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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!

 

361 REPLIES 361
ikramkhasim
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No, I don't have two TVs, but I did have an old LG TV before this, streaming Netflix though the PS4. Everything was fine, even though the LG TV did not have 4K resolution or HDR. The problem is how Samsung TVs are very selective on HDR formats. No problem whatsoever with 4K UHD titles. Downgrading Netflix may help but then you won't be getting 4K resolution or HDR, which means you're not fully utilising the TV capability. Hmm how annoying.
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Peven
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Just finishished watching in the long grass and the darker scenes where unbearable, i also struggle with hdr content from prime. 

Ive had to abandon carnival row because I couldn’t see the image. Strange thing is if you select pause on the remote and then play again for a few seconds whist the pause menu is overlaying the screen it’s at a perfect brightness. 

Surely there’s somthing that can be done with a update? 

Have Samsung really not acknowledged the issue. 

I wish I had gone with the OLED!

Another thing is, I must have read ten different reviews on this tv before I Purchased one from the likes of what hifi and other “reputable” review sites and none mentioned anything along the lines of this tv being so truly disabled by other hdr formats. 

paul1277
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@Peven wrote:

Just finishished watching in the long grass and the darker scenes where unbearable, i also struggle with hdr content from prime. 

Ive had to abandon carnival row because I couldn’t see the image. Strange thing is if you select pause on the remote and then play again for a few seconds whist the pause menu is overlaying the screen it’s at a perfect brightness. 

Surely there’s somthing that can be done with a update? 

Have Samsung really not acknowledged the issue. 

I wish I had gone with the OLED!

Another thing is, I must have read ten different reviews on this tv before I Purchased one from the likes of what hifi and other “reputable” review sites and none mentioned anything along the lines of this tv being so truly disabled by other hdr formats. 


Sounds like a faulty tv. If less than 28 old send it back. If up to 6 months old report it as a fault to your retailers. In hdr it should be bright and sparkle. I had the ks9500 and hdr was a thing of beauty, but due to a fault I had it replaced with the q9f and horrible. Dull blooming and the darkness in the corners. That went back then got the lg c8 and lovely picture. Dolby atmos out as well with Netflix. 

Paul

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ikramkhasim
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We can't be all having faulty TVs. And paul1277 did you watch "In the Tall Grass" in HDR? If the issue only happens on certain titles then retailers or Samsung won't see it as a "fault".
paul1277
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@ikramkhasim wrote:
We can't be all having faulty TVs. And paul1277 did you watch "In the Tall Grass" in HDR? If the issue only happens on certain titles then retailers or Samsung won't see it as a "fault".

 

Have you not seen other threads with faulty Samsung TV's! I think purple spots is a good one, and the amount of people having that issue, which Samsung still will not acknowledge as a know fault. 

I take it you saw reviews about the tv and it's good hdr quality. So if you tv is a disappointment and us to dark to see then yes I would suggest it is a fault. I had the ks9500 which was brilliant with Netflix hdr and Bluray films. It went back due to other issues and it was replaced with the q9f and what a dull hdr picture. Netflix was really bad but Bluray hdr was not much better. Samsung said it was within spec but they still took it back for a full refund. 

I was lucky in that the ks 9500 showed how good hdr is, so I new as soon as I saw the replacement I knew it was not right. 

I got the lg c8 and not as bright as the ks but hdr in Netflix was very good, rather Dolby  vision. So hdr should pop, be bright, and in dark scenes the shadows should look good. If not and not happy, send it back. 

Paul


 

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ikramkhasim
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Hi Paul, 

No I did not see other threads with issues unrelated to mine. But in this case it seems that it was established that the cause is that Netflix supports two different HDR streaming formats, Dolby Vision and HDR10. And what I read is that titles using the Dolby Vision (i.e. 'In the Tall Grass' or 'Sabrina') format runs into compatibility issues with Samsung TVs, which are HDR10 compliant. Titles that use HDR10 like 'Star Trek: Discovery' and 'Rotten' all produce great pictures as how HDR is intended to be. Maybe higher spec TVs in Samsung's range have the capability to play both without issues, but looks like lower range models like my NU7100 have issues. If it was just a software push, then Samsung could easily fix this. I can't go back to the store or Samsung and say I have a problem because if let's say they test HDR with a title outputing HDR10, of course there wouldn't be a problem.

 

Also the global dimming feature that reduces brightness in dark scenes makes things worse and there is no way for me to turn it off.

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100pat
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There's:

#HDR Dolby vision

#HDR 10+
#HDR 10 which is the basic HDR of which the above two are enhancements.

Working out which you are getting is pretty hard but for me it seems that, if you look in the tellys gamma setting in Expert Settings while watching a video, HD and Non-HDR-UHD show BT1886 while HDR shows ST2084. I don't see how to tell if you are getting HDR10 or HDR10+. 
I believe the NowTV boxes don't do Dolby Vision or HDR 10+ so maybe NowTV outputs its streams as vanilla HDR10?

I also note that on Prime you can stream the same title (e.g. Goliath) as HD or UHD-HDR depending on where you access it from in the listings. Confusing. 
There is a list of Netflix content that has HDR here:

https://hd-report.com/list-of-4k-ultra-hd-movies-tv-shows-on-netflix/

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100pat
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@ikramkhasim wrote:

Titles that use HDR10 like 'Star Trek: Discovery' and 'Rotten' all produce great pictures as how HDR is intended to be.

 

---------------------------

The Netflix site seems to say that those are both Dolby Vision


 

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ikramkhasim
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@100pat wrote:

@ikramkhasim wrote:

Titles that use HDR10 like 'Star Trek: Discovery' and 'Rotten' all produce great pictures as how HDR is intended to be.

 

---------------------------

The Netflix site seems to say that those are both Dolby Vision


 


That is so strange! Why is there such a difference between these titles and others then if all of them are in Dolby Vision? Just mind boggling. 

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Peven
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After more digging into the problem I came across a review for carnival row which stated, “it suffers from Netflix’s Dolby Hdr darkness issues.”  This was a site that reviews shows not TVs, so it got me thinking is it Samsung? 

If you search Netflix hdr or prime hdr overly dark scenes or somthing along them lines you’ll find a lot of people seem to have issues with every tv going. 

I appreciate Paul’s reply to my post but we can’t be all having faults of this level on shuch expensive TVs without Samsung acknowledging the issues. 

My tv is almost nine months old, unsure what options I have now? I’ve got the feeling I’m stuck with it unless I want to shed out another couple of grand, which at the time isn’t an option.

 

 has anyone had this issue with uhd disk? 

Ive never utalised  the uhd player I bought with the tv but I’m going to buy a movie just to see how the screen responds.