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In Reply to: RE: Plasma TV posted by tesla on February 09, 2016 at 07:19:34
You can often check the power-on hours via network or some other means, might be worthwhile to do that. At least other used plasma buyers recommend it, I'm not so sure it matters since they usually have a 40k hour minimum lifetime, and many are rated for a 100k hour useable lifetime...maybe more important if you think the panel was a demo or used commercially, or possibly for really extended gaming.
Also related to that, watch the screen when you first turn the plasma on, not immediately but after it "stabilizes" for 10s or so. See if you see any burn-in. Also play some 4:3 material in 4:3 format and look to the sides to see if you notice any deterioration. Simple to do, it really will show a lot very quickly and won't "give away" that you're clued in.
Take a gander at the screen coatings using a flashlight, the better ones have coating of at least some type. You'll notice any glass hairline cracks at the same time, and if the coatings were scratched or improperly cleaned.
Bring a disc or memory stick (if it has USB, most do) with basic full-screen one-color test patterns. All white is good, you'll notice any stuck/dead pixels immediately, but also all-R/G/B too.
If the used name-brand good-model plasma is even remotely close to a good deal, you won't have a lot of time if the plasma is generally advertised and not from an acquaintance, high demand still. But try to find out about parts availability, especially power supplies.
Just because a plasma has a stuck pixel or shows evidence of too much sustained/unvaried 4:3 viewing etc. doesn't mean it won't still be pretty good. I'm just really picky, and bought in the days when *zero* stuck/dead pixels was the maximum acceptable number for a quality model...that quickly changed when they started manufacturing panels "elsewhere" for certain brands... [A few stuck/dead pixels, or even one :), in the middle of the screen is incredibly annoying to me, I can't NOT see them.]
Edits: 02/09/16Follow Ups:
Some good advice, thank you.
I thought pixel problems were only with LCD screens, not plasma.
I have no idea how to check maximum hours, could you explain further?
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Sorry, I can't explain, there are so many different ways it's done, but be assured the "hour meter" is in there somehow, possibly easily accessed using a simple app over your network. e.g. my Pio requires an RS-232 interface to access or a "service remote". Newer plasmas use the net but usually it's a 3rd party app that may not be free, though usually you can find a free one for a specific model. I have to say that any semi-serious plasma owner *who looks after their display* is certain to have the app and hour-meter access...maybe a clue there as to how the plasma may have been treated.
I wouldn't put huge stock in the number of hours unless you think it's possibly really high, like on full-time for several years. e.g. We used to install plasmas at work because it was the only display tech we could install where the "public" couldn't physically get at the displays, yet they could also be read from the large viewing angles involved (very limited viewing angles, still, with LCD).
There's also usually a power cycle counter, various internal fault counters, etc., all worth checking for the terminally anal (though the unscrupulous can and do reset them). Plasmas are incredibly complex, and they have an internal aging algorithm/mechanism since the different colored phosphors "age" at different rates and they try to compensate for that electronically. They usually do it poorly, the manufacturers were way too pessimistic and they prematurely "age" the phosphors. So don't be totally turned off if things look a bit off, usually it's too red, they really do tend to age the red phosphors way too fast, and it can affect the perceived black levels (e.g. Pio and Panny). You can turn the aging back with a bit of effort (Pio), not sure about all Panasonics or the others. Every model is different, never mind every brand.
I'm making it sound way too complex, sorry. Probably best to buy used from somebody who's an HT or A/V nut, who simply "upgraded"/updated to something 4K and larger etc. That way you'll know the plasma was probably well cared for, and it was simply replaced rather than went bad. They'll also likely ask more...
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