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Brand new 65" 2018 Q9FN and issues with HDR

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Apprentice

I have now been using my brand new 65" 2018 Q9FN for couple of weeks and only couple of days ago started to watch HDR content using the built in apps in the device. Almost immediately (especially when watching dark scenes of Ozark in Netflix) I noticed that there is something weird going on with every HDR content when the subtitles are enabled.

 

The problem is the following. Every time a subtitle appears on the screen, the device brightens up the details in the screen automatically as if it would try to automatically correct the brightness and contrast in the screen to match the bright light produced by the appearing subtitles. This is really annoying and makes watching of HDR content almost unwatchable. Non-HDR content does not have the same problem when subtitles are enabled and also if I turn off the subtitles completely the problem is gone also with HDR content. It should not however be the "fix" to just watch without subtitles as people including me do watch non-native content with subtitles.

 

Something I also tried to do was to set the colour of the subtitles to something else than white (currently yellow with black boxes around it) but the dynamic brightness / contrast adjustment is still there every time subtitles appear in the screen. Oh and just to be clear the latest firmware 1153 updated on 8 November.

 

I think there is also a similar kind of problem described in the topic linked below but I saw that discussion going nowhere so decided to open a new topic just for this problem: 

https://eu.community.samsung.com/t5/TV-Audio-Video/Brand-new-55-Q9FN-terrible-panel-quality/td-p/577...

"...if there's some white/bright element either from the scene, or even external (volume display, subtitles, etc.) it seems to brighten that corner of the screen and suddenly you see all this detail in the scene"

 

Am I alone with this issue and is Samsung doing anything to correct this? I feel like I should be returning the device because I don't feel like a satisfied customer at the moment.

 

 

 

74 REPLIES 74
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1. Yes I experienced brightness level changes while watching series "Dark" in Netflix that is only UHD, not HDR.
2. I have noticed brightness changes occur also in other built-in apps than Netflix so Amazon Prime and watching Grand Tour there that has HDR enabled. That is not so noticeable though with the lack of dark scenes but definitely you see it happening especially with Local Dimming "High".
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Hi

From Sweden, bought an Q9FN in mid Nov 2018. Noticed this problem quite fast.  Have tested different settings with no improvements. The problem is most notable at high res input like Netflix 4k but also at normal TV channels with 720P ( HD) resolution. All situations with dark background. Have talked with Samsung support in Sweden but they are unfortunately poor with low knowledge, at least the person I talked with. They confirmed although if this problem was on Netflix which proof  that they have heard about this from others as well. I asked them if they have forwarded these information to Samsung engineers in Korea since they are the only one to fix this, but they could not tell. Samsung Sweden will try to make adjustments online with my TV and if this not helpes, they will send over an technician to adjust the settings but I am very sceptical that it will help at all. I also talked with a retailer (HifiKlubben) which are more professional which said this is an feature with the Samsung 2018 models and there is not so much to do. Either it will be solved by new firmware or the hardware is like this.

 

I also have an Q8F from 2017 where this problem does not exist so it confirm that Samsung have failed with the 2018 models.

 

Since this has become such enjoying issue and I am so fixated to this problem when watching TV and also in consideration that I wanted to get the best TV when I bought this Q9FN, I will most likely reclaim and return it and buy something else. My problem is that I am not a big fan of OLED and actually like Samsung so I don't know what to do...perhaps wait for 2019 models...

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Norway here, one week with the QE65Q9FN.  Latest firmware 1202.3.  Same issue with Netflix HDR content with subtitles enabled. Brilliant without subtitles. Testing with Netflix 4K content seems ok without  this issue though.

 

Demonstrated the issue at the local dealer Power. Used my login at Netflix at a Q8 model in the store. Same problem at that panel. The guy in the store contacted Samsung, the solution: change subtitles settings... Of course. Like I haven’t Done that already. Does not fix the problem.

 

Mailed Samsung support directly early this week. Still no feedback. I am still in a 30 day return policy, but I really like the TV . If Samsung just recognized the issue and told us they were working with a firmware patch I would be happy.

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And why is this topic marked as solved? It is not...

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I faced the same issue on the Q6 series. The menu option "local dimming" does not seem to affect the backlight dimming when in HDR mode. After reading several comments on the Internet, I learned that Samsung's algorithm for backlight dimming simply has no detection for subtitles. My previous TV set supported backlight dimming, too, and yes, sometimes it was noticeable. However, subtitles did not impact the backlight much.

 

In general I found that the Q6 series cannot handle dark scenes in HDR mode very well. Series like Ozark, for example, are displayed way too dark and washed out. The subtitle issue makes it only worse. I believe that the LCD technology is simply not appropriate for deep color coding such as HDR and Dolby Vision. The artificial contrast enhancements such as local dimming are just mitigation approaches for limitations that are typical for LCD panels. Those algorithms come with drawbacks and compromises, and cannot work 100 percent reliably is many cases (e.g. subtitles). 

 

There are plenty of videos on Youtube demonstrating the subtitle issue on QLED TVs.

 

I eventually decided to return the TV set because the ability to watch Netflix HDR shows with subtitels enabled is pretty important to me. The first complaints about this issue showed up more than a year ago in the Samsung US community. Samsung did not come up with a solution yet. It is unfortunate, because I really like the the very fast interface and the great user experience of the OSD on the Q6. Also, the general picture quality especially when upscaling TV content is really commendable.

 

I purchased an OLED based TV set (LG) then and realized it is much better for HDR and Dolby Vision. No issues at all, because the high dynamic range of quality sources like Vision and HDR can be handled natively without "tricks" in software. However, I also have to admit that the picture quality when watching normal TV is slightly inferior compared to the Samsung. Nobody is perfect.

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While I hear what your saying about the samsung Q LCD range, OLEDs come with a whole other set of issues. So many uniformity issues with screens, banding, burn in, horrible viewing in bright rooms due to low brightness. I've got a friend who has had to take back 3 screens because of banding issues.

 

I'll take blacks not being perfect to avoid all of those issues

 

I guess the perfect TV doesn't exist 

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@Owlix wrote:

While I hear what your saying about the samsung Q LCD range, OLEDs come with a whole other set of issues. So many uniformity issues with screens, banding, burn in, horrible viewing in bright rooms due to low brightness. I've got a friend who has had to take back 3 screens because of banding issues.

 

I'll take blacks not being perfect to avoid all of those issues

 

I guess the perfect TV doesn't exist 


I agree with you that the perfect TV set does not exist. However, the alleged "issues" with OLED TVs are based on problems that may have occured long time ago, but are not necessarily applicable to new devices anymore. I have been using a Samsung Galaxy S8+ for two years now and there is no issue at all with the OLED screen. It is still brilliant, very bright and still provides much better picture quality for videos especially in dark scenes compared to my iPad. This proves that Samsung is definitely able to manufacture stunning OLED screens that show no significant issues and wear. The iPad's performance when watching dark HDR scenese is poor, as it is typical for LCD screens: grey and and washed-out.

 

Yes, OLEDs have some kind of wear that is certainly not true for LCD screens. However, several tests have come to the conclusion that modern OLED screens can survive 10+ years even when used 4-8 hours a day on average. Considering the experiences I and others have made with modern TV sets, a lifetime of 10 years is very unlikely anyway. Either they break for whatever reason, or you don't want to use them anymore because they became outdated over the years.

 

My dealer told me that Samsung is going to switch to OLED, too, in 2020. Don't known if this is true, but given the experiences described in this thread (and many others), I do believe there might be truth in that statement.

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It's a well known problem for months, and related to local dimming, not the app. Unfortunately local dimming can't be completely disabled, and it process overlay informations (such as subtitles, but also volume numbers or smart hub) with the movie image itself, resulting in a burst of brightness when some white overlay is on.

See also this thread for reference: https://us.community.samsung.com/t5/Qled-and-Frame/Brightness-changes-with-subtitles/td-p/415050/

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Any update on this?

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