Enabling Dolby Vision makes colors look darker

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by doxavita, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. doxavita macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2010
    I tried enabling Dolby Vision (4K at 60Hz) on Apple TV, hoping there would be an improved video quality. However , I soon noticed the colors looked darker overall, sort of giving a cinematic experience: Is this normal?, part of the intended Dolby Vision experience? Can it be fixed? (Making the colors brighter and stand out more).
  2. Audit13 macrumors 68040


    Apr 19, 2017
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Which tv do you have? Does it support Dolby Vision and HDR? Tried changing the TV's colour settings?

    I recommend setting the apple tv to 4k sdr. The apple tv should send HDR and Dolby Vision metadata to enable the TV's HDR and Dolby Vision settings.
  3. dsdevries, Jun 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018

    dsdevries macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2009
    This question is rather hard to answer without context and/or seeing what is actually going on. It might be due to incorrect settings on your tv, or because of Dolby's algorithms and settings that suppose to prevent clipping on the hig-hend and crushing on the low-ends, or it might be because editors are making use of the dynamic metadata to create a more extreme experience.

    Dolby works closely with TV manufactures to create the best default settings possible for DV content. Because there is no TV yet that is capable of producing the peak brightness as required by the DV specifications, it is always a fine balance between crushing blacks, clipping whites, compressing the entire image or darkening/lightening the entire image dynamically. Dolby claims their algorithms and default settings are the results of years of development and research and are far superior than HDR10, but it's always a matter of personal taste as well. On LG tv's for instance, the HDR10 settings are designed to be run with brightness at 50, Oled Light at 100 and contrast somewhere near 85. The DV, however must be run with brightness at 50, Oled light at 50 and contrast at 90-95. There is no way to tell the correct settings for your television without professional calibration measuring tools and software, so it's best not to touch the DV default settings. You can of course disable image post-processing features, but i would leave calibration settings as is.
  4. Matthew Essex macrumors member

    Matthew Essex

    Apr 11, 2014
    If you have adjusted any picture improvement settings like enhanced contrast or motion settings these might not transfer over to the Dolby vision setting. have a look around and turn settings On/Off and see if it helps. like has been said though the Dolby vision settings are different to the HDR settings and get better results most of the time.
  5. happyhippo1337 macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2013
    For most of the current Netflix content, Dolby Vision looks way darker then on HDR10.
    I'm on a 65XF9005 and it's better on the build-in app and the PS4 Pro, but the Apple TV 4K currently gives me the worst picture quality of the bunch. And yet, it's set up correctly.

    Add to this the fact that it can't do YouTube 4K and this is currently the worst option for me to watch 4K content on my TV sets.
  6. mmomega macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    I have a Sony X900F which has fairly high brightness and I noticed almost immediately as soon as the Dolby Vision icon comes on screen the overall picture brightness dropped.
    I do normally watch in a dim room so it's actually fine to me.
    I have not tried anything outside of the AppleTV4K to compare. Maybe at a later date.

    I have noticed though when Dolby Vision is active there are many settings on the TV that are greyed out and can't be changed. Brightness being one of them.
  7. Guda.FL macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2015
    I have the exact same tv. Im having these and surround sound issues only with 4k content though.

    Built in streaming apps and ps4 runs great. Its tvos or atv issue. For example sometimes hbo go has no image just blank. Same show on another device runs smoothly.
  8. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    On many TV's HDR and SDR are 2 separate brightness/color adjustments on the same HDMI input. So when the TV detects SDR it uses those settings and when it detects HDR it switches to those. If its sharing settings that SDR was using it will look very dark, washed out.

    Take the model of your TV and punch it into Google followed by "calibrated settings". You may need to search around but look for a webpage like rting.com or something. Adjust everything to the recommend settings for HDR, you may need to make adjustments like:
    Movie Mode
    UHD/Enhanced for the HDMI port your AppleTV is on
    If you set is LED you may need to set backlight to its max setting
    Ecomodes off
    Color space warmer
    etc etc.....

    Then download an app like THX Tune-Up in the app store on your iPhone. Using AirPlay and following the instructions do any adjustments required to further calibrate your TV for the correct brightness, contrast, colors, and tint. Calibrate the display with normal room lighting, you may want to favor a brighter room if the picture is overly dark currently.

    I was able to get mine very very close to a professionally calibrated level using the above steps.

    Once you have it calibrated or as close to calibrated as you'll likely ever get it I recommend not adjusting anything for a few days (10+ hours of TV watching) in an attempt to get YOU used to what the display should look like. After that adjust to your preferences. A calibrated set can appear "dull" compared to what people are used too because calibrated is more life like while a lot of TV's come oversaturated (more appealing). However you may just prefer more vivid colors and since you are the one that bought the TV and is watching it you should adjust it to what you like. However the brightness and contrast shouldn't need too much adjustment.
  9. gtg465x macrumors regular


    Sep 12, 2016
    Is this still true for you? I just bought an X900F and an Apple TV 4k. Applied the latest updates first thing and reset them to factory defaults after updating to make sure I have the latest default settings. When Dolby Vision content starts playing, I don't notice brightness dropping or it being dim. It's very bright actually. Also, the brightness slider is not greyed out for me when the TV is in Dolby Vision mode.
  10. mmomega macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    I may have to do some basic recalibrating myself to see if i notice a difference.

    At the moment there is a fairly drastic difference in brightness between 4K HDR 60 setting and Dolby Vision, when simply changing that setting on the AppleTV.

    So during normal daylight hours the screen quite dim but at night is ok. If I disable Dolby Vision at night, the brightness seems a little excessive.
    So it may be because I had the TV calibrated before adding the AppleTV. /shrug but I am willing to put everything to default out of box and try again soon.
  11. Snoopy4 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2014
    Agreed, turn of all the processing junk. Solves 90% of the problems people have with image.
  12. barnetty macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2011
    Start with Dynamic Contrast usually the culprit...

    another thing is that if your TV does not have Dolby Vision but instead only HDR10 capabilities then the set/appletv will in turn attempt to convert the signal to HDR10 and some quality is lost.

    This is why the Netflix that comes with your TV looks better as Netflix will actually reproduce an HDR10 version of the movie and not a DV converted to HDR. Wish there was a way to change this on AppleTV but it forces DV (at least last time i checked i never use Netflix on AppleTv for this reason).
  13. Mac 128 macrumors 603

    Mac 128

    Apr 16, 2015
    I don’t believe that’s the way this works at all.

    I have a 900E and the ATV apps play DV content over HDR just as effectively as the internal apps, and to my eye, better — Netflix included.

    From what I’ve read, the TV’s capabilities are reported to the ATV which calls the applicable stream from the server. SD, HD, 4K, HDR, or DV. These streams are all discreet encodings, not downscaled versions of one master 4K DV file.
  14. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    That is how I understand this as well.
    My point is, Video mode Dolby Vision on Bravia has some of it's own settings that are not shared with other picture modes. I would start from there. Some of them are stored per input as well.
  15. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    These are both correct however the first quote is more accurate when referencing the AppleTV 4k.

    It should be kept in mind there isn't exactly a specifically encoded version of every movie/show for specific types of HDR (HDR10 and DV). This is metadata (tracks) and while a terrible analogy its like there being multiple encodes for audio tracks (stereo, 5.1, etc). Netflix uses packages (IMF) and their own profiles (CE4 is this case) and this is done to save on resources and makes sure there isn't multiple slightly different version due to multiple slightly different masters.

    Currently content makers supply Netflix with a single Dolby Vision master (VDM) that has been pre color graded. From there Netflix derives every version of the movie/show (HDR type, codec, etc) from that single master and further color grading and such is performed for each to match the master as best as possible. Netflix can derive all their content from the master using Dolby's toolkit. SMPTE ITU-R BT.2100 (I think), is the HDR10 open standard and since its a standard its "easy" for Dolby to develop tools in the toolkit for Netflix to extract the HDR10 base adjust it to the master.

    Color grading is required due to the shift in color space between the Dolby Master, HDR10, and SDR. A trim pass is required for SDR since the master has a higher dynamic range.

    The problem here and the reason why some HDR10 smart tv apps look better than HDR10 AppleTV apps is because the AppleTV 4k is converting Dolby Vision to HDR10 if the display doesn't support DV. Alone that isn't a problem however the content isn't custom tailored by the producer and Netflix anymore, its generic. This is why it displays "Dolby Vision" in Netflix on the AppleTV 4k even if you don't have a DV TV btw.

    Here is the evidence for that.

    Screen Shot 2018-09-30 at 11.43.14 AM.png

    Top is an AppleTV 4k displaying a Dolby Vision source to an HDR10 TV, bottom is HDR10 4k Blu Ray source on an HDR10 TV. Those columns are showing differences in the metadata for luminance and lighting. So in the end you get this...

    Screen Shot 2018-09-30 at 11.45.21 AM.png

    IMO its not actually "bad" its just different, you still have better contrast and lighting with colors that look better compared SDR. In the above example the lightning in the background is blown out on the AppleTV but the character is visible which is opposite (albeit as intended) on the Blu Ray.

    Those screenshots are from this youtube video btw. If you watch it in full screen (or with a dark perimeter) its a lot easier to see the difference in the dark detail.

    Since most content providers will fallback on HDR10 via Dolbys HDR toolkit there should be an identifier in the AppleTV + setting for type of HDR. This way you get the content as intended. Maybe there is some sort of technical reason this can't be done, maybe it doesn't matter enough. However video and audiophiles aren't exactly known for "generic" and "not quite as intended" lol.
  16. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    For what its worth, though, I am unable to see the complaint of many (DoVi makes colors look darker) on my ZD9, so I do not understand what the problem might be for those, who see and suffer from it.
  17. osufalcon macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2018
    Just set the ATV to 4K SDR. Turn on match dynamic range and frame rate. This will auto select DV, HDR or SDR depending on source support. As for why your set is dimmer, I would say DV does dim things a bit for the more filmic look as mentioned. But there are also different picture settings for DV, HDR and SDR, so you’d have to adjust to your liking. For me, I don’t see a whole lot of difference between streaming DV and HDR on my TV. Heck, I’ve watched Marvel DV titles on Vudu and couldn’t tell you a difference from the ITunes HD stream.

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