What is Image Persistence in LCDs?

Apr 28, 2016

1280px-Iiyama-e430s-image-persistenceThere are several key benefits associated with liquid crystal display (LCD) technology, some of which include energy efficiency, greater sharpness, brightness, minimal geometric distortion, and reduced heat production. But like all forms of display technology, there are also some drawbacks to it. Among the most notable drawbacks of LCD is the potential for image persistence. To learn more about image persistence and how it can be prevented, keep reading.

Image Persistence: the Basics

Also known as image retention, image persistence is a phenomenon in which the image of an LCD remains visible after the device has been turned off. The good news is that image retention is temporary and usually reverts back to its original, default state. This is in stark contrast to the “screen burn” of plasma displays, which are typically permanent. Nonetheless, most users prefer to avoid the visual imperfections of image persistence.

Causes of Image Persistence

To better understand the cause of image persistence, you must first look at LCD technology. LCDs consist of liquid crystals that have a relaxed state. When the device is turned on, a voltage is applied to this; thus, causing them to shuffle around to block light waves. Now, if this voltage is left for a prolonged length of time, the liquid crystals will remain in this position — a phenomenon that’s known as image persistence. The liquid crystals will remain in this position, disturbing the color and picture. This is the same way in which phosphur burn-ins occur.

How to Prevent Image Persistence

Thankfully, image persistence can usually be prevented by following some basic steps. As noted above, this phenomenon occurs when the display is left on the same image for an extended period of time. Therefore, it’s a good idea to change the image on a regular basis. For televisions, this means avoiding the use of a “pause” button — or at least not pausing for long periods of time. For computer monitors, users should rotate elements on the desktop to help reduce the risk of image persistence.

But even if one or more of your LCD displays experiences image persistence, it’s usually temporary and will go away on its own. Simply turn off the display, wait a couple of hours, and the liquid crystals should revert back to their natural, relaxed state; thus, eliminating the problem.


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