Samsung QN65Q90R LCD Ultra HDTV Review Settings


Unit-to-unit sample variations, the viewing environment, and the source might render these recommendations less than optimum. They are only provided as a potentially useful starting place.

The settings here that are most likely to translate reliably from one sample to another are those involving specific features with only a few selections, such as Gamma and Noise Reduction. The ones most likely to be subject to sample variations are video controls offering a wide range of adjustment, such as white balance (grayscale) and color management (most but not all manufacturers offer this feature under different names; Samsung calls it Color Space). Even relatively small differences in the common control settings, such as Contrast, Brightness (which is actually Black level), and Gamma, can shift the white balance, though the resulting visible change may be minor. Production tolerances can do the same.

We strongly recommend that you find the optimum basic video settings for your sample by using one of the many available 2K/SDR setup discs, such as the Disney WOW or the Spears and Munsil High Definition Benchmark (or the new Spears and Munsil UHD Benchmark). These will help you set the basic controls correctly, such as Brightness (Black level), Contrast (called "Picture" in earlier Sony sets), Sharpness, and Color and Tint. Experimenting with the more complex color calibration and other controls in the user menus will do no harm; the changes may be easily reset. Adjusting these by eye is unlikely to produce an accurate result and is no substitute for a full calibration. The latter is best left to a trained and properly equipped technician such as those certified by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) or THX. But small tweaks to some of the controls, in particular here Brightness and Gamma Adjust could sometimes result in a worthwhile improvement (a single step of the Brightness control on the Q90R, for example, might turn a slightly light look into a well-saturated image).

Picture ModeMovieMovie
Backlight26 (36)50
Brightness+4 (1)0
Contrast3539 (42)
Color25 (27)25 (24)
Digital Clean ViewOffOff
Auto Motion PlusOffOff
Local DimmingStandardHigh
Contrast EnhancerOffOff
Film Mode(N/A)(N/A)
Color ToneWarm2Warm2
GammaBT.1886BT 2084
Gamma Adjust0 (-1)0 (+1)
RGB Only ModeOffOff

White Balance

20-Point N/AN/A
Color Space CustomAuto
R 62 44 10
G 47 50 50
B 50 50 50
C 50 50 50
M 50 50 50
Y 50 50 50
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jnemesh's picture

While MANUALLY enabling Game mode is a tedious process, the set DOES have the ability to automatically recognize when it's needed and turn it on AUTOMATICALLY.

While the reviewer here didn't use game mode, it's one of the most compelling features of the set for those that DO use their TV for gaming! It has some of the lowest input latency of any of the sets currently on the market (as low as 6.1 ms, depending on resolution and refresh rate!). It also supports both the VESA standard "VRR" (Variable Refresh Rate) as well as AMD's "Freesync" (also now available on Nvidia graphics cards) and supports up to 120hz with 4k resolution. In addition, the set has the ability to interpolate low framerate games to higher framerates. (Some 4k games on Xbox OneX and PS4 Pro are only 30fps, this allows them to be played at 60 or even 120 fps, with only a modest increase in input latency).

Bottom line...if you are buying a large screen TV and plan to use it for gaming as well as TVs and movies, you can't find a better set for this purpose being sold today!

utopianemo's picture

Tom, great review. I'm frankly surprised how close LED-lit LCDs are getting to OLED performance. A quick suggestion: In the fourth paragraph, you mention Samsung's claim regarding this TV and color volume, but you didn't mention there whether it was P3 or BT2020. I eventually found it way back on the specs page, but it might help to call that out up front in future, similarly structured articles.

PunchyRedcrown's picture

"I'm frankly surprised how close LED-lit LCDs are getting to OLED performance."- watch them side by side and tell me if you feel the same way. The motion and processing on the OLED is much more advanced as well. I'll agree with your comment if and when micro LED's hit the mainstream- just can't compare zone dimming to pixel by pixel. It's also unconscionable that Samsung would omit eARC on it's flagship tv. Huh? What?

utopianemo's picture

But I don't care if you agree with my comment.

drny's picture

I guess S&V wants to have the last word on TV reviews, Mid October review for 2019 model year released in April. That is cutting it close Tom.
Nonetheless the review is just in time for holiday sale prices.
Tom's evaluation of the Q90R is spot on. I'm not an OLED guy, as I used my TV displays in bright rooms. As such, I preffer a TV that does well overall in both dark and bright environment. OLED's do very poorly in a bright room. A TCL or Hisense TV looks better than an OLED in a bright room.
However, LG's OLEDs are future proof with HDMI 2.1. A 2019 Samsung TV, along with all other manufacturers, will be yesterdays news when almost all premium TV's come out with full HDMI 2.1 features within 18 months (TV model year 2021 release).
My advice, let's all wait until 2021. Now if the 82"Q90R goes on sale for $3,000 this holiday season, I will surely bite.