How long will my flat panel TV live?

A decent amount of people worldwide have taken up possession of flat panel televisions. One would almost think it was a newborn baby in these people’s possession with the care and attention these televisions receive over time. Perhaps that’s because a plasma or LCD television can, indeed, set one back a few thousand dollars.

Other than the intense difference in your home theater quality, in some circles, one of these TV gems represents a kind of status symbol. With that kind of financial investment this would warrant a special kind of maintenance and care. Like with anything you take care of, it should give you a quality performance for years to come. So, let’s take a look at the length of time one receives such performance from their flat panel TV. In order to do this, we will be dissecting each type of high performance television.

Flat Panel Televisions:

Originally the word “lifespan” was used to prose this topic but that was wrong in a sense. A television is measured as a “Half-Life”, the time before the television’s screen dims from one half of the original brightness. Every television from Flat panels to CRTs loose brightness over time and this cannot be helped.

Should you, as a prospective buyer or owner, worry about the lifespan of your television? Not really, but some people do commonly fear their extravagant televisions will burn out long before the classic yet reliable picture tube sets of yesteryear.

Consumer Reports, an independent nonprofit organization, published a report last year, which explains flat panel sets are just as reliable as CRT TVs in their first year. Most won’t be fearful about long-term reliability because they would more than likely be looking for a new TV long before their flat panel fades to black.

The LCD Screen:

The winner in the debate between longevity of LCD and plasma televisions is the LCD. The LCD panel alone holds a virtually limitless lifespan because of this the screen’s LCD light source.

The light bulb of a the LCD is what produces pictures, and just as with any other light bulb, the light will dim over a period of time after repeated use. Hence both the bulb and the LCD screen life are equivalent to one another, the proposed life span ranges from 30,000 to 60,000 hours. Some manufacturers estimate a larger sum of 80,000 hours. Replacing these bulbs will easily increase your television’s lifespan. Watching an average of about six hours a day will give you just about 28 years before the LCD’s brightness begins to dim to half it’s original level.

The Plasma Television:

Plasma is somewhat inferior to it’s LCD counterpart in the case of a lifespan. The common mistake is that a plasma television will last almost 10 years, this as stated already, is not true.

Plasma televisions use gases where the LCD uses bulbs for lighting. Like anything else, plasma gases will decay overtime. This process is a slow and gradual one with ranges from 20,000 to 30,000 hours along with the manufacturer estimation of 60.000. All of these estimates are figured under optimal conditions. Currently there is no form of replacement for plasma gases. This makes the average six hour a day of television equate to 14 years before the plasma’s brightness begins to fade to one half of the original level of brightness.

To put these life spans in terms of relative experience – the cathode ray tube or CRT televisions, which we have been most accustomed to, have one of the longest life spans of up to more than 80,000 hours.

A Few Tips:

Some tips to extending or securing the longevity of your flat panel television: -Always adjust the Contrast and Brightness levels. A flat panel is preset for conditions of a showroom and may need to be set to a level for your living room or where ever you have decided to place it.

-Know your brand of televisions. Not all flat panels are made the same. Research on the net and word on the street; look for a brand that has been around more than others. See our articles on selecting a flat panel TV.

-When not in use, shut it down. Pull the plug from the outlet even. Standby mode is still a strain. This kind of care will not only help your television but your power bill as well.

-For the plasma sets that are in idle mode, never leave static images on for long. The gases make the plasma sets susceptible to burn. Few things are more aggravating than seeing a phantom image of the logo for your favorite show burned forever into the screen of your plasma.

-Keep the television set in cool, well-ventilated areas. This eases the heavy work of the inner system of the television.

-Never mount your television above your fireplace. For the same reasons as stated above however if you feel you must do so, first test the heat of the air above with your hand. If this area feels hotter than the rest of the room choose another location.