Originally Posted by virtualrain
Sounds like you need some UHD HDR test patterns. It definitely sounds like levels are out of adjustment, but you're just throwing darts at a wall without any kind of test patterns. Exchanging your player is a start, maybe it's got issues outputting the right range, especially if it changed without doing anything.
However, your TV sounds all over the place as well. Have you checked the HDMI levels for the input you're using? I think it's called HDMI dynamic range or something? Set it to Auto. What about color space? Black Levels? Gamma?
Have you got a source like a media player that plays back regular video files? If so grab the AVS test patterns from elsewhere here on the forums and make sure you know at least one picture mode and one source is properly adjusted so you have a frame of reference.
Another thought... get the same movie (Martian or whatever) on both sources (good calibrated source) and UHD and pause them on the same scene and the adjust the HDR mode to match or exceed the non UHD source.
Just some thoughts. But start with a player swap. Easy thing to rule out.
Thanks for that info, and your suggestions.
Right now I believe that both my 850c and the Samsung are defective, and that accounts for all of the problems I'm having. But I have to think that the Samsung is giving me the most trouble, and I'd like to explain that.
First of all, as a number of people here are now discovering, the Samsung definitely does not have to be in HDR mode to play a 4k movie, not does it necessarily default to that setting when it first plays a movie. Sometimes it does, other times it does not, or at least that's been my experience. Here's an example from last night and today...
Last night, after making the adjustments to my Samsung and Sony that others here were kind enough to suggest (including downloading the latest firmware from Samsung), I played a 4k movie and it automatically activated the HDR setting. As well, it played the 4k picture of 'Scorch Trials' as perfectly as I could want, and that was a noticeable and impressive improvement over HD. I didn't like the HDR effects, as I don't think they're a natural extension of the picture, but I could live with them.
Today, however, it was a different story. I first played a Blu-ray HD movie (the latest 'True Grit') and it pretty much looked fabulous. The only negative was that there wasn't quite enough detail in the shadow areas for my tastes, but I'm sure they could be properly calibrated in. All in all, I thought it now showed a better picture than my Panasonic player, and I ended up getting hooked into watching the whole movie, which isn't good when you have chores to do. After the movie, I then inserted the 4k disc of 'Scorch Trials' and that's when trouble began.
The player refused to play the disc, saying that I either had to turn it over to its playing side, or else clean it off with a soft cloth. And no matter how many times I tried to get it to play, the Samsung just wouldn't cooperate. I finally shut it off and on and then retried with success. I wasn't surprised by this glitch, though. On another occasion, the player froze up completely, and I was forced to disconnect the power plug to get it to operate properly.
When it played 'Scorch Trials' in 4k today, the picture looked very good. A bit too dark in shadow areas, but otherwise okay. However, it was playing the movie in the Sony's Standard setting. It had not defaulted to HDR. When I reset the Sony to HDR the 4k picture was horrible, with everything looking like it had gotten caught up in a Nuclear blast. The exact same settings looked great the night before, but not this time.
Obviously, something is very wrong. As for the TV, I can only hope that my request to have the 850c replaced for a new model is successful (it certainly has its issues), but I can at least return the Samsung to Best Buy. I'd like to be able to exchange it, but as Best Buy has no more models in their system, I'm probably going to have to get a refund for now. With that, I'll have to decide on whether to wait until 2017 to buy a Sony 4k player or whether to try another Samsung player.