Jump to navigation links Jump to main content Jump to footer links
What Is TV Burn-In & How Can You Prevent It?

What Is TV Burn-In & How Can You Prevent It?

You’re about to take down your arch nemesis in your favorite video game. It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. Before making your next move, you notice an image that won’t go away on your TV screen. You can’t complete your mission, and you’re left squeezing the controller—furious.

The image responsible for your fury is TV burn-in, also known as ghost image. Learn how TV burn-in happens, what you can do to prevent it, and how these ghost-like images affect different TV technologies.

Identifying A Burn-In TV Screen

TV burn-in is a visible mark or ghost-like shadow that remains on your screen regardless of which channel you’re watching — even if your television is turned off. And as much as you hope TV burn-in goes away, it likely won’t. Depending on how long the mark has remained onscreen and the severity of the burn, these haunting images are often permanent once they occur.

TV-screen burn-in can be caused by various sources, including fixed or persistent images from channel logos, icons, and video game interfaces. For example, if one of your favorite channels has a black-bordered logo around it, and this image stays on your TV without moving for too long, you may notice that the logo remains on your screen at all times. In which case, you may want to consider getting an upgrade.

How To Prevent TV Burn-In

Since burn-in TV screens are often permanent, taking preventative measures is essential. Here are a few ways to remain proactive against this phenomenon:

  • Avoid leaving the TV on when you’re not in the room.
  • Ensure that static images — like channel logos — don’t stay on your TV for too long.
  • If your TV lulls you to sleep, engage your auto shut-off setting to prevent burn-in.

How Burn-In Affects Different TV Technologies

Before getting your next TV, it’s important to note that all television types are susceptible to burn. However, some are more vulnerable to these ghost-like images than others, and knowing how to prevent burn-in can help your TV last longer.

Below are a few different types of popular TV technologies and how burn-in may affect them.


LED TVs, like the Samsung 85″ 4K UHD LED Smart TV, have tons of amazing benefits. From an ultra-fast processor that allows you to transform any TV watching experience into brilliant 4k to better power preservation and brighter displays with stunning contrast. And all your favorite movies and shows will be clearer, too, since LEDs allow you to see the smallest of details at four times the quality of a standard HD TV.

Whoa is right.

Another bonus is that LED TV burn-in takes longer than many other technologies to become permanent. Since LED screens can suffer from image retention, a lighter version of burn-in, you’re likely to notice the issue before it becomes fixed or permanent.


An OLED (organic light-emitting diodes) is the ideal TV for movie buffs. Their picture quality is pristine from any angle. This perk helps ensure that all your houseguests feel like they have the best seat in the house (including the person sitting in that random chair way off to the side).

OLED TVs also feature settings to help prevent OLED TV burn-in. The pixel shift feature prevents static images on your screen from burning in. All you have to do is engage the setting.


Whoever stands by the statement, “Bigger is better” needs a QLED (quantum light-emitting diode) TV. QLED TVs come in various sizes for any of your needs — whether that’s sports watch events or hunkering down for the ultimate gaming land party.

Does that mean they’re more expensive? Nope! QLED TVs’ big size doesn’t mean they come with big price tags. In fact, they’re some of the most affordably priced TVs on the market.

Now for the burning question: do QLED screens burn in? Yes. Just like many other TV technologies, they can experience this issue if preventative measures are not taken. However, according to Samsung, Samsung QLED TVs are certified to be burn-in free.

4K TVs

A 4K TV like Samsung’s 58-inch LED Smart TV has some pretty serious benefits. A few perks include:

  • Four times the resolution of 1080p
  • Digitally enhanced technology that reduces the blur of fast-moving images
  • Ability to use your favorite apps thanks to the Samsung Smart Hub
  • Content sharing and screen mirroring are available with your smartphone or tablet

Like the rest of the TVs above, 4K TV burn-in can occur if you’re not careful. Take preventative measures to keep burn-in from happening on this TV technology.

Note: LED, QLED, and OLED TVs can all be 4K. 4K simply refers to the TV’s resolution. Learn more here: Get the Big Picture: QLED vs. OLED vs. UHD TVs.

Cool Off With Your Next TV From Rent-A-Center

You don’t have to struggle to see a video game, movie, or show through a TV screen that’s scratched, cracked, or suffering from a case of burn-in. Turn to Rent-A-Center and get flexible payments on the latest flat screen TV technology — complete with free same-day delivery**! Find a Rent-A-Center near you or shop online today!

About Us

The good things in life don’t have to be out of reach. Rent-A-Center is here to make the things you want and need accessible, and Front & Center is your resource for living well on a budget.

Each week, we’ll bring you tips and tricks for infusing simplicity, style—even a little fun—into every aspect of your life and home. From decorating advice to money-saving strategies to opportunities to share with others like you, we’ll give you ideas that inspire. Live well, friends. And send your submissions, suggestions and questions for the blog to blog@rentacenter.com. For all customer service inquiries, please contact our Solution Center team at 1-800-422-8186.