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Is the labeling correct? "Samsung mislabeling HDMI Black Level setting "Normal" and "Low"

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Please bare with me as I am a beginner in this area of TV calibration and learning what all the options actually do to a TV's picture quality and perfomance. smile.gif

About a week ago I picked up a Samsung UN46ES7500 and have used AVSHD 709 to do basic calibrating on all three HDMI sources.
All looks fine to me as far as my eyes can tell. When it comes to setting HDMI Black Level - "Normal" or "Low" to finalize calibration of my HTPC (HDMI1/DVI - DVI Devices mode) I am confused on which option setting is correct to use.

From reading other posts I am understanding that "Normal" is RGB 0-255 and "Low" is YcbCr 16-235.
When viewing my Desktop and movies while toggling between Normal and Low - I feel that Low gives me a much better picture quality overall. The blacks are deep blacks with grey shades of shadowing detail, I don't think I notice black crushing. Where as Normal gives the entire picture a grey overlay washed out appearance to every color not only shades of black.

The Nvidia GTX 580 Control Panel can be set to output either RGB or Ycbcr444. It is set to RGB at the moment and the HDMI Black Level setting in the TV menu is now grayed out and the picture quality looks good like it does when I used to be able to set it into "Low". If I set the Nvidia Control Panel to output Ycbcr444, then the HDMI Black Level setting is no longer grayed out and I can pick between Normal and Low again. While Low still looking better to my eyes than when in Normal (grey and washed out).

So the standard is (correct me if I'm wrong):
RGB 0-255 color space (Full PC levels)
Ycbcr 16-235 color space (Limited)

Samsung LCD TV's HDMI Black Level:
"Normal" = RGB 0-255 ??
"Low" = Ycbcr 16-235 ??

Ok, now as for what the Subject line is all about.
I have come across a few posts in similar threads that mention that years ago, Samsung (made a misake) mislabeled the HDMI Black Level choices (Normal and Low) in reverse/backwards and haven't corrected the issue, even though their QA Department requested for Samsung to fix the labeling. (??) I've googled about this and could not find any official word from Samsung. Maybe Samsung got lost wording the labels in translation by converting what it means in Korean over to English. Also, back then Manufacturer's were getting mixed up and confused when HDMI constantly changing/adding new technologies and standards with their HDMI revisions.

If it were backwards labeling then it would be like this:
"Normal" = Ycbcr 16-235 ??
"Low" = RGB 0-255 ??

So my main question is, has ANYONE heard about this "Samsung HDMI Black Level Mislabeling"? Anyone know if it has been fixed in their TV's?

Appreciate your thoughts and information about the subject. smile.gif

BTW just received the Disney WOW Calibration DVD and can't wait to check it out! Oh and the TV is pretty awesome too!

-found fix for RGB Full Nvidia Control Panel-

-original thread-

-subject source- provided by 8mile13
Edited by limitz - 3/7/13 at 10:56am
post #2 of 14
HDMI Black Level is for RGB signals only, not YCbCr 4:4:4 or YCbCr 4:2:2.

"Low" is for RGB Limited Range (16-235, video levels)

"Normal" is for RGB Full Range (0-255, PC levels)

When sending YCbCr, the setting is grayed out and reads "Normal"
post #3 of 14
Putting tv hdmi black level on low with cable box sending rgb looks very similar too setting cable box to ycc4:4:4(where the hdmi black level is grayed out)..on ycc444 and low hdmi blacklevel settingl the white bright areas clip more (which is a problem on plasmas)which is why I use rgb and normal Blacklevel.
post #4 of 14
When did Samsung stop labeling the RGB levels backwards?
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
no idea if they corrected it or if it was ever mislabeled.


RGB vs.yCbCr444 (Same as what I have noticed - In picture quality)
Edited by limitz - 3/7/13 at 7:38am
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
-found fix for RGB Full Nvidia Control Panel-

Now I can set the TV to "Normal" without the washout and looking naturally vibrant. Blacks and whites are reference/ideal with shades of detail within.

When set in "Low" it now definitely crushes black and over saturates colors.

I can say I am happy.

Mislabeled still? Um probably not anymore.
post #7 of 14
Using gimp, I created in the computer an image with 3 color bands, RGB=0, RGB=10 and RGB=15.
With brightness and contrast very high, in my computer monitor, I can barely see the different colors.

I don't have my computer connected to the TV, but I wonder if you can do the same test maybe with more bars and get any conclusion from it?
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Wolf View Post

Using gimp, I created in the computer an image with 3 color bands, RGB=0, RGB=10 and RGB=15.
With brightness and contrast very high, in my computer monitor, I can barely see the different colors.

I don't have my computer connected to the TV, but I wonder if you can do the same test maybe with more bars and get any conclusion from it?

I'll see what happens. Link the gimp image here.
post #9 of 14
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Wolf View Post

Here it is:
640x400-3BARS-RGB0-RGB10-RGB15.jpg 4k .jpg file

On UN46ES7500 Samsung I am able to see 0, 10 and 15 in Standard Mode, Brightness 45, Contrast 90 and when both are at 100. Not just the separation of each shade but actually see the different shades of black too.

Nvidia GTX 580 Control Panel = RGB 0-255
UN46ES7500 HDMI Black Level = Normal 0-255

Hope that helped.
post #11 of 14
Great, it means the TV display 0-15 colors (Black Level = Normal).
And if you set the TV to Black Level = LOW, does it show 0-15 colors?
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Wolf View Post

Great, it means the TV display 0-15 colors (Black Level = Normal).
And if you set the TV to Black Level = LOW, does it show 0-15 colors?

No it doesn't. When in Low 16-235. 0-15 appear as 0 and doesn't change by much degree with control adjustments.
post #13 of 14
Thank you, that was conclusive smile.gif
post #14 of 14
This is a simple question. Set the disc player to YCbCr and display a PLUGE pattern (used to set the black level). Switch the disc player to RGB mode. Then view the same PLUGE pattern with both Low and Normal settings. The setting that makes the PLUGE look the same as the YCbCr rendering of the PLUGE pattern is the 16-235 setting which is appropriate for consumer video sources.

Using an HTPC, you may or may not have control over 0-255 or 16-235 or it may change as you change types of content. (i.e. games may render at 0-255 but the episode of Benny Hill that you watch on Netflix may render at 16-235. You just have to deal with it in whatever way works for you.

Some displays look the same no matter whether you send YCbCr or RGB. BUT... some displays look better when you send RGB and some displays look better when you send YCbCr. Unless someone else has figured that out for your display already, you'll have to figure it out for yourself by viewing content in both modes. If your HTPC isn't YCbCr-capable, though, you may have no choice but to send RGB.
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