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Can Someone PLEASE Assist Me with Some HDR Questions as They Relate to a Panasonic UB9000? (1 Viewer)

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Senior HTF Member
Apr 7, 2020
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I own a Samsung UN65NU8000 and recently purchased a Panasonic DP-UB9000 Ultra HD Blu-ray player to replace a Cambridge Audio CXUHD unit that was connected to my NU that was giving me some trouble with DVD playback (and which their repair center couldn't fix even after sending the player out twice). While the Panasonic delivers gorgeous Blu-ray and UHD Blu-ray images to the NU8000, I have some questions related to HDR settings and HDR10+ behavior as they relate to a special feature in the UB9000 called "HDR Optimizer"...

First of all, when I viewed UHD discs on my previous player, the Cambridge CXUHD, the unit would just send out the HDR10 signal (I didn't own any discs with HDR10+ yet) and I would leave the NU8000 in its default HDR-Movie mode settings (so Backlight would be maxed out, Contrast would be maxed out and Local Dimming would be on High), as I was told that this is what needed to be done so that the TV could tonemap the incoming signal properly. With the new Panasonic player, there's a feature called "HDR Optimizer," which is supposed to take HDR10 content and perform the tonemapping before it gets to the display, if I understand it right; it's an on/off toggle in the player's menus, with some sliders to adjust beneath it (for things like Tone Curve, Brightness and Dynamic Range, but I leave these on "0").

Now, when I watch discs that were previously really bright and punchy -- such as Aquaman and The Fate of the Furious -- on the Cambridge through the Panasonic with the HDR Optimizer ON, the image looks even BETTER, with incredibly punchy highlights and just more detail to the picture. In the Optimizer's menus, there's a setting for choosing the right kind of display that's connected to the player, and I leave this on "Middle/High Luminance LCD" for the NU8000, which is the default setting out of the box (the other selections are "OLED," "Super Bright Lumiance LCD," "Basic Luminance LCD" and two options for projectors); before I go any further -- should this "Middle/High" setting be correct for the NU, or should it be on "Basic Luminance LCD"?

Here's my primary question about all this: When using the HDR Optimizer in the player, should the default HDR picture settings in the Samsung remain where they are? In other words, should I be leaving Backlight on 50 and Contrast on 50 if the PLAYER is supposedly doing the heavy lifting of the tonemapping process?

Now, in getting to my HDR10+ questions -- we picked up our first UHD Blu-ray Disc with this format, The Shining, and ran it through the Panasonic last night. I can confirm that the player and display were indeed showing the HDR10+ layer of the disc (it also comes with a Dolby Vision layer and, of course, the base HDR10) as evidenced by the Panasonic putting up the "HDR10+" logo upon loading. Here's the thing though: While the transfer of the film looked awesome and miles ahead of the DVD version I've been watching for years, I didn't really notice that much of a difference between the HDR10+ presentation and the HDR10 presentation on other films we've watched on the NU; I realize that HDR10+ is supposed to be Samsung's "answer" to Dolby Vision in that it's a dynamic HDR format that optimizes scenes on the fly, so to speak (and that Samsung doesn't include DV in their displays), but I didn't really notice anything that had me thinking this is a "different experience" than HDR10...

My wife actually noticed a couple of moments where she claimed the screen seemed to "fluctuate" and auto-adjust between different shots of characters in one scene, as if the screen would get clearer and brighter and then go back again...but my eyes, unbelievably, didn't really catch this. I just chalked this up to the HDR10+ system "doing its thing" and correcting on a scene-by-scene basis.

Here's what I'd like to know: Is it normal that HDR10+ or Dolby Vision for that matter doesn't really look much different from regular HDR10? Is this something that is going to be title-dependent?

Also -- when viewing HDR10+ content, do my NU8000's settings in HDR-Movie mode remain the same? Does Backlight and Contrast still get maxed out, or are there different settings that must be made for this content?

If someone could lend some insight here it would be greatly appreciated.
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