Originally Posted by GBarber
I don't have either of those discs so I can't comment on their playback specifically but what you describe is so different from what I'm seeing that I suspect there is something wrong in your system. Unfortunately, you'll have to do some troubleshooting to try and isolate what is causing the problem. The things that I would suggest are:
1) If you have a Best Buy nearby and you're willing to try another UHD Blu-ray, get Kingsman. Unlike Exodus, I know this movie appears well lit (not dark) on my system when played at default settings (user mode with everything zeroed out on the Samsung and unadjusted, default HDR settings on the Sony). Therefore, if it's dark on your system, there there is definitely something wrong.
2) Since the regular blu-ray disk also appears dark on your system, can you hook up your previous blu-ray player and see if the playback is still dark. This should help to distinguish whether the problem is in your TV or the Samsung blu-ray player.
3) Do you have a Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription? If so, try playing the same UHD show using the app on the TV vs the app on the blu-ray player. Ideally, to keep everything the same, use a non-HDR show since the built in apps on the blu-ray player don't (?yet) support HDR. Playback of Amazon UHD content looks similar on my system using either the TV or blu-ray player app. If the app output from the blu-ray player on your system isn't similar to that from of the TV app, then there is something wrong with your Samsung blu-ray player.
4) Does the HDMI output from the blu-ray player go straight to the TV or through an intermediate AVR? If it is going through an intermediate AVR, remove the AVR from the equation by running the HDMI cable straight from video output 1 on the blu-ray player to your TV and see what happens. I had to do this and then run a second HDMI from output 2 of the blu-ray player to my AVR because the HDMI input/output on my AVR (which is supposed to be 2.0a compatible) apparently still needs an update to work correctly and my TV only received the correct UHD/HDR signal when I eliminated my AVR from the chain.
Thanks for taking the time to address my concerns; I very much appreciate your input and advice.
I have the Samsung 8500 hooked directly into the Sony's HDMI 3 slot for display, and I have the player's audio output connected to HDMI 2 on my Yamaha 4k 5.1 receiver. And of course, I'm using the best HDMI cables available, so that's not a problem.
In trying to work with the Samsung I must have done something that I wasn't supposed to, because the machine froze up on me, and I couldn't get it to function. I finally had to disconnect the power plug, and it worked fine after that.
Regarding display, I most certainly can take it off of the HDR setting when playing 4k, and I can use other picture functions. Unfortunately, nothing works satisfactorily. I absolutely cannot play a 4k movie on the HDR setting, because everything gets much too dark. If I use Standard, the picture brightens up but looks badly washed out, with very little contrast, and I've found no way to increase the color saturation or contrast. Vivid works, to a point, and by manipulating black levels and contrast the picture almost looks decent. But it isn't a 4k picture, and looks no better than the 1080p disc.
When I return to my Standard settings and play a disc like 'Wolf of Wall Street' the picture looks just fine, the same as it always has, so I'm relieved about that, but 4k isn't making it. But if I may say, the very first time that I played a 4k movie, 'Scorch Trials', the picture looked great and the 4k was very evident, and quite impressive. The display wasn't at all too dark, although the default HDR was a bit brighter than I thought it should have been when it was employed. But overall, I was quite happy with it. But since that time, two days ago, something seems to have gotten all screwed up. The picture in that movie is no longer playing properly.
I'm not going to open up the two 4k titles I have coming March 3, although that's a long time away yet. It might be best to see if I have to exchange the Samsung, or get a refund.
Thanks again for all advice, or for anything more you may be able to help me with.