Ghosting & Burn-in on IPS TFT Panels

Since there are no actual burning or heat issues, the term “burn-in” may be a bit misleading. Instead, a display with persistent discoloration throughout any portion of the panel is referred to by this name. A word or picture outline, color fading, or other observable patches and patterns on the display might all be signs of this. While the screen is on, there is a faintly perceptible

ghost picture or discoloration that does not affect how the display functions. These abnormalities must be persistent and constitute a flaw in the display technology for them to be deemed screen burn-in. Instead of a graphical bug that may be brought on by software, transient picture retention, or a display driver issue.

While the terms image retention and burn-in are sometimes used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. Image retention is commonly temporary and fixable and has an image that is temporarily displayed on the screen even if the content displayed on it changes. If this occurs, this is typically reversible. However, burn-in is a form of image retention and is a much more permanent and harder to fix the issue. Using static images for prolonged periods of time could cause the transition from image retention to burn-in.

Burn-in on an LCD screen happens when pixels are not able to return to their relaxed state due to a static image being displayed for a long time. Displaying a single image can cause the crystals of the pixels to retain a permanent memory of the image, causing the image to be permanently displayed on the screen.

Modern TFT displays occasionally experience a similar issue, albeit it may not be as severe or obvious as old CRT problems. IPS TFTs, being the most susceptible, can experience burn in in a matter of hours of screen-on time. In some instances they can be hard to spot unless you know what to look for and other times, the burn in can overwhelm the user interface of the display. Most frequently, always-on displays, navigation buttons, and notification bars are linked to pattern burn-in. The varied lifetime of a display’s light-producing components is the root cause of all screen burn-in. The brightness of these components varies with time, which causes a progressive shift in the panel’s ability to reproduce color. All displays endure some color shift as they age. However, this may be substantially minimized with intelligent software.

It is best to consider the prevention of ghosting by design; this can be done by using a screensaver, which will keep the pixels cycling; another method might be to power off the display when it is not actively being used. The driver itself can also be pre-configured to cycle pixels for sections such as status bars, battery, and others to limit the chances of burn-in. It is also helpful to keep the display brightness as low as possible, as increased brightness uses more current and can lower screen lifespans. Reducing screen contrast can allow for lower lighting levels across the LCD screen, putting less strain than on a specific part of the screen. A good way to reduce screen contrast is to avoid grayscale user interfaces.

If burn-in does take place, there are some steps that can be taken. The first is to power off the screen for some time; 48 hours is typically recommended. Another solution would be to project an all-white image. Projecting a white static image for as long as the image was on the screen can help to overwrite the burn-in image. Additionally, using a screen saver that alternates between black and white can help to remove the ghost image from the screen. You can also try playing a video with a prominent level of color in full-screen mode for up to thirty minutes and restart the display several times, which could also help with the burn-in image.

Focus LCDs is committed to providing displays that are suited to meet all of our customer’s needs. If there are ever any questions that come up in reducing burn-in on your Focus LCDs product, our team of experts is happy to provide assistance.