Why is my Samsung's brightness control not not ever lifting pure black?

VHS Gamer

Active Member
Slight issue with setting the brightness control on my Samsung Q60R. Using a PLUGE pattern, I do not see the pure black around the pattern ever lift or turn to gray at max brightness, it just remains constant black, with only the shades of grey themselves getting brighter and brighter. Granted I can't see the below black either but I can see whiter the white in the contrast.

I heard that these Samsung's are not actually adjusting black level but some kind of gamma, not sure, both the TV and sources are on limited. Normally I would set brightness till pure black lifted, then back down one. What's going on here, and how should I set the brightness control in this case? Thanks in advance.
 

VHS Gamer

Active Member
I realise this is an old thread I made but this still bugs me as I'm never sure if brightness on my Samsung is set correctly.

I recently learned that it does not adjust black level but instead adjusts gamma for just the dark areas. Now what should I do for this? Do I leave it at 0 and presume that's the correct setting, or use a pattern to make level 17 on the AVSHD709 disc barely visible, as that would be -2 for me. So confused with how Samsung has messed this up.
 

ajstan99

Active Member

VHS Gamer

Active Member
The only help I can offer is a link to the RTINGS.com calibration settings and review where you may find some insight:

Calibration

Review
Thanks but I've seen a video like this and it was pretty helpful, they show a calman gamma chart showing the the brightness is affecting the gamma, but the we're keeping it at 0 which was closest to a 2.2 gamma, what if say I wanted 2.4 gamma what then lol. Looks like you need expensive calman software just to adjust this simple control which is mad in my opinion.
 

mmj

Active Member
The brightness setting on Q90T just increases/decreases the level of the back light, on older TV's there were separate settings for both back light and brightness, it seems like they have just removed the traditional brightness control and renamed the back light level to brightness.
 

Jay53

Well-known Member
The brightness setting on Q90T just increases/decreases the level of the back light, on older TV's there were separate settings for both back light and brightness, it seems like they have just removed the traditional brightness control and renamed the back light level to brightness.
The op has a q60r which assuming it's the same as my q85r has separate backlight 0-50 and brightness 0-5 settings

As far as I can tell neither of these adjust black level.

There is however a setting under external devices that sets the hdmi black level. This can be set to auto, low or normal. However this setting is oniy available when receiving an RGB input.
 

mmj

Active Member
HDMI black level should be set to match source output, you can get black crush (loss of dark details) if it is set wrong but OP said it is set correctly.

I'm only speculating but it might be the case that Samsung's automatic back light dimming algorithms won't allow black level to be raised.

Does Q85R have the "Shadow Detail" setting? that might be what Brightness was renamed as in 2020 TV's but like you say it does not seem to affect absolute black.
 

VHS Gamer

Active Member
HDMI black level should be set to match source output, you can get black crush (loss of dark details) if it is set wrong but OP said it is set correctly.

I'm only speculating but it might be the case that Samsung's automatic back light dimming algorithms won't allow black level to be raised.

Does Q85R have the "Shadow Detail" setting? that might be what Brightness was renamed as in 2020 TV's but like you say it does not seem to affect absolute black.
Exactly. No matter how high the "brightness" is set, black itself never raises, only the Gray's after black. Its definitely a gamma control, but a gamma control just for near black. Whether this should be played with with a test pattern or left at 0, who knows.

I do know later models have shifted the control elsewhere and called it shadow detail.
 

Jay53

Well-known Member
HDMI black level should be set to match source output, you can get black crush (loss of dark details) if it is set wrong but OP said it is set correctly.

I'm only speculating but it might be the case that Samsung's automatic back light dimming algorithms won't allow black level to be raised.

Does Q85R have the "Shadow Detail" setting? that might be what Brightness was renamed as in 2020 TV's but like you say it does not seem to affect absolute black.

No we don't have shadow detail on the R series :(

Hdmi back level can only be set for RGB sources so as you say you can match if black level is at 0 full range or 16 limited range (using 8bit values as source as 10bit black level isn't 16 in limited range) If you supply a yuv 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 source it's greyed out as I believe it will use black level for limited range

Reading about pluge test it in simplest form it has one square slightly above and one slightly above reference black. But surely this only works if you have a source that is using 16 (in 8bit source terms) as black level. If your pluge test source is using 0 as black i.e. an RGB full range signal such as from a PC (which is why very few Monitors have black level adjustment) or Xbox set to full range then everything in the test that is black or below will also be 0. Result you won't see the below black square and you will barely see the slightly above black one?
 
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VHS Gamer

Active Member
No we don't have shadow detail on the R series :(

Hdmi back level can only be set for RGB sources so as you say you can match if black level is at 0 full range or 16 limited range (using 8bit values as source as 10bit black level isn't 16 in limited range) If you supply a yuv 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 source it's greyed out as I believe it will use black level for limited range

Reading about pluge test it in simplest form it has one square slightly above and one slightly above reference black. But surely this only works if you have a source that is using 16 (in 8bit source terms) as black level. If your pluge test source is using 0 as black i.e. an RGB full range signal such as from a PC (which is why very few Monitors have black level adjustment) or Xbox set to full range then everything in the test that is black or below will also be 0. Result you won't see the below black square and you will barely see the slightly above black one?
Well for myself hidmi black level on full or limited turns up the same result, no below black, and black never changes.

There's only one way I can get most of the shades of below black visible, and that's using a USB stick with PLUGE patterns on and raising the sharpness and you can see the outline of each square.

I just wanna know how to calibrate this brightness or if it's already set correct our of the box at 0. A lot of places think so including Rtings.
 

Jay53

Well-known Member
I am not sure using a usb stick plugged into the tv with the tests on is going to work.

Our TVs hold the details for each of SDR and HDR separately and I believe they also differentiate between non-game and game modes too i. At least four different sets of settings.

Not sure which one a usb drive plugged in will use but I would hazard a guess it will be non-game SDR. Meaning what ever you do won't affect the other three sets of settings?

As to hdmi black level. I guess it has no bearing as it only affects HDMI :(
 

VHS Gamer

Active Member
I'm not sure exactly what Samsung were trying to achieve with this new gamma style brightness control but unless it's for good reasons which most of us seem stumped about, I personally think it should have been kept to the old style brightness control. At least then when we did use our tests, we knew that we were getting the best black level our TVs could achieve. With this one though, I constantly feel like I'm missing something, like the image could be cloudier than it actually should be.
 

VHS Gamer

Active Member
Found this video which was helpful, he even posted Calman charts to demonstrate. Looks like setting to anything other than zero kinda messes things up. Skip to 6:19

 

Jay53

Well-known Member
Found this video which was helpful, he even posted Calman charts to demonstrate. Looks like setting to anything other than zero kinda messes things up. Skip to 6:19


At 6:19 that's referring to shadow detail (it's a 2020 tv being used in the video) which we don't have on our 2019 R series TVs

Now it's possible that samsung have just renamed what is called brightness on our TV (it has the same -5 to +5 range) to shadow detail on the 2020 TVs and moved it further down. Then on the 2020 TV they have renamed backlight to be called brightness.

If that's the case then the evidence in the video would also apply to our TVs

What is interesting though as at 2:18 he specifically mentions brightness controls luminance and does not control black level this year like it did in previous year. That fits with the rename of 2019 brightness to 2020 shadow detail.

I agree they don't make it easy though lol
 
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VHS Gamer

Active Member
At 6:19 that's referring to shadow detail (it's a 2020 tv being used in the video) which we don't have on our 2019 R series TVs

Now it's possible that samsung have just renamed what is called brightness on our TV (it has the same -5 to +5 range) to shadow detail on the 2020 TVs and moved it further down. Then on the 2020 TV they have renamed backlight to be called brightness.

If that's the case then the evidence in the video would also apply to our TVs

What is interesting though as at 2:18 he specifically mentions brightness controls luminance and does not control black level this year like it did in previous year. That fits with the rename of 2019 brightness to 2020 shadow detail.

I agree they don't make it easy though lol
Yeah I think our TVs and that are much the same in regard to the settings. I'll keep doing some research on this now and then untill maybe someone pops up here to explain the issue, but for now, safest bet is just leave it at 0.

Same with BT1886 gamma. Except for standard and game modes, -1 seems to equate to movie modes gamma of 0. But I guess that's for another thread.
 

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