Game of Thrones "The Long Night" S8E3 - Not Too Dark! (Spoiler Free)

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Blackstone, May 1, 2019.

  1. Blackstone

    Blackstone 2[H]4U

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    No this episode was not "too dark". Rather, your (1) cable signal probably sucks and your (2) tv is probably not good enough.

    I first watched the episode from my Comcast/Xfinity DVR on an older Panasonic G25 Plasma which works well in brighter scenes but does not have the superior near infinite black levels of the late Pioneer Kuro or last generation Plasma screens.

    I then rewatched using HBO Go and my Panasonic VT60 Plasma which approaches but perhaps does not quite meet or exceed the black levels of today's best OLED televisions.

    The difference was night and day. Although in the first viewing I could not discern much of any detail in the dark scenes, in particular, when certain characters cloaks, hair, or other elements were against a dark background, in the second viewing it was all there. Further, the fuzziness in the darkest scenes was replaced with subtle shadow details in the second viewing. It was almost as if I was watching a different episode, because I could now actually see what was going on in the dark spaces and it looked flawless.

    I also watched on my iPhone XS Max, which has an oled display with HBO Go. The XS Max performed better in dark scenes than my older Panasonic, but not as good as the last generation Panasonic.

    This is the first time ever I felt that my enjoyment of a piece of content was actually significantly hindered by inferior broadcast and display technology. My conclusion is that this episode was shot looking forward to more advanced OLED technology and higher quality streaming than what most consumers are using, which is some kind of LED technology based screen and cable.

    Once you view the episode from a better source (less compression) on a display like an OLED or Plasma which excels at black levels and contrast in dark scenes, you will see just how visually stunning the episode truly is.

    If you experienced some issues with the first viewing, I suggest trying to stream from HBO Go instead of from your DVR. Further, if you are thinking about a new TV, this episode is the most compelling reason why OLED displays, with their unbeatable black levels, are the best choice for video content. It also is a serious knock on cable and the intense compression they are applying to their video.
     
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  2. aeliusg

    aeliusg Gawd

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    Yeah, I agree, but most people are watching in brightly (or badly) lit rooms, I would think, where even a well-calibrated display will perform poorly. Even your typical 4K IPS LCD would have looked decent if there weren't any reflections or other light sources in the room to muddle things.
     
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  3. bluesynk

    bluesynk Limp Gawd

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    Probably looks fine in 4k hdr.
     
  4. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    Probably. I watched it on an OLED in a dark room, but over a crappy ISP so I had very bad compression artifacts all over the place. Streaming via HBO Now. I have DISH and no cable so there wasn't the ability to get it without streaming.

    I imagine it would look much better if I weren't streaming, but I have to wait until I can get a copy to download to see.
     
  5. gan7114

    gan7114 Limp Gawd

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    I definitely got a chuckle out of reading all the "it's too dark!" reviews/comments. It looked great on my C7 OLED. There was of course a good amount of banding on dark backgrounds due to compression from streaming, but the episode had great cinematography and atmosphere.

    HBO Go / HBO Now stream in 1080p without HDR, so S8E3 will look amazing on 4K disc with DV.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
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  6. Lepardi

    Lepardi Limp Gawd

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    HBO stream quality is crap. It's kind of sad that we have this high budget spectacle, and it's throttled to oblivion by HBO's stream quality.
     
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  7. Sancus

    Sancus Gawd

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    Yeah, a big problem with this was poor streaming quality on air night and allegedly even DirecTV aired a completely garbage version of it.

    The 4K HDR Bluray that they'll likely release will look amazing.

    Just look at how bad it was for some people:

    beautiful.jpg
     
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  8. dvsman

    dvsman 2[H]4U

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    I was away from the home tv when it aired (and I watched it on a 29" IPS computer monitor and it was passable / aeight). I didn't even know this was a thing until I saw the nerd rage across the interwebs. I'll have to rewatch it on my TV to see if it's as bad as they say.
     
  9. notarat

    notarat [H]ard|Gawd

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    I have the first 7 seasons already so I'll just re-watch the BluRay version when it's released.
     
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  10. bigbluefe

    bigbluefe Gawd

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    The fact that this was blatant enough to get people's attention--who normally couldn't give less of a fuck about image quality--tells you how badly the showrunners bungled this episode.

    Something like this should NEVER happen.
     
  11. GoldenTiger

    GoldenTiger [H]ard as it Gets

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    No.... It shows how poorly most people have their setups done.
     
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  12. xmadror

    xmadror Gawd

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    I kinda assumed it was intentional to piss off those who may have used low quality stream/torrent.
    It was alright on my cheap 48" 4k seiki tv, it was kinda bad on my computer monitor with the ips glow of my 34" ultrawide + sidebar...
     
  13. vegeta535

    vegeta535 2[H]4U

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    I think the most complaints came from streaming. HBO go was being hit hard release night and causing stream quality to drop. Not to mention most people using huge garbage TVs. I had no issues watching tho.
     
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  14. profiled

    profiled Limp Gawd

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    my tv wasnt good enough! :oops:
     
  15. DocACE911

    DocACE911 n00b

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    Used a Z9D 75" TV and the grey scale there is perfect. Had zero issues on RCN stream.

    I think a lot of it is poorly calibrated grey scale.
     
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  16. SvenBent

    SvenBent 2[H]4U

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    I used a cheap Phillips 65inch 4k tv i jsut bought a copule of weeks ago because it was the cheapest of that size.
    It worked fine for that episode, and i had only doing minor image quality setup


    also inst this season 8? or did i stumble into a Delorean ?
     
  17. vegeta535

    vegeta535 2[H]4U

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    Yes it is season 8. This is the last season. Think it is only 7 episodes too.
     
  18. SvenBent

    SvenBent 2[H]4U

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    Thank you
    But i was hinting to the title that says season 3... :)
     
  19. kasakka

    kasakka [H]ard|Gawd

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    I watched it on a 65" KS7005 (Nordic KS8000) in a dark room and felt that it was too dark in all the big battle sections. Blaming equipment is not the way to go, the episode is just done badly in a way that makes it difficult to follow and see what is happening. You can easily do dark scenes without needing the best TV on the market.

    Not to mention the whole battle is complete nonsense, it could have been done so much better to have more sensible strategies and still end with the same outcomes. As much as I love the show, they dropped the ball on multiple levels in this one.
     
  20. Kinsaras

    Kinsaras 2[H]4U

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    It is only 6 episodes. We are already in halftime.

    To add to the conversation, I liked the dark. Added tension and looked believable. I lived in the country where there are no street lights and hardly what people would call neighbors. You'll be lucky to see 5 feet in front of you even with a full moon.
     
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  21. Sancus

    Sancus Gawd

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    Lol it was easier to get a good quality download of this from torrent/usenet than from 'official' sources like TV and HBO Go. Very embarrassing for HBO, imo.
     
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  22. elvn

    elvn 2[H]4U

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    If you keep your settings too bright and aren't using proper hdmi range, good gamma and overall decent brightness/contrast settings, the correct color mode between your tv and device, etc.. it will aggravate it and it will look worse.. however....

    It was a compressed stream, even downloaded sources of it are from comrpessed airing sources. The original air date could have been even more compressed due to concurrent users as some have guessed.

    Every source I've watched it on has had macroblocking.
    I've watched it on several different VA and IPS tvs, my 70" FALD VA (even though it's only 32 zone), a few VA monitors and even my samsung OLED tablet. I've watched live broadcasts of hbo cable, hbo cable on demand, hbo go, and captured streams as mkvs from a few sources. The compression combined with the blizzard of snow which was like a storm of blowing grey and black ashes throughout many scenes exaggerated the weaknesses in the compression.

    I've watched many other very dark movies on my TV and screens. Bladerunner 1&2, LoTR, Alien series, John Wicks, The Matrix, Underworld, BBC life segments about creatures of the night and underwater depths, to name just a few. There is nothing wrong with my main screens regarding watching dark material.

    It's like a lighter version of when you watch a 320p or 480p xvid screener or low quality cam stream and stretch it to full screen on a large 1080p or 4k display. You see all the blocking in solid backgrounds.

    It's watchable with things set dark enough but it's still not as good as I'm hoping the bluray release will be someday.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On another note, I was a fan of the "shaky", whirling, and slamming character cinematography which some people have criticized. I felt it gave a realistic feeling to the chaos of a massive and terrifying battle, and a sense of weight to the characte'rs movements.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
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  23. Blackstone

    Blackstone 2[H]4U

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    Emilia Clarke says: “Episode five is, I mean, four and five and six, they're all insane, but like... Find the biggest TV you can."
     
  24. elvn

    elvn 2[H]4U

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    ...

    SPOILERS obviously.. Don't click if you don't want to see scenes from the show.

    I wouldn't want it as bright as the one they are showing but it shows just how much detail you are losing. It definitely could have been knocked up a few notches. That still wouldn't have adressed the macroblocking compression issue entirely, compounded by the blizzard of grey and black snowlflakes like ashes.

     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
  25. Blackstone

    Blackstone 2[H]4U

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    My whole point is that you shouldn’t need to brighten it and you don’t need to brighten it if you have a good quality stream and an excellent TV. A really good TV is capable of distinguishing subtle shades of gray in the darker scenes. When you brightened it you’re basically destroying the aesthetic of the scene which is meant to be dark.

    Performance in dark scenes is a benchmark for a good display performance. This scene is probably the best benchmark ever for black levels on a television.

    I would say for 90% of the content out there this is not a problem.

    There is no such thing as a scene being too dark. That just isn’t the way it works. There is such a thing as a TV not being able to display certain levels of darkness. There are limitations inherent in LED technology in this regard. There may be some screens that can do this i’m not entirely up-to-date on LED screens but I suspect most consumers especially gaming enthusiast consumers who are more interested in lag and refresh rates might’ve had issues with that with this scene.

    In my second viewing which I described above I could see the charge come out of the darkness well before the first viewing without compromising the overall aesthetic. When you brighten, you brighten everything including portions that are meant to be almost black.

    Unfortunately OLED displays are expensive, And most gaming displays are not OLED. Plasma displays are no longer made.

    I have personally owned IPS monitors and other LED or LCD TV screens that are designed with black level in mind and they just do not touch plasma or OLED in this regard. The downside is it is there are no gaming focused OLED display is in so most people in this forum are not going to want one. I’m not a competitive game or so I would gladly give up some lag for a better image quality . The best thing would be a gaming focused OLED display but for some reason that is not being done and so I will stick with my plasma until that happens.
     
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  26. vegeta535

    vegeta535 2[H]4U

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    The problem is the general population believes the only metric to a quality TV is the size. So many buy cheap garbage ass. People scoff at a $2k 55" tv and buy the 65" no name brand tv for $400 and believe they are getting a great deal. Also streaming quality still has a long ways to go. Don't matter if it is 480p, 1080p or 4k. It still going to look like shit with the low bit rates streaming has.
     
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  27. exlink

    exlink [H]ardness Supreme

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    I watched the episode on my LG OLED using my AppleTV 4K that forces HDR (not sure if there is some additional processing done or if its just a brightness boost). I had no issues with the episode at all.
     
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  28. elvn

    elvn 2[H]4U

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    I like that it is dark and I agree that the brightened version I linked is ridiculously bright. I posted it to show the detail lost as a comparison and to show just how blinder black some of the scenes were. Some scenes in the episode could have been a single notch (or two) brighter while still being very dark.



    ----------------------------------------

    Darkness critique aside... the compression and macroblocking is my biggest gripe.

    I've now watched the episode on many screens including a 4200:1, 6100:1 VA , a big IPS, 8600:1 low desnsity FALD VA, and on a samsung oled tablet and they all have macroblocking in the skies.

    I was able to get access to an amazon feed of it at 1080p last night. The blacks are much more solid in the beginning scenes of the show and the overall quality was improved. There was still macroblocking in the backgrounds though once the big battle and the blizzard storm hit. I suspect the compression combined with the blowing ash look of the black night blizzard snowflakes is just too much for the compression. It's very much like a lower quality xvid or cam made full screen as far as the background uniformity went. The solid backgrounds go blocky. At the very darkest settings it's less obnoxious but it's still there in many scenes.

    This version is the best I've seen yet though. I wish this is the one I got to see the first time I saw it.
    I've seen it on the original airing on hbo go, a re-run on scheduled HBO, some of it on HBO on demand, and a few captures. I can watch go, a live capture, and the amazon version all at the same time if I want to.


    Some Photos And Screenshots (SPOILERS - Don't Click if you don't want)
    https://imgur.com/a/PlhI3Qe

     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
  29. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    I think it has a lot more to do with compression than it does TV quality.

    Sure, better TV will be better, but for most people - they have been watching stuff on their TV for a while, and for the most part have been pretty happy.

    And not everyone complained about it being too dark. But for some people, it may as well been a pitch black screen.

    So for one episode to come along and it be "bad", yeah, sorry, the common denominator here isn't that everyone else's TVs are bad and they just never noticed it because they only watch sitcoms and reality TV. If you had a good stream, it was watchable pretty much no matter what TV you had. If you didn't, then even a very nice TV can't make up for bad compression. A lot of fast moving low contrast isn't going to show up well on a poor stream.
     
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  30. raz-0

    raz-0 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I do not have the best TV by a long shot. It's a middle of the road LG panel with computed "local dimming" using edge lit diffuser panels. I believe it has six of them.

    Looking at the brightened version of some of the scenes, It managed to capture most of the stuff going on reasonably well. However, I actually set up my TV to display movies, and particularly darker movies well. If you leave it on the sports mode or the ultra saturated display demo mode, it will make a lot of things look like shit.

    On top of that I streamed the show, but I streamed it Monday night. From the various online discussions, some significant portion of people were being degraded to a 480p stream.

    I still think they could have kicked it up just a bit. making you look hard for the baddies pulls you into it, but they made it a little too hard to see the actors expressions at speed.
     
  31. EnderW

    EnderW [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I watched it originally via HBO GO app on 65” OLED and I thought the quality was “ok” about on par with typical stream in terms of banding/macro blocking, artifacts, etc. didn’t really think about it being “too dark”.

    I saw all the comments online so downloaded a amazon rip (supposedly higher bitrate) and watched part via Plex. That version was WAY worse in terms of blocking and banding. Even my girlfriend who is usually less critical of picture quality noticed it immediately.

    Would love to see a higher quality version if it’s out there but I suspect nothing is going to compare to hopefully eventual 4K UHD.
     
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  32. gan7114

    gan7114 Limp Gawd

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    It honestly wasn’t that bad watching it via HBO Now (streamed at 1080p). With my OLED, which is 4K and upscaled the signal, I noticed some blocking on very dark backgrounds but it wasn’t that bad (mostly at the very beginning of the episode before the fire-lit swords and trenches provided illumination). And even then, I could still see most of the detail.

    I have a feeling most viewer’s complaints were from heavily compressed cable signals. Streaming was fine, and I use Spectrum (lol). It will look much better once the 4K BD comes out. Keep in mind, HBO has filmed GoT at 4K HDR for the past several seasons. And we’re missing out on the HDR with broadcast and streaming right now.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
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  33. coynatha

    coynatha Limp Gawd

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    The episode looked like absolute garbage. Comcast Xfinity 4K box, 55" LG C7 OLED TV. Only thing I can think, is that we we had the episode set to record, and had paused the show like 15 minutes in and were about 5 minutes behind while watching; which gave us some shitty DVR stream. I've NEVER seen it look this bad.
     
  34. Wag

    Wag Gawd

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    Even the Amazon HBO stream looked bad and it's twice the bandwidth of the HBO Now app.

    My Vizio P65 is well set-up too- using mostly the calibrated dark mode.

    As others have said- the episode will probably look good when the UHD w/Dolby Vision arrives.
     
  35. coynatha

    coynatha Limp Gawd

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    With Starbucks removed!

    And I'm pretty sure I saw one of the Dothraki (sp?) on the funeral pyre in the beginning breathing pretty deep for a "dead" guy.
     
  36. waterbucket

    waterbucket n00b

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    I just watched this on my 55” TCL R617 and I didn’t notice much other than minor banding. Didn’t have any issues with overall brightness, had no trouble seeing the action at all.

    I plan on watching it again on my 75” Sony X900F just to compare. I anticipate it looking roughly the same or better.
     
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  37. ncjoe

    ncjoe Limp Gawd

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    well, just watched this 'big battle scene' and have to say was disappointed...

    Was just to dark, then having snow and clouds flying around throughout the episode , just
    wasn't a good idea...
     
  38. tygeezy

    tygeezy n00b

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    They also don't support 4k or HDR. It's quite disappointing; almost as disappointing as this season of GOT has been.
     
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  39. Blackstone

    Blackstone 2[H]4U

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    Loved Episode 5. Most people don’t agree but I thought it was an awesome spectacle.
     
  40. coynatha

    coynatha Limp Gawd

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    I reread your original post earlier. That episode was shit quality. You must have got lucky, because I watched it on an OLED w/ Xfinity 4K box and it was S.H.I.T. SHIIIIIT.

    Just watched Ben Afleck's Triple Frontier on Netflix. Beautiful. I think HBO is bye bye after this last episode of GoT. I'll put my $15/month or whatever it is elsewhere.