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You Asked: Sony vs. Sony, neon TVs, and YouTube in HDR

This week on You Asked: The Sony A80L versus the 2024 Bravia 8 OLED, how to fix colors that look like neon on your TV, who actually cares about TV speakers, and why aren’t more TV review videos on YouTube in HDR?

Sony A80L vs. Bravia 8 OLED, Worth Upgrading LG C2 to G4? | You Asked Ep. 40

How to fix colors that look like neon on your TV

neon colors sports tv
Digital Trends

Marc Rossi writes: I just purchased a Samsung QLED TV, and I’ve noticed the baseball field grass is insanely green. Any idea how to fix this issue? (And I followed your advice on the motion smoothing — what a difference!)

Glad the motion control guidance helped. As for the insanely green grass, without knowing what picture mode preset you are using, it’s hard to know exactly what is going on. I would imagine you are using a picture mode that has a cool color temperature, and all that extra blue in the white balance is making the grass look a bit neon. If you’re using the Standard picture mode — which is the default for Samsung TVs — or especially if you’re using the Dynamic picture mode, then your grass will look unrealistic.

There are two ways to go about adjusting the color temperature. The first adjusts only the color temperature and leaves all the other settings alone. On a Samsung TV, I believe it is referred to as Color Tone, and there you should find Cool, Standard, Warm 1, and Warm 2. If it is on Cool, try Standard first and see if that works for you. If not, then try Warm 1, which should do the trick.

The other way to go about adjusting the color for more natural and realistic reproduction is to select the Movie or Filmmaker Mode picture presets. But this will adjust more than just the color temperature and may require you to make other adjustments to get the brightness and motion looking the way you like. So start with adjusting the color temperature (or color tone) and see if that works.


Sony A80L vs. the 2024 Bravia 8 OLED

sony bravia 8 oled
Digital Trends

Eric Larsen writes: Is there much difference between the Sony A80L and the Bravia 8?

It doesn’t appear there is going to be a dramatic difference in picture quality. It’s possible the 2024 Bravia 8 — also known as the XR80 — might be marginally measurably brighter than the A80L. But I have serious doubts that any brightness increase would be visible without a direct comparison, and thus not a good reason to spend more on the Bravia 8. I believe there’s a slight redesign to the feet with the Bravia 8, which doesn’t mean a lot in my book and means nothing if you’re wall-mounting.

The remote is supposed to be more eco-friendly on the newer Bravia 8 model, and there’s a new eco dashboard on the Bravia 8 as well. I think that the 2024 models will offer a new Netflix Adaptive Calibrated Mode and a similar adaptive calibrated mode for Amazon Prime Video. Those features by default will use the TV’s ambient light sensor to automatically adjust the HDR Tone curve and color temperature to make the picture look good no matter your room’s lighting conditions. But you can also turn the light sensor off, and at that point, it’s going to look a lot like Filmmaker Mode would.

So you be the judge as to whether that is something you want. But for the vast majority of folks, it’s going to be the smart move to buy the Sony A80L at a discount, instead of the Bravia 8 at full retail price right now.


Who actually cares about TV speakers

The rear panel of the Samsung S95C.
Samsung S95C Zeke Jones/ / Digital Trends

Chris Hewitt writes: Why do these high-end TVs spend that much on built in speakers? Who uses those?

I realize the second part of your question may have been rhetorical, but I’ll answer anyway by saying that lots of people never add a soundbar or other audio system to their TV. More folks use the TV’s built-in speakers than have supplemental audio systems, if the data that these TV brands give me is accurate. Furthermore, I think folks who do have audio systems don’t want to use them all the time. So built-in speakers are still important.

But also, you’ve got reviewers out here — like me — who deem the built-in speakers to be important on an ultra-premium TV, because we think nobody should spend that much money on a TV that looks spectacular but sounds like garbage. So, perhaps for fear of getting raked over the coals by yours truly and anyone who spends big bucks on their TVs, the manufacturers keep pushing for good audio systems on their most expensive products.


Is it worth upgrading LG C2 to G4 OLED?

LG G4 OLED
Zeke Jones / Digital Trends

Gertost writes: Is it worth selling my 65-inch C2 and buying an LG G4 77 or 83-inch on Black Friday? Or keep the C2 a few years more, until the technology is better. Or is the difference in picture quality from C2 to G4 that huge.

A few different questions there. I would say if it wasn’t going to be a financial burden, the upgrade from C2 to G4 OLED would be significant. The G4 is far brighter and has better processing. I do think you would notice a difference — but remember, you’re already enjoying OLED picture quality, so you already raised the bar.

The G4 will look better, but you would not get the incredible improvement you would have experienced if you were upgrading from a five-year old LED TV to an OLED.

I do not think that WRGB OLED picture quality is going to get significantly better in the next year or two. The G4 will be a TV you can hold on to for at least five years, since it has that five-year warranty — which is another reason I think it is a smart investment.


Why aren’t more TV review videos on YouTube in HDR?

sony-fx3
Sony

Ibrahim Writes: I’ve always wondered what the reason is that there are so few YouTubers that upload content in HDR. Especially display reviewers who are trying to show off the quality of TVs and monitors. Most of the latest phones and laptops support HDR playback, not to mention the few of us that watch on our TVs. It makes such a huge difference for me when I watch an HDR video on YouTube compared to an SDR video as you can actually see the brightness and quality of the display that you are trying to learn about. Vincent Teoh at HDTVTest has uploaded in HDR, but not very often, and I like watching Tha_VillaMan in part because he also uploads in HDR.

So why is HDR on YouTube not more popular since so many TVs and other displays support it? The short answer is that creating an HDR video involves far more work than you might think , as well as some expensive gear (especially if you’re doing to do HDR well).

A lot of work already goes into making a standard video beautiful. Editing involves a lot of cutting and transitions, and sometimes graphics work — and that’s already time-consuming. But to make a video really beautiful requires careful and skillfully executed color grading as well. You can use stock color settings, and it will look … fine. But if you want a really gorgeous video, color grading is a must.

Things get more complicated, involved, time-consuming, and expensive when you involve HDR grading and mastering — if for no other reason because time is money. And especially when the video content involves a television.

That’s because one of the challenges we constantly face when we shoot videos here is getting a good exposure on the TV. That TV is like a constantly moving target for the person shooting the video. When the TV gets bright, the image will get blown out if you don’t step down the exposure. When the image is dark, you want to step up the exposure so the TV doesn’t look dim in our video. When we film, we use studio lights to brighten up the background and foreground a bit so we don’t have to constantly adjust exposure. (Well, not as much, anyway.) And if we used auto exposure on the camera? It would drive you nuts. Trust me, you don’t want to watch that.

When you grade and master content in HDR — at least if you do it well enough to actually make a difference — you’re going to need to do a lot of additional work. You have to make a grade that works well for both HDR and SDR, because not everyone will be able to watch the HDR version, so the SDR must look awesome. You’re also targeting a different gamma curve, and the color space is expanded, too.

Also, it’s a skill to do this correctly. Ultimately, we’d have to decide whether we’re going to put out one HDR video or three SDR videos. And we’re going to have to choose the latter.

But you’ve inspired me, Ibrahim, to put together a video about how one makes HDR videos. So I’m going to plan that for later this year. If you look at YouTube, there aren’t a ton of creators doing high-quality HDR videos. Jacob and Katie Schwartz, Phil Holland, Eugene Belsky, and Jennifer Gala come to mind. So maybe I can connect with them and we can show off what’s involved.

But we’re always looking to take things to the next level. So, perhaps HDR videos are in our future here at DT. We’ll see!

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Caleb Denison
Digital Trends Editor at Large Caleb Denison is a sought-after writer, speaker, and television correspondent with unmatched…
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