Apple TV 4K 2021 raised blacks with HDR MKV (from Bluray)

TV: Panasonic 65HZ2000 OLED, prof. calibrated
Device: Apple TV 4K 2021 fully updated (tvOS 15.1.1 )
Settings: Match framerate and range, but otherwise in SDR (set by calibrator, looks better in menus), i also tried making Dolby Vision default with no impact.
Infuse: 7.2.1

I was watching the Hunger Games trilogy (bluray rip) and a few times I was surprised at how it was mastered, with blacks seeming a bit too gray, but otherwise looking great. Basically scenes which I would expect to be near-black was much brighter than the black bars. Finally, when watching the tunnel scenes in Mockingjay Part 2 I figured something was wrong and compared with the regular HD streaming version on HBO Max. The same scenes had much blacker darks in the standard HD version.

I tried to take some photos at fixed ISO for comparison:

( no rewards for guessing which is one with raised blacks ).

I am seeing the same behavior in both Plex and Infuse (playing from plex, which is set to direct play).

Any ideas?

Welcome to the forum!

Are you getting the HDR badge on your TV when you play the HDR videos?

Some movies are mastered in such a way that blacks are not pure blacks. I don’t really know why they would do that and it is quite annoying, especially on OLED. Anyways I don’t have the hunger games in 4K but my guess is that the streaming version darkened shadows from original. In your picture you can see that shadow detail is definitely lost in the darker version.

Here’s a thread talking about it

1 Like

The TV displays HDR(PQ), so I guess yes?

I tried on my PC (non-HDR display), and here Plex web is also too bright, while VLC playing the same file is as dark as I would expect. I can’t test Infuse as I don’t have a Mac.

It makes sense that standard HD would lose shadow detail vs HDR10, but my TV is capable of displaying shadow detail at darker levels than what is on display here. Also remember that its a smartphone photo :slight_smile: I mean, its quite glaring with the naked eye compared to the black bars. I even noticed the lack of contrast in some forest scenes earlier on ( quite bright scene, but with some shadows ).

I would hope that the Bluray movie is mastered against a reference display, and not for crappy LCD TVs?

I actually looked up reviews of the UHD disc, and for example The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 - Ultra HD Blu-ray Ultra HD Review | High Def Digest says:

“Black levels are richer and noticeably more varied without sacrificing any of the finer details in the deepest, strongest shadows, giving the 2.40:1 image an attractive cinematic appeal and welcomed depth.”

That doesn’t sound like a overly bright mastering?

Do you recall what your settings were when you ripped these?

It is not re-encoded (its the full ~60gb stream, just repackaged as MKV).

Does this happen on other files? I’m sure there are some movies that overlap and I can check my setup

Have you checked in the pull down menu while playing that the correct video track is selected?

I mostly watch streaming services (Disney+, HBO Max, Netflix, Amazon prime etc), so I have to check.

I downloaded these test patterns: HDR10 test patterns set | AVS Forum

It has a black level test in 10-bit 23.9 fps (in mp4 container), and it looks like its supposed to.

Could it be the MKV container that causes a different player to be used? (I assume the ATV supports mp4 out of the box, but not MKV). Of course it is also completely possible its just a mastering choice. I was just watching Red Notice on Netflix just now, and it also seems to show overly bright shadows in some scenes, but they also look like that on the Netflix web player on my PC monitor.

Infuse is it’s own player, it doesn’t use the ATV stock player.

There is only one video track.