About a decade ago, around the time HDTV was starting, the topic of screen burn-in was a hot issue especially for people buying plasma displays. Fast-forward 10 years and burn-in is back! Now OLED displays take the top spot for burn-in susceptibility, although LCDs are not immune.

To help minimize the risk of screen burn-in, the EBU has updated its R 129 recommendation, which is now at version 2.0.

Burn-in basics

Burn-in – defined as static image retention or partial and premature display aging – is caused by static elements in video content that don't change for long periods of time. Static content is not uncommon: channel logos, sports scores and news tickers are good examples.

Updated guidance

To reduce the risk of damaging production monitors, and by extension consumer TVs, the EBU recommends to limit the amount of time static content is displayed as well as the signal level of this content. For Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) the EBU recommends a limit of 40% for peak white, while for HDR (HLG) the limit is set at 47% of reference white (35% of peak white). This equally applies to highly saturated colours, which can also cause burn-in.

This work is part of the EBU group on Video Systems, which covers all topics related to video, including UHD, HDR, subtitling, codecs, and more. The group can be joined here.

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