Fixing Dead Pixels on an LCD Display

Propellerhead Top Tip

There are few things more aggravating than a dead or ‘hot’ (permanently lit) pixel on an LCD screen. The trouble is some manufacturers seem to think a few dicky pixels are okay, provided they’re not too close to the centre of the screen, and will refuse to replace it.

If you are buying a new screen it’s worth checking the small print in the manufacturer and vendor’s terms and conditions for the low-down on duff pixels. Even if there is a get out clause and you are lumbered with a screen that you consider to defective it’s still worth complaining as some vendors and manufacturers are more reasonable than others.

If they won’t take it back then Propellerhead has a few things you can try to fix a hot (though not a dead or blacked out) pixel. In practice the success rate is quite low but you might get lucky and what have you got to lose?

Gentle massage has proved successful in a few cases. The rather dubious theory is that light pressure around the defective pixel forces the liquid crystals back into their little pockets.  Apparently the trick is to switch the screen off, rub the area using a soft cloth, then after a few seconds switch the screen back on. Another wheeze is to gently tap the area, it also sounds a bit optimistic but who knows? Just be very careful not to tap too hard or you’ll have a few million more dead pixels on your hands…

The last two methods are a lot safer and involve switching the pixels on and off really fast, presumably in an attempt to reset or switch the faulty pixel back to its normal working state. My favourite is a little freeware utility program called Dead Pixel Tester or DPT, which in addition to a Pixel ‘Exerciser’ facility also has a number of useful and rather funky test patterns and screens that can help you to find faulty pixels.

The second one is called Screenfix, and this is a crazy web page that randomly switches the pixels on and off many times each second and apparently several hours of this treatment have been known to revive dicky pixels. If you like these tips then there are hundred more for you to try at PCTopTips

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