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OLED TV burn-in is unavoidable... (Off-Topic)

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Saturday, January 02, 2021, 07:13 (18 days ago)
edited by Kermit, Saturday, January 02, 2021, 08:00

if you view static images long enough. So says the tech who just replaced my screen. Pixel shift or pixel refresh does nothing. He's replaced thousands of them.

I posted below, but here are the details of my burn-in:

  • The super bar in the lower left. (Yes, my Destiny HUD transparency is set to low.)
  • A youtube logo in the upper left. One too many nights falling asleep with youtube on.
  • A strange blob in the middle of screen. This one is inexplicable to me.

Still think OLED's picture quality is superior to anything out of the box, but the tech's advice was bracing and disappointing. He flat out recommended buying a different TV for gaming. Sigh.

I'm making this a fresh post to make sure you OLED owners will see it. Sorry for the bad news.

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OLED TV burn-in is unavoidable...

by cheapLEY @, Saturday, January 02, 2021, 08:00 (18 days ago) @ Kermit
edited by cheapLEY, Saturday, January 02, 2021, 08:15

You said you only found it by using a test video that’s intended to find it? So why does it matter? If you can’t see it in normal conditions, who cares? Or had it gotten worse, or you could just see it now that you know it’s there?

In any case, I’m sorry to hear it. I couldn’t afford one anyway, but they’ve never seemed worth the extra cost. I know there’s just a different valuation happening because we’re different people, but I’ve never seen an OLED that looks $1000+ better than the next best thing.

EDIT: I didn’t mean that to be as dickish as it might come across. I’m not shitting on you purchasing decisions, and I am sorry it has that problem. It’s just that I’ve been looking into OLEDs over the past couple of months. My parents want a new TV but don’t want to spend a lot of money, and the 55” TCL I currently have would be a huge upgrade for them, and it would be enough justification for me to upgrade. Other than 120 Hz sets, which I’d love to try, I haven’t seen a set yet that looks so significantly better than my TV that it would be worth spending so much extra money on.

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OLED TV burn-in is unavoidable...

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Saturday, January 02, 2021, 09:39 (18 days ago) @ cheapLEY

You said you only found it by using a test video that’s intended to find it? So why does it matter? If you can’t see it in normal conditions, who cares? Or had it gotten worse, or you could just see it now that you know it’s there?

I wrestled with this. You're right that I didn't notice it in normal viewing, and it's not even noticeable in the test video except on the red and yellow screens. Once I learned that LG had a one-time replacement policy I even thought about waiting until it got worse to have it replaced--my case is pretty mild. Then one night I was watching Killing Eve, and there on Villanelle's forearm I saw it, a discoloration where the Destiny super bar would be. I also worried that LG would end this policy, so I got the replacement.


In any case, I’m sorry to hear it. I couldn’t afford one anyway, but they’ve never seemed worth the extra cost. I know there’s just a different valuation happening because we’re different people, but I’ve never seen an OLED that looks $1000+ better than the next best thing.

For the record I bought the cheapest one at the lowest price I could find (a few hundred less than normal), and I still felt a little bit crazy at the time, but I love movies and like the idea of reference equipment--I want to get what the creator intended (I don't like bass-enhancement features in audio for the same reason). Blinding brightness wasn't what I was looking for. I was concerned about burn-in only because of Destiny. Most of what I read said burn-in shouldn't be a problem with the one red flag issue being if you play one game in particular a lot. (I think the youtube burn-in was avoidable. I thought my aversion to cable news, broadcast TV, and sports spared me from any logo issue. I was wrong.) I should also say that the tech said that some people don't get burn-in, implying that it might be panel-based and not behavior-based. I don't know what to make of that. I just know that I'm going to baby this sucker even more than I did before. I might even use my TCL LED in my bedroom for some daily grind Destiny gaming. We'll see. If you see me in the character menu, don't think of me as dicking around. Think of me as saving pixels. :)


EDIT: I didn’t mean that to be as dickish as it might come across. I’m not shitting on you purchasing decisions, and I am sorry it has that problem. It’s just that I’ve been looking into OLEDs over the past couple of months. My parents want a new TV but don’t want to spend a lot of money, and the 55” TCL I currently have would be a huge upgrade for them, and it would be enough justification for me to upgrade. Other than 120 Hz sets, which I’d love to try, I haven’t seen a set yet that looks so significantly better than my TV that it would be worth spending so much extra money on.

You weren't dickish. I knew the risk and hoped for the best. I don't have any regrets--this TV has blown my mind. If I were buying today, knowing what I know, I'd probably look at some of the higher-end Samsung models, with what they've been able to do with local dimming. They didn't exist when I bought the B7--now other screens are more competitive with OLED. I really like the cheap TCL I just bought (the tech also praised it, but said they didn't last. For $220, I don't care.) It's "smarter" in some ways, which is understandable, and the picture looks great (as long as you're not at an angle).

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OLED TV burn-in is unavoidable...

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Saturday, January 02, 2021, 09:51 (18 days ago) @ Kermit

A strange blob in the middle of screen. This one is inexplicable to me.

A smear of various reticles?

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OLED TV burn-in is unavoidable...

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Saturday, January 02, 2021, 09:57 (18 days ago) @ Cody Miller

A strange blob in the middle of screen. This one is inexplicable to me.


A smear of various reticles?

Possible. Its location make it more likely to be noticed, but its nature kind of doesn't. It looks like a cloud. There are no distinct lines.

OLED TV burn-in is unavoidable...

by Claude Errera @, Saturday, January 02, 2021, 10:46 (18 days ago) @ Kermit

A strange blob in the middle of screen. This one is inexplicable to me.


A smear of various reticles?


Possible. Its location make it more likely to be noticed, but its nature kind of doesn't. It looks like a cloud. There are no distinct lines.

i have something similar on a monitor (not OLED), and I'm pretty sure it comes from contact at some point.

It's only noticeable when the monitor is off.

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OLED TV burn-in is unavoidable...

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Saturday, January 02, 2021, 13:21 (18 days ago) @ Claude Errera

A strange blob in the middle of screen. This one is inexplicable to me.


A smear of various reticles?


Possible. Its location make it more likely to be noticed, but its nature kind of doesn't. It looks like a cloud. There are no distinct lines.


i have something similar on a monitor (not OLED), and I'm pretty sure it comes from contact at some point.

I don't think that's it. I never touch the screen except to clean it maybe once a year and no one has been here who would touch it. That is kind of a pet peeve, too. I have some work colleagues who seem to think I can't see where they're pointing unless they're pressing the screen so hard it deforms.


It's only noticeable when the monitor is off.

Yeah, that sounds like something external to me. What I'm talking about could only been seen when red and yellow test screens were displayed.

I totally blame you for all of this, BTW. The Apple TV screensaver on your OLED was what caught my fancy to begin with. I'd never seen anything like it.

OLED TV burn-in is unavoidable...

by Claude Errera @, Sunday, January 03, 2021, 12:45 (17 days ago) @ Kermit

I totally blame you for all of this, BTW. The Apple TV screensaver on your OLED was what caught my fancy to begin with. I'd never seen anything like it.

lol - that's pretty funny. There are times when, say, the phone rings while we're watching a show, and it lasts long enough for the screensaver to come up... and we end up watching that for a while after the call ends before going back to the show.

Some of those drone shots are ASTOUNDING.

I'm choosing not to run any of those tests on my OLED screen, because I don't WANT to know about burn-in I'm not seeing yet. ;)

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OLED TV burn-in is unavoidable...

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Sunday, January 03, 2021, 19:25 (17 days ago) @ Claude Errera

I totally blame you for all of this, BTW. The Apple TV screensaver on your OLED was what caught my fancy to begin with. I'd never seen anything like it.


lol - that's pretty funny. There are times when, say, the phone rings while we're watching a show, and it lasts long enough for the screensaver to come up... and we end up watching that for a while after the call ends before going back to the show.

Some of those drone shots are ASTOUNDING.

They truly are. Often I'll stream music through my Apple TV just to have those visuals going. It's dynamic art.

I'm choosing not to run any of those tests on my OLED screen, because I don't WANT to know about burn-in I'm not seeing yet. ;)

Smart man.

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OLED TV burn-in is unavoidable...

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| \[T]/, Saturday, January 02, 2021, 10:40 (18 days ago) @ Kermit

if you view static images long enough. So says the tech who just replaced my screen. Pixel shift or pixel refresh does nothing. He's replaced thousands of them.

I posted below, but here are the details of my burn-in:

  • The super bar in the lower left. (Yes, my Destiny HUD transparency is set to low.)
  • A youtube logo in the upper left. One too many nights falling asleep with youtube on.
  • A strange blob in the middle of screen. This one is inexplicable to me.

Still think OLED's picture quality is superior to anything out of the box, but the tech's advice was bracing and disappointing. He flat out recommended buying a different TV for gaming. Sigh.

I'm making this a fresh post to make sure you OLED owners will see it. Sorry for the bad news.

How long have you had your OLED Tv? Other than your instance here, the only other data I can find about Burn-in is from RTINGS Burn-in Test. It's a shame you're having the issue, but I thank you for talking about it here.

If anyone is interested, CES occurs digitally on Jan 11-14 this year. Keep an eye out on "MicroLED" TVs. As I understand it, it's comperable to OLED without the risk of Burn-in.

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OLED TV burn-in is unavoidable...

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Saturday, January 02, 2021, 13:09 (18 days ago) @ INSANEdrive
edited by Kermit, Saturday, January 02, 2021, 13:25

if you view static images long enough. So says the tech who just replaced my screen. Pixel shift or pixel refresh does nothing. He's replaced thousands of them.

I posted below, but here are the details of my burn-in:

  • The super bar in the lower left. (Yes, my Destiny HUD transparency is set to low.)
  • A youtube logo in the upper left. One too many nights falling asleep with youtube on.
  • A strange blob in the middle of screen. This one is inexplicable to me.

Still think OLED's picture quality is superior to anything out of the box, but the tech's advice was bracing and disappointing. He flat out recommended buying a different TV for gaming. Sigh.

I'm making this a fresh post to make sure you OLED owners will see it. Sorry for the bad news.


How long have you had your OLED Tv?

Since November 2017, and I know several others here who bought them around the same time. At least a few Bungie employees did, too.

Other than your instance here, the only other data I can find about Burn-in is from RTINGS Burn-in Test. It's a shame you're having the issue, but I thank you for talking about it here.

Yes, that site existed when I bought mine, and their info helped to inform my decision.


If anyone is interested, CES occurs digitally on Jan 11-14 this year. Keep an eye out on "MicroLED" TVs. As I understand it, it's comperable to OLED without the risk of Burn-in.

Yes, that's one of technologies I'm watching.

One more caveat about this tech guy--it sounded like he spends a lot of his time replacing screens because of burn-in. He claimed he'd done 1000s. He may have a jaded view, but on the other hand, he's local and that's a lot of screens with problems.

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OLED TV burn-in is unavoidable...

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| \[T]/, Saturday, January 02, 2021, 17:00 (18 days ago) @ Kermit

if you view static images long enough. So says the tech who just replaced my screen. Pixel shift or pixel refresh does nothing. He's replaced thousands of them.

I posted below, but here are the details of my burn-in:

  • The super bar in the lower left. (Yes, my Destiny HUD transparency is set to low.)
  • A youtube logo in the upper left. One too many nights falling asleep with youtube on.
  • A strange blob in the middle of screen. This one is inexplicable to me.

Still think OLED's picture quality is superior to anything out of the box, but the tech's advice was bracing and disappointing. He flat out recommended buying a different TV for gaming. Sigh.

I'm making this a fresh post to make sure you OLED owners will see it. Sorry for the bad news.


How long have you had your OLED Tv?


Since November 2017, and I know several others here who bought them around the same time. At least a few Bungie employees did, too.

3 years?! I guess you then started seeing the burn-in start around the 2 year mark? Man that sucks!

Other than your instance here, the only other data I can find about Burn-in is from RTINGS Burn-in Test. It's a shame you're having the issue, but I thank you for talking about it here.


Yes, that site existed when I bought mine, and their info helped to inform my decision.

With your experience now, do you still feel it was helpful?


If anyone is interested, CES occurs digitally on Jan 11-14 this year. Keep an eye out on "MicroLED" TVs. As I understand it, it's comparable to OLED without the risk of Burn-in.


Yes, that's one of technologies I'm watching.

One more caveat about this tech guy--it sounded like he spends a lot of his time replacing screens because of burn-in. He claimed he'd done 1000s. He may have a jaded view, but on the other hand, he's local and that's a lot of screens with problems.

Well, seeing as his job is fixing TVs, there is the risk of Selection bias. Also, a 1000 or such may sound like alot, but its meaningless unless we could know how many TVs have been sold. Unless this repairman mentioned an increase in the rate or something along those lines, something with experience and time, I'm not sure I would put too much stock into it. It is an interesting note thought.

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OLED TV burn-in is unavoidable...

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Sunday, January 03, 2021, 19:32 (17 days ago) @ INSANEdrive


How long have you had your OLED Tv?


Since November 2017, and I know several others here who bought them around the same time. At least a few Bungie employees did, too.


3 years?! I guess you then started seeing the burn-in start around the 2 year mark? Man that sucks!

I didn't really see it until I ran the test recently.

Other than your instance here, the only other data I can find about Burn-in is from RTINGS Burn-in Test. It's a shame you're having the issue, but I thank you for talking about it here.


Yes, that site existed when I bought mine, and their info helped to inform my decision.


With your experience now, do you still feel it was helpful?

Yes, the LG line at that time was their highest rated. They basically said burn-in wasn't really a problem unless you watch one station all the time or you have one favorite video game you play. I guess I'm the latter, but thought I used the TV enough for other stuff that it didn't matter. I wanted to believe that.

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OLED TV burn-in is unavoidable...

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Saturday, January 02, 2021, 19:44 (18 days ago) @ Kermit

If anyone is curious why burn in happens…

The organic elements of OLED displays dim over time with use. The brighter they are, the faster they dim. The relationship is essentially linear (double the brightness will halve the life, triple the brightness cuts the life by 1/3, etc). Static elements like a game HUD essentially cause uneven wear on the OLED elements, making them dim at a different rate than the surrounding pixels. It's easier to see over a large patch of similar colors, which seems to be how you identified your burn in.

This is essentially why burn in on CRTs happened (phosphors dim with time as well, but modern CRT displays are extremely hard to burn in.)

The solution… well it's to use an LCD TV for gaming. Other than stuck pixels, any image retention is temporary.

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All display technology matters.

by Vortech @, A Fourth Wheel, Sunday, January 03, 2021, 11:12 (17 days ago) @ Kermit

First, Kermit, I'm sorry you are dealing with it. I know the feeling when you can suddenly see a problem that's not easily fixed and it's hard to accept when now you are Bader meinhoffing all over the place. It sucks. (it's even worse if you are frequently with people who can't see it or don't care. My time working in a television station made me very tuned to digital artifacts and for many years I just could not watch Hulu or other streaming services because it would drive me insane.)

Every display technology has downsides. OLED has a risk of burn in (but you can minimize it by making good choices with settings. My screensaver and power-off settings are aggressive for that reason. And it's still better by far than Plasma was. The improvement in visual quality was worth both the cost and the extra precautions I need to take (The potentially shorter lifespan is kinda just another way of saying cost, as I see it, but if you are someone who expects to get a new TV every 3-5 years it might not really impact the cost for you).

It's worth noting that burn-in is commonly used to describe a lot of different kinds of image retention. My LG C OLED that we all seemingly bought the same month has developed some image retention, but not burn-in. The pixel refresher is still helping with this because it's not burn-in. (the tech is — if not wrong — misleading to say pixel shift does nothing. It does what it is intended to do: blur the edges of image retention to make it less noticeable during normal viewing. It's probably worth noting that my 5K iMac with an LCD screen also has image retention. No display tech is totally immune. (My recommendation to you is to not look up a guide on how to detect/notice IR. You'll just make yourself sad.)


Micro LED is the Next Big Thing™, and the hype is ramping up from the people who make it. Just like 10 years ago when every TV HAD to have 3D. I'm not saying it's all vapor, but consider the source and what they have to gain by telling you how awesome some new display technology is. In reality it's likely to become one of the best types eventually, but it will always have good and bad, like all the rest. Micro LED is still backlit, with all of the downsides that brings with it. (Viewing angle the one I care about the most) and all of the bad (and good) of independent pixel drivers, Not to mention that it's so complex it will only be in large displays for a while to come (which is where the advantages of thinness and brightness are least important to me…). So far they have also had a devil of a time making good image quality and calibration. If you keep your TV in Best Buy attract mode I'm sure it will look fine to you, but if you want balanced, even and accurate colors and brightness MLCD ain't it so far. Heat is likely to be an issue for a while too so I expect the first models will have fans (another reason I never bought Plasma) I spent years at work dealing with a truly huge wall-sized mLED that cost 7 figures so having it available in homes has a certain wow factor, but also I'm going to link all of the troubles and fragility it had that were my job to deal with to the tech as a whole - fairly or not. I also think where it really will shine is when it gets down to handheld size.

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All display technology matters.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Sunday, January 03, 2021, 13:27 (17 days ago) @ Vortech

Modern plasmas don’t really suffer that much from burn in. We have one and sometime I dock the switch to it. If you get really close and look at it, there’s a ton of “noise” as pixels move around and turn on and off. You don’t notice it when you are watching normally. They all do stuff like this to avoid burn in, and the picture is still pretty great. Not really any issues with image retention even for the old games with bright static interface elements.

I think in general as tech matures they mitigate burn in problems. I’m sure in the future OLEDs will solve this problem like Plasma and CRT did before it.

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All display technology matters.

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Tuesday, January 05, 2021, 09:08 (15 days ago) @ Vortech
edited by Kermit, Tuesday, January 05, 2021, 09:45

First, Kermit, I'm sorry you are dealing with it. I know the feeling when you can suddenly see a problem that's not easily fixed and it's hard to accept when now you are Bader meinhoffing all over the place. It sucks. (it's even worse if you are frequently with people who can't see it or don't care. My time working in a television station made me very tuned to digital artifacts and for many years I just could not watch Hulu or other streaming services because it would drive me insane.)

Thanks, Vortech. I was never that upset about it frankly. It felt kind of like when you get that first scratch on your new, previously mint-condition car. Everything has a shelf life (including us), and a blemish you have to work to notice on a TV is nothing to get excised too much about (after this past year especially).

Every display technology has downsides. OLED has a risk of burn in (but you can minimize it by making good choices with settings. My screensaver and power-off settings are aggressive for that reason. And it's still better by far than Plasma was. The improvement in visual quality was worth both the cost and the extra precautions I need to take (The potentially shorter lifespan is kinda just another way of saying cost, as I see it, but if you are someone who expects to get a new TV every 3-5 years it might not really impact the cost for you).

I see it the same way. I'm going to be more careful. (This means, among other things, going to the director screen while Wu or squid explain raid encounters:)). I was pretty sure just because of the nature of the technology that my OLED wasn't going to be rock-solid for 13 years like the TV it replaced (A Samsung that's still going strong. My friend who originally helped me set it up just took it to use in his spare bedroom.)


It's worth noting that burn-in is commonly used to describe a lot of different kinds of image retention. My LG C OLED that we all seemingly bought the same month has developed some image retention, but not burn-in. The pixel refresher is still helping with this because it's not burn-in. (the tech is — if not wrong — misleading to say pixel shift does nothing. It does what it is intended to do: blur the edges of image retention to make it less noticeable during normal viewing. It's probably worth noting that my 5K iMac with an LCD screen also has image retention. No display tech is totally immune. (My recommendation to you is to not look up a guide on how to detect/notice IR. You'll just make yourself sad.)

Pixel shift seems like a no-brainer, but how often would you recommend running the pixel refresher? LG has no recommendation. Sony says rarely, if ever. I've heard everything from once a year to twice a week.

I think mine was actual burn-in because it didn't dissipate over time.

Micro LED is the Next Big Thing™, and the hype is ramping up from the people who make it. Just like 10 years ago when every TV HAD to have 3D. I'm not saying it's all vapor, but consider the source and what they have to gain by telling you how awesome some new display technology is. In reality it's likely to become one of the best types eventually, but it will always have good and bad, like all the rest. Micro LED is still backlit, with all of the downsides that brings with it. (Viewing angle the one I care about the most) and all of the bad (and good) of independent pixel drivers, Not to mention that it's so complex it will only be in large displays for a while to come (which is where the advantages of thinness and brightness are least important to me…). So far they have also had a devil of a time making good image quality and calibration. If you keep your TV in Best Buy attract mode I'm sure it will look fine to you, but if you want balanced, even and accurate colors and brightness MLCD ain't it so far. Heat is likely to be an issue for a while too so I expect the first models will have fans (another reason I never bought Plasma) I spent years at work dealing with a truly huge wall-sized mLED that cost 7 figures so having it available in homes has a certain wow factor, but also I'm going to link all of the troubles and fragility it had that were my job to deal with to the tech as a whole - fairly or not. I also think where it really will shine is when it gets down to handheld size.

My next TV might be slightly bigger but after that, unless I buy a different house, I'm done. Hoping for a more prefect technology by then.

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All display technology matters.

by Vortech @, A Fourth Wheel, Wednesday, January 06, 2021, 15:47 (14 days ago) @ Kermit

Pixel shift seems like a no-brainer, but how often would you recommend running the pixel refresher? LG has no recommendation.

The TV does it automatically on a schedule (unless you can turn that off?) so that's likely the right answer, and then run it manually in response to an observed issue, or maybe after a play session where you know you had a static image up for a long while?

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Thanks for the tip.

by CyberKN ⌂ @, Still has a line in the sand, Tuesday, January 05, 2021, 14:46 (15 days ago) @ Kermit

I've been thinking about getting an OLED, but haven't pulled the trigger for a variety of reasons. I didn't know the burn-in issue was this prevalent, I think I'll be sticking with my LCD monitor setup for the time being.

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Thanks for the tip.

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Wednesday, January 06, 2021, 15:00 (14 days ago) @ CyberKN

I've been thinking about getting an OLED, but haven't pulled the trigger for a variety of reasons. I didn't know the burn-in issue was this prevalent, I think I'll be sticking with my LCD monitor setup for the time being.

The entire thread is more nuanced than my subject line. If I played a bigger variety of games, and given my TV viewing habits, I wouldn't worry about burn-in.

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