YouTuber shows why Nvidia's HDR monitor comparison demo isn't totally honest

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

If you’ve got a TV with high dynamic range (HDR), you’ll know that HDR content offered by the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, etc. can look incredible. The display technology, which offers a wider range of vibrant colors, higher contrast, brighter whites, and blacker blacks is making its way to the PC with displays like Acer’s Predator X27 – but are these monitors as good as companies claim?

Back at CES in January, Nvidia showed off a side-by-side comparison of two monitors; one with HDR and one without the tech. The HDR display looked much better, thanks to its sharper, more vibrant colors. Yesterday, YouTube channel HardwareCanucks repeated the test and came to the same conclusions: the HDR image looked vastly superior.

However, HardwareCanucks was granted access to the same monitor settings Nvidia used, and it turns out these had a lot to do with the SDR display's inferior image. Nvidia had turned down the brightness, contrast, and even altered the gamma on the standard panel to make it look much worse, thereby ensuring the HDR monitor had the best picture.

The YouTubers proceeded to do a factory reset on the non-HDR display and run the comparison again. This time, the results were far from clear-cut. Using Mass Effect: Andromeda, which has a native HDR profile, there are still some areas that look better using high dynamic range – such as the color definition in the sky. However, in many cases, the SDR panel arguably offers the superior image, with the HDR panel often looking muted or overexposed.

While it’s worth remembering some games with native HDR profiles could bring more of an obvious improvement over SDR than Adromeda, the fact Nvidia felt the need to rig the demo shows other display technologies, like higher resolutions and faster refresh rates, could be the better options for gamers right now.

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Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
Rigging your product to look and work a lot better than it actually is, and far better than the competition is not exactly a new trick of the trade. Everyone is guilty of that with Apple being the peerless masters.
 

Kenrick

TS Evangelist
The same thing they do in TV showrooms. They just need to make sure it is obvious that you see it with your own eyes. As long the technology is embedded inside you have nothing to worry as long you have the right software and hardware then HDR will be enabled.

HDR is not a standard. If the whole industry of TV and monitors would only follow a universal HDR then this would eliminate the "which is best youtube clips" (e.g HDR10, Dolby vision)
 
R

Raoul Duke

Soooooooo ..... the "new and improved" isn't ..... no big surprise there.
It's the 'new and improved' way to get you to part ways with cash to 'upgrade' the box you have that likely works just fine. But, but, but...'new' is better right? No, you've been sold down the river (again).
 

kapital98

TS Guru
I'm not sure why you are calling HardwareCanucks a "youtuber". It's a long established website that's been around for around as long as Techspot or the other major tech sites. They are more of a review site than a headline agglomeration website (like Techspot).

Everyone seemingly has a youtube channel now.
 
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Kibaruk

TechSpot Paladin
Huh, I wasn't expecting this, normally people mess with the configurations to optimize the settings of the product they are showcasing, haven't heard the other way around... it's like underclocking for benchmarks.
Everyone seemingly has a youtube channel now.
It's a place where you can upload videos for free and show stuff over to the public... crazy talks that everyone needs a youtube channel...
 
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