Plasma TVs became wildly popular with the innovation of HD TV. While they’ve since declined in popularity – most TV manufacturers have stopped producing them altogether – you may have one if you’ve purchased an HD TV more than 5 years ago.
The lifespan of a plasma TV can range from 30,000 to over 60,000 hours, if properly cared for. One thing you can do to extend the longevity of your plasma TV is keep it upright. Though plasma TVs are fairly high-tech, the reason you don’t want to lay it down is quite simple.
Laying a plasma TV down could crack the screen
Plasma TVs, though smaller and lighter than their predecessor television sets, are fairly heavy and rigid. Much of their weight and rigidity comes from the two sheets of glass required for the display. Laying the TV down puts more pressure on the glass, which makes it much more susceptible to cracking or shattering.
Have you seen professional movers carrying glass, or a truck designed to transport glass? The glass sheet is always vertical because laying it horizontal significantly increases the risk of it breaking. Think of your plasma TV’s screen in the same way and always keep it upright when moving it. If your plasma TV screen cracks or shatters, the TV itself is essentially worthless.
Will laying a plasma TV down distort the image?
Many people think you shouldn’t lay a plasma TV flat because doing so could disturb the gas particles inside and ruin the display. In this case, it’s actually safe to lay the plasma TV down. Laying a plasma TV down will typically not damage any of the internal components, including the gases in the screen. Therefore, if you’re careful, it is OK to lay the TV horizontal for brief periods, and only when needed.
Is it ever OK to lay a plasma TV down?
There are some instances, such as attaching a TV stand or mounting brackets, in which you will need to lay the plasma TV down. When doing so, it’s important to take proper precautions to prevent scratches or cracks in the screen.
Follow these tips to safely lay your plasma TV down:
- Clear an open area large enough to lay the TV down – allowing extra space for you to walk around it.
- Spread a blanket or other large, soft cloth to cover the area where you will be placing the TV.
- Grip the TV at the edges and gently lower it. Avoid touching the screen, if possible.
- Avoid stepping on the TV or placing anything on it.
- Return the TV to an upright position immediately after you finish.
What else could harm a plasma TV?
While a cracked screen will certainly ruin your plasma TV, it’s not the only thing you have to worry about. Some other factors that could damage or ruin your display or the internal components of your plasma TV include:
- Exposure to direct sunlight – this won’t fade or discolor the display, but prolonged exposure to sunlight can generate excess heat that may shorten the life of the TV.
- Improper mounting – hanging a plasma TV improperly or placing it on a weak or unstable stand could result in it falling down.
- Power surges – plug the TV into a surge protector to prevent power surges from “frying” your TV.
- Screen burn-in – plasma TVs, especially older models, are susceptible to “burn-ins.” If the display is left on one image for more than a few minutes, the image could potentially “burn” into the display, leaving permanent remnants of the image.
Take care of your TV
No matter what kind of TV you have, proper maintenance and care will help extend its life and picture quality. If you have a plasma TV, it’s alright to lay it down if you absolutely need to, but do so carefully to keep from breaking the glass.