One of the biggest LG OLED criticisms is that near black detail is substandard compared to other display technologies. Why is that? "Black" is 0% of 100% White. The OLED can produce perfect, solid, zero luminance black, something the human eye cannot see. Consequently, OLED 0.5% is also very dark and quite difficult to detect. When patterns are displayed in increased luminance (1% 2% 3% etc.) they become more and more visible.
Yeah but my plasma easily shows .5% black blah blah blah
Let's put this into perspective. 0% on my Samsung PN51D8000 plasma is about the same as 3 or 4% on my LG E6P OLED. Of course you can see near black on the plasma because you can see it's version of solid black in the first place.
Perhaps your favorite movie was mastered on a plasma. If you had this same display, calibrated exactly the same, you would be able to see what the director intended. This is image fidelity, and the reason calibration exists. We know there is detail we aren't seeing on the OLED because we see it with other displays. What to do?
Colorimeter - Klein K10A capable of reading down to 0.00006 cd/m2
Software - ChromaPure 3
Display - 2016 LG 55E6P OLED
You CANNOT increase near black detail by raising the Brightness control without raising Black itself. Yes, you can see more detail but the infinite Contrast Ratio would be obliterated and "Contrast is the most import single picture quality" (THX among others).
Decreasing Gamma brings content out of black faster
. We are only interested in the bottom .5% and this is how you do it.
1. Set Black level properly with the Brightness control. It is difficult to do with OLEDs when using a visual pattern like the AVSHD
or Ted's Disc
patterns mainly because video 17 is almost too dark to see. I can set Brightness precisely using my K10-A but non calibrators will have to use their eyes.
2. Lower Gamma at the dark end.
2A) On LG 2016 OLEDs: White Balance > 20 point > 5% > Luminance > increase
2B) On LG Pre 2016 OLEDs: White Balance > 20 point > 5% > Red > increase. Do the same equally for Green and Blue.
On my E6P, if Brightness is one click too high, raising WB 5% Luminance above 18 will elevate the black level so be careful. It's better to start with Brightness 1 click too low than 1 click too high. On my TV I can set WB 5% luma all the way to max (50) without raising the Black level.
Here is what happens to Gamma. Blue is WB 5% Luminance 0, Green is Luminance 20, and Red is Luminance 50. Notice that Gamma from 10 through 95% is exactly the same and that is what we want. Bringing out near black detail is all about the bottom end.
I have found a content scene that is perfect for watching near dark detail come alive as 5% Gamma is lowered. PAUSE
"The Dark Knight" at 0:06:33, and watch what happens to the detail around the building's windows as you lower the gamma by increasing the 5% WB luma. On pre 2016 models you need to increase R,G, and B equally to keep 5% color somewhat accurate but you should start by increasing Green as this is the channel where luminance is carried.
On the left is The Dark Knight 0:06:33 with 5% luma set at 0, and on the right is the result of raising 5% luma.
If you don't have the Bat Man movie, pause something else where you know you are losing detail.
Have fun, and good luck.
I know I'm going to get nagged for settings and my response is always the same: "Every display is different."
BUT, here are the basics.
Picture Mode - Expert Night
OLED Light - 28
Contrast - 80
Brightness - 57
Gamma Preset - BT.1886
Forum member Wizziwig has created an outstanding black pluge pattern video which is downloadable in this post. It clearly shows how lower gamma at 5% increases shadow detail and will enable you to set up Brightness and Gamma properly.
I have discovered that in certain modes, raising the White Balance 5% Luminance or RGB (pre 2016 models) beyond a certain point can elevate the black level. This is extremely undesirable. If you're viewing the entire screen your eyes can play tricks on you and you may not see it. To help detect a black level rise, I suggest you use a "poor man's" meter. Some of us have high performance, all black, dedicated theaters and we use black velvet surrounding the screen for several feet on the walls, ceiling, and floor to increase room/screen contrast and minimize reflections. The best is likely JoAnn Fabrics Royalty 3. In a dark room, hold a piece of the velvet up against the screen (black area containing no above black content). You will not be able to distinguish the edge of the velvet from the screen itself. As you use the technique shown in this thread to lower 5% gamma, if the black level elevates, you will see it immediately. Raise gamma until the screen is once again totally black. Do"
Interesting new info regarding the dark end while displaying HDR content. I'm not near my E6P to test it but check out this post.
"Not sure if my finding should be posted in this thread, but I found out that in HDR settings, lowering Blue to -1 at the lowest IRE point truly improves dark areas. It might be panel- dependent but I encourage any of you with uhd players to try this out on Any of your titles in HDR. Here is Suicide Squad before/after"