Dark HDR Content - Samsung TV

JamieBee

Active Member
Hi

I have had a 55TU8500 since last Sept and this has been an issue since I have had it to be honest. Every time I watch HDR content on either my Sky Q box, the Netflix app on the TV or the Sky box or on the Amazon Prime app, the screen is so dark, is it virtually unwatchable. I have my brightness and contrast turned almost all of the way up and seem to have to turn Contrast Enhancer up to high just to make it watchable (which doesn't look great apart from the fact it's brighter) and then turn it off again to watch all other content. All non-HDR content looks fine with no issues.

When I read reviews of the TV after I bought it, it did say that HDR content didn't look great and google search shows me that HDR content being too dark is quite a common theme on various TVs (not just Samsung) and devices. I have just been on the phone to Samsung Tech Support, which was a bit of a waste of time. I shared my screen with the agent but all we did was reset the TV to factory settings and change a few things on the hidden engineer menus (white levels I think?) but it made no difference. Is it just something I have to put up with the TV or can it be fixed ? Thanks in advance
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
Unfortunately TV's are being very missold just now by saying they're HDR compatible.

They sort of are, but they're not HDR capable. In order for an LCD TV to be HDR capable it needs to have a backlight that's bright enough to show HDR and a Local dimming system (Known as FALD) so you can have variances in the areas of the TV that are bright and dark to give contrast.

Your TV has no local dimming and the backlight isn't bright enough, along with the majority of TVs in the manufacturers' ranges these days.
It's only the upper range Samsung QLED's that are really HDR capable, anything below a Q80 isn't, and that includes all the TU models.

It's shocking they can get away with it.
 

gmoore23

Active Member
Unfortunately TV's are being very missold just now by saying they're HDR compatible.

They sort of are, but they're not HDR capable. In order for an LCD TV to be HDR capable it needs to have a backlight that's bright enough to show HDR and a Local dimming system (Known as FALD) so you can have variances in the areas of the TV that are bright and dark to give contrast.

Your TV has no local dimming and the backlight isn't bright enough, along with the majority of TVs in the manufacturers' ranges these days.
It's only the upper range Samsung QLED's that are really HDR capable, anything below a Q80 isn't, and that includes all the TU models.

It's shocking they can get away with it.
Agreed, Manufacturers are actually damaging HDR's reputation. Lots of people now think HDR's rubbish not knowing that their tv can't even do HDR properly.
There really needs to be stricter regulations put in place.
 

JamieBee

Active Member
Thanks for replying. In a funny way, I do feel a bit reassured that that is the best the HDR content is going to look and won't spend hours fiddling with settings to try and improve it. The QLEDs and the Q80 you recommended are, it seems, £500+ more than my TV so I may have to just accept it for the time being.

The annoying thing is, there is no option to watch non-HDR content on Netflix and Amazon Prime on the apps and you have to watch the best format available. If a series / film was in HDR, I would happily just watch it in HD, if the made the screen brighter and more watchable.
 

JamieBee

Active Member
Unfortunately TV's are being very missold just now by saying they're HDR compatible.

They sort of are, but they're not HDR capable. In order for an LCD TV to be HDR capable it needs to have a backlight that's bright enough to show HDR and a Local dimming system (Known as FALD) so you can have variances in the areas of the TV that are bright and dark to give contrast.

Your TV has no local dimming and the backlight isn't bright enough, along with the majority of TVs in the manufacturers' ranges these days.
It's only the upper range Samsung QLED's that are really HDR capable, anything below a Q80 isn't, and that includes all the TU models.

It's shocking they can get away with it.
Thanks for replying. In a funny way, I do feel a bit reassured that that is the best the HDR content is going to look and won't spend hours fiddling with settings to try and improve it. The QLEDs and the Q80 you recommended are, it seems, £500+ more than my TV so I may have to just accept it for the time being.

The annoying thing is, there is no option to watch non-HDR content on Netflix and Amazon Prime on the apps and you have to watch the best format available. If a series / film was in HDR, I would happily just watch it in HD, if the made the screen brighter and more watchable.

The Samsung TV I had before this one (which was at the lower end of the market) did in fact have local dimming but I managed to turn it off as the brightness going up and down was quite irritating.

Apologies - I can't figure out how to delete the post above without the quote.
 

gmoore23

Active Member
Thanks for replying. In a funny way, I do feel a bit reassured that that is the best the HDR content is going to look and won't spend hours fiddling with settings to try and improve it. The QLEDs and the Q80 you recommended are, it seems, £500+ more than my TV so I may have to just accept it for the time being.

The annoying thing is, there is no option to watch non-HDR content on Netflix and Amazon Prime on the apps and you have to watch the best format available. If a series / film was in HDR, I would happily just watch it in HD, if the made the screen brighter and more watchable.
Just downgrade your Netflix subscription to the 1080p version and you'll be sorted.

For Amazon, get a non 4K Fire Stick or get a 4K firestick and turn off 4K HDR and you'll be sorted.
 

JamieBee

Active Member
Just downgrade your Netflix subscription to the 1080p version and you'll be sorted.

For Amazon, get a non 4K Fire Stick or get a 4K firestick and turn off 4K HDR and you'll be sorted.
The Netflix is through Sky and I think I have asked them to do this before and they confirmed, I have to have the UHD package as I have a UHD box. I may call them to check. The Fire Stick idea could work, just a hassle to 'fire' up the stick and use it just to watch Prime when my TV and Sky Box have dedicated Prime apps on them ready to go with one button.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
The Netflix is through Sky and I think I have asked them to do this before and they confirmed, I have to have the UHD package as I have a UHD box. I may call them to check. The Fire Stick idea could work, just a hassle to 'fire' up the stick and use it just to watch Prime when my TV and Sky Box have dedicated Prime apps on them ready to go with one button.

You could turn off input signal plus (buried in samsung settings) and that should disable the HDR support on the TV, the Sky box might revert to 4K SDR or drop down to 1080p output.
 

gmoore23

Active Member
The Netflix is through Sky and I think I have asked them to do this before and they confirmed, I have to have the UHD package as I have a UHD box. I may call them to check. The Fire Stick idea could work, just a hassle to 'fire' up the stick and use it just to watch Prime when my TV and Sky Box have dedicated Prime apps on them ready to go with one button.
The Fire stick will work for Netflix also. When I was with sky, I already had a Netflix account and used those details to integrate with Sky. I could still use my Netflix account on other devices as well.
 

JamieBee

Active Member
You could turn off input signal plus (buried in samsung settings) and that should disable the HDR support on the TV, the Sky box might revert to 4K SDR or drop down to 1080p output.
Would that not affect picture quality in general for the TV or is it just turning off HDR ? I sometimes get mixed up - are HDR / UHD and 4K all the same thing and could potentially all appear dark on my TV as it doesn't seem capable of showing good quality HDR / UHD / 4K content ?
 

JamieBee

Active Member
The Fire stick will work for Netflix also. When I was with sky, I already had a Netflix account and used those details to integrate with Sky. I could still use my Netflix account on other devices as well.
Oh yes, I'm sure it will work but just not ideal having another remote control to use when the apps have dedicated buttons on the TV remote and are on the Sky box also.
 

JamieBee

Active Member
Would that not affect picture quality in general for the TV or is it just turning off HDR ? I sometimes get mixed up - are HDR / UHD and 4K all the same thing and could potentially all appear dark on my TV as it doesn't seem capable of showing good quality HDR / UHD / 4K content ?
I have just tried that but it made no difference I am afraid. I have put on Ozark and Fear Street both in HDR and both incredibly dark still.
 

gmoore23

Active Member
Would that not affect picture quality in general for the TV or is it just turning off HDR ? I sometimes get mixed up - are HDR / UHD and 4K all the same thing and could potentially all appear dark on my TV as it doesn't seem capable of showing good quality HDR / UHD / 4K content ?
4K and HDR are totally different. 4K is your resolution and is the upgrade from Full HD 1080p. HDR is High Dynamic range and is the upgrade from SDR (standard dynamic range).
65'' would probably be the smallest size tv you'd notice the upgrade from 1080p to 4K unless you sit really close.
However where it gets tricky is through streaming services and Sky etc. As they use so much compression a lot of the time their 4k version will look better than the 1080p even if your using a smaller tv whereas if your using a lossless source like Blu-Ray, it's much harder to notice the difference unless your using a large screen.
Now I haven't had Sky for about a year or so but I'm pretty sure you can change the resolution in your sky box settings.
Try setting your sky box to resolution 2160p 8bit instead of 10bit. Setting to 2160p 8bit should preserve your 4K but lose the HDR and switch you back to SDR.
 

JamieBee

Active Member
4K and HDR are totally different. 4K is your resolution and is the upgrade from Full HD 1080p. HDR is High Dynamic range and is the upgrade from SDR (standard dynamic range).
65'' would probably be the smallest size tv you'd notice the upgrade from 1080p to 4K unless you sit really close.
However where it gets tricky is through streaming services and Sky etc. As they use so much compression a lot of the time their 4k version will look better than the 1080p even if your using a smaller tv whereas if your using a lossless source like Blu-Ray, it's much harder to notice the difference unless your using a large screen.
Now I haven't had Sky for about a year or so but I'm pretty sure you can change the resolution in your sky box settings.
Try setting your sky box to resolution 2160p 8bit instead of 10bit. Setting to 2160p 8bit should preserve your 4K but lose the HDR and switch you back to SDR.
Thank you ! I have changed it to 8 bit and no more HDR content is available on Netflix on the Sky box - just HD and 4K. So I can still watch UHD / 4K content (football on Sky Sports for example) but I can't watch HDR content be in on Sky / Netflix / Prime ? General picture quality will be unaffected apart from the fact HDR is no longer available ?
 

gmoore23

Active Member
Your Welcome. Your picture quality is as it should be now, 10bit is only for HDR. SDR content is 8 bit so your settings should now suit your TV perfectly. Your still getting the benefits of UHD resolution just without HDR.
 

JamieBee

Active Member
Your Welcome. Your picture quality is as it should be now, 10bit is only for HDR. SDR content is 8 bit so your settings should now suit your TV perfectly. Your still getting the benefits of UHD resolution just without HDR.
You're a star. Now all I need to do is get my service menu white balance settings back to how they were but I'm not having much luck. The last time I do what Samsung advise !
 

gmoore23

Active Member
You're a star. Now all I need to do is get my service menu white balance settings back to how they were but I'm not having much luck. The last time I do what Samsung advise !
Crazy that they thought that would be a solution. Good luck with getting your settings corrected. If Samsung aren't of any help your best bet would be to find someone with the same tv and get them to send you a photo of their default service menu settings.
 

JamieBee

Active Member
Crazy that they thought that would be a solution. Good luck with getting your settings corrected. If Samsung aren't of any help your best bet would be to find someone with the same tv and get them to send you a photo of their default service menu settings.
Yes - I have posted in the Samsung TU owners thread and PM'd a couple of people that have the TV but not had any success so far. You'd think Samsung would know as they made the TV. Clearly not !
 

gmoore23

Active Member
Yes - I have posted in the Samsung TU owners thread and PM'd a couple of people that have the TV but not had any success so far. You'd think Samsung would know as they made the TV. Clearly not !
Hi, I found this video which could be of help. Towards the end you can see all the white balance settings. Note, The video is for the RU series but I'm guessing your tv will be very similar to these.

 

JamieBee

Active Member
Hi, I found this video which could be of help. Towards the end you can see all the white balance settings. Note, The video is for the RU series but I'm guessing your tv will be very similar to these.

Great minds think alike. I found the exact same video a couple of hours ago and used the settings that are literally on the screen for about 1 second, which is all I need. Settings changed and the tv looks much better. Thanks a lot for your help 🙂
 

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