This is similar to the old debate about whether it’s better to turn a computer off and on, or to just leave it on all the time- the counter-intuitive idea being maybe it was better to leave it on all the time because the initial flood of electrons through the circuitry when turning it on was possibly causing more wear and tear than if it was always on.
I don’t mean leave the plasma tv on all the time, but I have it on a lot in my office/man cave when I’m doing stuff like freelance work, and I like to have news or something to keep one eye on while I’m working. I might need to run out for an errand for an hour or so, then I’ll be back and want to watch the tv some more. Better to turn it off for the hour, then back on, or just leave it on?
This is a 50" plasma that’s supposed to be a good brand, but after less than a year I got the dreaded green/red vertical lines which meant the electronic components were failing. Fortunately that was within the warranty so they basically replaced the entire guts of the tv for free. Now it’s a couple years since the replacement. So far, so good, but these TVs apparently aren’t made to last so I’d like to extend this one’s life as much as possible.
Not what you’re asking, but from a economic/environmental standpoint, plasmas waste more energy than LCD. That includes when they are plugged in/power strip on, but not actually on.
Basically, you can decide whether (possible running wear + definite energy loss) is > or < than (possible switching wear with low chance of breakage).
At least with lightbulbs, including incandescent and CFL, turning them off is more efficient unless you will return in about a second, i.e. better to turn them off when not in use. Tube fluorescents are IIRC ~20 seconds, but that’s still short. Most people think that starting a car wastes more energy than it actually does but generally it’s better to turn it off if you’re waiting for a bit.
Sort of a WAG and I can’t say when the break even point is, but an hour? Turn it off!
What is a “good brand”? And model? That might make things easier.
Imho, it’s a catch 22. Why have a TV you can’t watch? My advice is just burn it up and buy a new one. Every new generation makes the older generations dirt cheap. I can buy a new 32" LCD for $200 right now off the shelf and used around the corner for 100-150. By the time this tv burns out, a new 50" will probably be $500. If you are like my friend, you probably got the TV when it was $1-3k so it’s “valuable.”
ps. I bought a 43" plasma about 7 years ago for $400.
The latter does not make sense. When a plasma TV and and LCD are turned off, why should their power consumption differ? They’re both on stand-by at that point, sleeping with one eye open so to speak, and so neither one should be consuming more than a few milliwatts.
I measured the power consumption on our 65" plasma TV a couple of years ago and found that the power consumption was image-dependent. Black image (e.g. the fade between commercials)? It was about 350 watts. White image, or at least as white an image as I could find? About 750 watts. Average the two, and it’s at about 550 watts, which I think is in the same range as a 65" LCD screen would be (these are typically constant power consumption, since the backlight is at full brightness all the time).
As for turning off/on being bad for it, yes, I suspect that power cycling (and the associated thermal cycling) is bad for the electronics, but not bad enough to justify leaving it uselessly powered up for an hour, especially since the plasma display itself has a limited lifespan. If you’re stingy about the power cycling, maybe the electronics will last 20 years instead of 19 years, but the display will be significantly faded by the time it’s ten years old, so who gives a shit? Power it down every time you’re not watching it, and enjoy a nice modest electricity bill.