Samsung QLED TV as Monitor. 55" OMG.

Discussion in 'Displays' started by cybereality, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. cybereality

    cybereality 2[H]4U

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    So, I've been using a 40" Samsung KU6300 as a monitor for about a year or two. Was kind of itching to upgrade, mostly for PS4 Pro gaming and 4K Blu-Ray, and ended up getting a new 2018 Samsung TV as a replacement. The one I got is the 55" Q7F ( https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/samsung/q7fn-q7f-q7-2018 ). Originally I was looking for the LG OLED sets that everyone raves about, but I went to Best Buy and the QLED panels actually looked better to me.

    Just got it up tonight and played some 4K Blu-Ray, PS4 Pro and PC games. Here are some shots.

    Earth 4K HDR Blu-Ray:
    QLED_01.jpg

    Earth 4K HDR Blu-Ray:
    QLED_02.jpg

    Mad Max 4K Windows PC:
    QLED_03.jpg

    Prey 4K Windows PC:
    QLED_04.jpg

    Resident Evil 7 4K HDR PS4 Pro:
    QLED_05.jpg

    The good:
    - Picture quality is excellent, especially the color reproduction. This TV is supposed to be 100% of the gamut and it really shows.
    - HDR is nice and bright, without blowing out the image or crushing the blacks (especially noticeable on the first level of RE7). Still have to spent more time with this and watch a whole Blu-Ray, but HDR seemed to work well on the PS4 Pro, which was one of the main draws to buying a new TV.
    - Motion Plus is much improved over my older Samsung, and works great in Game Mode. It's not quite the quality of a really 120Hz source, but it comes pretty close. Given the challenges of just reaching 60fps in 4K as it is, this extra boost to near 120Hz level is well worth it.
    - I really like that the switching time trails from my old KU6300 are almost gone.
    - Supports FreeSync, though the range is only 48 - 60Hz for 4K.
    - Has a black frame insertion mode that strobes the backlight for reduced motion blur. Works okay.
    - The 55" size is both a pro and a con, but the size is absolutely massive. I don't think I properly understood how big 55" was until this thing was on my desk. Great for entertainment for sure.

    The bad:
    - 55" is probably too big to be comfortable as a monitor. 40" was great for me, however you can't find any of the good TVs in that size for 2018. It's a compromise either way, but it will take some time for me to see if this was the right choice.
    - TV has lots of cool features, but not all of them work at once. For example, enabling FreeSync will disable the Motion Plus mode. Motion Plus makes things *much* smoother, almost looking like real 120Hz when you're at 60fps, but I can imagine some situations where you would want one or the other maybe.
    - Black frame insertion mode heavily reduces brightness, and flicker is noticeable.
    - Remote and/or interface seems laggy, and half the time the center button doesn't bring up the info display.
    - Had signal loss issues when attempting 4:4:4 color mode. 4:2:0 is more reliable and looks better to me but this could be an issue for some people. I also had the same problem with my old TV so maybe it's something else in my setup.

    Overall, I like it, but would have preferred something in the 40 - 43" class. Given how huge/heavy it is, I wouldn't want to bother exchanging it for something else, especially knowing that the smaller TVs are lower quality. Seems that movie and game viewing should be great, I may have to switch to my other computer for desktop use. Please, feel free to ask me questions.
     
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  2. cybereality

    cybereality 2[H]4U

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    I got some more time with this set last night and today. Watched Serenity in UHD Blu-Ray, it was great. I could see the local dimming feature working. It was a little aggressive on high (I can try the low setting) but definitely did add to the experience.

    Also got to try the high refresh rate in gaming, as it supports 120Hz natively at 1080p. It worked, however, I don't think it really made the experience any better. 4K 60Hz with the Motion Plus feels just as smooth as 120Hz and looked way better in terms of picture quality.

    Still kind of iffy on the size (too big) but I have 2 weeks to decide if I want to return it. The gaming and movie viewing is just so nice, I might have to reserve this computer for media and do desktop browsing/work on my other computer (which needs some love anyhow).
     
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  3. AORUS

    AORUS Limp Gawd

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    Nice monitor hope you will enjoy it, but Samsung QLED can't beat OLED. Let’s start with a simple statement – QLED is not a new, Samsung’s QLED TVs use LCD panels to which have been around for decades,
     
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  4. Aluminum

    Aluminum Limp Gawd

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    Cable is #1 ,2 and 3 cause of this, 4:4:4 either works or it doesn't. 4:2:0 should never "look better" as it literally throws away 75% of the color data otherwise you are getting post processing or similar. (post also means more lag among other things, don't post process when your computer is much more capable of pre-processing)
    Watching most blu-rays or similar content is irrelevant for testing this as they already throw this data out during encode, the colored text or similar subpixel test is very obvious.

    If you have interference and/or loss, it could be the shoddy connectors on the card, TV and/or outside interference. (some large metal objects tend to make this worse in my experience, table legs esp) but its the cable, trust me, I'm from the internet.
    Half Done Media Interconnect 2.0 really pushes the "100% backwards compatible" cable spec to the limit and the hdmi association with its shitty compliance/testing/auditing/branding rules (lack thereof mostly) doesn't help. Add to that a bunch of chinese cable plants that don't give a fuck and here we are.

    If your gpu has DP 1.2 or better (which all hdmi 2.0 gpus do afaik) it already handles higher end signals so its not a capability issue.
     
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  5. cybereality

    cybereality 2[H]4U

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    Yes, I understand QLED is mostly a marketing term and that it's really a VA panel. But I went to the store convinced like you that nothing would beat the LG OLED and I was surprised how good the QLED sets looked. LG looked great too, but in my opinion the Samsung sets looked better to me but there are always lots of variables when comparing in store sample TVs with different settings, demo content, etc. See the rtings review, they note that Samsung has better color reproduction than LG and look better in a lit room.

    https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/samsung/q7fn-q7f-q7-2018

    There were also other reasons I was steering away from OLED, for example burn-in when using it as a monitor. Plus the FreeSync feature on the Samsung made it more attractive, as well as the physical aspects of the stand on my desk. But OLED is great, obviously.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  6. cybereality

    cybereality 2[H]4U

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    I think you might be right. It's been a while now, but I believe I tried at least one other cable but I don't recall clearly. I know I did test about 4 or 5 different switches (PC and other devices are going to switch, then to TV) and none of them worked perfectly (intermittent signal loss). Maybe I got a few bad cables? I guess I'll buy new cables to be sure, I really hope that is it cause I'd like everything working. I could believe interference as well, this is a metal and glass table with quite a lot of wires and devices all next to each other. Thanks.
     
  7. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge Not the Idiot YOU are Looking for

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    Mostly, QLED will get brighter; if your TV lives in 'well lit rooms', most LCD variants will look better simply because they can get brighter. OLED has a brightness limit.

    Otherwise, OLED is the superior technology and properly set up will produce a superior picture.

    [comparing in a store is the polar opposite of properly set up...]
     
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  8. brucethemoose

    brucethemoose Limp Gawd

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    That's motion interpolation.

    A word of warning: it adds quite a bit of input lag, probably more than a whole frame. So while it's great for videos (particularly streaming), it can make faster-paced games feel slugish even when your framerate is fine.

    Freesync, on the other hand, is great because it keeps input lag to an absolute minimum.

    Oh, and if you're watching a video off your desktop, you should set the refresh rate to 24hz for maximum smoothness.
     
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  9. TechNick1

    TechNick1 n00bie

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    Believe it or not, that’s not the case for the 2018 Samsung TVs. They introduced a new motion interpolation mode called “GameMotion Plus” that adds very little lag, about 5ms according to Rtings testing of the feature. It’s the only option available when in game mode, the regular MotionPlus interpolation is greyed out in game mode. Without any interpolation input lag is ~15ms, and about 20ms when using 60FPS interpolation and 25ms when doing full 120FPS interpolation. So interpolating a 30FPS game to 120FPS results in end to end input lag that’s still lower than many TVs that aren’t performing any kind of interpolation. Due to the new algorithm, it can also respond to drops in frame rate unlike regular motion interpolation. (which normally just halts the interpolation and causes heavy stutter)

    It’s a pretty incredible feature, and rather ironic that it arrived in the first TVs to include variable refresh rates with FreeSync. I’ve been waiting to see a TV with VRR for years to smooth out frame rates, but this GameMotion Plus almost negates the need for VRR. A console game struggling to maintain a rocky 30FPS takes on a silky smooth 120FPS appearance. I went for the 65” Q9FN despite being dead set on an OLED exclusively because of this feature. It finally makes 30FPS console games tolerable for me, and pushes 4K games from my PC to frame rates that are well beyond what my 1070 can reasonably push.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  10. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge Not the Idiot YOU are Looking for

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    Ironic that it took them this damn long to put an effective focus on cutting away latency...
     
  11. brucethemoose

    brucethemoose Limp Gawd

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    Only 10ms extra lag, 25ms overall? And it not only detects, but compensates for repeated frames? That is amazing... interpolation has come a long way. It makes me REALLY want one of those sets now.

    So yeah, ignore my last post OP, you should only use freesync if you're a hyper competetive CSGO player or something (and even then, the interpolation mode gives you better motion clarity, so it's kinda debateable).

    It's a hard engineering/software problem. I'm suprised Samsung pulled it off at all.

    That being said, the gaming market really blew up in recent years, so I guess it became profitable for them to invest in those kind of features.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  12. cybereality

    cybereality 2[H]4U

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    Thank you so much. It was the cable this whole time. Strange because I had 2 supposedly HDMI 2.0 cables and neither of them worked properly at 4:4:4 (the one I was using black screened, and the other one worked but with white snow).

    Stopped at Best Buy on the way home from work and got one of the RocketFish cables rated to 4K 60Hz HDR on the box and it works perfectly. No more black screens or white snow.

    I have AMD settings set for Full RGB 4:4:4 and everything looks so much better now. Not sure why it didn't look good before, probably something else I was doing wrong but it's nice now.
     
  13. cybereality

    cybereality 2[H]4U

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    Yeah, I hear what you are saying. But I took a 3rd trip to Best Buy today (to get a new cable) and spent a moment comparing the TVs again. I was interested in either Samsung, or LG and Sony. They all looked great, but I honestly think the Samsung looked slightly better (or, in the worst case, equal). I admit, you never know what settings the TV is using, differences in the demo material, lighting of the store, etc. but I'm pretty sure what I saw under the circumstances. That said, I have specific reasons for wanting this Samsung model, so picture quality was not the only factor. Given that the quality seems great on all 3, I was happy to get the QLED set for the other reasons (like FreeSync and the shape of the stand).
     
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  14. cybereality

    cybereality 2[H]4U

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    Yeah, I agree 100%. The GameMode MotionPlus feature is killer. I was playing Shadow of the Colossus on PS4 Pro last night. It really looked close to a 120Hz experience. I turned off the interpolation to test, and it was Chop-Fest 2018, probably around 30fps. And I've been a high refresh gamer for a while now (prior to buying my previous Samsung 4K TV). 4K 120Hz is probably far away. I know they have panels coming out or out, but there is nothing (not even SLI/CF) that can get 4K 120fps unless you are only playing esports titles or old games. So being able to upscale 60 or even 30fps content to 120Hz is incredibly useful. I wish I knew more about this before buying the TV, it would have made the decision a lot easier.
     
  15. cybereality

    cybereality 2[H]4U

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    Yeah, it works really well. Sometimes you might see minor artifacts (like a halo around the player character) but for the most part it's not noticeable when you're in the game. My old TV, the Samsung KU6300, had interpolation, but it only worked well on movies. For games it caused a lot of artifacts and lag and was basically worthless. They definitely spent time to tweak the feature specifically for gaming and it paid off.

    I'll have to test more with the FreeSync feature to see what I think. I have a G-Sync monitor on another computer, so I know the benefit, but the range is pretty low at 4K (only 48 - 60Hz). At that point, I'd rather tweak settings to get a bit over 60fps, and then let the interpolation smooth it out. It's a little more interesting at 1080p res, as then you have a FreeSync range of something like 20 - 120Hz. But that would mean running in 1080p, which I'd probably not want to go down to on this size of a TV. But I like having options so I'll explore more.
     
  16. AORUS

    AORUS Limp Gawd

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    If it were me, I would not make my buying decision based on just one online review!, RTings.com just has an inherently flawed rating system.

    Stores is also another big bag of tricks when it comes to selling the 4K UHD TV's on the market, they lower the setting on the LED with HDR and turn up the settings on the QLED/OLED, HDR with the demo but each demo running is not display on all the TV's another big tick, talking about ticks is the marketing is the biggest tick of all the name "4K UHD" Let’s start with a simple statement – UHD is near 4K it's less than 256 pixels so they called it 4K UHD in marketing world, I do not know why people would want to spend over £2,000 or $2645 just for a QLED/OLED for the same 3840x2160 resolution that is found on all the monitors/TV's in the UHD range? OK OLED with HDR looks nice but it the same 3840x2160 resolution. the same can be said about the 4k players and movies are the same resolution. So you can't push out the extra 256 pixels out of the TV/ player to reach your 4K Max. Here in the UK PCWorld the sale teams are to push the customer in buying a their own brand HDMI cable 2 meters price £89.00 in $117.00 because they with give you the best images on screen. 'BS'

    Yes the images of your TV looks nice just in enjoy it;) I play on a 42 inch myself also at UHD level input lag is 17.5 I am not into the FPS/G-Sync marketing crap.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  17. cybereality

    cybereality 2[H]4U

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    Yeah, you're right. I definitely could have done more research. I've been using RTings for a while now, so I trust them, and went to 2 different Best Buys to see them in person.

    That was just enough for me to make a decision, but I did sort of impulse buy the TV while on vacation.

    Also, I was looking at HDMI cables at Best Buy yesterday. Found a $30 cable that works great. However, there was one there that was $900, and I'm sure it probably looks the same as the $30 cable. If you want to talk about BS.

    upload_2018-7-12_18-56-10.png

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/audioq...dmi-cable-black-brown/1267782.p?skuId=1267782
     
  18. Brian_B

    Brian_B [H]ard|Gawd

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    Sounds like you are happy with it and that’s what really matters. /thumbs up.
     
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  19. cybereality

    cybereality 2[H]4U

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    Thanks Brian_B I do really like the TV a lot. Probably would have preferred a slightly smaller size, but it is really great in everything else so I can live with it.
     
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  20. cybereality

    cybereality 2[H]4U

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    Watched the Ghost in the Shell live action movie on UHD Blu-Ray. I'm pretty sure this one is a 4K master, as it looks a lot better than some of the other discs I've watched.

    upload_2018-7-14_10-37-18.png
     
  21. AORUS

    AORUS Limp Gawd

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    I wasn't talk about the TV been 'BS' only the cable costing that much here in the UK. But now I seen your image of that cable in the US $895 that's way OTT on price, anyway maybe all the new movies will be shot in 4K/5K so when you and other watch it in HDR like Ghost in the shell it will still only play at 3840x2160 resolution UHD level but the image will be 4 times of that of a Blu-ray version. yes I have seen this movie on my parents OLED with HDR and very looks nice. Like I said before just enjoy your new Samsung.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
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  22. mkrohn

    mkrohn 2[H]4U

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    this times 100. Two major brands made a name for themselves by having crazy brightness but terrible actual quality. Untrained eyes fall for it 90% of the time. This set is a quality set though and if you're happy thats all that matters. I personally won't stand for anything less than OLED for my upgrade. I'm coming up on 2 years with my Sony XBR55X700D. OLED or nothing for at this point. For PC use look at the Flicker-Free rating. Your set will flicker. Flicker was one of the main reasons I went with this Sony I have. I am one of those seemingly 25% that get headaches from flicker. I know we're a minority but if you're sensitive to this it matters.

    You mentioned size of 55" being too big? For gaming bigger is actually better. I have a small office where I have a recliner and a couch. When gaming I pull the screen fairly far fromt he wall and kick back in the recliner. For coding I push it flat to the wall and have my desk about a foot off of the wall to give myself easier viewing angles. Coding though is my primary use.
     
  23. cybereality

    cybereality 2[H]4U

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    It's big for desktop use. I have made the Firefox window smaller, and that helps. I haven't tried coding yet, maybe I'll give that a go tonight.

    Using it for gaming and movies, it's been great though and I'm really happy with the purchase.
     
  24. mkrohn

    mkrohn 2[H]4U

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    basically a 50" 4k is 4 24" screens in a cube. When you allocate windows just remember stuff like a browser shouldn't use much more than 25% of the screen. Sites just don't take advantage of high res most of the time. I am a big fan of large screen coding. Anybody looking at my code on low res will just have to deal with side scrolling.
     
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  25. cybereality

    cybereality 2[H]4U

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    After playing more with FreeSync, it seems running at 60Hz 4K (with interpolation) is still the best option. While the input lag is very noticeable, the improvement in picture quality is massive.

    FreeSync works at 4K, but the range is 48 - 60Hz, which is not that flexible or useful. With 1440p or 1080p, you can unlock 120Hz, and this is a lot better in terms of smoothness.

    Running at 1080p looks kind of like garbage, upscaled at this size, but 1440p is almost passable. I mean, it looks definitely worse than 4k, but it's not too bad. With 1440p, and getting around 90fps, FreeSync feels like butter.

    I could see some people making that trade. For me, I want the best picture quality, and things are still smooth (with interpolation), but that lag is not great.

    One thing I haven't tried is high refresh virtual 21:9 widescreen. I did this on my old TV and it helped gain performance and still looked great. I don't know if a custom resolution with higher refresh would work, but that may be a better trade off for me.