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August 25, 2004 12:01 AM

Broken: Airport monitor burn-in

burn-inSteven Winner writes:

The Richmond, VA airport updated all its monitor screens with new plasma monitors to give passengers arrival and departure data. There are also plasma monitors beside each gate. These screens display basically the same information, in the same pattern, 24 hours a day.

The problem is the "burn in" on the screens. The old tube monitors did not get it like these monitors do. Burned-in information can be seen on the plasma screen when it is blank, or even if the screen changes to another display. The burn in frequently makes it hard to read the new information that is being displayed.

SOLUTION: There is a device called an "orbiter" that moves the screen position around slightly every few minutes, minimizing burn-in in just one place. Better yet, the airport should have waited for the LCD technology, which is now good enough to produce flat-screen monitors the same size as plasma flat-screens. LCD displays do not burn in.


I'll never forget the first time I wrote an application here at work that shows data like this. I can't... they won't let me. It was a nice monitor too. :(

That was a few years ago, and earlier this year I had to write another app - same thing, a big 30" display showing rotating data. Lukily LCDs had gotten much cheaper, no burn in this time.

Posted by: T. Bradley Dean at August 25, 2004 01:04 PM

LCDs do burn in. I had a few LCD screens that was burned in by the windows task bar at the bottom. The fix for this was to run a screensaver overnight once a week or so, that would make the screen blank and bright white. I don't know what this does to the life of the screen though.

Posted by: Jonathan Martin at August 26, 2004 03:44 PM

I believe screen savers were created, in part, to prevent burn ins.

Airports have too much money!

Posted by: Nathan Hughes at August 27, 2004 04:57 PM

I've got some burnin on an LCD screen. The screen saver only affects the main screen, not the secondary.

Posted by: Loren Pechtel at August 29, 2004 04:31 PM

LCD monitors do NOT burn in.

LCD monitors get "Stuck Pixels".. in which, if a pixel has been stuck in a particular state for a very long time, it'll stay that way. I guess you could think of it as burn-in, but the big difference is that while Burn-in on any kind of monitor can't be corrected and results in having the monitor discarded, Stuck pixels can usually be fixed by forcing them to change frequently for long periods of time. (Or better yet, just leaving the monitor off for a day or two.)

Don't confuse this with defective "Stuck Pixels" which are pixels that are permanently stuck as a result of manufacturer defect. This you can't fix.. and most warranties only allow for a replacement monitor if there are six or more visible stuck pixels.

Posted by: Bud Bennett at September 1, 2004 12:57 AM

Hi, I just bought a laptop, my first one ever, I am a college student, with 3 siblings of the ages 1, 3, & 10. Well the 2 youngest ones were playing and the 3 year old pushed the 1 year old right on my laptop slammed the lid wide open and applied increased pressure on the LCD, so it has tons of black spots, and rainbow lines, I could still see a little bit of my desktop in the background. how can I fix it if there is a way? Because I'm about to have a heart attack.

Posted by: Stephanie at January 13, 2005 10:22 PM

It sounds like your screen is broken. If the LCD cracks it cannot be repaired. You have have just broken the connectors to the LCD, if this is the case it is still very hard to repair and most likely will not be worth it.

Posted by: Matt at March 2, 2005 01:49 AM

i picked up my laptop the wrong way and cracked the lcd. i feel like a fool. i know it can't be fixed. but how can i save the hard drive?

Posted by: rene at April 15, 2005 08:19 PM

Try taking the hard drive out!?

Posted by: Dave at April 30, 2005 05:33 PM

I just purchased a Plasma on a garage sale and it turns on and work but show some numbers from casino

Is there any way I can reduce or eliminate them

I saw that creen saver can help

Do I need any special screen saver?

lot of color or just black?

Thanks in avantage


Posted by: javier at September 19, 2005 01:31 PM

It sounds like the damage is already done to your plasma display. Screensavers help prevent burn-in by constantly changing the display on the screen or moving the image arround so that no particular area of phosphor remains energized in the same pattern for prolonged periods of time. If you alrealy have a residuial image "ghosting" on your display, it is to late to prevent it. As the original article said, there is no way to repair the screen after the damage is done. Using a screen saver from this point on will reduce your chance of additional damage, but won't fix what is already there.

Plasmas are beautiful, but they are also notorious for display burn-in. Since they are commonly used as advertizing displays, or showing tickers, cable news (with crawl lines), or sporting events (with stat boxes), these displays get burn-in alot.

Posted by: Anthony Stanley at October 18, 2005 10:08 AM

About the broken notebook screen, contact the shop/manufacturer of the device and ask them how much it would cost to replace the screen. Perhaps it would be cheaper than buying a new one.

Your data is not affected by the broken screen. Just hook up an external monitor to your notebook (from family/friends if you don't have one yourself) and back up your data onto CD or DVD if the device has the capability to burn CDs or DVDs. If not, buy a USB stick on Ebay so you can always save a back up copy of your data. Back ups are essential. I personally never had a problem with viruses since I use Linux (Kubuntu), but virii loose their horror when you got backups.

In Germany (I'm from Germany), almost everybody got household insurance which covers accidents like this. They are not very expensive, and if something happens like lightning destroying electronic stuff, or a meteroid falling onto your house, you'll get it replaced. I'm sure they got insurances like that in your time zone, make sure to investigate a good one since sometimes they bitch a lot before paying, since there's widespread fraud.

That really sucks btw, sorry that happened. Why don't you make an auction on Ebay where you explain what happened and people can bid to buy your broken notebook for you to get a new one with that money. I'm sure there a many people with enough money who'd take a heart and think of it as fun to buy a broken computer so that you can buy a new one.

Hope that helps.

Posted by: Someone at June 14, 2006 06:34 PM

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