How to Detect Screen Burn

Written by robert kingsley
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Screen burn, also known as burn-in or image retention, is a problem that has plagued humanity since the days of the old cathode ray tubes. With the advent of LCD monitors and televisions, the issue became less of a worry, but plasma screens have brought it back to the forefront. Screen burn occurs when a static image stays on the screen for an extended period. This image can burn itself into the screen and stay there even after you turn the screen off. If you catch this issue early enough on a plasma TV you can fix the issue. If it goes unnoticed, it can ruin the screen.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Connect a laptop to your plasma TV using either a VGA or HDMI cable. Check the back of your TV to see which cable type it supports. You may need to use an adaptor to make the connection. Press the input button on your TV until it displays your monitors desktop.

  2. 2

    Right-click the desktop background on your computer, click "View" and deselect "Show Desktop Icons." This will hide all of the icons on the desktop leaving only the wallpaper and task bar.

  3. 3

    Right-click the taskbar and click "Properties." Select "Auto-hide the taskbar" from the Taskbar tab and click "OK." Your taskbar will now slide down leaving only your wallpaper showing.

  4. 4

    Right-click your desktop wallpaper and click "Personalize." Click "Desktop Background" and select "Solid Colors" from the Picture Location drop-down list. Click the white square and click "Save Changes." Your desktop will now be complete white.

  5. 5

    Look at your plasma TV and check for faint colours burnt in to the screen. They should show up very well over the white background.

Tips and warnings

  • If you can find a DVD that has a white screen at some point during the movie, you can pause it over the white screen rather than connecting your laptop.
  • Check for screen burn regularly to ensure you catch it before it comes permanent. Light image retention can be helped by running a screen saver on your TV.
  • Avoid leaving static logos on your screen for a long period and stretch any full screen images to the full width of your screen to help prevent burn-in.

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