Monitor colors are faded and washed out when High Dynamic Range is enabled in Windows 10 Display Settings.
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When you enable High Dynamic Range (HDR) in Windows 10 Display Properties to utilize your HDR capable monitor, all non HDR content (including all windows backgrounds and basic applications) will appear dull and faded. (Figures 1 & 2.)
Figure 1. - Dull, Faded, drab appearance with HDR enabled in Windows Display Settings
Figure 2. - Windows Display Settings, HDR Enabled.
If you configure Windows 10 Display settings to HDR off, the colors of standard Windows applications are crisp and vivid. (Figures 3 & 4.)
Figure 3. - Normal appearance with HDR Disabled in Windows Display Settings.
Figure 4. - Windows Display Settings, HDR Disabled.
When you view actual HDR content with HDR off in display settings, the colors are over-saturated and distorted. (Figure 5.)
Figure 5. - Over-saturated and distorted HDR content when played with HDR off in Windows Display Settings.
If you view the same HDR content after toggling the HDR option in Display settings, then again, colors are sharp and vivid. (Figure 6.)
Figure 6. - Bright and vivid HDR Content played with HDR enabled in Windows Display Settings
Another HDR content viewing issue involves the playing of streaming HDR content. If played via an HDR online stream (Youtube etc.) you may encounter dim or dull video. If you download the same content and play it locally on the system, the HDR content appears clear and crisp. The images below show local HDR content on the left, and online streaming on the right. (Figures 7, 8, & 9.)
Figure 7. - Locally played HDR content versus live streaming the same content over broadband.
Figure 8. - Locally played HDR content versus live streaming the same content over broadband.
Figure 9. - Locally played HDR content versus live streaming the same content over broadband.
In both these situations, the HDR capabilities are functioning within the design specification.
When HDR is enabled in Windows 10 Display Properties, non-HDR content, including the system background, desktop and menus will appear dull and flat. Only actual HDR content will appear normally.
It is recommended that you only enable the HDR capability in the Display Settings when you are going to watch HDR content. When done viewing content, simply return the HDR toggle to the off position and the system will return to normal appearance.
If you encounter streaming HDR content that does not appear to look like HDR content should appear (see images above) then it is recommended to download the HDR content to the system locally. When played from the local system the HDR streaming issue does not appear to occur.
Article ID: SLN308136Last Date Modified: 09/14/2019 09:52 AM