Archive of Tuesday, June 24, 2014 News             Go to Current News Page

Mac Upgrades/Mods | CPU Upgrades | Storage | Video | Audio/HT | Apps/OS/Network | Search
Miss a Day?  See the Archives
= Recent Articles/Updates =
( Your Tips, Upgrade Reports, Questions to news at

Tips for Brightness Fluctuations on HDTVs (reply to Mac Mini/Samsung HDTV user)
Got an email from a mac Mini/Samsung HDTV user about annoying brightness changes during (iTunes) movie playback. I first asked he ensure the Mac didn't have any odd display/contrast settings in "Universal Access" but not sure my mails are getting through. What I'm suggesting here are general TV settings tips to try, including some Samsung specific. These may not solve everyone's problems, but here's a few notes and tips:

  • Check the TV's settings for automatic backlight adjustment and energy savings. (Samsung calls it "ECO" mode in the "System" menu which also has an Energy Saving sub-menu.) Try disabling any auto/ECO/Energy saving mode or feature.

  • Check for any 'Dynamic Contrast' (or similar name/function) in the TV's settings. Even if you prefer it enabled (at some level), disable it as a test of its effect on any brightness changes you're seeing. (You may find you're able to leave it at 'low' without any negative effects, but when troubleshooting (or calibrating) turn it off.)

  • Again as a test, Check any "Auto Motion" settings (dejudder, frame interpolation, smoothing, etc) and turn it off.' (Some Samsung owners prefer it set to "Clear" or a Custom" (0 Dejudder) setting.) Dejudder/interpolation often adds a "Soap Opera" effect and can also cause artifacts/distortion on some scenes. (For a distortion test, try a scene with a person moving/running that also has a grid pattern or wire fence in the background.)

  • For some Samsung models, selecting "Movie" mode disables an auto dimming feature. The backlight may still turn off completely during a full black screen. (For TVs that do that, some of the worst examples are during a movie's end credits that cycle between an all black screen to the text credits on an otherwise black screen. For example The Dark Knight Rises end credits.)

  • Another common tip for some Samsung HDTVs is setting brightness (which is really black level) above 45, but this may not disable all the auto dimming. There's also a "Motion Lighting" and "LED Motion Plus" setting (BFI?) in some models that in my experience darkens the screen (sometimes not immediately).

  • Some TVs have a PC or Game mode to try but that may also disable other picture adjustment features. (It may also cause the mac to use RGB vs. YCbCr (TV) mode which solved some mac/TV/monitor issues in the past without using other tricks.)

Most LCD owners already know this, but disabling dimming features (and brighter screens) make any 'flashlighting' and clouding more visible however, especially if edge-lit. (Some later/higher end LCD Samsung models have a "Cinema Black" feature that turns off LEDs in the black bars area of widescreen movies that helps mask issues like this, which unfortunately are fairly common with many edge-lit displays.)

For the record I've used a late 2012 Mac Mini with a 2012 Samsung ES series HDTV via HDMI through an AVR (setup noted here) without any problems with movies/videos (DVDs and OTA TV HD recordings from EyeTV). I don't use iTunes for movies however, just the OS X DVD Player and Quicktime player. I have seen/dealt with the Samsung's auto-dimming however as well as workarounds for other things (like infamous "V" cloud from the LCD timing board heat). Overall I'm happy with its performance and PQ in general but it has its share of edge-lit/ultra thin design faults. (The ES is a long-term loaner from a friend that I'm thankful to have after my CCFL LCD failed.)

Apple and Mac related News and Reviews:
Updated Apple Support/How-To/Troubleshooting Articles:

Also on our page of Tips, Troubleshooting & How-To Guides for Mac/OS X/iOS Users

Other News, Reviews and Tips:

Recent Articles/Tips/Tweaks/Reviews:
Listing/links of Updates, DIY mod/upgrade articles, Tips and more you may have missed. (2011 Macbook Pro GPU/Logic board failures, Mac EFI/SMC/SW updates, Mac compatible 802.11ac wifi cards/adapters, Radeon 7970 in 2007 Mac Pro, Mac mini/MBP/iMac internal Mini-PCIe eSATA Card Mods, OS X Updates/Tips/Problems, Low-Cost CPU Upgrades for early Mac Pros/Xserves and Minis, Mac Mini SSD upgrades, OS X SSD Trim Enablers, DIY Fusion drives and more.)

= From my Sponsor, your click matters =
Search for Upgrades for Your Mac Model
Our Installation videos cover "DIY" upgrades for many Macs.
Also see how much RAM your Mac can use.

Previous News Archive Summary:
    Monday June 23rd, 2014 News
  • Review of 2014 MacBook Air 13-inch
  • Keeping Track of the 'Traces' of Apps on Your Mac
  • Tips to Fix iTunes USB-related alerts
  • Tips to Fix iOS update and restore errors
  • iOS: What to Do If You Forgot the Passcode or Device is Disabled
  • Apple forum changes - Complaints and Tips for using new forums
  • Review: Brydge+ converts iPad to a mini MacBook Air
  • Happy Birthday Final Cut Pro X
  • Final Cut Pro X 10.1 review
  • Amazon Instant Video app 2.7

For links to older news pages, see the Archives.

(Ad/Sale Items)

= UPGRADES by Model =
Upgrades for YOUR Mac!

= Refurb Mac Pros =
(Click for Current List)

= SSDs up to 4TB =
SSDs for Most Macs!

= ThunderBolt =
Drives, Docks & More

Up to 12 TB HDD
HGST, WD, Seagate, Toshiba

= 2.5" HDs & DIY Kits =
Notebook Hard Drives and DIY drive/case kit bundles

Lifetime warranty RAM Upgrades!

Internal and External Superdrives/Blu-Ray drives

Graphics cards, Displays, Adapters, Cables & more

Interfaces, Cables, Software, Speakers, Headphones & more

Apps, Utilities, OS, VM, Games and more

WiFi and Bluetooth Devices/Adapters/More

= Repair Service =
for iPhone, iPad, Macs

= iPad/iPhone/iPod =
Accessories, Cases, Docks & More

= back to =
Copyright 1997-2018. All Rights Reserved
All brand or product names mentioned here are properties of their respective companies.
Legal: Site Privacy and terms of use.