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Customer Review

12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buyer beware - Pandora app could damge your TV., July 23, 2011
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This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P55GT30 55-Inch 1080p 3D Plasma HDTV (Electronics)
First of all, excuse the dramatic title and low rating. The picture quality of this TV was awesome when I first viewed it and I would have happily given it five stars. The purpose of posting this review is to draw attention to a very poor design issue with this product and hopefully to prevent this from happening to someone else. For more information please feel free to search my pen name on AVS Forum for a more detailed discussion.

Panasonic, like a lot of other TV manufacturers, are marketing their 2011 TV sets as being Smart TVs with internet apps like Skype, Netflix etc. It's a fantastic concept and it adds a richness to the home theater experience.

The bad news is that one of these apps, Pandora, the internet music radio station appears to be defective and it could damage your TV set. Here's how it happened to me. I had done some research and reading on how image retention and burn-in were a thing of the past with plasma TVs. Don't believe the hype.

When running Pandora, it displays what song is being played but most of the screen is taken up with a full screen static image made up of the Pandora menus. After a few minutes a screen saver engages and the picture starts to rotate as if it were a 3D envelope flying in space. That would be fine if it stopped there. However, the defect is that when the end of the song is reached and the next song starts playing it goes back to the same static image as before. This happens for every single song! The long term effect is that if you listen to Pandora for any period of time (as you might with a radio on) then for maybe 75% of the time the static image is being displayed on the screen. This then leads to damage of the screen because plasmas don't react well to having the same image displayed for a long period especially when they are new.

Since I noticed the problem I have run the screen wipe feature and break-in slides consisting of full screen solid colors for many hours. While the images left by Pandora are fading a little they are still visible, sometimes even with normal TV viewing if there is a light colored sky or some other bright, light image on screen.

My opinion is that this combination of badly designed software on hardware susceptible to burn-in is simply defective. The TV has incredible picture quality, so if you do buy it, just don't use this app. Netflix and the other apps I have used seem to have very reliable screen savers.

Good luck!


[UPDATE 11/10/11]: After several months the burn in seems to have gone away. It seems only fair to change the rating. This is still an excellent TV.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 24, 2011 3:14:09 AM PDT
This is just temporary image retention that will fade. I recommend having a low brightness setting when using an app with static images, like set the Standard modes brightness/contrast low then switch over to this when running this app. Then after watching like this, switch to a brighter setting for a while before shutting off the tv. It'd be nice if the screen saver stayed on the whole time, a simple fix. It a shame that you Might have to do this but not a deal breaker for me.

Posted on Aug 27, 2011 5:35:40 PM PDT
Ron Ferrara says:
Any update on this. I'm afraid to use Pandora now that I've seen the review. Will it still burn in even after the break in period?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 29, 2011 9:38:58 AM PDT
newtohd2011 says:
I honestly couldn't tell you whether it is safe to use after the break-in period as I have never used it since I saw the problem. It is continuing to fade and I am still enjoying the TV.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2011 7:46:07 AM PDT
NJ Hound says:
I have the same issue from the Yes Channel screen logo. I watched the NY Yankees game's almost every night this past season. I noticed 3 week's ago that I now have image retension or screen burn from the YES logo. It has faded somewhat but it it still is noticeable on light colored sky or bright, light image's too. Will this ever totally fade away? This is a great TV but at this point my next set will be a LED. I also broke in this TV for 120 hours with the breakin slide's and only watch full screen HD.
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