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20/7 Burn-In Test
OLED vs LCD VA vs LCD IPS

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.

Test Setup

 Burn-In Test Setup

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.

The Pattern

 Burn-In Test Pattern

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)

Weekly Updates

Each week we will perform the following procedure

Results (Last updated 09/21/2017)

HDR Peak Brightness

10% window
100% window

Color Gamut (Rec 2020 % xy)

Uniformity

Week 3

OLED LG B6

VA Samsung KU6300

IPS LG UJ6300

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.

Conclusion

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.

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Questions & Answers

12 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
17
It is a shame your logos don't have any yellow or orange! These seem to be the greatest offenders besides red that will cause burn in on the LG Oled displays. It would be highly recommended you implement any additional yellow or orange logos in your test too check for burn in or severe IR. According to a pol at avsforum the 2016 Oled's are currently at a 16% burn in rate. You need to see this thread as well. www.avsforum.com/forum/40-oled-technology-flat-panels-general/2804065-oled-screen-burn-photos.html
Thank you for contacting us. We've updated our test pattern to include some yellow.
11
Nice idea. It's been a topic on many sites, especially when it comes to gaming. Not so much when watching movies but again if someone is a cable news nut. One thing. I don't understand how we will interpret the graphs as it concerns to"image retention". The graphs look more like a brightness stability/longevity test than images that remain. How do we understand the relationship of the graphs to image retention? Thanks.
Burn-in on OLEDs unlike Plasma or CRT TVs is not caused by retention or stuck pixels, but instead due to cumulative degradation of the material through usage. This means that over time, OLED TVs will lose brightness across the whole screen progressively. Burn-in is simply a high contrast region of the screen where there was more usage than the surrounding area creating a visible shape. To see the burning-in of the shapes, we'll be taking pictures periodically and will post them on the article.
6

Hi guys,

I love reading your website, and I admire your passion for even small details. I use your website as a cornerstone when selling tellys where I work. My problem is, I bought an LG C6, and I can see burn in, like an LG logo, and the palm trees which is the standard background picture for the LG TVs. I've tried the clear panel noise feature at least 5 times, but it does not have an effect. I love the TV, and it was the very last one of it, it was a shop display, and I don't want to get a refund as I want to keep the telly. Is there any way I can fix this burn in?

Thanks so much guys, I really appreciate your help!

Unfortunately it is unlikely that it is possible to fix the burn-in on your display. Your best option may be to display normal varied content for a while, and after some time (it may be months) the display may wear evenly so the burn-in is less noticeable. We hope to investigate this more in the coming months.
5
This will be an awesome test in terms of the panel integrity and if they can withstand the struggle they will be going through! However, the only premium tv on here is the OLED. im surprised you haven't included the Q7 from Samsung in this test, or even an MU8 or 9. Would be cool if there were anything to happen to tvs that can produce an expanded color spectrum.
Thanks for contacting us. The main idea of our test was to test the different panel technologies (VA, IPS, and OLED) and as such, the price of the TV themselves did not play a role in the selection. But it is true that right now OLED TVs goes for a premium price, but this is mainly because the technology is newer and the manufacturing price are higher than let say VA or IPS. And on a side note, the main technology that is being used in the Q7, MU or KU series is basically the same, even though Samsung is trying to make it sound much different than what it is in reality.
3
I really like this ongoing test. It would be nice if you could give a short statement on your findings/noticeable changes week to week. I'm viewing on a mobile phone, so it's hard for me to notice any changes.
We will from now on, thanks for the tip!
1
From the Sony X900E review, "The Sony X900E has some image retention, which is pretty unusual for a TV with a VA panel. The retention is really faint and not as strong has seen on some IPS TVs." I think this would be a great TV to add to your testing because of its measured results.
The models in the burn in test were chosen because they had average behavior for TVs of their type, so the results measured on them can be considered fairly accurate for any TV of their type. Because the X900E is an unusual case, any results we measure will only be accurate for it and similar unusual VA TVs.
1
First, your website is fantastic. I'm liking the improvements that you guys are making and you have became my first and only site I come to check out televisions.

I've been looking to purchase the LG C7, but using my TV for gaming I'm scared that I will get a health bar or a video game logo burned into my TV. Do you have any suggestions on the amount of time someone should play a game before switching to something else that doesn't have the static image? And also on your 9/14 update there was a mention of permanent image retention. Will you be providing photos of this? Thanks and keep up the great work.

Thank you, glad to hear you find the site helpful!

There's not really a breakpoint for how long you can play before it's best to switch to something else. We have had one user send us pictures of a game HUD burned in on his screen, but many other gamers happily use their OLEDs without issue. We'll know more though as the burn-in test progresses. In particular it will be very interesting to see if our solid pattern that disappears every few hours takes more total on-screen hours to burn in than our solid image that's on screen constantly. This will answer whether there will be less burn-in if you space out your game time or do it all in one go.

We post all seven of our photos every week, though sometimes things are more noticeable in person. Burn-in will likely be most visible on the red slide photo.

1
I have the LG C6 oled and after 8 months of heavy usage I am noticing a vertical bar that runs from the top of the panel to the bottom of the panel that is roughly 3-4" wide and just off-center to the right a bit that appears to be brighter than the rest of the panel. It's not a big issue when watching movies and television but it's an eye sore when playing games because it's usually right where my character is, and in any game that is super bright this bar becomes easier to notice. Any ideas as to what could be causing this? I have tried clear panel noise and various stages of use.
This likely isn't burn-in, it sounds like a problem with the system that drives the pixels. Because it's not burn-in it may be covered under warranty.
0
Can you please publish the basic Brightness/Contrast/OLED-Light (or equivalent) settings as you recalibrate each week? It would also be great if you could take a reading from within the 100%/100% Top Left pattern from some semi-consistent point (100% red if there is a big-enough spot, perhaps centered on the top part of the white 'R' if there is not). While your weekly recalibration is presumably going to be using the center of the screen where pseudo-random content is displayed, readings from anywhere within the Top Left logo would provide some quantitative measure of the degree of accelerated aging associated with bright static (non-random) content... A weekly 100% white measurement from within the black letterbox bars would also be interesting (even if impossible to do without engaging ABL) - in theory, the black letterbox bars should age more slowly than the rest of the screen and so 100% white measurements should slowly increase as you recalibrate week-by-week...
Thank you for your request. We've started adding the current backlight setting in our weekly updates at the top of the article. Since our weekly measurement procedure already takes about 4 hours, we'll do a more extensive set of measurements about every quarter or so. Both of these measurements would bring interesting data, so we'll try to include them in our more extensive analysis procedure.
0
It may be useful for the test pattern to include some black side-bars (to show the effect of displaying old 4:3 content). Some of the burn-in seen may be due to stress on the row & column addressing transistors (as opposed to the pixel transistors, etc.), and there may be a difference in the row vs column transistors that would not show up in the top/bottom side-bars.
While true that it would be interesting, due to the burn-in of OLEDs being almost entirely due to the aging of emissive components in the OLED which reduces its brightness output (looking at sub-pixels through a microscope, we should notice a few "holes" that form where parts of the OLED stop emitting light), we expect letterboxes to be representative enough to draw a conclusion of what it would look like with pillarboxes. It is true that uneven TFT output can cause issues, but these are most apparent during manufacturing and less prone to degradation over time.
0
It's great that you are making this test and also that you have modified to add yellow and cycle off for 4 hours per day. I also understand you intend to recalibrate to 130 cd/m2 weekly, which will be a nice way to monitor subpixel aging (more aging = higher OLED Light). You might consider adding a full 8-color rainbow accross the center of the panel - measurable rectangles of White, Black, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Magenta, Cyan. This would allow you to measure how quickly each of the RGBW subpixels age when different colors are displayed. 100% White measured in the 'Black' rectangle shoul age the least (hopefully not at all); 100% Red measured in the 'Yellow' rectangle should age the most (according to AVS reports) and 100% White measured in the 'White' rectangle should age somewhere between those two extremes (because the white subpixels are ~3 times more efficient that the colored subpixels as they have no color filter). If you use the White rectangle to recalibrate OLED Light every week, 100% White within the Black rectangle should start creeping up over 130 cd/m2 (or whatever your calibration target is). Appreciate this effort and looking forward to the results!
Thank you for your great question. Unfortunately, due to our limited resources, we had to limit ourselves to a test that was most applicable to a standard use case. Your proposition is definitely interesting, and it would provide a lot of data about the durability of LG OLEDs, but it would significantly increase the resources required for the test which isn't really feasible for us right now. It however is possible that we execute a similar test sometime in the future. As a small correction, our luminance target is actually 175 cd/m2.
0
Looking forward to the results of this long term test. I was wondering if you felt that there may be a use for taking a picture of the set's in the "off" setting. Some image retention/burn in can be seen when the set is off. As a matter of fact, some cases are more pronounced when the set is off. I know that I would be more irked if I saw an "after-image" when a set was off more so then when it was on because the brightness of an "on" set would blur/conceal/mask the after image. Please consider if you also feel that it may prove valuable. Thanx.
We don't expect the burn-in to be visible when the TV is off on these TVs due to the nature of how it appears on LCD and OLED TVs. On OLED most specifically, it is due to the pixels in a specific region outputting less light than those surrounding, creating a visible shape due to the contrast.
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