HDR and Catalina. Not good for me.

mmomega

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Dec 30, 2009
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So I don't know if this has been here for a while and I just now noticed the HDR box in display settings but I have been out from my office for a bit. I came back in today to do some work and noticed the text and font on my computer were just .. "off" for lack of better words.
So my setup on this computer is a 2018 Mac Mini 6core 32GB RAM, 10.15.4 beta (19E250c), Vega64 Water-cooled eGPU, 4K BenQ HDR 32" Monitor connected via Displayport.

Either way back to what I was mentioning, the text appeared very faint, quite difficult to read, especially on Remote Desktop. I use the Microsoft Remote Desktop app to connect to our servers when needed, used this for YEARS but back to the HDR issue.
I had never noticed an HDR option in macOS previously. I typically use one of the 2 iMac's mostly and they are always fairly consistent in how they look so I don't normally go looking for display settings in them. But back in the office today connecting in to one of my servers and I thought, Damn I need to get my eyes checked or something is "off" here.
Connected to another server, same issue.

Opened display settings and saw the HDR setting.
Screen Shot 2020-03-05 at 3.01.36 PM.png

Which was checked automatically so I thought "no that couldn't be it, HDR improves visuals".
I unchecked the box and all of my fonts dramatically got better.
Better contrast, just overall better and easier to read.

Does anyone else have this and their experience with it?

I have 2 other systems with HDR 4K monitors and my wife's monitor I believe is HDR and will check that one later when I get home.

I was just curious if others have experienced this, if it may be the monitor, the HDR implementation, just trying to narrow it down.
 

s66

macrumors regular
Dec 12, 2016
192
134
If the system is sending HDR to its directly connected monitor, and you use remote desktop to see that same image, would it not be somewhat expected that if you don't have HDR yourself that the HDR that's being generated on the remote system now doesn't rally match with what your display can show ?
 

XNorth

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2018
274
198
United States
the new HDR mode for external monitor is still very buggy. I updated to 10.15.4 beta (19E250c) and enabled the HDR display mode option. It made my LG HDR 5K display look washed out. I adjusted the settings of the display, and now the HDR mode has disappeared. it’s as if the MBP can‘t detect the HDR capability of the monitor anymore. I have restarted the monitor and MacBook several times, but no HDR mode.
 
Last edited:

Jeeg

macrumors member
Feb 12, 2010
69
11
It is the same deal as in Windows 10, if you enable HDR while looking at SDR contents things will look washed out.
 

mertyz

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2011
198
3
the new HDR mode for external monitor is still very buggy. I updated to 10.15.4 beta (19E250c) and enabled the HDR display mode option. It made my LG HDR 5K display look washed out. I adjusted the settings of the display, and now the HDR mode has disappeared. it’s as if the MBP can‘t detect the HDR capability of the monitor anymore. I have restarted the monitor and MacBook several times, but no HDR mode.
Just experienced the same.

To get back your monitor's HDR mode, please follow the following steps:

System Preferences > Displays > Uncheck "High Dynamic Range"

You should now be able to see the HDR option in your monitors OSD.
 

vigyan

macrumors newbie
Jun 5, 2020
15
3
Mac OS UI is not in HDR right now. The option in your System pref is only when watching HDR content on TV app. Or stuff that you might have gotten else where, like recorded on a new gen smartphone. Only QuickTime supports HDR videos as of now.
 
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mmomega

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Dec 30, 2009
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Mac OS UI is not in HDR right now. The option in your System pref is only when watching HDR content on TV app. Or stuff that you might have gotten else where, like recorded on a new gen smartphone. Only QuickTime supports HDR videos as of now.
Personally i do not understand this response.
macOS does have HDR right now. The implementation of it is just not very good.
I have several HDR monitors and each one of them experience the same issue of going extremely dim when the HDR option is turned on, compared to not checking the HDR option. So a change across the entire monitor occurs when checking this option, in terms of overall brightness, contrast.
It acts similar to when I enable Dolby Vision on my TV where Dolby Vision determines all of the settings and the options you can make a change to are extremely limited
The option could very well intended to be dedicated for the XDR monitor or similarly very high 1000nit+ brightness monitors.

windows had a similar issue when HDR was first introduced to it. It just didn’t work very well, then a few refinements later, it is much more usable.
 

vigyan

macrumors newbie
Jun 5, 2020
15
3
Personally i do not understand this response.
macOS does have HDR right now. The implementation of it is just not very good.
I have several HDR monitors and each one of them experience the same issue of going extremely dim when the HDR option is turned on, compared to not checking the HDR option. So a change across the entire monitor occurs when checking this option, in terms of overall brightness, contrast.
It acts similar to when I enable Dolby Vision on my TV where Dolby Vision determines all of the settings and the options you can make a change to are extremely limited
The option could very well intended to be dedicated for the XDR monitor or similarly very high 1000nit+ brightness monitors.

windows had a similar issue when HDR was first introduced to it. It just didn’t work very well, then a few refinements later, it is much more usable.
then it simply means you haven't watch actual HDR content till now to know the difference. or so it seems
if Mac OS interface was already designed and released with HDR capabilities then you wouldn't see washed out coolers or other issues. windows 10 has been updated for HDR and "not refined" so it looks fine as many people claim. I don't have one so can't say. you need to understand HDR has certain Color primaries & transfer function it relies on, without which there is no HDR. you can't improve or refine for HDR, its a spec requirement. For any video its must to have color matrix & primaries Rec.2020 or above, the transfer function to have Smpte.2084 and above. which lets it show the high contrast & wider color range.
anything less is called SDR and looks pathetic when viewed through HDR enabled display.
 

mmomega

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Original poster
Dec 30, 2009
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DFW, TX
then it simply means you haven't watch actual HDR content till now to know the difference. or so it seems
if Mac OS interface was already designed and released with HDR capabilities then you wouldn't see washed out coolers or other issues. windows 10 has been updated for HDR and "not refined" so it looks fine as many people claim. I don't have one so can't say. you need to understand HDR has certain Color primaries & transfer function it relies on, without which there is no HDR. you can't improve or refine for HDR, its a spec requirement. For any video its must to have color matrix & primaries Rec.2020 or above, the transfer function to have Smpte.2084 and above. which lets it show the high contrast & wider color range.
anything less is called SDR and looks pathetic when viewed through HDR enabled display.
I have some LG C9 OLED's and prior to that but still own my Sony X900F, get Dolby Vision content, have HDR10+ blurays. I am by no stretch an expert but I have seen a couple pieces of HDR content prior to clicking the HDR button in macOS.

HDR 'spec requirements go from:
HDR400
HDR500
HDR600
HDR1000
HDR1400
HDR500 with True Black
HDR600 with True Black

There are a fairly wide range of experiences a person can have with the terminology, "HDR".

SDR looks good on an HDR display, HDR specific content just looks better, depending on the viewer. On that C9 OLED I can go turn on a regular non-HDR 1080P movie and have people say, damn that looks good.

If it is not possible to improve, then why are there 7 different levels of certification to display HDR? Why go from 400 to 500? 500 to 500True Black with zero improvements? 600 to 1000? 1000 to 1400? And I can guess yet another level will be introduced.

You can go back to the first builds of Windows that enabled HDR in 2017, then jump forward to the current builds what you will notice is a refinement. The word refine simply means to improve by small changes, and there has been an improvement. An improvement upon the implementation that the system shows the content. All of the bits and pieces have to work together, or it doesn't. And at the moment for me and my monitors and macOS, it doesn't.
 

vigyan

macrumors newbie
Jun 5, 2020
15
3
having seen so much and still you can't discern a difference. I thought we were discussing Mac OS here and which is a software, you seem to have digressed towards hardware.

why would you even compare a blu-ray + oled tv setup with an operating system. when you play sdr file on your setup its not treated like an HDR file. it is treated as it is. only people who haven't experience oled displays tend to get impressed.

different specs of hardware - HDR displays is not "refinement". if you have vesa certified hdr600 then no amount of refinement can make it look like hdr1000. as the luminance cannot be increased of the hardware. they are different panels capable of supporting different things and for different budgets. just like you iMac 5k & 4k have 500nits of brightness capability but they cannot playback HDR500 or even HDR400 content. no amount of os changes can give you that.

may be what you are you looking for is for apple to make os wide changes to show high contrast, deep blacks and deep whites throughout the ui and menus. then you want to keep the display settings at HDR only for 8-10 hrs a day. It scares me to think what it will do to ones eyes. unless ambient light sensor is there which keeps the peak luminance in control.

I have seen a few 4k HDR 10 bit movies on my Mac and its only fun occasionally for that 2-3 hrs of entertainment. not for working and having to concentrate on your screen. but that's just my opinion. I feel the implementation at os level is just fine.

like you said above "no that couldn't be it, HDR improves visuals" then you should try HDR content on your Mac seriously.
 

XNorth

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2018
274
198
United States
Mac OS UI is not in HDR right now. The option in your System pref is only when watching HDR content on TV app. Or stuff that you might have gotten else where, like recorded on a new gen smartphone. Only QuickTime supports HDR videos as of now.
where are you getting this info? HDR is available only for "HDR content"? So the UI on the XDR monitor is not HDR, but if HDR content, say an HDR video, is played on the XDR in a QuickTime window or FCPX window, then the content is in HDR?
 
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vigyan

macrumors newbie
Jun 5, 2020
15
3
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210642 - HDR on Mac OS started with 10.15.4 update only

  • HDR playback support on compatible computers for Netflix content
____________________________________

XDR monitor has just one reference mode for HDR content and apple clearly states its designed for specific work case scenario.


HDR Video (P3-ST 2084)
Use this mode for 4K or ultra high-definition video production workflows up to 1000 nits (full-screen sustained) using the wide color P3 primaries and the high-dynamic-range SMPTE ST-2084 EOTF. This mode is designed for controlled viewing environments set up per ITU-R BT.2100.

I had already mentioned above that without specific data which color transfer function in smpte 2084 or above in color primaries bt.2020 and above , you won't like what you see. as this is not a Blu-Ray player or your oled tv which detects if the content is SDR or HDR and playbacks for you. We are talking about a full-fledged OS here which is currently not in these definitions. Officially apple is only providing this kind of content in their Apple TV app with certain videos only.
You can't even play YouTube or Vimeo HDR videos right now on Mac. I don't have "Netflix UHD" subscription otherwise I could check how well their HDR playback is, on Mac. if you can download anything online (many 4k HDR samples available from various TV companies) then yes QuickTime is capable of handling HDR videos. I haven't seen any other player manage it on Mac OS so far (e.g.VLC).
 

mmomega

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Dec 30, 2009
3,553
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DFW, TX
having seen so much and still you can't discern a difference. I thought we were discussing Mac OS here and which is a software, you seem to have digressed towards hardware.

why would you even compare a blu-ray + oled tv setup with an operating system. when you play sdr file on your setup its not treated like an HDR file. it is treated as it is. only people who haven't experience oled displays tend to get impressed.
So every person is impressed by an OLED. Check.
I did not compare a blu-ray + oled tv setup. I was responding to the comment of yours saying, "then it simply means you haven't watch actual HDR content till now to know the difference"
I stated, Yes, I have watched HDR content before. And these are the devices I watch HDR on.

Then, I was discussing macOS Catalina's current implementation of HDR on my particular monitors.
TV's also have an operating system which allows changes to the hardware.

different specs of hardware - HDR displays is not "refinement". if you have vesa certified hdr600 then no amount of refinement can make it look like hdr1000. as the luminance cannot be increased of the hardware. they are different panels capable of supporting different things and for different budgets. just like you iMac 5k & 4k have 500nits of brightness capability but they cannot playback HDR500 or even HDR400 content. no amount of os changes can give you that.
I did not state refinement meaning anything to do with different specs of hardware. I stated from when Windows introduced HDR back in 2017 until now in 2020, the experience has been refined. Where the word refine literally means, to make small improvements. Microsoft made small improvements on its implementation of HDR thus refining the experience.

The part where I discussed different types of HDR was to your comment that the term HDR is a spec requirement. Then I asked if it was a specification requirement, then how was there 7 differences between what is considered HDR. Only to say that, if a person has an HDR400 monitor that person's experience is going to be quite different than a person with an HDR1400 monitor. Dolby Vision is more so a spec requirement because once it is enabled, you can't really change many if any picture settings. Dolby Vision sets the experience for that TV.

may be what you are you looking for is for apple to make os wide changes to show high contrast, deep blacks and deep whites throughout the ui and menus. then you want to keep the display settings at HDR only for 8-10 hrs a day. It scares me to think what it will do to ones eyes. unless ambient light sensor is there which keeps the peak luminance in control.
No sir/mam. Nowhere near this complicated.
I am very simply stating, just as the title says, "for me" .... that "for me", when I check the HDR button within macOS my monitor does not look as good as when the HDR button is unchecked. That's it. And then, what is the experience of other people with macOS and an HDR monitor at this point. To discuss the different experiences of users.

I have seen a few 4k HDR 10 bit movies on my Mac and its only fun occasionally for that 2-3 hrs of entertainment. not for working and having to concentrate on your screen. but that's just my opinion. I feel the implementation at os level is just fine.

like you said above "no that couldn't be it, HDR improves visuals" then you should try HDR content on your Mac seriously.
Then that is a good thing. That your experience is good for you.
My point of the thread was that my experience, is not good for me.
Now, working on the HDR monitor with the HDR button turned off. I love it, macOS feels and looks like how I expect it to.
On the same HDR monitor with the HDR button turned on, my experience is not good.
Being that this is a brand new feature, and it stood out to me like a sore thumb, I decided to ask others on the forum if they were experiencing something similar or if maybe my monitor was just being strange.
But then I checked my wife's computer and she has a better HDR1000 monitor. The experience was still not as good, for me.
So, either way, we don't agree, which is fine. I'll move on and check with others. Appreciate the conversation.
 

tommiy

macrumors regular
Dec 11, 2015
185
51
Search the apple communities for this issue. Its another Catalina feature that HDR just does not work properly. Also that Catalina randomly selects HDR at times. Apparently, if i remember correctly, to get the HDR off setting to stick permanently you need to turn it off and reboot. I can not recall the thread exactly but there are many of them on Apple communities.
 
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