In recent years, brightness is one of the commercial arguments that television manufacturers most often put forward: Sony, LG, Panasonic and Samsung are vying for the record for the highest “peak light”. In fact, some large television and film productions really take advantage of this, displaying small areas of particularly bright images in order to better reproduce, for example, the shimmer of the sun in the water, or the brilliance of a laser beam. However, according to the specialized site FlatpanelsHD, Samsung lied about the real capabilities of some of its TVs.
The maximum brightness of TVs is usually evaluated by displaying a small white rectangle on 10% of the screen surface, and then measuring, using a probe, the number of “nits”, a unit of light intensity, emitted at this precise location. According to FlatpanelsHD, Samsung’s high-end QN95B TV is able to defeat this method by detecting that a test is in progress, then temporarily increasing its brightness by 80 percent – the TV would not be able to withstand such a spike for long without suffering damage, FlatpanelsHD judges.
The Danish media’s journalists noticed the deception when they saw a non-standard white square, occupying only 9% of the screen’s surface. The peak light output collapsed from the stratospheric level of 2,300 nits to 1,300 nits. An already high level that this TV has never managed to exceed in real tests involving the broadcast of movies and series.
A smartphone precedent
“Samsung will provide a software update that will ensure that the brightness of HDR content is consistent across a wider range of window sizes, beyond industry standards,” Samsung replied to Danish journalists, thus halfheartedly acknowledging the manipulation.
This is the second time that the Korean manufacturer is subject to accusations of this type in 2022. Already in early March, its flagship smartphone, the S22, was caught speeding. The smartphone ran very fast when measuring its performance with popular test applications like 3Dmark or Geekbench, but half as fast with many other applications – including games that could have benefited from such speed.