LG fixes auto-dimming issue on 2023 OLED TVs

Mike Wheatley

LG Electronics says that it has rolled out an emergency firmware upgrade to its 2023 OLED TVs, including the LG C3 and G3 models.


The fast-tracked fix is designed to correct overzealous algorithms that erroneously dim longer, darker scenes that have minimal movement. The algorithms were implemented in order to reduce the brightness of certain scenes gradually if static content is detected. The purpose is to minimise the risk of burn-in or image retention, where something such as a TV channel’s logo will remain permanently ‘etched’ to the screen even when someone changes the channel.

As HDTVTest’s Vincent Teoh first revealed, unfortunately the algorithms - known as Auto Static Brightness Limiter (ASBL), Global Sticky Reduction (GSR) and Temporal Peak Luminance Control (TPC), did not work exactly as intended and would aggressively and continuously reduce the brightness of long and static dark scenes to the point at which the content was basically unwatchable. It was a serious issue, as there are many movies with extended dark scenes that were affected, and of course, many computer games suffered too.

The Japanese brand Sony faced a similar problem back in 2018, with some of its OLED models detecting static elements such as a scoreboard during a football match and dimming the entire screen until the game became unwatchable. Once buyers became aware of the problem, there were numerous complaints and Sony quickly issued an update that improved the algorithms responsible.

The issue affecting LG’s OLED TVs has actually been around for years, and the company has never really responded to the reports. Instead, users have been able to workaround the issue by switching off the algorithms responsible for the dimming. However, the issue became more pressing with the launch of LG’s 2023 OLED TVs, as the option to switch off those algorithms was removed from the menu.

Luckily, LG has now expedited a fix, rolling out firmware update 3.10.19 for all of its 2023 models, eliminating the problem for good. Teoh has already tested the LG G3 and C3 TVs with the new firmware installed, and indeed the issue is no longer present. During tests, both TVs maintained their brightness levels in dark HDR movie scenes with minimal change, even after up to 10 minutes of playback.

The firmware upgrade is available now as an over-the-air update, though it does not apply to earlier models and it’s not clear if LG is planning a fix for those older televisions, given that the workaround of switching the algorithms off still applies.

LG hasn’t yet launched its 2023 OLED TVs, so it seems safe to assume the firmware will be applied automatically once users setup their new screen for the first time.