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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
One of the biggest LG OLED criticisms is that near black detail is substandard compared to other display technologies. Why is that? "Black" is 0% of 100% White. The OLED can produce perfect, solid, zero luminance black, something the human eye cannot see. Consequently, OLED 0.5% is also very dark and quite difficult to detect. When patterns are displayed in increased luminance (1% 2% 3% etc.) they become more and more visible.

Yeah but my plasma easily shows .5% black blah blah blah

Let's put this into perspective. 0% on my Samsung PN51D8000 plasma is about the same as 3 or 4% on my LG E6P OLED. Of course you can see near black on the plasma because you can see it's version of solid black in the first place.

Perhaps your favorite movie was mastered on a plasma. If you had this same display, calibrated exactly the same, you would be able to see what the director intended. This is image fidelity, and the reason calibration exists. We know there is detail we aren't seeing on the OLED because we see it with other displays. What to do?

My equipment:
Colorimeter - Klein K10A capable of reading down to 0.00006 cd/m2
Software - ChromaPure 3
Display - 2016 LG 55E6P OLED


You CANNOT increase near black detail by raising the Brightness control without raising Black itself. Yes, you can see more detail but the infinite Contrast Ratio would be obliterated and "Contrast is the most import single picture quality" (THX among others).

Decreasing Gamma brings content out of black faster. We are only interested in the bottom .5% and this is how you do it.

1. Set Black level properly with the Brightness control. It is difficult to do with OLEDs when using a visual pattern like the AVSHD or Ted's Disc patterns mainly because video 17 is almost too dark to see. I can set Brightness precisely using my K10-A but non calibrators will have to use their eyes.

2. Lower Gamma at the dark end.
2A) On LG 2016 OLEDs: White Balance > 20 point > 5% > Luminance > increase
2B) On LG Pre 2016 OLEDs: White Balance > 20 point > 5% > Red > increase. Do the same equally for Green and Blue.

On my E6P, if Brightness is one click too high, raising WB 5% Luminance above 18 will elevate the black level so be careful. It's better to start with Brightness 1 click too low than 1 click too high. On my TV I can set WB 5% luma all the way to max (50) without raising the Black level.

Here is what happens to Gamma. Blue is WB 5% Luminance 0, Green is Luminance 20, and Red is Luminance 50. Notice that Gamma from 10 through 95% is exactly the same and that is what we want. Bringing out near black detail is all about the bottom end.




I have found a content scene that is perfect for watching near dark detail come alive as 5% Gamma is lowered. PAUSE "The Dark Knight" at 0:06:33, and watch what happens to the detail around the building's windows as you lower the gamma by increasing the 5% WB luma. On pre 2016 models you need to increase R,G, and B equally to keep 5% color somewhat accurate but you should start by increasing Green as this is the channel where luminance is carried.

On the left is The Dark Knight 0:06:33 with 5% luma set at 0, and on the right is the result of raising 5% luma.



If you don't have the Bat Man movie, pause something else where you know you are losing detail.

Have fun, and good luck. :)


I know I'm going to get nagged for settings and my response is always the same: "Every display is different."

BUT, here are the basics.

Picture Mode - Expert Night
OLED Light - 28
Contrast - 80
Brightness - 57
Gamma Preset - BT.1886

NEW 15Sep16

Forum member Wizziwig has created an outstanding black pluge pattern video which is downloadable in this post. It clearly shows how lower gamma at 5% increases shadow detail and will enable you to set up Brightness and Gamma properly.

I have discovered that in certain modes, raising the White Balance 5% Luminance or RGB (pre 2016 models) beyond a certain point can elevate the black level. This is extremely undesirable. If you're viewing the entire screen your eyes can play tricks on you and you may not see it. To help detect a black level rise, I suggest you use a "poor man's" meter. Some of us have high performance, all black, dedicated theaters and we use black velvet surrounding the screen for several feet on the walls, ceiling, and floor to increase room/screen contrast and minimize reflections. The best is likely JoAnn Fabrics Royalty 3. In a dark room, hold a piece of the velvet up against the screen (black area containing no above black content). You will not be able to distinguish the edge of the velvet from the screen itself. As you use the technique shown in this thread to lower 5% gamma, if the black level elevates, you will see it immediately. Raise gamma until the screen is once again totally black. Do"

1/25/2017
Interesting new info regarding the dark end while displaying HDR content. I'm not near my E6P to test it but check out this post.

"Not sure if my finding should be posted in this thread, but I found out that in HDR settings, lowering Blue to -1 at the lowest IRE point truly improves dark areas. It might be panel- dependent but I encourage any of you with uhd players to try this out on Any of your titles in HDR. Here is Suicide Squad before/after"
 

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Good stuff Buzz !
 
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Curious if you had the chance to measure what gamma was at 5% after the change. Did you make adjustments to 2 point to have such a high starting point for brightness with 1886? For me I can start with a brightness of 50 and raise 5% Luminance 15 points, or use a brightness of 51 and raise around 8 or 9 points. 52 with no changes to luminance produces a glow at 0%.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Curious if you had the chance to measure what gamma was at 5% after the change. Did you make adjustments to 2 point to have such a high starting point for brightness with 1886? For me I can start with a brightness of 50 and raise 5% Luminance 15 points, or use a brightness of 51 and raise around 8 or 9 points. 52 with no changes to luminance produces a glow at 0%.
Ya see? Already questions about my settings. lolololol

5% Gamma is not written on the chart but it IS the far left measurement.

As to my settings, they are what they are and when I say that in this particular configuration Black is Black and remains Black it means exactly that.

You'll just have to experiment with your LG. Remember what I said? "Every display is different."
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
On my set, anything above 52 brightness loses the pure blacks of these sets - i.e black bars look grey.
C'mon guys.

1. Set Black level properly with the Brightness control.
2. Lower Gamma at the dark end.

My settings have nothing to do with your TV. Do 1 & 2 above, watch what happens with paused dark content, and report what you see.

I'm especially interested to hear from the pre 2016 owners. My daughter has my old EF9500 but she's 200 miles away and I'm not going there just to see what happens on her OLED.
 

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Ya see? Already questions about my settings. lolololol

5% Gamma is not written on the chart but it IS the far left measurement.

As to my settings, they are what they are and when I say that in this particular confiuration Black is Black and remains Black it means exactly that.

You'll just have to experiment with your LG. Remember what I said? "Every display is different."
Thanks. I noticed that your blue was near 2.3, green 2.0 and red 1.7. Since 1886 starts out with a flat 2.4 gamma, wouldn't raising the 5% luminance affect them all equally? IOW, would they all be closer to 2.0?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks. I noticed that your blue was near 2.3, green 2.0 and red 1.7. Since 1886 starts out with a flat 2.4 gamma, wouldn't raising the 5% luminance affect them all equally? IOW, would they all be closer to 2.0?
No. The luminance control directly affects gamma, same as the gamma 10 point controls on the last three years Panasonic plasmas.

OHHHHHH. Do you mean the colors on the graph? They are the different Luminance settings. 10% on up is all Blue because that was the last setting measured (Luminance - 0). It fell directly on top of the red and green colored dots.
 

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C'mon guys.

1. Set Black level properly with the Brightness control.
2. Lower Gamma at the dark end.

My settings have nothing to do with your TV. Do 1 & 2 above, watch what happens with paused dark content, and report what you see.

I'm especially interested to hear from the pre 2016 owners. My daughter has my old EF9500 but she's 200 miles away and I'm not going there just to see what happens on her OLED.
I'm not trying to be awkward. I appreciate your guidance. It worries me that if panels are that different, then altering the dark end might introduce problems.

For example, I increased 5 IRE by 15, and on my set, you get a 'waxy' outline to shadows. I have read elsewhere that the luminosity setting on these sets (2016) should not be touched, as they introduce artefacts. So just sticking to adjusting the RGB individually, and yes, gamma is improved, but there is still a detriment to the shadow detail, so it might be best to increase sparingly.

Thanks again for your guide.
 

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So what was the measured gamma below 5%? You can increase shadow detail on any TV by lowering low-end gamma. That doesn't mean it's correct or what the director intended. You may very well end up with the opposite problem of revealing things in shadows you're not supposed to see (such as excessive noise). Ideally we want every TV to track BT.1886 gamma (or equivalent 2.4 with OLED) across the entire range. If you're watching a low APL scene in a dark room with dark-adapted eyes, you should have no trouble seeing the intended shadow detail.
 

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No. The luminance control directly affects gamma, same as the gamma 10 point controls on the last three years Panasonic plasmas.

OHHHHHH. Do you mean the colors on the graph? They are the different Luminance settings. 10% on up is all Blue because that was the last setting measured (Luminance - 0). It fell directly on top of the red and green colored dots.
Yes, I was curious how you got 5% to read 2.3 for blue, 2.0 for green and 1.7 for red if you only raised luminance. I would think they would all be the same at 5% after raising luminance if it starts out at a flat 2.4.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm not trying to be awkward. I appreciate your guidance. It worries me that if panels are that different, then altering the dark end might introduce problems.
I understand but the meter doesn't lie. I can set Black MUCH more accurately than non calibrators. On other modes my Brightness is usually around 52 - 53.



For example, I increased 5 IRE by 15, and on my set, you get a 'waxy' outline to shadows. I have read elsewhere that the luminosity setting on these sets (2016) should not be touched, as they introduce artefacts. So just sticking to adjusting the RGB individually, and yes, gamma is improved, but there is still a detriment to the shadow detail, so it might be best to increase sparingly.

Thanks again for your guide.
The wax you refer to is probably the "glow" that some owners have seen. I don't have that but suspect it might have something to do with luminance uniformity across the entire screen.

Yes, you are half correct about the artefacts. They are not so much introduced as enhancing that which is already there. 1080 upscaled on the LGs always produces artefacts. Do the paused content test with dark content I talked about. You'll see artefacts no matter where the Luminance is set. Now go back to your normal viewing distance and see if it's offensive.

More: the 4k content I've seen via USB has zero artefacts, and increasing Luminance to 50 induces nothing.

People with 4k Blu-Ray players will have to test my ideas on 4k content and I hope to hear from those peeps before long.

I won't be buying a 4k BD player until one has H.235, Dolby HDR, AND Darbee technology - hopefully the upcoming Oppo.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So what was the measured gamma below 5%? You can increase shadow detail on any TV by lowering low-end gamma. That doesn't mean it's correct or what the director intended. You may very well end up with the opposite problem of revealing things in shadows you're not supposed to see (such as excessive noise). Ideally we want every TV to track BT.1886 gamma (or equivalent 2.4 with OLED) across the entire range. If you're watching a low APL scene in a dark room with dark-adapted eyes, you should have no trouble seeing the intended shadow detail.
Ummm, I know a lot about everything you're referring to. Doing what I'm doing DOES NOT bring out below black content. And no, 0.5% on an OLED is extremely difficult to see whereas 0.1% is easy to see on my plasmas.


Yes, I was curious how you got 5% to read 2.3 for blue, 2.0 for green and 1.7 for red if you only raised luminance. I would think they would all be the same at 5% after raising luminance if it starts out at a flat 2.4.
"Blue" is 5% luminance set at 0.
Green is 5% luminance set at 20
Red is 5% luminance set at 50
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks, that's where I got confused. I have the E6 and only raised the luminance control, and did not adjust r,g and b separately.
Yes! On 2016s use the luminance control because it's the easiest, fastest way. The result is the same as raising R, G, & B and that is what needs doing on pre 2016s because they don't have a luminance control.
 

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The wax you refer to is probably the "glow" that some owners have seen. I don't have that but suspect it might have something to do with luminance uniformity across the entire screen.

Yes, you are half correct about the artefacts. They are not so much introduced as enhancing that which is already there. 1080 upscaled on the LGs always produces artefacts. Do the paused content test with dark content I talked about. You'll see artefacts no matter where the Luminance is set. Now go back to your normal viewing distance and see if it's offensive.

More: the 4k content I've seen via USB has zero artefacts, and increasing Luminance to 50 induces nothing.

People with 4k Blu-Ray players will have to test my ideas on 4k content and I hope to hear from those peeps before long.

I won't be buying a 4k BD player until one has H.235, Dolby HDR, AND Darbee technology - hopefully the upcoming Oppo.
You are likely spot-on with this. I have only been adjusting while watching Netflix standard source material. I do prefer though, to calibrate to a 'middle ground', in that 75% of my viewing is streaming video up to 4K, so it is a delicate balancing act between artefacts and crushing shadow detail.

To try and illustrate the side-effect of increasing luminosity too far on poorly compressed material - it gives people in the shadows a kind of 'Lego hair' effect, in that there is no shadow detail, but it stands out prominently.

Either way, adjusting as in your OP, increases shadow detail so thanks again. Just adjust it to what you will be predominantly watching though.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yes! On 2016s use the luminance control because it's the easiest, fastest way. The result is the same as raising R, G, & B and that is what needs doing on pre 2016s because they don't have a luminance control.

To add: "If", on 2016s, I were calibrating for pay, I would use The R, G, & B controls for proper White Balance.

For non calibrators, if you display a 5% White pattern and see discoloration I recommend not using the Luminance control. Instead, increase R, G, & B 10 or 15 points and then readjust according to what you see. For example, it 5% looks reddish, reduce Red a bit OR increase Green and Blue OR both.
 

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When it comes to lowering gamma at 5% it all comes down to choice. In reality, true 0% is completely black, and 0.5% should be virtually impossible to see with the human eye with 1% a little better. As buzzard767 said, on plasma and LED tv's, their 0% looks like a 3% slide on OLED, and 1% would look closer to 4%. So that detail at 0.5% is much easier to see since it would look like 3.5% on OLED. However, IMO, 0.5% should really look like 0.5%, not 3.5%. So very little if any detail should be seen. For all these years prior to OLED, we were use to seeing that detail at 0.5%, when in reality, what we were seeing was wrong due to the limitations of that technology. So in reality, detail at less than 1% (if it is truly 1%) should be extremely hard to see with the eye. We really aren't losing detail at all. We finally have a technology that shows us near black correctly.
 

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Calibrating for correct shadow detail is heavily dependent on environment and no single setting will work best for everyone.

In a room with zero ambient lighting and a low-apl scene without bright objects that force your eye iris to close, even 0.5% should still be visible on a calibrated display with zero blacks.

I once watched a front projector under such conditions and had no trouble seeing that black fields were still glowing visibly even at 0.0001 nits. This was after sitting in the dark room for a few minutes to let my eyes adjust. That projector used a dynamic iris to reach that low but even without it the black floor was at ~0.0005 nits (whites ~75).

Assuming your white level is set at some common value like 100 nits, 0.5% level with BT.1886 would correspond to:

100 * (0.5/100.0)^2.4 = 0.0003 nits with OLED blacks at zero.

For other values, you can use the formula yourself:

L=a*((V+b)^2.4).

V is the input video input signal, normalized to [0,1]. a is a constant chosen so L takes the monitor's white value when V=1. And b is another constant chosen so L takes the monitor's black value when V=0. Source.

For OLED, b is zero.

No doubt a plasma or LCD would be brighter at 0.5% because of the raised black level but 0.0003 nits is still within human (or Klein K10A) visible range. If you're in a room with ambient lighting, then obviously your black and white levels will appear higher regardless of display and you need to adjust the calibration.

Assuming the LG OLEDs are tracking gamma correctly near black (unknown since nobody I'm aware of has measured it precisely) then the black crush people are complaining about is mostly the result of incorrect calibration for their environment. Buzzard's recommendations would address that but you're doing this blind without a meter. Whatever black crush still remains after calibration is caused by limitations of human vision and I would not try to correct for it. We can't see black detail when it's close to a brighter object even in real life.
 
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