Originally Posted by Panoppolite
Its no surprise that so many have issues with burned in images on their plasma. Running CONTRAST which is WHITE LEVEL at 100 is a sure-fire way to burn in images and have repair issues early in the TV's life, as well as shortening its useful life by a decade if not more. These TV's were designed for CONTRAST and BRIGHTNESS around 50 on the scale of 1 to 100. Panasonic did not set contrast at 100 on Cinema, Custom and VIVID because that is where it should be set. Its set there because before the TV is shipped, it is given a voltage check across its circuits to prevent shipping a dud. That is why those modes are set at 100. The Standard mode at 50 is approximately where the TV's should be set and its probably set there as the final step when the menu and circuits have undergone their final inspection. (I worked in manufacturing for 30 years for Fortune 100, 500 and 1000 manufacturers.) The 100 setting is for testing, not routine picture watching.
Anyone set the volume at 100"? Brightness at 100? Color at 100? Sharpness at 100? Do you mean to say that although nothing else is set to 100, you just assume that Contrast should be at its maximum? Wow, and the human eye, on average, can only discern a contrast difference of around 1000:1 on a displayed image. Some people with really good vision may do a little better than that.
CONTRAST controls WHITE LEVEL, not picture contrast. It affects picture contrast but turning it up to the max does not increase your ability to see the contrast in an image. CONTRAST and BRIGHTNESS are SMPTE terms decided a long time ago. Someone seems to be confusing WHITE LEVEL with the ridiculous claims of 3,000,000:1 contrast by manufacturers.
Go ahead, burn them out if you want. Then remember you read this post, Friend. Crank those modes down to Contrast 50 and then calibrate the television. Always start in the middle, not the maximum anywhere. You'll get a much better outcome. The TV will last longer. It will use less electricity. It will have a better picture too.
(SMPTE: Society of Motion Picture Technicians and Engineers. The ones that designed movie theaters.)
You're dead on in your description of setting all levels, including white level/contrast, brightness, et. al., at their mid-range settings for starters. I am currently running a nine-year old Pioneer Elite Pro-910HD (43") on which I've judiciously maintained the settings as near to the mid-range as possible and it's served me well. I am finally starting to see a bit of "rose bloom" in the center of the panel on an all white image and no amount of adjusting will remove it. I'm not too surprised that this old dog has finally reached this point; it's had a lot of images passed its way.
So anyway, I found this thread because I purchased the U54 from Costco and am awaiting its delivery. I intend to set the levels at mid-point and then calibrate the screen for my viewing room. I've only seen two negative comments: 1) "tinny" sound and 2) images wash out under bright viewing room conditions. Neither of these are an issue for me as I just use the panel for display and handle sound via a media amplifier. I'll report back as soon as my unit arrives and I've had some time to put it through its paces.
EDIT: I just read this whole thread and I'm going on record as one who will NOT be doing any "burn-in"/"break-in" of my new U54 outside of not leaving it on any one channel for any extended length of time. I didn't do anything special to "initialize" my Pioneer and it's produced excellent images since I got it. No burn-in or image retention ever. There are some cable channels that leave a bit of a "persistence" trail on the screen after viewing a few hours, but nothing that doesn't disappear in a short while of normal watching.Edited by lfeickert - 11/26/12 at 2:14pm