Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Unstick Those Stuck Pixels

If you've got an LCD monitor, then you're probably aware of the dreaded stuck pixel condition. If this is news to you, then a stuck pixel is one that simply won't change colour so can be appear red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, or yellow, although stuck red, green, or blue pixels are most common. These are usually the result of a manufacturing defect that leaves one or more of the three sub-pixels (red, green and blue) permanently turned on or off.

Unfortunately some manufacturers won't reject a screen with only a few stuck pixels and some screens come with a leaflet stating how many dead pixels they are allowed to have before you can send them back to the manufacturer. Bit of a bummer if you've just shelled out for a new screen for it to have a colour defect and the makers don't want to know about it.

However, there are a couple of options available to try and unstick a stuck pixel (say that quickly)…

JScreenFix is a Java applet solution that can fix stuck pixels, reduce screen burn-in and improve the quality of images displayed on a screen. It runs in your web browser under Mac OS X, Linux and Windows and can fix most stuck pixels on LCD screens. It can also remove image persistence effects on LCD screens and reduce burn-in on plasma screens.

killdeadpixel.com is another online utility that displays a constantly shifting graphic to try and unstick stuck pixels. The graphic will try to massage the dead pixel back alive again by getting it to change rapidly. They also offer full-screen versions (800x600 and 1024x768) for a more intensive attempt at a fix.

Neither of the above solutions will fix all dead pixels but they're certainly worth trying if you've been unlucky enough to have been saddled with a defective screen.

There are also some utilities available that will allow you to check a monitor for dead or stuck pixels. Very useful if you're thinking of buying a second-hand monitor.
  • LCDTest - a small application for Mac OS X and Windows that can aid in detecting dead or stuck pixels. It won't help fix them but it could be useful if you want to check a monitor out.
  • PixelFix - a Mac OS X Dashboard widget that colour-cycles a small rectangle that you can move over a stuck pixel to try and cure it. They also provide a browser-based version that does the same thing using a small movie.
  • Dead Pixel Tester - a small Windows utility that will display various colour and pattern tests to try and help detect bad pixels.
  • IsMyLcdOK - a small program to easily check for dead/paralysed/stuck pixels on LCD monitors.

3 comments:

pcmemoirs said...

None of the software methods worked for me. Actually I don't know that they helped anyone. The offline method is more effective. By applying pressure to the affected area and turning the screen off and on, the pixel can be reenergized. The tapping method works too. Check out Wikipedia for details.

Allan Ogg said...

As stated, none of the above methods are guaranteed to fix stuck pixels but they're certainly worth trying.

photo sharing said...

killdeadpixel.com is no longer active. I've just tried to go there