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Plasma ‘burn in’ proves to be myth, says IDC white paper

Study after study of consumer attitudes towards and knowledge about HDTV identify a lack of understanding about HDTV as a serious impediment to its widespread growth.

A new white paper from market research provider IDC sponsored by Pioneer Electronics asserts that “misinformation and inaccurate perceptions” about the performance of various displays, “in particular, plasma televisions” is widespread.

Among the misinformation is the idea that plasma televisions suffer from burn in, a phenomenon where permanently ghosted images remain on screen as a result of displaying the same static image for several hours.

However, according to the IDC researchers, burn in is only a temporary situation with modern plasma displays. Ordinary usage of a burned in plasma display dissipates image retention to the point that it is eventually imperceptible, the white paper said.

IDC researchers performed extensive testing on plasma TVs, LCD TVs and microdisplay (MD) rear projection TVs to produce “Myth busting — Just the Facts on Plasma TV Performance.”

Besides burn in, the white paper examined a number of performance characteristics, including:

  • Display life
  • Black level performance
  • Viewing angles
  • Screen brightness
  • Color accuracy

To read the white paper, visit

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