Running in new plasma



Hi there and please excuse the naivety of this post!

I'm getting my new Panasonic TH37PE50 tomorrow, which should compliment the existing setup (Denon DV2900 and AVR 216). However, I've read all sorts of different things about 'running' one of these things in. So -

What should I avoid (to prevent screenburn and image retention)?

What about DVDs in letterbox format (which is an awful lot)? Are these a problem because of the borders?

Is my best connection to the screen from the DVD player going to be component?

Thanks loads


Established Member

I bought a Pioneer PDP435FDE, it was an ex-dislplay model, and because they ran it in cinema mode all the while, and left the black band at the top and bottom of the screen, I got image retention where the black bands hand been, so I complained and they have replaced it with a brand new one :clap: , So I will run my new one in for 200 hours in the full screen mode.

Lofty :)


So is that what I have to do? Use fullscreen for widescreen DVDs...

Is that only for the first 200 hours then?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Established Member
even for the first 100 hours then limit 4:3 material, I for one always STRETCH the picture!


Established Member
I'm surprised that you guys are so paranoid about screenburn and image retention. Perhaps I've been lucky as I've not noticed any of these on my PWD8. Apart from observing reduced contrast and brightness settings, which you eventually get used to and wonder why it ever needed to be so high, there's no need to worry if you are watching a mixture of television programs and DVDs.

Frankly there isn't a single channel that can hold my attention for long enough to allow any of these problems to arise, certainly not one that doesn't interrupt every 10 minutes with 5 minutes of adverts (enter Sky+). As long as you are not obviously abusing the screen then I can't see how normal varied viewing at reduced settings should cause a problem. If it does then you could judge that the screen isn't fit for purpose and send it back.

Blue Triangles

Established Member
A good point. But when watching a DVD in 21:9 ratio with black bars. Will this really cause an issue? If you make LOTR full screen it doesn't look as good.


Panzer22 said:
A good point. But when watching a DVD in 21:9 ratio with black bars. Will this really cause an issue? If you make LOTR full screen it doesn't look as good.

Exactly. This is what I meant in my original post...I have plenty of widescreen movies but they are still letterboxed (does that makes sense?). LOTR is a good example, and I would have thought that the whole point of having a widescreen panel was to take advantage of watching in the right ratio.

Anyone have any views?


Distinguished Member

Lets try and sort this out.

Image retention and screen burn are 2 different things.

Image retention is when an image is retained on the screen but will go away after a certain amount of time.

Screen burn is permanent and does not go away.
All good modern plasmas are pretty much retention and burn proof if you look after them. Ex display models tend to have problems because they have been run for 8/9 hours a day on very high contrast settings and have had the same movie with the black bars at the top and bottom, being displayed over and over again.

So what can be done to prevent this?

When you first get your plasma first thing is don't worry about what you watch. The thing is designed for you to enjoy tv and DVD so enjoy it.

Many people (including myself) say its best to let the plasma run in before making any major adjustments to contrast and brightness. This is because during the first 100 or so hours of a plasmas life, this is when it is most susceptible to any of the image burning problems.
Keep the contrast and brightness down to around 50% for this first run in period and then ,after that, make adjustments using DVDs like Digital Video Essentials, or AVAI. These are calibration discs and will help you to get the best possible picture :)

When it comes to watching movies with black bars, again , don't worry. As long as you are not watching movies with the same aspect ratio over and over again one after the other for 6/7 hours at a time, you really should not have a problem.
If you are worried about watching non widescreen images on the TV, most plasmas will allow you to either stretch the picture to fill the screen, or let you change the colour of the side black bars .

Also make sure the plasma is taken out of any picture settings like Dynamic/or live mode. These tend to have a very high contrast setting and are no good for generall use at all.

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