LG has just opened what looks like a major new front in the ‘screen wars’ between its OLED TVs and Samsung’s premium LCD TVs by introducing a five-year limited panel warranty on every 2021 G1 OLED TV sold in the US.
The new warranty will apply to all the 55, 65 and 77-inch G1 screen sizes sold throughout the United States, and kicks in from the date of retail purchase.
I can’t say for sure that the new warranty offer has been introduced as a direct belated response to the 10-year Screen Burn Warranty Samsung has been running on its QLED TVs since 2017, but it certainly suggests that LG is keen to find a way to make consumers feel more confident about the lifespans of its OLED televisions.
The LG OLED65G1 will now be covered by a new five year panel warranty in the US.Photo: LG
What’s not entirely clear at this stage, though, is precisely what sort of panel issues the warranty is intended to cover. In particular, does it cover the potential for OLED technology to suffer with permanent image retention that Samsung so cheekily and specifically refers to with the 10 year screen burn warranty on its LCD TVs. (LCD TVs, of course, are not susceptible to screen burn under any typical usage circumstances.)
While the limited panel warranty is confirmed to cover both parts and labor within the first year after purchase and the panel itself (parts only) for years 2-5, the exact wording initially provided by LG on the extent of the warranty reads rather cryptically as follows: “Limited panel warranty applies to panel failure on LG G1 OLED TVs due to a defect in materials or workmanship under normal and proper use during the warranty period. Terms and conditions apply.”
It’s tempting to read into the words ‘under normal and proper use during the warranty period’ a reference to screen burn. After all, LG has long argued that screen burn can be avoided with OLED TVs if users follow the viewing guidance provided with pretty much every OLED TV sold by any brand. On the other hand, though, the mention that the warranty applies to ‘panel failure due to a defect in materials or workmanship’ perhaps implies that screen burn would not be covered, as LG likely wouldn’t see screen burn as a ‘defect in materials or workmanship’.
Unless, that is, LG really does believe that the new high-brightness ‘eco’ panel design used in the G1 series really is pretty much immune to screen burn. This sort of confidence in the new panel may explain, too, why the warranty is only being made available with the G1s, and not the C1s or B1s with their more standard OLED panels.
I’ve asked LG if it can confirm whether screen burn is covered by the new extended warranty, and if it can also confirm if the extended warranty will be made available in other territories, and will update this story when I hear back.