PSA: HDR on the PC

Skyebaron

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,216
All this time ive been playing with the wrong settings with HDR on the PC. Ive been encountering glitches such as every Capcom game disabling HDR on windows. But Capcom was telling me i was wrong. Its supposed to be off in Windows Settings and Enabled on my graphics card. I no longer get black screen flashes when turning audio up or down while in a fullscreen game, I dont have to go to the display settings on W10 everytime a game turns off the HDR setting. Im playing on a TV [Samsung 55' QF6] with the latest version of Windows 10. Ive only tested this on my TV, so I dont know if Monitors are affected. Hope this helps someone. Ive tested Sekiro and Assassin's Creed Odyssey and the still have the HDR options enabled and i think they look better with the readjusted settings.

 
Oct 25, 2017
1,649
Ever since the last update I don't do anything, I just turn on hdr in the game and it turns it on. The only time I have to turn it on in windows settings is for watching a hdr video file or hdr on YouTube. If it's In a game like re7 for example I just go into the game, switch on hdr and it does its thing.
 

Stiler

Avenger
Oct 29, 2017
5,528
Thanks for the tip, the graphic makes it a lot simpler to figure out.

Still though I don't get why windows 10 simply can't do like tv's do? HDR signal? HDR = on, no HDR signal? HDR off, it shouldn't require the user to fiddle with any settings at all.
 
Nov 14, 2017
1,440
So, this actually depends on if the application your using supports the built in windows HDR toggle. If it does, you can actually toggle it on and it's OK. The problem is that it makes the desktop and other SDR content look very dark. They added a brightness slider for SDR content when HDR is turned on in Windows, but I think it makes stuff look kinda washed out.

Overall I've still had best results enabling HDR on a per application basis though. As for your settings, you can actually leave those at the default in your driver and also configure those on a per application basis. I have MadVR configured to change my display to 10bit with HDR passthrough when it goes fullscreen, for example.
 

JahIthBer

Member
Jan 27, 2018
3,174
Nice guide, but the problem is games like Sekiro & FFXV just have stupid HDR solutions on PC, Windows/Nvidia settings etc can only do so much.
 

pswii60

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,946
UK
Thanks for the tip, the graphic makes it a lot simpler to figure out.

Still though I don't get why windows 10 simply can't do like tv's do? HDR signal? HDR = on, no HDR signal? HDR off, it shouldn't require the user to fiddle with any settings at all.
This works in 3x PC games that I know of: Shadow Warrior 2, RE2 Remake and DMC5 all automatically turn HDR on when they launch and then off again when you exit. But for some reason most other games like Metro Exodus etc expect you to manually turn it on beforehand, and then off afterwards. It's bizarre why all developers don't just switch it on and off automatically.
 
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Sanctuary

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,663
Seems like needing to mess with the graphics card settings varies by game anymore. Like around the start of 2017 where it "just worked" more often than not, until it got fucked for like a year and a half after that.

Also, switching to 4:2:2 and 12-bit has never worked correctly for me. Across two different LG OLEDs and a GTX 1080 and 1080 Ti (I have a third now that I haven't bothered with yet). I always end up with screwed up colors and just have to set it to RGB limited, and HDR kicks in.
 

georaldc

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,483
All I know is that some games still require you to enable the HDR toggle in Windows and some can do it from within the game. Such a strange thing that most likely confuses a lot of people
 

Keikaku

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,387
Seems like needing to mess with the graphics card settings varies by game anymore. Like around the start of 2017 where it "just worked" more often than not, until it got fucked for like a year and a half after that.

Also, switching to 4:2:2 and 12-bit has never worked correctly for me. Across two different LG OLEDs and a GTX 1080 and 1080 Ti (I have a third now that I haven't bothered with yet). I always end up with screwed up colors and just have to set it to RGB limited, and HDR kicks in.
RGB will default to 8bit and is not true HDR. Maybe your cable doesn't have enough bandwith.
 

Remij

Member
Dec 9, 2017
977
Windows should have a setting which allows us to add games which, when launched, will automatically switch Windows into "HDR mode" if the game doesn't automatically do it.

I mean, if we can have custom driver profiles for each of our games, surely MS could implement HDR profiles into Windows, right?
 

AmbientRuin

Banned
Apr 18, 2019
335
This was how you used HDR before Microsoft updated Windows 10 to add their own solution that was broken for a year and now just kinda half works
 

GreySquirrel

Member
Oct 27, 2017
117
I have my PC connected to my TV. I just leave the display settings for hdr as "off" then whenever a game has HDR, it automatically kicks in on the TV? Been like this since I got my TV a year and a half ago
 

shaneo632

Member
Oct 29, 2017
10,560
Essex, UK
I find it weird how some games will automatically switch my TV to HDR and others I'll need to manually do it in my desktop display settings.
 

TitanicFall

Member
Nov 12, 2017
2,572
I think it's just the games that aren't true exclusive Full-screen that you have to turn on the Windows HDR toggle. UWP games like Forza. Ubisoft games and Capcom games have always just worked for me without the toggle. Also if you don't want to go through the trouble of switching your settings just for HDR games, then on Nvidia cards you can just choose "Use Default Color Settings" and HDR will kick on without an issue. It will say 8 bit with dithering, but I personally don't see a difference on my display. Of course that doesn't mean that there isn't one.
 

AmbientRuin

Banned
Apr 18, 2019
335
I think it's just the games that aren't true exclusive Full-screen that you have to turn on the Windows HDR toggle.
No its just kinda random. The way all this used to work, and it actually worked back then, was NVIDIA and AMD had their own standard HDR solution that ran through drivers and things just worked. Games switched as needed, and you didn't need any fiddling. Then the Windows 10 Creators Update came out and Microsoft decided "Hey Me Too!!!" so they pushed a broken HDR setting onto everyone. For about 9 months the option didn't work. Today, it works sometimes, othertimes you need to manually turn it on or do whats in the OP.
 

Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,247
It’s amazing how bad HDR Support is for PC games
A lot of this has to do with HDR being pushed out before HDMI had the bandwidth to support it with full YCC 4:4:4 / RGB resolution, the fact that full-screen exclusive outputs are not preferred any more (it's much easier to support HDR that way), and limitations of current display technology.
This all means that you cannot simply enable HDR system-wide at all times, and have to switch in/out of HDR mode depending on the content being displayed.
That's easier to do on a console where there is only ever going to be a single display connected, and you cannot run multiple applications at once.

And you also have the issue of vendor-supported HDR vs OS-supported HDR which is a whole other can of worms…
 

elenarie

Developer at DICE
Verified
Jun 10, 2018
1,751
User warned: ableist language
The stupid part is that some "smartass" monitors do their own fake HDR crap that can't be easily disabled.
No names due to reasons, but holy hell, never using monitors from those vendors again. :)

EDIT: Post edited due to warning for using "ableist language". Learned a new term today.
 
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AmbientRuin

Banned
Apr 18, 2019
335
Thank god HDR is indistinguishable from SDR anyway. No point bothering with this scam shit.
Stop buying Sub 1k nit Displays.
The worst part is that some "smartass" monitors do their own fake HDR crap that can't be easily disabled.
No names due to reasons, but holy hell, never using monitors from those vendors again. :)
Oh you mean HDR+ isn't actually HDR and is just the colors oversaturated?

[might wanna take that slur out btw]
 

elenarie

Developer at DICE
Verified
Jun 10, 2018
1,751
Stop buying Sub 1k nit Displays.

Oh you mean HDR+ isn't actually HDR and is just the colors oversaturated?

[might wanna take that slur out btw]
Yep, some monitors do their own "HDR" that only activate in very specific conditions, and whose deactivation requires monitor firmware updates. :/
 

Vlodril

Member
Dec 18, 2017
79
Color depth goes only up to 8bpc for my 4k tv no matter the color format (its greyed out can't select it). I have a 4k monitor coming hopefully that will work better.
 

AmbientRuin

Banned
Apr 18, 2019
335
Yep, some monitors do their own "HDR" that only activate in very specific conditions, and whose deactivation requires monitor firmware updates. :/
Theres also quite a few HDR displays now too that will advertise as and accept an HDR signal but can't actually display it.

Friend of mine actually had a display like what you described and it took us 6 months before we realized he could actually turn it on in his menus with a hidden option buried in there
 

Ogawa-san

Member
Nov 1, 2017
312
I have my PC connected to my TV. I just leave the display settings for hdr as "off" then whenever a game has HDR, it automatically kicks in on the TV? Been like this since I got my TV a year and a half ago
It doesn't work like this for every game, but it did with Sekiro at least. Game and TV (a KS7000) go into HDR mode, but I'm not sure it's actually working. So I just turn it off so at least I know I'm getting accurate colors in SDR...

Color depth goes only up to 8bpc for my 4k tv no matter the color format (its greyed out can't select it). I have a 4k monitor coming hopefully that will work better.
Nvidia? You have to actually switch to YCbCr before the color depth select updates with the other options above 8 bpc. As in, select YCbCr, apply and try again.
 

Zafir

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,717
I have my PC connected to my TV. I just leave the display settings for hdr as "off" then whenever a game has HDR, it automatically kicks in on the TV? Been like this since I got my TV a year and a half ago
It depends on the game. There is some games that require you to turn on HDR in windows before the game will acknowledge that you have a HDR display.
It doesn't work like this for every game, but it did with Sekiro at least. Game and TV (a KS7000) go into HDR mode, but I'm not sure it's actually working. So I just turn it off so at least I know I'm getting accurate colors in SDR...
Sekiro is weird in that I had to alt-tab to get HDR to actually kick in.

That said I ended up disabling it once I installed special k to uncap the FPS(it also had an option to force disable it) as I swapped over to using my monitor to take advantage of the higher frame rate and my monitor really did not like the HDR implementation.
 

Lashley

Member
Oct 25, 2017
25,302
This won't work in some games, some need it on in windows.

HDR support on PC is a shitshow tbh
 

Greebman

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,776
These seem to be instructions mainly for madVR, so video playback. Sekiro HDR turns on regardless of what you set anywhere else. The Windows HDR toggle is required for some games.
 

Vlodril

Member
Dec 18, 2017
79
What TV and GPU? Might be your HDMI cable.
Sony KD-43XD8305 and NVIDIA 2080. The cable i bought i remember was specifically for good hdr (by that i mean it was supposed to be good but i dont remember what it is ).

It doesn't work like this for every game, but it did with Sekiro at least. Game and TV (a KS7000) go into HDR mode, but I'm not sure it's actually working. So I just turn it off so at least I know I'm getting accurate colors in SDR...


Nvidia? You have to actually switch to YCbCr before the color depth select updates with the other options above 8 bpc. As in, select YCbCr, apply and try again.
I did switch and you right its not grey anymore but i still only get the option for 8.
 

Zafir

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,717
I keep YCbCr 4:2:2 and 12bit on 24/7.
That's only really viable if you're using a TV.

I wouldn't ever want to run YCC422 all the time on my monitor. The way it affects text is rather bad.

That said most people will be using displayport so this is less of an issue on monitors anyway.
 

Keikaku

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,387
That's only really viable if you're using a TV.

I wouldn't ever want to run YCC422 all the time on my monitor. The way it affects text is rather bad.

That said most people will be using displayport so this is less of an issue on monitors anyway.
Yep my primary gaming PC is TV only. Monitor doesn't have HDR and is RGB.
 

Kyle Cross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,865
Many games require HDR to be turned on in Windows. Some just work, but they're the minority.
Thank god HDR is indistinguishable from SDR anyway. No point bothering with this scam shit.
Get a better display, and play real HDR games. Not fake HDR like Red Dead Redemption 2 has. HDR is the biggest leap in display technology since color.
 

Keikaku

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,387
Forza horizon 4 and Mass Effect Andromeda are easy to spot banding when you look at the skybox. It never goes away with my LG B6 but with correct settings you can minimize it. YCbCr 4:2:0 looks even better than 4:2:2 but it doesn't work in all games. If you're connected through AVR, turn off all image processing settings.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,951
It has probably already been mentioned but for some games HDR has to be turned on at the Windows 10 settings level to even get the option to turn HDR on in-game (Forza Horizon 4 for example) while others you can leave it turned off at the OS settings level (Destiny 2 for example). Where things get muddied a lot is when games like The Division 2 seemingly for no rhyme or reason sometimes require HDR to be turned on at the OS level and then sometimes not...it's super inconsistent getting that game and others to work correctly with HDR activated.

HDR implementation is head and shoulders better on console but I guess that's the price to pay when dealing with a lot of OS revisions, graphic card drivers, and different displays on PC...hopefully it becomes more standardized at some point in the near future but I wouldn't bet on it.
 
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GreySquirrel

Member
Oct 27, 2017
117
It depends on the game. There is some games that require you to turn on HDR in windows before the game will acknowledge that you have a HDR display.

Sekiro is weird in that I had to alt-tab to get HDR to actually kick in.

That said I ended up disabling it once I installed special k to uncap the FPS(it also had an option to force disable it) as I swapped over to using my monitor to take advantage of the higher frame rate and my monitor really did not like the HDR implementation.
Yeah currently playing Sekiro and have to alt tab when I start the game up to get the HDR to kick in, otherwise it's just super washed out. I guess I've been lucky with the games I've played so far
 

Laur

Member
Oct 27, 2017
182
I'm still just using RGB dynamic range full since I rarely play HDR games from my PC.

Anyway to have the gpu settings switch for SDR/HDR content on the fly like the ps4 does?