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Is it true that static images on a plasma TV will ‘burn in’?

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The simple answer is yes, but if you’re asking if this is something to be concerned about, it’s a resounding no. ‘Burn in’ is better called image retention and it happens when the phosphors in a plasma screen become overstimulated. This causes them to continue glowing after the image has ended, creating a dim ‘ghost’ image of the original that can stay on screen even after the television is switched off. This takes a long time to happen and the image has to be both static and very bright – for instance, if you left the screen on overnight showing nothing but a cable channel logo.

As soon as the screen is re-stimulated by a different set of moving images, you either won’t notice any residual glow, or the screen will simply ‘overwrite’ the ghost image. These days, the idea of image retention permanently ruining a TV is an urban myth. Indeed, as screen technology improves, it’s a far rarer occurrence that generally affects only new TV sets. After prolonged use, image retention tends to die out. If not, you should consult the retailer/manufacturer at once.

Answered by Mike Anderiesz.