What video dynamic range do games consoles use? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
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What video dynamic range do games consoles use?

Trying to calibrate my Samsung plasma for both games and movies, been doing tons of research but a till unsure...PC games for definite seem to be 0-255, but with consoles, some say use full range if your TV supports it (which mine supports both) and some say consoles natively use 16-235. I don't know, was hoping someone could clear this up for me.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:18 AM
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Hi,

I would also appreciate some help on this.

I have been researching it for days and there doesn't seem to be any definitive answer! I own a Samsung UE40ES8000 and Samsung themselves cannot tell me if it supports full RGB or not! If it helps at all, I have come across this article after a Google search (sorry I can't post the link as this is my first post) - which is basically saying that regardless of what your TV can output, it should be set to RGB 'Limited' meaning your TV would need to be set to 'HDMI Black Level = low'. Just Google 'gaming rgb limited vs rgb full'

I've also read that as long as the input and output RGB settings match on source and TV / monitor, then it will produce 'correct' blacks and whites.

It's all very confusing!
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:34 AM
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Also, have a watch of this video. Again, can't post the full URL.
youtube.com/watch?v=SRJO8JG7SS4.

It's quite a handy video but contradicts for link to the article I posted.
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Old 02-15-2017, 12:49 PM
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On Samsung e series tv's I know for sure that with HDMI black level set to low, a source of full RGB (0-255) passes 0-255, a source of limited RGB (16-235) passes 16-235.

With HDMI black level set to normal, a source of full RGB (0-255) gets scaled by the tv to 16-235, a source of limited RGB (16-235) tv scales it to something funky like 71-871 (10 bit normaly 16-235 will be 64-940).

Keep in mind that the black levels on samsung tv's are expanded to 4 ie. a black 16 is scaled to 4 by the tv.

Another option you can try, press source on the remote, while the source menu is showing press tools -> edit name -> scroll to PC or PC dvi -> enter -> enter. You will have 2 options for the picture menu, Entertain or Standard, Entertain would be for Full RGB but you are still able to select HDMI black level options. You will notice with an RGB source that the info window (press info button) will show the resolution as example 1920x1080@60p instead of the normal 1920x1080/60p.

I hope this helps.

Last edited by ivan2011; 02-15-2017 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 02-15-2017, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan2011 View Post
On Samsung e series tv's I know for sure that with HDMI black level set to low, a source of full RGB (0-255) passes 0-255, a source of limited RGB (16-235) passes 16-235.

With HDMI black level set to normal, a source of full RGB (0-255) gets scaled by the tv to 16-235, a source of limited RGB (16-235) tv scales it to something funky like 71-871 (10 bit normaly 16-235 will be 64-940).

Keep in mind that the black levels on samsung tv's are expanded to 4 ie. a black 16 is scaled to 4 by the tv.

Another option you can try, press source on the remote, while the source menu is showing press tools -> edit name -> scroll to PC or PC dvi -> enter -> enter. You will have 2 options for the picture menu, Entertain or Standard, Entertain would be for Full RGB but you are still able to select HDMI black level options. You will notice with an RGB source that the info window (press info button) will show the resolution as example 1920x1080@60p instead of the normal 1920x1080/60p.

I hope this helps.
So are you saying that in order to achieve an accurate full RGB output I should have the console set to RGB full and the TV's HDMI black level set to low? This is against anything else I have researched to date - or have I misunderstood?

I have tried PC mode, again with RGB set to full on the console and the TV's picture setting using HDMI Black Level set to normal and the picture was awful to be honest.
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Old 02-15-2017, 03:01 PM
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If you do not have any patterns to check visit

http://www.lightillusion.com/data_tv_levels.html

request the cal image pack download the pack and display them, try different configs until you see that the patterns look the way they are supposed to according to the guide at above link.

Yes, in order to achieve full rgb output, I can not say how accurate it will be, only with the least amount of internal scaling done by the tv. As mentioned with the e series Samsung tv's, it is best to set the HDMI black level to low for unscaled rgb output. If set to normal and the source is RGB and blacks are extremely elevated (grey) then the source is rgb limited. Have you tried setting PC mode on the tv as mentioned in my previous post?

Also, if you hope to achieve full rgb output, do not feed the tv with 24 or 25 fps. The tv scales the rgb to YCbCr somehow regardless of the levels, best bet is 60hz or higher if possible.
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Old 02-15-2017, 03:03 PM
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I have tried 'mis-matching' HDMI black level and RGB range and I've obviously misunderstood what you have said because it's way off!

What I have discovered is that there is no noticeable difference when using RGB full and HDMI black level normal when compared to RGB limited and HDMI black level low.
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Old 02-15-2017, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hasburyhughesy View Post
What I have discovered is that there is no noticeable difference when using RGB full and HDMI black level normal when compared to RGB limited and HDMI black level low.
That confirms what I have been saying to you, since rgb limited has levels 16-235 at the input they are not being scaled with blak level set to low. RGB full with hdmi black level set to normal is being scaled by the tv from 0-255 -> 16-235 same as rgb limited.
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Old 02-15-2017, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan2011 View Post
That confirms what I have been saying to you, since rgb limited has levels 16-235 at the input they are not being scaled with blak level set to low. RGB full with hdmi black level set to normal is being scaled by the tv from 0-255 -> 16-235 same as rgb limited.
Kind of makes sense now. So, if I've understood this correctly, what you're saying is that the TV will scale RGB output to limited regardless of whether you opt for full or limited RGB range from the console.

I have left the PS4 with limited RGB output and set the HDMI black level to low on the TV.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:13 PM
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The tv will apply the least amount of scaling with a source of full RGB and the hdmi black level set to low. So if you set the ps4 to full rgb and the tv hdmi black level to low, the least amount of scaling will be applied by the tv. ie 0-255 in -> 0-255 out.

Depending on what you are displaying from the ps4, game, movie, photo...etc the content may look a little dark and crushing blacks with full rgb. This is why I urge you to check with the afore mentioned patterns for confirmation of the correct configuration.
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Old 02-16-2017, 02:08 AM
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In Samsung HDMI level Low is for Limited 16-235 and Normal is for Full 0-255. Auto rarely works and defaults to Low/Limited.

Which one you should use? It does not really matter as long as the source and TV levels match. Technically full range is better for less banding but in practice the difference is negligible. If the game has banding, 99.9% of the time the fault is in the game, not your RGB range. Though if you watch movies with your console the limited range (or Ycbcr) may be better to avoid unnecessary back and forth conversions, but to be honest the conversion is near lossless process and measured color differences are almost in the margin of error. Dont scratch your head unnecessarily with this setting, just make sure your signal chain is correct from console to TV.


HDR however is a different story. On PC side if you use Full range it results in washed out picture when HDR kicks in. Limited or Ycbcr fixes this. From what I have read the same issue exists on consoles too, using Full range with HDR results in washed out picture. Stick to Limited if HDR is something you want to use. *edit* Actually scratch the last part. I see a lot of conflicting reports on what looks best on which game. Is it game dependant cluster****? In that case be prepared to change your RGB range all the time then.

Last edited by MaaZeus; 02-16-2017 at 02:22 AM.
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Old 02-16-2017, 04:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan2011 View Post
The tv will apply the least amount of scaling with a source of full RGB and the hdmi black level set to low. So if you set the ps4 to full rgb and the tv hdmi black level to low, the least amount of scaling will be applied by the tv. ie 0-255 in -> 0-255 out.

Depending on what you are displaying from the ps4, game, movie, photo...etc the content may look a little dark and crushing blacks with full rgb. This is why I urge you to check with the afore mentioned patterns for confirmation of the correct configuration.
It was my understanding that the RGB range has to match on both the console and the TV. I only use the PS4 to play games so with the above recommendation, RGB range and HDMI levels are 'mis-matched' and the picture is very dark with no detail at all in dark areas. Blacks are crushed. Even if the picture is tweaked to compensate for the 'mis-match', is this not going against recommended settings?

Sorry for all the questions. I'm just trying to get my head around it all.
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Old 02-16-2017, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by MaaZeus View Post
In Samsung HDMI level Low is for Limited 16-235 and Normal is for Full 0-255. Auto rarely works and defaults to Low/Limited.

Which one you should use? It does not really matter as long as the source and TV levels match. Technically full range is better for less banding but in practice the difference is negligible. If the game has banding, 99.9% of the time the fault is in the game, not your RGB range. Though if you watch movies with your console the limited range (or Ycbcr) may be better to avoid unnecessary back and forth conversions, but to be honest the conversion is near lossless process and measured color differences are almost in the margin of error. Dont scratch your head unnecessarily with this setting, just make sure your signal chain is correct from console to TV.


HDR however is a different story. On PC side if you use Full range it results in washed out picture when HDR kicks in. Limited or Ycbcr fixes this. From what I have read the same issue exists on consoles too, using Full range with HDR results in washed out picture. Stick to Limited if HDR is something you want to use. *edit* Actually scratch the last part. I see a lot of conflicting reports on what looks best on which game. Is it game dependant cluster****? In that case be prepared to change your RGB range all the time then.
HDR only applies to very recent 4k / 4k ready TVs doesn't it? There is a HDR setting on the PS4, but only because it has been patched with a firmware update to offer this functionality with compatible sets.
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:27 AM
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Pc levels for pc ie full rgb, video levels for tv ie limited rgb and YCbCr. Simple as that, however the tv normally does scaling on the levels depending on the settings that are chosen.

I always find that with the ps3 set to full rgb and least amount of scaling applied by the tv, I get the perception of black crush, so for my personal taste I prefer either limited rgb or YCbCr for games as well as movies.

It is really in the eye of the beholder, just make sure that all the levels either 0-255 or 16-235 are being displayed by the tv.
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Old Yesterday, 10:34 PM
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Playstation and X-Box support full (0-255) and limited (16-235) RGB. I can't speak for X-Box One, but PS4 can do YCbCr 4:2:0 output.
Nintendo Wii and Wii U only support YCbCr/RGB Limited (16-235 levels).

If you watch a movie on a PS3, it will NOT use what you set in the video/screen options. For movies, check the DVD/Blu ray options instead. You can enable Super White to not clip whites (16-255).

I don't trust a consoles picture viewer or their web browser, so I don't recommend making a decision based on what you see this way.


If your display has a "PC" mode, typically enabling that will ensure you get a 0-255 4:4:4 chroma signal.
To use my LG OLED E6 as an example, the PC "Icon mode" is the only way to get a 4:4:4 chroma signal. All other modes will be 4:2:0 (4:2:2? I forget since I won't use them). If you don't know what chroma is then THE WIKI has an example showing the difference between chroma resolutions.

There is an easy way to tell which black level is correct for your display.
Set the console to full rgb. Load a game that has a black loading screen.
Make note of how "black" this is.
Switch your DISPLAY's black level to the other option, and check that loading screen again.

Is the black of one brighter than the other?
If yes, use the darker of the two on your display. Wrong option here means picture is washed out.
If both are the same, then use the one that looks brighter *for everything else. Wrong option here means picture has black crush.

You can probably do this another way if you can set your consoles background/wallpaper to be pure black. If you can make your own, make a 1920x1080 (or whatever) picture and fill it with red=16, green=16, blue=16.

*EDIT: Forgot to finish a sentence.

Last edited by Kamikaze_Ice; Yesterday at 10:38 PM. Reason: *forgot something
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Old Yesterday, 10:43 PM
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Consoles output colour in RGB over HDMI, not YCbCr (except for movies which have framebuffers in that mode specifically). The only time there is ever any concern for limited range vs full-range is with YCbCr. And for video, it's always encoded in limited range as per following the specification, so again, no worries there.
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Old Today, 05:52 AM - Thread Starter
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But don't console games use sRGB specifically? I thought that colour space supports both ranges which makes it difficult to know exactly what range they really use.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RLBURNSIDE View Post
Consoles output colour in RGB over HDMI, not YCbCr (except for movies which have framebuffers in that mode specifically). The only time there is ever any concern for limited range vs full-range is with YCbCr. And for video, it's always encoded in limited range as per following the specification, so again, no worries there.
Hi, before some days I wanted to test what colorspace/bit depth XBOX One S is outputting when you playback a Blu-Ray/UHD HDR/SDR Game, so I used HD Linker to check the details of each signal XBOX One S was sending to an LG OLED 65E6.

@ XBOX One S Video Settings, it has 2 options, the Recommended which output 16-235 (TV/Video Legal Levels), and the other for Monitor out which will output 0-255 (Pc/Data Levels).

The correct option there for TV's is the recommended.

When you playback a SDR Blu-Ray movie with XBOX One S, it has different output.

For example when you have previously selected 8bit colordepth, it's outputting 2160p24 RGB-Video 8bit.

If you have previously selected 10 or 12bit colordepth then always it's outputting 2160p YCbCr 4:4:4 10bit:



When you playback an HDR UHD Movie then it's outputting always 2160p24 RGB-Video 10bit HDR REC.2020 (it doesn't matter if you have selected 10 or 12bit):



When you will untick that you have an HDR compatible TV and you playback an UHD-HDR Movie then it will output 2160p24 YCbCr 4:4:4 10bit REC.709:



Now for SDR games, I used FIFA17 (full), Battlefield1 (demo), NBA17 (demo) for that test.

2160p60 RGB-Video (uncompressed) REC.709 8bit when you had 8bit colordepth selected from the XBOX Video Settings:



2160p60 YCbCr 4:2:0 REC.709 10bit when you had 10bit colordepth selected from the XBOX Video Settings:



2160p60 YCbCr 4:2:0 REC.709 12bit when you had 12bit colordepth selected from the XBOX Video Settings:


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Old Today, 07:27 PM
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My point was only that YUV encoded video is virtually always 420 and 100% of the time using limited-range 16-235 for 8-bit and 64-940 values for 10-bit. You will never find actual video content other than in a production studio that is anything but 420. 422 is usually just for raw camera output and in consumer devices to output over HDMI but it's always "fake" i.e. upscaled from 420 native content to begin with (therefore any difference between the two is largely illusory or immaterial). I believe the reason they upscale from 420 to 422 in the player is so that the TV can do the 422 to 444 step separately (separate horizontal and vertical passes are more efficient -- and potentially better quality -- for this type of upscaling).

For games the only time we might see a console use limited-range signals is when they use 422 (or possibly 420) for 4K10.

HDMI 1.4a consoles like the original PS4 can theoretically output 4K60 using 420 (in 8-bit). I'd be interested to find out how HDR10 is handled on PS4 orig, I guess it can only do that at 4K24 or 4K30 or 1080p60 (or 1080p120 which is the same b/w as 4K30)
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