I’m worried about burn-in on my LG C2 OLED — but don't do what I was doing

An LG C2 OLED TV featuring Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

I love my LG C2 OLED TV (as I should, it's the best OLED TV) but I'll admit that I'm preoccupied with its care. Why? Well, I spent over $1,200 on it on Cyber Monday, and I'm still almost wheezing from that moment.

Oh, and there's one other reason why I'm concerned about the C2: it's replacing an LG OLED TV I ruined. As I've explained before, my LG OLED55C7P suffered from a terrible case of burn-in because I watched too much of the same video podcast on that TV. You can see for yourself right here:

A TV (tuned to Better Call Saul) has visible OLED burn-in

To paraphrase Don Corleone: "Look how I massacred my boy!" (Image credit: Henry T. Casey for Tom's Guide)

And, so, from the second I had the LG C2 OLED set up, I have been overly concerned with the potential for burn-in. I did this once, I did not want to do it again.

But it turns out my fear had caused me to do one of the exact wrong things you're not supposed to do.

The LG C2 OLED TV's Pixel Cleaning settings, explained

So, in my eager rush to do what I could do, I sorted through all of the menus, and found something called Pixel Cleaning. To get there, you hold down the Settings button on the remote until the spinning wheel appears, then select General > OLED Care > OLED Panel Care. You'll see Pixel Cleaning at the top of this new menu, and clicking that get you to this menu.

And that menu reads like Pixel Cleaning is something you should be doing regularly, as it states this feature "allows you to provide the clearest picture possible." 

LG C2 OLED settings for OLED screen care overlaid over a sports arena shot

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)

And allow me to zoom in (imagine someone in a NCIS show said "enhance") for the line that convinced me to do this regularly:

Images of the LG C2 OLED settings for OLED screen care

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)

There, in plain English, it says "Run Pixel Cleaning regularly." So, on a pretty regular basis — whenever I'd watched an hour or so of something with static graphics — I used the manual Pixel Cleaning tool.

What I didn't know is that LG's definition of 'regularly' is a lot less frequent than mine. After seeing a video from YouTuber The Tech Giant (opens in new tab) advising against using manual Pixel Cleaning, I reached out to my colleague (and TV expert) Nick Pino, our Managing Editor for TV and AV. And he confirmed what The Tech Giant said, that he'd been told by LG representatives that you're only supposed to use Pixel Cleaning "once or twice a year, max." 

I was a bit shocked about this, so I clicked the "?" button on the OLED Care menu to get more detail from the TV. None of the below convinced me that LG thinks you shouldn't be running Pixel Cleaning less frequently.

The LG C2 OLED details about OLED screen care tools overlaid on top of an image of a sports arena crowd

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)

So, I asked Nick to reach out to his reps at LG about my concerns (we will update this article if and when we learn more). And then I found a page on LG's site (opens in new tab) that explains more about the Pixel Cleaner (or as it refers to it, Pixel Refresher). And this is when I got more confirmation that Nick was right.

That page says "Pixel Refresher is automatically operated when you turn off the TV after watching it for more than four hours in total. For example, if you watched TV for two hours yesterday and three hours today (more than four hours in total), Pixel Refresher will automatically run, deal with potential image retention issues and reset its operation time."

"Regularly," it seems means after 2,000 hours after watching. Or after you notice image retention.

Interesting, I thought. Until I scrolled down further. Reading the words "Manual Pixel Refresher is also available in case you notice any image retention or when you get a reminder to run it after 2,000 hours of watching," my mind was both blown and changed. "Regularly," it seems means after 2,000 hours after watching. Or after you notice image retention. 

And using the Pixel Cleaning/Refresher tool too often, I'm told, can lead to problems of its own. So I've stopped doing that. Even though I still want to.

Outlook: Enable these LG OLED burn-in prevention tools

All that said, there are a few settings to enable. Again, hold the settings button on your LG Magic Remote until a spinning wheel comes up. Then, select General, select OLED Care, and Select OLED Panel Care.

This time, ignore Pixel Cleaning. Make sure Screen Move is on. This will keep the LG OLED TV adjusting the screen in tiny amounts at regular intervals to help prevent burn-in. Then, make sure Adjust Logo Brightness is set to Low. This will have your TV detecting logos (like the one burned into my C7), and lower the brightness on those to stop burn-in there.

But because I'm so concerned about burn-in, I'm going to have my eye on this topic going forward. 

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.

  • qzik7777
    Interesting...so I have an LG OLED I bought in 2019 that recently I've started to see burn in on, and worse what look like random dead pixels all around the edges.

    I contacted LG customer service and they actually told me to run the Pixel Refresher several times. That didn't help much. And the TV is out of warranty so they say there's nothing they can do but refer me to a TV repair place.

    Between this and the anecdotal evidence I've seen of failures on their appliances, I don't think I'll be buying any more LG products.
    Reply
  • tresnugget
    I really wouldn't worry about burn in. The 7th gen OLEDs were horrible with burn in. My brother's c7 and my b7 both got burn in within 2 years. I've had my C9 for almost 4 years and watch tons of podcasts, play tons of video games, and don't have any burn in. The red sub pixel is larger than the red sub pixel in the 7 series so burn in is way less likely. But yeah, don't run pixel refresh that often. It'll wear out your TV and reduce the brightness.
    Reply
  • Sojibby
    I bought an LGC1 and it died on my wall mid TV show. It was one month out of full coverage and customer service may as well answer saying 'Hello thank you for calling LG your part is out of warranty' considering the CSR somehow knew that before I gave any details at all.


    LG said they'd pick it up and check the error for free and waive labour for repairs, but the person they tried to send just called me and said they were not coming, they were JUST GOING TO TELL LG IT WAS BROKEN without seeing it.


    I called LG to complain and they told me all I can do it drop it off AT THE BUSINESS THAT SAID THEY WOULD LIE TO LG ANYWAY.


    For obvious reasons I'll never own another LG television for my main display (or likely any display). Doesn't help me that I bought into their promises about phones.

    Essentially I have learned Life is Good - when you don't shop LG.
    Reply
  • qzik7777
    tresnugget said:
    I really wouldn't worry about burn in. The 7th gen OLEDs were horrible with burn in. My brother's c7 and my b7 both got burn in within 2 years. I've had my C9 for almost 4 years and watch tons of podcasts, play tons of video games, and don't have any burn in. The red sub pixel is larger than the red sub pixel in the 7 series so burn in is way less likely. But yeah, don't run pixel refresh that often. It'll wear out your TV and reduce the brightness.

    That's good to know. Mine's a C8 , so I'm not sure what type of red sub pixel it would have. I'm going on 4 years and I just started noticing the burn in recently.

    And I guess I won't run the Pixel Refresher that often. Frankly, that makes me even more irritated with LG, since not 1, but 2 customer service people told me to run it several times (which didn't help my issue anyway).
    Reply
  • Gaston213
    Ahhh! One of life's great mysteries is LG's "Adjust Logo Brightness."
    Does "Low" mean low brightness where static logos are... Or does "High" mean it's the highest setting for the logo brightness feature? Who can say... 🤦
    Reply
  • touch-power
    Hi. Thank you for investigation of this problem. I just bought LG OLED65B2 and I'm so concerned about burn-in. using this tv about two month for 4-6 hours per day, watching 4k movies. Brightness is on 90%, pixel represhing not used, pixel moving is on. this is my first OLED.
    Reply