Help please for new tv without headaches and nausea

Mikekeys

Novice Member
I am struggling to buy a modern TV set that I can watch without headaches/nausea.

I can watch my girlfriends tv (Samsung QE55Q6FNA ((2018 model 100Hz)) fine…..in my opinion an amazing sharp picture, so decided to upgrade and buy a new set to replace my ancient Sony Bravia 32 inch.

Unfortunately, due to the size and shape of my room I can have a max size of 50inch.

It seems that all the newer 4k/HDR sets give me headaches/nausea. (my eyesight is fine….had recent eyetest and work with computer monitors every day)

I have tried turning off all the motion / interpolation setting’s etc, and turning down or even trying max brightness settings thinking my problem may be the PWM of the backlights (still leaning towards this theory).

I first tried an LG 50UN80006LC, Then a Samsung QE43Q60TA, then last week I tried a Sony Bravia KD49XH9196BU.

I have now returned the KD49xh9196BU as it also gave me headache/ nausea but drastically reduced compared to the other sets I tried. I was using Custom mode.

At first it was a lot worse but as soon as I turned off HDR it made a tremendous difference.

I still desperately want to buy a new set (one that doesn’t give me headaches/nausea so I am looking at one of these: Sony 9505, Hisense U7QF or OLED TV’s such as the 2021 models of Sony and LG – either the LG 48inch C1, or the 48inch Sony.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
HDR isn't a feature that you can turn off or not, its embedded detail available in some video, but not others.

If you have been using the feature that some TVs have to convert SDR to HDR, then that may be your problem.

PWM flicker can certainly be linked to why some people get headaches, but its not necessarily the only reason. Sony LCD TVs tend to have less flicker than other LCD TV makes, which may be why you found the recent Sony you owned better. Probably the next thing to try would be an OLED like the LG 48CX or Sony A9, as OLED TVs don't have PWM flicker at all.

Best avoid 2021 models as they will be overpriced right now. Better to get a discounted 2020 LG CX than a full priced 2021 C1.
 

Mikekeys

Novice Member
Thanks Dodgexander for your very helpful advice.
I did manage to turn off a setting called HDR....what exactly it was or did I'm not sure but it definitely made a tremendous difference. It says in the online manual that under motion settings you can turn on or off HDR mode.....like i said though I don't know if it actually turns off HDR or something else, but it did make a big difference.
I did look at the LG CX OLED and the Sony in a shop this afternoon and I think I will take your advice and buy one of them rather than one of the newer 2021 models.
I was also toying with the idea of the Sony 9505, but as you said OLEDs dont have flicker and as the 9505 is an LED i think i will air on the side of caution and go with the OLED.
When i viewed the OLED's this afternoon they were showing the snooker which gave me no headache, but when the salesperson switched it to a 4k demo on youtube i did start to get a very mild headache.
Thanks again for your advice.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Maybe you just need a smaller TV? Not sure.

HDR puts the brightness of TVs on full by default, but its nowhere near as bright as being outside, even on a muggy day.

HDR can't be enabled or disabled using a setting on the TV. The only way to manage it is via external sources by downgrading the TVs HDMI port to only accept SDR from external HDMI devices. With built in apps its a case of using SDR and HD, or HDR and UHD, with nothing in-between.

If there's a setting on the TV that turns HDR on or off it will be a pseudo HDR mode that takes SDR and turns it into HDR, you definitely don't want to use that setting.

It may also be motion stutter, if its a case that modern displays are giving you headaches because they stutter more, then you may actually be better off buying a much cheaper TV with more motion blur to avoid the stutter. With TVs the less motion blur they have, the more stutter they have, and the more motion blur they have, the less stutter they have.

Last thing I can think is it could be the type of panel. Good LCD TVs nowadays tend to use VA type panels, whereas your old Sony is probably using an IPS panel. You could try a TV using an IPS panel instead if you want to try another LCD TV.
 

Kapkirk

Active Member
I would suggest the LG 48CX also. I suffer the same problem as you Mikekeys, coming from plasma to LED was a real problem for me, I settled on the panasonic OLED. Another thing you could do if you don't already is to use spectacles with a grey 0 or 1 tint and anti reflective coating, I only need very minor optical correction but found the 0 grey perfect for reliving the eye fatigue of the new LED TV's.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Definitely takes some getting used to when you switch TVs, even one LCD TV to another. Many people complain about motion on modern displays, especially inerrant stutter. I think on larger TVs its much more noticeable, so whilst 50" is small by todays standards, coming from a 32" you probably notice the problems more.
 

Mikekeys

Novice Member
Maybe you just need a smaller TV? Not sure.

HDR puts the brightness of TVs on full by default, but its nowhere near as bright as being outside, even on a muggy day.

HDR can't be enabled or disabled using a setting on the TV. The only way to manage it is via external sources by downgrading the TVs HDMI port to only accept SDR from external HDMI devices. With built in apps its a case of using SDR and HD, or HDR and UHD, with nothing in-between.

If there's a setting on the TV that turns HDR on or off it will be a pseudo HDR mode that takes SDR and turns it into HDR, you definitely don't want to use that setting.

It may also be motion stutter, if its a case that modern displays are giving you headaches because they stutter more, then you may actually be better off buying a much cheaper TV with more motion blur to avoid the stutter. With TVs the less motion blur they have, the more stutter they have, and the more motion blur they have, the less stutter they have.

Last thing I can think is it could be the type of panel. Good LCD TVs nowadays tend to use VA type panels, whereas your old Sony is probably using an IPS panel. You could try a TV using an IPS panel instead if you want to try another LCD TV.
Thanks again Dodgexander
My current/ old Sony is at least 15 years old maybe more....I think it was one of the first flat screens. The strange thing is though I can watch my partners TV which I think is a VA panel (QE55Q6FNA).
Maybe you just need a smaller TV? Not sure.

HDR puts the brightness of TVs on full by default, but its nowhere near as bright as being outside, even on a muggy day.

HDR can't be enabled or disabled using a setting on the TV. The only way to manage it is via external sources by downgrading the TVs HDMI port to only accept SDR from external HDMI devices. With built in apps its a case of using SDR and HD, or HDR and UHD, with nothing in-between.

If there's a setting on the TV that turns HDR on or off it will be a pseudo HDR mode that takes SDR and turns it into HDR, you definitely don't want to use that setting.

It may also be motion stutter, if its a case that modern displays are giving you headaches because they stutter more, then you may actually be better off buying a much cheaper TV with more motion blur to avoid the stutter. With TVs the less motion blur they have, the more stutter they have, and the more motion blur they have, the less stutter they have.

Last thing I can think is it could be the type of panel. Good LCD TVs nowadays tend to use VA type panels, whereas your old Sony is probably using an IPS panel. You could try a TV using an IPS panel instead if you want to try another LCD TV.
 

Mikekeys

Novice Member
I would suggest the LG 48CX also. I suffer the same problem as you Mikekeys, coming from plasma to LED was a real problem for me, I settled on the panasonic OLED. Another thing you could do if you don't already is to use spectacles with a grey 0 or 1 tint and anti reflective coating, I only need very minor optical correction but found the 0 grey perfect for reliving the eye fatigue of the new LED TV's.
Thanks Kapkirk. Strangely enough I also wear glasses with the grey tint and antireflective coating. I also tried viewing without wearing my glasses.....still the same. I also tried sitting closer and also further away.....again no change. It is definitely to do with the technology used in the newer sets. It is really weird that I can watch my partners TV perfectly with absolutely no problem. If only I could find a newer set that matches her 100Hz edge lit set. Unfortunately the manufacturers seem reluctant to publish more technical details so I would have more of a chance finding it a match.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
The closest model to the 2017 Q6FN in 2020 lines is the Q70T or one of their overpriced frame models. They downgraded their entry level QLED 6 series TVs to 60hz from 120hz panels starting 2019. If you get along with that TV, you are likely to get along with another 120hz Samsung model.
 

Mikekeys

Novice Member
The closest model to the 2017 Q6FN in 2020 lines is the Q70T or one of their overpriced frame models. They downgraded their entry level QLED 6 series TVs to 60hz from 120hz panels starting 2019. If you get along with that TV, you are likely to get along with another 120hz Samsung model.
Many thanks again Dodgexander, i will see if i can veiw one in my local store (even though all sets are normally in retail mode and brightness/ contrast turned up to the max lol, i always walk out with a massive headache).
Other than the Q70T it will be a Sony, as i mentioned earlier....so far the 9196 has been the best.
I have just spent all today so far researching the 49inch Sony 9505 and comparing with the Sony A9 OLED. I know they are probably worlds apart for an enthusiast, but for the amount of tv i watch (rarely watch a film, mostly news and discovery channel) i wonder is the OLED worth the extra £400.
Im sure as long as i can watch the 9505 without experiencing headaches i will be happy.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
I think OLED is definitely worth a try, because it could be a lot kinder on your eyes. Being a new technology they bring more overall to the table compared to an LCD TV too. So the difference between watching anything will be more stark on an OLED, compared to a new LCD TV.

Newer LCD TVs are really not that much better than older models for a lot of SDR content, the only exception really is when you pair the TVs with 4k and HDR material.
 

Mikekeys

Novice Member
Thanks. I am spending so much time weighing up all the pro's & cons and researching at the moment......driving the mrs mad lol.
I have been lucky in one respect so far that it hasnt cost too much. Out of the 3 tv's iv tried at home I managed to return two without a restocking fee. The Samsung i had to pay a 10% restocking fee to AO, so dont want to have to pay again so really need to get it right.
Even though it gave me a slight headache i was amazed by the picture quality of the Sony 9196, and enjoyed playing around with the apps and smart features and the larger screen.
Unfortunately i just couldnt put up with having a slight headache everytime i watched it
 

Mikekeys

Novice Member
Hi guys……here’s an update to my quandary. (sorry for the long post…trying to include as much details hoping someone is able to diagnose my problem)

I bought the Sony XH9505…..again a fantastic picture, but every setting I tried still gave me a headache.

I tried with motionflow off, and every permutation of smoothness and clearness with motionflow on (custom) and film mode set to auto. The setting that gave me the least headaches was smoothness = 0 and clearness at max (brightness was also then on max due to the picture getting so dim, which would mean very little PWM flicker).

I chose the 9505 rather than the OLED because of the £400 difference and after trying 4 TV’s and sending them back I was afraid I may not be able to send it back if I still experience the same problem and would then be stuck with £1200 worth of TV I maybe couldn’t watch, as much as I am tempted to try it.

I know the OLED doesn’t have a backlight and doesn’t use PWM, but eventhough i think this is the problem I’m not 100% sure, and also according to rtings.com there is a slight flicker.

“Flicker-Free

No

PWM Dimming Frequency

0 Hz

Update 06/25/2020: We incorrectly stated that this TV was flicker-free, it's not. Although the flicker isn't at all noticeable, there is a slight dip in brightness every 8ms.

The LG CX OLED doesn't use Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and is technically flicker-free. There's a slight dip in brightness every 8 ms, which coincides with its refresh rate but isn't noticeable.”

Someone also commented below the statement “​

Rtings wrote: „There is an imperceivable dip in brightness at the TV’s refresh rate of 120Hz, or at about every 8ms.“ I’ve bought such a TV and I can assure you that the brightness pulsating/flicker is clearly perceivable and therefore head ache inducing. This should have resulted in a big malus in your picture quality rating. Every OLED TV with that panel from LG suffers of this substantial flaw!"

So im thinking its maybe too much of a risk to try the OLED, and that I have little options other than to cut my losses and send the XH9505 back and get the same TV as my brother (which again I can watch without a problem), the JVC LT-39C610.

It seems I can only watch basic TV’s.

Incidentally I mentioned earlier I could also watch my partners Samsung QE55Q6FNA so I thought id check the settings and surprisingly they were set as : Automotion plus = auto,
HDR+ = off.
So, to recap I don’t know if my headaches are because of the PWM (frequency as well as whether it’s on or off), or to do with a need to use motion settings or a combination of the two.

Thanks again for all your help.
 

tvdavid

Well-known Member
some times my eyes hurt but turning down the contrast works but you seem much more sensitive
 

Raitziger

Member
Seems like your eyes need OLED. Which is sample and hold. Well technically LCD is also but PWM backlight makes it not.
 

Mikekeys

Novice Member
Maybe some bias lighting would help behind the TV?
Thanks Bob.....tried bias lighting. Even tried different bulbs and different room lighting on addition to bias lighting......it's definitely some sort of flicker.......either pwm or to do with motionflow.
 

Mikekeys

Novice Member
The Q6FN will use PWM, so it might not be PWM that you're sensitive too.

Maybe you could try a TV that has the least stutter. If you don't want to go with an OLED, a low-end LCD TV with more blur. The LG UN7300 would be a good one to try.
Thanks Dodgexander, may look into that model.
 

Raitziger

Member
Also Sony PWM is high and fixed. Samsung drops to 120Hz in many modes which causes eye strain to many people. Also visit rtings.com. They test US models but most have same TV under different name in Europe. They actually test for PWM and you can see how they do. Sony X900H((X90H) and X950H (X95H) have fixed 720 HZ PWM. Image Flicker Of TVs: Black Frame Insertion
 

Mikekeys

Novice Member
Also Sony PWM is high and fixed. Samsung drops to 120Hz in many modes which causes eye strain to many people. Also visit rtings.com. They test US models but most have same TV under different name in Europe. They actually test for PWM and you can see how they do. Sony X900H((X90H) and X950H (X95H) have fixed 720 HZ PWM. Image Flicker Of TVs: Black Frame Insertion
Thanks Raitziger. Perhaps I am barking up the wrong tree with the pwm as I can watch my partners QE55Q6FNA with no problems. Thanks for things recommendation.......I managed to find that excellent site and noted the frequency of pwm for my Sony 9505.
 

Raitziger

Member
Ok. Then it might be the motion settings. black frame insertion causes flicker and that should be always off.(it is called motion clear or something)
 
Last edited:

Loopthrough

Member
PWM debate is sketchy. I don't buy it.

The only people trying to say PWM causes issues are people trying to sell you a flicker free display.

Technically, with light in the room, it would negate any PWM "flicker", which in itself never truly goes down to black like a strobe as an LED doesn't fade off to black that fast not to catch itself again when it brightens back up. Cameras filming a screen exaggerate the effect mostly due to the "rolling shutter" effect and of course a shutter speed mismatch. That doesn't mean it really looks like that strobe flickering.

More likely: screen too close/large (causing too much in peripheral vision which causes headaches in people who get motion sickness), screen too bright/room too dark and BFI turned on. Most likely cause is a screen too bright and close.
 

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