Ultrawide monitors remind us that there is still much to learn about OLED burn-in – Ars Technica

Sharon Harding

Burn-in is still possible with OLED displays, but for computer displays, which tend to display static content (like icons and taskbars), the risk is even more of a concern than with other OLED displays. other OLED devices, such as televisions.

In general, OLED monitors are much better than before at combating burn-in, thanks to improved OLED materials, compensation algorithms, brightness efficiencies, manually operable features, and heat management techniques.

At the same time, there is still a lot to learn about OLED monitor burn-in. Since the selection of OLED monitors has only started to improve significantly in the last couple of years, long-term usage is minimal. Additionally, new types of OLED monitor technologies, like QD-OLED, continue to evolve.

RTINGS’ ongoing longevity test of OLED TVs and three monitors underlines this. Recently, RTINGS detailed the findings of an unexpected quirk of OLED monitor burn-in risk that applies to ultrawide designs.

Samsung announced the 34-inch, 3440x1440 Odyssey OLED G8 in November 2022.
Enlarge / Samsung announced the 34-inch, 3440×1440 Odyssey OLED G8 in November 2022.

RTINGS included three OLED monitors in its longevity test, which aims to simulate 10 years of use in two years; However, the monitors have only been tested for six months so far. Two of these monitors, Alienware’s AW3423DWF and Samsung’s Odyssey G8, use 21:9 QD-OLED panels from Samsung Display. The RTINGS test initially broadcast a non-stop 16:9 CNN feed to the screens.

Samsung Display has confirmed that running content with black bars on the left and right sides of the content results in a change in the average image levels of the monitors; monitors make the central area brighter than unused areas.

In a video shared on YouTube on Monday, an RTINGS representative said the 21:9 monitors showed “high differential wear” after 700 hours of playing the 16:9 stream. The left and right sides of the screens, where the black bars were during the 16:9 stream, were brighter than the central area of ​​the monitors. To the eyes, the effects weren’t huge but were noticeable if you really tried to see it, in which case they became harsh. not to see, said the RTINGS representative.

Higher brightness may cause faster degradation of the OLED layer. If RTINGS had not changed its tests to make the CNN feed display full screen, “it is very likely” that ultrawide monitors would have seen “irreversible and noticeable” “damage,” the spokesperson said. word of RTINGS. (RTINGS said it solved monitor uniformity issues by running long compensation cycles.)

RTINGS reported that when playing the CNN feed in 16:9 aspect ratio on its ultra-wide OLEDs, the CNN logo reached 161.9 nits. compared to 141.9 nits when stretched to 21:9. A square near the upper left corner of the CNN feed measured 190.7 nits in 16:9 and 175.6 nits in 21:9.

The RTINGS test subjects screens to extreme scenarios to which the vast majority of users would never subject their devices. But watching 16:9 content on a 21:9 monitor isn’t an unreasonable application. And the idea that watching CNN long term in 16:9 on a 21:9 ultrawide monitor could The risk of monitor burn-in is something that could easily be overlooked. Even RTINGS, a respected review site, didn’t realize that doing its tests in 16:9 would affect the brightness levels of its ultrawide monitors until Samsung contacted it.

The longevity test is ongoing, but after six months, which represents 3,600 hours and simulates 2.5 years of use, all three OLED monitors tested (the third being LG’s 27GR95QE-B) show OLED degradation minimal and “expected” aging,” says RTINGS.

More to learn

Reducing the risk of burn-in and increasing selection have made OLED monitors a more viable option than ever, but RTINGS’ testing illustrates how much there is still to learn about the different types of long-term use for OLED monitors and how the longevity of these devices can improve. .

Even OLED monitors already on the market may see their capabilities change in ways that could impact the risk of burn-in. For example, the Odyssey G8 monitor received a firmware update in August that removed the ability to use the Peak Brightness setting in SDR mode. While this is just a specific mode that, again, some users might not use, it’s worth noting how this might change the amount of wear and tear an OLED monitor might see. The RTINGS review states that after the firmware update, the monitor’s maximum luminance “when displaying a bright spot in an SDR scene” decreased from 331 nits to 230 nits.

Samsung hasn’t confirmed why it made this change (we’ve asked for comment), but these changes highlight how the risk of OLED monitor burn-in can change from use to use and from one use to another. update to another, and between different products.

Again, there are many techniques and features to mitigate burn-in threats. But for those worried about monitor longevity and durability, there’s a lot to learn and, certainly, OLED monitors can still improve. In addition to the improvements the displays can make on other issues, like price and text clarity, more information on how these displays handle OLED degradation is welcome.

To learn more about the RTINGS Longevity Test, check out their website, as well as the 10-month update video below:


10-month update on permanent burn-in on OLED and QD-OLED monitors.

Gn tech

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