LCD TV Flickers During Dark Scenes - Is This A Common Problem?
Jul 6, 2009 at 5:46 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11


100+ Head-Fier
Jan 10, 2006
Midland, MI
Hello all,

I just recently purchased a Samsung LN40B550 40" LCD TV. It's really an amazing TV and plays evertyhing very, very well. That is except for very dark scenes.

The biggest problem however is that for certain dark scenes the contrast seems to flicker quite dramatically, alternating rapidly between lighter and darker. It is very distracting and quite disappointing for an otherwise outstanding set.

Its not an interlacing flicker, it's more as if the set is trying to dynamically change the contrast during dark scenes. The problem is it seems like it can't decide, and produces a rapid change between darker and lighter contrast.

It's rather distracting and am wondering if anyone has this problem and if it is fixable via settings. I've tried all the obvious stuff - turning on/off dynamic contrast menu options, different contrast/darkness levels - all to no avail. It does this with any input: DVD, PC, Sat (HD or RD), etc...

I don't want to box it back up and haul it down to BB only to have their techies tell me it's normal behavior. Any help you could give me would be much appreciated!
Jul 6, 2009 at 5:55 PM Post #2 of 11
You have the Dynamic contrast turned on. What happens is it changes the backlight and other things on the fly to get you deeper blacks and such. But if there is a lot of black and some white or something it cant figure out how to change stuff so it swaps back and forth a ton. Turn off Dynamic Contrast in the Picture Set-up. Should fix issue.

Change the mode to "Game Mode" as that will turn off all post processing things and see if it still happens.
Jul 6, 2009 at 6:52 PM Post #4 of 11
Yup disable dynamic brightness, also room light sensor feature, can't remember what samsung call it.

Also if you haven't already, change from dynamic mode to movie, dynamic looks vile.
Jul 6, 2009 at 7:04 PM Post #5 of 11

Originally Posted by iriverdude /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Yup disable dynamic brightness, also room light sensor feature, can't remember what samsung call it.

Also if you haven't already, change from dynamic mode to movie, dynamic looks vile.

Power Save i think...
Jul 6, 2009 at 7:10 PM Post #7 of 11
Make sure Black Adjust, Dynamic Contrast are both off. Also people on AVS forums say kill the Energy Save.

Energy save changes the backlight based upon lighting of the room.

These are what the settings are called on my A630 so the 2008 Model year but I assume the firmware is close to the same as the B550
Jul 10, 2009 at 10:09 PM Post #8 of 11
If none of those do it then it may be the panel itself. A number of LCD screens that use TN panels are set up to simulate correct colours by flickering the pixels on and off. However this should be noticeable in bright scenes with lots of colour not dark ones.
Jul 11, 2009 at 4:04 AM Post #9 of 11
First things first, all those extra "features" that TVs nowadays come with are complete crap - The guys over at hollywood know what they are doing in terms of sound processing and video processing, and do not need to be tampered with (some A/V receivers have sound "enhancements" that end up making things worse). What you should consider investing in is a DVD like this one. It's purpose is to help you accurately calibrate your TVs settings to match as closely as possible the reference monitors used over at hollywood (much like in the head-fi world we strive to achieve "reference level" sound, as to match the reference level equipment used in recording studios).

Using a bunch of simple test patterns and color filters, it will walk you through the process of making your TV look the best it can without the use of a professional who has a color meter and such. If you are running some HT speakers they also have sound calibration, provided you have an SPL meter. The end result will be as close to what the movie's director intended for you to see as possible without using a professional.

What you should keep in mind, however, that the picture you will get after calibrating your TV is not what you are used to. It will be much darker and much less vibrant, but more accurate. Once you get used to it, you will see how much better it looks. The colors look more realistic, the shadows are very detailed, the bright spots are also very detailed, and you lose all of that "bright oversaturated in your face" look of a TV out of the box. Now whenever I see an HDTV, the first thing I notice are 2-dimensional shadows and obnoxiously bright colors.

If what I just said is too much for you, just set your TV to "movie" mode in the picture settings - that's about as good as it gets without doing some calibration. Also, remember you need to calibrate/set each input separately of one another. They're all different, so calibrating one may give different numbers than the same calibration on another.

You just spent some good money on that samsung - It's a quality TV and it would be a shame to waste all its potential. In my personal experience, my calibrated toshiba regza TV looks amazing compared to my parents' sony bravia. Considering the price difference between the two TVs, it's pretty incredible.
Jul 13, 2009 at 9:04 PM Post #10 of 11
If I recall correctly, you can't disable this dynamic contrast thing fully (yet?) without going into the service menu... which voids the warranty.

This was the only reason I didn't go for one of the Samsungs, otherwise they are brilliant.

this may only be for the LED versions.

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