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Pixel-style display woes on your shiny new X? Perfectly normal, says Apple

Martin an gof Silver badge

Well, if that's "normal for OLED", then I don't want a "normal OLED" screen thanks.

Swings and roundabouts. LCD displays have lots of annoying issues too; blacks never quite being black, inconsistent backlighting being just two of the more annoying ones.

Plasma TVs, some tube TVs and OLED (I believe, though I haven't seen more than a couple in a shop) solve(d) the black and the backlighting issues but introduce others, notably burn-in.

We have several plasmas at work; one spent the first four months of its life playing a video game and despite being used for the five years since then to display a good variety of "normal" video, the burn-in is still evident.

Another played video for the first few months, then spent a year playing a slideshow where there was a lot of white/black border. When it went back to video the burn-in was obvious, but after a few months it reduced. A couple of years later and it's difficult to spot, unless you have an all-white image.

My 20-year-old widescreen Trinitron TV at home died almost exactly two years ago and the LCD that replaced it wasn't as much of an improvement as I'd sort of expected.

Early OLED suffered (I believe) from poor life of the blue LEDs; over a (relatively) short period of time (a few thousand hours) the output from the blue LEDs would reduce considerably more than that from the red and the green, leading to a colour shift that could only be corrected up to a certain point. I have no idea if they've solved that particular problem with current panels, but it sounds as if they haven't.

I have similar compromises with projectors. Working at a museum where displays are on for about 7½ hours a day, LCD projectors (where the image is projected through LCD shutters) just don't last more than three years. LCD panels and their associated dichroic colour filters have rated lifespans of maybe 8,000 hours and failures are horrid colour casts and colour blotches.

DLP projectors are much more robust, and I have single-chip units which have done well over 22,000 hours with hardly any maintenance and are old enough now that even were I to want to replace the colour wheels, potentially improving colour rendition and contrast, the spares are no longer available. Also at this age the DLP units start to have stuck pixels.

LCoS projectors are marginally better than LCD, but in our experience not significantly longer-lived.

BUT, when new, there is no doubt that the image from LCD (and particularly LCoS) is actually easier on the eye than that from DLP, though I have to admit here that I don't use any three-chip DLP systems and I am sensitive to the "rainbow effect" that I know other people can't see.

Nothing is perfect, unfortunately. You have to make your decision based on what is important to you. Personally I'm hoping that OLED lifespan improves within the next 5 to 7 years, which is when I expect to need to buy a new TV for home.

M.

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