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Assistance requested: To those of you with decent HDR TVs and a catalog of UHD movies


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So I bought a new TV recently and I am in the process of diagnosing what I think is a problem with how it displays HDR content.  I'd rather not hassle with returning it for a different unit, because SDR and Dolby Vision content look phenomenal on this set.  It's a TCL brand, and I've heard they can have quality control issues.  

 

The problem I'm seeing is HDR10 videos have a dark tint to them, compared to standard non-HDR versions of the same movie.  On the flip side, if a movie is played with Dolby Vision, it looks great and obviously better than the non-HDR counterpart.  But the only source of Dolby Vision content I can get right now is on Vudu.  So, if at all possible, if anyone has some Dolby Vision or HDR movies on Vudu, and also have those same movies on other apps (Movies Anywhere), could you tell me if there's a noticeable difference in color vibrancy between the video on Movies Anywhere, which AFAIK only supports HDR10, and Vudu, if that movie on Vudu happens to be in Dolby Vision.  And to be even more comparable, here are some of the movies I've tested:

 

Avengers: Infinity War (Big differences)

-On Vudu with Dolby Vision (DV) it looks great

-On Movies Anywhere with HDR it looks dull

-Ripped to my local hard drive and played through Plex or Kodi it looks dull

-Non-HDR 1080p version looks fine, but not quite as good as DV

 

Thor: Ragnarok (Big differences)

-On Vudu with Dolby Vision (DV) it looks great

-On Movies Anywhere with HDR it looks dull

-On Plex/Kodi it looks dull

-Non-HDR 1080p version looks fine, but not quite as good as DV

 

Aquaman (smaller differences)

-On Vudu with Dolby Vision (DV) it looks great

-On Movies Anywhere with HDR it looks closer to non-HDR

-On Plex/Kodi it looks closer to non-HDR

-Non-HDR 1080p version looks fine, but not quite as good as DV

 

Star Wars A New Hope (recent 4k release, smaller differences)

-On Vudu with Dolby Vision (DV) it looks great

-On Movies Anywhere with HDR it looks closer to non-HDR

-On Plex/Kodi it seems to have a greyish tint

-Non-HDR 1080p version looks fine, but not quite as good as DV

 

Mad Max Fury Road (big difference)

-Don't have it on Vudu so can't compare it to to DV

-On Plex/Kodi in 4k UHD HDR mode it looks like I'm watching it with lightly tinted sunglasses on

-On Plex/Kodi in 1080p non-HDR it looks a lot more vibrant, colorful, an saturated

-Playing the Blu-ray on my PS4 it looked the Plex/Kodi non-HDR.  Although it was a bit over-saturated because I haven't tuned the PS4 for video playback.

 

And speaking of the PS4, I popped in Spider-man and compared it with and without HDR mode.  The HDR mode is definitely overall darker and the colors are less vibrant.  Does this happen with anyone else's PS4?  I have the base slim model, not the Pro.


Hopefully later today I can take some decent quality videos to showcase the difference.  But here's a couple of pictures:

Spoiler

 

 

aF98QTo.gif

 

TjBEkdg.gif

 

 

The Thor Ragnarok comparison is indeed as drastic as the picture makes it out to be.  Like Hulk would say, in Dolby Vision Surtur looks like real raging fire while in HDR he looks like a smoldering fire.

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Not sure if this going to help or hurt but I used Disney + HDR 10 to stream Thor and the using the same scene in your pic and it is indeed very dark. I own the physical 4k disk and compared it to the same scene and it is much brighter more matching of your dolby vision screen shot

 

Again Disney plus HDR 10 in the same scene for Star War but this time my HDR 10 matched your dolby vision screen shot. It didnt have have the dark issues.

 

Much like quality ,HDR/DV while streaming can be a mixed bag because the source of the stream is unknown.

I believe TCL do have settings to adjust the HDR brightness, it may be something you adjust on a film by film basis.

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On my Sony 55x900F Bravia only HDMI 2&3 would produce the 4K image with HDR 10/Dolby Vision. The other thing is that I had to go into my tv menu to enable these features to work with the HDMI connection I setup. I think it’s a stupid thing on Sony’s part in not making it an automatic feature to enable the HDR methods. So I have no idea if that also might be something you need to do in your TCL tv. Have you tried different HDMI inputs of your tv to see if the problem still persists? Also do you have the HDMI going through a 2nd source that could be causing some handshake issues? I got a Dolby Vision update for my Marantz 7010 receiver but it still has issues when trying to stream Dolby Vision content from my XB1 system for things like Netflix. 

 

might also be something to ask on the avsforum boards with a more expertise opinions

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I own Ragnarok only in 4K HDR but I looked on Vudu and I get something in between what your two screenshots you posted. I’ve never seen streaming quality outdo physical So I wouldn’t be surprised is streaming HDR is hit or miss. When I popped in my ragnarok 4K disc it looked noticeably better than Vudu. 
 

my TV’s default HDR setting is to make things darker so I would look at that first. If you are capable of playing a 4K disc I would also do that comparison. 

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Thanks for the replies, they really does help.  I'm kind of leaning toward HDR, with HDR10 in particular, just being a spotty standard, as from my limited research Dolby Vision and HDR10+ are superior anyway.  The only problem is I never expected HDR to look, subjectively, worse than non-HDR.  I have tried adjusting every video setting, but for instance in Thor no amount of tweaking the HDR mode makes Surtur look red like I think he is supposed to be.  He's always more on the orange-ish side, and not as bright.  So if try to to make the image brighter on HDR10, I can't get the color saturation to change much.

 

And I have tested the HDR10 version of these movies on different apps and different HDMI inputs. The results are fairly consistent across the board in that Dolby Vision looks brighter and more colorful than HDR10,  with only minor differences between the devices I'm using.  I've tried:

 

Vudu on built-in Roku and Nvidia Shield

Movies Anywhere on Roku, Firestick, and Shield

Prime Video on Roku, Firestick, and Shield

Plex on literally everything: Windows 10 PC, Roku, Firestick, Shield

Kodi on Windows 10

 

I don't yet own a 4k Blu Ray player.  I was going to wait it out for the PS5 and use that.  But if the PS5 doesn't support Dolby Vision, then it might be pointless and I might need to get a device that playback both HDR and Dolby Vision. 

 

12 hours ago, SimpleG said:

Not sure if this going to help or hurt but I used Disney + HDR 10 to stream Thor and the using the same scene in your pic and it is indeed very dark. I own the physical 4k disk and compared it to the same scene and it is much brighter more matching of your dolby vision screen shot

 

Again Disney plus HDR 10 in the same scene for Star War but this time my HDR 10 matched your dolby vision screen shot. It didnt have have the dark issues.

 

Much like quality ,HDR/DV while streaming can be a mixed bag because the source of the stream is unknown.

I believe TCL do have settings to adjust the HDR brightness, it may be something you adjust on a film by film basis.

 

8 hours ago, johnny said:

I own Ragnarok only in 4K HDR but I looked on Vudu and I get something in between what your two screenshots you posted. I’ve never seen streaming quality outdo physical So I wouldn’t be surprised is streaming HDR is hit or miss. When I popped in my ragnarok 4K disc it looked noticeably better than Vudu. 
 

my TV’s default HDR setting is to make things darker so I would look at that first. If you are capable of playing a 4K disc I would also do that comparison. 

 

Thanks!  I'm glad there is some consistency between different panels, in that you guys are seeing the same thing I am in Thor Ragnarok.   Also I think I mis-labeled my Star Wars comparison.  The darker one is actually Dolby Vision and the brighter one is non-HDR, so it seems like we are getting the same result for that movie too.  This makes me feel less worried.  I really don't want to box up this TV and send it back.  Not only is it a hassle, but like I said when it displays normally the picture looks amazing, and I'd rather not get another TV that could display the same HDR behavior but have worse output due to the panel lottery.

 

8 hours ago, silentbob said:

On my Sony 55x900F Bravia only HDMI 2&3 would produce the 4K image with HDR 10/Dolby Vision. The other thing is that I had to go into my tv menu to enable these features to work with the HDMI connection I setup. I think it’s a stupid thing on Sony’s part in not making it an automatic feature to enable the HDR methods. So I have no idea if that also might be something you need to do in your TCL tv. Have you tried different HDMI inputs of your tv to see if the problem still persists? Also do you have the HDMI going through a 2nd source that could be causing some handshake issues? I got a Dolby Vision update for my Marantz 7010 receiver but it still has issues when trying to stream Dolby Vision content from my XB1 system for things like Netflix. 

 

might also be something to ask on the avsforum boards with a more expertise opinions

 

I did make a post in the thread about the exact model TV I have, but no one has replied (to me).  I am definitely going to search out a general HDR topic, though, to get some opinions.  But I'd like to get better quality pictures or video before I do that, to better showcase my example.  And nothing was going through a receiver.  All my comparisons were done with the Built-in Roku and devices connected directly to HDMI ports.

 

7 hours ago, Emblazon said:

Also, Apple Movies has a vast library of 4K, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos movies. 

 

Cool, but I'm not seeing where I can get that app on Roku or Android.  Do you have to own an Apple device?

 

Also I think I found a bug.  Some of my movies are offered as Dolby Vision in Movies Anywhere, but if I play it my TV goes into HDR mode.  If I play back that same movie in Vudu, my TV will go into Dolby Vision mode as it should.

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