May 31, 2012

How can I get rid of image burn-in on an LCD display?

I use a 32" LCD TV for my home office display, connected to my PC using HDMI. I also use it for my PS3 and Wii to prevent a Shining "all work and no play" incident, so it gets quite a lot of use every day. I left town over the Memorial Day weekend and unthinkingly left a fixed image on the display. When I got back yesterday, rested, ready and willing to get back to work I found that the image had burned in. I thought LCD displays wouldn't do that, but I was clearly mistaken. The ocean image that was displayed left shadows of the waves across the display, and it is driving me absolutely crazy. Is there a way to get rid of this problem, or at least minimize it?

Jani Saksa

It's unbelievable how long the rumor persisted... Luckily in my little experience (with post 2005 LCD's too) the shadow image dissapears fairly shortly (relatively) even in just regular use, provided that the area get constant changes.


But the best I've seen for this was for XScreenSaver (so mostly for Linux/Unix, not sure if Cygwin has it - if it does, then it can be ran in windows). It basically constantly alternates every line between black and white (with every other line different from previous, so it looks.... interlaced? Anyway it does this fairly rapidly, so fast that from furter away it looks rather gray with odd slight flicker instead of clearly being black/white lines.


It's butt ugly but does the job fast. Now I need one for Windows 7.


I know of a DVD called the Pixel Repair DVD from www.pixel-repair.com and made by Edge Of Our Pants at http://www.edgeofourpants.com that aids in removing things like screen burn in, image retention and even dead pixels! They just released a "Quick Fix" DVD that you can download and burn to a dvd on your side so you don't have to wait for it to arrive by mail!

I had horrible burn in from station network logos on the bottom corner of my screen. I used their DVD on my 50" lcd tv for a little while and it did the trick! Hope it helps!


It was a widespread myth for a while that transmissive displays like LCD weren't subject to image persistence aka burn-in, but it is more accurate to say that they are less subject to burn-in than phosphor based displays such as CRTs and color plasma.  The good news is that on an LCD it can usually be reversed, on a CRT it is usually permanent.  


We used this fact when I was in college to amuse ourselves at the expense of one of our friends.  He had a very jealous girlfriend who was always in our dorm suite and drove the rest of us crazy.  After he left for spring break, we put a rather, um, revealing  image on his computer monitor in his dorm room.  And left it there for well over a week.  You can imagine the rest.  Ah, good times, good times.       


I would suggest powering down your display for at least 48 hours, then if the image is still persistent, try the white screen thing or display static, which is one other thing that I have tried to correct burn on LCDs is displaying static.  The theory is that the rapidly cycling white/black essentially resets the offending parts of the display with stuck pixels.  You can also make a screen saver that alternates between black and white images.  It may take a long time, as in days, to fade the persistent image away, but it should improve.  There are no guarantees though. 

Here's a helpful article from Lifehacker on how to remove LCD burn-in problems:

Remove LCD image burn-in

"Apple has posted a helpful tutorial for removing image persistence on Apple LCDs (though the basic principle should work for any LCD).

Create an all-white screen in a graphics application such as AppleWorks or Photoshop, and save it as a JPEG file.
Use this as the image displayed by the screen saver.
Turn the display brightness down (but not off) to preserve backlight bulb life."
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