The Story of PixelTuneup
One Christmas Eve my wife and I bought a Wii game console and a 40″ LCD television for our family. Our young children played on the Wii from morning to midnight, and after midnight I got to play on it too.
A few mornings later, I woke up to find that I had left the Wii and television on all night. Not a big deal, I thought, until I switched on the cable box to watch the news. Then I noticed something was very wrong with my TV.
Although I could see the news cast clearly, I could also see the faint lines and shapes of the Wii menu, as if it had been burned into the screen. I had heard of screen burn and ghosting in CRT and plasma televisions, but it had not occurred to me that LCDs could be damaged the same way. Even when I changed channels I could still see the Wii menu faintly in the background.
Having just bought the TV, I was not happy about the idea of taking it to a repair shop or replacing it with a new one. I searched the internet for “screen burn” and “ghosting” to understand what had happened and find a solution. I learned that what I had, also known as LCD image persistence, was not uncommon. In fact most television manufacturers state in their owner’s manuals that image persistence is not covered by the warrantee. I could not find any products that guaranteed to eliminate the problem and felt I was stuck with the Wii menu displaying on every channel.
Knowing something about electronics and how televisions work, I set out to build a solution to my problem. The image persistence was caused by LCD filaments that essentially were stuck in the wrong position by the long-term display of the Wii menu. If I could unstuck the filaments, the picture should go back to normal.
With some electronic parts and sophisticated testing equipment, I built the first PixelTuneup in my basement. After some experimentation and research, I was finally able to test it on the 40” LCD in the family room.
The first time I ran PixelTuneup I left it on for twenty minutes, then checked the picture. To my surprise, the image persistence was about 50% eliminated, so I ran it for another twenty minutes and checked again.
Amazingly, the Wii image was completely eliminated from the screen. Not only that, I noticed that the entire screen looked better than before! It displayed brighter colors and deeper contrasts, whether connected to the cable box, DVR, or DVD player.
My wife was amazed and suggested I build some for our friends and sell PixelTuneups on the internet. So that’s exactly what I decided to do, and as a result people all over the country have eliminated not only image persistence but also screen burn on plasma TVs.
I still use my PixelTuneup regularly, and my television’s picture has never looked better. And needless to say, the Wii only displays when I want it to.
Posted: April 12th, 2010 under Uncategorized.