Quantum dots can't burn in, so what is Samsung's new warranty all about?

Samsung Quantum Dot

Samsung has announced that it will be offering a 10-year screen 'burn' warranty for its Quantum Dot TVs.

The announcement means that should your panel suffer from burn-in or image retention, even if it's nine years and 364 days old, then Samsung will repair it.

There's just one small problem: quantum dot TVs have never suffered from burn-in. So just what is Samsung's new warranty all about?

The age of plasma

Burn-in used to be a much bigger problem when plasma TVs were more popular. Any images that remained in a fixed position on the screen would over time become 'burned in' to the panel, and would then be permanently visible.

Typically this would be a problem when watching any channel that displays a small logo in the top left or right of the screen; watch that channel for long enough and the logo would then be visible when watching other channels, albeit faintly.

The problem also meant that many TV manufacturers warned against using plasma screens for gaming, due to the way most games' user interfaces were at risk of burn-in.

Plasma may have declined in popularity in recent years, but as OLED screens slowly enter the mainstream, the problem of burn-in is returning once more.

OLED is bringing burn-in back

Samsung doesn't make OLED televisions though, and it has been quite vocal in its preference for quantum dot panel technology, which as well as being cheaper and easier to produce, doesn't suffer from burn-in.

So its new warranty, which proudly boasts about protecting your expensive television from a problem that it won't have, would appear to be all about sticking it to the OLED-producing likes of LG and Panasonic.

We don't expect Samsung to have to replace a single television, but its announcement is an interesting way of advertising the benefits of its chosen display technology.

A spokesperson from Samsung said, "Our Quantum Dot TVs are pushing technology boundaries to meet the new Ultra HD Premium standards which certify for the very best UHD picture quality experience and meet Hollywood mastering levels of 1000nit brightness .

"As a leader in the TV industry, we remain committed to and are confident that our products deliver best in class picture quality for the lifetime of the TV. Whilst meeting the highest picture quality standards of brightness, colour and contrast, we do not compromise on longevity or quality due to screen burn. We are offering this warranty to give our customers the peace of mind that comes with knowing their TVs are future proofed."

Jon Porter

Jon Porter is the ex-Home Technology Writer for TechRadar. He has also previously written for Practical Photoshop, Trusted Reviews, Inside Higher Ed, Al Bawaba, Gizmodo UK, Genetic Literacy Project, Via Satellite, Real Homes and Plant Services Magazine, and you can now find him writing for The Verge.