Samsung F8500 Owners - Do You Experience Floating Blacks? - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Do You or Have You Ever Seen Floating Blacks on an F8500?
Yes, I see floating blacks and I am using the current firmware version. I would say that they can occur several times during the course of a typical film or TV show. 1 3.23%
Yes, I see floating blacks and I am using the current firmware version. I would say that they only occur in very rare cases; perhaps once or twice during the course of a typical film at most. 0 0%
Yes, I see floating blacks but I have not yet updated to the current firmware version. 1 3.23%
No, I used to see floating blacks, but it is clear that they have since been fixed due to a firmware update or other reason (please explain). 2 6.45%
No, I have never seen floating blacks, but I haven't gone to the trouble to seek them out. 13 41.94%
No, I have never seen floating blacks, and I have performed testing in an effort to seek them out, and they're simply not there to any noticeable degree. 14 45.16%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 69 Old 02-05-2014, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I am currently in the process of finalizing my decision as to what my next display purchase will be, and at this point my small list of contenders includes a 64" F8500. As of now my biggest worry in going Samsung is whether or not I will have to deal with floating blacks.

There seems to be a lot of conflicting opinions out there as to whether or not they exist, or whether or not they are too subtle to worry about, or whether they did exist but don't anymore due to FW updates, or whether they exist on some units but not on others, etc.

It is NOT my desire to stir up yet another debate on the subject, or to discuss ANY other aspects of picture quality, or to bring up any other brands or models of displays at all. I am simply looking for feedback from current or former F8500 owners on whether or not they have ever noticed floating blacks on their display. Given that this is an important factor in my decision - as it seems to be for several others - I would like to see some real world observations from as large a sample size as possible.

If you have no idea what floating blacks are, and/or don't care what they are, then please refrain from answering the poll. I am ONLY interested in observations from those who would recognize the issue if they saw it, and have viewed the F8500 in suitable conditions to make it obvious (IE, a darkened room with little to no ambient light) with the Black Optimizer set either to ON or AUTO. If you have always kept Black Optimizer off, please refrain from answering the poll.

Also, for those with a meter who have performed measurements, please feel free to share your results.

Thank you in advance!
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post #2 of 69 Old 02-05-2014, 01:02 PM
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This is an excellent topic. I have read numerous pro reviews of the 8500 and there is no definitive answer. Some reviewers have used the Black Level optimizer, others don't.

I wouldn't really see the point in picking up this TV if you don't use the BL Optimizer, though. We're talking about 0.002 vs. 0.007 with it on/off. May as well pick up a cheaper or older TV if you're going to settle for a black level of 0.007.
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post #3 of 69 Old 02-05-2014, 03:14 PM
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thanks for posting this, watching closely...
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post #4 of 69 Old 02-06-2014, 05:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Sending this up for the morning people...
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post #5 of 69 Old 02-06-2014, 07:06 AM
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can we add one.

yes, i THINK my display has floating blacks, but i can not see it during normal playback...

cause that's where i'm at. i've seen a shift in black level probably about 7 times since i bought the tv in april. in all accounts it was when looking for it though

i also think what i'm seeing is the BO kicking in and doing what it's designed to do. it works a bit like a crt in this way, allowing the tv to get blacker during dark scenes when it's actually needed.

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post #6 of 69 Old 02-06-2014, 07:36 AM
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I do not remember CRT's having floating blacks but I had all Sony's.
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post #7 of 69 Old 02-06-2014, 09:08 AM
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Floating will probably never be noticed with bright room viewing and may not in a dark room either except for stationary dark objects - and you have to be looking for it.

It's there though, and more than most think.

1 0% = .002FtL
2 4.8% = .002
3 9.3% = .003
4 13.7% = .005
5 20.4% = .011
6 24.8% = .015
7 29.3% = .016
8 33.7% = .017
9 38.1% = .018
10 51.3% = .02
11 61.6% = .02
12 72.8% = .02
13 87.5% = .02

ref: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1467675/f8500-recommended-settings-thread/810#post_23381925
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post #8 of 69 Old 02-06-2014, 09:30 AM
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No, no and....no.

 

Have not seen floating blacks.

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post #9 of 69 Old 02-06-2014, 10:08 AM
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Are current owners having their sets calibrated with Black Optimizer on or off?
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post #10 of 69 Old 02-06-2014, 10:11 AM
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My calibrator, Gregg Loewen, told me to turn it off.

 

He isn't fond of any of the artificial enhancements on the display.  I trust his opinion on that.

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post #11 of 69 Old 02-06-2014, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I wouldn't call Black Optimizer an enhancer exactly...not in the way that most "enhancements" can crush blacks, or blow out colors, or destroy detail, or add artifacts, etc. I would have no problem with leaving it on; in fact, I'd consider it necessary as .007 ftl or so with it turned off is not at all impressive to me in a dark room. The only reason I could see for turning it off would be to potentially reduce or eliminate any possible floating blacks, which is why I indicated that BO should be left ON in order to test for the issue.
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post #12 of 69 Old 02-06-2014, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbird8450 View Post

I wouldn't call Black Optimizer an enhancer exactly...not in the way that most "enhancements" can crush blacks, or blow out colors, or destroy detail, or add artifacts, etc. I would have no problem with leaving it on; in fact, I'd consider it necessary as .007 ftl or so with it turned off is not at all impressive to me in a dark room. The only reason I could see for turning it off would be to potentially reduce or eliminate any possible floating blacks, which is why I indicated that BO should be left ON in order to test for the issue.

I'd have to agree with this...if you're not leaving BO on you may be better served by shopping for a TV with better black levels. But I know many pro calibrators are turning it off.
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post #13 of 69 Old 02-06-2014, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Even if it did crush blacks a bit - and I don't know whether it does or not - I would certainly take a little of that for the much improved dark-room contrast performance. And I'm pretty sure that the calibrators left it on during the VE shootout last year.
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post #14 of 69 Old 02-06-2014, 11:32 AM
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I take it if I suddenly decide to turn the Black Optimizer on that it wouldn't upset any of the calibration settings...yes?

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post #15 of 69 Old 02-06-2014, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein View Post

I take it if I suddenly decide to turn the Black Optimizer on that it wouldn't upset any of the calibration settings...yes?


I'm guessing your calibrated Day/Night settings are locked, but you could always experiment with an untouched picture mode. Shouldn't goof anything up.
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post #16 of 69 Old 02-06-2014, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbird8450 View Post

Even if it did crush blacks a bit - and I don't know whether it does or not - I would certainly take a little of that for the much improved dark-room contrast performance. And I'm pretty sure that the calibrators left it on during the VE shootout last year.

I believe CNet and Sound&Vision used it as well.
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post #17 of 69 Old 02-06-2014, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newfmp3 View Post

I do not remember CRT's having floating blacks but I had all Sony's.

it may not be technically the same thing, but CRT's didn't have great ansi contrast. when bright scenes were displayed the 'blacks' were quite bright, but when dark scenes were displayed, you could hardly tell black wasn't off. it didn't happen through processing, so there wasn't any lag, and our eyes can't see that black isn't black when the image is bright, so it's not something you ever really noticed.

and quite frankly, that's what's happening with my f8500. it's only when i use some material that 'glitches' the processing and creates enough of a lag between the scene getting dark and the blacks lowering that it can be seen.

my understanding of what floating blacks are, is a change in MLL depending on how bright the image on screen is. under that definitely, crt's have HUGE floating blacks, they just don't have any lag in that 'float' that is noticeable

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post #18 of 69 Old 02-06-2014, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbird8450 View Post

I wouldn't call Black Optimizer an enhancer exactly...not in the way that most "enhancements" can crush blacks, or blow out colors, or destroy detail, or add artifacts, etc. I would have no problem with leaving it on; in fact, I'd consider it necessary as .007 ftl or so with it turned off is not at all impressive to me in a dark room. The only reason I could see for turning it off would be to potentially reduce or eliminate any possible floating blacks, which is why I indicated that BO should be left ON in order to test for the issue.

it reminds me of a dynamic iris on a projector.

it's not an 'enhancement' as it's not modifying the material. it's a 'feature' in that it's modifying the panel

i think anyway, i'm not sure what i've heard is accurate or just other posters theories.

nevertheless, i do wish more was known about it early on. as i'm not sure i would have consider the f8500 to be 'about on par' as far as blacks go with the pannies if i'd understood what i do now. the same way i really avoided projectors with a dynamic iris because i don't like the way they work.

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Would love to see some calibrators weigh in on this.
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post #20 of 69 Old 02-07-2014, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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So it sounds like, as far as calibrating goes...calibration should be performed with BO off, but then switched on afterwards. Is that correct?
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post #21 of 69 Old 02-07-2014, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbird8450 View Post

So it sounds like, as far as calibrating goes...calibration should be performed with BO off, but then switched on afterwards. Is that correct?

Who knows. Just about every review that I read on the 8500 mentions using BO, but then I come on here and read about how the pro calibrators are leaving it off.

If I couldn't get 0.002 on this TV, I don't think I'd buy it. Just my thoughts.
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post #22 of 69 Old 02-11-2014, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Up for hopefully more votes...
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post #23 of 69 Old 02-11-2014, 07:56 PM
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Not sure. I'm coming from LCD and got my 1st plasma. I usually watch with a dim lamp..making use of the black filter.
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post #24 of 69 Old 02-14-2014, 01:41 AM
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How should I test for floating blacks?
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post #25 of 69 Old 02-14-2014, 04:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzard767 View Post

Floating will probably never be noticed with bright room viewing and may not in a dark room either except for stationary dark objects - and you have to be looking for it.

It's there though, and more than most think.

1 0% = .002FtL
2 4.8% = .002
3 9.3% = .003
4 13.7% = .005
5 20.4% = .011
6 24.8% = .015
7 29.3% = .016
8 33.7% = .017
9 38.1% = .018
10 51.3% = .02
11 61.6% = .02
12 72.8% = .02
13 87.5% = .02

ref: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1467675/f8500-recommended-settings-thread/810#post_23381925


I got something different two nights ago using the latest firmware.

I'm using a 10.8% window and varied the surround to find the trigger point when having black optimizer turned on actually does something to the picture. Used an i1pro3 and Chromapure in cave conditions.


Surround brightness BO off BO on

0 .007 .002
10% .007 .003
15% .009 .009
18% .009 .009
30% .009 .009
40% .009 .009
80% .010 .010

In my opinion, even with BO turned off, black levels changes some but I don't think you'll see it given that the brighter parts of the screen will constrict the iris of your eye and the blacks will appear darker. In a room with even a little bit of ambient lighting, the difference would be even less noticeable.

With BO turned on, certain scenes such as titles at the end of a movie are likely to appear as black as you'd ever want them.

With this said, my Panasonic 65VT50 using 18% surround brightness would measure .003 black in a 5% window with the i1pro3. (other equipment might read lower levels). Didn't bother to measure at brighter levels as it looked good and was never raised as a question.

On balance, the Panasonic has better blacks during normal content but the Samsung beats it in a sharper, punchier image.
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post #26 of 69 Old 02-14-2014, 07:24 AM
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Hi Tbird...

 

I do know about floating blacks, and am considering purchasing the F8500 model as well.  On some plasma units, apparently you can set the screen to "THX" or "Cinema" mode and that disables the energy saving feature that can cause floating blacks.

 

I don't own this TV, but there are some helpful comments on YouTube as well.  Best of luck, and please let us know your findings!

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post #27 of 69 Old 02-14-2014, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimP View Post


I got something different two nights ago using the latest firmware.

I'm using a 10.8% window and varied the surround to find the trigger point when having black optimizer turned on actually does something to the picture. Used an i1pro3 and Chromapure in cave conditions.


Surround brightness BO off BO on

0 .007 .002
10% .007 .003
15% .009 .009
18% .009 .009
30% .009 .009
40% .009 .009
80% .010 .010

In my opinion, even with BO turned off, black levels changes some but I don't think you'll see it given that the brighter parts of the screen will constrict the iris of your eye and the blacks will appear darker. In a room with even a little bit of ambient lighting, the difference would be even less noticeable.

With BO turned on, certain scenes such as titles at the end of a movie are likely to appear as black as you'd ever want them.

With this said, my Panasonic 65VT50 using 18% surround brightness would measure .003 black in a 5% window with the i1pro3. (other equipment might read lower levels). Didn't bother to measure at brighter levels as it looked good and was never raised as a question.

On balance, the Panasonic has better blacks during normal content but the Samsung beats it in a sharper, punchier image.

Exactly what I have been saying all along.....your measurements are appreciated!  Thanks.  BTW I leave all black enhancements off and motion.  As my set ages, the blacks are way BLACKER than when it was new. I am so happy with mine!:)

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post #28 of 69 Old 02-14-2014, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EyeInSky1970 View Post

Hi Tbird...

I do know about floating blacks, and am considering purchasing the F8500 model as well.  On some plasma units, apparently you can set the screen to "THX" or "Cinema" mode and that disables the energy saving feature that can cause floating blacks.

I don't own this TV, but there are some helpful comments on YouTube as well.  Best of luck, and please let us know your findings!

i'm not aware of any thx mode on the f8500. i've had mine for several months...

it's not an energy saving feature that causes a change in black level, it's the black optimizer that improves blacks during darker scenes. you can turn it off, but then the blacks are pretty 'normal' and not all that impressive.

if you don't try really hard to see it, you probably won't even notice. even after i've pointed it out to myself, i never see it during content. but with the BO off, i instantly notice the lackluster blacks

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post #29 of 69 Old 02-14-2014, 01:23 PM
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I'm not sure if there is another mode that will disable that completely.

But I agree that a brightness change in the blacks (depending on the background) is fairly noticeable and annoying.

Even my Sony CCFL 40" TV does that :-)

 

Please keep AVS posted if this problem gets resolved!

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post #30 of 69 Old 03-09-2014, 03:12 PM
 
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As stated by David Mackenzie one of the Top Calibrators in the business @ The 2013 Value Electronics Shootout.

ANSI is not an accurate way to measure Contrast on Plasma's, because ABL (Automatic Brightness Limiter) Circuitry

kicks-in thus limiting Actual Light Output.

 

For example the Samsung F8500's light output goes from: ( Calibrated for Movie 40ft/L to 23ft/L ) When using the ANSI pattern.

Thus ANSI is not the best way to get a Real World Measurement of a Plasma sets true Contrast Ratio.

 

So my chart above which uses FULL ON/OFF CONTRAST is a useful chart, that shows what a sets Contrast Ratio is

fully capable of producing.

 

Sources: hdtvtest, soundandvision & 2013 Value Electronics Shootout

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