Samsung emphasise colour volume on their new QLED HDR TVs

Q is for Quantum Dot

by Steve Withers Jan 13, 2017 at 8:24 AM


  • Two of the big selling points of Samsung's new QLED TVs are their increased peak brightness and wider colour gamut.
    As a result, the Korean manufacturer is keen to stress the importance of colour volume. If you're not familiar with the idea of colour volume, it's a relatively straight forward concept. It just means the combination of the colour gamut of the display, which represents all the colours that it can show, and the peak brightness which represents the maximum brightness of the display. The larger the colour gamut and the higher the peak brightness, the bigger the colour volume and the more realistic the image appears. The Q9, Q8 and Q7 QLED TVs can all deliver a colour gamut that is 108% of DCI-P3 with a peak brightness of at least 1,500 nits. This means these TVs can accurately deliver the entire DCI-P3 colour gamut and the full 1,000 nits at which much HDR content is graded.

    As a result when watching HDR content the QLED TVs can deliver the entire experience without needing to tone map the material and thus retain all the colours and the details in the brightest parts of the image. To demonstrate this Samsung had created special footage graded at DCI-P3 and 1,000 nits that showed pencils under different lighting conditions. There was a Q9 next to an LG G6 from last year, which is limited to an accurate peak brightness of about 600 nits. Samsung, in conjunction with Portrait Displays/Spectracal, measured the colour volume of both the Q9 and the G6 and since it's a three dimensional graph they also 3D printed it to physically show the difference.

    Samsung's collaboration with Spectracal also involves an automated calibration feature that works in conjunction with CalMan 2017, whilst the calibration software will also include a method of measuring the colour volume, which will be useful for reviews. This automated calibration feature uses an IP connection, so you can control the TV without having to go directly into the menus and the option to accurately calibrate both the Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) and High Dynamic Range (HDR) performance. Of course this year's OLED TVs are brighter but in terms of delivering the full colour volume, the demonstrations given by Samsung show that there's more to an image than just black levels and that the colour gamut and peak brightness are equally as important.

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