We now know how long it takes for the Nintendo Switch OLED to experience burn-in

midian182

Posts: 7,882   +81
Staff member
In context: We already knew that fears over the Nintendo Switch OLED suffering from screen burn-in were unwarranted, but questions over just how long it would take before image retention appears remained unanswered—until now. The good news is that it takes a long, long time before even the first signs appear.

You might remember back in December when Bob Wulff of YouTube channel Wulff Den carried out an experiment that involved leaving a screenshot of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on his Nintendo Switch OLED at full brightness 24/7. After 1,800 hours (75 days) of this, there was no visible indication of burn-in and no significant differences in any of the color tests he ran.

To keep the Switch from turning the screen off, Wulff attached a third-party Hori Split Pad Pro Controller that continuously performed automatic button presses. He also kept the device plugged in at all times.

In his latest update on the experiment, Wulff has revealed that the Nintendo Switch has finally started showing the first faint signs of burn-in, and all it took was 3,600 hours, or 150 days, of constantly showing the same image.

Wuff notes that there is a little bit of “blue ghosting” on the screen, though it's still pretty difficult to notice unless you have a large section of the screen showing a single color.

The bottom line here is that there’s absolutely no need to be concerned about burn-in on your Switch OLED; Wulff says that his model is still playable after such an extreme test, and it would probably take another 1,800 hours before it became a problem.

Some OLED screens still experience image retention—as Linus Sebastian (above) can attest to—but TV companies have introduced features designed to limit the problem. LG’s Screen Shift moves the screen slightly at regular intervals to preserve image quality, and its Logo Luminance Adjustment detects static logos on the screen and reduces brightness in that location.

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yRaz

Posts: 4,400   +5,124
As someone who has their screen running 24/7 I absolutely cannot use an OLED as my display. I use a 65"4k TV as a display and it uses a VA panel. Something I've noticed that may be of interest is that after 5 years of it being on nearly 24/7 the contrast has reduced. The blacks aren't nearly as crisp as they were and the screen has a significant blue tint. I plan on replacing it sometime this year with a Samsung QN800A.

I was seriously considering going OLED thinking that "if I can get 3 years of quality use out of it I'll be happy" but then I saw things saying that under my use I'd see significant image degradation after 6 months was a deal breaker. In my specific case, not saying everyone's, I'd only get about 2 months quality use out of an OLED.

And now that I wrote all that I bet some of you are wondering "why does he leave his TV on 24/7?" Well, I don't have to, exactly, but I do. I use it for productivity while working, the screen real-estate is incredibly useful and content consumption. I game on it and watch movies. My living situation is that I can only have 1 display in the house so it also made sense for me to use a TV as my main display. At night, when I'm not using it, I leave it on as a nightlight and white noise maker. I usually just have YouTube on autoplay or leave the local news on. I live in a noisy area so the "familiar" noise does a lot to make my living spaces a bit more enjoyable. It also lights up the kitchen, living room and hallways at night. The lighting in my house sucks but I don't care because the rent is cheap. The TV lights the house better than any of the permanent light fixtures.

And that, my friends, is my absolute absurd reason why I can't buy an OLED.
 

SirDigby

Posts: 894   +757
TechSpot Elite
I answered that in my post, read the 3rd paragraph, I go into it in detail. But I absolutely do understand how absurd it is.
I have absolutely no idea how I missed that entire paragraph. :joy:

Environmental disaster aside, absolutely agree OLED would be wasted for your use case.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
As someone who has their screen running 24/7 I absolutely cannot use an OLED as my display. I use a 65"4k TV as a display and it uses a VA panel. Something I've noticed that may be of interest is that after 5 years of it being on nearly 24/7 the contrast has reduced. The blacks aren't nearly as crisp as they were and the screen has a significant blue tint. I plan on replacing it sometime this year with a Samsung QN800A.

I was seriously considering going OLED thinking that "if I can get 3 years of quality use out of it I'll be happy" but then I saw things saying that under my use I'd see significant image degradation after 6 months was a deal breaker. In my specific case, not saying everyone's, I'd only get about 2 months quality use out of an OLED.

And now that I wrote all that I bet some of you are wondering "why does he leave his TV on 24/7?" Well, I don't have to, exactly, but I do. I use it for productivity while working, the screen real-estate is incredibly useful and content consumption. I game on it and watch movies. My living situation is that I can only have 1 display in the house so it also made sense for me to use a TV as my main display. At night, when I'm not using it, I leave it on as a nightlight and white noise maker. I usually just have YouTube on autoplay or leave the local news on. I live in a noisy area so the "familiar" noise does a lot to make my living spaces a bit more enjoyable. It also lights up the kitchen, living room and hallways at night. The lighting in my house sucks but I don't care because the rent is cheap. The TV lights the house better than any of the permanent light fixtures.

And that, my friends, is my absolute absurd reason why I can't buy an OLED.
What you need is a better home :)

I went with the Samsung Q90 85" for my basement over an OLED because the room doesn't really get dark enough to take advantage of an OLED (I have an OLED 65" in my living room - that room can get dark).

The obvious benefit of not going OLED of course, is that non-OLED are much cheaper :)
 

defaultluser

Posts: 406   +331
As someone who has their screen running 24/7 I absolutely cannot use an OLED as my display. I use a 65"4k TV as a display and it uses a VA panel. Something I've noticed that may be of interest is that after 5 years of it being on nearly 24/7 the contrast has reduced. The blacks aren't nearly as crisp as they were and the screen has a significant blue tint. I plan on replacing it sometime this year with a Samsung QN800A.

I was seriously considering going OLED thinking that "if I can get 3 years of quality use out of it I'll be happy" but then I saw things saying that under my use I'd see significant image degradation after 6 months was a deal breaker. In my specific case, not saying everyone's, I'd only get about 2 months quality use out of an OLED.

And now that I wrote all that I bet some of you are wondering "why does he leave his TV on 24/7?" Well, I don't have to, exactly, but I do. I use it for productivity while working, the screen real-estate is incredibly useful and content consumption. I game on it and watch movies. My living situation is that I can only have 1 display in the house so it also made sense for me to use a TV as my main display. At night, when I'm not using it, I leave it on as a nightlight and white noise maker. I usually just have YouTube on autoplay or leave the local news on. I live in a noisy area so the "familiar" noise does a lot to make my living spaces a bit more enjoyable. It also lights up the kitchen, living room and hallways at night. The lighting in my house sucks but I don't care because the rent is cheap. The TV lights the house better than any of the permanent light fixtures.

And that, my friends, is my absolute absurd reason why I can't buy an OLED.

How long does it sit idle?


it won't help with your VA's early death, but black screensaver will vastly reduce the impact of going OLED (assuming your display spends half the time idle)

 

yRaz

Posts: 4,400   +5,124
What you need is a better home :)

I went with the Samsung Q90 85" for my basement over an OLED because the room doesn't really get dark enough to take advantage of an OLED (I have an OLED 65" in my living room - that room can get dark).

The obvious benefit of not going OLED of course, is that non-OLED are much cheaper :)
I'm currently renting and it's absurdly cheap. I could pay a mortgage with what I save on rent every month and I'm putting that towards a down payment.
How long does it sit idle?


it won't help with your VA's early death, but black screensaver will vastly reduce the impact of going OLED (assuming your display spends half the time idle)
It rarely sits idle because TV is my screen saver but I have a theory on what's going on. I believe the internal resistance on the pixels is going up so that the pixels can't block light as effectively. Blacks aren't as black, colors aren't as vibrant but, oddly, the backlight is as bright as when I got it. My problem is I've noticed that OLED brightness drops quickly and that with extended use the colors tend to turn brown.

I don't consider it a loss because it only does 4k60 and I want 4k120 for gaming. I want an 8k display for added sharpness on such a large display while working with text. I'm considering going 75"8k but 65" is already as big as I'd like to go. I have it sectioned off into 4,1280×1080 windows and 1, 1280x2160 window when I'm working instead of a multi monitor setup
 
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Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,421
As someone who has their screen running 24/7 I absolutely cannot use an OLED as my display. I use a 65"4k TV as a display and it uses a VA panel. Something I've noticed that may be of interest is that after 5 years of it being on nearly 24/7 the contrast has reduced. The blacks aren't nearly as crisp as they were and the screen has a significant blue tint. I plan on replacing it sometime this year with a Samsung QN800A.

I was seriously considering going OLED thinking that "if I can get 3 years of quality use out of it I'll be happy" but then I saw things saying that under my use I'd see significant image degradation after 6 months was a deal breaker. In my specific case, not saying everyone's, I'd only get about 2 months quality use out of an OLED.

And now that I wrote all that I bet some of you are wondering "why does he leave his TV on 24/7?" Well, I don't have to, exactly, but I do. I use it for productivity while working, the screen real-estate is incredibly useful and content consumption. I game on it and watch movies. My living situation is that I can only have 1 display in the house so it also made sense for me to use a TV as my main display. At night, when I'm not using it, I leave it on as a nightlight and white noise maker. I usually just have YouTube on autoplay or leave the local news on. I live in a noisy area so the "familiar" noise does a lot to make my living spaces a bit more enjoyable. It also lights up the kitchen, living room and hallways at night. The lighting in my house sucks but I don't care because the rent is cheap. The TV lights the house better than any of the permanent light fixtures.

And that, my friends, is my absolute absurd reason why I can't buy an OLED.
Sounds like your TV does what my girlfriend does, she makes a lot of ambient noise, she’s always checking her phone at night so that’s the nightlight. She definitely doesn’t brighten up the kitchen though, she can’t cook at all. Also I can’t just switch her off unfortunately.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,400   +5,124
It's not the absurdity that bothers me, it's the wastefulness.
TV only draws 70watts, 100watts in HDR mode(which I have turned off 99% of the time) and I have electric heat anyway, for 6 months a year it acts as an electric heater.
 

DrewTheBrave

Posts: 18   +18
And that, my friends, is my absolute absurd reason why I can't buy an OLED.

Absurd indeed! That's definitely the worst-case scenario for OLED use... Still, if you turned off your TV at night, you could probably double the lifespan of the screen before the brightness permanently dims. But with TVs becoming less costly every year, that's probably not a huge deal for you to replace it every 5-6 years with something a little cheaper & nicer.

For most "normal" people, OLED screen burn-in is a non-issue. After picking up an LG OLED in early 2020, I have been spoiled by amazing picture quality & refresh rate for my games & movies. I spent many marathon gaming sessions on it I don't want to ever go back to a standard LCD screen.
 

Rdmetz

Posts: 373   +181
As someone who has their screen running 24/7 I absolutely cannot use an OLED as my display. I use a 65"4k TV as a display and it uses a VA panel. Something I've noticed that may be of interest is that after 5 years of it being on nearly 24/7 the contrast has reduced. The blacks aren't nearly as crisp as they were and the screen has a significant blue tint. I plan on replacing it sometime this year with a Samsung QN800A.

I was seriously considering going OLED thinking that "if I can get 3 years of quality use out of it I'll be happy" but then I saw things saying that under my use I'd see significant image degradation after 6 months was a deal breaker. In my specific case, not saying everyone's, I'd only get about 2 months quality use out of an OLED.

And now that I wrote all that I bet some of you are wondering "why does he leave his TV on 24/7?" Well, I don't have to, exactly, but I do. I use it for productivity while working, the screen real-estate is incredibly useful and content consumption. I game on it and watch movies. My living situation is that I can only have 1 display in the house so it also made sense for me to use a TV as my main display. At night, when I'm not using it, I leave it on as a nightlight and white noise maker. I usually just have YouTube on autoplay or leave the local news on. I live in a noisy area so the "familiar" noise does a lot to make my living spaces a bit more enjoyable. It also lights up the kitchen, living room and hallways at night. The lighting in my house sucks but I don't care because the rent is cheap. The TV lights the house better than any of the permanent light fixtures.

And that, my friends, is my absolute absurd reason why I can't buy an OLED.
Sorry but I use an oled almost EXACTLY like you... My oled is on 24/7 and MAYBE gets a few hours rest once a week while I go out shopping or something.

And I've had it since 2019 and have absolutely ZERO signs of burn in.

I game on it (with 3500 hours on it of the fps Destiny 2 which in fact DID burn in my first OLED from 2016 in about 200 hours) I also use it as a desktop computer and (the most use) is playing SOMETHING content wise either from YouTube or a movie / TV show.

I also play A LOT of audiobooks on YouTube which use a static image as their only image while playing and leave these solid images on screen for 8-10 hours at a time.

Again after all this thousands of hours of one game constant solid images up for 8+ hours at a time AND the screen basically doing SOMETHING 24/7.....AND YET.... absolutely no signs of burn in checking literally as we speak.

When I got burn in on my 2016 from destiny 2 after 200 hours it was the "super bar" that did it and was almost exclusively seen on solid red screens (like marvel intro or old Netflix intros) and I've double and triple checked similar today and ZERO signs of burn in.

I'm sorry but the excuses that oled isn't for this or that just doesn't work for me and is an old mindset.

Unless your screen LITERALLY only ever shows a solid thing like a Taskbar that never changes AND that's in use like that 24/7 I don't think it's actually a problem with today's oled.

The fact that we now are seeing ACTUAL monitors launching with OLED panels today proves that it's almost impossible to cause real damage with any kind of normal use.

If I only get 3-5 years out of my screen I'll still be completely satisfied as the image quality and features it offers is worth having to replace a littler earlier.

But truth is I want newer features more often than even that and though I went from 2016 to 2019 oled I'm still using that 2016 oled and though the super bar is still noticeable on it if you look for it it's almost invisible in majority of content and we still enjoy the screen and it's great image quality in our den without any other further problems.

I'll upgrade my oled again once they come out with some new features I feel I must have (got the 2019 oled to get hdmi 2.1 and 4k/120 vrr etc) but I doubt that I'll find myself NEEDING to replace it before then because of something like burn in.