This is how LG aims to extend the life of its new OLED.EX displays

Mike Wheatley

LG Electronics’ OLED TVs have won over a lot of fans, but they’re still subject to criticism over the risk of burn-in, or image retention, as well as burn-out, which refers to dead pixels.


LG Display, the subsidiary of LG that makes the OLED panels, is aware of this and has set about trying to minimize the risk with its latest OLED.XE panels that will feature on its 2022 TVs, as well as those sold by the likes of Philips, Panasonic, Sony and others.

The fix it has come up with is a new personalisation algorithm that aims to more precisely control the display’s energy input, so as to express colours and details more accurately.

It works by looking at the state of the individual organic, light-emitting diodes from the moment the TV is first switched on, and analyzes the user’s viewing habits to create a plan to ensure they shine brightly for years to come. They work by predicting the likely degradation of the pixels over time, and then control the energy they receive more precisely to “maintain optimal brightness and performance”.

The company explained that the algorithm is able to predict the operating conditions of each pixel, based on the viewer’’s habits. The exact nitty gritty of how the algorithm does this hasn’t been revealed, but the idea is to ensure that the OLED display on each TV remains as good as it does after 5 years of viewing as it did from day one.

LG offered an example of a display showing a picture of Yellowstone National Park, highlighting the parts of the image how the different W, R, G and B subpixel elements are used differently, depending on what’s displayed on screen.

LG said that by knowing where the brightest and most vibrant details will be on-screen, the algorithm can properly control the energy usage of the pixels in those location in order to maintain their stability for longer than was possible with earlier generations of its OLED displays. The below infographic explains a bit more:


Whether or not the algorithm does the intended job remains to be seen. In all likelihood, it can’t be easy to predict someone’s viewing habits, and if each person in a family all has their own individual habits, it means it has to cater to a lot of different kinds of images, TV shows, movies, live sports, computer games etc.

Pixels are known to wear unevenly over time too, though that’s what the algorithm intends to solve. So LG’s OLED displays could well have a longer lifespan than before. But we blindly trust the company, we won’t know for sure how well it works until several years down the line. Bear in mind though that all OLED displays are made using organic compounds, so they’re lifespan will remain limited, even if LG can extend it.

Still, if LG’s OLED displays do last longer than before thanks to these algorithms, it’s a win for anyone who decided to snap one up.