Samsung E8000 ABL Function - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 06-16-2012, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys, I have recently purchased a Samsung E8000 plasma and would like to raise a question regarding the way the automatic brightness limiter works in comparison to other plasmas I have looked at including the Panasonic ST50. It's a difficult thing to describe, but basically it appears that the Panasonic makes much smaller and more frequent changes to the brightness of a scene when the ABL kicks in which makes the process far less obvious than the Samsung which seems to make much larger changes a lot less frequently.

If you watch something like Art of Flight for example and the camera pans from the snow to the sky, on the Panasonic the snow increases in brightness very smoothly and is not really noticeable. With the E8000 the brightness of the snow does not increase smoothly but instead "jumps" in brightness half way through the scene making it very obvious.

I know eagle_2 has made some comments about this elsewhere but thought it might warrant it's own thread. In some ways it seems quite similar to last years FBr issue in that it would only need to transition smoothly instead of jumping instantly and it would be fine - perhaps if enough of us complain we could get a firmware fix similar to last year?

Interested to hear everyone's thoughts on the issue. I have tried many different settings and the only way I am able to remove these large jumps in brightness is to bring contrast down to 50 which is obviously not acceptable. I have also noticed that the Dynamic Contrast setting triggers the jumps in brightness a lot less than actually raising the contrast control - setting it to high with a contrast of 50 I do not notice any jumps in ABL, however I suspect it is crushing whites and blacks, and it does not look as good as setting it to off with a contrast of 100.
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post #2 of 35 Old 06-17-2012, 04:24 PM
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Samsung has a somewhat more aggressive ABL circuit than panasonic which is what you may be noticing. I don't know if this is done out of necessity or not (in other words I don't know if it can be adjusted) but here are some specifics on how the circuit works.

429
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post #3 of 35 Old 06-17-2012, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
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That's very interesting. Do you know how the Panasonic ABL circuit works? The way the Samsung functions is quite distracting as it results in very noticeable steps in brightness whereas the Panasonic is very smooth and I really don't notice it at all. This is most obvious if you pause in a mostly white scene and then start lowering the contrast from 100.

On the ST50 you will simply not notice anything happening at all until the contrast reaches a point where ABL is no longer the limiting factor, at which stage the panel will start to dim. On the E8000 the contrast will start dropping immediately and then when it reaches a certain point it will suddenly jump back up again. On a full white scene it will do this several times until you reach a contrast setting where ABL is no longer a limiting factor.

Appreciate your feedback mate smile.gif
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post #4 of 35 Old 06-17-2012, 05:17 PM
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I don't know how the panny circuit differs. I just tried your test with 100% full white fields by eye and meter and confirmed that lowering contrast reduces full field peak signal. However, there were no sudden jumps back up (or down), the variation was smooth. I also did some tests with flipping from 20% to 100% and there were no obvious jumps in luminance, everything was nice and smooth. Maybe the E-series behaves differently than my D panel.
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post #5 of 35 Old 06-17-2012, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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That is the kind of behaviour I would expect from a "normal" plasma and is not noticeable to me in regular content. It's very dissapointing that they changed this in the E series as it is very noticeable and annoying. Happens probably 20+ times in Art of Flight (snowboarding flick so lots of white scenes), also noticed it once or twice when watching Papillon and Schindlers List.

Any idea what is the best way of raising this issue to someone in Samsung who might actually have the power to effect it with a firmware fix (if that is even possible)?
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post #6 of 35 Old 06-17-2012, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samwbourne View Post

[snip]

If you watch something like Art of Flight for example and the camera pans from the snow to the sky, on the Panasonic the snow increases in brightness very smoothly and is not really noticeable. With the E8000 the brightness of the snow does not increase smoothly but instead "jumps" in brightness half way through the scene making it very obvious.

[snip]

Quote:
Originally Posted by samwbourne View Post

[snip]

The way the Samsung functions is quite distracting as it results in very noticeable steps in brightness whereas the Panasonic is very smooth and I really don't notice it at all. This is most obvious if you pause in a mostly white scene and then start lowering the contrast from 100.

[snip]


I find these statements very interesting.

I have a 64D7000 with a panel that was replaced on March 23, 2012. The replacement came with a logic board firmware dated something like 11-08-??. I really didn't pay much attention before performing the logic update. In fact, I didn't even watch any programming before updating. The update went without any difficulty. Yeah, I know that I should have noted all the data but there are so few days to this life and even we very old physicists screw up sometines. smile.gif

But here is the interesting part. With this new panel, when I increase or decrease the Contrast control, I see the same changing "brightness" on a full gray or white screen. Just the way Sam describes it. However, I do not see any "brightness" changes while viewing normal video -- as described by some owners of the E series.

I wonder if I now have a D7000.5 model. biggrin.gif

There is another peculiarity with this new panel. When displaying a gray or white full screen from a calibration disk, the uniformity is bad. There is a pink tone to parts of the screen -- the shape and intensity of which changes with different Contrast settings. This pink coloration is more prevalent on the right side of the panel. However, and here is the real strange part, when viewing normal programming content, the screen is quite uniform -- even when an advertisement with a full white screen background is shown. Strange behavior indeed.


EDIT: These changes in brightness and the uniformity problems caused by varying the Contrast setting do not occur when displaying 10% or 18% gray or color windows on a black background or when displaying gray or color windows using the AVS 709 constant APL patterns. In other words, there is no difficulty calibrating this panel. Also, varying the Contrast with a paused normal picture, the action is smooth. The peculiar behavior is only evident with a full screen displaying a pure gray or white source.

Larry
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post #7 of 35 Old 06-18-2012, 10:22 AM
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That's interesting, my 59D7000 panel has never been replaced (June 2011 build), but has developed (I think, or I just started noticing it recently) a blotchy pink hue mostly on the right side. Originally I couldn't see it in normal content, but now I notice it on bright white screens like from hockey or certain commercials. Since I rarely watch such bright white content, it's not a major issue to me, but I am a little concerned.

I haven't tried the contrast test, but I have never had a problem with the ABL on this set becoming noticable with normal content.
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post #8 of 35 Old 06-18-2012, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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This is a difficult problem for me as I am in a position now where I could go back to the ST50 I had previously if I wanted to, however I think I am going to stick with the E8000 in the hopes that Samsung may eventually fix this issue. To be honest this seems like a bug that should be fixed to me as I have now discovered in certain scenes the ABL can cause the brightness to fluctuate constantly even though the scene is almost completely static.

For example, there is a scene in Star Trek starting at 25 minutes in where Kirk rides his bike toward the camera and fills the horizon as he pulls to a stop. After he stops moving the sky either side of him begins to jump back and forth in overall brightness. What is really weird is that pausing the scene during this point will stop this behaviour permanently, even after hitting play again. Raising the contrast from 95 to 100 also prevents it in this particular scene, I suspect because it is then bright enough to keep the ABL permanently active. I am sure the way it works is far more complicated than that but that is the best way I can describe it. I will try and take a video later so you guys can see for yourself.

If you would like to try that scene for yourself the settings I used are as follows:
Picture mode: Standard
Cell Light: 20
Contrast: 100
Brightness: 46

All other processing options such as dynamic contrast were turned off aside from cinema smooth which was left on. I have tried all the different picture modes and they all have this issue however some are not bright enough to trigger the problem in this particular scene.
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post #9 of 35 Old 06-18-2012, 04:25 PM
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I just wanted to thank you for opening this tread and report that I too have experienced significant fatigue and dissapointment as the result of this problem but please note that I have the little brother model PN60E550 and previously had the PN51E550. The issue is/was very prevelant on both sets. I can't think of anything more distracting on a set than this "strobe light" type of effect on bright scenes.

The "hockey pops" are extremely distracting and present on all types of content and on all inputs.

The only "fix" that I have found is to turndown the contrast (level 65 for me) but the resulting picture degradation is unacceptable.

I was hoping to upgrade to a E7000, especially after the recent significant price drop so I will be following this closely.

Thanks again
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post #10 of 35 Old 06-19-2012, 05:31 AM
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Wasn't there a firmware released a few days ago? I believe it was supposed to address this.
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post #11 of 35 Old 06-20-2012, 04:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Can anyone else confirm this? My firmware is up to date but I'm in Australia so I'm not sure if our firmware is the same or not. I tried to capture a video of the issue I mentioned above but couldn't capture it clearly with my phone - I will borrow a camera ASAP so I can record it.
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post #12 of 35 Old 06-20-2012, 05:42 AM
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This is what's on the US site, it's not specific about the PQ improvement. I couldn't find any info on the Australian site.
Quote:
The version is 1019.4

This firmware update will improve the following: - Supports Samsung Wireless Audio Dock and Wireless Keyboard VG-KBD1500 - Resolves compatibility issue with DLNA devices and network router/switch. - Improves picture quality. - Enhances Voice Recognition feature. - hange the TV Power On command from ''Hi TV'' to ''Hi TV Power On'' or ''Smart TV'' to ''Smart TV Power On.
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post #13 of 35 Old 06-21-2012, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quick update, I made a video of a black window animating over a white window using Fraps to help better illustrate the issue. I then recorded my E8000 playing this clip to demonstrate the problem (view on YouTube).

You will notice that the ABL works as expected when the size of the black window is decreased, however when it returns to it's original size the change in contrast is much more abrupt. The contrast level actually takes two distinct steps during this test but the second isn't as easily visible as my phone is crushing the detail.

I will post the test video I used over the weekend so that anyone else who is interested can check it out for themselves.
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post #14 of 35 Old 06-22-2012, 04:09 AM
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yes, upload the clip you used for that. That two-step contrast change when returning to peak level is a problem but it could be actuated by the particular change in area vs. time. I'd like to see what it does on my display.
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post #15 of 35 Old 06-22-2012, 05:57 AM - Thread Starter
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No worries mate, here are two test clips. The first is the one I have recorded already and the other is a compilation of several different clips I've made. Any feedback welcome! smile.gif

ABL Test 1 406k .zip file
ABL Test 2 2968k .zip file

Let me know if you have any dramas playing it and I will try re-encoding.
Attached Files
File Type: zip ABL Test 1.zip (406.4 KB, 26 views)
File Type: zip ABL Test 2.zip (2.90 MB, 20 views)
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post #16 of 35 Old 06-22-2012, 07:21 AM
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Compared to your youtube clip the transitions are noticeably smoother on my set. I checked in movie, standard, and dynamic modes. I can pick out some more abrupt level changes in the test 2 patterns where the area changes more abruptly but I would expect that.
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post #17 of 35 Old 06-24-2012, 01:23 PM
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Great news...

Received the latest firmware last night (1015.0) for my PN60E550.

http://www.samsung.com/us/support/owners/product/PN60E550D1FXZA?

I am seeing a huge improvement with the ABL issue! More testing needed but looking great so far.
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post #18 of 35 Old 06-24-2012, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your feedback guys, much appreciated. Are you able to try the first test clip I put up Tampabuc? That will make any abrupt changes in ABL very noticeable. I am having my set replaced due to an unrelated issue but once I have the new one I will be asking Samsung Australia what the deal is. smile.gif
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post #19 of 35 Old 07-17-2012, 08:40 AM
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I'm seeing this on my E7000 and on the brink of returning it as we watch a lot of hockey and this issue is just too distracting. As Samwbourne noted, setting dynamic contrast to high and lowering contrast does seem to help (not fully eliminate) but PQ really suffers. I've also notcied it on other content like golf and soccer. I tried going into the logic board service menu and changing the APC setting but it would not stick. Really wish this issue could be addressed somehow as I really enjoy the set otherwise. A recent review of the e8000 noted the problem as well. Interestingly I had an E8000 which I returned due to a pink vertical stripe and do not recall seeing the ABL issue nearly as much as I do on the E7000. I plan on raising this to Samsung but don't have much hope they will resolve it.

Samwbourne does your new set have the ABL issue?
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post #20 of 35 Old 07-17-2012, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Yep both my E8000's have the same problem. It would be a huge help if you could raise this issue with Samsung before returning it as without any formal complaints I doubt it will ever be fixed. I'm keeping mine as the ST50 flicker in 24p and 50hz is too noticeable to me and I'm not into LCDs. I have spoken to a service technician about it and he said he would put it in his report but I haven't heard anything back yet.
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post #21 of 35 Old 07-23-2012, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samwbourne View Post

That is the kind of behaviour I would expect from a "normal" plasma and is not noticeable to me in regular content. It's very dissapointing that they changed this in the E series as it is very noticeable and annoying. Happens probably 20+ times in Art of Flight (snowboarding flick so lots of white scenes), also noticed it once or twice when watching Papillon and Schindlers List.
Any idea what is the best way of raising this issue to someone in Samsung who might actually have the power to effect it with a firmware fix (if that is even possible)?
no, this happens on the D series as well. Just try watching hockey on one. It sucks!

THE ALL MIGHTY MACACASIAH HAS SPOKEN!
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post #22 of 35 Old 07-26-2012, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
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There is a very good description of the ABL issue in the HDTVTest.co.uk review. Subtle floating blacks are noted as well but they must be extremely subtle because I've never noticed them on my E8000.
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post #23 of 35 Old 07-27-2012, 06:04 PM
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Sorry for the extended delay samwbourne....

I upgraded my set for the E7000. Same issue but much less pronounced with the better set/filter.

When it works, this TV is beautiful. I can't be the only one this sensitive to light fluctuations but it so so distracting, 1 month later and several firmware updates later I see nothing else but the "strobe effect" PS3, Xbox, blu-ray, 3d...it does not matter.

I have a few days to swap for something else......
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post #24 of 35 Old 07-27-2012, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tampabuc View Post

Sorry for the extended delay samwbourne....
I upgraded my set for the E7000. Same issue but much less pronounced with the better set/filter.
When it works, this TV is beautiful. I can't be the only one this sensitive to light fluctuations but it so so distracting, 1 month later and several firmware updates later I see nothing else but the "strobe effect" PS3, Xbox, blu-ray, 3d...it does not matter.
I have a few days to swap for something else......

You have a sympathizer here, if not for this issue think the set is excellent. I have raised it to Samsung and received a response back that it is not a known issue, despite the fact it goes back to the D series. I provided them forum links and reviews which reference the issue as well as a short video. The only way this will ever be addressed is if people report it. Would be even better if any of the professional reviewers can take an active role in pressing Samsung for a solution.
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post #25 of 35 Old 07-31-2012, 07:23 AM
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Folks, with some persistence, Samsung has advised me the issue will be sent to Korea for the product engineers to review. While there is some traction on this, if you are sensitive to this issue, please report it.
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post #26 of 35 Old 07-31-2012, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jav1 View Post

Folks, with some persistence, Samsung has advised me the issue will be sent to Korea for the product engineers to review. While there is some traction on this, if you are sensitive to this issue, please report it.

Wow great work! I've spoken to a technician about the issue and he said he would talk to head office about it but not sure what came of it - this is in Australia mind you so not sure what effect that will have if any. Is there any particular channel which is best to go through regarding this or did you just call up technical support?
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post #27 of 35 Old 07-31-2012, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samwbourne View Post

Wow great work! I've spoken to a technician about the issue and he said he would talk to head office about it but not sure what came of it - this is in Australia mind you so not sure what effect that will have if any. Is there any particular channel which is best to go through regarding this or did you just call up technical support?

Samwbourne you have a PM
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post #28 of 35 Old 09-01-2012, 10:05 AM
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This might be the kicker in me deciding between an e7000/6500 or a gt50 as I am a huge hockey fan. It is not even known if it is fixable with a firmware update, correct?
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post #29 of 35 Old 09-01-2012, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by dzt41j View Post

This might be the kicker in me deciding between an e7000/6500 or a gt50 as I am a huge hockey fan. It is not even known if it is fixable with a firmware update, correct?

Based on Chad B's review of the E series plasmas I would think you'd definitely want to get the GT50. He pointed out that hockey was much better on the GT50.

I have a D7000 and the ABL function is pretty noticeable and is one of the only downsides of the display.
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post #30 of 35 Old 09-01-2012, 11:54 AM
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Thanks I don't think I read Chad's review.
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