If it hurts, don't do it?
September 16, 2009 1:01 PM   Subscribe

Why does my background torture LCD screens?

I made a (IMO) awesome fractal background in GIMP. I'm discovering though that it's rather killer on LCD screens. Supposedly LCD doesn't suffer burn-in, but that's basically what I'm facing.

Only some parts of the image seem to provoke "image persistence" or whatever people want to call this. Interestingly, only the dark regions seem to trigger memory, but not all dark regions. The dark areas on the screen border left or right don't trigger it.

For a long time I thought it was some weird magnetic field line effect, before I realized my background does have similar form. Are there ways to tweak the image to reduce this?
posted by pwnguin to Technology (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm looking at it on my desktop now (Apple Cinema 23 HD) and it's purty. I've covered half of it with white windows and black windows, and no sign of persistence yet.

How long should I leave it onscreen before I can experience this memory effect?

(I named it "Magneto's Ovaries" by the way.)
posted by rokusan at 1:06 PM on September 16, 2009

"Screens".... meaning you are noticing this "burn in" on multiple LCD's ?.... same brand/model?.. or different?... Do the LCD's you are using have an OSD (On Screen Display) Menu ? (where you can adjust things like Contrast, Phase, Pixel clock,etc?... have you reset your LCD to "Factory Defaults" ?... ) .... Have you Googled to see if anyone else on the internets is having similar problems with the same make/model of LCD ?
posted by jmnugent at 1:10 PM on September 16, 2009

I don't know if this has anything to do with a real burn-in, but there have been many studies on the behavior of LCD screens that stress that the reaction times going to black or going to full white are not as important as the grey-to-grey values.
This means that a LCD monitor might react slower to non-drastic changes of brightness - to test if this is the case with your setup you might want to try to create variations of you image in the GIMP, increasing contrast or playing with the levels (going for a curve with maxima at then ends).
posted by PontifexPrimus at 1:18 PM on September 16, 2009

Response by poster: So far, it's been only Dell monitors at home and work, different models, but maybe not different underlying technologies.

Honestly, the first screen I noticed it on was suffering problems with persistence when I started working here. They reimaged my machine and the ghost menu was already persisting. Probably, older screens are more susceptible, but I'm curious why some parts of the image "persist" stronger than others.
posted by pwnguin at 1:59 PM on September 16, 2009

the link doesnt work anymore
posted by majortom1981 at 2:09 PM on September 16, 2009

Mirror the image please? Try imgur.com
posted by phrakture at 2:16 PM on September 16, 2009

I'm seeing the same thing on my iMac. The menu-bar and Firefox's toolbars appear in the white screen that appears at power-up. If it's not burn-in, does anyone know of an image or series of images, or a screen-exerciser that will wash this out?
posted by TruncatedTiller at 2:46 PM on September 16, 2009

Response by poster: Oh dear. You go to the effort to put images on a group site thinking it'll have better uptime and security than your own server. Sigh, here.
posted by pwnguin at 2:47 PM on September 16, 2009

I see no problem with it. Samsung SyncMaster T220.
posted by sonic meat machine at 2:53 PM on September 16, 2009

Best answer: It'll usually wash out - it's not "burn in" in the strictest sense... just LCD crystals showing a bias because they've been in the same state for so long. It'll usually go away with a restart of the monitor, or just leaving it off for a few hours.
Or displaying an all white or all black screen for a while.

I've seen this more on dell ultrasharp monitors at work than, say, any of my apple machines, but I'm sure it varies by LCD panel.

There is a ton of information about it on the google.....
posted by TravellingDen at 3:33 PM on September 16, 2009

If you slowly cycle through RGB colors it should go away. Try running one of those dead pixel apps which cycle through full screen colors.. a few times. I've never seen burn on in a modern LCD, but I have seen minimal image retention.
posted by wongcorgi at 5:07 PM on September 16, 2009

Haven't noticed any problems on my Dell 24" LCD (E248WFP)
posted by banshee at 11:05 AM on September 17, 2009

Response by poster: It looks like I'm just using old monitors and the completely black parts of the background are the persistant parts. Newer monitors cope fine, so I guess my problem is mainly LCD aging.
posted by pwnguin at 1:21 PM on October 17, 2009

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