Shadowing is the name given to a characteristic of plasma display monitors. It occurs when a frozen image such as a task bar on a computer screen, or a static photo remains on the screen for a long period of time. The phosphor based pixels emit light continuously, and when the image changes, they are not able to quickly cease giving off some luminosity. This results in a ghost like shadowy image remaining on the screen. It appears very similar to burn in, but differs in that it is temporary, and will clear up when normal motion images are displayed on the screen.
Shadowing, like burn in, can be reduced by avoiding static images. Rotating the static image with a motion based image will reduce it, and the use of screen savers is especially effective in computer monitors. Since shadowing occurs because the pixels are shinning brightly and then are a bit slow to dim, reducing the overall brightness level of the monitor is another way to reduce the problem. When the brightness level is lower to begin with, then the shadowing problem will be less pronounced.
Remember, that shadowing is a temporary problem that has only an annoyance value, but no long term effect on your display monitor. Although it appears to be the same as burn in, and is often confused for it, it will disappear rather quickly once the static image is removed, and motion images resume, and a little caution will prevent it almost completely.
November 11th, 2006 by Plasma Man
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