As already suspected, the latest firmware update for LG’s 4K OLED televisions (CX, GX …) reduces the maximum brightness in HDR game mode. But the new software also has advantages.
We had already made the recommendation in a post that you should deactivate the automatic update function of your LG OLED TV from the 2020 model year. The reason was that some users, who probably reported in the first wave of distribution of the latest firmware version 03.21.09, that the brightness in game mode (HDR) is visibly reduced. Vincent Teoh from HDTVTest took a look at the firmware and added measurements to the observations made by the users. In HDR game mode, the brightness is reduced by around 100 nits, which means that the top lights are displayed darker. In addition, the entire PQ curve has been corrected slightly downwards. Means that the overall impression of the picture looks a little darker.
Reduced brightness in HDR game mode
We can only speculate about why LG chose this change in the firmware update version 03.21.09. It could have something to do with concern about temporary or permanent image defects (burn-in). LG Electronics has already commented on the fact in a statement to Vincent and promised to provide “correct brightness values” with another update without affecting subsequent improvements.
Improved Dolby Vision HDR playback
Because version 03.11.09 also involves optimization. The display of Dolby Vision HDR, especially via the Netflix app, is said to have been significantly improved, according to Vincent. While with the old firmware you could see clear posterization or incorrect contours in dark areas of the image, with the new firmware the details now “shine”! We can only hope that increasing the brightness value will lead to undesirable effects again.
Personally, I will not install firmware 03.21.09 for the time being, as I will not really be able to watch series / films in the next few days. With LG’s promise that the brightness reduction will be reversed, you can certainly reactivate the automatic update function of the BX, CX, GX or WX.