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LG rolling out fix for Dolby Vision "raised blacks" on 2016 OLED TVs

10 Jul 2018 | Rasmus Larsen |

LG informs us that the latest firmware update for the 2016 OLED line-up should fix the long-standing issue with “raised blacks” during Dolby Vision playback via HDMI. The fix is rolling out now in the US and Europe. LG added that a fix for the 2018 OLED models is scheduled for late July.

Fix for 2016 LG OLED TVs

If you own an LG 2016 OLED TV (B6, C6, E6 or G6) you may have encountered a bug that has caused the black bars and sometimes darkest tones in the actual picture to be “raised” into grey. It occurs with external HDMI sources such as UHD Blu-ray players and Apple TV 4K.

The bug has been there since launch in spring 2016 but was not discovered until much later when Dolby Vision-capable UHD Blu-ray players and Apple TV 4K came out and were connected to LG 2016 OLED TVs in living rooms across the globe.

LG and Dolby vowed to fix the issue but it has taken months. We have been pressing LG to provide concrete information on the roll-out schedule for the fix and we have now received the confirmation that we sought.

LG informs us that owners of LG 2016 OLED TVs should be looking for firmware 05.30.20, 05.30.25 or 05.30.30, depending on your model. More information is available in the table below.

LG 2016 OLED

Owners are reporting that the firmware does indeed seem to fix the issue with Dolby Vision “raised blacks” on 2016 LG OLED TVs, unlike the firmware that was released for the 2017 LG OLED models that merely lessened the problem. FlatpanelsHD has checked on an LG E6 and we are seeing promising results with our testing material. It appears to work as advertised but we cannot definitely conclude that all combinations of TV, players, and movies look correct as we have yet to examine everything.

It has been a nasty bug that has forced some users to question the Dolby Vision promise. At first, Dolby claimed that in order to fix the issue, it required a fix at the TV end. However, as time went by it became clear that playback devices may also require an update. Neither Dolby nor LG have offered a clear explanation of why this is happening but it occurs to us that part of the solution has been to actually move devices to the new Dolby Vision profile that transfers much of the processing to the playback device – rather than the TV. Of course, we cannot be sure about the exact cause since the companies are not talking.

The same firmware restores the HDR Game mode to its original brighter setting after LG made it dimmer through a previous update.

The firmware is currently rolling out gradually across the US and Europe. It may not be available as an over-the-air update on your particular TV yet, in which case you can either wait for it to show up or download it manually (see below).

LG 2016 OLED – Dolby Vision raised black fix

LG B6 OLED: Firmware 05.30.25 – link
LG C6 OLED: Firmware 05.30.30 – link
LG E6 OLED: Firmware 05.30.30 – link
LG G6 OLED: Firmware 05.30.20 – ”will be available shortly”
The firmwares are not yet available on LG USA’s official support site but can be downloaded through the direct links below. FlatpanelsHD has not tried this procedure – proceed at your own risk.

LG B6 OLED: Firmware 05.30.25 – link
LG C6 OLED: Firmware 05.30.30 – link
LG E6 OLED: Firmware 05.30.30 – link
LG G6 OLED: Firmware 05.30.20 – link

Fix for 2018 LG OLED coming this month

As reported in February 2018, LG released a fix that was meant to rectify the issue on the 2017 OLED models. However, users quickly found that it did in fact not fix it entirely, but merely lessened the problem.

The Dolby Vision raised blacks bug also shows up on the LG 2018 OLED TVs as detailed in FlatpanelsHD’s review of LG C8. LG has not provided us with an update regarding the 2017 models but has commented on the situation for the 2018 OLED models.

LG first informed us that a fix the Dolby Vision raised blacks bug on the 2018 OLED models will be released sometime in the third quarter of 2018. The company has since provided an update to say that it may actually start to roll out later this month – or in “late July 2018” as LG put it – if everything goes according to plan. Fingers crossed. We have yet to receive more specific details.

It is possible that the 2017 OLED models will receive the fix at the same time or that the “fix” released in February 2017 is actually already functional in the sense that playback devices must be updated, too. We are chasing more information about this particular situation.

Nevertheless, it appears that LG and Dolby have finally figured out what is wrong and are working to retroactively apply fixes. Hopefully we can soon put this entire mess behind us and enjoy our favorite movies and TV series in sparkling Dolby Vision quality.

Update 12.7.2018: LG has sent us the following statement and added a few extra details that confirm what we suspected; that partners must also update to the latest Dolby Vision profile in their players, meaning Apple TV 4K, various UHD Blu-ray players etc. LG said that its own UHD Blu-ray players as well as Oppo's players should already have the latest Dolby Vision profile included.

- "LG is working with its partners to provide support in completing the remaining inconveniences occurring when playing Dolby Vision over HDMI in specific devices," the company said. "We cannot confirm a specific date when fixes required for specific devices will be completed, so cross-checking with our partners the timeline will be more accurate."

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