from the cheaters-never-win dept
Modern reviewers put modern televisions through a gamut of different tests to determine display brightness, quality, power consumption, and other factors. Samsung, apparently thought it would be a brilliant idea to try and cheat the benchmarking system used by many reviewers to give their TVs an unfair advantage in comparison.
First spotted by HDTVTest then confirmed by FlatpanelsHD, Samsung’s S95B QD-OLED TV and QN95B ‘Neo QLED’ LCD TV were both designed to trick reviewers into thinking the displays have more accurate displays than they actually do:
Reviewers, calibrators and certification bodies typically use a 10% window for HDR testing, which simply means that it takes up 10% of the screen. In this window multiple steps from black to white as well as a set of colors are measured. Samsung has designed its TVs to recognize this and other commonly used window sizes, after which the TV adjusts its picture output to make measurements appear more accurate than the picture really is.
When using a non-standard window such as 9% (everything else equal), the cheating algorithm can be bypassed so the TV reveals its true colors. This is deliberate cheating, an orchestrated effort to mislead reviewers.
In short the QN95B adjusts its luminance tracking and boosts peak brightness momentarily by up to 80% during testing to pretend the display is more capable than it actually is. Given the absolute obsession many TV testers have with studying every tiny detail of new sets, it’s an incredibly bizarre choice by Samsung, which pretty clearly should have known better.
In a statement, Samsung stated they’d be issuing an update to fix the issue, without actually admitting they’d done anything wrong:
Samsung remains committed to relentless innovation to provide the best picture quality to our consumers,” Samsung HQ wrote in a statement to FlatpanelsHD. “To provide a more dynamic viewing experience for the consumers, Samsung will provide a software update that ensures consistent brightness of HDR contents across a wider range of window size beyond the industry standard.”
Samsung has occasionally dabbled in these dark arts previously several times on phone benchmarks, and the penalties are generally short-lived at best.
Filed Under: benchmarks, calibration, cheater, display, hdr, hdtv