Friday, May 30, 2008


As a guy, it's natural for us to jump right into something without reading directions. With my new TV, I thought, "oh, I'll just hook it up and get it going", which I did. As I previously mentioned, I don't have high-def programming *yet* so the picture, when viewed in 16:9 widescreen mode was stretched. It looked 'okay', but I thought, I'll change it to the 4:3 mode and watch a normal, square, picture - no stretchiness.

Today, I turned on my Wii and noticed a line on both sides of my tv screen. I thought, at first, it was the reflection from the window - however as I studied it more, I realized, it was a BURN-IN!!!! In case you aren't familiar, "burn-in" is where an image is left on a plasma screen for an extended period of time and it burns itself into the plasma screen. Apparent, the 4:3 mode viewing had black bars on the sides to form the square, non high-def picture, and it left burn-in lines. Crap! I thought, "I'll call up Samsung and complain", so I opened up the User's Manual to find the 800# to call, and I saw this, on the first page:

"Important Warranty Information Regarding Television Format Viewing
Watching the TV in 4:3 format for a long period of time may leave traces of borders displayed on the left, right and center of the screen caused by the difference of light emission on the screen. Playing a DVD or a game console may cause similar effect to the screen. Damages caused by the above effect are not covered by the Warranty."

What the???? According to Samsung, this TV should only be used to watch TV in 16:9 (no video games or DVDs). Are they smoking crack? Do they really find this acceptable? I've got an idea for Samsung and the other plasma manufacturers - make a product that won't burn-in! Fortunately, the TV has a "feature" that lets you run rolling black and gray lines left to right and it helps to remove 'most' cases of burn-in. In my case, it looks like it removed the burn-in - for now. Now I'm afraid the next DVD I watch will do the same thing. I guess I should have bought an LCD TV. I'm sure I could turn around and sell this on Craig's List and not lose too much money if I wanted to, but I had a hard enough time deciding on this TV, and LCD TVs are so much more expensive.

Oh, well. Lesson learned. Always read the manual first...

UPDATE 6/16/08...
The "burn-in" was not permanent. I'm just being anal. I've taken the approach to just not look for it anymore. Life's much more happier that way...