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Best SDR and HDR game settings for the Samsung QLED range

Samsung QLED HDR Settings  Gaming.jpg

There is no doubt that when you buy a TV these days the visuals settings are all over the show when you take it out of the box. It is like manufacturers don't even worry about the pre-sets when you buy a TV. The Samsung QLED, as awesome as it is, is no different and the box standard settings for SDR and HDR gaming will need to be tweaked a bit for you to get the best picture in a game. I spent a few hours researching the best methods and testing my own on my QLED to come up with a guide to help you if you are trying to get the best of the best on your TV. 

Game Mode.jpg

Before you start

Before you get into the settings and tweak all those dials, there are a few things you should do before that. 

  • Turn off Eco Solution - While I am all for saving power the QLED uses a lot less of it, so we are going to turn off any Eco settings you find. This will prevent it from dimming in low light and lighting up in light rooms. Settings > General > Eco Solution > Make sure it is all off
  • Turn on Game Mode -  To produce the lowest latency for gaming, you will need to turn on the Game Mode. Settings > General > External Device Manager > Turn on Game Mode
  • Enable HDMI UHD Color - UHD Colour controls which HDMI port received HDR signal or not. You want this on. Settings > General > External Device Manager > HDMI UHD Color > Turn all HDMI ports on

UHD Colour.jpg

It is important to note that now that you enabled Game Mode you will not be able to select a picture mode. Don't worry because we will tweak the Game Mode's picture anyway. Now that is done we can now fine tune the display for both SDR and HDR gaming. 

SDR (Standard Dynamic Range)

If you are not playing anything with HDR support then your TV will be in SDR mode. This accounts for Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and even SteamLink games being streamed to your TV. It will also work great if you plug the HDMI cable from your gaming PC into the TV. The QLED strives itself on its vibrant images and rich black so we need the best settings to show this off. All the tweaks to the settings can be found in Settings > Picture > Expert Settings. These are the settings that I went with for SDR gaming.

SDR 1.jpg

  • Backlight - 20 (Max)
  • Brightness - 0
  • Contrast - 100
  • Sharpness - 0 
  • Tint - G50/R50
  • Local Dimming - High
  • Contrast Enhancer - Off
  • Colour Tone: Standard
  • Gamma - BT.1886 (Default)
  • BT.1886 - +1
  • Colour Space Settings: Auto

You can change the Color Tone to Warm 1 if you are watching a movie or prefer a warmer colour on the TV, but I felt that the difference between Standard and Warm 1 was a little too drastic and the whites looked a little too brown. This is completely a personal preference but I do not recommend going higher than Warm 1. 

Keep in mind that while in SDR the TV's Gamma will be default at BT.1886 and it will change to ST.2084. 

HDR (High Dynamic Range) 

When you start up a High Dynamic Range supported game, the TV will automatically switch to the signal thanks to us enabling the HDMI UHD Color setting. There are a few tweaks to adjust when using HDR but these will stay that way whenever you boot into HDR mode again so no need to always go back and change anything. Our goal for the HDR is to bring the blacks as low as possible and the colours and brights and as high as we can. With these settings, you will be able to really get the most out of the TV. Here are my recommended settings:

HDR 1.jpg

  • Backlight: 20 (Max)
  • Brightness: 0
  • Contrast - 100
  • Sharpness - 0
  • Colour - 50
  • Tint - G50/R50
  • Local Dimming - High
  • Contrast Enhancer - Low
  • Colour Tone: Standard
  • Gamma: St.2084
  • ST.2084 - 0
  • Colour Space Settings - Auto

With these settings, you should be all good to game. They work pretty well across the board so apply them to all your gaming sources for the best experience. Let me know if you have any questions regarding these tweaks in the comments below. 

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