Samsung D series FBr fix discussion - AVS Forum
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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NOTICE

It has recently been confirmed that the method described below for updating the logic board firmware using the factory remote emulator has been blocked by Samsung as of FW version 1016.2 on the D7000. If you'd like to use this method do not update to the most recent firmware for your display. Note that if you decide to downgrade it is recommended that you do so from version 1026(D8000) and 1016(D7000/6900/6500)  to avoid getting stuck on version 1010(D8000) or 1013(D7000/6900/6500). 

 

Update: 06/15/12

 

The smart folks over at samygo.tv have figured out a way to downgrade firmware if you need a previous version. Tested on US D8000/D7000 and Euro D8000/D7000/D550.

Caution

There has recently been one report of pixel misfires after applying the logic board update described below on a UK D550. You can read the discussion here. This is the only known report out of hundreds of successful results so it's very unlikely to be repeated, but you should know that the possibility exists that this can happen. The software provided has been officially distributed to US owners only, so if you have a problem with a non-US display, Samsung could in theory deny warranty service to you assuming you tell them you installed software you obtained from an internet forum.

Update 04-30-12

The above problem with pixel misfires has been determined by the author to be due to a pre-existing condition with the panel and so not directly caused by the logic board update. However, a new report of a logic board that failed on a D6500 as a result of the upgrade process can be found here.

Update 06-27-12

 

There have been two additional reports of lower black levels to the point of causing pixel misfiring with D550 panels after upgrading logic board firmware. I would call that a trend, so think carefully before following the procedures below if you own a D550. The firmware provided for the logic board update can't be rolled back.

 

 

Welcome new D series users!

If you have a non-US display and want to apply the "brightness pops" fix you can skip down to Logic Board Update Method. If you have a US display and want to see if the official Samsung FW will work for you (or are interested in some background) read on.

I thought it might be useful to start a separate thread to try and come to some consensus on whether Samsung has addressed the issue of "pops" with their latest firmware which is currently available only to those who request it or download it from users who have received the updates.

First some nomenclature: brightness pop= fluctuating brightness = gamma shifts = floating blacks. These can all look like the same thing and I will use the shorthand "FBr" from now on to denote the effect since this was first noted in 2011 Panasonic displays and given that name, although manifests itself somewhat differently on the two display lines. There are a variety of potential causes of Fbr, gamma shifting in the DSP (digital signal processor dynamic brightness), and how the pixels are initialized and reset are two of them. You can turn off some of the effects in the DSP (the dynamic brightness control) but not the one associated with pixel initialization at the drive level. It is the one at the drive level which generates noticeable FBr of the floating black variety under certain conditions on the D series. Panasonic and Samsung have both issued non-standard upgrades to address their respective problems. The fixes are not implemented in the DSP but in auxiliary board firmware (the logic board in Samsung's case, A-Board for Panasonic) and require upgrading low-level drive firmware.

Spreadsheet is now read-only as we have gathered enough information to declare success, thanks for all the entries!
I've started a google spreadsheet here for folks to record their display properties and whether or not any FBr problems have been resolved. Hopefully this will generate a clear picture () of where we stand.

What does the update do? So far it appears to happen in two steps. The first step is a normal upgrade of the main board eeprom that flashes three files:

1. exe.img (contains exeDSP, the main executable for running the digital signal processor)
2. rootfs.img (linux filesystem)
3. appext.img (auxillary data and progs)

The new main FW probably is just there to implement Step 2.

The second step is new and runs an "optimization" procedure which flashes new settings to the timing board (TCON). The binaries for this step are contained in the appext.img (/mtd_appext/TCON) of the firmware bundle and are specific to each panel size/type. If you do not see this step happen the fix has not been applied.

Models showing positive results: ALL

Additional reports and measurements have indicated that neither the firmware upgrade or the logic board upgrade are detrimental to overall black level performance. In other words minimum black level is unaffected by the upgrade. There are still floating blacks that depend on APL but no longer any noticeable jumps.

Consensus is.....fixed! No more pops.

There are two ways to remove FBr from your Display:

1. If you upgrade via the Samsung distributed firmware (US only) and your logic board gets updated ("optimized") -> your pops will be gone.
You can try to request a firmware be sent to from Samsung or download those provided below for US models:

 

[NOTE: If you have rolled back your firmware on the D7000/6900/6500 using the Samygo servers to FW 1013 go to the Logic Board update method below. Upgrading at this point to 1014.6 may not work]


D8000 FW 1024.8 (1024.8 alternate) (thanks TiVOHD)
D7000,6900,6500 FW 1014.6 (thanks muffinmcfluffin)
D550 FW 1019.5 (thanks King5six1)
D400s (currently no solution, please request that Samsung send you new FW to fix the "brightness pops issue")

To install the firmware:

-Unpack/unzip firmware and place the image folder on your USB stick in a folder named T-GAPxxxxx (D8000),

T-MSTxxxxx(others)

xxxxx=8AKUC (D8000)
xxxxx=5AUSC (D6500,D6900,D7000)
xxxxx=4AUSC (D550)

-On TV hit menu->support->software upgrade->by usb

2. If the above doesn't work for you (example - Non-US displays or "optimization" does not occur) or if you are tired of waiting for Samsung to send you USBs you can upgrade via the logic board only method described below.

Test Clip: You can download this clip for testing. Copy to a usb stick, plug into TV and select it to play. There are several fluctuations in the side bars of this clip on my display. I measured the peak difference (between lowest and highest sidebar response) at 0.009 fL. You should view in a completely dark room.

Another clip is here. 200 MB chapter 38 of Revenge of the Sith which contain numerous pops.

NOTE: If you upgrade via Samsung FW you should see an optimization pop-up during the procedure. Check your logic board FW to see if the update occurred. (poweron mute 7 3 7 enter).

If you do not have the following versions your logic board did not update:

PN51D8000: 11-10-31
PN59D8000: 11-11-04
PN64D8000: 11-11-04

PN51D7000: 11-10-31
PN59D7000: 11-11-04
PN64D7000: 11-11-04

PN51D6900: 11-10-31
PN59D6900: 11-11-04
PN64D6900: 11-11-04

PN51D6500: 11-10-31
PN59D6500: 11-11-04
PN64D6500: 11-11-04

PN51D550: 11-11-12
PN59D550: 11-11-04
PN64D550: 11-11-04

Logic Board Update Method
By this method you can manually apply the second step of the official firmware upgrade process. This step will upgrade your logic board to the version which eliminates jumps in black level luminance (pops). This update will not change your minimum luminance level (mll) nor will it eliminate black level rise during bright content, all it does is remove the pops that were so noticeable in the previous revision. The logic upgrade can be performed over any FW version.

Many people have upgraded successfully and there have been no reports of any damage resulting from this upgrade. The upload process has a mechanism for checking the integrity of the flash file and will reject files that are not meant for your display. Do not turn off the TV or remove the USB while the upgrade is in process, the flashing process can take a couple of minutes and then the TV will reboot automatically when finished. Tested and working on all D8000, D7000, D6000, D500 series models from any region.

D8000 procedure

1. Download this file.
2. Extract file for your model from list below and rename it to LOGIC.bin- Note: If you have "show extensions" turned off in windows rename the file LOGIC
3. Place on stick in folder PDP_LOGIC
4. Turn on TV and attach stick to USB 1
5. Press mute+7+3+7+enter
6. Check Logic SW version
7. Check panel version (DS or DF)
8. Navigate to Logic USB D/L and select it
9. Right arrow to initiate flash (no turning back here)
10. "Upgrading" will be displayed if the TV accepted the file and this takes a minute or so and then the TV reboots.
11. Recheck Logic SW version.

All models D7000 and below require you to use the factory remote emulator ruSamsungCommunicator to unlock the logic usb d/l menu item, you need to connect to your TV over your local network(wireless or wired) with the emulator and press info+factory.

ruSamsungTVCommunicator.zip mirror

Thanks to LarryInRI for discovering emulator method to enable logic board uploads on the D7000!

Tips on using the emulator:

1. Yes, I know it's in a foreign language, buck up and use google translate if needed (but it's pretty intuitive so don't worry).
2. Make sure your display has "wireless remote control" enabled (TV can be hard wired or wireless)
3. Make sure you don't have a firewall preventing communication between computer and TV
4. On first connect your display will ask for permission to control, click yes of course.
5. If the emulator does not automatically find your display when it opens you can manually enter your TV's ip address into the configuration file (ruSamsungCommunicator) in the application's folder.

D7000,6900,6500,550 procedure
(Activating the service menu will reset the USER menu settings so write those down)
1. Download this file.
2. Extract file for your model from list below and rename it to LOGIC.bin - Note: If you have "show extensions" turned off in windows rename the file LOGIC
3. Place on stick in folder PDP_LOGIC
4. Turn on TV and attach stick to USB 1
5. Press mute+7+3+7+enter
6. Check Logic SW version
7. Check panel version (DS or DF)
8. Turn off TV and turn back on
9. Start ruSamsungTVCommunicator, it should automatically find your TV and display a box with several tabs.
10. Open the Fernbedienung tab
11. On the emulator, hit the Info button and then the Factory button to get into the Service Menu
12. Navigate to SVC with your regular remote and select it
13. Navigate to Logic USB D/L and select it
14. Right arrow to initiate flash (no turning back here)
15. "Upgrading" will be displayed if the TV accepted the file and this takes a minute or so and then the TV reboots.
16. Recheck Logic SW version.

Messages you might see when upgrading:

"Failed" -> TV could not find an upgrade file, check to make sure LOGIC.bin is in folder PDP_LOGIC and you are using USB 1 slot.
"No Match" -> TV found LOGIC.bin but doesn't like it.
"Upgrading" -> You are golden.

Timing board flash files:
TCON.zip contains the following files from the FW bundle which are identical for models D8000, D7000, D6900, D6800, D550. D4xx users will not be able to upgrade with any of these files.

51DF_DeepBlack.bin
51DS_DeepBlack.bin
59DS_ITO_DeepBlack.bin
59DS_ITOless_DeepBlack.bin
64DS_ITO_Deepblack.bin
64DS_ITOless_DeepBlack.bin

51" panel use -> 51DS_DeepBlack.bin or 51DF_DeepBlack.bin (depends on panel version)
59" panel use -> 59DS_ITO_DeepBlack.bin or 59ITOless_DeepBlack.bin (depends on logic board revision, if you get "No Match" use the other file)
64" panel use -> 64DS_ITO_DeepBlack.bin or 64ITOless_DeepBlack.bin (depends on logic board revision, if you get "No Match" use the other file)

What's the difference between ITO and ITOless?

After some more research I think I've figured out the difference between the two files available for 59" and 64" panels, it's not a difference between the names DeepBlack and lessDeepBlack but rather ITO and ITOless. ITO refers to the inner structure of the pixels, it's an electrode within the pixel. There are also ITO-less pixels that use a different electrode structure (I know, your eyes are glazing over at this point). Anyway the major difference between ITO and ITO-less pixels is that the ITO-less ones exhibit about 1/3 less image retention. So there are two different types of larger panels in circulation right now with different IR characteristics.

Updated 2/25/2012 : Some literature suggests that ITOless electrode also are less reflective that ITO versions.

Credits

I did not do this alone! Thanks go to the following...

Rainer Ullrich, aka skyteddy (ruSamsungcomminucator)
LarryInRI (found method to activate usb d/l function on panels


Moderators at samygo.tv (firmware decrypting software)
Forum members (testing and reporting results - that was a great help!)
Samsung (for their half-hearted attempt to deal with the pops issue)



--------------------
NOTE: I want to clarify exactly what this firmware addresses so there is no confusion.

FBr occurs in relatively dark scenes (usually when a bright object is introduced) and will appear as a slight increase in brightness at all levels but most noticeable in the darker portions of the image including the black bars in 2.35 letterbox material. That last point is key and the easiest way to tell if you are seeing FBr is to test for it in the black bars with 2.35 material.

This firmware will not affect the brightness limiter. Whites will continue to dim when overall picture level increases past a certain point so do not report this as FBr.

Also too: Hockey flashes are not FBr!

After a successful update of your logic board via either of the methods described above, there will no longer be any sudden jumps in black level (pop). In place of the pop you may notice slowly varying black levels with on-screen content (up to about twice your mll with no content), this is normal and can't be adjusted/fixed.

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Old 01-24-2012, 06:12 PM
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Thanks zoyd. I've added my results to the spreadsheet.
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:16 PM
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added mine.. My upgrade did not "optimize" I don't think anybody knows what "optimize" really does anyways.. LOL

Mike
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:12 AM
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Added my status. So far it is good, and I did get the optimization. I was using Game Mode to minimize the pops, but now I reverted back to my calibrated settings (CAL-DAY). I will update the spreadsheet as I have more time on it.

Except, of course, in paranoid delusions for those that believe.
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:50 AM
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Added my status... I am a very happy Man. I have not seen one pop since the upgrade.... and my Giants are in the Superbowl. Life is good. :-)
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:49 AM
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Thanks zoyd. Added mine, with Model Code and Version and manufacture location (all found on the back of the TV). I applied the update before others noted the Optimization screen, so wasn't looking for it, and can't recall seeing it.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:06 AM
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PN51D550 Canadian
FW 1018.1 updated to 1019.5
Updated , shut down, optimized, shut down.
NO POPS. Watched some content that should have produced the pops and none appeared.
Appears that this fixed the 550 series.
Note: none of my previous settings had been adjusted by the update AFAIK.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:22 AM
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Added my results. Unfortunately, no changes in pops for me. Going to have mine serviced to see if perhaps my boards might be an issue.
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:36 AM
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I have the PN64D8000 and did not get optimization. Pops are still there. Tech should be coming out next week so we will see what happens.
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:01 PM
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Did nobody receive roll back firmware for the d550?

Mike
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:55 PM
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As for roll back of the D550 series, I believe you just need to update online or via USB the file on the Samsung web site (FW 1018.1) if moving back from 1019.5
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soapsuds View Post

As for roll back of the D550 series, I believe you just need to update online or via USB the file on the Samsung web site (FW 1018.1) if moving back from 1019.5

Nope that does not work unfortunately and was confirmed by Samsung

From my chat with Samsung
Alisa: I am sorry to say that, you cannot update the previous firmware as it is already been updated with the new firmware.

Also seems "optimization" is necessary.

Mike: Can you explain what the "optimizing" step is or does?
Alisa: When you update the firmware version, you get optimize steps when you finish optimizing it will fix the brightness pop's issue.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:07 PM
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zoyd, you and I seem to be the only people that like to use the Dynamic Contrast on the 8000?

So now that you have the patch, are you going to try and make a new plot at different stimuli to see if there are any jumps like your last plot showed?

buytme
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David_B View Post

zoyd, you and I seem to be the only people that like to use the Dynamic Contrast on the 8000?

So now that you have the patch, are you going to try and make a new plot at different stimuli to see if there are any jumps like your last plot showed?

yeah, I really like the low setting for most material.


I have not applied the patch because FBr is not a problem on my display and I want to stay with a FW version that is rootable. So I'm afraid I won't be able to measure any changes the new FW generates in gamma response. My guess is that it won't be that much different, I think the basic gamma shifts will still be there and that any fix is related to the noticeability of the shift, perhaps in reducing the abruptness or some other timing related parameter.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:54 PM
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I just got my S550, I haven't noticed any "pops" as of yet. If I do, how do I get the new software to upload to the tv? This may be a newb question, sorry.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:01 PM
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Got my 1019.5 firmware on Monday for my 51D550 and been testing since. I have used Direct TV, XBOX360, ps3, and Netflix streaming through the ps3 and have seen NO fbr.

Firmware 1019 to 1019.5 updated shutdown, turned back on optimized shutdown, turned back on issue resolved!

I did notice that the black level changed on my set. All of setting stayed the same but their was some change in the black level. Have changed settings since then to get desired settings and at this time I am satisfied with the results!
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:22 PM
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Talltitan, if you do not mind me asking, where do you get this firmware from?
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balla01 View Post

Talltitan, if you do not mind me asking, where do you get this firmware from?

I got mine through Samsung 24 hr live chat and had them mail me the USB firmware fix 1019.5.

I believe on the D550 dedicated thread their is a link from another D550 owner to download the firmware to your own USB.

Look around Pages 48 through 50.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:03 PM
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Is the floating black problem still evident after this update, even if brightness fluctuation is fixed?
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:05 PM
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I tried to have them help me tonight and they said I had the up to date software and there was nothing they could do. Am I not telling them something? I tried to find the download link, but was unable to.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balla01 View Post

I tried to have them help me tonight and they said I had the up to date software and there was nothing they could do. Am I not telling them something? I tried to find the download link, but was unable to.

I am assuming you have a D550 set with firmware 1019, if so go to the the live chat and DEMAND that they send you firmware 1019.5. Some of the CSR seem to know what to do some don't. I basically had to talk it out of them to get it but I did get it after an hour of live chat.

Be aware they may send you the wrong firmware the first time, they did it to me but I got it on the second try. I don't know about everybody else but I live close to where the firmware was mailed from in South Carolina and received both usb's within 2 or 3 days both times.
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post

Is the floating black problem still evident after this update, even if brightness fluctuation is fixed?

This was going to be my exact question?
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post

Is the floating black problem still evident after this update, even if brightness fluctuation is fixed?

These are not two separate issues, FBr causes video level 16 (black) to rise along with the other levels. From the reports so far where the update has worked, none of the level shifts are noticeable.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:18 AM - Thread Starter
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@jbdeen: Are you sure that the "Optimizing system..." pop-up did not appear when you upgraded? How many reboots did the TV perform during the upgrade? The reason I ask is that you are the only case so far that has reported a working fix without this message.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoyd View Post

@jbdeen: Are you sure that the "Optimizing system..." pop-up did not appear when you upgraded? How many reboots did the TV perform during the upgrade? The reason I ask is that you are the only case so far that has reported a working fix without this message.

"Mashles" in the main pop thread is also reporting no pops after no optimization....and I think a few owners in the D550 thread have reported no pops after no optimization, but I could be wrong on that. I'm wondering if users are reporting dimming whites/abl activity as "pops".
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoyd View Post

@jbdeen: Are you sure that the "Optimizing system..." pop-up did not appear when you upgraded? How many reboots did the TV perform during the upgrade? The reason I ask is that you are the only case so far that has reported a working fix without this message.

Both of mine seem to have been fixed as well. I did not get an optimized message. 51D8000, 59D8000.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesco411 View Post

"Mashles" in the main pop thread is also reporting no pops after no optimization....and I think a few owners in the D550 thread have reported no pops after no optimization, but I could be wrong on that. I'm wondering if users are reporting dimming whites/abl activity as "pops".

yes, could be some confusion with ABL so I've updated post with some clarification. I think the jury is still out on whether optimization step is required or not.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by zoyd View Post

yes, could be some confusion with ABL so I've updated post with some clarification. I think the jury is still out on whether optimization step is required or not.

If you can upload a test clip as mentioned in your first post edit that would be very useful I think...

I know there are a few experts on the issue on here, so for the rat of us "lay" people it might be useful to clearly run a test clip and report back so we don't skew the results.

Mike
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:42 AM
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Can 1019.5 firmware from USA be installed on european D550 and work without any issues?
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Can 1019.5 firmware from USA be installed on european D550 and work without any issues?

No, the firmware will not install on your model.
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