HDR games analysed

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EvilBoris

EvilBoris

Member
Oct 29, 2017
5,631
Is it viable for devs to implement heatmaps ingame? It would be a fine way to calibrate HDR settings natively, better than current logo over black or white square thing.
It would be really easy, but It wouldn't help you to estimate the peak brightness, it would just show you the raw data.
The white logo is to help you eyeball the point at which the display can't do anything else with the data.
I think the choice of logo used (I like the flashing one in The Xbox Insects Demo or a checkerboard) makes a difference as to how easy that is.
Devs should always be placing that on a full black screen too if the user is to estimate it.
 

s-7-n

Member
Jun 10, 2019
1
Could not resist and register to this forum, amazing work EvilBoris. I recently bought a 65AF9 that was professionally calibrated by Vincent for SDR, HDR, DV including Game mode. I am aware its peak brightness is around 650 and the set applies Dynamic Tone Mapping to everything HDR and it cannot be switched off. I only play evenings in a fairly dark room.

Reading from AV reviews, The Sony AF9 applies a process similar to LG’s dynamic tone mapping which is switched on all the time and doesn’t have an option in the menu system to adjust or switch off. This, AVForum believes, is the Pixel Contrast Booster and HDR remaster processing analysing the HDR static metadata source scene by scene and applying tone mapping on the fly to suit the content and provide the most consistent brightness to the whole image, but also bringing out the dynamics of the scene in question. This is important when the display in question cannot fully resolve the 1000 nit brightness usually implemented in mastering HDR content. The few titles also mastered within the 4000 nits envelope will also be tone mapped to retain as much of the peak brightness highlights, as well as shadow detail information due to the tone mapping working dynamically scene to scene. AVForum were able to check this by switching between 1000 and 4000 nit patterns generated by their Murideo Fresco Six-G generator, but also by switching between HDMI black points where the image could be seen mapping to show detail correctly within a 4000 nit HDR signal.

Considering the above and having read all relevant threads, wanted to kindly ask for your guidance setting games correctly for X1X and PS4..it would mean a lot 😎

Xbox
Forza Horizon 4
AC Origins
ME Andromeda
The Surge
Metro-Exodus
Hellblade
The Division 2

BTW, if you are London based, I would be happy to let my TV use for testing purposes if required 👍

Many thanks & apologies for my first post being a bit longer than expected

7
 
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EvilBoris

EvilBoris

Member
Oct 29, 2017
5,631
EvilBoris

Since The Division 2 is free to play on Xbox all weekend, great time to try it out. I have a Samsung Q9FN just like you. What are the recommended ingame HDR settings?
Ok
Brightness on the default
Contrast on 20
Neutral lighting on
Peak Brightness as per other games
HUD Brightness as low as you can set it and be able to clearly read it.

The neutral lighting option is the key one for me as it disables a bunch of post process colour grading which is quite unsightly if you ask me. Look at the night sky with it on/off to see what I mean.
It actually bumps up a lot of mid greys, saturation and even tweaks blooming a little. I would possibly just flick that of if I was playing in the daylight
 
Jun 4, 2019
814
Ok
Brightness on the default
Contrast on 20
Neutral lighting on
Peak Brightness as per other games
HUD Brightness as low as you can set it and be able to clearly read it.

The neutral lighting option is the key one for me as it disables a bunch of post process colour grading which is quite unsightly if you ask me. Look at the night sky with it on/off to see what I mean.
It actually bumps up a lot of mid greys, saturation and even tweaks blooming a little. I would possibly just flick that of if I was playing in the daylight
Nice! I'll try these out today. One thing though, peak brightness as per other games but that's the thing, usually I leave it at default because still many games don't tell you how it should look (FC5 for example). What do you set it to in your Q9FN?

Also, are you planning on sharing your overall settings for non HDR and HDR gaming? I only recently purchased this set and as always still trying stuff out.
 

EeK9X

Member
Jan 31, 2019
142
Just a heads-up: there seems to be an issue with banding after the Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903), associated with Nvidia GPUs.

Eizo (a monitor manufacturer) describes the issue here, with examples. There are also threads on the Nvidia forums (here and here) and on Reddit (here and here).

I just performed a clean installation of 1903 and can confirm that the issue appeared after installing the most recent Nvidia drivers (430.97 - Hotfix), via DDU. I noticed the banding and confirmed it through this website.

Before that, with whatever Nvidia drivers were automatically downloaded and installed during the initial system setup, no banding was present. So, it's definitely an issue with 1903 and recent Nvidia drivers.

My GPU is a 1080 Ti, for reference.
 

Kyle Cross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,963
Just a heads-up: there seems to be an issue with banding after the Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903), associated with Nvidia GPUs.

Eizo (a monitor manufacturer) describes the issue here, with examples. There are also threads on the Nvidia forums (here and here) and on Reddit (here and here).

I just performed a clean installation of 1903 and can confirm that the issue appeared after installing the most recent Nvidia drivers (430.97 - Hotfix), via DDU. I noticed the banding and confirmed it through this website.

Before that, with whatever Nvidia drivers were automatically downloaded and installed during the initial system setup, no banding was present. So, it's definitely an issue with 1903 and recent Nvidia drivers.

My GPU is a 1080 Ti, for reference.
Gaaaaaah, every time there's a major Windows update something gets messed up... I knew I shouldn't have updated so soon, Game Pass PC could've waited.
 

JeloSWE

Member
Oct 30, 2018
4
At this point I'm not sure that if Samsung TV's can even display RGB signal properly, they internally run in YCbCr (422?), so the banding you see might be from TV converting RGB to YCbCr, and not bit depth.
Apparently LG TV's suffer from similar issue, the infamous banding in PC mode can be fixed by sending YCbCr 444 instead of RGB.


Source
How and where did you learn about this, and where can I find out more about it?

I currently have a Sony Z9F and it handles RGB perfectly and I use it as a PC monitor. I had big problems with my previous Samsung Q9FN and Q900 with them not being capable of doing proper sRGB color space in PC mode, it instead was locked to the over saturated Native in stead :O but did in deed pass all the 444 tests correctly. In all other modes the sRGB color space was presented as expected but only at 422. I've come to realize Samsung TVs are horrible to hook up your PC to.
 

EeK9X

Member
Jan 31, 2019
142
Gaaaaaah, every time there's a major Windows update something gets messed up... I knew I shouldn't have updated so soon, Game Pass PC could've waited.
Can you confirm that you're experiencing the issue as well? What are your specs?

We need to get Nvidia's attention about this, so they issue a fix soon.
 

Brucey

Member
Jan 2, 2018
561
Sorry if this is dumb, but looking at Koklusz post about pc mode color banding. Does that affect hdr only? Or does it affect sdr as well?

I have a lg c8 and I use pc mode when playing SDR ps4/xbox games cause game mode has over-saturated colors. But I use the normal HDR game mode without switching to pc mode cause color gamut can be changed to auto. Am I good or is there color banding in pc mode sdr games too?
 

Koklusz

Member
Oct 27, 2017
126
Sorry if this is dumb, but looking at Koklusz post about pc mode color banding. Does that affect hdr only? Or does it affect sdr as well?

I have a lg c8 and I use pc mode when playing SDR ps4/xbox games cause game mode has over-saturated colors. But I use the normal HDR game mode without switching to pc mode cause color gamut can be changed to auto. Am I good or is there color banding in pc mode sdr games too?
SDR as well. In fact, measurements shown on GIF have been done in SDR.
Measurement has been done with the ISF Dark preset, all picture enhancements disabled, oled-light 25 (100nits), 20% pattern intensity as the errors are more visible in the lower luminance range.
 

MAX PAYMENT

Member
Oct 29, 2017
2,872
I have one of the cheap TCL 4k HDR TVs. At HDR this cheap, wouldnt the TV output SDR better? I'm just wondering if I'm using a really diminished HDR experience.
 
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DOTDASHDOT

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,227
Really? How’d you test? Not meaning any offence to you friend. But wondering how you can tell haha it wasn’t just testing with your eyes? Because maybe it’s super hard to see.
Also sorry everyone for going a bit off topic!! My bad.
By going up to the screen and eyeballing about an inch away on tons of games, it's easy to see with film and TV but games are exactly the same, do yourself a favour and turn it on.
 

holygeesus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,680
Just 8 series, I remember trying it on the B7 and it doing absolutely nothing.
MPEG noise reduction works differently on the C8. When you set it to 'Low' it engages the de-contouring feature which is why you are seeing the reduction in banding. On the C7 it is just your regular noise reduction option. No idea why LG hid the feature in there on the C8.
 

DOTDASHDOT

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,227
MPEG noise reduction works differently on the C8. When you set it to 'Low' it engages the de-contouring feature which is why you are seeing the reduction in banding. On the C7 it is just your regular noise reduction option. No idea why LG hid the feature in there on the C8.
Yeah, my point was that it actually appears to not do anything at all on the 7, guess it must do something but it must be very minimal.
 

Static_Void

Member
Oct 30, 2018
1,953
north of the Dreamlands
So now that Red Dead Redemption 2's HDR is fixed what settings are recommended for a Sony x900f?
I’ll quote my post from last page. RDR2’s HDR is still far from being a great implementation though.


I had the chance to try the new HDR implementation of RDR2 on my Sony X930E. Here are my settings if it can be useful for anybody else with a Sony LCD TV that behave roughly in the same way (X930E, Z9D, X900F, etc.)

I began calibrating by setting the Peak Brightness value first, and only then went to tweaking Paper White. I had to set the Peak Brightness value to 1400, which roughly corresponds to the nits specification of the X930E. More than that and it began losing details in the highlights. It means that for Peak Brightness, you should put in the nits value corresponding to the specifications of your own LCD.

For Paper White, I played with it a bit and settled for something between 140 and 150 (still tweaking to find the exact value). Higher than that and it began to quickly eat details in the highlights. To find the right value, I went to a very bright scene with lots of highlights (like staring outside after entering a dark building, or staring at the sun on a cloudy day), and tweaked the value until it was as high as I could without removing details in the highlights and raising the blacks too much. For me it was in the 140 - 150 range. Again, Peak Brightness should be set properly first before modifying the Paper White value.

I'm very pleased with the picture quality using these settings. It produces very bright highlights, and I don't find the blacks to be raised that much. I think it gives a very beautiful picture. RDR2's HDR does desaturate the colors though, and there's unfortunately nothing that can be done about it. But I think I might choose to live with this for the impressive highlights that it gives.

Edit: oh, and don't bother with the reference images in the HDR configuration menu. For me they were inaccurate and useless. It's better to calibrate in game using a very bright scene with lots of highlights.
 

Rotanixel

Member
May 26, 2019
3
I’ll quote my post from last page. RDR2’s HDR is still far from being a great implementation though.
Cheers, You mentioning though not to follow the reference images in the menu such as the Peak Brightness R* logo where they say to adjust until it disappears brings up another question not just about RDR2's HDR settings.

I've noticed on various games, Hitman, BF2/BFV or any others with the adjustment where it's adjust until both sides of a box are white and matching most games tend to match around 1400 even though the x900f from what I can find only hits 1000nits or thereabout, Is that to do with the tone mapping of the display, Or is it that the adjustment references aren't the best even though I've read that they are fine to use? (BF2/BFV especially)
 

Static_Void

Member
Oct 30, 2018
1,953
north of the Dreamlands
Cheers, You mentioning though not to follow the reference images in the menu such as the Peak Brightness R* logo where they say to adjust until it disappears brings up another question not just about RDR2's HDR settings.

I've noticed on various games, Hitman, BF2/BFV or any others with the adjustment where it's adjust until both sides of a box are white and matching most games tend to match around 1400 even though the x900f from what I can find only hits 1000nits or thereabout, Is that to do with the tone mapping of the display, Or is it that the adjustment references aren't the best even though I've read that they are fine to use? (BF2/BFV especially)
I’m not sure about that one. Maybe EvilBoris could help.
 
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EvilBoris

EvilBoris

Member
Oct 29, 2017
5,631
Cheers, You mentioning though not to follow the reference images in the menu such as the Peak Brightness R* logo where they say to adjust until it disappears brings up another question not just about RDR2's HDR settings.

I've noticed on various games, Hitman, BF2/BFV or any others with the adjustment where it's adjust until both sides of a box are white and matching most games tend to match around 1400 even though the x900f from what I can find only hits 1000nits or thereabout, Is that to do with the tone mapping of the display, Or is it that the adjustment references aren't the best even though I've read that they are fine to use? (BF2/BFV especially)
It depends on how the display does it’s tone mapping, how accurate the grayscale calibration is, brightness/contrast and blaackpoint settings are configured as well as any panel variances.

Looking at a quick eotf chart it looks like the set starts to roll off at 70% PQ and peaks at just shy of 80% (1000nits).

If you are having games reading 1400, then there are probably some tweaks you could still make. The image is probably a little dimmer than it should be. If you can, try increasing contrast in HDR mode until you arrive closer to 1000 in games
 

Rotanixel

Member
May 26, 2019
3
It depends on how the display does it’s tone mapping, how accurate the grayscale calibration is, brightness/contrast and blaackpoint settings are configured as well as any panel variances.

Looking at a quick eotf chart it looks like the set starts to roll off at 70% PQ and peaks at just shy of 80% (1000nits).

If you are having games reading 1400, then there are probably some tweaks you could still make. The image is probably a little dimmer than it should be. If you can, try increasing contrast in HDR mode until you arrive closer to 1000 in games
Pushed the contrast up from 90 which was based on some settings I'd found on rtings and various sites to 95 and it all seems to match at 1000 now, although for some reason I can't keep SDR contrast at 90 even though every other setting saves separately oh well 95 should be fine.

Definitely not an expert on HDR so what were/are the downsides of having it reading past what the display is rated like I did?
 
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Koklusz

Member
Oct 27, 2017
126
Just a heads-up: there seems to be an issue with banding after the Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903), associated with Nvidia GPUs.

Eizo (a monitor manufacturer) describes the issue here, with examples. There are also threads on the Nvidia forums (here and here) and on Reddit (here and here).

I just performed a clean installation of 1903 and can confirm that the issue appeared after installing the most recent Nvidia drivers (430.97 - Hotfix), via DDU. I noticed the banding and confirmed it through this website.

Before that, with whatever Nvidia drivers were automatically downloaded and installed during the initial system setup, no banding was present. So, it's definitely an issue with 1903 and recent Nvidia drivers.

My GPU is a 1080 Ti, for reference.
Update on this issue: Apparently you can fix this by disabling WindowsColorSystem Calibration Loader task (under Task Scheduler > Microsoft > Windows > WindowsColorSystem) (haven't tested this myself yet)

Alternatively, if you're on insider builds you can update to build 18922.
 

Kyle Cross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,963
EvilBoris Any suggestions on what the HDR Intensity setting should be set to in Hellblade on PC on an LG B7? It changes in intervals of 10 between 0 and 100.
 

Kyle Cross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,963
It’s 2 icons black and white , it looks like it would be a gamma/brightness adjustment
Oh. That is available on PC in SDR, but disabled when you engage HDR and you get the HDR Intensity setting with goes from 0 to 100 and says it adjusts the white point. So would this be a Paper White setting? I've seen you recommend from 75 up to 200 on a game by game basis, if you're unable to test it then I guess the default 50 would be my best bet.
 

Kyle Cross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,963
Sorry to double post, but I do have a general question, EvilBoris .

10bit is of course better than 8bit, so due to HDMI limitations you need to switch from RGB to YUV at 4k60fps. However I've seen mention that 8bit+dithering in HDR on PC is pretty much indistinguishable from 10bit. Is this true? If so is there any reason, as far as our eyes are concerned, to not just stay in RGB 8bit for HDR?
 

Koklusz

Member
Oct 27, 2017
126
10bit is of course better than 8bit, so due to HDMI limitations you need to switch from RGB to YUV at 4k60fps. However I've seen mention that 8bit+dithering in HDR on PC is pretty much indistinguishable from 10bit. Is this true? If so is there any reason, as far as our eyes are concerned, to not just stay in RGB 8bit for HDR?
Let me answer this question: It depends on your TV being able to properly display RGB image. From what I understand, some manufactures like to YUV colorspace (sometimes even subsampled), during internal processing, since it's less intensive and allows using cheaper processors. On such displays you will end up with more banding with RGB12bit than YUV12bit, even if they pass chroma test. I know for sure that Samsung and LG TV's are affected by this, on the other hand Sony users should be in the clear.
 
Jun 4, 2019
814
Started with We Happy Few earlier this week and I noticed that when I'm indoors and also outside at night that it just didn't look proper dark, blacks would be greyish. It also doesn't help that the game has no options for brightness at all.

So I turn HDR off in the Xbox settings and it looks much better now. Really wish I wouldn't have to reboot games completely when enabling/disabling HDR on Xbox though.