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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Since both Rtings reviews are now public, I pulled up the comparison and thought I’d share:


The QN90A is a beast on brightness and may also represent the best FALD LED/LCD ever made.

It suffers the usual issues off-angle but between luminance levels dropping-off off angle and color tinting growing off-angle with WOLED, it’s honestly getting into the ‘it’s a wash’ category.

So it really comes down to black levels, and while the A90J may deliver better black levels than any LED/LCD before it, I found one set of pictures best captured where things stand (and I’ll let you figure out which is which):


To be honest, with any ambient light at all, it’ll be tough to see any difference in those black levels but if you watch in the pitch-black like me, that’s still enough of a difference to give up peak brightness levels that are less important in that viewing environment anyway...

But MiniLED backlights have closed that gap significantly and at price-parity, the decision is getting to be less of a no-brainer than it once was.

[EDIT: A poster below pointed out to me that the above pics are with Local Dimming disabled (so Native Contrast).
Here are the two images with local dimming enabled on the QN90A (in addition to the one with local dimming disabled since I couldn’t figure out how to reinsert them above.]





D23D333E-8AA5-46E4-8290-916CA21D3508.jpeg
63ED5949-7EB2-42C5-8538-4831D06C753F.jpeg
AF43BA1B-10EE-46B4-A42C-AC4B3BEC0780.jpeg
 

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Easy to figure out which is which .
What about Native Contrast? 1:3510 VS inf:1
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Easy to figure out which is which .
What about Native Contrast? 1:3510 VS inf:1
For a FALD (and especially a MiniLED-FALD), Native Contrast is next-to-meaningless.

Effective contrast ratio is the more relevant measurement:

Contrast with local dimming 26534 : 1
 

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One thing to note when considering a FALD display for gaming.... When you see reviews on the array's performance such as blooming, halos, zone switching, etc. those reviews may not be indicative of game mode performance. It seems most, if not all FALD displays sacrifice backlight performance in game mode. Going from my OLED in my serious media space to my LED upstairs in the general purpose living room I constantly notice the weirdness of zones turning on and off or dimming. Just something to consider.
 

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For a FALD (and especially a MiniLED-FALD), Native Contrast is next-to-meaningless.

Effective contrast ratio is the more relevant measurement:

Contrast with local dimming 26534 : 1
So . . . I'm not so sure about that in real world applications.

This is a somewhat dated but interesting paper:


What they found is native contrast ratio still played a large role in perceived image quality, and that the benefits of additional local dimming zones tended to plateau out.

Given this research, that TV has what I would consider to be a suboptimal native contrast ratio, which as I understand it is because they are trying to use a VA panel for deeper blacks, but then using their "Ultra Viewing Angle" technology to mitigate off axis issues. Personally, I'd rather have a higher native contrast panel even at the cost of off axis issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
One thing to note when considering a FALD display for gaming.... When you see reviews on the array's performance such as blooming, halos, zone switching, etc. those reviews may not be indicative of game mode performance. It seems most, if not all FALD displays sacrifice backlight performance in game mode. Going from my OLED in my serious media space to my LED upstairs in the general purpose living room I constantly notice the weirdness of zones turning on and off or dimming. Just something to consider.
True.

But in terms of limits / fundamentals, the poorer game performance is merely due to the fact that the processing required to optimally control so many backlight dimming zones is incompatible with the need for quick response time, but that’s only the case with today’s processor speed / capability.

With each generation, processing power improves so over generations, backlight performance when gaming will match today’s content-watching backlight performance.

But by that same token, now that Samsung has not the bullet and populated the MiniLED backlight with 30,000 discrete LEDs organized into 792 dimming zones, increased processing power is only going to further improve backlight performance with future generations.

Quadruppling the number of dimming zones to 3168 will ~halve the amount of halo/bloom at little additional material cost (4 times as many signals to route and connect) but will quadruple computational complexity.

Today’s QN90A has ~10,900 pixels per dimming zone, but tomorrow’s will have ~2700 pixels per dimming zone.

That means there are 38 LEDs per dimming zone today and that can be reduced to 9 or 10 LEDs per dimming zone tomorrow.

There are limits due to the maximum number of signals to route but ignoring that and going to the limit in terms of controlling each MiniLED Backlight as it’s own independent dimming zone, we’d be talking about 30,000 dimming zones or only 278 4K pixels per dimming zone.

278 4K pixels corresponds to an area of 17x17 pixels or 6.4mm x 6.4mm (1/4” x 1/4”). That would translate to ‘bloom’ artifacts that are generally limited to within 1/8” or eight 4K pixels from bright edges.

Will LCD be around long enough for this to happen? Who can say. But the material cost aspect is now pretty much fully included in this year’s crop of MiniLED QLED/LCDs and so it is just a question of allowing the silicon/processing roadmap the time to do it’s thing (at little incremental cost).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So . . . I'm not so sure about that in real world applications.

This is a somewhat dated but interesting paper:


What they found is native contrast ratio still played a large role in perceived image quality, and that the benefits of additional local dimming zones tended to plateau out.

Given this research, that TV has what I would consider to be a suboptimal native contrast ratio, which as I understand it is because they are trying to use a VA panel for deeper blacks, but then using their "Ultra Viewing Angle" technology to mitigate off axis issues. Personally, I'd rather have a higher native contrast panel even at the cost of off axis issues.
Interesting, but with only 150 dimming zones tested, I don’t think those results can be extrapolated to these MiniLED TVs with over 5 times the number of dimming zones meaning less than 20% the size.

Repeating that exact same study but including 800 zones, 3200 zones and 30,000 zones would be interesting and I suspect might lead to a different conclusion (including the relative importance LCD native contrast ratio and IPS vs VA).
 

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Interesting, but with only 150 dimming zones tested, I don’t think those results can be extrapolated to these MiniLED TVs with over 5 times the number of dimming zones meaning less than 20% the size.

Repeating that exact same study but including 800 zones, 3200 zones and 30,000 zones would be interesting and I suspect might lead to a different conclusion (including the relative importance LCD native contrast ratio and IPS vs VA).
I have the 90A, for another week. Going back because of hardware issues. I have the 75 inch version. Blooming is controlled very well. I am impressed about that. Viewing angles are good too. However, if you watch in a dark room, you will notice there is a continuous faint glow in the letterbox bars. Not bleed or blooming but a faint glow even with LD at high. It's as if they keep the dimming zones slightly powered so they react quicker to decrease the black crush. Almost plasma like, but not as glowy. Now when the scene fades to complete black, it is totally black.
 

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True.

But in terms of limits / fundamentals, the poorer game performance is merely due to the fact that the processing required to optimally control so many backlight dimming zones is incompatible with the need for quick response time, but that’s only the case with today’s processor speed / capability.

With each generation, processing power improves so over generations, backlight performance when gaming will match today’s content-watching backlight performance.

But by that same token, now that Samsung has not the bullet and populated the MiniLED backlight with 30,000 discrete LEDs organized into 792 dimming zones, increased processing power is only going to further improve backlight performance with future generations.

Quadruppling the number of dimming zones to 3168 will ~halve the amount of halo/bloom at little additional material cost (4 times as many signals to route and connect) but will quadruple computational complexity.

Today’s QN90A has ~10,900 pixels per dimming zone, but tomorrow’s will have ~2700 pixels per dimming zone.

That means there are 38 LEDs per dimming zone today and that can be reduced to 9 or 10 LEDs per dimming zone tomorrow.

There are limits due to the maximum number of signals to route but ignoring that and going to the limit in terms of controlling each MiniLED Backlight as it’s own independent dimming zone, we’d be talking about 30,000 dimming zones or only 278 4K pixels per dimming zone.

278 4K pixels corresponds to an area of 17x17 pixels or 6.4mm x 6.4mm (1/4” x 1/4”). That would translate to ‘bloom’ artifacts that are generally limited to within 1/8” or eight 4K pixels from bright edges.

Will LCD be around long enough for this to happen? Who can say. But the material cost aspect is now pretty much fully included in this year’s crop of MiniLED QLED/LCDs and so it is just a question of allowing the silicon/processing roadmap the time to do it’s thing (at little incremental cost).
Thanks for taking the time to write this out. It was very informative!
 

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Interesting, but with only 150 dimming zones tested, I don’t think those results can be extrapolated to these MiniLED TVs with over 5 times the number of dimming zones meaning less than 20% the size.

Repeating that exact same study but including 800 zones, 3200 zones and 30,000 zones would be interesting and I suspect might lead to a different conclusion (including the relative importance LCD native contrast ratio and IPS vs VA).
That's certainly possible, and I would love to see more scientific study of the issue.

Anecdotally, though--I do see the difference in the blacks, and the reviews seem to suggest blooming is still a perceptible issue even at this many dimming zones. So I am not sure how many zones you might need to actually get off the plateau.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have the 90A, for another week. Going back because of hardware issues. I have the 75 inch version. Blooming is controlled very well. I am impressed about that. Viewing angles are good too. However, if you watch in a dark room, you will notice there is a continuous faint glow in the letterbox bars. Not bleed or blooming but a faint glow even with LD at high. It's as if they keep the dimming zones slightly powered so they react quicker to decrease the black crush. Almost plasma like, but not as glowy. Now when the scene fades to complete black, it is totally black.
Interesting theory about why they are not turning the LEDs in the letterbox area completely off.

Is there any evidence that turning an LED brighter from an ‘almost-but-not-completely-off-state’ is faster than turning one to bright from a cold start (off) is faster / more responsive?

And I know that ‘letterbox glow’ you are referring to. Saw it on my Vizio P70 FALD and called it the ‘Black Sheen’. Looked black, measured black (to the sensitivity limits of my i1DisplayPro), but you could tell it was not a black hole absence of light black.

First time I saw black hole black was with a WOLED.

Honestly, it was the backlight anomolies such as blooming and the occasional visible dimming zone doing it’s thing (flash/flicker/intensity change) that drove me to WOLED far more than the Black Sheen in the letterbox bars, so if you say you were impressed with how well the 90A controlled blooming and if you didn’t notice any visible backlight anomalies during your brief time with the TV, I may need to put these MiniLED QLED/LCDs back on my list of contenders...
 

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I found one set of pictures best captured where things stand (and I’ll let you figure out which is which):
You realize you're comparing the OLED to the LCD with local dimming disabled? Nobody in their right mind would buy a FALD LCD and run it that way. You might want to update the photos you selected for comparison.

The QN90A is a beast on brightness and may also represent the best FALD LED/LCD ever made.
Hardly. The Sony Z9G from 2019 could hit 3970 nits calibrated on 10% pattern and 894 nits on 100% full field. HDTVtest HDR review. The Samsung has it beat in terms of black level and contrast.

But MiniLED backlights have closed that gap significantly and at price-parity, the decision is getting to be less of a no-brainer than it once was.
For those who don't follow the LCD forums, Samsung is using a panel from TCL/CSOT. Most likely you will find similar performance (minus the screen treatment filters and processing differences) at a much lower price later in the year from a TCL mini-led model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You realize you're comparing the OLED to the LCD with local dimming disabled? Nobody in their right mind would buy a FALD LCD and run it that way. You might want to update the photos you selected for comparison.
Woops! No, I hadn’t realized that. So those images are actually just indicating native CR/blacks. I’ll go back to see whether Rtings has an equivalent image with local dimming enabled... Thanks for the catch.

Hardly. The Sony Z9G from 2019 could hit 3970 nits calibrated on 10% pattern and 894 nits on 100% full field. HDTVtest HDR review. The Samsung has it beat in terms of black level and contrast.
The jungle has more than one beast (and I did say ‘a beast’, not ‘the brightest beast we’ve ever seen’ ;)).



For those who don't follow the LCD forums, Samsung is using a panel from TCL/CSOT. Most likely you will find similar performance (minus the screen treatment filters and processing differences) at a much lower price later in the year from a TCL mini-led model.
So after they sold their sole to get Samsung Display to continue manufacturing LCD panels through the end of the year, where are they using those Samsung panels?

I guess I had assumed that the ‘improved viewing angle’ technology was proprietary to Samsung and they were putting that into all their Flagship sets...

If you say the TCL MiniLED FALD LED/LCDs are worth checking out, I will do so.

Now that Vizio has WOLED, are they found anything with MiniLED?
 

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Woops! No, I hadn’t realized that. So those images are actually just indicating native CR/blacks. I’ll go back to see whether Rtings has an equivalent image with local dimming enabled... Thanks for the catch.
I believe they do. I will admit I cannot see a difference in the black levels on my monitor. Actually, if anything, I would say the A90J image is not quite as black, which we know can't be right, so something is going wrong in terms of the chain from the actual images through the pictures to my monitor.

I note I can also see what looks like blooming around the white cross. rtings says it is "only minimal," and that may well be accurate, but I still think it is a red flag for me.
 

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Interesting theory about why they are not turning the LEDs in the letterbox area completely off.

Is there any evidence that turning an LED brighter from an ‘almost-but-not-completely-off-state’ is faster than turning one to bright from a cold start (off) is faster / more responsive?

And I know that ‘letterbox glow’ you are referring to. Saw it on my Vizio P70 FALD and called it the ‘Black Sheen’. Looked black, measured black (to the sensitivity limits of my i1DisplayPro), but you could tell it was not a black hole absence of light black.

First time I saw black hole black was with a WOLED.

Honestly, it was the backlight anomolies such as blooming and the occasional visible dimming zone doing it’s thing (flash/flicker/intensity change) that drove me to WOLED far more than the Black Sheen in the letterbox bars, so if you say you were impressed with how well the 90A controlled blooming and if you didn’t notice any visible backlight anomalies during your brief time with the TV, I may need to put these MiniLED QLED/LCDs back on my list of contenders...
You can still tell in dark scenes that the 90A looks flat compared to OLED. It loses a lot of depth, because native contrast is only 3500:1 and local dimming really does not kick in as much.
 

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Those who invested in Samsung & LG of course knocking the Sony which is understanable
 

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So after they sold their sole to get Samsung Display to continue manufacturing LCD panels through the end of the year, where are they using those Samsung panels?

I guess I had assumed that the ‘improved viewing angle’ technology was proprietary to Samsung and they were putting that into all their Flagship sets...
Samsung sold a Chinese LCD factory to TCL but still maintains part ownership. It's speculated that this is where the mini-led panels are coming from. TCL is now on their 3rd generation of mini-led so has more experience than anyone else. This is a good thread if you want to examine some of the evidence. I think Samsung's own LCD factories still make lower-end non mini-led panels for their other TVs. As mentioned in my last post, I doubt the TCL panels will get the Samsung's proprietary screen treatments for wider viewing angles and anti-reflection. Personally, I would not buy any LCD without such treatments because an unfiltered VA LCD panel has terrible performance variability across its surface due to the low viewing angles. Anything not directly perpendicular to your eyeballs and towards the borders of the display will have high color desaturation, gamma shift, and loss of contrast. This is an off-angle comparison from different models (Samsung Q90R vs TCL 8 Series Mini-LED from 2019 vs LG C9 OLED) but it illustrates the point:

q90r_x10_c9_viewing_angles.jpg

q90r_x10_c9_viewing_angles2.jpg

q90r_x10_c9_viewing_angles3.jpg

These images also show the green off-angle tint from the OLED color shift you mentioned in the first post.
 

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Since both Rtings reviews are now public, I pulled up the comparison and thought I’d share:


The QN90A is a beast on brightness and may also represent the best FALD LED/LCD ever made.

It suffers the usual issues off-angle but between luminance levels dropping-off off angle and color tinting growing off-angle with WOLED, it’s honestly getting into the ‘it’s a wash’ category.

So it really comes down to black levels, and while the A90J may deliver better black levels than any LED/LCD before it, I found one set of pictures best captured where things stand (and I’ll let you figure out which is which):


View attachment 3120439 View attachment 3120440

To be honest, with any ambient light at all, it’ll be tough to see any difference in those black levels but if you watch in the pitch-black like me, that’s still enough of a difference to give up peak brightness levels that are less important in that viewing environment anyway...

But MiniLED backlights have closed that gap significantly and at price-parity, the decision is getting to be less of a no-brainer than it once was.
The Q90A is a great LCD but it really don’t compare to true black. There is zero blooming, hallowing or clouding on the A90J. The A90J is superior in every way accept total nits. I have owned both, no comparison. I could not watch hockey, golf or even baseball without seeing uniformity issues on the QN90A. Once you see it, you cannot unsee it. Unless your display is in an extremely bright room, A90J is the clear winner.
 

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I have the 90A, for another week. Going back because of hardware issues. I have the 75 inch version. Blooming is controlled very well. I am impressed about that. Viewing angles are good too. However, if you watch in a dark room, you will notice there is a continuous faint glow in the letterbox bars. Not bleed or blooming but a faint glow even with LD at high. It's as if they keep the dimming zones slightly powered so they react quicker to decrease the black crush. Almost plasma like, but not as glowy. Now when the scene fades to complete black, it is totally black.
NO.THANKS.
 

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The Q90A is a great LCD but it really don’t compare to true black. There is zero blooming, hallowing or clouding on the A90J. The A90J is superior in every way accepts total nits. I have owned both, no comparison. I could not watch hockey, golf or even baseball without seeing uniformity issues on the QN90A. Once you see it, you cannot unsee it. Unless your display is in an extremely bright room, A90J is the clear winner.
Agreed with you 100%. Change the spelling on “accepts” to except.
 
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