Sony XE90 (and also XE85) frame repeats/drops on 50/59.94 native content

Discussion in 'Sony TVs Forum' started by Stephen Neal, Nov 12, 2017.

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    1. Stephen Neal

      Stephen Neal
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      Has anyone else seen their XE90s (49XE9005 in my case) exhibit stutter / judder - particularly on shot changes on 50Hz native content? (Strictly Come Dancing is a great example)

      Thought I'd share as I appear to have discovered a design issue (or firmware issue) with the current 49XE9005 TV.

      I bought this display from John Lewis 2 weeks ago. Within 15 minutes of switching it on - after disabling MotionFlow, all the contrast enhancement, noise reduction etc., but before doing a Calibration on it. I like to start from a 'what comes in is what I see displayed' standpoint before adding any processing.

      My XE9005 stuttered - literally jumped back on a text crawl right after a shot change - on the first Sky+ HD recording I played on it. Not good. Replayed it, stuttered at exactly the same point. Watched the same recording from the same Sky+ on a different TV - no jump.

      Then watched the opening of the Halloween Strictly - jumps and stutters all over the place.

      I've now done a LOT of digging... (I work for the BBC - used to be a Broadcast R&D Engineer elsewhere in the industry, now work making progreammes)

      Going back to the Strictly broadcast masters (which working for the BBC I have access to), and playing a 720p50 high quality deinterlaced version of these with embedded 50p timecode (so every frame has a unique number) of these back from a BlackMagic video card connected to my MacBook - and filming the result at 720p240 on my iPhone (i.e. slow mo) I can capture what the TV is actually doing (and compare it to another TV (49X8505B) fed the same content via an HDMI splitter).

      I went for 720p50 to avoid any deinterlacing artefacts (the timecode is in the progressive domain) and to ensure every frame is unique (with i25 aka 50i stuff you would get two fields with the same timecode frame number). I've also burned AVCHD 'Blu-rays on DVD' with this content which friends have tried on their non-Sony TVs (Interesting a Panasonic OLED has some issues - though not the same)

      My XE9005 is dropping pairs of 720p50 frames (often on cuts) - which you don't really notice - but then repeating pairs of frames - as pairs - just after cuts/shoot changes (which you definitely DO see - as the motion jumps backwards and forwards) It's content related as the timecode that these jumps and drops happen is very consistent (and many - but not all - happen at the same point whether the source is 1080i25, 720p50, 1080p50 or 2160p50). If it can't hide the drops or repeats on a shot change, it does them mid shot, and I also think it is showing some 50p frames for only 1/100th second, not 1/50th to also try and reysnc itself. It never drifts more than about 2 frames out - but the constant stutters make it unwatchable.

      Example frame sequence (with a cut before Frame 1) :

      1 , 2 , 3 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6...... N , N+3

      So frames 2 and 3 are repeated as a pair and shown twice in sequence - so you see a jump back when frame 2 is shown again after frame 3, and then frames N+1 and N+2 are dropped to counteract the repetition and avoid the set having to buffer a gazillion frames and slowly drift out of sync - or vice versa)

      I also tried the same content re-timed to 720p59.94 (i.e. sped up so each 720p50 frame maps 1:1 with a 720p59.94 frame) and the same issues were present.

      I've taken the same material into a John Lewis and played it on a display model - guess what? Exactly the same issues - at many points at the same timecode.

      So two TVs of the same model do it.

      I can't believe other people haven't spotted this - so I thought I'd ask.

      I'm within my 35 day return window with John Lewis (who arranged for me to test my content on a display model), and trying to get any sense out of Sony Customer Support is proving impossible. Even though I've documented it happening on multiple versions of the same TV they want to do a board swap on mine (which John Lewis don't want to happen). Sony CS seem unable to take any feedback that isn't related to a 'broken telly'
       
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      Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
    2. AVI speakers

      AVI speakers
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      Im not surprised.
      Its just whether rival manufacturers and models do so too, and to what extent.
      And others may be worse with different material.
      I'm sure you would know what to test for, but there maybe too many permutations to analyse.

      I don't think that you would be allowed to run this test on many other TVs in store.
      It would be useful, particularly if you are evaluating alternative TV's to buy instead.
      And hence a similar amount of features for motion processing purposes.
       
    3. Stephen Neal

      Stephen Neal
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      My previous Sony - which I have run in-sync fed via an HDMI splitter has ZERO frame repeats/drops in the same 3'00" sequence. (You can compare the timecodes burned in and film the two in the same frame in 240fps slow motion to confirm)

      My guess is that most people buying these TVs are watching with MotionFlow enabled (which I don't as I want to see frames as broadcast and not messed around with) OR think that the odd stutter is on the original broadcast...

      Strictly Come Dancing is a great test as it is all moving camera shots - so any frame drops, repeats or frames displayed for 50% of the correct duration really stick out, and it is 50Hz content.

      Movies, drama and most documentaries are less demanding as they are 24 or 25Hz these days. (So frame pair repeats and drops will be far less visible)

      I know Panasonic OLEDs have issues with 50Hz content - but GAME mode on them fixes that (but then forces 24p to be displayed at 60Hz with 3:2 - or the 1000/1001 variations thereof)
       
    4. Plugman

      Plugman
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      Must admit I have noticed this Corrie, Strictly, Darts all noticeable stutters but switch to game mode and it disappears.
       
    5. Stephen Neal

      Stephen Neal
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      Yep - all those shows are native 50Hz (i.e. 1080/50i - sometimes written 1080i25).

      Sadly whilst Game Mode reduces it - it doesn't get rid of it entirely on my model, nor another I've tested.

      I've yet to find a mode where every 50p frame is displayed and none are repeated out of order... (I've been using 720p50 and 1080p50 sources to remove de-interlacing issues and uniquely define each frame with burned in timecode)
       
      Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
    6. jwebb333

      jwebb333
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      Hi,

      I replied to you your other post too. I have the exact same issue. I have to switch to game mode for this type of program and sport. Do you think this is a hardware issue of something that a firmware update could fix? It is a real shame as the TV is great in all other respects.
       
    7. Plugman

      Plugman
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      Been having more of a play with this. I suspect it’s firmware related. Basically been watching the darts when it skips I pause rewind to just before the skip then play and no skip. Rewind more and it does skip. I expect it could get better with firmware changes whether it could be eradicated altogether I suspect it probably couldn’t. Is it just the 49 inch though?
       
    8. Stephen Neal

      Stephen Neal
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      Sony are aware - I've been somewhat persistent via a number of routes.

      My gut feeling is it's 100Hz related. Using the same 4'00" sequence played from the same point each time with burned in timecode (and logging the timecode for repeats and drops) it's entirely repeatable. It's at least partially related to a cut-detection algorithm by the look of it... (The cuts are often hiding dropped frames, and the repeated frames are often after cuts too)

      I have no idea how the split between hardware and firmware processing is split - but I'm hoping it's firmware-fixable...

      I'd also be entirely unsurprised if it was the same for other screen sizes.
       
    9. Stephen Neal

      Stephen Neal
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      I have re-tried Game mode - and whatever I did last time when I checked it I must have made a mistake. This time it's working to remove (or at least reduce) the judder on 50Hz/59.94Hz content.
       
    10. Rob.Screene

      Rob.Screene
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      I just watched Strictly from Sky HD and didn't notice a single judder.

      Have you tried disconnecting the power for several seconds and rebooting, ours got sluggish once a few months ago.
       
    11. Plugman

      Plugman
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      Bizarre I saw plenty but must admit that I notice it more sometimes than others. I have tried a full reset may try to unplug.
       
    12. Stephen Neal

      Stephen Neal
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      Watching in Game Mode I haven't seen any. Watching any mode other than Game - lots.

      It's nothing to do with power. I've done numerous power cycles, full factory resets, and have now had four independent testers confirm the same fault on my test material, many at exactly the same timecodes. (I can demonstrate numerous drops and repeats within 30" of the most demanding material)
       
    13. Stephen Neal

      Stephen Neal
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      Have you tried Game Mode?
       
    14. Budbrain

      Budbrain
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    15. Stephen Neal

      Stephen Neal
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      No - as I want all MotionFlow processing disabled. I have zero interest in any frame interpolation. I just want to see the original source frames in the original order - I don't want any new frames to be created by guesswork by MotionFlow. (I don't watch sources with 3:2 pull-down either)

      AIUI that combination of settings is to remove Soap Opera Effect on native 24/25p content? (And also possibly improve handling of 24p in 3:2 60i/p) AIUI those settings disable it for 24/25p content but allow it for 50i/p and 59.94i/p content?. I have zero interest in any interpolation.

      I've had previous Sony sets with MotionFlow and always had it disabled, and never had any issues. I don't see the point of it at all.

      AIUI disabling all MotionFlow really shouldn't cause a TV to drop frames and repeat frames on cuts...

      So far 'Game' mode seems to be the only workaround for the frame drop/repeat issue.

      (BTW - RTings have confirmed they see the same artefacts as I do on the same test material on their X900, but not X930s or X850s)
       
      Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
    16. jwebb333

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      I have tried all combinations and the game mode is the only thing that works for me as a workaround for the dropped frames.
       
    17. Budbrain

      Budbrain
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      I was considering this TV as it is highly rated, but there appears to be too many problems with it especially one has paid good money for it. Is it still worth getting?
       
    18. jwebb333

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      I have decided to keep mine as overall in my opinion it is a great tv. It just means switching to game mode as a fallback and hope Sony fix the issue with a firmware update.
       
    19. Stephen Neal

      Stephen Neal
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      I'm minded to do the same - though still have a fortnight to take it back to John Lewis.

      Now I've discovered Game Mode fixes the only issue I have with the display I'm very happy.

      HDR is cracking on it, and the black levels are massively better than our previous 4K LCD.
       
    20. Budbrain

      Budbrain
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      Looks like putting it on game mode is the solution. I have not heard good things about Android on the Sony TVs. Has Android 7.0 fixed the issues that has plagued these TVs?
       
    21. Plugman

      Plugman
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      Been trying a few more solutions to this. I agree that Game does solve this but under true cinema pro and motion flow standard seems very good a very very miner amount of judder so far. Pretty sure this is a bug though with the other motionflow settings (including off). Stephen you mentioned that you had reported this to Sony do you have the email address used as I would like to do the same. This does explain why some people aren’t seeing the issue though under cinema pro.
       
      Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
    22. Plugman

      Plugman
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      Android 7 is not that bad sluggish at times but so long as you keep the cache clear every month or so it’s not so bad. Disable the disaster that is Youview though slow, and very buggy. Unfortunately you do loose all 4 itv hub and my 5 (not iplayer though), not a problem as none of these are had anyway.
       
    23. Stephen Neal

      Stephen Neal
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      Yep - YouView is a non-starter on the TV. I've disabled it too. As a non-Q Sky viewer I use that for my Catch Up TV - and just need a Freeview tuner in the TV to cope with occasional record clashes.

      I don't use any of the Android TV apps at all on my TV. I watch Netflix via my UBP X800 UHD Blu-ray player (hands down the best Netflix client I have ever used), and Amazon via a Shield TV (if the UBP supported Amazon with HDR I wouldn't be using the Shield).

      Tip - to quickly get to picture settings, use the Action Menu button - which brings up a non-Android TV UI (like older Sony TVs) and that will quickly get you to Picture settings (though that is in the Android domain annoyingly)

      The picture quality of the TV (ignoring the 50Hz jumps which Game mode appears to workaround) is very good. I can't accommodate a 55" OLED - so wanted the best 49" HDR set I could find. This appears to be very, very good, and SDR HD and non-HDR UHD sources also look great on it.

      Major improvement on our previous 49X8505B SDR UHD TV which now looks very poor in black level terms in comparison.
       
    24. Stephen Neal

      Stephen Neal
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      Think ITV Hub is now available as a regular Android TV app so you may be able to install it from Google Play Store now.
       
    25. Plugman

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      Wasn’t aware of that, thanks. I have Sky Q I much prefer that system where all the catch up programmes are downloaded to the hard drive and you select what hd or sd. I do agree this tv is pretty much spot on picture wise and from what I have read about OLED there are issues with them as well as being to big.
       
    26. Stephen Neal

      Stephen Neal
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      Yep - the Sky CatchUp quality is massively better than ITV Hub and All4 on Android TV (and YouView). iPlayer is better on Android TV than the others - as it supports 50fps not just 25fps - but the Sky version is still better.
       
    27. Plugman

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      Just wondered whether you have tried motionflow standard under True Cinema Pro pretty sure that the judder there would be classed as normal and better than any other setting including off. I realise you like to see things as is though.
       
    28. Stephen Neal

      Stephen Neal
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      Yep - I tried MotionFlow Standard and saw same artefacts. However I bought a TV to show me TV as broadcast, nothing more, nothing less...

      They are clearly there and documentable as a fault (dropping frames and repeating frames can be nothing other than a fault)

      This is not me not liking 24/25p motion rendition - this is a documented fault where 50p frame pairs are being dropped on cuts and then repeated just after cuts (as a pair) to make-up for the drops. I've documented this fault analytically using clips with burned in 50fps timecode, filming the TV at 240fps in slow motion on my iPhone. The same behaviour is seen on multiple models of the TV (RTings have now confirmed their model also exhibits the fault on my source material) and at the same timecodes in many cases.

      Game Mode is the only way to remove them so far.
       
      Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
    29. Stephen Neal

      Stephen Neal
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      Update : Sony have offered me a full refund for my TV purchase, which I can claim anytime during the warranty period of the TV. This is to allow me to retain the TV without having to go past the 35 day John Lewis return window with no guarantee I won't be stuck with a lemon...
       
    30. ryanvincent

      ryanvincent
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      They did the same for a friend of mine who has this model as well, great job Sony :smashin:
       

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