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Media (video and images) pixelation or bad interpolation on S9 after Pie update, affecting multiple users

Explorer

Since the Pie OTA update for my S9, I've noticed some media (videos and images) are pixelated in some apps in some contexts, whereas elsewhere they're OK.

 

Notably, this affects video playback in VOD apps like BBC iPlayer in the UK, as well as video playback in Snapchat, Twitch and image display in Twitter (e.g., profile images appear pixelated when viewed on a profile page or on a timeline, although tapping to view fullscreen displays them properly). Video playback looks really awful.

 

It appears to be an interpolation issue - when they are rendered degraded, the device appears to be rendering on-screen using nearest neighbour interpolation. When stuff looks correct, it is only because it's being interpolated correctly.

 

One of my colleagues has a Pixel 2 running Pie which does not exhibit this problem. We tested side by side. However I've reported it as a bug to AOSP: https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/124593215

 

Another person with the same problem has posted a video clearly demonstrating the issue, which I recommend watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC6jYTI8GM4

 

The video clearly demonstrates the same issue with Twitch video, Twitter image displays, and so on. I'm having the same issue in various apps, including Twitter profile photos (until they're tapped to go fullscreen), BBC iPlayer video playback, Sky Go and NOW TV video playback, Instagram video playback and Twitch video playback.

 

Another user on the YouTube comments wrote,

Some media appears pixelated after the Pie update, as if it were being rescaled with nearest-neighbor scaling instead of bilinear/bicubic. This is easier to showcase with lower resolution media, so I took the first very low-res image I could find on Twitter (which is affected) and used 160p quality on Twitch to make it more obvious. Only some apps are affected, in specific ways (like here, on Twitter, the bug goes away when you click on the image), so I'm not sure whether this is something that has to do with a potential GPU hardware acceleration bug, something that the apps have to do, or a mix of both?

 

Interestingly, YouTube and Netflix video seem to not be affected. Those apps also offer a feature most others do not - pinch-to-scale the video window, allowing you to crop letterboxed widescreen content to fit non-16:9 displays.

 

Also interestingly, playing exactly the same video file in a web page player using Chrome yields correctly rendered, high quality video:

 

Playing the same video in-app, which must use a different screen draw method, looks ugly:

 

Another screenshot from another video playing fullscreen. Be sure to view this image at 100%, not zoomed to fit (as ironically that will interpolate the image and make it look correct): https://i.imgur.com/oajpPq8.jpg

 

On that YouTube video's comments thread, other users have also reported the same issue with more detail:

 

I'm on a US Verizon Galaxy S9 (Snap 845) recently updated to Pie and seeing this as well. The Twitch app shows it at its worst; video quality settings at and above 480p upscale with nearest-neighbor instead of the more filtered approach from before. It makes 1080p streams look TERRIBLE since 1080p > 1440p (S9's native res for 16:9 content) isn't an integer factor.

Messed with it some more and it's even weirder: on anything other than 720p, I could occasionally get the filter to engage, but not in any consistent way. Unfiltered output was the norm, and filtered, the rare exception.

This shows it does not seem to be a Snapdragon- or Exynos-specific issue, so perhaps a graphics driver or kernel fault?

 

I've just done the February 2019 update and it's made no difference. I've tried all the usual things - checked CPU speed, ensured display resolution is highest (and tried all other modes), no change.

 

I also factory reset my device, and did a fresh setup with Pie installed. I first installed just the Twitch, iPlayer and YouTube apps to test before installing anything else to avoid any potential app or software conflicts. Unfortunately it's made no difference.

16 REPLIES 16
First Poster

I'm getting the exact same issue to a T on a brand new Galaxy S10+. My previous Galaxy S8 running oreo had zero issues. It's very apparent in snapchat stories - especially videos where the motion really shows. I've also found Twitter being a issue as well where profile pictures don't look great and also images in my feed.

 

Reported the issue in the Samsung Members app just to recieve a lackluster and disappointing response that looks like it's been copy and pasted. Considering it took a couple days for them to respond I'd assume they may have been looking into something but nah, just copy and paste some generic ass response (make sure device is updated, update all your apps, use device maintenance).

 

Atleast even if the response was, issue is known and is being working on internally, or maybe ask me for some additional information so they can debug, but no. It's disappointing.

 

Heres some photos from my twitter feed, from my S10+

Screenshot_20190308-175222_Twitter.jpgArifactsScreenshot_20190308-175225_Twitter.jpgNormalScreenshot_20190311-160037_Twitter.jpgArifactsScreenshot_20190311-160045_Twitter.jpgNormalScreenshot_20190311-160148_Twitter.jpgArifactsScreenshot_20190311-160152_Twitter.jpgNormal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And lastly a couple I took from my S8 running Oreo.

Screenshot_20190311-160436_Twitter.jpgNormal - non enlargedScreenshot_20190311-160515_Twitter.jpgNormal - non enlarged

https://imgur.com/a/ppgW0la Imgur album.

Explorer

Someone else posted on the Android issue tracker (https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/124593215) confirming that this is apparently an Android 9 issue regarding the Skia OGL renderer across a wide range of hardware. They were also able to replicate the issue using Oreo, where both Default and Skia renderers were included.

 

Another problem with Samsung's One UI build of Pie is that the old OpenGL renderer is removed entirely - or the Developer option to switch between Skia and "Default" OpenGL renderers has been hidden.

 

So, until AOSP/Samsung roll a fix for this, if you want proper quality video and image rendering, do not upgrade to Pie.

 

If you have this fault, please also follow (and comment) on the bug with your screenshots and device info, this will hopefully bump the bug to a higher priority if enough people do it.

New Member

I got the s10 plus and have the same issue. I'm surprised that there are so little post about this. Either people have not noticed or that it does not affect all of the s10. I put a note 5, s6 and s8 side by side. S10 looks horrible for videos and photos.

 

Twitch in particular is bad. The video on it is so grainy and badly rendered. It hurts my eyes.

 

Is there any workaround for the time being?

Highlighted
New Member

Also having this issue on S10+ Android 9. Extremely frustrating and can't believe more people aren't talking about it.

Explorer

Only workaround mentioned on the Android buganizer thread (https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/124593215) is to use a third-party app, which isn't ideal. Or install a third party ROM which lets you force an alternative OpenGL renderer.

First Poster

Hey man. Just updated my galaxy a7 to 9.0 yesterday and I am having exact same issue. Proly gonna downgrade back to 8.0 if Samsung wont fix this.

New Member
Same problem here. A7 from 8.0 to 9.0
First Poster

I'm having the same problem on my brand new S10, it's like I've gone back in time 10yrs. Neither Samsung or Google seem to want to do anything about it either so I may be forced to return the phone (it's only 7 days old) and replace with a Huawei whi h seems to be unnafected

Same issue here, really frustrating. I'm using A8 and the images look so pixelated after the update. This is the second time I receive zero attention from the samsung support team on a reported problem. I would return the phone if I could and I am definitely never buying a samsung device again.

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