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How Does Sunlight Exposure Affect a Plasma TV Screen?

written by: theinkandpen (Robert Mullon)•edited by: Eric Stallsworth•updated: 7/29/2009

An article which looks at how a Plasma TV screen is affected by a room exposed to direct sunlight. The article includes information on the glare reflection problem, which affects glass-screen sets, and what a burn-out is briefly.

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    The benefits of the Plasma screen are seen particularly in the wide variety of colours and the high definition image it provides. There are of course many other benefits, such as aspect ratio, lower image distortion or lower image flicker. However, one must consider the possibility of getting an LCD screen rather than Plasma if the set will likely be placed in a well-lit room, with direct exposure to sunlight.

    So, exactly how does sunlight affect the plasma screen and will the quality and the set eventually degrade? Find out more as the article unfolds, particularly if you are unsure on whether your type of room would be more suited to a Plasma or LCD set.

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    Plasma and Direct Sunlight

    Most Plasma TV manuals will tell you that exposure to direct sunlight for your set must be avoided. This is only true if there is a strong exposure to sunlight, for instance if your windows don’t have shutters, curtains or something which will filter out some of the sunlight and break the intensity and concentration of the source. It is also true if the exposure is lengthy and constant which shouldn’t usually be the case.

    Strong exposure to sunlight shouldn’t be the cause of screen burn-outs/burn-ins, which means general loss of detail and picture quality degradation. Particularly burn-ins are caused by continuous exposure of static images on-screen (i.e. video games or similar) and cause a permanent impression to be left on the screen. This applies to LCD screens and has nothing to do with sunlight exposure.

    Another aspect to take into account is the actual material and finish of your screen; a glass screen is likely to suffer less damage from sunlight than a glossy non-glass one such as the ones employed in some of the SONY LCD displays, particularly in the higher price ranges. This is common sense as a material made of plastic will likely warp much easier in prolonged exposure to heat.

    Lastly glare reflection is another common problem directly related to sunlight or light generally. This is when images are reflected in your television (for instance a window giving off light or a lamp) and greatly spoil your image to the point where you have to shut off all light sources completely. Since most upmarket LCD displays (i.e. SONY) have matte and glossy finishes, and the fact that they are not often made of glass-screens, they greatly reduce glare reflection. Today’s Plasma models do also have an anti-glare coating although they can reflect much more since it is a glass screen.

    Now you can finally decide whether your room is more suited to a Plasma or LCD screen.

    Related info:

    Differences between Plasma and LCD

    Buying Guide: LCD or Plasma?