Your Plasma TV Gets Dimmer With Time

Now here’s a bit of a surprise most of us didn’t think about–that big new plasma television that you shelled out a few hundred bucks for today will get dim with age.

There was this reader over on the AVS Forum who was measuring the black level on his new set and discovered, much to his surprise, that it was actually diminshing as time went on.

There was a bit of an uproar as folks discovered that, indeed, the black levels on their sets WERE falling, sufficient uproar, in fact, for Panasonic to release a statement:

Panasonic Viera plasma HDTVs deliver exceptional picture performance throughout the lifetime of these products. Various elements and material characteristics of all electronic displays change with use over time. In order to achieve the optimal picture performance throughout the life of the set, Panasonic Viera plasma HDTVs incorporate an automatic control which adjusts an internal driving voltage at predetermined intervals of operational hours.

As a result of this automatic voltage adjustment, background brightness will increase from its initial value. After several years of typical use, the internal material characteristics will stabilize and no additional automatic voltage adjustments are required. The Black Level at this stabilized point will yield excellent picture performance.

The newest Viera plasma HDTVs incorporate an improved automatic control which applies the voltage adjustments in smaller increments. This results in a more gradual change in the Black Level over time.

So there you have it, folks–your plasma television gets less black with age.  Of course, most products do lose effectiveness as they age, and over time, anything sees reduced effectiveness.  But this still came as a shock to a lot of people.