All You Should Know About OLED Burn-In

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OLED TV is a great investment to make. After all, it looks elegant, and the picture quality is commendable too. But do you know about the problems associated with an OLED TV? We’re talking about burn-in and image retention.

Yes, it happens when switching to a new channel, an image of a previous channel remains on the screen. If you want to know why it happens and what you can do about it, read along. You’ll find numerous informational insights in this article. So, let’s begin.

What is OLED Burn-In?

OLED here is an acronym. Its expanded form is Organic Light Emitting Diode. It’s made from organic materials, which is why the ‘O’ in OLED. And as it is made from organic materials, some degree of degradation is natural.

OLED works on a self-emissive tech. It means the TV has no backlight—every pixel emits light on its own. And as you continue to use the TV, these pixels dim out, causing problems. This is what we call OLED burn-in. Not only OLED displays, plasmas, LCDs, and even CRTs are prone to a damage of some sort.

Why does OLED Burn-in happen?

The reason behind this issue is uneven pixel degradation. It means when some pixels degrade fast while others degrade at a slow rate. Nothing will happen if you watch something on your TV for five hours a day on weekends.

However, if you watch a particular channel daily for months or weeks, this can cause a problem. You would have noticed the logos of different channels displayed in the corner. You would also have noticed the rolling news banners or scoreboards on a sports channel.

These are some static elements that just sit there on display, doing nothing. And these are the reasons behind the OLED burn-in. Now, if you play video games on your display or use it as a PC, there’ll be elements like the taskbar, video game HUD, which can cause the problem.

Burn-In tests can help you understand better

RATINGS conducted OLED burn-in tests on 6 LG C7 OLED displays. All the displays had different content during the duration of the test. The same content was displayed on TVs for 20 hours each day. After a year, the results were out. Here is the video for your reference.

When the video was published, TVs had displayed content for over 9,000 hours. If you calculate, it amounts to watching television for 5 hours a day for five years. The TV sets in the video that were tuned to CNN displayed extensive burn-in issues.

At the same time, other displays were still working fine. RATINGS said that the results are way different from the real world as there won’t be many people who’ll use their display vigorously. But for anyone who does, OLED TV won’t be a great choice.

Do I need to worry about OLED burn-in?

You need to first understand what the problem is. OLED burn-in happens when you watch a particular graphical content for elongated periods. This leaves a print of that image on your display even after you change the channel. And this can create an unpleasant experience if you face a problem in your home.

However, if you’re not a binge watcher, it’s very unlikely to happen with you. Usually, it happens with the OLED display at showrooms that show the same content all day long. Many TV makers are working on this issue to minimize this effect. So, you can either control your watching habits or buy some other type of display for your home.

Avoiding or How to fix screen burn-in on OLED screens

For fixing a burin in, there’s not much you can do. However, you can wait or use pixel refreshers to correct the burn-in.

Give it some time.

When there’s a burned-in image, it may not be the time you do something inappropriate. In most cases, it just needs time and automatically gets fixed. And for that to happen, you can either turn the TV off or switch the channels.

Use a pixel refresher or an app specially made to find and rectify screen burn-in

Now, some OLED manufacturers like Sony and LG put a pixel refresher in the system. It is used to handle temporary burn-in issues. You can turn the feature and let it refresh the image.

After an hour or so, your OLED display will become normal. If your mobile device screen misbehaves, you can install burn-in fixer apps. These apps effectively help in reducing or removing the burn-in altogether.

What can you avoid to prevent OLED burn-in?

Well, if you care about OLED burn-in, you should prefer some other type of display. However, if you like the OLED display, there are some precautions you can take to prevent OLED burn-in.

You can change your TV watching habits. Yes, this can protect your display. If you change the watching habits, the pixels will degrade evenly, and you won’t notice any burn-in or image retention. By changing the watching habits, we want you to avoid watching the same channel for extended periods.

Now, it may sound inappropriate for many people. But it is quite effective.

Is OLED suitable for you?

Well, it depends on what you need it for. The OLED display is a bad choice if: –

You want to use it as a PC where there will be static icons and a taskbar all day long

You want to watch the news all day long without changing the channel

You want to play a particular game repeatedly

Image retention vs. burn-in:

The terms image retention and burn-in are often used interchangeably. But these terms or conditions are different. Image retention is temporary. After you turn the TV off or run a pixel refresh, it’ll become normal. However, Burn-in is permanent. It never goes away and worsens with time.

Let’s say you were watching a news channel for long without switching. And the channel has a logo ‘XYZ’ on the top right corner. Now, when you switch to some other channel if you still see that ‘XYZ’ logo, it could be image retention. And this will probably go after a few hours.

Now, if you leave the TV for a few hours and you’re still able to notice the logo, the problem could be a bigger one. It’s certainly a case of permanent image retention or screen burn-in.

Is screen burn-in covered by insurance or warranties?

Nope. Be it any OLED display manufacturer; they never cover screen burn-in under warranty. Major companies state that burn-ins happen because of the viewer’s watching habits, not because of any manufacturing defects. It’s the reason why Sony or LG never cover burn-in under warranty.


OLED displays, no doubt, delivers an immersive experience. But if you don’t know enough about their usage, you may end experiencing burn-ins. And this is something you would never want to experience, especially when you’re watching your favorite show or playing games.

If you want to use a display as a PC monitor or watch the news constantly, OLED is not for you. Please refer to the above info once again for better clarity. Also, share these insights with others in need.

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