New 40/43" TV 500-700€ (Blu Ray movies + gaming)

Dodgexander

Moderator
@Dodgexander

Received the 55" XH95 last week.
Huge screen compared to 27" PC monitors and 40-43" TVs
but the picture quality is very good. Even 1080p games look really good
and i wouldnt even say that they look blurrier than on my old 24" monitor.
HDR effect in games like Ghost of Tsushima looks awesome. No dirty spots, no stuck pixels.
Also no weird fake color boost. It looks very neutral in a good way.

Theres only one thing which makes it like a 8.5/10 and not a 10/10 so far.
And that one thing is the blooming / bleeding.
Its fine in none HDR content and most of the time in HDR content too.
I dont mind the slight brightening of the black bars in movies.

But especially in HDR games, there are some problematic scenarios.
For example if the mission takes place underground or in some dark
alleyway at night (so not much lighting in the actual game world)
you can clearly see how the higher brightness of the 2D HUD elements in the corners of the screen
(compass, health bar, minimap etc)
shine / bleed into the dark spaces of the game world.
So you get like a slight flashlight effect from these elements.
It would look much better if it wouldnt do that.
Maybe its possible to reduce this with the TV settings, havent tried it yet.
Yes, its strength is not with blooming suppression, that instead goes to Samsung LCD TVs. However, Sony made this choice, because instead they have to deviate from the picture being accurate if they were to make the areas around those huds black. If you compare the same scenes on a Samsung model, the Samsung model suppresses these highlights in an attempt to control the blooming surrounding them more. The result on the Samsung models is that blacks get crushed and you lose shadow detail, and the picture isn't as accurate.

In a way, you could argue its bad game design, when developers know there are bright parts in the huds at the edge of the screen. Perhaps they should add an option to control the brightness of them.

The best choice would have been even more dimming zones, but this is something that also costs a lot more money. At this point it would possibly cost them as much to produce this TV as an OLED TV.

You may be able to help reduce the blooming by reducing the backlight level, but by doing that you also darken highlights.
 

Tosh88

Novice Member
@Dodgexander

I see. What exactly is the reason for this blooming effect?
Like why is it not possible for the TV to make a 100% brightness cut
around these elements or subtitles? There are alot of other elements
in the game world on the screen that dont have a blooming effect
even tho they are also very bright (like clothes or colors of cars).
Why is the TV able to know the brightness boundaries of these elements
but not of these on top of the screen elements?
How does this work with other TVs that dont have blooming? Can you explan the technical side?
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
It's because the TV has a FALD system (Full Array Local Dimming). Without this system parts of the image cannot be dimmed at all independently from another, and the effect instead is to get raised brightness from the entire screen.
FALD enables higher contrast by controlling which parts of the screen are dimmed, and which parts are not. It's always limited by how many zones the TV has, and its decision-making process of the TV firmware to light one zone, and to darken the next.

A decision has to be made when they plan the production of LCD TVs how many zones they give the TV. The more zones a TV has, the more finite the difference of one zone being dimmed, whilst the other being bright can be. The more zones a TV has the more it costs to produce the TV, so especially in recent years there's been a trend for LCD TVs using FALD systems to have less zones as companies realize the cost of producing higher zone count models just isn't worth it anymore with OLED TVs.

In the case of Samsung models, they do better with suppressing blooming than Sony because their decision-making process favors aggressively closing neighboring zones. The benefit to this is there's less blooming, but it comes at a cost. By closing the zones more aggressively the parts of the picture that are supposed to be bright don't get as bright, and the parts of the picture that are supposed to contain detail close to black don't have the detail and are instead pitch black.

So, each decision made by the TV has its pros and cons.

If you have never owned a FALD TV before then you probably aren't used to seeing blooming, especially since older models don't get anywhere near as bright as TVs like the XH95 can, so light control really isn't as much of a problem for these TVs to begin with.

You can actually disable the local dimming on the TV, or turn it down in strength. By doing so you will be raising the entire black level of the TV, but should notice less blooming since there won't be as much of a distinct point between where the picture is bright or dark.

If I remember right people adjust local dimming on Sony TVs to be either medium or high. High you will make the brighter areas of the image brighter than they should be, medium retains detail. Perhaps if you adjust this setting, you can see a difference in your results. With games, you must also make sure you have the game correctly calibrated to the peak output of the TV (around 1100-1200nits). You can also adjust this lower if you want the highlights to be dimmer.
 

Tosh88

Novice Member
@Dodgexander
Thank you.
Yeah, i have a ten year old 24" Asus Full HD monitor that is very dark,
like 250 nits or something like that but i like how neutral the colors are.
I also have an about ten year old 32" Technisat Full HD TV.
It doesnt have blooming but you can clearly see the backlights behind the screen
in darker scenes. (screen has clearly visible vertical lighting stripes)
I cant see any backlight spots or stripes or dirty screen effects on the XH95
but it has this blooming thing.
I guess every product comes with some downsides.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
You won't have blooming so much on older displays because they are both dimmer and have raised black levels. You can achieve the same result on FALD TVs by disabling local dimming. The downside to this though is you get raised blacks, much the same as the older displays.

With HDR, and increased brightness, local dimming is a must.
 

Tosh88

Novice Member
@Dodgexander

I guess i will write down individual TV settings for specific content
because some HDR games are totally fine with all the TV features on medium / high
and some of them are not because of the HUD elements.
Older none HDR games seem completely fine, theres no HUD blooming,
not even when the HUD elements are in front of a dark cave or something like that.
So its a case by case thing.
And i guess its also a little bit of getting used to it
because i never had this screensize in 4K + this brightness this close to my face.
(not in a bad way but it can be a bit overwhelming with fast paced content)
 

Kris Dee

Active Member
I have this TV, and blooming can be anoiyng sometimes. Use some bias lighting, that will help a little bit.
Auto Local Dimming high can fix most blooming in movies, but small highlights are dimmed, similar behavior to Samsung.
Auto Local Dimming medium give you most accurate HDR, but blooming on 21:9 movies can be very distracting like here.
IMG_20211129_220558~2.jpg

Unfortunately in game mode Auto Local Dimming High works identical to medium.
What you can do is, play with X-tended Dynamic Range. For some games you can try Low or even Off. This will lower peak brightness to around 800nits(low) and 600nits(off), but your EOTF tracking should still be accurate.
Also you can try Black Adjust med or high.
And always check, because some games alow you to set transparent HUD.
 

Tosh88

Novice Member
@Kris Dee

Yeah i noticed that X tented range low instead of medium
does already look better in the 'problematic' HDR games
because it reduces the HUD blooming by about 15, 20%
and i couldnt really tell the visual difference in terms of quality.
And so far this is only a problem with HDR games that have no HUD options.
For example its totally fine in Ghost of Tsushima because the HUD is dynamic
and most of the time not visible. Also not all TV settings seem to be perfect for every game.
The TV HDR settings for Ghost of Tsushima for example dont really work that great
with Red Dead Redemption 2 HDR.

So yeah i guess i have to check this individually from content to content
and figure out what works best. Thanks for the help!
 

Kris Dee

Active Member
@Kris Dee

Yeah i noticed that X tented range low instead of medium
does already look better in the 'problematic' HDR games
because it reduces the HUD blooming by about 15, 20%
and i couldnt really tell the visual difference in terms of quality.
And so far this is only a problem with HDR games that have no HUD options.
For example its totally fine in Ghost of Tsushima because the HUD is dynamic
and most of the time not visible. Also not all TV settings seem to be perfect for every game.
The TV HDR settings for Ghost of Tsushima for example dont really work that great
with Red Dead Redemption 2 HDR.

So yeah i guess i have to check this individually from content to content
and figure out what works best. Thanks for the help!
You have to remember that some games just have very poor HDR implementation.
I think RDR2 is one of them.
 

Tosh88

Novice Member
@Kris Dee

Yeah seems like it. I have to set the paper white to like 200 or 250 ingame
and also activate extended contrast and lively colors
and everything else on medium / high on the TV too.
Otherwise it looks really dull and dreary.
And normally i hate fake color boosting features.

I would not have thought that the HDR feature would be so variable.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
I would not have thought that the HDR feature would be so variable.
This is the idea with HDR10+ and Dolby Vision gaming.
HDR10 being static has been the main problem with its introduction, and part of the reasons cheaper TVs just don't cut displaying HDR.

They really didn't think the whole thing through. Let's hope that HDR10 soon is a thing of the past and more and more games use dynamic HDR formats like Dolby Vision.

HGIG is also a relevant part of gaming, hope to see more manufacturers take that on as it takes away the calibration part of setting up the game each time.
 

Kris Dee

Active Member
I feel like most newer games have decent enough HDR implementation. For example all Sony Exclusives. Horizon Zero Dawn HDR will blow your mind, and you don't even have to touch single slider. I don't have Xbox, but I believe that Forza and Gears games have great HDR as well.
 

Tosh88

Novice Member
@Dodgexander

One more thing i noticed these days,
especially in games like Ghost of Tsushima or Horizon Zero Dawn,
when there are a lot of really dark gray rain clouds in the sky
and you are moving the camera on the horizontal axis along these clouds,
i can see some slightly brighter and darker spots on the screen.
Like cloudy stains or like someone with dirty or greasy fingers touched it.

Its not visible on black or blue sky or white clouds and its not visible
in normal nature or city environments.
So i guess thats the typical gray uniformity / DSE stuff?
 

Tosh88

Novice Member
@Dodgexander

I see. As i understand it, thats just how it is with probably every TV that exists,
with every brand, size and even OLEDs?
So its a 100% lottery how noticeable its gonna be
and like 0,1% chance to get a completely perfect screen?
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
I don't think there's such a thing as a perfect screen. OLEDs tend to do better than LCD TVs because they are completely integrated, in other words there's no backlight, each pixel lights itself. Even with those you can get tinting though where some parts of the screen are tinted a certain colour.

In terms of LCD TVs, Sony actually do very well in DSE tests compared to other brands. There's definitely variation between one unit and another though.
 

Tosh88

Novice Member
@Dodgexander

Okay, well i only saw the XH95 Review on Rtings
and you can see some darker spots and lines on their gray uniformity picture.
Their gray uniformity rating is still 7.6/10 which makes me think
that there will be way worse displays than that.
And i dont actually see any vertical or horizontal lines or blocks,
just some cloudy spots here and there that are a bit brighter or darker.

I guess i can live with it because its only visible in specific scenarios
and then only if you focus on these specific screen spots
instead of the actual content. So if i accept to live with that,
i think i will forget about it eventually.

I also got completely rid of the HUD blooming in SDR.
I dont know if it was the Xtended option
but with Xtended off, dimming medium, no extra contrast, black balance low,
black level 48, gamma 0, contrast 90 and brightness 35
theres actually zero HUD blooming and it looks pretty good.

So if there is no hide the HUD option in a HDR game,
i think i will play in SDR instead. Its still going to look better
than these flashlight effects in the dark.
 

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