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HDR issues with specific discs and displays, or, "Why is this disc so dark?" (1 Viewer)

Kaskade1309

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I know projectors need all sorts of adjusting for HDR -- which is what has made the Panasonic UHD players so popular due to their customization abilities -- but to be honest, with my Samsung LCD from 2018, it is pretty much "set and forget" for me, at least when it comes to HDR. I just leave my panel in HDR-Movie mode (when it senses an HDR signal) and basically use the settings that are adjusted by default...so my backlight and contrast are maxed out, my local dimming is on high, etc. The only thing I really touched was to turn noise reduction (Samsung calls it "Digital Clean View" in their older models) off and tweaked some motion interpolation parameters.

Even the settings inside my Panasonic UB9000 player are pretty much at default; I keep the HDR Optimizer on for HDR10 signals but every other slider in the advanced menus are on "0."
 

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..........Even the settings inside my Panasonic UB9000 player are pretty much at default; I keep the HDR Optimizer on for HDR10 signals but every other slider in the advanced menus are on "0."
I also have a Panasonic DP- UB player (the 820). I engage the HDR setting button for my 4k discs as well. With the basic options of standard, natural, light & bright, I have normally preferred either of the last 2, depending on the "character" of the movie in question. Until now, I have left the optimizer "off", feeling that the image was more refined like that (as subtle as that may be). But after considering your comment of engaging it, I will experiment a bit. Thanks for bringing it to my attention again. Perhaps you could elaborate on your personal preference & what particular benefit it presents for you. Thanks again.
 

Kaskade1309

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I also have a Panasonic DP- UB player (the 820). I engage the HDR setting button for my 4k discs as well. With the basic options of standard, natural, light & bright, I have normally preferred either of the last 2, depending on the "character" of the movie in question. Until now, I have left the optimizer "off", feeling that the image was more refined like that (as subtle as that may be). But after considering your comment of engaging it, I will experiment a bit. Thanks for bringing it to my attention again. Perhaps you could elaborate on your personal preference & what particular benefit it presents for you. Thanks again.
Blair,

Because I watch all UHD Blu-rays (and all discs in general) in a dark room, I use the "Standard" preset in the Panasonic, the logic being that it's the more "accurate" rendition in such conditions (plus my edge-lit LCD suffers with horrible blooming with HDR in the dark, so my instinct was to try and not make this worse).
 

Worth

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Because I watch all UHD Blu-rays (and all discs in general) in a dark room, I use the "Standard" preset in the Panasonic, the logic being that it's the more "accurate" rendition in such conditions (plus my edge-lit LCD suffers with horrible blooming with HDR in the dark, so my instinct was to try and not make this worse).
You might want to try switching settings to SDR BT2020 on your Panasonic.
 

Kaskade1309

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You might want to try switching settings to SDR BT2020 on your Panasonic.
That's been suggested to me before, but I don't want to strip out the HDR metadata even though it's causing the bleeding; I'd rather suffer with it until we can get a different display (most likely an OLED, but I'm not sure yet).
 

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Blair,

Because I watch all UHD Blu-rays (and all discs in general) in a dark room, I use the "Standard" preset in the Panasonic, the logic being that it's the more "accurate" rendition in such conditions (plus my edge-lit LCD suffers with horrible blooming with HDR in the dark, so my instinct was to try and not make this worse).
I can appreciate wishing "accurate" with using "Standard" setting but I personally find that setting is like watching HDR movies while wearing sunglasses. I feel that the most practical solution to having the flawed grading process done on an inappropriate monitor panel is to bring up the brightness to watchable level, while attempting to maintain the integrity of the intended (that the grader sees on said monitor). I'm almost at the point where I'm starting to favour the purchase of non-HDR editions of those movies that are available with the same mastering on regular BD without the HDR. It's terribly frustrating. That said, paying a few extra $ for a combo 4K edition (if available), provides the opportunity to compare discs just to see the if I can achieve a relative "watchability" on the HDR disc.
 

Kaskade1309

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I can appreciate wishing "accurate" with using "Standard" setting but I personally find that setting is like watching HDR movies while wearing sunglasses. I feel that the most practical solution to having the flawed grading process done on an inappropriate monitor panel is to bring up the brightness to watchable level, while attempting to maintain the integrity of the intended (that the grader sees on said monitor). I'm almost at the point where I'm starting to favour the purchase of non-HDR editions of those movies that are available with the same mastering on regular BD without the HDR. It's terribly frustrating. That said, paying a few extra $ for a combo 4K edition (if available), provides the opportunity to compare discs just to see the if I can achieve a relative "watchability" on the HDR disc.
What kind of display or projector do you have again?
 

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What kind of display or projector do you have again?
Sony XBR- 43X800D (VA panel) viewed @ 6'0". (small viewing room). Spectacular image / contrast / control. This choice is based on a lot of sports viewing as well as movies. Hense reluctance for OLED with potential sports graphics burn in. Hoping for Sony to provide a 43" MINI LED (real soon) 👍
 

Kaskade1309

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Sony XBR- 43X800D (VA panel) viewed @ 6'0". (small viewing room). Spectacular image / contrast / control. This choice is based on a lot of sports viewing as well as movies. Hense reluctance for OLED with potential sports graphics burn in. Hoping for Sony to provide a 43" MINI LED (real soon) 👍
I, for one, don't feel like I am "wearing sunglasses" when using the Standard HDR preset on the Panasonic -- which is why I asked about your display. On my NU8000 Samsung, which is far from a "light cannon" especially compared to other LCDs, I never felt HDR highlights were dim, dull or otherwise subdued (with my display settings pretty much on Movie-HDR mode defaults, i.e. Contrast and Backlight maxed out, Local Dimming on High) in an almost totally dark room.
 

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I, for one, don't feel like I am "wearing sunglasses" when using the Standard HDR preset on the Panasonic -- which is why I asked about your display. On my NU8000 Samsung, which is far from a "light cannon" especially compared to other LCDs, I never felt HDR highlights were dim, dull or otherwise subdued (with my display settings pretty much on Movie-HDR mode defaults, i.e. Contrast and Backlight maxed out, Local Dimming on High) in an almost totally dark room.
This is what I do :
My Sony 800D TV has multiple "Picture Modes" within the "Picture Adjustments" on the TV remote. Each of those categories facilitates multiple advanced settings of brightness, contrast, gamma, black level, colour , colour temperature, sharpness resolution, etc, etc. ( IF the same advanced settings, are set in each of the "picture modes", it does NOT result in identical image in each of those). In other words there is pretty much unlimited control of screen image, EXCEPT for HDR. I have yet to find a way to optimize picture quality for that while leaving the Panasonic player HDR setting at "standard", as you apparently have achieved with your TV.

I have established a primary "go to" on the TV remote for most regular BD & DVD, which is excellent for that viewing (upscaling considered). With those discs, the HDR setting button on the player remote is inactive. When inserting a 4K disc in the Panasonic player, & using the "go to", I am able to engage the HDR Setting button which will override any previous picture adjustment on the [video setting button on that remote - which can be maxed out for brightness]. The adjustment parameters for BD & 4K is different with the VSB.
Said another way; if I set the the remote's HDR Setting to "standard" - the picture is dark until I max the brightness with the remote's Video Setting Button (which is independent of the brightness set in the TV's picture mode.) If I then go back, engage the HDR setting button - it reverts to "standard" until I set it to "bright" or "light". It's simpler to just set the HDR to a brighter setting & then it will only engage when playing a 4K disc & be independent of regular BD play.
 

Bryan^H

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This is what I do :
My Sony 800D TV has multiple "Picture Modes" within the "Picture Adjustments" on the TV remote. Each of those categories facilitates multiple advanced settings of brightness, contrast, gamma, black level, colour , colour temperature, sharpness resolution, etc, etc. ( IF the same advanced settings, are set in each of the "picture modes", it does NOT result in identical image in each of those). In other words there is pretty much unlimited control of screen image, EXCEPT for HDR. I have yet to find a way to optimize picture quality for that while leaving the Panasonic player HDR setting at "standard", as you apparently have achieved with your TV.

I have established a primary "go to" on the TV remote for most regular BD & DVD, which is excellent for that viewing (upscaling considered). With those discs, the HDR setting button on the player remote is inactive. When inserting a 4K disc in the Panasonic player, & using the "go to", I am able to engage the HDR Setting button which will override any previous picture adjustment on the [video setting button on that remote - which can be maxed out for brightness]. The adjustment parameters for BD & 4K is different with the VSB.
Said another way; if I set the the remote's HDR Setting to "standard" - the picture is dark until I max the brightness with the remote's Video Setting Button (which is independent of the brightness set in the TV's picture mode.) If I then go back, engage the HDR setting button - it reverts to "standard" until I set it to "bright" or "light". It's simpler to just set the HDR to a brighter setting & then it will only engage when playing a 4K disc & be independent of regular BD play.
So do you like the look of SDR, or HDR better?
 

B....

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So do you like the look of SDR, or HDR better?
There's no way I can give you a definitive answer. I have a few SDR blu rays that put HDR to shame but generally the 4K / HDR discs have more image appeal. My own primary consideration is the depth of image. I'm not expecting 3d or a hologram but something substantially immersive. Isn't this the intention of 4K? Too often 4K presentation is flat.
In my experience :
SDR > brighter, more vibrant colour
HDR > more refined image with subdued colour. It's something I"ve come to enjoy.
I generally prefer HDR discs regardless because I prefer to back off colour intensity on SDR to give the image more "reality". This applies to all tv programing as well.
My reference image quality is a scene in "Spotlight" BD (SDR) eOne label / not sure about the Universal Studios edition - the conversation on the bench starting @ C13 - 1:18:50 - (the whole production is exemplary). This should demonstrate the ambiguity in the whole HDR validity IMO. I'd love to hear your take. You must have an opinion based on your question.
 

Bryan^H

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There's no way I can give you a definitive answer. I have a few SDR blu rays that put HDR to shame but generally the 4K / HDR discs have more image appeal. My own primary consideration is the depth of image. I'm not expecting 3d or a hologram but something substantially immersive. Isn't this the intention of 4K? Too often 4K presentation is flat.
In my experience :
SDR > brighter, more vibrant colour
HDR > more refined image with subdued colour. It's something I"ve come to enjoy.
I generally prefer HDR discs regardless because I prefer to back off colour intensity on SDR to give the image more "reality". This applies to all tv programing as well.
My reference image quality is a scene in "Spotlight" BD (SDR) eOne label / not sure about the Universal Studios edition - the conversation on the bench starting @ C13 - 1:18:50 - (the whole production is exemplary). This should demonstrate the ambiguity in the whole HDR validity IMO. I'd love to hear your take. You must have an opinion based on your question.
I love HDR, but I understand it is extremely limiting for some people going by their setup, and room.

Some people do not have light controlled rooms. They watch in light filled or worse ambient sunshine lit rooms. That must be horrible. The only way to watch HDR content properly is in a completely dark environment. Just like when you go to the cinema and watch a film on the big screen. If theater owners left the lights on you'd have an audience yelling out loud in disappointment. No different as HDR is meant to replicate the films in theaters experience making home video feel like a cinematic viewing.

I didn't know this in 2016 (when I got into 4K) it is something no one tells you.

I also find that HDR varies depending on the hardware. Dolby Vision on a $300 Vizio LED, as opposed to a $4K Sony OLED will be completely different.
And I think it is a shame that such variables exist.

Bottom line is that I think people struggling to make HDR look "better" because they aren't happy should just stick to SDR. Not a dig, just a thought. Seriously I know many people that prefer SDR over HDR. I help them setup their TV's as such!
 

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I love HDR, but I understand it is extremely limiting for some people going by their setup, and room.

Some people do not have light controlled rooms. They watch in light filled or worse ambient sunshine lit rooms. That must be horrible. The only way to watch HDR content properly is in a completely dark environment. Just like when you go to the cinema and watch a film on the big screen. If theater owners left the lights on you'd have an audience yelling out loud in disappointment. No different as HDR is meant to replicate the films in theaters experience making home video feel like a cinematic viewing.

I didn't know this in 2016 (when I got into 4K) it is something no one tells you.

I also find that HDR varies depending on the hardware. Dolby Vision on a $300 Vizio LED, as opposed to a $4K Sony OLED will be completely different.
And I think it is a shame that such variables exist.

Bottom line is that I think people struggling to make HDR look "better" because they aren't happy should just stick to SDR. Not a dig, just a thought. Seriously I know many people that prefer SDR over HDR. I help them setup their TV's as such!
Your reasoning can't but make me think about some discussion I've read about how HDR was implemented incorrectly from the start. Perhaps there's some validity to the fact that the monitors used for establishing "intended" image quality (in disc production) for the movie are far to "over the top" & not ideal for the vast majority of practical consumer application. That would seem to account for the discrepancy in brightness of SDR / HDR. But perhaps the HDR principle is to START with less brightness than SDR, in order, in part, for there to be a greater range. As for colour differences I've experienced between the 2 is another thing perhaps pointed more to what you have stated regarding the character & potential of the equipment.
 

Worth

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Some people do not have light controlled rooms. They watch in light filled or worse ambient sunshine lit rooms. That must be horrible...
That probably describes the vast majority of viewers. And that's why I only watch SDR on the living room set, even though it's HDR capable. I reserve HDR for the big screen in the basement. My issue with HDR is that it's so wildly inconsistent. One movie will be incredibly dim, the next searingly bright.
 

Kaskade1309

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I don't know; I don't have any of the issues mentioned here with HDR, really...

My biggest problem is the horrendous blooming into the black areas of letterboxed films when extreme highlights hit the screen, as my edge-lit LCD panel just can't handle it (not enough dimming zones).

But as far as brightness and inconsistencies, I don't really experience any problems -- because I have the display set differently for both SDR and HDR, when I watch HDR content the difference is significant and VERY noticeable. For instance: when viewing SDR (in my case it would be DVDs and 1080p Blu-rays on this HDMI input connected to my UHD Blu-ray player), I have the Backlight set to "11" out of "50" (which equates to around 100 nits, pretty spot-on for SDR, and which also controls the blooming pretty well) and the Contrast set to the Samsung Movie mode default of "45" (out of "50"). I also keep the Local Dimming on LOW.

When I watch HDR content, the Contrast and Backlight jump to maximum -- "50" out of "50" -- and Local Dimming switches to HIGH. When this occurs, I experience a SIGNIFICANT improvement in picture quality impact as I spin UHD Blu-rays (as compared to Blu-rays or DVDs). The only time I really complained about an inconsistency with an HDR title was when I watched the latest Scream film -- for whatever reason, this disc was mastered at a very low nit value, and it seemed inconsistent compared to previous titles I have viewed since getting into the new format. It comes across like a well-mastered Blu-ray in terms of color, vividness and visceral punch, rather than an Ultra HD variant with HDR, but it is what it is.

Other than that, I don't experience any issues, per se, with HDR -- aside form the annoying light bleed/blooming due to my panel's tech (as I mentioned).
 

Vincent_P

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Unforgiven was always dark as a bat's groin by design, with or without HDR, but it really causes issues with the HDR grade. That's one film that shouldn't even have had one. It's one of the few discs that I own that makes me wish that I had a 4K OLED to watch it on, instead of a projector.
UNFORGIVEN was one of the UHDs that clued me in that the ASBL "feature" as implemented by LG on my 65B7A OLED had BIG issues with "dark" HDR content. As dark as that disc is, the ASBL would kick on during any slow-moving "dark" scenes on the disc and thus make it EVEN DARKER. It was a nightmare on this and many other titles (watching Netflix's THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE in HDR-10 before I got a Dolby Vision capable streaming device was another one that would constantly trip on the ASBL), but luckily I was able to get ahold of a service-menu remote and turn the ASBL off a couple years ago, and I've never looked back. Best thing I did with my LG OLED.

This also might be considered "sacrilege" for "video purists", but I prefer to watch a lot of HDR-10 titles in "forced Dolby Vision" with my Sony UPB-X700. It really helps out with a lot of those "problem" titles like GOODFELLAS, UNFORGIVEN, etc. I believe the newer LG OLEDs are better at tone mapping HDR-10, but on my 2017 model, "forced Dolby Vision" has been a huge help.

Vincent
 

Vincent_P

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I agree that Warner Bros. most likely won't redo Unforgiven. However, other companies have already redone previous released 4K UHD titles with new masters - The Witch, Halloween, Dawn Of The Dead and Dog Soldiers. So, it's not unheard of.
DAWN OF THE DEAD doesn't really count because the previous UHDs released in Europe only contained the Dario Argento-supervised European cut in 4K as scanned from an Interpositive, whereas the newer Second Sight set contains ALL the cuts of the film in 4K, with the theatrical cut having been scanned from the original negative.

Vincent
 

Carlo_M

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Just adding my +1 to Unforgiven. It was too dark on my older LED TVs (Samsung KS8000 and Sony XBR900F), too dark with my LG C1 (even with the darkening countermeasures turned off via service remote/menu), and still too dark on my LG C2 which handles shadow detail better than the C1. It's unfortunate because it's one of my favorite movies which is not a visual pleasure to watch on the home theater. I find I have to engage the Panasonic UHD player's HDR tone mapping function to brighten it up a little bit, but that's an imperfect band-aid which introduces other visual artifacts. I really do wish they'd revisit this Oscar Winner but the financial incentive likely isn't there for WB to do so.
 

Kaskade1309

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Just adding my +1 to Unforgiven. It was too dark on my older LED TVs (Samsung KS8000 and Sony XBR900F), too dark with my LG C1 (even with the darkening countermeasures turned off via service remote/menu), and still too dark on my LG C2 which handles shadow detail better than the C1. It's unfortunate because it's one of my favorite movies which is not a visual pleasure to watch on the home theater. I find I have to engage the Panasonic UHD player's HDR tone mapping function to brighten it up a little bit, but that's an imperfect band-aid which introduces other visual artifacts. I really do wish they'd revisit this Oscar Winner but the financial incentive likely isn't there for WB to do so.
Normally, Panasonic's HDR Optimizer tends to DIM visuals when engaged, not BRIGHTEN them (unless you tweak the parameters like Dynamic Range Adjustment or the HDR environment mode, which WOULD affect that).

What Panasonic player do you have?
 

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