There is no doubt that OLED is a superb TV technology, presenting deep black levels and accurate, involving colours. However, it also has an Achilles heel: screen burn.
Like with plasma TV tech before it, if you leave static bright images on screen for too long you could see visible image retention, even permanently damage the panel.
Basically, with OLED a bright pixel generates more heat than a duller one and, therefore, can reduce its effectiveness faster than the other pixels around it. The end result is an area of the screen that doesn't behave as well as the rest, leaving you with a dull image you potentially can't get rid of.
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There are some measures to prevent this on most OLED TVs already: pixel shifting, image refreshing and cleaning when the TV is in standby, that sort of thing. But TP Vision, with its AV brand Philips, believes it has come up with a further software-based solution that could help even more.
While visiting a dedicated Philips TV and audio event in Amsterdam, Pocket-lint was treated to a demonstrating of a new technology in development that aims to tackle the biggest enemies of OLED: on-screen logos and identifiers.
An algorithm has been created that can recognise logos, map them and purposely reduce the brightness of only that area, leaving the rest of the moving picture untouched.
This could ensure that TV channel identifiers and even game UIs are reduced in heat to a reasonable, acceptable level, thereby reducing the impact the logo has on the lifespan of affected pixels.
In our demo, the logos did get surrounded by a darkened halo somewhat, but wasn't a finished version.
It's unlikely we'll see it implemented in Philips TVs released until much later in 2020, even 2021. Although we were told a lighter version, which doesn't require dedicated hardware like the demo software could be bled down the more imminent range - such as the Philips OLED 855 - at a later date.
Still, we're extremely pleased that image retention and screen burn are not only being taken seriously, there are further steps to reduce it underway. Nice.