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Burn-In Healed!

HDTV Unveiled: Q&A With A Video Wizard

TG: People used to freak out about plasma burn-in. Is that still a problem?

JS: We did a myth buster thing for Pioneer and IDC where we tried to burn some plasmas around three or four years ago. Their idea of the test was to run it overnight with a fixed video game. I said, "no, I’m not playing, I’m out." However, if you can pretend it’s a weekend and a little kid left a video game on a plasma for 48 hours, let’s see if that kills it. And we got the client to bite.

We had a slew of brands—it wasn’t just Pioneer. With IDC, it’s a nice project because you don’t get anything from manufacturers. You go on the open market and buy them. We bought Samsungs, Fujitsus, whatever there was, and tried to burn them all for 48 hours. At the end of the 48 hours, all the plasmas had retained images—clearly retained. It looked like they were burnt. And then we ran just a TV show for 24 hours to see if it would go away. Of course, Pioneer hoped that they would be burn-resistant and everything else would be destroyed, but all the plasmas were fine...from everybody. So 48 hours won’t burn it. Now, at the end of that project, I said, "good, let’s go 96 hours. I mean, let’s test a failure." But no, we were done, the client was happy. I said we have to find out. They said, "no, you don’t." So I left with my curiosity burning about how much time it would take to burn plasmas permanently, but, on the other hand, I now know that 48 hours won’t burn them. But it will retain an image in 20 minutes.


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