Removing Outer Protective Panel on Plasma 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. 😉

Just in terms of disclosure, I've also posted this in the plasma section but also being a Panasonic, I couldn't decide which was more suitable or where I was more likely to get the best advice.

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. 🙂
 

mikej

Well-known Member
I was also under the impression that the primary purpose(s) for the outer panel layer of a plasma TV (or possibly any type of modern flatscreen TV) was to provide some kind of filter against reflections and also for protection against physical damage.

I've never heard of one being removed before (I wouldn't have even guessed this was possible) but if you've been able to and the TV still works, then why not ?! One thing is for sure though - I doubt the screen will stand up to any knocks without protection and I would be wary about cleaning it from now on.

As for radiation from plasma TVs, this is what Samsung USA have to say on the issue...

"Plasma TVs emit a tiny amount of UV (ultraviolet) radiation, but the amount emitted is less than what typical tube type (CRT) televisions emit. All TVs must meet the guidelines for TV radiation emission issued by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) back in 1969. All Samsung Plasma TVs are well within the guidelines."

I'm not sure whether this changes with the outer panel layer removed but I wouldn't be worried, personally. One thing is for sure though - the TV is unlikely to have been tested without it, so you might need to do a big more digging if you're concerned.
 

David Jones Locker

Novice Member
I've never heard of one being removed before (I wouldn't have even guessed this was possible) but if you've been able to and the TV still works, then why not ?!

Thanks Mike.

I've read this 2010 "20" generation of plasmas was the last Panasonic made with a physically separate (thus removable) outer panel. I can't be 100% sure this is correct, but it certainly must've been roughly then that they started fusing them to the PDP itself in order to achieve a slimmer design.

Indeed, my GT30 (released the following year) almost certainly exploited this approach given its far slimmer appearance. Though this being Panasonic's slightly higher-end 3D line relative to its letter class, I can't say for sure or not whether they were incorporating this in their 2D models also. After the noticeable 2011 redesign, the 2D "30" line were certainly far slimmer than their 2010 predecessors, but still not quite as streamlined as their 3D counterparts. Nor do I have any idea about the filter panel design of Panasonic's 2010 "T-20" 3D line, though being of the same older design as my S20, they certainly seem to have had enough room to accommodate a physically separate panel.

Either way, it's clear that Panasonic was changing the build and design of its filter panels around this time.


One thing is for sure though - I doubt the screen will stand up to any knocks without protection and I would be wary about cleaning it from now on.

Yeah, I fully appreciate this. But as I already alluded to, I'm happy to take the chance in return for a better picture, given it's an old unit with other existing issues - potentially, but most hopefully not, already on its way out.


As for radiation from plasma TVs, this is what Samsung USA have to say on the issue...

"Plasma TVs emit a tiny amount of UV (ultraviolet) radiation, but the amount emitted is less than what typical tube type (CRT) televisions emit. All TVs must meet the guidelines for TV radiation emission issued by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) back in 1969. All Samsung Plasma TVs are well within the guidelines."

I'm not sure whether this changes with the outer panel layer removed but I wouldn't be worried, personally. One thing is for sure though - the TV is unlikely to have been tested without it, so you might need to do a big more digging if you're concerned.

My thoughts on the issue exactly. Will get back to you on this if I get around to said digging.

Cheers.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Sky Glass, Epson Laser Projectors plus Home Cinema Subwoofers and More…
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom