Some Questions about Plasma Screens

1) Do plasma screens suffer "burn -in" from a fixed image, specifically, the logos that every channel now places at the bottom right of the screen? I like the LG 50" plasma [780 P]. There is a more expensive model that claims to reduce the "burn-in" potential, but this model is not available at the big box stores.

2) Will brown-outs fry a plasma screen? Some kid at a big box store said it was necessary to buy a $200- power conditioner/protector to prevent a fried screen. He also claimed that this problem is NOT covered by the warranty.
Read this to answer question #1:

Question #2:
I would definitely get a good surge protection powerbar for your flat panel.
First question: plasmas do not have much of a problem anymore. But if you plan on leaving a still image on it for a few days you WILL have a problem. The logos do not create a problem (unless you watch only one channel all day every day). Even CRT's get burn ghosts if you leave the same image on day in day out for a very long time.
I have a 42" plasma and am very happy with it.
The second problem is an unknown to me. But, I have NEVER heard it mentioned anywhere, and SOMEBODY would have complained about their plasma during a brownout if it got damaged. So I would say the brown out problem is a myth created to sell stuff you do not need.
With the plasma TV bought just a year ago, I've got burn-in from the black pillar bars on either side of the screen. Apparently, because so many of the shows I watch are 4:3 formatted, the black bars burned in and now show up as "shadows" when I'm watching something full screen with a white or light background.
I have no burn in issues on my 50" plasma, however, I do not leave a fixed image on it for days at a time either.

As for the second problem, my plasma did suffer from a power problem. A short (5 second) power outage wiped out the power supply board. I had it plugged into a PS Audio High Current Ultimate Oulet, which did not trip. No other power strip in my house tripped either. The tv was covered under warranty, however, it did take 10 weeks to have it repaired. :(

Output, was any sort or stretch or fill mode available for 4:3 on your TV? This has me worried, too, as so much content is still 4:3.
Plasmas do have burn in issues but it would not be a problem unless you have a still image in place for a long period of time. Realistically, that's not likely to occur. However, the black bar issue would be something that would concern me. I will defer to the experience of others on this.

With respect to the brown out question, I do not think it is the brown out itself that is a problem. Rather, it is the fluctuating voltage, i.e. the drop in voltage that causes the brown out, and then the spiked increase in voltage when the brown out ends. These fluctuations in voltage can damage any electronic equipment, not just plasma TVs.

As for warranty coverage, read what the warranty says. I would not believe anything the kid in a big box store says about it, unless he's a law student moonlighting for extra money.
Tonyptony & Markphd,

Yes, my plasma (Hitachi 42") has both the stretch and fill modes available. However, I don't use them for standard 4:3 broadcasts because they distort the picture. I wrongly thought that by using the TV burn-in protection setting (it shifts the image by a few pixels every few minutes when things are static) this would prevent the black bars burning in. Too late now.
Black bars for 4:3 no longer for me. I just stretch it. At first it bothered me, but now it is no problem. My brain accepts it just fine. (Actually I use the "wide/zoom" mode which stretches and widens with adjustments to suite me.)
After image retention ( transient) and burn in ( permanent) result from uneven phosphor wear. Plasmas are most sensitive to this in the first 100 or so hours of use historically ( I cannot tell you why this is true). Keep in mind you can use a reverso image of sorts ( white bars on the side black in center) to essentially even the wear and then recalibrate using AVIA or Digital Video Essentials as an example.

In the residential setting it is quite rare, but watching 4:3 continuously will do it over time. ( if you arent using a plasma for movies maybe an LCD would suffice).

I have had mine for 5 years as of March 2008 and its the same as day one as far as I can tell and I do watch letterboxed movies on occasion and my plasma is almost always in the full mode. ( I also recalibrate with DVE on occasion and almost never change anything including picture/brightness levels interestingly).

A surge protector and power conditioner may not prevent the brownout-then on spike damage, as noted above; it wont trip anything. A more global solution for the house might make some sense.
Output555 - didn't you think to change the aspect ratio??? I never watch shows leaving those bars on the side, knowing the potential for burn-in. To resolve this potential issue I always change the aspect ratio so I have a full screen image.