Now, this is interesting. Although we don’t have first-hand knowledge of the claims that follow, it appears that reputable third-party reviewers have uncovered a plot by Samsung to game the test patterns that many reviewers use to verify a TV’s HDR performance.
Without getting technical or plagiarizing the report by Flatpanelshd, here is what we know.
According to Flatpanelshd, Vincent Teoh of the YouTube channel HDTVTest identified an anomaly in which the 2022 Samsung S95B QD-OLED TV and QN95B LCD-based QLED TV, artificially boosts brightness levels beyond normal limits when certain test patterns are detected.
What the momentary boost does is provide measurement results that look great, but misleads the reviewer as the boost is not natural and can’t be sustained under real-world viewing conditions as this could damage the QD-OLED or LCD-based panel in a short period of time.
Caught with their “pants down” by Vincent Teoh’s excellent detective work (and reported by Flatpanelshd), Samsung states that a firmware update will be provided, but it isn’t clear whether that firmware update will eliminate the cheating or just make it less noticeable.
What All This Means For You
Samsung TVs have a reputation for providing great performing displays, and for the casual viewer, this cheating issue may not translate to your own day-to-day viewing experience.
However, if Samsung is touting picture quality victory over its competitors by cheating reviewers so that they inadvertently provide their readers with misleading information, that not only unjustly affects the reviewer’s credibility but the credibility of Samsung’s entire TV line vs their competitors once the deception is revealed.
The question boils down to: Is the TV you buy really that good?
NOTE: As stated previously eCoustics has no first-hand knowledge of this issue and other than Flatpanelshd and reviewer Vincent Teoh, it is not known if other reviewers have verified the technical factors involved, but Samsung appears to be aware.
When we requested a response from Samsung’s U.S. press agency, we received an email stating, “No further comment other than what’s already mentioned in the article.”
As we learn more this article could be updated.
UPDATE 6/9/2022: Samsung Provides Official Response
Since the “No further comment….” previously stated by the PR Agency, Samsung Electronics has now issued the following statement directly:
“Samsung Electronics does not use any algorithm for the purpose of yielding specific test results. When tested under industry standards, findings from our own tests, as well as by an independent third-party organization, show that HDR content is accurately displayed on various window sizes, and not just at 10%. With Samsung’s industry-leading Quantum HDR technology, the peak brightness also remains at similar levels across window sizes of 10% or smaller, without damaging the panels. Samsung remains committed to providing the best picture quality to our consumers and stands by our TV products including Neo QLED TV to offer best-in-class viewing experiences.“
We will continue to follow this story.
Tip: Just as another background point, Samsung was the first company to coin the term “LED TV” which has resulted in years of confusion by making TV buyers think they are buying a different type of TV. Although there are OLED TVs, the term “LED TV” actually refers to an LCD TV that uses LEDs for the blacklight, not the actual screen surface that displays the images. That is done by LCD chips in combination with color filters.
Reference: Flatpanelshd report
Related reading: 2022 Samsung 4K and 8K TVs Begin Roll-out
June 8, 2022 at 11:33 am
Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
(A Croupier hands Renault a pile of money)
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.
Innocent until proven guilty, I say. I have a Samsung 4K Curved screen and despite theses charges/findings I still like it and the company in general. Kinda sorta like VW diesels. Not the end of the world by any means.
That said, the playing field may never be totally level but manufacturers can still keep it free of foul balls.