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Updated

Real Life OLED Burn In Test on 6 TVs

OLED TVs have great picture quality, however, there are concerns about their long-term performance due to the possibility of permanent image retention, commonly referred to as burn-in.

Our previous 20 hours per day burn-in test is still running and the OLED TV already has permanent retention. That test is an extreme case, using patterns with a lot of static content.

Based on your feedback and comments, we have bought 6 LG OLED C7 which will play real, non-altered content. This should give you a better idea on what to expect depending on what you watch on your TV.

We will start this test within the next two weeks and, once all the content is finalized, update this article every two weeks. We will continue to do this for one year.

Week 24: (07/13/2018): All results have been updated including peak brightness, color gamut, and uniformity photos. Burn-in is visible on the two TVs displaying live CNN on the red and magenta slide. The peak brightness and color gamut remain almost identical to the last time these measurements were taken in week 16.
Week 22: (06/28/2018): Uniformity photos updated.
Week 20: (06/14/2018): New uniformity photos have been taken. Burn-in on the maximum brightness CNN TV continues to develop as it becomes more visible near the bottom edge of the red photo.
Week 18: (05/31/2018): Uniformity photos have been updated. The maximum brightness CNN TV is showing some darker areas of burn-in on the 'Breaking News' banner.
Week 16: (05/17/2018): All results have been updated including uniformity photos, color gamut measurements and peak brightness measurements. The brightness of four of the TVs has increased, however this relatively small difference is unlikely to be noticeable in any content. The two TVs displaying CNN have remained at very similar brightness levels. Color gamut results remain almost identical. Uniformity issues continue to develop on the two TVs displaying live CNN, and this is slightly visible in normal content when looking for it. Next uniformity photos update will be 05/31/2018 and next full update including brightness and gamut is 07/12/2018.
Week 14: (05/04/2018): Uniformity results have been updated.
Week 12: (04/19/2018): New uniformity photos have been taken.
04/10/2018: We contacted LG regarding the strange results in week 4. LG engineers visited our lab a few days ago and were able to confirm the 25% window on the Live CNN and FIFA 18 TVs are a result of a factory issue (see our video here). OLED TVs are produced in a hot process, and after cooling a 25% window is shown on each panel. Some TVs which haven't cooled completely can produce invalid results for the lookup table used by the 'Pixel Refresh' function, causing this 25% window to become visible. Only some 55" OLED TVs were affected during part of 2017.
As this is not an issue with the panel itself, it is possible to apply a fix to the lookup table. LG will apply this fix to anyone who presents this issue to their support, for free, even after the warranty period has long expired. They have fixed our two affected TVs (see the uniformity photos below). Note that this doesn't fix other uniformity issues as the result of static content, only the 25% window caused by a factory defect. LG has also confirmed that there is variation between panels, which is why some OLED appear more prone to developing uniformity issues (as in the case with our Live CNN (200 nits) vs Live CNN (Max).)
Week 10: (04/05/2018): Uniformity photos have been updated. LG engineers visited our lab, and we will post the results of their investigation and an update in the next few days.
Week 8 (03/23/2018): Uniformity, peak brightness and color gamut results updated. Increases in peak brightness across all TVs, but otherwise the measurements remain consistent.
03/13/2018: A reader has pointed out to us that it is actually a 25% window, not an 18% window which is becoming more apparent. A 25% window was displayed for a maximum of 20 minutes in peak brightness testing conducted in early January.
Week 6 (03/08/2018): Uniformity photos updated. Only minor changes since week 4.
03/08/2018: New: Video: OLED Burn-in Test Update Week 4
Week 4 (02/22/2018): New uniformity photos have been updated. Uniformity issues are clearly visible on the 200 nits CNN TV in red and magenta slides (but not in normal content). This is unusual, as we would expect the maximum brightness CNN TV to show uniformity issues before the 200 nits CNN TV. The 18% 25% window we used in January to measure the color gamut is also becoming more visible on this TV (and the FIFA 18 TV) as the weeks progress, even though we haven't displayed that 18% 25% test pattern since January. We have contacted LG to understand why this is happening and will update this article as we obtain more information.
Week 2 (02/08/2018): Uniformity photos have been taken for all 6 TVs. No issues are visible.
Week 0 (01/24/2018): The source content has been finalized and the test has been started. Initial measurements and uniformity photos have been posted below.

Goal

The goal of the test is to provide an idea of the usage time of a 2017 OLED TV before burn-in becomes apparent, which will depend on your usage. To do so, we will replicate five different real-world conditions in an accelerated aging test. We will also independently test two different brightness ('OLED Light') settings with the same content to see the impact of this.

Test Setup

The TVs will all be controlled by a microcontroller to repeat a five hour on and one hour off cycle four times per day.

The 'Screen Shift' option will be enabled on all TVs, and 'Pixel Refresher' will be performed before each set of measurements taken on each TV.

They will all be playing real content (not test patterns), from live cable TV sources, video game clips or recorded sports. The brightness of all TVs (except the one identified below) will be set to 200 nits on a checkerboard pattern, with the content described below.

The Content

1. Live CNN

CNN is played live on the TV through a cable feed. CNN is a widely watched network news channel, and we have also received concerns regarding this channel specifically. This test is considered a control, with the 'OLED Light' set to a brightness of 200 nits.

2. Live CNN (maximum screen brightness)

As above, live CNN is played on the TV through a cable feed. However, for this TV, the 'OLED Light' is set to maximum, which corresponds to a brightness of 380 nits on our checkerboard pattern. This is to show the relationship between burn-in rate and 'OLED Light' with the exact same content and over the same time period.

3. Football

Many pre-recorded football games are displayed on this TV to represent the usage of someone who is interested in a particular sport and will watch it regardless of the channel. It includes content from a variety of channels and with different teams, so overlays are located in different areas and team colors change. It includes many games to avoid too much repeating.

4. Live NBC

This test is informative for people who watch a lot of general TV, since NBC shows a variety of movies, TV shows, sports, and news. The source is a live cable feed and should be representative for a range of general TV content.

5. FIFA 18 gameplay

The goal of the content on this TV is to investigate the effect of a 'high risk' video game - one which has some bright, static areas which remain very consistent. We have received the most concerns about FIFA 18, and so many hours of gameplay footage are used to show typical usage, including many different teams and a mix of menus and gameplay without much repeating.

6. Call of Duty: WWII gameplay

The gameplay footage on this TV is to represent a relatively 'low risk' video game. It only has small areas which are static and an overall dim image without too many bright colors. We haven't received any reports of burn-in for this game yet, so consider it a baseline for a low risk game.

Additional Notes

The Controller

A NodeMCU microcontroller is used to control each TV at all times. It has 6 IR LEDs, which are connected to the IR receiver of each TV, to power them all on and off at specific intervals. The status and toggle times are logged via WiFi to a server, to verify accurate timing.

Pixel Refresher

There are a few different 'pixel refresher' functions which run on LG OLED TVs. An 'automatic' pixel refresh runs when the TV is turned off after four hours of cumulative usage. This requires the power to be connected, and LG has told us that this takes between 7 and 10 minutes to complete. As a result, this pixel refresh is automatically run at each power cycle of our test (4 times per day).

There is also a 'manual' pixel refresher function which is toggled through the settings menu. This may take an hour to complete, and we manually run this before taking each set of photos (as described above).

Automatic Backlight Limiter (ABL)

The automatic backlight limiter reduces the brightness of the screen to prevent it from drawing too much power. This occurs when there are large bright areas and is why our 100% window measurement of OLED TVs is significantly lower than smaller window sizes (see here). This doesn't mean that increasing the 'OLED Light' will result in a dimmer image. The overall image is still brighter with a higher 'OLED Light' setting.

Results (Last updated 07/13/2018)

Peak brightness & Color Gamut

Peak Brightness - HDR 2% Window

Peak Brightness - HDR 10% Window

Peak Brightness - HDR 100% Window

Color Gamut - Rec. 2020 xy

Uniformity Photos



Live CNN (max)

Football

Call of Duty: WWII

Live CNN

Live NBC

FIFA 18

Every two weeks we will take photos of 50% gray, 100% red, 100% green, 100% blue, 100% cyan, 100% magenta, and 100% yellow patterns and post the photos here. Every two months we will measure the color gamut and HDR peak brightness of each TV.

Limitations

  • This test alone only demonstrates the effect of one of the use cases described above. It does not show the effect of changing between multiple sources (such as watching football 20% of the time, playing high-risk video games 50% of the time, and playing low risk video games 30% of the time).

Conclusion

The goal of this test is to provide an idea of an OLED TV's lifespan before burn-in becomes visible when watching real world content. This article will be updated every two weeks with the latest results from our real-world test, and how it should impact your buying decisions depending on your own specific usage.

Questions Found an error?

Let us know what is wrong in this question or in the answer.

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Questions & Answers

71 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
64
Not a question but a prediction; CNN @ 200 Nits: No noticeable burn in after 300 hours cumulative (3 weeks) but evident burn-in before 1000 hours cumulative (7 weeks) CNN @ 380 Nits: Evident burn-in by 300 hours cumulative and possibly as early as 200 hours cumulative (2 weeks) Football: No evidence of burn-in after 1000 hours cumulative Live General: No evidence of burn-in after 1000 hours cumulative FIFA Gameplay: don't know the game (or brightness setting) so no prediction Call of Duty WWII: No evidence of burn-in after 1000 hours cumulative You guys are the best for testing for burn-in in very pseudo-realistic ways - keep up the great work! p.s. please tell us the brightness setting (and eventually OLED Light setting) for all 6 tests, not just the first two CNN tests.
Thank you for your comments. Your predictions seem to align with the results of our previous test. You can expect us to report specific brightness settings much like what we've done on our first burn-in test, with updates if the settings have to be adjusted over time.
34
The 18% window is also visible on fifa 18 screen after 4th week on magenta
Yes, you are right, The 18% window (used in January to measure the color gamut) is now also becoming more visible on the 'FIFA 18" TV, where it was not visible with the naked eye two weeks ago.
20
I have about ~1000 hours in Call of Duty (Black Ops 3 and Infinite Warfare) on an LG E6 purchased in Aug 2016, no permanent burn in. I'd be surprised if your tests results in any.
Thank you for your experience, we mostly only hear back from users when they do have burn-in, so hearing about a case where a TV hasn't burned-in is refreshing. We don't expect the TV running Call of Duty to burn-in after 1000 hours either, but the TV running FIFA 18 will likely burn-in sooner because it has lots of bright static scoreboards.
18
As a collector of classic movies and TV shows presented in 4:3 format, I would like you to test whether the black sidebars will burn in. Thanks.
Thank you for your comment. Our current test already include a letterboxed section aimed at testing for this risk. Due to the physics that cause burn-in on OLED TVs, we do not expect this to be any different on vertical pillar boxes. We have not currently noticed any effects of burn in caused by letterboxing.
17
Would be nice to see what the long term impact would be for using the screen shift and pixel refresh is by having same tests done with one tv having them and one tv not using it, but understand the tests have begin and you probably don't want to buy yet another tv. However, since you are doing the pixel refresh before you run the tests, would it be beneficial to run them pre-pixel refresh and post-pixel refresh?

Hi and thanks for contacting us. This is an excellent idea, and it is a good test to show the effect of the pixel refresh function. Next time we take the uniformity pictures, we will take a series of a picture before and after we run the pixel refresh function. We will update this answer with the result of this test.

Update 03/01/2018: Here is a table where you can access and compare the pictures taken before and after we ran the 'Pixel Refresh' function in week 2.

Live CNN

Pre Pixel Refresh Post Pixel Refresh
50% Gray 50% Gray
Red Red
Green Green
Blue Blue
Cyan Cyan
Magenta Magenta
Yellow Yellow

Live CNN (Maximum Screen Brightness)

Pre Pixel Refresh Post Pixel Refresh
50% Gray 50% Gray
Red Red
Green Green
Blue Blue
Cyan Cyan
Magenta Magenta
Yellow Yellow

Football

Pre Pixel Refresh Post Pixel Refresh
50% Gray 50% Gray
Red Red
Green Green
Blue Blue
Cyan Cyan
Magenta Magenta
Yellow Yellow

Live NBC

Pre Pixel Refresh Post Pixel Refresh
50% Gray 50% Gray
Red Red
Green Green
Blue Blue
Cyan Cyan
Magenta Magenta
Yellow Yellow

FIFA 18 Gameplay

Pre Pixel Refresh Post Pixel Refresh
50% Gray 50% Gray
Red Red
Green Green
Blue Blue
Cyan Cyan
Magenta Magenta
Yellow Yellow

Call Of Duty: WWII Gameplay

Pre Pixel Refresh Post Pixel Refresh
50% Gray 50% Gray
Red Red
Green Green
Blue Blue
Cyan Cyan
Magenta Magenta
Yellow Yellow
16
My curiosity is why only LG when you could have Sony and even Panasonic, we all know the importance in image quality and image retention, image burn in. I haven't heard of Sony and Panasonic of burning issues, only LG...
Burn-in is unfortunately inherent to OLEDs, and all three of these manufacturers utilize the same suppliers for the display panels used in their OLED TVs so the results should be similar. We picked the LG C7 since it is currently the most popular OLED TV sold. LG OLED TVs being the most popular is likely why there are more reports of burn-in for these TVs compared to other manufacturers.
16
Can you please confirm that the new burn in test will have (or not have) the pixel refresh and/or screen shift feature activated during the test. Thanks!
Thank you for letting us know that this isn't mentioned - the article has been updated to clarify this. The 'Screen Shift' option is enabled on all TVs and the 'Pixel Refresher' function will be performed on all TVs before a batch of photos or measurements is taken.
14
I wonder why I can already see image retention in the Live CNN magenta week 4 image, but not really on the Live CNN MAX week 4 image.
We are asking ourselves the same question, as the opposite is what seems intuitive. We have contacted LG and will update this article as we learn more information.
12
Do you guys know if OLED uniformity issues get worse over time? I purchased a B7 and have noticed a warm, vertical band on the right side of my screen. It is only noticeable on grayish colors, some solid colors, and some panning shots. It is quite benign, but I’m worried it will get worse and become prevalent in all conditions.
It shouldn't get worse. This kind of non-uniform color across the screen is unfortunately common for OLEDs, but it's usually less bothersome than the dirty-screen-effect many LED TVs have.
12
For all of us MSNBC and FoxNews fans, is this applicable to us, or just CNN fans?
Hi and thanks for contacting us. This should apply to any news channels that have some form of static logos or news banner. We choose CNN because we had a lot of comment from people particularly about this channel, but MSNBC or FoxNews would also have been a good example.
10
Do you guys think that extensive viewing of subtitled content could pose a possible issue for burn-in? Most of the media I watch contains either white or yellow/orange subtitles and my biggest worry is it's going to wear out the relatively small area of the screen where they appear faster than the rest of the TV. Thank you!
Subtitles like this will cause burn-in, however it will take a very long time to appear, likely over five years. This is because the letters are in a different place every sentence, so each individual pixel won't wear down very quickly.
10

AWESOME work.

Slight comment on the Real Life OLED Burn-in test: It seems to me that you now have no screen setup for mixed / actual user content. What if someone uses their oled for 60% Netflix/Movies, 20% Gaming and 20% local broadcasting with differentiating logos.

I feel that varied use will cancel burn in out. An hour of static logos follwed by an hour or more of varied content will not leave a trace. There is proof online of people watching RTL4 daily (in the Netherlands), google that logo and see how horrific it is. But due to varied content still have zero burn in. And that was the OLED before the B6, 950 I believe. In the back of your minds this must be how you feel as well, otherwise your previous test was already enough proof of burn in that will happen, but has not happened on the set inyour living room, right?

That would be of my interest - and I bet of other as well.. Would be great if you can change one screen to accommodate this.

We agree that this is a current limitation of our test. We have limited resources and so unfortunately can't test everything.

In our initial burn-in test we displayed some cyclical content and still experienced cumulative burn-in - the bottom left solid logo was present ~36% of the time (present for 2 hours, then absent for 3.5 hours). You can see this logo imprinted on our latest uniformity pictures, but it appears less degraded (and took more weeks to appear) when compared to the solid top-left logo.

We agree that the 20 hours burn-in test is an extreme test and not directly applicable for most people, however believe that the biggest difference is the content. Most normal content has much smaller logos than our test pattern, with less vivid colors and less on-screen duration. When watching RTL4, do you know approximately how often the logo is shown? We expect the 'General TV' TV of our new test to be more applicable for this usage, and expect that the TV will take much, much longer to burn in compared to the first test (which would explain the discrepancy between our first test and your experience).

If we assume that burn-in is purely an effect of cumulative usage and pixel brightness, then multiple usages can be considered a linear combination of each result - for example someone who uses their TV 5 hours a day for a year and play risky videogames 30% of the time, watch CNN 20% of the time and watch general TV 50% of the time may spend ~900 hours on general TV, ~550 hours playing risky videogames and ~370 hours watching CNN. It could then be possible to look at each of these tested scenarios to get an idea of the risk for your specific use.

8
It would be useful to most of your readers to include programming on OLED #4 that has a combination of vertical pillarbox and horizontal letterbox content mixed in to simulate real world usage. The results of the 2 hours out of 5.5 hour loop showing letterbox content on the first burn-in test seem to indicate no issues so far, however upon longer term exposure to such may eventually exhibit uneven aging lines between the central area of the screen that is always on and the lesser used areas of the black bars. I'm especially concerned about the 4x3 pillarbox bars, as they are always positioned at the same place, whereas movie letterbox bars vary in thickness according to the different aspect ratios the directors have chosen for such.
Thank you for your suggestion. We will continue to run the first burn-in test for many more months, and we believe that its results will be applicable to both letterbox and pillarbox black bars. Also in our new burn-in test we try to use live content as much as possible, so that the results are more applicable to the content people watch.
8
I notice image retention in the FIFA 18 magenta display. Especially the left and top side of a window edge. Please confirm.
Visually, it is very hard to see when looking at the pictures and at the TV itself, but there are some uniformity issues where the team tags are and also where the scoring board is, as those are visible if we process the final image (change the color and exposure).
6
Do you expect burn-in to be similar in 2015 (EF9500) and 2016 (B6A or E6A) models. I currently have an EF9500 (2015) model. Not sure if that would be more prone to burn-in.
Hi and thanks for contacting us. We think that there is a risk of burn-in for all OLED TVs, but since we did not test the older models with our new test, we can only make assumptions. But we still expect the newer OLED TVs to be less prone to burn-in than the older set, as LG as implemented more burn-in protection and also tweaked their algorithm on the newer sets.
6
Suggestion before you start the new test. Since we just about already know that CNN with 100% OLED light will burn in, a slightly different approach might be worth considering. You are already planning on setting up a CNN test with an OLED light level of around 60 (I like that idea). What if instead of performing the other test at 100% OLED light, use an even lower OLED level of 40 and also keep the contrast down too? This scenario might take a little longer to generate burn in results, or hopefully even no burn-in at all (wishful thinking), which would be wonderful information to have. I have had an LG E7 OLED for just over 2 weeks and absolutely love the picture quality so far, especially from 4k blu ray and 4k videos from youtube (by far the best images I have seen from any tv, but am extremely hesitant to watch tv with static images and currently have a led backlit lcd tv for watching regular high-definition broadcasts with static logos.
Thank you for your comments, we picked these OLED light settings as we considered them to be levels suitable for most viewing enviroments. The maximum setting is particularly useful as it helps us find out the worst case scenario which is useful for our reviews. While it is true that absolute information about lower points could be very useful, we considered finding the ceiling to be a more useful set of information and our limited resources stop us from going beyond two TVs running the CNN test.
6
Live CNN had noticeable uniformity issues in Week 2. Magenta and 50% Grey. Although not as noticable vs Week 4, it is clearly there.
We do not know what could be the cause of this at the moment, as nothing special was done to the TVs since the last time we took the pictures, beside a 'Panel refresh' before we took the pictures this week. We will update the page if we can have more information on the cause of this specific issue.
6

Dear Rtings

I bought an LG OLED in 2017, and absolutely love the display. It has, however, a serious burn-in caused by the YouTube app in the LG system. I've posted a video of this on youtube that you can look at - it's after 1 year of normal household use (4-5 hr/day, 25% TV, 75% youtube & net video)

The problem stems from the youtube app using little colored boxes in the same place every time, as well as the red progress bar when you skip through the video. The app sets the brightness of these boxes to 100% and leaves them up when searching through youtube videos or skipping ahead with the cursor keys on the remote.

As youtube is constantly revising their app, it would be great to get this into a future revision to omit or dim-down the graphics their app displays. If you could link to my video it would perhaps help stimulate discussion on this. I found your LG burn-in test from the youtube app, and watched it on my TV which is fast becoming a 3rd platform for youtube traffic after computers and phones.

Thank you for letting us know and sharing this video - this will help to raise awareness of other potential sources of static content on OLED displays.
6

Awesome work guys, keep it up! I've been trying to decide between an LG OLED and the 2018 Samsung Q9FN and your research on OLED burn-in has been a big factor in helping me make a decision. I came across this article that seems to provide a real life, albeit somewhat extreme, use case that validates the results you've documented
Thanks for the work you're doing!

Thank you for you kind words!

This is a very unfortunate story. Each technology has advantages and disadvantages and knowing them allows you to make the right choice. The use of OLEDs to display static images for prolonged periods of time is not recommended, and in the article story they should not have been chosen for this task. This, however, does not diminish all the other advantages OLEDs have over LEDs.
When choosing a TV many factors have to be accounted for.

5
Week 4's results seem odd. Can you confirm that you performed the "pixel refresher" cycle before taking the photos? Also, when will the graphs for peak brightness and color gamut be updated?
Yes, the 'Pixel Refresher' was performed, with the pop up confirming that the process had run correctly on all TVs. The next graphs will be posted in 4 weeks from now after the next measurements are done.
4
I watch some TV shows through Apple TV apps such as Fox and the CW. In the bottom right corner, the network logo sits static; however, the logos are white/gray and are somewhat transparent so as the colors change, the logos' color change somewhat as well. Does this sound like something that would burn in? I assumed it wouldn't since the colors are changing "behind" the somewhat transparent logo.
Unfortunately it is hard to know as we are still in the early stages of this test, however our previous test has shown that it is possible for partially transparent logos to burn in. At the moment we don't think it is very likely though, as different network logos have different colors in different locations.
4
Uniformity issues from Week 4 are also visible in the 50% Grey for Live CNN bottom left. After just weeks of normal setting CNN there is burn in? What will it look like after 6 months? No bueno.
Yes, there is some visible uniformity issues visible on many slides of the 'Live CNN'. For the moment we can't confirm that it is permanent burn-in or just an overcompensation of the panel to being exposed to static images, as those zones are brighter than the rest of the screen, where burn-in typical looks more like a darker zone. This is similar to what happened on our B6 running our first burn-in test though, where the screen got brighter, before becoming darker after being continuous exposure to the static image. We did contact LG, and we will update the page when we will have more information of what could cause those issues.
4
The apparent burn in on the dimmer CNN set -vs- the brighter one appears to line up with the inconsistencies regarding burn in across the AVSFORUM posts. Some people have no trace, others can clearly see it, often under similar conditions. Must be some major panel inconsistency going on with that dim CNN set, or a "defective" refresh circuit (as has been theorized on AVS)? Will be very interesting to see what LG says here. Also not quite clear on the "18% window" pattern showing up - can you clarify? Thanks for running a very informative experiment.
Hi and thanks for contacting us. Yes, it will be interesting to have LG's take on this, but we did not have any feedback yet from LG. As for the 18% windows, this is from the first measurement of the color gamut that we did before starting the burn-in test. This was done on all the C7s, so this is also 'strange' that we can see it on some TVs, and not on the rest of them since the procedure was the same on all of them, and lasted for about the same time on all C7s.
3
Will setting the contrast and brightness on an OLED TV affect the life of the TV?

Adjusting the contrast of an OLED changes the max luminance of the TV, so it is similar to adjusting the brightness. The overall brightness of the screen will impact the rate of OLED degradation.

Update 05/08/2018: We have clarified our answer regarding contrast.

3
Would you recommend buying a 4 year warranty that covers burn in(not from LG because they only cover 1-2 years and they don't cover burn in) because burn in are basically inevitable(that's what i understand from your tests)?
It highly depends on your usage. Our tests are designed to simulate 5+ years of usage in under a year. If you watch a lot of static content (for example more than 2-3 hours / day of news) then it may be worth it. If burn in concerns you, the warranty might be a good choice if only for peace of mind.
3
At week 8 of the test each of these sets have over 1000 hours of static content on them. As someone who wants an OLED screen for gaming and movies, but will never put anywhere near 1000 hours into a single game am I wrong to not be concerned about OLED burn in? Comments online make OLED seem like a major gamble and a foolish purchase, but for people who don’t watch cable news even 8 weeks into your test the issue seems overblown. Really appreciate the tests, keep up the good work!
It is still too early for us to say definitively what the long term effects of burn-in are on OLED TVs. These tests are designed to push the TVs to their limits and goes far beyond what most people would do with their TVs.
3
People do all sorts of magic tricks to avoid burn-in such as put the TV on for an hour after gaming to give the pixels a 'refresh'. However, I've understood that OLED "burn-in" is in fact just pixels wearing out. For example: the NBC logo stays on the screen constantly, so those pixels don't get used as much, meaning they stay brighter than the surrounding pixels - and thus stand out. This would also mean that any 'wearing out' is cumulative. Doesn't this then also mean that all those common-sense tricks such as watching moving cartoons after static images are useless, since you can't undo the uneven wear?
There is both permanent and temporary image retention, and the two are caused by very different things. Temporary image retention can be helped by displaying more varied content, especially after long periods with static content, like a long gaming session. The 'common sense' tricks do help reduce temporary image retention. We are still very early in our long term test on OLED burn-in, and can't draw any conclusions yet. Our current understanding is that burn-in is caused by uneven pixel wear, and yes, it is cumulative.
2
Am I supposed to run the pixel refresher on my TV on a regular basis? If so how often should I run the pixel refresher? Or should I only run it after seeing signs of burn-in? Thanks!
We recommend to run it if you see sign of uniformity issues, but LG did mention to us running the function should not affect the longevity of the display, so you could run it as you please and it should not cause problems.
2
Great work guys. Here's a bit of observation. We need to see burn-in brightness in relative term. Darker images can "burn in" as much as brighter images if they're not driven at similar rate and intensity as surrounding areas. I have Nexus 6 phone with pretty terrible oled screen. After using it for couple years, top and bottom black navbars are burnt in permanently. They show up as brighter negative image and more clearly visible when I dim down screen.
Assuming your navigation bars are actually black (#000000), what you are seeing is actually the rest of the screen losing luminosity. In OLED screens a truly black pixel is essentially 'off', so that would not cause any burn-in. Especially on older screens burn-in was more predominant when using blue pixels, so yes, darker images can burn in just as much as bright images, since both rely on the blue pixel. A good idea for cell phones with OLED screens is to use 'Immersive Mode' which automatically hides these bars.
2
Hello, First thank you for your work. I have heard from a retailer (Very knowledgeable, it seemed anyway, at Best Buy) that the OLED TV's have a "cleaner" to "run" every month or so that would delete any burn-in on the screen? That it is built in to the TV set. Thank you in advance. -Bill
The associate at Best Buy was correct. It depends on the make of TV you have, but most if not all OLED manufacturers have included a tool to help with image retention / burn-in. On LG TVs it is called 'Pixel Refresher', and is run automatically after 4 hours of use. On Sony TVs it is called 'Panel Refresh', and must be run manually. It is important to note that Sony recommends only running the 'Panel Refresh' tool once per year, as it could possibly impact the life of your screen. LG however has confirmed to us that there are not believed to be any long term effects from running 'Pixel Refresher' manually. We can't say for sure whether these tools help, as you can see in our test we run them manually before each measurement. Once you have permanent burn-in on your screen it is unlikely that any tool will remove it.
2
Examining the magenta images of the Live CNN TV, the images for the pre- and post- pixel refresh seem like they are switched. The pre-pixel refresh image appears more uniform with no image burn-in/retention from the CNN news box or 25% box as compared to the post-pixel refresh image. This seems counter intuitive as the pixel-refresh process is for reducing any image retention/burn-in. Can you verify that the images are correctly labeled to as the time they were taken (pre- or post-pixel refresh)? Also, can you clarify when the weekly images in the "Uniformity Photos" section of this page are taken; pre- or post-pixel refresh? Thank you for doing this test, it is very informative to potential OLED panel purchasers.
Unfortunately those pictures aren't reversed. The 25% box is only appearing after performing the 'Pixel Refresher'. We don't quite know yet what is causing it, we have reached out to LG for any explanation they may have. The pictures we post each week in the 'Uniformity Photos' section are taken after performing a 'Pixel Refresh'.
2
Panasonic and Sony use different processor set to drive the panel in different ways. Not using Sony and or Panasonic is not fair to the brand or the consumer.
Burn-in in inherent to the panel itself though, and since all OLED TVs are currently using LG panels in their construction, the test should be representative, even if each company may have some different way to attenuate the effect of static images that cause burn-in. As for Panasonic, since those TVs are not sold in the United-State at the moment, we can't review or test them.
2
Since some of the static elements from your initial tests back in January are visible, I am curious if the pixel refresher was allowed to run when the TV's were off back when those first review tests were done?
The static elements you see in the pictures are not from our initial tests. The TVs are on a timer and turn off to allow the Pixel Refresher to run.
2
Thanks for the highly informative (and interesting) analysis regarding the burn in issue. In my case, the bottom line is that I'm a news/political junkie and tend to have CNN, etc on in the background a good part of the day. I love the concept of OLED for HDR movies and had been considering purchasing a high end OLED TV. However, in light of the potential burn in problem, I'm wondering if I'd be better off purchasing a top notch 4K LED HDR TV for now. Thoughts? Are there any LED TV's which come remotely close to OLED technology? Thanks and keep up the good work!

There is no perfect TV technology. OLEDs provide the absolutely best picture quality - perfect blacks, an infinite contrast ratio, excellent viewing angle. They are the most versatile TVs on the market. Unfortunately, there is a risk of burn-in, although we don't expect most people to experience this.

For your peace of mind, you might be better off with an LCD. The Sony X930E doesn't have the infinite blacks or wide viewing angle of an OLED, but it has great picture quality, an excellent native contrast ratio, and is one of the brightest TVs we've tested.

If you're looking for something more budget friendly, the Sony X900E is a little dimmer than the X930E, but with very similar picture quality for a more budget friendly price.

2
In your 04/10/2018 update you mentioned that LG applied a fix to the lookup table in your two TVs. Do you know if they customized that fix for each panel by looking at test patterns while performing the fix or if it was an identical 'generic' fix applied to both panels. Can you please look for any side-effects of this fix. The calibration pattern rectangle would usually show up first on dark <5% IRE test patterns - especially with a longer camera exposure. Thanks.
From what we understand, it was a 'customized' fix for each screen in that it was a recursive process where test patterns were displayed and the look-up table corresponding to this rectangle was tweaked for the best results. One of the TVs was fixed once, however we spotted some traces of the rectangle still visible so they went through the same procedure again to fine-tune the fix.

Unfortunately haven't been taking regular 5% photos. We will take them for all future updates though to see how it changes over time (or was affected by the fix).

2
It would be very helpful if you could add your observations to the weekly updates, since you can see the TVs in person while we are looking at images on a variety of devices.
Thank you for the great suggestion - you're right that the device you view the images on will have an effect on what's perceivable. We've been adding more basic comments in the last few weeks, so let us know what you think. Most notably, the maximum brightness CNN TV is showing signs of darker burn-in areas on full-field red slides.
2
Any chance of including the total panel hours in the updates? LG makes this data easy to find in the settings menu and it might be a good data point as more and more burn in becomes prevalent to know roughly when particular colors start to fade given the content displayed. There's definitely some burn in starting to creep into the FIFA game as well as a bit in the COD game if my eyes don't deceive me. Can't be sure, but it looks like there might be some with the NBC Live TV where the peacock logo usually resides, but on some of the slides it looks like a cross of color banding, instead of an actual logo. Do you observe that in person as well?
A very good suggestion. We may end up doing that. In the meantime, here is the current info.
Real Life OLED Burn In Test "Total Power On Time" snapshot taken July 9th, 2018 @ 2pm
3223 Hours 1. LIVE CNN
3219 Hours 2. LIVE CNN (MAXIMUM SCREEN BRIGHTNESS)
3198 Hours 3. FOOTBALL
3225 Hours 4. LIVE NBC
3192 Hours 5. FIFA 18 GAMEPLAY
3286 Hours 6. CALL OF DUTY: WWII GAMEPLAY

Your eyes are not deceiving you for the COD and FIFA panels. Some burn-in is present. As for the NBC logo: In person, we're starting to see a faint outline of the morning show logo. It will most likely start to be visible on the next set of pictures (week 24).
1

One possible theory about why the CNN at max brightness would show less burn-in than CNN at low brightness: I read that all OLED pixels will burn-in and dim over time - that this is expected, and may be related to how hard the pixels are driven. So if you drive all of the pixels harder, then you may be able to reduce the effect of localized burn-in over time.

It isn't that the max brightness reduces the dimming of that CNN news bar across the bottom of the screen, it is that the rest of the pixels are dimming faster as well, reducing the effect of localized burn-in across the bottom.

Interestingly, the panels don't seem to show lower brightness overall over time, which seems to go against this theory, but I suppose it is possible that there is some kind of reserve brightness - when you think OLED light is at 100 is really isn't internally - it is actually lower, and the panel has some capability to use up this reserve over time as the panel ages. If true, it may make the most sense to run the panel at maximum brightness all the time. It might cause the TV overall to dim faster over its lifetime, but reduce localized burn-in.

That's an interesting theory!

We asked LG about these results as they really weren't expected, and according to them it is just a question of panel variance.

Our understanding of burn-in is that it is caused by the sub-pixels aging unevenly, so it is expected that the harder you drive the subpixels, the faster they age. For example, if we look at the CNN logo, it is almost pure red. So if we were to look in that location, the green and blue subpixels are essentially off. This means that the rest of the screen is aging, but the green and blue subpixels in that spot aren't. After a lot of cumulative aging, if we show a green slide, the spot that didn't age should be noticeably brighter than the rest of the screen where those subpixels have aged.

You are partially correct, LG confirmed to us that there is a compensation algorithm that increases the brightness of the screen to compensate for panel aging.

1

According to the update on 4/10, you had indicated that LG admitted that variations between sets caused some to be more prone to uniformity issues that others. Despite LG's claim that they've mitigated any risk of burn-in (according to their website), this appears to be an admission, acknowledging that some sets will develop burn-in provided that the necessary content is displayed for a sufficient amount of time.

Given this, did LG indicate any kind of willingness to address folks who have come across burn-in by replacing their panels instead of giving them the cold shoulder as they've previously done? While I have not seen any burn-in yet on my C7, I never know when that day could come. Also, in your opinion, do you think this admission would be sufficient for some kind of class action if they continue to ignore those with burn-in?

They don't quite claim that they have mitigated any risk of burn-in, but all LG OLED TVs have features to help reduce the possibility of experiencing burn-in. We expect most people won't experience burn-in under normal usage.

Unfortunately does not guarantee their TVs against burn-in, and they gave no indication of their desire to change that policy, but we don't really know.

1
So something interesting happened when I replaced the Tcon on my LG 65EG9600. Once the used board was installed there was clear image retention of a CNN logo and other artifacts you'd see from a TV sitting on CNN for a long time. Weird thing is I don't have CNN, I stream everything and never that. The only thing I can conclude is that image retention is at least in part within the Tcon, not the panel. After a power cycle or two the images retained disappeared and was replaced by some barely visible vertical banding about every 6 inches. What is your guys' take on that?
Thank you for contacting us - that's certainly very interesting! It sounds like the power cycle may have triggered a pixel refresh, and updated the look up table.
1

I am quite interested in the results of these tests. For starters, I've already had my OLED 55B7A replaced after only 1,890 hours of use. However, I do have a question.
I'm wondering if it's possible that these panels could be just as susceptible to Burn-In if they have simply been turned on for a number of continuous hours, and then have them tuned to stations with static banners? In other words, could the length of time the panels are in continuous use lead to a heating process on their surfaces that causes them to weaken when static images are present - and for shorter time periods?

Thank you for contacting us!

You bring up a very interesting point. We simply do not know if this holds true, and certainly it is not incorporated in our Burn-In tests. We will keep it in mind and maybe in future Burn-In tests we could try to test it.

1

Top level corner of the Magenta image on the TV displaying Fifa, looks like the scoreboard burnt in?
Is Fifa playing in HDR?

Thank you for contacting us.

No. All the content displayed on the TVs is SDR.
You are right the are clear signs of uniformity issues in the Magenta image and some hardly noticeable, but still present, signs in the 50% Grey, the Green and the Red image. To better see them open the images at maximum resolution and move it up and down the screen. It will then become more clear.
Having said all that the most important thing to know is that it isn't visible in normal content and we have to go through these extreme case conditions to view it

1

For better perspective, do you guys have any data as to how OLED burn-in risk compares with plasma and CRT technologies?

Thank you for contacting us

It appears the OLED burn-in risk is lower than plasma, although we have not tested plasma nor CRT.

1

It's been 16 weeks trial, so far so good! I am just curious that these TVs got some damage its screen already, so I suggest to check the gray uniformity.
It can be compared with the result when you wrote the review those TVs, and looks significant.

Thank you for contacting us.

Yes there is some deterioration on 50% gray especially where there are static images on the screens like with the CNN news banner and the FIFA 18 score board. You can probably depict them better in the magenta screen.

You should note however that these would not be easily noticable when watching normal contact.

1

Since CNN seems to be the bad boy, has anyone informed them of the potential burn-in issues their red logo has inflicted upon OLED TVs owners?

Thank you for contacting us.

It is highly unlikely that CNN or any other broadcasting station will change their style to accommodate a problem a specific display technology has. This issue can occur with any static image that is being displayed for a prolonged period on this type of screens. Game HUDs, channel logos, sports score cards, flight info, etc. can all eventually create this issue.
The problem has improved since the introduction of OLEDs, but those who are worrying too much about it and will be using the TV for this kind of content should choose TVs with another panel technology.

0
Thanks so much for running this test! I think the difference between the two CNN panels is the most telling. Unless the assumption that burn-in is faster at higher brightness is wrong, it seems to show that panel variation is more critical than the actual content. I think the temporary IR test is most telling in this regard, and seems to indicate that some panels are innately defective. Based on your (small) sample of 6 TVs, it looks like you have 2/3 chance of getting a good panel and 1/3 chance of getting a burn-in prone panel. Since LG refuses to cover burn-in in their warranty and the Best Buy warranty (which covers it) is an extra couple hundred dollars, I personally would not risk it yet (will likely get a Vizio M65 to tide me over the next few years). However, if the temporary IR test is valid, it would allow buyers to judge within the return timeframe the likelihood of a faulty TV. Even better, I would hope LG implements this as a kind of presale check to avoid sending out faulty panels, and I hope that they would then feel confident enough in the burn-in resistance to add coverage to their warranty. Re: the test pattern getting worse, I wonder if there's some sort of calibration built in by LG for the first few hours of use, and it's overcompensating for perceived flaws? Not sure how that would really work though. I think an innate panel defect is more likely (and since it affects the whole panel, maybe it's some other hardware other than the actual pixels).
For the moment, it is hard for us to come to any conclusion as what causes that uniformity issues since the test as only been running for a few weeks, but what it shows, is that it seems there is panel variation between OLED TVs. As for any relationship between the image retention test and the risk of burn-in, at this points in time, we don't have enough data to prove or disprove if there is any. We have exposed those facts to LG and are currently waiting for any feedback from them. We will update the test page with any new information when it becomes available.
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Are you guys using the "Pixel Refresher" in this experiment? If not, I can see why these TVs are burning in. If you guys aren't using the refresher on one of the TVs it would be more transparent to do so.
Yes, we run the "Pixel Refresher" before each set of measurements. See the Test Setup section above for full details.
0
Can you please confirm the size of the window and verify that it actually is 18% screen area? In your photos, it looks exactly like 25%. It matches the "HDR Peak 25% Window" that is shown on your "tests/picture-quality/peak-brightness" page. If this is indeed the 25% window, have you displayed this sized pattern repeatedly during this burn-in test or only during the initial calibration? Are you also certain that this visible window pattern wasn't already present when you took the TV out of the box?
Yes, the window is actually 25% instead of 18% as we initially suspected. The only time we displayed this window was during our initial measurements of the peak brightness, performed in January. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, we have updated the page accordingly.
0
I've noticed some permanent burn in on my OLED B6. I was wondering how burn-in works with OLED so that I might try to fix it by using negative of the image. Do bright colors and light leave a dark burn in or do bright colors leave a white burn in?
Burn-in on OLED screens is caused by the diodes emitting less light as they age. In theory any color except for true black can cause burn-in on an OLED screen, but we don't quite know the long term causes yet. In theory the brighter your screen is, the faster the pixels will age and you will see long term effects. Initial symptoms will be some areas of the screen appearing dimmer than the rest of the screen. Older screens also tended to show a slight red-green shift in colors since the blue diodes aged faster, but newer pixel structures have helped to alleviate that. There are some tools that claim to reverse burn-in; all they do is age the rest of the screen to the same levels as the burnt-in part.
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I notice when shifting between the week 0 photos and the week 8 photos that the shades of all of the colors have changed (some brighter some darker). The Call of Duty results all seem to have darkened a few shades for instance. I know this is through my own equipment so it could be on my end. Is what I'm seeing actually happening to these TVs, and if it is what would explain this behavior over a relatively short period?
We noticed the same thing looking at the pictures on our end, but when we measured peak brightness after week 8 they were all slightly brighter. The difference is probably in the way we capture these images.
0
There definitely seems to be a correlation between the "CNN" TV's odd behavior with regard to the image retention / burn in going on and the peak brightness increase that set shows since the test started. Its brightness increase has been more dramatic than the rest. While all the sets are getting brighter (presumably due to compensation routines for the panels), that set seems to be over (or is it under?) compensating, and that perhaps is why the patterns are more visible in the color frames. So it is hard to know if the compensation system is working correctly on a outlier of a panel, or the panel is "normal", and the compensation system is off.
We had the same concerns and we spoke with LG when they visited our lab. They confirmed that the brightness increase we are seeing is because of overcompensation of the panel. Specifically the extra burn-in and brightness increase we are seeing on the 100 nit CNN panel is due to panel variances and the set overcompensating.
0
Are all TVs running the same firmware? Do you have the manufacture dates? There seems to be an outlier here (Live CNN) and wondering if it would correlate to either of those details.

All TVs are running the same firmware. It is interesting that both TVs that had the 25% window are from the same batch.

From the top row left to right:

  • August 2017
  • August 2017
  • February 2017
  • Bottom row left to right:

  • November 2017
  • August 2017
  • November 2017
  • 0
    I’d like to see you run similar tests on LCD TVs. Testing for burn in, flashlighting, blooming, banding, etc...
    Hi, thanks for the feedback. The picture quality tests we run on all of our TVs do test for each of those. We don't necessarily test every TV for long term burn-in, but we do test for temporary image retention. We are currently running a long term test on burn-in for LED-VA, LED-IPS, and OLED panels.
    0
    Your 4/10/18 update stated "Only some 55" OLED TVs were affected during part of 2017". Is there a way to identify these tvs? Serial Number or manufacture date?
    Unfortunately LG was unable to provide any information on which batches were affected. Our two units that were affected were manufactured in November 2017, but that doesn't mean that only TVs manufactured in November are affected.
    0
    Do you know if LG made any updates to their C8 panels that could affect (hopefully improve) retention performance?

    Thank you for contacting us.

    We are not aware of any changes in the C8 panels.
    This years models allow the adjustment of the luminance of static images such as logos. We don't expect this to have a major impact on retention performance. And, you should also keep in mind that some panels - even in the same model - may be more or less prone to image retention.

    0
    Contrast changes max luminance too, just like it was with plasma TVs so it might influence lifespan too.
    You are correct, thanks for pointing that out! We have updated our answer.
    0

    1. In the LG B7A OLED TV Calibration Settings page, you recommend an 'OLED Light' setting of 17, and a 'Contrast' setting of 100. Does this affect the life of the TV?

    2. How much higher can I increase the 'OLED Light' setting without affecting the life of the TV?

    Since burn-in is caused by pixels degrading over time, we believe that the higher the setting for both, the faster they will degrade. Since adjusting contrast on an OLED really only adjusts the maximum luminance of the whites, changing contrast is similar to changing brightness. It is still too early in our long term test to draw any conclusions though.

    0
    It looks like the settings articles haven't been updated in response to these findings. Does that mean there are no settings we can tweak based on the results of these tests?

    We don't really have any final conclusions on which settings have the greatest impact on burn-in yet. We are still working on the assumption that brightness has the greatest impact on burn-in, but we don't have confirmation of this yet.

    0
    It is true that pixels have memory effect? For example: I watch CNN every 2 hours, but I also see many more things. So those 2 hours a day add up?

    Sort of. It isn't really a memory effect, but the effects are cumulative. As OLEDs age, they decrease in brightness. If one area of the screen is showing a fixed image, that area will age unevenly from the rest of the TV. This is what causes burn-in.

    0

    I am a person that leaves a TV on 24/7. In the evenings, I use Picture off, so I hear audio only. On OLED TV's do you know if the picture off function (on Sony TV) will prevent burn in? Will Picture off help preserve the screen/ prevent burn in even though the TV will always be on?

    Thank you for contacting us.

    Yes picture off will help. Burn-in only happens when the screen is on, and also when a static image is displayed on the screen for a prolonged amount of time. Your TV might develop a Burn in, if you watch content with a lot of static images such as news Channels or you leave a specific channel on and its logo is stable at the same screen position. HUD of video games can also cause Burn in.

    0

    So my question is, if you use the TV using mix contents for long periods of time (5 hours a day 5 days a week lets say) for like two weeks then you don't use the TV for like a week, does it calm down and sort of reset the pixels and burn in, or once you use it 5 hours the damage is done regardless your future usage? Does it get worst no matter how long you'll use the TV for or it will be unlikely to have issues if you don't use the TV on regular basics

    Thank you for contacting us.

    We had the same question, and when we contacted LG, we were told that the cummulative usage is what matters, and not the way this usage is done.
    We should note however, that burn-in occurs mostly when a steady image is shown for extended periods (like channel logos, news bars, or gaming HUDs). For the usage you described we would expect the degradation in brightness to be more prominent in the long run than the burn-in, although we have not seen that after 5000 hours in our 20/7 burn-in test. The TV is still at the same brightness!

    0

    In one of the responses you had noted the image retention was not yet visible in the normal mode. Can you post photos of the TV as they appear in normal mode?

    Thank you for contacting us.

    The image retention was not visible when viewing normal content, although now its starts to become slightly visible on the TVs displaying CNN. In a future update we will post pictures and give more details.

    0

    I own a C7 and I am wondering if I can safely use it for photo slideshows. The built in screensaver changes the photo every 10 seconds, which is quite fast.

    Could I safely use it as a photo stand to display photos for 30 seconds, or even longer? What would the limit be, when would it no longer be safe?

    If you are showing a wide selection of varied photos for short periods of time there shouldn't be an issue. Note however that burn-in is cumulative, so whether you show 1 picture for 10 minutes once, or show that picture for 1 minute 10 times the end result is the same. We don't have any data as to how long it takes for static pictures to cause image retention. If you look at our image retention test on the C7, after showing a static image for 10 minutes it remained visible on screen for 2 minutes, so that should give you some idea.

    0
    Will some of the YouTube help/fix videos actually help the burn-in seen from CNN and Fox on LG OLED TV 2016 model?
    On OLED screens, burn-in comes from diodes emitting less light as they age. The zones that suffer from burn-in will appear dimmer than the rest of the screen. It is very unlikely that it would be possible to reverse this process as it is caused by the degradation of the diodes. On LG TVs, features such as "Screen Shift", which moves the image slightly at regular intervals, and "Pixel Refresher", which clears any short-term image retention, help to lower the risk of burn-in. The best way to help the burn-in is to watch varied content and after a while (It could take months), the diodes may wear evenly across the TV screen. The only way burn-in could be "fixed" by a help video would be to essentially dimmer every diode that was not part of the burn-in.
    0
    Hello, have you shared the uniformity issues with CNN or other news networks? If they were aware their banners cause this, maybe they would create OLED friendly graphics. I believe MSNBC recently changed their bug to smaller and white.
    We haven't specifically contacted any of these networks to inform them of the burn-in issue, but it is highly probable that they are aware. It is important to note that under normal use, most people probably won't experience permanent burn-in. Some networks have adjusted their logos, some are even switching to transparent logos, but this is not likely to change much as demonstrated by our 20/7 Burn-In Test. The extreme cases of burn-in we are testing will occur with any static content, regardless of color or transparency.
    0
    Is there a TV in this test which switches between all of the other TV's content to represent real world usage? Most people vary their content.
    No there isn't. This is a limitation of the test - we've got limited resources and can't test everything so had to make a trade-off. You can see the reasoning behind this here.
    0

    The work you guys are doing to characterize propensity for burn-in on LG's OLED TVs is invaluable and I hope you continue the trend and launch a similar test for LG's recently-released 2018 C8P WOLEDs soon.

    While I know you plan to run your burn-in tests for a full year (7300 cumulative hours), any results you have by November are invaluable to those waiting for the Holiday Season pricing dip to purchase an OLED TV, so it would be great if you could get a 2018 burn in test launched in the next month or two rather than late this year. A test kicked-off by late May will get past 3500 hours by late November, which is a meaningful test milestone for anyone considering a 2018 OLED TV but concerned about burn-in.

    I also have a few suggestions for your 2018 burn-in test:

    • 1/ Since the 2017 test has definitively demonstrated that CNN is the worst-case test for burn-in (by far), rather than repeating all of the different use-cases again in 2018, I suggest you consider focusing on CNN with the same two brightness levels (200 and 380 Nits) with possible addition of an even-lower plasma-like brightness level of 130 cd/m2.
    • 2/ Whether you elect to use only 2 or a full 3 brightness levels, it would be great if you could select whichever test you believe to be the most severe (CNN@200 Nits?) and repeat that identical test on at least 2 and ideally 3 identical OLED TVs (identical model, identical settings). While LG has apparently claimed panel-to-panel variation as far as burn-in fragility, there is no apples-to-apples evidence of how significant this variation may be (meaning identical testing on more than 1 panel in parallel).
    • 3/ While the testing you have done with week-by-week screen shots has been great, it would be fantastic if you could begin to characterize the magnitude of burn-in more quantitatively. Just taking RGBYMCW luminance readings both in the center of the screen and approximately over the location occupied by the CNN logo would show a great deal (especially if RGB measurements are recorded since the 2017 LG OLEDs appear to be compensating for burn-in of red subpixels with additional white (RGB) light).

    And as a final comment, I find your 'scoring' of LGs C8P with a '1' for burn-in risk unfair and inaccurate. Firstly, you have not yet measured burn-in on the C8P. The 2017 C7P appears to have made impressive strides in improved immunity to burn-in from the 2016 model, so how can you blindly assume the C8P demonstrates equal burn-in risk as the C7P? Secondly, '1' is a meaningless score if you do not quantify that score with measurements. If a score of '10' means 'full-lifetime' of CNN@200 Nits without visible burn-in, what does a score of '5' mean? Half-lifetime of CNN@200 Nits before visible burn-in has appeared? I hope to see to see you guys take the same rigorous and quantitative approach to this burn-in testing you have pioneered that you have taken to all the rest of your outstanding TV testing and characterization work.

    Thank you for your excellent feedback!

    We've got limited resources, so we have to prioritize the testing we do to help the most people. At the moment we don't have plans to start a 2018 burn-in test, but if we receive more requests for it then we might be able to re-allocate some resources. Measuring the 9 TVs for the two burn-in tests takes quite a lot of our time every two weeks. As a result, we're currently focusing on reviewing new 2018 models as they are released to help the most people. They are some excellent suggestions though, and we'll definitely keep them in mind if there is a lot of demand for us to do a 2018 test!

    We agree with you regarding the 'Permanent Burn-in Risk' scoring. We believe that it is important to include the possibility for burn-in in the scoring, especially when there may be elevated risk of static content (such as gaming or PC monitor use). Unfortunately we don't currently have the data to quantify this risk (or provide a number of hours estimate). If we do run a new burn-in test then it will help to better evaluate how it should be scored.

    0
    I have an LG OLED 65C7P I bought in December. I noticed a week ago image retention (burn-in) of the "breaking news" CNN logo. It is very very similar to the week 20 red screen shots from your page. I've run multiple screen repair videos and discontinued watching any news channels on my LG. There has to be a fix right? I've heard a suggestion of displaying an inverse image of the logo but I'm afraid to try and risk making it worse. The fact that it is so specific to CNN and mostly the breaking news banner, I'm hoping that there can be a specific remedy you can share. PLEASE HELP!
    There is a function in the Picture settings page, under OLED Panel Settings named Pixel Refresher that will 'recalibrate' the screen to get rid of any imprinted images that may still be visible. There is also a second option named Screen Shift, which regularly moves the image displayed by a few pixels (It is not noticeable) to make the image retention less problematic. There is a slight chance that image retention will go away with varied usage, but it could take up to months and it is not guaranteed. Permanent burn-in is an issue with all OLED TVs as it is caused by certain diodes emitting less light as they age. The only way a help video could "fix" burn-in is if it were to dim every pixel except the ones that were originally part of the burn-in, so most of these videos will not help at all.
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    It’s fascinating to follow your ongoing OLED burn-in test. I spent so much time on your site this morning, I forgot to eat breakfast! You all deserve a gold star for trying to tackle a subject with so many variables at work. The answers seem impossible to completely nail down, but your ongoing work should make a real contribution. My experience might offer a useful point of reflection. For the last 15 years I have used a high-end plasma screen as my primarily video source. I have had two plasma video displays from the same company during that time. As most people know, plasma had very similar issues to those of OLED regarding temporary image retention and burn-in. I knew about the risk when I bought plasma (which also offered the best quality picture in its day). For 15 years my mantra was Minimize Static Images. If I needed to pause a show, I always kept that pause brief (two minutes or so.) I skipped channels that had the worst colorful static image bars. Still, such things were not entirely avoidable. The news update bar at the bottom of the ESPN channels, the box score during a long football game, and the ubiquitous station logos being some of the most common ones I encountered. Since I wanted (needed!) to watch a lot of sports, I just took a chance—and also varied my channels and sports selections as much as possible. I am not a game player, and that seems to be a potentially big plus when it comes to possible burn-in. And I didn’t watch much of the news channels like CNN you are focused on at present. That said, bottom line, in 15 years I did not experience any burn-in and only was aware of a few image retention issues that disappeared fairly rapidly. I just tried to be “kind” to all those pixels on the screen and, in return, they were kind to me. Now that I will soon have my own OLED (probably a LG C8), I hope my previous strategy continues to work!

    Thank you for the kind comments!

    The best protection against permanent burn-in is variety in the displayed content, which is exactly what you have done. It is important to note that the cause of burn-in on OLED TVs (Pixels emitting less light as they age) is not the same as the cause on plasma TVs, which is stuck pixels or retention. As long as you don't leave the TV on a static image for long periods of time or watch content with the same overlay very often, your strategy should work on OLED TVs as well as it did on plasma TVs.
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    First off, as an avid OLED fan and E6 owner, I appreciate any and all information that has to do with OLED quality control and research. This may be a dumb question, but can you please explain what an 18% and 25% window mean? I don't understand what that means in terms of the research you are doing.
    The "window" means we display a white (or color) rectangle on an area covering approximately 18% of the TV’s screen. The TV performance may be impacted by the size of this window. For examples of how these windows are used, have a look at our peak-brightness test.
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    I have the LG OLED65E6P and my nephew plays Fortnite on the attached Xbox One S 2 hours at a time. Maybe 8 hours/week. Do you think there is a burn-in problem similar to the FIFA 18 concerns reported? Thanks.
    As long as more varied content is displayed during the rest of the week, you should not see permanent burn-in. There might be temporary image retention around the HUD (Heads-Up Display) elements after a 2-hour play session, but they usually go away after displaying more varied content. Running the fix program in the TV menu can help remove temporary image retention. It is important to note that permanent burn-in is caused by the pixels emitting less light as they age. Therefore, we expect the effect to be cumulative, so the total time during the life of the TV that the same pixels are illuminated has more importance than the length of the playing session. A good way to reduce the risk of burn-in is to display varied content as the pixels will wear more evenly across the screen.
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