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How to know if my plasma monitor is dying?

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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March 3, 2011 2:24:56 PM


About a month ago, my wife's system was having a few issues. First she began to notice sparkles on her screen .. then small white static blips, usually when looking at a black background. Sometimes it would come and other times it would just disappear. Then, she went to turn on her system one day and the computer just froze at the apple logo screen with missing pixel blocks.

Well, the logical assumption was the video card or Hdd. We cleaned the Hdd and tested it - it was ok. We replaced the video card, but continued to have issues. Long story short ... and because she had a fairly old system ( 1.1 Mac Pro ) ... we bought her a brand new Mac Pro yesterday.

So we bring the new system home - looking forward to putting this and any other issues behind us. The problem is, that when we boot it up ... the same screen static is there and also the same sparkles ( both on dark backgrounds ). Again, they are there at boot up ... then disappear ... and have come and gone ever since.

Normally, we'd assume video card or something else - but we now have a BRAND NEW computer and it is still happening - which leaves only one logical conclusion - her 30" Apple Plasma monitor ( about 4 years old and used for about 8 hours per day ).

Does anyone know if this sounds like a dying or dead plasma monitor? I've been looking around on-line but haven't found anything describing a similar situation. And we don't want to lug it in to a local apply guy and pay a fortune to have it serviced if it is nearing or at the end of it's life.

Any thoughts or comments are GREATLY appreciated.

More about : plasma monitor dying

March 3, 2011 2:52:54 PM

A few things I notice here:
1. if your monitor is the 30 inch Apple Cinema display with 2560x1600 native resolution, I'm fairly sure that's an LCD monitor, not plasma.
2. You haven't mentioned whether you tried a different video cable
3. You haven't specified what video card you're using - a sufficiently weak video card can produce sparkles like that when trying to display 2560x1600 even if the card is new.
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March 3, 2011 2:55:11 PM

you should do a few more tests before assuming it is the tv (which it may well be!) so try the following:

-Test it with the same cable but on a different (working) television
-Test it with the plasma television but with a different (working) cable

plasma televisions also aren't known for having excellent track records. if the plasma television goes the price for repair almost justifies a new lcd.
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March 3, 2011 4:05:02 PM

MauveCloud said:
A few things I notice here:
1. if your monitor is the 30 inch Apple Cinema display with 2560x1600 native resolution, I'm fairly sure that's an LCD monitor, not plasma.
2. You haven't mentioned whether you tried a different video cable
3. You haven't specified what video card you're using - a sufficiently weak video card can produce sparkles like that when trying to display 2560x1600 even if the card is new.


1. It's definitely plasma. She bought one of the last plasma monitors that Apple made before switching to LCD.
2. Thought about trying different cables, and will move that to top of the list.
3. Video card is aok. She has a 5770 for mac which is much stronger than her old card.

I'll give the cabling a try. After doing more googling, I found that as a recommended course of action in a few posts. Thx!

PS to the other poster - not a tv, but thank you for trying to help.
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March 3, 2011 4:51:06 PM

lyphe said:
1. It's definitely plasma. She bought one of the last plasma monitors that Apple made before switching to LCD.
2. Thought about trying different cables, and will move that to top of the list.
3. Video card is aok. She has a 5770 for mac which is much stronger than her old card.


I didn't know they made plasmas that small 4 years ago, but if you're sure it's plasma, I won't bother arguing. I know a 5770 can drive a 2560x1600 monitor, because that's what I use, so that can't be the problem.
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March 3, 2011 5:57:08 PM

i didn't have enough time to read the entire wall of text you had there before i posted. what I said still holds true though. by doing said tests you can figure out which of the three is the culprit. cable, computer or monitor. i agree with you that it is most likely the monitor but it is always better to test everything out before coming to conclusions.
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Best solution

March 4, 2011 12:38:22 AM

Apple has never made a 30 inch plasma - they first made the 30 inch in 2004, and from the start it's been an LCD.
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March 4, 2011 11:22:19 AM

cjl said:
Apple has never made a 30 inch plasma - they first made the 30 inch in 2004, and from the start it's been an LCD.


Wow - I was absolutely positive that she had a plasma all these years. I'm still confused about how she has mild burn-in, but every thread of research I've done since you both suggested that Apple never made Plasma's points to her having an LCD screen.

So looks like my original post still stands, although I'll need to substitue the word plasma for LCD.

The cables are unfortunately hardwired right into the back of her unit, so I don't have the luxury of trying a different dvi cable - so off to the local apple guy we go.

Thx for the input!
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March 14, 2011 2:10:39 AM

Best answer selected by Lyphe.
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March 14, 2011 7:03:03 AM

That is unfortunate about the cables being hardwired. I hope the apple guy can help you out - 30 inch monitors (despite being LCD) are excellent, and it would be a shame if yours died.
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