Samsung Q8FN LED TV Calibration Settings
These are the settings we used to calibrate the Samsung 55" QN55Q8FN QLED. For the most part, we expect these settings to be valid for the 65" QN65Q8FN and 75" QN75Q8FN. Backlight and contrast settings will need to be adjusted for European visitors, as the European variant is edge-lit, and does not get the Full Array Local Dimming found on North American models.
The first thing we did was to turn off all of the 'Eco Solution' settings since we didn't want the backlight level to change during our calibration. This is recommended if you don't want the brightness of the TV to change automatically depending on the room brightness.
For movies and TV content, the 'Movie' 'Picture Mode' gave us the closest result to our calibration goal and it should bring the image quality closest to what the content creator intended it be.
A 'Backlight' setting of 8 gave us a luminosity closest to our target of 100 cd/m² used for calibration. Most people will find this too dim and you should change this setting. Changing the backlight setting has no impact on picture quality and you should adjust this depending on the brightness of your room. We left the 'Brightness' to 0 and the 'Contrast' to 45. We left the 'Sharpness' to 0 to avoid adding any sharpening. We left "Color' to 25 and the 'Tint (G/R)' to its default value of 'G0 and R0'.
We turned off the 'Digital Clean View', but if you are watching some older low-resolution content, you may want to set it on to make the content smoother and with fewer compression artifacts. For our calibration, we left the 'Auto Motion Plus Settings' Off, but if you like the Soap Opera Effect, 'Auto Motion Plus Settings' is the setting that is related to the motion interpolation.
We set the 'Local Dimming' to 'Low' for the calibration (usually, we turn it off for the calibration, but like most Samsung TVs, it is not possible for the Q8FN). The Q8FN features full array local dimming, and while we calibrated it with 'Local Dimming' on 'Low', we recommend setting it to 'High'. 'Contrast Enhancer' was left turned off since we don't want to add any extra image processing to keep the content as faithful to the original intent.
Judder control and Motion Interpolation (Soap Opera Effect)
The 'Auto Motion Plus Settings' sub-menu controls the motion interpolation and the way the TV deals with judder. This is also known as the 'Soap Opera Effect'. If it is turned off, the TV won't be able to remove judder from any sources (Blu-ray players, native apps or cable boxes). To get the best judder-free movie experience, set the 'Auto Motion Plus' setting to 'Custom', set the 'Blur Reduction' to 0, set 'Judder Reduction' to 0 and leave the 'LED Clear Motion' unticked. This won't add any soap opera effect.
The 'Auto Motion Plus Settings' also control the Q8FN's motion interpolation. The Q8 can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120Hz. To do so, set 'Auto Motion Plus' to 'Custom' and increase the 'Blur Reduction' and 'Judder Reduction' sliders. The 'Judder Reduction' slider affects 30 fps or lower content, and the 'Blur Reduction' slider affects 60fps content. For both sliders, you can adjust the setting to your liking to add more or less soap opera effect.
We selected the 'Warm1' 'Color Tone' since it was the closest to our calibration goal, but you can change it to a cooler 'Color Tone' if you find the color too yellow or red.
The gamma setting adjustment was set to 2 since it was the closest to our calibration goal. The TV will automatically set the Gamma type automatically depending on the content. You should only adjust the gamma curve with the slider (plus or minus) if you find there is black crush or if dark scenes are not deep enough.
In the 'Color space' setting, it is preferable to leave it to 'Auto'. When set to auto, the color space changes to match the type of content you are watching automatically. Setting the Color Space to 'Custom' will allow calibrating the TV for SDR content. Normally we do not recommend doing this as the TV is already fairly accurate out of the box. If you set the Color Space to 'Custom' you will have to adjust the settings each time you change from SDR to HDR.
For watching HDR content via an HDMI connection, it is important to set the 'HDMI UHD Color' on for each HDMI input that will receive the HDR content. This will permit the HDMI port to transmit all the bandwidth needed for HDR and tells the TV to expect a 10-bit color signal on that input. If the 'HDMI UHD Color' is not turned on, some devices will not detect the Q8FN as being compatible with HDR. For HDR content, it is also preferable to set the 'Backlight' to maximum, set 'Local Dimming' to 'High' and set the 'Color Space Settings' to 'Auto'.
To enable chroma subsampling when playing from a PC, set the input icon to 'PC' under the 'Input Device Manager' submenu. In PC Mode, the true no sharpness setting is 10. Anything below 10 will soften the image, and text will look blurry. For best results, always set it to 10 in PC Mode.
To enable Game Mode, select 'External Device Manager' from the 'General' menu, and then select 'Game Mode Settings'. Set 'Game Mode' to 'On'. If you have a supported game console (currently PS4 or Xbox One) the TV will automatically switch 'Game Mode' on when it detects a game.
Game Motion Settings
On the Q8FN Samsung has added new options for Game Mode including the ability to interpolate lower frame rate games up to 120Hz. To enable motion interpolation select 'Game Motion Plus Settings'. From there you can adjust the 'Blur Reduction' and 'Judder Reduction' sliders to whichever you prefer. To interpolate low frame rate games up to 60 Hz, set 'Judder Reduction' to 10, and 'Blur Reduction' to 0. To interpolate up to 120 Hz, set both sliders to 10. There is a small increase in input lag when using these options, but it is still low.
HDR Gaming Settings
For HDR gaming, apply the same HDMI settings mentioned in the HDR settings and game settings above. Note that when in game mode, the TV won't change the backlight setting and the local dimming setting automatically, so it is preferable to set the backlight to max and set the local dimming to high.
The following are the results of the white balance and colorspace calibration on our unit. They are provided for reference, and should not be copied as the calibration values vary per individual unit even for the same model and same size as the TV we reviewed due to manufacturing tolerances. If you want to try them you will need to enter all values shown, as all of them are active at the same time. If you end up with worse picture quality, simply reset them to the default values.
Questions & Answers
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Contrast enhancer seems to make the picture pop when playing HDR games on Xbox One X. Should I be using this setting or should I configure the in game brightness settings? It seems I can get similar effects by doing this.
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HDR is meant to display the color as the director of the game or movie intended. Some TVs like the Q8FN allow you to moderately "shift" upwards the PQ curve to compensate for brighter ambiance. Some other TVs do not allow you to do this. At the same time not all games give you the option to configure the brightness. Either way that works for you is ok. In the end it is a matter of personal preference.
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