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Original topic:

Possible Fix for Too-Dark Netflix Videos on Samsung TVs

(Topic created on: 10-07-2019 10:26 PM)
100pat
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Sadly, the answer is to switch your device to SDR. You can sit in a pitch black room and mess with settings all you want - that won’t fix it. 

This means that you have to notice, or know, that the video you want to watch will be streamed  in Dolby Vision HDR and change a setting every time (then change it back - what a pain!) to accommodate this. 

 

a) *EDIT* THE INFORMATION IN a) BELOW IS WRONG. I HAVE LEFT IT IN PLACE SO AS NOT TO CONFUSE PEOPLE WHO SUBSEQUENTLY RE-READ IT.  IT APPEARS THAT, FOR MORE MODERN TELLYS AT LEAST, THE OPTION ("INPUT SIGNAL PLUS" IN SETTINGS/ GENERAL/ EXTERNAL DEVICE MANAGER) FOR TOGGLING BETWEEN HDR AND SDR ONLY FUNCTIONS IF YOU ARE WATCHING VIA AN EXTERNAL DEVICE SUCH AS AN APPLE-TV OR A FIRESTICK.  IF YOU ARE USING THE TELLY'S OWN SMART NETFLIX APP THERE APPEARS TO BE NO OPTION TO TOGGLE BETWEEN HDR AND SDR. 

a) If watching via the Netflix smart app on the Samsung HDR telly itself, turn off the HDR settings in the telly’s General/ External Device Manager settings which set the input ports for HDR. Usually called HDMI UHD Colour or Input Signal Plus. (EDIT: NO, THAT WON'T WORK. )

Now the Netflix Dolby Vision HDR video will still play in 4k/UHD but only in SDR. (And only in 8-bit) But, at least, you can see it without having to sit in the coal cellar. 

 (May cause unwanted changes to other devices connected to the TV)

Remember to turn those settings back on again for non-HDR Netflix videos and for all Amazon etc. videos.

 

b) If watching via an AppleTV 4k connected to a Samsung HDR TV the following are usually the best Video settings in the AppeTV for everything except Netflix HDR videos. I recommend using them all the time:

- 4K SDR (Yes, SDR!) in 50Hz (UK) or 60Hz

- Chroma 420 (To enable 10-bit on most, not-super-expensive, Samsung tellys)

- Match Content > Range and Frame Rate both turned on. 

 

Now, to watch a Netflix Dolby Vision HDR video in SDR on a Samsung HDR TV, simply turn off Match Dynamic Range (only) in the Match Content setting referred to above. EDIT :SO LONG AS YOU HAVE SET YOUR APPLE-TV TO SDR AS I HAVE RECOMMENDED ABOVE. 

Now the Netflix Dolby Vision HDR video which you want to watch will still play in 4k/UHD but only in SDR. (And only in 8-bit)

Remember to turn that Range setting back on again for non-HDR Netflix videos and for all Amazon etc. videos.

EDIT: NOTE THAT, IF YOU ALTERNATIVELY ELECT TO TURN OFF HDR WHEN USING AN APPLE-TV BY USING THE "INPUT SIGNAL PLUS" SETTING IN YOUR SAMSUNG TV SETTINGS, THAT WILL WORK BUT THEN YOUR APPLE TV WILL SENSE THAT IT IS NO LONGER CONNECTED TO AN HDR TV AND WILL PROBABLY ALTER SEVERAL OF IT'S OWN SETTINGS. 

 

EXPLANATIONS:

Firstly, the “best” AppleTV settings shown above will allow SDR Videos and the Home Screen to display correctly and then, when you start to play any HDR video, the AppleTV automatically switches itself to output HDR ( and automatically back to SDR again, when done.) EDIT: UNLESS, OF COURSE, YOU HAVE TURNED OFF THE "MATCH RANGE" OPTION IN ORDER TO WATCH A NETFLIX DOLBY VISION VIDEO. 

 

Netflix outputs it’s HDR videos in Dolby Vision HDR format. Many brands of  telly display this OK but Samsung tellys are designed to use the rival HDR10+ format. Dolby Vision formatted videos display badly on Samsung TVs. Full stop!

Amazon Prime output their HDR videos in HDR10+ format so they display nicely on Samsung tellys. 

 

Netflix claim to output HDR in both Dolby Vision format and in vanilla HDR10 (without a +) format. Presumably, if we could get them to send HRD10 (without a +) format videos to our Samsung TVs that would fix the problem. But, I rang Netflix, and it seems (in a very vague conversation) that this is not possible unless our AppleTVs could somehow request it. 

 

Dolby Vision vs HDR10+. Who will win the battle to become the industry standard?

 

Note that this correct AFAIK on 08/10/2019 and may change in future. Those of us who just bought new Samsung TV sets will be keeping our fingers crossed!

EDIT: MY APOLOGIES FOR THE EDITS!

 

362 REPLIES 362
ikramkhasim
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Thanks 100pat. Seems like we're still stuck with this problem with no workaround. Just upset that Samsung does not want to acknowledge this either. If there was a problem rendering Dolby Vision, then the TV should be smart enough to only play HDR10 content and the rest ss SDR.
100pat
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Since I made my origional post it has been pointed out that it appears to be impossible to switch a modern Samsung TV to use SDR when viewing Netflix HDR content formatted in Dolby Vision when using the Samsung built-in Netflix smart app. So there is no way to prevent the resulting poor picture quality. I have edited my original post at the start of this thread. My apologies if  I have misled you. 
It's bad enough that Samsung don't support Dolby Vision HDR. It's worse still that we can't even downgrade to SDR to stop Netflix sending us Dolby Vision. It's a bit like paying for the privilege of hitting yourself on the head with a hammer!

hadamsen
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I have the exact same experience as deskribed in your post. Fixed it by watching Netflix through my older Samsung Blu-Ray players Netflix app (not HDR compliant) with HDMI UHD colour off on that specific HDMI input port. Works, but isn't HDR...

Magpie90
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Isn't it sad that you have to add a device to watch a device. I'm not so sure that swithching to a Sony 43 inch would help the matter. I have seen in some posts that playing Netflix through a Playstation also can be done.I know I can use my Apple TV box with a modicum of success.  I own neither a Playstation nor a Blu Ray player yet I have a brand new Samsung 4k  TV that isn't up to it. I hope to test a Sony 43 inch 4K ( if possible ) to compare. I won't even start on the Alexa/Google Assistant issues. If there is any joy with Sony I will post.

ikramkhasim
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Magpie90 - I guess it defeats the purpose of having a brand new "Smart TV". I watched Netflix through my PS4 before, but it lacked 4K Ultra HD, which is actually beautifully reproduced on the Samsung TV. It's just HDR that's causing all this heartache, although Star Trek: Discovery for instance is perfect even though it's HDR...and I am assuming that it's because it's in HDR10+ format and not Dolby Vision. I'm sure a Sony 4K would compare better since it supports Dolby Vision, as well as an LG. I wonder if it will also display HDR10+ correctly or they'd have the same issues we're facing?
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paul1277
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@ikramkhasim wrote:
Magpie90 - I guess it defeats the purpose of having a brand new "Smart TV". I watched Netflix through my PS4 before, but it lacked 4K Ultra HD, which is actually beautifully reproduced on the Samsung TV. It's just HDR that's causing all this heartache, although Star Trek: Discovery for instance is perfect even though it's HDR...and I am assuming that it's because it's in HDR10+ format and not Dolby Vision. I'm sure a Sony 4K would compare better since it supports Dolby Vision, as well as an LG. I wonder if it will also display HDR10+ correctly or they'd have the same issues we're facing?

 

It's odd, I had a KS9500 and it looked great. Netflix was brilliant, loved the Star Trek. I had problems and after a lot of hassle Samsung agreed to replace with the q9f and wow SD was ok, but Netflix looked so dark especially when showing HDR. It was blooming, halos around bright objects, very dark in the corners, looked like looking through a tunnel. 

Not impressed especially when I sent them pictures and they said it was within spec. That put me off Samsung, and I sent it back and got a full refund. 

Paul

 


 

ikramkhasim
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Amazon Prime on HDR is perfect. Its just Netflix pushing out a format Samsung doesn't do well with and won't acknowledge.
Magpie90
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I have same issue with Prime. Apple TV is far better. Off to see a Sony now.
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ikramkhasim
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That's strange. I've had no issues with Prime on HDR. What's going on, Samsung?
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Magpie90
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Are you viewing the exact same 4K movie on two TVs? I have 2 Samsungs and watching on both through Netflix and Prime.

The only way I can see an improvement is when I watch through Apple TV ( the black box not the app).   Sony at Nunawading extremely helpful but at end of the day the movie "The Man in The High Castle" too dark on the Sony 43 inch as well. June, the salesperson, advised going up to a 55 inch backlit TV which I understand is the QLED series in Samsung. I'll stick with the Samsung  after 2 weeks of testing and be very selective with my viewing on Netflix and Prime. I may even downgrade the Netflix subscription seeing that it is not giving me the Premium Service it offers and is also increasing in price by $2. The really weird thing is my 2009 Ssamsung ( 10 years old) is responding better to Alexa and GA than my current 2019 model. Go figure!!

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