Image Persistence: The LCD Monitor's Equivalent of Burn-In
A month or two ago I posted a message on Twitter about getting "burn-in" on my LCD monitor, an old Dell W2600 that I've had for years - I think I bought it back in 2005. The monitor has been perfect up until recently, when I started to see that elements of software's user interface were visible on the screen after I closed the application. My first instinct was to call this "burn-in", because that's what it looked like. A few people Tweeted me back (boy "tweet" is a stupid sounding term, isn't it?) that LCD monitors couldn't get burn-in because of the type of technology they used. Sure enough, over the next few days the images faded away. I didn't do much research into the problem at the time, but when it happened again yesterday - look at the image above and you'll see UI elements from Defraggler - I looked into it more. It turns out this type of thing is called image persistence, and while it shares some of the same visual glitches as the burn-in you'd see on a CRT or some types of TV sets, because the technology driving it is so different, it's a very different sort of issue. The good news is that the fix is often a simple one: turn off the monitor and leave it off for a few hours. In my case the first time I saw this problem it persisted for several weeks, but eventually faded away. The image above, from the most recent incident, was gone after only a few hours of the monitor being powered down. The About.com article has a few more suggestions if you run into this problem.