As an Amazon Associate we may earn from qualifying purchases made via links on our website.

As an Amazon Associate we may earn from qualifying purchases made via links on our website.

HomeExplainersWhat is TV color volume?

What is TV color volume?

That’s important not to confuse color gamut (color space) and color volume. In simple words, while color gamut is the range of colors your TV can reproduce, color volume is the number of colors that can be displayed with different luminosity levels.

Before we deep-dive, consider this: Why does an apple appear red? It’s because it reflects red wavelengths of light while absorbing others. Now, translate this to a TV screen. Your TV must emit light in just the right wavelengths for accurate color representation.

You may have noticed that when the screen’s brightness is low, the number of colors appears low, but the number of colors becomes wider as the brightness increases. But if you set the brightness to maximum, the colors will fade.

That’s because color volume depends on other factors: first of all, that’s color range. But brightness and contrast also play their role.

So the color volume is the derivative of other display parameters. And therefore, the brighter display and the wider its color gamut, the deeper the color volume would be.

Dimensions Involved: It incorporates the range of colors (width x height) and depth (brightness).

It represents how a TV or display will reproduce colors at varying brightness levels. This is particularly crucial for HDR content which demands precise color accuracy across diverse brightness levels.

Color volume, color gamut, and color depth

Color gamut (or color space) is the range of colors the TV can reproduce. Sometimes it’s defined as the number of colors, but that’s a little bit incorrect, as the color is the spectrum.

The color gamut can be represented as red, green, and blue space. The combinations of these primary colors create the other colors, their shades, tints, and tones.

Let’s take a look at this CIE 1931 color space. It represents colors at their max saturation. Depending on its quality, we can define different spaces that our display can reproduce: Rec.709, sRGB, DCI-P3, and Rec. 2020.

But now, let’s take a look at how different luminosity levels will impact this range. Color ranges for different luminosity levels are placed from the one with the lowest luminosity (on the left) to the highest luminosity (on the right).

Let’s take a look at how luminosity affects color volume. We can see that the color range degrades when luminosity is low (the RGB color space becomes much poorer, in terminal brightness level, it degrades to almost 3 basic colors).

Of course, the image above isn’t precise and accurate (as you can’t get such an array in luminosity difference on a real TV). Still, it gives you the basic understanding – if the TV isn’t supporting high color volume, the colors will degrade at peak and low luminosity levels. Too dim, and the colors fail to pop. Too bright, and they risk being washed out. At high brightness levels, the image becomes bleached, losing its vibrancy and detail. Conversely, at lower levels, the image becomes muddy. A poor TV screen behaves that way.

The color depth

Now, let’s speak about the color depth. Color depth isn’t about the color range; that’s nothing about it. Color depth works like when you’re trying to zoom out a picture. If the size is big enough, zooming out won’t result in quality loss. Or it starts to show individual squares or pixels? Each of those pixels has a color, right? How rich and varied those colors can be is determined by color depth.

Color depth is determined by shades for each color (red, green, and blue), the number of different variants of every color. For an 8-bit image, that’s defined as 2 raised in power to 8, so each color has 256 different shades. 24-bit and 8-bit are the same. as well as 10-bit and 30-bit (the 8-bit or 10-bit color depth is given for one channel, while when we say 24-bit or 30-bit, we’re taking into account all basis channels).

  • 8-bit offers 256 shades each of red, green, and blue. If you do the math, that’s 16.7 million colors (256 x 256 x 256).
  • 10-bit, on the other hand, catapults this to 1.07 billion colors.

Taking into account that our eye can recognize only around 10 million colors, you are less likely to see the big difference between 8-bit and 10-bit color depth.

But when it comes to the correlation between color depth and color volume, there’s no direct correlation. You can see color volume as the boundaries and the color depth as the inner filling. While higher color depth enhances color with more nuance, it isn’t pushing the boundaries to the new color spaces: color depth ads interim shades.


Contrast ratio — the difference between the darkest black and the brightest white a TV can display — adds another layer of complexity. A TV with a high contrast ratio can showcase finer details in shadows and highlights, further enhancing the color volume.

This vast luminance range is the canvas upon which colors are painted. The canvas is limited without adequate contrast, thereby compressing the color volume.

As contrast increases, the range of brightness expands, offering a playground for more colors at various luminance levels. This is particularly crucial for scenes with complex lighting — a sunlit landscape at dawn or the glint of city lights against a twilight sky.

A display with low contrast will seem flat regardless of its color capabilities. Even if it can theoretically cover a wide gamut of colors, without a robust contrast to back it, the scene’s depth and richness fall short.

Imagine an artist with two sets of paint palettes. The first palette has a vast range of colors, but they’re all of a similar, muted tone. The second palette, while having the same colors, offers each shade varying levels of light and darkness.

With its deeper contrast, the second palette allows the artist to create a scene with depth, shadows, highlights, and intricate nuances. The color volume here is fully utilized, thanks to the broader range of contrast.

Color volume and HDR

HDR and color volume a directly related. High Dynamic Range, as its name suggests, offers a wider range between the darkest darks and the brightest brights of an image. Traditional displays suffer from limited dynamic ranges, often failing to render the subtle nuances of a sunrise or the deep shadows of a moonlit night.

To reproduce all of these, HDR TVs should have a wide color volume so they can display the high dynamic range correctly.

Learn about HDR TV in detail.

As it said, color volume measures whether different colors can be reproduced in various brightness levels, so a TV with a good color volume can show you more details.

If such a TV supports HDR, and you’re watching HDR content, it will encrypt its metadata and will reproduce more accurate colors. Most HDR-supportive TVs come with wide color volume displays, as without a high-quality display, encrypting HDR metadata and trying to show the content won’t work.

Color volume and different displays: LED, OLED, QLED

While color volume isn’t directly related to the display type, it depends on it. As the color volume is the color space with different luminosity levels, it’s affected by the backlight type and emitting technology the display use.

  • LED displays

Traditional LED TVs, which in reality are LCD panels illuminated by LEDs, have long been the workhorse of the display market. In terms of color volume, LED displays can cover a decent range of colors. However, they often struggle with deep blacks and peak brightness due to their backlighting system. The entire panel is illuminated, leading to less precise control of individual areas of brightness. Consequently, their ability to represent colors across varying luminance levels is good but not stellar.

  • OLED displays

A leap from LED, OLEDs emit light organically when current passes through them. This unique property enables each pixel to emit its own light, dispensing the need for a backlight. What does this mean for color volume? Dramatic deep blacks, for starters, since individual pixels can be turned off completely. OLEDs also boast a wide color gamut. However, their peak brightness is generally lower than that of QLEDs, which can affect their performance at the upper echelons of luminance. In the spectrum of color volume, they excel in showcasing vivid colors at lower brightness levels.

  • QLED displays

QLEDs are essentially LED TVs augmented with quantum dots—nano-sized semiconductor particles that dramatically enhance brightness and color. When it comes to color volume, QLEDs shine brightly. The pixels are made with materials that have better light transmission and color flow selectivity. Such TVs can display an image with a depth of 10 bits. They achieve impressive peaks of brightness, sometimes outperforming OLEDs in this arena. Combined with a broad color gamut, this luminance means they can depict a vast array of colors at both low and high brightness levels. However, since they still utilize a backlighting system, they can’t achieve the infinite contrast and deep blacks of OLEDs.

How to evaluate and test the color volume

To test the color volume, we will need a colorimeter, spectrum light meter, and a way to show pictures with different luminosity on your TV.

As I said, color volume depends on color gamut (color space). There’s no reason to consider Rec. 709 color space, as most modern TVs cover it in full, So there’s a sense to consider DCI P-3 and Rec.2020.

We need to change the TV’s luminosity and measure the available color range on different luminosity levels. That will give us a lot of color ranges for different brightness levels, and their combination would be the color volume. We can express it as the % of color space that TV displays can reproduce on different luminosity levels.

Since 2016, the UHD Alliance has adopted the requirement that premium TVs with UHD resolution must cover at least 90% of the DCI-P3 color space. But that’s a figure for color gamut, not the color volume, so even nowadays, TVs, even if they have similar color ranges, may vary significantly in terms of color volume.

Who checks the DCI-P3 color volume in TVs

The manufacturer can write that the TV supports DCI-P3 (as well as any other color range), but this is not entirely correct. Hence, independent organizations can check whether the product complies with the standard. One such organization is the VDE Institute, which deals with product certification.

List of VDE-certified Samsung phones, monitors, and TVs

The institute tests and certifies devices for various parameters. To find out which Samsung products are certified by the institute, visit VDE. If you have selected a product, see if Samsung has certified the device (certification is voluntary) and for which parameters.

Certificate no.CompanyProductFirst types
40051053SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setQ9 Series 55, 65, 75, 85
40051054SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setQ8 Series 55, 65, 75, 85
40051055SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setQ6 Series 43, 50, 55, 65, 75,Q8 Series 55, 65, 75, 85,Q9 Series 55, 65, 75, 85
40051056SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setQ8 Series
40051057SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setQ8 Series 49,Q7 Series 55, 65, 75, 85,Lifestyle LS Series 43, 49, 55, 65, 75
40051058SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setLifestyle LS Series 43, 49, 55, 65, 75
40051059SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSQ9 Series 75, 85,SQ9 Series 65,Q8 Series 65, 75, 82
40051060SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSQ9 Series 75, 85,SQ9 Series 65,Q8 Series 65, 75, 82
40051061SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSQ9 Series 75, 85,SQ9 Series 65,Q8 Series 65, 75, 82
40051152SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSQ9xx series (75", 85"),SQ9xx series (65"),Q8xx series (65", 75", 82")
40051153SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setQ9x series (55", 65", 75", 85"),Q8x series (49, 55", 65", 75", 85")
40051530SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSerie LST,Serie BHT
40051752SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries Q700
40051753SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries Q700
40052605SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setQN900 series
40052606SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setQN800 series,QN700 series
40052607SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setQN90 serie
40052608SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN90, QN80, Q80
40052609SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setLS series
40052610SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setQ60/QX1A series,Q70/QX2A series
40052611SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setQN900 series
40052612SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setQN900 series
40052613SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setQN800 series,QN700 series
40052614SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setQN90 serie
40052615SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN90, QN80, Q80
40052755SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries Galaxy S21/S21+
40052812SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setGalaxy S21 series(S21/S21+/S21U )
40052889SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setQN90 serie,QN900 serie
40052981SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries Q80,Series Q50
40052982SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries Q80
40053046SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries MS1
40053050SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries Q90,Series Q85
40053051SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN900,Series QN800,Series QN700
40053129SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setQN900 series,QN800 series
40053130SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setQN85 series,QN80 series,QN80 series,QN70 series,QN60 series
40053282SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QPA-8K
40053283SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QPA-8K
40053364SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries MS1
40053416SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries G95NA
40053417SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries HQ60,Series HLS03
40053421SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries Q70
40053422SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN90; Series QN80; Series Q80
40053425SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN900; Series QN800; Series QN700
40053611SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setGalaxy S21 FE / S21 FE 5G / SM-G990
40053612SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setZ Flip2
40053613SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setZ Fold3
40054246SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries Q60; Series Q70(QX3); Series Q80
40054291SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN900
40054292SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN900
40054293SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN800; QN700
40054294SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN900; Series QN800; Series QN700
40054335SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries Galaxy S22; Series Galaxy S22+;
40054359SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN90
40054360SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN90,Series QN80,Series Q80
40054361SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN90,Series QN80
40054362SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries LS
40054363SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries S95/S9x
40054364SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries S95/S9x
40054365SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries Galaxy S22; Series Galaxy S22+;
40054445SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN900; Series QN800; Series QN700
40054446SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN90; Series QN80; Series Q80
40054447SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN90; Series QN80/Q80;
40054448SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-set4K UHD Smart TV / Series QS90
40054497SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN900
40054498SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN90
40054505SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSerie / Series Q80 (50inch)
40054507SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN800,Series QN90,Series QN85
40054508SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN900,Series QN95,Series QN90
40054509SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN700
40054555SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setLifestyle series(LS0B, LS01B, LS05B)
40054588SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries LS (32inch)
40054734SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries G85,Series G75
40054736SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setQN90 series (QN900, QN800, QN700)
40055102SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries G97
40055142SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries MS1 (89inch)
40055143SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries MS1 (89inch)
40055243SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN100B
40055291SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries HQ60B
40055308SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN100B
40055327SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN100B
40055328SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN100B
40055329SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries Galaxy Z Fold4
40055330SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries Galaxy Z Flip4
40056062SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries LS
40056063SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries Q80,Series Q70,Series Q60
40056064SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN90,Series QN80
40056065SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN900,Series QN800,Series QN700
40056066SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries Galaxy S23,Series / Serie Galaxy S23+,Series / Serie Galaxy S23 Ultra
40056145SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN95/90;Q80; Q70
40056146SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-set8K UHD Smart TV / Series QN900;
40056147SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-set4K UHD Smart TV / Series QN90;
40056148SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-set8K UHD Smart TV / Series QN700
40056149SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-set4K UHD Smart TV / Series QD
40056160SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN900
40056161SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries S95
40056162SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN90,Series QN95
40056181SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN700
40056182SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN800,Series QN90,Series QN85
40056183SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries QN900,Series QN90/95,Series S90/95
40056275SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.Colour-TV-setLifeStyle
40056398SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries MS1
40056702SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries S95,Series S9x
40056703SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setSeries S95,Series S9x
40056830SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setBasic 11,Plus 12.4,Ultra 14.6",Galaxy Z Fold 5 (Q5-main, sub; B5-main),Bar Typ..
40056965SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTDColour-TV-setUHD Gaming Monitor Series G97NC


  • Vladislav Mashirenko helped with visualizations and tests. He has also written some pieces and explanations.
  • Valeriy Artamonov made HDR and SDR comparisons and conducted grey and black color uniformity tests for Samsung S90C.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related articles