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New DisplayHDR "True Black" Tiers for OLEDs


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The need for separate tiers for OLEDs – and other future emissive technologies like microLEDs – is rooted in the fact that HDR itself is as much (or more) about dynamic range as it is absolute maximum and minimum brightness. While LCDs can offer the necessary contrast ratios with the right backlighting technology, they are still backlit displays, meaning that they can’t quite hit black since they’re always illuminated to a degree. OLEDs, on the other hands, can hit almost perfect black levels since the pixels can simply be turned off entirely – hence the True Black moniker – which means these displays need to be measured on a different scale. Conversely, while LCDs can sustain incredible 600+ nit brightness levels over the whole screen, OLED technology can only burst to these levels for short periods of time, so the maximum brightness offered by OLED displays isn’t quite in sync either with HDR LCDs.


If you aren't playing The Dark Mod on a DisplayHDR True Black 500 screen, you might as well gouge out your own eyes.

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If it can last for 10 years, that is probably good enough.


For pricing, we'll see that go down eventually. And laptop displays and computer monitors should be far cheaper than big TVs.

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I would definitely love a display with better blacks! However, as long as LG (currently the only OLED supplier) doesn't get their image retention and burn-in in check, OLED is actually THE WORST option you can get for TDM and I am talking from experience.


About two years ago, I had bought one of LG's OLED TVs. At first, I was very excited about the contrast, color vibrance and sharpness (due to 4K), but soon the problems began to appear and the most critical one was: Image Retention! If you look at a high contrast scene with some bright spots for just a few seconds, e.g., when waiting for a guard to pass by, the bright pixels will burn-in. If you then walk into a rather dark room, you will still distinctly see residuals of the last scene, generating a clouding-like effect, and effectively destroying that suposedly superb contrast. Sure, if the scene is completely black, the pixels are switched off, generating that perfect black, but that's not how brightness is distributed on actual scenes. What good are perfect blacks if a display cannot show very dark-colors appropriately?


So, the best you can do right now is, to get an LCD with full-matrix LED backlight and local-dimming, which means the the backlight actually consists of multiple LEDs (basically like pixels) that can be switched on and off, which emulates that perfect black of the OLEDs quite well, albeit at a lower resolution, since you cannot switch those LEDs on a per-pixel level. Panasonic offered some great displays in this area, but the last time I looked (also two years ago), there were only 60Hz Panels, which is not enough for me because I am interested in 3DTV and they only offer Shutter-Technology for which you need high framerate.


By the way, I returned the OLED TV. There were just way too many issues with it. If you care to know, it wouldn't let me play 4K content via DLNA, which is my main source for content, and there was MASSIVE crosstalk when using its 3DTV capabilites. In order to visualize it, I displayed a black screen to the left eye and a white screen to the right eye. Now, have a look at what the left eye sees (should be 100% black).


That's crazy right?


EDIT: jaxa, you seem to take tagging seriously! :D

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It was the LG 55EF9509. Model numbers might differ, though, depending on where you live.


Would you mind running a quick experiment? I have created two test images for that. Please shut down all lights in your room and close windows blinds etc.

  • Display the first test image "TestImage_ImageRetention01_TestObjects" fullscreen for N seconds (Suggested values for N: 2, 5, 10, 15, 30)
  • Display the second test image "TestImage_ImageRetention02_Background" fullscreen and evaluate subjectively how strong the image retention effect is.
  • Wait for the image retention to fade completely before repeating the experiment with another value for N

Showing these images fullscreen is important, as anything else might alter your perception. The second test image has a grayvalue of 1, not 0, because the latter would completely disable the OLED pixels. We need to maintain a minimum brightness to see the effect.


I am curious for your results. However, I could also understand if you don't want to conduct this experiment for fear of be disappointed... :-) Also, no need to run all these values for N if you don't feel like it. Especially 15 and 30 seconds of exposure is completely unrealistic in actual usecase scenarios.

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