How to Avoid OLED Screen Burns

Technology never seems to be without its faults.  No matter how advanced it gets, there are always limitations or issues that can cause problems. When it comes to television technology, there have always been certain problems that come up again and again. One of those is screen burn.

Screen burn can ruin your viewing experience, and for a while, the technology successfully avoided this issue. However, there is a new TV technology called OLED that offers some amazing advantages over the older technology, but it revives the old concerns about screen burn.

If you are a fan of this new technology but are worried about OLED screen burns, then you need to continue reading. Learn more about OLED technology, and then find out about screen burn, including how to avoid it.

What Is OLED?

OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode. It uses LED technology to release an organic film that responds to electricity to produce images. So, an OLED TV is still an LED TV, but with an organic twist. This one small change offers some advantages:

  • Lighter weight
  • Better picture quality
  • More energy-efficient
  • No backlight bleeding because there is no backlight
  • Faster response time
  • Better pictures in low light
  • Deeper blacks due to the ability to turn off individual pixels
  • Increased viewing angles

Overall, an OLED provides the best possible picture quality because of how it works. When comparing to LED and LCD, it comes out on top because of all these advantages that add up to clearer, sharper images with more realistic colors and less muddiness due to backlight or black issues.

It is also important to note one major drawback of OLED. These TVs are expensive. They are difficult to produce, which drives up costs. Manufacturers have a lot of waste and a lot of TVs that do not make it through production to the market. They have to pass these costs on to consumers. So, you pay more. In addition, this means the manufacturer wants to maximize profits, which is why OLED TVs are not available in smaller sizes. They can earn more off larger sets. Of course, there is also the screen burn issue to think about, which is another major disadvantage.  

What Is Screen Burn?

Screen burn is when an image is "burned" into the screen and remains after viewing. This is due to uneven wear of the pixels, light components aging and losing their brightness, or light components having color reproduction issues. The cause of screen burn is usually an image remaining on screen for too long. It most commonly occurs with channel logos, banners, scoreboards or anything that remains on the screen for some period of time. It may alter colors, cause dullness or leave an image outline on the screen. This is a permanent issue that will not go away.

It is important to note that sometimes images may remain on the screen due to a glitch of some sort. Restarting your system will often clear this up. This is not screen burn. In addition, there are times an image may look burned into the screen, but eventually, it goes away. Again, this is not screen burn. Screen burn will not go away once it occurs.

The biggest issue with screen burn, aside from ruining your viewing experience, is that it is a problem that is not usually covered by the warranty. So, this means you just have to learn to live with the issue or pay to get it fixed yourself.

How Can I Prevent It?

The only true way to prevent screen burn is to avoid watching static images for a long period of time. For example, if a channel has a constant logo, if there are banners constantly in the same place or there is a scoreboard always present, such as when you are gaming, then you need to take breaks and change the screen often. There is no set time in which screen burn can occur. You just need to be mindful.

Typically, you will see warning signs that your TV may suffer from screen burn in the future. Image retention is the first sign. This is an image that looks burned in, but it goes away after switching the screen. If you see this happening, it is a sign that you are going to have screen burn issues soon if you do not start changing your viewing or gaming habits. Typically, as time goes on, the image retention will last longer and longer and be more difficult to get rid of. This is just an indication to you that the pixels are wearing out and you really need to be more careful and take proper steps to avoid permanent screen burn.

There are other things that may help as well. You can turn down the brightness setting. Some TVs have a screen shift setting or pixel shift setting that alters the screen to prevent burn-in. If your TV has this, then use it. You should also use screen savers when possible for times you aren't watching, but the TV is on. It may also help to refresh the screen if this setting is available on your TV. Some TVs even have a reminder to refresh the screen. Refreshing runs a line down the TV for about an hour to restore the pixels and cause even wear, which will stop burn-in.

How to Fix Screen Burn

There really is no way to fix screen burn without doing some serious repair work. If you correct the issue by adjusting settings or running refresh technology, then your problem really wasn't screen burn. As mentioned, screen burn is permanent. It is complete damage of the pixels that you cannot solve in a simple manner. It would require the replacement of parts, which is costly. In the end, you would probably be better off just buying a new television because costs of repair often run as high as buying a new one.

Your best bet is to avoid the problem in the first place. Remember that you should avoid static images. Use your television's settings and programs to help prevent the issue. You may also consider not buying an OLED in the first place.

Should Screen Burn Stop You From Buying an OLED TV?

You won't have screen burn issues with LEDs. However, it does happen with LCDs and plasma TVs, if you still have one of those. Many people may buy an OLED without even knowing this is a possibility since normal LEDs don't have this problem. It can be pretty discouraging once you spend the money on this new technology and end up with a screen suffering from burn-in that will cost you quite a bit to get fixed.

If you are a gamer and will play the same games on your TV every day for hours, then you probably want to buy a TV that does not have screen burn issues. There are many different static images in gaming that will eventually lead to screen burn. You do not want to have to stop your game constantly or not be able to play simply to avoid screen burn.

The same is true if you tend to watch one channel all the time. The logo can burn in easily. This is especially true if you watch a news channel that has tickers and banners that are fairly static. In these cases, you will most likely end up with screen burn issues, so it is probably best going another route with your TV choice.

On the other hand, an OLED offers a better viewing experience. If you are mostly concerned with how the picture looks and getting the best quality, and you aren't someone who watches television for hours and hours each day, or who sits and watches the same things, then an OLED could be the best option. Casual viewers or those who change channels often will get a better overall experience from an OLED, so it would be a good idea to choose this option.

You really have to think about your personal viewing habits when it comes to deciding if an OLED is the right choice for you. You don't want to end up with screen burn, but at the same time, it may not even be an issue for you.

Conclusion

Screen burn is bad news. Nobody wants to deal with stuck images that can take away from the TV's overall picture quality. However, this problem happens. When it comes to OLED TVs, it is actually something that you can prevent, but if you aren't aware of the issue, you could end up with burned-in images without even realizing it could happen.

Your best bet before buying an OLED TV is to make yourself familiar with screen burn. Understanding how it happens can go a long way toward helping you to prevent it from occurring. Remember, the biggest thing is to avoid static images of any kind. Also, know that if screen burn happens and it is really screen burn, then you cannot fix it or make it go away without doing repairs. In many cases, what you think is screen burn could end up just being image retention, which is a warning sign to be more careful.

Overall, screen burn is a real issue, but one that you can avoid. However, if you worry about it, then it might be a better choice to choose a different type of TV and not buy an OLED.

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