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LG plasma *persistent* ghost image - not happy with LG service

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I have an LG plasma 50PS3000, about 13 months old, still under warranty.

About 5 months ago, this ghost image appeared:

(The screen was displaying only black at the time the picture was taken. Every item that you're seeing is just reflexions. The "black bar" at the far right is the reflection of the PC-13U subwoofer, not burn-in)

I am referring to the grayish funnel-shaped ghost image in the center. It has sharp edges on most of the right side and bottom and somewhat fuzzy edges on the left side and top. I generally cannot see it during movies but it is very apparent in dark scenes.

I called LG Greece, they took the TV to inspect it and at first declared "no problem, we can't see anything wrong". I had to drive to the service center to show them what I meant. Anyway, they told me it was a "ghost image" and that it should go away with time (TV was at 600 hours at the time). They suggested I should run screen savers, watch full-screen programs and wait about 800 hours(!) for the image to go away. They also told me that it was probably due to watching too much 16:9 and 4:3 content all the time. I am a well-trusting person so I took their word for it and took the TV home.

But it got me worried...

I have to add that:

I do NOT play video games, I do NOT have a DVD or Blu-ray player to give me static menu screens, I do NOT watch TV (really, I estimate I watch tv about 1 hour every 2 or 3 months, if I have guests who want to turn it on).

I only have the X-treamer media player which is set to activate the screen saver after 1 minute on pause. I also have a Pioneer VSX-1020K but it has a built-in screen saver and in any case the ghost image appeared before I purchased the 1020.

I run the "colour wash" built in screen saver for 15-30 minutes every time I finish watching a movie.

I had not broken the set in with any slides etc. but I had calibrated it to realistic contrast and brightness levels using the DVE disk and I was (still am) using the power saver option to "intelligent sensor, high" which is protective for the TV.

and that: I do not let anyone else use the TV (except for one time when the family watched my brother's wedding, max 2 hours).

The set gets IR quite easily but it is very transient, a movie or a screen saver just for a couple of minutes washes these images away and they never interfere with watching any program anyway.

Now, what do you think that ghost image in the center is? Can't be burn-in. Setting aside the fact that I am anal about my plasma TV, burn-in is supposed to be overused pixels which now have reduced brightness, therefore appearing darker. This thing is brighter, just like image retention, only it is permanent. Unless I burned-in the rest of the screen and the only part that has any phosphors left is that funnel in the middle...

I have been running screen savers, white washes, colour washes, the Pionner image retention cleaner, everything, day and night for the last couple of months, even unplugged the TV a few times. It doesn't get better. Might even be getting a bit worse. Why should this ghost image need "800 hours" to go away?

I just called LG Greece and asked them to have a look again. I am worried that I will be getting the same answer which I think is wrong. It could be something else, e.g. a faulty screen, and while I'm running 800 hours of screen savers the warranty will expire

If I am wrong, I wouldn't want to argue with them and be a jackass. But if I am right, I would like to have some arguments to explain my point. I downloaded some images of burn-in to show that it's supposed to be darker. I would very much like to hear your opinions on this.
post #2 of 10
Hard to tell from the pic, but it doesn't look like burn-in or IR. Can you see it during normal viewing?

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by PooperScooper
Hard to tell from the pic, but it doesn't look like burn-in or IR. Can you see it during normal viewing?

I can try taking another picture at night to minimize reflections.

As I said, most of the time it is not noticeable, i.e. when the scene has a lot of detail and adequate brightness. But in scenes with monotonous background (i.e. the underwater opening scene in Das Boot) and especially in dark scenes like most horror movies it becomes very annoyingly apparent indeed!
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
As promised, here's another picture, this time at night:

(the faint horizontal line that you're seeing at the bottom is not burn-in, it's just the reflection of the center speaker and the edge of the TV stand)

I should point out that, as previously, the TV was not displaying anything at the time. It had just turned on, showing black/blank. I used a slow speed for the camera to take this pic. So, there shouldn't be any effect of differently aged phosphors producing different amounts of light at that time. The set was not displaying white to make any burn-in apparent.

In fact, if I display white (e.g. the white washing screen saver), the pattern completely disappears. It's just on black that I can see it, as a moderetaly brighter pattern in the center of the screen. It's as if the black level for this part of the panel is lower (not dark enough) than the rest of the screen.

EDIT: hey look at that, I think I found an argument to put forward.
The slow camera speed revealed that I have slight "side bars" burn-in, which is totally imperceivable by the eye.
BUT: look at the brightness of the side bars. They are supposedly in better shape than the inner square because they haven't been used a lot, that's why they are slightly brighter. But just look at the ghost image! It's way brighter than the side bars! This part of the screen looks underused, not overused. What kind of abuse could create such a pattern? Not any long term subtle misuse. I would have to leave the TV paused on a frame displaying bright light all around except for that pattern in the middle, in essence rapidly aging the rest of the screen.
post #5 of 10
You need to get some content ready that shows the problem during normal viewing. Then get the tech to see it.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yup. Thanks. I'm preparing the "I am Legend" scene where he goes into a pitch black building to look for his dog.
post #7 of 10
When I had my LG, I never experienced such a problem. "It's something else" alright. It's broken!
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm afraid my camera isn't adequate to properly capture this on film, therefore I cannot upload it on YouTube.

But here are 2 pics from said "I am Legend" scene.

Hardly unnoticeable...

Anyway, LG coming tomorrow, let's see. Thanks for listening to my rant

Antono, signing out.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Success, my dear friends!

LG service, same TV, same problem, same technician (I made sure I didn't mention he had seen this TV before): he called some more techs and they all agreed I have a faulty panel. I didn't even have to argue. I also got a pat in the back and a reassurance they'll cover it under warranty.

Well, no prob, I'm a doc, we are notorious for making wrong diagnoses too. The trick is to get it right the second time!

Go plasma!
post #10 of 10
I remember that scene with the bright blob in the middle of the screen. Just kidding glad they are going to fix up your set as that is no where near a marginal problem.
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