The most recent results of measurements taken by CNET confirm that after a few hundred days of on time, the company's 2010 plasma TVs do lose some of their ability to produce a deep shade of black, which is a major factor in picture quality. Even after the loss, however, both can still achieve comparatively deep black levels, and according to Panasonic that shouldn't change significantly after an initial period.
We've been testing two 2010 models, the TC-P50VT25 and the TC-P50G20, since we received the review samples from Panasonic earlier this year, and until now we haven't measured any increase in the brightness of "black" (known as MLL, or Minimum Luminance Level).
However, after being run for what amounts a small fraction of their expected lifespans, each TV has shown an MLL increase. "Black" on the VT25 went from 0.004 to 0.007 footlamberts (ftl) after 1,543 total hours (the equivalent of 297 days at the average daily rate of 5.2 hours), while the G20 increased from 0.007 to 0.012 after 2,411 total hours (464 days).
This behavior was expected, and explained by Panasonic as a normal part of its plasma TVs' operation when we first documented it with 2009 models. The company previously said in a statement that its 2010 plasmas would incorporate a "more gradual change in black levels over time" than the 2009 models.
Response from Panasonic This time around we were able to get much more specific information from Panasonic on the aging process. We spoke to Bill Schindler, a consultant and former vice president for the company, who told us that our 2010 review samples were operating within specification and, what's more, shouldn't change much more over the rest of their lifespans.… Read more