How To Prevent Screen Burn On Your TV

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante
Credit: Shutterstock / Gorodenkoff

These days, TVs have surpassed the point that anyone thought they would reach. Anyone can watch their favorite shows and movies with the highest video quality at home. However, common problems like screen burn-in can end up ruining a TV.

You can prevent screen burn on your TV if you turn the brightness to between 50% and 80% and set a sleep timer. It also helps to set up a dynamic screen saver, so your TV never stays on a fixed image. Never pause the TV for 30-60 minutes or longer. Instead, turn the TV off while you’re gone to avoid screen burn-in.

Modern QLED TVs don’t use pixels, so you don’t have to worry about screen burn. Sadly, there is no way to fix the screen burn once it sets in. You must simply replace the TV altogether. Follow along as we explore how to prevent screen burn on a TV so you can enjoy your TV for years.

What Causes TV Screen Burn?

TV burn-in typically happens when you leave a static image on the screen for too long. This can “burn” the image into the screen, and you’ll see it when you watch anything. Screen burn-in is quite distracting, as in many cases, the image stays on the screen indefinitely.

While you can still watch TV, the highlight of the burnt image can ruin the experience. This is most common when people pause a show and leave the room for a long time. It also happens when you fall asleep with a streaming service on, finish a season or movie, and it goes to the home screen.

Since you’re asleep, you can’t change the home screen and the static image will burn into the TV. Images don’t burn into the screen when a show is playing as usual. That’s because the heat of the pixels doesn’t stay in the same position long enough to cause a burn-in.

Can TV Screen Burn Be Fixed?

You cannot fix a TV screen burn unless you replace the screen itself. Once pixels degrade and burn an image into the screen, it will stay there for the TV’s lifespan. Unfortunately, it is quite expensive and may not be worth the cost to replace your TV screen.

You can expect to spend up to $1,000 or more to replace the screen for a modern flat-screen TV. New flat-screen TVs cost between $350 and $2,500 or more depending on size. Put the money to replace the screen toward a new TV, unless it’s brand new.

Most TVs only last 7-10 years, so there’s no reason to replace the screen if it’s an old model. However, it may be worth it to replace the screen if it’s only a couple of years old. Otherwise, the money will go to waste if you replace the screen and the TV goes bad within a few years.

How Long Does Screen Burn-In Take?

There is no iron-clad timeframe for how long it takes for screen burn-in to set in. That said, an image can burn into your TV screen in under an hour if the image stays static and the brightness is high. Some Redditors have reported screen burn-in that happens in as little as 5 minutes.

In other cases, screen burn-in can occur after a few weeks if you regularly keep the same image on the TV. This is common for people who leave their TV screen on the home menu for a long time each day for weeks. Your best bet to avoid screen burn-in is to always play a show or moving image on your TV while it’s on.

What TV Can’t Get Screen Burn?

Samsung QLED TVs are known for being impervious to screen burn. QLED TVs don’t use pixels, which means screen burn isn’t a factor. Conversely, many OLED TVs are known to be especially susceptible to screen burn-in.

6 Ways To Prevent Screen Burn

Your TV isn’t doomed to get burnt images, and you can avoid it in several ways. Whether it be setting a sleep timer or turning your TV off before bed, it’s easy to prevent screen burn. Check out these simple tips to avoid screen burn on your TV.

Set A Sleep Timer

The easiest way to prevent screen burn is to set a sleep timer on your TV. When you finish a season of a show or a movie, your TV will typically revert to the streaming service’s home screen. Because that is a fixed image, it can burn an image into your TV unless you set a sleep timer.

You can easily set a sleep timer on your TV from the settings menu. Most TVs let you adjust the sleep timer, so your TV will turn off after a set amount of time. Ideally, you should set the timer for 1-2 hours or less if you plan to fall asleep with the TV on.

Briefly Pause The TV

There’s nothing wrong with pausing the TV to let your dog out, go to the bathroom, or eat. However, you can easily burn an image into the screen if you pause it for too long. Turn the TV off instead of pausing it if you expect to be away for 30-60 minutes or longer.

Turn The Brightness Down

Not only does high brightness strain your TV, but it can also cause screen burn-in. The heat and intensity of pixels at maximum brightness make it too easy for images to burn into your TV screen. Ideally, you should set the brightness between 50% and 80% to reduce the risk of burn-in. You’d be surprised at how clear the image will be even at 50% brightness.

Select A Dynamic Screen Saver

Many modern TVs make it easy to prevent screen burn-in. These TVs often come with slideshows that turn on after your TV rests for a few minutes. The images will change after a minute or two, so there’s no chance that the images will burn into the screen.

You can also typically adjust the slideshow duration, order, and which pictures it displays. For example, Amazon Fire TVs let you create your own slideshow.

Turn On Pixel Shift

Pixel shift is a newer feature on many TVs that helps prevent screen burn. This feature moves pixels, so fixed images don’t burn into the screen. You can enable this feature from the settings menu on many Sony and LG TVs, and it’s a simple preventative measure.

Don’t Unplug The TV While It’s On

A common mistake that can cause screen burn is to unplug your TV while it’s still on. This can effectively shock your TV’s system and it negatively affects the pixels. It’s a common cause of screen burn, so don’t unplug your TV unless you are troubleshooting.

Even then, you should manually turn off the TV using the button on the unit instead of unplugging it. Unfortunately, screen burn-in can also occur if the power goes out while you’re watching a show. It’s the same principle as unplugging it while it’s on. However, that is unavoidable, but it’s not always guaranteed to burn an image into your screen.

Summing It Up

The best way to prevent screen burn is to set a sleep timer, so fixed images don’t stay on your TV for too long. You can also avoid screen burn if you turn your TV off instead of pausing it when you’re out of the room. Set your TV’s brightness to between 50% and 80% to reduce the chance of screen burn. Otherwise, simply turn your TV off before bed, as that’s the easiest way to prevent screen burn-in.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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