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HDR calibration settings in games

dannius

Well-known Member
Can anyone explain why games have HDR calibration settings? They rarely seem to make much difference, and just make me confused as to whether i've got the correct setting. Therefore I don't know if i'm getting the optimal experience.

4K UHD Blu Ray's don't have calibration options (that i've seen), so when you're watching a movie on a UHD Premium screen, you know that within reason you're watching it as intended.

I started playing Battlefield 1 yesterday and I spent ages fiddling with the brightness and HDR calibration screens and still have no idea if i've got it right. I find the same in all games with these settings and in the end just give up and use the default.

I like HDR, and I like that there is a 'standard' for TV's which can display HDR as intended, so why confuse things with calibration settings?
 

Cha1ky

Member
Surely the settings are there so you can tweak it to what YOU think is best with your own eyes, rather than someone elses best which you may not like.
 

dannius

Well-known Member
Surely the settings are there so you can tweak it to what YOU think is best with your own eyes, rather than someone elses best which you may not like.
So why don't UHD Blu Rays have the same?

As I said, it rarely seems to make much difference. Maybe it's my over 40 eyes!
 

Cha1ky

Member
So why don't UHD Blu Rays have the same?

As I said, it rarely seems to make much difference. Maybe it's my over 40 eyes!
I think games are a bit different to a film as you spend more time on them and a movie style setting isn't always the best for games. Esp as in general I find movie settings to be a bit dark overall which won't be helpful in a game where I need to see objects properly.

Just tweak it to what you think is best and let that do. I'd do the same with your TV too. Afterall its you thats watching/playing it.
 

dannius

Well-known Member
Just tweak it to what you think is best and let that do. I'd do the same with your TV too. Afterall its you thats watching/playing it.
I've never been one to tinker with screen settings for ages, as I've never been able to decide on what the best setting is!

HDR calibration screens usually involve moving a slider until the Forza logo or whatever is 'just visible'. Is that giving me the best image? Possibly, I don't know.

You're right, and that's what I end up doing. I just like there to be a standard for things like this.
 

Indiana Jones

Moderator
I actually wish UHD films did have a similar calibration tool as my standard SDR settings don’t work very well when it comes to playing UHDs on my X as the image is much darker than it should be so I have created a UHD picture preset but without a proper calibration tool it’s just guess work.

As for why games have them it’s likely down to allowing the user to tailor the experience for their screen as not all are equal plus Xbox have been using that odd gamma curve since the 360 and most developers added in brightness adjustment options to games to account for it.
 

Razer08

Active Member
My guess is that since there is no standard way of calibrating for HDR when games ask you to adjust a few settings it's trying to align your tv to the standards of which the game was created in.
 

iwb100

Distinguished Member
Movies are mastered in HDR with the intention of being watched in a dark cinema environment. Games give you a choice since they are interactive media and are live rendering the action so brightness and luminance tweaks won’t ruin the intention.
 

dannius

Well-known Member
Thanks all, valuable comments. Maybe I should think of HDR calibration settings as ‘fine tuning’ more than anything, to account for screen and/or viewing environment variations?

I tell you what, Battlefield 1 has some real HDR ‘wow’ moments. It’s possibly the best implementation of HDR in a game that I’ve seen.
 

Indiana Jones

Moderator
Assassins Creed Origins and now Odyssey really shine in HDR, the crisp blues of the sky and oceans, the lush greens of the forests and field, the golden sparkle of the deserts :cool:

Real shame Rockstar didn’t implement HDR correctly in Red Dead but maybe their next game in 2023 lol
 

dannius

Well-known Member
Assassins Creed Origins and now Odyssey really shine in HDR, the crisp blues of the sky and oceans, the lush greens of the forests and field, the golden sparkle of the deserts :cool:

Real shame Rockstar didn’t implement HDR correctly in Red Dead but maybe their next game in 2023 lol
Nice, I might have to check Odyssey out in the BF sales. I’m that shallow that I’d buy a game based on how awesome the HDR is!

Agree about RDR2, hoping they might patch it.
 

Indiana Jones

Moderator
Nice, I might have to check Odyssey out in the BF sales. I’m that shallow that I’d buy a game based on how awesome the HDR is!

Agree about RDR2, hoping they might patch it.
I lost 70 hours to Odyssey, incredible value for money but it did burn me out on open world games with the character on horse back hence I have yet to play Red Dead beyond the prologue despite having owned it since release day lol
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Can anyone explain why games have HDR calibration settings? They rarely seem to make much difference, and just make me confused as to whether i've got the correct setting. Therefore I don't know if i'm getting the optimal experience.

4K UHD Blu Ray's don't have calibration options (that i've seen), so when you're watching a movie on a UHD Premium screen, you know that within reason you're watching it as intended.

I started playing Battlefield 1 yesterday and I spent ages fiddling with the brightness and HDR calibration screens and still have no idea if i've got it right. I find the same in all games with these settings and in the end just give up and use the default.

I like HDR, and I like that there is a 'standard' for TV's which can display HDR as intended, so why confuse things with calibration settings?
The HDR10 standard is messy...

Displays that implement HDR10 vary wildly in capabilities and performance of said standard. This can lead to titles that can look worse in HDR than in SDR & have various image quality issues.

Some games now feature HDR calibration tools to compensate for the above.

There is a sub-standard of HDR10 recently created called the HDR game group, it's purpose is to try and narrow the scope of the TV game mode HDR10 implementations so end users get a more consistent output, it's yet to be put into action but hopefully will resolve these problems.
 

iwb100

Distinguished Member
The HDR10 standard is messy...

Displays that implement HDR10 vary wildly in capabilities and performance of said standard. This can lead to titles that can look worse in HDR than in SDR & have various image quality issues.

Some games now feature HDR calibration tools to compensate for the above.

There is a sub-standard of HDR10 recently created called the HDR game group, it's purpose is to try and narrow the scope of the TV game mode HDR10 implementations so end users get a more consistent output, it's yet to be put into action but hopefully will resolve these problems.
This isn't true at all.

HDR10 is not messy. The only messy part is that many TV's can read an HDR signal and are advertised as "HDR" but actually aren't able to properly display or do justice to the HDR10 signal they receive.

HDR10 is a standard that is designed to display content in a dark room on a compatible TV. It will work on any TV that supports HDR BUT will not be good on TVs where there is a limit on how bright they can get as the dynamic range will be compressed by the TV and ultimately the point of HDR is destroyed.

The only people who can do anything about this is the manufacturers of TVs - and what they can do is be honest about a TV's capability. An unofficial standard has already been established by a group of manufacturers that use the UHD premium label. This could easily be adopted as a minimum standard for a TV to be classed as "HDR". And that is 1000 nits of brightness for LED sets and 540 nits for OLED sets. Those values represent the minimum dynamic ranges required to properly display HDR.
 
The HDR thing really winds me up that they can call a tv HDR but it hasnt even got a 10 bit panel. then theres the HDR premium thing that means one thing on an LCD and another on an OLED.

wait until we get to HDMI 2.1 and they are allowed to call it HDMI 2.1 even though it isnt
 

helvetica bold

Active Member
Thanks all, valuable comments. Maybe I should think of HDR calibration settings as ‘fine tuning’ more than anything, to account for screen and/or viewing environment variations?

I tell you what, Battlefield 1 has some real HDR ‘wow’ moments. It’s possibly the best implementation of HDR in a game that I’ve seen.
You should play Battlefield V and Battlefront 2. ; )
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
There is no real reason for picture adjustments in games. HDR is just a standard same as any other . Games developers are notorious for not managing to render according to video standards. They barely manage to render or correct something as simple as video level vs sRGB level

There is no reason that CGI cannot be rendered according to strict video standards. We do it all the time in film and broadcast work

When I see these settings on games it tells me a lot about the knowledge level in the lighting department.
 

dannius

Well-known Member
There’s a good video on Vincent Teoh’s YouTube channel about BFV, in which Adam Fairclough covers the HDR calibration setting:


If you read the comments too it seems that many people find HDR calibration settings in games confusing and are looking for guidance.
 

Indiana Jones

Moderator
The HDR in games is what I have been most impressed by.
 

EvilBoris

Member
HDR for games. Talk about overkill. Stop the world, I want to get off.
The HDR content that is coming from games typically offers a far larger dynamic range than a lot of movie content.
People would be quite shocked to see just how many 4K HDR UHDs actually barely exceed the dynamic range of the DVD or Blu Ray version.

I mean, this is mosly because there has to be HDR in a 4k UHD disc, but the marketing machine behind all this stuff isn't very honest.
 

rob72

Active Member
The HDR content that is coming from games typically offers a far larger dynamic range than a lot of movie content.
People would be quite shocked to see just how many 4K HDR UHDs actually barely exceed the dynamic range of the DVD or Blu Ray version.

I mean, this is mosly because there has to be HDR in a 4k UHD disc, but the marketing machine behind all this stuff isn't very honest.
I'm not talking about the quality of HDR in games. I question it's very existence. Who cares what a game looks like? Utter overkill.
 

EvilBoris

Member
I'm not talking about the quality of HDR in games. I question it's very existence. Who cares what a game looks like? Utter overkill.
To be honest, I don't really know how to respond to that....

Who cares what a movie looks like?
 

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