How to tell Im getting the most out of my setup. (Dolby Vison, HDR etc)

The Lloyd

Member
Ive had the current setup a while now:

Sony Blu Ray Player - UBP-X800
Sony AV Receiver - STR-DN1080
Sony TV - KD-65AF8

And I can definitely say it was a massive improvement over my old HD equipment so when I first got it I was more than content. I also had very very little 4k options available at the time so after a few picture tweaks I settled on how it is currently set up. So for a while I have been pleased but had a niggling doubt in the back of my mind that something is not right.

Nowadays I have a lot of 4k options (some streaming but mostly physical media), and I am concerned that I am not getting the content that I should be. By this I mean all the HDR or Dolby Vision stuff. I have looked up what they mean and although I partly understand, I still dont know if my settings are achieving that. I went through a few youtube videos and they either had different settings on my TV, or not much seemed to change but why I am confused is as follows.

I stumbled across a setting on the TV called HDR (its either On, Auto, or OFF and I have had it set to AUTO for the timebeing) and it makes the picture completely different than when it is off than when I switch it on. It looks absolutely god awful when switched On, like maximum contrast throughout but very very bright colours and completely dark blacks. I thought "this cant be right, is this the HDR everyone is raving out?", but on the other hand is was many times more vibrant than normal, perhaps a few more tweaks would make that look right I dont know. Surely it is not the right setting. Also when left on Auto my TV never seems to select that as an option and it looks normal (its a good picture but I cant help feeling it could be better). Also a few forums and youtube videos suggest selecting Dolby Vision to "ON" but my TV does not have an option anywhere that says Dolby Vision anything.

How would I know if I even had this as an option or what to look out for? You see I have never seen a comparison properly so I cant look at my TV and say something is actually wrong because that is not displaying Dolby Vision or HDR or whatever is best. I dont know how to get the best out of this equipment or even if i already am, not because I dont know how to tweak the settings but because half the time I dont know what they are doing or if they are correct for best practice, or what reference I am looking to achieve.

I have a feeling if someone who knew what they were doing saw my setup that they might just say "what they hell have you got it set like that for" but couldnt justify getting someone out like a pro just for them to come and see it and say "actually thats completely normal". I also have this feeling that I am not "activating" HDR or DV somehow and when I do I'm going to kick myself when it blows me away. Maybe its right maybe its well out. I cant tell and I dont know what to look for so I know. If my car is supposed to do 0-60 in 6 seconds and has a heater that works then if it is slow as hell I know its not doing it and if its freezing in the winter then I have to tweak the settings to "hot" and I know its working because to me its very obvious when the car is performing well and warm inside, I can feel it. TV's though, I just dont know.
 

hyeongseong

Active Member
You should leave the HDR on auto. For HDR and Dolby version content have you got netflix ? There are some content on there are in dolby version it will tell you on the app if the content is dolby version or not. On my sony if you play a dolby content and go to the setting menu it actually show me the TV is in dolby mode or not.
 

The Lloyd

Member
I do have Netflix yes but only till February, the price increase is stopping us from renewing next month. We have the top Netflix package and although it used to show up either HD, DOLBY VISION, HDR or 4kULTRA HD when looking at content depending on what it was I now can not find anything in Dolby Vision, even things that were previously, everything just says either HD or 4K ULTRA HD. I am also unsure what setting on my TV lets me see what the content is being displayed in to see if it matches what Netflix is saying next to the title.

When playing a 4k or 1080p blu ray on my player there is a button for seeing what resolution is playing and other things like bitrate etc but I have not seen anything similar on the TV.

I will continue to leave the HDR to auto but at no time with no matter what content does the display ever jump to what it looks like with "HDR ON", which seems a good thing because as stated before it is awful, I can barely see anything, but of course does that not negate the idea of having a HDR TV. Is HDR Dolby Vision? What does HDR10 content show as and how do I know that is "activated".
I know it is a lot of questions (I apologise) but again as stated above I have this nagging feeling Im going to do something and the picture will blow me away and I will kick myself for not activating it sooner. Or maybe Im talking utter garbage and everything is fine.
 
I do have Netflix yes but only till February, the price increase is stopping us from renewing next month. We have the top Netflix package and although it used to show up either HD, DOLBY VISION, HDR or 4kULTRA HD when looking at content depending on what it was I now can not find anything in Dolby Vision, even things that were previously, everything just says either HD or 4K ULTRA HD. I am also unsure what setting on my TV lets me see what the content is being displayed in to see if it matches what Netflix is saying next to the title.

When playing a 4k or 1080p blu ray on my player there is a button for seeing what resolution is playing and other things like bitrate etc but I have not seen anything similar on the TV.

I will continue to leave the HDR to auto but at no time with no matter what content does the display ever jump to what it looks like with "HDR ON", which seems a good thing because as stated before it is awful, I can barely see anything, but of course does that not negate the idea of having a HDR TV. Is HDR Dolby Vision? What does HDR10 content show as and how do I know that is "activated".
I know it is a lot of questions (I apologise) but again as stated above I have this nagging feeling Im going to do something and the picture will blow me away and I will kick myself for not activating it sooner. Or maybe Im talking utter garbage and everything is fine.

I don't have a Sony TV, but from what you have said you need to have HDR switched to On. The fact that on "Auto" you are seeing no HDR /DV on Netflix strongly suggests that Auto is not the correct setting. (Caveat - needs to be confirmed by Sony owner).

If your TV recognises an HDR/DV source (they are just a different "flavour" of HDR, don't worry about the terminology) , then it will display it, and you will see it flagged on your TV at the start of the programme.

As for the quality, HDR/DV does require a bright TV to look it's best, and there are reports that Sony TVs are not great with DV implementation.

I would strongly advise that you post in the Sony forum or ask a mod to move this thread so you can get some input from Sony owners.
 

The Lloyd

Member
I don't have a Sony TV, but from what you have said you need to have HDR switched to On. The fact that on "Auto" you are seeing no HDR /DV on Netflix strongly suggests that Auto is not the correct setting. (Caveat - needs to be confirmed by Sony owner).
Thats what I thought. Although I couldnt figure out how Netflix would no longer display HDR/DV etc when it did use to a while ago and I havent really touched and saved settings since I remember it displaying those options.

Im not sure I agree with moving this purely to a Sony forum although that would seem to make sense; the question is still a more general one. How do I personally know Im getting it. I dont even know what its supposed to look like? How would I know what is right, not whether DV or HDR is active, yeah that would help but as in how do I know it is supposed to be that way, what is DV and HDR compared to regular? I can wiki it but still dont fully understand it.
As I said the HDR ON setting is very very weird (not from a personal perspective but weird in general.)

I wonder if i should post pics although my camera is not very good so might not pick it up very well what it is that I mean. After work I will post something up if I can in the hope that might explain it a bit better. Hopefully I'm just being daft and apart from some minor corrections I am getting the most out of my setup, but again, there is that nagging feeling.
 
Thats what I thought. Although I couldnt figure out how Netflix would no longer display HDR/DV etc when it did use to a while ago and I havent really touched and saved settings since I remember it displaying those options.

Im not sure I agree with moving this purely to a Sony forum although that would seem to make sense; the question is still a more general one. How do I personally know Im getting it. I dont even know what its supposed to look like? How would I know what is right, not whether DV or HDR is active, yeah that would help but as in how do I know it is supposed to be that way, what is DV and HDR compared to regular? I can wiki it but still dont fully understand it.
As I said the HDR ON setting is very very weird (not from a personal perspective but weird in general.)

I wonder if i should post pics although my camera is not very good so might not pick it up very well what it is that I mean. After work I will post something up if I can in the hope that might explain it a bit better. Hopefully I'm just being daft and apart from some minor corrections I am getting the most out of my setup, but again, there is that nagging feeling.

You need a Sony owner to confirm settings first - if you had a Panasonic, I could explain for definite how you would know if you are seeing an HDR/DV picture, but I can't do the same for Sony, although I suspect it would be similar.

So for example with Panasonic and staying with Netflix (I assume you are using the TV app?) a "Dolby Vision" flag appears in the top right corner of the screen, and when in the picture settings menu, it clearly displays at the top of the screen "HDR" or "Dolby Vision". Finally the Luminance and Contrast settings are maxed out by default. It really is easy to identify.

So if you are seeing the equivalent on your Sony, you "know" that you are seeing an HDR picture. Now whether you like what you are seeing is a different matter -some people prefer and are used to a very (artificially) bright picture setting, so an HDR picture can look very dark to them for that reason.
 
Thats what I thought. Although I couldnt figure out how Netflix would no longer display HDR/DV etc when it did use to a while ago and I havent really touched and saved settings since I remember it displaying those options.

Error.
 

The Lloyd

Member
I think I can confirm the source material when on the blu ray player at least because that does have a display setting that shows me hdr is on. It just seems so very dark and orange. Like everyone is orange. When I push settings to off it goes a bit flat but more real feeling, yet flat and dull doesnt seem right. I think I need to play with the settings some more and just get a picture I am happy with. I would like to get it as close to as its suppose to be but I guess without professional calibration I will have to go with what feels right by eye.
Does anyone put any faith in those colour calibration blu rays? I could try one of those. Or is there a place I can find settings for my current model that get it close with only the need to tweak slightly from there. Or something to reference against so I can see a film that has dolby vision activated and a side by side with it off then try to make my settings close to the dv picture.
 

Rob12345678

Active Member
Try these settings for a start point: Sony A8F OLED Calibration Settings

When you're watching an HDR source (the YouTube "COSTA RICA IN 4K 60fps HDR (ULTRA HD)" is a well used demo - there's a reason it has 137 million views...!), hit the Action menu on your remote, then select 'Picture' (ie where you change all the contrast etc), if it's HDR it will say it in a box in the top right of the screen.

This should look vivid, contrasty and extremely colourful!
 

The Lloyd

Member
Thank you Rob, this was what I was looking for, some sort of comparison. You see I can look at this on my rather sub standard computer monitor to see what it looks like and then run downstairs and have a look on the TV to see what it should really look like, I would presume a fair difference. I will also take a look at those calibration settings too. There doesnt seem to be too much info on the AF8's it seems like everyone skipped them and went straight to the 9's so this will help tremendously.

Thanks.
 

unifex

Novice Member
Just for your information : UBP-X800 does not support Dolby Vision. If you have the X800M2, tgen you need to manually turn it on in the settings.
 

The Lloyd

Member
Just for your information : UBP-X800 does not support Dolby Vision.
I had a feeling this was the case. It seems they upgraded to the M2 fairly quickly after I bought mine so its a shame I missed out on that one. Its still an absolutely outstanding player but I do feel a bit let down by that move. It does support HDR10 but I dont think it supports HDR10+ either. However I am noticing the difference between HDR mode on and off so I am getting more of an idea of what is being offered.
 

Rob12345678

Active Member
That's why I got the plasticky UBP-X700... :)

As you say, the X800 does do HDR10 though which is still much better than SDR!
 

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