Plasma TV Maintenance & Cleaning

Tags: Break-In, Calibration, Cleaning, Heat


When you have a plasma TV it is a good idea to maintain it in a good state. You should do this with any device, but especially with a plasma TV since it is much more expensive than other devices you might have around in your house. Plasma TV maintenance is not a complicated thing and it doesn’t cost you much. Part of this maintenance is about knowing how to clean a plasma TV because I assume you will do this most often.

Water, Humidity and Condensation

First of all, the obvious things should be mentioned because they are also the most important to know. Plasma TVs as any electronic devices don’t go well with humidity so make sure you don’t expose it to excessive humidity, spills or rapid changes in temperature that can produce condensation. Also under no circumstances leave your beer can or glass of water above it or on it. That is like begging for something bad to happen. Also don’t install fish tanks above or very close to your plasma TV and don’t keep plants above it. Normally it doesn’t affect it but if by accident water spills or you break that fish tank you can say good bye to your expensive plasma TV.

Heat, Airflow and Fireplaces

Plasma TVs produce a high amount of heat. This heat must be eliminated and the plasma TV must not overheat or its life will be shortened. In order to allow your plasma TV to run at a healthy temperature you must leave room around it for air to flow. You should find in your plasma TV manual the minimum distance that should be kept around it. If it is not specified, 8 inch (20 cm) is a safe bet.

Many people wonder if installing a plasma TV over a fireplace is a bad thing. If the wall on which you mount the plasma TV emanates heat or if that particular place above the fireplace gets heated more than the rest of the room it’s probably a bad idea to have your plasma TV there. Many fireplace walls however, are isolated so they don’t get hot and it is safe to have your plasma TV mounted there. If you have doubts, maybe you should ask a professional installer to help you with this.

How to Clean the Screen

The proper way to clean the screen is not obvious for many people. The plasma TV screen is a very sensible surface and can get damaged fairly easy. It won’t get damaged in such way that the screen won’t work, but you can damage the anti-glare coating or scratch it.

Manufacturers recommend against using strong cleaners. Usually a micro fiber cloth or mop is enough to remove the dust. It is also effective to a certain level against fingerprints – which you should avoid having on your plasma TV screen. Also, don’t apply to much pressure on the screen. Be gentle.

If you have stubborn dirty spots on the screen and you need a more aggressive approach, you can use cleaners made specifically for plasma or LCD screens. They will not damage the screen so you can use them safely. They are also anti-static so they will prevent dust to adhere to the surface of the screen. Note that you should not spray them directly on the screen but on the cloth. Don’t omit reading your plasma TV manual because the manufacturer might recommend a specific cleaning product.

Calibration and Break-In

Also related to plasma TV maintenance is the calibration and break-in process. By properly calibrating your plasma TV you can extend its life and more importantly help it maintain its colors for a longer time. Calibrating your plasma TV normally involves reducing its brightness and contrast ratio to about 50%. As a side effect this also will reduce the amount of power consumed. The break-in is a process that should be done first thing after buying the plasma TV. Basically it means using your plasma TV in conditions that are not stressful for the screen. The break-in process should be performed for the first 100-200 hours. This is not imperative but it is highly recommended.

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Comments:
  • Thank you for the effort of this people who can give tips like this. THis is very useful and very informative.

  • I have a question. My plasma tv just shut off and I have no idea what happened to it. I turned it on for like 3 hours and all of the sudden it just shut off. I tried to turn it back on but it only stays on for like 2-5 seconds and it shuts off again. What should I do or what’s wrong with it. I bought it 3 years ago and it’s a pioneer 50 inch.

    Thank you for your help,
    Philip Manuma

  • @philip manuma: I don’t know what the problem is. Either the TV got defected or you are having serious fluctuations on the power line. Maybe you had a voltage spike and it damaged something. There is no way to guess what the problem is, so you should probably ask a technician in TV repair.

  • Jennifer Hiebsch

    can you use water on the micro fiber, instead of cleanser for fingerprints?

  • @Jennifer Hiebsch: distilled water in worst case but in small quantities. Do NOT use tap water as it contains minerals and salts and after it evaporates it leaves smudges. Depending on the screen type, water (even distilled) could be a very bad idea.

  • I have a 58 inch Panasonic Plasma TV with some light very superficial scratches on the glass, can they be removed?

  • @scott: I don’t know a way to remove scratches. There are cleaners out there that are supposed to make scratches invisible, however you might seriously damage the screen with such products.

  • The dealer offered a maintenance plan that included cleaning and service to the rear part of the TV. What, if any, would that include?

  • I have read your description 1080p vs. 720p, does the same hold true for LCD vs. Plasma? Is the Sony KDL32L5000 capable of 1080p or is it’s screen size not able to support 1080p. Is there a Size base point for 1080p? I always thought Bigger is better and look for 1080p as a rule.

    Thanks in advance!
    Steve

  • @john: I have no idea. Ask the dealer.

  • @Steve Simone: KDL32L5000 has 720p (1366 x 768 pixels) native resolution but supports 1080p input. In other words, you can connect a Blu-Ray player (1080p) to it, but the image will be reduced to 720p because that is the actual resolution of the TV. Unless you sit very close to the TV, I doubt you will notice a difference between 720p and 1080p on a 32 inch HDTV. Regarding the LCD vs Plasma TV comparison to 1080p vs 720p, I don’t think I understand what you are asking.

  • Screens are glass, not plastic like LCD’s, so..
    Like a car windshield with the sand blasting prob, Pledge clean and shine fills temp.
    just a idea that has worked for me.
    Roger

  • No reply..just a question…we have a sunroom and are thinking about shutting it off from the rest of the house when the weather get real cold ( 20 or lower). We have a gas fireplace and it keeps the house warm when the sunroom is closed off. Since the house is warm, the electric heat doesn’t come on and no heat goes to the sunroom. Are we hurting the TV, LCD??

  • @Ray: Probably you are hurting the screen. Look in the manual for minimum storage temperature and make sure the TV doesn’t get colder. Of course it could resist below that, but it’s not a guarantee.

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