A plasma television screen is made up of hundreds of thousands of tiny tubes of inert gas. It can produce a high-quality, high-definition display for many years, so long as you do not damage the screen.
Burn-in occurs when a static image is left on the screen for a prolonged period of time, usually more than 30 minutes. This leaves a faint imprint of the image on the screen perpetually. This can be avoided by not leaving the TV on or accessing menu screens for prolonged periods of time.
Brightness and contrast levels should be calibrated to match the ambient light in your specific viewing environment. Brightness and contrast can be lowered at night and in darker viewing environments. This will prolong TV life and save energy.
The life of a plasma TV is directly related to its operating temperature. Putting a TV in a poorly ventilated area, and leaving it on while running at a high temperature, can cause long term damage.
Be very careful when handling a plasma TV, as any type of blunt force or trauma directed at the screen can break the tiny tubes of inert gas and cause a permanent black spot on the screen.
First 200 Hours
Plasma TV's are most susceptible to damage during their first 200 hours of use. Keeping brightness and contrast levels low, especially during this initial period, can prevent damage.