Dieselgate for TVs: Samsung accused of programming TVs to cheat energy efficiency ratings

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EcoMode is almost universally the worst looking of all the picture modes on a TV.


Wasn’t there another article up here a few days ago saying the real villain was the code? Basically, if the system that controls the power is protected as a trade secret, then why would we expect that it doesn’t cheat? TVs have enough processing power these days to run power-cheating software, practically everything does. If VW turns out to be normal rather than scandalous, I’m not going to be caught making any shocked faces.


I’m a little disappointed you haven’t brought this back around to closed-source electronic voting machines yet, Cory.

No, seriously. Let’s consider that maybe Diebold has just as much vested interest in their machines cheating as VW and Samsung have in cheating other regulations.


Are you sure? There’s some stiff competition all over that over-sharpened, over-contrasted, over-saturated, blue-white landscape. “Motion flow” will always be the worst for me.

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The “bête Noire” of video snobs used to be dynamic contrast, which never worked out that well, though perhaps it looks good on paper. EcoMode leverages that ill-concieved algorithm to save energy. Worst of both worlds, I suppose.

You mean you don’t want everything you watch to look like an episode of Days of our Lives?

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“Motion flow” has a special place in hell right next to portrait video for me. And you can add in forced rental of DVR’s from cable companies a close 2nd.

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I’d just be happy if mine didn’t zap me from the HDMI port and blow out my GPU.

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Check if the TV and the computer are connected to the same power circuit. There may be a difference between ground potentials between the TV and the computer. Shouldn’t happen, but there are many things that shouldn’t be happening but keep so.

I’ve been A-Bing so very much, the EE well is above my paygrade. They are attached to the same ground/circuit. I’ve tried running it through a fancy-dancy tripp-lite system, I’ve tried swapping the HDMI cable, port, using different cards, replacing PSU (one fried), GPU (one fried), swapping PCs entirely. I’m going to wait for my pad to get some electrical grid upgrades and start from… ground up :confused:

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You need a good UPS.

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They were caught out speeding up their phones when running benchtests too.
You don’t run the CPU in a phone at full speed all the time. The phone gets hot and the battery goes flat. But their phones would see a benchtests app was running and crank it up.

When does the frying happen? Immediately after attaching the connector? Randomly during operation?

Is it the cover/shielding of the HDMI port that gives the shocks? If so, are any other connectors doing that? The TV’s own chassis, the metal parts visible through the connector holes? Check the voltage between the port and the safety ground pin in the wall socket, what does it show? What happens if you try to connect the chassis to the safety ground pin? Did you check the socket or the cable if the safety ground line is not interrupted? There are often capacitive couplings from the mains power to the chassis, providing significant voltage but minuscule current. A neon bulb tester can be helpful there - very high impedance, and sometimes even a low voltage can light it up sufficiently. I had a similar equipment-is-giving-a-mild-kick symptom in one of the offices due to a ground wire being broken in the socket circuit.

Did you try to connect the chassis of the TV (e.g. from the screw on the VGA connector) and of the computer before attaching the HDMI cable?

You can also connect both the computer and the TV to the same extension cord. Without plugging the cord to the wall, check if the chassis of either is connected to the ground pin. A cheap continuity tester will do; many multimeters have it. Avoid the cheapest ones that don’t have a beeper in the tester, it is pretty handy. (Todo: design one with a phone vibration motor for our factory floor where the beeper can’t be heard through the din of the machines.)

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I think I’d sooner take a light on the front of the case. And it should flash when there’s zero resistance.

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my reciever seems to be amplifying a bad hum through my rather expensive speakers. now I’ve got to figure outwhether only the amp is dead, or whether it’s roasted the speaker drivers in the process. Oh joy.

That leads me to an idea. A pen, with a battery inside and a simple circuit, and a wire attached. A continuity tester for noisy places. With the vibration motor in the handle, or alternatively with a LED lighting up. Or both.

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Split the circuit to parts. Inject known signal to the speakers, test they are okay. Inject signal to the speaker drivers (assuming this means the electronics that takes the amp’s output and amplifies it further for the drivers), test if it works. Inject known signal to the amp input.

Go from the end and trace things back.

A USB sound card can be a good source of line-level test audio. A 555 oscillator can do the same job.

Get one of these guys, and pretty much anything can be your test source:

Wow, did the BBS make the img big enough?

Better add capacitors or at least some resistors. Limit the currents, get rid of the DC bias potentials that can lurk within the signal paths, and protect the signal source.

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