Digital signage installations often use plasma screens because of their relatively lower cost to LCD screens (which do not have as many “burn-in” issues) and their outstanding visual quality. But, “burn-in” can be an issue, especially for new digital signage installations that feature a limited number of repeating slides and a fixed background or border. Here are a few tips for keeping your plasma screens in top shape.
The first 100 hours are the most critical in protecting against burn- in. The phosphors are new, so they light up more intensely. This can cause ghosting, which causes the bright phosphors to linger longer than they should. This usually goes away in time and many plasma screen manufacturers have anti-burn-in settings. You should run the anti-burn-in routine according to the Owner’s Manual.
However, for digital signage displays that are on several hours a day or even 24x7 that may not be enough. Make sure to vary the background, change the size of the information being displayed and don’t use a split screen layout for the first 100 hours. This 2/3 – 1/3 layout puts a fixed border within the screen that may be permanently burned in.
Keep your digital sign running or turn the screen off. Don’t let a single “off-the-air” or “we’ll be back in the morning” slide linger overnight, for instance. The StrandVision system has a night mode system that will actually help to reduce burn-in during your non-business hours.
Keep the contrast setting at or below 50% for the first 100 hours. After that you can bring it up but don’t try for very high brightness. If you need high brightness or contrast, relocate the screen to a more compatible setting.
It is a good idea to mix in full page graphics that override your template and your split screen settings. These will make the screen presentation more dynamic while “repainting” the entire screen and will go a long way towards preserving your screen.
Ask your supplier about the anti-burn-in technologies and safety features built into the screens that you are considering. More expensive screens tend to have better performance in this regard. Remember to take the time to turn those features on when you get the screen.
Text crawls are often a problem for burn-in because the color stays in the same position. The StrandVision system avoids this by inserting a multi-color image between each piece of information.