10-07-2012 09:44 PM
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  1. paleh0rse's Avatar
    Nearly all Samsung Galaxy Note screens suffer severe gamma issues (black clipping). It is still not known whether or not this is a software or hardware problem, or both, but most are leaning toward it being a kernel-level software issue.

    We have tried to report this issue to Samsung itself, AC, Engadget, Android Police, Phandroid, and quite a few others -- yet NONE of them have bothered to so much as acknowledge the problem.

    I have also been asking everyone to report the issue to the same blogs and media outlets. PLEASE DO SO to help us gain traction on this issue!!!

    The following links demonstrate the prevalence and severity of the issue:

    1. XDA -- [Bug] AT&T NOTE (i717) Experiencing Screen Problem with Dark Images and Video
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...php?t=1515299*

    2. If nothing else, please read this thread and test your device per the instructions in the OP:
    XDA -- Black Clipping test image and Poll for AT&T Note Owners
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...php?t=1559800*
    IMPORTANT: If you have a Galaxy Note, run the gamma test yourself to see the issue. The gamma test image is all you need to accurately identify, acknowledge, and measure the problem.

    Using the gamma test image:
    On a properly calibrated display, there should never be a severe dropoff from grey to black between any of the numbers (21 down to 0). Instead, a proper display will show a smooth/gradual transition all the way from grey (21) down to true black (0).

    The problem on the Note running GB roms (including stock) is that it shows grey all the way down to 1 before dropping off a cliff to true black at 0. In the i717 ICS leak, it looks like Samsung tweaked something (possibly just the contrast) to move that severe grey/black drop to between 7 and 6. In other words, they simply shifted the point where the severe black clipping (dropoff) occurs in the dark spectrum.

    To see what the gamma test image is supposed to look like, simply view it on any other decent display -- a different phone, laptop, PC, etc...

    3. XDA -- Technical discussion regarding the same black clipping problem on the International Note (N7000) as well
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...php?t=1430847*
    03-23-2012 09:38 PM
  2. k6tcher's Avatar
    Yes. My phone has severe clipping. It is not bad enough for me to return it "x" number of times to try and get one with less crush... seeing as how most who trade in say it is a hit-and-miss scenario.
    I do hope it will be addressed, however. Maybe when at&t upgrades us to ICS in three months... lol.
    03-24-2012 07:26 AM
  3. PaulF's Avatar
    All digitally made photos can have clipped blacks...and colors and whites. My digital camera has a histogram so you can adjust the exposure. Do you have an example photo that shows the "problem"?
    03-24-2012 11:25 AM
  4. paleh0rse's Avatar
    All digitally made photos can have clipped blacks...and colors and whites. My digital camera has a histogram so you can adjust the exposure. Do you have an example photo that shows the "problem"?
    This issue has nothing at all to do with digital photography; and, the problem has most certainly been well-documented and PROVEN by hundreds of XDA members who own i717 and N7000 Galaxy Notes -- there are hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of posts on XDA discussing this exact problem.

    The problem is easily observable in many dark high-res gaphics, photos, HD Netflix or YouTube videos, or anything else that has very dark shadows and transitions. In fact, many HD videos on Netflix are completely unwatchable on Galaxy Notes!

    If/when most owners experience the clipping, they probably think that it's an issue with the source material; but, they're very wrong -- it's actually the Note's display itself that is messed up.

    Please click on link#2 above to find the gamma test image, instructions for testing your own device(s), and a brief technical explanation for the problem. The gamma test image will clearly demonstrate the dramatic difference between the Galaxy Note and other properly calibrated screens. You can use the same test image to see a proper implementation/calibration on other phones, your laptop, tablets, etc. Proper screens will display a smooth transition from (20) all the way down to (0) -- with the numbers and block outlines in the test image usually disappearing somewhere between (6) and (4). On Galaxy Notes, however, the numbers and blocks will remain entirely too visible all the way down to (1) before falling off a gamma cliff between there and (0).

    Just be sure to test in darker rooms, as bright lights completely hide the problem -- which, since these phones are sold in extremely bright stores, may be how/why Samsung has gotten away with ignoring this for so long.

    The bottom line is that the vast majority of Galaxy Note screens are currently screwed up, and Samsung hasn't done a damn thing about it yet.
    03-24-2012 01:00 PM
  5. jontalk's Avatar
    Am curious if the GS2 Skyrocket suffers from this problem or is it JUST the Note? I was under the presumption they have the same screen technology, but I may be wrong
    03-24-2012 02:05 PM
  6. paleh0rse's Avatar
    The other AMOLED phones have subtle gamma issues as well, but none of them are nearly as bad as the Note. The Note implementation is simply horrendous.
    03-24-2012 02:27 PM
  7. jontalk's Avatar
    Well now that I'm contemplating going to an Android phone from the funky iPhone 3G this isn't the kind of news I want to hear, especially when spending this kind of $$. I wonder if the GS2 HD will have this problem? Hmmmm..
    03-25-2012 07:50 PM
  8. paleh0rse's Avatar
    Well now that I'm contemplating going to an Android phone from the funky iPhone 3G this isn't the kind of news I want to hear, especially when spending this kind of $$. I wonder if the GS2 HD will have this problem? Hmmmm..
    The Note still blows the iPhone out of the water; and this issue, while certainly annoying, wasn't enough for me to return my Note while I still could. I had the iPhones for years until switching to the Note.

    That said, we're praying for a software fix...
    03-25-2012 08:04 PM
  9. paleh0rse's Avatar
    I'm actually very surprised by the apparent lack of concern from Note owners here on AC. Did the 500+ thread viewers own different phones?

    That's just... odd.
    03-27-2012 10:48 PM
  10. PaulF's Avatar
    I'm actually very surprised by the apparent lack of concern from Note owners here on AC. Did the 500+ thread viewers own different phones?

    That's just... odd.
    I am mystified how you can be so upset about the phone not matching your color settings preference. Calling it a bug seems a little extreme, to me. Maybe I don't understand the problem.
    03-27-2012 11:01 PM
  11. paleh0rse's Avatar
    I am mystified how you can be so upset about the phone not matching your color settings preference. Calling it a bug seems a little extreme, to me. Maybe I don't understand the problem.
    "Color settings preference"?

    Have you even read any of the xda threads and tested your Note?! There are hundreds (perhaps thousands?) of posts discussing this problem.

    It's absolutely a major bug, and it's one that affects the premier feature of this phone -- the display.

    When dark Netflix/YouTube videos and HD images look like 8-bit Atari games on every Note, something is very wrong.

    The gamma implementation (dark transitions) is FUBAR.
    03-28-2012 08:01 AM
  12. jeeves744's Avatar
    I'm actually very surprised by the apparent lack of concern from Note owners here on AC. Did the 500+ thread viewers own different phones?

    That's just... odd.
    Honestly, I really haven't noticed it. I don't know if its because I have the screen brightness set to its lowest setting all the time, so its not as apparent, or if when it happens I just really don't notice it and just pass it off as "its a phone so its not perfect". I did do the test and my screen does have the problem, and I hope its a software problem that can be fixed.
    03-28-2012 10:30 AM
  13. Teseract's Avatar
    It's bad enough on mine that I went looking on the web to see if it was a known issue.

    For example, in the intro video on NFS: Hot Pursuit is a blocky mess in the blacks while on my old Droid X it's perfect. Watching any Youtube videos with dark scenes is awful, even in HD. People with long black hair look like their hair is a mass of grayish streaks. I had to ditch some of my wallpapers with dark gradients because they looked awful. It's like someone cranked up the gamma to make the bright colors "pop" more without paying any attention to the blacks.

    I think some people just can't see it, like some people can't tell the difference between an upconverted DVD and a Bluray disk on a decent sized HDTV. Their eyes just can't discern the loss of detail.

    I'm really praying for a software fix, I otherwise really like the phone. ICS will hopefully fix it, but knowing the US Carriers AT&T will sit on the update for 6 months after it's released for the N7000 International phone.
    04-01-2012 07:22 AM
  14. jontalk's Avatar
    Its funny how if you mention this to the die hard Note fans on other threads in this forum, they scoff at it. Since I don't own one, I have been watching reviews of this device by various tech reviewers, and I have to say that I'm finding lots of reasons including this one, not to spend the money. And some of the reviewers find this issue very disturbing which I can agree with.

    One point made by the reviewer at Phone Arena is that Samsung created this device that doesn't have applications specifically for it, due to the fact that it's not a smart phone, but instead, something unique.

    I know the S Pen Suite is available with ICS, but I really have to agree. He also felt the lag while not huge, is annoying and having played with one, I agree. I have also noticed the gamma issue when experimenting with the Note at ATT stores BIG TIME!
    04-01-2012 07:32 PM
  15. Teseract's Avatar
    I like the Note, don't get me wrong, I just find this bug annoying, but when you work in a support oriented job like I do, you get used to the programmers and marketers dropping the ball. I have little doubt that this happened because some blind ***** developer or drooling marketing exec decided the "reds looked redder and the yellows looked yellower" with the gamma cranked up like this. And they do; if you use QuikPic and force 32bit color and tell it to turn up the brightness to 100%, reds and yellows will just about assault you off the screen to the point it's almost painful to look at. It just doesn't do dark shades of gray properly, and it's definitely a software problem.

    It's like going to shop for an HDTV and all the TVs are in "torch" mode to draw shopper's eyes to them. The colors are inaccurate, the brightness is way too high, but hey, that's what marketing people think draws people in. But at least you can turn OFF torch mode when you get the set home.

    As for the lag, I thought it was slower than my old DX running Pooka's CM7 build... then I used Titanium Backup to freeze a bunch of AT&T bloatware running in the background and it helped some. Then I went into the settings and sped up all the animation speeds 50% because with a screen this large it takes TIME for the animation effect to complete (the same reason I turn off all animations in Windows) and now it's zippy as all get-out in my opinion.

    I didn't buy the device for the S-pen or the gimmicky stuff like that (though my kids LOVE the S-Pen for games for some reason). I bought it because I have big hands and big fingers and like big phones. I think most people see the S-Pen and related items as a gimmick, and just buy it because they're tired of squinting and poking at tiny on-screen buttons half the size of their fingertip. My typing accuracy is way up these days because I'm not accidentally brushing another tiny button with my big fat fingers.

    Just my .02.
    04-01-2012 08:48 PM
  16. schrochem's Avatar
    where in settings can you change animation speeds?
    maybe we can get a monitor calibration app.....
    There is a gamma check down the page here:
    Monitor calibration and gamma
    mine looks to be 2.6
    This is a cool app:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...F5dGVzdGVyIl0.
    I don't have any dead pixels!
    On the gamma test there the vertical background is 2.6ish I guess but the horizontal background is way different.... Not sure if that can be adjusted somehow
    Apparently adjustments have been made for other phones
    I found this thread about the nexus one
    [HACK] Calibration profile for Nexus One v5.1, now with 100% less Sith! - xda-developers
    04-01-2012 10:01 PM
  17. paleh0rse's Avatar
    Here is the first photo I've seen of a Note that doesn't have the gamma (clipping) issue:
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...&postcount=182

    My only concern, now, is that this would indicate that it might be a hardware problem, rather than a software bug... wouldn't it?
    04-02-2012 04:09 PM
  18. schrochem's Avatar
    I just had a very strange thought. Probably nothing relevant but I wonder if the phone that person got had the language defaulted to English.
    If have the clipping but my language was defaulted to Deutsch.
    I'm assuming the only reason it was that particular language is because it was the first in the list...
    Maybe we should do a poll to see how many people had the default not set to English......

    LOL....could you imagine if that was a way to check....Go back to the store, ask for a new one, fire it up, check the language, then load the gamma jpg.
    04-02-2012 04:49 PM
  19. Teseract's Avatar
    I don't know. If I play this video inside of the default browser, it's a blocky mess, if I play it in the Youtube client, it's a blocky mess. I play it in Dolphin HD set to the *desktop* mode and it plays perfect, if I set it to *mobile* mode in Dolphin it plays a blocky mess:



    I don't know how a change in software rendering would fix a hardware problem.

    Do the GPUs in these phones have a separate firmware like the ones in normal computers? If so I wonder if the newer phones have an updated firmware? Pure speculation on my part...

    Here is the first photo I've seen of a Note that doesn't have the gamma (clipping) issue:
    xda-developers - View Single Post - [POLL] Black clipping / black crush

    My only concern, now, is that this would indicate that it might be a hardware problem, rather than a software bug... wouldn't it?
    04-03-2012 01:34 AM
  20. paleh0rse's Avatar
    I don't know. If I play this video inside of the default browser, it's a blocky mess, if I play it in the Youtube client, it's a blocky mess. I play it in Dolphin HD set to the *desktop* mode and it plays perfect, if I set it to *mobile* mode in Dolphin it plays a blocky mess:



    I don't know how a change in software rendering would fix a hardware problem.

    Do the GPUs in these phones have a separate firmware like the ones in normal computers? If so I wonder if the newer phones have an updated firmware? Pure speculation on my part...
    I believe Dolphin HD in desktop mode only displays 16-255 (no deep blacks), while everything else is attempting to display the full 0-255; but, I could be wrong.

    In other words, it turns the deep blacks into greys, rather than attempting to display the actual blacks...
    04-03-2012 07:46 AM
  21. paleh0rse's Avatar
    In the AT&T ICS leak for the Note, it appears they raised the black level from (0, 0, 0) to (6, 6, 6). Initial reports indicate that this has slightly improved video playback in apps like Netflix and YouTube, but it did not eliminate the black clipping issue altogether.

    The clipping simply occurs between 7 and 6 now, rather than between 1 and 0.
    04-04-2012 12:54 PM
  22. jamesbecker79's Avatar
    Ummm.....any problem that requires watching a specific video in a dark room doesn't sound like too huge an issue to me. (Ref the first linked XDA thread).
    PaulF likes this.
    04-04-2012 03:06 PM
  23. paleh0rse's Avatar
    Ummm.....any problem that requires watching a specific video in a dark room doesn't sound like too huge an issue to me. (Ref the first linked XDA thread).
    The problem is always there -- it's simply easier to demonstrate in a darker room. With most Notes, the room doesn't have to be completely dark to clearly see the problem, just "darker."

    Feel free to dismiss it or downplay it if you don't see it with however you choose to use the phone... :rolleyes:
    04-04-2012 03:36 PM
  24. PaulF's Avatar
    Ummm.....any problem that requires watching a specific video in a dark room doesn't sound like too huge an issue to me. (Ref the first linked XDA thread).
    Reminds me of the time a lady complained about a nude beach on Cedar Lake in Minneapolis. When they pointed out she couldn't see the beach, she said "I can see it if I stand on the corner of my deck with binoculars...".
    04-04-2012 09:09 PM
  25. paleh0rse's Avatar
    Reminds me of the time a lady complained about a nude beach on Cedar Lake in Minneapolis. When they pointed out she couldn't see the beach, she said "I can see it if I stand on the corner of my deck with binoculars...".
    One would have to be blind (or live in a Best Buy showroom?) to not see this problem on their Note if they ever attempt to view photos, Netflix, YouTube, or other media that contain dark scenes.

    Or, they could work for Samsung... I guess that's always an option?

    Maybe you guys don't care if your Netflix movies look like 8-bit Atari games, but myself and countless others do...
    04-05-2012 06:54 AM
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