My 65Q90R arrived on Monday afternoon.
And I just initiated the return...
Why? Well, unfortunately because of the level of dirty screen effect and vertical banding. Now to be fair, both were not as bad as they were on the two 75Q9FNs I tried and ultimately returned last year. But I'm not sure how much that's saying, since it went from severe on the Q9FNs to only slightly less severe on the Q90R--to my eyes at least. As always, your mileage may vary, depending on how sensitive you are to DSE and VB
, and how much you're willing to live with to simply enjoy your TV. But, based on my small sample size of one, it appears that Samsung has not taken the proper steps to seriously address these issues for their 2019 flagship TV. Or, possible but unlikely, they're unable to...
Side note: I pre-ordered the set from Samsung Direct. It was an AAO1 panel. Last year, I ordered the first Q9FN from Greentoe/Beach Camera and the replacement unit came directly from Samsung.
A few other observations:
- The new wide angle viewing tech was very impressive. However, and it's a big however because I don't know how much (if at all) the issue is related to the new filter and how light is being scattered across the panel, but on some bright solid colored backgrounds, if I looked carefully, I could actually see the grid of LEDs in the unit. I first noticed this when I was simply going through the settings menu--as the default color is a very light gray. Just to reiterate, I don't know if this issue is related to the wide angle tech. It could be caused by something else entirely, or I could have just simply had a defective panel...but the issue was there. And as is often the case, once I saw it, I could not unsee it.
- The "Q90R Blooming Exposed" video on YouTube did not match my experience with the unit--at all. The black levels and lack of blooming were equal to, if not slightly better, than the Q9FN.
- I am not a professional calibrator, and haven't spent much time dialing the unit in (because the DSE and VB
were enough for me to throw in the towel), but in HDR content (4k Blu-rays, PS4 games, Apple TV 4k streaming), the brightness and colors didn't feel quite as impactful for me as they did viewing the same HDR content on the Q9FN. I usually spend most of my time adjusting settings for the standard and movie modes. (And it's certainly possibly that it wasn't as impactful because I was watching on a 65in, versus the 75in from last year, but I don't know how much I believe that.)
- What John Archer said about shadow detail in his "Samsung QN65Q90R Review: Tearing Up The LCD Rule Book" review closely matched my experience. TL; DL - There are issues with a loss of shadow detail in some of the unit's image presets, but there are workarounds.
- The operating system runs much faster than it did on the Q9FN. It was very noticeable, and a welcome upgrade.
If you guys have any other questions, just let me know. Hopefully, Samsung will eventually take these issues (particularly DSE) a little more seriously in future models. Or maybe one day I'll finally learn to stop worrying and love the bomb.
ONE FINAL NOTE: In addition to testing input lag, I think it would really help for tv reviewers (not to mention engineers) to include tests of actual gaming units in their review methodology. For example, if you really want to see how bad DSE is on a particular set--in a real world use case--all you need to do is hook up a Nintendo Switch and boot up Mario Odyssey. To me, it's far more illuminating than even testing hockey, football, or soccer.