Common Problems With Plasma TVs

By Crystal Bonser

Treat your plasma with care to avoid potential screen damage.
i Plasma panel image by Nikolay Okhitin from

Plasma televisions offer large screens, thin panels and high definition display. Their screens consist of thousands, sometimes millions, of tiny pixels that light up to create a crisp image. Although many people rave about the exceptional viewing experience that plasma televisions offer, they are susceptible to several screen issues that potential buyers should be aware of before investing in them.


Burn-in is the result of damaged pixels that have aged prematurely. This damage occurs when a static image---such as a network logo or news ticker---is left on the screen for an extended period of time. The pixels that made up the static image become dimmer, resulting in a copy of the image being permanently burned into the screen.

Damaged Screen

When strong pressure is applied to a plasma screen, a permanent image resembling a sunburst or a ring may appear. It's important to remember that plasma screens are very delicate and should never be touched unless absolutely necessary. A plasma screen may be damaged if it is grabbed during moving or installation, or if someone falls into it.

Broken Pixels

Sometimes pixels in a plasma screen stop working, resulting in black dots on the screen. Plasmas have a long lifespan; thus, unless your television is several years old and you have used it for many hours a day, chances are the broken pixels are a result of a manufacturing defect. If your plasma screen has broken pixels, contact the manufacturer of your television, or try to return it to the retailer. Broken pixels cannot be repaired, so you will need a new screen.