Image Retention Aka "Burn In"

The price of monitors continues to fall but image retention in LED monitors continues to be an issue, especially with consumer monitors when the same layout of cameras and menus is used on the display every day.

How much does one have to pay these days to buy a "surveillance monitor" to avoid image retention, e.g. a monitor with 1920x1080 resolution?

What specs should one look for when searching for a surveillance monitor? Are there any new technologies that help, e.g. IPS displays?

Do surveillance monitors really avoid image retention or do they just take longer to suffer from the same problem? Thank you for any information on this topic.


This is an interesting question, and I look forward to the answers as well.

Anecdotally, I have not seen image burn-in be an issue since the CRT era. Because images change, (ie: carosels or rotating between cameras) and even fixed thumbnail matrix views have thumbnails that change, image burn-in is uncommon even with consumer-grade displays.

Good question!

While I was overseas recently, I bought a Samsung S24C350HL (24", 1920x1080) monitor for a local installation. This was not my preferred monitor but the local pricing on computer goods was outrageous and it seemed to be an OK consumer monitor. In no more than a week, I noticed burn-in. Usually the monitor displayed a 3x3 matrix of cameras and I did not notice the problem. However if I chose one of the cameras to take up the entire screen, I then noticed the 3x3 matrix burn-in. It wasn't horrendous but I immediately set the monitor to go to sleep after a while rather than just remain on all of the time. Hopefully this will help.

At a previous company, lots of QA testing was performed on video products. We had a whole range of monitors from consumer LED TV's, to the very nice Apple monitors to professional monitors for video work. I don't remember exactly which monitors suffered burn-in but most of the monitors exhibited this problem to varying degrees.

I remember when LCD technology arrived, it was commonly said that burn-in was a thing of the past. Technically that might be true but the image retention problem lives on and I believe is reasonably widespread.

In 2011, John stated "Purchase surveillance-rated displays" to avoid problems including burn-in. That article sparked my questions above about what specs or technologies to look for in a "surveillance monitor". John's article quoted consumer (possibly 1920x1080) monitors costing US$600 in 2011 whereas now it is easy to find such monitors under $200. I wonder how much the prices of "surveillance monitors" might have changed?

LCD displays do not "burn in" in the traditional sense. LCD (and LED is still LCD) displays can get a form of image persistence where the liquid crystals get "stuck". Unlike with CRTs and Plasma screens, persistence on LCD displays can be fixed. Here's how

Thank you Carl, those tips work well if the monitor is connected to a regular computer running a VMS. However if the monitor is connected to a turnkey NVR or DVR, it's likely to be quite inconvenient to regularly hook up a computer to it for burn-in maintenance. That is why I'd be interested to find out more about what monitors can be used which avoid this problem in the first place and how much it costs for the privilege.