On August 31 2017, we started a long-term 20/7 burn-in test on 3 TVs (OLED vs VA vs IPS). We aim to see how their performance change over time, especially with some static images such as network logos, black bars in movies, or video games with a fixed interface.
We already test for temporary image retention, which generally subsides over the course of a few minutes. This is more of a temporary annoyance and results in some faint artifacts usually visible in areas of high contrast.
Permanent image retention is a more serious issue, but it requires looking at the TV's performance over the course of months or years. We will be testing 3 TVs side-by-side, the OLED LG B6, the VA Samsung KU6300 and the IPS LG UJ6300 in a year-long test.
Week 3 (09/21/2017): No significant changes since week 2. OLED Light/Backlight settings: B6-63, KU6300-7, UJ6300-100.
Week 2 (09/14/2017): The B6 has received a firmware update (05.30.03). There are beginning to be signs of permanent image retention at the static logos in each corner. The brightness and color gamut measurements are all within measurement variance. OLED Light/Backlight settings: B6-63, KU6300-7, UJ6300-100.
Update 09/01/2017: As a result of feedback from readers, we have updated the methodology to turn all TVs off for 4 hours per day, and have included a yellow 'I' in the Rtings logo.
The TVs are placed side-by-side in one of our testing rooms as shown to the right. The TVs will stay on for 20 hours per day, 7 days per week, running our test pattern in a loop. They will be turned off for 4 hours each day using USB infrared transmitters connected to each TV and controlled by a PC to better represent normal (but still very heavy) usage. Calibration settings have been applied, with the backlight or OLED light set to produce 175 nits on our checkerboard pattern. On the B6, the 'Pixel Shift' option is enabled. A single Android TV Box is used as a source, with a HDMI splitter used to provide the same material to each display.
A 5.5 hour video loop is used as the test pattern. It has been designed to mix static content with moving images to represent some typical content. The base material is a recording of over the air antenna TV with RTINGS overlay logos of different opacities and durations, and letterbox black bars added. These additional elements are:
- Top and bottom: Letterbox bars present for 2 hours, then absent for 3.5 hours (movie example)
- Top left: 100% solid logo, present for the whole clip (torture test)
- Top right: 50% opacity logo, present for the whole clip (network logo torture test)
- Bottom left: 100% solid logo, present for 2 hours then absent for 3.5 hours (video games example)
- Bottom right: 50% opacity logo, present for 10 minutes then absent for 2 minutes (sports or TV shows example)
Each week we will perform the following procedure
- Turn off all TVs, and perform the 'Clear Panel Noise' function on the OLED B6
- Measure the HDR Peak Brightness at maximum backlight/OLED light
- Measure the Color Gamut in the Rec. 2020 color space with a HDR10 signal
- Adjust the backlight/OLED light to read 175 nits on the checkerboard pattern
- Take photos of 50% gray, 100% red, 100% green, 100% blue, 100% cyan, 100% magenta, and 100% yellow patterns
Results (Last updated 09/21/2017)
HDR Peak Brightness
Color Gamut (Rec 2020 % xy)
Limitations of the test
- Small sample size, so it won't show the variance between units of the same technology
- Extreme case, where TVs are running 20 hours a day with the same 5.5 hours loop. You will get a better lifespan at home if you use the TV less and with more varied content.
The goal of this test is to get more information on the burn-in issue on TVs and how it affects their lifespan. We will have more information in the next few months on how it should impact your buying decisions.