Pixel shifting

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Pixel shifting is a method implemented by plasma TV Manufacturers that prevents static images (e.g., station bugs, videogames) from causing image retention and burn-ins. The entire video frame is moved periodically (vertically and / or horizontally) so there are effectively no static images. One definition reads: "the image rotates in a circle in a way imperceptible to the viewer with a defined rhythm and pixel interval."

The firmware on some high end Samsung plasma TVs moves the video horizontally and vertically so many pixels every few minutes.[1] Some TVs even allow the user define the number of pixels moved and their interval. On Panasonic Plasma TVs this technique is named Pixel Orbiter.

Pixel shifting is sometimes used with other burn in prevention methods like screen saver or power management functions.

Pixel shifting is also a technique which increases the true resolution of devices such as camcorder sensors and digital microscopes by moving one or more of the separate red, green or blue sensors by fractions of a pixel in the x- and y-directions.[2] For example, early high definition camcorders used a 3CCD sensor block of 960x540 pixels each. Shifting the red and blue sensors half a pixel in both the vertical and horizontal direction permits the recovery of a 1920x1080 luminance signal. This technique is seeing a renaissance with native 1080p video projectors that pixel shift horizontally to produce an effectively 4K image on the screen. JVC refers to it as "e-shift".


  1. ^ "Samsung Plasma, break in, burn in and image retention". 
  2. ^ dvinfo.net discussion of pixel shifting