The 2018 flagship TV from Samsung is the Q9FN (Amazon link: https://amzn.to/2IvwmkO). This is a FALD (Full Array Local Dimming) display with 480 LEDs lighting the display, rather than being edge-lit like a lot of the models. This generally means it’s much more capable of providing good contrast ratios. Overall I think it’s a good TV … most of the time….
However, the reality is different from the headlines and reviews in the major publications. What a lot of people have found is that the Contract Enhancement & Local Dimming features can cause light fluctuation problems, which are especially apparent in dark scenes with subtitles.
You can see for yourself in this clip from Narcos Mexico S01E05 at about 45 minutes. This is being viewed via the built-in Netflix player in HDR, with Contrast Enhancement turned on, since without it enabled, dark scenes are waaay too dark to see anything!
It shows how subtitles affect the light levels in other areas of the screen.. like right at the top, nowhere near the subtitles.
This shows how I’m seeing a flicker certain scenes. It’s like the TV can’t quite decide on the light level it’s supposed to display, and clicks into place. I’ve run this at standard speed, then slowed it right down to illustrate the flicker. You’ll need to look closely at the background & look for the light fluctuation.
There are also instances when FALD gets in the way of drawing a background with a solid colour. This video shows a short excerpt from the film Searching (2018).. at about 52 min 30 sec. The FALD back light system has real trouble working out what to do with the dark blue satnav background which should be a solid/uniform colour.. but the bright white roads cause it a lot of problems. This could be a disadvantage of FALD over edge-lit or OLED. At least that’s the way it seems. I’m not entirely sure whether you could even solve this in software.
The blue lights/dots on the left are a reflection of the Xmas tree lights.. so nothing to do with the TV ;)
Tips & Tricks
Okay, enough with the problems, and onto the tips!
At first glance the TV has no physical buttons to control it.. so if you’ve misplaced the remote, it looks like there’s nothing you can do. However, take a look under frame near the logo and there’s a neat directional control + OK button.
Steam Link for Free!
Instead of buying a Steam Link device, there’s actually a free app that lets you stream games from your Gaming PC to your TV. Install the app & plug your controller into the TV and you’re pretty much good to go!
Removing Adverts(!!) from the Menus
Yes, adverts.. in the menus.. on a brand new TV that you paid a lot of money for!
This video shows how I’ve been able to get rid of the movie trailers which annoyingly play so easily. They’re coming from apps like TV Plus & Rakuten. It’s not that easy to figure out how to get rid of them.. you certainly can’t uninstall the apps.. Samsung don’t let you do that :(
I found ads in the menu too.. if you go back into the policy agreements and make sure you’ve not ticked any of the options to agree to them, the ads should go away.
Here’s a link to the Q9FN on Amazon; https://amzn.to/2IvwmkO