Originally Posted by Soulburner
You should get *far* more than 10,000 hours from a plasma TV. The average half-life is 60,000 hours. That is the point at which the image dims enough to be noticeably not as bright anymore - and it will keep working longer than that. That is even longer than LCD displays that have CFL or LED bulbs that will eventually burn out.
My TV is on for 80+ hours a week, which is pretty heavy use. With parts and circuit boards malfunctioning, unless you know it's an inexpensive repair/fix and you can ID the problem correctly, if the problem happens after 5 years and 10,000-15,000 hours, most people will probably get an expensive quote to fix the TV and then decide to just junk it and get a new one.
My 50" Philips broke after about 18 months because the capacitors went. They are a simple soldering job that takes 45 minutes and $10 in parts (before this fix was diagnosed, people were replacing the entire circuit board which cost a few hundred dollars or more). My friend did it for a free Chinese dinner.
The recent problem also seems fixable -- loose connection involving the entire circuit/video board (when it happened over the last few years a few taps to the back of the TV in a key location would bring back the image which went black). But most people who aren't HDTV enthusiasts won't research these problems or take the unorthodox fixes that get them thousands of more hours of viewing for little cost.
When the TV's cost 5-10x as much as they do today, it was a bigger necessity to get as much use out of the TV as possible. People paid the $$$ to repair the TVs and/or paid big $$$ for circuit or video boards (where most of the problems seemed to occur.) Of course, most of the time it wasn't the entire board that needed to be replaced but just a few key fuses, capacitors, or other parts.
I could be wrong but I don't know anybody on AVS who has reported more than 30,000 hours on a plasma.
There might be people who have gotten more viewing hours but they either haven't checked the hours or they haven't posted it online. Maybe some of the guys who bought quality Panasonic or Pioneer plasmas a few years ago will have some great total hours to report in a few years. Or maybe the VT/ZT and 8500 buyers will have some great hours to report by 2020.