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Hi there-

New and mostly happy owner of an LG OLED B7 and I'm suffering from headaches and eyestrain after normal use. I played some games in the evening yesterday with regular houselights on and played at night with a corner lamp light on. The headaches and eye strain are killing me. I've seen recommendations for trying "Gunnar" glasses to see if they help and suggestions for bias lighting. I also understand that on the OLED that OLED light level and contrast should be set to 100 for both in HDR mode. Is this correct for both gaming and movie watching? SDR can be adjusted to your liking but HDR mode works different so these two values should be set at 100? Do I have this right? Has anyone here suffered from headaches with HDR viewing? I'm at the point where I will probably return this TV and just keep my plasma. I'm blown away by HDR but I'm not going to be able to tolerate these headaches just to watch TV.
 

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Interesting, I've not heard of HDR-related headaches before.

Do you get headaches going outside? Just curious. A sunny day will have ten thousand times more light and dynamic range than any TV is capable of producing.
 

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Your not alone but from a LED owner. I recently picked up a Sony Z9D and I'm having the same issue. Yesterday was the first time and I messed around with the backlight and brightness controls on my LED. I stopped watching the set for an hour and went back to it after adjusting it and it was much better.
I came from a Plasma so for me the brightness is extreme with the Z9D. I have 3 different Picture mode settings. I have a Standard 1080p setting, a Gaming Setting and a HDR setting. When HDR is sent to the TV, it switches to HDR mode. At this time I can adjust the settings to more my liking. Mine also goes to 100% but I back it off to 90 and also tried 84 which seems to calm things down. It's just way to damn bright especially when watching in the dark even if there is another light on dim.
 

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I’ve had similar issues with games in HDR, but haven’t had an issue with movies. I know HDR is mastered to be viewed with a bias light of around 5 nits, and I stick to that for movies. However, gaming I end up maxing out my bias light. I tend to get more eye strain from games than I do movies, but it largely depends on the game. My display (Vizio P65) doesn’t get as bright as other TVs, though.

As much as I enjoy HDR gaming, there are times where I’ll use the low latency port on my display and stick with SDR. Again this depends on the game. If I find the HDR implementation to be subpar, that’s even more of a reason to switch.

I will say I haven’t had the tools to properly calibrate the display, which I’m sure can and will make a difference. I just haven’t had the funds to buy a meter and software.
 

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Are you sure it's the HDR? Eye strain is usually caused by motion-related artifacts/issues such as flicker, judder, etc. OLED has almost zero inherent motion blur due to the lightning-quick pixel response time (similar to CRT), so if you display low framerate/Hz content, it will give you eye strain, headaches, or both. HDR or really anything with significantly higher contrast will only exacerbate the problem due to the almost strobe-light effect. In modes other than "game mode" or "PC mode", the motion interpolation eliminates this judder, but with a penalty of adding latency (input lag). Have you tried this?

What is your source? PC? Xbone? PS4? Are you 100% positive that you have a stable 60Hz connection (not 30Hz)? Are the games you are playing 30fps or 60fps? Have you tried the 1080p120Hz mode from a PC?

As someone said above, do you get headaches from being in the sun? Did you ever get headaches using old CRT monitors/TVs? It's likely that the issue isn't the brightness of HDR, at least not by itself. I've been gaming a lot lately (too much, actually) on my 6-month old Sony 65X930E and I sit ~7ft away (Xbone X and PC). It is significantly brighter than your C7, but LCD has a much slower pixel response time (takes longer for it to turn off), which has a slight benefit when it comes to flicker/judder.
 

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Honestly my first suggestion would be to visit your eye doctor and get your vision checked. Tell them the issues you are having and measure the distance from your viewing position to your tv and have yours eyes checked at that distance. I wear bifocals and I have an issue where there is a hole in my vision. As in there is a distance where it is inbetween my far vision and my close vision that my glasses would not correct. I got progressive lenses this time ( no line bifocals) and that seems to help a bit. However there is something called an "occupational" prescription. This is where you get a set of glasses tuned just for that distance. This is probably what I will get the next time around. They can probably give you some good advice on how to deal with the brightness, glare or whatever with some kind of coating and what not.

Another thing to consider is maybe you are just spending too much time playing video games or staring at your screen? I know no one wants to hear that, but it can be an issue.

As for the HDR issue, I guess it could be a problem since it actually means High Dynamic Range. Which means it is capable of being brighter I guess. Solutions could be lowering your back lighting, messing with your contrast setting or possibly disabling the HDR if possible. Don't go by suggested settings, they will vary with every person and every display and every viewing condition. I would suggest lowering your back lighting to the lowest point where whites still look white. Maybe lower it all the way down, and then raise it to where whites are white and stop. It may not look right to begin with, but your eyes and brain will adjust after a day or so. Lowering your contrast might help as well. After you get it to a comfortable level go back and re adjust your brightness so your black levels are correct, or as good as you can get them.

Something to keep in mind is that color, light and contrast are not absolute values and there are no values that are absolutely correct. That just is not how the human brain works. Not everyone sees brightness, contrast and color in the same way. And there are many things that can trick the human brain as far as vision and audio works. It is actually very suggestive. There have been many studies on this and I have seen some pretty amazing presentations and demonstrations on the effects it can have.

I wish you all the luck at getting this resolved. However in all seriousness I urge you to see an eye doctor or your family doctor. Especially if you are having serious headaches. There could be underlying problems that need to be addressed. Headaches are a symptom of many medical and mental conditions that you may not know you have. And the sooner you find them the better in almost every case. It could be your vision changing, it could be stress or any number of chemical imbalances that could be corrected. I am not saying that is the case. It could be as simple as turning your backlight down or limiting your viewing time. But man, why take the risk right? Maybe it is your blood pressure or sugar levels. I would certainly want to know that. Well maybe YOU wouldn't lol, but I bet your family would.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Are you sure it's the HDR? Eye strain is usually caused by motion-related artifacts/issues such as flicker, judder, etc. OLED has almost zero inherent motion blur due to the lightning-quick pixel response time (similar to CRT), so if you display low framerate/Hz content, it will give you eye strain, headaches, or both. HDR or really anything with significantly higher contrast will only exacerbate the problem due to the almost strobe-light effect. In modes other than "game mode" or "PC mode", the motion interpolation eliminates this judder, but with a penalty of adding latency (input lag). Have you tried this?

What is your source? PC? Xbone? PS4? Are you 100% positive that you have a stable 60Hz connection (not 30Hz)? Are the games you are playing 30fps or 60fps? Have you tried the 1080p120Hz mode from a PC?

As someone said above, do you get headaches from being in the sun? Did you ever get headaches using old CRT monitors/TVs? It's likely that the issue isn't the brightness of HDR, at least not by itself. I've been gaming a lot lately (too much, actually) on my 6-month old Sony 65X930E and I sit ~7ft away (Xbone X and PC). It is significantly brighter than your C7, but LCD has a much slower pixel response time (takes longer for it to turn off), which has a slight benefit when it comes to flicker/judder.
One thing I can say I noticed right away is the OLED "stutter." My previous set was a Panasonic plasma and I've never had issues relative to eye strain. My sources were PSVUE streaming, PS4 games (mostly 30fps) and Xbox One (30fps and 60fps games). This so-called stutter i was seeing in all my regular content was driving me crazy. The camera movement always felt so .... jerky ... it was almost imperceptible but I kept constantly noticing it. I would actually have to divert my focus to another area of the screen so as to not see the constant "stutter." I didn't even know what stutter was before I bought this TV. I then went to Rtings and read the review for the OLED and learned that OLEDs "stutter" worse than other displays because of the instant response time. This shouldn't be a negative necessarily but it is when most content is consumed at 24fps.

I have actually returned the OLED and replaced it with the X930e (yes I know this TV is much brighter) but I vastly prefer the motion handling on the X930e vs. the OLED. I played Horizon: Zero Dawn in HDR yesterday evening and I didn't seem to experience the same kind of strain. I think you may be correct that it wasn't the brightness necessarily but motion-related artifacts, like stutter.

I'm hoping that I fare better with the LED. Even though it's a brighter television I feel like I have better control of the back lighting for whatever reason. Fingers crossed that I like it.
 

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Lots of people get headaches from PWM flicker in the backlights of their LCD monitors, but I haven't heard of it for OLEDs.

If the headaches happen with SDR content too then it's definitely due to low-persistence mode, but there aren't any low-persistence OLED TVs out yet, are there? (rolling scan at 120hz or above, for example). Low persistence is generally a good thing for low motion blur but it cuts brightness so it's unlikely to be used as much for HDR which needs as many peak nits and you can provide.
 
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