What is UHD Dimming and Why Does it Matter?

You might have seen the term UHD dimming mentioned on TV specifications and features, but what is UHD dimming? And does it matter? Today I’ll be taking a closer look at this display feature to see what it’s all about.

As we know, display manufacturers come up with all kinds of features to market their products. Some of these TV features are kind of pointless while others are worth considering when buying a TV. While there are many TV specifications and features that are mostly designed for marketing with no real-world applications, UHD dimming is worth talking about.

There are also other types of dimming such as:

  • Local Dimming
  • Frame Dimming
  • Edge-Lit Dimming
  • Full-Array Dimming
  • Micro Dimming
  • Global Dimming
  • And several others.

I won’t be covering all of them in this article, but I will mention the most important ones.

What is UHD Dimming?

UHD Dimming is a software-based technology on OLED Samsung TVs that automatically adjusts the contrast of images over screen zones to create a clearer picture on UHD displays. Each pixel can have its colour or brightness adjusted, and these pixels are bunched into zones.

UHD Dimming usually eliminates the halo effect by automatically increasing the brightness or contrast on the edges of the screen. In simple terms, UHD dimming adjusts the brightness or contrast on certain areas of the screen based on a software algorithm. The end result is usually a very clear picture with darker blacks and brighter colours.

What you need to know is UHD dimming is essentially the same as regular dimming the main difference is UHD dimming is for UHD (Ultra-High Definition) displays, while regular dimming is for regular displays TVs. The term was also patented by Samsung and there are a few variations too, such as Supreme UHD dimming and Ultimate 8K.

Is UHD Dimming the Same as Local Dimming?

UHD dimming is similar to local dimming but it’s a Samsung-specific version and it’s only on UHD displays. You can think of it as an improved version of local dimming for UHD TVs. Another term for local dimming is Full Array Local Dimming or FALD for short.

Types of Dimming:

There are a couple of different types of dimming that you should know about.

1 – Full-Array Dimming

Full-array dimming is the best version of dimming because it dims areas based on hundreds of zones and can create really deep colours. Most UHD displays use full-array dimming and it’s the recommended type of dimming for crystal-clear images. But there’s another one you should know about too.

2 – Micro Dimming

Micro dimming is similar to full-array except it’s a faster, low-cost version, that doesn’t cover as many zones on the display. Not only does it cover fewer zones but it only changes the contrast on the zones, not the brightness. The result is not bad but full-array is definitely much better. If you have the option to choose between these types of dimming I will always recommend Full-array as it offers the best quality.

Is UHD Dimming the Same as Global Dimming?

No. UHD Dimming is built-in to the display and cannot be disabled. Global dimming adjusts the backlight level during dark scenes but you can disable it and it’s not zone-specific, rather a global backlight adjustment. Global dimming is common on LCD TVs while UHD dimming is only found on Samsung OLED UHD displays.

UHD Dimming vs Frame Dimming

Frame dimming is another type of dimming technology that you’ll hear about from time to time. TVs with frame dimming will adjust brightness for every frame, instead of adjusting based on zones or areas of the screen. UHD dimming changes brightness based on screen zones, for example, only the black areas will be darker, and so on.

Any Problems with UHD Dimming?

In most cases, UHD dimming improves the visuals on a TV by adding more depth. However, in some situations, certain zones can be too bright, which creates a bloom effect on pixels that can bleed over into other areas of the screen. It looks like bright areas are a bit too bright, and that can be a little bothersome. Most of the time, the bloom effect from UHD dimming is barely noticeable, only during certain scenes.

Which One is Right for You?

That depends on how picky you are when it comes to displays. If you want to get a TV that has the most bang for your buck, I would go with an OLED TV that has a version of full-array dimming because it will deliver the best visuals.

Full array dimming can make a big difference because it adds a 3D level to displays that are not easily achieved without it. Ultimately it comes down to your preferences and your budget, most TVs that have full array dimming are a bit pricey, but many people firmly believe the enhanced visuals are worth it.

About Tim Gagnon

Timothy Gagnon is a tech blogger and writer. When he's not dissembling computers, he's researching the latest tech gadgets and trends.

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