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 14 (12/07/2017): Uniformity photos updated.
Week 13 (11/30/2017): No significant changes to brightness or gamut.
Week 12 (11/23/2017): Uniformity photos updated for week 12.
Week 11 (11/16/2017): New results have been posted.
Week 10 (11/09/2017): The results have been updated.
Week 9 (11/02/2017): Screen photos have been taken and the color gamut and peak brightness tests have been performed. Burn-in continues to develop on the B6, however the peak brightness and color gamut remain in the same ballpark.
Week 8 (10/26/2017): The LG UJ6300 has received a firmware update (04.70.03). Retention continues to become more visible on all four corners of the red and magenta slides.
Week 7 (10/19/2017): New screen uniformity photos have been taken. Retention is visible in all 4 logos on the B6.
Week 6 (10/12/2017): The screen uniformity photos have been updated, and the retention issues continue to develop on the B6. Because no changes to peak brightness and color gamut have been observed so far on any TV, the frequency has been reduced to every 4 weeks. As a result, the next peak brightness and color gamut update will be 11/02/2017.
Week 5 (10/05/2017): Image retention continues to develop on the B6. OLED Light/Backlight settings: B6-63, KU6300-7, UJ6300-100.
Week 4 (09/28/2017): Some retention is visible on the LG B6 OLED in purple, red, green and blue slides. OLED Light/Backlight settings: B6-63, KU6300-7, UJ6300-100.
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
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.
Questions & Answers
30 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
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.
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?
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.
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.
Attached is a picture showing burn-in on my OLED 65" B6 Series LG that I just noticed this weekend. I purchased it from PC Richard and Son in Nov/2016 (not even a year) with an extended service warranty.
Tried the Clear Panel Noise to no avail, and have Screen Shift enabled as well.
We use this TV simply for watching movies and shows, nothing "abnormal". Tough to see from the image because of the words, but the entire center area seems to "burned" as well. Going to call PC Richard tomorrow and see what happens.
This seems to be a failure of the OLED pixel - or a degradation where the OLED is defective and can no longer produce the proper color and/or intensity required for a uniform picture/color. The distinction should be made clear and this should not happen on a product that has been used for less than a year, let alone 3 or 4 under normal use. Manufacturers put the blame on consumers and label it as abuse, which is preposterous. This is an outright product defect/flaw. We should not have to spend thousands of dollars on and then have to babysit electronic products to the point where one can literally not use or enjoy them. In my case the set has been used for nothing more than casual television viewing, and as you can see, it has failed.
Thank you for sharing this image with us.
Update 11/30/2017: The original poster gave us an update on is ongoing issues saying that "both PC Richard and Son and LG both refused to cover my set under warranty. Their argument is that it is burn-in and obviously this means that their assessment/conclusion is that it is my fault. So apparently, I broke my TV by using it as I normally should."
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.
Hi, why not do the burn-in test on a newer model OLED since they say they "fixed" / "improved" the problem?
Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, our resources are limited and we couldn't justify the costs of buying an additional LG C7 for this test (we still require our review unit for the rest of the year). While it is true that more modern models might have some features to slow-down image retention and reduce the speed at which it happens, it is our understanding that aging is an inherent limitation of OLED technology that to this day has not been completely solved.
Thanks for this test! My 2016 OLED65E6P has a noticeable permanent image of an NBC logo and the word "Live" from staying on MSNBC. I have Screen Shift enabled, and use Clear Panel Noise but it doesn't help.
Email response from LG: To give you a heads up, burn in is not covered by our manufacture warranty and repair services may incur service fees. Although coverage may not be provided, LG will stand behind the product by means of extending assistance in ensuring that repair services may be provided. In this regard, we recommend to also check LG authorized service centers in your area.
Thank you for the pictures. It is unfortunate that LG does not cover these issues under its warranty as they can appear with a normal use of the TV.
I love that you are doing this burn-in test! It's something I've wondered about for some time. It looks like the OLED is struggling already, so why do you recommend the top TV for gaming to be OLED? If you are doing a ton of gaming, you will likely end up with burn-in, no?
While it is true that completely static UI elements found in some games might cause an issue over time, it would require hundreds of hours playing the same game for a relatively minute burn-in of the shape to appear (and games where the UI uses less saturated colors should take a longer time), but without actually being visible in use. Since the effect is cumulative, it is definitely possible for this to happen after months of playing the same game, but we expect this to not be a problem for most people. Users that often leave their TV on most of the day with a news channel playing in the background are a more likely candidate for permanent retention than most gamers in our opinion. However, OLEDs do also suffer from temporary retention which can definitely appear with most normal gaming usage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The primary uses for my TV are watching movies and playing video games. Video games often have a static HUD somewhere on the screen which would be similar to the RTINGS logos you are using for this test. This test is running 20 hrs a day, 7 days a week (140 hrs a week). If I used my OLED TV for an average of 28 hrs a week, would it be fair to say 5 weeks of usage with my TV should show similar results of wear with your LG B6's in one week? If not, what would be a fair comparison or real-world benchmark?
Unfortunately since our test is a lot more intense than normal usage, because we want to see results more quickly, it's likely that our TVs will show burn-in after fewer total hours than a TV used for four hours a day. As such our test can be considered a worst case for burn-in, and most TVs will take longer to shown burn-in than ours. How much longer we unfortunately can't say.
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.
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.
I can already see some permanent image retention in the purple uniformity slide from the week 1 tests, in the top right corner. The 'R' of the Rtings logo is already visible to me. Looks like by week 2, you can notice on the red slide as well, and more prominently in the purple slide.
I play a lot of video games, and am looking to jump in to OLED. Currently, the B6/B7 are your highest rated and most recommended TV for video games. However, it looks like permanent image retention is a very real issue for OLED, especially regarding static elements, of which most video games have (Health bars, Ammo, etc.).
Will OLED continue to be recommended for gaming, given these permanent image retention problems?
Yes, there is what appears to be permanent retention on the logos in the corners. For the time being, we will still recommend OLEDs for gaming as they still offer a clear performance advantage over LCDs due to their instant response time and exceptional picture quality. We will still make sure advise our readers about their durability limitations which can cause these issues. At the current state of our test, we consider this retention to be minor since it will seldom be seen with normal usage and it requires having the same static content on-screen for hundreds of hours for it to appear.
I'm curious if the OLED Light setting for the B6 has any impact on image retention/burn in. In other words, if the OLED Light is at maximum brightness, does this have any impact on image retention?
OLED light makes a massive difference to burn-in; when the OLEDs are brighter they burn in faster. To account for this we set all three TVs to the same brightness of 175 cd/m² on white, to simulate typical living room viewing.
On the back of the TV's, what are the screen sizes of each TV? What are the manufacturing countries, factory number, or batch production numbers? What is the manufacturing dates on the back? These may be relevant, because different screen sizes, batches, factories, and years have different quality controls. Obviously, there should be consistency in factories, but that is not always the case. In the reader provided pictures of "NBC logo" & also the other "Youtube screen" I don't see what the reader is talking about. I have purchased a New Old Stock OLED65C6P, so thank you for doing this test (I believe the B6P is the same as the C6P).
All three of our units are fairly standard for their model, none have odd panels.
The C6 has roughly the same panel as the B6, just curved.
The NBC logo photos and the YouTube screen photos show what looks like permanent burn in, most visible when the screen is showing red. Both cases have the burn in near the bottom of the screen, where static logos are most often shown. The burn in is visible as small darker areas; other uniformity issues in the photo are mostly camera artifacts.
Would be great if you did a follow up test to this one showing what happens to the burn in if you switch up your viewing and remove the all of the logos...maybe the existing burn in will fade with time? I have a 2017 OLED and use it only for Apple TV and am concerned 1-2 years from now burn in is inevitable.
Also, love your site!
We're fairly confident that the burn in is permanent because the subpixels themselves have aged and lost brightness. At the end of the test we may try a 100 hour retention clearing pattern but we doubt it'll do anything. Also you shouldn't experience burn in after two years unless your use is an extreme case like leaving the news on for hours every day. We'll be able to make a more educated statement when the test has run for a few more months, as we see the effects of brightness and color loss over time.
I have an LG C7 55". How often should the pixel refresher be used? Also, the stock OLED light setting for game mode HDR is 100 and turning it down makes some games way to dim. Is having the OLED light that high a bad thing?
Hi and thanks for contacting us. Pixel refresher should be run if you notice retention or any uniformity issues. For most people, this will probably be once every few weeks at the most, and LG did confirm to us that is should not affect the lifetime of the TV itself. For OLED light at 100 when the TV is in HDR, it is not as bad as 100 OLED light in SDR since when in SDR, OLED light at 100 will raise the luminance of the TV to the maximum, and everything on screen is going to be brighter. When in HDR, the content is mastered in a different way than SDR, and even if you put the OLED light to maximum, the overall screen luminance won't be at the maximum, but only the small highlights (it could be a sun in the sky, an explosion or just a specular highlight from the reflection on a shiny surface). The problem with HDR games is that there are not all mastered the same way, and some games do look darker than other. In those occasions, you can turn on 'Dynamic contrast' for games that are a bit too dark and it should help considerably.
I was worried about burn-in on my LG B7 OLED TV when watching PBS news for an hour -- and now when watching I use the "magnify" feature of TV to effectively "miss" the stationary bright white PBS News Hour logo entirely. Better safe than sorry....
Clever idea, that would definitely reduce the chance of burn-in. However if you only watch the news for an hour or two a day then burn-in likely won't be a concern, it's more if you watch 4+ hours of news a day. Also a white logo is less likely to burn in than a colored logo, as we've seen very little burn-in with our white slide photos.
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.
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.
If this OLED burn-in is being caused by uneven wear of pixels, wouldn't that imply that if pixels become uneven in wear so quickly, then image quality is going to degrade relatively fast on OLED sets if pixels age so quickly.
The TV includes a few compensation algorithms that act in the background while the TV is shut off to help maintain the panel uniformity over time. Except for a gradual reduction in brightness, we expect this to be less of an issue with time than permanent retention caused by extended playback of static images using maximum saturation levels.
Did you do the break in for 100-150 hours before the test?
No, our B6 had 86 hours of screen on time before we started the test, but that was from our initial testing and occasional retesting over the past year. The KU6300 probably had similar screen on time, while the UJ6300 likely had a little less because it's newer.
If the brightness of the OLED makes a difference with burn-in, then it seems to me that users of the latest Apple TV 4K should be concerned considering that it keeps the HDR function on at all times, which means OLED brightness is always at its maximum.
While the setting itself is at maximum while in HDR mode, the brightness level of what is being displayed is not necessarily at maximum level. The HDR signal includes absolute brightness levels (i.e. this full red should be at 100 nits) in addition to basic color information, so the brightness of the interface depends on the brightness level Apple picks for each of the elements being displayed. If done properly, the SDR and HDR signal should look identical and therefore not cause faster degradation than other devices.
Hi! Thanks for your TV researches. I have some questions about LG long-term testing settings (not-OLED types of TV's are stable strong and not so alarming). Can you share starting values of OLED/Brightness/Contrast settings of LG (for your 175 nits checkerboard light target). Do you change that settings after time to gain a constant 175 cd/m²? Looks like you're used widescreen sample with black regions on top/bottom sides... They're OK on OLED - same brightness as center part. Does it mean that absolutely no "damage" has been noticed after all this time on gently working central screen regions?
On the B6: OLED Light 63, Contrast 100, Brightness 50. UJ6300: Backlight 100. KU6300: Backlight 7.
We will change the settings over time to maintain 175 cd/m², but we haven't noticed any brightness change in the center of the screen yet, as shown by our brightness tests. The only degradation we've noticed so far is that the logos have burned in on the B6; no brightness, color gamut or other uniformity issues have been seen. Our pattern has black bars only one third of the time, and it hasn't made a difference to uniformity.
I have been reading your forum on OLED Image retention / Burn in and I have a question. Several years ago when I bought a plasma TV I ran a 100 hour burn in cycle before calibration and normal viewing use, and have not had a single issue with image retention and/or burn in using it for both TV and gaming (anywhere from 4-8 hours at time). Would running a 100 hour break in cycle potentially eliminate the LG OLED image retention/burn in issues?
Unfortunately this is very unlikely for an OLED. One of the logos on our test clip is on the screen for less than half the time, so multiple hundred hours of normal video has played on that area, but it still has both permanent and temporary image retention. As well the center of the screen has had over a thousand hours of normal content played on it, yet it still has temporary retention when we do our measurements. Some plasmas had more image retention than others, so yours is likely one of the better ones.
Hello, I have an LG C7P 65" and I am worried about the contrast setting; if I set the contrast to 98 does that mean the TV is more susceptible to burn in or would the OLED light need to be maxed out?
Raise the 'Contrast' to '100', it'll only make the picture a little brighter and will hardly affect burn-in. 'OLED Light' has a much greater effect on burn-in because it makes the TV much brighter, but at normal brightness levels burn-in shouldn't be an issue for most use cases.
I have been reading a lot about burn-in and image retention for 2017 OLEDs. I watch cable news for 3-4 hours a day and am concerned an OLED TV may not be my best option despite the great picture quality. What are your top recommendations for an OLED alternative?
The Sony X930E is a great alternative to the OLEDs because of its good local dimming and well rounded performance. It also gets much brighter than the OLEDs, which is good for a bright room. The Sony X900E is a good cheaper alternative that's almost as good as the X930E. If you will often be watching in a bright room with a lot of reflections on the screen, the Samsung MU9000 may be best because of its great anti-reflective coating, though it's not as good in a dark room as the Sonys.