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HDR games analysed

Oct 27, 2017
2,565
The first game I tried in HDR on my new Samsung Q9FN was Spiderman on PS4 Pro, this was after I've finished the game in SDR mind you, and I was very disappointed with my TV at first, I've since then seen games looking awesome in HDR, Forza Horizon 4. Gran Turismo Sport, and even Shadow of the Tomb Raider looks good after cranking up the brightness slider to max. When you look at the sun disk in Spiderman it's light grey in HDR with a tiny bright dot in the center ( in SDR the whole sunflare it dazzling white) and the whole image looks unexposed and washed out. Compared to other games where you are allowed to set a Max Nits point, Spiderman just assumes one for you and tonemaps the image to some sub 1000 nits target, also the brightness slider should equal the luminance/exposure level other games can set but I'm not sure what his does here, increasing it just makes the image look dyed in milk.
Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the brightness crank up to max anyway during HDR output??
 
Oct 30, 2018
3
Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the brightness crank up to max anyway during HDR output??
No it’s not maxed from the start. Still the game looks very pale and loses all contrast when maxed and yet the sun is light gray not white.
 
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EvilBoris
Oct 29, 2017
4,642
No it’s not maxed from the start. Still the game looks very pale and loses all contrast when maxed and yet the sun is light gray not white.
The in game brightness definitely should no be maxed out. I’m not sure if he meant the TV backlight brightness should be maxed out
 
Oct 30, 2018
3
The in game brightness definitely should no be maxed out. I’m not sure if he meant the TV backlight brightness should be maxed out
To be clear, the in game brightness slider is not maxed by default, and it should't be either as everything turns pale white. Secondly, of course I set the TV's backlight to max. Still the game looks way too dark on my Q9FN which is capable of 700~1400 nits.
 
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EvilBoris
Oct 29, 2017
4,642
To be clear, the in game brightness slider is not maxed by default, and it should't be either as everything turns pale white. Secondly, of course I set the TV's backlight to max. Still the game looks way too dark on my Q9FN which is capable of 700~1400 nits.
The sun only puts out about 600nits, so it’s not the most intense use of HDR. Whether that changes later on I don’t know
 
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EvilBoris
Oct 29, 2017
4,642
EvilBoris Did you ever finish your MCC analysis? Really curious how the performance is and if you know whether it's mastered at 1000 or 4000 nits.
I did start to take a really good look, I think they all go upto 1000nits.
Halo 1 and 2 don't natively render in HDR, so I think that it has been expanded upto 1000nits.
Halo 3 used a kind of pseudo HDR, I didn't get as far as trying to work out whether this had changed in the MCC vs the 360 enhanced version.

I suspect Halo 4 used the same technique as Halo 3, as I was seeing some artifacts that kind of fit in with that.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,312
I did start to take a really good look, I think they all go upto 1000nits.
Halo 1 and 2 don't natively render in HDR, so I think that it has been expanded upto 1000nits.
Halo 3 used a kind of pseudo HDR, I didn't get as far as trying to work out whether this had changed in the MCC vs the 360 enhanced version.

I suspect Halo 4 used the same technique as Halo 3, as I was seeing some artifacts that kind of fit in with that.
So, does that mean all 4 games are "fake" HDR and you'd be better off playing in SDR?
 
Oct 25, 2017
677
No, Halo 3 and 4 definately benefit.
Halo 1 and 2 don’t look bad and the game offers plenty of room to adjust.
I am looking forward to trying it out when my OLED gets here next week. Does H2A have native HDR support or is it limited like classic?

Is the implementation on the older titles "blown out", like the way RDR2 looks, for example?

I really appreciate the info, man - thank you so much!
 
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Oct 29, 2017
3,542
I've an interesting observation.

HDR seems to actually look pretty good on games on my XB1X on my TV that only has fake HDR. This goes for games like CoD Blops 4, which seems to have issues on real HDR TVs.

Could these games have been calibrated for "fake" HDR rather than "real" HDR?
 
Aug 17, 2018
95
Does dynamic tone mapping mess up HDR calibration in games? I was adjusting settings in multiple games last night with it on and the images I was supposed to not see seemed to keep shifting.
 
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EvilBoris
Oct 29, 2017
4,642
Does dynamic tone mapping mess up HDR calibration in games? I was adjusting settings in multiple games last night with it on and the images I was supposed to not see seemed to keep shifting.
Yes, because it is literally rearranging the values of luminance it means those screens don't function as intended.
I'd imagine you could set it then turn it on if you really want to use it.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,149
USA
I've an interesting observation.

HDR seems to actually look pretty good on games on my XB1X on my TV that only has fake HDR. This goes for games like CoD Blops 4, which seems to have issues on real HDR TVs.

Could these games have been calibrated for "fake" HDR rather than "real" HDR?
I don't know about the calibration, but my observation is the same. I have an X800D and don't game in a light-controlled environment. FH4, Sea of Thieves, Spider-Man, GoW, GT Sport, etc. all look terrific and eye-squintingly bright at times without being blown out. Black levels are what they are, but going from HDR to SDR is much like it's been described, where HDR white in-game is more like real-life white, and SDR looks more like paper white. RDR2 though, for me, looks better in SDR.
 
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EvilBoris
Oct 29, 2017
4,642
I've an interesting observation.

HDR seems to actually look pretty good on games on my XB1X on my TV that only has fake HDR. This goes for games like CoD Blops 4, which seems to have issues on real HDR TVs.

Could these games have been calibrated for "fake" HDR rather than "real" HDR?
There will be a relationship between them, Black Ops 4 is definately HDR, however it is perhaps a little brighter than it should be, which looks kinda weird.
It might be because it's been calibrated on a non-reference display.
It's not helped by the broken brightness adjustment,which does nothing in HDR.
 
I saw the tip about FC5 HDR and it says to boot the game in SDR,which I can only do by turning off HDR on my 900e or in the 1X settings...the problem though is that there is no regular slider in the game's option for brightness so I dont understand how to do this...I just lowered the HDR setting to 240 nits with the in game HDR slider,instead of the default 300 nits and its not so bad,though it still has that Elex(game) effect when you come out from the inside,the sun is way too bright for a second...overall,it looks much better with HDR.
 
Oct 26, 2017
8,992
What's your take on the Crash Bandicoot Trilogy? I believe DF wasn't too fond of it but honestly I prefer HDR on my Q9FN with that game for sure.

Much more colorful and lively than SDR.
 
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EvilBoris
Oct 29, 2017
4,642
What's your take on the Crash Bandicoot Trilogy? I believe DF wasn't too fond of it but honestly I prefer HDR on my Q9FN with that game for sure.
I thought it was ok from memory, but even just few months on I have a better understanding of things now, so that opinion may have changed.

 
Oct 25, 2017
571
So, not sure if it's the right thread to ask.

But I got a new tv TCL, and in Gears of war 4 on the xbone X i can't see any of the emblems in the settings menu, they are all completely white, if i toggle half screen not hdr i can see them, is that normal? Also i didn't find a way to turn it off in that game :s.
Is it the game or the tv?

On PS$ horizon looks really nice, but i have to turn it off on RDR2 because the menues where too bright also.
 
Oct 25, 2017
325
So, not sure if it's the right thread to ask.

But I got a new tv TCL, and in Gears of war 4 on the xbone X i can't see any of the emblems in the settings menu, they are all completely white, if i toggle half screen not hdr i can see them, is that normal? Also i didn't find a way to turn it off in that game :s.
Is it the game or the tv?

On PS$ horizon looks really nice, but i have to turn it off on RDR2 because the menues where too bright also.
You should probably post your TV settings.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,252
The HDR kind of ruined The Witcher 3 for me. Indoor lighting looks much weirder than I remembered and Geralt's hair turns brown sometimes.
 
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EvilBoris
Oct 29, 2017
4,642
So, not sure if it's the right thread to ask.

But I got a new tv TCL, and in Gears of war 4 on the xbone X i can't see any of the emblems in the settings menu, they are all completely white, if i toggle half screen not hdr i can see them, is that normal? Also i didn't find a way to turn it off in that game :s.
Is it the game or the tv?

On PS$ horizon looks really nice, but i have to turn it off on RDR2 because the menues where too bright also.
It sounds like you have sometime set up wrong somewhere. Post your settings and TV model and I'm sure someone will try and help
 
Oct 26, 2017
8,992
I thought it was ok from memory, but even just few months on I have a better understanding of things now, so that opinion may have changed.

Hmmmm, I guess it's possible that it's a simple change of the color setting which is at 25 for SDR I believe and 30 for HDR on my Q9FN. My assumption was that HDR brought these extra colours but that doesn't have to be the case.

At least it's not a case of where it makes the game worse, like RDR2 for example.
 
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Jun 10, 2018
146
So, not sure if it's the right thread to ask.

But I got a new tv TCL, and in Gears of war 4 on the xbone X i can't see any of the emblems in the settings menu, they are all completely white, if i toggle half screen not hdr i can see them, is that normal? Also i didn't find a way to turn it off in that game :s.
Is it the game or the tv?

On PS$ horizon looks really nice, but i have to turn it off on RDR2 because the menues where too bright also.
Did you push the HDR settings on Gears of War all the way to the left and adjust from there?
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,276
So, not sure if it's the right thread to ask.

But I got a new tv TCL, and in Gears of war 4 on the xbone X i can't see any of the emblems in the settings menu, they are all completely white, if i toggle half screen not hdr i can see them, is that normal? Also i didn't find a way to turn it off in that game :s.
Is it the game or the tv?

On PS$ horizon looks really nice, but i have to turn it off on RDR2 because the menues where too bright also.
Microsoft delegates handling of HDR toggling to system level. So to disable HDR with an Xbox, you have to go to your system display settings and disable it there (and restart the game I believe, or else you will end up with bad output)
 
Oct 25, 2017
571
So, not sure if it's the right thread to ask.

But I got a new tv TCL, and in Gears of war 4 on the xbone X i can't see any of the emblems in the settings menu, they are all completely white, if i toggle half screen not hdr i can see them, is that normal? Also i didn't find a way to turn it off in that game :s.
Is it the game or the tv?

On PS$ horizon looks really nice, but i have to turn it off on RDR2 because the menues where too bright also.
You should probably post your TV settings.
It sounds like you have sometime set up wrong somewhere. Post your settings and TV model and I'm sure someone will try and help
Did you push the HDR settings on Gears of War all the way to the left and adjust from there?
>Did you push the HDR settings on Gears of War all the way to the left and adjust from there?
Yes, but wasn't able to see any emblem, all 3 whites..

My config is:

TCL 65DP648 65 (UK version)
preset: Game
backlight 100 (i tried 75 and no difference)
overscan off
constrast 50
sharpness 30
colour 50
blacklevel 50
dynamic backlight ECO
black stretch off

Basically factory configuration
 
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EvilBoris
Oct 29, 2017
4,642
Is that for all platforms?
I've not checked the PS4 since the update, I would be suprised if it's any different.

The black and white point controls now work correctly if you follow the instructions, I'm still trying to figure out what is the "correct" setting for the the SDR brightness setting should be. I currently have mine on the default 4.
I've got a plan to work it out and try and get some kind of confirmation.
 
Nov 1, 2017
95
Why ppl treat hdr as only a brithness/nits thing? We should be also discussing color volume. If a game don't benefit nits-wise when hdr is on, but have better/expanded colors, hdr should be on.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,492
I've not checked the PS4 since the update, I would be suprised if it's any different.

The black and white point controls now work correctly if you follow the instructions, I'm still trying to figure out what is the "correct" setting for the the SDR brightness setting should be. I currently have mine on the default 4.
I've got a plan to work it out and try and get some kind of confirmation.
So by working correctly, the SDR brightness controls do not impact the HDR now?
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,492
Why ppl treat hdr as only a brithness/nits thing? We should be also discussing color volume. If a game don't benefit nits-wise when hdr is on, but have better/expanded colors, hdr should be on.
The wcg is dependant on brightness though isn't it? Which is where hdr comes into play I thought.
 
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EvilBoris
Oct 29, 2017
4,642
>Did you push the HDR settings on Gears of War all the way to the left and adjust from there?
Yes, but wasn't able to see any emblem, all 3 whites..

My config is:

TCL 65DP648 65 (UK version)
preset: Game
backlight 100 (i tried 75 and no difference)
overscan off
constrast 50
sharpness 30
colour 50
blacklevel 50
dynamic backlight ECO
black stretch off

Basically factory configuration


First thing I would do would be to take contrast up as high as it can go.
Then start taking the black level down, perhaps even as low as 30.

What games have you got with HDR? I can give you some advice as what to look for using one of those as a reference.
 
Mar 7, 2018
17
Why ppl treat hdr as only a brithness/nits thing? We should be also discussing color volume. If a game don't benefit nits-wise when hdr is on, but have better/expanded colors, hdr should be on.
Because the entire point of High Dynamic Range is... dynamic range - the difference between the brightest white and darkest black and how that should change based on how humans perceive light/contrast in the real world. What you're talking about would be Wide Color Gamut, which is a completely different thing even though it's a feature of the HDR10 format. And since the number of games that truly support WCG in their HDR implementations are... like, almost zero if not actually zero? Not much to discuss. The coarse re-maps from 8-bit to 10-bit that have convinced people that they're seeing "better/expanded colors" are not better... Just washed out in a way that makes people believe they're seeing more than there really is in the signal to see. This is because colors on your screen depend on both luminance (the amount of white) and chroma (the amount of color).
 
Oct 25, 2017
571
First thing I would do would be to take contrast up as high as it can go.
Then start taking the black level down, perhaps even as low as 30.

What games have you got with HDR? I can give you some advice as what to look for using one of those as a reference.
Thanks, i'll do that now.
I tried that in gears 4, i still can only see the right logo now, but middle one still totally white.

on PS: Horizon, and RDR2 ( but i hear red dead is bad at hdr)
on xbox: Gears 4, does halo 5 have? or i can download any with gamepass.
 
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EvilBoris
Oct 29, 2017
4,642
Why ppl treat hdr as only a brithness/nits thing? We should be also discussing color volume. If a game don't benefit nits-wise when hdr is on, but have better/expanded colors, hdr should be on.
Dynamic Range is specificly related to luminance and contrast.
HDR is achromatic.
 
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EvilBoris
Oct 29, 2017
4,642
Thanks, i'll do that now.
I tried that in gears 4, i still can only see the right logo now, but middle one still totally white.

on PS: Horizon, and RDR2 ( but i hear red dead is bad at hdr)
on xbox: Gears 4, does halo 5 have? or i can download any with gamepass.

OK, so just had a look at gears of war, the first you you can always do to get the best from a display is to get the black level right.

You need to be in a dark room for this to.
So in gears of war 4 go the the video screen and reset the settings to default.

Now at a guess you are going to be able to see all 3 icons very clearly.
Rather than adjust the in game slider, let's adjust the TV's brightness down until it matches the desription, there will be a point where the "not visible" icon disspears, it might the just a single click's difference on the TV settings.

Once that is there, you should then be just able to make out the "barely visible" one.

Once you've done that I suspect that you will be able to get the white emblems visible and that should set you in good stead for other games.

For other games that I always found easy to get good results

Forza Horizon 4 demo
Rise of the Tomb Raider (Game pass) might only be HDR on X
Hitman (game pass)
 
>Did you push the HDR settings on Gears of War all the way to the left and adjust from there?
Yes, but wasn't able to see any emblem, all 3 whites..

My config is:

TCL 65DP648 65 (UK version)
preset: Game
backlight 100 (i tried 75 and no difference)
overscan off
constrast 50
sharpness 30
colour 50
blacklevel 50
dynamic backlight ECO
black stretch off

Basically factory configuration
Before doing what EvilBoris said,try and disable that Dynamic Blacklight ECO thing...if its what I think it is,some auto adjustements depending on time of day and such,it's alwas recommended to turn that off,just turn it back on if you dont like what it does.
 
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EvilBoris
Oct 29, 2017
4,642
Before doing what EvilBoris said,try and disable that Dynamic Blacklight ECO thing...if its what I think it is,some auto adjustements depending on time of day and such,it's alwas recommended to turn that off,just turn it back on if you dont like what it does.
That will just be globalling dimming the backlight, so it shouldn’t have an effect on this. The bigger issue is that it isn’t really an HDR display. However , you should still be able to get an acceptable image and it doesn’t sound right
 
Oct 25, 2017
571
I turned the dynamic backlight as soon as it showed up.

OK, so just had a look at gears of war, the first you you can always do to get the best from a display is to get the black level right.

You need to be in a dark room for this to.
So in gears of war 4 go the the video screen and reset the settings to default.

Now at a guess you are going to be able to see all 3 icons very clearly.
Rather than adjust the in game slider, let's adjust the TV's brightness down until it matches the desription, there will be a point where the "not visible" icon disspears, it might the just a single click's difference on the TV settings.

Once that is there, you should then be just able to make out the "barely visible" one.

Once you've done that I suspect that you will be able to get the white emblems visible and that should set you in good stead for other games.

For other games that I always found easy to get good results

Forza Horizon 4 demo
Rise of the Tomb Raider (Game pass) might only be HDR on X
Hitman (game pass)
Thanks again
The icons i can't see are the HDR brightness, the visible i have to make an effort to see it, the other two are still total white, i do have an xbox one X, but still not much different, i feel stupid now, but i can't find the "brightness" option in the tv: https://imgur.com/a/88QjZ9U

I'll download forza horizon 4 demo to try.
 
Jun 10, 2018
146
I turned the dynamic backlight as soon as it showed up.



Thanks again
The icons i can't see are the HDR brightness, the visible i have to make an effort to see it, the other two are still total white, i do have an xbox one X, but still not much different, i feel stupid now, but i can't find the "brightness" option in the tv: https://imgur.com/a/88QjZ9U

I'll download forza horizon 4 demo to try.
Black Level is 'Brightness.'