Samsung TVs accused of cheating in benchmarks

Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones has previously been accused of cheating benchmarks, limiting the performance of games and other apps in the name of “optimization.” It is not uncommon for manufacturers to go to great lengths to highlight the performance benefits of their products, such as “skillfully” selecting appropriate test items or picking favorable test criteria to exclude underperforming ones. Almost all manufacturers do this, although some of Samsung’s recent TV benchmarking has been questioned.

According to FlatPanelsHD, both Samsung’s S95B and QN95B TVs appear to contain cheats designed to recognize whether or not a benchmark is being run. Typically, reviewers, calibrators, and certification bodies typically use a 10% window for HDR testing, which simply means that it takes up 10% of the screen. Samsung has programmed this with this in mind and will cause the TV to behave differently during benchmarks, temporarily boosting performance, but actually in normal use is unsustainable.

FlatPanelsHD found that the test mode window made a difference when running at 9% and 10% area, with completely different brightness and color readiness. Samsung officials denied the allegations in a reply to FlatPanelsHD, saying they would be addressed in a future update:

Samsung remains committed to relentless innovation to provide the best picture quality to our consumers.To provide a more dynamic viewing experience for the consumers, Samsung will provide a software update that ensures consistent brightness of HDR contents across a wider range of window size beyond the industry standard. The update for S95B has been conducted, and the update for QN95B will be provided soon.