Question What HDR capability does my kit actually have?

dickieblack

Standard Member
Hi all, I’m hoping I can get some advice and really hoping I haven’t made an expensive mistake

I have just completed a home cinema setup on a low budget - 5.1 sound from a Denon AVR-X550bt and Denon 5.1 speakers, a Panasonic UB820 Blu-ray player (and a chromecast ultra) connected to a Benq TK850 projector via the AVR, with a wired network connection to 60mbps broadband for streaming. Finally, I have a Sapphire 77” screen. Not everything was new and my budget is basically exhausted.

I have read a few threads here about the different HDR formats and what I was hoping to achieve was 4K HDR for watching movies, netflix etc. But what I am struggling with is the different HDR formats. The projector can do HDR10 and HLG, but not DolbyVision. The Blu-ray player can do HDR10, 10+ and DV and so can the chromecast. I know that set up overall works as I’ve played a HDR clip of Gemini Man (which was supposedly in DV) and was blown away! I had assumed that the different standards were in some way additive and that as the projector can do HDR10, I’d get at least that when playing content with “better” formats.

But playing what I believe to be HDR content on Netflix does not seem to give me the experience I expect. The colour depth and brightness were nothing like the clip and nor was the UHD Blu-ray of Thor Ragnarok I tried. Most of the content on Netflix seems to be DV and having read various threads here I’m worried that as the projector doesn’t support DV, any content that is in that format will not be shown in any form of HDR, even if the resolution is 4K. Which I think might then mean all I really get is higher resolution but lose most of the colour depth and brightness. Have I understood this correctly?

Does anyone have any advice? What should I be able to achieve with what I have? Are there settings I need to change on the projector and/or Blu-ray player?

Many thanks,

Richard
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
Hi Richard,

No projectors do a Dolby Vision so I’d cross that off your list, it will/should automatically convert to the next available, which will generally be HDR10.

HDR is also very difficult for projectors to do correctly as they can’t get anywhere near bright enough.

To get the most out of a projector with HDR, you actually need to trick the projector into thinking it is getting a SDR image, but this is quite a complex subject.

You’ll probably find that most SDR content will look better than any HDR stuff with the basic settings.

With the Panasonic 820, you should have a HDR slider which will allow you to adjust the settings on the fly so your image doesn’t get crushed. It’s actually a cheap way of getting relatively good HDR content from a projector before going down the more complex route of MadVR and Lumagen.
 

3rdignis

Active Member
You wont know what your projector is capable of unless you get it professionally calibrated £200 (A difficult situation if your not happy with it now)
 

dickieblack

Standard Member
Thanks, this is actually very reassuring - if I can get HDR 10 instead of DV that’s so far above what I had before it will be enough for me! What was worrying me was that, for example, if I choose a title on Netflix on either the UB820 or chromecast ultra and that title was DV, the app would “see” the projector couldn’t handle it and simply not provide the HDR stream at all - this is made more concerning because I saw lots of references to.Netflix displaying an HDR banner when it plays an HDR stream and I’ve not seen that so far at all and there doesn’t seem to be an obvious way to find what the stream quality is when it’s playing.
Richard
Hi Richard,

No projectors do a Dolby Vision so I’d cross that off your list, it will/should automatically convert to the next available, which will generally be HDR10.

HDR is also very difficult for projectors to do correctly as they can’t get anywhere near bright enough.

To get the most out of a projector with HDR, you actually need to trick the projector into thinking it is getting a SDR image, but this is quite a complex subject.

You’ll probably find that most SDR content will look better than any HDR stuff with the basic settings.

With the Panasonic 820, you should have a HDR slider which will allow you to adjust the settings on the fly so your image doesn’t get crushed. It’s actually a cheap way of getting relatively good HDR content from a projector before going down the more complex route of MadVR and Lumagen.
 

dickieblack

Standard Member
thanks, I think that what I had before - a 2014 Samsung 39” HDTV - is so far below even an uncalibrated projector that it won’t be worth me spending money on it just yet. The Gemini Man clip was astonishing, so I know I can get something good. I just need to work out if I’m getting that same quality stream from Netflix and BR discs. Perhaps what I’m after is better information on what I’m seeing but I don’t know how to get Netflix to show me what quality it is streaming.
Richard
You wont know what your projector is capable of unless you get it professionally calibrated £200 (A difficult situation if your not happy with it now)
 

pd2444

Standard Member
The projector, if it is anything like the 1700/1720/2700 models should say what it is getting. When you feed it such a stream it should switch (the screen will blank for a while) and say 2160p 60 HDR10 or 3840x2160 HDR10 when it switched. Alternatively just call up the menu and see if it is in HDR mode.

You certainly should be able to get 4k HDR10 from any of the sources you mention. Netflix and Amazon Prime HDR is a bit rubbish in my experience - I struggle to see Netflix 4k is better or as good as basic 1080p Blu-Ray on many occasions.
 

pd2444

Standard Member
Also, if you load up BBC iPlayer on the Blu-Ray player it should give you an option to view UHD on things like Blue Planet 2. When you play it, the projector should confirm it is in HLG mode which is a broadcast HDR which the projector I think supports.
 

pd2444

Standard Member
Just one more thing: Netflix identifies which content is in HDR with the HDR logo in the information along with sound format etc. If it isn't displaying that then for some reason it doesn't think you have a HDR set up.

Also, silly question, but you have upgraded your Netflix account to Premium?
 

nadg63

Active Member
Watching any HDR material on my BenQ W2700, I find that I prefer the pic quality with Wide Colour Gamut turned off!? Personal opinion I know, but I did read a couple of reviews that suggested the same and it does make the pic a bit brighter.
 

dickieblack

Standard Member
Thanks everyone, I’m starting to understand this all now. I am definitely seeing HDR10 on my projector when I open the menu (and HLG when I use the iPlayer uhd test loop) so everything is doing what it’s supposed to.
I’ve also compared the quality (to my eyes) from Netflix on the Panasonic compared to the chromecast ultra - they both appear to be HDR10 according to the projector, the the quality on the Panasonic is definitely better. I assume this is the HDR optimiser that has been mentioned here?

I also know that to get the very best out of my set up I’d need it calibrated, but unfortunately that won’t be something I can justify - the whole setup was something of a once in a lifetime luxury for me and now I’ve spend my budget it’s back to a very very limited budget indeed. So, with that in mind, is there any film or TV show I could use to compare quality settings as I work on the multitude of options on the Panasonic player and the projector itself? Something that would show off any set up if done right, so that I know I’m working on something that can be improved?

Thanks again,

Richard
 

pd2444

Standard Member
I know the W1700/1720/2700 models come very well calibrated out of the box but I'm not sure about the TK850 as it is slightly brighter and I think has a different colour setup. I doubt it is a million miles off though as it is. A lot of 4k/HDR material really isn't that impressive IMO and not a huge step up from 1080p. That said, when they are done well they are very good. Try something like the UHD of 1917 and you can see the difference.
 

pd2444

Standard Member
BTW by UHD of 1917 I meant the BluRay. I know it is on Prime at the moment in 4k but the BluRay is a lot better.
 

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