Game of Thrones cinematographer says it's your fault The Long Night was too dark

Adhmuz

TechSpot Paladin
“A lot of the problem is that a lot of people don’t know how to tune their TVs properly,” Wagner told Wired.

Simple dickhead answer, I wonder if he realizes the vast majority of people simply plug their TVs in and use them as is because they don't expect to have to adjust them, because hey, guess what, everything else looks perfectly fine on them to these people. Ironically these are also the type of people who much rather complain than try to solve the problem themselves, so I guess it's a dickhead answer for the dickhead populous...

For those interested, you can always look up your TV on RTINGS, they tweak the settings on most panels for an optimal viewing experience.
 
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wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
It would be one thing if I paid for all this tech and it worked, but the fact that I paid for all of it and I fight with it to work all the time is just unacceptable
That is why when I want to see something in a quality rendering, I'll go to disk for it. The public library has an excellent collection of material even if I do have to wait a while for it to come to disk.
 

QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
I was so bored with the episode I basically stopped watching until things actually started happening.

Dark or not: the last thing I wanted to watch was a dumb zombie flick.
 

seeprime

TS Guru
Had no problems on my new 70' LG - looked damn good!
A lot of newer shows are designed to be viewed in 4k HDR, on OLED screens. I have a 65" LG non-OLED 4k HDR model, and scenes where black should be pitch black comes out as charcoal gray. But, dark scenes, like in Netflix's Sabrina, are still viewable, just not awesomely so.
 

axiomatic13

TS Maniac
The biggest difference was HBO Now vs HBO on cable tv compression. I was watching at a friends house on cable TV and at one point I started casting the show from my phone to their chromecast since I am an HBO now subscriber and we were all instantly satisfied. Cable is trash.
 
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lumbeeman

TS Enthusiast
The biggest difference was HBO Now vs HBO on cable tv compression. I was watching at a friends house on cable TV and at one point I started casting the show from my phone to their chromecast since I am an HBO now subscriber and we were all instantly satisfied. Cable is trash.
I agree, I worked for a major cable company for about 15 years and most people do not realize is that cable does not broadcast in 1080p
 
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Nocturne

TS Maniac
Watched it twice, first time was on a Samsung 2019 Frame HDTV 4k Q-LED put it on Dynamic and it was just fine the sensors auto calibrated the set with the Ros lighting, so viewed it just fine, second was on an ultrawide Alienware 34 inch 1440p 120htz IPS monitor and although a bit dim it was just fine.
 

brucek

TS Guru
The biggest difference was HBO Now vs HBO on cable tv compression. I was watching at a friends house on cable TV and at one point I started casting the show from my phone to their chromecast since I am an HBO now subscriber and we were all instantly satisfied. Cable is trash.
I agree, I worked for a major cable company for about 15 years and most people do not realize is that cable does not broadcast in 1080p
Such a silly decision. While many people might not be able to explain technically what is wrong, they've still made the connection that HBO Go works and their cable broadcast doesn't. So instead of streaming it in high quality once, in linear on the HBO channel, the cable co ends up spending 1000x the bandwidth to deliver it individually to each customer who figures it out. Not smart Bob.
 
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brucek

TS Guru
I'm with the cinematographer on this one. Everyone knew this was Event TV from the get go and they were right to not feel they had to lower themselves to the lowest common denominator. I've seen it on two sets and one computer monitor and it was fine on all 3.
 
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gigantor21

TS Guru
TechSpot Elite
I didn't have a problem seeing anything on my monitor, and I felt like a lunatic after seeing all these complaints online.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
This was added to the original story shortly after publishing...

Second take (Julio):

Reading Cal's original story I felt compelled to agree with HBO's cinematographer. Maybe it's not something that everyone experiences, but delivery matters, and in some cases the screens/devices you watch and most importantly the source you watch from can make or break the experience. I get HBO through my DirecTV subscription (that I hope to cancel soon) and maybe it was the kind of compression they used but in dark scenes I even observed severe pixelation.(*) Coming from a supposedly HD source (upscaled 720p most likely), this was terribly bad for certain scenes. Long story short, I plan to rewatch this impressive 82 minute episode once I get a hold of a 1080p or better recording.
I have all previous 7 seasons of GoT still in the packing, just waiting to be binge watched after the series completes.

Alas, they're mostly on DVD, since HBO decided the price gouge by not offering combination DVD and Blu-ray sets together after the 1st season.

Any of that notwithstanding, I've always found that any TV I buy, generally needs to have the brightness turned down a bit (**), and possibly the color saturation turned up a bit. But then again, I don't sit next to a picture window at high noon with the curtains drawn wide open, and try to watch night scenes either.

In fact, as much as I find the idea contrary to my upbringing and good judgment, I think I'll have the Home Depot mix me up a gallon of flat black latex, and have at the wall behind my home theater gear with it.

Although this is a bit premature, if I can watch all the previous episodes of GoT without touching the picture controls on my set, but can't see this battle scene, I think I'd have to say it was recorded or transcoded incorrectly, and HBO and their cinematographer are blowing smoke a la Apple. Maybe something like, "you're holding your TV wrong".

You're eyes compensate for light levels and color temperature, whereas camera equipment doesn't.

(*) The pixelation issue might when the monitor is unable to discriminate, (decompress correctly) between shades which are too close together in the source.

I have nights where I would swear the AGC on my TV is screwed up, but then I realize I'm tuned to CBS KYW 3, and when I change the channel, it seems OK.

(**) This is why I generally won't buy a computer monitor less that 350 nits brightness. The 250 nit "energy saving" trash, has to be pegged at 100% brightness from day one.
 
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LNCPapa

TS Special Forces
No one at my place had problems with the darker scenes (other than some slight macroblocking) on a Sony X940e.
 

EEatGDL

TS Evangelist
The real culprit here is that HBO doesn't know how to stream, be it live or archived. Since last season I've been complaining about the streaming quality, I binge watched the first seven seasons two weeks before premiering the latest one, and rewatched the last episode yesterday night in a monitor I know is calibrated.
Streaming compression, even in "HD" quality looks horrendous: a lot of color banding in huge chunks of each frame, terrible patterns I saw twice during the episode when looking at the dark horizon. HD streamed looks worse than a pirate VCD, DVD quality would still look decent in full HD displays. And at least in Mexico, even on TV (cable) they managed to make it look worse than streaming --there were a lot of complains towards different cable companies and even people who posted to social media how it looked in a fully illuminated scene of the episode.

If I don't finish GoT pissed off because of what appears to be terrible writing, I will have to buy all the seasons in Blu-ray and watch it in a few years with friends, with the quality I've always wanted.
 
I had zero issues with my LG OLED using the technicolor expert stock setting.

Although a friend of mine did say it was too dark for him but is far from totally tech savvy which echos exactly what the cinematographer is saying XD

I think he has a fair point.
He is striving to create the best looking show he can and shouldn't be hampered by noobs who don't know how to adjust their picture to a more realistic image.

Good job. Looks phenomenal on an OLED. The dark scenes reinforce my decision to buy OLED over QLED.
 

ferrellsl

TS Booster
Reminds me of the iPhone antenna debacle where Apple, instead of admitting fault, blamed poor cell reception on the users by saying they were holding their phones wrong.
 

Leuten

TS Rookie
This episode was cinema grade quality. So if you think you can get 100% out of it on your old or small TV , which maybe isn't not calibrated correctly, then you know nothing.

We had no issues seeing any of the details. This may be the first time my wife agreed that my tech-spending was not a complete waste of time. ;)
 

Mr Majestyk

TS Maniac
HBO is right though. If you couldn't see the show correctly your TV isn't calibrated correctly. I could see the Episode perfectly.

If you are having problems seeing blacks you need to increase the brightness of your TV. As the ambient light in your room increases, so too should your TV's brightness. A livingroom TV for example should have a high set brightness. That or you could draw the blinds when watching. If the room is only dimly lit and you are still having trouble viewing the content, you need to increase the brightness.
BS, in Australia most of the complaints were traced to Foxtels woeful app, that was causing huge micr-blocking artifacts on professionally tuned TV's. Others that had access to Hulu streams did not have any issues with IQ.
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
BS, in Australia most of the complaints were traced to Foxtels woeful app, that was causing huge micr-blocking artifacts on professionally tuned TV's. Others that had access to Hulu streams did not have any issues with IQ.
You are conflating two different issues. One stems from Foxtel's overuse of compression. People being unable to view dark scenes outside of Aussie even with a quality stream is a completely different issue.
 
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dj2017

TS Maniac
Probably they are right. We should have already gone out and buy an 100'' OLED TV, set brightness at 200% and also put gamma at the highest possible value. That way we can enjoy the new "The long day" episode.
 
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Dosahka

TS Addict
I have an AW3418DW with two presets: One for gaming one for professional work (video editing), thus trying both settings and maximum brightness (it was really uncomfortable for my eyes over 80-90% brightness from 3 meters in a completely dark room) this episode was awfully dark, not to mention for a tons of motion blur and after maxing out the brightness (2nd time watching with some inspection) awful CGI comes up when JS/Khaleesi riding the dragon, not to mention the scene where they see the dead army first, literally I was able to distinguish CGI and the original footage...
I've seen most of the the asylum movies (robocroc vs roboshark...etc) at least they didn't used a shite ton of motion blur to f... up 60% of the movie.
This episode wasn't the brightest (literally, with sarcasm and pun intended) of all that's for sure.
 

dob_1

TS Booster
A 100" Projector Image in a completely dark room showed blurry fog and shadows and little contrast using foxtel streaming through Chrome in Australia. It may be true that a brand new, top of the line 75" OLED TV would show up the contrast but the producers need to make a program that most setups of the last 5 years or so can watch! Pathetic copout comments!
 
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