Do OLED TVs Require a Break-in Period?

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Q I have plans to buy a new LG 65EF9500 OLED TV. Here’s my question: How long a break-in period would you recommend before having it professionally calibrated? I used my current Panasonic plasma for about 100 hours before having it calibrated.  Also, can any ISF-certified technician handle an OLED TV, or does it require special training? —John Violette

A It’s recommended that you treat an OLED TV the same as you would a plasma for the first 100 hours of use, being careful not to leave fixed images like electronic program guides or paused video game frames onscreen for an extended amount of time. This will be especially important when viewing high dynamic range (HDR) content with the 65EF9500. LG even warns about the potential for burn-in in the EF9500’s manual and recommends steps you can take to prevent it, though any image retention you experience in most situations should only be temporary.

As for calibrating the 65EF9500, it will be safe to call in a video professional once you’ve passed the 100-hour threshold. However, some experts insist on breaking in sets for at least 200 hours (or more) before calibration to ensure that the panel has stabilized.

Any ISF-certified technician should have no problem calibrating an OLED TV, which requires no special test equipment and provides the same video adjustments as other display types such as LCD or plasma. What separates LG’s EF9500 series from earlier OLEDs, however, is HDR, which does require the use of special test patterns and a new calibration workflow that your ISF tech may or may not yet have been trained in. So if you’re interested in tapping your new OLED’s HDR capability — and why would you not be? — make a point of asking about HDR calibration up front.