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All You Should Know About OLED Burn-In

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Although OLED displays are expensive and look beautiful, they can still suffer from burn-in. You may wonder what is this and why does this happen?

oled vs led

You do not have to be tech-savvy to know all this. In this article, we shall discuss what screen burn is and how prevalent it is. We will also learn how to fix it and how to reduce its effects.

Without any delay, let us get started with our discussion. Before that, let us learn what OLED burn-in is.

What is OLED Burn-in? 

OLED is an acronym for Organic Light Emitting Diode. They use organic materials in the construction of the OLED panels, hence the name. Coming to OLED burn-in, it is nothing but permanent image retention. In simple words, it is a scenario that results in the gradual degradation of pixels.

How does OLED Burn-in Happen?

Whether it is a mobile phone or a TV, you might have observed a ghostly background on the screen that does not go away. This is OLED-burn, sometimes, also referred to as OLED screen burn. The actual reason behind this is a malfunction in the display technology.

Let us first try to understand how OLED works, and then we will move to what causes OLED burn-in. OLED is a self-emissive technology that produces light on its own. It does not require an external source for producing light.

Every individual pixel in the OLED generates its own light. Over time, this light dims. As a result, when an image remains on your mobile or TV screen for many hours, a particular set of pixels start degrading faster than those around them. Consequently, it creates discolouration in particular areas of the screen and gives a ghost-like appearance.

The screen burn will still remain even after you turn off your device and restart it. This is exclusive to OLED mobiles or TVs. Even other TVs can have the screen burn-in problem, and these include the LED, QLED, QNED, etc. However, OLED devices are the most susceptible to this issue than other TV types.

Why does OLED Burn-in Happen?

Let us have a look at the common reasons that trigger OLED burn-in the devices.

  • When you turn on your TV to a news or sports channel, you notice that they display a static logo or ticker somewhere on the screen. When you tune in your device for a long time on such channels, it may cause some parts of the logo or ticker to burn-in.
  • When you pause your TV, it may trigger a screen burn.
  • Do you have the habit of regularly playing video games that have a constant graphic? If yes, then it may lead to screen burn-in over time.
  • On your streaming device, you usually get a prompt that says, “Are you still watching?” When you do not answer that prompt, it can become a possible trigger to screen burn.

Let us see how we can fix the burn-in issue.

How To Fix OLED Burn-In?

Trying to fix the OLED burn-in after it occurs, is almost equal to impossible. However, there are many ways to diminish the screen burn and prevent it from getting permanent. But, if it already happened, then you are really unfortunate.

Let us see some of the quick fixes to stop the burn-in.

How To Stop Burn-In?

When it comes to OLED TV, we cannot stop talking about LG. This brand manufactures OLED panels on a large scale than any other brand. Over time, they have been come up with special technologies that can manage the burn-in. Nevertheless, here are the two ways for managing and preventing screen burn by yourself.

Rule No 1: Do not turn on your TV on the same channel all through the day and every day.

Rule No 2: Always have the brightness of your TV reduced.

Here are some more ways you can manage the screen burn on your devices.

1. Channel-hopping

The first and the best thing you can do to prevent the screen burn is channel-hopping. Trust me, it does make a huge difference. Most TV channels come with the logo of the broadcaster in one of the screen’s corners. This can contribute to the burn-in. Let us say you are switching between different channels in short periods. This would not make much difference. But, if you watch only one channel for long hours and every day, your device is susceptible to screen burn-in.

The same is applicable for specific content types like the news and the sports channels. Watching any of these channels continuously for long hours all through the day may cause the ghost-like appearance displayed on the screen.

Also, put your TV display on less brightness. This will help minimize the pixel wear and can make a huge difference on the screen.

2. Enable the Built-in Settings on your Devices

Buy only those devices that come with built-in settings to manage screen burn. All you need to do is enable these settings, and it will help you lower the effects of screen burn-in.

3. Pixel Shift

Pixel shift is yet another technology on your OLEDs that can be a saviour. Devices with this function setting can benefit a great deal, further preventing the burn-in. The pixel shift works by moving the pixels on your TV around whenever it notices static images on the screen. It augments the resolution and further limits the potential of image retention.

The advantage of turning on this function in your TV is that it does not let the pixels burn. Let us assume there is only a single image being displayed for a long time. Even then, your device will not face the burn-in issue.

4. Screen Saver

The screen saver is yet another setting on your TV to prevent screen burn. Most devices, these days, come with a built-in screen saver mode that will default to either a subtle animation or allows the pixels to move. As a result, there will be no burn-in.

The best part of the screen saver mode is that you do not have to turn on this setting every time. It will automatically get activated whenever the TV detects static images on displays after about two minutes.

The screen saver mode can be used and activated for other smart devices like the new Apple TV 4K.

5. Pixel Refresher

Pixel refresher is yet another promising feature from LG to prevent the burn-in. This is how it works. This feature tracks the hours of luminance hours on the panel areas. It collects all this information and uses it to perform a maintenance cycle that equalizes the pixel wear across the display when turned off.

You will have to perform the pixel refresher manually before unplugging the device. This feature does not preserve the data in the memory, and hence, each time you unplug the television, it will forget the usage of the previous days. When you plug the device again, the pixel refresher may not perform its job as it should. So, manually running the pixel refresher is an advisable option. Forgetting to do so once in a while is okay, as it would not do much. However, make sure that you do not make it a habit. That said, you should not unplug the television when you are not using it. This way, you can keep the pixel refresher running.

When you combine all these features and follow some usage patterns, you can prevent the burn-in issue on your OLED displays. However, it is essential to enable all the features and settings and keep them running. Some features that do not come enabled, require activating them.

How To Prevent OLED Burn-in on TVs?

If you want to prevent screen burn on your OLED TVs, there are certain things to follow. Here are a few tips that will help you tackle this issue effectively:

  • Always keep the brightness of your TV screens low. It is advisable to have them in the range of 45 to 50. It will help in reducing the stress on your TV pixels and further increases their life span.
  • Activate the sleep timer function. It automatically shuts off your TV after a pre-set amount of time. This feature is highly beneficial for those who have the habit of dozing off while watching TV. When you fall asleep in front of the TV, and it keeps running for hours, the static logo on the display can trigger the burn-in. This function would be of great help, as it will turn off your appliance after a stipulated amount of time.
  • Do not stick to a single channel for hours together. Change the channels in short periods to prevent the burn-in. If you love watching sports or a news channel, the logo or ticker on the display may cause screen burn. Hence, it is advisable to switch between the channels frequently while watching TV. This will allow the pixels to get some rest.
  • Do not leave your TV paused for a long time. Whether you are watching a streaming network or playing video games, do not keep them paused. Pausing them for a long time will make certain pixels get overused. As a result, they will become discoloured over time.
  • Turn on the screen saver setting on your OLED devices. Sometimes, pausing a show or a video game becomes inevitable. In such cases, the screen saver mode can be of great help as it keeps the pixels on your TV moving. This further helps prevent screen burn.
  • Always turn off your TV when you are not watching it. This is yet another effective tip to help preserve the OLED display and prevent burn-in.

How To Prevent OLED Screen Burn-in on your Android and iPhone Devices?

Even your smart mobile phones like the iPhone® 12, Samsung Galaxy® S21, or Google Pixel™ 5 have OLED displays and are susceptible to burn-in. It is imperative to protect these smart devices, as well. Here are a few simple tips that will help you protect your devices:

  • Here is a thumb rule for both TVs and smart devices – lower the brightness of your screen. Having a brighter display will make your pixels decay faster and thereby, resulting in burn-in. Hence, go to the settings of your phone and reduce the brightness to 50% or lower.
  • Another thing you can do is reducing the length of your screen’s timeout. Ensure that it is as less as possible, i.e., the screen turns off in 30 seconds or even less. This prevents static images from lingering on your display.
  • Almost all mobile devices come with a feature called dark mode. Enable this setting on your phone as it helps in emitting less light. Furthermore, it consumes fewer pixels and allows the screen to relax.
  • If you are using an Android™ device, it has an immersive mode in it. Turn on this setting to prevent the screen burn. This feature works by hiding the status and navigation bars on your screen that tends to cause the burn-in. While in some devices, it comes as a default mode, you may have to configure it in some others.
  • Here is another best thing you can do – switching to gesture navigation. When you use the swipes and taps in your devices, it will help in removing static buttons from the screen. Thereby, you can easily prevent the screen burn-in.
  • It is advisable to switch off your device once in a while. Turning off your mobile phone occasionally will give the display or screen a break.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What Is Screen Burn And Image Retention? Is There Any Difference Between Them?

Ans: Although screen burn-in and image retention look similar, they both are different. In other words, screen burn-in is nothing but permanent image retention. That means the ghostly background on the screen will remain even after you close the apps, switch the channel, or turn off the device. Contrary to this, image retention is temporary discolouration on your display, which will disappear once you turn off the device or move to the next screen.

2. Which TV Screens Are More Susceptible To Burn-In? Is it QLED TV Screens Or OLED TV Screens?

Ans: OLED TVs and QLED® TVs both use different technology. Comparatively, QLED TV screens are less susceptible to burn-in than the OLEDs. If your Samsung® QLED device faces this issue, the brand will either repair or replace the model within the first ten years of experiencing this issue.

3. Is There Any Test To Find Out Screen Burn-in on OLEDs? If Yes, How Do I Do It?

Ans: Do you want to know whether your television or smartphone has burn-in? Here is how you can do it. There is a simple test that will allow you to check if your device is indeed facing this issue. That test is the burn-in test, and you can run it on your TV or mobile phone. It works by playing a video on your screen, which will help you identify discoloration, if any.

If you want to know more about the screen burn-in test, you can check out a video of the same on YouTube by Samsung. This test will work with any OLED TV or smartphone with an OLED display, irrespective of its brand. In the video, you can see a solid red screen being displayed on the screen. If you notice any other colours than the displayed colour, it is an indication that your screen has a burn-in. Similarly, you can find other videos that cycle through a range of colours and will help you diagnose the problem.

4. Can I Cover Screen Burn-In Issue Under Insurance Or Warranties?

Ans: No. You cannot get the screen burn-in issue covered under warranty or insurance. It applies to all OLED display manufacturers, and they do not cover screen burn-in under warranty. What most manufacturing companies claim is that the burn-in issue is not because of the manufacturing defect. Instead, it is majorly because of the watching habits of the user. They state this as a reason for not bringing the screen burn-in under warranty. Even the biggest brands like Sony or LG do not cover the burn-in issue under warranty.

A Few Words To Conclude:

Wrapping up, screen burn-in is a common issue that most OLED display devices are susceptible to. There is nothing you can do if your TV or mobile phone faces this issue. You can take certain measures to mitigate this risk on your devices. Not tuning in to a particular channel for long hours all through the day and reducing the screen brightness are some of the ways to prevent screen burn. Be it your smartphone or television, you can follow the tips mentioned in this article to protect your device, preserve the OLED display and prevent burn-in.

You can share this article with your friends and let them know that there is nothing to worry about screen burn-in. The information provided in this write-up will help them prevent the burn-in in their devices.

Write to us if you find the information helpful and insightful. Feel free to let us know if we missed out on any points. If you have any questions, post them in the comments below. We will make sure to answer all your queries at the earliest with relevant info.

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Stay healthy and stay safe!!!

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