One of the largest enhancement of 4K TV in Full HD is the HDR (hight dynamic range) (1080p). The idea is simple: an extended dynamic brightness spectrum so that the natural image can be improved and the high brightness of the last 15 years is best utilized.
But when your brand new TV turns on HDR or Dolby Vision and your photo becomes dark you cannot see anything. You don’t see anything in darkness. Too dark HDR problem? Clogged HDR picture? HDR is a hype for videophones that only watch movies in the dark, you’re convinced.
- Why does HDR appear dark on some TVs?
- How does HDR work?
- Causes of HDR adjustment difficulties
- How to brighten the image for daytime viewing?
- When is HDR good on a TV for general purpose use?
- What are the limitations of HDR sources?
- Which TV for which use?
Why does HDR appear dark on some TVs?
Old content is mastered in SDR (0 ~ 100 nits)
The films and series you watched for years were mastered in what we now call Standard Dynamic Range or SDR. In fact, the latter is very dim, mastered by high lights of around 100.
TVs that can light more brightly enhance the brightness of bright and dark areas
Nearly all modern LCD TVs, however, can make up to 300 sets when you play the SDR material, so you can simply switch on the backlight, which increases the luminosity of the whole thing if you are in a well light space. That’s in the picture, from the darkest to the highlights.
The deviation of the brightness of the images remains the same
That’s not an issue because our ability to discern dark shadow in bright light is poorer, so that the difference between the darkest part of the picture is hard to see if the Black is not perfect. More dark and lighter, if that word speaks more to you, it still has the same difference, or “contrast.”
How does HDR work?
No more difference in brightness
HDR functions otherwise than SDR. As the name suggests the main aim of the project is to build a higher dynamic range, i.e. a wider distance between the dark and bright sections of a scene.
Highlights much brighter …
Depending on your TV’s capabilities, the highlights can be 1000 or more nits in HDR. For instance, when they reach the ground shaded by trees, the sun is perching the trees in a forest and has very bright beams of light; or when camp-fires are shining like a warm oasis in the dark night of the desert. This makes an incredible photo on a good TV, but it doesn’t mean the whole image is brighter than the SDR, the luminous bits are only. Since they take advantage of television capabilities beyond the SDR.
But low lights still so dark!
In principle, the average light of the HDR scene should be identical to the same SDR scene, although this can differ from film to film in function of the calibration.
Causes of HDR adjustment difficulties
Setting HDR to MAX brightness by default
Yet there’s one catch: several TVs are default in HDR mode using the full backlight and contrast rate, so you can’t increase it like you can with SDR content if you ever watch a beautiful light in your TV. Day of light. This is not true of all television sets, but it is popular and can confuse you.
Some HDR TVs are not made for HDR
Worse still, some TVs darken the image to make up for their HDR defects. It should be understood that TVs with HDR feature do not have a better brightness at the low end and a good part of the mid-range (300 ~ 900 €) than TVs without HDRs. Along with the broader palette of colors of the HDR (name WCG for Broad Color Gamut), many of which can not be reproduced by these less powerful televisions, TV must do everything to compensate for its deficiencies.
How do poor HDR TVs compensate?
If a TV cannot replicate these highlights at certain speeds, it carries out Tone Mapping in order to customize the content to suit its capacity.
Imagine that you have a 350 nit low-end TV also in HDR. If you read a scene with a maximum of 1000 nits, you need to change the scene to just 350 nit. TVs are two major approaches to this:
- If a TV cannot replicate these highlights at certain speeds, it carries out Tone Mapping in order to customize the content to suit its capacity.
- Imagine that you have a 350 nit low-end TV also in HDR. If you read a scene with a maximum of 1000 nits, you need to change the scene to just 350 nit. TVs are two major approaches to this:
How to brighten the image for daytime viewing?
Let it be straightforward, you just want to see your TV. Every television is different, but you can try to lighten up the scene.
First of all, make sure no TV update is available that might resolve the known problems
Firmware updates can have a drastic impact on the image quality, especially on lower end TVs. It is an upgrade at times, it is a degradation at times. I therefore suggest to navigate Google to see what other people have had before taking the plunge with the new firmware. Maybe you’re lucky.
If that doesn’t work, begin playing the HDR film, then open the TV’s image settings and then place your television in HDR mode. Reset the image mode to its default values. Try the following then:
- Turn up the backlight: You might have tried it before, but if not, you’ll find the setting Backlight and activate it. Be aware of the fact that you want to enhance the Backlight setting and not the Brightness setting. Increase of lights up the picture a little, but the shadows’ specifics are crushed and the dark ones blocked out. In higher HDR mode, some TVs can not allow you to set the backlight, but some will.
- Adjust backlight adaptation:Again, possibly the setting is already perfect, but only if you open your photo and play with the ‘local dimming option’ (if your TV has one. a). Certain presets will darken the whole picture to keep the black levels in a room as deep as possible.
- Adjust your gamma: It is possibly set to 2.2 by default if your TV has a gamma mode. The image will seem brighter if it is changed to 2.0 or lower.
- Change Your Picture Preset:You have read all the great tips to get a sharper picture of TV in movie or movie mode, and it is real, but it may look too dark during the day. This preset is explicitly optimized for watching the evening or darkroom, so some TVs have a higher “Cinema” than the True Cinema mode. In other instances, you might also select the regular image mode. The colors aren’t as exact, but they could counteract the ambient light and enhance the picture.
Switch back to SDR: In the end, there is one last choice if not one of the above solutions works well for you: look up your SDR programs during the day. In that there’s no guilt! Better SDR on those low-light televisions than poor HDR. When you watch movies at night, you can still put it back to HDR and want the complete effect, or at least as much effect as your TV can have.
When is HDR good on a TV for general purpose use?
In order for HDR to operate optimally, a good TV luminance and the WCG (wide color portfolio) are needed for a good contrast, which will highlight the specifics of the high dynamic light spectrum.
Let us take a closer look at how to specify that every brand is as good a on its televisions.
What are the limitations of HDR sources?
As norm, HDR10 produces 1000 nits on a movie in simple theory. High-end LCD televisions will easily respond to this. However, the higher HDR levels allow us to go far beyond that, or no TV can go on for too long.
- HDR10: 1000 nits and 10 bits of color
- HDR10 +: 4000 nits and 10 bits of color
- Dolby Vision: 10,000 nits and 12 bits of color
This is just the datasheet principle. NO TV released to date (2021) is 12-bit or more than three thousand nits.
Which TV for which use?
We therefore have HDR LCD televisions on one side that can reach up to three thousand nits while keeping 0,05 black (for example, Samsung’s QLEDs or Vizio) which seem to be great candidates for broad daylight sessions.
On the other hand, we have OLED TVs that fight to wait for 800 nits while, on the other hand, have perfect black (along with the Panasonic HZ2000, except 1000) which seem to be most suitable for evening sessions.
Sadly, that’s what happens. Tell yourself if you’re looking for a new TV:
- if the configuration of your viewing room is rather bright or not?
- Do you watch TV during the day or at night?
- Lights on or off?
- Movies and series or TV shows?