How to Even Out a Plasma Screen TV When it Has Image Retention

Written by crystal bonser
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How to Even Out a Plasma Screen TV When it Has Image Retention
Plasma TVs require special care. (Plasma panel image by Nikolay Okhitin from

Plasma televisions have many benefits---sleek designs, high contrast ratios, seamless display of fast-moving images and rich, realistic colours. Unfortunately, they can also suffer from permanent burn-in and temporary image retention. Both of these phenomenons are caused by leaving a static image---such as a network logo or news ticker---on the screen for an extended period of time, resulting in that image being "ghosted" into the screen. According to the Plasma Display Coalition, image retention is caused by "an accumulated electrical charge within pixel walls." Unlike burn-in, image retention can be reversed by playing different content. Just don't assume that it will heal itself---turning the TV off does nothing to reverse image retention.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Any DVD

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  1. 1

    Play any DVD on a loop. The idea is to mix up the usage of colours on your plasma screen for an extended period of time. Generally speaking, the image retention should be completely cleared after playing the DVD for 24 hours. If the display ratio of your DVD is not 16:9 you will need to zoom in the screen to remove the black bars on the top and/or sides of your screen. Finally, some say that playing a movie with rich, bright colours---such as a modern Disney movie---will speed up the reversal of image retention.

  2. 2

    Leave an unturned analogue channel---or white snow---on the screen for several hours. This is the same idea as playing a DVD and should be tried if playing the DVD fails.

  3. 3

    Use the "white wash" feature included in many plasma televisions. This feature---which is available in the settings menu---sends a white or light grey bar across the screen. This should only be attempted after playing a DVD for 24 hours and leaving on an unturned analogue channel for several hours. While this feature will clear image retention from your screen, it works by ageing the pixels in a uniform manner to level out their brightness. Over use of this feature will reduce the lifespan of your television.

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