that without the outer panel the screen will suffer from glare and reflection more. Though while some of you may think I'm mad for not seeing this as much of an issue in a room where it sits opposite both a lamp and a south facing window, glare is usually so bad and/or so accepted, holding the tinted panel in front of the PDP only makes a slight difference. The glare and reflection is still very much there purely due to room positioning, with the light having to to be turned off or curtains closed to properly eliminate the issue.

There are no dogs or kids running about, with the plasma in a corner of a room that'll only get damaged if a passage of play in football doesn't go my way - so protection of the PDP itself isn't really an issue either. It's obviously an old TV, already has a power relay issue on standby with one of the boards, and although probably still watched more than my main 46' GT30, is very much a secondary bedroom unit - so am happy to simply get the best life out of however much it has left.

All of this combined with (at least my perception of) an overall improved picture has effectively made my mind up that I'm happy to get rid of the grubby, scratched outer panel altogether.

My only slight concern is that I've read, elsewhere, that the layers in the protective panel help to filter UV, infared and even small amounts of x-rays. Is there any truth at all that sitting for hours in front of an unfiltered PDP could give me cancerous balls, years down the line when probably when I no longer need them - or a risk of any other health issues for that matter? Or is this simply the load of old bollocks I presume it to be?

Thanks in advance for your advice. 🙂

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