What can damage a plasma tv?

Updated April 17, 2017

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.

Ambient Light

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.

Temperature Regulation

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.

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About the Author

Tommy Doc is a 2007 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and an aspiring Internet entrepreneur. He was the sports editor for "The Pennsylvania Independent" while attaining his bachelor's degree in communications and environmental science. Doc is from Atlantic City, N.J. but has lived in Philadelphia, San Diego, New York and currently resides in Austin, Texas.