Are OLED TVs the best choice out there? You might be lured by the fantastic image quality, all because of the striking colours, the perfect contrast, and the fastest response time. You will hardly see a screen that is as bright and as good an input lag performance as they have. Interestingly, OLED screens are also quite popular with phones, with new smartphones like Galaxy S20 and the iPhone 11 using the same technology.
Because they are not as affordable as other TVs, you might want to know what issues they commonly have before splurging on them. One of them is called OLED screen burn-in or ghosting.
What Is OLED Screen Burn-In?
This issue is very common with OLED screens, but fortunately, it will not cause permanent damage to your device's screen. This temporary effect is actually a discolouration that is caused by imbalanced pixel usage, leading to one image staying static on the screen for a longer period. The length of time may depend on how big the screen is and what image is being displayed, but you will most probably need hours before a discolouration really sets in.
On an OLED TV, burn-in can happen when you leave it on showing a stationary image, like if you hit pause and fail to return after a few minutes. It also happens when you leave a game on or when the TV is displaying a logo. It does not matter what the picture is, as long as it is left on showing the same image for a long time, you may experience burn-in.
Once you go back and continue watching or playing, you might notice a shadow figure similar to the image that was showing all that time. Although your device will show new images, it is like there is still a bit of that picture left behind. This is simply image retention or burn-in, but it has not ruined your display. You should see it go away after some time.
How To Prevent Screen Burn-In
While they are temporary, burn-in can be annoying when you continue watching. It can completely distort the quality of the video because you can still see the "ghost "on the screen. You can, of course, wait until it disappears, but you need to take the right steps to avoid another case of burn-in.
1. Lower The Screen Brightness
The pixels that were left on when the image is stationary end up being overly used, which is worse when the screen brightness is set to max. In fact, the brighter the screen, the worse the effect of burn-in can be. To prevent burn-in, keep the brightness at a max of 50% so that when you do hit pause, it will not cause burn-in as quickly, or to keep the discolouration to a minimum.
2. Use A Screensaver Or Set The TV Sleep Timer On
Most phones will automatically shut down after a few minutes of being idle so that the battery can be maximized. Make sure your TV will do the same after a long time being idle. This can be done easily by visiting the setting and letting it go to a screensaver or a black screen after a certain time.
If you really like falling asleep with the TV on, then it is best to just set the sleep timer on. Otherwise, when your TV will end up on a stationary image like an "Are you still watching?" prompt the entire night will lead to display burn-in.
3. Avoid Leaving The Screen On One Image For Too Long
If you cannot continue watching now and do not know when you will have time again, try to avoid leaving it on a static image. Play for a few seconds to refresh the screen or flip through the channels. At best, simply switch off the screen (a good idea when pausing your game too) especially if you know you cannot continue within an hour. This is the best way to avoid burn-in and even save some electricity at the same time.
How To Fix Screen Burn-In on OLED Displays
Whether intentional or not, you might still forget to switch off your TV or phone and accidentally cause burn-in. Don't fret, it can happen to anyone. What should you do, then, to repair your screen after experiencing burn-in?
1. Give It Time
If you find it horrible watching with that shadow on the screen due to burn-in, then simply switch it off and wait a few hours. Pausing is not a good idea as you might leave it again on a single image too long and cause yet another burn-in.
2. Run A Pixel Refresher
TV manufacturers know of this common issue and have pre-installed pixel refresher features that you can switch on when you experience burn-in. You might need up to one hour to refresh the picture, but you can expect your screen to be back to normal after it finishes running. Some TVs even run this feature automatically when needed.
Is An OLED TV Still Worth It?
Given this common issue, do you feel put off from buying a TV with an OLED display.? Well, you shouldn't. Almost all kinds of TV have their strengths and weaknesses, and the best thing is, you do not have to experience burn-in if you know how to avoid it. It is not a defect, and you will not need to have it fixed or replaced. Simply try the solutions to fix burn-in and remember to change your habit of leaving the TV idle on one image for a long time.
It can, however, lead to damage or wear-and-tear if you do this very often. So if you are truly serious about keeping an OLED TV at home, then you need to master taking care of it. With its higher price tag, it is truly an investment that you should not waste due to bad viewing habits. Burn-in can be totally avoided when you follow the right steps.