How to Fix Stuck Pixels and Screen Burn
We talk to people almost everyday who have stuck pixels or screen burn on their flat panel television. Many are thinking about spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a new TV as a result. However, today there are a number of no cost or low cost solutions that can correct these problems and prevent them from coming back.
Before you buy a new television, try one or more of the following methods for correcting the problem. These techniques have reduced or eliminated screen image problems for many people with little cost and little effort.
Low Cost, High Tech
PixelTuneup contains both the hardware and software to eliminate stuck pixels and screen burn. At less than $50, it’s still a low cost alternative, and it is designed specifically to correct these image retention problems.
PixelTuneup communicates directly with your television display panel through the VGA port. Unlike alternative solutions, PixelTuneup generates its own signals and voltages that are designed to correct television and monitor image problems. Also, PixelTuneup might be the easiest solution to use — literally plug in, turn on, and wait twenty minutes. It doesn’t require a menu.
Here are the complete operating instructions, culled from the owners manual:
1. Turn off your television or monitor
2. Using a VGA cable (not included), connect the PixelTuneup to the VGA port of the television or monitor
3. Turn on PixelTuneup. The green power indicator should be illuminated.
4. Turn on your television or monitor, and make sure the television’s input selection is set to the VGA port. Usually this is performed by selecting “VGA” or “PC” on your remote control. PixelTuneup is now repairing and protecting your television or monitor display panel
5. Leave the PixelTuneup operating for up to 60 minutes
6. After 60 minutes, turn off your television or monitor
7. Turn off and then disconnect the PixelTuneup
8. Turn on your television or monitor, making sure the television’s input selection is set to your DVD player, cable box, or other desired input device.
Of the above steps, the most complicated ones were plugging in the cable and hitting the on switch — not rocket science. You may need to run the device longer than twenty minutes the first few times if your image problems are particularly bad.
Mid Tech – Websites and Pro DVDs
This approach is not free, but it’s not expensive either. You can get the effect of a professionally produced DVD solution or website for correcting stuck pixels for less than $40. Again, not free but not equivalent to buying a new TV either.
The two products at the top of this category are JScreenFix and PixelProtector. They are both decent solutions and you should give them a try if you have a DVD player (who doesn’t?) or internet connection for your television.
Open a browser and navigate to the JScreenFix website. They have a free version that could solve your problem before you move up to the fee-based product. JScreenFix works by displaying a series of colors at the pixel level. The menu bar at the top blocks the top few lines of the display from getting treated, but you get a decent blast of stuck-pixel-fixing images across the rest of the screen. It appears that this product is geared mainly for computer monitors, but there is no reason it wouldn’t work for televisions (don’t forget to check with JScreenFix to confirm).
Commercial DVDs are available as well, including PixelProtector. This solution includes not only tools for eliminating stuck pixels and screen burn, but also video calibration routines. Similar to JScreenFix, PixelProtector performs a variety of functions that reduce or eliminate stuck pixels and screen burn by flashing colors and images on the screen through your DVD player. They also have a Blu-Ray version in case your DVD player does not perform this function well. Based on the customer feedback on their website, this appears to be a good solution and might be what you need to fix your problem.
Both JScreenFix and PixelProtector use your existing hardware to treat stuck pixels and screen burn. JScreenFix uses your video graphics card, and PixelProtector uses your DVD player, both of which are designed to display video. You also have the option of using a hardware device designed to correct television image problems.
Low Tech, DIY
What we like about this approach is that it is free, and you don’t have to wait for something to arrive in the mail. However, the low tech DIY approach to fixing stuck pixels will require some time and experimentation. You will need video editing software like Power Director.
1. Create a new project in the video editing software. The technique for doing this varies depending on the software, so refer to your video software user manual for instructions.
2. Create a sequence of alternating monotone images. Your software probably came with a library of images, some of which are solid colors – green, blue, purple, etc. Choose a variety of these images that span the color spectrum. You want to make sure to choose bright colors, and that the primary colors (red, green, blue) are represented in equal portions. Now, sequence these images at intervals of three to ten seconds apart.
3. The duration of the video will need to be at least ten minutes or more. Repeat the sequence of colors until you have built up at least ten minutes of video. The longer the video, the better.
4. Save the project and proceed through your software’s process to create a DVD. Your owners manual should give clear instructions for how to do this.
5. Once you have created the DVD files and burned them to DVD media, run the media in your DVD player and make sure the images you sequenced together are displayed on the TV screen. Depending on the duration of the video and the colors you chose, you may need to run it more than once.
If you followed these steps carefully, the stuck pixels or ghost image should be less pronounced or eliminated. If this process did not take care of your problem, it’s time to get help from the pros.
None of these solutions can replace the rush of bringing home the latest 60″ HDTV monitor from your local electronics store, but they all cost a lot less. The bottom line is that if you have screen burn or stuck pixels, solutions exist that don’t require a complete replacement. However, if you do decide to buy a new television, the solutions described above will also help you keep your new television displaying the highest quality picture possible.