When our devices are plugged in, they use standby power even when they are off. As a result, they are in standby mode and ready to use as soon as they are needed. According to a study by the US Department of Energy, standby power accounts for 5-10% of household electricity consumption. According to data from CNET this means an average consumption of around 100 US dollars per year.
However, the standby mode, also known as “vampire stream”, is also responsible for the fact that the pixels of OLED TVs are automatically updated in the background. In other words, every time you unplug your smart TV and plug it back in, this process restarts and over time can cause permanent damage to the TV.
Caution: Pixels need rest!
Back in 2018, a consumer in Germany used an LG OLED device in conjunction with a smart socket to completely turn off the TV after use. He wanted to prevent the device from catching fire due to power fluctuations. However, this security measure resulted in ghosting on the TV screen. Incidentally, this is a not-so-rare property of OLED and AMOLED screens.
What this person didn’t know at the time: The LG TV in standby mode performs a compensation process (aka pixel refresh) that is supposed to prevent the burn-in effect. According to Heise.de there was no direct reference to this possible ghosting effect in the television operating instructions at the time, and the manufacturer ended up replacing the device.
This information can now be found in the user manuals of many Smart TV models with OLED screens, both from LG and other brands. If you don’t stick to it, it can even lead to the loss of the guarantee! In the following video you can see a comprehensive explanation of the problem and how you can avoid permanent damage to these devices in the future:
As explained in the video above, TVs in standby mode perform an automatic pixel refresh in the background after four hours of operation. So if you unplug the device or turn off the mains power, the TV will not perform this operation. This may not cause any problems in the short term, but over time the TV can produce ghosting, resulting in permanent degradation of the picture quality. For more information about the pixel refresh of LG OLED TVs, visit the official site of the manufacturer:
“The Pixel Refresher function built into LG OLED TVs automatically detects pixel degradation through regular scanning and compensates if necessary. The function also detects any change in TFT (Thin Film Transistor) voltage during power off to avoid degradation of the pixel and to correct it by comparing it with a fixed reference value” – quote from LG
What does that mean?
In the US, a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that US households alone could save $8 billion annually if consumers reduced the number of devices they have always on. That means a reduction in electricity consumption of 64 billion kilowatt hours per year and 44 million tons less carbon dioxide pollution of the environment. However, as the CNET report clearly points out, the NRDC estimates the cost of always-on devices to average $165 per household per year.
In effect, switching off devices thus leads to energy savings and environmental benefits. However, you should also be aware of the consequences if you constantly disconnect the television from the mains. As mentioned in LG’s user manuals for OLED TVs, permanent problems can occur. Savings from less electricity consumed can therefore turn into losses if you have to buy a new television.
Do you prefer to leave your TV in standby mode or unplug it to save energy?
This content comes from our partner Nextpit and is published on May 10, 2022 under the title “Caution: Saving energy incorrectly can damage your OLED TV!” appeared. Did you like it? Then take a look at our dear colleagues nextpit Stop by and find more great content like this!