HDGURU has a great write up on Plasma TV burn-in. It’s always talked about that you have to be careful with Plasma TVs so you don’t burn the image in to the screen. I advise people on this too even with current TVs. HDGURU advises that ““Burn-in” is for all practical purposes a non-issue with current plasma HDTVs.” They go on to explain more of the technical details on why it’s not as important as it use to be. Plasma TVs are great and I have one at home but I would still take the steps to protect your TV. Plasma uses a lot of power and most at the store are in Vivid or in a sales display mode. That creates a very bright image that you really don’t need. By turning the Plasma to home mode or lowering the brightness you can save power and also help eliminate burn-in. (A side note: I cut the power usage by 50% on my Plasma by turning down the brightness and I couldn’t tell a difference after I powered it off and back on.) Most set-tops and game consoles have burn-in protection by pixel shifting. That will help with the HUD at the bottom of the screen. It was also stated in the comments on HDGURU that the first few hundred hours are where you need to pay the most attention. The gas will be burning the brightest at that time.
Plasma TV prices have fallen sharply over the last 6 months which make them a great deal. Their picture is stunning and is extremely bright even on the lowest setting. I do agree that burn-in isn’t an issue like it use to be but I would still be smart about how you use it. The biggest problem with Plasma TVs is the energy usage. You should consider that when purchasing. Mine even on the lowest brightness uses more than twice the power as my LCD.